B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Frostpocket Still Life – Randy’s House was uploaded to Flickr

evidence of a life lived

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I took Frostpocket Still Life – Randy’s House on September 02, 2013 at 04:13PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 01, 2014 at 02:58AM

Former Location of Mandels Creamery was uploaded to Flickr

among other things.

29 Baldwin St, Toronto.

Not sure what the Hebrew/Yiddish says

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I took Former Location of Mandels Creamery on September 07, 2013 at 04:56PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on November 22, 2013 at 04:46PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:53 am

Shorter Cut Is Quicker was uploaded to Flickr

West Loop (Halsted, I think). Black and white, toned blue in Photoshop.

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I took Shorter Cut Is Quicker on December 08, 2013 at 01:18PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 28, 2014 at 04:02PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:19 am

Don’t Forget To Dance was uploaded to Flickr

Merchandise Mart and the Chicago River

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I took Don’t Forget To Dance on November 30, 2013 at 03:25PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 09, 2013 at 04:05PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:18 am

You Finished Before We Were Done was uploaded to Flickr

Metropolitan Correction Center, Chicago.

A Harry Weese joint, 1975

http://ift.tt/KOh9DU

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I took You Finished Before We Were Done on November 30, 2013 at 02:55PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on December 02, 2013 at 02:57PM

Written by eggplant

April 12th, 2014 at 10:18 am

Photo Republished at Gangsters & Speakeasies: Buildings of Historic Chicago

Green Mill Daguerreotype
My photo was used to illustrate this post

Green Mill Jazz Club The speakeasy, 1920′s icon. When prohibition began, outlawing the sale of alcohol in the United States paved the way for criminals like Al Capone to come to fruition. And if you think prohibition stopped alcohol, well, then… the word naive comes to mind. Alcohol, if anything, was more rampant in the 1920′s. Want to make something that’s already fun even more popular?? Make it taboo. The “speakeasy” was the slang term for an establishment that illegally sold alcohol during these times. Some were seedy bars, others were extravagant nightclubs filled with the rich and famous. The Green Mill Jazz Club, still open today, was a popular speakeasy back during prohibition and at one point even owned by Jack McGurn, a right hand man of Al Capone.? photo credit:?swanksalot

click here to keep reading :
Gangsters & Speakeasies: Buildings of Historic Chicago

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Written by eggplant

April 8th, 2014 at 11:35 am

zor zor it’s my birthday

2 comments

zor zor it's my birthday

Graffiti, Lincoln Park somewhere near Fullerton.

I’m old enough that I don’t want presents from people, unless they are genuine surprises, I find it much better to buy my own presents. I’m torn between purchasing myself a NAS drive to replace a Drobo that I don’t really like, or a quality, direct-drive USB-enabled vinyl turntable. I also considered getting a zoom lens, but I wouldn’t use it that often, so it’s lower on my list.

I’ve heard good things about Synology, such as this machine or similar:

and this Audio-Technica turntable looks pretty nice:

My quick thought is that the NAS drive is a more practical purchase – I do need a better storage device for backups; the turntable would mean I’d have to have space for some vinyl records in an already bursting-to-the-gills office.

Hmmm. What do you think?

Written by Seth Anderson

April 7th, 2014 at 11:14 am

Posted in Personal

Tagged with , , ,

Fulton Randolph Market District Plan Presentation First Draft

 Cleaning Up

Cleaning Up

There is a new proposal to turn the Fulton Market corridor into an historic district, meaning that real estate developers would not be able to tear down existing structures here willy-nilly to put up cookie-cutter condos or boring square box stores. No more McDonald’s, in other words, unless they are put in an existing structure.

In general, I’m for this idea, I think it is intriguing, but the details are always key, of course. How heavy handed will the City be? Where is the money going to be coming from? Who will be the decision maker? How soon will the National Register of Historic Places act if asked? 

Dozens of buildings along major stretches of Randolph Street and Fulton Market — including ones that house some of the city’s best-known restaurants — would become part of a historic district under a city proposal that the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will consider Thursday.

The proposal — presented at a community meeting Tuesday night — calls for granting historic designation to a six-block stretch of buildings on Randolph between the Kennedy Expy. and a property just west of Carpenter Street and along Lake Street from Peoria to Morgan streets. An eight-block stretch on Fulton Market between Halsted Street and Racine Avenue would also be landmarked.

The 75 buildings that would be affected by the historic designation currently house restaurants including the Girl and the Goat and the Publican and multiple restaurant supply businesses and butchers.

The proposed historic district is part of a larger land-use plan that would regulate building construction and designs in the area and also bring streetscaping and other improvements to create a “distinct sense of place,” documents say.

The proposal stated the plan would help preserve “an area of historic buildings occupied by new and traditional food business that showcase Chicago as the culinary epicenter of the Midwest.”

It’s also an area that “has attracted innovative industries” — including Google — which the city believes will continue.

 

(click here to continue reading Randolph Street, Fulton Market to Become Historic Districts Under City Plan – West Loop – DNAinfo.com Chicago.)

I’ve taken a few photos of Fulton Market over the years, click here for some of them…

Technicolor Haze over West Loop
Technicolor Haze over West Loop

Fulton Street Wholesale
Fulton Street Wholesale

Fulton Street Nocturne
Fulton Street Nocturne

If you’ve ever visited Pike Place Market in Seattle, the River Market District in Kansas City, or the Gansevoort Market District (Meat Packing District) in New York, you’d have an idea of what the City of Chicago is thinking about.

Lets Make a Deal
Lets Make a Deal

Here’s the presentation itself if you are interested.

Fulton Randolph Market District Plan (Presented 4/1/14) from Neighbors of West Loop

(via Neighbors of West Loop – West Loop News: Fulton Randolph Market District Plan Presentation (April 1, 2014).)

The presentation mentions the transformation of the CCP Holden Building on W. Madison as an example of what could be done, and it is true, there are several older buildings left on Fulton Street that could use a little loving care and restoration after years of neglect.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 4th, 2014 at 9:06 am

Emanuel ordinance grants exemption for petcoke

Mayor Emanuel
Mayor Emanuel

Gee, Rahm, did you think that nobody would notice this? Not a good way to win re-election, environmentalists are motivated voters, with long memories…

Faced with public outrage about gritty black dust blowing through Chicago’s Southeast Side, Mayor Rahm Emanuel talked of forcing towering mounds of petroleum coke out of Chicago and outlawing new piles with costly regulations.

But the fine print of a zoning ordinance unveiled Tuesday by the Emanuel administration opens the door for greater use of the high-sulfur, high-carbon refinery byproduct in the city.

Under changes outlined at a hearing of the City Council’s powerful zoning committee, companies would be allowed to store and burn petroleum coke in Chicago if “consumed onsite as part of a manufacturing process.” The special exemption also would allow companies to burn stockpiles of coal.

KCBX Terminals, a company controlled by industrialists Charles and David Koch, already is defending a lawsuit filed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that accuses the company of violating air pollution laws at its facility off Burley Avenue between 108th and 111th streets. Another Madigan lawsuit urges a Cook County judge to cite KCBX for violating water quality and open dumping laws by failing to prevent petcoke and coal from washing into the Calumet River at its 100th Street storage terminal.

A separate state order required Beemsterboer Slag Co. to remove petcoke and coal from its 106th Street storage terminal.

KCBX has a contract to store petcoke generated by the BP refinery just over the Indiana border in Whiting. To process more heavy Canadian tar sands oil, BP recently completed an overhaul of the refinery that will more than triple its output of petcoke to 2.2 million tons a year – a figure Emanuel has frequently cited when vowing to crack down on the dusty piles.

“It’s unfortunate the city is undercutting the mayor’s very clear statements,” said Henry Henderson, a former Chicago environment commissioner who heads the Midwest office of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This is a retreat.”

(click here to continue reading Chicago Tribune – Emanuel ordinance grants exemption for petcoke.)

Presidential Towers with a Benjamin
Presidential Towers with a Benjamin

I wonder if there were any Koch-Dollars involved? Sounds suspiciously like there was some back channels being worked here by somebody…

Yesterday, a hearing on Chicago’s proposed ordinance to ban new and expanded petroleum coke operations gave us a good example of why this town often deserves its international reputation for political shenanigans.

The City Council’s Zoning Committee had set a hearing to move on the ordinance that would significantly restrict transportation, disposal and use of petroleum coke in our communities. Based on weeks of discussions with the City authorities, and the stated goals of the Mayor, everyone thought they were coming to a hearing in the City Council’s zoning committee to weigh in on new rules on the handling and usage of the ashy oil refining waste (as well as coal) which has appeared in massive mounds on the Southeast Side.

But instead, John Pope, sponsor of the ordinance and Alderman of the 10th Ward where the piles reside, tried to pull a switcheroo.

But the Alderman’s new version eliminates the prohibition on petcoke and coal users. That means big facilities that burn the stuff, like cement manufacturers and dirty energy producers, are free to open and expand across many city districts.

Given recent maneuvering in the area, it is likely that he has a couple of users clearly in mind: a cement plant and the formerly aborted Leucadia coal gasification plant.

(click here to continue reading Chicago Petcoke: Alderman’s Shameful Switcheroo Undercuts His Neighbors, the Mayor and the Entire City | Henry Henderson.)

and this tidbit is troubling:

And it opens the door to expansion of the blight. While the oil refining waste has largely been seen along the banks of the Calumet River on the Southeast Side, it is important to remember that there are plenty of other potential destinations in town. In our testimony at the hearing, my colleague Meleah Geertsma noted that under current law, facilities in almost any of Chicago’s “Planned Manufacturing Districts” have the right to bring big piles of petcoke and coal. The City has 15 of these zones, which include places like the Clybourn Corridor, Goose Island, the Chicago/Halsted Corridor, Pilsen and West Pullman.

Written by Seth Anderson

April 3rd, 2014 at 4:59 am

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – driftdog was uploaded to Flickr

W. Randolph St

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I took Oscar Mayer Wienermobile – driftdog on August 01, 2013 at 04:19PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on August 01, 2013 at 09:37PM

Written by eggplant

March 31st, 2014 at 11:05 am

Brooding On The Rhythmic Swing Of Your Imagination was uploaded to Flickr

Blue Line train leaving the Addison station

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I took Brooding On The Rhythmic Swing Of Your Imagination on March 29, 2014 at 06:42PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 30, 2014 at 02:42AM

Written by eggplant

March 31st, 2014 at 9:22 am

Penokee Hills, Bad River to Be Destroyed By Scott Walker and His Team of Trolls

Watershed Polapan Blue
Watershed Polapan Blue

Wisconsin voters, here is your reward for electing Scott Walker: the upcoming destruction of Penokee Hills and the Bad River. Gee, thanks…

But now, after the recent passage of a bill that would allow for the construction of what could be the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine, Wisconsin’s admirable history of environmental stewardship is under attack.

The mine, to be built by Gogebic Taconite (GTac), owned by the coal magnate Chris Cline, would be in the Penokee Hills, in the state’s far north — part of a vast, water-rich ecosystem that President John F. Kennedy described in 1963, in a speech he delivered in the area, as “a central and significant portion of the freshwater assets of this country.”

The $1.5 billion mine would initially be close to four miles long, up to a half-mile wide and nearly 1,000 feet deep, but it could be extended as long as 21 miles. In its footprint lie the headwaters of the Bad River, which flows into Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world and by far the cleanest of the Great Lakes. Six miles downstream from the site is the reservation of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, whose livelihood is threatened by the mine.

To facilitate the construction of the mine and the company’s promise of 700 long-term jobs, Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation last year granting GTac astonishing latitude. The new law allows the company to fill in pristine streams and ponds with mine waste. It eliminates a public hearing that had been mandated before the issuing of a permit, which required the company to testify, under oath, that the project had complied with all environmental standards. It allows GTac to pay taxes solely on profit, not on the amount of ore removed, raising the possibility that the communities affected by the mine’s impact on the area’s roads and schools would receive only token compensation.

(click here to continue reading The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul – NYTimes.com.)

and, as always, follow the money:

According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a campaign-finance watchdog, GTac executives and other mine supporters have donated a total of $15 million to Governor Walker and Republican legislators, outspending the mine’s opponents by more than 600 to 1.

Your tears are wasted
Your tears are wasted

If Governor Scott Walker does in fact run for President, this issue will not play well in the minds of most. Even many Republicans don’t want to turn our great country into a wasteland worse than Mordor. It’s hard to go hunting or fishing knee deep in mining slag and asbestos…

Special interests that back loosening mining regulations for a Florida company that wants to dig an open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin have contributed $15.6 million to the Republican-controlled legislature and GOP Governor Scott Walker who are likely to approve mining permit changes in the coming months.

The Democracy Campaign review also found the campaign contributions made by mining deregulation interests swamped those of mining deregulation opponents – environmental groups – by a ratio of $610 to $1. Environmental groups which oppose the Republican mining proposal introduced in mid-January contributed only $25,544 to legislators between 2010 and June 2012 and to the governor between 2010 and April 23, 2012.

Support for a nearly identical GOP proposal last session to reduce groundwater, wetland, waste rock disposal and other environment laws for iron ore mining and impose deadlines on the state to review mine proposals so companies can get permits faster was led by manufacturing, construction, business, banking, transportation and four other special interests, according to state lobbying records.

This array of powerful special interests support mining deregulation because they will benefit from the short- and long-term construction and operation of Gogebic Taconite’s proposed mine in Ashland and Iron counties. Gogebic Taconite is a Wisconsin-based subsidiary of the Cline Group which controls large coal mining operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and Ohio.

Walker, who has campaigned around the state to gin up support for changing rules to attract mining projects, received $11.34 million from 2010 through April 23, 2012 from interests that support mining deregulation (Table 1) including $67,068 from the prospective mine’s owner, Christopher Cline, his employees and other mining industry executives. During the same period, Walker received only $650 from environmental groups.

(click here to continue reading Mine Backers Drill With Big Cash To Ease Regulations | Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 31st, 2014 at 8:42 am

California Farmers Short of Labor, and Patience

We Are workers not criminals
We Are workers not criminals

Another big fault line in the Republican Party: the Tea Party wing is rabidly anti-immigration, and they seem to be setting policy. The Agribusiness wing just wants to harvest their crops like they always have, with sketchily documented migrant workers.

California is home to an estimated 2.5 million illegal immigrants, more than in any other state. Perhaps nowhere else captures the contradictions and complications of immigration policy better than California’s Central Valley, where nearly all farmworkers are immigrants, roughly half of them living here illegally, according to estimates from agricultural economists at the University of California, Davis.

 That reality is shaping the views of agriculture business owners here, like Mr. Herrin, who cannot recall ever voting for a Democrat. In dozens of interviews, farmers and owners of related businesses said that even the current system of tacitly using illegal labor was failing to sustain them. A work force that arrived in the 1990s is aging out of heavy labor, Americans do not want the jobs, and tightened security at the border is discouraging new immigrants from arriving, they say, leaving them to struggle amid the paralysis on immigration policy. No other region may be as eager to keep immigration legislation alive.

The tension is so high that the powerful Western Growers Association, a group based in Irvine, Calif., that represents hundreds of farmers in California and Arizona, says many of its members may withhold contributions from Republicans in congressional races because of the party’s stance against a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

“We’ve had secure borders with Mexico for the last decade; we don’t have that argument at this point,” Mr. Nassif said. “Now we want people to see the real damage of not doing anything, which is a declining work force, and it means losing production to foreign countries.”

After the 2012 presidential election, as Republicans spoke enthusiastically about the need to court Latinos, Mr. Nassif was optimistic that immigration would become a top priority. But exasperation has replaced his confidence in recent months, and he said his group could withhold hundreds of thousands of dollars in congressional races in which it has usually supported Republicans.

“I can tell you if the Republicans don’t put something forward on immigration, there is going to be a very loud hue and cry from us in agriculture,” Mr. Nassif said. “We are a tremendously important part of the party, and they should not want to lose us.”

(click here to continue reading California Farmers Short of Labor, and Patience – NYTimes.com.)

Of course, if the Agribusiness wing of the GOP paid higher wages, they might be able to get some Americans to work picking crops, maybe. It is back-breaking labor, much harder than flipping burgers at the local fast food joint. And if farmers had to pay a living wage, produce would suddenly skyrocket in price, more than limes I’m guessing. Doesn’t matter anyway, the Steve “Cantaloupe” Kings of the party are opposed to any immigrant being let in.

Written by Seth Anderson

March 31st, 2014 at 8:25 am

Is the Lime an Endangered Species?

Bowl of Limes
Bowl of Limes

Are limes going to be another victim of our world’s insatiable appetites? I use a few each and every week, in soups, in cocktails, in marinades, sometimes even just in water.

A sudden and unprecedented shortage of limes has sent nationwide wholesale prices soaring from around $25 for a 40-pound carton in early February to more than $100 today, panicking lovers of Mexican food and drinks — and the restaurant and bar owners who cater to them. The culprits are weather, disease and even Mexican criminals.

In the 1970s Americans consumed an average of less than half a pound per person of limes a year, most of them grown in southern Florida. Immigration from tropical countries, and the growing taste for their foods, helped raise consumption to over two and a half pounds today. Meanwhile, low-priced competition from Mexico, the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and an eradication campaign to fight canker disease in 2002-06 wiped out the Florida groves.

Mexico is now the world’s largest producer and exporter of limes, and provides some 95 percent of United States supplies. Generally, the lime harvest is smaller and prices are higher from January through March, but in November and December severe rains knocked the blossoms off lime trees in many areas, reducing lime exports to the United States by two-thirds. California, with just 373 acres, is now the largest domestic lime source — but it produces less than 1 percent of national consumption, and its season is late summer and fall, so it’s no help right now.

Other factors may also be squeezing the lime market. Since 2009 a bacterial disease that kills citrus trees, huanglongbing (HLB, also known as “greening”), has spread across many of Mexico’s lime-growing districts. Largely because of HLB, harvests in Colima State, a major producer of Key limes (the small, seeded, highly aromatic type preferred in Mexico), have dropped by a third in the past three years.

(click here to continue reading Is the Lime an Endangered Species? – NYTimes.com.)

and of course, where there’s money, there are criminals:

As a result of high prices and rampant lawlessness in some Mexican regions, criminals who may be linked to drug gangs are plundering fruit from groves and hijacking trucks being used for export, said Bill Vogel, president of Vision Produce, a Los Angeles-based importer. A truck headed for Vision’s sister company in Texas was hijacked two weeks ago in Mexico, he said, and growers and shippers now are hiring armed guards to protect their green gold.

(click here to continue reading Is the Lime an Endangered Species? – NYTimes.com.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 31st, 2014 at 7:31 am

Posted in Food and Drink,News-esque

Tagged with ,

Boots Sox Pants Shirts was uploaded to Flickr

Army Navy Surplus store on Lincoln.

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I took Boots Sox Pants Shirts on March 08, 2014 at 03:33PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on March 10, 2014 at 02:46PM

Written by eggplant

March 30th, 2014 at 7:14 pm