Welcome to my world! I always thought it would be fun to be the ruler of my own place, and now I can be! I see it as an island within a big city full of life, culture and lots of laughter. Consider yourself a citizen.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Path of Least Resistance

It is human nature to find the easy way to do something. Actually it is NATURE that makes us find the easy way to do something. It is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it does indeed make things easier. Perhaps the one finding the easy button is an innovator in their thinking to solve a problem. And of course often times laziness comes into play.

But then I thought of the Grand Canyon and that little rivulet of water and how it was just trying to go with the flow, gowing towards lower ground. Look what nature did when it took the path of least resistance.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Boldt Castle

Up in the 1,000 Islands of New York, nestled in the St. Lawrence River, is a castle built but never lived in. It was built out of love for a young wife who died before it was complete. The castle was later completed but never occupied.

This is the stained glass domed ceiling in the main entry staircase.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rethinking the shopping bag

Monday, September 25, 2006

A new triumverate!

Dweeby Von Ass Hat
Bung Nugget McTurd Bottom

Thanks Ze!

Friday, September 22, 2006


Paula Scher spoke last night here in Chicago. I have seen her speak many times before, but once again I came away knowing more about her, her work, and on being a designer.

It reminded me of this short from Hillman Curtis I thought I would share.

Paula Scher

Monday, September 18, 2006


Purchased at the MCA.

It is a balancing bamboo dragonfly. It serves no purpose other than it makes me smile.

And right now it is sitting atop the handle of a metal stamp, standing in an empty wooden spool.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Paw Paw

Learn something new every day! Tonight I learned about paw paw. It is a fruit.

It is also called a Poor Man's Banana and Hoosier Banana. In Australia the tropical papaya, Carica papaya, is also known as Pawpaw.

The pawpaw is native to the temperate woodlands of the eastern U.S. The American Indian is credited with spreading the pawpaw across the eastern U.S. to eastern Kansas and Texas, and from the Great Lakes almost to the Gulf. Fossils prove the pawpaw is indigenous to the U.S.

The pawpaw is the largest edible fruit native to America. Individual fruits weigh 5 to 16 ounces and are 3 to 6 inches in length. The larger sizes will appear plump, similar to the mango. The fruit usually has 10 to 14 seeds in two rows. The brownish to blackish seeds are shaped like lima beans, with a length of 1/2 to 1-1/2 inches. Pawpaw fruits often occur as clusters of up to nine individual fruits. The ripe fruit is soft and thin skinned.

And now you know!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I really love my city!

I love telling people how to get around the city. That the lake is east. How to navigate with public transportation. Telling them how to get to Buckingham Fountain, a must see for all visitors, especially during the season. Telling them where the nearest Starbucks is. That would be nearly every other corner downtown!

And of course sharing it all with friends and being able to be a tourist with them in my own backyard!

Welcome to Chicago Willie! This post's for you!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I got nothing today. So here is the bottom of my stapler. Or is it an ad for Swingline?


Monday, September 11, 2006

30 Days

Would you live a life off the grid? As a Muslim American? Be a binge drinker? Try to find the fountain of youth through steroids? Live on minimum wage? Be a Christian living the life of a gay man? Morgan Spurlock himself even goes to jail for 30 days.

Spurlock, star, director, creator of Supersize Me, explores all these situations and more on his FX Cable series 30 Days. He finds someone willing to trade their life in for 30 days of exploring what it would be like living another life or in another condition.

It is on its second season on FX and I just finished watching the first season. It is actually really well done documentary film making.

A lot can happen in 30 days. What would you do?

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Amazing Reversaball!

Or at least that is what I think they are called. I cannot find them anywhere online. I saw them at the Flea Market in Syracuse.

They are simply, but literally, a twist on an ordinary ball. It starts as one color, then when you toss it, it turns inside out and ends up the other color.

They are really cool!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Great Cheese Comes From Happy Cows

Janice and Diane, just two of the Happy Cows from California

It aint great advertising, but everytime I hear the line "Great Cheese Comes From Happy Cows" I smile!

Great advertising is born from a truth. And although it may be hard to believe happier cows would make better cheese (where does that leave sour cream?) it isn't that far a stretch as happy people will do better work, so why the hell not cows!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lemming suicide. Fact or fiction?

Everyone has heard about lemmings, and how they jump off cliffs in a mass suicide. Even a local radio station is using the "fact" as an ad campaign to not be a lemming, or a follower. So it got me a searching for the truth. And believe it or not, Disney is behind much of the myth!

During the filming of the 1958 Disney nature documentary White Wilderness, the film crew induced lemmings into jumping off a cliff and into the sea in order to document their supposedly suicidal behavior.

Contrary to popular belief, lemmings do not periodically hurl themselves off of cliffs and into the sea. Cyclical explosions in population do occasionally induce lemmings to attempt to migrate to areas of lesser population density. When such a migration occurs, some lemmings die by falling over cliffs or drowning in lakes or rivers. These deaths are not deliberate "suicide" attempts, however, but accidental deaths resulting from the lemmings' venturing into unfamiliar territories and being crowded and pushed over dangerous ledges. In fact, when the competition for food, space, or mates becomes too intense, lemmings are much more likely to kill each other than to kill themselves.

And now you know.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Nothing more American like license plates

Lady Liberty
License Plates and Acrylic on Aluminum
55" x 40"

Wavy Flag on Steel
License Plates and Acrylic on Steel
50" x 35"

Michael Kalish owes his art career to a South Dakota license plate and a fascination with the fundamental principles of America. After spending most of his life on the baseball field, Kalish was uncertain about what life after college had in store. "I was driving around one day and saw this car with a South Dakota tag. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen and I found myself obsessed with the thought of collecting license plates from all over the country and turning them into art." Allowing his creativity to take over, Kalish began collecting tags and experimenting with ways to fuse them together to form a sculptural flag of the United States, his first piece.

Kalish's passion led him to New York where he worked to create a pop icon collection featuring sculptures of The Beatles, Jim Hendrix, Albert Einstein, Uncle Sam, Jim Morrison and David Letterman. As well, he has expanded his American anthology with The Statue of Liberty, The Cowboy, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and of course, The Baseball Series.

His work has been showcased in galleries nationwide and included in the private collections of celebrities such as Sharon Stone, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, Jay Leno and Rolling Stone Editor-in-Chief, Jann Wenner. He has been featured in The New York Times, US Weekly, Art in America, American Style magazine, Art Business News, The London Times and has made appearances on Access Hollywood, Fox News and Good Day New York.

Kalish's largest installation to date, The American Presidents was displayed in the windows of Barneys, New York for the 2000 presidential election. The 42-piece installation of each U.S. president was created using the plates from each of their respective home states.

The subjects of Kalish's work references a broad sampling of American culture, from the all-American pastime of baseball and the morning cup of Joe to portraits of popular, political and cultural icons. His signature medium, the license plate, embraces his ideal of Americana with his own contemporary sophistication, curiosity, and distinctive style.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Monarch migration

It is that time of year when the monarch butterflies stop by my garden on their journey south.

The fall migration of the monarch butterfly begins in Canada and the northernmost parts of the United States in late August ending in the months of November and December. The destination lies in Central Mexico, in the Oyamel forests, the overwintering site in the Transvolcanic Plateau of Mexico. As many as 300 million spend the winter there. Distances as great as 3,100 miles are travelled during their migration, traveling roughly 50 miles per day, at speeds measured at 12 miles per hour.

During the migration, monarchs encounter many dangers including storms, being crushed by cars, and eaten by birds. The long journey takes its toll and many can be seen limply trying to keep aflight, ready to collapse at any moment. Even after the monarchs arrive at their winter retreats, the danger of storms is still a major factor on the survival. The danger is greater, particularly in Mexico, where temperatures, strong winds, and snow kill thousands.

This migration takes up to three generations to complete! The exact migratory path is still being plotted today. Scientists are tagging the butterflies, and recording their locations during the months of the fall migration.

During the migration, the monarchs feed extensively on flowers to gain carbohydrates from nectars which fuel daily activities and contribute to the build up of the fat body in the abdomen. Once they have reached their roosting site, they cluster in large numbers in the branches and trunks of the oyamel trees. While clustering they remain quiescent (they stay relatively sill and maintain low metabolic rates). In mid-February, the monarchs at the roost sites become more active and mating behavior begins. By the end of February, some of the monarchs begin moving northward, by mid-March the roost is usually depleted.

The spring migration starts out with only about half of the original roosting population returning to their homes. Forty to sixty percent of the monarchs die during their stay in Mexico. Along the way, they roost and reproduce, giving rise to new butterflies that will continue the spring flight back.