Friday, June 22, 2007


Has anyone been to lately? What the hell is going on over there?

When I first moved back to Chicago, I would check it out all the time to try and find cool blog sites, and to get a feel for the city. The site was modeled after other metro blogging sites, like NYC and DC (I used the DC site all the time when I lived there). Now the site is pretty tired and lame.

Granted, I realize the folks who run it (Matt and Nikolai) do it voluntarily. But the site's been looking the same for months now -- I'm a little tired of seeing "Jeff Woelker's Chicago Usability and Web Design Blog" (no offense Jeff, your site is lovely) and "A Deaf Mom Shares Her World" in the "most recently added" column.

And don't even get me started on the blog links on the right side of the page - so many of them are dinosaurs that don't even exist or haven't been updated in years.

I should probably donate some money to the site to get them motivated to clean it up and make it cool again.

Chicago's a great blogging town, and I think the flagship site should reflect that.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Traffic Tax In Chicago

Yesterday 14th Ward Alderman Edward Burke proposed that the city investigate a tax for all drivers into downtown Chicago, similar to London's tax (apparently NYC is also considering it).

I'll assume that the reason he's suggesting it is to: raise some money for the CTA (this would be a good thing), get people to consider other means of coming into the city, other than the single car driver coming in from the far reaches of the city and burbs (this too would be a good thing), and perhaps slow air pollution (also a good thing).

This idea is just never going to fly. If we already had a better public transport system -- a system in which it would actually be feasible for most people to come into the city by bus or train -- then maybe putting a tax on those who don't use it would be good and fair.

How about we give tax breaks to those of us who choose to walk, ride a bike, or take a bus into the city already? I'm a much bigger fan of that. But then, I believe an idea like that would never cross the mind of a city official, since about 99% of them drive a car to get anywhere.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Wieners Circle

In Chicago, at 2622 N. Clark Street, you will find The Wieners Circle. They are known as a spot to get some late-night/post-bar, Chicago-style dogs, but they are also known for the verbally abusive staff. Now, there are other restaurants, like Ed Debevic's, who specialize in some witty, playful surliness, but the African American gals at the Wieners Circle are downright brutal. I read one guy's blog while searching for pictures who said it's not uncommon to hear, "Can I help the next c@#K-sucker in line?" They should offer a promotion, like, "If we don't call you a c@#k-sucker, your dog is on us!"

I have a buddy who knew nothing of the shtick, so you could imagine his surprise when he was greeted at the counter with a, "What you want, little-dick man?" The insults continued to the point where he slammed his hot dog down and stormed out. His reaction was no doubt mostly due to the fact that he didn't know this is how these women act towards everyone, but perhaps he really is a "little-dick-man."

I've heard that it's customary to give it back to these ladies a little bit, like, "Bitch, shut your mouth, and go get me a damn dog before I slap the taste out your mouth!" I am not daring enough to try that, because with my luck I'd say something like that, I'd hear a record scratch, and guys who look like the starting defense for the Chicago Bears would come out from behind the counter and beat me and pour hot grease down my shirt.

If you ever have the pleasure of visiting the Wieners Circle, don't order a chocolate milk shake. That is, unless you WANT to pay an extra ten bucks to see an overweight lady lift up her shirt and shake her bare, floppy, as Frank Zappa would call them, mammalian protuberences, in your face. I've posted a video of a chocolate milk shake, so watch at your own risk, and thank your lucky stars that it was dark out and the window is dirty.

Well, their milk shakes bring all the boys to the yard, so next time you're in Chicago, be sure to get thoroughly schnockered at the bar, and swing by the Wiener Circle for a dog and some abuse of the verbal and titty varieties.

And now . . . The chocolate milk shake:

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Chicago Grooves.

Sorry about the lack of posting on the Liar's Club... we all should be beaten. Well, minus me since I am posting here.

Last night I went out to Schuba's to check out three local bands. All three are heavy in the groove and bass sounds... but all three are very rooted in the indie rock scene. Jai-Alai Savant sounds kind of go all over the place... but bring influences of funk, reggae, and electronic dub. They easily get the crowd moving. The Eternals keeps it simple with bass, drums, horn, and vocals... reminds me of an indie-rock Sly & Robbie. Way fun. Kind of nerdy but good (white people can dance to it). And Watchers meld the sounds of the Talking Heads, Radio 4, and Gang of Four... indie rock with heavy funk/groove percussion. The percussion makes the band. Their singer grabs his crotch a little too much... but I am sure he like it.
I highly recommend checking all of them out... way fun.