Thursday, January 26, 2012

A DAY IN THE LIFE (of Chicago): Kirk wants his Blackberry! Why?

I got my big chuckle for this week from the reports coming from Northwestern Memorial Hospital – the ones that were meant to reassure us that Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., has a good chance at recovering from the stroke it appears he suffered this past weekend.
KIRK: Gimme my Blackberry?!?

For it seems that one of the first things that Kirk did after undergoing surgery meant to reduce the damage that could be caused by the stroke was to ask for his Blackberry.

IT SEEMS THAT the senator from the North Shore suburbs was more than eager to get back to work – even though it will be several months (if ever) before Kirk can claim to be fully recovered.

But the idea of asking for a Blackberry?

Personally, I have been carrying a Blackberry for nearly a year – and there are times I wish I could get away with flinging the thing into the Chicago River (or maybe Lake Calumet).

If I were in recovery from a serious medical condition, I’d want to use the time to get away from constant communication with certain people.

BUT THAT’S ME. As for Kirk, the officials at Northwestern Memorial seem determined to give us optimism. On Wednesday, they were saying they were “hopeful” about the senator’s long-term prospects.

For the talk we have been hearing is that the stroke he suffered affected the side of the brain that impacts his body movement – NOT the side that impacts his mental state.

Which means that his continuance in the U.S. Senate will depend on whether he can continue to move about. It means the image he tries to project of himself as a vigorous warrior is a thing of the past. Then again, he certainly couldn’t be any worse off than some of the near-centennarians (Strom Thurmond, for example) who have served in the Senate.

What else is notable these days on the slushy shores of the southwestern corner of Lake Michigan?

WILL HOOSIER GOPers TURN SUPER BOWL SUNDAY INTO LABOR CELEBRATION?: The Indiana House of Representatives gave its approval to a measure turning the Hoosier State into the 23rd state to have “right-to-work” laws on its books.

With the state Senate expected to follow suit on this measure in the near future, there is some speculation that final approval of this measure by Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (who got some national attention by giving the GOP rebuttal statement to the State of the Union address this week) could literally be timed to coincide with the Super Bowl – which this year is being played in Indianapolis.

It would figure that some ideologues would want to turn an occasion for sports celebration into an excuse to make their anti-organized labor statement even louder than it will be regardless.

Personally, I’d like to think most people will be disgusted by any attempt to turn this over-bloated sports event into a political statement. Then again, I also think many people are disgusted that the Super Bowl this year isn’t being played at some warm-weather locale.

WHITE SOX TO MAKE SUNDAYS PARTICULARLY GARISH: I never cared much for those bright-red pinstriped uniforms the Chicago White Sox wore back in the early 1970s. Yet it seems the ballclub in 2012 will resurrect them.

The White Sox said on Wednesday they plan to wear uniforms modeled after those get-ups for all 13 of their Sunday home games. Since they won’t be using road uniforms, we won’t get to see the light blue-with-red trim jerseys with a zipper up the front that the ballclub used to wear in other cities.

I couldn’t help but notice the Chicago Tribune’s write-up about this act made references to Dick Allen – the slugger who had his best season ever (American League Most Valuable Player for 1972) while wearing this jersey.

Yet I can’t help but think of two other ballplayers from that era who wore those uniforms – Bucky Dent and Rich Gossage. Both were products of the White Sox system and it was apparent that both were exceptional ballplayers while in Chicago. Yet both had their glory days later in the decade playing for the New York Yankees. To me, that inability to keep talent is what is glorified by this get-up.


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