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The Last Button

This is the section where I leave the computer and take off the glasses.

Yes, I really do drive an '84 Fiero, bought new 34 years ago this coming October, thank you very much. Stop snickering; they were great, tough little cars, sold by dealers who didn't know how to sell them, serviced by dealer mechanics who were never required to learn how to work on them, and bought by people most of whom knew nothing about the care and feeding of a mid-engined car and who never checked the oil and coolant levels from one six months to the next. Can you see a problem brewing with engine fires? (By the way, the Porsche 914, Fiat X19, Datsun/Nissan Z, Toyota MR2, Mazda Miata and all manner of British sports cars also fell into the hands of too many impecunious, uncaring owners.)

Anyway, take a look at a video of my fantastic plastic car. Only place it flies is down the highway;-)

I have an alternative life as ARTISTMAC, YouTube video blogger, mostly of the changes happening on my native south side of Chicago (where I still live). Stop in to YouTube and view my latest videos. You're sure to find something you like; there were over 820 at last count.

Among them are three multi-part series detailing the demolition of the last public housing highrises in Robert Taylor Homes and Stateway Gardens from January to June of 2007, and the rebuilding of the Dan Ryan Expressway's local lanes. Here's a time-lapse of the Robert Taylor demolition.

As Robert Taylor and Stateway Gardens were coming down, the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90-94) was being rebuilt. The express lanes were done in 2006; in 2007, after I got my camcorder, it was the local lanes' turn. If you don't want to sit through the whole series, watch a time-lapse of that project.

It's always gratifying to know that your videos are being watched. And that the people watching are as passionate about the subject you're documenting as you are. Here's a perfect example.

I shot this video in January of 2007 and had intended it as a tour of a part of Chicago's south side most native-born south siders never see, let alone anyone else. But it took on a life of its own, especially in an election year. Unintentionally, it ended up being fairly damning evidence of the job Dorothy Tillman, the then-incumbent 3rd Ward alderman (city councilman) was doing. (I live in the 3rd Ward, by the way.) By the time she was finally voted out of office last year, the 3rd Ward had 5,000 vacant lots, half the number in the entire city. Chicago blog GapersBlock.com called it "Probably the most effective negative ad in political history." Actually, that would be the 1964 Lyndon Johnson presidential campaign ad with the mushroom cloud, (Harry & Louise would be runner-up) but I'll take the compliment;-)

She's a private citizen now, but her arrest in a Montgomery, Alabama hospital several years ago was just a sample of the tantrums her constituents and city council colleagues had to put up with. I guess that in Montgomery, AL, her name doesn't carry quite as much weight as she thought;)

And is she really dumb enough to think she could get medical records from a hospital without requesting them in writing and waiting 7 to 10 business days? Apparently.

Take a look at some self-promo Christmas cards from years past.
1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 |2001 |2002 |2003 |2004 |2005 |2006 |2007 |2008 |2009 |2010 |2011 |2012 |2013 |2014

On the transportation front: There are only three places in the United States that you can still ride one of Chicago's famous but long-gone Green Hornet streetcars. I'll take you to one of them, a place you would never, ever suspect.

A heartfelt plea to all men and women to preserve a much maligned bodily feature .