Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Charity in 2006

Looking back on 2006 – before posting the lists of best tv shows, best cd’s, etc., I wanted to make a list of charities that deserved my money this year.

Taking care of animals and the environment:

Defenders of Wildlife

Elephant Sanctuary

Fund For Animals


Humane Society of the United States

Illinois Prairie Path

Jane Goodall Institute

Tiger Haven

Wildlife Land Trust

Taking care of cats and dogs:

Two of our cats came from The Animal Care League.

My brother’s cats came from The Anti-Cruelty Society.

Merry Christmas to Sister Marijon at Cats-Are-Purrsons-Too and Touched By an Animal.


Cornell Birds

Hoping to visit the International Crane Foundation in 2007.

Raptor Center

The universe:

I’ve been a member for years, just wish I could make time to visit The Adler Planetarium more often.

And I wish we could get to visit the Lowell Observatory in 2007.

Helping people:

The Brady Campaign

International Campaign to Ban Landmines

Doctors Without Borders

Greater Chicago Food Depository

Merry Christmas to Manny, Barbara and the people at Koinonia House.


Old Town School of Folk Music

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Merry Christmas to my sister, and everyone else who walks for Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election News

Well, it's a nice day-after-the-election, unlike 2000, 2002, and 2004.

Stuff I learned while following election results…

Tammy Duckworth is working on a Ph.D. I sure wish she had beaten Roskam.

Jon Tester is an organic farmer.

Katherine Harris spent a lot of campaign funds on Starbucks.

Environmental groups are happy that Richard Pombo lost.

And Britney filed for divorce .

Monday, November 06, 2006


There’s an election tomorrow here in the US. The Chicago Bears lost yesterday, for the first time this season; Northwestern won for the first time in over a month. And my friend Will Briarwood wanted to talk about what’s most important to him these days.

“My cat’s doing pretty well after his surgery. For the first time in a month, he climbed to the top of the cat tree.”

That’s pretty impressive.

“And he wasn’t in pain this morning, as he has been sometimes after exerting himself.”

Did you see Mutts today? It’s Shelter Stories week again.

“Yeah, I did. I think I read that the cat in the comic lost his leg from a trap, rather than from cancer. I tell you, I don’t have too many heroes these days, but Patrick McDonnell is definitely one.”

I know you’ve mentioned that Bruce Springsteen is a hero. Who else?

“Ummm. Let me get back to you.”

Friday, November 03, 2006

Signs For Tammy

My friend Will Briarwood gave me an update on his quest for a yard sign for Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth.

“So I had gone over there to campaign headquarters at 8am, and there was no one there yet. Someone called me back later that day, and let me know that their hours were 9am to 10pm.”

So you went back?

“Yeah, and a very friendly woman gave me three signs.”

So what’s the score now on your block?

“I think there’s about a dozen Roskam signs. With my signs, there’s now a total of four Duckworth signs.”

I guess the vote total will be more important than the sign total.

“We’ll find out next Tuesday, assuming the votes get counted, and the electronic voting machines don’t screw us.”

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who Are You?

Listening to the new Who cd, Endless Wire, and my first reactions are that Pete's guitar still sounds great, but Roger's voice sounds pretty damned old...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

On the other blogs…

The Six Degrees of Bob Dylan game is coming to a close. My entry which connected SpongeBob to Bob Dylan via James Dobson, Arlen Specter, Rick Santorum and U2 had better get an honorable mention for creativity.

Nothing new at Tim’s Take since season three of Project Runway ended. There is a long interview with Tim at the Chicago Tribune.

Gapers Blog writes about The Damnwells.

Nominations are out for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Everyone writes about who should be in, who should be out. Desolation Row has some interesting suggestions (T. Rex is a great idea).

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Roskam Signs

My friend Will Briarwood, who doesn’t generally vote for Republicans, was telling me why he might vote for them next week.

“The people next door to us have a Roskam sign in their front yard. The people across the street have two Roskam signs. And the people on the other side of us have five, count ‘em, five Roskam signs in their yard.”

Peter Roskam is the Republican candidate for Congress in Illinois’s Sixth Congressional District.

“I e-mailed the Duckworth people a couple weeks back, asking about a yard sign. They finally called me back on Monday, and left me a voice mail, telling me where their campaign office is, and telling me to come by for a sign. The guy on the message said there would be someone at their office pretty much all the time, between now and election day.”

Tammy Duckworth is the Democratic candidate. Polls show the race is just about even.

“I went over to the Duckworth office this morning. There was no one there.”

You probably should have called first.

“Well, I did, about twenty minutes till eight. There was no answer, and I was hoping that maybe they had just gone out for coffee.”

Maybe there was a line at Starbucks.

“I guess. So I called again, and left a message, and told them I was sorry I had missed them. And I suggested that Roskam’s volunteers were probably already at work at 8am.”

You’re not really going to vote against Tammy because of a yard sign.

“Probably not. Hey, I know I’m not George Soros, donating piles of money to the Democrats. But I did send a donation to her campaign, and all I ask for is a yard sign.”

Monday, October 30, 2006

Cat Vets

Following up on my previous post, I should mention that Will and I highly recommend these veterinarians, who take care of only cats:

College Station Cat Clinic in Wheaton, Illinois

The Cat Practice in Oak Park, Illinois

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Show Me the Way

I was talking to my friend Will Briarwood about his cat, who had some fairly serious surgery recently.

“It’s strange,” he said. “There’s so much to think about, worrying about him, hoping he’ll be ok, trying to understand what’s happening with him. I keep hearing Peter Frampton in my head.”

Peter Frampton?

“Yeah. A couple lines from ‘Show Me the Way’ -- ‘I wonder how you’re feeling’ and ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me.’ “

You’re hearing the live version, I assume.

“Yeah, from Comes Alive. What’s that called, dissociation?”

I think so.

“And I started thinking about how they had to shave so much of his fur, that he’s starting to look like Peter Frampton.”

You have to give Frampton credit for not doing a combover, or wearing a hat 24/7 like The Edge, or wearing a rug.

“Yeah. There’s a lesson here somewhere, something about accepting what happens to your hair, or to your cat.”