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  • Archive for the 'Blegs' Category

    Sgt. Mom’s New Work-in-Progress

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 8th August 2020 (All posts by )

    As mentioned last night in the Chicagoboyz Zoom meetup, I have started a new novel, this one to be set in WWII. I’m stuck for a title, so any suggestions will be gratefully considered.

    The concept for this new project is based on letters between two cousins during the years just prior to and during the war: One is the wife of a civilian internee in Malaya, waiting out the war in Australia, hoping for word that her husband has survived the fall of Singapore and captivity by the Japanese. The other is an Army nurse, eventually sent to North Africa and Italy. (Suggestions for other plot developments will be considered, also.) I am up to four chapters already, and posting excerpts on my book blog.

    Introduction – here.

    The first letter between the cousins, here.

    A bit of narration, here, and here.

    The second letter, here.

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Blegs, Book Notes, History | 8 Comments »

    Shameless book promo

    Posted by Margaret on 17th October 2017 (All posts by )

    I’ve started writing again after a ten-year pause, so it’s pretty much like starting from scratch and I can use all the help I can get. The first two books of a three-book science fiction series, Insurgents and Awakening, are available on Amazon now, and the third, Survivors, will be up in a week or two. (The books work as stand-alone novels; you don’t have to read them as a series, though I think they’re more fun that way.) All three are/will be available in paperback and e-book editions, and the e-books are free in Kindle Unlimited.

    There’s an excerpt from Insurgents here and the first chapter of Awakening here, if anybody’s interested.

    I hope ChicagoBoyz readers will find the trilogy interesting, since it’s meant to be the chronicle of a totalitarian society’s collapse over a period of several generations.

    If anybody happens to read one, I would be very grateful for a review.

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Blegs, Book Notes, Diversions | 6 Comments »

    AT&T Agility Challenge

    Posted by Jonathan on 7th July 2016 (All posts by )

    Chicagoboy Andy Bizub, owner of Midwest Performance Cars, sends a request:

    My company is a finalist in a national business competition….. and we need your vote to win!
    Midwest Performance Cars was selected as one of ten finalists in the AT&T Agility Challenge. Please visit the link below, where you can view our brief presentation and vote once per day, every day until July 26th.
    Please help us get the highest vote tally.
    We are very proud to be the only business in Chicago to have made the final cut.

    Thank you for your support,

    You can vote once per day until July 26. I voted and will continue to vote daily. Please help Andy to win the AT&T Agility Challenge, and please consider giving him your business if you are in the Chicago area.

    Posted in Blegs, Product Reviews/Endorsements | 1 Comment »

    Smartphone Bleg

    Posted by Jonathan on 21st December 2015 (All posts by )

    My ghetto mobile setup consisting of cheap prepaid phone and iPod Touch is no longer adequate. Time to get something that can run Waze, an email client and Google Calendar.

    Current alternatives are the Moto G 3rd Gen. and Nexus 6. The former is newer but more stripped-down, the latter a slightly older model with a bigger, nicer screen and may be faster. Nexus is on sale so the respective prices are close enough. Moto is smaller, water resistant, may have longer battery life – important qualities.

    I’d be grateful for any thoughts on which phone to buy. Thanks.

    Posted in Blegs, Tech | 13 Comments »

    Christmas is Coming …

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 12th November 2015 (All posts by )

    And the goose is getting fat … time to put a penny in the poor author’s hat, as the seasonal crush of market events begins for both my daughter and I, even before Thanksgiving. We have a full schedule of events, beginning this weekend and running nearly up to Christmas itself.  I usually try and time my book releases for this season; this year it is different because a) two books are in play, and my daughter has co-author credit for one of them. She came up with the characters and the general plot, and I write the rest;  fine-tune the plot, the conversations, and descriptions. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Blegs, Book Notes | 2 Comments »

    A Bleg.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 16th June 2015 (All posts by )


    I have a new book out on Kindle that is now published. It is called “War Stories: 50 Years in Medicine.”

    I’ve been working on this for 20 years and kept having to revise it as I would put it down and then go back to it after ten years. I finally decided to rework it and publish it two years ago. My students were reading the draft on my laptop while I was editing so maybe it will be interesting.

    It is a memoir of patients. They are all patients’ stories that I have tried to describe accurately and to describe what we did then. Sometimes I screwed up and I tell those, too. Sometimes we did the best we could and we now know better. Some of these cases are still hard to explain.

    Two of them, in the chapter on Melanoma, are about young women who developed major melanoma metastases years after the primary was excised but when they had become pregnant. The melanoma went wild in pregnancy, in one case ten years later. In the other, three years after I had removed the primary, she developed extensive metastases while pregnant. She refused abortion and I thought it would cost her her life. In both cases the melanoma vanished after pregnancy ended. In one case, the woman, last I heard, was free of melanoma 25 years later. The other was free ten years later. The medical literature says pregnancy has no effect on melanoma. Neither ever became pregnant again.

    Another case is an example of the only supernatural near-death experience I have ever heard.

    The book starts when I began medical school in 1961 and describes experiences with patients, including my summer working with schizophrenic men in 1962. I have a series of stories about patients I saw as a student and sometimes intersperse stories from later that are about similar cases and events. One that is amusing, I guess, is about my very first pelvic exam, on a 40 year old prostitute who had just gotten out of prison and enjoyed it thoroughly. I had a dozen student nurses as witnesses. I do have some biography in it but try to keep it to minimum.

    After the first eight chapters, I go on to residency and then finally to private practice. I continued to teach and there are a few of those stories. There is a chapter on ethics including my thoughts on euthanasia and “benign neglect.” Toward the end of my career, I started and ran a trauma center in our community hospital. I also did a fair amount of testifying in court in both trauma cases and some civil cases where I testified for plaintiffs and for defense. I consider it a compliment that Kaiser Permanente had me testify for their defense even though I had also testified against them.

    Anyway, the book is on Kindle and I hope somebody is interested. It has some similarity to my medical history book, which I plan to do a Kindle version of once this one is launched. In this one, I spend some time explaining the diseases in a way that I used to explain to patients and I still do to students. Without some basic understanding, most of these stories would not make sense and I hope the explanations are not too dull. If so, all comments are welcome. If anyone likes it, feel free to post a review on Amazon. Two reviewers from the first book in 2004 told me to let them know if I did another one and I have contacted them.

    If anyone wants to discuss the book here, feel free to add comments.

    Posted in Biography, Blegs, Book Notes, Health Care, Medicine, Personal Narrative | 16 Comments »

    When H8trs H8

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 2nd April 2015 (All posts by )


    The new war on religious people (of whom I not one) takes on a new urgency as Huffington Post detects a new threat to the republic.

    Pence and his state have faced significant national backlash since he signed RFRA last week. The governors of Connecticut and Washington have imposed bans on state-funded travel to Indiana, and several events scheduled to be held in the state have been canceled. Organizers of Gen Con, which has been called the largest gaming convention in the country, are considering moving the gathering from Indiana as well.

    Nearby cities like Chicago are capitalizing on the controversy, with Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) trying to lure Indiana-based businesses into his city.

    UPDATE: 1:52 p.m. — White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to Pence’s comments Tuesday, saying the Indiana law has backfired because it goes against most people’s values.

    No, it is against the left’s values. The institutional left. The hysteria extends beyond the usual left and may involve a few weak willed Republicans like those who pressured Arizona governor Jan Brewer to veto a similar bill a year or so ago. Fortunately, Arizona has a new and presumably more firm governor.

    Narrowly speaking, that is, the left’s hatred of RFRA is about preserving the authority of the cake police—government agencies determined to coerce bakeries, photo studios, florists and other small businesses to participate in same-sex weddings even if the owners have eccentric conscientious objections.

    Whether Indiana’s RFRA would protect such objectors is an open question: The law only sets forth the standard by which state judges would adjudicate their claims. Further, as the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group, notes, the Hoosier State has no state laws prohibiting private entities from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. (It does have same-sex marriage, pursuant to a federal court ruling.) There are also no such antidiscrimination laws at the federal level. Thus under current law, only certain cities and counties in Indiana even have a cake police.

    The “cake police” are, of course a term of art from James Taranto to describe the opportunistic left who enforce the gay rights agenda on unsuspecting Christians.

    “As Michael Paulson noted in a recent story in The Times, judges have been hearing complaints about a florist or baker or photographer refusing to serve customers having same-sex weddings. They’ve been siding so far with the gay couples.” That is, the judges have been rejecting small-business men’s conscientious objections and compelling them to do business with gay-wedding planners. Bruni approves.

    Without harboring animus toward gays or sharing the eccentric baker’s social and religious views, one may reasonably ask: If a baker is uncomfortable baking a cake for you, why call the cake police? Why not just find another baker who’s happy to have your business?

    This, of course, is far too simple.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Blegs, Business, Civil Liberties, Civil Society, Elections, Internet, Leftism, Media, Morality and Philosphy, Political Philosophy, Religion | 23 Comments »

    Bleg: A Good Tweeting Plugin for WordPress?

    Posted by Jonathan on 21st August 2014 (All posts by )

    This blog used to use the “Tweet This Post” plugin, but something happened (perhaps a software update on the server) that made the plugin unusable.

    We want a plugin that makes it easy for Chicago Boyz readers to tweet selected blog posts to the Twitter account(s) of their choice.

    Any suggestions?


    Posted in Blegs | Comments Off on Bleg: A Good Tweeting Plugin for WordPress?

    A Bleg for a Blog-Friend

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 31st July 2014 (All posts by )

    One of my blog-friends — who has been at bloggng almost as long as I have been — is Kate Berry, who used to blog at Venomous Kate. She lived in Hawaii way back then, but like me, she moved on to other things. In her case, the mid-west and a housekeeping blog, and writing some rather nifty cookbooks and housekeeping guides. (This is her Amazon author page.)

    Kate’s husband, Mike, developed some serious health issues two years ago; issues which were alleviated by surgery, but only temporarily. His condition has worsened in the last two or three weeks, to the point where he will have to retire immediately on medical grounds. Kate has set up a site for donations, with the whole story here. My daughter and I are planning to contribute on Friday, when my pension and her VA payment is made. Kate and Mike are good people, and long-time blog-friends. There was a time when I was absolutely strapped by a sudden economic catastrophe, and those friends that I had never actually met in person came through for me. Here’s hoping that the same can happen for Kate.

    Posted in Blegs | Comments Off on A Bleg for a Blog-Friend

    Israel/Mideast History Book Bleg

    Posted by Jonathan on 15th July 2014 (All posts by )

    A friend emails:

    I am becoming very disturbed seeing otherwise intelligent people that I know and respect starting to succumb to the anti-Israel drumbeat in the mainstream press. What books could I recommend to people like this so that they get a more factual picture of the history and evolution of Israel in general, and the evolution of the Israeli- Palestinian (and other Arabs) conflicts in particular?

    Great question. Any recommendations?

    UPDATE: My friend provides additional info in a follow-up email:

    Sir Martin Gilbert has written several good books but I am looking for others. I especially want to turn younger folks onto some good books because they have mostly been force-fed propaganda if they graduated within the last 10-15 years. I will watch the blog to see what your readers recommend. They are a pretty sharp bunch!

    Martin Gilbert’s books are a good start. And I agree about CB readers.

    Posted in Blegs, Book Notes, Current Events, History, Israel, Middle East | 9 Comments »

    WordPress Bleg

    Posted by Jonathan on 10th December 2013 (All posts by )

    Can anyone suggest an easy way to display all blog posts for one author in one category?


    Posted in Blegs | 6 Comments »

    Just a Brief Note

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 23rd July 2013 (All posts by )

    I’ve put together some posts from my various archives … Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Advertising, Arts & Letters, Blegs, Blogging, Book Notes, Diversions, History | 6 Comments »

    Skype Headset Bleg

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 29th May 2013 (All posts by )

    I need to get a Skype headset to do radio interviews.

    Quality is important, so I can’t go rock bottom cheap.

    Any suggestions, particularly from first-hand experience, would be greatly appreciated.

    Posted in Blegs | 3 Comments »

    America 3.0: Rave Amazon Reviews!

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 26th May 2013 (All posts by )

    America 3.0: Rebooting American Prosperity in the 21st Century-Why America’s Greatest Days Are Yet to Come has started shipping, earlier than originally stated by our awesome publisher, Encounter Books.

    We have started to get some great reviews on Amazon:
    From Peter St. Andre:

    Understanding America
    “… Bennett and Lotus amass an impressive amount of evidence from history, anthropology, and allied disciplines to carefully explain where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’re going.”

    Links to Peter’s writings are here

    From Jeff Carter:

    To Understand America, Where it has been and where it could go, you must read this
    “As a Venture Capitalist, I try to extrapolate into the future a lot. Science fiction and books like this really help with that vision. Don’t miss this book.”

    Jeff runs the Points and Figures blog which I heartily comment to your attention.

    And from Leif Smith:

    Well reasoned optimism about America
    “It proposes a way forward in which realism and idealism strongly support each other. … I regard this book as important reading.”

    Leif’s website for his Explorers Foundation contains much fascinating material, especially his collection of glyphs, which are educational and inspiring for all lovers of freedom.

    If you find these reviews helpful, please click yes where it asks: “Was this review helpful to you?”

    Thanks to Dan from Madison, Whitehall, WiTexan, Grurray and MikeK for being early purchasers! Gentlemen, I hope you will like the book. If you do, please put up an Amazon review with your thoughts. That will be greatly appreciated.

    Posted in America 3.0, Blegs, Book Notes | 3 Comments »

    Briefcase Bleg

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 12th March 2013 (All posts by )

    This post from Carl at LITGM reminded me of something. Below is my briefcase. I have had it for the better part of a decade now and it is shot.

    Time for a new one. I prefer the soft sided type as I don’t carry a ton of stuff back and forth anymore – typically some papers from work and my checkbook if needed, magazines occasionally, my new Samsung Note pad computer, phone, etc. I also carry a copy of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence in there (pocket sized) and a few business cards. I don’t mind paying more for something that is a little higher quality. Any brands you can recommend are appreciated. I like leather but am not opposed to some other material. Thanks in advance for the suggestions.

    Posted in Blegs | 14 Comments »

    Rye Bread Bleg

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 20th February 2013 (All posts by )

    When my grandmother died several years ago one of the things I wanted most when we cleaned out her house was the giant box of hand written recipes. I got it.

    Many of these go back to when she was a poor child back in the early twentieth century in Munich.

    I was running through them the other day and found one for rye bread.

    I have never made bread in my life, but I think this could be fun. No bread machine here, we are going to do it the old fashioned way.

    The directions look pretty straightforward. But I have one question that maybe the ChicagoBoyz mind hive can help me with.

    The first step is to start the yeast. The card says to dissolve the yeast in warm water. The ingredient list says to use one cup of water with “1 yeast”.

    I am guessing that one yeast means one packet of yeast? Any help or advice you can provide is appreciated – below the fold are photos of the recipe card. You can click on them for larger versions.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Blegs, Recipes | 21 Comments »

    A Bleg on Behalf of my Dog

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 12th February 2013 (All posts by )

    Connor, the middle-aged Malti-poo is at the veterinarians office today, to sort out why he has been throwing up for the last day and a half, has no appetite and is terribly lethargic. The bill for his treatment will be an unexpected expense for me … so anyone going to my book blog and purchasing copies of To Truckee’s Trail, Daughter of Texas, Deep in the Heart, or the Adelsverein Trilogy in the separate volumes will help me to square matters with the vet, and put Connor back where he belongs, sleeping peacefully under my desk. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Blegs, Customer Service | 7 Comments »

    Consumer Question – 23andme

    Posted by Ginny on 7th December 2012 (All posts by )

    The musings on the random and tragic nature of life remind us of how little we know – and control. But it reminded me of the marketing of a step toward more control: how good are the DNA products? My daughter’s friend, visiting for Thanksgiving, sent her spit to 23andme. The results included a genetic tendency toward weight-related diseases, which led her to a diet and gym membership. Not surprisingly, it linked her with her mother, but also with a cousin neither she nor her mother knew existed. They met, looked each other over, compared notes: they were cousins.

    Anyway, she sat in our living room flipping through her smart phone (it gives monthly updates); she was vulnerable to diabetes but less so to Parkinson’s. Genetic weaknesses are becoming obvious as we near retirement; unfortunately, we learn our vulnerabilities at every office visit.

    Still, has anyone done this or similar ones? How accurate, how useful, and how much does this (or do others) add to the cloud-knowledge of genes & disease? (Other friends used a different site, but learned what human history would say – that they were both from England and before that Africa.)

    Of course, whether it is worth the money or not, whether it is accurate or not, ignores the big question: does such knowledge lead us to believe we have an autonomy still not – never will be – ours? Will knowing more of “who we are” mislead or arm us?

    Posted in Biography, Blegs, Science | 5 Comments »

    Amazon Web Services Bleg

    Posted by Jonathan on 26th November 2012 (All posts by )

    This is a stupid question. I want to use AWS to store/backup photo files when I am traveling. Something like 1-5 GB/day of files that I would upload and then probably not access until I returned home and downloaded them.

    The Amazon website goes into much detail about APIs and buckets and consulting solutions, without providing a clear answer to the question of how someone who wants to use AWS for straightforward personal file storage and retrieval should go about it. Google hasn’t been much help either, but maybe I asked the wrong questions.

    I have an AWS account. Can anyone recommend an easy to use, inexpensive AWS front end that would work for my purposes? Does Amazon really have a browser based UI for this purpose, as someone suggested to me? I am grateful for any help.

    Posted in Blegs, Tech | 11 Comments »

    Model Train Repair Bleg

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 16th November 2012 (All posts by )

    I have inherited from my father his toy train set from when he was a kid. It is really, really cool. There are a lot of accessories, such as a watering tank with a spout that moves, a coal car that tilts and dumps out the “coal”, a lighted circus billboard, a cattle stockyard complete with eight head of cattle and car that they walk into, and more.

    The problem is that this set is so old that many of the wires for the controls are brittle and cracked (and hence unsafe) and the engine/tender needs a lot of love. It is a Gilbert American Flyer 3/16″ set. Pictured below is the engine and tender.

    Does anyone know of a guy who I could ship this stuff to for repairs because this is way out of my MO. Thanks.

    Posted in Blegs, Diversions | 7 Comments »

    Trading Platform Bleg

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 9th November 2012 (All posts by )

    I have been using the traditional broker/financial adviser model for trading stocks and bonds and other financial products for some time now. I don’t have a problem with it, but I am trying to be as diverse as possible so am thinking about opening my own account for trading.

    I typically am an investor, not a trader. I have long time horizons and study my investments carefully before I jump in so I don’t do a ton of trading. I am interested to hear what platforms/companies you folks use.

    My main things needed are ease of trade executions, and efficient tax reporting. I would also like access to things like corporate paper, muni bonds and the like but honestly have no idea if you can do any of this with simple platforms like Fidelity, Schwab and the other retail outlets.

    Any information is appreciated.

    Posted in Blegs, Economics & Finance, Markets and Trading | 17 Comments »

    A Blog Table of Contents, Or…

    Posted by Jonathan on 2nd July 2012 (All posts by )

    This blog has been around for many years and there’s a lot of gold buried in the archives. The problem is that the state of the art in blogging software doesn’t make it easy to find older content. You can sort of search by category or you can google keywords but these are very crude and imprecise ways to do what should be easy.

    This problem afflicts most established blogs. There is no reason — other than the arbitrary limitations of the journal format used by blogging software — for it to be difficult to find specific content. We’re not kids discussing our social lives. The contributors here post serious work and much of it remains worth reading years after it was written. The journal format is inadequate.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Blegs, Blogging, Tech | 5 Comments »

    Book Bleg

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 6th April 2012 (All posts by )

    With the “protests” here in Wisconsin a lot of people have been invoking the “sacred” name of Bob LaFollette. When I tell my friends that I am surprised that they would support a Republican I get a lot of crazed looks. Of course when people invoke LaFollette around here they are thinking of the Progressive one, not the Republican one. And of course party philosophies change over time (does anyone remember the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by Southern Democrats?).

    As another interesting side note, the great grand nephew of Bob LaFollette is Doug LaFollette, the current office holder of Secretary of State here in Wisconsin, an essentially meaningless role. He has announced his candidacy for governor in the recall election. And he is nuts, as you can see in this video. You would think the Democrats would kick a fruitcake like that out of their party.

    But I digress. Boy do I digress.

    I am looking for a book about Bob LaFollette that I can read that will give me a proper perspective of the man, where he came from and the actual story of his life, versus some watered down progressive tome. Any help here?

    Posted in Blegs, Book Notes, History | 3 Comments »

    Tech Bleg

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 9th December 2011 (All posts by )

    I have received a disk with some .pst files on it. I have a mac on my desk. I put the disk in, and when I try to open the folder with the .pst files, I get a message that says:

    There is no application set to open the document “archive.pst”.

    It then tells me to “search the app store for an application that can open this document, or choose an existing application on your computer.”

    Does anyone have any suggestion about what I need to do to get these files open so I can review them?

    Posted in Blegs, Tech | 7 Comments »

    A Bleg and a Business Proposal

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 5th December 2011 (All posts by )

    I’ve long been kicking around the notion of a German translation of my books, especially the Adelsverein Trilogy – since that story has to do with German immigrants to the Texas frontier, and the Wild, Wild West as a concept is madly popular in Germany, and has been so for decades, if not centuries. Yeah, I know – weird concept, but it is true. I’ve fielded the occasional email from readers asking if there were such, as they have friends who don’t speak English but would just love-love-love to read the Trilogy in German. Early on, I had kind of hoped that I would get some interest from a German publishing house wanting to clean up from all those Karl May fans, but that hasn’t happened, not so far.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Blegs, Blogging, Book Notes | 4 Comments »