Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Windier City

LG just returned from a trip to Chicago, where he moderated a panel discussion at an insurance conference.  Some of you might think that all of LG's talking added to the already considerable wind in the Windy City. 

Fair point, can't deny it.

While LG was there, Ill-annoying people (clever pun, we know...), he took some pictures for the viewing pleasure of you, dear valued LG Report readers.  Without further adieu....

See this sign, what do you make of it?  I didn't take it seriously either. 

It stands in the middle of the block where President Barack Obama's familial homestead is located in the Hyde Park section of Chicago.   Wanna know the exact address?  Google it for yourself. 

As a U.S. taxpayer, I felt I had a right to walk down said block and snap a picture of said house for the good readers of said LG Report.  Well said, I know...

The place was about a 15-block walk from my ill-chosen Ramada Hotel.  DO NOT STAY at the Lakeshore Ramada if you visit Chicago, especially if you don't like ants crawling on your bathroom floor.  I didn't actually mind that so much, but it was a $20 cab ride to downtown.

Anyway, where was I... oh, so I walked 15-blocks in 95-degree heat to snap a photo of Casa Obama.  As I got close, a square-jawed "I-Ain't-Fooling-With-You" Secret Service agent raced his black SUV up to me. 

He told me that I was on "restricted premises" and asked if I saw the sign banning pedestrians (not the one pictured above, another one.)  I said I had, but that it wasn't clear, it appeared to only ban people from walking in the street, not on the sidewalk, where I was.

"We're going to fix that," he said, tacitly admitting that I had discovered a Secret Service error, before advising me to immediately turn back and circle the block if I wanted a photo.  Easy for him to say, sitting in an air conditioned SUV.  I wanted some of my tax money's worth of that A/C but I didn't bother asking for a lift.

Anyway, here are the two photos that I managed to get with my Blackberry spy phone, the same model endorsed by the recently-deported Russian agents, as well as Mel Gibson's ex-girlfriend:

As you can see, you can't really see.  The Secret Service doesn't want just any stinkin' taxpayer waltzing up to take photos of the President's personal residence. 

I was busted. 

I walked back to the Roach Radisson in what felt like underwater-level humidity and searing heat.  When I arrived, I burned my clothes in the bathtub and killed a few hundred ants.  Some of the others, though, seemed to be roasting marshmallows. 

This was the view out of the Mid-America club window (80th floor), where the conference was held.  That's Iowa in the background and South America behind that. 

This photo was snapped from the boat upon which the conference attendees sailed on Thursday night on Lake Michigan.  That big floating ball on the left side is an UFO.  I'm selling this picture to the National Enquirer so back off, I saw it first.  That Ferris wheel on the right side is Chicago's attempt to mimic Seaside Heights and "The Jersey Shore."  Can't blame them.

Here the camera is pointing out the front door of my flea-bitten hotel/motel.  That's Lake Michigan in the background, just above the guard rail.  Trust me, you'd rather stay overnight in that passenger van on the left than in any of the rooms of this Ramada.

This is my friend Tom who lives in Atlanta but was in Chicago on business.  He probably doesn't want to be pictured on the blog, so I won't say too much about him. Plus, the less you know, the better for everyone.

This is Terminal C at O'Hare Airport.  See the guy on the left in the jeans and black shirt?  He is locally renowned for walking through O'Hare all day (weekdays only) in a pattern on the black-and-white floor squares that approximate championship-winning chess moves from days gone by.  He's been featured on CBS, PBS, ESPN and in People Magazine.  On this particular day, he was re-enacting Fisher/Spassky 1972.    

Wait, sorry, I just made that up.  But if you believed me during the time it took you to scroll down here, please slap yourself upside the head.  Come on, we're using the honor system here, do it and make it hurt a bit.  Thanks.

Ok, folks, that's it for now.  We'll be back soon with a new posting, in the meantime, keep clicking in and referring us to family, friends, enemies and frenemies!

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