The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Skipped right to April

I had a dentist appointment this morning, which allowed me to take some extra time walking Cassie and her houseguest to doggy day care, and then another half-hour to walk from my dentist's office (just 200 m from one train station) to the next station to get back. It helps that this morning had sun and warmth more like April than February:

Alas, a cold front will make its way across the area later today, brining some showers and possibly a "light" thunderstorm. I did enjoy the morning, though. And if I can time the dogs' return from day care properly, I should get another good walk in later today.

Waiting for the build before walking two dogs

Another sprint has ended. My hope for a boring release has hit two snags: first, it looks like one of the test artifacts in the production environment that our build pipeline depends on has disappeared (easily fixed); and second, my doctor's treatment for this icky bronchitis I've had the past two weeks works great at the (temporary) expense of normal cognition. (Probably the cough syrup.)

Plus, Cassie and I have a houseguest:

But like my head, the rest of the world keeps spinning:

And now, my production test pipeline has concluded successfully, so I will indeed have a boring release.

Busy day

Inner Drive Technology's new computer arrived two days early, so there was a flurry of activity around lunchtime that postponed Cassie's mid-day walk. We just got back from that...but now I've got to do my real job while the new computer installs tons of software.

As someone who paid $200 for four 1-megabyte SIMMs back in the day, I'm absolutely astounded at the tiny 4-terabyte SSD that I snapped into the new machine, and which cost $260.

OK, back to work. Friday I'll have a retrospective on Inner Drive Technology office layouts. Tonight I'm setting up IDTWHQ 6.1.

Slick moves walking the dog

Walking Cassie to day camp took a lot longer than usual this morning because the freezing rain and near-freezing temperatures after a long cold snap laid a layer of ice over nearly every sidewalk and street in Chicago. She seemed very concerned about my ability to walk, and very disappointed that we didn't take our usual detour to the bagel place to get me some coffee and her a fresh dog treat.

The "wintry mix" has stopped and the temperature has risen all the way to 1.5°C at Inner Drive Technology World HQ, so the walk home may not suck as much as the walk there.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world:

Finally, we might have gotten to Peak Rat Hole. Residents of the 1900 block of West Roscoe have gotten fed up with all the people coming to see the 30-year-old dead squirrel impression on their sidewalk. Perhaps the wedding took things too far?

Cold snapped

Around 7 this morning, the official Chicago temperature at O'Hare went above -15°C for the first time in 81 hours, the longest such cold snap since February 1996:

In the 1996 stretch, O’Hare recorded highs of -20.6°C on Feb. 2 and 3, and of -16.7°C on Feb. 4, according to NWS meteorologist Casey Sullivan.

Sullivan said the longest stretch of temps below -15°C in the area was a period of five days in the 1880s, according to NWS records, which go back to 1871.

“It doesn’t look like we’re going to do that, but it’s unusual, not unheard of,” Sullivan said of the cold streak.

There may be some — albeit slight — relief from the extreme cold on the way in the coming days. High temperatures Wednesday should climb to a high of around -8°C, the NWS said.

Thursday’s high temps could end up near -5°C, and Friday’s high is expected to be near -9°C.

As of 1pm we've gotten up to -9°C, but the sun is out, and we have brisk west-southwest winds, both of which should help. As long as it stays above -10°C I can walk Cassie home from day camp. (I had to drive her yesterday and today.)

The National Climate Prediction Center says the Arctic Vortex will get back to where it once belonged next week:

I sure hope so. And if Cassie understood "future" as a concept, so would she.

Chilling at home

Our company has Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off, which will allow me to get a bit of rest after my lightning trip to Seattle. And to celebrate, I've broken out the Arran sweater and long-johns, because wow is it cold:

The National Weather Service reported extreme cold and a wind chill of minus 40 in Aurora on Sunday morning and issued a wind chill warning through noon Monday.

Weather service senior meteorologist Brett Borchardt said Chicago narrowly missed breaking the record — 1 degree — for the lowest maximum temperature for Jan. 14. The temperature at O’Hare was 3 degrees “for a few minutes” after midnight Sunday before falling below zero, he said.

“But the air temperature has been below zero [Fahrenheit] during daylight hours today, so I would call that unusual,” Borchardt said.

Sunday night’s low of minus 15 will be the coldest since the polar vortex of 2019.

The official low yesterday was -23.3°C. At last report O'Hare had -22.2°C with a wind chill of -32.3°C, while IDTWHQ reported -19.1°C.

Walking down the jet bridge from the plane to the terminal at O'Hare gave me just a little taste of the cold; walking Cassie this morning gave both of us a full serving. She lasted 4 minutes before pulling towards the house. I don't think she'll get her usual hour of walkies today, and I don't expect to get my usual 11,000 steps. But it should get much warmer on Wednesday—maybe even up to -8°C! So we might get them later in the week.

Now to offload all the crap that accumulated on my phone over the week...

Too short and too cold

I'm watching my plane arriving from Chicago to get all of us going back there on it, a little remorseful that I couldn't spend more time in Seattle. I last visited in 2013 to watch the Cubs hold their own against the Mariners for 9 whole innings, only to lose with no outs in the bottom of the 10th. On that June day Seattle had sunny 30°C weather. This morning we had sunny weather, I'll give it that:

But warm? No. In the 38 hours of my trip it only got above -6°C once I got to the airport to go home.

I'll be back this spring. I'll even stay longer than two days.

Meanwhile, Cassio got to play a Casio. I hope she's doing her finger exercises:

I look forward to a recital when I get home in a few hours.

Enjoying the lounge a lot more than expected

Welp. My 10:00 flight has become a 3:00 flight:

But at least when I get on board the plane, I'll have a good seat:

Obviously if they had predicted the delay more accurately, I'd have slept longer, left later, and probably not dropped Cassie off with my friends until this morning. She seems to be settling in just fine, though:

Hooray for air travel in January. My guess is that if the original crew had flown on to Seattle, they'd have timed out. So they probably moved my plane's crew to a shorter flight, and the next available crew that won't time out can't get to O'Hare until 2pm or so. These things happen when a winter storm hits Chicago.

In fact, if memory serves, it happened 13 years ago yesterday. Maybe I need to reconsider flying mid-January?