Category: Link

I'm so damn excited for Sesame Street Live! at State Farm Center

Look, when I was a kid growing up in Urbana, I have a distinct memory of learning about Sesame Street Live! coming to Assembly Hall while watching PBS during a pledge drive. Back then, you could donate, and they'd put your name on the screen, and you watched and cheered and it was basically like your five seconds of fame for the year. 

I don't remember what show it was, actually. Big Bird Goes to Hollywood? Save our Street? I can't recall but I know I asked my parents to take us, and bottom line was that times were tight, and it was a no from them, and I remember my Mom tearing up and then going full blown sadness about it for a bit. 

We didn't go, and we all got over it, and I think we did something else awesome instead, like going to Turkey Run, or Indiana Beach. Life is full of lessons. One of them is that you don't spend money you don't have, especially on your snot nosed kids. 

Now, here I am, pushing forty and with two boys ages (almost) 5 and (almost) 2, and I am in the fortunate enough position to be able to plunk down the $100 to take our little family to the show. It was a Hannukah present to my kids, and let me tell you, I am more excited about this than any concert or theater performance that I have seen all year. 

And while that's hyperbolic and sort of untrue, what is very real is how much I genuinely appreciate Sesame Street, here and now, in today's age of fast moving, screen switching, action based kids programming that is available to young people on so many kinds of screens that it's distorting and frightening for a person like me, who sneaked into this world at the tail end of the 1970s. 

Here's more information about the show

Indeed, life has a way of coming full circle. 

My oldest asked about Disney for the first time a few months back, and even made a small pitch to us about all the things his friend saw and did while he was there. And I told him, point blank: "We don't have that kind of coin right now, but we'll work on it." He pouted. Then he ate pizza, and got lost in something else. He keeps mentioning it, but it's the same answer.

All things are relative, I suppose. The goal is to make sure they get that experience as well, despite my misgivings about the corporation and what the activation represents. You pick your battles. 

That my parents will join us will hopefully help my Mom (who likely has no recollection of this happening) come to terms with her difficult and supremely wise decision back in 1985 or whenever.

Needless to say, if you can afford it, and if your kids are still at the age where this sort of thing can matter, this is something that I believe does a child's mind good. 


Lake of the Woods Golf Course offering annual memberships for $89, which is bananas

This is an insanely good deal from Lake of the Woods in Mahomet, one of my favorite courses to play on throughout the year in the area. If you're a casual golfer, this is where you should consider playing if you don't already.

The course is offering an annual golf membership with unlimited greens fees (meaning, you can play as much as you'd like) for just $89. $89! That offer is bonkers good — typically rounds there range $30-$50 depending on a variety of factors (renting a cart, number of holes, time of day, day of the week, etc etc).

There are a couple of fine points to pay attention to:

  • The membership is for 2 years, so roughly $200
  • This is inclusive of green fees, and not additional costs (carts and other things)

Regardless, a total steal.

Check out the message from their email:

Dear Golfing Friends,

At Lake of the Woods Golf Course, we have decided to embark on an exciting new program to reach out to the golfers in our area.  We recently achieved an important milestone, our 70th Year Anniversary and want to invite golfers in our area to celebrate with us as we look forward to the seventieth year and beyond.

It is important to note that this new program is far different from anything we have offered in the past. Golfers can purchase a two (2)-year golf membership with unlimited green fees, to Lake of the Woods Golf Course for only $89/year (with a ten dollar per year admin fee) valid Monday through Sunday. All we ask is Anniversary members tee off after 9 a.m. Monday through Sunday.

It is our desire to connect with local players, and get to know them better.  We are also sensitive to the needs of individuals and families during this challenging economy, and we want to be proactive in delivering an affordable golfing choice.  We hope this will give golfers a way to enjoy the game they love.  We hope that families as well as all golfers and non-golfers alike will choose to play more golf and even take up the game, as a way to spend quality time with family and friends and build lasting memories.

In fact, we designed this membership specifically with family budgets in mind.  If golfers can play as little as three (3) rounds of golf per year, they can enjoy substantial savings by joining Lake of the Woods Golf Course.  However, our program is only available for a short period of time, as we will accept only a limited number of additional memberships at these special prices.

Please share (route/forward) this e-mail to/with your friends, family and co-workers; post it on your Facebook and other social media platforms as well as Tweet it out to all of your followers... Of course, after you get your membership first! ☺

CALL US TODAY at 217-586-2183 to secure your membership at once.

No Catch, No Gimmick, No Green Fees - Just Great Golf! 

See you on the tee,

Lake of the Woods Golf Course

405 N Lake of the Woods Rd

Mahomet, IL 61853


Top photo from Lake of the Woods Golf Course's website


Order some challah from Ilini Hillel

This semester, Illini Hillel has hosted Challah for Hunger, an opportunity for people to help make and/or buy challah as a means to raise money for hunger awareness. 

The last round of the year is this Tuesday for making, and this Wednesday for baking. But if you don't have the time to help with making and baking, you can order loaves of challah for $4-$5. Flavors are traditional, cinnamon sugar, chocolate chip banana, chocolate chip, and everything bagel. 

Orders are due by 4 p.m., tomorrow, Tuesday, December 11th. Pick up your loaves between Thursday, December 13th, and Sunday, December 16th. 


Why not send your loved ones some pizza this holiday season?

We all have those people in our lives that are hard to buy for, because they literally have everything. But, if they don't live here in the C-U area, then they don't have Papa Del's. 

So whether it's a former C-U person who has since moved away, or it's someone who you want to share a bit of your hometown with, think about shipping them a frozen Papa Del's pizza as a gift. I mean really, who wouldn't love to get a pizza in the mail. 

Be forewarned, the shipping costs get a bit hefty, but that's because they need to pack it up in dry ice to keep it fresh throughout the shipping process. That just means you want to be choosy about who is worthy of receiving such a gift. 

You can find all of the details and place your order here.

Photo by Justine Bursoni


Champaign County EDC’s next TechMix is December 6th at Huawei

Champaign County Economic Development Corporation's next TechMix event is December 6th at Huawei's location in Champaign at Research Park. You can read all of the details about the event below via their Facebook event:

TechMix! at Huawei R&D USA Champaign

Thursday, December 6, 2018
5-7 PM

Atkins Building at University of Illinois Research Park
1800 S. Oak Street, Suite 113
Champaign, IL 61820

You’ll have the opportunity to tour Huawei’s office in University of Illinois Research Park and learn more about the company. They are currently hiring the following positions:

About Huawei R&D USA Champaign: Huawei is a leading global information and communication technology (ICT) solution provider. Driven by responsible operations, ongoing innovation, and open collaboration, they have established a competitive ICT portfolio of end-to-end solutions in telecom and enterprise networks, devices, and cloud computing. Their ICT solutions, products, and services are used in more than 170 countries and regions, serving over one-third of the world's population. With more than 180,000 employees, Huawei is committed to enabling the future information society, and building a Better Connected World. Huawei opened a site in the University of Illinois Research Park in the fall of 2016. They aim to collaborate with students, scholars and researchers in this community, to establish a Huawei Champaign Center of Excellence in the Midwest. By leveraging their strong R&D capabilities, comprehensive technical expertise and continuous technical innovations, here at Huawei Champaign, they are committed to develop breakthrough innovations in the world of software technology. Their current projects include language design, compiler & JVM, and performance optimization, and the lab continues to grow and expand to explore software technologies in new domains (e.g., cloud, distributed computing, smart devices). Learn more here

About the Event: TechMix! events are organized by the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation as a networking opportunity for local technology professionals and companies to meet each other. These events are targeted for engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs working in the tech sector to learn more about other companies in the industry locally.

Free to attend. Appetizers and drinks will be served.

Sponsored By: Huawei R&D USA Champaign

Photo from Champaign County EDC's Facebook


Douglas Rain, the voice of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died

Douglas Rain, the voice of the fictional computer HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick's legendary 2001: A Space Odysseyhas died at the age of 90. The HAL 9000 story begins here in Champaign-Urbana, as it was "born" in Urbana at the University of Illinois.

If you haven't seen the film, you should absolutely do that. They recently showed it at the Virginia on that monster screen. 


You can keep up with election results on WILL

If you'd rather rely on a more local news source to give you the scoop on what's happening tonight, then WILL has you covered. You can find NPR/Illinois Newsroom/The 21st coverage on WILL-AM 580 or 90.1 FM or you can stream it on their website.

Need last minute info before you go vote today? They've got a full site of election coverage here, including candidate interviews and a voting guide.


Catch up on all things Midterm Election 2018

Election Day is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6th, and there's a lot happening this time around. Here's an overview if you haven't cast your ballot yet:

General Election Guides:

IL 13 Congressional seat: Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (D) vs. Rodney Davis (R)

County Clerk: Aaron Ammons (D) vs. Matt Grandone (R)

County Executive: Darlene Kloeppel (D) vs. Gordy Hulten (R)

County Sheriff: Dustin Heuerman (D) vs. Allen Jones (R)

District 6 Circuit Judge: Ramona Sullivan (D) vs. Roger Webber (R)

Plus some other posts worth mentioning:

Top photo by Julie McClure


Instagram Story Takeover with Lodgic Everyday Community

Our next Instagram Story Takeover takes place this Wednesday, November 7th. Lodgic Everyday Community will taking over our Instagram Story for the day, so be on the lookout for that mid-week this week.

Follow us at @SmilePolitely on Instagram to follow Lodgic as they take us around the newly-opened space. Their handle is @lodgicchampaign on Instagram, so give them a follow as well. This is our fourth IG Story Takeover, check out ones we've done previously:

Top photo provided by Lodgic Everyday Community.


Truth aka Trouble's Cornfield Waves album release show is November 15th

Chambana MC Truth aka Trouble dropped his album Cornfield Waves in September, and now he’s headed to Canopy Club for a set in which he’ll play the project in its entirety. He’s also got a number of shows around the region set up for the next month or so.

Doors one at 8:30 and tickets can be bought in advance for $8 or at the door for $10. Truth will have support from FiDlin, Jarrel Young, Blu Da Hun Don Bka : Young Blu, and DJ Belly.

You can get familiar with "Cornfield Waves" by streaming it on Spotify below. 


Matt Talbott of HUM performing at Loose Cobra on Sunday

Matt Talbott of HUM has been hitting the road his first-ever run of solo shows, and after the first portion, he's headed back home. That said, he's going to be performing at Loose Cobra on Sunday, November 3rd for an impromptu show of sorts. The show starts at 5 p.m.

Here's the description from the Facebook event:

Hi friends. I figure since I am returning home Sunday from my first round of touring and will hopefully be in good form I would just load my stuff into the Cobra upon re-entry and share a few of my new songs with you. This Sunday. 5:00. 30 minutes of quiet, sad music. If my Saab makes it back, of course. I guess we'll find out.

Loose Cobra
113 E Main St.
Tolono, IL 61880