Category archive for ‘Columnists’ rss

  • Another week-long waltz with the trickster gods

    We were driving south on Route 53 through Wisconsin, making good time, when Jim looked at the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the other side of the road, crawling north for miles on end, and said: “Wow, I’m glad we’re not on that side of the road.”

    I gasped and said: “Jim! What are you saying!?!!”

  • Spider-man Homecoming: High school hi-jinks

    The movie screens have been filled all summer with a glut of special effects “blockbusters.” I’ve seen enough in the last several months to last me a lifetime. I will say again, Wonder Woman was worth the trip; the rest range from mediocre to downright bad. This latest Spiderman sequel passes the “mediocre” test, but not much more.

  • Shower temperature adjustment

    Most Sun City homes have Moen shower faucets. These faucets have a feature called Posi-temp that allows you to set the maximum temperature. The temperature was set on installation so that when the handle is turned all the way counterclockwise, the temperature is ideal for showering. If this temperature is not correct, either because it has drifted or because it was not set properly on installation, you can adjust it to suit your needs.

  • Riverview… no, not that one

    When you pass by a place called “Riverview,” you expect to see either “The Bobs” or a view of a river. Not so with this establishment; it is a restaurant and tavern that was established in 1936 called the Riverview Restaurant and Tavern in Algonquin.

  • Pick flowers, not favorites

    Flowers often evoke a wide variety of emotions and memories. The smell of a lilac can bring back memories of Grandma’s garden. The yellow petals of black-eyed Susans may cause us to reflect on summers past. The sound of leaves blowing in the fall, may remind of us the hours we spent raking them.

  • Ask an Angel: July 13, 2017

    Most of us are happy summer is here, but I worry about my dad who refuses to turn his air conditioning on. How can I convince him to use it and that the heat can be dangerous?

  • When it comes to knowing stuff, my brain is for the birds

    Me? I’m a bird guy.

    I don’t know when or why I became one, but I guess everybody’s got to be some kind of “guy,” and for me it’s always been birds.

  • Skip the theater and go straight for the DVD rentals

    This week’s column will offer some rental recommendations. These are all excellent films and if you missed any of them the first time around you might consider checking them out. Several of them have appeared on HBO recently, but they are all available through Netflix or any other source you may use.

  • Ask an Angel: June 29, 2017

    I have taken on the role of caregiver for my younger sister. he is only 54 and has been diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s Disease. She needs more care as her disease progresses. What are her options? What are my options?

  • ‘Water’ you doing to keep your plants hydrated?

    I think in my version of an ideal world, I would be completely self-sufficient. I was raised by a mom who learned at a very early age that you have to do things for yourself in order to survive.

  • Ask the Woodchucks: Basic heat transfer

    Heating and cooling your house is basic heat transfer. In the summer, you are collecting the heat in your house with the air conditioning evaporator located in your furnace. The heat is then pumped outside with the air conditioner refrigerant and dumped into the outside air through the condenser.

  • Drop anchor at Boston Fish Market

    While having dinner with some friends before seeing “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” we received a hot tip about an out of the way restaurant. Our friend Mary told us about a different type of place that is both a fish market and a restaurant all “wrapped up” in one. The name of it is Boston Fish Market in Des Plaines.

  • Have today’s teens found a cure for summertime blues?

    When I was a teenager, the radio was filled with songs about working in the summer, like “Get a Job” by the Silhouettes, or “Summertime Blues,” by Eddie Cochran.

    But according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than a third of American teenagers these days have a summer job, which means (among other things) that none of them will ever be able to write a column like this one 50 years from now.

  • All fired up for a wild celebration

    From the Sun Day News “Believe It or Not!” category. An old married couple living in Del Webb Sun City, Huntley, Illinois miraculously reviewed 100 different restaurants in the last four years. This can easily be confirmed by their expanding waistlines.

  • Wonder Woman – we don’t need Superman anymore

    A Chicago Tribune editorial writer said it best, “If you’re ever in trouble, forget Superman – get in touch with Wonder Woman.” After seeing the movie, I know I would.

  • Fix a Leaky Sillcock

    You have two or more sillcocks on your house even if you don’t know the name sillcock. They are the outside faucets where you connect garden hoses and they often leak. If a sillcock leaks when the water is on you are in luck as the fix is relatively easy. This leak is caused by a loose packing nut.

  • Northern Europe, part 2: Driving through Deutschland

    Background: Some friends retired and enjoy traveling so they decided to do a train/driving tour in Northern Europe. They had planned on just a trip to Germany and Burgundy, but the airfares were horrible! After desperately searching the internet and all the travel sites, they found a package for a full month of European travel!

  • June pruning projects

    When my kids were young, I would spend a lot of time with them outside. I was quite busy the summer that no one was old enough to push themselves on the swing set. During those summer days my mind would often wander.

  • Ask an Angel: June 15, 2017

    My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. His memory has declined quite a bit and I’m constantly answering the same questions over and over and it doesn’t take much for me to feel frustrated. What can I do to help us both?

  • All it takes is one joyous step to fix our broken system

    So much anger.

    So much venom.

    So much disrespect.

    And at the heart of it all are the American media outlets, which both feed from and generate all the bad blood between us.

  • All’s fair at the Arboretum: An interview with Wojtowicz

    The Klehm Arboretum, located in Rockford, is a local treasure for all types of gardeners. Their 155 acres is filled with beautiful flowers, shrubs, and trees. One of their premier events, The Garden Fair, occurs June 3-4.

    For this article, I have asked Jim Wojtowicz to give us some insight about not only Klehm Arboretum itself, but also about their annual Garden Fair Weekend.

  • Setting the water heater temperature

    How to I correctly set the water heater temperature? I believe it should be set around 120 degrees.

  • A real hidden hideaway

    There’s an expression that has been around forever, namely, “You can run, but you can’t hide.” For the last 20 years, Galati’s Hideaway has moved from three different locations in Cary. They ran, but they couldn’t hide from the Dining Duo!

  • Not much treasure in Pirates 5

    Tough choices (sometimes) abound when trying to pick a movie worth seeing and writing about. You, dear reader, stay home until there is a film you want to see. I don’t have that option, as my column deadline comes every two weeks, like it or not. I worked hard to narrow the choices and ended up with two possible picks.

  • Celebrating the end of the Great Depression in our kitchen

    As I was pushing my shopping cart through the grocery store yesterday, getting ready to head to the checkout line, a strange sensation came over me. It led me to the “paper and plastics” aisle, where I grabbed a total of eight food storage containers of various sizes, but with the same size lids to fit them all.

  • The Guardians of the Galaxy are back

    First things first. Why would an old (very old) codger like me go to a movie like this one, designed exclusively for millennials and younger? The answer is simple: grandchildren, three of them in their teens.

  • Ask an Angel: May 18, 2017

    I feel overwhelmed. I know I am supposed to take care of myself so I have energy to care for my family, but I can’t even begin to think of how to do that. Help!

  • Score: Bulldogs – 1, Marzanos – 0

    Another one bites the dust! Restaurants seem to come and go. We come to a restaurant, review it, and a year or so later, they go. Was it something we said?

  • B and B with a Q & A

    While walking with a homeowner around their yard a few days ago, I spotted a butterfly. I tried to continue to be professional, but the little kid in me was so very excited to see the beautiful creature.

  • Ask the Woodchucks: May 18, 2017

    We’re new residents in Del Webb that are replacing our hardware. However, I’ve been unable to find a supplier of the garage door “spring” hinges (locally or online)!