Friday, October 27, 2006

Chicagoist pointed me towards a favorable review of Chicago from an English newspaper Leeds Today. The writer hangs out at the Tall Ships Festival and is surprised that it's not overrun with tourists.

The tall-ships festival's organiser explained to me that the event was not primarily designed to please tourists. All Chicago festivals (which happen more than daily, both downtown and in what they call the neighbourhoods) are aimed at the locals.

This, said the organiser, is because tourists, rather than having things laid on for them and therefore being expected to look pleased, prefer, in a no-pressure way, to join in amiably with what the locals would have been doing anyway.

This sounds exactly right. If a community decides to hold a Hoot N Holler Festival or a Miss Splenda Pageant or a Running of the Bulls or whatever, it's hard to imagine that it's targeted to the locals and that tourists are just joining in; those seem like a calculated plea for tourists.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Five years ago I had some itchy skin on my back. I went to a dermatologist who had a prominent Yellow Pages ad and who would see me quickly.

According to Dr. Cornbleet, I had eczema, some ointment would take care of it, and every now and again I've gone back to get a refill of my prescription. An old school office with samples of nautical knot tying on the walls. No electronic records but a little box of index file cards with a card for each patient. I never got a bill, never paid a co-pay, never saw anything on the statements from my insurance company. Dr. Cornbleet himself did it all, answering the phone, consulting the little cards, making the diagnoses, all of it.

This morning they are having a pledge drive on public radio so I have the TV on which is how I came to learn that Dr. Cornbleet was found bound, gagged and stabbed to death in his office last night.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I was in class this afternoon in a building located at 624 South Wabash. The building at 630 South Wabash caught on fire.

Not to sound like a dick about it but it wasn't very exciting. We were evacuated (calmly) and I saw the billowing, gray smoke. Traffic was orderly. I stopped by the library, checked out some books and got on the El. The El was too crowded for me to have a seat.

That was my disaster experience.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Seattle now has an unbelievably dumb slogan as befits its prominent position in the equally dumbly be-sloganed Washington State. Thanks to Josh for bringing this to my attention.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The entire mac/apple product line annoys the hell out of me. I have been using iTunes as a podcatcher (for my non-apple mp3 player) and I downloaded the latest version. Now featuring less functionality! So instead of files automatically going into a library I had to create a new folder, copy files into that folder (and there is no visual to indicate that this is happening, you just have to check and see if it happened and it doesn't care if it makes duplicates.) This was all after consulting the not-at-all helpful Help menu; I finally just resorted to making shit up and this particular shit seems to be working.

I get that ALL software, all hardware, all electronic stuff in general has idiosyncracies. And I get that part of this is actually my fault and not the machine's fault. But what annoys me is the smug Apple acolyte approach of "it's wonderful and the only reason anyone thinks otherwise is because they've been ruined by exposure to PCs." This is like the hipster version of "God said it, I believe it, that settles it," found on so many bumper stickers in my youth.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I don't know that I believe in omens but I saw three dead birds on different sidewalks yesterday which was gross and creepy.

On a happier omen-front, I was walking by the lake yesterday during lunch and saw an ordinary looking man riding a bike. The bike had a basket in front, the basket held a small dog and the dog was wearing a green afro wig.