I was going to post about the virtues of the Cubs and the T-Mobile G1, but the latter revealed its limitations while I used it to extol the former. Suffice to say: Cubs won, G1 tied, and it's time to go inside.
The Chicago Reader has another article on the Chicago Parking Meter Debacle, this time examining who got rich off it:
Not only did William Blair advise the city on the deal—it came up with the idea in the first place. Then it provided the city with the only estimate it ever received of what the system was worth and coordinated the bidding process.
Two other financial services firms and three law firms were brought in to assist. All were given no-bid contracts for the work, and all appear to have political or personal ties to the Daley administration (which is not unusual for the way the city of Chicago does business).
The financial advisers were each paid a share of what the city made in cash on the lease deal. William Blair received 0.375 percent of the payout, or about $4.3 million, according to records obtained from the city through a FOIA request. The others, Gardner Rich and Ramirez & Company, each received 0.0625 percent, or $722,813. The attorneys’ fees added up to another $1.3 million. All told, the city paid its legal and financial advisers more than $7 million for their work on the deal.
Yeah? So where's mine?
Oh, good game. Very good game. It looked grim until the bottom of the 8th, when the Sox gave up a 4-run lead as the Cubs tied it up. Then Alfonso Soriano earned his paycheck today with a game-winning RBI in the 9th.
I also have to say, my new phone is so friggin' cool, it can do this:
Chicago mayor Richard Daley has possibly committed the city to an enormous public expense for the 2016 Olympic Games:
Faced with losing the 2016 Summer Games to competing cities offering full government guarantees, Mayor Richard Daley made an about-face Wednesday and said the City of Chicago would sign a contract agreeing to take full financial responsibility for the Games.
In a worst-case situation, such as severe cost-overruns or a catastrophic event, the agreement could leave taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars or even more, a scenario Chicago's bid team acknowledges but insists is far-fetched.
Um...in what universe are cost overruns on a Chicago public works project "far-fetched?" The Tribune's editorial board wonders who's really on the hook:
The mayor's spokeswoman, Jacquelyn Heard, says...[t]he financial commitment...will fall on the Chicago 2016 committee, the group that's organizing the city's bid.
Well, hold on a minute. If the Olympics lose money, the IOC wants somebody to pick up the cost. So if the Games are a bust and the losses blow through the public and private guarantees, the Chicago 2016 committee will pay the rest of the tab?
How? By taking up a collection among its members?
I'm beginning to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis...
...against the White Sox at Wrigley. Which, believe it or not, is more humiliating for them than the revelation that Sammy Sosa tested positive for steroids in 2003.
Neither of these things, you understand, is a surprise.
The fuzzy dude is 3 years old today. Obligatory baby picture:
That's his Petfinder mugshot from when he was about 8 weeks old. Here he is today:
For his birthday he got extra soft food with breakfast, two Newman's dog treats, and some fresh ground parmesan on his lunchtime kibble. And an extra belly-rub.
Not me, this morning. Him:
He must have had a decent flight, too; the weather here today is almost June-like:
Parker has slept soundly most of the day after he and I walked up to Ribfest yesterday. The round-trip took us about 2 hours (not including stops) and 12.8 km.
We sampled five restaurants. Parker didn't give me any notes, so these are all mine, in descending order of enjoyment:
- Lincoln Restaurant, 4008 N. Lincoln. Tasty. Tug-off-the-bone, not too much sauce, tangy KC-style, good lean ribs.
- Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln. An Irish pub with ribs? Yes. And not too bad. Fall-off-the-bone style, with a "whiskey marmalade" sauce that had a good bite.
- Chicago BBQ (no address) certainly had the most entertaining sign (see below). Parker kept trying to bolt out of line because of the smoke their cookers put out. Tehir meat tasted good, and I liked both their "sweet and sassy" and chipotle sauces. Good smoke flavor. Apparently, though, I'll just have to wait for the next rib festival (Naperville this summer?) to try them again.
- Fireplace Inn, 1448 N. Wells. This was my favorite last year. This year, though, they phoned it in. I still liked their sauce the best, but this time the dazed-looking kid at the booth just gave me some random meat and bones with way too much sauce.
- Hickory's BBQ, 1234 N. Halsted. Not bad, but nothing special: tender but just OK meat, grilled dry with sauce added after. The sauce was tangy but not interesting. I couldn't tell what it needed, but somehow it just fell a little short.
Unfortunately, both Parker and I experienced some discomfort in fairly short order after leaving the festival. He had a tiny bit of every sample I had, so I'm pretty confident either one of the ribs wasn't all right or possibly a sauce was off. We are both undeterred, however, and we'll be back next year.
Photos and reviews of Ribfest tomorrow morning. Right now, though, I'm all about the novelty of updating TDP from my phone. Also tomorrow, I'll explain why this is a bigger deal than it seems.
The Guardian is reporting riots in Tehran following reports that the Iranian election monitors have declared yesterday's election fraudulent:
Iran is facing political turmoil after hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was confirmed today as the winner of the presidential election and outraged supporters of his chief rival took to the streets to protest against a "dangerous charade" after a record 85% turnout.
Tonight riot police in Tehran faced thousands of angry demonstrators shouting "death to dictatorship" amid shock and confusion after the official result backed Ahmadinejad's claim to have won, made barely an hour after the polls closed on Friday night.
...Ahmadinejad's crushing and contested victory by 63% to 34% is a grave setback for hopes for a solution to the crisis over Iran's nuclear ambitions and for detente with the US now that Barack Obama is seeking dialogue with Tehran. Israel immediately reacted to the news by demanding intensified efforts to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.
Is Iran heading for civil war? And what's Israel's reaction going to be?