The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Karmic balance?

The Bears going to the Superbowl has caused a ripple effect through Chicago karma.

I first noticed it on the train this morning. Ordinarily, an express train picks up almost a full load of people at the stop right before mine, then whisks them to the Loop, allowing the local train that follows three minutes later to pick all of us up without making us sit on each others' laps. Today, the express train apparently followed the local train, so by the time the local got to me, we were sitting on each others' laps. (It's not as fun as it sounds, actually.)

Then, it turns out I am in total agreement with a well-written statement by—wait for it—Pam Anderson:

Anderson, a staunch animal-rights activist and a vocal member of PETA, has blasted KFC for its treatment of chickens and has been part of a long-standing campaign on behalf of the feathered critters. “Honoring a man whose legacy involves breaking animals’ bones and scalding animals to death in defeathering tanks is contrary to the values of most compassionate citizens, and I hope that you’ll deny KFC’s request,” Anderson wrote in a letter to Postmaster General John E. Potter. “How about another Elvis stamp instead?”

I hope the Postmaster General agrees as well.

I'll be looking for other karmic re-balancing today, which means I'll probably find it. And I'm wondering what will happen if the Bears win on February 4th?

Today's Daily Parker

When I took this photo, Parker weighed just over 10 kg (22 lbs):

He's grown since then, about another 10 kg worth, until last week. Apparently he's leveled off at 21 kg (46 lbs), which makes him a perfectly normal German Rat Beagle:

I thought he would get to 22.5 kg (50 lbs), but maybe not. Regardless, he's just the right size.

The Economist on Windows Vista

Good, detailed summary of the economics and business aspects of Microsoft's latest operating system:

For years Microsoft's Windows logo often appeared against a blue sky with cottony clouds. But the cloud has become one of the company's biggest threats. The operating system matters less when programs can be provided online. Moreover, online software can be delivered to customers more cheaply, there is immediate feedback from users and applications can continually be improved. Those are big advantages over software sold in a box, one version at a time.
In the past Microsoft tied its operating system and applications together by “commingling” the code (and ran afoul of antitrust authorities for doing so). The rise of online applications threatens the primacy of Windows because the network becomes the platform for the software. It does not mean PC operating systems are unnecessary, just that it is increasingly the cloud, and not the PC, that is the launch pad for computing.

Today's Daily Parker

My caption: "October 23. Parker helps with the laundry."

I can only imagine his caption, but I'd bet it would mention a huge pile of chew-toys.

I like Ike

It's worth remembering what President Eisenhower said in his farewell address, on this day in 1961:

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

If you don't study this speech, you might get involved in a land war in Asia, which, as even Vizzini knew, never ends well for anyone.

How do you pack for the trip?

I've seen some rough cold fronts, but in the last 24 hours the folks in northeast Wyoming have had a doozy. Here's the latest U.S. temperature-change map from Unisys:

The temperature in Gillette, Wyo. (right near the big "L" on that map above), fell from 6°C (43°F) at 5pm local time (00:00 UTC) yesterday to -19°C (-3°F) at 4pm (23:00 UTC) today, a rather alarming drop of 26°C* (46°F). Let's not forget the wind chill: with 26 km/h (16 mph) winds, it feels like -31°C (-21°F). At that temperature even Parker's big Labrador friends might stay home.

Astute readers may notice that the ball of fun on the map is headed east, which promises to make this weekend in Chicago a good one to sit by the fire and open the door only enough to let the dog out (regardless of what the neighbors think).

* This is correct; all the numbers are rounded, so the integer math doesn't work right.