Friday, February 29, 2008

You too, can stop MINI abuse...

Dear Lord,

Please stop snowing on my MINI. I can take it, but Winnie Cooper is a delicate flower and her resolve is wearing thin. I emplore you, please do not abuse Winnie any longer with all this snow.

Thanks, Jon

Monday, February 25, 2008

Cool stuff on the horizon... blog entries and photos will surely follow!

My Birthday! The lil woman and I will be heading on a Chicago Museum of History "L" tour of the Brown Line. The tour is on the train car.

The next weekend we will be motoring with the Chicago Mini Motoring Club (link to the left) up to Wisconsin.

We will be doing another "L" tour out to Oak Park.

Wonderful Weekend

I took a snowy Monday to reflect on what a wonderful weekend my wife and I had. When I moved us to Chicago, this was the kind of weekend I thought we would have every weekend. We started off with a lazy morning, just hanging out. We caught the train and headed off into town. After grabbing a quick sandwich at Jimmy John's, we headed to the Shedd Aquarium. I got to see the sharks, the dolphins, whales, their large komodo dragon. I had yet to go the aquarium. We rode the bus back and went out for some dinner. Sunday we woke up and decided that we wanted to see the western suburbs and motored (drove for those sans Mini) down to Naperville. Mainly we wanted to see the store there and the homeplace of Wayne's World, Aurora, excellent! We stopped off at the Aurora Chicago Premium Outlet mall and spent some coin. After a burger and beer, we headed home to watch Mr. Holland's Opus. Superb!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chalk marks and magic marker stains..

may soon grace the fingers of Mrs. Bradshaw. She has passed the Illinois State Board of Education examination. She is a few short steps from becoming a full fledged teacher again, should she choose to do so. I am so proud of you Amanda!!!


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Perspective on Cold

So living in Chicago, cold is not just a daily conversation, it is simply a way of life. You suit up, you go out, you just bear it. Really, unless you work out of doors, it isn't all that bad. I was able to put this into perspective on my last auction trip.

I arrived in Minneapolis, MN at 11am on Tuesday, it was cold, about 10 degrees above, sunny and completely gorgeous. Minne is one of the cleanest and nicest places I have ever been to and I enjoy this trip a great deal. We previewed, it got a touch colder as we went to dinner and it dropped to about 0. When that burst of cold air hits your lungs from a night of drinking and eating it makes you choke, and we all did a little cough or two. After a few games of pool and a few night caps, we settled in.

I awoke Wednesday morning, turned on the local news as I always do to get a check of the weather. The first thing I hear is "the coldest night of the winter here." Oh shit! In North Carolina, that means nothing, maybe a dip below freezing. If you are waking up to the coldest morning in Minneapolis in February, ouch. I suited up, it kind of reads like a mastercard commercial.

From bottom to top.

Two pairs of Clarks wool blend socks
One pair of Clarks Thinsulate lined boots
One set of toe warmers (miracle pouches that heat to 130 degrees for 7 hours)
Under Armor Cold Gear leggings
Long Johns by Sears... hell yeah!
Fleece lined Khakis by J. Crew
Under Armor Cold Gear mock turtleneck
Wool Sweater by the Gap
Under Armor Cold Gear Charlotte 49ers Hoodie
3 in 1 Hoodoo parka by Columbia
Baclava by Serius
Snow Hood by Headsokz

That's like a grand worth of clothes and accessories and I was pretty toasty. It takes your breath away when you breath in the -12 degree temp (-40 windchill), and you get used to it after about 20 minutes. It warmed up to around 0 when I had to take 1 of the 4 layers around my head off.

So when the forecast called for 18 degrees tonight, that is 30 degrees warmer than yesterday. That is the same difference between a Charlotte winter day (50ish) and a Charlotte spring day (80ish). Brrrrr!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Auto Show 2008

Just a short recap of the 2008 Chicago Auto Show...

100th show in 107 years.
Jeep's off road prowess exhibit.
Hugeness of the show!

Overcrowded weekend day.
European cars were too tight.
European males do not understand manners

Jon's Top 5 cars & why...

5. Subaru Tribecca- why, Amanda loved it. It offers better value in the mid-size crossover suv class than the Mazda CX9 or VW Toureg. For the options that she wanted (leather, sunroof, heated seats) it comes in a few grand cheaper. With the new front end, replacing the ugly betty 06&07.

4. Volvo V50 - This is the small Volvo wagon. I love wagons.. they are what guys who love hatch backs drive when they have kids. It helps the Amanda likes it, when I get my demo she will be driving whatever car we like on a daily basis. I like the style & safety of Volvo, I really like how fuel efficient it is.

3. Ford Flex - I don't know why I like this thing, I would never own one, but I think because it is a Ford, it just seems like a miracle that it is cool. To sum it up, if you bought a Honda Element, and you get pregnant, find out your having triplets, this is the car you can buy.

2. Hyundai Genesis - Coupe and Sedan are both gorgeous! The sedan was a dark navy blue with a dark brown leather seating package. Stunning. The coupe is supposed to be high on power and low on price. Watch out Honda... Hyundai makes your quality of cars with 4 times the passion.

1. Mini Cooper Clubman S - You take the perfect car (Cooper S) and add 9 inches, a 3rd door, and some barn doors and you get the coolest car ever built. I am going to buy one when someone wrecks one and sells it to us!

clubman mini cooper s

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New Specs

I get to pick up my new glasses this week.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

"Look, if George W. Bush and his Republican cronies walked on water, I'd be the guy out there yelling that they couldn't swim. But don't take it from me: we've now heard it from the military commanders and our intelligence community: George Bush's actions in Iraq have not made us safer. They've done the opposite." ~James Carville~

Friday, February 01, 2008

Super Tuesday

I get to vote in Illinois' democratic primary this Tuesday.. I have wobbled back and forth since this election started back in.... back in.... back in... I dunno, 2005. When I moved here, I was so happy to be represented by Barack... as the campaign wore on, John Edward's message of helping the poor and middle class really played on my heart strings. I was a Hilraiser for a short amount of time... after this debate I am still not sure. I might need to get a transcript of this debate and dissect it.

Hilary was very funny when she said "Well, it took one Clinton to clean up the mess left by the first Bush... I guess it will just take another one to clean up after this Bush."