Friday, December 14, 2018

Through the Keyhole - September 2018

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Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
Can you guess the location?
This musical city lives up to its reputation particularly well in the fall when it host the Independent Music Festival and the American Festival.  Oh, and you had better like good food and country music.

Welcome September!
September is one of everyone's favorite months in Chicago.  Warm days and cool nights.  The return of fall sports and school for the kids (bummer).
You might notice a change in the format of this publication as we switched providers from Vertical Response to MailChimp.  This change has allowed greater flexibility in the design of the newsletter and frankly it is easier for me to use.  You may see even more pictures and videos than before.  I for one, am very happy to use something new and I hope you all continue enjoying the show...

One of the great things about the fall is the weather.  If we are lucky, we will actually have a fall and Indian Summer.  Before people take that phrase away from us, I want to be clear that there is nothing that makes the term "Indian summer" offensive.  In fact, technically, we have to have a frost and then return to warm temperatures in order for one to have a true "Indian summer".

John McCutcheon (Pulitzer Prize winning Cartoonist who attended Purdue University and lived in the same house I did in college - Sigma Chi) famously made the following depiction of "Injun Summer".  This cartoon first landed in the Chicago Tribune on September 30, 1907.
My personal opinion is that summer has shifted since I was a kid.  Summers around here seem to start later and end later.

Actually, maybe we should just look at the official dates of summer and make our summer breaks follow that...  Summer officially starts on June 21 and that is about the time we can count on the weather being consistently good.  Summer ends officially on September 23rd this year.  Hmmm.  Maybe it's not global warming after all AL...

I also think that we should rename calories to "flavor points".  Just my two cents.

Guess the Location Game
Last month was a pretty easy one for any Catholic.  There were a few complaints that my selection was too easy.  However, I am giving full credit to Stuart Aynsley who got St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.  Thanks for playing.

This year, September in Chicago has tons of cool things to see and do (here are just a few):

Musical: Legally Blonde

September 5 - Oct. 21, 2018
Legally Blonde is an upbeat song-and-dance tale about a sweet sorority sister named Elle, known for her all-pink wardrobe and her chihuahua Bruiser, who goes to Harvard Law to win back her boyfriend, at Paramount Theatre in Aurora.
Ticket deal $36 to $43

German festival & parade

September 7 - 9, 2018
Chicago German-American Oktoberfest has German music, culture, beer, and food at Lincoln Square (Western Avenue & Leland Avenue). The Von Steuben Parade is Saturday at 2 p.m. Free.

Oak Park “Oaktoberfest”

September 14 - 15, 2018
Enjoy music, craft beer, wine, pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob, bratwurst, and a kids’ root beer garden at Oaktoberfest in Oak Park. Bring cash. Entry is Free.

Taco festival

September 15 - 16, 2018
Image result for taco fest
Try tacos from a dozen restaurants and vote for the best, taste beer, hear live music on two stages, visit the kids’ area, and watch Mexican wrestlers at Lakeview Taco Fest at Southport Avenue & Addison Street. Donation $10.

College football

September 15, 2018
 (2:30 p.m.)
Image result for university of illinois
Watch the University of Illinois play the University of South Florida in an exciting game at Soldier Field.

Suburban Oktoberfest

September 15, 2018
Image result for oktoberfest
St. Joseph Oktoberfest has a free antiques market 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and a free family festival with games 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For age 21+ also add a beer festival with food trucks 12 to 4 p.m., and a German dinner & beer garden with music 6 to 11:30 p.m. in Wilmette.

Food truck festival

September 22 - 23, 2018
Chicago Food Truck Fest brings 25 food trucks, music, a sangria garden, and games to LaBagh Woods.

St. Alphonsus Oktoberfest

September 28 - 30, 2018
Enjoy beer, bratwurst, pretzels, live music, and arts & crafts at Oktoberfest at St. Alphonsus Church in Chicago. Donation $10 ($5 on Sun. & before 5 p.m. on Sat.).

Vatican City - Keyhole Answer
"This sacred place is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture and the largest church in the world.  Michelangelo had a big hand in the design (no pun intended)."
Did you know the Vatican is the smallest nation-state in the world?

The Vatican’s history as the seat of the Catholic Church began with the construction of a basilica over St. Peter’s grave in Rome in the 4th century A.D. The area developed into a popular pilgrimage site and commercial district, although it was abandoned following the move of the papal court to France in 1309.

After the Church returned in 1377, famous landmarks such the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel and the new St. Peter’s Basilica were erected within the city limits. Vatican City was established in its current form as a sovereign nation with the singing of the Lateran Pacts in 1929.

In the 1470s, Sixtus IV began work on the famed Sistine Chapel, featuring frescoes created by such leading Renaissance artists as Botticelli and Perugino.
Significant changes to the city took place after Julius II became pope in 1503. Julius commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling in 1508, and tapped architect Donato Bramante design the Belvedere Courtyard. The pontiff also elected to tear down the 1,200-year-old St. Peter’s Basilica and have Bramante build a new one in its place.

The death of Julius in 1513 and Bramante the following year led to a decades-long dispute over how to continue the project, until Michelangelo ended the deadlock in 1547 with his choice to follow Bramante’s original design. Giacomo della Porta completed St. Peter’s celebrated dome in 1590, and work on the grand structure finally finished in 1626. Measuring 452 feet tall and encompassing 5.7 acres.

The Vatican remains the home of the pope and the Roman Curia, and the spiritual center for some 1.2 billion followers of the Catholic Church. The world’s smallest independent nation-state, it covers 109 acres within a 2-mile border, and possesses another 160 acres of holdings in remote locations.

Along with the centuries-old buildings and gardens, the Vatican maintains its own banking and telephone systems, post office, pharmacy, newspaper, and radio and television stations. Its 600 citizens include the members of the Swiss Guard, a security detail charged with protecting the pope since 1506.

Betcha didn't know all of that...
A brief video on the history of Vatican City (video)
Top 10 Things to see in Vatican City (video)
Inside the Vatican Museums (video)
I wonder where they get it?
The Stolen Classic Car
The owner of a magnificent 1956 Chevrolet convertible, wrote to say he had restored the car to perfection over the last few years, and sent this:

On a very warm summer afternoon he decided to take his car to town It needed gas, as the gauge was practically on empty, but he wanted ice cream, so he headed first to his favorite ice cream shop.

He had trouble finding a parking space and had to park the car down a side street.

He noticed a group of young guys standing around smoking cigarettes and eyeing the car rather covetously. He was a bit uneasy leaving it there, but people often take interest in such an old and well-preserved car, so he went off to enjoy his ice cream.

The line at the ice cream shop was long and it took him quite a while to return to his car. When he did, his worst fears were realized... his car was gone.

He called the police and reported the theft.

About ten minutes later the police called him to say they had found the car abandoned near a gas station a few miles out of town.
It was unharmed and he was relieved. It seems just before he called, the police had received a call from a young woman who was an employee at a self-service gas station. She told them that three young men had driven in with this beautiful old convertible. One of them came to the window and prepaid for 20 dollars worth of gas.
Then all three of them walked around the car. Then they all got in the car and drove off, without filling the tank.

The question is, why would anybody steal a car, pay for gas that they never pumped and then abandon the car later and walk away?

They couldn't find where to put the gas!
Try Socialism on for size...
Banks closed in Venezuela last week as they prepared to release the "sovereign bolivar", a new currency printed with 5 fewer zeroes in a bid to tame soaring inflation.

Here is a picture that illustrates the limited purchasing power of the old bolivar.

This stack of 14,600,000 bolivars (or about $2.22 USD), would buy this chicken at a mini-market in Catia, a low income neighborhood of Caracas on August 16th.

They are in TROUBLE.
How do Southern Girls fish?  You won't believe this. (video)
Don't be Silly. He's Still Gonna Send It!
Larry the Enticer. He's still gonna send it (Canadian risk taker) video
Not sure if these are true...but for sure FUN
The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for
 Blood Plasma.
No piece of paper can be folded in half more than seven (7) times.
Oh , go ahead ...
I'll wait.
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Donkeys kill more people annually than plane crashes or shark attacks.
(So, watch your Ass)
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You burn more calories sleeping! than you do watching television.
The first product to have a bar code was Wrigley's gum.
The King of Hearts is the only King
American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one (1) olive
from each salad served in first-class.
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Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning ...
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Most dust particles in your house are made from
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The first owner of the Marlboro Company died of lung cancer.
So did the first 'Marlboro Man'.
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Walt Disney was afraid
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The ten most valuable brand names on earth:
Apple, Coca Cola, Google, IBM, Microsoft, GE, McDonalds,
Samsung, Intel and Toyota , in that order.
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It IS possible to lead a cow upstairs...
but, NOT downstairs.
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A duck's quack doesn't echo,
and no one knows why.
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Dentists have recommended that a toothbrush be kept at least Six (6) feet away
from a toilet to avoid airborne particles resulting from the flush.
 (I keep my toothbrush in the living room now!)
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Turtles can breathe through their BUTTS!
(I know some people like that, don't YOU?) 

Designated WHAT?

From the county where drunk driving is considered a sport, comes this true story.

Recently a routine police patrol parked outside a bar in Austin, Texas . After last call the officer noticed a man leaving the bar so apparently intoxicated that he could barely walk.
The man stumbled around the parking lot for a few minutes, with the officer quietly observing.

After what seemed an eternity in which he tried his keys on five different vehicles,
the man managed to find his car and fall into it.

He sat there for a few minutes as a number of other patrons left the bar and drove off.
Finally he started the car, switched the wipers on and off--it was a fine, dry summer night, flicked the blinkers on and off a couple of times, honked the horn and then switched on the lights.

He moved the vehicle forward a few inches, reversed a little and then remained still for
a few more minutes as some more of the other patrons' vehicles left.

At last, when his was the only car left in the parking lot, he pulled out and drove slowly down the road.

The police officer, having waited patiently all this time, now started up his patrol car,
put on the flashing lights, promptly pulled the man over and administered a breathalyzer test.

To his amazement, the breathalyzer indicated no evidence that the man had consumed any alcohol at all!

Dumbfounded, the officer said, I'll have to ask you to accompany me to the police station.  This breathalyzer equipment must be broken.'

"I doubt it", said the truly proud Texan.  'Tonight I'm the designated decoy.'
No time like the mow my lawn.
Package Tracking
SHAMELESS Book Peddling
My Aunt (Connie Evans) has published her own book and I am shamelessly peddling it.  To be truthful and not disrespectful, the book is a great bathroom book - It has short passages (1-5 pages) that tell interesting novellas that are disjointed, interesting and insightful.  Although the topics are all over the place (and in alphabetical order) you gain her unique perspective on all kinds of subjects from boredom, cheating, eavesdropping, gossip, laughter, modesty, love, left/right wing, and death (to name a few).

It is a very positive collective message about familial integrity and bridging the gap between generations.  You would not read it in one sitting but rather in many.

It is an interesting collection of thoughts just as it is entitled and perfect for your coffee table (or bathroom).  Copies are only $20.  You can buy one here.
In My Feelings Challenge 
This couple really shows how it's done... Kiki do you love me?
Grandma's got moves...
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Household Life Hacks You'll Try...
A Soldier Never Forgets North Platte
‘We were overwhelmed,” said Lt. Col. Nick Jaskolski. “I don’t really have words to describe how surprised and moved we all were. I had never even heard of the town before.”

Col. Jaskolski, a veteran of the Iraq war, is commander of the 142nd Field Artillery Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard. For three weeks earlier this summer, the 142nd had been conducting an emergency deployment readiness exercise in Wyoming, training and sleeping outdoors, subsisting on field rations. Now it was time for the 700 soldiers to return to their base.

A charter bus company had been hired for the 18-hour drive back to Arkansas. The Army had budgeted for a stop to get snacks. The bus company determined that the soldiers would reach North Platte, in western Nebraska, around the time they would likely be hungry. The company placed a call to the visitors’ bureau: Was there anywhere in town that could handle a succession of 21 buses, and get 700 soldiers in and out for a quick snack?
North Platte said yes. North Platte has always said yes.

The community welcomed more than 700 service men and women, North Platte , Nebraska, June 18-19.

During World War II, North Platte was a geographically isolated town of 12,000. Soldiers, sailors and aviators on their way to fight the war rode troop trains across the nation, bound for Europe via the East Coast or the Pacific via the West Coast. The Union Pacific Railroad trains that transported the soldiers always made 10-minute stops in North Platte to take on water.

The townspeople made those 10 minutes count. Starting in December 1941, they met every train: up to 23 a day, beginning at 5 a.m. and ending after midnight. Those volunteers greeted between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers a day. They presented them with sandwiches and gifts, played music for them, danced with them, baked birthday cakes for them. Every day of the year, every day of the war, they were there at the depot. They never missed a train, never missed a soldier. They fed six million soldiers by the end of the war. Not 1 cent of government money was asked for or spent, save for a $5 bill sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The soldiers never forgot the kindness. Most of them, and most of the townspeople who greeted them, are dead. And now, in 2018, those 21 busloads from the 142nd Field Artillery were on their way, expecting to stop at some fast-food joint.

“We couldn’t believe what we saw when we pulled up,” Col. Jaskolski said. As each bus arrived over a two-day period, the soldiers stepped out to be greeted by lines of cheering people holding signs of thanks. They weren’t at a fast-food restaurant: They were at North Platte’s events center, which had been opened and decorated especially for them.

“People just started calling our office when they heard the soldiers were on their way,” said Lisa Burke, the director of the visitors’ bureau. “Hundreds of people, who wanted to help.”

The soldiers entered the events center to the aroma of steaks grilling and the sound of recorded music: current songs by Luke Bryan, Justin Timberlake, Florida Georgia Line; World War II songs by Glenn Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey. They were served steak sandwiches, ham sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, salads and fruit; local church groups baked pies, brownies and cookies.

Mayor Dwight Livingston stood at the door for two days and shook every soldier’s hand. Mr. Livingston served in the Air Force in Vietnam and came home to no words of thanks. Now, he said, as he shook the hands and welcomed the soldiers, “I don’t know whether those moments were more important for them, or for me. I knew I had to be there.”

“It was one soldier’s 21st birthday,” Lisa Burke said. “When I gave him his cake, he told me it was the first birthday cake he’d ever had in his life.” Not wanting to pry, she didn’t ask him how that could possibly be. “I was able to hold my emotions together,” she said. “Until later.”

When it became time to settle up—the Army, after all, had that money budgeted for snacks—the 142nd Field Artillery was told: Nope. You’re not spending a penny here. This is on us.

This is on North Platte.

Mr. Greene’s books include “Once Upon a Town: The Miracle of the North Platte Canteen.”

Haircut by FIRE!
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“A security guard at Disneyland asked for the autograph of a little girl, feigning the belief that he thought she was a real princess.”
Jerk Sauce
This is something that I learned in Jamaica by watching a local guy on the beach in Negril.  I watched him and wrote down everything he was doing.  The only difference is that he used Scotch Bonnet Peppers and I use the sauce that is available on Amazon.  I make one batch a year and everyone loves it (or so they say).  The best thing is that you can apply as your taste permits.  A little goes a long way...

4 bunches of green onion
2 sticks of butter (good unsalted)
6 cups of water
5 cups catchup (~40 oz.)
3 cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups soy sauce
40 oz. walkerwood’s scotch bonnet pepper sauce
2 t. cornstarch
1 full garlic bulb of minced fresh garlic (20 cloves or so)
8 TBSP of minced fresh ginger
2 t. ground Allspice
½ t. ground sage or poultry seasoning
  1. In a decent sized pot, Melt butter on low and simmer green onion to get soft. Do NOT brown, just soften about 7 minutes
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and combine all ingredients in the same pot.
  3. Place back on the stove and bring to a boil.
  4. Use Hand Emulsifier to fully blend
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until sauce has darkened
  6. Can the sauce as you wish.You won’t need much with each meal. It’s HOT.
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