Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
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Saturday 1 March 2014

Parker, 14 weeksI'm David Braverman, this is my blog, and Parker is my 7½-year-old mutt. I last updated this About... page in September 2011, more than 1,300 posts back, so it's time for a refresh.

The Daily Parker is about:

  • Parker, my dog, whom I adopted on 1 September 2006.
  • Politics. I'm a moderate-lefty by international standards, which makes me a radical left-winger in today's United States.
  • The weather. I've operated a weather website for more than 13 years. That site deals with raw data and objective observations. Many weather posts also touch politics, given the political implications of addressing climate change, though happily we no longer have to do so under a president beholden to the oil industry.
  • Chicago (the greatest city in North America), and sometimes London, San Francisco, and the rest of the world.
  • Photography. I took tens of thousands of photos as a kid, then drifted away from making art until early 2011 when I finally got the first digital camera I've ever had whose photos were as good as film. That got me reading more, practicing more, and throwing more photos on the blog. In my initial burst of enthusiasm I posted a photo every day. I've pulled back from that a bit—it takes about 30 minutes to prep and post one of those puppies—but I'm still shooting and still learning.

I also write a lot of software, and will occasionally post about technology as well. I work for 10th Magnitude, a startup software consultancy in Chicago, I've got more than 20 years experience writing the stuff, and I continue to own a micro-sized software company. (I have an online resume, if you're curious.) I see a lot of code, and since I often get called in to projects in crisis, I see a lot of bad code, some of which may appear here.

I strive to write about these and other things with fluency and concision. "Fast, good, cheap: pick two" applies to writing as much as to any other creative process (cf: software). I hope to find an appropriate balance between the three, as streams of consciousness and literacy have always struggled against each other since the first blog twenty years ago.

If you like what you see here, you'll probably also like Andrew Sullivan, James Fallows, Josh Marshall, and Bruce Schneier. Even if you don't like my politics, you probably agree that everyone ought to read Strunk and White, and you probably have an opinion about the Oxford comma—punctuation de rigeur in my opinion.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy The Daily Parker.

Saturday 1 March 2014 14:27:44 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Aviation | Baseball | Biking | Cubs | Geography | Kitchen Sink | London | Parker | Daily | Photography | Politics | US | World | Religion | Software | Blogs | Business | Cloud | Travel | Weather | Windows Azure | Work | Writing#
Friday 3 August 2012

Sometimes things just work.

Last weekend, I wrote about moving my last four web applications out of my living room the Inner Drive Technology International Data Center and into the cloud via a Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine.

Well, if you're reading this blog entry, then I've succeeded in moving The Daily Parker. Except for transferring files (the blog comprises 302 megabytes over 13,700 files), which happened in the background while I did other things, it only took me about 45 minutes to configure the new installation and make the necessary changes to DNS.

Despite the enormous volume of data, this was the easiest of the four. DasBlog has no dependencies on outside services or data, which means I could move it all in one huge block. The three remaining applications will take much more configuration, and will also require data and worker services.

I'm still surprised and pleased with the smoothness of the transfer. If the other three migrations go anywhere nearly as easily as this (taking into consideration their complexities), I'll be an Azure Evangelist for years.

Thursday 2 August 2012 23:17:57 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily | Business | Cloud#
Friday 16 September 2011

ParkerI'm David Braverman, this is my blog, and Parker is my 5-year-old mutt. I last updated this About... page in February, but some things have changed. In the interest of enlightened laziness I'm starting with the most powerful keystroke combination in the universe: Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V.

Twice. Thus, the "point one" in the title.

The Daily Parker is about:

  • Parker, my dog, whom I adopted on 1 September 2006.
  • Politics. I'm a moderate-lefty by international standards, which makes me a radical left-winger in today's United States.
  • Photography. I took tens of thousands of photos as a kid, then drifted away from making art until a few months ago when I got the first digital camera I've ever had that rivals a film camera. That got me reading more, practicing more, and throwing more photos on the blog. In my initial burst of enthusiasm I posted a photo every day. I've pulled back from that a bit—it takes about 30 minutes to prep and post one of those puppies—but I'm still shooting and still learning.
  • The weather. I've operated a weather website for more than ten years. That site deals with raw data and objective observations. Many weather posts also touch politics, given the political implications of addressing climate change, though happily we no longer have to do so under a president beholden to the oil industry.
  • Chicago, the greatest city in North America, and the other ones I visit whenever I can.

I've deprecated the Software category, but only because I don't post much about it here. That said, I write a lot of software. I work for 10th Magnitude, a startup software consultancy in Chicago, I've got about 20 years experience writing the stuff, and I continue to own a micro-sized software company. (I have an online resume, if you're curious.) I see a lot of code, and since I often get called in to projects in crisis, I see a lot of bad code, some of which may appear here.

I strive to write about these and other things with fluency and concision. "Fast, good, cheap: pick two" applies to writing as much as to any other creative process (cf: software). I hope to find an appropriate balance between the three, as streams of consciousness and literacy have always struggled against each other since the first blog twenty years ago.

If you like what you see here, you'll probably also like Andrew Sullivan, James Fallows, Josh Marshall, and Bruce Schneier. Even if you don't like my politics, you probably agree that everyone ought to read Strunk and White, and you probably have an opinion about the Oxford comma—punctuation de rigeur in my opinion.

Another, non-trivial point. Facebook reads the blog's RSS feed, so many people reading this may think I'm just posting notes on Facebook. Facebook's lawyers would like you to believe this, too. Now, I've reconnected with tons of old friends and classmates through Facebook, I play Scrabble on Facebook, and I eagerly read every advertisement that appears next to its relevant content. But Facebook's terms of use assert ownership of everything that appears on their site, regardless of prior claims, which contravenes four centuries of law.

Everything that shows up on my Facebook profile gets published on The Daily Paker first, and I own the copyrights to all of it (unless otherwise disclosed). I publish the blog's text under a Creative Commons attribution-nonderivative-noncommercial license; republication is usually OK for non-commercial purposes, as long as you don't change what I write and you attribute it to me. My photos, however, are published under strict copyright, with no republication license, even if I upload them to other public websites. If you want to republish one of my photos, just let me know and we'll work something out.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you continue to enjoy The Daily Parker.

Friday 16 September 2011 18:36:32 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Aviation | Baseball | Biking | Chicago | Cubs | Duke | Geography | Jokes | Kitchen Sink | Parker | Daily | Photography | Politics | US | World | Raleigh | Religion | San Francisco | Software | Blogs | Business | Cool links | Security | Weather | Astronomy | Work#
Friday 1 April 2011

There is no reason for this post beyond the obvious:

Friday 1 April 2011 09:38:15 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [1] | Daily#
Wednesday 16 June 2010

Today is Parker's: it's his 4th birthday.

Happy birthday puppy!

Wednesday 16 June 2010 12:37:40 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Parker | Daily#
Tuesday 16 March 2010

I had hoped, as I hoped about Post #1,000, to write something lengthy and truly self-indulgent.

This will disappoint many readers, but I don't have time to do that. Instead, just a quick update: even though Inner Drive Technology still exists (as does all of its software and ongoing maintenance), I'm now working for Avanade, a joint venture between Microsoft and Accenture.

And, in the spirit of the season, on my way to Avanade's Chicago office yesterday, I noticed something...odd...about the Daley Center:

Tuesday 16 March 2010 16:42:54 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Chicago | Daily | Business#
Monday 8 March 2010

Last photo from Ponder Cove, Parker happy enough to levitate:

I also forgot to mention the sign on the door that suggested the B & B's proprietors were our kind of people.

Monday 8 March 2010 13:34:59 EST (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily | US#
Friday 8 January 2010

Each day that we spend getting Parker to exist peacefully with the cats brings us closer to the goal of peace and harmony. This, I think, is what Parker fears (and the cats want):

(Hat tip DK.)

Friday 8 January 2010 16:21:34 EST (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Tuesday 5 January 2010

Diane and her sister made Parker a bed. I think he likes it:

Three guesses what he's staring at.

Tuesday 5 January 2010 11:20:36 EST (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Wednesday 16 December 2009

Parker got a chance to explore Oakwood Park today, the first sunny day we've had since we got here a week ago. The park is huge—I would guess about 75 hectares—and Parker (with help) ran around the whole thing:

Wednesday 16 December 2009 12:14:18 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Monday 14 December 2009

Even Parker has a level of dignity beneath which he will not sink. This, however, is still above that line:

Monday 14 December 2009 12:16:30 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Sunday 29 November 2009

The bed is just a suggestion, apparently:

Saturday 28 November 2009 21:24:35 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Sunday 22 November 2009

Field trip to Noethling Park (a.k.a. Wiggly Field) today, with a ball and a Chuck-It:

Sunday 22 November 2009 16:08:57 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Saturday 21 November 2009

After two hours of classes this morning, both of which reminded me I need to study more, what better way to recover than with another Parker puppy video?

The bed, by the way, lasted about four days. He shredded the thing like a Cuisinart.

Saturday 21 November 2009 11:24:40 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#

You think he's cute now? This is Parker at 12 weeks, just a couple days after I adopted him:

Friday 20 November 2009 22:14:56 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Wednesday 18 November 2009

You should see him after I've been gone a week. This is Parker after three days of boarding:

Wednesday 18 November 2009 11:49:33 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Parker | Daily#
Saturday 25 July 2009

Parker and I had a great two-hour walk this afternoon, punctuated by essays on Botswana and economic institutions (Duke reading). We stopped to admire the view at North Avenue, though I think Parker was more interested in the speedboat than the skyline:

Saturday 25 July 2009 17:31:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Chicago | Daily#
Tuesday 16 June 2009

The fuzzy dude is 3 years old today. Obligatory baby picture:

That's his Petfinder mugshot from when he was about 8 weeks old. After the jump, a photo from just now.

Tuesday 16 June 2009 14:15:52 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [1] | Daily#
Saturday 18 April 2009

1:15 pm, Chicago:

Full size:

Saturday 18 April 2009 13:18:57 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Tuesday 18 November 2008

Last Thursday, The Daily Parker turned three.

Actually, yesterday, the dog turned 2 years, 5 months; but the blog is three years old.

And in honor of this august day in November, I hit "Post" three times before correcting all the typos.

Monday 17 November 2008 21:32:33 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily | Blogs#
Wednesday 5 November 2008

We didn't hit the record for warmest November 5th today, but it did get within 1°C, to 22°C. After the euphoria (and, frankly, Champagne) of last night, I couldn't prevail against the weather, so Parker and I went to Wiggly Field with a Chuck-It:

Wednesday 5 November 2008 15:39:41 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Tuesday 14 October 2008

Parker decided a while ago that a patch of a century-old rug makes a comfortable bed. The rug hasn't turned black yet, but every time I vacuum it seems the thing yields an entire dog's worth of hair.

I delayed getting a dog bed because Parker ate the last one. Granted, he was 11 weeks old at the time. So, hoping he'd gotten past that phase, I took him to the pet store at lunch to audition beds. This is what he picked:

Tuesday 14 October 2008 14:01:56 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Friday 4 July 2008

Yes, even Parker thinks this is cheesy:

Friday 4 July 2008 18:00:50 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Sunday 25 May 2008

I'm kicking myself for not riding Bike the Drive this morning. That's the annual, Memorial Day weekend closing of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, all 30 km of it, for any bicyclist who ponies up the fee. I'm kicking myself because it's 19°C and sunny with a good breeze out of the South. Good biking weather.

Sunday 25 May 2008 09:37:47 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Chicago | Daily | Weather#
Friday 28 March 2008

'Nuff said.

Friday 28 March 2008 10:59:34 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Thursday 28 February 2008

After a several-week absence, the ParkerCam is back up.

Thursday 28 February 2008 16:37:59 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Parker | Daily#
Tuesday 1 January 2008

Nothing, not rain, not sleet, not 15 cm of snow on the ground, can keep Parker from a tennis ball:

Tuesday 1 January 2008 11:52:20 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Saturday 29 December 2007

One week at overnight camp (Parker's day care provider also boards dogs, so he got to hang with his friends every day) has exhausted my dog. This is a common behavior in dogs, apparently. He was overjoyed to see me again in a way I've never seen in a human older than four, but as soon as we got home he climbed into his crate and passed out. (Actually he ate two entire bowls of kibble first.)

Action shot:

Saturday 29 December 2007 11:00:25 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Sunday 16 December 2007

Another piling-on overnight, leaving 13 cm on the ground. Parker enjoys it:

And it's very pretty...

Sunday 16 December 2007 09:39:03 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily | Weather#
Thursday 6 December 2007

When we woke up this morning the temperature was -16°C. Did Parker care? He did not:

Thursday 6 December 2007 12:19:02 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Sunday 2 December 2007

This leash used to be longer. I wonder what could have happened:

Sunday 2 December 2007 11:21:07 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Saturday 24 November 2007
Saturday 24 November 2007 10:15:09 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Geography | Daily | Weather#
Thursday 22 November 2007

For a while yesterday I moved Parker's crate near the quasi-veranda, so he could get light and air while I went shopping for Thanksgiving fixins:

Thursday 22 November 2007 09:57:04 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Wednesday 21 November 2007

Parker yawns lazily on the sidewalk by Bean Traders Coffee in Durham, N.C., where the temperature is 22°C*:

Wednesday 21 November 2007 11:21:14 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Chicago | Daily | Weather#
Monday 12 November 2007

The amazing thing about this isn't that he's a handsome, happy dog, enjoying a beautiful autumn afternoon; it's that he's ignoring the squirrel directly behind him:

Monday 12 November 2007 12:21:14 CST (UTC-06:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Thursday 1 November 2007

From September:

Thursday 1 November 2007 08:46:31 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Wednesday 31 October 2007

My friend Sean visited over the weekend and brought with him a stuffed toy his wife made for Parker. The results were predictable, though Parker dispatched this one much faster than the vet toy he got for his birthday:

Wednesday 31 October 2007 10:33:12 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Monday 29 October 2007

From this past weekend, in Lincoln Park, Chicago:

Monday 29 October 2007 09:17:20 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Geography | Daily#
Thursday 25 October 2007

The splash of sunlight on Parker's face makes me think he's probably a pretty happy dog, despite the crate:

Thursday 25 October 2007 13:51:38 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Wednesday 26 September 2007

For the first time in eight months, my dog has no odor. None.

It turns out Petsmart has hypo-allergenic shampoo. (Last time they used stinky shampoo.)

That is all. Photo to follow.

Wednesday 26 September 2007 18:51:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Friday 14 September 2007

Note from the dog walking service yesterday: "He was great, as always. He looks real good in red. Went #2." (There were no hyperlinks in his note, of course.)

Friday 14 September 2007 11:18:50 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Thursday 13 September 2007

He loves the open office window. Not too many days of that left, though.

Thursday 13 September 2007 09:49:36 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Tuesday 4 September 2007

More from Saturday's Wright Way Rescue reunion: Schona, a 7-year-old Lab that Parker met:

Tuesday 4 September 2007 12:23:15 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Monday 3 September 2007

At the Wright Way reunion on Saturday, the shelter had a number of puppies up for adoption, like this one:

Monday 3 September 2007 09:07:31 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Monday 20 August 2007

Parker and I were surprised last week to come home after work and discover this in the yard:

Monday 20 August 2007 08:34:11 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Friday 17 August 2007

Old rug, old sock, sunbeam. Dog is happy:

Friday 17 August 2007 12:36:09 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Tuesday 7 August 2007

I'm not alone in the office today, but I may as well be: Parker is so tired he's not even getting up when I leave the room. Day camp works, I tell you.

Tuesday 7 August 2007 09:07:28 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Sunday 5 August 2007

Parker and Goldie have started playing together mornings. Goldie, until recently, never had anything nice to say to Parker, so this surprised everyone:

As a special bonus, I have some video of Parker at my office.

Sunday 5 August 2007 12:45:43 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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