The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Found a note on my car

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon, this Sunday, will box me in unless I have the foresight to park outside the race course before then. I'm not sure what to do about Parker, either; there are a couple of underpasses from where I live to the park, but it looks like from the time we wake up until about noon Sunday we're not going to go very far.

The weather should be really good, though possibly a little warm. Good luck, runners!

High-speed rail in the Midwest

Chicago is finally getting high-speed rail service:

The ambitious project proposed for the Midwest would cover 3,000 miles in nine states. All lines would radiate from a hub in downtown Chicago. The cost of a fully completed Midwest network is estimated at almost $8 billion.

Travel times of almost 5½ hours on Amtrak's route between Chicago and St. Louis would be cut to 3 hours and 49 minutes on a high-speed train, according to preliminary estimates.

In the past year, more than 501,000 rides were taken on Amtrak's Lincoln Service route between Chicago and St. Louis, a 284-mile trip, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. Some 1.2 million rides a year would be taken when the route is served by high-speed trains, according projections by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Imagine if we'd invested in this infrastructure five years ago, or even ten? Or forty years ago, as France did?

And the Alpha shall be Omega, bleat like a goat, and add another digit to the sign

I hope every Cub who failed to get a hit in the series gets fired.

I also hope TBS disappears in a puff of finance.

I am not happy at all, and my dog, who doesn't understand what 100 minutes looks like let alone 100 years, does not understand why I am yelling at my TV.

The best team in the NL just got swept by a team that didn't even have enough wins to make the wild card. Why? Who knows. Who cares. Fire the lot of them.

My only consolation is, we may have crappy sports teams, but the next President will be a Chicagoan.

Why I don't watch television

I'm forced to watch TBS while the Cubs are in the playoffs—at least until I'm forced to watch (shudder) Fox—so I'm seeing TV ads ("commercials" in the vernacular) as if anew.

Aside from the NLDS being brought to us by erections, I'm trying to wrap my mind around Gillette running ads in favor of their new 5-blade razor by trashing their existing 3-blade razor. I happen to use their 3-blade razor. I think I could probably make do with two blades, or even one; but seriously, five? And why trash your own product to sell your new product? (By the way, I hate all-Flash sites. I want steak, not sizzle, which I think makes me un-Mercun.)

And if I have to see one 60-something dude waggling his eyebrows at his wife again while another 60-something dude extols the virtues of hard-ons...that doesn't bollocks. That's almost enough to want the NLDS to end already.

Playing like Cubs

How is it that the team with the most wins in the league faces a team that ended four games over .500 and then falls apart? It's just sad. You'd think in a hundred years someone would figure out why the Cubs can't win the pennant.

It can't be October

Why? Because both the Cubs and the White Sox are still playing baseball. Chicago's minor-league team on the South Side won a 1-run game against Minnesota to clinch the American League Central Division last night to the total underwhelm of those of us who live north of Roosevelt Road. They now get to play the Tampa Bay Rays, starting tomorrow afternoon.

I have to concede there is some history here. The last time both teams played in the post-season, the Cubs beat the White Sox in the World Series—the 1906 World Series.

Tonight: Game 1 of the National Leage Division Series at Wrigley Field, 5:30 pm CDT. Eamus Catuli!

National League Division Series

The Cubs lost to Milwaukee today, giving Milwaukee the wild-card and the Cubs home-field advantage on Wednesday against the Dodgers. I'll miss a good hunk of the second game, as it's against the Vice-Presidential debate Thursday (unless they schedule a day game). I sincerely hope that the Dodgers play no better than they did all season (4 games above .500 at this writing; their final game is in progress), but of course the Cubs winning the division series at home on Tuesday wouldn't be too awful.

O, thou Cub, thou cruel band

At the first Cubs game I went to the season, the very first pitch wound up on Waveland Avenue. The Brewers won that game 8-2, and we Cubs fans figured that was a foretaste of the entire season.

Well, the Brewers lost last night, and the Cubs' magic number fell to 1 (against the Brewers). Except that yesterday, the Cubs hosted St. Louis, who got a grand slam in the 1st which pretty much set the stage for the game. Final scoreboard:

Let's look at that close-up:

Well, it's likely they'll clinch the division today. They can't possibly lose two in a row against St. Louis, can they?

Cubs beat Brewers in 12; Magic number now 2

'Nuff said. That it went to extra innings disturbs me only a little. I'll be at the game against St. Louis tomorrow afternoon, but I won't see them clinch; the earliest that can come is at the end of Milwaukee's game at Cincinnati tomorrow night.

Also, the 2009 schedules are up. The Cubs open in Houston on April 6th. No word yet on when tickets go on sale.

Update: The Trib has the story of today's game.