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Home » Archive for January 2009

Old School Skiing

Posted on January 23rd 2009 by Arthur in Forest Preserves

Today we went cross-country skiing at Old School Lake County Forest Preserve. They have some great skiing trails there and we had a lot of fun. Amy posted an article and some pictures on our birding blog Magnificent Frigatebird.



Humongous Photo of Obama’s Inauguration

Posted on January 23rd 2009 by Arthur in Photos, Politics

Check out this huge picture of Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington DC as he gave his speech. It’s a whopping 1,474 megapixels! You can zoom in and see all the faces of the people in the audience. I’ve been trying to find Oprah because I didn’t see her all day while watching the coverage on TV and I was wondering if she was even there. Can you find Oprah?

Huge photo of Obama's inauguration at


Environmental Foto Friday: Hybrid Vehicle Parking

Posted on January 23rd 2009 by Arthur in Environment, Forest Preserves, Foto Friday, Illinois

I love the Lake County Forest Preserves. They are doing such an excellent job, with 125 miles of trails, 26,800 acres of nature preserves, informative visitor centers and great facilities. We’re new residents here in Illinois’ Lake County, and with all the snow and cold weather we haven’t been able to enjoy the forest preserves so much yet these last few months. But come spring and summer I’m sure we’ll explore as many trails as we can. We’ve even got a canoe here, so we can try out some of the canoe launches.

The other day we were at Ryerson Woods Welcome Center, which is just 4 miles from where we live. The parking lot at the new Welcome Center had several parking spaces for hybrid vehicles only! Isn’t that cool? I had never seen this before. Next to the usual handicapped spaces they had some with signs that said “Hybrid Vehicles Parking”. Here’s a picture if you don’t believe me:


And a close-up if you can’t read the sign:

Hybrid Vehicle Parking

Topps Barack Obama Trading Cards

Posted on January 22nd 2009 by Arthur in Politics

Barack Obama is one electable collectible President. You can buy anything with his face on it, from Obama sneakers and skate boards to action figures and dog bowls. Ty Inc has even released two new Sasha and Malia beanie babies this week!

At Target (in the comics section) I came across President Obama trading cards from Topps that I hadn’t seen before. Obama is already a comic book hero in the latest Spider-Man issue, so trading cards were to be expected. Each packet sells for $1.99 and contains six trading cards and one sticker. There are a total of 90 different cards and 18 stickers. The cards contain educational, in-depth information about the President and his family, quotes, key moments from the campaign and profiles of Cabinet members.

Here are pictures of the pack I bought:

Topps President Obama Trading Cards

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Organic Arby

Posted on January 19th 2009 by Amy in Personal, Photos

Arby is 14 years old and today, for the first time ever, he went inside a paper bag. He went in for about 30 seconds first, much too short for us to grab a photo. But a few minutes later, he went back inside and even laid down in it for a couple of minutes!

Arby in a bag

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20 Unusual Portraits of Barack Obama

Posted on January 19th 2009 by Arthur in Funny, Photos, Politics

Artists around the globe have been inspired by Barack Obama’s message of hope and change and many have made works of art featuring Obama’s portrait. The most famous one has been the iconic HOPE poster by Shepard Fairey, but many other artists and supporters of the campaign have made more unusual portraits using different materials like butter and beans. Here’s a collection of twenty of these unique portraits featuring the 44th President of the United States. Let’s hope that after tomorrow people continue to be inspired by all the good work that Obama will deliver and continue to make more of these weird portraits to honor the man.

1. Obama made of nanotubes by the University of Michigan

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2001 Obama appearance on Chicago TV tonight

Posted on January 16th 2009 by Amy in Chicago, Illinois, Life in America, Politics

Back when he was an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama made an appearance on WTTW Channel 11’s restaurant review program “Check, Please!” The show never aired… until tonight. Local viewers can check out the full episode on Channel 11 tonight at 8pm or the rerun on Tuesday (that’s Inauguration Day!!) at 4pm. Meanwhile, here are two clips from the shelved episode.

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It is way too cold

Posted on January 16th 2009 by Arthur in Weather

We are having more record cold weather. It hasn’t been this cold here in northern Illinois since 1996. Schools are closed and they’re advising people to stay inside. Right now it’s -17oF / -27oC with wind chills hovering as low as -35oF / -37oC. I haven’t felt this cold ever, it’s quite extraordinary. We just did a little experiment outside with boiling water. From a spray bottle the water instantly evaporates in the dry air and some of it shoots out as ice. Boiled water thrown out from a pan gives the same effect.


Funny Foto Friday: Only Pizzas Can Smoke

Posted on January 16th 2009 by Arthur in Foto Friday, Funny

Here’s another funny picture of a sign we saw in India. This one is from a Pizza Hut in Jaipur. The sign reads “Only pizzas can smoke”. LOL!

Only pizzas can smoke


Our Visit to Abuko Nature Reserve

Posted on January 14th 2009 by Arthur in Birds, Nature, Travel

Two years ago we were in The Gambia where we stayed at Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi. We were in this great country from 5 to 15 January 2007 and during this time we did a five-day birdwatching safari upriver to Georgetown under the expert birdwatching guidance of Ebrima Sidebe. We had a great time and saw over 175 different species of birds. After the 5-day excursion and on our last day in The Gambia we visited Abuko Nature Reserve.

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