The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

In Chicago, spring lasts 6 hours

At 7am Monday, it was 12°C at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters. By 6pm the temperature had gone up to 26.5°C, then 29.8°C at 2pm Tuesday, then 29.1°C at 3:15pm yesterday, before a cold front finally ploughed through and got us down to lovely sleeping weather right before I turned in:

The slow rise in my indoor temperature from 7am to 5pm was just my normal A/C program, as was the decline when the A/C turned on at 5. Then at 6, I discovered that the cold front had gone through, so I opened the windows.

Overnight, though, this happened:

This did not lead to a restful sleep, but did apparently lead to a backache.

I'm going to leave my windows open out of optimism that the forecast is accurate and today's high will only hit 27°C. But if it's above 25°C at 6pm, I'm giving up and turning on the A/C. I need sleep.

Such is the end of spring in Chicago.

Update, 3:15pm: I tried, man. But after sweating through two meetings and watching Cassie move from the couch to the hardwood flor, I gave up and turned on the AC. Now it's 31.5°C outside and a dry 24.4°C inside:

California

I popped out to San Francisco this past weekend, then had a ton of things to work on today that precluded posting any of these photos.

So, from south to north order, starting with Moss Beach, including a WWII-era anti-aircraft bunker on the left:

Just a short way from there is what used to be a scary section of the Pacific Coast Highway, now a bike trail:

The Powell end of the Powell & Mason cable car, at Market St:

The Ferry Building:

Looking up California St. from Sansomme:

Transamerica Pyramid:

And the MUNI F line at its terminus in North Beach:

Monday morning round-up

According to my Garmin, I got almost 18 hours of sleep the past two nights, but also according to my Garmin (and my groggy head), few of those hours made a difference. I take some of the blame for that, but on the other hand, someday I want to stay in a hotel room where I can control when the air conditioner turns on and off.

Anyway, while I slept fitfully, these stories passed through my inbox:

And finally, good news for the Brews & Choos Project: Lagunitas plans to re-open their taproom later this year.

On the gloamin moors

Gray skies, day 45: they say the sun will come out tomorrow. I would not bet my bottom dollar on that.

In any event, I'll be in San Francisco for a couple of days, where they've had sun on and off for a while, with sun predicted tomorrow and Sunday. Then, if the predictions hold true, I'll come back here Monday in time to throw open all my windows.

We'll see. But I am really sick of the rain and clouds already.

Gloomy spring in Chicago

Last month we had the second-gloomiest April on record, with only 34% of possible sunshine reaching Chicago all month. Normal is 51%.

I realize May is only 34 hours old, but we haven't gotten any sunshine this month, either, with rain forecast tonight, Tuesday night, and Thursday. Then I'm heading to San Francisco for the weekend, where they haven't had any clouds in a while. I could use the sunshine.

Free money!

The Illinois State Treasurer sent out an email blast this week trumpeting the new ICash portal, which enables anyone to search for unclaimed property held by the State. Curious, I ran a couple of searches and discovered that yes, the State has money owed to me or to people whose estates I'm the beneficiary of.

In total, I have four claims to lost property going back to 1999. Three of the people owed this money have died, most recently in 2007. But only one of the three estates has wound up, while the other two remain active trusts. So in order to get the money, I need to find 20-year-old estate documents, establish the identities of all three dead people and my relationships to them, swear out notarized affidavits to all of that, and wait for the State to process the forms.

The total amount owed to me or my ancestors? $185.

So, for approximately $1,000 in copying fees, research fees, legal fees, and postage, not to mention several hours of my time (I charge my good clients more than that per hour), I can recover enough unclaimed property to take a friend to a nice dinner.

If only they had a checkbox for "it's not worth it, let it escheat."

Head (and kittens) exploding!

Leading off today's afternoon roundup, The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman) announced today that Netflix has a series in production based on his game Exploding Kittens. The premise: God and Satan come to Earth—in the bodies of cats. And freakin' Tom Ellis is one of the voices, because he's already played one of those parts.

Meanwhile, in reality:

  • A consumers group filed suit against Green Thumb Industries and three other Illinois-based cannabis companies under the Clayton Act, alleging collusion that has driven retail pot prices above $8,800 per kilo. For comparison, the group alleges that retail prices in California are just $660 per kilo. (Disclosure: The Daily Parker is a GTI shareholder.)
  • Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D), one of the indirect defendants in the pot suit, signed a $46 billion budget for the state that includes $1.8 billion in temporary tax relief. Apparently, I'll get a $50 check from the State that I can apply to the $600 increase in property taxes Cook County imposed this year, which is nice, but I think the state could have aimed a bit lower on the income cap for that rebate and given more help to other people.
  • Shortly after US District Court Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle (a 35-year-old who never tried a case and who graduated summa cum mediocrae laude from the legal powerhouse University of Florida just 8 years ago and earned a rare "not qualified" rating from the ABA upon her appointment in 2020 by the STBXPOTUS) ruled against the CDC in a case brought by an anti-masker, the DOT dropped mask mandates for public transport and air travel in the US. In related news, the Judge also said it's OK to piss in other people's swimming pools and up to the other swimmers not to drink the water.
  • While the Chicago Piping Plovers organization waits for Monty and Rose to return to Montrose Beach, another one of the endangered birds has landed at Rainbow Beach on the South Side. He appears more inclined to rent than buy, but local ornithologists report the bird has a new profile on the Plōvr dating site.
  • NBC breaks down the three biggest factors driving inflation right now, and yes, one of them is president of Russia. None, however, is president of the US.
  • Along those lines, (sane) Republican writer Sarah Longwell, who publishes The Bulwark, found that 68% of Republicans believe the Big Lie that the XPOTUS won the 2020 election, but "the belief that the election was stolen is not a fully formed thought. It’s more of an attitude, or a tribal pose." Makes me proud to be an American!

And finally, via Bruce Schneier, two interesting bits. First, a new paper explains how a bad actor can introduce a backdoor into a machine learning training session to force specific outcomes (explained in plain English by Cory Doctorow). Second, an attacker used a "flash loan" to take over the Beanstalk crypto currency voting system and stole $182 million from it. Because Crypto Is The Future™.

The artist and her work

Cassie has spent the last two weeks creating found art out of one of my area rugs. Yesterday the "found" part got too much for me and I let the rug go. Pity, too; I won it at a silent auction for $300 only in 2016, and neither Parker nor Cassie tried to destroy it until this spring.

Here's Cassie's final expression of the piece. Note not only the center section, which Cassie exfiltrated from the house a small bit at a time, but also the left edge, where she expressed a more compelling feeling of the interplay between organic lines and straight edges: