Thursday, May 31, 2007
I hope to return to Chicago to catch another show sometime. There are at least three large theaters like the Oriental (A.K.A. Ford Center for The Performing Ats) including Cadilliac's Palace Theater (currently showing Oprah's musical rendition of "The Color Purple") and the Chicago Theater (which recently hosted auditions for the popular Fox reality show "So You Think You Can Dance.") There are also several smaller theaters (such as the Goodman theater) featuring some popular off broadway and comedy selections. Some of the nicest restraunts in Chicago can be found in the theater district as well.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I spent only two days there but that was all it took for The Windy City to become my favorite metropolis. Chicago has now surpassed Seattle (and before it Minneapolis) to claim the top spot. This is based on mostly intangible factors but revolves around criteria such as available commercial flights, ease of egress to downtown from an airport, public transportation available, businesses located there, sports franchises - arts - entertainment options available, and the overall pulse of a town generated by it's people, vehicles & architecture.
Chicago's downtown can be accessed by train from both O'Hare and Midway airports. The architecture there is quite astounding with engineering marvels such as the Sears and Hancock towers merely crowning the cities classic ornate structures. The Chicago river adds diversity to the landscape and the people there are generally attractive. Hard to find was the slack dressed yokel or the rap star wannabe overtaken by business attire or at least, jeans and collared shirts. It was a refreshing break from the wear anything atmosphere of Los Angeles and Houston.
I grew up a Cubs fan, and though my allegiance has changed somewhat in my old age, it was thrilling to be back in a town with two baseball teams (one of which with the greatest home field in MLB) and almost any other form of professional sport. Matching this athletic pedigree is a home for the arts, particularly the performing arts with more top notch theaters of varying sizes than any town outside of New York. In fact the opportunity to take in a musical is what drew me here. The next time I want to see a broadway production, I'll wait to see it in Chicago rather than battle Manhattan.
Things cost little more in Chicago than in some other cities but not unbearably so. The higher costs were offset by the reasonable public transportation fees. $9 bought me unlimited use of all El-Trains, Subways and buses for 48 hours (this was a visitors fee, though I don't know how they distinguish between the tourist and the commuter.) This flexibility allowed me to see nearly everything I wanted to see without the cost of renting a car and the stress of dealing with it in a city.
Yes I highly recommend a visit to Chicago. In future visits I'd like to take an architecture tour from a boat on the river, visit the top of the Hancock tower, get out to the lake shore and take in a game at Wrigley. I'll only have scratched the surface at that point too. I hope to be back in Chicago soon.
Monday, May 14, 2007
This I beheld or dreamed it in a dream,
There rose a cloud of dust along a plain.
And underneath that cloud or in it raged
A furious battle where men yelled,
And sword shocked upon sword and shield.
A prince's banner wavered,
Then staggered backwards hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battles edge and said,
"Had I a blade of keener steel,
That blue blade that the king's son bares;
...but this blunt thing."
And snapped and flung it from his hand
And lowering, crept away and left the battle field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore, bested and weaponless,
And saw the broken sword hilt buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it up, and with battle shout lifted afresh
And hewed his enemy down, and saved a great cause that heroic day.
-Edward R. Sill
Monday, May 07, 2007
Withing the basic categories are 10 subgroups that better define a persons usage. I took the Pew Group's online survey to see how I fit into their study. Here are my results:
Wondering where you fit into the technological landscape? You can take the typology quiz too. Looking for more info? Check out this Fox News report on the study that I drew on when writing this blog post.
Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Omnivores typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic.
Omnivores make up 8% of the American public.
Members of this group use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones. Omnivores are highly engaged with video online and digital content. Between blogging, maintaining their Web pages, remixing digital content, or posting their creations to their websites, they are creative participants in cyberspace.
You might see them watching video on an iPod. They might talk about their video games or their participation in virtual worlds the way their parents talked about their favorite TV episode a generation ago. Much of this chatter will take place via instant messages, texting on a cell phone, or on personal blogs. Omnivores are particularly active in dealing with video content. Most have video or digital cameras, and most have tried watching TV on a non-television device, such as a laptop or a cell phone.
Omnivores embrace all this connectivity, feeling confident in how they manage information and their many devices. This puts information technology at the center of how they express themselves, do their jobs, and connect to their friends.
Who They Are
They are young, ethnically diverse, and mostly male (70%). The median age is 28; just more than half of them are under age 30, versus one in five in the general population. Over half are white (64%) and 11% are black (compared to 12% in the general population). English-speaking Hispanics make up 18% of this group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many (42% versus the 13% average) of Omnivores are students.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
From: 1801949676*Arrgh! Misinformation is so easy to spread these days. I started thinking back to the first time I remember an effort to mount a "gas out" or "gas boycott" and I sure didn't remember one in 1997. I graduated high school in 1995, and remember gas going over $1 per gallon for the first time (in Utah) in the spring of 1996. I remember this particularly because I was driving myself to school at Weber State, listening to the news about Bob Dole not running for Senator at the same time as his Presidential run and thinking to myself "gas will never go back under the $1 mark again."
Fwd:FWD: DONT Buy gas on the 15h. If nobody buys, the gas company loses 2 billion & the next day they will drop the price 35c. It worked in 1997! Pass it on.
Anyway, there was no uproar about a "gas out" at that time and in fact, I first remembered one in 2000 while I was in Phoenix and I certainly didn't see any drop in prices after that. So I did a little research and learned that the first "gas out" was in 1999 and didn't effect gas prices at all. In fact, this is probably my biggest complaint about this message - Gas Out's don't hurt the gas companies bottom line! If you don't buy gas Tuesday the 15th you will buy it eventually and to the gas companies the average profit is the same.
That said, I usually do support "Gas Out's" based on the belief that it seems to be a good way to make local gas purveyors and to a lesser degree the larger gas companies take note that we're not happy about the trend. This however is a minor effect since only the money will cause change in status quo. Check this quote out from About.com's David Emery, the urban legend specialist:
A meaningful boycott would entail participants actually consuming less fuel -- and doing so in a sustained, disciplined fashion over a period of time -- not just choosing to wait a day or two before filling up as usual.You'll want to read the entire article from David Emery on About.com. He points another bit of false info that raised my eybrow: The average sales of gasoline across the entire U.S. is under $1 billion per day. How then will the gas companies lose $2 billion if we "gas out" for one day?
I too deplore high gas prices. I am at a point that travel and even business and school will be limited if prices remain this high. I believe however that misinformation will not help the masses make change. I think we need to be drilling in ANWR & the Gulf of Mexico. I think we need more refineries in the U.S. I think we should be converting oil shale in Southern Utah (and elsewhere) into petroleum. I would love it if I could have a vehicle with the same power and ability as the one I have now, and use either less energy or an alternative energy source. (Note however that I don't believe manufacturers should be mandated by statue to do so.)
So "Gas Out" if you want to, I may even be there myself, but don't send me another text message when gas costs the same on the 16th as it did on the 14th.