However, with -13°C snow blowing around at—no joke—59 km/h, it looks like this:
I still will never move south of Interstate 80. Never. This is just character-building weather, and it will pass.
See? These guys (Titus and Honey Baked Hamlet) know how to stay warm:
They trotted over to the Euchre Meet-Up last night. Parker didn't, because J's is just far enough from home that Parker would have been too cold. (He usually attends.)
Via Tech Cocktail, Jason Scott has added 2,388 MS-DOS video games to the Wayback Machine. Says Scott:
The Archive introduced v2, or “the Beta Interface” late last year. It was slow, stocky, and freaked people out. But folks got the idea, mostly – it was taking a site that had only incremental changes for 13 years, shaking the whole story up, and re-imagining the whole thing as a visual and browsing collection, as well as a way to dig deep into the materials.
Since last year, it’s gotten faster, slimmer, has added a bunch of features, and continues to become better to use. But it needs feedback, which is why I’m pushing you at it.
Enjoy the games, and check out all those beautiful screenshots! Play a few programs, note how you get around to things, and talk about what works and what doesn’t work for you. There’s a feedback button – use it. The goal is that you will be able to do everything you can do with the old interface with the new, but that you’ll have so much more happening on the new one. And remember, v2 works across all of the Archive… all the collections are out there, be they movies, books or audio, and the new interface has cool ways to interact with them as well.
Good thing I'm not working from home today where I'll be distracted by, say, Castle Wolfenstein...oh.
Chicago is under a hazardous weather outlook this morning because it's -18°C with wind chills around -30°C.
Schools all over the area have closed, prompting our operations manager to declare a work-from-home day. I might have done anyway, because I've caught a chest cold that has gotten worse since Sunday to the point where all I want to do is nap.
All of this will improve soon. Temperatures are expected to rise to more-seasonable (-3°C) levels by Sunday, and I expect to have defeated this invasion of pathogens well before then.
And, of course, all of this builds character, because it's Chicago.
Therefore, another link round-up:
There are a couple of other articles on my Kindle too, I just haven't got time to link them.
Today is my first full day as CTO of Holden International. And this is Fennec E. Fox, who apparently will be sharing office space with me:
(It makes sense when you know a little about Holden's history, and that the flagship software offering right now is called eFox.)
Isn't this pretty?
Yes. Yes it is. But taking the picture almost caused my fingers to freeze off, because it's this bloody cold:
And it's going to be colder this week: -15°C is forecast for Wednesday—as the high.
I expect to have dismal Fitbit numbers for a few days, too. Ordinarily Mondays my schedule allows me to walk quite a distance. Today, as you can see above, I said to hell with it and drove.
Writing in today's Times, Richard Florida explains the long-term costs of red state/blue state differences:
The idea that the red states can enjoy the benefits provided by the blue states without helping to pay for them (and while poaching their industries with the promise of low taxes and regulations) is as irresponsible and destructive of our national future as it is hypocritical.
But that is exactly the mantra of the growing ranks of red state politicos. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a likely 2016 G.O.P. presidential candidate, has taken to bragging that his state’s low-frills development strategy provides a model for the nation as a whole. But fracking and sprawling your way to growth aren’t a sustainable national economic strategy.
The allure of cheap growth has handed the red states a distinct political advantage. ... As long as the highly gerrymandered red states can keep on delivering the economic goods to their voters, concerted federal action on transportation, infrastructure, sustainability, education, a rational immigration policy and a strengthened social safety net will remain out of reach. These are investments that the future prosperity of the nation, in red states and blue states alike, requires.
The article has a chart showing the relationship between affordable housing and the 2012 election. It turns out, San Francisco and New York are the bluest and most expensive cities, while Tulsa, Okla. and Knoxville, Tenn. are the cheap, red cities. Chicago shows up well: more than 2/3 of housing is affordable to the local middle class, and we went pretty strongly for our man Barack.
Today's Fitbit numbers will probably not wow anyone, owing to the 2°C rain keeping our layer of slush from solidifying entirely.
Enter next week's forecast to put things into perspective:
A 30 percent chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near -6°C.
Partly cloudy, with a low around -18°C. Blustery.
Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near -16°C. Blustery.
Partly cloudy, with a low around -20°C.
Mostly sunny, with a high near -10°C. Breezy.
Oh, joy. Break out the Aran sweater and long johns...and wait for the warm-up on Thursday.
Simple: Go down to Amundsen-Scott Station and walk around the pole.
But if you don't want to cheat, get a very fast airplane:
Jeremy Newton is an Air Force veteran who flew F-18s, but, when contacted by e-mail, suggested the F-22 for a variety of reasons. First, it can fly at 1.5 Mach (about 1,000 mph) without using its afterburner, meaning it burns much less fuel. It tops out at 2 Mach, though that burns more fuel. Second, it can refuel in 10 minutes -- in mid-air while traveling at 400 mph. And third, as the video shows, it can go from full speed to full stop in under four minutes, and to top speed at 30,000 feet in under 5 minutes.
If you don't have access to military hardware, you can still probably hit the four time zones in the United States in that Gulfstream, although you'd be touching down in less exciting locales. (Unless you love the Upper Plains, in which case: go for it.)
The maximum number of time zones you can hit by plane depends on the plane, of course, and on how much you're willing to push it. It seems as though the Gulfstream could get you from GMT+11 to Greenwich Mean Time -- on one tank of gas. The Raptor can do a little better, from GMT+12 to GMT-1, as on the map below.
This is, of course, silly. But it's close to a plan I have on my bucket list: on the June solstice, see the sun rise over Passamaquoddy Bay near Lubec, Maine, and see it set over the Pacific Ocean near the Makah Indian Reservation in Washington. I'd bet you can even do that taking commercial flights.
At the beginning of 2014, I took a look at some of my personal numbers in the preceding year. I also predicted I'd travel more. Well, here's the update:
- To last year's 9 trips, this year I took 26 and flew 49 segments, visiting 11 states and 5 countries*. All but the number of states visited is a new record. (I visited 36 states in 1991. That will be tough to beat, ever.)
- I flew 122,776 km, also a new record.
- The Daily Parker had 512 posts, so the daily mean dropped to 1.40, a slight decline from 2012 and 2013.
- I worked 2,112 chargeable hours, which includes vacation, PTO, and holidays. But in my timekeeping system I logged 2,965, which includes a number of other activities that took away free time but were not necessarily work-related (including 138 hours walking Parker).
- I started 31 books and finished 25. (A few were put away for later reference.) Of them, I'd make the strongest recommendations for Kevin Hearne's Hounded and Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.
- I also attended the theater a lot more than last year, but not enough to write home about.
In 2015, I expect much less travel, about the same number of Daily Parker posts, possibly more books, and possibly more live performances.
* Sint Maarten, Canada, the UK, France, Norway; New York, California, Wisconsin, Ohio, Arizona, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Louisiana.