current events – the function key Fri, 27 Apr 2012 15:16:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1
immense midwest cold generates innovative get-togethers. Sun, 23 Jan 2011 17:29:23 +0000

If I weren’t working all day today, I would be cozied up at the Empty Bottle in Chicago for their First Annual Synthesizer Chili Cook-Off.  I’ve never been much of a chili gal, can’t do spice and don’t do a whole lot of meat…but this bizarre pairing of experimental music and homemade chili has got me yearning for interaction with some smack-talking, chili-cooking, taste-testing competitors.

Busy Beaver Button Museum. Wed, 08 Dec 2010 06:02:07 +0000

Everywhere you turn, someone has a statement to make…and judging by the work of Christen Carter, founder of Busy Beaver Button Co., the biggest statements are often best made on a small platform…such as a 1 inch button.

In the late 1800s, buttons were used as a colorful way to promote all kinds of things…politicians, celebrities, holidays, landmarks and, well, just about everything else.  And although buttons did take a lengthy hiatus from the limelight in the early 1900s, they reappeared in the 1960s and were considered a fashionable method to show support for political causes, favorite bands, artists, etc.  Today, besides their popularity in the punk scene, buttons haven’t been considered cool since the 80’s when teens used them to adorn their backpacks and jeans jackets…but thanks to Carter, buttons now seem to be making a comeback.

Last month, Carter celebrated Busy Beaver’s 15th year anniversary of button making with the grand opening of its pop culture button museum in Chicago; a collection of about 1,000 buttons in four display cases mounted on the factory walls.  With buttons dating back as early as 1896, Carter hopes that this museum will help others to view buttons less as cheap souvenirs and more as time capsules…a lesson in social history.

Carter began the company in Bloomington, Indiana. then moved it to San Francisco, and finally settled down in Chicago.  They have since developed over 18,000 designs and produced millions of buttons for clients such as Missy Elliot, Bumble and Bumble, Addidas, Threadless, and Burger King; but also produce for regular clients who would like buttons made for their own hobbies, clubs, events…or whatever else your little heart desires!

dia de los muertos! Mon, 01 Nov 2010 19:25:50 +0000

Halloween has come and gone – but don’t forget about Dia De Los Muertos! The Los Angeles Times had some great coverage of some early morning celebrations!

The world has changed… Thu, 04 Mar 2010 17:58:35 +0000 Are nerds running the show now? Granted, I have been comforted over the last few years by the slow, yet seemingly unstoppable, force of Nerd Culture permeating every aspect of our media. As technology becomes more proliferated and embraced, we are certainly seeing a new acceptance, and even, dare I say, respect for nerds.

But this is too much: A funeral for software? I chuckled to myself at the petition to boycott Comic Sans (and I agreed). And before that, yes, I thought it was funny that “Rick Rolling” had become so… omnipresent. But this is just too much. See for yourself:

struck by the cold bug. Thu, 11 Feb 2010 00:01:07 +0000

I just wanted to quickly apologize for the lack of posting recently, I’ve been sick as a dog this week with a terrible cold! The good news is, thanks to the care of my wonderful husband, I’m finally starting to feel better. So regular posts should resume shortly. Cheers!

]]> 2
and the winner is . . . Mon, 20 Jul 2009 17:44:48 +0000 rugcontest Congratulations to the winner of the Function Key’s Rug Giveaway Extravaganza Paula! We chose Paula because she provided a very enthusiastic answer and a well articulated interest in how she would use the rug in her home. Thanks again to all of the entrants! And special thanks to CSN Rugs for reaching out to the function key.

]]> 5
don't forget about our contest!! Tue, 14 Jul 2009 21:11:11 +0000 rugcontest

Hey everyone! Only two more days to enter our Rug Giveaway Extravaganza!! Why not try your luck at winning this beautiful bamboo rug (suitable for indoor and outdoor use)?

Click here to find out how to enter, and good luck!

the function key's rug giveaway extravaganza! Thu, 02 Jul 2009 17:57:57 +0000 rugcontestWe are officially announcing our first-ever giveaway contest! A few weeks ago we were contacted by CSN Rugs (part of the CSN stores network) to run a contest for our readers, in which one lucky person will win a free (yes free!) rug. Well, it took some time to go through CSN’s selection (who knew how difficult it could be to pick out just one rug), but we finally settled on a really great choice, perfect for indoor and outdoor use.

For the next two weeks you have the opportunity to enter your name in our Rug Giveaway Extravaganza for the chance to win a 4’x6′ natural bamboo jade black area rug (at right). We think the jade black bamboo rug adds a dramatic aspect to any space, and its unexpected composition is sure to get lots of compliments from friends.

It’s simple! Just leave a comment with your name (be sure to list your email address in the form), and include a brief statement about how you would make this rug work in your home. A winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday, July 17, 2009.

Important details:

Prize: 4’x6′ natural bamboo jade black area rug

How to enter: Leave a comment with your name, and include a brief statement about how you would make this rug work in your home.

Entry deadline: Thursday, July 16, 2009

Absolutely! If you would like spread the word about this contest on your blog, Facebook, etc., we ask that you please use the following text in your post (be sure that the links work):

“Wanna win a free rug? Stop by the function key to enter your name for a chance to win a 4’x6′ natural bamboo jade black area rug! Contest ends July 16, 2009!”

To post on Twitter, please use the following text: “Win a free natural bamboo jade black area rug from @thefunctionkey! #giveaway #contest”

glidden paint giveaway! Fri, 26 Jun 2009 13:45:15 +0000 349627328_ac1e9339baYes, this is for real. Visit, select you favorite hue, and in 3-4 weeks you’ll receive a free quart of paint at your doorstep! To partake in this great offer, get started at

jubilee day. Thu, 18 Jun 2009 05:00:12 +0000 Today is the 81st annual Jubilee Day fair in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania — a little place I call my hometown. Jubilee Day is the largest and longest running, one-day street fair in the Eastern United States. (Did you get that? It’s got a lot of stipulations.) Anyway, it started in 1923 as a way to celebrate the town and originally was more about agriculture, being as Mechanicsburg was mostly farm land. Over the years, Jubilee Day took various forms and changed along with the times. Today it’s mostly filled with food vendors, amusement park rides, and and other comercial goods. Gone is the agriculture, the foot races, the annual crowning of the Jubilee Day Queen, but the pride and cultural lore still lives on — the very pride and tradition that keeps more than 60,000 people coming back for just one sweltering, hot Thursday in June every year.

Here are some great historical photographs of the Mechanicsburg tradition:


jubilee2 jubilee3 jubilee4 jubilee5