The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

My guy endorses my other guy

I'm glad the guy I was going to vote for (he dropped out hours before I voted) has decided to endorse the guy I did:

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards will endorse Barack Obama tonight at a campaign event in Grand Rapids. The endorsement comes more than three months after Edwards dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination, asking the two remaining candidates to make poverty a central issue of the general election.

And then, in about 250 days and 18 hours, Obama will become the 45th President of the United States.

In other good news, the Chicago Transit Authority has accelerated a major construction project that affects the El stations nearest where I live:

Service on two southbound tracks will resume in late December at the Fullerton and Belmont stations serving the Red, Brown and Purple/Evanston Express lines. ... Work was originally set to wrap up by June 30, 2009, but the CTA decided to spend $1.6 million to expedite the construction schedule, CTA President Ron Huberman said.

Best. BBQ. Ever.

Hat tip to reader TC for the story about last night's unexpected barbeque of 22.6 tonnes of beef ribs on I-80 outside Chicago:

The semi-trailer truck was headed east on I-80 about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and was exiting onto southbound Interstate Highway 294 when a fire started in the braking system, igniting a blaze that consumed the entire trailer, said Master Sgt. David Bird of the Illinois State Police. The driver escaped without injury. The trailer was loaded with about 50,000 pounds of beef ribs, Bird said. He could not say what cut of ribs they were, but added, "There was no sauce."

Now, make them baby-back pork ribs and throw on some KC Masterpiece, and I'd still be eating.

On the bus

I think this is a cool idea:

[Chicago Transit Authority B]uses will make fewer stops—four to five blocks apart. Kiosks will be installed at the bus stops to enable passengers to pre-pay their fares and board quickly once the bus arrives. Technology will be added to some traffic signals to extend green lights for buses running behind schedule, much like the signal-priority equipment that gives the green to ambulances and fire trucks, officials said.

What a nice day

I'm not usually personal in this blog, but a combination of things have occurred over the past 24 hours that feel pretty good.

First, my apartment is done. Done, done, done. The last door was hung on the last doorframe, the last stick of furniture found a good home for itself, the last drop of paint splatted on the wall. Done.

Second—and this is, I'm not kidding, front-page news in Chicago—the temperature hit 21°C today for the first time in six months (it was 27°C on October 21st).

And finally, I believe I've broken a logjam (passed a kidney stone? sailed around the Horn?) at my office.

I will celebrate with beer, a book, and fresh air this evening.

Airfare annoyances

Living in Chicago, air travelers have two easy options: American and United, both of whom have hubs here (United is headquartered here), and both of whom are two of the top-ten airlines worldwide using just about any measurement.

Astute readers will already know both airlines (accidentally just typed "airliens"—Freudian?) have made news lately. American is just getting around to applying an airworthiness directive to its aging MD-80 fleet, and United just announced serious fare increases that American will no doubt follow as soon as they can update their databases.

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Both of them, however, have gone out of their ways recently to demonstrate why we used to have regulated airfares in the U.S. Now, I'm not advocating a return to regulation—in today's dollars, Chicago to Los Angeles would cost around $1,000—but it really irks me that an upcoming trip to Richmond, Va., would cost more than double if I actually flew into Richmond instead of to Washington, even including the $55 to rent a car for two days.

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