Tag Archives: Chicago

Chicago 2016

Chicago 2016
Hello again faithful readers! It’s been a while since I felt like posting anything here; so if you’re still following along… umm, thanks? This year Michelle & I celebrated our 11th year of her not killing me yet, which is my joking way[1]Yes, I recognize that as subpar humor, but she still laughs at it. So there. :p of saying we’ve been married for 11 years now. This year we decided to take a quick trip to Chicago and see the last major tourist attraction that they’ve got that we hadn’t been to yet, Shedd Aquarium. It was quite the experience and I’m glad we went but I have to say I’m not expecting I’ll ever feel the need to return. Their website suggests it takes about 3 hours to go through; we were there for over double that. Also, I don’t know if we just picked a bad weekend or were simply lucky, but many of the other attendees were rude, loud, and pushy[2]I say many, but not all of them were like that. We did meet some very nice Michiganders in the line to buy our tickets that Michelle talked to while I was taking photos. By the time we left, I left like I’d been riding a bumper car all day. Additionally, it was a very difficult environment to take photos in[3]Shooting with no flash (can’t risk hurting the animals), with the odd lighting, around crowds (who whip out their phones and pay no attention to their surroundings), through windows thick … Continue reading, but I like to think I got a few good shots. The above mosaic links to my Flickr album with all the photos I took that didn’t completely suck. Note there are quite a few more photos in the album than what it shown in the mosaic.


1 Yes, I recognize that as subpar humor, but she still laughs at it. So there. :p
2 I say many, but not all of them were like that. We did meet some very nice Michiganders in the line to buy our tickets that Michelle talked to while I was taking photos
3 Shooting with no flash (can’t risk hurting the animals), with the odd lighting, around crowds (who whip out their phones and pay no attention to their surroundings), through windows thick enough to cause visible distortion and which were frequently scratched or smeared with god knows what after tourists smacked it.

Weeks 31 & 32: Nothing To Do And All Day To Do It In

Most weeks, I take maybe a dozen or so images and choose the one I like best to post as my weekly photo. Today’s post will be quite a bit longer, as Michelle & I just got back from a short vacation to Chicago and I’ve got rather more pictures to share than usual.

We drove out Thursday morning, hitting Chicago around 3. We were hoping to get there before the traffic went completely nuts for rush hour, while still not having to wait around too long before we could check into our hotel. We managed the second part without any problem, but the first was a bit more …. problematic. I’m not sure if it was actual rush hour traffic or not. But when we got within a couple of miles of the hotel the traffic turned into a snarled mess of bumper-to-bumper nonsense of the sort we don’t generally have to deal with at home.

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.
Robert Orben

Our Hotel (in Minature)

Scale model of our hotel at MSI

We made it safely through that mess to the hotel, handed the car over the the valet service, checked in, went to our room and collapsed for a bit. Oddly I find driving to Chicago to be a much bigger nightmare vastly more stressful and tiring than driving to Minneapolis. *shrug* Eventually we got back up and headed out to dinner. We decided for our first night to just hit the hotel’s restaurant.

I know it wasn’t particularly adventurous of us, but it had gotten some decent reviews and the menu promised both Italian food & pizza. We ended up having an excellent dinner[1]Spinach supreme pizza with fresh mushrooms as well as a new (to me) and most excellent hard cider (Wyder’s Dry Apple) and were served by an outstanding waiter.

Museum of Science and IndustryThe next morning we headed out to the Museum of Science and Industry. We got there early, bought our tickets and then waited a in line for a few minutes. Shortly afterwards, they opened up and we headed up into the museum. We went straight over to the area holding the MythBusters: The Explosive Exhibition. This was actually one bonus to not getting around to visiting MSI the last time we vacationed in Chicago. The MythBusters exhibit is a temporary exhibit that only arrived at MSI earlier this year and leaves for its next stop in a couple of weeks. So if we’d come when I’d first wanted to, I probably wouldn’t have gotten to see this exhibit. Continue Reading


1 Spinach supreme pizza with fresh mushrooms as well as a new (to me) and most excellent hard cider (Wyder’s Dry Apple)

Chicago’s Field Museum

Bear Claw
T-Rex (Sue)
Daimyo's Quiver
Evolving Planet

Over Thanksgiving weekend, some friends and I went to Chicago to see the King Tut Exhibit. It was amazing. Unfortunately, they had a no photo policy on that exhibit. With the crowd and all the security people, I didn’t want to get kicked out so I didn’t take any pictures of that exhibit. But our tickets included general admission to the rest of the museum, and I took these photos while we were there.

Well…. To be entirely frank, I took a lot more pictures than just these 4 but the rest turned out to be crap. Maybe when I have a chance to work on them a bit with GIMP they might be worth posting, but I’m not holding my breath.

What A Day

I had originally planned on attending a Pampered Chef party with my wife last Sunday. I had been thinking it would be some pleasant socializing over some tasty food with a bit of somebody trying to sell me some pricey kitchen stuff. That is to say a not entirely unpleasant to spend part of one’s afternoon. Instead about an hour before the party, our friend Bryon stopped by and mentioned that Bruce Campbell was in town giving a short talk and promotting his new book, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.

I thought about it for a minute, but I knew there’d be more chances for Pampered Chef parties and I doubted I’d have any better chance of getting to see Mr. Campbell in person. So after a quick shower1, Bryon and I hopped into the car and drove into Iowa City. We got to the site about 40 minutes prior to the event began. We waited around and it turned out one of my co-workers was also there2. Then about 10 minutes before Mr. Campbell was scheduled to begin speaking; they opened one set of the doors into the auditorium and let everybody in. And naturally, it wasn’t the door we’d had been waiting at. *sigh*

Eventually, everybody was inside and mostly seated but then the organizers explained how the signing procedure was supposed to work and said the new book was for sale at the back of the auditorium. So we ended up giving up our fairly good seats to go get in another line. It took a while to get through the line, but it was good that we both went to the line as Laura3 showed up looking for us. Apparently, she decided the party wasn’t her cup of tea. While we were waiting in line; she kindly thanked me for “being so god-damn tall”.

There was a considerable amount of waiting in line to get the book, but eventually we all got our copies and headed back to find new seats (the good seats we’d had were long gone). A bit after that Mr. Campbell started taking questions. It turns out he’s a very charismatic speaker. There were a number of questions about him working with Sam Raimi, but the only one that really stuck in my mind was:

Questioner: When working on Spiderman, did you hang out with Tobey Maguire?
Bruce Campbell: Why would I?


After far too little time had passed, Mr. Campbell stopped taking questions and then made a short speech promoting B-movies as the only place that is still creative in Hollywood.

…getting bitten by a radioactive spider is a b-movie!

After the speech, they started having people come up to get their books signed. Bryon & I had relatively low numbers but when we were going up they weren’t actually checking peoples numbers. Eventually I got up there and had Mr. Campbell sign my book; but I felt like a complete twit, the entire time I was there. I mean I have enjoyed all of his movies that I’ve seen and what I read of the book while I was in line was very amusing but I didn’t really have anything to say to him. He was very polite to me, but it was a rather uncomfortable moment for me. Signed memorabilia is nice to have I suppose, but it doesn’t do much for me. To tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure why I went up to have him sign the book. Other than I’d waited in line to get the sticker saying I could do so. *shrug* Life, go figure.

After that, we took off and headed off to meet up with some other friends for some RPGing. When we got there they were still finishing up with the Pampered Chef party and I got to munch down some of the leftovers4. Then it was game time and afterwards off to Old Chicago for dinner. All in all, a very pleasant Sunday. 🙂

1 Bryon arrived before we were expecting anybody. And yes, I’m extra-specially lazy on the weekend; so if I’m not expecting company I will hang around the apartment without getting myself up and ready for the day.
2 That would be Quincy for those that are curious.
3 Another friend of ours. One who was supposed to be at the Pampered Chef party.
4 Ah, breakfast at 3pm….

QotD: Top 100 Movies

I was feeling bored at work (big surprise) and was doing a quick read through some blogs I like when I ran across this article over at Erik J. Barzeski‘s blog reading How many of the 100 highest grossing movies of all time have you seen?

So I counted them up and found to my surprise that I’ve actually seen 86 out of the top 100. The ones I’ve missed or skipped1 are in bold.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.
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