Archive for August, 2007

Google Just Don’t Understand

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

My softball team, Ben Felt and His Traveling All-Stars, is in the second round of the playoffs. (This isn’t the Jellyvision team, but rather a team I’m on with my brothers and some other folks.) Next week we’re going to be playing the team that ended our season last year. The final play was a weak grounder that hit a rock, and subsequently, my brother’s face. The winning run scored, they went on to the next round of the playoffs, and we went to the emergency room.

bloodybrian.jpg
Bri, after taking a ball to the face.

None of us want that to happen again — especially Brian — so we’re going to hit up the batting cages this weekend. There are several batting cages in and around Chicago, but my favorites are at Novelty Golf on Devon Avenue in Lincolnwood. Not only do they have batting cages, but they have mini-golf and a wonderful arcade. There’s an ice cream stand next-door called The Bunny Hutch. It’s technically a separate business, but people often refer to the whole Novelty Golf complex as “The Bunny Hutch.” It is, after all, a superior name. Plus there’s this freaky dude:

So naturally when I went to look up the address in Google, I typed in “bunny hutch devon.” This surprisingly accurate result was one of the top hits:

“Housing headache for giant bunny.”

Blue Bags Carts

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

Much has been written about how ineffective Chicago’s blue bag program is. Most people, myself included, have a hard time believing that a thin layer of polyethylene will survive the gnashing claws of a garbage truck long enough to make it to some magical sorting chamber where enchanted elves separate recyclable cardboard from baby Chester’s dirty diapers. And while that process probably worked more effectively than I suggest, it offered us, the recycling public little confidence. So little, in fact, that few bothered to use blue bags.

In lieu of a civic recycling program, I hauled my cans and bottles and papers and what not to the 7-11 parking lot at Wrightwood and Lincoln (and Sheffield — three-way intersections, yo!) where The Resource Center has set up recycling bins. It was a pain. On the up side, I often ran into the founder of The Resource Center, Ken Dunn. Ken Dunn is a strange and wonderful man who has founded many strange and wonderful projects in Chicago including City Farm and Blackstone Bicycle Works. Often I’d be throwing cardboard into the truck-sized bin only to see a slight, soul-patch-ed man pop out of the pile like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin. This is a guy who was featured in a cover story for Chicago Magazine and who Mayor Daley has on his speed dial.

I remember several years ago we were chatting as he gleefully loaded trash bags full of used coffee grounds into his truck (to use as compost at City Farm.) He mentioned that Chicago’s recycling program was going to be drastically improved in the next couple years. “Yeah, right,” I thought.

Never question Ken Dunn. Look what I found behind our building a couple weeks ago:

recyclingcart.jpg

The whole alley is now lined with brand new City of Chicago blue carts. The 46th and 47th ward, it seems, are part of the trial program, and let me tell you, the 46th and 47th wards are pretty excited about it. The suckers were packed to the gills all up and down the alley.

Here’s me breaking in my blue cart (apparently after a wild night of Squirt drinking.) And by the way, you don’t need to use blue bags — or any bags, for that matter — but I figured I wouldn’t be using them for anything else…

recycling.jpg

You Wanna Know What Daisy Thinks? Daisy’s Gonna Tell You What Daisy Thinks.

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Wouldntchaknow, I’m dogsitting again. I’m taking care of Allard’s dog Daisy, the world’s oldest living Pug. I always get a little nervous taking care of her. It’s hard to shake the fear that she’ll finally head for that great milkbone in the sky on my watch.

Allard: If she dies, just put her in the freezer until we get back.

Daisy has trouble standing up these days. You kind of have to lift her up and hold her there until she gets her balance, but when she stands her tail sure starts wagging! She’s old, but she’s happy.

I took her to work today and she attended our weekly company meeting. All 30 of us were sitting in a circle as Amanda and Harry outlined the current business situation. While Harry was talking about a potential project and whether or not it was a good fit for our company, Daisy waddled to the center of the circle, squatted, and told us what she thought of the project (in turd form.)

Harry: I guess we’re not doing the project.

Since Daisy doesn’t walk so well she has to be carried around in a bag. Look how happy she is in her bag!

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Pretty Pictures

Saturday, August 18th, 2007

I’ve seen two great photography projects on the Internet and they were both done by the same person:

3 Years 3 Minutes

Astronaut

I find “3 Years 3 Minutes” especially brilliant. Something about it gets to me, like that commercial with the elephant or the end of A League of Their Own when the ladies are all old.

It’s hard to take a step back and look at three years of your life when you’re busy living it. Even though the movie shows someone else’s life, I can’t help but see how much my life has changed in the last three years: love lost, friends found, houses bought, fires set. What can I say? It gets to me… like when siblings give speeches at weddings or when Farmer Hoggett says, “That’ll do, Pig.”