Cassie and I got completely pwned by a very small rodent last night. The critter managed to get past her and me even though we had it completely cornered at one point. I hope, however, that (a) the mouse understands the relative survivability of getting caught by a human vs. caught by a Weimaraner, and (b) the mouse understands the relative survivability of my house vs. the neighbor's dog- and cat-free house on the other side of my wall.
All of this happened, by the way, while I was brushing my teeth, so I also learned that Cassie really needs to hear complete English words or she has no idea what I'm trying to get her to do. "Cassie, to me" sounds less coherent with a toothbrush in my mouth, for example.
The Tennessee Dept of Health will stop telling adolescents about vaccines—especially about the HPV vaccine:
The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for coronavirus, but all diseases – amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. If the health department must issue any information about vaccines, staff are instructed to strip the agency logo off the documents.
The health department will also stop all COVID-19 vaccine events on school property, despite holding at least one such event this month. The decisions to end vaccine outreach and school events come directly from Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, the internal report states.
After the health department's internal COVID-19 report was circulated on Friday, the rollback of vaccine outreach was further detailed in a Monday email from agency Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tim Jones.
Jones told staff they should conduct "no proactive outreach regarding routine vaccines" and "no outreach whatsoever regarding the HPV vaccine."
Staff were also told not to do any "pre-planning" for flu shots events at schools. Any information released about back-to-school vaccinations should come from the Tennessee Department of Education, not the Tennessee Department of Health, Jones wrote.
Decisions to ratchet back outreach comes amid pressure from conservative lawmakers, who have embraced misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine, said Dr. Michelle Fiscus, Tennessee's former top vaccine official.
Despite being Cassie's birthplace, not to mention the state other close friends come from, we must remember that it also hosted the Scopes trial in 1925. The state government has a long history of anti-science legislation. This mandate seems particularly idiotic, but we also have to remember that with the modern Republican Party, the cruelty is the point.
Cassie and I had a long day yesterday, which included several rides in the car and lots of play time. It also involved tons of fireworks. And a raw, marrow-filled bison bone:
Adding more data to the "failed hunting dog" hypothesis of Cassie's origin, we walked through a neighborhood southwest of the city with fireworks exploding left and right, and Cassie didn't care. We did normal leash work, in fact, because the fireworks didn't even distract her. Happy dog:
The good news: putting my phone number and a close friend's phone number on Cassie's ID tags worked!
The bad news: I gotta trek back to the dog park to pick up Cassie's tags.
Because of the way they lay on her collar, they don't jingle when she walks, only when she shakes or (as happens from time to time) rolls over to let me demand that I rub her belly. So while walking back from the dog park, I had no idea that she didn't have her tags anymore.
One of my neighbors is having his floors redone today, so I'm dogsitting. Cassie is nonplussed:
Cassie and Sophie know each other pretty well already, so no worries there. But Sophie is a quiet, middle-aged dog, and Cassie is the equivalent of a recent college grad on a bender in Lincoln Park. Sophie just wants to take a nap. Cassie just wants to play. Sophie is now on her third sleeping surface, hoping Cassie stops doing this:
I feel you, Sophe. Cassie's a lot before 9am.
At some point I'm going to have to walk both of them together. That should be...fun?
I had some difficulty falling asleep before midnight last night because a major thunderstorm hit around 11. We had heavy rain, which we needed, and heavy winds, which we didn't. In the western suburbs, they had a lot of wind:
[A] tornado first hit Naperville around 11:10 p.m., in the area just south of 75th Street and Ranchview Drive, and at least five people were injured, one of them critically, and they were being treated at Edward-Elmhurst Hospital, according to Kate Schultz, a spokeswoman for the Naperville city manager’s office. Sixteen homes have been deemed uninhabitable by city engineers and at least 10 people have been displaced as a result, she said.
About 11:30 p.m., a tornado touched down east of Route 53 between 83rd Street and 75th Street in the southwest suburban Village of Woodridge, causing a tornadic debris signature so significant on radar screens at the National Weather Service office in Romeoville that there was virtually no mistaking the event, said meteorologist Matt Friedlein.
Although it was too early to say for certain, Friedlein estimated the tornado may have been an EF-2, a ranking on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which goes from zero to five. An EF-2, should it be confirmed later Monday, would mean the tornado had wind speeds of [176 to 216 km/h].
No one died but the tornados injured 5 people. Here in the city, we got localized flooding, including at Cassie's day care facility, so I get to go back to bed for half an hour.
Cassie and I headed up to Tyranena Brewing in Lake Mills, Wis., yesterday to hang out with family. Today, other than a trip to the grocery and adjacent pet store where Cassie picked out an "indestructible" toy that now lies in tatters on the couch, we've had a pretty relaxing Sunday. I thought I'd take a break from Hard Times to queue up some stuff to read tomorrow at lunch:
I will now return to Dickens, because it's funny and sad.
Yesterday I squashed six bugs (one of them incidentally to another) and today I've had a couple of good strategy meetings. But things seem to have picked up a bit, now that our customers and potential customers have returned to their offices as well.
So I haven't had time to read all of these (a consistent theme on this blog):
And finally, providing some almost-pure Daily Parker bait, the Post has a helpful breakdown of 8 common styles of hot sauce.
After taking Cassie on a 45-minute walk before the heat hits us, I've spent the morning debugging, watching these news stories pile up for lunchtime reading:
- The US Supreme Court once again upheld Obamacare, with only Alito and Gorsuch dissenting.
- The Illinois legislature passed a common-sense gun control law, supported by the State Police, that largely brings us back in line with the rules we had in the 1990s.
- Illinois Deputy Governor Dan Hynes has resigned (ahem) ahead of the 2022 election.
- The BBC fact-checks this week's Iranian elections.
- Dana Milbank fact-checks Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has started repeating Republican Party lies about BLM and our election. Writing in the Atlantic, Anna Nemtsova says Putin has nothing to offer the West because he has dropped all pretense of liberalism.
- National Geographic has a photo essay of 20 natural wonders that disappeared in the past few years.
- After the warmest first half of June in history, Northeastern Illinois (i.e., Chicago) is in a severe drought that tonight's thunderstorms won't actually help. But Illinois has nothing on the southwestern US, which has it far, far worse, including forecast 50°C temperatures over large areas of Arizona and California.
Finally, Chicago architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has revealed conceptual drawings for a moon base.
Oh, to be a dog. Cassie is sleeping comfortably on her bed in my office after having over an hour of walks (including 20 minutes at the dog park) so far today. Meanwhile, at work we resumed using a bit of code that we put on ice for a while, and I promptly discovered four bugs. I've spent the afternoon listening to Cassie snore and swatting the first one.
Meanwhile, in the outside world, life continues:
- Ukrainian police arrested members of the Cl0p ransomware gang, seizing money and cars along with the cybercriminals.
- Amtrak, the US passenger rail network, plans to expand its service over the next few years, for example by going to places that people want to go. (Sure, Las Cruces, N.M., might be a wonderful tourist destination, but why doesn't the train go to Las Vegas too?)
- Astronomer Seth Shostak, who works on SETI, expects any aliens who visit us to have non-biological forms, while physicist Mark Buchanan tells SETI to stop trying to contact them in the first place because they'll kill us all.
- Scientists have found that a Korean War-era technique of reading weather data could reduce contrails by 50% or more.
- On this day in 1858, Abraham Lincoln addressed the Illinois Republican Convention, saying "a house divided against itself cannot stand."
- Whiskey Advocate explains how to "build your best Old Fashioned."
And right by my house, TimeLine Theater plans to renovate a dilapidated warehouse to create a new theater space and cultural center, while a 98-year-old hardware store by Wrigley Field will soon become apartments.