Saturday, April 12, 2008


Looking at site stats is always interesting. I like to see the searches that bring people to this blog, and I usually end up doing some searching of my own. I was a little surprised to see a search bring up this New York Times article.

I also found another interesting blog: Dallas Progress

Can you guess what the search was?

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Anonymous sam said...

well my friend living in west garfield park.. pretty soon race just won't be an issue the world is turning more brown in color every single day... question what made you move to west garfield park? trying to beat the crowd? good investment? just curious is all? and by all means do go inside the conservatory is't a wonderful place... west garfield's best kept secret... a( a real secret to mot west garfield park residents for sure:)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Jess Hylander said...

Are you still living in West Garfield Park? I am looking to buy a house there and from what I have seen on the internet WGP doesn't seem to be the safest place. Do you have a different opinion? Or would you suggest to stay away from that area? Our realtor won't give any answers, could you please give some account since to have lived there?

9:44 PM  

Monday, March 24, 2008

Proof that I'm White

A friend of mine forwarded me the following site:

Stuff White People Like

I guess it's both funny and a little tragic that I recognize myself in a number of the items in that list. In particular, #8 Barack Obama, #14 Having Black Friends, #15 Yoga, #25 David Sedaris, #35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report, #38 Arrested Development, #39 Netflix, #44 Public Radio, #50 Irony, #61 Bicycles, #64 Recycling, #69 Mos Def, and #71 Being the Only White Person Around are the items that hit home the most. I would have to add Tivo to the list, but maybe they haven't gotten to it yet.

Of course, the convergences are really illustrative of the whole point. I heard about the movie Once on Public Radio, and then rented it with Netflix. Also, it's a little silly, but I've been reading The Daily Show and Philosophy, and when I bought that, I also bought The Simpsons and Philosophy. They're both just the kind of thing that a "White Person" would like to read.

However, there are some items in the list that give me hope. I'm definitely not into #17 Hating Their Parents, #23 Microbreweries, #26 Manhattan, #28 Not Having a TV, #30 Wrigley Field, #40 Apple Products, and a number of others that aren't significant enough to mention.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Great Line

"The Cubs are doing well, playing before turbo-charged crowds at Wrigley, while the Sox are losing and showing all the excitement of an English major having to take Linear Algebra."

-Rick Morrissey
Chicago Tribune

My wife was an English major in college, and I -- being a Math major -- took Linear Algebra. We both had a good laugh when I shared this line with her.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Musical Patterns

Since January, I've taken two classes at DePaul University dealing with Bioinformatics, and more specifically, proteomics. Bioinformatics is the process of using computer systems to gain insight into biological systems. The amount of information that exists in biological systems is so large that deciphering it is almost impossible without the benefit of computer models. However, modelling biological systems with computer programs and data structures is itself a mammoth undertaking. Once you add the problem of describing what is needed ( requirements gathering ), you have a very difficult undertaking. The purpose of the classes that I've been taking is to familiarize computer programmers with the basic biology, research methods, and lingua franca of the biological research world. It's very interesting stuff, and I've been told it's also very lucrative for programmers.

All this is to add some context around my interest in article linked below. Apparently, some researchers have created software that interprets protein sequences as music. It's a clever method for comparing sequences of DNA that correspond to specific protein structures, particularly since it doesn't take specialized biological knowledge to listen to differences in musical patterns.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Something to Do

The Garfield Park Conservatory is hosting an art exhibition that they're calling Niki in the Garden. There's a web site with more information. About a month ago, I was looking for specific events at the Conservatory to give me an excuse to visit. I pass the Conservatory on a regular basis when we're dropping my daughter off at her bus stop. I just need to schedule some time to go.

Scheduling time seems to be the catch, though. I'm probably juggling too many things already between school, work, and home, but I still want to take advantage of the many venues and events throughout Chicago over the summer. I rode my bike to work today, yesterday, and a couple times last week, and I'm going to register for the 'Bike the Drive' at the end of this month, which is the weekend after I'll be in Atlanta for my 10-year college reunion. In June, I'm planning to participate in the 'Bike to Work' week, which I'm gearing up for now. Of course, there's the Taste of Chicago at the end of June, the next Harry Potter movie and the last book in mid July, my wife is due the first week of August, and I'm planning to take a class during summer school. However, there will be plenty of weekends to fill up with the other various events and restaurants in Chicago.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

NFL Draft

The 68th overall pick of the NFL draft this year was a guy named Quincy Black. He was the fourth pick in the third round by the Buccaneers. He had been featured in pre-draft coverage here in Chicago for two reasons. He played the same position for the same college that Brian Urlacher played, and he attended high school on the South Side of Chicago. What interested me, in particular, was that he attended the same high school that I attended: Kenwood Academy.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

10 Years!

It's amazing how some things coincide. I'm reminded of Jeremy Piven in "Grosse Pointe Blank": "10 YEARS!!" The 10-year reunion for my college graduation is this year. My daughter was born that same year, and she just turned 10 in January. Also, this year marks the 30-year anniversary of the release of Star Wars, which was a movie that greatly impacted me. I think the impact of Star Wars had on me was closely related to anther major event of my life that occurred just two months after its release: the death of my father. I think that I related to Luke back then because his father was gone, too. About a month after my father died, Elvis died. Another "anniversary" this year is that we've been in our current home, our first-owned home, for 5 years, which reminds me of another weird set of coincidences. When we bought our home, our close date happened on my father's birthday, and we finally moved in on the 25th anniversary of the day he died. It was a Friday that I had planned to take off, and it worked out for the movers we hired.

As an aside, here's another coincidence. Two years ago, there was a strange alignment of ages in my family. My age was exactly half my mother's age, and that same year, my daughter was exactly one-fourth of my age, my nephew was exactly half my daughter's age. My sister's age was also a multiple of 4. And that year, my niece was born. Check it out, this was the alignment:

Mom: 64
Sister: 40
Me: 32
Daughter: 8
Nephew: 4
Niece: 0

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