Monday, July 30, 2007

Keep it Fields!!!

It's not too late!!

Which best describes your view of Macy's & the name change from Field's?

Vote now!

Click here for the whole article:

"Since Macy's took over, sales on State Street alone are down about 20 percent, according to McMillan Doolittle, a retail consulting firm in the Loop."

Because GAL is no longer shopping there, no doubt.

"Even a year later shoppers characterize the Macy's brand as an out-of-towner with a whole lot of attitude. "

Told you so.

CBS 2 was scheduled to interview a Macy’s spokesperson Thursday, but the company canceled because of the terrible incident in its State Street store Wednesday night. A man committed suicide by jumping from an eighth-floor balcony.

Don't jump! Just voice your opinion! Next protest rally: 9/9/07

See you under the clock!!

I've Been Reading

Look me in the Eye
by John Elder Robinson

Yes, another "boo-hoo I was abused" memoir. But this one is excellent. Because there is no boo-hooing, among other reasons.

You may know Robinson's brother Augusten Burroughs, author of Running With Scissors. I thought many of the stories in that book were 'enhanced', but the bottom line, of course, was the abuse.

Augusten encouraged his brother to write of his upbringing and view of the world as a person with asperger's. The result is a wonderfully honest look at how Robinson copes with a world that just doesn't get him. Wow, that sure hits close to home! I give this an A.

How to Talk to a Widower
by Jonathan Tropper

How can this guy get any better? Yet book after book, he does!

Great writing, awesome characters, sharp and funny yet scenes of real life. Highly recommended. A.

These Shoes Were Made For Stalking

You wouldn't believe how many things I already have to go with these... No, wait, you would.

Overheard in the Nine West Outlet…

"They have those cool zebra sandals here, but only one size left."

What? The Shoe Predator with freakishly small feet pricks up her ears. Zebra sandals? I don’t have zebra sandals. I’ve been roaming this huge store for twenty minutes without one purchase, and now this little tidbit drifts past my ears?

Must. Find. Zebra. Sandals.

I begin to slowly scour the aisles. Asking a clerk might startle them off – better to sneak up on them quietly – score!!! Just my size. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! I win!

(Note to self: do not store next to open-toe leopard pumps. Things could get messy.)

Veni, Vedi, Visa

We came. We saw. We bought it all!

That pretty much sums up my shopping trip to Kenosha with Louise...

She's the only person who can shop (or whatever activities we have planned for that day) from sun up to well past sun down.

To start the day, we toured the Jelly Belly factory! It's a great FREE tour, and I recommend it to anyone coming through the area. Well, that is, if you don't mind spending 45 minutes with with two to three dozen over-sugared kids. I sucked it up in the name of 'discount confectionery' and lived to tell about it, so you can too.

Photo Cannot Be Displayed
(I was supposed to get a picture from Louise to put here...Ahem?)

So you get a paper hat and sit on a dorky train and scoot around their warehouse, and then...Exit Through The Gift Shop!!! (The only motivation for most things in my life. Now I understand why Bridezillas go through all that wedding crap - they get to exit through the gift shop in a manner of speaking. Also, same deal if you have a good divorce lawyer.)

In the store area, they have bags of "Belly Flops" - assorted Jelly Bellys that are seconds and sold at a great discount. Yep. I paid $8 for floor-sweepins.

Really, they had some cool stuff, including the gross Harry Potter beans and T-Shirts, etc. Stocked up on a lot of sweet treats to share at work.
Then we zipped over to the outdoor outlet mall for a beautiful summer day of...Shopping!!! Ok, so it wasn't hiking by a mountain stream. The forecast that day was for rain, so just a nice bonus that we didn't get wet, ok?
How much money that Prime Outlets mall lost by closing at the ridiculously early hour of nine p.m. will never be known, but I'm sure it was significant. Honestly, when they tally up our receipts, they will name a special sale day after us.
I hope they at least invite us to the ribbon-cutting ceremony when they install that NEW RESTROOM FACILITY we demanded at the southeast end of the mall via 'comment card' .
I swear, the place was humongous and in serious need of more bathrooms. You can advertise 157 shops all you want, but two bathrooms? I don't think so!
Time spent walking back to your non-existent food court (three lousy food booths? Who are you kidding? I wanted a water and a pretzel to keep my stamina up, is that too much to ask?) is time not spent spending $$$$!

Taste O’ the Terrapin

After the zoo, we headed over to the Taste of Chicago to see what all the fuss was about. It was over 90 degrees that day, and let me tell you – that whole ‘cooler by the lake’ thing is a crock. It was quite sticky and – my favorite – populated. We dutifully bought some tickets and received a little map of the stands. I identified the items I wanted immediately, and headed right for the Eli’s Turtle Cheesecake. Yum! Then we wandered about trying a few other items. I overheard someone in the crowd saying it was not as crowded as in previous years. I’m guessing the heat kept some people away (fine with me) as there weren’t long waits for food, and you could reasonably make it down the asiles. I made a bee-line to BB’s for their famous turtle soup.

This young man was dressed as a turtle to drum up business. He told me he had no idea what kind of turtles were in the soup, he just sold it. Undaunted, I tried a cup. No chunks of meat or vegetables to be had, just a thick cream. Mmm….Pretty good!

Blog Days of Summer

Ok, so it’s been more like the no-blog days. But I must enjoy every jacket-free moment to its fullest! And with only a desk top and dial up, there’s no sitting beneath a shady tree to blog to my little heart’s content. So to recap the last few weeks: I went with Al to Chicago, to Kenosha with Louise and to Galena with the Vette. Well, Al was there too. And I never got quite to downtown Galena, but the area we did see and the drive there was very scenic.

Went to Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo for a great day of free fun! Yes, FREE! No admission charge at this zoo, the way it should be for ALL the museums of Chicago. I don’t mind paying an entrance fee, but when I do, I feel entitled to touch Sue the dinosaur and feed the sharks at the Shed for those prices, ok? Anyhoo…

Here are some of the pictures from the zoo. Meerkats actually pose for them! If only I could have gotten the tiger to do the same! Doesn’t the one with the giraffe just say it all about development? Poor thing. I know just how she feels.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Cash Cow

Helloooo Osteoporosis!!

Have you seen the price of milk? You'd think the stuff was gasoline or Starbucks, or something. Now if I thought for one minute more dollars were going into the pockets of small family-owned dairy operations, I wouldn't complain. But we know it's not. My decision to cut back on milk come right on the heels of a new study indicating soda pop causes heart disease. Oh, great. As if my tap water was some health excelsior.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why We Have To Go Out To Eat, Honey

Six months after dozens of serious injuries prompted the
recall of nearly a million Easy-Bake Ovens, the toy company Hasbro is reissuing the consumer alert because too few peopled heeded it the first time.

Need I mention the defective units were made in China? Now all they need is to be bought out by Maytag.


Scarier Than Snape

From a local paper -

Party Under the Stars with Harry: 9:45 p.m. Friday, Books at Sunset, 1100 South St., Elgin. Copies of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” will be distributed in a mirrored chamber by mysterious, white gloved hands. Other activities include Quidditch, a sorting ceremony and actors reading by torchlight. Event is for children ages 8-13.

Would you want Michael Jackson that close to kids? And I hear that Mickey Mouse character is a real rat...

Poor Thing. Reduced to children's parties!

Harry Potter and the Healthy Willows

Excerpts from Mary Lamey, CanWest News Service

The seventh book in the blockbuster Potter franchise is being touted as the greenest book in publishing history, thanks to a non-profit group that has persuaded publishers, printers and pulp producers to opt for forest-friendly paper.

That will mean 200,000 fewer trees will be felled to feed Potter demand, or the equivalent of 2.5 green and leafy Central Parks, according to Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Markets Initiative, the Vancouver-based group behind the push.

This time, Scholastic is on board. Its 12 million copies will contain 65-per-cent paper produced in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. At least 35 per cent will be made from post-consumer waste paper.
It isn't perfect, but it will save about 130,000 trees, and that's a start.

You go, Jo! I'm very impressed and indebted by your commitment to the environment. Thank you for a great series of books and for hugging a few (hundred thousand) trees.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Exciting Discoveries!

ATHENS (Reuters) - Roadworks in southern Greece have unearthed a rare Mycenaean grave thought to be well over 3,000 years old and containing important burial offerings including a gold chalice, the culture ministry said on Monday.

Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo, told The New York Times that a well-preserved mummy found in 1903 in the Valley of the Kings was positively identified as Hatshepsut after a CT scan of a wooden box associated with the queen revealed a tooth that fits into the jaw socket and broken root of the mummy.

Now would someone please dig up an exit strategy for Iraq?

Won't Sleep a Wink Tonight...

Two Congressmen are asking the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the disappearance of $22 million worth of computers and scientific equipment at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So let me get this straight... an agency entrusted with the study, control, and containment of microscopic bacteria can't keep a handle on things as large as computers or $22 millions in funds? Lovely. Wait, there's more!

This past February, the Justice Department's Inspector General reported that three to four laptops are lost or stolen from the FBI every month.

Has anyone checked Mulder's apartment lately?

Burstin' With Blogs

Sorry I haven't posted in, like, forever. I have great material to share, but no time to post (weather is much too nice out, etc.) I promise to make more of an effort. Really.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Wish I'd Said That

"Wal-Mart is getting an advance shipment of the final Harry Potter book. they've asked their employees not to reveal the ending because they don't want to spoil it for fans. Wal-Mart said the first thing they did was fire the greeter who was saying, 'Welcome to Wal-Mart - Harry is dead."
Conan O'Brien

Thursday, July 05, 2007

An Inconvenient Lack of RX and RPMs

Can I help but wonder if poor little Al the Third turned to drugs because Daddy wouldn't let him drive a V8? I mean, how long did it take him to get a Prius up to 100 MPH? You need an appointment a week in advance just to pass... I envision calendar pages whipping by as the car wound up ever-so-slowly...

And when was there a street in California with enough open space to attempt it? You know, if he had a Mustang, he wouldn't have been caught.

Another Harvard boy gone bad? Yech. Now he's looking more presidential than dear old dad ever did. Perhaps he'll find God in jail. I assume Paris left Him there.

Shall I label this Auto Abuse? Do I care about a Prius?

Does it merit a Celebs gone bad? Is he even a pseudo-celeb?

Hmmm. You know, Chelsea was never on the covers of the tabloids...
Scary to think Hillary's village came through, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I Told You So!

Just as I predicted - Google takes over the world.

Thanks to Kane Citizen for the link!

Open Season!

Looking at Google's cool logo today, I couldn't help but worry about the fact that Bald Eagles have been removed from the Endangered Species list.

Good news: Conservation efforts work.

Bad news: the only thing that should not be on the Endangered Species list is man.

Forget Medicare!

I’m going to be living to 100 now that Diet Coke Plus has debuted. Wow! Vitamins and Minerals! No calories! Whee! Like taking a One-A-Day with water! I’m so healthy I can feel it! Or is that the caffeine? Whatever. At least they didn’t sneak any genuine fruit juice in or anything. Whew!

I Love This Stuff!

This is not a paid endorsement, but it should be!
Yum! Who would have thought of putting raspberry and pomegranate together?
(Oops! This is the walnut)
Obviously there was a happy accident at the Things That Are Red* bottling plant in Great Neck, NY.; much better than the Tomato Sauce/Dextron fiasco from a few years earlier. (I understand many of the executives behind that debacle went on to create New Coke.)
Another product melding these two flavors is a Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler that is equally yummy.
*Motto: Turning a profit ever since we issued red uniforms
Speaking of Coke…

I’ve Been Reading

Can’t Wait to get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg

Cute, wholesome extra lite fare with sweet humor. I give it a B.

The Invisible Wall, Harry Bernstein

This is supposed to be a memoir, but I really think Harry has been down at the pub with James Frey a bit too much. I honestly suspect some of these characters are amalgams and there’s no way he recalls every detail from when he was four years old. A great story, but just that - a story. Despite my misgivings, it does an excellent job of illustrating his hardscrabble youth and what his family went through at the hands of his drunken/mentally disturbed father. It gets a special ‘Angela’s Ashes’ award for making you want to kill the dad with your bare hands. C+.

Easter Everywhere by Darcey Steinke

Somewhere behind the Department of Children’s Protective Services is a dumpster where book agents squabble like seagulls over discarded case files in the hopes of signing the next Dave Pelzer. Had a crappy childhood? Sign here and here, and over here, then type all about it.

Ok, that’s a little harsh. But true. Also big are ‘spiritual journey’ books, so I guess this one had two genres going for it.

Darcey uses some incredible turns of phrase in a mostly ho-hum book. I particularly loved when she describes her ex-husband: I felt like a rabbit trying to talk to a fish.

Hey, at least she created a bildungsroman. Can you imagine my biography? A cautionary tale on how some people never progress? Still, this is just a C.

Cicada-less in Chicago

As noted earlier, I’ve been disappointed there are no cicadas in our yard, since they would make a tasty and nutritious treat for my reptiles. A mere twenty miles away they have a presence, and even further south east they’re a downright nuisance. So imagine my delight when one flew into my car…
I was at a stoplight not far from work, windows down and sun roof open, enjoying the summer evening drive home. I heard this fluttering noise, and looked in the rear view mirror. A cicada had flown into the car, and was bumping against the back window in an effort to escape. Score! At least one bearded dragon would have dinner.
I rolled up the windows, switched to AC and headed for home. Glancing again at the mirror, I lost sight of it…uh oh.
Suddenly the experience turned into a B horror-flick. I heard the rustling of wings every few minutes, making my skin to crawl. Next, I involuntarily twitched while imagining it fluttering into my face, causing a deadly traffic accident. One that only the ‘days to live’ bug survived. It would come crawling out of my mouth in a grotesque Silence of the Lambs parody as the paramedics extricated me from the wreckage …
The only thing worse? Not hearing it. That meant it must be crawling in my hair. Or feasting on my leather upholstery. Something sinister, I was positive.
Amazingly, I arrived home in one piece and looked for the cicada. And looked. And looked…
Finally I spotted it clinging to the underside of a seatbelt and hauled it inside for certain death at the jaws of the least-lazy lizard. I threw the victim into the coliseum of ravenous reptiles -- but not before grabbing a camera.
No one ever asks dog or cat owners, why do you like mammals? I mean, ‘hunting companion’ or ‘cuddly’ is pretty self-evident. Most reptile owners always talk about how they love to see their pet eat. I could care less about the pie-eating contest at the local fair, but give me a mouse and a snake and suddenly it’s, “Where’s the camcorder? Stanley, call the grandkids, the python is hungry!”
Puffy was the first to investigate, and got the prize. The behemoth invertebrate was no match for the needle sharp dragon teeth and was promptly crushed to bits.
Next: Ewwwww!!!! All that from one bug??? Gack!

Monday, July 02, 2007

No Blog Here

Sorry I haven't been blogging - I've been trying to get my iPhone activated.

Yeah. Right.