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The new Blue Line isn’t at a hockey game!

blulieHi and good morning to you! It’s cold out there folksies. I mean like 18-degrees sans wind chill, with around 2-inches of snow due by Sunday; then a high in the 20s on Monday for the Bears hosting the CowGals. A bit more on that later but mostly, Monday.

We have reached the 340th day of 2013 which leaves us with 25 for this Anno Domini and a mere 18-shopping days left before Christmas…which includes Christmas Eve. But hey! After stores being open on Thanksgiving, perhaps our merchants will open “early” for those “after-Christmas” bargains! Why not buy them right after opening presents on Christmas Day, right?

I’m going to do my best to keep this light ‘n’ airy on this FGF but there are some seriosity things which have gone on and will over the weekend, so mea culpa.



1492,   Chris Columbus arrived at Santo Domingo in search of gold. See? Even then, the Christmas Season was beset by materialistic motives.

1862,   Honest Abe Lincoln ordered the hanging of 39-members of the 303 Souix Un dians who participated in The Great Sioux

Uprising on December 26th. Looks like they missed all those after-Christmas bargains.

1886,   Joyce Kilmer was born. This should man less than nothing to all but Twackers Bill and Tom, who should recall and have a mental picture of Sister Mary Thomas’ “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer”.

1877,   Thomas Edison made the first sound recording by reciting “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, which paved the way for “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas”, among others.

1920,   The man who brought jazz to many a youngin’ in the late-’50s with “Take Five”, Dave Brubeck, was born.

1922,   Benito Mussolini threatened Italian newspapers with censorship if they kept reporting “false” stories. Keep moving. Keep moving. Nothing going on here, folks. Keep moving.

1969,   During a free Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in Oakland, Ca., the Hells Angels beat a concert-goer, Meredith Hunter, to death, while the Stones played…of all things…”Sympathy For the Devil”.

TOMORROW, December 7th, is the 72nd anniversary of the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.


-Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95, yesterday. Am not going to get into much, as what he did is well-known and should be respected by all.

I do have a semi-personal recollection which is tangential to his struggles. In the late-’60s, there a movement which said the descendants of European whites should all leave South Africa. It sounded good then. After all, it WAS the late-’60s. I was in college and happened to have a prof who was from S. A. Not surprisingly, he had bit of a different take. One class-session, he posited that if that should happen, then all those who were descendants of European whites in the U.S. should follow-suit, as our treatments of the indigenous folks here, wasn’t much better than that in S.A.. There was an abrupt change in the classroom’s atmosphere.


-Non-ChiTowners may have no idea what this is, unless they happened to have landed at O’Hare and taken it Downtown.

The – nearly – $500-million upgrade begins next year. Can say this. When the line was extended to Jefferson Park on da et’nic nort’wes’ side, there was a sign at Montrose Avenue Station which read: “18-minutes to Downtown”. Maybe then…not now. The reason being in those 40odd years, the older tracks – which will be replaced – caused too many “slow zones”, which made for a trip nearly double that time. Which is what makes this a good thing, though there will be inconveniences over the next, 4-years. It’s going to take that long as they can’t shut it own as there are no parallel train lines they could use.


-Earlier this week , yerztruly discovered a second “speed- camera” on Foster Avenue on the North Side. It is on the east side of the bridge over the canal @ Virginia Avenue. Just like Barney Fife, sitting at the bottom of a hill in Mayberry, y’all cain’t see it till ya get there…and it’s tot late, as it’ll take a candid shot of you and yer vee-hickle. Smile!


-The S-T’s Neilk Steinberg had an interesting column on the “Big Red A”, which was erected at Daley Plaza extolling the atheistic view, alongside the City Christmas Tree; the Creche and a Menora which he describes as: “…the sort the Germans would have at the Nuremberg rallies if, you know, they went in for that kind of thing…”. Fine. He indicates that he is an agnostic, which moi shares – a bit – with him. I found this passage quite interesting: “I like Christmas. Carols. Lights. It isn’t my faith, true, but then Scarlett Johansson isn’t my wife either, yet I don’t mind seeing her.”

He goes on to differentiate between what he sees  as celebration and castigation, which I will leave to you to accept…or not.

-Y’all may have noticed moi’s lack – or less of – a campaign against those who claim there is a “War” on Christmas. That’s pretty much that FAUX News has made that its own and if there’s anything with which I do NOT wish to be identified, it is they.

The other is, most of this lack of “Christ” in Christmas comes from commercialism. Yes, some school districts have, “Winter” celebrations, as after all, what else is more fun to celebrate when it’s bone-chilling cold outside than the fact that it’s bone-chilling cold outside, right?

However, the “Christmas” commercials which are seemingly unending, are as big a culprit as any.

Sorry. Not FEEL-GOOD.


-This one’s a poser and sorry, not so Feel-God. There’s a strike going on by fast-food workers around the country for an increase in the minimum-wage to $15.00/hour.

Here’s the thing. Those jobs used to be filled by high school or even some college kids; were never meant to be “careers”, per se.

Rather, they were transitional jobs which took those students through school, to their eventual real “careers”. Much the same as grocery store workers, of which moi was one. Nowadays, not so. Next time you enter a food store, take a look around and se how many younger kids are there. Not many and it’s quite the same at your area’s Mickey D’s”.

In our day, our bosses knew that we’d only be there a few years…if that…and then we’d move along. Of course, in “our day” jobs were much more plentiful; unskilled labor could still make a living wage…not Romenyeseque but enough to get by. Not now.

With manufacturing jobs dwindling as they continue to be out-sourced, fewer and fewer of those jobs will be available.

Sorry. This is almost Debbie-Downer stuff. I’ll stop.

                                                             DUCK SEASON



-Christmas shows abound and combined with the end of the November Sweeps, very few regularly scheduled shows are on.

However, “The Big Bang” was and last night’s was pretty good. Even its lesser offerings still have a couple good chuckles in them.

-”Modern Family”. This week’s was OK but it just isn’t what it was. Thoughh I must say that Phil’s “showing” ata house had me pretty-much “crying in my pants”.

-”The Crazy Ones”. WE’re giving it another chance as Brad Garrett seems to have become a regular cast member. We’ll see how much he contributes.

-”Made it, Ma!” Top of the World!”

Turner Classic Movies has been running real and for true, classics. The other night, as you probably guessed, they showed “White Heat”…last night, “The Defiant Ones”, with Tony Curtis and Sydney Poitier was on the bill. Have had to clear a whole buncha space on our DVR as these are great films.


-”Out of the Furnace” got 4-stars from Richard Roeper, today. We’ve seen the previews several times at the show and on TV. It looks like a good one…nasty, cold, harsh and stark…but a good one, nonetheless. Casey Affleck, Christian Bale, Forret Whittaker, Willem Dafoe and Woody Harrelson should pique any filmgoer’s interest.



-I have convinced moi’s self that moi is a jinx…a Jonah…an albatross around theneck of anyone who is a Hawks fan. No?

OK, the other day, moi said that despite losing the night before, they were, “…as hot as Sophia Vergara in a string bikini…”.

Then, last night, I tune in and they’re down 1-0; flip back later and it’s 3-2, Hakws; flip back; 1:58 left, it’s 3-3 and Monnehaha scored the – eventual – winning goal.


-Now, all y’all may be askin’ hgow can there be a Feel-Good about them? Well, much like a hog rotting for food in the winter, we must dig deep but there is…though as usual, it’s off-filed.

I was announced that the replacement, color-guy for their radiuo broadcasts had been narrowed won to some guy from Indiana and CSN Pre and Post game; former Doyer Rookie of the Year; member of the Florida Marlins during that fateful NLCS of 2003;

Todd Hollandsworth.

Canya tell I’m hoping for Holly? He has that ability to give a former players perspective while maintaining a sense opf professionalism. He has taken them down when they’ve deserved it but without being personal or in a rant.

Now, all they need do is put a team on the filed which will generate enough fan-inter5est that they’ll switch over to WGN to actually listen to their games.

-Rick Renteria, their new manager was intro’d to the press, yesterday. Next to no coverage. See?

I hope he can engender some professionalism to the team. He has my best-wishes but I don’t think he’s ready for ChiTime. No one is. The good thing is, he’s already completely grey-haired, so his hair won’t give anything away.

-Theo was on CSN SportsTalk, the other night for about a half-hour. He talked a lot but didn’t say much. He still thinks they’re on the right track. OK, fine.

I was disappointed inasmuch as their “crawl” showed: “How soon can fans expect to see prospects?”, it was not asked. Oh well.


-I am the first to admit that I am NOT a Sox fan. The best way I’ve been able to explain this is to me, they may as well be the Cleveland Indians. I have no personal animus towards them…I just don’t care.

That said, the bringing back of Paulie seems to be a class thing to have done with a  classy guy. Yes, I’ve already heard some Sox fans carping about his taking up a roster-spot but really…he can’t be their 25th man?

This is the guy who hit the most-clutch hit in the history of the White Sox and T-Bill saw it. I’ll let him relate it if he wants.

Realistically speaking, don’t know if they have a chance of catching the Tiggers but he shouldn’t hurt the Sox. Enjoy, Arnold, Bill and Nick.


-Whiskey! Tango! Foxtrot!

DaBulls beat the Heat? By 20? Without Rose? Didn’t watch, as pretty much fi9gured the score woulda been reversed. OK, guys. Keep it up.

-Derrick Rose, please shut up. In his news conference, which was mandated by the League, he said a lot of nothing; them said he’d be back for the playoffs.

Y’know, when I sub, I tell tyhose kids there are two kinds of mistakes: real and stupid.


Real mistakes are those we commit as we are human, thus born to failure…erasers on pencils being the exemplar.
The stupid are those which we’ve committed before and then repeat.
Fade-in to The Poodle, who after the team said he was shut down for the season, said he’d play if they made the playoffs. We just saw that one, didn’t we? Why re-open and revisit that ridiculousness from the end of last season and the ensuing lack of his appearing in the playoffs?
Yes, the NBA requires injured players to be subject to these pressers within two-weeks of their injury. Fine.
Yes, the kid probably had someone else take his tests at Simeon just as he did at Memphis. In other words, whatever he is on the round-ball floor, he’s the polar opposite in the schmarts-department. Still, what a dummass!
-Cutler isn’t playing, Monday; neither is Briggs. Neither the Bears nor Cowboys can play defense…the Cowboys less than the Bears. They’ve given up over 5,000-yards of offense in 12-games…an average of 416+/game…or, 2.84 miles thus far this season…or, the distance from Madison Street to North Berteau Avenue, where DaWat’s Nest sets.
Oh yeah, the idjits on Park Avenue at the Commune or in Connect-the-Cut, seemed to think playing a night game…in Chicago…in
December…was a good idea. The forecast high…read that, daytime…is 25. Any bets on what it’ll be at 7:30 PM at night?
I have previously mentioned that I attended one of those during the Favre era. I’m STILL shivering. Dumbest dang thing they could do.
-A-Aron’s out. Their game was flexed out of Sunday’s night game as both they and the FalCoons have been abysmal with all their injuries and all-around poor play. Both have had significant injuries but neither have distinguished themselves despite them just the same. Houston fired its coach, yesterday, pretty much under the same circumstances.
The Pack’s problems, though significantly worse with the loss of Rodgers, do not issue from that alone. Even with him, their defense hasn’t been much. Yes, they lost Matthews, Jr. for awhile but still, that doesn’t explain d-backs being out of position on 3rd and longs. And those “Dom Capers blitzes” commentators keep talking about him “dialing up”, aren’t surprising teams like they used to…AND they still can’t rush the passer. Oh well.
-Somewhere, LuveeKravezit’s smiling.
I mentioned that Houston fired its coach, Gary Kubiak. They also said they’re interested in, you got it, LuveeKravezit. Good for him and them. Though I’d prefer that the McCaskeys would have to continue to pay him for the rest of his contract. Oh well.
That’s about it. I know. This isn’t really FEEL-GOOD stuff but when the teams are pretty bad, it’s hard to make silk purses out of the sow’s ears that they are.
Have a great weekend. Remember, anytime we can look down at a rosebush instead of up at its roots, it’s a good one.
Have a great weekend,

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