Chicago Style

I love this City.

Every time I visit, I’m just awed by how much there is to do (and also by how expensive things are, compared to my little rural city (small “c”, as opposed to Chicago’s big “C”).

I’m in town to attend Louis Rosenfeld & Steve Krug‘s seminar on IA and Usability. But that’s tomorrow. First thing’s first: Wear out feet walking around the blocks surrounding the hotel.

I pretty much stayed on State Street, up to cross the river for a brief poke-my-head-in at the House of Blues, Chicago. Jake and Elwood greet arrivees at Midway

So here’s what greeted me from my hotel room window:
Skyline across from the Burnham
I’d show the whole view, but there’s a big tree across the street that blocks some of it. Don’t worry, you’re seeing the good stuff.

Turn your head to the right, and here’s Marshall Fields. I know green is their color, and it looks pretty cool on the columns but I also noticed that “Wicked” (the untold story of the witch sisters of Oz) is playing at the Oriental theater on the other side of the street… same colors. It sure does make the whole theater area look cool.
The view of Marshall Fields from my window

I scoped out the Gene Siskel theater where my seminar is located tomorrow. And across the street? This architectural gem:

I took a few more pictures, but as you can see, the Treo tends to wash them out at night, plus, at this point I was more hungry than interested in taking pictures. And then I saw it: the classiest McDonalds I’d ever consumed a quarter-pounder in.

Thank the Lord, too.. it was after 10pm and every restaurant I’d seen was closed at 10. Mickey-D’s saved me from buying a 14 dollar omellete back at the hotel.

It’s getting late now, so I’m signing off, but I’ll snap some more pictures during daylight and get them online too.


If you’ve visited my site recently, run a thorough virus-scan on your system.

I noticed this morning that there was an IFRAME tag inserted in my site header recently that contained content from, linking to a page named “n.php”. Not sure what it was for, but it couldn’t have been good.

The iframe has been removed and I’ve updated the WordPress code here to 1.5.2 to hopefully close up whatever security hole allowed some butthead to put that code on my site.

That’ll teach me to ignore security updates for 30+ days.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Random Updates

Michigan Football

Michigan had no business being ranked #4, let alone #3 in polls. Their defense gave up over 400 yards to a third* tier opponent, complete with missed tackles and a narrowly distributed offense. Notre Dame deserved to beat them, and Eastern Michigan ought to do well, too. Fun fact from Saturday’s game: Michigan used to average just 9.5 points per game by opponents. Under coach Carr? 19.5. Maybe I can help Michigan out. I figure our best recruiting effort just might be to get a new head coach who values speed and tackling ability in the secondary and can teach the line to recognize and stop the run. To that end, I’m going to give away Michigan’s playbook, right here. Attention Michigan Opponents! Here’s Carr’s playbook:

  • 70% chance they’re going to run it up the middle.
  • 15% chance they’ll throw it to their one useful receiver.
  • 10% chance they’ll throw it to their punt returner (but relax, he can’t catch anything thrown between his hands).
  • 3% chance they’ll run an option (their only “trick” play).
  • Otherwise they’re going to fumble (odds of this increase as they approach the goal line).

In any case, you can rest assured that if they don’t throw a touchdown, they’ll end up going away with a fieldgoal. So cover that receiver (just like Notre Dame did) and you’re set. Have a good game.

* Sorry Northern Illinois. You were good, but I consider Big 10’s perrenially losing schedule-fillers (Indiana, Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan State, etc) to be second tier.

New Orleans

I think Mike Davidson’s on to something. If the city’s rebuilt, the poorer people who lived there and were the most adversely affected will get priced out of it anyway. Why not just buy them off and ship them somewhere else? Nothing else will quelch their welfare-trained whining meet their needs as well.
The parts of New Orleans that people actually want to go to will be rebuilt, but let it by with corporate dollars. Hotels will repair or rebuild as the Mardi-Gras industry does. Port traffic would rebuild another part of the city, and developers looking to make gains in housing, ancillary business and industry, etc. would take care of bulldozing and rebuilding the rest as needed. Anyway, that’s my first take on it. Much as I enjoyed Mardi-Gras there, I just don’t see why I need to pay to rebuild a city bound to go through this all over again in the future.


237,855 this morning.


Sarah’s talking much more plainly now. We still need to work on L’s and TH’s. “I don’t yike it” is cute, but I’d like to make sure she can actually pronounce those L’s too. She’s also using the potty quite a bit. We never have an.. unproductive trip to the bathroom, but we don’t always get there in time either. The other night she actually told us she needed to go while we were out driving around, and did her best to hold it until we were home. That’s pretty dang impressive for a 2 year old.
Jack’s talking more too, it’s just not English. He’s rolling over by himself too, so no more leaving him on the couch while we run to see what Sarah’s getting into.

So that’s about it for Monday morning. Time to get back to work.