Sunday, July 31, 2016


"I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I'll build them very inexpensively," Trump said, announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015. "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall."

I do believe that Donald Trump might be elected President of the United States.
I do believe that Donald Trump might actually keep the promise to build the wall.
I do not believe that Mexico will be paying for it.
I do know what the wall should look like.
Yesterday as part of a 50 mile bike ride with my wife, we saw the ORE WALLS on far south side of Chicago, site of the long-shuttered USS Steel factory.

This wall looks impressive, yes? This photo was 'cropped' from the photo below.
The wall looks even more impressive in this photo, yes? This photo was also 'cropped' from the photo below.
Here is the original photo.  This wall is 30 feet tall.  I think that a wall like this will add some security to our border. I have not quite 'bought into' the idea that Mexico will pay for it...

I am sure that this sign was more of a suggestion, not so much a warning. 

The photo of me standing on the ruins of the USS Steel Ore Wall in the most southern part of the lakefront of Chicago, just near the Indiana border was taken by my wife, Jennifer. Jennifer and I biked 50 miles yesterday. We arrived at the Indiana border took this photograph and headed back home.

I never would have had those great pictures of me standing on the wall if my wife had not been with me.  I would like to publicly extend by gratitude for snapping a new favorite picture.
TANK YOU for joining me on my 50 mile bike ride.


Before the 50 mile bike ride, I woke up early and by 8:30AM I was outside and just beginning my 15 mile urban hike. It appears that I had trouble paying attention to signs yesterday. I ignored this sign which advised that the trail was 'closed.'  It was not closed, and when a security guy drove past me on the trail, he was completely unconcerned to find me hiking on the 'closed' Northerly Island trail. 

TRAIL CLOSED?  I don't think so...


I really enjoy wearing my 'AVERAGE JOE'S GYMNASIUM' t-shirt
(from the movie, Dodgeball)  Do you remember this quote?
Patches O'Houlihan: If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.
Justin: What?
[Patches throws a wrench and hits Justin in the face]


Your Food Diary For:

Trader Joes - Strawberry Cereal Bar, 1 bar 140 28 3 2 90 17
Kroger - Grits 500 105 5 10 1,700 5

640 133 8 12 1,790 22
Homemade - Crockpot Pot Roast 500 0 9 24 454 0
Kroger Yogurt Covered Almonds 300 37 19 5 27 27
Cherry Vanilla Granola 300 50 9 6 75 19

1,100 87 37 35 556 46
Subway - Footlong Turkey Breast on Wheat 560 92 17 36 1,890 11

560 92 17 36 1,890 11
Whole Foods Bulk - Ginger Snaps, 8 cookies 200 34 8 2 0 0
Whole Foods - Roasted and Unsalted Cashew 160 8 14 5 0 1
Whole Foods - Coconut Dark Chocolate Chews 400 42 28 2 40 30
Whole Foods - Banana Chips 150 17 10 1 0 10
Whole Foods - Dark Chocolate Ginger 300 51 12 2 9 44
Glaceau Vitamin Water Zero - (Lemonade) 0 15 0 0 0 0
Whole Foods CHOCOLATE CHIPS 250 36 14 4 0 29

1,460 203 86 16 49 114
Totals 3,760 515 148 99 4,285 193
Your Daily Goal 8,066 1,008 269 404 2,300 302
Remaining 4,306 493 121 305 -1,985 109
*You've earned 6,136 extra calories from exercise today
If every day were like today...   You'd weigh 170.7 lbs in 5 weeks.


       Your Exercise Diary for:

Cardiovascular Minutes Calories Burned
188 3,124
329 2,997
Ic_i N/A 15

Daily Total / Goal 518 / 30 6,136 / 590  
Weekly Total / Goal 1531 / 210 19,595 / 4,130             
The MyFitnessPal application truly gives me a chuckle... Let's see, I did consume 3760 calories.  On the other hand, I walked 15 miles and took a 50 mile bike ride.  If I could do this every day for 5 weeks, by mid-September I should weigh 170.7 lbs.  Let me think about this... I don't think so. Nevertheless, I have been losing weight each week for the past three months - so I definitely headed in the right direction.

The Jacobs family was very active yesterday... I have already recounted the exploits of my wife and I.  Our daughter is visiting her relatives in California.  She sent us this photograph.
While Mom and Dad were biking 50 miles in Illinois, our daughter was surfing in California.
Another new favorite photo of the Ore Wall

The ORE WALL is 30 feet tall and extends 2000 feet.  That's a wall!
This December 28th, 2010 news article appeared in the New York Times (so it has to be true)
I have lifted it to post on the blog.

Chicago to Redevelop U.S. Steel Site on Lakefront

CHICAGO — A plan to redevelop the site of the long-closed U.S. Steel plant on the south lakefront here is ambitious even in a city whose attitude has long been Daniel Burnham’s maxim, “Make no little plans.”
The about 470-acre South Works site juts into Lake Michigan and has dazzling views of downtown nine miles to the north. The master plan, by the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, calls for 13,575 market rate and affordable homes to serve 50,000 new residents, 17.5 million square feet of retail and commercial space, a high school and a marina with 1,500 slips, to be built in phases over the next 30 years. The estimated cost is $4 billion.
The project took a major step forward in September when the city awarded it a $98 million tax increment financing grant that will be used to build infrastructure for the development’s first phase. This followed a decision by the city last spring to approve the master plan.
“The scale of the project is extraordinary,” said Chris Raguso, who recently left her position as acting commissioner of the city’s Department of Community Development to become Mayor Richard M. Daley’s deputy chief of staff. “The fact that anybody in this economy still wants to take a shot at developing a site that is basically a landfill and is basing the development on retail and housing is also extraordinary.”
Over three-quarters of the site is landfill in the form of slag, a byproduct of steel production.
The developers of the project are the U.S. Steel Corporation, based in Pittsburgh, and McCaffery Interests of Chicago.
“South Works is very unique for us,” said George A. Manos, the president of U.S. Steel Real Estate. “No. 1 is the duration. It’s very long term. No. 2 is it’s a true partnership with the City of Chicago to help transform an area of the city.”
Daniel McCaffery, the president of McCaffery Interests, said the project “boggles the mind. It’s the largest undeveloped site in Chicago.”
The development incorporates significant aspects of New Urbanist and sustainable planning guidelines by extending the city’s existing street grid and emphasizing smaller blocks, narrower streets and access to mass transit.
“I think this will be the new downtown for the South Side of Chicago,” said Philip Enquist, a principal at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
The plan also includes about 125 acres of new lakefront parkland as well as several smaller parks that are consistent with the architect Daniel Burnham’s bold Plan of Chicago of 1909, which called for expanding the city’s lakefront park system as part of a comprehensive regional approach to urban planning.
“South Works is the biggest missing piece in terms of completing Burnham’s vision” for the lakefront, said MarySue Barrett, the president of the Metropolitan Planning Council, a nonprofit advocacy group in the Chicago region.
The site is vacant except for a small brick building at the entrance, which will become a marketing center, and several massive masonry walls along an old boat slip that bisects the property. One of the walls would be preserved as a reminder of the area’s industrial past.
“I love the walls,” Mr. Enquist said. “They look like they came from a different civilization.”
In many ways, they did.
South Works began in the early 1880s as a division of the North Chicago Rolling Mill and was absorbed into U.S. Steel in 1901. For most of the 20th century, South Works was the largest employer on the city’s South Side with upward of 30,000 workers.
Over the years, the plant produced the steel responsible for such structures as the Sears (now Willis) Tower, the John Hancock Center and the McCormick Place convention center.
In the 1970s, however, U.S. Steel began consolidating its Chicago-area steel-making activities at its plant in Gary, Ind., and in 1992 South Works closed. The closing left a huge void in the neighborhoods to the west and south, which were largely populated by the families of steelworkers.
“If you walk through the various neighborhoods, it is still possible to talk to residents who either worked there or whose fathers and grandfathers did,” said Sandi Jackson, the alderwoman for the Seventh Ward, which includes the northern part of the site. “They have fond memories of South Works and want to see something exciting happen on that site.”
The site required years of environmental remediation and was also subject to several competing visions for its future before the current plan began to take shape in the early 2000s.
Mr. McCaffery, who has developed mixed-use projects around the country, including the Market Common in Arlington, Va., said he planned to break ground on the first phase of the project in late 2012 after the completion of a new road along the western perimeter of the site. The road is an extension of U.S. 41, also known as Lake Shore Drive.
“The first step for this redevelopment was to realign U.S. 41 and make it more accessible for the site,” Ms. Raguso said. “We need to bring traffic down there.”
The first phase will include about 1,000 residential units, but the main focus will be 800,000 square feet of retail space. The cost, including the $98 million in new infrastructure, is about $397 million, a not inconsiderable sum in the current economy.
Mr. McCaffery, however, is sanguine about his prospects.
“I don’t have to find the money,” he said. “I have to find the guys who can find the money. We’re going to slice and dice the different phases. We need to engage a range of architects and developers.”
Mr. McCaffery said the decision to focus primarily on retail in the first phase was grounded in demographics. “We’re smelling, tasting and feeling pent-up demand for retail. I’m not going to kid anybody that we’re going to have a Tiffany’s down here, but it’s also not going to be pawn shops,” he said, referring to the poor economic conditions of much of the area. “We’ve already talked to a number of grocery stores, and not one has turned us down in terms of continued interest.”
Paul Vogel, a retail consultant here, said he thought the developers were on the right track. “There are few places in America today that are understored, but the South Side of Chicago is one of them,” Mr. Vogel said.
The decision also acknowledges that the city is overwhelmed with unsold condos and housing units left over from the housing bubble
“We currently have years and years of oversupply,” said James Kinney, the vice president for luxury sales at Baird & Warner real estate.
The long-term forecast may be brighter. A study by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning predicted that the Chicago area would add 2.4 million residents over the next 30 years.
“The right time to build is when demand meshes with the availability of financing and resources,” Mr. McCaffery said. “What we have done is to prepare ourselves for the next right time. And I believe it will be sooner than many people think.”

and finally, a current description of STEELWORKERS PARK lifted from Chicago Park District website....

Steelsworkers Park  is located in the South Chicago community. This is a great nature area with trees, walking paths and an ideal location for families to enjoy nature in the city.


In 2002, the Chicago Park District acquired a 16.5-acre site in the South Chicago community to develop a new park. Previously part of the US Steel Complex known as South Works, the site was recently transformed into an attractive landscape with natural areas, trees, walking paths and exquisite views of Lake Michigan. The property is edged by remnant elements of the steel industry, most notably a series of enormous concrete ore walls. Located at the juncture between the Calumet River and Lake Michigan, the South Works first opened in the early 1880s. By this time, the surrounding area had already attracted industrial development because of its location near the river, lake, and substantial railroad service that provided excellent opportunities to transport materials and goods. Swedish, Scottish, and German immigrants had settled in the area, and the growing steel industry attracted even larger numbers of residents to the South Chicago area. In 1901, the US Steel Corporation acquired South Works. At the time, well-paying jobs at the industrial complex attracted Italians, Poles, Mexicans, and African-Americans to make the area their home. At its peak, South Works had more than 20,000 employees. It covered an area of 600 acres, much of which was composed of landfill made of molten slag. After South Works began downsizing in the 1970s, the mill closed down in 1992. The City of Chicago and community organizations are championing ambitious redevelopment plans for the area. Officially named as Steelworkers Park by the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners in 2014, the park provides a first step towards realizing these plans.

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