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Archive for April, 2011

Underwear check.

Here’s the latest in a new series of mind-smashing news-art/lifestyle pieces from the streets of Chicago.

I just re-read that, and it turns out this picture is none of those things.  Doesn’t mean I’m opposed to generating a new series of “off the hook” news images.  Just not today.  So unfortunately, you’re not witnessing some mad-fresh, new-school PJ skillz (photojournalist…for the lamesters among us).  No, you see, this is the result of 90 short seconds belly down on the 63rd St sidewalk, like an idiot.  It was, however, an army combat sort of position, which makes it slightly less ridiculous.  At least this is what I told myself until the…wait for it…authorities arrived.  Fine.  This was getting boring anyway.  Since things always go smoother when the government gets involved, I was relieved to be offered assistance in my image-making.  While still in the combat position, Authority #1 tip-toed up with the recognizable “I’d-rather-be-anywhere-than-here-confronting-you” look.  “How’s it going today?”  Well, I’m face down on the sidewalk in the early stages of a government shake-down, so: “Ok, I guess.”

“They told me to come down and check on you (in order to establish your level of involvement on the plane in the mud thing).”  Yes they did, didn’t they.  Never established who “they” are, but I suspect they have more clearance then I do.  I bet they are armed too.  Authority #2 was a Chicago cop who clarified that he wasn’t ordering my removal, but that I had to leave.  Again with the: It’s not me, it’s them routine?

Neither of us had any interest in playing the ‘what if’ game today, so enough of that.

The dude driving the jet is probably in for some proper government-sponsored conversations this evening.  Sounds like he landing long and fast in sideways rain.  He missed the high-tech and super-expensive pile of collapsible, EMAS blocks at the end of the runway, and ran into the mud…likely trying to make the left turn at the end of Midway’s 13C.  Sadly, 737’s do nothing well in the area of performance and handling.  Good thing we have those blocks!  Those blocks are supposed to keep silly mistakes in-bounds, as opposed to say, running over cars at 63rd and Cicero.  The one design oversight with the ‘Engineered Materials Arrestor System’ is that it requires pilots to actually run them over.  The results are said to be less satisfactory if you miss them.  The nose of this jet sat 100 yards shy of busting through the fence.  There were no injuries despite- as the Trib reported- the several babies on board.

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The BIG POUR…

Yes!  I love events with titles.  If ever a stage of road construction was worthy a title, the upper level of Wacker Dr qualifies.

They’ve been throwing numbers around in an attempt to impress common, ignorant folk.  1000 yards of concrete transported by 125 cement trucks over 7 hours is enough product to lay 2.5 miles of city sidewalk.  Okay.  Perhaps I’m a little more demanding in what I find impressive, but that doesn’t seem like a whole hell of a lot.  It’s a shitload, I’m sure.  Remarkable?  Ehhh.

Since those numbers don’t mean squat to anyone who doesn’t regularly place orders for truck loads of ready-mix concrete, I’d say jack those digits a bit.  You know, for the sake of news consumers looking for dinner-time talking points.  “Hey honey, did you hear about the Loop construction today?  Yeah, apparently there were 1500 trucks that dumped 930,000 cubic yards of concrete on Wacker Dr.  They said it was enough to pave a sidewalk from Buckingham Fountain to O’Hare, and back.”  That, friends, is micro-scale construction coolness.

When I read that today was the BIG POUR on Wacker, I kind of imagined a Discovery Channel, Modern Marvels-like event, on par with the construction of an airport, or the Pyramids.  I was not expecting to observe the building of the Randolph and Wacker intersection.  Cool for sure.  Extraordinary?  Ehhh.

All that said, I overheard two wankers in suits talking while walking past the project.  “Not much of a science to it, aye?”  I chuckled.  Scale aside, I’m pretty sure the pouring and mixing of bridge concrete is nothing BUT science.  I know this because one of my smart friends is a concrete and asphalt scientist working on this very project, and he told me so.  After overhearing the mopes scoff at the chemistry involved, I felt pride for my smart friend and the work he does.

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Talk about made-for-TV drama.

It doesn’t take an asshole like me to explain to an asshole like you what’s what at position 8 of the Western Conference standings with 3 to go.  It’s true that with the help of some tricky math, Chicago can finish anywhere from 4th to 10th.  So, if you happen to observe monkeys flying out of a co-workers undergarments this afternoon, perhaps P4 and home-ice are a possibility.  If they don’t completely implode and miss the post-season all together, they will likely finish P7 or 8.  This means a 1st round meeting with either Vancouver or San Detroit.  Maybe Jose.  None of which means a damn thing unless the man pictured is ready to return to NHL playoff-paced ice hockey.

By the way, the imagery you’re seeing here is world-exclusive stuff.  That’s right, fools.  I’m throwing down and making the bold claim that this space has rare, important content today.  Photographic confirmation that the defending champs leading scorer is making significant progress in his recovery is, well, significant.  Does your blog have pictures of Patrick Sharp’s return to the ice?  Japan’s nuclear meltdown situation might just get bumped to page 2 tomorrow now that we have art to go along with this rehab story out of Chicago.  Sharp took some shots on Marti Turco this morning, but did little skating.  They certainly weren’t testing the left knee.  If he makes it back by Sunday, that would be a nice gift.  Dave Bolland was also in the hizzy.  He didn’t skate, and I know nothing about his recovery.  With concussions, look no further than Sid Crosby.  Bolland’s next sports-related activity could be golf.  Brouwer’s ridiculous shoulder fiasco last night means we get another dose of some dude named Ben Smith.  He has 31 points in 63 games with Rockford, and 34 minutes over 3 games with the Hawks.  Alright, great.  Welcome aboard and don’t fuck it up.  Get on and get off so Marian Hossa can get back out there.

Otherwise, welcome back to Chicago.

more Sharp…

Even the visitors are curious about P Sharp.  Below, St Louis center Philip McRae observes the solo workout before his team’s skate…

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