Bonus time!

This is the highlight of my day so far (aside from the perfectly coiffed Andy Avalos calling Mr. Fix It a "candy pants" today). Eight minutes of bonus time on my meter. Yay! Here's how this happened:

-meters are supposed to alternate each time you put in a quarter (8 minutes, then 7 more, then repeat)
-but after the initial rush, the meters were failing. That forced a reconfiguration.
-you'll notice that now each quarter gives you 8 minutes, rounding up from 7 minutes and 30 seconds
-but the meters are set to recognize 16 quarters, not the 15 you put in to get 2:00
-add in one more quarter and ...

...presto! You get bonus time. Doesn't work for every meter, just a for a sneaky few. Throw in one more if you're willing to risk losing a quarter just to see what happens. It's especially crucial if you park at a meter and feed it every 2 hours at work.

This will all go away when all the meters are ripped up in favor of the pay boxes, so take advantage while you can.

**Bye Bye free parking on the Lakefront. How I never knew you!!

**Frustrating 3rd period for the Hawks yesterday. But it was a temperature gage. Too many turnovers, not enough physical play. Scary moment with Adam Burish taking a skate in his neck. NBC analyst and Hawks fan favorite Eddie Olczyk noted that the playoff beard may have helped. I'll keep that in mind if I plan on slicing Righthand Man Jim's head off. He'll be in Sky 5 on Friday. Should he keep the beard? We'll show you what it looks like later this week.

I'll have more to say on the Blackhawks tonight. After the 5pm news, take a peek at my friends down the dial on Comcast SportsNet. Some traffic guy is going to be a panelist on a sports talk show called "Chicago Tribune Live!" Who knew!!

**Sun-Times writer Kevin Allen wrote a crash course on hockey if you're looking to get back into the Blackhawks again. In the print edition he wrote that some things haven't changed.

"For instance, fans still cheer loudly during the national anthem, and they still play "Shoot the Puck" at halftime."

Halftime? Oops, but they fixed it online at least.

**Chat room was messed up today, fixed it at 5:45, and those that stuck with it had a bonus half-hour of online chat fun! Elizabeth and Lisa, thanks for staying.

**If you forgot your sunglasses today, I don't know what to tell you!

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