Monday, December 8, 2014

Through the Keyhole - December 2014

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     DECEMBER 2014 turnkey-color-logo-white 7
Through the Keyhole

Informative & Interesting... not your everyday company newsletter.
I can't believe Christmas is here already...
It seems like just yesterday that we were marking the beginning of summer.  My how time flies when you are having fun (and when you are not).  The picture above certainly is not indicative of this season but many people dream of being anywhere but in Chicago this time of year.  To me, we call Chicago home and there is no place I'd rather be during this time of year.

Some of the many reasons to love the Windy City (more about this below):

Chicago Style Hot Dogs (no ketchup please)
Deep Dish Pizza
Italian Beef
The Theater District (A Christmas Carol now playing)
Museums and Culture
Sports (we LOVE our sports)
Festivals and Neighborhoods (neighborhoods are really unique in big cities)

Cool Christmas Facts:

The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.

The “true love” mentioned in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church’s code for God. For example, the “partridge in a pear tree” represents Christ. The “two turtledoves” represent the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeer shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female or castrati.

Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

President Teddy Roosevelt, an environmentalist, banned Christmas trees from the White House in 1912.

It is estimated that the single “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin is the best selling single of all time, with over 100 million sales worldwide.  Interestingly, Irving Berlin was Jewish.

Christmas is a contraction of “Christ’s Mass,” which is derived from the Old English Cristes mæsse (first recorded in 1038). The letter “X” in Greek is the first letter of Christ, and “Xmas” has been used as an abbreviation for Christmas since the mid 1500s.

Christmas purchases account for approximately 1/6 of all retail sales in the U.S.


Last month's winner of the "guess the location" game was Robert Briggs by guessing Waikiki Beach or Diamondhead in Honolulu, Hawaii. Good guessing as usual. More about the location below.

And now for a new picture above- Can you guess where it is by looking through the keyhole? "This major tourist destination is Far East from here with an extinct volcano and lush barrier reef. Some say that it is just plain boring. It is said that Emile De Becque may have lived here and the peaks could possibly have been be the basis for Bali Hai in South Pacific."

Correct answers will be given recognition but half the fun is trying to figure it out.  The correct answer will be revealed in the subsequent issue.  Good luck and have fun.

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As always, send any items you think are newsworthy, interesting or just plain odd to

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, HI - Keyhole Answer

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"This "diamond" of a break is the largest one in the world.  People from all over learn how to surf here more than anywhere else.  Eddie would go."

Diamond Head. 

Diamond Head is the name of a volcanic cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin. Its English name was given by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook calcite crystals on the adjacent beach for diamonds.  The Diamond Head ridge is the backdrop for one of the most famous beaches in all of the world - Waikiki Beach.

Waikiki Beach is like Oak Street Beach only way cooler.  The city of Honolulu, HI has a population of about 400,000 and there is so very much to do there. From sitting on the beach to long board surfing to art galleries and Pearl Harbor close by, you cannot go wrong by visiting this bustling and wonderful city. 

Pearl Harbor is a place where you can still see the droplets of oil rise to the surface above the Arizona. Even to this day, 74 years later one can still see droplets of black gold rise to the surface.  We pay homage to those who lost their lives on that fateful day in December so long ago.

Eddie would go...

"Eddie would go."

Those three words carry more than meaning; they carry dreams and expectations. The saying was adapted in respect for one of the greatest surfing legends off all time, Eddie Aikau, whose life after his death became a myth told among those who once surfed with the fabled man.  It's a simple saying that most Hawaiians and surfers know by heart. It's the ultimate proverb of motivation and determination. It is commonly used when a surfer faces a big wave or simply adversity.

Oahu's North Shore is home to some of the biggest waves in all of the world. 

If you have never been to Hawaii, you just may want to consider a stop in the big city of Honolulu when you make the long trek out there.  After all, Eddie would go...

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USS Arizona

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Diamond Head Crater

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Overlooking Waikiki from Diamond Head

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Long Boarding on Waikiki

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The Pink Hotel or Royal Hawaiian

Part of the Answer Radio Program

If you ever wanted to know the origins of TURNkey IT or what makes the company tick, tune into this 42 minute live recording of an interview on WIND 560 AM.  Not to toot my own horn but this interview was fun and went by in a blink.  We had some laughs and people who listened live seemed to really enjoy it.

Take a listen here.


This is Mexican Horse Transport

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I wish this picture was better.  It was taken just last week while I was in Mexico just outside of Puerto Vallarta.  If you can't make it out, a horse is in the flatbed of a pickup truck tied to the roof rack.


That's IN-CRAY-EE-BLAY for all of you gringos.

Somebody's using their head...

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Things not to do in Chicago.

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1. Falling asleep while riding the "L"
Next stop: someone yelling you awake.

2. Asking for a "chocolate shake" at The Wieners Circle
It’s not what you think it is, unless you're thinking of char dog-quality boobs.

3. Coming into contact with Chicago River water
It doesn't matter how convincing your buddies are post-Lollapalooza.

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4. Hitting Rock N Roll McDonald’s after last call
Nightclub crowds don't do well with florescent lighting, orderly lines, and places where you're not to supposed to shout at each other like gibbons.

5. Moving into a building without a laundry room
Plan to stretch that "clean" underwear up until Spring.

6. Winding up in a 4am bar
Bad decisions abound.

7. Comcast (that is a joke for my Comcast sales team)

8. Leaving your expensive Chicago Fire Festival floats out in the rain before you plan to burn them
Arson can't possibly be that difficult.

9. Divvying onto an expressway
This is still happening. Don't be that guy (or girl).

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10. Neglecting your long-term memory as a Cubs fan (and I AM A CUB FAN)
2014: Joe Maddon’s gonna change eeeeeeeeeverything!
2006: Lou Piniella’s gonna change eeeeeeeeeverything!
2003: Dusty Baker’s gonna change eeeeeeeeeverything!

11. Renting a garden unit apartment
You've ignored the red flags and what you saved in rent you’ll make up for with flood damage, permanent shade, and the cavalcade of unwelcome sidewalk noises.

12. Parking Downtown
Aka paying the ransom our city owes to a company in Abu Dhabi.

13. Starting a tab in a Wrigleyville bar
You will forget your card. If only you could forget what went on inside that country bar.

14. Accidentally getting on the Purple Line Express
"I swear that train’s sign was brown just a second ago!"

15. Arguing that NYC is superior to Chicago in any way
It’s an island of rats eating stale pretzels led by new ambassador Taylor Swift.

16. Thinking the polar vortex was dead and buried
It’s the Michael Myers of weather patterns.

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17. Getting that late-night slice of Bacci Pizza
Have some self respect.

18. Thinking City Hall was really going to refund tampered red light tickets

19. Counting on any form of transportation on New Year’s Eve
Your DD will go incommunicado, public transit will be covered in puke/people about to puke, and car share rates will be in the triple digits. When you do flag down a cab, someone will be there steal it.
20. Dating someone in the suburbs
This isn't going to work out.

21. Failing to notice that sign for rush hour parking
"I wonder why there are so many spots available?!"

22. Entering Lakeview during TBOX/Pride/Cubs games
Do not follow that trail of cereal/beads/Anthony Rizzo bobbleheads.

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23. Meeting at the Michael Jordan statue
Everyone tries this, now you're stuck in a sea of people and you missed introductions. And that's the best part!

24. Letting your Uber driver stray from GPS
You’re going into the nearest congested six-way intersection.

25. Forgetting gloves
Mom raised you better.

Life Hack - put the 'straw' in a strawberry

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Here is something that really works and helps to clean strawberries with as little waste possible.  Simply clean your strawberries and take a regular straw and insert from bottom up.  The stem will simply pop off and you will be ready to go.

Try it.  It really works.


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Finally. Sophia talks about THIS.

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At that moment, Jayne Mansfield arrived. The crowd of guests parted to let her through as she headed straight for my table. She moved forward, swaying on her heels, perhaps not completely sober, with something grand and imperious about each step she took. She knew everyone had their eyes on her, and how could anyone not gape at her neckline, which was more than generous.

It was as if she were saying: "Here comes Jayne Mansfield. The Blond Bombshell!" She sat next to me at the table and started talking -- it was like a volcano erupting. As she got more and more worked up, suddenly I found one of her breasts on my plate. I looked up at her, terrified ...

One especially quick reporter took a picture of the scene, and the image went around the world. I refused to autograph it. Hidden behind Hollywood's enchanted kingdom were some coarse and grotesque sides, which I refused to have anything to do with.
Huffington Post Article

Toyless Christmas?  It is possible.


100 Toyless Ideas for 2014: Season Passes

- Zoo
- Museum
- Butterfly Conservatory
- Aviary
- Aquarium
- Amusement Park

One-Time Passes

- Movies
- Bowling
- Swimming
- Theatre Performance
- Go see a sporting event
- Disney On Ice
- Circus
- Ice Skating
- Roller Skating
- Mini Golf
- Concert

Experiences for Kids

- Horse & Buggy Ride
- Train Ride
- Ice Cream Vouchers
- Special dinner out
- A Trip to the Fire Station
- A Trip to Chuckie Cheese (buy the tokens ahead of time so you have something to wrap!)
- Coupon book with "time" gifts (ie. an afternoon making cookies with mom)

Older Kids or Grown-Ups

- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- Wine Tasting
- Zip Lining
- Helicopter Ride
- Trip to the Spa (Mani/Pedi, Massage, Facial, etc.)
- Rock Climbing
- Trip to Arcade

A Class or Season of Lessons

- Swimming
- Sports
- Gymnastics
- Dance
- Karate
- Musical Instrument
- Pottery Class- or paint your own pottery
- Art Class
- Craft class (ie. knitting)
- Horseback riding lessons

Family Experiences

- A night(s) away at a local hotel (with a pool)
- A hotel with an indoor waterpark
- Camping (depends where you live & how much you love Winter camping ;)
- Road trip
- Give them travel/camping gear needed for the experience you'll be gifting so that they have a physical item to unwrap

Physical Gifts that aren't Toys

- Books
- Games
- CDs of fun kids music
- Craft kits
- Science kit
- New art supplies
- Magazine Subscription
- Monthly Craft Kit Subscription
- Fun Bath Supplies (colour-changing water, crayons that write on walls, foamy soap, etc.)
- A wagon to pull kids in when you go on walks
- Stationary
- Special Christmas Tree Ornament
- Wrist watch
- Piggy bank
- Memory/Photo Book
- Journal

Fun "Needs"

- Kid furniture
- New bedding that they really like
- Bedroom décor/Promise of a total room makeover
- New hat, mitts, etc.
- Bike
- Scooter
- Roller skates/blades
- Basketball hoop
- Trampoline
- Swing set (for big ticket items like this, grandparents can pitch in)

Citizen Pulls over Police Officer (no joke)

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Citizen's arrests date back to medieval times. They are arrests made by a person who is not acting as a sworn law-enforcement official. Generally, citizens are encouraged to be mindful of unlawfulness and to take action when they see it.

In an attempt to bring attention to the issue of unlawful traffic stops by police impersonators, Gavin Seim of Washington state flagged down a police officer.

The former Republican congressional candidate and self-proclaimed "liberty speaker" stopped a Washington state police officer last week because he was driving an unmarked vehicle.

Baking Bad.  A cookbook.

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This is for real.  Just in time for the Holidays and a perfect gift for the binge watchers in your circle of friends.
Introducing a Breaking Bad cookbook that offers up recipes for Walter Wheat’s specialties—including “Buried Barrel Dessert,” “Heisen(Batten) Burg Cake” (yes, there’s an edible black hat), and “Box Cutter Doughnuts.”

Load up on your blue rock candy, go easy on the chili powder, and watch the exclusive trailer below to get ready for Baking Bad: A Parody in a Cookbook, available now.

Buy it here.

Again, Chicago is THE place to live...

Winter Vandalism.

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Classic Stuffing

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    1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter
    1 cup chopped onion
    1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts
    6 to 8 cups fresh bread crumbs
    1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon or sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried crumbled tarragon or sage
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 cup chopped scallion
    1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Put the butter in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. When melted, add the onion and cook, stirring, until it softens, about 5 minutes. Add the nuts and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.

Add the breadcrumbs and the herb and toss to mix. Turn the heat down to low. Add the salt, pepper, and scallion. Toss again; taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the parsley and stir. Turn off the heat. (At this point, you may refrigerate the stuffing, well wrapped or in a covered container, for up to a day before proceeding.)

Pack into chicken or turkey if you like before roasting or just bake in an ovenproof glass or enameled baking dish for about 45 minutes at 350-400°F. (Or you can cook it up to 3 days in advance and just warm it up right before dinner.)


I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

-Charles Dickens

Frozen is better than refrigerated. Sometimes.

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The Frozen Food Foundation and the University of California-Davis released a study last week showing that the nutrient content of certain fruits and vegetables is better preserved in the freezer than in the refrigerator. (The foundation is a research-dedicated not-for-profit, but it is affiliated with the frozen food industry’s trade association.) This is good news for those who rely on their stocked freezers, and even better for those living in areas where the fresh stuff isn’t readily available.

“If the choice is to not eat a vegetable or to eat something frozen, eat the frozen vegetable,” said Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of New York City vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy. “If you like frozen peas or that Birds Eye mix—you know, with the peas, carrots and corn—if you like that, then eat it! It’s good! It’s vegetables! It’s high in nutritional content, and better than not eating them at all.”

Easy Tzatziki (and you don't have to be Greek)tzatziki

1 Hothouse Cucumber, unpeeled and seeded

2 (7 oz.) containers of Greek Yogurt (such as Fage Total)

1/4 cup sour cream

2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 TBSP white wine vinegar

1 TBSP minced fresh dill

1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Grate the cucumber by hand on a box grater, as you would grate carrots.  Squeeze the cucumber with your hands to remove a lot (but not all) of the liquid.  Place in a medium bowl and stir in the yogurt, lemon juice, sour cream, vinegar, dill, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve cold or at room temperature.  Make ahead of time and store up to a week.

Serve with fresh vegetables, pita bread or pumpernickel. 

Merry Christmas from Mykonos!

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Tel: (847) 808-3990
Toll Free: 866 928 8208


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