The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Posting in the future

I'm setting this to post overnight so I can read these things tomorrow morning:

  • President Biden published an op-ed in Saturday's Washington Post, laying out the necessary steps for ending the Gaza war, with the nuance, sensitivity, and command of the facts we should expect from any President.
  • Robert Wright lays out the history of Hamas, with particular emphasis on how American and Israeli meddling shaped it into the awful group of people it has become.
  • Josh Marshall points out that "the day after" the Gaza war looks pretty bleak, because (a) Netanyahu has no reason to plan for something he doesn't want in the first place; (b) none of the Palestinians' "allies" want to get involved in Gaza; (c) the US and the UK, which could potentially occupy the strip until it can stand on its own, really can't for lots of obvious reasons; and (d) Hamas has every reason to prolong the war as long as it can.
  • Former first lady Rosalynn Carter died at 99. James Fallows, who worked for her husband in the White House, has a remembrance.
  • Bloomberg City Lab explains the design and social history of London's Mansion Block apartment buildings.

Finally, if you come across a mostly-empty parking lot this coming Friday, post a photo of it with the tag #BlackFridayParking to raise awareness that we have way too much parking in the US. Maybe it can nudge policymakers towards necessary zoning and parking minimums changes to help us get out of the urban planning disaster of the 20th Century?

Four medium walks = one big walk

As planned, my urban-hiking friend and I walked just under 21 km for four beers. She timed the entire trip, and I timed each segment, so we know that the total was 3:24:55 over 20.73 km, just about where we expected to be:

(Note that she uses the obsolete Imperial system of measurements and I use the International system, so the lap markers on her track are miles. Ugh.)

Her Garmin course isn't public, but mine are:

We had a really good day. The temperature stayed right around 10°C, so it felt a little cooler when the sun went down, but by that point we'd just arrived at Temperance.

If Metropolitan were staying open, and if Alarmist were anywhere near a train station, I'd rate them both "Would Go Back" in the Brews & Choos List. Alas.

Metropolitan has a beautiful taproom and patio right on the river:

And Alarmist has some delicious beers:

For part of the trip we walked along the Weber Spur Trail, a relatively recent and not-yet-improved former rail line through the Sauganash neighborhood:

Today I felt a bit tired, but in a good way. We did have one extra beer at Sketchbook, but we got 10-ounce pours where available, and we shared the flight pictured above (and the extra 5-ounce pour not shown).

So what's next? Holidays, unfortunately. But we're hoping for a very mild El Niño winter this year, so we might do another beer hike sooner than one might think.

Sunny Sunday walking

This may be the last warm (enough) weekend of 2023, so once more, I'm planning to go for a long walk. This time we plan to start at Metropolitan Brewing, which will close for good in 5 weeks. We then proceed up the river to Burning Bush, thence 8.5 km northwest to Alarmist, thence 7.5 km northeast to Temperance in Evanston. At that point we'll either head north to Double Clutch (2.4 km), or east to Sketchbook (2.7 km). Both Double Clutch and Sketchbook are along the Metra line that goes right past my house, so that's easy enough.

None of these will get a new Brews & Choos review, though. Even if Metropolitan weren't closing, it's too far from a train station (1.8 km from Belmont); so is Alarmist (2.7 km from Forest Glen). Sketchbook and Burning Bush are both on my Top 10 list, and Temperance and Double Clutch already have "would go back" ratings. But my walking buddy hasn't been to any of them except Sketchbook. So I'm game to go back.

I plan to get a couple of Brews & Choos visits over the next two weekends: next Friday or Saturday in Chicago, and the following week in the Bay Area.

Walk highlights and photos tomorrow or Tuesday. New reviews soon.

Long day

I have tickets to a late concert downtown, which means a few things, principally that I'm still at the office. But I'm killing it on this sprint, so it works out.

Of course this means a link dump:

I promise to write something substantial tomorrow or Saturday. Promise.

Quickly jotting things down

I hope to make the 17:10 train this evening, so I'll just note some things I want to read later:

Finally, Molly White looks at the ugly wriggling things under the rocks Sam Bankman-Fried's trial turned over: "Now that Sam Bankman-Fried has been convicted in one of the largest financial fraud cases in history, the crypto industry would like people to please hurry up and move on. The trial is over, and it’s just so dang inconvenient that Bankman-Fried so publicly ruined the general reputation of an industry rife with scams and frauds by making it seem as though it is an industry rife with scams and frauds."

In other news...

Despite the XPOTUS publicly declaring himself a fascist (again), the world has other things going on:

Finally, Google has built a new computer model that they claim will increase the accuracy of weather forecasts. I predict scattered acceptance of the model with most forecasters remaining cool for the time being.

Hop Butcher for the World

Welcome to stop #88 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Hop Butcher for the World, 4257 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Train line: CTA Brown Line, Montrose
Time from Chicago: 33 minutes
Distance from station: 1.1 km

Named after the opening line in Carl Sandburg's "Chicago," Hop Butcher for the World took over Half Acre's Lincoln Ave. facility last January. It took me a while to visit because they're so close to my house that I wanted to walk over, but they don't allow dogs. Boo.

So Friday evening, a friend and I had dinner a couple blocks away on Lincoln Ave., and decided to get a beer after. My friend had two 5 oz. pours and I had a single 10 oz. pour, so we got to try three.

The brand-spanking-new barrel-aged Lincoln Anniversary Stout (12.5%) hit pretty hard, with a sweet and malty body and a strong alcohol feel. My friend, who knows more about beer than I do, said the alcohol covered up some "technical issues," and didn't recommend the beer; I thought it was OK. The Dees, Dem & Dose IPA (6.75%) had a nice, hoppy, clean flavor, with a good finish, but also a slightly sweeter palate than I would expect. I had the Grid APA (5.75%), with good Citra flavors and a very drinkable balance.

(My friend later clarified her opinion of the Anniversary Stout: "I don't remember saying I wouldn't recommend the stout. I wouldn't give it 5 stars, since that alcohol heat can cover up technical issues and isn't my preference, but the alcohol heat is also somewhat inevitable in beers with ABVs over 12%. A lot of people like the alcohol flavor, but I don't. I also don't like it when breweries use sugary add-ins to cover it up, which Hop Butcher didn't do in this one.")

Unfortunately, I can't fully recommend the taproom. It's loud, as it was when Half Acre lived there, with hard cement walls and nothing on the floor or ceiling to mitigate the sound. The Atlantic complained about this phenomenon five years ago. And since they don't allow dogs, I wouldn't just walk over there with Cassie on a weekend afternoon.

Beer garden? No
Dogs OK? No
Televisions? None
Serves food? No, BYOF
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Maybe
Would go back? Maybe

Seasonal, sunny, and breezy

We have unusual wind and sunshine for mid-November today, with a bog-standard 10C temperature. It doesn't feel cold, though. Good weather for flying kites, if you have strong arms.

Elsewhere in the world:

  • The right wing of the US Supreme Court has finally found a firearms restriction that they can't wave away with their nonsense "originalism" doctrine.
  • Speaking of the loony right-wing asses on the bench, the Post has a handy guide to all of the people and organizations Justice Clarence Thomas (R) and his wife claim have no influence on them, despite millions in gifts and perks.
  • NBC summarizes the dumpster fire that was the XPOTUS and his family lying testifying in the former's fraud sentencing hearings.
  • Alexandra Petri jokes that "having rights is still bewilderingly popular:" "Tuesday’s election results suggest that the Republican legislative strategy of 'taking people’s rights away for no clear reason' was not an overwhelming success at the ballot box."
  • Earth had the warmest October on record, setting us up for the warmest year in about 120,000 years.
  • Could the waste heat from parking garages actually heat homes?
  • John Scalzi has a new film review column for Uncanny Magazine, with his first entry praising the storytelling of the Wachowski's 2008 Speed Racer adaptation.

Finally, Citylab lays out the history of San Francisco's Ferry Terminal Building, which opened 125 years ago. I always try to stop there when I visit the city, as I plan to do early next month.