The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Happy Monday morning!

To thoroughly depress you, SMBC starts the week by showing you appropriate wine pairings for your anxiety. In similar news:

Time to take a walk.

The world keeps spinning

Even though Parker has consumed my thoughts since the election, there are a few other things going on in the world:

And as I sit in my home office trying to write software, it's 17°C and sunny outside. I may have to go for a walk.

One week to go

The first polls close in the US next Tuesday in Indiana at 6 pm EST (5 pm Chicago time, 22:00 UTC) and the last ones in Hawaii and Alaska at 7pm HST and 8pm AKST respectively (11 pm in Chicago, 05:00 UTC). You can count on all your pocket change that I'll be live-blogging for most of that time. I do plan actually to sleep next Tuesday, so I can't guarantee we'll know anything for certain before I pass out, but I'll give it the college try.

Meanwhile:

  • The US Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court last night by a vote of 52-48, with only Susan Collins (R-ME) joining the Democrats. It's the first time since Reconstruction that the Senate confirmed an Associate Justice with no votes from the opposition party. And in the history of our country, only two people have been confirmed by a smaller margin: Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas. I'm sure the three of them will continue to fight for bipartisanship and good jurisprudence as strongly as they ever have.
  • Emma Green points out "the inevitability of Amy Coney Barrett," because the Republicans don't care. And Olivia Nuzzi brings us the story of "the tortured self-justification of one very powerful Trump-loathing anonymous Republican."
  • Bill McKibben reminds us "there's nothing sacred about nine justices; a livable planet, on the other hand..."
  • Speaking of the planet, Tropical Storm Zeta became Hurricane Zeta last night. The 2020 season has now tied the all-time record for the number of named Atlantic storms set in January 2006, and it's only October.
  • Bars and restaurants in suburban Cook County have to close again tomorrow as statewide Covid-19 cases exceed 4,500 on a rolling 14-day average. Some parts of the state have seen positivity rates over 7.5% in the last couple of weeks. My favorite take-out Chinese place down by my office is also closing for the winter, which I understand but which still saddens me.
  • The Washington Post asked TV screenwriters how 2020 should end.
  • In one small bit of good news, the Food and Drug Administration has finally agreed that whisky is gluten-free, as gluten does not evaporate in the distilling process and so stays in the mash.

Finally, from a reader in Quebec comes a tip about violent clashes between a Canadian First Nation, the Mi'kmaw tribe of Nova Scotia, and local commercial fishermen over First Nations lobster rights. If you think Canada is a land without racism, well...they're just more polite about it.

Meanwhile, back in your global pandemic

In all the excitement of the debate, I forgot to mention a couple of local news items that depressed me today:

Also, former US Attorney DIck Schultz talked to the Chicago Tribune and the local NBC affiliate about the Chicago 7 trial. (Watch Aaron Sorkin's Trial of the Chicago 7 to see Joseph Gordon-Leavitt play him.)

OK, really walking Parker and going to bed now...

Sure Happy It's Tuesday

After finishing a sprint review, it's nice to reset for a few minutes. So after working through lunch I have some time to catch up on these news stories:

Finally, mathematician and humorist Tom Lehrer has waived most of the copyright protections around his music and lyrics, effectively putting the corpus of his work into the public domain. He says: "Most of the music written by Tom Lehrer will be added gradually later with further disclaimers." People have until the end of 2024 to download the materials he has released.

Late in the evening...

I did a lot today, so I've just gotten around to these stories:

Finally, I may be published in a national magazine next month. Details as I learn them.

Rearranging things in a pandemic

McSweeny's gives you the person "in charge of the deck chairs on the Titanic, and they absolutely did need rearranging:"

I am aware that the phrase “like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic” has become shorthand for “a task rendered useless in the face of overwhelming circumstances.” Well, here’s another phrase for you: “how you do anything is how you do everything.” And if I was willing to die leaving a bunch of chairs sloppily bunched together with no thought to view or most pleasant sea breeze, I can assure you that I would have made a lowly member of the Eternal Choir indeed. As it is, I am a frequent soloist, thank you very much.

As an everlasting spirit, I can see that some of you are slumped over your workspaces, or your children, wondering what the point of any of this is. Does it really matter, I hear you ask yourself, if I finish my screenplay? Who’s even going to make movies anymore? Who cares, in the long run, if I file these reports or simply burn my entire house to the ground? What the disharmonious FUCK is the point of Zoom calls for kindergarteners? These are the thoughts of an inattentive chair-master, my friends. I am sure that when you think of the kind of chaos that’s unfolding across the planet as bodies are wrecked by virus and economies by quarantine, your daily data-entry tasks seem like small, absurd potatoes. I invite you to look up from your own navel and consider whether you wish to die with dignity, or like a fractious, spoilt child who can’t even manage the most basic of secretarial tasks.

It's...surprisingly on the nose. (It's still not the Baroness Elsa's letter, though.)

Friday evening news roundup

It could be worse. It might yet be:

And hey, we're only 95½ days away from Joe Biden's inauguration.

Evening news roundup

I dropped off my completed ballot this afternoon, so if Joe Biden turns out to be the devil made flesh, I can't change my vote.

Tonight, the president and Joe Biden will have competing, concurrent town halls instead of debating each other, mainly because the president is an infant. The Daily Parker will not live-blog either one. Instead, I'll whip up a stir-fry and read something.

In other news:

Finally, a pie-wedge-shaped house in Deerfield, Ill., is now on Airbnb for $113 a night. Enjoy.