Monday, November 2, 2015

Through the Keyhole - November 2015

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Through the Keyhole

Informative & Interesting... not your everyday company newsletter.
Brrrr!  but THANKS!
November is here and you know what that means...WINTER IS COMING SOON.  It also means Thanksgiving and the beginning of Christmas Season. I know that political correctness dictates we talk about it as the Holiday Season, but I personally hate that.  Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays just doesn't have the same cheerfulness as "Merry Christmas".  This is meant as no slight to any other Holiday - just my thing.

So Happy Thanksgiving to start the season...

It truly is a wonderful time of year to be thankful, to cherish friends and family and enjoy each other... 

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On another note, Derek Eskew won the Chili cookoff with a venison based chili (but it was close). His award winning recipe is at the end of this newsletter.  This year, we actually had a trophy and will be placing a permanent plaque in the office with each winners name and year won.  Nice.
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         Bambili Chili Wins the 5th Annual Chili Cookoff
It was a great event and was followed by a fabulous Cubs game where the Cardinals were bested.  Thank you to all who attended.

And thank you Cubs for a fun season and a horribly big let down at the very end.  As a tortured fan, I hope for another chance next year.  At least we beat the Cardinals and things are looking up for the first off season in a LONG time.

And now for a new keyhole picture above- Can you guess where it is?

"The name of this city is an oxymoron in and of itself. It has been seen in many movies throughout history and if you can generate enough power you just might travel through time.  Name the city."

Last month, Carolyn Kolssak (thanks Mom) guessed correctly with Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Interestingly enough, I remember when she and my father went to Honolulu at the last minute because Gordon Dunker (the neighborhood service station owner) had paid for a trip and couldn't go.  It was a good deal for them and some lasting memories were created.  Good for them.  That's why we travel...

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

Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - Keyhole Answer


"You can still see bubbles of oil escaping from the wreck below. It is just a short boat ride from shore but so moving that you may be moved to tears. It is a must see and part of our history as a nation."

My wife and I took a trip to Hawaii just after 9-11 because frankly, it was cheap and we didn't have kids to worry about at the time.  We spent 5 days on Kauai (where they filmed Jurassic Park) and 5 days on Waikiki beach in Honolulu.  If you have never been, you should definitely go.  It is a very long flight and you simply can't believe that it is part of the United States.  People are laid back, they speak English (albeit some crazy words) and did I mention it's part of the US?

Anyways, if you go, you HAVE TO see Pearl Harbor and visit the Arizona memorial.  At that time, we were still pretty amped up about being attacked on 9-11. 

When you arrive at the memorial, there is a place where you wander around and look at objects and memorabilia from that day.  There are replicas of aircraft carriers, torpedos, Kamikaze clothing, and many other things that take you back in your mind's eye.  Also, Did I mention that Hawaii is also a major destination for Japanese tourists...

Once they call your number (you are put in groups of 150 or so), you enter a movie theater and watch a 10 minute movie about that day and actually see footage from the bombing of the Arizona.  It is moving and makes you mad...Then the lights go on and you see yourself in a room full of Japanese people.  Again, it was quite something.

Then you get in a boat with the same people you just watched the movie with and take a short, narrated ride to the sunken ship just under the surface.  When we reached the memorial, it was quiet and generally we were reflective realizing over 2500 people lost their lives there.  When we got off the boat, there was a survivor from the Arizona who greeted us.  It moved us to tears and we shook his hand with gratitude.  Not many of those guys are left.

You only spend about 15 minutes out there and then the next group is on its way.  However, what strikes you are the tiny black bubbles of oil still coming up after all of these years.  Pearl Harbor is a very important part of our history and one that should be remembered with reverence.

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Like Father Like Son...Happy Halloween.

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Hope everyone had a great Halloween.  Parenthood goes by too fast.


Bye-bye passwords: Windows 10 now supports FIDO biometric authentication

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That’s a great thing for the average Joe, who relies on “123456” to secure banking and other details. Essentially, biometric authentication, although it sounds like something out of a Phillip K. Dick novel, will become more prevalent in the future and will make logging in to accounts more secure than simple passwords.  Hopefully, that makes it easier to log into EVERYTHING!

DuoLingo - the Language App for WINDOWS 10

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This article is for my sons who love to play on their devices and drive me crazy... Here is an app that is FREE and you can learn languages.  Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Irish, Dutch, Danish and English all featured.  Available online and for Windows 10 and most other operating systems too.
Website  here.

Google Forgot to Renew their Domain Name.
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Ex-Googler Sanmay Ved was the lucky buyer of "," if only for a minute.
Ved told Business Insider that he was up late and searching Google Domains, Google's website-buying service, when he noticed that was available.

Instead of a gray sad face that indicates a domain has an owner, the green happy face showed it was available.

The cost to buy the most-trafficked domain in the world? Only $12.

"I used to work at Google so I keep messing around with the product. I type in and to my surprise it showed it as available," Ved told Business Insider. "I thought it was some error, but I could actually complete check out."

Ved added it to his shopping cart and, surprisingly, the transaction went through.

It didn't last long...complete article here.


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This is a very strange art-life form video.  This guy takes plastic tubes and makes skeletons that walk with the wind.  It is very creepy and interesting all at the same time.

Take a look.

Wedding Picture captured in Time Lapse Video
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Sam Yeldham knew he'd captured something special when he snapped a photograph of a bride and groom in a loving embrace as a spectacular storm rolled across Sydney Harbour.

He just needed to find out who the mystery couple was.

Fun with Statues
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How to Make Your Last Name Plural This Christmas Season
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With the Christmas Season quickly approaching, many of us are starting to get our cards ready for mailing.  Some of us really like the tradition of sending family photos and updates each year.  Some of us don't.  My rule is pretty simple - I get a card from you, you will continue to be on my list.  If you miss a year, I keep you on my list.  You miss two years, you are off my list.

I also don't like those cards that say Seasons Greetings with no personalization whatsoever.  Sorry to whom I am offending. I want pictures and I want to see the parents too.  I don't care if you have lost some hair or gained some weight.  I want to see the photos and a quick message.

I also don't need a book either... and you know if you are one of these.  Shirley had foot surgery, Timmy had his first play, Tom got a new job at LinkedIn, Jenny is getting her masters in philosophy.  That's too much information especially if you are already posting all over facebook (which I also think is too much).

Christmas cards should be sincere and fun with just the right amount of information.  And you know that a picture says a thousand words.

And one more thing - email Christmas cards don't count either.  They only count if you can tape them to your fridge or place of display.

Now for the salutation, is it The Kolssaks, The Kolssak's, The Kolssakes...

Find out now.  And get to it.

Amazing Mail

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Every year I design a Christmas Card, upload it to this site along with my mailing list and hit send.  It is AMAZING, EASY and (kind of) FUN - although don't tell my wife I said that.

I discovered this site years ago when a friend turned me on to it.  It's a great mailing tool for business too. 

If you add up the amount of time it takes to do all of this by hand, this site is worth its weight in gold.

Good Memories Chicago...

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Remember Poplar Creek?  It sure seemed a lot bigger way back then.

Just down the street from TURNkey.  Now just a memory (and a big bunch of stormwater retention).

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Villa Venice opened in Wheeling, IL in 1924. There was gambling in this location as early as 1918, when it was The House That Jack Built. When Sam Giancana took over the gambling was moved to an old metal shack on a remote part of the property.

Oh the Oktoberfests of yesteryear....Those were fun!

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The Trout Farm in Des Plaines

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Charlotte's Pizza off of NW Highway.  (My Dad's favorite - EVER)

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Channel 44ish at 10pm made you understand why they called it the Boobtube.  So I have heard...

Parent of the year - NOMINEES

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Site devoted to Bad Parenting moments

Sway - another Windows 10 App
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Sway is a digital storytelling app for work, school and home that makes it quick and easy to create and share interactive reports, presentation, personal stories and more.  Add your content and Sway will do the rest. 

It's fun and very productive.  Another something my kids should like but probably won't.

Go to the site to download.

Best Inventions by State

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Alabama Windshield wipers Real estate developer and rancher Mary Anderson filed a patent for a lever-operated “window cleaning device” for vehicles in 1903, which ended up on some of the earliest popular car models

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Illinois The cell phone While working for Motorola in the ‘70s, Martin Cooper conceived the first handheld mobile phone, paving the way Zack Morris’s brick phone, that clunky Nokia you had in college, and the mini computer in your pocket right now.  That is right - CHICAGO.

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Michigan The stop sign Driving would also be a hell of a lot more dangerous today if Michigan hadn’t originated the octagonal stop sign back in 1915, which initially featured black letters on a white background. This makes so much sense.  Go Detroit (in 1915).

Full Article

Motorola - A Chicago Startup

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Motorola started in Chicago, Illinois, as Galvin Manufacturing Corporation (at 847 West Harrison Street) in 1928 when brothers, Paul V. and Joseph E. Galvin, purchased the bankrupt Stewart Battery Company's battery-eliminator plans and manufacturing equipment at auction for $750. Galvin Manufacturing Corporation set up shop in a small section of a rented building. The company had $565 in working capital and five employees. The first week's payroll was $63.

The company's first products were battery-eliminators, devices that enabled battery-powered radios to operate on household electricity. Due to advances in radio technology, battery-eliminators soon became obsolete. Paul Galvin learned that some radio technicians were installing sets in cars, and challenged his engineers to design an inexpensive car radio that could be installed in most vehicles. His team was successful, and Galvin was able to demonstrate a working model of the radio at the June 1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He brought home enough orders to keep the company in business.

Paul Galvin wanted a brand name for Galvin Manufacturing Corporation's new car radio, and created the name “Motorola” by linking "motor" (for motorcar) with "ola" (it was a popular ending for many companies at the time, e.g. Moviola, Crayola.).The company sold its first Motorola branded radio on June 23, 1930, to H.C. Wall of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for $30. The Motorola brand name became so well-known that Galvin Manufacturing Corporation later changed its name to Motorola, Inc.

Galvin Manufacturing Corporation began selling Motorola car-radio receivers to police departments and municipalities in November 1930. The company's first public safety customers (all in the U.S. state of Illinois) included the Village of River Forest, Village of Bellwood Police Department, City of Evanston Police, Illinois State Highway Police, and Cook County (Chicago area) Police.

Many of Motorola's products have been radio-related, starting with a battery eliminator for radios, through the first hand-held walkie-talkie in the world in 1940, defense electronics, cellular infrastructure equipment, and mobile phone manufacturing. In the same year, the company built its research and development program with Dan Noble, a pioneer in FM radio and semiconductor technologies, who joined the company as director of research. The company produced the hand-held AM SCR-536 radio during World War II, which was vital to Allied communication. Motorola ranked 94th among United States corporations in the value of World War II military production contracts.

Motorola went public in 1943,and became Motorola, Inc. in 1947. At that time Motorola's main business was producing and selling televisions and radios.


'I haven't left my house in days.
I watch the news channels incessantly.
All the news stories are about the election.
All the commercials are for Viagra and Cialis.
Election - erection - election - erection ------
Either way we're getting screwed!'-- Bette Midler.

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Bambili Chili - by Derek Eskew

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2 lb ground venison
2 yellow onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 whole jalapeno, diced
1 14oz can Mexican style tomatoes
2 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon smoke paprika
1 14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup beer of choice
3 dried ghost peppers, very finely diced (optional)

-          Cook meat, onions, and peppers
-          Add all ingredients save the beans and bring to a boil
-          Add beans, cover, simmer 1-2 hours
-          Serve with desired toppings (crackers, fresh onions, cheese, etc.)
-          Win contests and the admiration of your peers

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