The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

It only took three years

When I got home from our Messiah performance yesterday, my car ended up here:

If you don't have International System conversion factors ready to hand, just know that one statute mile is 1,609.344 meters. So right before I got to my garage last night, my car hit 10,000 miles exactly. And how about that average fuel economy? For the luddites, 2.2 L/100 km is about 105 MPG.

If you recall, I bought the car just shy of 3 years ago. So in three years, I've driven about 10,000 miles and filled up the car 12 times with about 350 liters (93 gallons) of fuel for just over $240. That works out to an operating cost of 2.9¢ per kilometer (4.6¢ per mile). Not bad.

Oh, and I also got this shortly after walking in (and walking out and walking back in and feeding her):

Not a bad way to end Messiah week.

Anniversaries

Just two of note. First, on this day 21 years ago, Al Gore conceded the 2000 election to George W Bush. Good thing that made almost no difference at all in world events.

Another anniversary is the one that happens every January 1st to works of art created a certain point in the past. A whole bunch of books, films, and musical compositions pass into the public domain as their copyrights expire, including:

  • The Sun Also Rises and Winnie-the-Pooh, both published in 1926;
  • The works of Louis Armstrong and Jim Morrison, who died in 1971 (except in the U.S.); and
  • All musical recordings made before January 1, 1923.

Have fun adapting!

Tragedy and farce

We're all set to perform Handel's Messiah tomorrow and Sunday, which got noticed by both the local news service and local TV station. Otherwise, the week just keeps getting odder:

And to cap all that off, the National Weather Service has announced a Hazardous Weather Outlook for tonight that includes...tornados? I hope the weather gets better before our performance.

Productive day so far

Having a day off with no real responsibilities gives me the space to take care of some niggling projects I've put off for a while. First, I finished updating a document for the Apollo Chorus that lists every sit and stand cue and every score marking for our Messiah performances. That took about 8 hours altogether.

I also updated my main NuGet packages to .NET 6. As a nice bonus, because of a quirk in how .NET assemblies get versioned, today's release is version 4.2.8000. (I kept the previous release active just in case someone needs it for an existing .NET 5 project.)

Oh, and I've got a pot of stew going that should finish in about an hour. I made a lot of it. I hope it freezes all right. Good thing I have tons of Mason jars. It looked like this at 3½ hours:

Gonna make me sweat, gonna make me groove

In the "how old do I feel now" department for this week, fifty years ago today, Led Zeppelin released their fourth album:

Led Zeppelin‘s fourth album is variously known as Led Zeppelin IVUntitledFour Symbols and Zoso, but its true title is formed by the four unpronounceable symbols chosen by each band member. Page did that to retaliate against writers, including several in Rolling Stone, who’d snubbed the band’s music: “After all we had accomplished, the press was still calling us a hype. So that is why the fourth album was untitled.” He also refused to give any interviews for a period of 18 months.

Thus, one of the best-selling rock albums of all time (23 million copies in the U.S., at last count) was fueled by the bandmates’ resentment; they were victors who felt like underdogs. The gatefold album design had no photos or band information, which was “professional suicide,” one industry expert warned Page, but it only added to the album’s – and group’s – still-enduring air of high-school-hallway mystery.

At first, the essence of Led Zeppelin seemed to be brutality. It was a “very animal thing, a hellishly powerful thing,” in Plant’s words. Then fortuitously, in the next decade, each band member developed his own unique power. Plant added questing lyrics to his high, keening wails of abandon. Page emerged as one of rock’s most adventurous and imaginative producers, and turned out epic guitar riffs like he was an assembly line. Jones played every instrument short of the kazoo, fortifying and expanding the band’s weaponry and arrangements.

Fifty years later, the album still rocks. It's on my playlist for today, right after my 2pm meeting.

A hot time in the old town tonight

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire, which burned for two days and left 100,000 people homeless. But only for a short time; by 1874, when the city had a second big fire, our population had already grown by about that number.

Flash forward to now:

Finally, last night I attended an actual live theater performance for the first time in 19 months, and it was amazeballs. If you live in Chicago, right now you need to go to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater website and buy tickets to As You Like It, which plays through November 21st.

Third Monday in September

Today might be the last hot day of the year in Chicago. (I hope so, anyway.) While watching the cold front come through out my office window, with the much-needed rain ahead of it, I have lined up some news stories to read later today:

And finally, Metallica has an unexpected show tonight at Metro Chicago, about two kilometers from my house. Tickets are $20. I hope people show up for my board meeting tonight.

Lunchtime lineup

It's another beautiful September afternoon, upon which I will capitalize when Cassie and I go to a new stop on the Brews & Choos Project after work. At the moment, however, I am refactoring a large collection of classes that for unfortunate reasons don't support automated testing, and looking forward to a day of debugging my refactoring Monday.

Meanwhile:

And now, more refactoring.