The convenience store Sonny's at Lunt and Sheridan was robbed a short while ago. (Current time here is about 2:50 pm.) I am led to believe that a butcher knife was used and that nobody was hurt. The cops seem to have found the knife.

ETA: More info from Craig.

Big Fat Bacon!

Damn, maybe I'm regretting moving away from Minnesota. I'm missing out on the opportunity to eat 1/3 pound slice of bacon fried and carmelized with maple syrup, served on a stick with dipping sauces. (Image Courtesy of Dave Romm.)

Thankfully there's Wiener and Still Champion in Evanston, if I need my bacon fix. They have battered, deep fried bacon. I'm intrigued, but scared, and have yet to order it.

The Giant Hole on Sheridan

Worst photo ever, taken by me, last night, on the way home from the Italian Village.

Every time I return from being out of town for a few days, I see that something has changed around the big hole on Sheridan at Pratt, just outside the 7-11. I come back and find a new cone, or new blinky light, or something added to improve the visibility of the giant hole. This time, they've gone all out. The put up a fancy barrier with yellow safety tape all the way around.

It's great that they're concerned about this thing. Somebody's paying attention. I expect the barrier/warning/cover/whatever around this thing to grow bigger and more impressive until it begins to look like an ice fishing house.

Or? I had another thought: The city could just fix the hole. It's a sunken manhole cover or something. I imagine it takes a bit of work to repair, but it's it's been this way for months, and it is a dangerous hazard. Good thing I don't have a car right now; maneuvering around it in a vehicle is a hassle.

Leash Your Damn Dog!

I think I aged about fifteen years in the past ten minutes. I took one of our dogs (Solly) out this morning so he could go to the bathroom, and so I could run to the corner store. I saw a certain neighbor with his two dogs a ways down the alley. Solly and I were not headed that way, and the neighbor and his dogs were a ways away, so I didn't think much of it. We get a ways further down the block and Solly stops to do his business. Out of nowhere, two larger dogs are suddenly on top of him, jumping around, growling, barking. One of the dogs backed away, maybe just wanted to be friendly, but the other one is on top of him, barking, trying to bite at his neck, I think. I ended up pulling them apart while screaming at everyone to back off, and then I yelled at the owner to control his damn dogs. He retorted that my dog attacked first, which makes little sense because my dog is on a leash, standing there, going to the bathroom. WTF?

On a related note, I plan on bursting in on my neighbors while they're on the toilet later today. Just want to make friends and get to know them. Apparently it's an OK thing to do.

(Yeah, I realize it's extremely unwise to pull two dogs apart. But the owner of the other dog was just standing there, and I reacted without taking time to think it through.)

Rogers Park(ing): An Update

As I mentioned before, we lost our parking space on August 1st. What did we end up doing?

Going carless!

On August 2nd, we drove my 2004 Saturn VUE up to Minneapolis and parked it at my father's house. This is a bit of a trial run; if it doesn't work out, we can always head up to Minneapolis and get the car back.

But, for now, at least, we're car-free. No parking, no problem. It's a nice feeling. So far, it's been fine. Kate has applied for i-Go, and is already finding the process frustrating.

I may sign up for i-Go or Zipcar myself, but for right now, I don't need it. Groceries can be delivered, and I can always take a cab home from Target.

We'll see if I still feel that way come December.

If this works out, I'm going to get rid of the car for good. I can always rent one if I ever need one. It'll be nice to be out from under the payment and insurance-- which I can't quite make happen yet, as the loan isn't paid off. Very soon, though.


Hey, welcome to the official relaunch of my blog. I have posted here sparsely, mostly because I had a half dozen blogs going all at once. Well, no more of that. I'm going to roll up a few of the other blogs I have and move them on over here, as tagged entries on

At some point, I may even tell you why I changed the name of this blog, and that that name means. Stay tuned.

Hertz, are you kidding me?

So, we traveled from Chicago to Minneapolis for a few days, to take care of some family business, and visit some friends. We're taking the train back down to Chicago, today. As we sit at the Amtrak station, waiting for the train to come in, I've been observing what goes on at the Hertz car rental desk here at the station. That's Hertz Local Edition, here at the Amtrak Station at 730 Transfer Road in St. Paul, Minnesota.

It seems like a good idea. Oh great, I thought to myself. Next time we come up here, we can just pick up a rental car at the station. I'm not the only one who has thought this would be a great idea; as I have sat here for the past hour, I have seen two people walk up and inquire along these lines.

Only to be told that one can only pick up a car between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm. Which is somewhat of a problem, because the only train from Chicago arrives at about 11:00 pm every evening.

So, here's the deal. There's a train station, where you can rent cars, but not when you actually arrive on the train station on a train. Does that strike anybody else as incredibly useless?

I overheard an employee say to one gentleman, "this isn't here for the train station. It's here for the neighborhood." Can you say "missed opportunities?" I knew you could!