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Thursday, July 24th, 2014
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Postcards from the Windy City - Cardboard Boats and Cock-a-Doodle-Doo


By Abby Stocker

Fri, Jul 5th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Cardboard Boats and

Cock-a-Doodle-Doo

Dear Readers,

This week’s postcard comes to you courtesy of the magazine where I’m interning. In the past three weeks, I’ve helped update their news blog, drafted an article for their website, attended editors’ meetings, and researched articles. It’s been a learning curve, but the real-life practice has forced me to quickly grow better at writing, editing, and navigating the publishing world.

More importantly, my main editor, a cheerful guy who regularly sings to welcome us into the office in the morning, asked us last Friday if we had weekend plans, and, when I said I didn’t really, told me I should go see the cardboard boats. He said there was to be a race on the lake the next town over on Saturday.

I initially thought he meant little remote-controlled boats. I supposed that could be fun, a good way to taste the local flavor.

What he told me, and what I found out at the event the next day, was that the Lake Ellyn Cardboard Regatta is no race of toy boats around a glorified puddle. These are big doings in Glen Ellyn. Think like the city park during your favorite community festival. The local fire department was grilling. Boat teams and their families, dressed in matching t-shirts, picnicked around their creations. The lawn was covered with spectators, supporters, and sailors. And though Lake Ellyn was small enough to be considered a large pond rather than a small lake, a feeling of friendly nautical competition was in the air.

These boats are serious. One of my favorites, the “Cock-a-Doodle-Doo,” held six people who surrounded a cardboard rooster that was over 10 feet tall. I also particularly enjoyed the “Dead Cow,” which looked like...well, a dead Holstein on its back. The crew, a group of four elementary-aged boys, wore pink baseball caps designed to look like udders. The “Millennium Falcon,” inspired by Han Solo’s ship in the original Star Wars trilogy, was rumored to have taken hundreds of hours to create.

Teams are given 10 sheets of cardboard when they register. Add some glue, duct tape, waterproofing, and you can have yourself a lake-worthy vessel. Add some paint, costumes, and a snazzy name or theme, and you have style. You might even make a statement as big as that of the Tough Tikis, eight boys who decked their rectangular boat with palm trees and dressed in leis, coconu .....
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Tech Bytes - PasSwORd: Do’s and Don’ts

By Mitchell Walbridge

Fri, Jul 5th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

PasSwORd: Do’s and Don’ts The average person has to remember more than ten passwords or PIN numbers for various login information. That’s ten more items to keep fresh in our minds when we struggle to remember to pay some of our bills, forget ..... 
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Leadership: Democracy’s Essential Ingredient

Fri, Jun 28th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

By Lee Hamilton For those of us who think and write about democracy, few things are more appealing than a book about how to make it work better. My shelves are groaning with them. They contain a lot of good and helpful ideas. There are proposals ..... 
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Rain-filled Family Reunion

By Loni Kemp

Fri, Jun 28th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

The rain just wouldn’t stop, but neither would the family reunion. Planned for two years, our rendezvous was fast approaching as 35 members of our clan ranging from one month old to 88 years converged from Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Texas, C ..... 
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Scottish Dancing at Fermilab

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Jun 28th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Dear Readers, By the time you read this, I’ll have commuted to my internship at least 15 times. In those 15 trips, I have yet to figure out why, in the course of 12.9 miles, it is necessary for the speed limit to change ten times, never accelerat ..... 
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More notes from the country kitchen

By Vicki Christianson

Fri, Jun 21st, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Mowing the yard! Do you love to do it or do you hate to do it? My co-worker, Sue, just loves to go home after work and push that ole lawn mower all over her yard! My husband, who has a brand new zero-turn riding lawn mower with stereo headphones ..... 
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Postcards from the windy city

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Jun 21st, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Dear Readers, Hello from Batavia, Illinois! I have a confession: although my postcards are “from the Windy City,” I’m actually day-to-day living in the Chicagoland suburb of Batavia, about 45 minutes by car or an hour by train to downtown ..... 
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A little of this, A little of that.

By Kathy Little

Fri, Jun 14th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

Even Dr. Sigmund Freud admitted that he could not answer his own question about what women want. He researched this question for 30 years and still came up with nada. Perhaps the good doctor should have realized that all women are different. So the ..... 
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Postcards from the Windy City - Looking Up

By Abby Stocker

Fri, Jun 14th, 2013
Posted in All Columnists

I’m not sure about you, but one of my favorite things about returning home from the city is looking up at the stars. Returning from college for a break or weekend trip, I run outside on the first clear night and stand, totally absorbed in that ..... 
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