Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mother Nature is bipolar

It went from being dangerously cold to snowy to icy to warm to fog to flooding, all in a matter of days. Chicago's weather... never a dull moment.

Um, that's for the birds

Taken 12/26/08 in Michigan City, IN.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy holidays!

Happy holiays

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Clouds swallowing the Sears Tower

Clouds swallow the Sears Tower

Taken 12/23/08 from the Clinton Green/Pink Line platform.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dude. It's bad.

The Kennedy while snowing

This is what the Kennedy Expressway looks like in the snow.

When I went out for lunch, it was lightly snowing. It was a serene snow, peaceful, light and quiet.

When I left work for the night, it was a horrible driving snow that stung my face.

Why is it that, no matter which direction I walk down on my wind tunnel of a street, that the snow is always blowing in my face? It never fails.

The stairs down to the Lake Red Line station were horribly slick. The platform was almost as full as the Addison stop after a Cubs game. Two trains had to arrive before I could finally get on one. Luckily the train ran normally on my way home.

All I could think about was when I commuted to Schaumburg every day. If I worked out there today I probably wouldn't be home yet.

Athletes in the news for a good reason

I heard this story a week or so ago, about the Chicago Blackhawks going to Dale Tallon's father's wake. I wasn't sure it was true until yesterday. It is nice to hear about professional athletes doing something nice instead of being in the news for doing something stupid or illegal. You can see interviews with a couple of players here.

I haven't been to Harvey's in years. It's one of the things I miss about going to Canada regularly.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My train man

Left right

I have a favorite CTA train conductor.

When I worked at my old job, I used to be on his train in the morning more often than not. He is one of the conductors who still talks over the intercom, even when it's not informing the passengers of a delay. He says things like, "Have a nice day," and "God bless you," and stuff like that. It was a nice way to start the morning. Occasionally I would be on his train other times, but usually it was during the morning rush.

Now that I have a new job, I hardly ever hear him. I leave earlier in the morning than I used to, so I'm never on his train. I leave work later, so I'm not on his train on the way home either.

On Thursday afternoon I left work early because I was sick. I got on the train, and imagine my delight when I heard the voice of my favorite conductor! It was the silver lining to my feeling like crap. As horrible as I felt, I was happy to hear my favorite conductor.

After we came out of the subway, at either Fullerton or Belmont, he told the passengers who were leaving the train, "Don't catch pneumonia!" If you don't remember, it was rather cold on Thursday. It made me smile, since I was on that train because I was sick. It was as if he was talking to me, except that I wasn't getting off the train yet.

A few stops later the train stopped. There was an equipment problem, and automated voice told me that the operator was off the train. I had seen the driver exit the train, as I was in the front car. As we sat there waiting it dawned on me -- The train operator I saw get off the train was my favorite conductor! And then I realized that, after hearing his voice for at least a couple of years, I had never seen what he looked like.

In a few minutes he got back on the train, and away we went. When we got to my stop I knew he would have the window open, checking to make sure everyone was on the train before closing the doors. Since I was in the front car I knew I would be able to see him. I thought about telling him that he was my favorite conductor. When I got off the train, I saw he was shaking the hands of people who just got off the train. I didn't tell him he was my favorite conductor, but I did shake his hand. It made my day.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

New Year's Day