Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas

Around the holiday season, we all get to reflect on the events of the past year. I have been blogging here since August 27th 2005. My fellow bloggers have given me many new ideas and, I hope, I have passed on some interesting thoughts to them as well.

During this season of giving, I wanted to somehow show my appreciation to the readers that have made my blogging experience so memorable. I realized that I was negligent and never added any links to other websites on my blog. There are so many good blogs out there, that it is hard to decide who to link.

Then I had an idea, why not link to a blog or website of everyone who ever commented on my site (except for obvious spam). So I went through all my posts and found a blog or website from everyone who commented, and created a link to it. I've placed these links right after my profile on the sidebar. This is my small way of thanking everyone for contributing your thoughts and opinions.

I hate to say this, but in the future, a comment does not guarantee a link. So please don't spam me with useless comments. But if your comment is useful, even if it doesn't agree with me, I'll check out your site and possibly add a link to it.

I hope you will keep reading my blog and providing useful input.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Chicago Smoking Ban - Follow-up

On December 7th, 2005 the Chicago City Council passed an anti-smoking ordinance. Starting on Jan 16th, 2006 smoking will be prohibited in most public places, from Chicago Transit Authority train platforms to condominium lobbies and hallways. Restaurants that don't have bars must close their smoking sections. Smokers will be required to stay at least 15 feet from the entrance of any building where smoking is prohibited, that's practically every public building in the city.

Smoking will still be allowed in bars and restaurants with bars until July 1, 2008. This is to give owners a chance to filter the air to an acceptable level. But, it is said, that there does not exit a technology that will clean the air to the required purity to satisfy this law. So in effect in two and a half years all bars will also be smoke free.

For individuals who violate the law, the fine can be up to $100; for business violators, the maximum fine can be $2,500.

Individual rights are getting to be like the Marlboro man, slowly riding off into the sunset.