Category archive for ‘Columnists’ rss

  • Learning to speak American is a piece of cake

    Some years ago, as I sat chatting with a young couple from the Netherlands who spoke fluent English, I took a quick glance at my watch. I had a job my boss wanted me to do, and my time was running out.

    “Sorry,” I told them, “but I’ve got to take care of this. You know how Ed is. I don’t want to get called on the carpet.”

  • Ask the Woodchucks: September 21, 2017

    We have the Fox model and there is a vent in the rear of the house toward the bottom of the siding, and the flaps are breaking off. I’ve been looking all over and can find anything to replace it. There is a grid behind the flaps. While we’re at it what is it used for?

  • Ask an Angel: September 21, 2017

    I have taken on the role of caregiver for my mother. I have been doing this for only 3 months and I am already overwhelmed. I can’t seem to keep everything straight. Between doctor visits, medications, and her daily needs, I am slowly fizzling and feel like things are chaotic. How do people care for their family member with success?

  • Lighting the way to creative lanscaping

    The leaves are turning color, the morning temperatures are cooler, and the sun is setting earlier. Fall will soon be upon us. With fall and inevitably winter, our sunlight will diminish and we will begin to rely more and more lights to help us see.

  • It’s a beautiful day in “The Neighborhood”

    It was a beautiful day in our neighborhood, and we decided to pay a visit to the new Niko’s Tavern & Neighborhood Grill in Pingree Grove.

  • American Assassin – acceptable at best

    Once again, your neighborhood movie columnist was between a rock and a hard place.

  • The enlightenment that comes with endarkenment

    OK, people, the eclipse is over. Time to come back down to earth, wipe the awestruck tears from your eyes, and stop OMGing the wonders of the natural world as you ponder your place in the universe. Let’s put the spiritual tizzy behind us, shall we? It’s all fun and games until somebody becomes a druid.

  • Imported from Sicily

    Today’s restaurant that we will be reviewing was brought to our attention by several of our loyal readers. Hopefully now they will stop nagging us, just kidding…This review is on Dominick’s Italian Ristorante in West Dundee.

  • Coming attractions

    For the first time in a long while, there were no new releases in our area theaters last weekend. As a result, any movie I chose to comment on would already be at least two, more likely three weeks old by our publication date. That would be like finding a loaf of stale bread in your pantry; no interest.

  • Ask the Woodchucks: September 7, 2017

    The light bulb in the ceiling of my master bath shower is burned out. It is a 65w flood light bulb. It looks like a standard bulb, but shouldn’t it be some kind of special bulb because it can get wet in the shower?

  • Late bloomers for your autumn aesthetic

    I didn’t realize how many pictures need to be hung on walls to make a house feel like a home, until I had 3 hours to fully transform 5 rooms. During the 72 hours that my husband and I spent helping our daughter move into her first college apartment, we cleaned, cried, and laughed. Then we shopped.

  • Northern Europe, part 3: On to the Bodensee!

    Traveling on your own, even with the best guidebooks, can still be confusing. Take the Bodensee Lake in Germany. It is also called Lake Constance and sometimes the Swabian Sea. Lake Constance is the international name which is derived from the local town of Konstanz.

  • Ask an Angel: September 7, 2017

    Can you provide some ideas of what to have on hand in case of emergency?

  • Thank you Willy Horton for bringing peace to Detroit

    I served six years in the military and had never seen anything like this. I was standing in a war zone, surrounded by armed troops, hundreds of police and two U.S. Army tanks, their cannons aimed at the buildings in front of them. There were no fires at the moment, but smoke still hung over the streets, a grim reminder of the arson which had taken place the past few days.

  • Logan Lucky – not today

    I’m still debating whether it was a bigger mistake paying to see this movie, or laying out $8.09 for a bag of popcorn, half of which I left behind. So, it was a $20 evening, and I’ll no doubt take a long hard look in the mirror when I get up, looking for the “stupid” lines in my face.

  • A tick-tale of terror — and tender love

    I trace my phobia of ticks back to that day in the wooden rowboat on Lake Nicaboyne in northern Wisconsin. I was probably eleven or twelve at the time, and I was spending the day as usual during our annual weeklong vacation: rowing by myself along the shoreline, casting for bass.

  • Ask the Woodchucks: August 24, 2017

    We have an Adler unit with no basement and recently had our air ducts cleaned. During the process, the tech removed the grill from each duct and inserted an air and vacuum hose. While working in the laundry/utility room, he removed the ceiling grill by the garage door and found that there was a circular duct about a foot long, which was not connected to anything, just open to the attic.

  • Summer is also for growing memories

    Twenty-five, a quarter of a century, 3 weeks and 4 days. No matter how you spell, say it or think it, 25 is not a very large number. When it is referring to the number of days that you get to spend with your oldest daughter in one summer, it seems even smaller. Pathetically small. Those 25 days have to hold a lifetime of summer of 2017 memories.

  • ‘Tip toe’ to Vickie’s Place

    Herbert Buckingham Khaury wrote us from the great beyond with a tip about his favorite eatery. You may remember him as Tiny Tim who “Tip Toed Through the Tulips” and married his Miss Vicki in 1969 on the Johnny Carson Show. He told us about Vickie’s Place in McHenry. Now do you get it? We know it’s a stretch, but it’s the best we could come up with.

  • Ask an Angel: August 24, 2017

    I recently learned that my father, who is 86, used his ladder to check on something on the exterior of his home. My mother disclosed this to me and made me promise not to call him out on it. Now I am more than worried, wondering how to keep him from doing such dangerous activities. Help!

  • Uncovering a conspiracy of sinkholes and sausage-bombs

    The United States is under attack! It’s being torn apart!

    Well, not the United States per se, but Florida — that wet, wacky addendum attached to the southeastern edge of the United States. But it’s still a cause for concern, because a lot of folks from the actual United States like to go there in the wintertime.

  • Ask an Angel: August 10, 2017

    I really need to change my eating habits. I have tried this several times in the past, and start out well, but then go back to my old habits. I am discouraged even before starting. Any ideas?

  • Is it Ruth’s Restaurant or Chris’s???

    Jim and Nancy do not disclose the fact that they will review a restaurant before they attend, ensuring their reviews are unbiased and uninfluenced by their position with the Sun Day. Is it Ruth’s Chris Restaurant or Chris’s Ruth Restaurant? Believe it or not, Nancy always seems to get tongue tied when she tries to […]

  • From the topsoil to the table

    My grandfather and grandmother both grew up very poor. When they were young, and into the early years of their marriage, planting a garden was done out of necessity. Raising that garden though literally grew into something that they both enjoyed.

  • Ask the Woodchucks: August 10, 2017

    Am puzzled and concerned as to how and when I can get the birds out of my two bathroom exhaust vents. I hear the scratching each morning and see them going in and out of the vent flaps.

  • A Ghost Story – hauntingly bad

    My original choice for this week’s column was the compelling documentary Detroit, the story about the dreadful 1967 riots that took place in the city where I was born and raised. I was there when they happened, and for a short time I was in the middle of it all, but lived to tell about it. At the last minute I decided I didn’t want to experience it again.

    Bad choice Tom.

  • Some pointers on picking your path to probiotic health

    I got “the look” this morning at the grocery store.

  • Ask the Woodchucks: July 27, 2017

    I’ve heard about the Woodchucks and I pass the woodworking shop on Sun City Boulevard, but I don’t know anything about them. Could you explain how the wood shop operates?

  • Ask an Angel: July 27, 2017

    My mom has had several falls over the past few months. She lives in her own home, and I’ve suggested she move to an assisted living community. She will have nothing to do with that idea, but her falls are happening with more frequency and it is taking a toll on me.

  • A tasty Texas treat

    One Saturday afternoon, Nancy and I jumped into the Dining Duo mini-mobile with the plan to review a Chinese restaurant in Palatine that was recommended by one of our readers. Upon arrival, the parking lot was completely empty and we discovered they were closed for vacation. Time to switch to Plan B: a Mexican restaurant in Elk Grove Village also recommended by one of our loyal readers. Once again, we pulled into an empty parking lot and realized they don’t open their doors until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Time to switch to Plan C.