The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Walking across the country

I just listened to a This American Life segment by Andrew Forsthoefel, a 23-year-old from southeastern Pennsylvania who walked across the U.S. for a year. Fascinating.

He wound up, after walking 6,000 km, in Half Moon Bay, Calif., about 800 m from my family's house. I have to say, if I were to walk across the U.S., I'd want to wind up in Half Moon Bay, too.

What a start to this kid's life. I'm looking forward to hearing more from him.

Slammin' SAML

After a lot of really difficult work and evaluating a half-dozen 3rd-party libraries, I've finally gotten a round-trip between a local ASP.NET application and SalesForce. This is the first victory in two big battles against the SalesForce integration model I've been fighting for the last two weeks.

The next hurdle will be to get the SalesForce API to accept my application's SAML assertion after the user is authenticated. I really have no idea how to do that yet—and no one I've spoken with knows, either.

Still, this was a good way to end a long work-week. And soon: pizza.

Pizza politics

OK, Papa John's, you're out of the doghouse. Sort of.

About six months ago, Papa John's CEO John Schnatter speculated about cutting worker hours to avoid some of the Affordable Care Act's requirements. As a direct result of this, I joined the millions of other Americans in a quiet boycott of the chain.

It's unfortunate. They make the best pizza in their category (cheap and delivered). I mean, of course I'd rather have a thin, wide, gooey slice from some nameless deli on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at 2am. But for the last six months, on those rare occasions when I've had a craving, I've ordered from Domino's, who really aren't much better on the political side. I suppose I could order from Ranalli's, which used to be right around the corner (and allowed dogs on the patio).

Anyway, I actually like Papa John's pizza. I think six months may be long enough for this round. Schnatter seems to have learned his lesson. And he still makes decent, cheap, fast pizza.

<strike>Honey Badger</strike> Tom Ricketts Don't Care

I find it fascinating when someone whose entire brand rests on its association with a particular place makes this kind of threat:

"I'm not sure how anyone is going to stop the signs in the outfield," Ricketts said upon the unveiling of drawings of his renovation plan, "but if it comes to the point that we don't have the ability to do what we need to do in our outfield then we're going to have to consider moving."

Ah, yeah. "Consider" moving. Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom scoffs:

Look, if you’re going to play the move card, then play it like you mean it. Ricketts didn’t. He came off like a guy who wanted nothing to do with those words in any order. It was done so weakly, in fact, that I’m surprised there wasn’t closed-captioning.

I can see how people got the wrong idea, though. Supporters were thrilled to have Ricketts hint even slightly that he knew how to play politics. Nope. Sorry. Not happening.

The only place anyone might believe Ricketts could move the Cubs today is Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the Cubs actually won last night, putting them only three games behind the 4th-place team. We can't even give our tickets away at this point.

Wrigley Field renovations redux

Crain's has details this morning about what Ricketts wants to build at Wrigley:

Two weeks after the Cubs and city officials announced a "framework agreement" on a $500 million renovation of Wrigley Field and development of its surrounding property, the team has released images of its plans, which include a 6,000-square-foot jumbotron in left field and a horizontal 1,000-square-foot advertising sign in right field as the framework outlined last month.

With the images now complete (you can see them below and on Crain's Tumblr page here), the Cubs later today will formally file their planned development application with the city's Plan Commission, the first step in what could be a months-long public process to get approval for the entire project.

The huge Jumbotron in left field (below) probably won't happen exactly as Ricketts wants; the other stuff, including the hotel across Clark Street, probably will.

The long night of Dale Sveum

We went to last night's game against the Padres at Wrigley. It just never seemed to end:

After trailing 8-0, the Cubs rallied some with home runs from Luis Valbuena, Starlin Castro, David DeJesus and Cody Ransom. But [Cubs starter Edwin] Jackson put them in too deep of a hole to escape, and most of the crowd had departed by the seventh inning of the 3 hour, 28 minute game.

We stayed the whole game, though. The weather was gorgeous: 27°C with a few high wispy clouds, with a stiff breeze out of the south. The wind accounts for the high score; so does the Padres going through their entire lineup—with a lagniappe—in the fifth.

Here's the season so far; let's see if the line moves up at all in the next 136 games: