We have a typical cloudy autumn day, good for reading and not so good for long walks with the dog. So I'll read and Cassie can wait for a bit:
- Turns out, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is even more of a scary, right-wing Christian nationalist nutter than most people knew. Paul Krugman concurs, warning that Johnson wants to eliminate the social safety net entirely.
- Actor Matthew Perry drowned in his California home yesterday. He was 54.
- New DNA evidence confirms that the Assateague horses on Delmarva's barrier islands arrived in North America when a Spanish galleon wrecked there 400 years ago.
- Data from Tallinn, Estonia, suggests that even free public transit doesn't keep people from wanting to drive.
- Chicago's first railroad line turned 175 this week. Happy birthday.
Finally, new research shows elucidates the complex relationship between alcohol and orgasms. Apparently there's a sweet spot somewhere in the "moderate drinking" zone. I will leave the details as an exercise for the reader.
I really love the Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood in Chicago's Edgewater community area. I only had 25 minutes to walk Cassie while my car got serviced nearby, so I didn't stop to photograph everything. But I did snap this at the corner of Magnolia and Bryn Mawr:
And then, just 200 meters away on the 5400 block of Wayne, this:
That's not too creepy, is it?
Yesterday's temperatures at IDTWHQ fell off a cliff right before dinner:
(I know, we play this game a lot.)
I've had a few things on my plate this week, including a wonderful event with the Choeur de la Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris at Old St Patrick's Church in Chicago. We had a big dinner, they sang for us, we sang for them, and then some of us hosted some of them in our homes. Tonight I'm hearing their real performance at Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston.
Sunday night I saw comedian Liz Miele at the Den Theater. I'm totally crushing on her and highly recommend you catch her on this tour:
And naturally I have a few photos of Cassie that got imported into Lightroom this morning:
Real post later today, probably around the time the cold front hits.
It's 22°C and sunny right now, making me wonder what's wrong with me that I'm putting together a software release. I probably should fire off the release, but I'm doing so under protest. I also probably won't get to read all of these things I've queued up:
Finally, Stan's Donuts will open a new store just three blocks from the apartment I moved out of one year ago today. I might have to stop in soon. I will not, however, wash them down with CH Distillery's latest abomination, Pumpkin-Spice Malört.
I did a thing yesterday:
Yes, the pizza at Barnaby's in Northbrook, Ill., is really that good.
Today will be a bit lighter.
Google plans to move 2,000 employees into what used to be the State of Illinois Building at Randolph and Clark. The 1985 Helmut Jahn building has stood vacant for several years, literally leaking money:
The city has granted permits to demolish the exterior and atrium of the Thompson Center — a critical early step in Google’s $280 million efforts to remake the former state government building into the company’s Chicago headquarters.
Under permits issued Oct. 13 by the Department of Buildings, Google will — at minimum — remove the metal and glass skin on the 17-story structure at 100 W. Randolph St. and on its soaring, trademark atrium as well.
Completed in 1985 and designed by architect Helmut Jahn, the zoomy, spaceshiplike building received mixed reactions from Chicagoans from the start.
On the one hand, it was praised for its forward-looking architecture and the generous atrium space that acted as an enclosed public square.
But the building was plagued by construction cost cutbacks that resulted in the use of cheap-looking materials, window leaks, and an initial heating and lighting air conditioning system that failed to work properly.
Landmarks Illinois CEO Bonnie McDonald, whose organization helped lead efforts to preserve the Thompson Center, said she has not seen the demolition permit, but allowed there are “known concerns about the energy efficiency of the building’s current non-insulated windows.”
I'll try to take photos of the process.
An old friend stopped by today on her way from the East Coast to the Pacific Northwest, and insisted we take our dogs to the dog beach. It's 14°C and sunny. What do you think I did?
Fortunately it's the middle of the sprint, and I have a metric shit ton (a shite tonne) of PTO hours, so this was my afternoon.
If you're my boss and reading this...I swear, this is not what I planned for the day.
Yesterday, during the eclipse, which I guess some people in the US and Mexico got to enjoy:
Gotta love Chicago during astronomical phenomena. Next April, I will make sure that I'm somewhere along the eclipse path where I can actually see the eclipse.
Today, though, we have much better weather, as Cassie will attest:
I've got chicken soup in my slow cooker, but I have two hours until I need to pull the chicken, so I'm going to go do nothing of value for a bit. With the dog.
I'm iterating on a UI feature that wasn't 100% defined, so I'm also iterating on the API that the feature needs. Sometimes software is like that: you discover that your first design didn't quite solve the problem, so you iterate. it's just that the iteration is a bit of a context shift, so I'm going to read for about 15 minutes to clear my head:
- Kevin Philips, whose 1969 book The Emerging Republican Majority laid out Richard Nixon's "southern strategy" and led to the GOP's subsequent slide into authoritarianism and ethnic entrepreneurialism has died, but unfortunately his ideas haven't.
- The US and Qatar have agreed not to release any of the $6 billion of Iran's money that Qatar currently has in escrow for them, which will no doubt make Iran yet another country demanding to know why Hamas attacked Israel just now.
- The Chicago Tribune digs into Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson's $16.6 billion budget.
- In the wake of huge class-action settlements, two major Chicago real-estate brokers have changed their commission policies, but we still have to see if they'll change their actions.
- The History Channel blurbs the origins of Oktoberfest, which started in 1810 and ends for this year today. Und nächstes Jahr, ich möchte nach München zum Oktoberfest gehen!
- Jacob Bacharach says the core problem with Michael Lewis's recent biography of Sam Bankman-Fried is that SBF is just too boring to be the subject of a biography.
Finally, Chicago's heavy-rail operator Metra formally proposed simplifying its fare structure. This will cut my commuting costs by about 11%, assuming I use the day passes and individual tickets correctly. It will have the biggest impacts on suburban riders who commute into the city, and riders whose travel doesn't include the downtown terminals.