Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Updates

I am now working with Saint Benedict Technology Consortium. The organization works with schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago. I've mainly been working in Lake Forest, Deerfield, Wilmette and various north suburban schools, doing maintenance and special computing projects.

The situation in Ukraine has been dynamic - the small movement called Euromaidan, against corruption in the Ukrainian government turned into a revolution, then a regional conflict and an international disaster. I was active from January forward agitating for sanctions against Russia at President Barack Obama's residence in Chicago. Months later, world attention to the matter has changed. Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea has gone relatively unpunished. The war situation between Ukraine, Russia and separatist forces in eastern Ukraine has been troubling. The Malaysian jet disaster is just the latest bad news. With the world's eyes again on Ukraine, the disaster victims, and the perpetrators, perhaps there will be some punitive action on Russia's invasion of Ukraine after Sochi 2014.

Gospel Fest
After many years of conducting Stamps for Kids at Taste of Chicago, a smaller though well-attended festival in Ellis Park in the Bronzeville neighborhood was effective. Chicago Gospel Music Festival was a robust festival. We've taken a few breaks over the years, so it was good to be back in the fold with Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

Postal History
Postal History of Chicago's Northwest Side: it's history, neighborhoods and post offices rocked the house at a well-attended COMPEX '14 in May. Since that time I have been asked to give the lecture at the request of some northwest side groups. But alas, I have been too busy following up on other things. I will still work this into an article fro the Illinois Postal Historian.

Chicago Fire
It's been a really fun season with the Chicago Fire. Exciting matches and outdoor tailgating from March through July have kept me sane. Though Chicago Fire are still not in a play-off spot, the personalities, fan base and goals scored have been fantastic. My obsession grows. Highlight so far have I have been to every regular season home match. I've been making friends. Getting out to Toyota Park, Cleo's and the Globe for Fire nights and various matches.

World Cup
It was a fun cup to watch, Especially team USA. I made it out to Grant Park for the 1st USA watch party. It was pretty rowdy. They were expecting about 5000 people and about 10000 showed up. All my teams, USA, Mexico and Germany, did pretty well. I continue to look forward to watching Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga, LigaMX teams, Ukrainian Premier League and Major League Soccer.

Personal Life
Probably the biggest impact recently has been the death of my uncle Paul, my closet relative ever to pass away. He was important to me; our relationship had been growing. It was very sudden, which has its upsides, but the impact was great and the fallout continues. Mainly because of my Dad, his fraternal twin brother. I have been taking care of Dad for over three years now with Claudia. It's a big job and I'm glad to have helpers but it is a handful. Every tine we seem to have it mastered there a new twist. Now with uncle Paul gone, we may hit a rough patch, but we are getting organized.