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Showing posts from July, 2016

Should I take my kids to Skydeck Chicago?

With family in town over the weekend, we had a list of possible activities. We picked Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower for a few reasons. It was near the train station so a group of 6 could easily travel there on foot. It was on the bucket list of "one day" attractions that our family occasionally discusses. None of us had ever done the Ledge. 
I'll try to be as honest in my report as I can, but I'll say upfront that nobody in our group hated it. But we nearly all came away frustrated and confused by some of the less guest-friendly moments. 
When we arrived at the train station around 10am we took our time and casually walked over to the tower. The river walk was pleasant even if the temperatures were starting to climb and the day was hazy. When we made our way to the entrance lobby and headed down the elevators to the line. 
There were 1-2 signs stating that our wait would be approximately 60 minutes for basic admission tickets. A couple of comments about that--I th…

The long list of positive reasons to vote for Hillary...

As most of you reading this know, I'm a proud Democrat. I'm very excited for our party to show the world next week that we're the exact opposite of what we've seen at the Republican National Convention this week. We're smart. We're positive. We offer a vision for the future of the United States that focuses on bringing more opportunities to more people without regard for race, religion, gender, sexual orientation. Democrats stand for equality, justice, fairness, building a nation of cooperation rather than divisiveness. We embrace progress, not anger. We take our frustrations and build tomorrow with confidence rather than fear. We're the party of liberal attitudes, not reactionaries. We're thoughtful and take educated, reasoned approaches to problem-solving.

All that said, let's acknowledge the elephant in the room...there is a lot of irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton on both sides. Republicans. Former Bernie Sanders supporters. Voters in genera…

E pluribus unum

"H'aint we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain't that a big enough majority in any town?" --Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry FinnOne can only debate so many online trolls. This one hates Jews. That one hates Muslims. This one thinks blacks protesting systemic mistreatment in nearly every facet of life from banking to the prison population is "terrorists making up lies." It's exhausting trying to reply to all of them. And even worse when they're family--or friends, or friends of friends. Normally, the advice is to not feed the trolls...they want a response. They want you to engage them in argument because suddenly you've validated them by stopping to even entertain the idea. When your family says something ridiculous, you must stop and decide if the battle is worth the effort. Do I ruin a relationship over their ignorance? So we stay quiet. 

But it's getting harder to stay quiet when the nominee of one of the two major politica…

Oak Park Divvy review

In late February 2015, I wrote on this blog about the process of selecting sites in Oak Park that would welcome Divvy bike share. Well, they're here! With free rides this past weekend (system-wide), I took my first spin and offer up a few thoughts.

I started off by walking down the street to the nearest Divvy station at the end of our block. You have a couple of choices here...you can download an app on your phone to unlock bikes or you can follow the prompts on the Divvy vending machine. If you go with the machine at the station, as I did, you need to know that it uses a credit card to validate your identity. And the touch screen doesn't work well. Other early morning advice: bring a towel to dry off the seat if there has been condensation overnight. If you have a "code" for any reason it applies as a discount with the payment screen as a promo. There's lots of numbers going on so don't make the mistake of thinking that you already have a "pass" if…

AstroTurf memories

"Cans, bottles, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted to be brought into the stadium."
If you grew up a Reds fan in the 1980's, that line may enter your brain as a haunting female voice repeating over and over on a loudspeaker. It was the warning you heard on the escalators in the parking garage headed towards Riverfront Stadium (later, Cinergy Field). On a gameday where you had a little extra time to kill you maybe walked over to the Ohio River and looked at the boats and bridges before heading inside to get your seat.

I've been thinking of those childhood memories quite a bit today--sparked by this Five Thirty Eight article called "The Mets’ Rise And Fall With Doc Gooden And Darryl Strawberry. It hit me that, for a kid today, baseball in the 80's is as distant to them as baseball in the 1950's was to me. Not just another era...something foreign. Different uniforms. Different players. Different mentalities. To really understand what's being said…