The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

You know, I don't really like these entries

My to-do list today only has 14 items on it, of which 6 are checked off already. The actual time it will take to accomplish the remaining eight items varies between 20 minutes (laundry, tonight, essentially a fire-and-forget activity) and four hours (Staging release of the Holden Adaptive Platform).

So, once again, I'm going to shove a bunch of articles to my Kindle:

Now to do the next few things on my list...and watch the thunderstorm outside my office window.

Emanuel wins; so does my alderman, maybe

It looks like I went .500 yesterday in voting for mayor and alderman.

Rahm Emanuel won his runoff against Chuy Garcia:

With near-complete totals in, Emanuel had just under 56 percent of the vote, narrowly topping the 55.28 percent he received four years ago in first winning the office. He had 315,545 votes to 250,773 for Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who got enough in February to force Emanuel to a runoff. Emanuel's 55.72 percent of the vote may rise slightly in coming days as thousands of mail ballots arrive and are counted.

My alderman, Michele Smith, also appears to have won her runoff, but it's very close and not all the ballots are in yet:

With about 96 percent of the precincts reporting,Smithwas leading with 50.4 percent compared to Caroline Vickrey with 49.6 percent.

That left two remaining precincts whose votes were not in as of late Tuesday as well as absentee ballots that will be counted in the coming weeks.

No surprises, then, though I suspect Smith might feel a little jittery. Ward races rarely go to runoffs, let alone to runoffs decided by 100 votes. I'll keep my eye on this.

To-do list lengthening, day remaining same size

In the reading queue:

Did I mention that DUKE WON?!

Chicago runoff election

Today is the runoff election in Chicago between Rahm Emanuel and Chuy Garcia:

"This is a big election, with clear choices," Emanuel told reporters at a Lakeview campaign office, with a backdrop of volunteers calling potential voters. "There's a lot at stake for the city of Chicago."

Defending his Democratic credentials, Emanuel pointed to backing from some elements of organized labor, his support for raising the minimum wage and having real estate developers set aside money for affordable housing.

"That is what people are voting for, they're voting for the basic things that they want for their families, their neighborhoods and their communities," said Emanuel, who added, "Yes, my name's on the ballot. That's also true, 'Chuy's' name is on the ballot. But what's on the ballot is Chicago's future. That's what's on the ballot."

I was in and out of my polling place in six minutes. It took five minutes and 30 seconds to check in, get my ballot, and go to a booth; 3 seconds to make two marks on the ballot (one for mayor, one for alderman); and the remaining 27 seconds to slide my ballot into the ballot box. Remarkably, I didn't have an undervote this time: I actually voted for 100% of the offices on the ballot. (Sometimes, though it pains me to say it, I skip the dozens of judicial retention votes.)

I'll have an update tomorrow. I don't think the election will surprise anyone, though.

Long walks and avoiding Opening Day

Parker and I walked about 10½ km yesterday, resulting in plenty of sleep and (probably) sore paws for both of us. We also got caught in a pneumonia front, in which late-afternoon cooling stops driving a land breeze and allows denser, cooler air from the lake to spread outward over the shore. Temperatures dropped from 18°C to 9°C in twenty minutes—unfortunately, the 20 minutes coinciding from our farthest distance from home. This bothered Parker a lot less than it bothered me, owing to his two fur coats, but fortunately I had an extra layer available. And I walk fast.

I also stayed away from Opening Night at Wrigley, the first regular game of the baseball season, in which the Cubs got their asses handed to them by the Cardinals 3-0. (They went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, too. Great work, guys.) The New York Times called the game "beginning their 107th year of waiting for a World Series title." Sounds about right.

Mary Norris on grammar

My first real Euchre tournament is coming up in a little more than two hours, so I'm preparing by doing exactly what I would do anyway: listening to Weekend Edition. The last guest was Mary Norris, copy editor at The New Yorker, who has written Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen:

On the best way to become a good user of English

Well, a person should read. And read, and read. Preferably good things. I might suggest The New Yorker, for instance ... [Henry James] is a wizard, the master! Yes, they don't call him the master for nothing.

I might have to read the book. I'll put it right next to Lynne Truss' Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters is moving

I didn't post this yesterday for obvious reasons.

I've just executed a lease on a new place about 5 km northwest of where I live now. I'm extra-special-happy that I won't have to move a whole damn server rack, but not especially happy that I'm renting the new place because I can't yet sell my current place. At least, not for an amount that would make me extra-special-happy.

The new apartment is twice the size and has probably double the electricity bill of my current place. It also has lots of east and west light, a huge kitchen, and a separate room to house the IDTWHQ.

Parker also got to see the place and he approved, particularly because it's only one flight up instead of three, and he's pushing nine years old. (Fortunately he didn't mark it as his own; that would have been a problem.)

Possession is slated for June 15th. Updates as conditions warrant. And if anyone is interested in a cute 1-bedroom vintage walkup in Lincoln Park, email.

Stranger than satire

It appears that not everyone realized yesterday's post about RFRA was an April Fool, possibly because shortly after I posted it both Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson backpedaled:

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson told lawmakers on Wednesday to revise a bill that rights activists and U.S. businesses said allowed discrimination against gays, and home-state corporate giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc praised his action.

Indiana's governor a day earlier said lawmakers should fix a similar Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). After it was enacted last week, the state was hit with protests, threatened boycotts and warnings from powerful U.S. firms of pending economic damage for being seen as standing against U.S. ideals of inclusion.

Note that both Hutchinson and Pence were upset with the political response to their states' bills, not to the obvious discriminatory aspect to them following Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. Both the SCOTUS decision and the RFRA bills (as a collective) passed since then are bad law. But read the GOP's backpedaling carefully: to them, that's a feature, not a bug. They're just surprised anyone objected.