The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Happy Saturday!

Only 7 shopping days until Boxing Day! So, what's going on in the world?

And I will leave you with my alma mater's Canine Cognition Lab's kindergarten:

Two weeks left in 2020

We're in the home stretch. We have 14 days until 2021 starts, and 32 days until the Biden Administration takes office. As Andrew Sullivan said in his column today, 2021 is going to be epic. Meanwhile:

And watch this blog for information about the Apollo Chorus of Chicago's final performance of 2020.

First snow in Chicago

I'm looking out my office window at the light dusting of snow on my neighbors' cars, wondering how (or whether) I'll get my 10,000 steps today. My commute to work got me 3,000 each way, making the job tons easier before lockdown. Easier psychologically, anyway; nothing prevents me from going for a 45-minute walk except that I really don't want to.

Instead of a lunchtime hike, I'll probably just read these articles:

And just as a side note for posterity, we should remember that the President of Russia congratulated Joe Biden on his win before the Majority Leader of the US Senate did. The Republican Party must really not like democracy.

Chicago to provide free Covid-19 vaccinations

The city's plan would vaccinate every adult who lives or works in Chicago in 2021:

Initial vaccine doses will be sent to all 34 hospitals in Chicago, city officials said. Health care workers who treat COVID-19 patients or are at high risk for coronavirus spread will be first to receive it, city officials said.

After health care workers, vaccines will be prioritized for a broad group of people including residents and staff at long-term care facilities, individuals at high risk due to underlying medical conditions, people who are 65 and older, and workers in “essential and critical industries.”

Much of the situation remains in flux, officials said, but the city is working through its plans while awaiting federal guidance and vaccines. As the vaccine becomes more widely available, the city will rely on providers including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers and hospitals to help distribute doses.

To help ensure equitable access for Chicago residents, the city also will be using centralized sites such as some City Colleges as mass vaccination sites aimed at health care workers who aren’t based in hospitals, [public health Commissioner Dr. Allison] Arwady said.

Vaccines won’t be mandatory for residents, Arwady said, but as the vaccine rolls out further, she anticipates that some industries such as airlines might begin requiring customers to get vaccinated. She said the city will also be encouraging residents to get vaccinated.

“My goal is to really have done the work to build some of that trust so that this is something that people are feeling excited about as opposed to being a major point of discussion,” she said.

We're finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. But if people keep behaving like spoiled children, we'll all have trouble getting to it.

Mixed news on Tuesday morning

Today's news stories comprise a mixed bag:

Finally, a little sweetness for a cold December day: Whisky Advocate has a recipe for bourbon balls that I hope someone will try and share with me. I'll even supply the bourbon.

Dark and grey in Chicago

December 7th is usually the day when the sun sets earliest in the Northern Hemisphere. In Chicago this evening, that meant 16:20, a few minutes ago. We get back to 16:30 on New Year's Eve and 17:00 not until January 27th. We didn't see the sun today at all, though.

So in the dark gloaming, I will (a) try to get my 10,000 steps for the day, and (b) try to find some fresh-ish basil for dinner.

An unusual house up for landmark status

If you're interested in funky architecture, a modernist house in Galewood that actor Kim Novak won in a church raffle is up for landmark status—and that's not even the strangest part of this story:

Built in 1954 and known as the "Miracle House," the home on Nordica Avenue in the Galewood neighborhood resembles a giant robotic insect sitting on four bent metal legs. Those legs are 36-ton buttresses that support the building and its angled roof and are also exposed indoors as ceiling beams. 

The high-flying roof makes the living room about 30 feet from floor to ceiling and allows for a south-facing wall of windows in the second-floor kitchen.

[Owner David] Scheiner, who has owned the house since 1999, teamed up with Dan Lempa, a preservationist who grew up in a conventional ranch house down the block, to nominate it for landmark status to prevent demolition in the future. It’s not for sale or under threat of demolition now but stands on the equivalent of 6.4 standard city 25-by-125-foot lots.

The house is at 2001 N. Nordica Ave., just west of Oak Park Ave.

Sure Happy It's Thursday

So many things to read at lunchtime today:

Finally, a year ago today I made some predictions about what could happen in the 2020 election. Turns out, "Option C" is true, and we're still waiting to see on a few others.

Welcome to Winter 2020

Winter began in the northern hemisphere this morning, which explains the gray cold enveloping Chicago. Nah, I kid: Chicago usually has a gray, cold envelope around it, just today it's official.

And while I ponder, weak and weary, why the weather is so dreary, I've got these to read:

Finally, if you haven't already heard our first virtual concert, go listen to it. We worked hard, and we gave an excellent performance.

Sunday noon

We've got a day and a half of autumn left in Chicago. Here's what I'm reading on a lazy Sunday:

And finally, new research shows that the pyroclastic flows from Vesuvius in 79 CE turned people's brains to glass. Yummy.