Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday fun activity: Where IS this?

     You know what I think has been tripping me up?
     The concept of fairness.
     A number of times I've look at the above photo and thought, "this'll stump 'em."
    And then, a qualm pops up its tiny little head and squeaks.
    That wouldn't be fair.
    Too hard. Too much of a challenge. 
    Which has stayed my hand.
    Until now.  
    Since nothing has proven too much of a challenge for you guys.
    So far.
    Today I'm saying, "Screw fairness." 
    I've been too nice.
    Which is why I always lose.
    Actually, I'm saying "fuck fairness."
    Which is what I said initially.
    A pleasing alliteration. 
    But then I yanked back.
    See? Nice. 
    No more.
    You know what Leo Durocher said about nice guys. 
    They finish last.
    Actually, he didn't say that.
    He said that nice guys finish in seventh place.
    Or nice guys don't win pennants.
    Or something negative about nice guys.  
    And it was transformed into the more famous line.
    Anyway, where is this orange-vested gentleman? Bonus points if you know what he's doing. 
     The winner—not that there will be a winner—will receive, should he win, which he won't, one of my super-exclusive 2015 blog posters.
     Good luck. Place your guesses below. 
     For all the good it'll do. 


  1. A control room for a materials services (e.g., concrete) inventory and disbursement operation.

  2. Is he operator of the Chicago Harbor Locks?

  3. My guess is that it is an operator in one of the Chicago bridge houses.
    NW Side Pat Carey

  4. Oops, Jeff Ward beat my guess on your FB page!

  5. Not sure how technical you want to be for the winner as I believe Professor Fraud is correct in an abstract way, but I'll go with the orange vested gentleman is in an Ozinga control room setting up concrete mixes for delivery.

    1. Precisely. Email your address to me at and I'll send you your poster. Congratulations!

  6. It is the control room of the ozinga brothers concrete manufacturing plant on the southside

  7. The presence of an operational pneumatic tube system is what makes this photo confusing to me. Is this the control station for the Daley Plaza Fountain?

  8. Rats! That is a slump meter, not a sump meter.

  9. Neil. Plenty of clues in the photo of where this might be, and all of your fans and followers know of your columns and blog posts about the wonders of concrete.

  10. Something to do with the water reclamation and control or check.

  11. Curses, foiled again! I should have known this "memory" business would trip me up. But I figured, it's been almost a year, who would remember Ozinga concrete? Congrats to Andrew Labis (Prof. Fraud's guess, which generally correct, is too vague. Otherwise, the guy who sometimes guesses "Planet Earth" would always win).

  12. I assume your introductory chest thumping was tongue in cheek -- as Paul stated, there were far too many clues to stump the all-knowing hive. Though I have to admit that concrete didn't immediately come my mind; I would have guessed bridges. I look forward to the Saturday fun despite being one of those rather easily stumped. I hope you don't abandon the quest for the unidentifiable place.


  13. Yep, the little concrete truck on the display was the giveaway for me....then seeing the nearly identical picture in your column on the S-T website.

  14. Since reading your past column(s), whenever I hear or read "concrete" I think of "Ozinga". Sometimes the most trivial thing sticks in the memory.

  15. Yeah, even I knew this immediately when it showed up briefly yesterday when I clicked on the site later in the day. Not surprised by the early feeding frenzy! Like the others above, I assumed it was Ozinga because of your column, but we visited the corresponding room at Prairie Material at Chicago and Halsted during Open House Chicago last year. An interesting tour.

  16. Maybe a little tongue-in-cheek. The truth was, it was a long day, mostly caught up in computer problems. Had to swap in a new hard drive. So more giddy than sarcastic, to be honest.

  17. I've read the paper column of NS for years. Wonder why I don't recall this concrete one.

    1. Maybe it was an article and not a column? I'm not sure, but here's a link:

  18. It's hard to post links on this. Rather than cut and past, and then be directed to the ... umm ... sometimes idiosyncratic paper site, just plug "Concrete" into the search box at the upper left and the piece, which I posted Sept. 7, should come up.

    1. Neil,

      Much ado about nothing, I realize, but when I was googling to find the link I pasted at 1:50, I would have put the link to the EGD post, but, being a maniac, I noticed that the "to continue reading, click here" link on that Sept. 7 post didn't go to the actual article; it went to today's S-T main page, for some reason... "Idiosyncratic paper site", indeed! FWIW. : )

    2. Mr. Jakash, you know there are good meds a doc can prescribe to help with those o-c probs. I say that out of concern. Counseling could help too.

    3. I appended the rest of the story to the EGD page, so the link isn't an issue anymore.

    4. All rightee, then, Anonymous. Thanks for your concern and the free diagnosis, I suppose. Are you Dr. Phil, by any chance?

      But think of all the other folks who warrant your assistance. For instance, are you aware that there are many people, in many places, spending three hours of their day making arcane markings on scraps of card-stock paper in order to document the absolutely insignificant activities on a baseball field? It's called "scoring" for some reason, and those poor folks aren't even considered certifiable. (Well, except for the Cubs fans...) Sadly, their only counsel comes from sportswriters and broadcasters and their primary medication is Bud Light. ; )


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