Tuesday, October 30, 2007

chicago card?

So I went to hop on the el today to meet a friend in Logan Square for dinner and the turnstile didn't turn after I touched my Chicago Card to the sensor. A big "Farecard Expired" showed up in the display. I tried again as that made no sense to me. Same result. Well, there was a friendly CTA employee there it turns out that I have to go to 567 W Lake St between 8am-4pm to get my money back, even though from that station they could see what my balance was.

So yeah. Anyway, I had no idea that this was happening. At least it'll be chance for me to upgrade from my 2003-era Chicago Card to the "new" Chicago Card Plus!

EDIT: Word is all cards expire 4 years after you get them. But of course there's no date written on the card. Smart.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

dryer sheets...

Did you know that dryer sheets are not vegan? Even Method's Dryer Sheets! They contain lanolin, which is a fat from wool. Method does have a replacement though which is this weird wet sheet thing that comes in a box that doesn't appear to re-seal. Anyway, now that I know, I'm giving it a shot...


Sunday, October 21, 2007

fall is here...

Originally uploaded by bentley79.
Well, the trees are telling me that it's fall, but the temperatures are still screaming summer. It was a fine 80 degree day in Chicago today, but I hit the road up north to Devil's Lake in WI. The weather was amazing and the leaves on the trees were perfectly yellow and red and orange. This is always one of my favorite weeks of the year and it was so nice to take a break from work and CHI reviews and everything else going on in my life for a nice hike up the 500-foot bluffs and around the lake.

On my way back, I stopped at a wonderful little veggie restaurant in the Dells called The Cheese Factory. Despite the name, they had quite the vegan menu and some of the best veggie food I've ever tasted! Definitely a place to return to on any drive up north!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

my kind of town...chicago is

Last week was crazy and hectic and wonderful! I ended up working about 65 hours over the past 7 days, but was able to really enjoy the city as well. We had some colleagues in from australia and wanted to show them a bit of the city as well as working them to death in an all-week workshop :) Outside of work though, they got the full-view of Chicago: Millennium Park, Giordano's, Portillos, Marshall Fields, Bin 36, Chicago Diner, TMLMTBGB, Elephant and Castle, and so much more. It was so wonderful even for me to spend a whole week in the city which I almost never get a chance to do since I work so far away in Schaumburg most of the time. It's always great when people visit and you can see your city through a pair of fresh eyes and see how amazing the architecture, the people, and the food really are :)


Friday, October 12, 2007


I have not touched my car since last sunday. And it's been wonderful :)


Saturday, October 06, 2007

random things...

Why is it 91 degrees in October?

Henry Jenkins has interesting things to say about the whole Star Simpson / Logan Airport thing.

The Chicago Marathon is tomorrow. I'm not running but lots of people I know are so I'll be getting up bright an early to go cheer them on!!

A co-worker of mine had a nice comment the other day. She was like "You really don't like it when people call you an engineer, do you?" :) It's complicated, but that's a true statement. I can do the whole engineering thing and it's easy for people to see my technical performance and bucket me as an engineer. But engineering is such a tiny part of what I do on a daily basis that the label just doesn't fit. Not that any other label really fits either. I guess "Researcher" would, but that's pretty vague and could be about anything. I sort of like the "Research Scientist/Engineer/Designer/Lecturer" title, but that hardly rolls of the tongue when people ask what you do :)

And again, why is it 91 degrees outside in October?


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

ira glass

ira glass
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
After another stressful day at work today, I got out tonight to see the first book talk Ira Glass has ever done! He was down in Evanston and promoting his new book The New Kings of Nonfiction of which all proceeds go to 826CHI, the writing center where I tutor on wednesdays.

The talk was great and funny and very Ira-like. Any of you who regularly listen to This American Life would understand :) He told lots of great stories and read some excepts from the book and then signed copies for the first 100 people in line. It was fun to say hi and get my new copy signed! I'm especially looking forward to reading the environmental and war pieces in the book. Should be awesome!

For any of you in nyc, he's doing an event there on Monday with Malcolm Gladwell and others. Should be awesome! More details at 826CHI's website.

But no matter where you live, BUY the book and support an awesome center for k-12 education in Chicago!


Monday, October 01, 2007

unlock your phone...

Yay Nokia! (I can't believe I just said that!) They put up a really nice ad about unlocked phones against the iPhone. I must say that I really like Nokia's strategy of selling unlocked GSM phones that allow both native and java 3rd party apps.

I guess I must also remind readers that "The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent Motorola's positions, strategies, or opinions."