Sunday, November 30, 2008

Wii Fit

Friday was Black Friday, the day the consumers go crazy line out in the wee hours of the day so they could save 50 bucks on a HDTV. I usually join these crazies to see the so called fun. I got to the Best Buy on Roosevelt Road about ten minutes before they opened which was 5 am. The line wraped around Clinton and I was standing at the entrance to Home Depot. Then the line started to move slowly. I finally got in around 5:20. Leaving only a certain number of people in at a time was the right way to do this unlike the fatality at the Walmart.

My original plan was to try to get one of the 22 inch LCD TV's but when I saw the line I knew that wasn't hapening. I was sort of hoping they would have Wii Fit's and when I got to the gaming section, there they were :) When I picked my up they had maybe twenty left. These things sell like hotcakes when available. I've been trying to get one since May! I also got a cheap Virgin Mobile phone (for backup) a 2gb SD card for the Kodak camera and a Wii Game.

When I got home I set up the Wii Fit and looked through the directions. What can I say, after two days of using this my body is sore and I now realize how out of shape I really am. This was well worth the wait.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas with the CTA

End of Santa Express, originally uploaded by kendoman26.

Saturday was the first day for CTA's Holiday Train this year. Scheduled to arrive at White Sox /35th stop on the Red Line at 2:55 it was a couple of minutes late.

I couldn't believe how packed the train was. Even with people getting off at Grand or Chicago for the Michigan Street Lighting, I couldn't get a seat until Belmont. It was a Joyus ride though. It was fun to see people board whom didn't know the train was coming. They had the biggest smiles. The southbound passengers who would turn around got a lot a smiles as well.

When we got to Howard, which is the end for the Red Line, we had to move into the front four cars, since the Purple line can only accomadate six car trains. When we reached Linden in Willmete it was photo time. I took some photos of the cars, and the santa sleigh and then rode the next Purple Line back to Howard. Total time - 2 1/2 hours. A great way to spend a cold November Saturday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow Clouds

Snow Clouds, originally uploaded by kendoman26.

It's been a blustery cold week for a vacation, but I made the best of it. I cooked chicken soup and chili to keep warm and got out to photograph the best that I could.

This photo taken on Tuesday shows the clouds that were dumping up to a foot of snow on the other side of the lake. Thankfully that wasn't here. Today those poor folks got another batch of snow while in Chicago the sky was a bright blue all day long.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Decorative Cabbage

Decorative Cabbage, originally uploaded by kendoman26.

Taking vacation in mid to late November can be a crapshoot. Last year temps were sort of mild in th 50's. This year were barely out of the '30s. It's really cutting into my picture takeing abilities.

I took this on Monday hoping that the cold weather won't kill them. They're beautiful decorative plants that look alot like cabbage. I usually see these plants in downtown flower boxes but this is located in someone's front yard.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Dying Dealers

Archer Avenue used to be an Auto Dealer heaven. From Western to Pulaski there were six different new car dealers. We had Balzekas Chrysler-Plymouth just east of California, Archer-Kedzie AMC at Kedzie, Power Ford at Archer and Spaulding, Bill Becker Chevrolet at Trumbull, a Volkwagen Dealer at Ridgeway and a Honda Dealer at Pulaski.

It looks like the only dealer left is Balzekas, and who knows how long Chrysler will be in business. The above pictures are the latest causulties. The top picture is Midway Ford a succesor dealer to Power Ford. It looks like they merged with Metro Ford on Western. I don't know why Metro didn't move to this location since this is a more modern facility. The second picture is one of the lots of Montell Chevrolet. They appear to be out of business since the only new vehicle I saw was a white Tahoe in the west showroom.

This Chevrolet dealer has changed hands several times over the last 30 years. It's closing saddens me. When I was a boy it was Bill Becker Chevrolet. Latter it became Ron Postma and then Montell.

The recession of 80-81 closed the Volkswegen Dealer. Next to close was the AMC dealer but not before it became an Jeep-Eagle Dealer. The Ford dealer also closed during that recession but the old Power Ford showroom was torn down with a modern building attached to the service building. The Ford dealer seemed to change hands more than any of them. So long Archer Avenue it looks like dealer row is almost all gone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Curie A Building

Curie A Building, originally uploaded by kendoman26.

The loctus trees are almost bare on this late Autumn afternoon, as I was walking down Archer from Pulaski. In the background is Curie High School's "A" Building which contains the classrooms.

Built between 1971 and 1973 the building is a simple box. The large tinted windows are fixed since the building has air conditioning. I guess the simple box works well for schools but there is no ornamentation on the building at all, which makes it boring.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sun Bear at Zoo

Sun Bear, originally uploaded by kendoman26.

For the second Sunday in a row I paid a visit to the Lincoln Park Zoo. This time with the Kodak camera. This is a female Sun Bear. Her tongue sticks out because of an operation on her jaw. She seems to be a real cutie, but her male partner was giving her problems shortly after I shot this photo.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A morning in Jackson Park

Golden Lady 1, originally uploaded by kendoman26.

Today was an early morning arrival downtown to meet Tina at the Thomson Center. We were supposed to watch the spire be assembled and hoisted atop the Trump Tower but they decided to move the date to the 15th.

Luckly Tina drove downtown and we decided to visit Jackson Park instead. Other than being at the Museum of Science of Industry, I've never been in Jackson Park. What a cool place. The trees had a lot of red and yellows. The highlight was at the end when we reached the Statue of the Republic.

The statue is a 1/3rd reproduction of the one that was at the World's Columbian Exposition. It was erected in 1918 to celebrate the 25th aniversary of the fair