Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Windy City

First of all, Chicago isn't all that windy. I think it actually ranks 14th or so but who am I to change their name. Maybe 'Big Lake City' or 'Tall Buildings City'. At least more emphasis on the 'City of Big Shoulders'. That has a nice feel. It was great to go back through the Field Natural History Museum where 'Sue' the 67 million year old T Rex found in Faith, SD is housed that was found in 1990. She's named for her discoverer, Susan Hendrickson.

There is a pretty cool Egyptian exhibit and an Amercas exhibit that has one of the finest Anasazi pottery (Southwest Native American) collections. The kids were bored with that of course but they were pretty impressed with 'Sue' and the two huge taxidermied mammoth-sized elephants as you walk in the front doors. Everyone is also blown away by the sheer numbers of dead, stuffed animals both big and small in the animal exhibit. Many were collected in the 20's and 30's and still there. Haven't moved since I was a kid. I don't think you can do that anymore given that some of the species are lost forever. I heard recently (on NPR of course) that more than one and one-half million species exist on the earth today. However, recent estimates state that at least 20 times that many species inhabit the planet. AND, 1000 species in the world are endangered. Other thousands disappear every year never to be seen again. Okay, so now YOU are bored.

Then it was off to the Museum of Science and Industry the next day. We went into the coal mine and watched the chicks hatch. That place is more kid friendly. The Cirque du Soleil was fabulous and a must see for anyone in proximity. Some of the stuff they do makes your mouth hang open. Not very attractive, but unavoidable.

Finally, Monday was down in my hometown of Joliet which is about 30 miles south of Chicago. My brother gave us his front row third base side tickets. I put my beverage on the dugout and enjoyed the Joliet Jackhammers who lost in 12 innings 6-3. I even brought my own glove. The Jackhammers are kind of between an A and AA league and I found out that there GM left for the Florence Freedom so SHE is now in this neck of the woods.

One of the big questions answered was my packing. I think it's going to work. I have feeling that schlepping my bags aroung Beijing will be a pain so packing less clothes and more deoderant sounds good.

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