Well, Rich knows my true identity, which I am reluctant to reveal because then I’d have to edit my comments and I’d rather just continue to call ‘em as I see ‘em. So I don’t want to share too much, but there was some confusion a little while ago regarding my gender.
I’m a dude. Not the Dude, just a dude, a guy, male, a he. I’m also married with two small kids and am a few years younger than Rich. I grew up near where he lived, although our paths never crossed, we probably know a few of the same people.
And I think I’ve been a dues paying subscriber since the Fax was launched. OK, maybe I read the office copy in the early days, but I’ve been paying ever since.
I had the honor of being the first regular commenter profiled for Eric’s new “Meet the Commenters”. We’ve been having a lot of fun with this on his blog. So, if you want to know more about me, look me up.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 12:53 pm:
I’ve worked in both the public and private sectors and have been to almost all of Illinois’ 102 counties.
Catch-22 was probably my favorite book of the stack of stand-bys I had to read for A.P. English class. I remember reading somewhere that soon after Catch-22 was published in 1961, bumper stickers that read, “Yossarian lives,” mysteriously began appearing all over the place, particularly in NYC bathroom stalls. Thus the handle.
Also, I appeared on Teen Jeopardy and won a vacuum cleaner.
I homebrew beer and have a collection of whiskies. I’d make spirits, too, except it’d get me thrown in prison. So I collect. My prize: Pappy Van Winkle 23. My realization: Pappy ain’t all that great. Current whiskey I recommend to anyone who show’s a passing interest in whiskey/whisky — and one that’s getting hard(er) to find — Old Templeton Rye.
I work for the state, and I have a second job as Tom Cross’s caddy. I probably work just as many hours at my second job as I do my first. I spend a lot of time at Fox Bend and I have noticed a man in a Jimmy Buffet shirt, sunglasses, and sandals either following us around the course or driving slowly by on Rte.#34 in a conversion van. We can only assume that is OW.
I try to spend as much time outside as I can. I prefer a walk in the timber, or a quiet float on a lake or down a river to hanging a a bar with a bunch of people. I would rather be outside in the woods, or grasslands, or on the water, in any weather than inside. And I would rather be out there with my family, and/or a good dog than inside at the swankiest restaurant.
My best memory of the State fair is sitting on the Governor’s reviewing stand listening to Alabama play and watching Gov. Jim Thompson in jeans, a flannel shirt, boots, and with a long neck in his hand sitting and having a long conversation with my three kids, who were then 5, 9, and 11. They still talk about it.
I grew up on a farm, but most people would never guess that about me and are often surprised to learn it. I have a crush on Oswego Willy - the gender ambiguity makes it even more intense. Also, I’m very tall.
Despite some of my comments, in reality I’ve never driven over 110 mph. Given that I’m now driving an SUV it is highly unlikely (although not impossible) that I will go faster than 110 in the near future.
Also, despite some posts, I really don’t view speed regulations as an infringement on my fundamental rights. I’m not happy about those speed regulations, but I’m really not outraged.
I’m fascinated by trains and follow the industry closely–but have no connection to it.
I’m fascinated by Illinois politics and follow it closely, but again–barely any connection.
I’m a normal guy–electrical engineer–married, with one 8 year old son.
I grew up north of the border and my first taste of politcs came voluneering for a State Senate campaign back in 1984. It was one of these districts like Josh Harms’ that took 4 hours to drive across with no towns greater than six or seven thousand in population.
I don’t comment as much as I used to but still visit every day. I appreciate Mr. Miller’s efforts to add positively to the political discourse of our state as well as all of you commenters who succeed in helping him.
I wish I could listen to music 24 hours a day. I’m listening to Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington as I write this. Up next in the queue are the Beach Boys, Beck, Otis Redding, and Helmet. The last recordings I bought were the Elf soundtrack, The King of Limbs by Radiohead, and El Camino by The Black Keys.
I’d like to tell you all about myself, but a member of my family has recently been threatened with career-ending by the the Quinn administration because of my whistle-blowing and criticism in other venues.
I’m sure the Quinn threat wasn’t intentional though, Quinn is such a well-intentioned and nice guy.
- Left of Central IL - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 1:45 pm:
The first campaign I worked on was in 1970 when we were in grade school and one of our friends dad ran for mayor of a suburban town. Our spray painting of the oppositions signs turned out to be frowned upon. The other guy won and served 32 years. For some reason even with that losing battle under my belt I don’t think I have not worked on someone’s campaign in almost every election since.
- Endangered Moderate Species - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 1:48 pm:
I like music, books and movies and am open to enjoying many genres but if I had to pick favorites it would be Buffet music, political biographies and Oscar nominated movies.
I’m a second generation reader of Capitol Fax. Dad and I used to discuss what we read here all the time. Even though he’s passed on, I’ll occasionally read one aloud to him that I know he’d be interested in - especially the ones where he knew the people involved. And especially the ones that would tork him off royally.
I’m a published author of one non-fiction book and halfway into my next one. It has absolutely nothing to do with politics. I’ve worked in the same branch of human services all of my adult life
And I have had my picture taken with Bozo the Clown.
Nine grandkids + several step g-kids, and I never really liked kids that well. But the three year-old is my little buddy…
Grew up on a farm, got into construction, moved over to local road maintenance-been doing it for 40 years now, with several years to go-will max out on IMRF when I am, but if I work three more years after that, I can say I worked on the roads for 50 years. (they can engrave that on my tombstone…)
Started off studying engineering and architecture in college, then fell in love with computers and, mostly, did that for a living with some detours into management, procurement, wrote 5 non-fiction books and, in retirement, currently edit / publish a professional car club newsletter, and still can’t type worth a darn!
I’ve played with cars and motorcycles my whole life, both on the street and drag strip; I have driven a car 160 and a bike 145 (never again on the bike). Now I confine myself to slower old cars on the street, and still do most my own work on them.
I worked for the city and have never been so repelled by a group of idiots so I quit and have been looking for a job. I really miss my medical benefits. They were a steal.
If I won the Lottery, I would spend the rest of my days traveling. I’d probably eventually move to Morocco. Travel changes everything that goes on in your head.
I am excessively curious and also a believer in Hope. I went clean for Gene in 68, but then started my voting career as a registered Republican.
I read voraciously, mysteries and science fiction are favorites, particularly military science fiction. Someone once watched me order a steak and commented, red meat, science fiction and computer games, are you sure you are a girl.
I have been an employee of the state of Illinois for 23 years. I work in the area of mental disability advocacy. My wife is an attorney and we have a 20 y/o son who reports to USMC basic training in a few weeks. My son and I have been restoring a 70 y/o wooden sailboat. I used to be a welder in a shipyard in Wisconsin back in the 70s. I have been a machinist/millwright. I really do live in DuPage county.
Slinger… 969 miles, my home in DuPage, October - no crosswinds on the Mac, and it was dark before the Milwaukee breakfast and after the Grand Rapids dinner. 55 was a response to the 74 oil embargo.
- Fan of the Game - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 2:33 pm:
I played basketball against the Soviet Junior National Team in the Olympic stadium in Moscow in 1987.
I have been engaged in education all of my adult life (and most of my childhood, too! :) ).
I have coached boys’ and girls’ sports at the JH and HS level, and there IS a difference in how you handle each.
My name comes from the book “Shoeless Joe” by W.P. Kinsella, which was made into the movie “Field of Dreams.” When Ray Kinsella meets Doc Graham on the streets of Chisholm, MN, he says,”Dr. Graham! Dr. Graham! Doc graham stops and turns. “Are you ‘Moonlight’ Graham?” Ray asks.
“You must be a fan of the game to know ‘Moonlight’ Graham,” the stranger replies.
In the next several pages Kinsella, through the voice of “Moonlight” Graham expounds on what is right about sports and the place they fit and fill in our lives.
Plus, I love stories about how people got to where they are, what made them change a career or take a trip or the people who helped them along the way. I’m a fam of that game, too.
I know that Rich Miller knows how to pick out a good thick-cut rib-eye steak from the Super Myers on Veterans. I found myself looking through the selections for a nicely marbled cut when THE MAN himself walked up to gander their fine selection..I was a bit star struck and thanked him for his outstanding work…I also tell him he reminds me of Maury from Goodfellas every chance I get…..He’s gonna deck me one of these days.
I ran for high school class president with the promise of “putting beer in the drinking fountains.” I won. By a lot. The administration intervened and after a phone call to my mom, they handed the win to the captain of the tennis team. I still hate tennis.
When I was just a lad, I shook hands with Governor Otto Kerner at the old McCormick place during a sailboat show there in the early 60s. Kerner went to prison. The McCormick place burnt down. Coincidence?
- Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 3:01 pm:
LOL, Lobo. I ran for VP of my HS class by lobbying for a smoking lounge where you can “smoke anything…even tobacco!” among other whimsical as well as serious themes, and narrowly won in a 3-candidate race. Surprisingly, the administration did not intervene; it was part of the turbulent times where other things, like race relations and drugs, were taking center stage and I was just along for the ride. BTW, my first and last experience with elective office or working on a campaign. To me, membership in a party does not divide people politically as much as who’s in it for themselves and who’s in it for others.
I almost ran over Rod Blagojevich once. He was with a small entourage jogging down the middle of the street near Finkl & Sons. We made eye contact as they scattered. It was embarrassing, to say the least.
- Used to flip off Rod’s name on the sign on the toll road when I would drive to and from work every day. Man that made me feel good… -
I used to flip off the editorial offices of a newspaper in a Midwestern state capital that shall be nameless here, but then one night a guy who was driving by in the oncoming traffic lane got between me and the building … he gave me a really puzzled look, like, “hey what did *I* do?” and I decided maybe I’d better stop doing that.
Apropos of nothing, Golden Domers might want to stay away from media outlets for a while. Shocking and bizarre story breaking right now about Manti Te’O.
- Because I said so... - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 3:55 pm:
The handle comes from being a parent and isn’t it just the worst thing to say to a kid?
Since my spouse likes to say, “this is the business we’ve chosen,” we often talk about politics and things on the blog over dinner. In our former house full of kids, they listened and participated in many discussions. I’m always proud to hear that they know more about politics/civics than their peers. Good looking, smart and personable, I hope I’m around to see one of them get elected to office someday.
- RetiredStateEmployee - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 3:58 pm:
I am a science geek. I have been reading Scientific American for over 40 years.
I hope Fan of the Game and Oswego Willy have read Kinsella’s “Thrill of the Grass”, that’s a good one.
I regularly have bartenders ask if my name is ‘Chad’ and/or if I am a reporter. Neither is the case. Somewhere there may be a dive bar loving reporter named Chad I’d like to meet.
- Joe Bidenopoulous - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 4:25 pm:
Hmm, 47th Ward could be me. Slightly younger than Rich, 47th Ward, two young kids, worried about divulging my identity - check. Didn’t grow up near Rich though, so I guess not.
I learned to drive on a tractor when I was 11.
There’s a picture of Paul Simon holding me at my christening.
And I’ve changed my handle here several times because I’m paranoid about blowing my cover.
- Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 4:27 pm:
“I once swore at Rahm Emanuel.”
Hey, cheryl44, me too!
He was a Congressdude at the time and basically spent half his time during a lunch speech calling my agency and peers a bunch of nasty names. After he was done, I couldn’t help myself.
- LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 4:36 pm:
I was an intern many years ago working in the (this will prove it) Centennial Building. Speaker Madigan crossed Second St. without looking and not in the crosswalk — instead reading whatever papers he had in his hand.
I came within a whisper of single-handedly changing state government for a generation.
- Former Merit Comp Slave - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 4:36 pm:
Old hippie gal from the 70s, partied with both Big Jim at the beer tent and BJ Thomas after a concert. Got 29 state and 5 local government years under my belt. LIVING for retirement in a few short months. Bucket list item is to hoist a few with Mr. Miller and share some tales.
Am I the only person that comments that will admit to being a registered lobbyist? Really amazing, I suspect I have been bunched up with some of you outside committee rooms many times over the last few years. Since I am not in jail I am also not the former Governor.
- Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 4:42 pm:
My dad and I once locked through at Meredosia on the IL river in a canoe, we were the the only vessel present. I’ve heard that costs a considerable amount of money, so I guess it’s true about us liberals wasting taxpayer dollars.
Haven’t read it. I will put it on my Kindle, I am going on a trip, I can read it on my flight.
- AA -
“Willy/Willshe”? Now that hurt! …lol
- 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 4:59 pm:
I was inspired by Rich’s Blog to start a blog.
Born in Englewood, raised on the South Side.
Worked for Cook County early on in my career, knew it would do me in at a young age.
Left and work in private sector.
3rd Generation White Sox Fan. And Die hard White Sox fan.
I met Rich at a downtown Springfield bar one day and still feel I owe him a beer.
Rich in fact bought two rounds that day for those of us at his table.
I only slipped out early because I felt I was sitting in on shop talk and perhaps should not.
Wordslinger, It is true. They were in the FMPU together.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 5:54 pm:
Signed by Nixon in January 1974. Full repeal signed by Clinton in late 1995.
The National Maximum Speed Law (NMSL) in the United States was a provision of the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act that prohibited speed limits higher than 55 miles per hour (89 km/h). It was drafted in response to oil price spikes and supply disruptions during the 1973 oil crisis.
While officials hoped gasoline consumption would fall by 2.2%, actual savings are estimated at between 0.5% and 1%.
The law was widely disregarded by motorists, and most states subversively opposed the law. Actions ranged from proposing deals for exemption to de-emphasizing speed limit enforcement. The NMSL was modified in 1987 and 1988 to allow up to 65 mph (105 km/h) limits on certain limited access, rural roads. Congress repealed the NMSL in 1995, fully returning speed limit setting authority to the states.
- Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 6:09 pm:
Cheryl, I bet Rahm figured out the “MF” part of that on his own.
Bill, that was great. My favorite post of yours was “Whoops.”
You remember the day.
I have shaken the hand of every president starting with Truman through Barak. I may give it up, it just encourages them. During the. Edgar administration Rich called me “dead-wood” but i still read his stuff.
First of all this is great.
Second, I am actually 57, which may make me not quite an “elder” but as they said in Indiana Jones, “it’s not the years, it’s the mileage!”
Third, I work my butt off all day, and in the evening I have time to look at the blog, which means I am almost always the last commenter, unfortunately.
Fourth, I like hiking.
Fifth, I like politics, which means I am like everyone else here!
When I was seven, throughout the trip along the beautiful Skyline Drive in Virginia I buried my head in Little Lulu comic books in the backseat of the Mercury (infuriating my parents). There were baby kittens at the motel we stayed at near Natural Bridge! I was fascinated by the skeleton of Traveller, Gen. Robert E. Lee’s favorite horse, which was on display at Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University. (Traveller has since been buried in a grave with a concrete headstone very near to the Lee family crypt.) I got a nose bleed all down the front of my best outfit on the steps of the U. S. Capitol. At Arlington cemetery I sobbed at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier and we ran into a family from our tiny central Illinois town (pop. 1800) at the Custis-Lee Mansion. Neither family had any idea the other would be in Washington D.C. that week.
I still love to travel and do so whenever I can manage it time wise, and can afford it. Nothing beats actually being there. And you never know who you’ll meet along the way or what things will be the things you’ll remember decades later.
Wordslinger- the public relations department at Notre Dame should have listened to you. That strange press gathering that ended about an hour ago was painful to listen to in my car. What were they defending? Strange…
My great uncle was Len O’Connor, the dean of political commentators in the 70s and 80s. He and his wife came to our house for my eighth grade graduation,and one of the neiighbors saw him, and asked me if he was Jack Brickhouse.
State employee who will NOT post from work, so until I get a better phone, it’s early or late posting.
Came to Illinois to work in Bureau of the Budget (was married to a native, so moving here was a nobrainer). Been here since. As an immigrant, I marvel: (1) that in most states the Jims (Thompson and Edgar) would have been run out of the GOP on a rail; (2) the enduring addiction to patronage, no matter how unconstitutional, illegal, or anti-veteran it is; (3) how the Illinois parties are more moderate than their national counterparts; and (4) Downstate’s whimsical belief they financially support Chicago - actually, Downstate is financially supported by Chicagoland Suburbia.
The moniker? Back in the early days of the Blagojevich Administration (he richly deserves Club Fed, and I never worked for him), he was attacked, particularly here in Sangamon County, as the ONLY governor to be late to anything (and about a million other untrue things). To “jab” the locals, I replied using “Smitty Irving” … a recasting of former Sangamon County GOP Party Boss Irv Smith (that serial violator of Veteran’s Preference).
Hiked the I&M canal trail for about 5 miles today out by the Dresden nuke. Rode my bike 3000 miles last year. Learning to shoot skeet at age 71. I have some responsibility for the fact that the air you breath ain’t like Bejing’s. Pretty smart old guy.
- east central - Wednesday, Jan 16, 13 @ 11:34 pm:
Favorite author is Hermann Hesse. A favorite passage (from 1943):
“History, after all, consisted of an unbroken succession of rulers, leaders, bosses, and commanders who with extremely rare exceptions had all begun well and ended badly. All of them, at least so they said, had striven for power for the sake of the good; afterward they had become obsessed and numbed by power and loved it for its own sake.”
i have a GORGEOUS wife (ok, rich knows). talk about lucky…
- KurtInSpringfield - Thursday, Jan 17, 13 @ 8:32 am:
I will probably be the last commenter on this post. I usually am. I read the blog before work in the mornings which means I normally am a day behind.
I am a Navy veteran, but I was never stationed on a ship. My first permanent duty station was Naval Support Force Antarctica. I deployed to McMurdo Station, Antarctica four times and spent about six months there each time.
I was an Electronics Technician in the Navy; have a B.A. in Psychology; and am currently a Computer Programmer.
I am married, 23 years in May, with one daughter in college. I grew up in the Springfield area.
I only had a cursory interest in “Illinois Sausage Making” until I started reading CapitolFax. Now I read it almost everyday, though I don’t comment as much as some. On topics of special interest to me, I will read the comments to see what all of you have to say. I appreciate all the diverse points of view. Thank you, especially to Rich.
You can briefly see me in the movie “Blue Chips” with Nick Nolte. I was working at the Public Aid office in Dixie Square shopping center while the movie “Blues Brothers” was filming the car chase scene there. Movie grips had to come into the office to call for the extras to come onto the set and we dodged chase rehearsals as we came into the parking lot.
- Fan of the Game - Thursday, Jan 17, 13 @ 9:10 am:
I have not read it, but I have read Kinsella’s “The Iowa Baseball Confederacy.” Not as cohesive as “Shoeless Joe,” but the imagery and the cosmic forces at play are much more vivid! :)
As a kid I worked on a farm, worked in coal mine during summers in college, worked for Dawn Clark Netsch and have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
- Just the Facts - Thursday, Jan 17, 13 @ 9:19 am:
The first Governor I met was Otto Kerner - a neighbor was his Secretary.
In 1968 at the State Fair my cousin and I pasted “Nixon’s the One” bumper stickers and the back bumpers of a number of cars in the parking lot north and west of the Grandstand of Democratic patronage types, including my father, who were working at the Grandstand ticket office.
- Cook County Commoner - Thursday, Jan 17, 13 @ 9:26 am:
During high school years, I helped the Goldwater campaign post literature along Sheridan Rd. in Chicago. That’s when I learned that the Chicago Police and Chgo Dept of Streets and San worked for the Democratic Party. Not a word in the papers about arrests and beatings. Learned a lot about politics and government in the US.
Drafted in 1970 and spent some time with the fine people of South Vietnam. Learned a lot more about politics and government in the US.
Got a law license in 1981. And the education continues.
I haven’t resided in the 10th district for approximately three years, but I only changed my address two months ago to become an official resident of Chicago. Rahm’s residency case was nothing compared to mine…
danlinn: I’m from Marquette
Countryboy and sixdegreesofseparation: My brother-in-law wrote the report for the Transportation Research Board that brought us the 55 mph speed limit
I have a “frame of shame” on my office wall. It includes an appointment signed by Blagojevich and a signing pen with George Ryan’s signature. I would never have showed off either one until the inspiration came to me to frame them together.