Posts filed under ‘Random topics’

Bet he has a much nicer office now…

Ron Huberman has entered the Private Equity business. Not entirely sure what that is. Venture capital type stuff?  Sounds like a good fit with his performance-based focus and no doubt pays a hell of a lot better than public work.

From Crain’s Chicago Business:

 The man who in many ways was Mayor Richard M. Daley’s top aide in recent years has gone into the private-equity business.

   Ron Huberman — former head of the Chicago Transit Authority and Chicago Public Schools and a one-time mayoral chief of staff — has begun work as operating executive with Chicago Growth Partners and Prairie Capital.

   Though the two Chicago-based firms have separate ownership, they have jointly invested in some deals in the past, and Mr. Huberman will work for both.

   In a phone interleave and a press release, Mr. Huberman said his task will be to find investment and buyout opportunities in three fields he knows well: education, transportation and security. (Mr. Huberman once worked as a Chicago Police officer, eventually rising to deputy superintendent, and headed the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication, developing the current 911 phone system.)

   “I think there is a great opportunity to build some great companies here with outstanding investment returns,” he said. “Their sector focus fits very nicely with my operating experiences.”

   Said Prairie Capital founding partner Steve King, “We think Ron can helps us seek out companies that help our public sector organizations become more efficient.

   Mr. Huberman said neither firm currently does business with the city or any city agencies. 

January 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm 6 comments

Short break from obsessing – school lunch comedy

A reader sent me the following link to a blog that features photos of school lunches around the world.
I have only had glimpses of the CPS lunches, but I think I can state quite definitively that they’re the worst of all of these.

The blog also reminded me of one of my favorite lists from McSweeney’s:



1. Complaints My Middle-School Students in Korea Had About Our School’s Food.

“The rice is cold.”

“The kimchi is dry.”

2. Complaints American Middle-School Students Would Have If They Were Served Korean Food.

“There’s an entire fish in my soup.”

“The fish in my soup still has eyes.”

“The fish in my soup with eyes is full of fish eggs.”

“What is this?”

“They made me eat off a metal tray with chopsticks.”

“I was served a vertebra.”

“This salad is clearly made from the bush in the front of the school.”

“I told you last week I don’t like fish eggs!”

“The menu says we’re having chicken anus for lunch.”

“The live baby octopus you served me stuck to my throat and died.”

“There wasn’t any pizza.”

“This is dog meat.”

“It’s too spicy.”

“The rice is cold.”

“The kimchi is dry.”

More lists here if you like that sort of stuff….

March 3, 2010 at 10:21 am 1 comment

Lice again

Sorry I’ve been late with approving comments.  Lice have swept through my son’s 1st grade class, jumping from head to head and plunging parents into a frenzy of emails and nerdy lice-product researching and testing.

I would love to see a slow motion video of how these creatures make the jump from head to head.  Do they see a human head coming in and start preparing like “Get ready to jump ship!” ?

Honestly, I am almost ready to just give up and live with the little buggers in itchy harmony.  The combing, the washing, the picking.  Hours a day of that could be spent wasting in front of the TV or computer!

My current dilemma is what to do about my son’s blue blankie that he sleeps with every night.  It is a ball of string that is one vigorous wash cycle away from falling apart.  I’m wondering whether I can microwave this every night to kill any offending creatures?

Oh, and a P.S. – If you’re the guy I was sitting next to on the Metra train today, talking about my blog (yes, I randomly accost strangers and direct them to,) don’t worry, my head is clear.

February 25, 2010 at 11:13 am 3 comments

Great new DVD/CD

This isn’t CPS related, but is educational in nature.  I highly recommend the new They Might Be Giants DVD/CD set called “Here Comes Science.”  For a mere $9.99 on Amazon you get both the video and music.  The songs are catchy and teach kids about science topics.  I’ve learned stuff myself from them.  Just a note that they’re very pro-evolution-as-science so if you don’t believe we’re related to monkeys, just keep that in mind.


Here’s the Amazon link that includes a sample video:

October 13, 2009 at 11:33 pm 4 comments

A visit from CPS

I was at home today… Sunday and somebody knocked at the door.  The person was wearing a CPS badge.  The guy was from some department called Child Outreach or something like that.

He inquired as to why my son hasn’t attended school yet this year.  I said “Oh my God, you’re the TRUANT OFFICER!”  If you read any old kids books (such as the Beverly Cleary series) you hear a lot about truant officers who come and check up on absent kids, but I thought that was an outdated position.  Actually I don’t think this guy claimed to have any authority but rather was serving to remind me to send my child to school in case I’d been having him play Nintendo DS for the past 2 weeks while I watched soap operas.

I explained that my son did miss the first day of school due to lice (always good for getting someone to take a step back from you) but that he’s been there every day since.  He seemed to believe me.

Those in CPS are probably familiar with the method for informing parents that their child is absent.  You get a recorded message from your child’s school (that somehow distorts the voice to sound oddly scary) well after 1pm on the day they’re out.  If you’re the parent of a little kid, chances are that you know your child’s whereabouts, but if you have a teenager they may have gotten into all kinds of trouble before you find out that they never made it to school.  Gone are the days when Mrs. Horlick from my high school office would make a stern call to the parents early in the morning to find out where you were.  She knew every parent’s voice and could immediately detect a fraud.  Bah.

September 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm 8 comments

Tuesday night TV: A Principal Story

Late notice, but this looks good… a PBS documentary about the challenges principals face in turning around low-performing public schools and raising student achievement (including a CPS principal.)

THE PRINCIPAL STORY portrays the challenges principals face in turning around low-performing public schools and raising student achievement. This intimate, emotional one-year journey is seen through the eyes of two dynamic principals: one in only her second year in the Chicago Public School System; and the other, a seven-year veteran in Springfield, IL. The film reveals the struggles these leaders face as they keep their focus on improving teaching and learning amid the competing demands of managing their staffs and engaging their students and communities.

On Tuesday at 9:30 pm and Saturday at 3:00 am (better set the Tivo for that one.)

September 15, 2009 at 2:07 am 2 comments

These jerks are keeping my son out of school!

Ha, bet you thought I had something exciting to complain about.
Nope, the jerks in question are lice. My 6yo son and I both have them plaguing our heads so he can’t start his first day of 1st grade tomorrow.

I think we’re close to being “cured” but I want to be totally sure because I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (well, if I had one I might go shake my head in their general direction.) It’s not so much the creepiness of the lice themselves that get you down, it’s the ongoing process of treating, combing, and doing laundry that make me glad I wasn’t a scullery maid back in the olden days. It is HARD work! Well, for me. My son has enjoyed a week of Nintendo and movies as I pick his head but he misses seeing other kids.

Word is that CPS has no policy preventing kids from attending school with lice on their heads since its not and actually illness. Our school had a big outbreak last year and guess who got on their soapbox about how kids should be free and clear before attending? Heh heh. So now I have to put my money where my mouth (or head) is. I can cope but I really don’t know what we’d do if I were a working parent.

We’ve been through a few treatments and are now on to the more out-of-the-box solutions so we’re both sitting here with heavy heavy conditioner on our heads covered by shower caps. I’m praying that nobody comes to the door because we look like greasy-haired cafeteria workers.

I hope everyone has a good first day tomorrow. Report back with any good stories. All you Kindergarten parents try to keep a dry eye.

September 7, 2009 at 6:57 pm 5 comments

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