Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Views From the Street

I was in Chicago yesterday for a job.

The John Hancock building is as much a part of the Chicago skyline as the Sears, no, Willis, Tower, several miles south of here, is. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

St. Dominic Catholic Church was near the parking lot of the project. This is an old church, built by immigrants. You can tell this by the clearstory windows in the chancel. I wonder if the spires of the churches in Chicago are all different or if several churches were built by German immigrants, their spires are the same. Maybe spires from the same era, say 1900-1920, are all the same. Perhaps someone has answered this question.

I love the architecture of the building. These churches are a bear to maintain, all that space that needs to be heated and cooled, as well as an acre of roof. Plus, the communities they serve have changed so much from the time of construction. Still, they are architectural gems, worthy of preservation if, for no other reason than the history of the neighborhood where they were built. Now I wonder if the Chicago Architecture Foundation has a church architecture tour.

This is One River Place, at the corner of Larrabee and Chicago Avenue. It's a condo building. I like the Art Deco feel of the exterior but was drawn to the statue on the peak. I can't find anything to say if it's an over-sized wind vane or just a statue. The arm points in the direction the wind was yesterday so I could be forgiven for thinking it's a weather vane. It kind of reminds me of the building in Ghostbusters, with the decorations.

I'm lucky to have a job that allows me to travel around the city. There's something new to see every time I go.

Beverage:  Huckleberry Tea


So You Don't Have To

Members of my World of Warcraft guild mentioned I needed to be on the look-out for these.

I happened to see a small group in the store so I bought a bag. My initial reaction, "Meh". That reaction didn't get any better as I ate through the package.

I don't know if the package I got was stale but the creme centers were crumbly, not at all creamy, as I've come to expect. The chocolate cookies were hard, overly crunchy. Usually, when you dip an Oreo in milk, the milk will soften the cookie. If you leave it in the milk too long, it can disintegrate. I didn't have that issue with the chocolate cookies in this package. The creme filling did disintegrate and turned the milk pink, but left a sugar residue in the bottom of the glass. That was wholly unappetizing.

Last year, I tried Oreos with a lemon center. Of all the flavored centers they have released in the past several years, that is my favorite. The lemon was not overpowering. The problem with the berry flavor was that there wasn't enough of it. The vanilla creme has a flavor. The chocolate creme has a flavor. It felt like they took unflavored creme, added food coloring and then passed some synthetic berries near the vat and called it a day. Make no mistake about this. There may be a nice stock photo of a strawberry and a raspberry on the cover, but those berries are nowhere to be found in this cookie. It's all artificially flavored. The only "natural" flavor was the cocoa in the cookie.

They do look like the package cover, with a glossy sheen to the creme. They separate easily, almost too easily. I'd like to have to work a bit to pull the Oreo apart.

The bottom line is that I won't buy these again, not even on sale. I was very disappointed in the lack of berry flavor and the toughness of the cookie. Perhaps it was my bag, but I'm not inclined to buy another package to see.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


Pearls of Winter

Before the warm temperatures which melted any snow which wasn't perpetually in the shade, we'd had some around freezing temps followed by a plunge into the deep freeze. I came home from work and was struck by the snow in the drive.

It had developed a hard shell to it that, when the sun was just right, looked like pearl. It sparkled and gleamed.

When it's like this, it's really slick and the hard coat will hold a lot of weight so you have to be careful if you have to traverse even a small distance. But it was so pretty.

All this snow is gone now. The only place there is any snow is where huge piles had been created as it was moved aside. But these photos remind me that as cold as it was, there is beauty in winter. There's beauty everywhere, you just need to look for it.

Beverage:  Huckleberry tea


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Finished in Time

I spent all day Saturday doing cross-stitch, but the project is complete.

I watched more TV than I have in months, maybe years. I'd find something that was good for background noise and then the program would change and it would be something stupid. I did watch an invisible man movie, which was pretty good. A young Peter Lorre was in it. There was also the Rock Hudson movie with, I think it was a young Sophia Loren, and Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin. It got kind of silly at one point so I switched channels. I don't know if Darin sang in that movie. If he did, it was in the middle when I was "watching" the invisible man. I really wanted to have college basketball on as background noise, but the CBS station here has the crappiest signal ever. It finally cut out for good and I gave up trying to get it back.

The project came out very well. The black fabric didn't pose as many problems as I thought it would. The end result is exceptionally good. I'm not sure what my next project will be. I'm itching to read so I might not pick up the needle until summer.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper