Archive for February, 2006


Are we really free?
The turnstyles at the State/Lake el stop.

Okay CTA, first it was Geico, now this? Anyone know what exactly is being advertised here?

Hello Beautiful! on Arts Blogging

The Chicago Public Radio Show Hello Beautiful! covered arts blogging this morning with a round-table discussion with Terry Teachout and Laura Demanski of About Last Night, Barbara Koenen of Chicago Artists Resource, and Lynn Becker of ArchitectureChicago PLUS.

Terry Teachout posted during the show and Edward Lifson (the show’s dulcet toned host) has posted a followup to Hello Beautiful!’s blog with links to a number of the panelists favorite arts resources.

One odd note on the show was near the end of the segment when Barbara Koenen felt the need to defend real world experiences. I thought we were over “the internet will destroy real human experiences” fears, and it seems especially unnecessary in the world of the arts — is anyone arguing that reading a blog post about a play or a gallery show could replace seeing the play or the show?

It was cool to hear some shout-outs to RSS, though. One of the panelists noted that an aggregator let you keep up on “10, 20, even 30 blogs” which made me laugh out loud (and cry a little, inside) because I’ve got about 400 subscriptions in my NetNewsWire.

The show can be heard from the CPR website.

Courtsey of Boing Boing

Boing Boing: Websites displaying homes, photos of sex offenders: creepy:

The folks at Boing Boing find a map that shows where registered sex offenders have reported where they live and work. A google search can show a few more google-map hacks of something similar. Since I blog about this a lot, I figured I’d share a few things:

Registered sex offenders in Illinois attending any institution of higher learning, or who work at any institute of higher learning, are required to inform the police (or sheriff) of the jurisdiction that their institution is in. In other words, if you go to College in Chicago and you’re a registered sex offender, you have to go to 35th and Michigan and register. All changes of status in school (commencement, termination, quite possibly even semester break) must also be reported within 10 days.

What I would like to point out is from the comments section…

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Who is this woman and why should you care?

“I believe we have a chance to show that people can live in a sustainable and harmonious way in and around a living wilderness; that we can be caring stewards — not merely users and abusers of these natural resources; that the Chicago region can have both a sound economy and a healthy ecology. But we have to have leaders who can take this message to the public.”

Her name is Debra SHORE, and she’s a conservationist who is running for Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner on March 21. Look who else (besides me) thinks she’s great:

IVI-IPO (Independent Voters of Illinois – Independent Precinct Organization)

Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter

The Victory Fund

Democracy for America: Evanston, Edgewater/Rogers Park,
Oak Park, Quenchers, DuPage groups

Equality Illinois

Evanston Firefighters

In the interests of full disclosure, I sent her campaign a small contribution after I became so impressed by her qualifications and her goals that I felt I had to try to help her win. (See blog posts here and here.)

Please consider joining me in supporting this worthy leader. God knows we could use a few.

Date Due

Chicago Public Library - Date DueAt the beginning of the year the Chicago Public Library switched from stamped date due cards in each book you check out, to a printed receipt that lists every book you checked out with their due dates. The libraries were even giving away a magnet with a properly-sized hole so you could stick the receipt to your fridge and hopefully remember to get your books back on time. (It was a “while supplies last” dealie — your branch may have some left.)

I mention this to a) keep you up to date on the goings-on at your library and b) if you’re into Chicago ephemera, now is the time to ask your librarian for a few date due cards, because thousands are going into the trash.

(Thanks to tinyluckygenius for reminding me to grab some cards.)

Fun with Anagrams

cta-anagram.gif They’ve been having fun over on BoingBoing all day with transit maps and anagrams, including one of Chicago’s Metra lines. Never one to pass up a chance to play with letters, I have whipped up a map of the north leg of the CTA. Why just the north leg? Because I’m lazy and don’t have the attention span to do the whole map.

That said, I apologize to those near the Southport stop. Pooh Strut was just too funny to pass up.

Also, thanks to the WordSmith Anagram Server, without which this would have taken entirely too long. And that would be embarrassing.

This Week in the World of Kanye West: “Strippers Are People Too”


Thanks to the sharp-eyes of my buddy Mike, I can bring you an update from the wild world of Chicago’s own Kanye West. It’s amazing the interesting things one can find when using the search term “porn.” Way to go Mike!

Blagojevich Makes a Bold Move To The Middle; Courts the Stupid Vote

Apprently no one told Blago the Cubs are a joke too. Oh, that’s gonna generate some comments…

From the Trib: “Blagojevich says he didn’t know ‘Daily Show’ was a comedy”

Roger Ebert appears on the show tonight- perhaps he can redeem Illinois’ rep.

“If it doesn’t have Chuck Norris in it, I won’t watch it.”

I just want to share this story with the rest of Chicago:

The cliché about traveling is true:  half the fun is getting there.  As long as the crying from kids is kept to a minimum or my headphones can drown them out, I do not care how long the flight is.  9 times out of 10,  the people sitting next to me don’t care either.  We all zone out and do our own thing.

My last flight back into Chicago, however, was a bit different.  I sat next to a guy who transports trailers and mobile homes out west; he lives in Elkhart, Indiana.  At first we talked about our jobs–when I told him mine, he told me, “I could never do that child raising thing.  I’ve got 3 kids.  Got divorced from my first wife after 7 years.  I couldn’t get the hang of it.  And Today… Today you cant’ beat a kid even when they need it.  I used to beat my son until he figured out what he was supposed to do.  He doesn’t beat his kids, and he has no control over them…”

I quickly changed the subject to something other than raising kids and jobs. 

My new friend also wanted to “just look over my shoulder” while i watched a movie on my Mac.  I let him, mostly because that meant I got to put my head phones on and not deal with him.  Or so I thought.

I put on an episode of my favorite show,  and listened as my new friend had to comment on everything that occured during that episode.  “She looks like a man.  Why do the girls have to look mannish?  Where are the aliens?”

I paused and tried to explain how acclaimed the show is.  He stopped me, and gave me a quote I will remember all my life:

“If It doesn’t have Chuck Norris in it, I won’t watch it.”

I just went back to watching TV on my Mac.

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From the Courtroom

Illinois Chicago Det 6

Originally uploaded by officergleason.

Let me preface this by saying I have nothing against Chicago’s Finest.  I have worked with them on occasion, and when I’ve called them, they’ve always been helpful.

However, when I look at a kid whose has broken the law, I try and see how to help that kid change.  From my experience, the police see just another kid who should be locked up.  Given our adversarial system, we need both attitudes.

I think it goes to far when the police question a judge’s ability to be fair when dealing with kids.

I was sitting in my favorite Judge’s court room, behind two detectives.  They were discussing how *every* kid in the court needed to be locked up.  Then I heard one of them–and I swear this cop looked like Michael Chiklis— “How can this guy be fair?  He’s Black.”

At this point, I paid more attention.

These two officers went on and on about the families, specifically how they were scum.  They complained when any kid received Home Confinement/Electronic Monitoring instead of Detention.  They laughed when the judge tried to talk directly to the kid.  Michael Chiklis went on to say, “One day, i’d like to see justice served in this court room.”

This is a judge that used to be a State’s Attorney.  This is a Judge that does everything he can to ensure that everyone–State, client and Probation–gets a chance to say something in court.  He has sent kids to DoC and he has done everything he can do to make sure that kids get every opportunity afforded to them by law.

I fully recognize the need to vent; I recognize that some people have WIDELY different views of how the juvenile justice system needs to work.  But for a person to ask if a judge can be fair because of the color of his skin is not excusable.  To mock every family that walks in to the court room, to giggle and laugh like 5th graders in the back of a class room shows a lack of professionalism that affects how the police are viewed in the community.

It is one thing to be adversarial.  It is another to question the integrity of a judge because he is Black.

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