The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Not a surprising coincidence

A local Vietnamese restaurant—only a few blocks from me, in fact—had to pay $700,000 in back wages to its workers after a Department of Labor investigation that ended in October:

Tank Noodle has been forced to pay nearly $700,000 in back wages after making some of its employees work only for tips, according to the U.S. Deptartment of Labor.

The popular Vietnamese restaurant at 4953 N. Broadway withheld wages and used illegal employment practices for 60 of its employees, a labor department investigation found. Some employees were owed more than $10,000 by the restaurant.

The investigation found some servers at the restaurant worked only for tips, a violation of federal work laws. Tank Noddle also shorted servers when the business pooled tips and divided the money among all staff, including management, another federal work violation.

Tank Noodle violated overtime laws and sometimes paid staff flat fees for a day’s work regardless of the number of hours worked, according to the labor department.

There's the setup. Now the punchline:

[Tank Noodle's] owners attended a Jan. 6 rally in support of former President Donald Trump that ended in the storming of the U.S. Capitol.

The Ly family, which owns Tank Noodle, posted photos from the rally, which were widely circulated on social media.

Too bad for the Ly family that the neighborhood has about two dozen other places with better phở.

Evening news

Just a few stories:

Finally, it only took 375 years and satellite imagery, but geologists have demonstrated that New Zealand is on its own continent.

Odds and ends

Just a couple passing stories this afternoon:

Finally, Merck and Johnson & Johnson announced a plan to combine production of Covid-19 vaccines, an "unprecedented" collaboration between competitors.

Back in the office

I'm back in my downtown Chicago office after working at home every day for almost exactly four months. It's weird, as I'm once again the only one on the floor, but that will change pretty soon. And I'll still be working from home three days a week.

I did miss the view.

Light posting this weekend

I've already done 8 km of walks this morning, and tomorrow I'm doing another 9. (Tomorrow's will end at Sketchbook Brewing, so I'll be even more motivated.) After being cooped up at home and forced to get my daily steps bundled up like the Michelin Man for a few weeks, I feel a bit liberated. The sidewalks are almost all clear (except for a few buildings whose owners suck, like the Cagan Management-run apartments near me), it's already 8°C outside, and the sky is crystal-clear. Tomorrow we might get a little rain before 9am but the afternoon looks absolutely gorgeous.

Spring hasn't officially begun yet, but it sure feels like it.

Last weekday of the winter

I get to turn off and put away my work laptop in a little bit in preparation for heading back to the office on Monday morning. I can scarcely wait. 

Meanwhile, I've got a few things to read:

OK, one more work task this month, then...I've got some other stuff to do.

Yet more spring-like

Spring in Chicago tends to produce lots of mud. We can already tell this year will produce epic amounts.

The temperature has stayed above freezing for 30 hours now, hitting 8°C just after noon. So far (at O'Hare, anyway) 12½ cm of snow has melted, and will continue to melt until the temperature goes below freezing again tomorrow night.

The water has to go somewhere. The city helpfully creates massive ice dams where sidewalks meet roads, so most of it just pools there. (I'll have photos maybe tomorrow.) Eventually it gets to Lake Michigan, which is nearly half a meter below its record-setting levels from last February, so it's got room.

I'm just glad to have a full day above freezing. We've needed it.

We're out of the freeze

Yesterday's official high at O'Hare, 3°C, was the first since February 4th above freezing. And yet I'm still not satisfied. I think the 45 cm of snow still on the ground may have something to do with it. Or maybe that yesterday morning it was -8°C.

But really, I think the fact that we haven't had 24 straight hours above freezing since January 7th (day's low: 1°C) might also add to the annoyance.

(I'll have more interesting things to post later today.)