Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Sunday 21 June 2009

Two unrelated topics in one post? Preposterous. Unacceptable.

And yet.

First: my previous post reflected the difficulties in typing on a tiny G1 keyboard, which magnified the annoyances in maintaining a blog in the first place. Two entries disappeared after unintentional finger sweeps, and don't even get me started on the difficulties of adding an actual hyperlink from my phone. On the other hand, I can post from my phone, which I find so cool it makes me giddy. I do feel like someone living 80 years ago complaining about air travel: yes, ocean liners are more comfortable, and yes, the thing makes a lot of noise, but wake up: you can get from New York to London in one night. At some point the coolness overcomes the annoyance, and a new technology goes critical.

Second, if you're either (a) unaware of the unfolding news from Iran, or (b) not following it on Sullivan, you need to do both. This is what Democracy looks like. I'm more and more hopeful that Iran will prevail, and its unelected dictatorship will fall. It won't look like the U.S., the U.K., or any other European-style democracy, but possibly before the end of this summer, Iran will have an elected leader, and a legitimate government, for the first time in 30 years. There will be a terrific cost, but again: the Iranian people will, ultimately, win this.

I think Thomas Jefferson put it better than I ever could:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Wear green this week if you agree.

Sunday 21 June 2009 18:28:35 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | World | Cool links#

I was going to post about the virtues of the Cubs and the T-Mobile G1, but the latter revealed its limitations while I used it to extol the former. Suffice to say: Cubs won, G1 tied, and it's time to go inside.

Sunday 21 June 2009 17:47:14 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cubs | Cool links | Weather#
Friday 19 June 2009

The Chicago Reader has another article on the Chicago Parking Meter Debacle, this time examining who got rich off it:

Not only did William Blair advise the city on the deal—it came up with the idea in the first place. Then it provided the city with the only estimate it ever received of what the system was worth and coordinated the bidding process.

Two other financial services firms and three law firms were brought in to assist. All were given no-bid contracts for the work, and all appear to have political or personal ties to the Daley administration (which is not unusual for the way the city of Chicago does business).

The financial advisers were each paid a share of what the city made in cash on the lease deal. William Blair received 0.375 percent of the payout, or about $4.3 million, according to records obtained from the city through a FOIA request. The others, Gardner Rich and Ramirez & Company, each received 0.0625 percent, or $722,813. The attorneys’ fees added up to another $1.3 million. All told, the city paid its legal and financial advisers more than $7 million for their work on the deal.

Yeah? So where's mine?

Friday 19 June 2009 09:21:26 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Politics#
Thursday 18 June 2009

Oh, good game. Very good game. It looked grim until the bottom of the 8th, when the Sox gave up a 4-run lead as the Cubs tied it up. Then Alfonso Soriano earned his paycheck today with a game-winning RBI in the 9th.

I also have to say, my new phone is so friggin' cool, it can do this (after the jump)...

Thursday 18 June 2009 17:10:37 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cubs | Cool links#

Chicago mayor Richard Daley has possibly committed the city to an enormous public expense for the 2016 Olympic Games:

Faced with losing the 2016 Summer Games to competing cities offering full government guarantees, Mayor Richard Daley made an about-face Wednesday and said the City of Chicago would sign a contract agreeing to take full financial responsibility for the Games.

In a worst-case situation, such as severe cost-overruns or a catastrophic event, the agreement could leave taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars or even more, a scenario Chicago's bid team acknowledges but insists is far-fetched.

Um...in what universe are cost overruns on a Chicago public works project "far-fetched?" The Tribune's editorial board wonders who's really on the hook:

The mayor's spokeswoman, Jacquelyn Heard, says...[t]he financial commitment...will fall on the Chicago 2016 committee, the group that's organizing the city's bid.

Well, hold on a minute. If the Olympics lose money, the IOC wants somebody to pick up the cost. So if the Games are a bust and the losses blow through the public and private guarantees, the Chicago 2016 committee will pay the rest of the tab?

How? By taking up a collection among its members?

I'm beginning to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis...

Thursday 18 June 2009 10:40:58 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Politics#
Wednesday 17 June 2009

...against the White Sox at Wrigley. Which, believe it or not, is more humiliating for them than the revelation that Sammy Sosa tested positive for steroids in 2003.

Neither of these things, you understand, is a surprise.

Wednesday 17 June 2009 16:54:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Cubs#
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)  |  | Daily#
Monday 15 June 2009

Not me, this morning. Him:

He must have had a decent flight, too; the weather here today is almost June-like. (Photo after the jump.)

Monday 15 June 2009 15:08:24 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | US#

Parker has slept soundly most of the day after he and I walked up to Ribfest yesterday. The round-trip took us about 2 hours (not including stops) and 12.8 km.

More after the jump.

Monday 15 June 2009 11:58:41 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Kitchen Sink#

Photos and reviews of Ribfest tomorrow morning. Right now, though, I'm all about the novelty of updating TDP from my phone. Also tomorrow, I'll explain why this is a bigger deal than it seems.

Sunday 14 June 2009 20:43:53 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Security#
Saturday 13 June 2009

The Guardian is reporting riots in Tehran following reports that the Iranian election monitors have declared yesterday's election fraudulent:

Iran is facing political turmoil after hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was confirmed today as the winner of the presidential election and outraged supporters of his chief rival took to the streets to protest against a "dangerous charade" after a record 85% turnout.

Tonight riot police in Tehran faced thousands of angry demonstrators shouting "death to dictatorship" amid shock and confusion after the official result backed Ahmadinejad's claim to have won, made barely an hour after the polls closed on Friday night.

...Ahmadinejad's crushing and contested victory by 63% to 34% is a grave setback for hopes for a solution to the crisis over Iran's nuclear ambitions and for detente with the US now that Barack Obama is seeking dialogue with Tehran. Israel immediately reacted to the news by demanding intensified efforts to stop Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.

Is Iran heading for civil war? And what's Israel's reaction going to be?

Saturday 13 June 2009 14:12:58 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | World#

Chicagoans: you haven't imagined it. This has been the coolest June on record, though the forecast calls for a warm-up this coming week:

The cloudy, chilly and rainy open to June here has been the talk of the town. So far this June is running more than 12°F cooler than last year, and the clouds, rain and chilly lake winds have been persistent. The average temperature at O'Hare International Airport through Friday has been only 59.5°F: nearly 7°F below normal and the coldest since records there began 50 years ago.

It's also been wet. Very wet. So far this year we've had 499 mm of rain, 35% above our normal 369 mm, with more falling as I write this.

Welcome to East Seattle.

Saturday 13 June 2009 08:32:26 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Chicago | Weather#

I upgraded from a Dash to the T-Mobile Sidekick XL 2009 today. I'm returning it tomorrow.

I need three things from a SmartPhone, all of which my 2-year-old Dash has:

  1. Access to email, through POP3.
  2. Synchronization with Outlook.
  3. Web browsing.

It does #3 incredibly well. Sadly, though, despite 90 minutes with two different support people at T-Mobile, I can't get #1 or #2. The support CSRs didn't know why, but I figured it out, and I have to say even if I explained to them they still wouldn't know.

(More after the jump.)

Friday 12 June 2009 21:06:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Business#
Friday 12 June 2009

First, it's interesting to see young voters partying down on election night in Iran. Second, did you know about the 32 polling places in the U.S. where Iranian citizens can vote? Third, here's a helpful chart from the Beeb explaining how Iran is ruled:

Friday 12 June 2009 13:37:07 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | World#
On this page....
Explanation of previous post; Why you need to read Sullivan
Not the intended post
When $1 billion changes hands, someone gets rich off crumbs
White Sox at Wrigley
I've got a bad feeling about this...
Cubs lost
Happy birthday, Parker
Leisurely flight down the lakefront
Seriously loving the G1
Between Iraq and a Hard Place
Coolest June ever, so far
Why I'm returning my new 3G phone
Iranian elections
The Daily Parker +3620d 15h 27m
Whiskey Fest 17d 18h 17m
My next birthday 327d 07h 41m
Parker's 10th birthday 246d 21h 47m
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is the Chief Technology Officer of Holden International in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
All content Copyright ©2015 David Braverman.
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The Daily Parker by David Braverman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License, excluding photographs, which may not be republished unless otherwise noted.
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