Archive for February, 2008

If You Just Haven’t Tortured Yourself Enough This Week

Don’t fret, blogiverse….

I have not forgotten about you. metroblog readership. No way, no how. Our love is deep and true. Right now is just an insane time, what with the moving and the new job and the impending birthday and other important stuff I can’t think of right now. I will be blogging on a very regular basis in no time at all! I promise!!!

In the mean time, and in the spirit of vd, I leave you with this video. Something to buy that special someone:

The Centennial

The baseball season rapidly approaches. Too rapidly, for me; I need a solid month to recover after the Super Bowl every year &#8212 longer, if the Bears made it to the playoffs. But with the Blackhawks and Bulls doing their level best to remain mediocre, the local media is all a-twitter about the upcoming season of America’s Pastime.

Pitchers and catchers reported for spring training yesterday, thus embarking on the 100th season since the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series. If right-hander Ryan Dempster is to be believed, this year we shall commemorate the centennial in style.

“I think we are going to win the World Series. I really do,” Dempster said. Bold words, considering Carlos Zambrano said pretty much the same thing at the beginning of last season, but it’s still just as adorable, don’t you think? At least Dempster, who plans to make the transition from closer to starter this season, didn’t prognosticate a Cy Young Award for himself, as Zambrano did a year ago. That would have been silly.

The White Sox had a fairly active off-season, picking up the likes of outfielder Nick Swisher, shortstop Orlando Cabrera, and outfielder Carlos Quentin. The team this year will look very different from the group that won the World Series in 2005, only to miss the playoffs the next two seasons. The team did manage to set a franchise record with 1,149 strikeouts last year. That’s something, right?

Research Before Purchase – A Sports Fan’s Tale

The Miami Dolphins released wide receiver Marty Booker today. Chicago sports fans will remember Mr. Booker as a Pro-Bowl player for the Bears from 1999 to 2003. I’m sure he’ll find a slot elsewhere in the NFL. But I would like to relate my one personal Marty Booker-related experience.

In August of 2004 a friend of mine scored two tickets to a pre-season game against the 49ers, and he was cool enough to bring me along. We had pretty decent seats, the weather was great, the food was EXTRAORDINARILY expensive, and we drank many, many beers. I’m pretty sure the Bears won, but it was pre-season, so who cares?

Anyway, before the game we made our way to the gift shop, with the intention of scoring some jerseys. Of course the big seller was Brian Urlacher’s number 54, but we thought to eschew the obvious route and find some less heralded but equally awesome players to celebrate. My friend selected a handsome Mike Brown, and I went for Number 8, Sexy Rexy. And of course I had to bring one home to the wife, she being as big a fan as myself. I turned a corner, and a choir of angels sang out as I encountered a massive wall covered floor to ceiling in Marty Booker jerseys. Reading this as a sign, I grabbed one and got in line.

After about twenty minutes I was almost to the checkout counter when some dude behind me said, “I hope that Booker jersey’s marked down.” No, I said. But there’s a whole wall of them over there. “Yeah,” the guy said. “They gotta get rid of ’em all. He just got traded this morning. To Miami.” I turned toward the cashier for confirmation, and she just nodded with a wry smile.

Damn it. Kickoff was in just a few minutes. I didn’t want to get out of line. I set the Booker jersey aside and grabbed the best one I could reach without losing my place: Number 54, Urlacher.

Oh well. Probably the better investment in the end. My buddy’s Mike Brown hasn’t seen much action in the last few years, and I’m still waiting for my Grossman to pay off. I still think it’ll happen.

What? Why are you laughing?

Vote in the Time Out Chicago Eat Out Awards

Time Out Chicago 2008 Eat Out Awards

You have until March 2 to vote in the Time Out Chicago 2008 Eat Out Awards. Finally, your vote counts for something. Like, which of a multiple choice list of restaurants is the best.

Chicago’s Most Beautiful Cat

I kind of think the Red Eye is the dumbest waste of paper in the history of journalism, but boy oh boy I loves me the kittentimes.

Math and Politics

As someone who teaches math, I’m always on the lookout for math related news items. As a teacher, I am always on the look out for political news (since my job is tied to political decisions). Two weeks ago this interesting article popped up on Newsweek about the math of voting. Turns out, as mathematician Donald Saari says, “Election outcomes can more accurately reflect the choice of an election rule than the voters’ wishes.” This is most clearly reflected in the presidential outcomes in 2000.

The article directs readers to a website that gives the online community three methods of voting: 1) selecting your top candidate 2) selecting all candidates you think are acceptable for president and 3) ranking the candidates. As of right now, the top vote getter for all three methods is local boy done good Barack Obama.

However, with the complexity and oddness of the leviathan we call the primaries, the nominations are still up in the air. For the democrats, it looks like it might come down to the super mysterious super delegates. They are getting lots of chocolate and flowers this week from the Obama and Clinton camps.

I have to be honest. I understand the flawed BCS system for choosing a college football champion better then I understand the American primary system. However, I understand it enough to find primary outcomes decided by a cabal of political insiders a bit unfair.

And that’s not just me saying that it would be unfair; that is math saying it would be unfair. Of course, math has been saying that No Child Left Behind is unfair, but, politically, few have listened to that noise.

Everyone, please listen to math (5000 years of history can’t be wrong). Also, go celebrate Pi Day on March 14.

Daley rant

I’m not sure if it’s one of his best rants ever, but Daley gets going pretty good here because… some Aldermen aren’t voting the way he wants them to on the real estate tax increase to fund the CTA. The Capitol Fax Blog has some actual analysis.

Behind the Scenes: Sean Bonner interviewed about Metroblogging

Metroblogging grand poobah Sean Bonner got all dressed up (trust me, for him that’s dressed up) and went on a business show to be interviewed the business of Metroblogging. The history of Metroblogging and our most eccentric blogger, all in 6 and a half minutes.

For all of you granola fans…

I have been doing a lot of research on Andersonville lately, since I will be calling the neighborhood home very soon. I said to myself ‘self…where can I do some yoga and get a good vegetarian meal and maybe some coffee in Andersonville?’ I always come through for myself, and I thought I would share my findings with all of you, too! You’re welcome.


Cheetah Gym – an Andersonville favorite. I will be joining as soon as it is humanly possible. Don’t live in Andersonville? That’s okay. There are locations in Bucktown and Edgewater, too.

Bloom Yoga Studio in Lincoln Square (I know, it’s not Andersonville) has a great site, and is completely family friendly!

Sweet Pea’s Studio – super cool place geared toward expecting and new parents


Kope Cafe – Friends will not stop telling me about this place, so I thought I’d pass it along. I have yet to try it, but will probably check it out this weekend. They don’t have an (active) site, but I found some basic info/reviews.

Ann Sather – duh. This place is amazing and adorable. Not strictly vegetarian, but definitely veggie friendly. I have eaten here, and it’s delish!

Hamburger Mary’s – this is not a vegetarian joint, but I went to dinner here with the girls last weekend, and we had some amazing nachos. It’s just a cool place with cool people and good food.


Icosium Cafe – Haven’t been here yet (because it’s not open yet), but it looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it out!

Svea – evidently, Ann Sather has some competition….

And last, but not least, the Coffee Studio. – I have been here, and it’s totally awesome. The coffee is delicious, the people are super sweet and helpful and the internet access is free!

If anyone out there in the blogiverse knows of any other places I should check out, by all means, let me know! I’m always looking for cool places to go and am always open to suggestions!

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