The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Macushla Brewing, Glenview

Welcome to my new project: Brews and Choos. Off and on over the next year, I'm going to visit 98 breweries and distilleries that are within about 1.5 km of rail lines around Chicago. Some of them are right downtown; others require a 100-minute schlep to a neighboring state.

I'll post reviews and visit notes in chronological order. For a list organized by train line, check out the explanation page.

Here's the first stop.

Brewery: Macushla Brewing, 1516 E. Lake Ave., Glenview, Ill.
Train line: Metra Milwaukee District North, Glenview station.
Time from Chicago (Union Station): 38 minutes, zone D
Distance from station: 1.3 km

"Macushla" means "my pulse, my lifeblood, my darling" in Gaelic. Mike and Megan Welch founded the brewpub in 2015 in Mike's home town of Glenview, Ill. Unfortunately, Mike died in 2016, and Megan now runs the brewery on her own.

I had a 4-beer sampler from their current line-up: Easy Sipsa, a 4.1% 20 IBU session IPA; Ring of Fire, 5.2%, 41 IBUs, Scottish IPA; Chalk Eater, 7.2%, 55 IBUs, IPA; and The Hammer, 9.75%, 20 IBUs, Scotch ale.

They were all pretty good. The Easy Sipsa lived up to its name; the Chalk Eater hit me with a full dose of hops and alcohol. The Hammer, despite its strength, tasted sweet and malty, with notes of pear and maple. They don't serve pints of that one; sip it slowly.

I also liked the vibe. The place is small and cozy, with a modest patio (complete with igloo). They have pretzels and small pizzas in the bar, and an arrangement with Hackney's next door if you want something more substantial.

Beer garden? Yes
Dogs OK? No
Televisions? 2, unavoidable
Serves food? Snacks; full kitchen next door
Would hang out with a book? Maybe
Would hang out with friends? Maybe
Would go back? Yes

Three strikes against impeachment

Welp, the Senate has acquitted President Trump almost entirely along party lines, as everyone knew it would. Only Mitt Romney (R-UT) crossed the aisle to vote for conviction. Here's a roundup of the news in the last few hours:

About yesterday:

  • The Washington Post has an annotated SOTU.
  • Alexandra Petri clutched every pearl she owned, "and also the pearls of strangers, and some oysters that may contain pearls in the future" after Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) ripped up her copy of the SOTU.
  • NBC called the address Trump's "victory lap." Oh no, NBC; he's got more lapping in him.

In other news:

And it's snowing.

Mild winters in Chicago have a depressing side effect

We conclude January 2020 in Chicago having 16 out of 31 days (including today) with no visible sun, tying the all-time record of 9 consecutive days without sun set on 9 January 1992. We've had only 24% of possible sunlight this month, making this the third-gloomiest January on record after 1998 (20%) and 2011 (23%).

But this is really just a consequence of our unusually mild winter. Since December 1st, we've had 46 out of 60 days above freezing, and only 6 days below -10°C. And mercifully, the forecast for tomorrow and Sunday calls for warmth (11°C on Sunday, fully 9°C above normal) and sunshine (20% predicted for tomorrow, and 90% predicted for Sunday).

So, all right, I can live with more than a week of gloomy skies in exchange for unseasonably mild weather in January.

Occlusion

In Chicago this week, a persistent temperature inversion has kept us under a layer of stratus clouds that have obscured the sun for the past 5 days. Instead of the normal 42% of possible sunshine we get in January, this year we've only gotten 28%. It's a little depressing.

The only silver lining, so to speak, is that the cloud layer has kept temperatures a lot warmer than normal, especially overnight. So we've gotten temperatures a degree or two above freezing and a degree or two below freezing, which we like tons better than the insanity of this time last year.

In other news of persistent fogginess and concealment, Senate Republicans claim that John Bolton's book has "blindsided" them—even though Bolton's revelations are precisely what the Republicans wanted to avoid hearing in the Trump Impeachment Trial:

What’s morbidly amusing about this is that it’s actually self-incriminating. It’s deeply revealing about the true nature of the GOP coverup.

[T]his will not be a real trial unless we hear from those people, who include Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney. It cannot by definition be anything other than an effort to carry through Trump’s own coverup to completion.

What actually blindsided Senate Republicans was that the details of Bolton’s account leaked before they could carry out their preordained vote to acquit. They were blindsided by this terribly inconvenient timing, which upended their coverup.

So: how much will voters actually care about this? I hope just enough to give the Democratic nominee more than 271 electoral votes this fall.

Coyote and child both recovering

Wildlife authorities captured the coyote that attacked a 6-year-old boy in Lincoln Park earlier this month, and have taken it to a rehabilitation center:

With help from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, local officials tested the animal and said it was the same one that on Jan. 8 attacked the child near the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, biting the child on his head.

The results of the testing that were promised at the time of the coyote’s capture were released Sunday, and authorities now say the animal was limping because it had been shot with a BB gun, according to a statement from city spokesman Patrick Mullane.

Mullane also said testing confirmed the animal did not have rabies.

It looks like everyone, including the injured coyote, will recover.

On time within the usual delays

This looks very familiar to me:

As does this:

And it means that my 10:20 flight connecting through Charlotte is now a 12:06 flight connecting through Washington. Welcome to travel from O'Hare in January.

At least I'll have some time to nap. Or read. Or nap while reading...

Taking a beating on the shore

Lake Michigan continues its record-high levels this month. As of yesterday, the Michigan-Huron system was at 177. 4 m above sea level, 51 cm above last year's level and more than a full meter above average January levels. This has caused massive erosion and the loss of entire beaches in Chicago:

Since 2013, the lake has risen nearly 2 meters, going from a record low to near-record high levels last summer. On Saturday, waves nearing 6 meters pummeled an already drowning shoreline.

A 1-meter wave can pack the power of a small car. A 6-meter wave? Maybe a freight train.

The Chicago Department of Transportation is evaluating the impacts of the storm at Morgan Shoal from 48th to 50th streets and working with the Army Corps to install boulders, according to spokesman Michael Claffey. The work is expected to begin in the coming months.

They'd better get to it. Typically, lake levels are lowest January through April, but so far this month the lake is only 6 cm lower than last July's all-time-record high average.

Too many things to read this afternoon

Fortunately, I'm debugging a build process that takes 6 minutes each time, so I may be able to squeeze some of these in:

Back to debugging Azure DevOps pipelines...

Spot the theme

A few articles to read at lunchtime today:

  • Will Peischel, writing for Mother Jones, warns that the wildfires in Australia aren't the new normal. They're something worse. (Hint: fires create their own weather, causing feedback loops no one predicted.)
  • A new analysis finds that ocean temperatures not only hit record highs in 2019, but also that the rate of increase is accelerating.
  • First Nations communities living on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron—the largest freshwater island in the world—warn that human activity is disrupting millennia-old ecosystems in the Great Lakes.

Fortunately, those aren't the only depressing stories in the news today:

Now that I'm thoroughly depressed, I'll continue working on this API over here...