Cute swag drops a subtle hint?

At this time last week, I was in Chicago at an annual techy hobnob for water folks, the American Water Works Association’s ACE10. (I was a presenter at a workshop on social media for utilities–a great day and some great people! More on that soon.)

My impression, mega-condensed: lotsa pipes, lotsa pumps and lotsa water geekery. All–and I mean ALL–displays were blue. At my lunch table the conversation was about algae, and everyone seemed to think that was a perfectly awesome subject to pair with dining. Now, this didn’t seem to be a swag-heavy event but I did manage to pick up a few things. (Good thing…those little Snickers bars turned out to be my lunch several days later!)

And the magnifying glass was handy, as I needed to get a closer look…

What’s this? WHAT!? Is this adorable little  droplet giving me the one-finger wave? Is there such a thing as subliminal swag? I guess they somehow knew I wasn’t a purchasing decision-maker for pipes and pumps!

Aqua Building Chicago Illinois

Aqua in Chicago: 82 Stories of Inspiration

Aqua Building Chicago Illinois

Aqua Building, Chicago, Illinois

While visiting Chicago recently, my hotel was right next door to the much-praised new Aqua building…and really, I just couldn’t get enough of staring up at it’s unusual form.

The 82-story, mixed-used building was designed by Jeanne Gang, principal and founder of Studio Gang Architects. It is her first skyscraper project and the largest project ever awarded to an American firm headed by a woman. Good start, Jeanne! Gang has cited the striated limestone outcroppings that are a common topographic feature of the Great Lakes region as inspiration for the sculptural, undulating slabs that give the building its exciting, water-inspired design.

h2o mp3: Suzy Snowflake – Rosemary Clooney

A retro musical tribute to water’s most festive form! Rosemary Clooney’s 1951 version of Suzy Snowflake is an enduring and popular holiday tune. Break into your own acapella rendition of this song if you need to shake someone out of a crabby mood…works every time!


Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Dressed in a snow white gown
Tap, tap, tappin’ at your window pane
To tell you she’s in town

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Soon you will hear her say
Come out everyone and play with me
I haven’t long to stay

If you want to make a snowman
I’ll help you make one – one, two, three
If you wanna take a sleigh ride (whee!)
The ride’s on me.

Here comes Suzy Snowflake
Look at her tumblin’ down
Bringing joy to every girl and boy
Suzy’s come to town

Play the track


Download Suzy Snowflake – Rosemary Clooney
Like it? Support the people who make music – buy this album or track at

Bonus animated Suzy! If you’re from the Chicago, Illinois area you might also be familiar with a 1953 cartoon-short based upon the song. Made with super-cool-at-the-time stop-motion animation, the film became a treasured annual Christmas tradition for countless children who grew up in the Chicagoland area.

Get Off the Bottle

Increasingly, we are feeling guilty about consumption of bottled water. Conventional wisdom often includes an economic argument along with the “green” stance, but I personally don’t care about the money. It’s the idea of putting your “at this moment” desire and convenience ahead of what is stupid by every sort of reasonable logic. Proof-positive of ugly American consumer behavior. So I really like this Chicago Lake Water, although it seems a bit funny to be promoting it in a bottle, after all. Headed the right way, though. The label reads, Drink water from pipes, not bottles and show your municipal pride.