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.
Yep, not flying today. Winds at 31 km/h gusting to 47 km/h.
I let two things slip past me this week:
1. The Chicago Cubs won their 10,000th game Thursday at Mile High Stadium in Denver. (They have since dropped two in a row against the last-place Nationals in Washington.)
2. Yesterday marked 10,000 days since John Lennon died.
That's what my flight instructor said when the weather looked breezy. Tomorrow's forecast calls for 52 km/h gusts, so I might stay on the ground.
Another flight scheduled, another flight cancelled. Welcome to Chicago.
Yup. That was, in fact, an earthquake this morning.
Update: Duh. Today's the anniversary of the Great San Francisco Quake 102 years ago. Holy meaningless coincidence, Batman!
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.
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.
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.
As I woke up this morning to Abby Ryan's traffic report on Chicago Public Radio, I didn't know what to make of this: "...Inbound Stevenson, it's 35; if you're going to Midway all ATA flights are cancelled today because it filed for bankruptcy; the inbound Edens from Lake-Cook, that's 42..."
I'm just imagining what it's like to hear that your company doesn't exist anymore—on the morning traffic report.
Unrelated to that: yesterday's Cubs game started with the first pitch launched onto Waveland Ave. Guess who won.
From Chicago Tribune weather forecaster Tom Skilling:
Chicago's 2007-08 snowfall tally eased above 153 cm Thursday, making it one of only seven season to reach or exceed 60 inches. ... Thursday's 4.3 cm at O'Hare became the city's 43rd day of measurable snow. No season since 1978-79 has recorded more days of measurable (2.5 mm) snow.
Skilling yesterday gave the cheery forecast that the Cubs' home opener Monday will get rained out.
Finally, did you know the U.S. government patented the atomic bomb? This suggests a tactic we can use against North Korea: sue them for infringement! Forget the 82nd Airborne, send the patent attorneys!
Via Evanston Now:
The pension fund TIAA-CREF has closed on its purchase of the 10-year-old Park Evanston rental apartment tower at 1630 Chicago Ave. from the John Buck Company.
The sale price of the 24-story structure—$101,125,000—is reportedly the highest price ever paid for a suburban apartment building.
The transaction late last month brings an immediate real estate transfer tax benefit to the city of $505,625 in what has otherwise been a slowing market for property sales.
This interests me because it's right across the alley from where I'm sitting: