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Wordcraft Gathering in April '07: Chicago Login/Join
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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I hate to call this another Wordcraft Convention because it is so soon. However, some of us have been talking about a 2007 gathering in Chicago during what would be the Easter break, for those of you in academia: from about April 7th to the 14th. The first and second days of Passover are April 2nd and 3rd, and Passover ends on the 10th. Easter is April 8th. That means we could have Easter and Passover celebrations, which might be fun. Remember, our daughter co-authored 2 books on the Seder (here is an interesting review I just found), so we can hold a great (albeit a little feminist in nature Wink) Seder. I have found non-Jews love attending Seders.

At any rate, we'd love to host any of you who can come. Our kids are out of the home now, so we have room to put people up, and the train station into the city is only a block away. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, I can make arrangements for that, too. Shall we say the time is between April 9th and 14th? Chicago is a marvelous American city, and I think you all would enjoy it.
 
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Kalleh, How far are you from Rosemont? Is there a train or bus that goes there? The International Quilt Festival in Rosemont is April 13-15th, which would make the timing perfect.
 
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I'll be up for it subject to being able to find a flight that doesn't involve remortgaging the house. I would like to take advantage of your kind offer of accomodation though.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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I'm afraid I won't be able to afford such a trip. I've had some (extremely high) repair bills for my house which have ruined my budgeting.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Subject to budgets and being able to get accommodation in Canada, we might be able to stop en route to our son and daughter-in-law in British Columbia. Kalleh, maybe you could provisonally reserve a coupls of beds?

Of course, time is a little short to organise things on the ground but with so many Wordcrafters in the USA it should be possible.

And Chicago is a very good centre with much to see and do.

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Richard English
 
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I would love it. As soon as you know the dates that are right for you, Kalleh, let me know and I'll "book passage." Smile
 
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Wonderful! I think the dates might come down to Richard and Bob being able to get good rates. Unfortunately during the Easter holiday flights will probably be a little higher. Bob, Richard, why don't you see what you can get?

Arnie, we're sorry you can't make it, but perhaps we can actually post some pictures this time. Wink

CW, would you and your family be able to make it?

Jo, we are about a half-hour from the Rosemont convention center, though there really isn't any public transportation that I know of. The train goes into the city, and Rosemont is a northwest suburb. We could probably figure something out, though. We'd love to have you!
 
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We will be coming. We will drive there, and as the date approaches we will get address and Mapquest the directions. (did I just create a new verb?) I do hope we can come for the festival even if the Wordcraft gathering dates have to be changed. I should feel up to travelling that far by then, and it would be nice to have our own car for it. Afterall, it is only about a six hour drive.
 
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I'll try to look at this today (although I have to see the dentist first). Easter Monday is 09 April, so it will be after that since air fares will be high over the holiday.

My own stop in Chicago will be en route to or from British Columbia - the exact itineray will depend on cost and flight timings.


Richard English
 
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I'll look into it too. I'd prefer to be a little earlier rather than later as I have to have time to get rid of jet lag and get prepared for the new term which starts on 16th April.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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At the moment my best is a £470 flight from Birmingham on 6th returning 13th (OK that's Friday 13th but someone has to fly then!)
I'll keep looking. If you come across anything Richard can you let me know.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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This sounds great! I'll have to check with hubby and son to see if we all will come, but I think I'd be able to come on my own, if they can't make it. Yay!


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One might have thought the hostess would have checked her calendar before all of this. Roll Eyes It seems I have a conference in Anaheim, California, that week, but I am sure I can get out of a few days of it. The conference is the 11th - 15th, but I could probably leave for it on the 13th or so. I'd have to know quickly, though, because I have to let them know when I can speak. I could do it the other way, too; that is, come home on the 13th. I had no idea this stupid conference would be during Easter break, but then it is a student conference, so I suppose I should have known. So sorry!

How about others? Wordmatic? Hab? Asa & Sue? Neveu? Gooofy? Zmj? wordnerd? Hic? KHC? Who am I forgetting???? [Don't be offended if I haven't mentioned your name please.]

We have 4 bedrooms, 1 with a queen sized bed and one with 2 single beds. The other 2 rooms have single beds. However, I could buy some of those blow-up beds (not sure what they're called) to accommodate everyone. I'd hate to see anyone having to stay in a hotel, unless he or she wanted to. It does mean that Shu will have to help me, though, since I will be in Anaheim and all. Got that, Shu? Razz

Can't wait!

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Please hold a bed for us, as we will be there for the quilt festival and anything else going on. The festival starts on the 13th, so we would like to drive over on the 12th. Of course, all bets are off if the Wordcraft gathering happens at a different time. Unless we could come anyway. Heck we can make two trips. Like I said, it's only a 6-7 hour drive.
 
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As I said I could start earlier but not later. Starting on 13th would mean that I was flying back the same day that I arrive. I wouldn't even have time to get a coffee at the airport. Smile


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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Can we make it the 6th to the 13th then? I might have to leave really early on the 13th since it's California. I am hoping I can speak on the 14th, but I had better let them know ASAP. Of course, people won't all stay that long, but it's a nice window of time. I might even go over to OEDILF and see if the elusive CJ would like to drive up for an evening to meet some of his best limericists. I hope that Hic can come; that might bring on some sparks. Wink
 
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That would work for me.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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If we came in on the 10th, could we stay there for the quilt festival? Or would we need to find a place to stay in Rosemont, seeing as how you are leaving on the 13th.
 
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That's fine, Jo. Just realize that I won't be here, and Shu, while very sweet, is far from a homemaker. Wink

Alright, that works for everyone else then? Because I need ask for those vacation days then and call the organization and tell them that I won't be able to arrive until the 13th.

I would very much like to have a big Seder one night. I think you'd all love it, and reading the hagaddah is bound to give us lots of word posts, such as why the feminists put an orange on the plate. Authorities are often wrong about the real reason. I hope everyone likes gefilte fish and matzo balls!
 
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April? I won't be able to go anywhere in April, since that's at the beginning of my busy season at work. I retire in four years - maybe then.
 
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Okay then... we will be driving over on the 10th, and staying for the quilt show which is the 13th and 14th. We will leave to come home on the 15th.
 
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06-13 is in my diary. I doubt I'll leave until the 9th or 10th, though, as the 6th is Good Friday and flights might be expensive. But I'll have to do some checking.


Richard English
 
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Kalleh, I'm looking into flying. Are you closer to O'Hare or Midway, and can you recommend a hotel near to your home?
 
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Oh, darn! As I wrote to you earlier, Kalleh, George and I will have just gotten back from our New Zealand trip then and I will have used up all of my vacation time through June 30 at that point, not to mention the travel budget. Like Asa, I am four years from retirement...and while I do not wish that I were four years older, I do wish I were free to fly at any moment. One of these days I promise to get together with the Clan Wordcraft, though. Sigh. It's great of you and Shu to host this thing.

WM
 
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Oh, WM, darn!

Saranita, we are much closer to O'Hare. I surely can recommend a hotel, but you really, honestly are welcome here. After all, a lot of the people will be men, and you know men...they don't hog the bathrooms like we women do! Wink I will PM you.
 
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I've been asked to be a bit more specific about the actual days of the Wordcraft gathering. I have been waiting for Richard and Bob to look into their flights, but let's say from the 10th to the 12th. Of course, Bob and Richard will come for a longer period since they are traveling from so far, but let's pinpoint those dates then, at least for now. I will plan a dinner (perhaps a Seder, though I am not sure if people are interested) for the night of the 11th...at least for now.

I have also been asked about hotel rooms. We could manage here, but depending on the numbers, everyone might not have an actual bed, as you could see from the numbers of beds we have. However, they do make those very comfortable blow-up beds, and that would be doable. We do have some beds of course. Since we live in the suburbs a hotel out here might be more trouble than it's worth, unless you rent a car. If you do want a hotel rrom, I can look into a reasonable one in the city. I have a few ideas.
 
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I have asked my local Canadian specialist for a quote for a trip out on the 9th or 10th (remember that the 9th is Easter Monday and a Bank Holiday in the UK) and I'll then stay until the 13th or 14th and travel on to see my son and daughter-in-law in British Columbia.

Which means I might not arrive until the afternoon of the 10th.


Richard English
 
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I'm looking at 6th to 13th (Friday to Friday) which Expedia has at £470. I'm not going to book anything until all the arrangements are definite though.

The dates are mainly because I don't want to be flying on my birthday - 9th.

(See the subtle way that he deftly reminds everyone to buy him birthday presents.)

(See the even subtler way that he makes it look as if he was making a joke while still managing to remind everyone even more explicitly that they should all buy him birthday presents.)

(See the ... what the hell, you get the picture. The boy's a genius with words.)

Oh yes, if by any chance you all did buy me marvellous birthday presents, choose them carefully with my flight home in mind. When I went to Singapore for my friends wedding, she gave all the guests full size decorative paper parasols which were very pretty but hopelessly impractical to pack.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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So... what would you like? A six pack of BudLite would fit if you broke it up. Big Grin
 
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As I've mentioned before, if you are looking for the vilest concoction brewed in the USA (probably in the world) there are worse beers than Bud, even worse than BudLite. The absolute worst one that I have encountered is Old Milwaukee. English has no word for what it tastes like. Big Grin
Come to that neither does any other language.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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so you want a six pack of Old Milwaukee? Personally, I would think Ranier would fill the bill better.

On a more realistic but humorous note... my late husband and I used to dig dinosaurs with Jack Horner. Jack smoked like a chimney and drank copious amounts of Ranier Beer. When he remarried his new wife talked him into quitting smoking. At which point he stopped drinking Ranier. He told us once he could taste again he realized it tasted like shit.

If you are ever in Missoula, MT go to the Montana Brew Company and have a pint of Custer's Last Stout. Has to be the best stout I have ever drunk.
 
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this should probably go in another forum topic, like the world's worst joke... but since we are talking about beer.................

It was the final inning in the last game of the season. The home team had an absolutely miserable record that year, and the team and fans desperately needed a win to boost their morale. As luck would have it, Mel Famey, the best pitcher ever to play for them, had come off the injured list and was in fine form.

The score was 9-8 in favor of the home team, there were two outs, the bases were loaded, and all Mel had to do was get this batter out. Mel had one quirk. When he got nervous he had to have a beer. And this last inning had already been a three beer inning. Mel threw the ball, ball one. He threw again, ball two. And again, ball three. He signaled for a time out, walked to the dugout and downed another beer. Out to the mound, the silence was palpable. The wind up, the throw, ball four.

A great moan rose from the stands. But all was not lost. If Mel could strike out the next batter, it would be the home team's turn at bat, and a hit would win the game.

You guessed it. Yet another beer. And yet another walk.

At the post-game party, the reporter asked the winning team, "Do you think Mel's injury got in his way?" "No," he replied, "It was the beer that made Mel Famey walk us."
 
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An obscure joke to those who:

1. Don't know about Baseball

2. Don't know the slogan of that ghastly concoction known as "Schlitz" (erroneously believed by some Americans to be beer).

But I love puns and this is one to rival Asimov's best.


Richard English
 
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I must move the Seder to April 10th. I hope that works for all. If not, I apologize.
 
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Are we definitely going ahead with these dates?It's closer than it sounds.
I need to start looking for flights.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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That will mean that those of us from the UK will really have to leave on the 9th to get settled in and over the 8-hour flight.


Richard English
 
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As I said before I'd be leaving on the 6th if that was OK with our hosts.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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It is fine, as long as you realize that we don't run a hotel. I am going to rent an SUV for that week since we have a smallish car. That way we will have 2 vehicles. I know that Saranita will be staying in a hotel that is closeby so we will need to pick her up. I am going to make a few reservations at the Renaissance Hotel, which is about 10 minutes from our home, during those dates. I can always cancel them if we need to, but I want to have something just in case we need it. Heck, maybe Shu and I will go stay there! Wink

I'd love to have some actual dates from those of you who are coming so that we can plan for beds and such. Everyone who wants to is welcome to stay with us, but if it gets crowded here, your bed may not be, shall we say, 5 star. Shu and I definitely will give up our beds to you, and are planning to sleep in the living room or on our porch, depending on the weather.

Oh...weather in Chicago...April can be wonderful or awful and anywhere in between. I just cannot predict that for you.

I am getting excited! Let's decide what you'd like to do. I will give some examples.

1) Museum of Science and Industry. I am particularly interested in seeing their renovated U505 German submarine exhibit.

2) The Field Museum of Natural History. Their Evolving Planet exhibit is exceptional, isn't it CW?

3) Near the Field Museum is the Shedd Aquarium, with its Beluga whales and beautifully situated overlooking Lake Michigan.

4) The Adler Planetarium is also located next to the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium.

5) My absolute favorite museum in Chicago, though, is the Art Institute. As you can see from the link, the Cezanne to Picasso exhibit will be in town when you come.

6) I know that Saranita wants to see some Frank Lloyd Wright homes. Also, there is the architectural boat tour. It would depend on the weather; sometimes in April that can be quite cold.

7)The Chicago Botanic Gardens are only 10 minutes from our home, and I'd love to take you there. Again, it would be weather dependent.

8) You might want to visit historic Wrigley Field at a Chicago Cubs game. They are in town from the 9th to the 15th. Let me know and I will try to get tickets.

9) There is always a drive down beautiful Sheridan Road on the north shore. You might want to see Northwestern University as we drive into Chicago.

10) And of course there is always great shopping along the Magnificent Mile. I can arrange for high tea at one of the downtown hotels if anyone would be interested.

11) I almost forgot about our new Millennium Park, which is right downtown where all the action is. We can't miss that!

And there is always good beer! Big Grin

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Well, with the demise of one of the best sausage and beer joints I've ever known, I'm still going to come.

Rex and I will drive over, hoping to arrive on the 10th, and leave on the 15th. We will be going to the quilt show in Rosemont, so Shu doesn't have to even think about being a housefrau.

We will have our car and will be happy to provide additional transport as needed. As for sleeping accommodations, all we need is somewhere to plug in our cpap machines.
 
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I just made flight reservations for Monday, April 9th, a.m., returning Thursday, April 12th, a.m. That will mean I can be back at my office to work Thursday afternoon. I'll plan to take a cab from the airport to the hotel, and you can let me know what comes next, please, Kalleh. And if you wind up having to rent an SUV in which to haul us around, I want to pay you something on that. Doing so will certainly be less expensive than cab fare, so no arguments! Smile I will pm you about the hotel.
 
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Simon and I will be spending the weekend (6-8) and probably stay at our friends' house in Oak Park until the 11th, when we will drive home. We'll have our car, too, obviously, so we'll have room for 3 others in the back seat when we're going around town. We won't need beds at your house, but we very much appreciate the offer. If there is floor space, we might decide to camp on your floor the night of the 10th, but going back to our other friends' is fine, too.

We love all the museums, as you know, and will be very happy visiting any of them. The boat tour sounds very interesting, too, but as you say, we'll need to see how the weather goes. Also, we always love the FLW home/studio.

Yes, the Field Museum is absolutely spectacular. I'm sure Simon would be very happy going again and again and . . . well . . . maybe even moving in someday!


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~Dalai Lama
 
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Kalleh, I'm happy to see the exhibit of U-505 high on your list of Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry attractions.

Phillip Trusheim, coxswain of the motor whaleboat that took the boarding party from USS Pillsbury to and from the captured submarine, is my brother in law.

During the past several decades many of the surviving members of that group of sailors have organized and attended annual reunions. It's also interesting to note that the surviving members of U-505's crew also attend the reunions. Men who once were mortal enemies are now friends? ... Colleagues? Compatriots?
 
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Some have queried the situation with regard to entry restrictions for UK residents entering the USA. Under the Patriot Act and the various other precautions taken as precautions against terrorism, there have been several restrictions placed on travellers, the most severe of which is that most of those entering the USA, including US residents, must have passports.

This would not be such a problem for those of us in the UK (since most of us get passports along with our milk teeth) were it not for the fact the the US authorities have decided that just any old passport won't do. To enter the USA under the visa waiver programme UK travellers must have a machine-readable passport. Most passports issued this century will be OK (they will be the maroon jobs with the bar-code), but if in doubt check with your local US embassy. Even if the passport is machine-readable, if it was issued between October 26 2005 and October 26 2006, bearers must also carry a digital photograph. Passports issued after October 26 2006 must be biometric and include facial recognition technology (which those issued at the UK passport office will). If you don't qualify for the visa waiver programme (which basically means anyone who doesn't have a normal UK passport allowing residence in the UK, or anyone who intends to work or live in the USA) then you will need to get a US visa. This is a very expensive and time-consuming process, involving personal visits to the US Embassy and paying around £80 in cash for each visa. Just hope you don't need to get one!

All visitors to the USA must also supply full details of their first night's accommodation, including the street number and zip code. If it's a hotel, carry the confirmation; if private, make sure you have all the information accessible in your hand baggage. It would do no harm, if you are staying privately, to have a copy of a letter from the accommodation provider, just to prove the validity of your statement.

All those arriving in the USA and aged between 14 and 79 must allow the immigration authorities to take their photograph and fingerprints - no exceptions.

If you have any queries, check with the US Embassy - www.usembassy.org.uk


Richard English
 
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Kalleh. I'm not a sports fan but I would like to see a Cubs game. I intended to last time I was in town but it was the cross-town game and tickets had been sold out for months.

I'd also be very interested in revisiting the Art Institute. It's a favourite of mine too, although I can do that on my own time if no one else wants to go.
I'd be pretty keen on getting to one of the blues clubs for some live music if that's possible.
OTOH whatever we do is sure to be great.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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quote:
OTOH whatever we do is sure to be great.

Goose Island has numerous attractions, most of them living.


Richard English
 
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Me Me Me Me! I want to go to the Art Institute. I intend on spending an entire day there, so Bob, you and I can soak up culcha together if no one else goes. My husband is squirming at the idea of an art museum, and I need someone to push me around. So I'm at the mercy of your artistic desires. (Gawd, that just sounds so... so... )
 
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The Art Institute is right downtown, so if someone doesn't want to go there, we can find something else for them, like perhaps visiting the Chicago Cultural Center if it's cold or Millenium Park if not.

We definitely will rent an SUV because even if you have cars, sometimes people don't feel comfortable driving. If at all possible, I'd like to pick up from the airport everyone who flies in because I think that is polite. However, if we happen to be out doing something, that might not be possible. I hope you will understand.

Bob and Richard, we are happy to write you a letter about your accomodations with us. What a pain, huh? We didn't have to do anything to travel to England or France, nor did I when I traveled to Italy.

Yes, Richard, we will visit Goose Island and maybe the Clark Street Ale House. The latter is a wonderful pub with great draft beers and most always a cask conditioned beer. The Clark Street Ale House is also close to some good blues places, which also might be nice. We took Phil to one when he was here.

Cubs...who, besides Bob, would like to see a Cubs game? Obviously that means tickets, so I will have to get on that ASAP. The Cubs are playing the Houston Astros at Wrigley Field on April 9, 10, 11 at 1:20 p.m. and the Cincinnati Reds on the 13th, 14th and 15th (at 1:20 on the 13th and 14th and a night game on the 15th). We're actually very lucky that they are home at that time. As soon as I know how many want to go, I should try getting tickets. Even though the Cubs are a lousy team, they sell out with their tickets. Strange, but true. Perhaps I could go with the Cubs people (because I like baseball more than Shu does), and Shu could take those who aren't interested elsewhere.

Is anyone else interested in joining us in April? Shu said Gooofy might be interested? TrossL? KHC? Hab? Anyone else?
 
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My list of places to go include the Art Institute, Millenium Park, and the Page Museum. Kalleh, is there any kind of railroad museum or big model railroad layout that Rex might like to see?

Frankly, I'm kind of burned out on the science museum for now. But I do want to go see Sue at the Page.
 
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Bob and Richard, we are happy to write you a letter about your accomodations with us. What a pain, huh? We didn't have to do anything to travel to England or France, nor did I when I traveled to Italy.

I am sure that most Americans would agree that the restrictions of the Patriot Act are an over-reaction - and I rather doubt that they do much to improve security. After all, it's the easiest thing in the world to book a hotel room - and even pay for it in advance - if it helps you to get into the USA for nefarious purposes. After all, if those who committed the foul acts of September 11 were prepared to take flying lessons and buy first class air tickets to further their aims, what deterrent is making a hotel booking?

I would imagine that it would be OK to email details of accommodation; I don't see the need for a snailmail letter.

Kalleh, did you get my pm about my onward and return trip? I have had problems with my email recently and have lost several replies.


Richard English
 
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I've added a mention to the 'News' section of the Wordcraft Community Home Page so we might possibly attract a little more interest.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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