The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Stuff to read, vol. 2,048

Still busy. So busy.

And now I have to set up a development environment.

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there

Recaps of the debate comprise just a few of the things I haven't had time to read today:

Back to my meetings.

Heavy sigh.

Why am I not super-excited about the Cubs being in the playoffs? Well, take tonight's game, for example. Right towards the end, Fox Sports' color guy pointed out that in 200 postseason appearances, the Dodgers have never had back-to-back shutouts.

Until tonight.

You know what? Call me when the Cubs win their third game in this series.

 

Blue cap

I'd planned to wear a Cubs hat every day during the NLCS and World Series this year. Yesterday, however, Hamilton took precedence. I won't make that mistake again. The Cubs are now 1-1 with the Dodgers, and they still have to win 7 more games this year.

I'm also swamped at work.

*Now* I can get excited

Last night the Cubs came back from a 3-run deficit to beat the Giants 6-5 and win the National League Division Series. This puts them in the National League Championship Series for the first time since 2008—4 wins away from their first pennant in 73 years and 8 wins from their first World Series win in 108.

I haven't let myself get excited about these possibilities until now, because I've been a Cubs fan for a very long time. But Saturday they're at Wrigley in the playoffs. And two weeks from Saturday, on October 29th, they could conceivably cause millions of Chicagoans' heads to explode.

(The location tag for this post is accurate. I'm on a train heading to a client site. I love living in the future.)

Heading into the weekend

Wow, my blogging velocity has been crap this month. And here I go, doing it crappier:

There will be more later, I'm sure.

Interesting morning news

Just a couple of tasty items today:

  • One of my favorite BBQ places in Chicago, Smoke Daddy, will be opening at Hotel Zachary, which is currently under construction next to Wrigley Field. Next season's chow options will be that much better, not to mention excellent ribs a 20-minute walk from home.
  • Republican US Senator Mark Kirk sparred with his Democratic opponent, US Representative Tammy Duckworth, at the Chicago Tribune's editorial board endorsement session yesterday.

That's it for now. Back to optimizing software.

What a season

Today is the last day of the Cubs' regular season, and what a season it's been. Regardless of the outcome of today's game the Cubs will have lost fewer than 60 games for the first time since 1945—the last time the Cubs went to the World Series.

They've also won over 100 games, and will finish with either 102 or 103 wins, the most since 1910. (The last time they won 100 games was in 1935.) Keep in mind, just four years ago they lost 101 games.

And then on Thursday, this happened:

As the Pirates and Cubs discovered Thursday night, there is tying in baseball. Their series finale at PNC Park was suspended and declared a 1-1 tie after being delayed by rain in the top of the sixth inning.

The tie game, the Majors' first since 2005, will not be reflected in either club's record. Major League Baseball deemed the suspended game to be a tie because it won't be completed before the end of the regular season on Sunday and won't affect either team in the standings.

he Pirates' last tie was Aug. 24, 1998, a 5-5 game against the Cardinals at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Cubs last played a tie game on May 28, 1993, a 2-2 decision against the Expos at Wrigley Field. They will finish their season with three games against the Reds in Cincinnati before opening the NLDS at Wrigley Field on Oct. 7.

What a weird season. And the Cubs' playoff run starts next Friday, against whoever wins the Wild Card tie-breaker on October 5th (San Francisco, St. Louis, or the Mets).

Starting my day

I took a personal day yesterday to get my teeth cleaned (still no cavities, ever!) and to fork over a ton of cash to Parker's vet (five shots, three routine tests, heartworm pills, one biopsy, $843.49). That and other distractions made it a full personal day.

So as I start another work day with the half-day of stuff I planned to do yesterday right in front of me, I'm queuing up some articles again:

OK, my day is officially begun. To the mines!

The rise and fall of Wrigleyville

Rolling Stone describes how Wrigleyville became Douchebag Central:

Chicagoans have strong feelings about Wrigleyville. While a local might have more nuanced thoughts on neighborhoods like Logan Square (gentrified, filled with hipsters, great places to eat) or Wicker Park (gentrified, filled with yuppies, great places to eat), say you're going to hang out near Wrigley Field, and you'll probably get a blank stare. You really go out of your way to visit there for two reasons: Cubs games and shows at the Metro, the area's long-running venue that has played host to everybody from Metallica in 1983 to Nirvana in 1989 and nearly every important Chicago band or artist from Ministry at the dawn of the city's burgeoning industrial music scene to Chance the Rapper in 2016. Joe Shanahan, who opened the venue in 1982, remembers a time when he needed to be escorted by security to his car after a late-night. Not so much because of the fans, but because it was a neighborhood in a big city in the 1980s. "It was scary," he says of his early days turning the former Swedish Community Center built in 1927. "But it was inexpensive."

But things change.

You know the story: people living on the fringe make the area seem attractive to people with money, the people with money move in and, soon to follow are the bars with 20 televisions all showing sports. Wrigleyville, already a strange neighborhood because of its cozy little ballpark and the cursed team that plays there, somehow seemed like a decent fit for a bunch of outcasts. It was normal to end up at the McDonald's across the street from the ballpark and see kids from whatever show let out ordering Big Macs alongside sloshed baseball fans. It was awkward, but both groups were strange in their own way: kids with the funky hairstyles and clothes, and the baseball fans that would cheer for a team that they know will only disappoint.

I'm not sure it's the most insightful view of how Wrigleyville has changed, but it's somewhat accurate.