I mean, when in Rome, right? My company offered four options for this afternoon. I didn't even need to read past "BBQ and Brewery Tour" to sign up. Totally worth it! I'll have more to say over the weekend when I have more time to say it, but I do like Texas BBQ, and the two beers I had were quite good.
Home tomorrow, just in time for our own heat wave. Yay.
I mentioned earlier today that my flight to Austin did not go smoothly. The plane actually took off on time and landed a few minutes ahead of schedule, and then...stopped. We wound up sitting on the apron for over two hours because of lightning near the airport. (Apparently the ground crew didn't want to get electrocuted. Seems legit.) Even after we got off the plane, our bags didn't for several hours.
Just look at this fun excerpt from the FlightAware track log:
But, as Cranky Flier reports, flying kind of sucks all over these days:
We are just about a month into the summer, and so it’s time to do a little temperature check. How are things going? The answer is… not well. Yes, there are delays and cancellations during any summer, and there’s plenty of labor vs management mudslinging as well. But the numbers themselves show that things are much worse than even a normally-frustrating summer.
I’ve tried to think of the best way put this into context, so let me put it this way. Across these 9 airlines, 3.1% of flights have been canceled from June 1 – 27. If we look at June 2019, the rate was 2.02%. That doesn’t sound like a lot, so let’s make it more tangible.
These nine airlines canceled 18,508 flights in the first 27 days of June. If they had “only” canceled 2.02% of flights as they did in June 2019, then 13,120 flights would have been canceled. In other words, the airlines have canceled more than 40 percent more flights this June simply because they couldn’t run an operation as well as they did in June 2019. And “well” was already a misnomer back then.
The question is… what the hell is going on to make this such a miserable experience for so many people? And the answer is… it’s all going bad.
Boy, I just can't wait to fly home Thursday...
Chicago's official temperature last hit 38°C (100°F) on 6 July 2022, almost 10 years ago. As of 4pm O'Hare reported steady at 37°C (98°F) with the likelihood of breaking the record diminishing by the minute. At Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, we have 37.2°C, still climbing, but leveling off.
In other hotness around the world:
- The Texas Republican Party published their new platform this week in a bold bid to return to the 19th Century, including seceding from the United States. Dana Milibank says "good riddance."
- The Supreme Court, whose Republicans also want to return to the 19th Century, didn't overturn abortion rights today, but it take a hunk out of the Establishment Clause.
- Closer to Illinois, Anne Applebaum reads a thread by Democratic candidate for Congress Lindsey Simmons and concludes it "sounds like the Balkans, 1990s."
- Some of comedian Stephen Colbert's staff, including Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, found themselves detained at the Longworth House Office Building briefly, which the right-wing blowhards ran with.
- Hoboken, N.J., where I lived for a time in the '90s, hasn't had a fatal traffic accident in 4 years due to some pretty good street design.
- The Floating Jumbo Restaurant, long a staple of Hong Kong's tourist trade, capsized at sea while being towed for repairs.
Finally, Florida Fish and Wildlife Officials captured a 95-kilogram, 5.4-meter Burmese python, the largest ever discovered in the state. Apparently it had recently dined on a deer. So far they have found over 15,000 of the snakes, none of them quite so large.
Update: Not that I'm complaining, but after holding just under 37°C for three hours, the temperature finally started to drop. At 6pm O'Hare reported 36°C. So no record.
On day 3 of my symptomatic Covid-19 experience, I feel about the same as I did yesterday, but more annoyed. It's exactly the kind of day when I would meet friends at a beer garden or outdoor restaurant and not sit inside reading. But I don't want to expose people who can't get vaccinated to possible illness (people who can get vaccinated and choose not to, however...), and after a 3 km walk with Cassie half an hour ago, I really can't do much more than sit and read for a while.
My friends who have gotten this strain in the last six weeks or so report that my experience sounds about right, and I should be through symptoms by Tuesday. And looking ahead at my summer plans, which include a trip to Austin at the end of this month and a trip to the UK at the end of July, plus two opera performances and many afternoons sitting at beer gardens, it turns out this was simply the best weekend for me to miss. Lucky me!
Cassie, on the other hand, seems bored. And she would very much like that squirrel to get just a bit closer:
Even though I feel like I have a moderate cold (stuffy, sneezy, and an occasional cough), I recognize that Covid-19 poses a real danger to people who haven't gotten vaccinations or who have other comorbidities. So I'm staying home today except to walk Cassie. It's 18°C and perfectly sunny, so Cassie might get a lot of walks.
Meanwhile, I have a couple of things to occupy my time:
Finally, today is the 210th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the 207th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
Chicago's official temperature at O'Hare hit 35°C about two hours ago, tying the record high temperature set in 1994. Currently it's pushing 36°C with another hour of warming likely before it finally cools down overnight. After another 32°C day tomorrow, the forecast Friday looks perfect.
While we bake by the lake today, a lot has gone down elsewhere:
Finally, apparently John Scalzi and I have the same appreciation for Aimee Mann.
It's quarter to 7 and the temperature here has finally started going down again:
It peaked at 37.3°C, which for many people is a perfectly normal body temperature but for me would be a mild fever. Midway hit 38°C about three hours ago, the first time that happened since July 2012.
So, yeah, summer just didn't wait for us to catch up this year. Welcome to the two-showers days of June.
Last night we delayed the start of Terra Nostra fifteen minutes because a supercell thunderstorm decided to pass through:
The severe supercell thunderstorm that tore through Chicagoland Monday night toppled planes, ripped the roof off at least one apartment building, dropped hail as large as 1.5 inches in diameter and left tens of thousands without power in its wake.
In Cook County, 84 mph winds gusted at O’Hare International Airport. That was strong enough to turn over numerous planes at Schaumburg Regional Airport around 6:25 p.m.
Near Elk Grove Village around 6:30 p.m., roofing material started flying off an industrial building. The entire roof of a three-story apartment building was ripped off near Maywood around 6:50 p.m.
The system reached the Lake Michigan shoreline near downtown Chicago around 6:45 p.m., with “several tree branches downed just northwest of Montrose Harbor,” the weather service reported. Wind speeds of 64 knots were reported a few miles from Navy Pier and a buoy station near Calumet Harbor clocked wind speeds of 54 mph.
The weather report from O'Hare at 6:44pm gives you some indication of what we had in downtown Chicago half an hour later.
Today, the warm front that provided the energy driving that storm has already pushed temperatures over 30°C with a likely high of 36°C:
And wow, it's sticky, with dewpoints near 24°C and heat indices above 38°C. Can't wait for my commute home...
I haven't even finished my coffee this morning, and here comes a forecast for 36°C temperatures tomorrow and Wednesday.
Today I learned about the Zoot Suit Riots that began 79 years ago today in Los Angeles. Wow, humans suck.
In other revelations:
Finally, it's 22°C and sunny outside, which mitigates against me staying in my office much longer...