As regular readers might recall, a few weeks back I became quite concerned about the world’s view of my city – Chicago. We’ve always had this “second city” thing to deal with but for a while there, it looked like we might even slip farther down the ladder of excitement and interest and I was truthfully concerned. No, no, no …not about that ridiculous tallest building thing – I’m talking here about something much more important. I’m talking about our reputation as the most dysfunctional and corrupt political civic organization in North America. You remember, the nut case mayor in Toronto (Bob Ford, I think) was making headlines every day and for a while it looked like Toronto was gonna make us look like a bunch of amateurs. But now comes some good news which has restored my confidence in Chicago achieving the recognition and fame it deserves – politically speaking. You see, last week, the list of candidates for the Cook County Board (think sister in crime and linked to the hip with Chicago) came out and what a relief it was to see that two … yes, two … former felons are on the ballot and both have a very good chance of winning board seats. One, a guy who some people refer to as “Big Al” did federal prison time for a job-rigging conviction and the other (let’s call him “Big Ike”), did federal time for accepting bribes to influence city zoning decisions. I’m telling you, we are back on top!
A Bunch of Wind?
I don’t think so! I have thought for a long time that Europe is way ahead of North America in terms of energy conservation and now comes a report that in 2012, 16 percent of Europe’s electricity generation came from WIND power. Not solar power, wind power. Hmmmm.
Starbucks vs. Iran’s Nuclear Industry
I heard a couple of days ago that there are now as many plutonium-processing centrifuges in Iran as there are Starbucks locations in America. If this is true, and I assume it is, I think instead of all the negotiation and deal- making we are struggling with, we just trade them even up. We give them a Starbucks for every centrifuge. It gets them out of the nuclear production business and once they get hooked on the high priced but quite tasty array of Starbucks products, they won’t have the time, money or interest in thinking about building nuclear bombs.
So Who You Gonna Trust?
Apparently, not too many people. A new Associated Press poll finds that only about a third of us trust each other. For comparison purposes, a 1972 similar study indicated that at that time, only about half of us really trusted each other. I think this begs a couple of questions but the one I wonder the most about is if we don’t trust other people because we know that maybe they shouldn’t trust us? Kinda like the liars conundrum … liars don’t believe anyone because they assume everyone is like them and therefore lying as well. Interesting issue I think.
The Cancer Thing
This week’s blog is being written the night before (12/10) it will display (12/11). The reason for this is that I will be spending just about all day Wednesday the 11th undergoing a stem cell removal procedure. It will be the third day in a row for this and I am really hoping it will be the last day that this will be needed. Then next week, I enter into a four-day total body irradiation process which also takes just about the entire day each day. The following week, I will be in the hospital and after a couple more rounds of chemotherapy, will have my stem cells re-injected back into me. Believe it or not, my procedure (for re-implantation) is scheduled for the morning of December 24, so the first whole day that I will have my own stem cells and everything else starting to heal will be the 25th. I am hoping to be back to blogging sometime in mid to late January but I honestly don’t know. So this is it on the cancer front for now and I promise, that if at all possible, I will only report on this matter one more time and then it will be behind us. I have learned a lot over the past few months and may write about it (in an article or something along those lines) but I have blogged enough about it and I thank you for your indulgence.
The Sports Thing
So I hope you saw this past Monday night’s football game. Yes, those were my Chicago Bears having their way with the Cowboys of Dallas on a night not fit for man nor beast … I think it was 8 degrees at kickoff and if you factor in the wind, I think chill factor was reported to be something like 8-11 degrees below zero. And the stadium was full!!! So are we Chicagoans tough or just nuts? No need to send me your thoughts on this. I think I know what you might be thinking!
The Quotable Thing
As explained with a little bit detail last week, the following are actual answers to tests and quizzes from fifth- and sixth-graders as accumulated by a couple of Ohio teachers. And once again, I will thank Bobbie and Dottie Rovner for sending them my way. I hope you enjoy them. Grammar and spelling is as the kids provided it … no editing.
“Socrates was a famous Greek who went around giving people advice. They killed him. He later died from an overdose of wedlock which is apparently poisonous.”
“The Greeks were a highly sculptured people and without them we wouldn’t have history. The Greeks also had myths which are young female moths.”
“Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100 foot clipper which put his men in great danger.”
Have a Wonderful Holiday, Everyone!