The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

A side benefit of moving

Can you tell when I moved from a first-floor walkup apartment into a 3½–story townhouse?

I figure, Cassie has about 7 years of climbing stairs in her. We're both going to have much stronger legs (though only one of us needs them).

Lunch reading

I'm starting to adapt my habits and patterns to the new place. I haven't figured out where to put everything yet, especially in my kitchen, but I'll live with the first draft for a few weeks before moving things around.

I'm also back at work in my new office loft, which is measurably quieter than the previous location—except when the Metra comes by, but that just takes a couple of seconds.

I actually have the mental space to resume my normal diet of reading. If only I had the time. Nevertheless:

Finally, does anyone want to go to New York with me to see a play about Robert Moses starring Ralph Fiennes? Apparently tickets are only $2,000 a pop...

The war on chaos continues

I've unpacked all but one of the rooms in my new house:

Yeah, but this is the "one room:"

It's supposed to rain on Sunday, so what better day to unpack all those books?

Cassie, for her part, only cares that I unpacked her smelly old blanket:

So many boxes

Today's theme song is U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," but I know it's somewhere in the new house...

Unpacking proceeds apace. Last night we were both exhausted and we both had trouble falling asleep. We also both wanted pizza, though Cassie didn't know she wanted it until I brought it into the house.

Back to unpacking. I actually have to work tomorrow, so I need to get at least half my life out of chaos tonight.

شاش سگ

I learned a new phrase in Farsi today: zag shusheet! It means "dog piss." And I learned it from the man who will clean and repair the two early-20th-century rugs that my mother left me.

I also learned the Farsi for "chewed edge," but I didn't write that one down.

And how much will it cost to restore the two rugs that my darling Cassie has in so many ways defiled? $2,400.

Fortunately the work will take a couple of months (Eli has a backlog), so I've got some time to dock her allowance. And our new house has multiple floors, so I can isolate her from the two rugs whenever I leave the house.

(Note: the rugs in question are legit antique Persians worth restoring. The rug Cassie destroyed last spring was not.)

This punim is the only thing that saved my zag today:

Laptop for sale; gently used

One of Inner Drive Technology's old laptops—actually, the most recently purchased—can be yours along with a few accessories for only $300:

That's a Dell E6440 laptop with 12 GB of RAM and an Intel Core i7 2.4 GHz processor. It has a 97 W/h battery, and I'm including a docking station, 130 W power supply, and a DVI cable to connect the docking station with a monitor. It does not have a hard drive or software. (I originally had a 512 GB SSD. It'll take a standard 3½-inch laptop drive.)

But hey, $300? I've seen just the laptop advertised online for $200-250, so with all this extra stuff, why not?

As an added incentive, here's a photo of Cassie fast asleep on my lap Tuesday night:

Last warm day in this house (I think)

The temperature outside has hit 19°C, so I've just opened 26 of the 30 windows in my house (the other four are behind furniture and hard to reach). Because I'm moving in about three weeks, and because the forecast says a cold front will come through mid-day tomorrow, I expect that when I close most of the windows tonight they'll stay closed as long as I live here.

Still, with all that sun and warm air on the other side of those open windows, it's time to take Cassie out.

Almost as long as a Mahler symphony

Wow, yesterday went on a bit. From getting on the bus to Peoria to getting off the bus back in Chicago, I spent 18 hours and 20 minutes doing something connected with the Peoria Symphony's performance of Beethoven's 9th yesterday. I think it went quite well, and I expect they'll ask us back the next time they do a huge symphonic choral work.

Right now, Cassie has plotzed completely after two nights in boarding, and I need to figure out what I'm eating this week. So I'll post something more interesting later today.

In the meantime, enjoy this Saturday Night Live bit that will challenge even the most attentive English speakers throughout the former colonies:

Where to go in cooler weather

Go hiking!

It’s not “purple mountains majesty” for hiking, Jason King knows, but Illinois, Indiana and southern Wisconsin, are not without charm — they’re free, they’re close, their trails are uncongested and they offer a solace and beauty all their own.

“I love Illinois, I’ve lived here all my life. If you like simplicity, if you like the feel of the wind blowing through the trees … there’s no place better,” King said.

One of King’s favorite solo hikes to “get the world behind me” is about 90 minutes away from Chicago near Gary, Indiana, in the little-used western part of Indiana Dunes National Park. The Paul H. Douglas center is currently closed but the namesake trail (1) winds through Miller Woods and across the Grand Calumet River. It was named after the Illinois senator who helped make the Dunes a national park. It’s a moderately challenging 3.5 miles out and back, partly through sand dunes — which make it a workout.

King identified 19 other trails near Chicago that reporter Zachary Nauth listed in the article. Maybe next weekend? Cassie would probably love all of them.

Today I learned...

...that street flooding in Chicago is a feature, not a bug:

Chicago’s sewer network has an “inlet control valve system” that intentionally limits water intake during heavy rainfall events so as to not overwhelm the wastewater system, with the streets acting as a temporary holding area.

For that reason, the street flooding is normal, [Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th)] said. But residents who are experiencing over-the-curb basement flooding should file a ticket with 311 and reach out to local officials to report the issues, according to a city news release.

“If it’s flooding on the street, that’s intentional. If there’s flooding in the basement, submit the request so the Department of Water Management can follow up once the rain stops,” Vasquez said. 

To help avoid flooding, residents should also avoid running their dishwasher or washing machine during the storm and disconnect downspout connections from the sewer system and redirect water flow to areas with permeable surfaces where stormwater can be absorbed, officials said.

We got a few centimeters of water in our storage area, but fortunately most of us have our stuff up on pallets, and we have a shop vac. Cassie isn't getting a lot of walks today, though.