Chicago – March 1, 2019

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What better image illustrates the bone-cracking, sub-zero temperatures we have experienced? My sibling, Joan Tortorici Ruppert, is always on the hunt for a unique vision. This is a bubble freeze, with the help of ultraviolet ink and a black light…add some serious cold and an equal portion of commitment, of course!

We in the Midwest keep an eye on the month of March for schizophrenic swings of weather. Things change, we endure. All the more fortuitous time to jot some notes to ourselves and each other. Central Standard Time exists as a meeting place to share thoughts and ask questions. The daily informational zeitgeist flooding the ether descends into repetition, every space, every second needs to be filled with the drone of someone unable to stop speaking long enough to think. We, however, are here to include your ideas and reflections.

Use the contact page or comment on the articles you read. We love to hear from you.


Central Standard Time is proud to support Marc Piane’s fundraiser for MS. Join us and see an end to this malady in our lifetime.

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Bike MS: Tour de Farms 2019


SpaceX Update – Brule Eagan

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Show Me The Money – John Zielinski

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Definition – Michelle Jewell

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Human Training – Rainee Denham

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Is It Enough Yet? – Steve Buschbacher

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Vegan Gluten/Dairy-Free Chocolate Cupcakes – Michelle Jewell

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Chicago – February 1, 2019

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Intuition – Jerry Siegan

Welcome to the big chill! Despite any conditioning we Chicagoans may have for such weather, it never fails to test our resolve. We have been fortunate for the past few years with relatively mild winters. This was overdue. We endure.

While the political world, local and national, continues to assault us with hubris and marginal ethics, the real world of human interaction reminds us of the dividends when we leave good things in our wake. The scope of support for federal workers throughout the “shutdown” was magnificent and exemplary of the true American spirit. Furloughed individuals manned the bread-lines and food banks to serve those in need. Chef José Andrés showed us all what faith and courage looks like. There is ample hope for mankind after all.

Grab your coffee, have a seat and join us for a few moments of escape. This month we talk sports, food, art, media, global affairs, and much more. Interact with the writers, ask questions and debate issues. I am so pleased you are here.

February’s featured image is the work of local artist Jerry Siegan. Jerry represents the best example of our quest to discover hidden gems in the visual arts. Visit his page for more work and be amazed.


Central Standard Time is proud to support Marc Piane’s fundraiser for MS. Join us and see an end to this malady in our lifetime.

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Bike MS: Tour de Farms 2019


When All Sundays Were Super – Brule Eagan

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An Artistic Intersection – Jerry Siegan

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Chef Janet – Stuffed Shells

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“Never” Is A Really Long Time – John Zielinski

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Cafe au Lait – Michelle Jackson Jewell

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When Do We Stop Listening – Steve Buschbacher

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Going to the Head of the Class – Tom DeMichael

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A Map of the Greater Antilles, Part 2 – Joe Tortorici

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The Publisher’s Desk – This Is Not Theater

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Chicago – January 7, 2019

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Welcome the New Year! Renewal is a worthy theme.

From a personal perspective, I recently celebrated a milestone birthday. Something about the Obsessive/Compulsive personality makes much ado about round numbers and my 70th year stimulates both joy and angst. I will never be the child prodigy my mother hoped for. Still, I’m here and able to have a few moments of fun with my friends. It all worked out rather well. My daughter counsels “Own it, Dad.”

Retirement from the music business is a curious change. It has been an adult lifetime in the studio working with some of the best in the business. I’m grateful. Perhaps it’s time to be a critic! If Neil Tesser and Howard Reich are reading, I promise you will be a part of the greater dialog!

Most of all, let’s resolve to be a kinder to one another and enjoy every day. Get a walk in. Leave good things where we pass. This month’s gallery of writers does so with their usual aplomb. We are so happy you are here.


List-O-Mania – Brule Eagan

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It’s the Top 10 Countdown! – John Zielinski

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Stage Fright – Michelle Jackson Jewell

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A 2019 Challenge To Myself – Marc Piane

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Calm In The Chaos – Rainee Denham

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Less Than Two Years To Go – Steve Buschbacher

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The Chill On The Infield – Tom DeMichael

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The Publisher’s Desk – Joe Tortorici

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Chicago – December 11, 2018

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The best of this holiday season to you all! The year was eventful and we each changed the course of history in our own way. There were goals reached and decisions made that will bear witness in the coming year. But enough of that…we are here to celebrate a time of love and friendship.

Personally, I revel in my new digs. The delay in this month’s post is testament to the degree of upheaval moving creates. Cardboard boxes and chaos will greet me for weeks to come. I tend not to move around and this location was worth the wait. The psychological impact is overwhelmingly positive. My sleep has returned.

Once again the esteemed writers in our orbit share their insights and remedies to the cold Midwestern winter…chili!! Enjoy these recipes from the crew. We are also touched with the spirit of family memories and the gift of giving.

To every one of you reading these pages, have the best holiday. Thank you for being here.

– Joe


Rainee Denham – Perfectly Imperfect

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John Zielinski – Home for the Holidays?

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Sam Freeman – Mainstream Media

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CHILI !!

Brule Eagan – Brule’s Shiner Bock Chili

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Steve Buschbacher – Championship Chili

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Glenn Estry – Glenn’s Two-Time Chili

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The January 2019 edition of Central Standard Time will mark our third year in this format. What a long strange trip it’s been…and more to come. The follow-up article to “A Map of the Greater Antilles” will offer potential solutions to the revival of our neighbor’s prosperity. The list of contributors continues to grow: Steve Buschbacher, Tom DeMichael, Rainee Denham, Brule Eagan, Joseph Gardewin, Michelle Jackson Jewell, Marc Piane, John Zielinski, Glenn Estry, and yours truly, Joe Tortorici, and many more.

See you then.

 

Chicago – November 1, 2018

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Photo by Ellen Harder

My thanks to Ellen Harder for her cityscape photo. “Great view from my rooftop, simultaneously beautiful and ominous…” A magnificent capture by any measure.

Something tweaks the air. The cold weather is coming. In the Midwest we give it names, “Alberta Clipper” is a thing. The ebb and flow of the seasons in these latitudes is a blessing to all humanity. The freeze culls out the old and weak so the species stays strong. Push me on to Lake Michigan in a rowboat with no oars. Abandon me on the ice for the polar bears to eat.

The truth is my complaints are small. Retirement affords me limited direct engagement with the elements. I can remember waiting on the El platform under the radiator lights, the top of my head burning and my feet numb with cold.

Our shorter days promote “seasonal affective disorder,” a term that produces the acronym SAD. Dare I say dark humor? I find the opposite emotions at play. The big city is a different kind of light and never really dark. Whether you love or hate the classic holiday season, it is an explosion of artificial illumination, a good deal of it joyous by intent. It’s time to plan an after-dark visit to the center of the city.

It’s also a perfect time of year to read. Get comfortable with a hot beverage and exercise the brain, open new vistas, envision other thoughts. Central Standard Time is pleased to bring you one of the finest writing guilds on the internet. Join Steve Buschbacher, Tom DeMichael, Rainee Denham, Brule Eagan, Joseph Gardewin, Michelle Jackson Jewell, Marc Piane, John Zielinski, and yours truly, Joe Tortorici, at the round-table for conversation. The floor is open.


Please like and share your favorite articles. Comment to the writers, we love that. Be sure to visit the Central Standard Time and Contact pages.


It cannot be said enough…VOTE. If you are able, reach out and help others vote. We, the proletariat, are given the opportunity to shape the government. Let’s do it well.


Steve Buschbacher – Functioning On Blind Faith

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Tom DeMichael – Where Did We Go Wrong?

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Rainee Denham – Get the Ball Rolling Or Not

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Brule Eagan – A Giant Dies

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Chef Joseph Gardewin – Food #7

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Michelle Jackson Jewell – Violation

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Chef Michelle Jackson Jewell – Food #8

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Marc Piane – Outside In – Connection

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John Zielinski – Fear Itself

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Joe Tortorici – A Map Of The Greater Antilles

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The Publisher’s Desk – By Definition

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