Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Biking Chicago - September 27, 2008

Carolyn and I continue to explore Chicago on our bikes whenever we get the chance. A link to photos of our September 27, 2008 trip is HERE.

Can't name a newspaper she has read . . .

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Plug for Ann and her cards


 Aside from being an exceptional landscape architect, whose spectacular designs are found on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses of Northwestern University, my friend Ann Ziegelmaier is a gifted, amazing and remarkably prolific artist.  She has developed a line of gift cards that will surely knock your socks off.  Until recently, she only sold her cards wholesale, but her new website offers her exquisite cards retail to anyone.  Make a point to visit and peruse her work.  The link is:


Aside from buying them to send to friends and relatives, an assortment  of ten or twelve cards (envelopes included) make a great gift.  Please pass this post along . . . your friends will thank you.

 The image above is a detail from the image below, Windswept Spring


wallpaper leaf











a personal favorite, Wallpaper Leaf

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My rant about Levi's

I just finished writing to Levi Strauss & Co., complaining about the fact that they have changed the design of the classic 505 straight leg jean.  The contents of my email follows:

I have a complaint.  I went to your store in Evanston, IL and bought two pairs of "regular fit 505" jeans.  I brought them home an had a shock when I tried them on. They were huge.  I wear 34-32.  I laid my old jeans over them and the leg is 1-1/2" wider! And the ass is huge.  Why in the world do you call these 505?  This is completely misleading.  Not knowing I got these, my wife happened to simultaneously by me a pair of Costco jeans.  34-32 relaxed fit. I compared those to the new 505's and they were narrower.  The Levi's are a huge disappointment.  I returned them. I guess I have no choice but to stick with the Costco jeans, which is unbelievable.  BTW, the guy at the store showed me all sorts of other Levi jeans, but they are nothing like the old 505 jeans.  Most of them are pre-worn/intentionally damaged. Only a loser would wear those.  I urge your to give these new 505 jeans a different number.  They are anything but 505's.

Yes, I realize Levi Strauss Co. isn't going to do a thing about it.  But I am.  I am getting this off my chest.  And I think I'm going to be wearing Costco's relaxed fit jeans whenever I'm not wearing my 15 year old Levi's.  Perhaps I'll have the Costco model embroidered "Not Levi's." 


A - note the seam location on the old jeans vs. the new ones.  Entirely different cut.

B - note the location of the rear and front pockets on the old jeans vs. the new.

C - room in the ass for a loaf of bread!


D - the new jeans are 1-1/2" inches wider than my old 505's.  They call these "regular fit."  Costco calls their jeans "relaxed fit" even though they are narrower than the new Levi's. 


The label on my old jeans


Label of the new 505's.

The labels are virtually identical.  Too bad the jeans aren't!   What a sham.

p.s. did I mention that the 505's cost $49.50.  The Costo house brand jean ("Kirkland") cost $14.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Thinking Small

Our bed are empty two-thirds of the time.
Our living rooms are empty seven-eighths of the time.
Our office buildings are empty one-half of the time.
It’s time we gave this some thought.
     - R. Buckminster Fuller

See the Small Project Awards 2008 Winner HERE

Small Project Awards winner 2008

McCain's Health

I signed a petition asking John McCain to release his medical records to the public. He only has allowed a select group to look them over for 3 hours, yet his health could impact the future of our country. If he were applying for a private position of this importance, his employer would be taking a very close look. See the video; sign the petition . . . even if you, like I, plan to vote for Obama.

Psst. Do something.
Sign the petition HERE

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fujiya & Miyagi video

Turn up the sound, polish your eyeballs, enjoy.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Local Road Trips


This summer Carolyn and I have spent a lot time taking "road trips."  Unlike the typical road trip, where you throw some clothes in a bag and head down the road for a week or two, or three or more, ours have been local bike trips through Chicago, mostly, with one that took us through Elmwood Park, River Forest and Oak Park.   Each time we marvel at the interesting things we find and the people we meet.  We make a point to try hole-in-the-wall restaurants, as well as some that are likely reviewed and rated on someone's website.  We're particularly impressed with how Chicago has changed in the last couple of decades.  Neighborhoods that were once slums have been entirely revived and are vibrant and beautiful.  Slide shows of some our travels can be viewed here.


Korean Festival on Bryn Mawr


Erickson's Deli in Andersonville


 Waiting for a table in Andersonville