Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Friday 6 October 2006
First, a correction: Parker probably didn't weigh 10.9 kg (24 lbs) on Wednesday, because today he only weighed 10.2 kg (22.5 lbs). This is still half a kilo more than last week, and a total gain of 3.5 kg (5.5 lbs) in five weeks, but it does throw off Sean's calculations a trifle. Second, Parker had some more play time at the dog park this afternoon, even though he met a bully.
Friday 6 October 2006 14:18:21 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#

Paul Krugman (sub.req.) points out that the record Dow closing comes at a very high price to most Americans:

Should we be cheering over the fact that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has finally set a new record? No. The Dow is doing well largely because American employers are waging a successful war against wages. Economic growth since early 2000, when the Dow reached its previous peak, hasn't been exceptional. But after-tax corporate profits have more than doubled, because workers' productivity is up, but their wages aren't—and because companies have dealt with rising health insurance premiums by denying insurance to ever more workers.

Also, I apologize to readers who want more political posts. The fact is, the Greedy Old Party (GOP) are hanging themselves right now, and while I'm feeling a little Schadenfraude for them, I don't think I can add much. The election is in 32 days. Let's see whether the voters in close Republican districts understand that the Republican Congress hasn't helped them and won't.

Friday 6 October 2006 11:14:19 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Politics#
Thursday 5 October 2006
Parker gets more comfortable at the dog park every day, but he still has a ways to go. Then again, maybe I'd be apprehensive if a 60 kg (130 lb) rottweiller were chasing me. I don't know if I'd hide under a picnic table, though.
Thursday 5 October 2006 14:26:15 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#
Wednesday 4 October 2006
I weighed Parker this morning and discovered he's put on some weight. Since September 1st he's gone from 7.7 kg (17 lbs) to 10.9 kg (24 lbs), a 41% increase in 33 days. At this rate he'll exceed the volume of the Universe in just a few months.
Wednesday 4 October 2006 08:28:26 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#
Tuesday 3 October 2006

When we got Parker just over a month ago he was timid, to say the least. He would whine and whine if one of us left the room, apparently not realizing that we were still part of his life or that he could just follow us into the other room. He was terrified of cars zooming down our block. The first time I tried to take him for a walk, a runner came towards us; Parker got so spooked that he yanked the leash out of my hand and retreated behind a neighbor's bushes. He couldn't negotiate the stairs on our back porch, so we'd have to carry him up and down.

A few weeks ago, I led him to the dog park across the alley. A few dogs ran toward him and he hid behind the dumpsters outside of our back fence. The dogs had him cornered on two sides. The horror!

These days, Parker isn't afraid to be in a room by himself or even the back yard by himself, and he runs up and down the steps like a pro. And today, since I'm working from home and it's possibly the most gorgeous October day you could imagine, I decided to try the dog park again.

I'm happy to report that Parker made two new friends: Rocky, a huge, slobbery ten-year-old Golden Retriever who can bark loudly even when he's holding a softball in his mouth, and Cocoa, a sixtyish-pound four-year-old of indeterminate breed. Parker sniffed and let sniff, he ran towards the dogs at least as frequently as he ran away from them, and he only occasionally took refuge under the swingset when Rocky, who outweighs him probably 6:1, got too personal.

Not only am I proud of the little guy, but I'm grateful to the big guys for tiring him out.

Tuesday 3 October 2006 14:49:18 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Parker | Weather#

A passenger at Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee got detained by the TSA last week because he insulted the TSA's director:

A Wisconsin man who wrote "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on a plastic bag containing toiletries said he was detained at an airport security checkpoint for about 25 minutes before authorities concluded the statement was not a threat.
Ryan Bird, 31, said he wrote the comment about Hawley—head of the Transportation Security Administration—as a political statement. He said he feels the TSA is imposing unreasonable rules on passengers while ignoring bigger threats.
A TSA spokeswoman acknowledged a man was stopped, but likened the incident to cases in which people inappropriately joke about bombs. She said the man was "a little combative" and that he was detained only a few minutes.

I recommend everyone write "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on their toiletries bags. Sadly, though, the TSA will still spend billions protecting us from shaving cream without actually making flying safer.

(Thanks to Anne for the article.)

Tuesday 3 October 2006 09:29:12 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation | Politics#

The WBEZ-Chicago Website has just published my Dusty Baker photo. Cool!

Tuesday 3 October 2006 09:06:25 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Cubs | Blogs#
Isn't he sweet? Notice, if you will, two things: First, this is what he looked like after going on a rampage that involved two rugs, a paper bag, and every hand and foot in the house. Second, in the lower right, you can see a hole in the blanket. Three guesses who put the hole there.
Tuesday 3 October 2006 08:53:30 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#

CNet raises an interesting problem: what happens if you die without telling anyone your passwords? It could be a real problem for your heirs:

"He did not keep a hard copy address book. I think everything was online," said [San Francisco poet William] Talcott's daughter, Julie Talcott-Fuller. "There were people he knew that I haven't been able to contact. It's been very hard."
"Yahoo (his e-mail provider) said it wouldn't give out the information due to privacy laws, but my dad is dead so I don't understand that," she said.

One solution is to use a secure password storage facility, like Bruce Schneier's Password Safe, and then put the master password in trusted escrow like a safe-deposit box or your attorney's office. Of course, you'll have to keep up with this, because you'll change your master password at least every three months, right?

Tuesday 3 October 2006 08:38:17 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Security#
Monday 2 October 2006

Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Observant Jews will spend the day in shul, but of course they will have to walk there since it's a high holiday. Humor, however, is permitted. Therefore, if you're Jewish, today you can pun but you can't ride.

Monday 2 October 2006 10:28:24 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Jokes#
The Cubs did, in fact, win yesterday, but so did the Pirates, which ensured the Cubs would end at the bottom of the National League with 96 losses. That's one shy of the number of seasons the Cubs have played since their last World Series win in 1908. Management hasn't yet fired Dusty Baker—that should come this afternoon—but I believe this was his last trip back from the mound as Cubs manager.
Monday 2 October 2006 10:19:02 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cubs#
Two-for-one today. First, yesterday Parker had some play time with our downstairs neighbor's dog Jackson. All of us, including our neighbors, hope they play together more often, because both dogs were tuckered out and slept like angels the rest of the day.
Monday 2 October 2006 10:09:34 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#
Sunday 1 October 2006

Today is the Apple Cider Century, which I am not riding today because of the late unpleasantness. At this writing (noon in Three Oaks, Mich.), it's 15°C (59°F) with light West winds and nary a cloud to be found. Perfect riding weather.

Sigh.

Tomorrow and Tuesday are supposed to be beautiful as well. Tomorrow morning I meet with my surgeon for my post-op follow-up, and perhaps he'll declare me fit enought to ride again. If so, I'll at least get to spin a little on the last warm day of the year.

Sunday 1 October 2006 11:00:44 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Biking#

A friend of mine who works for Tribune Co. invited me to today's Cubs game.

It's going to be pretty intense. The Cubs have fought valiantly since mid-May for their rightful place in the National League Central division, and it all hangs on today's results. At this moment the Cubs are where they want to be. But if the Cubs can pull it out today, and if the Pirates lose, then the Cubs will have failed to win the bottom slot in the league.

Yes, seeing that big "E" next to the Cubs' entry for the past two months has really made baseball come alive in Chicago, but you have to admit: 96 losses in a season is impressive. Not as impressive as the Royals' clean century, but still impressive. Today could be loss #97, which is only one fewer than the number of years since they last won the World Series.

I'll have photos of the game, and another Daily Parker, tomorrow.

Sunday 1 October 2006 07:36:14 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cubs#
Friday 29 September 2006
He knows he's being bad. He just can't help it.
Friday 29 September 2006 14:09:30 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Daily#
Thursday 28 September 2006

Anne found this really cool link to a live webcam pointed at an African watering hole. Or maybe it's CSPAN, given the number of baboons on display.

Thursday 28 September 2006 10:03:06 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cool links#
Our fur-covered pirhana sometimes attacks objects by category, like yesterday's "things that oppress the puppy" spree.
Thursday 28 September 2006 08:08:01 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | 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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