That's the 10th St. Beach in Miami Beach, Fla. As I write this the sun is coming up over Lake Michigan. It's just 20°C (36°F) colder there, is all.
Today's Chicago Tribune asks, "Who needs Florida?":
Balmier days are forecast to continue in Illinois over the next few days, a result of warmer air masses flowing in from the west and southwest and the effects of an El Nino year.
While no records are being broken—back in 1876 it was 65°F (18°C) on Jan. 2—temperatures in coming days are expected to remain mercifully above the historic average high of about 30°F (-1°C).
I find this funny because I'm sitting in shorts and a polo shirt by a pool surrounded by palm trees, a light 24°C (75°F) breeze cooling my sandal-clad feet, looking at Chicago's weather report, which tells me it's 1°C (33°F) back home—with a wind chill of -4°C (25°F).
I really can't answer the question "who needs Florida," but I can say the weather's a lot better here than in Chicago.
...there was Eliza:
I got my first camera in June 1983. Now, more than 23 years later, I'm scanning all the old slides and negatives. It's a little trippy. I keep finding things like this photo of the pet gerbil I had back then.
I've also found a whole bunch of documentary shots around Northbrook, Ill., where I grew up. I'll re-shoot some of these at some point and post some then-and-now views. Here's a preview: the LP stacks at the Northbrook Public Library. They were still about two years from their first CD player.
I haven't really formed an opinion on Sen. Obama's office giving an internship to the son of a guy who gave $10,000 to the 2004 campaign. I'm not really surprised, nor do I really think it's a big deal. I've got a sort-of meta-concern about it, because I think it presages the kinds of stories we'll have to read every week after Obama announces he's running for President.
Perhaps I've just got a typical native Chicagoan's indifference to petty nepotism. I'm wondering if this hints at a deeper connection with Rezko that will come out closer to the primaries next Winter. Or if, as it appears from the pro-Obama camp, this looks more like Rezko trying to get in with Obama, who in turn sensed the danger and kept Rezko at arm's length.
I'm sure we'll hear more about it over the summer.
This morning Parker hit a couple of huge milestones. First, as of today we've had Parker for three months. That's, what, almost two dog years? And my how he's grown:
And then, almost in celebration of the anniversary, Parker's universe changed overnight, causing at first some consternation, then glee. This morning Parker saw snow for the first time:
Anne reported that he first wouldn't go near it, then he probed it with his paw. At that moment there was a thunderclap, which rattled him. But after only a minute or two, he decided that it was kind of like the beach, and besides, he really had to go, so in he went.
All of this comes about because the first major snowstorm of the season has hit Chicago. By 6:00 CT (1200 UTC) we had 51 mm (2 in) of snow on the ground; now we have about 100 mm (4 in), and the storm still has more to dump on us. Here's the most recent radar image, clearly showing the center of the low off to our east, which means we've got stiff (30 km/h, 18 mph) north winds blowing snow down our necks:
Those of us old enough to remember the snowstorm of 1 December 1978 feel a little apprehensive. That day we got about 150 mm (6 in) of snow, followed by another 2.3 meters (90 in) over the next three months. The shopping center near my house had snowpiles as late as May 1st. This winter could easily be like 1978-79, because all the same conditions could exist: warmth, moisture, and a jet stream that stays just south of us.
In any event, Parker and the few stalwarts (Dexter, Louie, and Key) who showed up to the park this morning will have a lot of fun this winter. Anne and I will be picking up some extra gloves and long underwear just as soon as we shovel the car out.
Update: Anne, who quite justifiably is working from home today, just reported that Parker not only got to see snow for the first time today, but now he's seeing fire for the first time. Perhaps she'll send a photo?
The weather this weekend has obviously helped the CTA. Already by 9 this morning they had almost completed the Church St. viaduct replacement:
Also, a few days ago I posted a photo of the ivy on our building. Two days later, the leaves had fallen. Before and after:
Must be autumn.
The CTA is replacing a 102-year-old viaduct in Evanston this weekend. I think the process is kind of cool. They started Friday evening and they'll finish Monday early in the morning, in time for the Purple Line to take people to work. I suppose it helps that they have an extra hour to work tonight.
This is the result of their first 15 hours or work:
And here's the "before" picture (from mid-August):
I always get a little nervous when the bridge is held up by chicken-wire.
Congratulations to Anne's home-town team, the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the World Series against the team that the Cubs last played for the same title. As a Cubs fan, I had some difficulty rooting for the Cardinals (the teams' rivalry goes back to the beginnings of professional baseball in the 1880s), but since the Tigers are in the American League I managed to do so.
Also of note to St. Louisians, it was on this day in 1965 that engineers completed the Gateway Arch.
Cintas, a uniform company (they make and launder uniforms for nurses, security guards, etc.), has decided to follow a DHS proposal—it doesn't have the force of law—that encourages employers to fire workers who have Social Security-number mismatches or in other ways fail to re-verify that they are authorized to work in the U.S. The effect of this action will be to intimidate immigrant workers, legal or not, and help them keep their payroll costs down.
The thing is, this is none of the company's business. The affected workers may have legal problems with the IRS or with ICE, but for all practical purposes this doesn't affect the company one way or the other. I don't think Cintas can make a straight-faced claim that the legal status of a minimum-wage seamstress or launderer threatens their business. On the other hand, if their workers worry that in addition to having an expensive and frightening experience with Immigration they also might lose their jobs, they'll be a lot less likely to agitate for a living wage or safe working conditions.
One of my long-standing clients, a labor-rights organization, has documented so many of Cintas' anti-worker policies (starting with poverty wages) that this is really only the latest, not the worst. So if you ever have to rent uniforms for your business, don't use Cintas.