In Defense of Dog Poop


In a letter to an advice column recently, a homeowner described her confrontation with a dog walker.   His dog had soiled her lawn. As he was picking it up with a plastic bag, she asked him not to let the dog “go” there again.  He insisted there was no harm done as he had removed the yucky stuff.  She didn’t want even a little bit on her lawn. Things got testy between them. Continue reading

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Johnny-Sells 10 Anniversary!


October marks the 10th anniversary of Johnny-Sells on eBay!

In 2003, my wife Janet was an award winning Public Relations professional working for a real estate investment company. It was a thriving business with dozens of eager 20 somethings buying and selling gas stations and convenience stores, mainly in the South. These kids were as ambitious as they were computer savvy. As a sideline, several of them were buying and selling computer and bicycle parts on something called “eBay”. We had heard of the fledgling online marketplace and read stories in newspapers about people making money selling Pez dispensers and Beanie Babies. Since we didn’t have anything like that, we had never given it a second thought. Continue reading

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Our Brush with the Mayor’s Police Detail


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

My wife and I like to go to yard sales.  On a Saturday with nice weather in Chicago, there are lots of them.   We find out about them from various sources, primarily Craigslist.   We try to organize our travels so that we don’t backtrack and waste time and gas.  We develop a list of the addresses and plot them on Google Maps. Continue reading

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Ach du Lieber! It’s Oktoberfest!


Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany is the world’s largest party, and that’s saying a lot.  6 million people will jam giant beer halls from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, 2013.  Waitresses wearing traditional Bavarian dress bring beer steins to the thirsty crowds. The 16 day party has been going on since the 1810 wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen (try saying that after pounding down a couple of those giant steins) Continue reading

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Holiday Challah Bread Recipe by Janet Treuhaft of Johnny-Sells

The lovely Janet Treuhaft of Johnny-Sells makes wonderful Holiday Challah Bread. This braided bread with an egg crust and sprinkled with poppy seeds is delicious at the Jewish Holidays and all year round.

If you would like the recipe, please write us at

And Happy New Year!

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What’s a Hand Cooler?


Way back in the 1800s, long before they had air conditioning, they had hand coolers.    Wikipedia explains why: “Small, cooled, egg-shaped items originally made of porcelain, marble, glass or crystal and just slightly smaller than an actual egg would be nestled in the palms of Victorian ladies to ward off the possibility of the social humiliation of a wet, warm handshake. Continue reading

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Are You Sure McDonald’s Started This Way?

I once played golf with a guy who had moved to Chicago from Montreal.  When I asked him why he came here he said, “I wanted to open a hamburger stand and I figured that Ray Kroc started out here with a small restaurant and he built McDonald’s out of it.  I figured if it worked for him, it could work for me.”  I thought it was the goofiest reason I’d ever heard, but I said, “Oh, okay.”  He opened up a couple of hamburger joints, never got to be the size of McDonald’s, but he has a reputation of  putting out a good burger and he has a small but dedicated group of fans

 Muskies Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Bucky Fuller!

bucky-harvard-science-centeR. Buckminster Fuller, known as “Bucky” was born with terrible vision. In fact, his vision was so poor that medical science didn’t invent eyeglasses that would allow him to see properly until he was in his early teens. Fuller attributed his later success as an inventor to his vision problem. Because he couldn’t see, he didn’t have the same pre-formed opinion of his surroundings that others did. For example, most people would see a house and say, “That’s a house. That’s the way houses look, the way they are built, I’ll build my house just like that one with just a few changes.” Continue reading

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Thank Henry Ford for your 4th of July Cookout


A lot of people use this stuff for their holiday cookouts.

“Henry Ford, always looking to turn a quick buck, noticed a large amount of his money being wasted on wood used in the manufacturing process of his model A cars. Continue reading

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US Vice President Pens #1 Hit Song!

Joe Biden

No, it’s not Joe Biden (pictured above).  It’s Charles G. Dawes (who?) He was Republican Calvin Coolidge’s VP from 1924 -28.  Before entering politics, Dawes was the owner of several gas companies. Continue reading

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