Odds and ends with some a bit odder than others:

It’s like Barwin never left: Current and future Oak Park Village Manager Tom Barwin talked to our intrepid Marty Stempniak Monday afternoon from the airport in Denver as he awaited a flight back to Chicago. He told our reporter there were bad omens about his job quest in Boulder, Colo., ranging from his luggage being lost to his wife throwing out her back. There was also the omen that he came in second for the job, though there are sincere-sounding comments that, in the end, he wasn’t sure he’d have wanted the job if offered.

Reading the comment board of the dailycamera.com made me think, why bother to pack up your LPs and underwear and crate them cross-country just so you can listen to the same sort of squirrelly snarks Oak Park already has in full measure? Crabbing about the salary to be paid to the incoming manager, conspiracy-tinged assignations to side deals being made over the new manager’s retirement fund, multiple references to Hugo Chavez as a way to establish lefty cred. Yikes!

Makes Oak Park seem almost manageable.

Zillowbilge.com: Ever heard of Zillow.com? It is a dotcom sensation launched by the guys who launched a previous dotcom sensation known as Expedia. They sold Expedia for $1.5 billion, put on their thinking caps and came up with Zillow, a real estate site that allegedly tells you what your house is worth, what houses are for sale in the neighborhood, how to get a mortgage, etc., etc..

Back in the day, 18 months ago, when checking the value of your house once a week was sport, not tragedy, Zillow was quite the thing. Like so many websites these days, Zillow is purportedly built by the input of ordinary folks. Don’t like the value of your house? Well, tell Zillow about the fireplace you added, the new garage, and watch your value climb while you build Zillow’s value with all sorts of personal data you wouldn’t willingly share at your block party.

A couple of weeks back, we got a tip from a reader who had been reading about his hometown on Zillow’s Oak Park, Ill. community page. Trouble is it didn’t sound much like the Oak Park he lives in. Most Oak Parkers arrived here from the South, for example. And 94 percent of us done graduated high school. And we’re largely Spanish-speaking, and not in a second language sort of way.

Who knew?

Very quickly: Oak Park is agog, in that way only Oak Park can be, about the coming alleged, reputed, almost definite opening of Trader Joe’s in the Whiteco building on Harlem. Didn’t know until I read it in the Trib, Sunday, that TJ’s, as I like to call it, is owned by Aldi. Odd. … I have two informal focus groups. One is the family and friends who pass time on my front porch swing this time of year. The other is the waitresses at George’s Restaurant. Neither focus group is amused by $1.50 an hour parking meters. … A question for Village Attorney Ray Heise: Would it be legal for the village board to simply, quickly, unilaterally approve lights for the stadium at OPRF? The poor Plan Commission is going to run out of members before they get through another round of needless hearings and take yet another vote on this pretty simple issue.

Join the discussion on social media!

Dan Haley

Dan was one of the three founders of Wednesday Journal in 1980. He’s still here as its four flags – Wednesday Journal, Austin Weekly News, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark – make...