We have gloomy, misty weather today, keeping us mostly inside. Cassie has let me know how bored she is, so in the next few minutes we'll brave the spitting fog and see if anyone else has made it to the dog park.
All right, off to the damp dog park.
The wind shifted abruptly just before 6pm last night by my house, bringing with it a remarkable drop in temperatures. I live about 1½ km from Lake Michigan, which (with Lake Huron, hydrologically the same body of water) is the second-largest fresh-water lake in the world. In the summer, it keeps Chicago cool. In the winter, it keeps Chicago warm. In the spring, it keeps Chicago paying attention to the weather forecast.
Exhibit 1, temperatures near O'Hare at 6pm yesterday. Note the 13.3°C gap between Chicago and Wheeling, which are just 13 km apart:
Exhibit 2, when the cold front finally reached O'Hare around 8pm:
One tends to notice when the temperature drops 15.6°C (that's 28°F for you philistines out there) in less than an hour.
In other news, after tying a record high temperature yesterday (30.6°C, tied with 1986), today my home office is actually quite comfortable.
Endangered piping plovers Monty and Rose have returned to Chicago's Montrose Beach for the third year running:
The pair of endangered, migratory Great Lakes piping plovers have been spotted at Montrose Beach, the couple’s preferred mating ground for their third straight summer. The female Rose was discovered near the beach and natural dune area Sunday, while Monty’s presence at the North Side lakefront park was confirmed Monday afternoon, local birder Bob Dolgan said.
“It’s very exciting,” Dolgan said. “There are no guarantees when birds are traveling 1,000 miles. Hopefully this is the start of another successful summer for the birds.”
The bird couple has successfully nested along the beach for the last two years. Their first effort to nest at the beach resulted in a conservation effort, which caused beach volleyball games to be relocated and a music festival to be canceled.
Last year, the birds had the beach free of human interaction, as much of Chicago’s lakefront was off-limits during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
But this year’s effort could be aided by the Chicago Park District’s recent decision to expand the plovers’ favored nesting grounds.
Earlier this month, the Park District approved a plan to add just over three acres of Montrose Beach to the adjacent Montrose Dune Natural Area. The beach’s easternmost portion — which Monty and Rose have chosen as their yearly nesting and foraging ground — has been absorbed into the natural area.
Monty and Rose, sittin' in a tree...or on the ground...whatevs. Nice to have them back.
Bit of a frustrating day, today. I spent 2½ hours trying to deploy an Azure function using the Az package in PowerShell, before giving up and going back to the AzureCLI. All of this to confirm a massive performance issue that I suspected but needed to see in a setting that eliminated network throughput as a possible factor. Yep: running everything completely within Azure sped it up by 11%, meaning an architecture choice I made a long time ago is definitely the problem. I factored the code well enough that I can replace the offending structure with a faster one in a couple of hours, but it's a springtime Sunday, so I don't really feel totally motivated right now to do so.
Lest you worry I have neglected other responsibilities, Cassie already got over an hour of walks and dog park time today, bringing her up to 10½ hours for the week. I plan to take her on another 45-minute walk in an hour or so. Last week she got almost 14 hours of walks, however. I blame the mid-week rain we got.
I also have a 30-minute task that will involve 15 minutes of setup, 10 minutes of tear-down, and 5 minutes of video recording. I will be so relieved next fall when all of our chorus work happens in person again.
Before I do that, however, I'm going to go hug my dog.
I've been coding most of the day because it has rained since 1pm. I'm getting very close to a series of posts on what I've been working on the past few months, so stay tuned.
It's the warmest day of 2021 so far, up to 21°C at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, so basically I'm just in between Cassie walks. (She's gotten two hours already today, including half an hour at the dog park.) Tomorrow it may be cooler, but still 16°C by mid-afternoon.
So, posting may be light this weekend.
A few articles caught my attention this week:
Also, I'm just making a note to myself of Yuriy Ivon's rundown on Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB, because I'm using it a lot more than I have in the past.
Most parts of the US and Canada entered daylight saving time overnight, spurring the annual calls for changing the practice:
The so-called "Sunshine Protection Act of 2021" was reintroduced Tuesday by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, R-Florida; James Lankford, R-Oklahoma; Roy Blunt, R-Missouri; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; Ron Wyden, D-Oregon; Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Mississippi; Rick Scott, R-Florida; and Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts.
In 2018, Florida passed legislation to keep DST, but a federal statue is require for the state to enact the change, according to a press release from Rubio.
The "Sunshine Protection Act of 2021" would apply to states who participate in DST by negating Standard Time, which only lasts between November to March, when Americans turn their clocks back one hour.
Of course, as one would expect from Marco Rubio and the august institution he serves in, abolishing daylight saving time fixes the problem exactly the wrong way. Permanent DST would lead to dark winter mornings for no real benefit winter evenings. Abolishing it makes a lot more sense. Cartographer Andy Woodruff built an app to demonstrate why. Simply, if you like the idea of 8:20 am sunrises in Chicago—which means 9:15 am sunrises in western Michigan—then make DST permanent. I say no.
Wall clock time doesn't really matter, anyway. The world runs on UTC.
Update: I forgot to include Binyamin Applebaum's op-ed in the Times from Friday, exhorting us to "learn to love daylight saving time."
Chicago got up to 21°C yesterday, tying the record for March 9th set in 1974. It's already 20°C right now, close to the record 22°C set in 1955.
In other news:
And now that I've finally gotten a .NET 5 application to deploy onto a Microsoft Azure Functions App, I will take a well-earned walk.
I'm back in my downtown Chicago office after working at home every day for almost exactly four months. It's weird, as I'm once again the only one on the floor, but that will change pretty soon. And I'll still be working from home three days a week.
I did miss the view.