The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Lovely day for a walk (or two)

Cassie and I walked all the way to the Horner Park Dog-Friendly Area yesterday, taking advantage of the 19°C weather and forbearance of rain clouds. We went a little out of our way on the first walk, so I could get a look at what was left of Twisted Hippo Brewing:

Yikes. Still, only one person was injured in the fire, and he's expected to recover completely.

After a 48-minute walk, Cassie ran around like a puppy at the dog park for about 20 minutes:

The return walk took another 45 minutes, after which both dog and man took a nap.

Then this happened overnight:

Well, I mean, it's Chicago in March. We got lucky to have one warm day.

Impressive and rapid destruction

No, I don't mean the war in Ukraine. I mean the toy I got Cassie on Wednesday. To refresh your recollection, it looked like this when I handed it to her:

As of this morning, it looked like this:

I honestly don't know where the rest of it went, though I did find a lot of 2-3 cm leather fragments all over the living room. We're about to take a walk (it's 17.4°C at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters!), so I may, ah, encounter more fragments in the next hour or so.

The short lives of Cassie's toys

Yesterday evening, Cassie and I went to the store to buy dog food, and I got her a toy I thought seemed durable enough even for her:

Not so much, as you can see in this photo from 55 minutes later:

Yes, that pile of white fluff by her belly came out of the stuffed rabbit.

So I have a question for the hive mind: what should I do with all of the toy corpses? Cassie still plays with them, sometimes. I mean, I know the gray one with orange highlights in the center is a duck, but no one else does. And the red Kong to its left turned out to be destructable, regardless of its labeling:

Of course, it doesn't take a lot to make this dog happy:

Will she really miss the half-eaten rubber ball?

President Biden's first State of the Union

As I did in 2020, this year I live-posted SOTU on Facebook. Here are my posts, in the order I made them:

OK, here we go with the SOTU. Last time (2020) I needed two martinis and watched with the sound off. This time, I see no need for alcohol and I'm happy to listen. What changed, I wonder?

Ukrainian ambassador gets an extended standing ovation from the entire government of the United States. She might prefer fighter jets and ammunition, but it was a nice gesture

We're putting troops along the Russian border...whoo boy

Yes! End "trickle-down" policies which only concentrate wealth at the top

Infrastructure decade. Yes.

It's so nice to hear a coherent, positive speech from a man who cares about the job he has

I was already a little concerned about the "make it in America" rhetoric, and then cue the GOP chanting "USA, USA!"

Dignity! Yes, this is where Biden excels. Nice.

The wise grandfather is such a welcome contrast to the ugly uncle

I did not predict a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud. Very good.

"The only president ever to cut the deficit by $1 trillion in one year." Partially disingenuous, but still true

Anti-virals on the spot at no cost if you test positive at a pharmacy. Wow

Bipartisan standing O on "our kids need to be in school."

"Let's see each other as...fellow Americans." Most of the GOP clapped too. Good.

Strong statement against "defund the police." And yes! Repeal the liability shield protecting guns!

Awww. Justice Breyer looks so cute

Wow, Katanji Brown to "strong borders" in one sentence? Grandpa missed a paragraph break

Did the speechwriters run out of time? It seems like we're in the "and another thing" section. The recap in sonata-allegro form, I suppose

Wow, connecting military burn pits to his son's cancer

ARPAH [Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health]. We can do this.

The state of the Union is strong because you, the American people, are strong.

Of course the outburst was from Boebert.

Wow, what a contrast from last time. No martinis required, but I believe I will have a wee Lagavulin.
Meanwhile, Cassie has graduated to loud snoring:

And yes, I did have a wee Lagavulin:

Here's the unedited thread:

Productive first day of spring

I finished a sprint at my day job while finding time to take Cassie to the dog park and make a stir-fry for lunch. While the unit tests continue to spin on my work computer, I have some time to read about all the things that went wrong in the world today:

I'm heading out tonight to watch President Biden's first State of the Union Address with friends. Robert Reich will also tune in.

Busy day

Two weeks from today, the Apollo Chorus will join with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra for their performance of Bach's St John Passion. Our performance is the next day in Lakeview, Chicago. Today we had a 2½-hour special rehearsal, after which I needed to do some shopping, then give Cassie a bit of exercise.

I will now nap. Tomorrow will be easier.

What happened to Tuesday?

And wasn't it just Tuesday?

I got an email from HR this morning reminding me that I'm approaching the upper limit for paid time off in my bank. I thought, what with taking half a day here and there over the past year, I might not already have almost a month of vacation to use. Cue searching on VRBO for places Cassie and I might like.

Meanwhile, back in the present:

But back to vacation: how cute is this place?

Cue the weekend

The temperature dropped 17.7°C between 2:30 pm yesterday and 7:45 this morning, from 6.5°C to -10.2°C, as measured at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters. So far it's recovered to -5.5°C, almost warm enough to take my lazy dog on a hike. She got a talking-to from HR about not pulling her weight in the office, so this morning she worked away at a bone for a good stretch:

Alas, the sun came out, a beam hit her head, and she decided the bone could wait:

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world:

  • Julia Ioffe interviews Russian diplomat Dr Andrey Sushentsov about Russia's views of the Ukraine crisis. tl;dr: the US and Russia don't even have a common set of facts to discuss, let alone a common interpretation of them.
  • In Beijing, former Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon blasts the Russian team for once again crapping on their own performance with yet another doping scandal.
  • The government of Ontario secured a court order last night allowing the Windsor Police and OPP to start clearing the Ambassador Bridge. So far, they have managed to do so without violence, but a few extremists haven't yet budged.
  • James Fallows updates his earlier post on how framing outrageous actions as "that's just Trump" is an abrogation of the press's responsibility to its consumers. "For perspective here: the late Sandy Berger, who had been Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor, was investigated, charged, fined $50,000, and sentenced to two years of probation for stuffing copies of a classified document into his socks, and sneaking them out from the National Archives. The story of his downfall was a major news feature back in the mid-2000s."
  • The UK now allows fully-vaccinated travelers from most countries to arrive and depart without getting a swab stuck up their nose.
  • Comedian Bob Saget died of blunt head trauma, consistent with a slip and fall, according to an autopsy. It also found his heart had a 95% blockage, which might have killed him even without the fall.

Finally, in 2018 Rebecca Mead returned to London after living in New York for 30 years. Her 15-year-old son now speaks with a unique accent Mead says has become the new standard "Multicultural London English."

Office helper

Someone might need to have a word with HR. Yesterday, my office helper accomplished this:

After speaking to her about this performance gap, we got this today:

Clearly we have some work to do here.