What a great way to wake up. The Cubs have moved into first place. Only by half a game...but still, it's a nice way to wake up.
The Chicago Tribune on one of the worst divisional contests in recent memory:
It could be the worst divisional race in recent memory, but someone has to win the National League Central. The Brewers blew an 8 1/2-game lead, the Cardinals are coming out of their midsummer funk and the Cubs are turning into the Cubs with another mini-meltdown after two straight months of winning baseball. What's in store for the Not-So-Big Three the rest of the month that Lou Piniella said would separate the boys from the men?
It's really kind of sad, actually.
After falling 3% yesterday, followed by the Nikkei and the European indices, the Dow dropped another 1.5% within minutes of opening today.
Don't say nobody warned us: we've just started a serious economic correction, which, if history is any guide, will turn seriously ugly in October. I think once the President (529 days, 3 hours) said we had sound economic fundamentals, he might as well have written "MENE MENE TEKEL PARSIM" on the podium.
In happier news, the Cubs pulled within a half-game of the Brewers last night.
The Cubs and Brewers continue to lose games, so the Cubs remain one game back in the NL Central. The ickle Cardinals won yesterday, so they're creeping up, and are now only five games behind the Cubs. We could be looking at a real horse race this year, at least until the Cubs, Brewers, or Cardinals (or some combination thereof) choke. September will be interesting...
After attending the ALS fundraiser (i.e., Lou Gehrig Day at Wrigley Field) last night, I decided to sleep past the normal play-group time and take Parker to day camp instead. Several bits of good news in this: first, the Les Turner ALS Foundation raised butt-loads of cash; second, even though the Cubs lost, so did the Brewers, so the Cubs are still only one game out of first place; third, Parker gets to hang out all day with his friends; and fourth, said hanging-out will make Parker sleep most of tomorrow when he's back here.
The only bad part is, of course, no office puppy today. Sad.
The Cubs lost yesterday, but so did the Brewers, which keeps the Cubs in first place. Crazy.
Parker is fast asleep on my office floor, which is the first he's stopped panting since waking up this morning. Poor guy doesn't have sweat glands, and it's going to be another sticky day in Chicago, with heat indices approaching 38°C.
Perhaps the unpleasant heat has led the Cubs into first place. Yes, somehow, slowly, steadily, yea even stealthily, they have ticked up more wins than losses and last night surpassed the Milwaukee Brewers to sneak into the top spot.
Let's see if they're still there when I attend Lou Gehrig Day this Sunday...
A coyote hanging out at Francis Cardinal George's mansion got away from Chicago Animal Control on Monday. Repeatedly:
The wild animal played hide-and-seek with police officers and later the Animal Care and Control team for more than five hours. The last three hours were spent chasing the coyote back and forth from baseball fields at Lake Shore Drive and LaSalle Street to the yard of Cardinal Francis George's residence at North Avenue and State Street.
The coyote seems to have sought sanctuary recently on the mansion's grounds. The nuns at the residence said they were not bothered by the coyote, which they say gets rid of the rabbits that ravage their garden.
Yes, they get rid of rabbits, which have surged in Chicago since West Nile started killing all the crows a few years ago. (Crows eat rabbit kits as hors d'oeuvres.) So why bother the coyote?
"It doesn't make sense," bystander Mahlon Canete said after the coyote whipped past him. "They're chasing him with a van. That was embarrassing."
Shortly after the officers abandoned their hunt Monday, the coyote made its way to the middle of the cardinal's yard and lay down for the first time in hours.
I'll be participating once more in the Les Turner ALS Foundation's annual Walk4Life, this year on September 8th. You can make donations to my mom's team through CharityWeb.
Here's the text of my mom's letter:
As you all know, on March 17, 2004, I was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a fatal neuromuscular disease that attacks motor neurons. It makes even the simplest movements of walking, speaking, and gesturing nearly impossible. No one knows its cause; there is no cure.
Today, I can no longer live on my own. I have wonderful caregivers who help me with everything—from getting me out of bed in the morning, to putting me into bed at night. I can no longer speak clearly or type, so communication has become much more difficult. Even so, I am so very fortunate to have family and friends whose patience, care, and senses of humor keep me from despair. I have felt so cared for and cared about that "thank you" is hardly adequate.
Once again, I will be rolling along on the Walk4ife this September 8th to raise money for the Les Turner ALS Foundation. The money is used to fund Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Lois Insolia ALS Center for research at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to find the cause of, and a cure for, the disease.
Donate and walk. Parker will be there, too.
Apparently there will be a series of bike races just outside my office window on July 22.