The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Rauner's offenses against the people

After standing on the Ravenswood Metra platform for 10 minutes in 40 km/h winds and blowing rain, I hearby sentence former Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to 100 days of standing on said platform without an umbrella or waterproof shoes for the offense cutting off funding to all Illinois transportation projects for 3 years in a fit of ideological pique and general lack of empathy for anyone else.

Each instance of Rauner's prickishness causing suffering and inconvenience to the citizens of Illinois shall be a separate and distinct offense.

Basically, I want him to live out the remainder his life stuck in traffic, getting soaked on "temporary" train platforms, and failing to find shelter for the night because so many homeless shelters closed for lack of funds on his watch.

Broken Tee Brewing Co., Highwood

Welcome to stop #80 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Broken Tee Brewing Co., 406 Green Bay Rd., Highwood
Train line: Metra UP-North, Highwood
Time from Chicago (Ogilvie): 52 minutes
Distance from station: Across the street

Broken Tee, the newest brewery in Lake County, opened over Labor Day weekend—the weekend before Urban Brew Labs closed down. But while Broken Tee requires a longer train trip than UBL did, I found it worth the trip.

I met an old friend for a beer and a bite last Friday. I only tried two 10 oz. pours (they do flights too), because I apparently have a cold, and they were both quite good. The One Hop N Bite IPA (6.9%) "showcases the Idaho7 hop variety." It's got a good nose, clean finish, and a bit of fruit and bitterness almost like a more-subtle Citra-hopped beer. I also tried the Range Session IPA (5.5%), a nice, rounded, balanced IPA, not too hoppy, but definitely a bit too strong to call itself a "session" IPA for real.

The space is cute, with a separate dining room and a nook off the main bar area. I also recommend the fried elote cheese bites dipped in chipotle aioli. My friend had the hot chicken sandwich in about 40 seconds, pronouncing it "delicious."

When they open their beer garden later this spring, I can see meeting some suburban friends at Broken Tee for lunch followed by a walk to Kings and Convicts for another pint.

Beer garden? Opening Spring 2023
Dogs OK? Outside
Televisions? 1, avoidable
Serves food? Yes, pub food
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes

Why doesn't the AP want me to give them money?

I spent way more time than I should have this morning trying to set up an API key for the Associated Press data tools. Their online form to sign up created a general customer-service ticket, which promptly got closed with an instruction to...go to the online sign-up form. They also had a phone number, which turned out to have nothing to do with sales. And I've now sent two emails a week apart to their "digital sales" office, with crickets in response.

The New York Times had an online setup that took about five minutes, and I'm already getting stuff using Postman. Nice.

Meanwhile:

Finally, I've got a note on my calendar to check out the Karen's Diner pop-up in Wrigleyville next month. Because who doesn't want to be abused by servers?

When, in the corset of human events...

Let's start with combat-actor Jill Bearup explaining how the Netflix-ITV-BBC ban on corsets solves entirely the wrong problems:

Meanwhile, in the modern world:

Finally, I missed an anniversary yesterday. On 22 February 2003, Saturday Night Live aired this bit of Tina Fey's genius:

Taking a break from heads-down coding

I spent the morning going over an API for standards and style, which will result in an uncomfortably large commit before I leave the office today. I prefer smaller, more focused commits, but this kind of polishing task makes small code changes all over the place, and touches lots of files.

So while I have my (late) lunch, I'm taking a break to read some news:

Finally, the Securities and Exchange Commission has fined the Mormon Church $5m for failing to disclose its holdings as required by law. As the Church has some $32 billion in holdings worldwide, that $5m fine will sure sting.

Big sprint release, code tidy imminent

I released 13 stories to production this afternoon, all of them around the app's security and customer onboarding, so all of them things that the non-technical members of the team (read: upper management) can see and understand. That leaves me free to tidy up some of the bits we don't need anymore, which I also enjoy doing.

While I'm running multiple rounds of unit and integration tests, I've got all of this to keep me company:

Finally, you may not want to know what the CBP beagle squad has found in baggage at O'Hare.

Bungalow by Middle Brow, Chicago

Welcome to stop #79 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Bungalow by Middle Brow., 2840 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago
Train line: CTA Blue Line, California
Time from Chicago: 14 minutes
Distance from station: 600 m

I had plans to meet a friend who lives in Logan Square last Thursday, so why not combine it with the Brews and Choos Project? The friend loves Bungalow by Middle Brow, and I understand why. It's really cool.

I tried a sip of my friend's Cottage Mexican Lager (4%), and put it in the category of "really well-made beer that didn't work for me." I just had a Little Crush IPA (4.5%), which fell into exactly that category for my friend, but which I liked a lot.

We also had an appetizer of fresh, warm bread with nduja butter, and we shared a pepperoni pizza. We cleaned our plates.

I will head back there when the weather gets warmer. It will be a good place to start when I visit the many other breweries within 1 kilometer of California and Armitage.

Beer garden? Yes
Dogs OK? No
Televisions? No
Serves food? Full menu
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes

So much warmer!

It got practically tropical this afternoon, at least compared with yesterday:

Cassie and I took advantage of the no-longer-deadly temperatures right at the top point of that curve to take a 40-minute, 4.3 km walk. Tomorrow should stay as warm, at least until the next cold front comes in and pushes temperatures down to -18°C for a few hours Thursday night.

I'm heading off to pub quiz in a few minutes, so I'll read these stories tomorrow morning:

OK, off to empty the dog, refill the dog, and scoot over to Sketchbook Skokie for a shellacking. (Our sports person can't make it tonight.)

Goose Island Beer Co., Chicago

Welcome to stop #78 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Goose Island Beer Co., 1800 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago
Train line: CTA Brown Line, Armitage
Time from Chicago: 12 minutes
Distance from station: 600 m

I put this one off for a long time because, in the years since I last visited, Chicago has had an explosion of craft breweries. Also because InBev bought them 12 years ago. The combination has taken Chicago's first and, for a long time, only local brewery taproom and made it kind of mediocre.

So why now? First, because later this year they plan to move to the Salt Shed, so there wasn't much time left; and second, because I saw M3GAN at the Arc 14 theater three blocks away, so it was convenient.

Since I used to drink a lot of Honkers Ale and the basic IPA, on Saturday I tried three beers I hadn't actually had before: the Phantom Limb pale ale (5.3%), the Flyway West Coast IPA (7.3%), and the Hazy Beer Hug IPA (6.8%). They were all fine, and I would have them again, but (a) I didn't take notes because I was out with a friend and (b) I wouldn't have had a lot to say anyway.

Goose Island used to be the only game in town, but they were revelatory. But a lot more breweries have opened up since 1987, with a lot better beers. InBev goes for volume over quality. 

I'll still stop into their Fulton Avenue taproom at some point. And the new brewpub at the Salt Shed, when it opens. But really, stopping into their aging Clybourn brewpub was just to complete the B&C list.

Beer garden? Sidewalk patio
Dogs OK? No
Televisions? Yes, avoidable
Serves food? Yes, full menu
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Maybe
Would go back? Maybe

Tuesday night round-up

In other news:

And finally, a glimmer of hope that the 10-year project to build one damn railroad station near my house might finally finish in the next few weeks.