Monthly Archives: September 2013

September 30th, 2013

Contest Winner Announced

Calling all trivia buffs! You too can win in the $5 weekly contest like Marjorie R. in week 9, who got the right answer to the question of what was different about the old Lincoln when Ike, Tranny and Brainard come back to it. The trunk was open …

And now it’s time for the week 10 Doing Max Vinyl trivia contest question: How many cans of beer do Ike and Tranny drink during their barge run? Yep, it’s a doozy, and you’ll find it in parts 29, 30 or 31 of the serialization HERE on Venture Galleries.

Now it’s time to remind you that you actually win in three ways by playing this contest: 1) every week a chance to win that $5 Amazon gift card; 2) every correct answer submitted gets you an additional chance to win one of the grand prizes at the end of the 30-week contest, namely the $200 grand prize Amazon gift card, the $100 second prize gift card, or the $50 third prize card; and 3) you get to read Doing Max Vinyl for free!

I don’t know about you, but that looks like three good reasons to play the game. Send your answer to by Sunday, October 6 at 12 midnight PST, and let’s see if YOU will win a prize …

My, my, those boys do like their beer, don’t they? And they also have an interesting conversation about an important environmental issue while enjoying their little party. Aren’t you curious to know more? Have a look HERE.

September 29th, 2013

I’ve Got Sunshine (on a Cloudy Day)

Expectations — be gone! The good things in life happen when you’re least expecting them. Whether it’s a phone call from a friend you haven’t heard from in a while, or just a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day …

On my recent trip to the U.S. Dad and I went to a restaurant with this view of Lake Ontario, looking out from the mouth of the Genessee River. This was just before the sun set. On the other side of that lake lies Canada. Dad saw me taking the picture and asked, “What do you want a picture of that for?” I said I thought it would look good on my blog. Dad: “What’s a blog?”

September 25th, 2013

Breakfast in America

Once in a while, I miss those great American breakfasts. The kind you get at a restaurant, in this case the Moondance Diner in Burr Ridge, Illinois. Of course, if I ate like this every morning I’d have to take drastic action. Like skipping lunch. And dinner.

Returning to today’s business, I am pleased to announce the week 8 winner in the Doing Max Vinyl trivia contest is  Nazneen A. She correctly answered the question about why Tris named her puppy Dante. It’s because Tris thinks Dante covered just about every sort of human weakness and therefore felt it’s a good name for a male.


Unhappy with the contest results? You know what you have to do. Head over to Venture Galleries to part 27, 28 or 29 of the serialization of Doing Max Vinyl and find the answer to question #9: What seems different about the Lincoln when Brainard, Ike and Tranny return to the car? Remember, your answer has to be sent to by Sunday, September 29 at midnight PST to be valid.

Chicago buildings I admired as I walked in their shadow:

September 22nd, 2013

Chicago Blues Update

Unfortunately the blues don’t export so well, but the good news is Randy and I checked out the scene at Kingston Mines. Neither of us had been there for a few years. The place still has two stages, and Thursday they were featuring Joanna Connor. Man was she hot! Of course I didn’t record live, but you can get a feeling of her talents HERE.

Randy and I met at the Rock Bottom earlier in the evening. We caught up on writerly news and the activities of the Chicago Writers Association while scarfing down this small portion of nachos. We didn’t finish:



Blues is a state of mind that transcends place, like music itself. I took a few pictures of Chicago landmark buildings while on the way to meet Randy at the corner of Grand and State Street.


Every time I go to Chicago I’m awed by the verticality. I can’t resist capturing these monuments to architectural courage and posting them here. I believe!