Obama booed for gloating about Youkilis trade
- Obama tried to talk smack about the trade that sent Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox. For more CNN videos, check out our YouTube...
- Moving from ambition to meaning
- (Cake and Comfort)
Often when starting on the entrepreneurial journey, visions of huge success loom large. It can be heady to think of the possibilities of owning your own business, when there are stories all around of folks who went from nothing to multiple millions with one idea. The vision of huge success is one thing, but creating it is entirely another.
As anyone who has ventured on this path will tell you, it is not for the faint of heart. Customers, suppliers and contracts come and go, trends change, recessions and market crashes re-arrange the landscape for financing...often as the famous movie line said; you better "fasten your seat belts, for it's going to be a bumpy ride". That's entrepreneurship...and it can be a Shark Tank. Yet we keep going, pressing on, working to build the big dream, to make that vision a reality.
But sometimes as I've gone along this ride, moments happen that make meaning more important than ambition. That happened again this week when our ComfortCake HUGS Foundation hosted 20 students from Urban Prep Academy at our offices as part of their Discovering Our City Initiative. This initiative engages businesses and organizations to introduce students to parts of Chicago and career opportunities that they may not have ever been exposed to. I'm proud that this is the second year we've hosted them.
To me, there is nothing more meaningful than to see lights of interest come on in the eyes of positive, young people. To get their curiosity flowing about possibilities, to add to their menu of options, to field their excellent questions while sharing stories of what it takes to complete an education, start a business, and give back to others...it was priceless. We all know that the images portrayed of our youth is much more negative than positive. Yet, there is positivity all around us, and we can all do something with our youth to let them know we care about them and about their future, because it is our collective future.
I think it is important to let young folks see us doing what we do as entrepreneurs, whether times are good or times are hard. Let them see that as the old African proverb says, "To stumble is not to fall, but to move forward faster". I made those young men promise me that as long as they could look up they would get up as they go through this life. And being with them, sharing with them gave such meaning to my soul. This is what matters more than ambition to me. I could have had them stay all day because of the hope they engendered in me.
What can we all do? As our city copes with such astonishing violence and a mindset of hopelessness, we can reach out to our youth. It doesn't always take a program or a foundation. Sometimes it just takes a moment. When you see youth engaging in something positive, stop and let them know it's appreciated. When you see something needing correction, don't be afraid to correct with a loving touch or tone. For example, this week my cable was out, and the young technician who came to fix it was on time, which was terrific. But he came to the door with the straw from his soft drink hanging from his mouth, and started trying to go through his analysis with it hanging there! Now, I wasn't his momma, but I just had to stop and let him know that while I was glad he was on time, that straw was not building my confidence that he knew his stuff. I said it directly but with a smile...and he promptly got the point, trashed the straw and ended up doing a great job. It felt wonderful to then give him high marks when a survey call came later. Who knows, perhaps he will think about the impression he leaves when on future service calls, and the good survey marks will encourage him to succeed.
So, each one can reach one. In a store, on the street, look young folks in the eye. Say Hello...Smile... Engage...say "you're doing a great job!" We used to do that in our communities all the time to build each other up. You know, but for the grace of God go all of us...your son or daughter could be the one needing encouragement from a stranger one day. If we find ways to pay it forward - both small and large - then moving from ambition to meaning will become easier, and life can become sweeter for us all.
- Putting together the pieces for a Rose comeback
- (Bulldozedcity: Chicago Sports)
There is no timetable in place for Derrick Rose's much anticipated return and one of the questions that seems most prevalent on Bulls fan's minds, is when Rose does return, who will be his "sidekick"? One of Bulls Coach Tom Thibedeau's most popular quotables is, "We have more than enough to win," but how true are those words now?
With a team that is in dire need of a spark, it seems reasonable that even when Derrick Rose does return, the Bulls will still be one "piece" away. Indeed, the Bulls have reached a tipping point, and the time has come for an honest look at the Bulls chances of being a serious title contender in the short-term. It simply does not seem likely that a team made up of mostly serviceable role players can compete with the league's brass come playoff time.
However, if, and when Derrick Rose does return, I will not make the mistake of doubting him. The Bulls very well may find themselves competing in the conference finals two months from now, if Rose, who has spent the last ten months rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee, can return at a high level. But allow me to remind you, in the Eastern Conference, the road to the finals goes through South Beach.
Enter the Bulls front office. Has the tandem of Gar-Pax done enough to prevent Rose from virtually going 1-on-3 against the Miami Heat, if the two teams meet for a chance to go to the NBA finals? For now, lets say the answer is no. Seeing as that without Rose, the closest thing the Bulls have to a player that can create their own shot is Nate Robinson. Enough said. And yes, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng are both deserving All-Stars, but Noah is not a real scoring threat and Deng cannot dribble the basketball well enough to create for himself. Simply.
Let us take a brief look back at the summer of 2010. Yes, the summer Lebron James announced he was taking his talents to South Beach, and along with him, most of the leagues chances at an NBA Championship for the next 3-5 years. It was at this moment where things became clearer. With Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, and Lebron James all off the board to Miami, the Bulls countered those moves by signing Carlos Boozer to the tune of $80 million (panic much?) and filled the rest of the roster with specialist, in hopes to compete with the newly formed super team in Miami. It didn't work. The Bulls were beaten in the conference finals in five games by, guess who? The Miami Heat. What would the Bulls do for an encore? The next off-season they would add aging shooting guard, Rip Hamilton, with hopes that he would be the missing piece to relieve Rose of some of his super-hero like responsibilities. In the end, it was injuries that robbed Gar-Pax of a chance to see if their philosophy of Rose and "friends" versus Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat, would triumph.
This brings us to the current state of the Chicago Bulls. Finances have been exhausted. Not to mention that in a season where their championship chances are slim, the Bulls are primed to pay a luxury tax for the first time in team history this season. It’s obvious now. The Bulls front office has their sights on the 2014 NBA season. Why? Because right now, the Bulls are handcuffed by the hard cap and 2014 is the next chance they have to get their heads above water, financially. 2014 is when Luol Deng's contract comes off the books, Nikola Mirotic could possibly be signed, and Carlos Boozer becomes a serious amnesty candidate.
As a result, freeing up enough cap space to possibly add a big name free agent to pair with Rose. But Gar-Pax already struck out once on free agency glory, why try it again? Because, it is likely the only way the Bulls will be able to form a team strong enough to get past the greater teams of the league. In 2014, will a core of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic (if he breaks free of his European contract), Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler be enough to convince the likes of Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Rudy Gay, all who will be free agents in 2014, that a championship is in reach in Chicago?
Will Kevin Love force a trade if the Timberwolves cannot develop to become a consistent winning organization? Both are questions the Bulls front office will have to ask themselves. Because, one thing's for sure, the fate of the Bulls not only rests on the shoulders of Derrick Rose. Gar/Pax will have to help him shoulder the load and use creative and proactive tactics on the quest for a No. 2 option for Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.
Terrence Tomlin is a native Chicagoan and creator of bulldozedcity.com, a website dedicated to the loyal fans of the Chicago sports triangle: The Bulls, The Bears. and The White Sox, with an occasional sprinkle of Cubs insight. Through his writing, Terrence Tomlin plans to bridge the gap between the average fan and sports insider.
- Valentine's Day meal at home
- (Chef Julius)
Valentine’s Day is a day designed to show yourself or the person you are involved with some level of appreciation. Yes it does get a bit “overdone” with trinkets, gifts and other types of craziness. However, mistakes are accepted as long as the effort is there. What it really boils down to is sharing. I feel the best way to share is through cooking. Our relationship with great food is what connects all of us. Everyone can remember a great meal. Going out or staying in, Valentine’s Day is the best day to put that effort forward. Elevate the at home experience of making dinner for that special someone by pairing with wine. You can follow a few simple rules about food and wine that will make you an expert… for the night at least.
First, stick with 3 courses. It’s no fun being in the kitchen the entire time. My 1st Course is a soup or bisque. This will be served hot, which requires the other person to cool it off and there is slurping, so it’s sexy. Remember to keep this light and try to make it vegetarian. It will pair easier with light wines:
Roasted Red Pepper & Sun-dried Tomato Bisque – Pair with Amado Sur Torrontes or Casillero del Diablo Sauvignon Blanc
The 2nd course is where you can flex a bit more. This is a steak course. If you want to go with chicken, use dark meat. If fish is the choice, go with something really rich…and the sauce MUST be a bold one.
Peppercon Crusted Ribeye Steak or Balsaminc & Brown Sugar Roasted Chicken or Lemon Curry Salmon with Truffle Honey Drizzle…plus Duckfat Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Charred Broccoli – Pair with Amado Sur Malbec or ANY Concha Y Toro Carmenere
For my 3rd course, I don’t play around. It’s chocolate ALL DAY! I like to make dessert, cover it and hide it in the refrigerator. Dessert on Valentine’s Day has the strongest lasting power and CHOCOLATE always works. unless the person is allergic J
This might a bit adventurous for the average home cook, order from us, visit a local bakery or Mariano’s and pick up a dessert like this.
Flourless Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Compote & Chocolate Mousse – Pair with Casillero del Diablo “Late Harvest” Sauvignon Blanc
There are plenty of ways to have a meal like this at home. You can order our “Valentine’s Day Take Home Menu”. You can also check various food websites for recipes. Still I encourage not to do too much, too fast. And if you want to just go out and not deal with the clean-up after making a meal like this, visit us at www.taleof2chefs.com and purchase tickets to our Valentine’s Day Pop-Up Restaurant.
Happy Cooking and Happy Valentine’s Day from Chef Julius and A Tale of Two Chefs…
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