September 30, 2009

Time to Start Waiting 'Til Next Year

When the Rockies won last night, the Chicago Cubs were officially eliminated from making the playoffs in any fashion.

So now the countdown to next year can begin.

To commemorate the event, the Chicago Tribune put together this graphic to highlight the Cubs 101-year World Series drought.

Just wait 'til next year. The Cubs will be great.

September 29, 2009

5 Things I Think

  • There is a guy who I often see on the train heading home at night. By how sweaty he is whenever he boards the train, it is obvious that he runs most of the way from his office to the train station.

    I wonder if the sweaty dude will ever figure out he only heats himself up more with all the fanning and shirt flapping he does to try and cool himself off.

    Guy is just crazy about flapping his copy of the Financial Times in front of his face for the first five minutes of the train ride.

  • I haven’t really watched anything on Turner Classic Movies for about a month now and I’m sort of craving an old movie. Particularly something made late 40’s.

  • I would have thought that with those horrific lime green jerseys on it would be impossible for the Bears defenders to miss the Seattle Seahawks. Yet the Bears were missing tackles all day.

    There was no reason for Julius Jones to have that long TD run at the beginning of the game.

    I like how the pass rush is pressuring quarterbacks, but without good tackling and defense is no good.

  • I think Pearls Before Swine creator Stephan Pastis provides a unique argument for why we get the government we deserve

  • I was recently asked, "What's the one place you haven’t been to that you really want to visit?"

    My immediate gut response was Ireland. But the more I think about the question, the more I think that "New England to see the fall foliage" might be a very close #2.
  • September 28, 2009

    September 27, 2009

    Kid Quote of the Week (Classic)

    "I'm not seeing enough Sleeping Beauty!"
    - Emma (age 3), vehemently declaring her frustration that Disney's Sleeping Beauty wastes time with the scene of Princess Aurora as a baby at the beginning of the film.

    September 25, 2009

    We Never Did Rent That Film Again

    The Empire Magazine blog recently had a post about those movies that you shouldn’t watch with your parents. Writer Chris Hewitt presents some compelling arguments that there are movies that, whether it is because of the subject matter, the violence, or the sex, you just shouldn’t sit down with your parents in the same room to watch.

    At the end of the post Hewitt asks readers to submit their own suggestions for film experiences best not shared between parents and children, and I got to thinking about how I would answer.

    The first film that sprang to mind was The Name of the Rose, a Sean Connery / Christian Slater who-done-it set in the 14th century.


    My dad rented it for my brother and I to watch with him one weekend when we were probably middle-school/early high-school aged. I don’t remember much about the film accept for the scene that got my dad out of his seat like his pants were on fire.

    I don’t think my dad realized The Name of the Rose was a rated “R” film. He probably thought he was getting a mystery/thriller about monks in the middle ages starring James Bond. But when Christian Slater and the peasant girl started getting acquainted in a carnal fashion, my father discovered his oversight.

    He leapt over the coffee table to hit the fast-forward button on the VCR and frantically used his body to block my brother’s and my view of Slater and a young female engaged in - now - high-speed copulation.

    A few moments later we were back to monks and hair-shirts and my dad riding the VCR remote with an itchy trigger finger.

    When you compare this film with the others that get mention Hewitt’s post and the comments section The Name of the Rose is insanely tame, but for a few moments that night I don’t think my dad could have thought of worse film to be watching with his teenaged sons. And thinking about it always makes me laugh.

    September 23, 2009

    5 Things I Think

  • I think I’m going to make Ian, Emma, and Zoe start reading Kafka

    "The key to our study is that our participants were surprised by the series of unexpected events, and they had no way to make sense of them. Hence, they strived to make sense of something else."

  • I think DC and Warner Brothers are doing an outstanding job of adapting DC characters in their animated films. The next DCU animated movie is shaping up to be Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.

    I wish I could keep up with these. In just this year alone we've had new animated films staring Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and a Superman/Batman team-up in Public Enemies.

  • Heather called me on this this the other morning: I think I’m jealous that now that all the kids are in school all day she has a tremendous amount of freedom to do whatever she wants during the hours of 8am and 3pm.

    Me. I’m stuck in an office.

  • I think I just found the website for all my Christmas shopping this year:

    And maybe I’ll buy myself this one or this one or this one . . .

  • I think it’s fun that Ian – just like I was when I was 10 years-old – is a root beer guy. He’s always asking for root beer first, then checking down to some other form of pop if root beer isn’t available.

    Is this preference for root beer a 10 year-old thing? A boy thing? A 10 year-old McKillip boy thing?

    Don’t know, but it does make we want to buy a bunch of different varieties of root beers and hold our own little tasting party.
  • September 21, 2009

    Welcome to Chicago, Mr. Johnny Knox

    A few thoughts and observations on yesterday’s Chicago Bears’ victory:

  • I know it’s too soon to make these sort of announcements and even below average players will have great games, but as of Monday morning Johnny Knox is looking like the real deal at wide receiver.

    Yesterday he had a catch where his hands just snapped out and snatched the ball out of the air. It was amazing. The guy was going up and fighting for everything thrown his way – and winning the battle most times.

    It was just one game, but it was against the Steelers’ defense, so I kinda like where things might go with Knox.

  • When is Matt Forte going to join the team? 29 yards rushing on 13 attempts?

  • Maybe it’s because of how Rex Grossman burned us with his Good Rex / Bad Rex routine, but I still can’t help feel a little uneasy about Jay Cutler now.

    First half of the Green Bay game – horrible. Second half good.

    Entire Pittsburgh game – excellent.

    Maybe the first half of the Green Bay game really was a fluke. Maybe Cutler will be consistently as advertised.

    The problem with consistency is it takes a while to establish.

  • Robbie Gould is worth every penny the Bears pay him for.

  • September 20, 2009

    Kid Quote of the Week

    "Everything has taste - water, pennies - but pennies don't taste good"
    Emma, who didn't know it at the time, but was starting a conversation on why it is not a good idea to 'taste' pennies.

    September 17, 2009

    What a Woman Won't Do For Her Man

    How did this conversation start?

    "Honey, I want you to hold this piece of glass in front of your face while I aim and shot a rifle at your nose."

    September 16, 2009

    Changing the Rules

    The family of Walter Payton has a statue of the Chicago Bear football legend and they want to place the statue outside of Solider Field. The Chicago Park District’s is fine with the idea of a Payton statue on park district grounds but argue that "Soldier Field and the area surrounding it is to be preserved strictly as a memorial to war veterans."

    Apparently that rule didn’t apply when they allowed the architectural firm that handled the Soldier Field renovation a number of years ago to land a space craft inside of the stadium. What about that addition to Solider Field says "memorial to war veterans"?

    I say, if the Park District can put a spaceship inside of Solider Field than a statue can go outside the stadium where Payton played his entire 12-year NFL career.

    September 15, 2009

    5 Things I Think

  • Nothing says "too little, too late" quite like going 9 – 4 for the first half of September when your team is 9.5 behind the division leading Cardinals and 6.5 back in the Wild Card race.

    Thank you Chicago Cubs.

  • I learned this week that we have The Complete Mother Goose in our home library. Who knew?

    Zoe asked me to read some of them to her before bed last night. I’m familiar with the standards, so I went deep into the collection to read the more obscure nursery rhymes.

    And there are a bunch of them.

    I think my favorite is:

    "Shave a Pig"
    Barber, barber, shave a pig,
    How many hairs will make a wig?
    Four-and-twenty, that’s enough,
    Give the barber a pinch of snuff.

  • Kanye West may have an out-sized ego and a big mouth, but I think his rude behavior at award shows might have as much to do with that as with his choice pre-show refreshment.


  • I think people who bring leftover fish to work to eat for lunch should be strongly encouraged to eat their lunch outside and required to bring their own microwave for heating it up.

    Few things curdle my stomach like opening a microwave that has recently been used for re-heating day old fish.

  • I think I prefer a day spent digging up my front yard in order to re-landscape it (even with the accompanying all-over body ache the next day) over a day spent working in an office.
  • September 14, 2009

    How Can We Get Back to the Future?

    The first half of last night’s Bears – Packers game was like watching the Bears circa 2006.

    The defense was scoring the points and keeping the Bears in it.

    The offense was shooting the team in the foot.

    I thought we were getting something new this season?

    As disappointing as it was to watch the Bears’ QB Messiah through 4 interceptions and stir up the echoes of Rex Grossman, what more frustrating was seeing how little the Bears tried to run Matt Forte.

    We know the guy has skills. Give him the ball.

    I don’t want to talk about the fake punt. I know Lovie Smith took responsibility for that asinine play, but I really hope – as the yammering heads in the NBC play-byplay booth hypothesized – that the decision to direct snap the ball to Garrett Wolfe was made by a player on the field. That sort of problem can be easily fixed. Tell the player to not think when on the field, just do what you’re told.

    If it was a coach who made the decision to fake a punt when it’s 4th and 11 and you're on your own 30 yard line nursing a slim lead where both defenses had been playing well, then the Bears have a lot more problems than Cutler’s 4 interceptions.

    Hopefully next week the Bears can get back the future they were promising us all this offseason when Cutler came to town. But with the Pittsburgh Steelers as the opponent I am a bit skeptical right now.

    Oh, and Notre Dame – it’s great that Jimmy Clausen can throw over 300 yards without an INT and Armando Allen can rush for almost 140, but if you don’t play defense and stop the other team from scoring than it really doesn’t matter.

    September 13, 2009

    Kid Quote of the Week

    "Dad, they're making a limited edition Chicago Bears Gillette razor!"
    - Ian, enthusiastically proving that I am raising him the right way.

    September 11, 2009

    NFL Teams as Batman Characters

    Site predicts how the NFL season will turn out using Batman characters as analogies.

    Some of my favorites:

    Though I'm still pulling for Quinn to make it as a pro qb
    Ain't it the truth

    Now, I actually really like the Keaton Batman movies. But I understand the sentiment.

    My favorite, of course, was the treatment of teams in the NFC North division. It wasn't because of their assessment of the Chicago Bears, but rather how they described the Minnesota Vikings that gave me a chuckle.

    The season certainly looks like it will be interesting. Can't wait for Sunday night.

    September 09, 2009

    Timelapse Chicago

    I understand that I might be slightly biased, but does any other city photograph nearly as nicely as Chicago seems to?

    I don't think so.

    September 08, 2009

    5 Things I Think

  • I don’t follow twitter feeds, but this one was brought to my attention and checked it out.

    Shit My Dad Says

    It could possibly be the funniest collection of quotes I have ever read.
    I don’t know if these are all legitimate quotes or not – but I don’t care. They are damn funny.

  • Two weeks into the school year and the amount of paper in our house has increased ten-fold.

    You’d think the teachers and administrators at our kids’ school were getting a kick-back from the paper industry.

  • Based on the write-ups it’s received, you would think The Beatles: Rock Band was the actual second coming of the lads from Liverpool.


    Just pick a news story about the video game and start reading – people can’t heap enough praise on the game.

    While I don’t doubt that the game is probably tons of fun and I know The Beatles music is timeless, I can’t help but think that the glowing response has less to do with the craft in the game and more to do with people finally stopping and listening to the band’s music. Something they could have done without dropping a bunch of cash down for a game.

    Then again, that might be the point of the game. Put the music where the most people are for the biggest exposure possible.

  • Sure glad everyone got all up-in-arms over the President giving a speech to school children. Weeks of people shouting and protesting about potential speech topics and agendas and in the end the POTUS ends up speaking on taking responsibility for yourself, your education, and your actions in life, not wasting your time away in front of the TV, and how important an education will be in your future life.

    Yeah, that was productive.

  • I think the new Batgirl costume is quite good. Considering the character's history, the purple is nice touch.

    But a leg belt? Really? I thought everyone put an end to those in 1999?
  • September 07, 2009

    The Next Martin Scorsese?

    Or maybe John Lasseter?

    This past summer Ian took a class through the Park District that allowed him to learn a little about digital film making. This is the the end result of Ian and his partners' work in the class.

    It's What Heather Wears

    September 06, 2009

    Kid Quote of the Week

    "The stuff you sprayed makes my fart not smell bad"
    - Zoe, discovering the unexpected perk from watching Heather clean the light hanging over our kitchen table

    September 02, 2009

    Bears in the Super Bowl?

    Sports Illustrated's 2009 NFL Preview issue hits stands today.

    In it Peter King gives his predictions on how the playoffs will play out and who ends up the eventual winner of the Super Bowl.

    Now I figured the Bears would be better this season. But the Super Bowl?

    I'm shocked.

    I was just hoping to see them win their division.

    September 01, 2009

    5 Things I Think

  • Marvel Entertainment being bought out by Disney was the big news yesterday (at least in the comic book blogs/news sites I frequent) and rightfully so. Having the House of Ideas become part of the House of Mouse will dramatically change how Marvel’s stable of characters are handled and could have an impact on the comic book industry as well.

    Spidey-mouseHeidi Macdonald, over at The Beat, does what I think is the best round-up with commentary on what this merger means.

    If you read all the statements and press releases, it sounds like Disney is interested in buying their way into the wallets of males – a market they haven’t been able to reach consistently through their own characters and properties – but will continue to let Marvel create stories and comics independently of Disney's influence. Disney wants Marvel characters for their movie/TV/animation/video game potential.

    Hopefully Disney will continue to allow Marvel to do what they do best – produce comics – and not try to meddle with that as well. Essentially I hope the relationship between Marvel and Disney ends up being like how Disney has handled Pixar since absorbing that company into their ranks. Pixar is still free to create the wonder animated films free of Mickey’s corporate overlords, and Disney jumps in to make their dough via merchandising and licensing of the art Pixar produced.

    I’m a DC Comics man myself and have a limited interest in the Marvel universe of characters, but I would hate to see Captain America and his friends mishandled like Jim Henson’s Muppets were when Disney purchased them so many years ago.

  • Do you think my sister would get mad if I gave my nephew this as birthday gift?

  • Today is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. To commemorate the event, one of’s editors put together a slide show of WWII propaganda artwork that the different nations involved in the war produced to try and win over the minds of the people.

    I think propaganda art is a fascinating way to study history. It helps take you beyond the facts of the events and get inside the heads of the people affected by the events.

  • I would like to hear from Mayor Daley how shutting down three blocks of Michigan Avenue – in the heart of Chicago – for 2 days so Oprah Winfrey can tape an episode of her TV show outside on the sidewalk will specifically create jobs for the city – other than temporarily clean-up crews after everyone has left.

  • While I think these t-shirts are on the mark with their commentary, I don’t think I would wear one because I would be forever explaining the jab.