"Upskirt Photo" or "Marilyn Moon-roe"

Recently, Chicago got a little flash of Hollywood.  On north Michigan Avenue, in a spot called "Pioneer Square", Seward Johnson's "Forever Marilyn" blew into town.  You would think a 27 foot woman would know better than to wear a dress like that in a place dubbed, "The Windy City".


On Tuesday at lunch, I walked up to see the statue and snap some pictures.

The funny thing is, I took a picture like this one with my cell phone, posted it to Facebook, and tried to tag that Sassy Carnival Girl, but failed.  But about 10 minutes after I posted it, she commented on the picture.  Spooky!


That's a "stiff" breeze!


You can see both London and France from here…


Wonder how long it will be before a graffiti artist decides he can't resist the temptation?


Baby got back!


  Marilyn, where are your hands?  Is that why you're smiling?


Back in 2009, Seward Johnson had another statue in the same plaza.  No one was trying to look up her skirt.

My review.  I get that it's derivative, and not original.  And by looking at Marilyn's feet, I can tell she's going to show some age pretty quick unless she's going to get her makeup done frequently.  With all that said, I like it.  It put a smile on my face, and it certainly had people talking.


When a problem comes along?


Sometime, you have to make the joke, even if you are making it for just one person.

FYI – I "borrowed" the base picture from THIS PAGE, where the guy will paint your dog for you. (There, if I'm given him a plug, it's totally okay, right?)

Here's the original:


Okay, fine, here's a link to Devo.


The Anniversary Weekend – Part 2

Ok, so were did I leave off? Oh, yeah, we dropped Wednesday off at a friend's house and came back downtown for our anniversary dinner. Before we going, we watched our wedding ceremony video, and then went to a neighborhood place called: The Bad Apple.


It's a neighborhood "gourmet burger" place. Chicago is starting to be known for these and gourmet hot dog stands. The most famous are Kuma's Corner and Hot Doug's. Cora and I got cleaned up (and boy does she clean up NICE), and walked to the Bad Apple. I had the "Margherita burger". Fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil pesto on rosemary focaccia bun. It was okay, but there was no real pesto flavor (and I love me some basil). The burger itself was good, but the pesto was so flavorless that it just left the mozzarella and the tomato for support, and they weren't up to the lifting. But I had them put Old Bay seasoning on the fries. Not the most common seasoning in the Midwest. But awesome on fries.

Cora had "The Earthly." A grilled portabella with truffled goat cheese, caramelized onion and spinach on the rosemary focaccia bun. Did she like it? She tried to recreate it at home. And we went back this last Saturday, and she had it again. I tried a bite, and it was GOOOOOD.

When we got home, we had some of our wedding cake. No, we didn't freeze the top layer. When we got our wedding cake, it was from the Safeway grocery store chain. So we just went to our local one, and picked up a cake. Then we danced to our "First Dance" song: Joe Satriani's "Always with me / Always with you".

The next morning (yes, the next morning) we got a text from Wednesday. Then another. Turns out that after we left, the stomach flu hit the girl she was visiting. So, instead of a relaxing morning lounging around on our actual anniversary, we hopped out of bed and got ready for the day. After getting back from the 'burbs the three of us hung out until about dusk. We then headed up to the roof to see the fireworks.


We have a great view of the neighborhoods and the nearby suburbs putting on their shows. It's really awesome. Granted, the pictures don't really do it justice, but they are kind of fun.

Fireworks-03 Fireworks-01
Fireworks-04 Fireworks-02

The 4th of July was a lot like the 3rd. We hung out. It was insanely hot. We played with some of those snap-n-pop things that explode when you throw them. We also had some of those party poppers. We had a lot of fun with those out back in the alley.

And once again, at night fall, we hit the roof for more fireworks. Cora took her tripod and got some great pictures, but I'll let her share them.

And with that, our first anniversary weekend was over. And with the breakdowns, and the stomach flu, and all of that, I wouldn't change a ding-darn-dang thing.


Happy Birthday, Cora!

Happy, happy birthday to my lovely, wonderful, smart, sexy, fan-tab-u-lous wife.

Cora, I love you very, very much.


The Anniversary Weekend – Part 1

I'm sorry to leave you hanging. I write about our upcoming anniversary, then write about a PDF editor, and then nothing. Zilch. Na-Da. Time flies. M' bad.


Friday Night – So Cora's old PC has been driving her bonkers since before she moved here. It's slow. Balky. Hard to reboot. Froze all the time. I knew what the problem was.

<RANT> Attention People @ HP & Best Buy: You should be buggy whipped for selling a Vista machine with 1 GB of RAM. Seriously. I know that TECHNICALLY that was within Microsoft's minimum specs, but you know better. Memory is cheap. Don't sell underpowered machines. </RANT>

At one gig of RAM, she had little memory left for the programs after the operating system took what it wanted.

While she's been using her new laptop for a while, our daughter has been using it, and Cora also used it for scanning and printing, so there was never a good time to take it in and get it upgraded. (Yes, I know I could probably do this myself, but I'm a software guy, not a hardware guy. I'm not cracking the case.)

Friday was the night to take it in.

Due to technical delays (we watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica), we made it to Microcenter around 8:00, and they close at 9:00. We waited and waited and waited in line, reading the sign that reads "Wait to bench 2-3 days." So, at 8:40, when we get up there, I'm a bit shocked that the guy says, "Yeah, we can do that today."

What? You understand that it's Friday? 20 minutes to close? On a holiday weekend? And you said that you would get it done? And they did.

And the machine runs tons better with the 3 GB of RAM. Seriously, if you're running Vista, load up as much RAM into the machine as it can use.

Saturday Afternoon – On Saturday, we had plans to drive out to the suburbs and ditching Wednesday dropping our wonderful daughter off at one of my college friend's. They have a daughter her age, and the girls have been looking forward to seeing each other. We head out there around 2:30. It's about 35 miles, and I knew traffic on I-90 was going to be ugly.

(Back story time: My car has been acting up a little since around Memorial Day weekend. I thought I'd gotten some bad gas. I'd only used about 1/2 a tank, yes, half a tank for the month of June. I'd taken it in to Car-X thinking it was the transmission, but it came back fine.)

We got to "The Junction" and decided that since traffic was at a standstill on I-90, we'd take I-94 north, and then head across on one of the big arterial roads. Just as we passed The Junction, the car started to shake, and the check engine light came on.Marathon

Deliberately and without panic, I crossed over 3 lanes of traffic going about 65, and pulled on to the surface streets. As we curled off the exit ramp, this is what we saw (stolen from Google Maps).

A Marathon station.

With two empty service bays.

With the mechanics just sitting around trying not to burst into flames from the heat.

They plugged the car in and the computer told the tale: "Misfire on cylinder 3". So, I needed an emergency tune up, with new plugs and new wiring, etc.

At 3:00 on Saturday on a holiday weekend.

Certainly, we'd used up all our luck the night before on the computer upgrade, right?

Nope! While we walked down the block to a Dunkin Donuts / Baskin Robbins, the mechanic got the parts. While we ate some wonderful ice cream in a nice air conditioned store, they worked on a hot engine. While I took a quick nap, my wife took my picture. (Notice, she's working on a blog post, too!)

At 4:50, I headed back, refreshed, as they were closing up the hood. While I could find another use for the $370 that it cost me, I really don't think I was ripped off too badly, and best of all, we were on the road! We completed the drop-off, and headed back to the city for our anniversary date.

And that's when things got interesting.


Caught In-a-fix

[Editor's Note: This is not sponsored post. However, I am hoping to get a little something out of it, which I will fully disclose at the end of the post.]

Recently, I've found myself in need of a PDF editor at home. While I have Adobe at work, I really didn't need shell out that kind of cash just to redact a few bank statements. So, I surfed around and found a couple of free PDF Editors out on the web.

And they sucked.

Hard to use. And most really didn't have many features. They were little more that programs to convert documents into PDFs. I wanted a true PDF editor.

Finally, on CNET.com, I ran across the Infix PDF Editor. It really helped with the redacting out of the account numbers on the credit card statements, and with merging multiple single page docs into one multipage document. Pretty easy to use, and the price was right: FREE. (There are other features, but those were the ones I needed.)

However, when you save a document this is the pop-up:

I wasn't too concerned about INfix adding their watermark to the lower right hand corner of each page. After all, it was a small price to pay for no price to pay, right? But then I clicked on the link to find out how to get a full license for free. If I could ditch the watermark, that would be cool, too.


The basic rule to get the free license is to post a review on a public website. Figure this blog should count. In their words:

  1. the web site has to be public - somewhere anyone can get to from a search engine. Creating a dummy, empty web site just for a mini-review is no good, it has to be part of a real site.
  2. The description has to be useful! Something like "I use Infix because it's good" is not helpful to anyone and we wouldn't give you a license for that! Please give a worthwhile account of why other people should try Infix.

So, my final views of INfix are:

  1. The free version isn't Adobe Professional, but that's not a fare comparison. It's a great product for someone who needs basic at home PDF EDITING, not simply CREATING a PDF from a Word document.
  2. My immediate need for this kind of product is over, at least for now. I've already redacted and filed what I needed to redact and file. Yet, I'm writing a review to get the license. Why? Because I don't plan on uninstalling this product. It seemed pretty handy when I needed it, and it will be interesting to see how I will use it in the future.


I Think This Was A Hint…


Do you suppose this is "wife" for "fold this, ya doofus!"

(Actually, while we might not be technically "newlyweds" any more, the honeymoon is far from over. And we both folded some of the laundry.)


1 vs. 600 – a.ka. Love Letter To Cora


[Editor's note: By at least one count, this is my 600th blog post (another has it at 594). It's also my 1 year wedding anniversary. So, without further ado…]


Dear Cora;

I love you.

You saved my life. Before we met, I was lost, and had given up on meeting "the one". And then you came along.

I can't believe it's been an entire year since we got married. Sometimes it seems like we've been together forever and other times, it seems like only yesterday (in the "good" way). But I do know one thing: A life time isn't going to be long enough, so I'm going to cherish every single day.

I miss you after we kiss goodbye in the morning, and look forward to seeing you every day when I come home. You have filled my empty condo with love (and Harry Potter collectables). It feels so natural being a husband and father that I almost can't remember what it felt like to not have you and our daughter around. The three of us do make a fabulous family.

A short list of things I love about you. This list is not supposed to be inclusive or in any particular order. But I hope you see that I love everything about you.

  • I love going grocery shopping with you. Since "Wednesday" doesn't like to come along, it's our special time together.
  • I love your joy of discovering new things. From Merkt's Swiss and Almond cheese spread to you seeing your first firefly. Your joy is infectious.
  • I love holding your hand. It's something we do a lot. Tons. And I get a tingle every time my hand touches yours.
  • I love your butt. There! I said it.
  • I love your spirit. You're smart and fun and sexy and funny and bring joy and humor to life.
  • I love being a family man. I never really thought about having children. Figured it wouldn't be in the cards. Now I can't imagine not having a better one than Wednesday. She is such an absolute joy. I love you for making me a husband and a father. That's all you.

The traditional gift for a first anniversary is "paper". The modern gift is "clocks".

So, here is part of your gift, a ticket, back in time:


Our wedding, part #1

Our wedding, part #2

Our wedding, part #3

I didn't think I could ever be happier than I was at that moment. But the truth is, you make me happier each and every day.

So, on this, our first anniversary as a family, I just want to tell you something that I tell you probably 5 times a day, and doesn't feel like enough:


I love you with all my heart. You're my wife, my girlfriend, and my best friend all rolled into one.

Yours forever;