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Category: Word

The worst cell service location in C-U

I went to the mall today with my girlfriend to do some shopping. If you ask an old townie about the difference between "the mall" and "the shopping center" they may tell you that there is about four and a half mile gap in between the two. But that's another story.

We went to Bergner's first for the half price K-Cups — the Mountain Black flavored ones. We bought 100 of them, which should last us about three or four months. Next, we made a stop in the men's department and talked to David, who has been dressing men of Champaign-Urbana for 18 years at Bergner's. More on him in another article. Then, we headed to the main strip. 

As we passed by the Best Buy mobile station, the Auntie Anne's pretzel shop, and the cheap sunglasses hall-way-hut, I thought I would send out a post about my awesome afternoon at the mall. However, to my surprise, my phone showed the dreaded "1x" symbol next to the signal.

I said to myself, "This can't be? Is this 2015? IS THIS AMERICA?"

My girlfriend interrupted my thoughts with her strategic plan to hit the Gap, Banana Republic, and then The Loft. We trucked on. 

My phone signal went from 1x to 3G, and even teased me with a 4G symbol. I figured I would come upon a WiFi signal somewhere. Perhaps an Xfinity or Pavlov connection somewhere — but no dice. I never could gain enough signal to get a message out, a Facebook check-in, or even a refresh on my email. I was stuck without signal. Instead, I had to actually look at people, say "hello", and talk to my girlfriend. What a horrible way to spend your afternoon. 

Have a nice weekend. 


Have brunch at Miga on Sundays

Champaign is a brunch city. Rain or shine, we're nursing our hangovers with a bloody mary and some kind of bacony, pancakey, biscuity hodgepodge before we finally retire for a Sunday afternoon meganap. Frankly, a vibrant brunch scene is indicative of a great Downtown environment. We hang out all night and then wake up and do it all over again in the daytime while smashing some food and recounting the previous evening's endeavors.

It's beautiful.

But with that said, there are more places that can be brunch places. C-U welcomes restaurants up to the challenge of providing the right kind of gigantic meal one can only eat on the weekends.

Miga recognized that and stepped up to the plate. They now serve brunch on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. It's, of course, an Asian-fusion style brunch, which makes it all that much more attractive. Of course we love our brunch staples, but putting a new spin on them with a bit of international flavor is brilliant. Look at this bloody mary, it has a sushi garnish. How cool is that?

Having this type of variety for brunch is surely a sign of human evolution — we're doing things the right way. Check out the full menu below, and then mark your calendar for Sundays, it's time for an Asian-inspired brunch.


Still time to register for GirlZone reunion

After more than 10 years years away, GirlZone will return for one weekend only (July 31 - August 2) to offer fun, challenging, and affirming hands-on workshops for local girls and young women. 

Workshops are each offered for a $5-15 (sliding scale) fee, with limited enrollment through July 29. All reunion events are held at the Urbana-Champaign IMC, a co-sponsor of this event.
Visit the Workshop Registration page to sign up and share the schedule with others. For more information, email girlzonereunion@gmail.com.

The Land Connection’s weed dating event returns

For the second year in a row, The Land Connection is inviting the community to its agricultural spin on speed dating: Weed Dating!  Starting at 6 p.m. on August 20, daters will come out to Heirloominous Farm in Champaign for an evening of helping to pull weeds while meeting new people.

How it works: Everyone will meet at the farm for a drink and some brief introductions. Then, after a short farm tour and instructions from farmer Shea Belahi, the group will be split into pairs to work together to tackle the weeds growing in a row and get to know each other. After 5-10 minutes, everyone will switch partners and spend some time chatting and weeding with a new person. At the end of the evening, we will all meet back at the barn for refreshments, drinks, and a chance for more socializing.

This event is open to people 21 or older of all orientations as a fun way to meet people with similar interests in local food and agriculture, find new friends, and maybe even something more. 

Space is limited to 20 registrants. $10 per person includes light refreshments. BYOB encouraged. Register online here.


2015 Heartland Maker Fest call for makers now open

Makerspace Urbana is happy to announce that this year we will be hosting our annual celebration of local makers on Saturday, October 3rd at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana. Last year was a grand success with over 1500 attendees and more makers than ever before. We look forward to continuing to grow in 2015.

Our Call For Makers is officially open and ready for you to apply. Our application will close on Friday, September 25th.

We’ll provide tables and chairs and electricity (if requested). We’ll handle all the publicity, and we’ll work with you on connections through Facebook and Twitter to get the buzz going. We are supported again this year by an Urbana Arts Council grant, so attendees will get in for free. It costs just $15 to reserve space.

Heartland Maker Fest has three guiding principles: “Inspire”, “Empower”, and “Connect”. These principles help us support our community and local makers in the spirit of DIY and craft. Any person or organization who embraces the DIY spirit and wants to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience is encouraged to apply. We are looking for a diverse group of talented individuals to showcase so Apply Now.

Have any questions? Check out our website, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


Midwest agriculture tech start-up receives $4.1 million in funding

Agrible, Inc., an agriculture technology start-up that focuses on predictive analysis, announced today that it received $4.1 million in Series A funding. Serra Ventures leads this round of funding, along with Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM).

So what does Agrible, Inc. do? Quite a bit. The company produces tools that help growers and ag. companies increase crop yields and profits. They do so through a bit of weather-wizardry. In February, Agrible, Inc. launched Morning Farm Report, which provides highly accurate reports on forecasts, fieldwork logistics, yield estimates, rainfall, growing degree days, and more. 

And it's a Midwest company, so we prairie-dwellers all have a little something more to be proud of today. 


A lot of work went into Game

With any youth program, beit sports, arts, or academic, one goes in expecting variations in skill level and talent. All that said, there are some truly great reasons to go see Urbana Park District's The Pajama Game. (in no particular order):

1. Heartbreaking Hines

The tough efficiency expert is played by Josh Harris, who seems to instinctually know the pathos and misery of this man, and plays it to the hilt.

2. Cedric Jones' voice. 

Recent Central graduate Jones is very well suited to Sid's songs such as "A New Town is a Blue Town" and "Hey There", neither of which is easy to master.  There is both talent and effort in evidence during those deliveries.

3. Funny Ladies

It's a trifecta, with Jasmine Dandridge's Mae mugging during "I'm Not At All In Love"; Isabella Dallas' Gladys mocking her boss and protecting her key; and J'Lyn Cockrell's Poopsie stealing every damn scene.

4. Children swearing

OK, it's just "hell", but it's repeated often. By eight-year-olds. Maybe I'm awful, but it made me giggle.

5. Updated book

The director mentioned in our preview that he did take out some of the material that just wouldn't fly, but there were also gender and racial modifications that should be expected today, and could not have been originally. My only content-related disappointment was that no one raised the roof '90s style during the pertinent line of "Once a Year Day".

Being one of 50 kids in a show isn't so easy, (believe me, I was in Oliver!), and everyone's hard work was visible. I know performers painted sets, costumed and hairstyled themselves, and one principal actress choreographed a number.

If there's anything worth doing, however, it is doubly worth encouraging a child to try to do, and supporting their efforts. So figure it out and catch The Pajama Game tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday at the Harold and Jean Miner Theatre at Parkland College. Curtain is at 7 p.m., pricing's on the poster.


Champaign Surplus presents the Decked Out Party with Toad&Co

Join us this Saturday, July 25th from 3-6 p.m. at Champaign Surplus for live music, beverages, giveaways and much more at the Decked Out Party. The outdoor deck is covered so we'll be out there in rain or shine enjoying the afternoon.


Browse our great selection of Toad&Co merchandise.Take advantage of special event-only deals. Chat with our awesome Toad&Co vendor reps, Troy & Pam, who will be in attendance to meet you and answer any questions you might have about the brand. And register for great giveaways from Champaign Surplus and Toad&Co throughout the evening.*


What better way to spend a relaxing Saturday than sitting on the deck enjoying some music. We'll have our very own, Melvin Likens, as DJ for the evening. Then, from 4-5 p.m., enjoy the acoustic stylings of local musicians Eva Blackburn and Boston Fleener.


Bring your friends. Hang out on our covered deck listening to live music and enjoying a drink from local Savoy brewery Triptych Brewing. Take part in some friendly competition by playing cornhole and other outdoor games. The event is free and every attendee will have a chance to enter into the drawings to get DECKED OUT in Toad&Co.


If you are not familiar with Toad&Co, they are one of our premiere lifestyle clothing brands. We love the quality fabric and detailed construction that goes into each piece. Founded on the idea that you should never have to choose between living well and doing good, Toad&Co clothes are meant to inspire you to live your fullest life. Live well, do good, and keep good company.

*must be present to win prize drawings. ID required / must be 21 or over to drink alcohol.


Tim Beckman only made $200 from a speaking engagement

The News-Gazette uncovered some gold when they sought information regarding how much money University of Illinois coaches made in the last year. Of course, it's interesting and cool to realize that golf coach Mike Small can make a small fortune entering PGA tour events and that for some reason Sue Novitsky had to report $50 made a jury duty.

But the real gold, the bombshell of this FOIA request from the newspaper is this:

In their most recent reports (2014), baseball's Dan Hartleb received $2,800 for helping at camps; Beckman $200 for a speaking arrangement; and women's basketball's Matt Bollant $500 for speaking at clinics.

Tim Beckman, the head coach of a Big Ten football team, made less money for a speaking arrangement than a band at a full Mike N Molly's beer garden. That's not to take away from shows at MnM's wonderful beer garden. It's just bananas that Ol' Half-a-Hat makes less money for a speaking engagement than the allegedly abusive and racist women's basketball coach.

Another comparison, as our Publisher will enjoy, is that former Purdue basketball coach Gene Keady (who won 0 national titles and made 0 Final Fours) would cost between $5,000-$10,000.

If you're reading this, Coach Beckman, I'll happily book your next speaking engagements. We'll split it right down the middle. 60% to me, 40% to you.