Shell Oil pioneered the “neighborhood service station” beginning in 1958 when they introduced their ranch style buildings. As part of what we now call the “Mid-Century Modern” era, this design has always reminded me of what I’ve read about the mid 50s and early 60s: it was an era of prosperity and the United States was reaching for the stars. If you were part of a middle-class, white American family with 2.45 children, a house in the suburbs, and a white picket fence around your carefully tended-to lawn, you had it good.

At least this is what I’ve read.

Societal analysis aside, I’ve always loved the architecture from this part of the 20th century. Here’s an original Shell station without 21st century improvements:

Image courtesy of Flickr user Mark Potter and was found via a Google search

Shell stations like this were found all over the place near where I grew up in Upstate New York until Shell Oil left the area in the late 1970s. Many of the buildings still stand (at least the last time I was there), though they’ve been rebranded by another oil company or have been repurposed as something else. The Shell station of this design closest to my grandparents in the city was turned into a Jreck Sub shortly before I started driving in 1984. The chimney on that building remained, usually it’s removed as part of renovations, as seen in the top photo I took today on the corner of California and Fullerton here in Chicago.

While there’s nothing physically “space age” about Shell Oil or these ranch style buildings, I can’t help but think of the aforementioned space age prosperity of the time. Society seemed more hopeful.

Hope is a good thing.



I find living in the third largest city of the United States to be inspiring. I love taking little snapshots of where we are.


So a (redacted) version of the Mueller Report was released for public consumption today. Lots of people that know nothing have plenty to say about the report. No one reports facts, everyone spins an opinion. If I continue down this line of thought I’ll end up frothing at the mouth with anger so I’ll keep it light.

All I’m going to say is this. We all know that Trump constantly lies. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders admitted to lying when interviewed by Mueller and team. If this alone doesn’t bother you, there is nothing I can say that’s going to change your feelings or your mind or your allegiance to a “side” that is determined to destroy this country.

There is no moral compass. There are no standards. The bar cannot get any lower. There is no bar.

I will read the (redacted) report this weekend. I will not allow it to throw me over the edge.

We’re already there.

Don’t Doom The Bloom.

A YouTube video about a Poppy “Super Bloom” in California, and how Instagrammers (and the dreaded “Influencers”) are basically destroying them so they can get a “cool photo”.

Some people suck.


Pete Buttigieg announced his candidacy for President of the United States today. He is currently the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He speaks seven languages, is a Rhodes Scholar, served in Afghanistan, is a devout Christian and married his husband Chasten in 2017, after coming out as gay in 2015. He was reelected as Mayor of South Bend after coming out of the closet.

I’m a fan and I find him inspiring. He is the “young blood” this country needs in Washington. If elected President, he will be the youngest person to serve in that office.

Critics worry about his experience, even though Trump had no political experience whatsoever (and still to this day doesn’t really). Mayor Pete has more military experience than the last half dozen Presidents. He is well spoken and articulate.

He is just what our country needs.


In attempt to quench some cravings but still tip toward the healthy side of the eating scale, I went on a quest to find something “chippy but protein based”. It was then that I discovered Quest Protein Chips. I ordered a box of the Nacho Cheese flavor.

They are awesome!

My Doritos craving is satisfied and I don’t feel as much guilt as I usually do when I eat chips. I look forward to checking out some of the other flavors they offer.

Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmmm.

Spring Has Sprung.

Today was my first day wearing shorts in 2019 in The Windy City. The temperature is going to yo-yo a bit in the coming week but today showed promise that spring is finally here.

Whoo hoo!

Twitter Free.

I’ve been enjoying a Twitter Free weekend. An alert of this post will still appear on my Twitter timeline, but I haven’t looked at content on the platform all weekend and I must admit the only thing I miss are aviation related updates and updates from a smattering of folks that I actually like.

Twitter requires constant care and feeding to keep the noise down to a reasonable level. I know some folks like to jump in there and stoke the dumpster fire, but I’ve grown weary of that. It is no longer a reliable source of news; there will always be bad actors trying to pollute any late breaking news with opinion, spin, and disinformation.

I do miss chatting with those that share common interests. I just need to find a better outlet for it, or else determine if the necessary constant curation of my timeline is worth the effort.

But not this weekend.