Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Silver Sears Tower

The Sun-Times reported that the owners of the Sears Tower are thinking about recovering it with reflective stainless steal in this mornings paper. The article made it seem like this was a fairly sure bet. but the Chicago Triune wrote up an article online calling the Sun-Times out.

"The Sun-Times story puts the bill for the silver makeover at $50 million and (deep down in the story) quotes an anonymous source familiar with the tower as saying: 'Right now there's not enough money in the universe for that.'"

The idea behind the new Sears Tower skin is to save money and be more green. The Tribune doesn't seem to think so. They even go as far as to link back to the original Sun-Times article in, what I think looks like, an attempt to show the Sun-Times Spotty reporting.

The article is a bit misleading. It does sound like the owners are considering the change, but I don't think that means the Tribune should so blatantly call the Sun-Times out. Or maybe it does. As I write this I'm beginning to wain. Misleading articles and half-truths should be outed so people think twice about doing it themselves. Shotty journalism does hurt everyone. I don't know. Discuss.

Here are the two articles in question:

Saturday, February 21, 2009


(Picture found here)

So Cute!!! Baby Ocelot. Thanks to Richard Kostelanetz for writing a thing about ocelots that made me look them up on Google. He sent in a thing for New Stone Circle. Good on him.

Friday, February 20, 2009

View from the Second City (Lake Ice)

(This is my second column published in the paper. It was published on Tuesday.)

The beach close to my apartment turns white in the winter. Snow replaces the sand and cold pidgins and seagulls replace the crowds of summer swimmers. The fresh water of the lake freezes and extends the beach about 30 feet farther out. Walking along the edge of the water it soon becomes apparent that if it was summer and not cold and you were standing in this exact spot, the water would be over your head. The first few feet of lake is sallow enough to freeze on its own, but after 10 feet or so, the water will only freeze when the waves splash up onto the ice. The rest turns into mountains of ice formed little by little with each wave.

I braved the below freezing temperatures the other day, to see the beach. I prefer it in the winter. I think it is much more beautiful. And the waves seem much more savage. I walked through the knee-high snow to the stone edge over looking the lake. The pier, where I sat last year to watch the 4th of July fireworks, was covered in an inch of ice. Carefully, I walked to the edge of the ice embankment overlooking the water. It was slippery and I walked carefully out onto it. To my left was thinner ice and to my right was a 10-foot drop to the water, which probably was about another 10 feet to the lake bottom. If I slipped I would have been in the cold, cold water with no way out. So I stood perfectly still and watched the waves crash on to the ice. Normally in the winter, the water is rough and would be shooting up past my head. But that day was especially calm.

The lake in the wintertime makes me think of my childhood on the farm. I would play in the snow in our back yard with my older brother. Or we would walk to the family woods. Our farm, between White Heath and Monticello, was wonderfully alone. In the wintertime I could see my breath in the crisp clear air and the only sound I could hear were my boots crunching in the snow.

It is all but impossible to be alone in the city, even on the coldest day of the year. I get as close to alone as I can at the beach in the winter. My childhood self would think I was crazy for wanting to regain that feeling, Chicago was a place of excitement in my young mind, which it still is. But sometimes the excitement can become too much and all I need in the world is the natural silence of my boots crunching the snow.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I'm tired

Again I'm going to rush through a post because I don't want to go supper long without posting something. And this one will probably be kind of weird and stream-of-consciousnessy.

Today at work I stuffed some envelope. And I felt pretty good about it because they were congratulatory letters of acceptance. I had a part in giving these kids an education. Granted there are many many more people who have bigger roles and deserve much much more credit then me, but I would like my credit that I think is due.

I'm also getting a lot of things done that have been hanging over my head. Two articles for Monday's paper and a few class assignments. I'm also almost done with the book I need to read.

Good for me all around, I'd say.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A bit of . . . I guess they call it Navel Gazing.

As the second week of my semester comes to completion . . .

I wanted to get another quick post done. I fear my life will become too hectic and busy to keep much of a regular schedule going. Perhaps only the odd "View from the Second City" and torch article will be posted over the next few months. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some time for a cute picture. But I don't think I will be able to write a huge amount, which is a shame because I need all the practice I can get.

Why is it that when I tell anyone my choses educational path and future profession, they all tell me how bad the media is? Does this happen with any other job. Doctors I guess. People are always telling them why they are wrong. Why they know better. Who else?

I've been considering where I want to end up. One of my classes, War and Media, has me intrigued. I'm reading "The First Casualty," for the class. An historical look at war correspondence. I've never really considered that, but I don't know. The book talks about the "first" war correspondence, William Howard Russell. He really wasn't the first, he is just remembered better. "Russell covered teh war between Schleswig-Holstein and Denmark, the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny, the American Civil War, the Austro-Prussian War, the Franco-Prussian War, the Paris Commune, and the Zulu War of 1879. He helped to topple the British government, was indirectly responsible for the employment of the first war photographer, and helped keep Britain from intervening in the American Civil War. He was appointed a Knight of the Iron Cross, an Officer of the Legion of Honour . . ." and on and on and on. If I got 1% of what he did done, I would be very happy with myself.

Some how politics keeps pulling on me and peaking my interest. I've always said I don't want to go near that crap hole. To much heartache and not enough gratitude. But it's interesting. The stories can be epic. And I think the public needs to know the secret--the whole things is a game. Republicans and Democrats are deeply divided on merit between the hours of 9 and 5. More like 10 and 3 Monday-Thursday. Then at the bar no body cares. Same thing with Journalists. The job is just a job and everyone is a friend with a beer in your hand. I once told Chris that maybe I wanted to be "a corespondent to the insane." They are the ones who most need understanding and have the biggest obstacle--a different language of the mind.

Politics is the ultimate in insanity and maybe they need me to translate. (I don't often get so high on myself. Maybe I'm just tired. Please don't judge me for this.)

I don't really know anything that I want to do beyond go to bed right now.

Good night all.