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Earlier today, Chicago Firefighter John Joyce (a friend of mine, and this site) made an appearance on Chicago's Very Own WGN TV as their "Firehouse Chef of the Week." John isn't just a Firefighter and fine cook - he's also the frontman of POOCHAMUNGAS, a kindie rock band that hopefully you've heard me talk about... and if not, go grab their new album, BLOCK PARTY, right now! Check out John's appearance below, along with his recipe for some tasty turkey chili... which oddly enough, isn't far off from what we make here at Rock Father HQ. Chicago style!

Published in Food and Drink
Tuesday, February 25 2014 22:44

Old Crankypants: Chiberia does not exist...

I hate cutesy catchphrases that are delivered with a smug grin, a chuckle, or wink. Have them delivered by a news anchor, a major website or even a lesser-known internet jockey, and they're even worse... amped-up and ready to irritate. I have a growing list of phrases, along with some individual words and terms that make my blood boil... or "grind my gears" as the wise Peter Griffin once said. One of the latest is "Chiberia," a made-up, annoying term used to describe the arctic temperatures in the Chicago area this year. I'd originally thought that the Chicago Sun-times coined the term, but according to FOX 32, it was a National Weather Service forecaster named Ricky Castro that is to blame. Tonight, as news of another snowfall came across the television, I watched in agony as another anchor delivered the "Chiberia" name with a grin and that fake "ha-ha" delivery that only one at a newsdesk can properly pull off.

Published in James' Journal

Announcement provided via Press Release: Chicago Children's Theatre is excited to welcome Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia back to Chicago to introduce a whole new generation of young theater goers to the wonders of live theatre with the internationally acclaimed company's popular production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites.

Published in Chicagoland

On March 4, BAND TOGETHER: A CHICAGO KINDIE MUSIC SAMPLER will be released, bringing together for the very first time, eight Windy City Kindie artists to benefit INTONATION MUSIC WORKSHOP - an organization that "empowers children to become rock stars on every stage of life through innovative music education." Following it's release via CD Baby and Bandcamp, a BAND TOGETHER Live Concert event will take place on Saturday, March 8 at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. Tickets for the 3pm show can be purchased via this link.

Published in Family Music

Last night, I found myself in one of the more awkward situations that I've been placed in since starting this site back in 2011. I'd actually written this review right away last night and revisited it today prior to posting, half-considering saying nothing at all. But I have to...

As a writer and reviewer (my first review published way back in 1992... a full 22 years ago), the hope is that you'll be impressed and be able to share a great experience with your readers. Sadly, sometimes that's just not the case, and that's when my own brutal honesty comes into play. I'll always be honest, and I'll never sugar-coat it. In the world that I work in, sometimes certain people have a problem with that (advertisers, PR folks - and only a small fraction of them), and I'm fine with that. When tasked with writing about a live event or a "place" - especially one geared toward families - the scope and emotion are a little bit different than when I deal with an album, a movie, or a toy. It's the culmination of various elements that come together to create that "experience" - and there's many forces at play (human forces) that can tip the table in sometimes unexpected directions. I don't want to come on here and tell you that we had a less-than-stellar experience at a local business... but if I told you that it was without major issues, it would be completely dishonest. What I witnessed last night at JUMP AMERICA (880 Lakeside Drive, Gurnee, IL 60031) is an operation that could be great, but was sadly plagued by a shocking level of disorganization, customer service issues, and rampant poor user experiences... mainly for parents. But my kids LOVED it.

The 2014 Chicago Auto Show opened it's doors to the public this weekend (running through February 17th), but on Friday, The Rock Father participated in the media preview to get an early look at hundreds of new offerings and concept vehicles from the world's top automakers. Doing what I do, I'm always torn on how to cover such an event - I run a "family" site, but my personal interests skew toward the... more exciting at times. While my daily drivers here at Rock Father HQ bear the Chevrolet and Scion nameplates, performance, sport and luxury all strike my fancy. What I'm saying is that my inaugural coverage of the Chicago Auto Show is more of a highlight reel of what caught my eye... and that's as simple as it gets. Hopefully I'll get to go in-depth with some of these vehicles, as well as some more family-centric rides as the year rolls on.

Published in Rock Father Rides
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