Showing posts from March, 2017

Worlds Colliding: Stern and Fergusen

Oh, how nice.  I was catching up on some Stern shows from earlier this week when one of my favorites, Craig Fergusen, showed up in my favorite place on the Stern Show.   Lots of laughs and some crazy stories.  Like the time Craig forgot that he shot a pilot with Zach Braff and Gwyneth Paltrow.

And we even heard about the origins of Craig doing the whole ripping up of the blue cards thing.

Here's the first time that he did it with Alec Baldwin:

Official Tomorrowland Speedway Drivers License

We can add this 'Drivers License' to the list of artifacts that we've been given/earned down at Walt Disney World.

There's the business card from the Mayor of Main Street USA.
Then there was the official 'guest skipper' license from the crew of the Jungle Cruise.
We received one of these 'born to soar' cards, but I don't seem to have posted about it.
And over the years, we've collected transportation cards like these from a boat captain on our trip back to the Wilderness Lodge one afternoon.

And now, the Beef has this license.  Pretty cute, isn't it?  He had to get measured up for height to make it on the ride this trip and after he 'measured up', the cast member whipped out this card to mark the occasion.  Pretty awesome.

As for the ride?  Not so awesome.  Between the jerky steering wheel and the not-so-great experience, it seems that this thing is past it's due date for an overhaul.  I mean...the chuck of land it is occupy…

New Theme for The Blog

It was just over a year ago that I posted a new blog theme redesign here on "Why I Oughta..." and showed the previous 12 years or so of what the blog has looked and felt like over the various changes.  If you're reading this in your email, you're likely unaware that I've made another switch recently.  Go through on the title of the post in your email and you'll see this blue theme below.  This is one of the new(ish) themes that the team at Blogger released recently.

I'm certain that there have been more, but this is the 10th *documented* version over the past 13 years.    I've streamlined things a bit by removing any and all ads as well as the 'you might like' feature boxes.  And for the first time in I think ever, I have only one column.

Here's the full length screen grab, but because of the scrolling and the resizing of the header image, you'll see the white band across the photo in the top post.

Pair of Safety Pin Disney Pins (Sully and Pooh Bear)

The Bird picked up this pair of 'safety pin' pins featuring Sully from the Monsters Inc/University movies and her favorite: Pooh Bear.  (Well...Ariel might be her favorite, but she's a princess, so that's different in her mind!).

These appear to have been originally marketed to Hong Kong Disney Land so between the ratty enamel on these and that post on the Disney Pins Blog, I'm guessing that these are scrappers.  Doesn't make them any more fun to the girls, but they're still scrappers.

Lego Friends Heartlake Riding Club: Built

In what seems like the past few months, the pace of adoption of Legos has increased rapidly in our house.  We went from having a tub of Duplos that the girls would occasionally build something with to full-on regular Lego sets in an instant.  You can see some of the Lego-related posts here on the blog.

The Bird - who is younger - has mostly been spending her time with Lego Juniors.  They're a bit easier to build but she still gets to work with 'regular Legos' like her big sister and leave the Duplos to her brother the Beef.

The Babe on the other hand has a total unquenchable thirst for all things Lego.  It started with a few Lego Elves sets.  Then she got a few Disney princess sets (including some for Christmas) and the Millennium Falcon (Squee!) and it just exploded.  (note:  she hasn't built the Falcon yet because she wants to 'wait until her new room is ready so her sister and brother don't wreck it'...)  She's built Ecto 1 and 2 from Ghostbuster&…

Macaroon Disney Pin - Chaser

One of the things we seem to do on most trips to Epcot is a stop in France for some sweet treats.  One of the things that always manages to end up in our bag is the little six pack of macaroons.  And that's likely the reason why one of the girls was drawn to this pin and traded for it.  Just like the Figment one from late last week, this one is a 'chaser' too.

It was covered on the Official Disney Parks Blog back in November of 2015.  And it turns out that this chaser is from the same series as the Figment one?!?

Ant Man Disney Pin - 2015

The Babe traded for this Ant-man pin from a pin board at the resort.  She's naturally drawn to 'big' pins and this this certainly *is* big.  It is heavy, but has only one pin back on it.  Surprisingly, after she plucked it off the board, I looked at it and figured out that it really wasn't a scrapper.  Someone, who had this thing on their lanyard found something that they liked better and gave this one up.

My daughters have no idea who Antman is nor have they ever seen the movie, but they both liked the pin.

Based on this eBay listing, it was part of a limited release of just 2000 pins from 2015 (a doy!  It says that right on the pin!) timed with the opening day of the film.  This guy has it listed for $19.88 - which is nuts, but it says he's sold 3 of them, so this seems to be a sought-after pin.

Stormtrooper Disney Mini Egg Pin

The Bird traded for this Stormtrooper Disney "Easter Egg" pin.  Turns out it is part of a six pin set that includes the usual crew that you'd expect in a Star Wars starter set.
The retail price is $34.95 for the six pin set. Available early March 2016. Below is a closer look at the six different character pins featured.1. Darth Vader
2. Stormtrooper
3. Boba Fett
4. R2-D2
5. C-3PO
6. Chewbacca
And here's a photo (from the Disney Pins Blog) showing all six of them below.  That Chewy one is pretty awesome, isn't it?

Figment Disney Pin Chaser

The Babe traded for this one on a trip down to WDW recently.  And it is a chaser.  What's a 'chaser'?  Welp, it is one of these non-colored, metallic versions of pins at Walt Disney World.  From Living A Disney Life:
These metallic doppelgangers of some of our favorite, colorful pins first appeared in 2011. They are “Hidden Mickey” pins (small Mickey head appears on these). All Hidden Mickey pin collections (painted and chaser) are released on Cast Member lanyards. Chaser pins, interestingly, are not released as part of the set they seem to belong to – they’re released (after the original, colorful ones) as part of a larger set of chaser pins belonging to a particular year. And this one features Figment - who has his own cult following.  We've been on the Figment ride a few times and while I love Eric Idle and the song is pretty catchy, the ride is pretty meh.  I know that's not an original thought, right?  But, as for Figment?  I kinda like him.  He's OG t…

The Salesman - Art @ The York

I last covered the Art @ the York Theatre program in January when they ran the Beatles 'Eight Days a Week' film.   I walked by the York recently and came across the poster for The Salesman.  The details of the showing are at the Classic Cinemas site.  This showing is twice on April 12th.  Both 1 pm and 7 pm.  If you're looking for them (which...I am doubtful you are!), then....Here's all of the Art @ The York Theatre posts on the blog.  
The team at the York and Classic Cinemas always seem to select interesting movies for this series, but this one?  Over on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a 97% rating. is an Iranian movie.   That won the Academy Award for "Best Foreign Language Film". will be subtitled, right?  That's A LOT of reading.  
While I'd love to say that you can sign me up for might be a bridge too far for me and my movie house visits.  Mr. Culture right here, eh?  I'll go back to mashing my keyboard, drinki…

Hey! We Know Him! (Our *Kinda* Hollywood Connection)

I've written here on the blog about our past brushes with famous people.  Like Hollywood famous people.  There's that time when Nat and I - before we had kids - stayed in the pool house of Joel Murray.

But recently, we had a totally different experience.  We we went to see the new Disney movie Beauty and the Beast at the York and we stayed all the way through the credits.  Why?  Because, we wanted to see what you see above:  the listing for the executive producer.

The Babe, who is the only one of the three that can read, was waiting in her seat with us and she just about jumped out of her seat when his name showed up.  It was a fun little way to end the movie for us.  The film itself was great, but because we've know that someone we know has been involved in the project for years, it made it even more fun.  So, I'm considering this our 2nd Hollywood *kinda* connection.  Kinda...because they're related to people we're related to.  So that means 'kinda'…

Tractor Tire Swing - Not For Us

I came across this tire swing at Menards recently and immediately snapped a photo and texted it to Nat.  I mean...who wouldn't want a 'Tractor Ride'n', right?

Her response?  A simple: "no."

Which, is probably the only answer I should have reasonably expected, right?  I mean...come on.  Look at this thing.  It *is* ridiculous.

So, if you're in the market for something like this, you're in luck.   There's at least one left at Menards on North Avenue.

Pageant Queens At The Shore

This photo is hanging in the lounge at the Boardwalk Inn down on Crescent Lake.  I think this is from the club-level floor either in the club or right outside of it.  Kinda love the sea shells behind the couples in each of the matching convertibles.  I took this photo months ago, but for some reason it just popped up in my Google photos.  Thus, why it is getting posted now.

It reminds me of the vintage photos that they had hung up down in Sea Island.

You can see all the of the Boardwalk-related posts on the blog all the way back to our first stop there in the summer of 2012 here on the [boardwalk] tag page.

"This was a gift from my son..."

Well...actually from my daughters.  But the sentiment sticks.  Maybe I'll wear it around the parks on our next trip, but hopefully I won't run into any of the guys from the Mandelbaum clan.

"You think you're the #1 Dad??!?"

"I'll show you who's #1."

"It's go time!"

Update on The York Building In Elmhurst City Centre

If you haven't been in the Elmhurst City Centre in the past few weeks, you have likely not seen the progress being made at the old Plass Appliance site on the west side of York Street right in the heart of the City Center.   These concrete block structures are the elevators, right?  They're set way back from York and rise vertically in the middle of the site.

We last covered this project back in January of 2016, more than a year ago when they tore the old building down.

If you haven't been following along on the blog, here's the site concept for the location:  it is a terraced building that will have offices/commercial on the first floor and I think it started as condos up stairs, but now is going to be offices?  They're calling it the York Building and it will border both York Street on the front, but also that "Schiller" alley thing that connects the new parking deck over on Addison and includes Nu Crepes (who, somehow has survived all of the constru…

The 'Crooked Leg' Hoops Move By Steve Colter

Once you see this - and then try it yourself - your mind will explode.

This is former Chicago Bull and NBA Journeyman Steve Colter pulling off his 'signature move' called the Crooked Leg on John Stockton three times in one game.  I was listening to Bernstein and Goff and Dan Bernstein brought up this move for some reason.

I used 'signature move' in quotes above because that's what this segment featuring Isaiah Thomas calls it.  The pre-roll video ad is brutal, so I grabbed the video file and put it up on my own YouTube Channel as an unlisted/non-monetized video.  Embedded below.  Not sure how long it will last and if the NBA will yank it down.  If the player below isn't working, click here to watch it elsewhere on YouTube.  But... it is worth it to see these guys all light up when they're talking about Steve Colter.  Then Zeke gets up and shows the move off himself.  LOL when he says "...and then he gone!"  Kinda sweet.  They all have a …

Choco-X Eggs Like Kinder Eggs?

At Pete's Fresh Market in Villa Park, I spotted these Choco-X Toys in the checkout aisle.  These are basically knock off Kinder Eggs, I think.  But they have official Marvel branding, so they must be legitimate in some fashion?  These are written in Spanish, so maybe these are the Mexican Kinder alternative?

Wonder why we can't get Kinder Eggs, but we can get these?  Kinder has these same kind of 'scoop the chocolate out' of eggs with the 'surprise' on the other side now, so the whole child eating the Kinder Egg and choking on the little toy thing seems to be a non-issue?

Either way, get to Pete's on Roosevelt for all your Easter Basket needs.

Elmhurst Downtown Plan Proposal

I've covered the Elmhurst City Centre and the commercial developments and activities that take place down there on the blog for seven years.  You can see all the 'Elmhurst City Center' posts here.  There's a lot of them.

But, there's big changes on the horizon for the downtown area.  If you live in any of the areas that are bordering the City Centre areas, you've probably noticed the sign you see above posted on various corners around town.

The reason is that the City is going through a process to adopt a new Downtown Plan.  That plan sets forth some zoning changes that would amend the current zoning ordinance.  Full details can be found here on the City of Elmhurst's site.

The City of Elmhurst should be commended for transparency and their efforts to engage the public on this.  In addition to these signs, they've also utilized a digital sign right on York.  I mean...they're really trying!  So, good work, City of Elmhurst.

We happen to live pre…

View From My Office: March Snow

Chicago's 'front yard' is a winter wonderland this morning as a bit of snow dropped on the parks.  The last time I posted a snow picture of my view from Edelman was last year in February.

We've been fortunate with very little snow this winter and normally I'm all for bad, snowy winters.  But this year, since we've been building the house during the bulk of the winter, we've been hoping and (so far.... *knock on wood*) have had a super mild winter.

Now that our house is all button'd up with a roof and windows, snow like this doesn't affect us one bit.  And that's kinda nice.

Big Brass Elephant: At the Richmond Flea

I spotted this big, brass Elephant up in Wisconsin at the Flea market in Richmond back in February.  This wasn't at the Lake Geneva Antique Mall, which I've posted about previously, but it was at this weird Flea about 2 blocks off of the main drag in Richmond.   We had the kids in the van and I think we were running somewhere, so I didn't have a lot of time in here as I just ran in there myself to check it out and see if it was worth coming back.  Turns out, there are dozens of booths filled with lots of junk (think: tube socks), but some gems if you could look past all the other stuff.  One of them was this big elephant.  If you look closely, you can see the price tag on him:  $35.  So, I passed, but snapped this photo to show Nat when I got back in the car.

I posted a companion 'little' brass elephant on the blog back in the summer of 2016.  Don't they look like a mother/child pair???

Also, there's a whole host of [Flea Market] posts here on the tag pag…

Mattel Toy Store In Wilmot

We stumbled upon this Mattel Toy Store up in Wilmot Wisconsin after we had a little lunch and checked out Wilmot Ski resort on a weekend trip recently.  It was closed, so we couldn't go in, but we put our noses up to the glass to check things out.  There's a big building attached to this place that has a big "American Girl" sign on it, so I'm thinking we'll have to check this place out.  Their Headquarters is in Middleton up by Madison, so this facility isn't the 'big show', but the girls still love those dollies and the sign on the building made them light up just seeing it.

Looking out on the Web, it looks like in late Spring/Early Summer, they have a 'doll sale', which might be interesting, right?  But, the weird part is that it appears that you have to have a membership to shop at the store?  Membership is free, but it requires you to fill out this form.

This Year's Bunny Mold - 2017

This cute little bunny mold arrived in the mail recently.  She's wearing a dress and carrying a basket - as Easter Bunnies are wont to do.   The bunny from 2014 also carried a basket, but he was a bit more formal.

This one is a bit smaller than we've done in the past, but I think with the girls helping me, the size is going to work to our advantage.

Turns out, we didn't make one of the last year.  Instead, we went to Sea Island instead of having Easter around town.  Ahhh...Sea Island.

Back to reality with these molds.  I'll work with the girls to stuff the cavitiy with water putty, then once dry, we'll paint them up, then add a topcoat for shine.  Aiming for four of them to spread the Easter joy around a bit.

Here's the mold we used in 2015.
Here's the mold we used in 2014.
Here's the mold we used in 2013.
Here's the mold we used in 2012.
Here's the mold we used in 2011.

A/V Chases Installed

Last week, I posted about the masonry work that was taking place for the fireplace outside at our New Old Farmhouse and I also gave a little update about the salvaged leaded glass windows we are having repaired for reuse in our place by the craftsman at Drebohl Art Glass in Chicago.  (Drebohl, btw, is the 'oldest stained glass studio in Chicago', so they're the real deal.)

This week, the attention on the house construction turns inside as the tradesmen undertake their rough installations.  And that includes some low-voltage wiring work.  You'd think that in today's world, there wouldn't be the need for a ton of wires running all around the place with ethernet jacks and ports and what-have-you's installed in the walls in every room.  But you'd - like me - would be wrong.

As part of our house build, we're getting a bunch of different wires put in - for use now, but also a bit of 'future proofing' things of sorts.  That means, Cat 5/6 (I don&…

Elmhurst Tax Increases Ahead

If you live in Elmhurst and opened your utility bill recently, you probably saw this notice in the envelope that calls out the tax increases you're about to be hit with.  They call it a 'Utility Bill Rate Increase', but let's all call it what it is:  Government reaching into your pocket and taking more of your money for no new services.

This increase is a 12.6% increase for this year, but if you read closely, they say that there are EVEN MORE tax increases coming in the next few years.  They say, they *might* not be all the way up to 12.6%, but you can bet they'll be near 10% next year and the year after and the year after.

Don't even get me started with the sewer costs.  How does the City figure your sewer bill?  Welp, they just take the consumption amount of water and charge you that rate for sewer fees.  Even if it all doesn't go down the drain.  Water your grass or garden?  That water isn't going in the sewer is it?  Nope.  Doesn't matter.  Th…

One Year Later: Love Smith and My Fighting Illini

One year ago today, I posted this on the blog:

What a year it has been for the Illini and Athletic Director Josh Whitman.  Has Lovie lived up to the billing?  As an Alum and former member of the football team I can say this without question:  He has!

Did we win a ton of games last year?  Nope.  Will we win a bunch this year?  Probably not.  But that's ok.  #WeWillWin.  Why?  Because he's upgrading the talent on the field (#40 recruiting class this year) and in the coaching box.

And in that year, things have changed in the football program, but also at the Athletic Department.  They announced the inaugural class for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini Hall of Fame with 28 members.  The golf program continues to hum along in amazing fashion.  He hired a new Volleyball coach.  And...They also announced the Memorial Stadium renovation (South Endzone and maybe a new facility by the indoor training complex like what they're showing below.

And now comes his biggest decis…

Disney College Program Pins

Ahh...the Disney College Program.  Something that totally was NOT on my radar at any point during my college years.  Heck...I didn't even study abroad.  That was done by a few dudes that I knew, but it was definitely the exception, not the rule.  These pins are 'from' the College Program, I think?  I say 'from' because I frankly don't know how they got circulated.  If you were in the College Program at Disney and were given these pins, I wouldn't think you'd trade them up for some ratty scrapper on a cast member's lanyard, would you?

Update on Leaded Glass Windows

Back in early January, I posted about the three windows we bought salvage that included a big transom and a pair of more square-ish windows.  The transom is destined for our entryway/vestibule and the pair will go in the library/living room.  
We wanted to do the windows right, so we found the folks at Drehobl Art Glass in Chicago and after talking with them, decided to undertake the restoration process on all three.  
That meant taking the glass out of the sashes and work on the leading in between each one.  That also gave us an opportunity to work with our painter to have him restore the sash/frame.  Here's what one of them looked like in the back of Nat's van.  You can see that they're in pretty rough shape.  Peeling paint, weather damage.  They'll get stripped, sanded and then glued to make them just about new.

And here's a look at the pair of leaded glass windows out of their sashes.  They will undergo a bit more work to get straightened out.  Once our painte…

"The Basement"

This whole thing is pretty interesting of a listen (I think it must be from his audio book, right?), but if you tune in right here, at the 1:19 mark, the way Bob Dylan says "The Basement" is so interesting to me.

American Flag Mickey Mouse Disney Pin

This American Flag Mickey Mouse pin came in a big bag and while it wasn't deemed a 'keeper' by the girls, it was by me.  So it isn't going in the pile of 'traders' but instead will end up on the pin board. We've seen plenty of different versions of pins with American flags and/or some other version of patriotism on them, but I haven't come across this one with this shaped Mickey face on it.

It reminds me of the face on Mickey's Fun Wheel out at Disney's California Adventure.

Masonry Work and Fireplace: Done

A few weeks back, I posted an update about our new place showing the installation of the windows in most* spots (The asterisk is because not all the windows are we're still waiting on a few of the more 'fancy' ones...) and how that felt like real progress.  And there's been even more progress lately including the installation (do you call it that?) of the fireplace and chimney.  This one you see above is in what I think is going to be my favorite spot in the house: our screened porch.

You'll note the the cables come out of the center of the masonry work above the fireplace, so one of the first jobs is going to be finding a tv that will work out there and getting it hung.   The room isn't huge, but I'm thinking Nat will do a great job finding the right seating mix where we can hang as a family out there and also where we can entertain folks.  And, frankly, something that I can take a Saturday afternoon nap on while watching some sports...

The chimn…

Lizzie At Seven Months

Back in October, I posted about the newest member of our family: Elizabeth Bennet.  We call her Lizzie.  And now she's 7 months old.  Hard to believe.  She's gotten a lot bigger, a little bit smarter, hasn't slowed down one second and is just as much of a lapdog as her big sister Maisy.

Lizzie has some problems that Maisy never did including resource guarding and hating...I mean TOTALLY HATING going outside if it is rainy or snowy or even cold.  I almost have to push her outside some mornings.  But, she's getting the hang of things.  And while she's been a total pain the rear at times, she is a lover of a dog who curls up in our laps each night as we watch tv.

She's been spayed, so that might have slowed her down a step - but that's it.  Just a step.  She still darts around and if it weren't for 'burst mode' on my phone, I would have never been able to snap this photo you see above.

She's no Maisy (and she couldn't be, amirite??), bu…