The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Holding America hostage

Fallows justly slams Rep. Eric Cantor (R-OH):

A petulant demonstration to the rest of the world that we can't meet the baseline obligation we expect of any two-bit duchy -- that it will face its financial problems and honor its sovereign debt -- would be a big, damaging step in the wrong direction. Good for John Boehner in recognizing that more than his own ambitions are at stake here. If the default actually comes, and markets panic, and interest rates for everything shoot up, keep the courageous Rep. Cantor in mind on that day.

Every once in a while, it would be nice if the Republicans in Congress did their jobs.

It was windy

Last night Chicago got hit by severe storms that included hurricane-force winds:

Violent storms raked large sections of the Chicago area Tuesday evening, knocking power out to nearly a quarter million Chicago area residents and transforming some thoroughfares into darkened obstacle courses, hard to navigate with streetlights out and debris, ranging from large trees to power poles and garbage cans, impeding if not entirely blocking travel. Police in some of the hardest hit areas were forced to light flares to mark fallen trees.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing transformers exploding at the height of the storms while others described some neighborhoods as "war zones" after the onslaught of storms.

... The storms generated gusts as high as 130 km/h at Wheeling and 120 km/h at Peru, Elmhurst and Wheaton.

I was inside, as you can imagine, as the storms ran over my part of the city, with horizontal rain and, well, lots of wind. At one point I watched the groundskeepers at US Cellular Field blown around as they tried to get the tarp over the infield.

Ah, global warming.

Photo of the Day

On the James River, just downstream of Richmond, Va.:

1 February 2003, Kodak DC4800 at ISO-140, -1 EV, 1/90 at f/3.4, 11mm, near here.

This came from from my old Kodak DC4800, which I mentioned yesterday. Like yesterday's, it looks great on the blog at 500x750, but it doesn't have much more resolution than that, and Adobe Lightroom helped it along a little.

Summertime and the living is sticky

Summer begins today at 12:16 CDT, which is good because I'm tired of this 32°C spring weather.

My objection to the past three months of Chicago weather probably sounds familiar: we've either had too little or too much heat, and during warm afternoons, when someone might want to sit outside and have a beer, we've had instead crashing rain. Today's forecast sounds just like that, too.

On the other hand, it beats this...

Marriage in New York

Sullivan raves about how New York's political leaders in both parties have made gay marriage a real possibility this year:

It's a BFD because it doubles the number of Americans with the right to marry the person they love, even if they are gay. That is one hell of a fact on the ground. It will almost certainly help in California. It will reveal even more profoundly that this does not mean the end of civilization, but is, more prosaically, a modest reform to strengthen the family, integrate the marginalized and enlarge our moral universe. And it cannot now be undone.

Fingers crossed.

Photo of the Day

The Guggenheim Museum, 31 December 2000:

ISO-100, 1/125 at f/4, Kodak DC4800, 12mm, taken here.

I mentioned a while ago that only with my Canon 7D have I gotten digital images with about the same resolution as film. Even though I made this photo on a 3Mpx camera, I shot it at 1536x1024 because I had, I think, a 64 MB card in the camera, which could hold only about 300 shots. Still, the shot looks decent enough at Web resolutions.

I spent part of the weekend organizing photos from the last decade in Adobe Lightroom. From late 2003 to 2006 I used a Nikon E2100, a little throwaway camera, and I almost cried comparing its photos to the Kodak DC4800's (like the one above) and photos from the Canon SD400 that followed it. The lack of resolution and exposure control gave me more than two years of photos with less quality than shots from most modern mobile phones.