Knowing that winter is coming later today motivated me to take Parker on his biggest walk since we went hiking in mid-September: an hour and three quarters, 10 km, 11,000 FitBit steps (which translates to about 60,000 Parker steps).
The 11°C out my door can't last, though. Rockford is down to 1°C; Burlington, Wisc., about an hour northwest of O'Hare, is already below freezing.
With 13,000 steps already behind me today, and being only 7,000 steps away from a 1-day total over 20,000 and a 7-day total over 100,000, I see more walking before day's end...
As reported yesterday, an Arctic high pressure area is moving south into the United States, bringing freezing temperatures with it. The latest surface analysis looks like this:
It's 9°C in Chicago but 3°C in Rockford, just 145 km away.
Conclusion? It's time to take Parker on his long walk of the day. Now.
It looks like the temperature will get up to 11°C this afternoon, and the sun is still visible. Meteorological autumn ends tomorrow, and apparently so does this weather. The forecast calls for an unseasonably warm evening followed by a cold-front passage tomorrow late morning and temperatures falling to 1°C by noon and -6°C overnight.
This is a long way of saying that Parker and I need to go for another walk pretty much ASAP. We walked about 5 km so far today. Let's see if we can squeeze in another 5 before sundown.
Lots more travel this weekend, including Parker and me spending two days in a place without Internet. (My phone at least had a little from time to time.)
Now back home, I have to figure out the rest of my day before rehearsal. Parker, for his part, is sleeping on his own bed right now for the first time in more than a week.
Following a friend's example, I got a FitBit this week. The same friend has challenged me for the weekend, getting 15,300 steps to my 14,000 yesterday, and going hiking this afternoon. Ah, but I have a dog, you see. And the weather is perfect. So far today I've walked 15,400 steps (11.6 km), almost all of it with Parker, and we're about to go out for another walk.
Here's walk #1, this morning, in Lincoln Park:
And walk #2, at lunchtime, down the Lakefront Path:
I got my 15,000-step badge on Friday, my first full day with the thing. Today I'm aiming for 20,000. My friend is too. This will be close, I'm guessing...
It's sunny and cool, and I have no remaining responsibilities that I know of for the afternoon. So Parker and I are going for a long walk.
Oh, and: Go Giants.
We had spectacular weather across the region Saturday and yesterday. For our hike Saturday we had partly-cloudy skies, low humidity, and 14°C—nearly perfect. Here's Parker at the top of the trail, refusing to look at the camera:
Then, yesterday, I had my final Apollo audition up at Millar Chapel in Evanston. Again, perfect weather:
It's a little cloudy today, but otherwise cool and October-like. As far as I'm concerned, it can stay October-like for the next six months. Walking is good for you.
Also, can I just point out that the 16-megapixel camera that's just an add-on to my phone takes better photos than any even serious Pro-Am cameras from five years ago? Yikes.
We have near-record cool temperatures predicted today, possibly no warmer than 14°C today. It's also sunny, and neither I nor Parker has any responsibilities that can't shift to tomorrow.
In short, we're going to take a hike. Literally; in Wisconsin. And possibly bring back some beer.
Good morning. It's the 1st day of September, 2014, and meteorological summer is over. School is back, Labor Day is upon us (but only in the U.S., where it doesn't remind anyone of actual labor struggles), and I've had Parker for 8 full years. (The annual Parker Day photo will have to wait until he and I are both back home. I know, this is the second year running that I've missed the day itself. I hope he forgives me.)
On the whole, summer wasn't bad. Autumn should be fine as well: I'm attending a dear friend's wedding this month, going to London next month, and in between, aiming to walk Parker as much as our legs can carry us. Cleveland will be involved as well, though to what extent, I don't yet know.
Still, I'm not sure where summer actually went. May doesn't seem that long ago.
Downloading to my Kindle right now:
...and a few articles I found last week that just made it onto my Kindle tonight.
Oh, and I almost forgot: today is the 80th anniversary of John Dillinger's death just six blocks from where I now live.