Parker is jumping for joy at the weather:
Today's temperature has already hit 21°C and it's still rising. Also of note, last night was the first night since January 12th that Chicago's temperature did not go below freezing.
In related news, Ravinia Festival has decided to reconfigure its schedule because of the 17-year cicadas that start singing at the end of May this year. The Daily Parker anxiously awaits Parker's reaction to the bugs.
The overnight low temperature in Chicago has dropped below freezing every night since January 12th. This is the longest stretch of below-freezing nights in at least seven years. It's getting really quite old.
That is all.
It seems the weather forecast was correct: The 10 am (1600 UTC) temperature at O'Hare was 2°C, the first time it's been above freezing in Chicago since January 27th, and only the third time since January 15th.
I'm going to go outside and bask in the warmth right now...
It's possible that the temperature in Chicago could go above freezing this afternoon for the first time since January 27th. This is the longest stretch of below-freezing weather we've had since I returned home in 2000. Hey, I like records as well as the next athlete, but I'm pretty tired of this one.
So I'm walking home at 8:15 pm, and I hear Civil Defense sirens. I'm just old enough to find the sound chilling. When I was a kid, CD sirens meant "tornado" or "Soviet missile attack." They sounded for about two full minutes, which I thought was gratuitious.
See, Evanston, Ill., sounded their CD sirens tonight to tell everyone to move their cars, just in case people missed the 20 cm of snow on the ground (parking restrictions take effect after 5 cm of snow).
I also found out, this storm has dropped more snow on Chicago than any other since I returned here in March 2000. As I walked home in my long underwear, thich Irish sweater, ski gloves, fleece scarf, snow boots, and heavy jacket, I thought, "you know, it's not so bad..." Not to mention, Parker is having a grand old time, though it did pain me to see him try to do his business with snow all the way to his chin.
This weather builds character, after all.
Late update: The Chicago Tribune has picked up the story.
The Bears going to the Superbowl has caused a ripple effect through Chicago karma.
I first noticed it on the train this morning. Ordinarily, an express train picks up almost a full load of people at the stop right before mine, then whisks them to the Loop, allowing the local train that follows three minutes later to pick all of us up without making us sit on each others' laps. Today, the express train apparently followed the local train, so by the time the local got to me, we were sitting on each others' laps. (It's not as fun as it sounds, actually.)
Then, it turns out I am in total agreement with a well-written statement by—wait for it—Pam Anderson:
Anderson, a staunch animal-rights activist and a vocal member of PETA, has blasted KFC for its treatment of chickens and has been part of a long-standing campaign on behalf of the feathered critters. “Honoring a man whose legacy involves breaking animals’ bones and scalding animals to death in defeathering tanks is contrary to the values of most compassionate citizens, and I hope that you’ll deny KFC’s request,” Anderson wrote in a letter to Postmaster General John E. Potter. “How about another Elvis stamp instead?”
I hope the Postmaster General agrees as well.
I'll be looking for other karmic re-balancing today, which means I'll probably find it. And I'm wondering what will happen if the Bears win on February 4th?
That's the 10th St. Beach in Miami Beach, Fla. As I write this the sun is coming up over Lake Michigan. It's just 20°C (36°F) colder there, is all.
Today's Chicago Tribune asks, "Who needs Florida?":
Balmier days are forecast to continue in Illinois over the next few days, a result of warmer air masses flowing in from the west and southwest and the effects of an El Nino year.
While no records are being broken—back in 1876 it was 65°F (18°C) on Jan. 2—temperatures in coming days are expected to remain mercifully above the historic average high of about 30°F (-1°C).
I find this funny because I'm sitting in shorts and a polo shirt by a pool surrounded by palm trees, a light 24°C (75°F) breeze cooling my sandal-clad feet, looking at Chicago's weather report, which tells me it's 1°C (33°F) back home—with a wind chill of -4°C (25°F).
I really can't answer the question "who needs Florida," but I can say the weather's a lot better here than in Chicago.
...there was Eliza:
I got my first camera in June 1983. Now, more than 23 years later, I'm scanning all the old slides and negatives. It's a little trippy. I keep finding things like this photo of the pet gerbil I had back then.
I've also found a whole bunch of documentary shots around Northbrook, Ill., where I grew up. I'll re-shoot some of these at some point and post some then-and-now views. Here's a preview: the LP stacks at the Northbrook Public Library. They were still about two years from their first CD player.
I haven't really formed an opinion on Sen. Obama's office giving an internship to the son of a guy who gave $10,000 to the 2004 campaign. I'm not really surprised, nor do I really think it's a big deal. I've got a sort-of meta-concern about it, because I think it presages the kinds of stories we'll have to read every week after Obama announces he's running for President.
Perhaps I've just got a typical native Chicagoan's indifference to petty nepotism. I'm wondering if this hints at a deeper connection with Rezko that will come out closer to the primaries next Winter. Or if, as it appears from the pro-Obama camp, this looks more like Rezko trying to get in with Obama, who in turn sensed the danger and kept Rezko at arm's length.
I'm sure we'll hear more about it over the summer.