Skip to content

Month: November 2023

Chicago musings

I was safe from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As a good patriotic Anti-American consumer, I bought nothing, and did not contribute to the economy or government because of sales taxes. My money is safe. I refuse to follow the herd of less-on* lemmings.

I am not a cheapskate and chiseler when it comes to gifts. I just refuse to be sucked in by the foolishness of the retail industrial complex. I refuse to follow the great unwashed rubes and bark chewers who are suckers for phony sales.

I saw a post on Facebook the other day and realized I omitted something. With all the homicides over the past three years, what is lost in the news are all the lives of shooting victims saved by Chicago Fire Department Paramedics. These people are Chicago treasures.

It was 15 degrees when I woke up yesterday morning. The flailing Chicago government is doing nothing to move the thousands of homeless people into shelters or their ridiculous tent “cities.” Go figure. They just barely got the immigrants off the streets and out of police stations. The Johnson administration is in full-blown failure mode. There is no winter plan for the thousands of homeless people. Chicago is a town without pity and a city without plans. Oratory is more important than people. Brandon Johnson is full of oratory- hot air.

Brandon Johnson is blaming, without proof, right-wing extremism for his failures. He fails to listen to the people in the neighborhoods who are angry about his ham-fisted actions placing migrants in their communities. He refuses to consult with the aldermen. Maybe Johnson should realize something. He works for us. We are the bosses. He is the employee. So, he better shape up or ship out.

Johnson proves every day he is clueless and not fit to be the mayor of Chicago. He is ruling by the seat of his pants. He finds irrelevant excuses for his failures. I do not blame the moronic people who voted for him. I blame the almost 70% of the voters who stayed home on election day.

Johnson was a nobody nobody heard of until he was tapped by Chicago Machine Boss Toni Preckwinkle to run against Lori Lightfoot. He was a silent backbencher on the Cook County Board of Commissioners. Now, he is the mayor of the third largest city in America and he has no clue how to run, manage or administer the city.

The McCaskey Ken Dolls finally won a game, yet it was by the skin of their teeth. It was not won by the quarterback, but a kicker with ten seconds left. Big deal. The Ken Dolls are not going to the post season. They will flounder through the next couple of months. The McCaskeys will be going to and laughing all the way to the bank. They will be thumbing their noses to the back woods peckerhead Ken Dolls fans. The only hope for that miserable team is for the McCaskeys to sell to owners who value winning over Kachingo$.

*Less-on- Lower than a moron

Food and more food

“When you cook, there is a great deal of love. You cannot cook indifferently. You have to give a lot of yourself. Cooking is the purest act of love, whether it’s for your kid or your grandmother or your lover or your wife. It’s always to give.” (Jacques Pepin/Artnet)

The older I get, the more I look back. A lot of those memories are food-related. Sometimes the memory flood is overwhelming. From simple pleasures to fabulous home-cooked feasts. Food is what we have to comfort us, especially since the cooler to cold weather sets in. Food is sensual, satisfying all six senses- sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing, and umami.

I remember the summer barbecues. My dad grilling lemon garlic chicken or ribs. Sometimes there were hot dogs or burgers. My mother made potato salad. On hot humid days or two later, that cold leftover potato salad was a meal.

Sometimes, my dad and I would sit at the table with Italian cured meats, cheese, olives, homemade bread from a neighbor, and wine. We would sit and talk. Two men, one aging and one younger adult. He would talk about the past. I would talk about the present.

Food was always part of my life. I grew up in a food-loving family. My parents loved to cook, and that love showed in their craft. Even a simple pot of chicken soup was made with love. Holidays were special. They pulled out all the stops. There was enough food to feed an army.

I think about all the holiday dinners I prepared or helped prepare. A month before, I would scour the food magazines looking for recipes. There was the calvados, cider, and apple pork roast, the leg of lamb wet rub marinated with pesto, the varnished turkey, geese one Christmas, plum duck, ginger ham, stuffed trout, and the various side dishes to go with them.

Fall is when I really think about food, past and present. Fall through winter is the time for comfort foods. Foods that mend your heart and heal your soul. Foods that take you away from the junkyard world we live in. Meals to enjoy alone or in the company of others.

Our lives are complicated. We get too wrapped up in all the political, cultural, and social rhetorical wars swirling around us. We forget the simple pleasures of life, food, wine, and companionship of family and friends.

The pandemic brought out the best of us in relation to food. People were home with too much time on their hands. First it was the bread bakers, then sourdough took over. All of a sudden social media was flooded with home-cooked dishes. People discovered what that strange place in their homes, the kitchen, was for.

Fall is here and winter is around the corner. The brutal hawk, the cold Chicago wind that chills your heart and soul, is hunting. The days are shorter. Soon, sunny days will be few and far between. I think about food, comfort food. As much as I love to eat out, I love to cook or eat someone else’s home cooking. I no longer like cooking for myself. I prefer to cook for and share the meals with others.

Now that many of you found uses for your kitchens, scrap the delivery or carryout. Stay home and cook. Cook for yourself, your family, and friends. Cooking and sharing food is one of the purest forms of love. Cook the simple comforting foods, soups, stews, meat loafs, chili, or roast chicken. There are plenty of places to get the few other necessities, like good bread or other food items.

Go into the kitchen, turn on your favorite music, and forget the outside world, the junkyard world we live in. Cook for yourself. Cook for family or friends. Keep it simple and comforting. Share the love.

I ate in some of the finest restaurants in Chicago. I enjoyed the food. But nothing ever beats a simple, comforting home-cooked meal made with love and shared with others.

Cooking should be treated as a survival skill. Everyone should be able to cook for themselves, families, and friends. It is not hard. You do not need a lot of equipment. All you need are recipes and the literacy to follow them.

Winter is upon us. Get in the kitchen and cook. Even if you screw up, you can still eat your mistakes and learn. Oh yeah, do not forget dessert.

Be grateful

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” — Henry Van Dyke

Thanksgiving is on Thursday. The Christmas shopping season- Black Friday- starts the next day. Thanksgiving is the only holiday that celebrates gratitude.

Humans have celebrated a “holiday” related to gratitude since ancient times. After the harvest, people celebrated the bounty in various ways. That whole garbage about the Pilgrims and Native Americans being the first Thanksgiving in America is pure horse droppings. Native Americans had been celebrating a harvest festival for ages. They just celebrated that one with their new neighbors. The feast was wild game, fish, and whatever the Pilgrims and Native Americans cultivated.

Let’s remember why we celebrate. Forget the history, legend, lore, or myth. We should ignore those imbeciles who want to change the name to something more socio-political accepting to assuage their made-up group guilt.

We celebrate once a year to be grateful for what we have, no matter how much or little. As a friend used to say, “If you have a roof over your head and a loaf of bread under each arm, you should be thankful.”

“The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we all can agree so vehemently about?” Nora Ephron

We dedicate the day to food. It does not matter what you prepare for the feast, no matter how lavish or meager. You are sharing the love. There is no rule that turkey must be on the menu. Make whatever you want. It is your choice how you celebrate. Just do not forget why we celebrate. To thank God, some other deity, the Great Comedian, or your friends and family for whatever you are grateful for.

Every year I think of all the things I am grateful for. It is a list of little things. It does not change much from year to year.

I am grateful for everyday I wake up, take a breath, my feet hit the floor, and live another day.

I am grateful for my family.

I am grateful to still have a somewhat sound mind.

I am grateful for living in Chicago, the best city in the nation.

I am grateful to have the bare necessities of life, food, shelter, and clothing.

I am grateful that I can still cook the feast with family and friends.

I am grateful for my friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, beliefs, or lack thereof.

I am grateful for our police, firefighters, and EMTs, who keep us safe 24/7/365.

I am grateful for the emergency utility workers who respond to outages no matter the weather.

I am grateful for the medical professionals working in hospitals instead of celebrating.

I am grateful for all the restaurants who sent turkeys and hams to the police stations while we worked on Thanksgiving.

No matter your station or status in life, there is always something or someone(s) to be grateful for.

This Thursday, celebrate gratitude, then enjoy the feast, family, and friends.


The just-announced DiGiorno Thanksgiving Pizza takes a thick Detroit-style crust and piles it high with turkey, rich gravy, diced sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries, two kinds of cheese, and a crispy onion topping.” (Food and Wine)

DiGiorno is tapping into the moronic lemming market. The same drooling zombies who cannot wait for and line up outside for over a block for fake pumpkin spice crap from Spewf**ks.

A Thanksgiving pizza? The idiots do not have to wait in long lines to get this garbage pizza. They can order it online every Wednesday until November 22nd. It is enough to make you blow chow.

Not to be outdone, Salt and Straw has five Thanksgiving flavored ice creams, including Cheesy Potato Casserole, Turkey Stuffing, and Cranberry Sauce. This too is probably flying off the shelves for the braindead consumers. Jumping Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. I want to vomit.

It appears the more disgusting companies can make food or drink, the more hugely popular it will be. American consumers are a bunch of gullible people. If the food people created a chocolate-flavored manure spread (Chocoshit?) the schlubs would be out there buying it for their morning toast. There are millions or billions to be made from the stupidity of the average American consumer. These are the same idiots who are allowed to vote.

I was shocked, shocked I say. The Chicago Sun-Times finally wrote a piece on the McCaskey Ken Dolls that was not a slobbering love letter. Unlike the rest of the corrupt sports media in this city, they stated what I have been saying, the McCaskey’s are to blame for the team’s p**s poor performance. What ails the Bears? Call it the Curse of the McCaskeys.” While they do not scorch the McCaskeys, they hit the nail on the head. It is not journalistically appropriate to scorch people who deserve scorching in this new age of supposed Chicago journalism.

My friend, Bob Angone wrote this piece for the Beverly Review- “Mind-boggling increase in crime awaits answer.” He discusses the huge rise in armed robberies in Chicago. He quotes former Attorney General Bobby Kennedy- “Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on.” Bob is a retired Chicago Police Lieutenant.

Chicago communities and some alderpersons are in an uproar over the Brandon Johnson regime, not involving them in deciding where the migrant tent cities are going to be placed. Winter will be here before one tent is pitched. If Johnson was smart- which is a stretch- he would have put the first tent city in Austin, where he lives. Then he could tell the detractors if it is good enough for his neighborhood, it is good enough for theirs. It is called leading by example. Johnson is not bright enough to realize this.

The Cubs replaced manager David Ross with Craig Counsell from the Milwaukee Brewers. Counsell will be the highest paid manager in baseball. Counsell worked in various capacities, including the front office, so he knows the game and the business. He is known as one of the best managers in baseball. The Cubs could not pass up the opportunity to grab him.

It may anger Cubs fans over the quick firing of Grandpa Ross, but they will get over it by the season opener. Milwaukee fans are furious over the loss of Counsell. In major league sports, anything can happen and will. Professional sport is a tough s**t business. Winning is everything in. Losers go some place else.

The Dibs season is upon us

The season of the dreaded winter overnight parking ban is approaching. Yesterday’s snow reminded me of this. Starting December 1st, parking is prohibited from 3a.m. to 7 a.m. on over 100 hundred miles of city-designated streets until April 1st. It does not matter if there is snow or not. The city will tow your car. There are also 500 miles of streets that prohibit parking if there is two inches or more snow. If you park on these streets overnight, your car will be towed. Check for those signs, people, or trudge down to the pound to pay the piper twice, once for the ticket and then the tow. In the city of Chicago, it is all about the Kachingo$. City Hall does not care about streets or plowing. City Hall only cares about cold hard cash.

After a heavy snowfall, Dibs is holding a shoveled-out parking space by putting barricades in the street to claim the space. Dibs is a decades-old winter tradition in Chicago. Some people claim Dibs all winter long. Some do not wait for the heavy snow. They claim their parking space when there is little snow or even a threat of snow.

Some get creative to the point of setting out a dining table set with plates and silverware. There are plastic Christmas religious statues, inflatables, children’s plastic playhouses, nativity scenes, standing frozen pants, and other unique items. The usual things are milk crates, sawhorses, or lawn chairs, some with boards stretched across.

Technically, dibs are illegal. According to the municipal code, streets will not be obstructed with items including “crates, boxes, or hogsheads” (Barrels). Like many in Chicago, including our politicians, no one cares about laws. The only law in Chicago is the Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shall not get caught.”

Dibs is controversial. Dibs can lead people to damage cars, arguments, or even violence. Violent crimes committed over Dibs should not be a worry as our Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim Foxx, will not prosecute crimes of mutual combat. Our lenient judges will probably throw the cases out if she approves charges.

Columnists and editorial boards have written pro, con, and humorous articles about the practice over the decades. Former mayors supported the tradition. Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot discouraged Dibs, though she understands it- whatever that means. We do not know what Mayor Brandon Johnson’s view on dibs is. I am sure it will be a nonsensical statement filled with terms like equity, snow justice, and other inanities.

How popular is Dibs? There are social media pages about the tradition. There is a Facebook page too, Chicago Dibs. Dibs is a form of tolerated subversiveness in Chicago. People take to the streets with their shovels and snow blowers to clear a parking space, then put up the barricades. They worked hard for it, risking the widow making heart-a-stroke. They earned it. That space is theirs. “Whose streets? Our streets.” Why should some lazy, low-life motherless mook, mameluke, or jamoke be entitled to reap the benefits of their hard work?

There is a Judge Dibs in Chicago. He is as wise beyond his years as the ancient Greek philosophers. He decides dibs cases based on the rules and the situation, the“Dibstitution.” Judge Dibs is tough but fair. He once named me the Lord High Chamberlain of Dibs. I would have preferred Lord High Executioner, but Illinois eliminated the death penalty. I was honored to have such a title bestowed on me. But I do not have the time to execute my duties. I have my own problems with people blocking my side driveway because Illinois issues driver’s licenses to blind people.

Some claim Dibs is uncivil. They believe people who toil should not reap the fruits of their labor. According to these apostates, we should be kind and understanding towards each other. A few go so far as to suggest people shovel out parking spaces for their neighbors or even the whole block. It is an act of kindness and a neighborly thing to do. Those people are Communists. There is one problem with this line of thinking if you call it that. Chicago, the “City of Neighborhoods,” does not have Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. I don’t know if they noticed, but Mr. Roger’s is dead.

Winter is coming. Snow is coming. Dibs is the natural order of things. Let there be peace on earth and Dibs in Chicago.

As Judge Dibs states:

“Respect Dibs.

Revere the Dibstitution.

And love thy neighbor, baby.

So let it be written. So let it be done.”