The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

There's no place like home

Especially when you're not at home and you get to read about it:

The National Weather Service had issued a tornado watch earlier today for much of northeasten Illinois, but cancelled it as of 3:10 p.m. The watch is still in effect for Lake and Will counties in Illinois and Jasper, Lake, Newton and Porter counties in Indiana until 7 p.m. tonight. The agency says hail up to 1 inch in diameter, with wind gusts up to 60 m.p.h., could be part of the storm that affects the area. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

Oddly, though, it was warmer in Chicago today (15°C) than in San Francisco (12°C). Still, I'm happy to be here and not home while all that is going on.

At least the days are getting longer

So, never mind the worst housing news in a generation, the coming impeachment of our governor by his own party, and another sports team preparing to break our hearts, we have gotten both kinds of lovely weather in the past two days, with more coming:

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF NORTH CENTRAL ILLINOIS...NORTHEAST ILLINOIS AND NORTHWEST INDIANA.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT.

SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO FALL OFF AND ON THROUGH WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON. THE SNOW WILL MIX WITH SLEET SOUTH OF U.S. 24 THIS AFTERNOON WITH SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN GRADUALLY SPREADING NORTHWARD TONIGHT... SNOW AND SLEET MIXING WITH OR CHANGING TO FREEZING RAIN WILL POSSIBLY REACH AS FAR NORTH AS THE NORTH SHORE AND NORTHWEST CHICAGO SUBURBS AND DEKALB BY DAYBREAK WEDNESDAY MORNING. TOTAL SNOW AND SLEET ACCUMULATIONS BY DAYBREAK WEDNESDAY MORNING WILL RANGE FROM 2 INCHES SOUTH OF U.S. 24 TO NEAR 6 INCHES IN FAR NORTHERN ILLINOIS.

ALSO...ICE JAM RIVER FLOODING WILL REMAIN POSSIBLE THROUGH TONIGHT...PARTICULARLY ON THE KANKAKEE...FOX...ROCK...AND KISHWAUKEE RIVERS.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY.

SNOW WILL CONTINUE ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL AND FAR NORTHEAST ILLINOIS WEDNESDAY MORNING...WITH MIXED SNOW...SLEET...AND FREEZING RAIN ACROSS THE CHICAGO METRO AREA SOUTHWEST TOWARD PEORIA.

It's not as bad as it seems; the National Weather Service always shouts like that. But it does make one think, which is worse: -20°C, or 15 cm of snow? I'll let you know after I experience the joy of O'Hare tomorrow.

You know you're a Chicagoan when...

...the temperature goes from -20°C all the way to -16°C and you feel warmer.

I'm going to San Francisco later this week—a place about which Mark Twain said "The coldest winter I ever experienced was a summer [there]"—and I'm looking forward to the weather.

Happy winter!

Despite the snow covering Chicago for the past few days, winter officially began with the solstice this morning at 6:04. To celebrate, the weather changed overnight. I forgot what -21°C felt like until taking Parker out a few minutes ago. Even he wanted to go right back inside.

In Chicago, we say our weather builds character. I'm starting to think, maybe I have enough.

I forgot to mention the wind chill: -35°C with 34-knot winds. Yummy.

Update: On our noon walk, poor Parker made it half a block before his paws started to hurt. He likes cool weather, but even this dog, with his double fur coat, has his limits.

He shall fight them on the beaches...

The best governor we have right now shall never surrender:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today he "has done nothing wrong" and will not resign in the face of federal corruption charges.

"I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath," he said. "And I'm not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob."

Blagojevich, however, did not get into the specifics of the political corruption charges he faces, saying he's "not going to talk about this case in 30-second sound bites ... on the TV news."

The governor went on to quote from the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling....

Stunning. His approval rating is within the margin of error of zero, and he thinks he's still serving the people of Illinois? Is he deluded or just stupid?

New Scientist: Smart soldiers die faster

A British government study found that smarter Scottish soldiers were more likely to die than dumber ones in WWII:

The 491 Scots who died and had taken IQ tests at age 11 achieved an average IQ score of 100.8. Several thousand survivors who had taken the same test - which was administered to all Scottish children born in 1921 – averaged 97.4.

A previous study found a fall in intelligence among Scottish men after the war, and at the time Deary's team theorised that less intelligent men were more likely to be rejected for military service. The new study appears to refute that suggestion. Men who didn't serve were more intelligent than surviving veterans, and of equal intelligence to those who died.

In related news, our governor, who still hasn't resigned, has announced a press conference today at 2pm.

Sun Times columnist: Let's bribe Blagojevich to leave

Har:

Just how much money do you think it would take to persuade Blagojevich to get the bleep out of the way?

I'm serious. Big corporations do it all the time. They've got a screw-up executive in the way, and they need to make a change. To save time and trouble, they pay him to get lost. It could be worth a try.

Would a year's salary do the trick? Probably not, but he'd have to give it serious thought.

In all seriousness, I've often wondered how my life might be simpler were I sociopathic. The best governor we have right now suggests that the unexamined life might not be so bad after all—at least, until the inevitable move to Duluth.

The downside of Chicago

Today's National Weather Service forecast:

Today: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 28. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph.

Tonight: Snow and sleet, becoming all snow after midnight. The snow could be heavy at times. Temperature rising to around 31 by 4am. Breezy, with a east southeast wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Friday: Snow and sleet, becoming all snow after 9am. High near 33. Breezy, with a northeast wind between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Continuous updates on my other site.