Monday, June 30, 2008

The Next Wine & Dine Experience Announcement

The next Wine & Dine Experience is September 13 at Willett's Winery in Manito. The time is 6:30 PM. I have no clue to what the menu will be as Winemaker Dan has the possibility of having a couple new wines ready by that time. As the Willett's like to release and showcase their new wines at the Wine & Dines, the menu probably won't be developed until about two weeks before. The cost is $45 per person which includes four courses prepared by yours truly, four wines that are paired to the courses and music by (I'm guessing, but pretty sure) Joe Metzka. Call the winery at 968-7070 or e-mail Cris at I know many tickets are already gone for this 48 seat event.

If the September event fills up before you call or that date isn't good for you, the last Wine & Dine Experience for 2008 is Saturday, October 25. We are also taking reservations for this event at this time.

See you around the table....

PS The Willetts in their second year of winemaking just won the Governors Cup Award (meaning the best wine in its class) for their wine made with Frontenac. They have also racked up other awards for several other wines. Congrats Dan & Cris!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise (AZ)!!!

Ex-Peoria City Manager Randy Oliver lands up in Surprise, AZ.

Thought this statement was interesting:

Oliver served as city manager of Peoria, Ill., from 2003 until February. He said he left his job in the city when his goals diverged from those of the City Council. Council members wanted to focus only on basic services such as police and fire, Oliver has said.

I met Oliver once, I don't have issues with him one way or another. But I hardly find our city council ONLY focusing on basic services.....

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Weedwacko's Nightmare

Most of my readers are familiar with my Hollyhock story. I think I am going to make this story an annual event. It is ready to flip the biggest bird to weedwacko yet. 17 individual plants zooming toward the sun. A few sunny days and watch out!

Please ignore my neighbors weed garden to the left of the picture:

And the wall behind the hollyhocks is a touch over 8 feet.

The Peoria Library Scenario

Over at Peoria Pundit, the two heavyweights of the Peoria blogging community are having a slugfest over the library issue. What seems to be the issue is why all of the sudden is the city council asking questions that in retrospect, should have been asked previously before the library spent $$ on proposals, etc.

I'm not a person who uses the library. However, growing up and doing research for school, I did. I have no issues forking over a few bucks to continue to provide that service for students now. However, in questioning a few high school students I know, most tell me that they use the library at school or the internet. I'm not saying that the few I've asked are represetative of the whole, but it does make me wonder. Before I get zapped with a zillion remarks that the library offers far more services than high school students gathering information for research papers - DUH.

But here is my take. I think the city council has a dilemna. How many boondoggles has the city sunk (taxpayer) money in, that we (and us bloggers especially) criticize current and past councils for giving the OK? Gateway building, Riverplex, O Brien Field, Civic Center*. Sound familiar? I guess if I were on the council, I'd be very wary of putting the OK stamp on 35 million dollars just because the library board tells me all is going to be magnificent with new or improved libraries. We heard only how magnificent some of the aforementioned boondoggles would be, too from their boards, developers, etc. The library is suffering through the same scrutiny as the downtown museum. I think the council is tired of being the ridiculed scapegoat after these wunderprojects get built and do not even begin to provide the results promised.

If I were the council, I'd do this: "Library board: Here is the money you claim you need to re-vamp the downtown branch. We will sit down and discuss how long you think after the revitalization that all your claims in your proposal will come to realization. If these claims hold true, we'll pony up the cash for your other projects. If not, you better hold a giant bake sale for anything else you want to build."

I, for one, am glad to see they are starting to ask some questions, regardless of when or where, instead of rubberstamping things and us taxpayers footing the bill and continued support of boondoggles.

But here is some food for thought: Somehow, we get by with two post offices. I'd like to know the traffic count of the two Peoria post offices vs. the traffic count of Peoria libraries. I know I'm comparing apples to oranges, but you see my point.

* Yeah, the Civic Center. When the 20+ year "temporary" HRA tax is rescinded, I'll remove my boondoggle label.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Added Event

As many of my readers know, I cater some events. Recently, circumstances have arisen that has caused an event to need a little extra advertising outside of the normal circle to be successful. If you have ever wanted to attend one of Willett's Winery's "Wine & Dine Experiences", but found them sold out or not on a day condusive to your schedule, here is your chance. This isn't a "Wine & Dine" that the Willetts and I usually promote, but will be the same atmosphere, quality, etc. that we usually provide. It is Saturday, June 28 at the winery in Manito and starts at 6:30 PM. Music by Joe Metzka. A different Willett's wine will be served with each course I'm preparing. The menu is:

Salmon & Crab Croquette on White Bean Stew

Asian Vegetables, Green Apples & Cashews served on Baby Greens with Gingered Citrus Dressing,

Bacon wrapped Bistro Steak with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce, Horseradish-Boursin Cheese Whipped Potatoes and Summer Medley Vegetables

Russian Cream with Fresh Seasonal Berries

Cost is $45 per person. Call the winery at 968-7070 or e-mail them at

See You Around The Table.....