The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

It only took three years

When I got home from our Messiah performance yesterday, my car ended up here:

If you don't have International System conversion factors ready to hand, just know that one statute mile is 1,609.344 meters. So right before I got to my garage last night, my car hit 10,000 miles exactly. And how about that average fuel economy? For the luddites, 2.2 L/100 km is about 105 MPG.

If you recall, I bought the car just shy of 3 years ago. So in three years, I've driven about 10,000 miles and filled up the car 12 times with about 350 liters (93 gallons) of fuel for just over $240. That works out to an operating cost of 2.9¢ per kilometer (4.6¢ per mile). Not bad.

Oh, and I also got this shortly after walking in (and walking out and walking back in and feeding her):

Not a bad way to end Messiah week.

Evening reading

Messages for you, sir:

I will now go hug my dog, who set a record yesterday for staying home alone (8 hours, 20 minutes) without watering my carpets.

Messiah weekend

Pity Cassie, who had to stay home alone yesterday for about 8 hours and will have to do the same today. She trusts that I will eventually come home, though, meaning she just crossed her paws and waited for me.

While she slept in various positions on the couch, I sang Händel's Messiah for the first time in nearly two years. It's great to be back on stage. And here we go again...

Regular blog posts resume tomorrow.

Tragedy and farce

We're all set to perform Handel's Messiah tomorrow and Sunday, which got noticed by both the local news service and local TV station. Otherwise, the week just keeps getting odder:

And to cap all that off, the National Weather Service has announced a Hazardous Weather Outlook for tonight that includes...tornados? I hope the weather gets better before our performance.

While I pondered, weak and weary...

Today's litany of disappointments, with a couple of bright spots:

Finally, northwest suburban officials continue to track escaped bison "Billy" as she continues her walkabout through McHenry County. She will not be buffaloed back to her ranch!

Cassie is bored

The temperature bottomed out last night just under -10°C, colder than any night since I adopted Cassie. (We last got that cold on February 20th.) Even now the temperature has just gone above -6°C. Though she has two fur coats on all the time, I still think keeping her outside longer than about 20 minutes would cause her some discomfort.

Add that it's Messiah week and I barely have enough free time to give her a full hour of walks today.

Meanwhile, life goes on, even if I can only get the gist of it:

Finally, journalist Allison Robicelli missed a connection at O'Hare this past weekend, and spent the wee hours exploring the empty terminals. The last time I stared down a 12-hour stay at an airport, I hopped into the Tube and spent 8 of those hours exploring the city instead, but I'm not a professional journalist.

Lunchtime links

We've just completed Sprint 50 at my day job, which included upgrading our codebase to .NET 6 and adding a much-desired feature to our administration tools. Plus, we wrote code to analyze 500,000 emails from a public dataset for stress testing one of our product's features. Not bad for a six-day sprint.

The sun is out, and while I don't hear a lot of birds singing, I do see a lot of squirrels gathering walnuts from the tree across the street. It's also an unseasonably warm 7°C at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, going up to 10°C today and 12°C by Thursday. So Cassie and I will head to the dog park in just a few minutes.

First, though, just a couple things of note:

And with that, Cassie has some running around to do.

Cultivate by Forbidden Root, Ravenswood

Welcome to stop #66 on the Brews and Choos project—and the final stop on the Union Pacific North Line!

Brewery: Cultivate by Forbidden Root, 4710 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Train line: Union Pacific North, Ravenswood
Time from Chicago: 19 minutes (Zone B)
Distance from station: across the street

Until July 2020, Band of Bohemia occupied the space directly across from the Ravenswood Metra station that Forbidden Root has taken over. Band of Bohemia became the world's first Michelin-starred brewpub in 2018, so its abrupt closing and subsequent bankruptcy saddened Chicago restaurant aficionados. Since then, Moody Tongue has become the world's second Michelin-starred brewpub, earning not one but two stars in 2020.

Cultivate by Forbidden Root seems to want to follow in their footsteps. I snuck in after getting off the train from Kenosha on Saturday and got to see the new space on its opening night.

I only experienced one minor opening-night oddity, when the hostess said yes, I could take the open seat at the bar, and she hoped I would come back soon. I couldn't tell if she were suggesting I come back another night or not, but they served me beer and house-made potato chips, so I guess the latter.

Since I had spent the afternoon on a Brews and Choos Project excursion, I really a couple of tastes. I tried the Footwear Connoiseur, which I found well-made and well-balanced with a long finish, but I can't really say much else about it. The Abstract Concepts had lots of orange and grapefruit flavors; my notes say "not a lot of depth but the surface is great." The Back to the Golden Ale tasted a bit more syrupy than I prefer, but was still not a bad beer.

I will try more of their beers in future.

I get what they're trying to do, and I hope they succeed at it. Looking at the menu, though, after reading each description I found myself saying "but why?" But of course, because they want a Michelin star (or at least a Bib Gourmand placard).

Like I said, I'll revisit them soon. This summer I'll even take Cassie to their 30-seat beer garden when it opens.

Beer garden? Yes, no reservations
Dogs OK? Outside
Televisions? No
Serves food? Yes, full menu
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes

Public Craft Brewing, Kenosha

Welcome to stop #65 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Public Craft Brewing, 716 58th St., Kenosha, Wis.
Train line: Union Pacific North, Kenosha
Time from Chicago: 1 hour, 40 minutes (Zone K)
Distance from station: 800 m

As our music director sometimes says with a pained look on his face, "there were a lot of good things in there." So with Public Craft Brewing, which seemed entirely the opposite in many ways from Rustic Road just around the corner. The high ceilings and well-lit seating area felt a lot less intimate than Rustic Road, for starters, though I complement Public Craft on keeping the music low enough that no one had to shout.

I spoke to one server who said the space felt like a furniture store. And then I spoke to another server who said the space was a converted furniture store. They even kept some of the furniture, which looked quite comfy.

I sat at the bar, however, and had a 4-beer flight while chatting with the bartender and his partner. They do make good beers. The Reality Czech Pilsner (5.0%) had more hop flavor than I expected, but still kept the light, clean feel and finish of a good Pils. Strangely, I had no first impression at all of the Bits & Pieces Mosaic IPA (6.1%), but on second tasting I got plenty of hops (but not the hop porn I've come to hate) and a good fruity flavor balance. The Lakeshore Haze New England IPA (5.4%, 14 IBU) had good citrus as one would expect, and a surprising amount of malt flavors. Finally, the Chocolate Birthday Cake Imperial Stout (9.5%) lived up to its name. Wow, that one was a lot of flavor, and like Rustic Road's porter, a good dessert beer.

Beer garden? Sidewalk patio, seasonal
Dogs OK? Outside
Televisions? None
Serves food? Yes, specializing in tacos
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Maybe