Per Wikipedia, calling “dibs” is the American English  term, also known as “Bags” in the Australia and New Zealand, and as “Bagsies” in UK and Ireland, for an informal convention where one declares a first claim to something to which no one else has a clearly recognized right. Such a declaration is often recognized in certain cultures, or sub-cultures, as a means to avoid arguments over relatively trivial issues although can be considered quite rude at some points.

The dibs declaration can only be negated if the caller is challenged and defeated in a fistfight.

The term ‘Bags’ in much of the English world outside of the US comes from the schoolyard practice of placing ones bag on a chair, bench or other location, thus reserving the seat for you or your group of friends.  Or in the case of Chicago, the unwritten rule of plastic chairs or other items set in the street to save the spot for your car, especially in winter.

Ah yes, winter in Chicago.  We’ve have over 20 inches of snow the past few days, with more on the way.  This picture shows what can happen when you shovel for days to get your car out in the city, and then someone else parks there.  I think you can see the car antennae sticking out.  We spent 3 hours digging out that spot, we have no problem spending 6 hours burying your car if you park there comes along, and parks in YOUR space.

snow parking

The side streets are the orphans of the city plows, and must wait until the main roads are sparkling clean before they make a pass down the center of the street, burying the cars even more.  The road is usually like a washboard then, because of the underlying melting snow/ice that has hardened into concrete.  It takes HOURS of intensive labor to dig your car out after 2 feet of snow.  Therefore, people mark their territory when they have their spot cleaned out.

dibs1They use whatever old furniture they have laying around, typically chairs.  Some people like to get creative and class it up a bit.

dibs2But you better make sure you put out enough furniture to save a big enough spot, otherwise this will happen.


My heart does go out to those in the city.  I guess I am lucky to have my big garage and remote auto start out here in the country.


What I learned from Little League

LLJust as I had never watched soccer before this last World Cup, I had never watched a Little League game before.  After watching the team from Great Lakes/Illinois, called Jackie Robinson West (JRW), my whole perspective has changed.

The Chicago team is made up entirely of black players from an area where gang violence and poverty is the norm.  The team is named after Jackie Robinson, the first black player in Major League baseball.  It was a long road JRW traveled, to get to the World Series.  Once they won the Regional Championship, many parents were scrambling to figure out how to get the World Series so they could watch their boys.  Fundraisers were held, and assistance was given.  Talk about coming together for a good cause!

Yesterday, they won the US title, beating Las Vegas against all odds, who had previously beaten them 12-2 and decimated all the other teams they played.  But the JRW team was ready for them this time.  They are scrappers, coming from behind once again, to win the day.

Today they play South Korea, who also has beaten their opponents by impressive scores, for the International title.  I’m betting these 12 year old baseball players from a needy urban area in Chicago, come out champs again.  They have already won the hearts and minds of the U.S.  Win or lose today, they will always be considered winners in my book.  They have brought pride and dignity to Chicago youth, which is sorely needed in troubled times.

Now if they could just recruit Mo’ne Davis from Philly to move to Chicago, they would be unstoppable, yo!  Best team plus best girl……she is the champion of all girl athletes!


Where is my debt ceiling? REDUX

Another oldie but goodie for you folks.  This one is from last summer.  Funny how things circle around again.  This was written when the “fiscal cliff” was imminent and we put it off again.  And here we go again!

Well at the last minute possible we averted financial disaster.  Whew!  That was a close call.  Kept our triple A rating tho, and that’s the bottom line, right?  No?  You mean there’s more to it than that?  Far reaching repercussions of a lame duck congress?  Well, at least Obama was able to make it to Chicago to celebrate his birthday on time.  Oh, and a fund raiser.  A very expensive fun raiser.  And I’m sure the congress members scattered like leaves in the wind as soon as the vote was over.  After all, they have worked HARD this summer!  So they left a few issues on the table that will end up costing the government millions/billions.  Whatever.  They will get to it all in due time.  I mean, come on, they were forced to work over a holiday this year!  What sacrifices they make for us.  Us people with no jobs, no insurance, no government pension, no light at the end of OUR tunnels!  Where’s OUR bailout?  How high does OUR debt ceiling go before we self implode?

Maybe our government should be more concerned with taking care of the AMERICAN people before they care of every other stinking person on this planet.  Maybe our fingers are in too many pies, or trying to hold too many dikes back.  We are always the first ones to come to the rescue, and stick our noses in other countries business.  When will WE come first?  There are sick and starving and homeless people in THIS fine country of ours.  There are home grown terrorists here.  There are natural catastrophes here.  There is civil unrest here.  When will we solve our OWN problems, and quit trying to solve the problems of the world first?

It’s just too easy to point the finger and blame somebody else.  It’s the President’s fault.  It’s the Republican’s fault.  It’s the Tea Party’s fault.  It’s the Union’s fault.  It’s never MY fault, or OUR fault.

Maybe we all need to get back to a simpler life, where we are responsible for our own actions, our own debt, our own country.  Live and let live.  Help out when you can.  Share what you can.  Make the world a better place, by starting at home.

Doing the Tebow

Meet Tim Tebow.  The man, the legend….what a quarterback should look like.  High school star, college star, Heismann Trophy winner.  He’s got it all.  Oh, and by the way, he is a Christian, and proud to show it.

Whether or not his stats bear out his greatness, I am a believer.  It’s not just about winning.  It’s about making people believe that they can.  Tebow is God’s quarterback and has made quite a statement in not just the NFL, but the world. 




Tebow has now become part of our lexicon. He is a proper noun as in Tim Tebow, he is a noun like “That was classic Tebow”.  He is a verb as in “Tebowing”, or more specifically, to get down on one knee and start praying, even if everyone around you is doing something different.  He is an adjective too unfortunately, as in “The Bears got Tebow-beat on Sunday”.

So even though I am a Bears fan, excuse me cause I got some Tebowing to do.

Is Marilyn Monroe the new Bean?

Chicago is a lakefront city of many wonders.  The Sears Tower (I don’t even know the new name and refuse to learn it), the John Hancock, Navy Pier, the Aquarium, Soldier Field etc.  A few years back we got a new wonder, the Bean.  Not sure what the purpose is or was.  Still not sure.  But everybody had to go see their reflection in the Bean.

Now, it is Marilyn Monroe’s underpants.  Yes, I said underpants.  In Marilyn’s day they didn’t wear panties or thongs from Victoria’s Secret.  They wore Granny pants.  Big billowing underpants that covered up ALL your bits and pieces.  So now the latest hot touristy thing to do in Chicago is to visit the Marilyn statue and have your picture taken while standing underneath her skirts looking up at her underpants.  Pictures abound on Facebook and Twitter and family albums everywhere!

I guess I don’t get it.  Why would someone build a statue that basically lets everybody look up a poor dead women’s skirt?  And yes I know that it’s a scene from one of her movies, but I don’t think people were standing underneath her staring up at her.

Also, from the looks of the statue, Marilyn has wonderful legs, and a great figure overall.  However, I do think back in the day it was said that Marilyn was considered a little chubby and wore a size 16.  Huh.  I bet most of today’s overweight population wished they looked like her!  And if she was a real size 16 I’ll eat my own underpants!  I mean come on, Kirstie Alley claims she was down to size 6 by the end of Dancing With the Stars, and I think maybe she is a real size 16!  Kirstie Alley is fabulous and stunningly beautiful, but skinny she ain’t, not even now.  She looks MARVELOUS, and I am super proud of her achievements.

But back to Marilyn.  I think the statue is meant as a tribute to her, but I think it demeans her a bit, and brings it all down to a joke about her underpants.  What do you think?  I am curious to know.