The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Tuesday morning...uh, afternoon reading

It's a lovely day in Chicago, which I'm not enjoying as much as I could because I'm (a) in my Loop office and (b) busy as hell. So I'll have to read these later:

Finally, Mick Jagger turns 79 today, which surprised me because I thought he was closer to 130.

Lovely day, actually

I'm working a half-day in my company's London office to catch up on some things and to ensure my team back home get the current sprint off to a good start. But the weather is absolutely perfect, so I might not make it past my 3pm meeting...

Contra Daniel Burnham, I made only small plans. Tonight I'm returning to a friend's old haunts in Earls Court to give her an update. Tomorrow I'm having lunch with a colleague at an historic Greenwich pub, then either going for a (10-kilometer) walk or popping round a museum. Saturday will see another walk that ends, conveniently, at my favorite pub in London.

Updates as the situation warrants. Photos next week.

Stuff to read tomorrow morning

In just a few minutes I will take Cassie to boarding, then head up to Northwestern for a rehearsal (I'm in the chorus at Ravinia's upcoming performances of La Clemenza di Tito.) I'll then have to pack when I get home from rehearsal, then head to a hotel by O'Hare. Ah, how much fun is an 8:30 international flight!

As I'll have some time at the airport in the morning, and no time now, I want to queue these up for myself:

All right, I'm off. After I pack.

American League rules, apparently

I went to a Cubs game today for the first time since 6 June 2019, mainly because they have made a quest of finding imaginative ways to lose.

Today they lost because of a new rule imported from kickball, where they put a man on second base at the start of extra innings. They want the game to end sooner, you see, but with the wind blowing in like this:

Then you get a 1-1 ballgame going into the 11th. The next run will win the game, because hitting really sucks with a 20-knot wind coming from center field. And the next run—shown on the scoreboard above—did win the game. That, and some lousy Cubs hitting.

I still had fun, but I really would have preferred the Cubs win instead of the Mutts.

Back to the Dog Beach

Cassie got almost 2 hours of walkies before 9am with a return trip to the Montrose  Beach Dog Friendly Area:

She also got a bath, because even though Lake Michigan supplies millions of people with fresh water, we don't drink it right out of the lake for very good reasons.

Also, I did not take 540 photos like last time. Maybe tomorrow...?

And if you're listening to "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" on NPR this morning (and tomorrow morning in some markets), I was there Thursday night:

One good thing about Texas

I did enjoy the barbecue:

That's a bit of brisket and accoutrements from Stiles Switch BBQ, and it was so good. We also got some from Black's BBQ, which might have actually been better. Of course, even if I ever go back to Austin, I'll have to try one of the other 42,167 BBQ places.

I also stopped by the Home for Developmentally-Disabled Adults and their Democratic Caretakers:

About three meters to my right, which I chose not to photograph, was a giant monument to "The Horrible Men Who Murdered for Slavery," which got mistranslated into "The Brave Men Who Died for States' Rights" by the Texas Lege when they erected it in the 1890s.

Once I got home and collected her from boarding, it took Cassie about ten minutes before she just passed out. This is a happy dog:

BBQ and Beer

I mean, when in Rome, right? My company offered four options for this afternoon. I didn't even need to read past "BBQ and Brewery Tour" to sign up. Totally worth it! I'll have more to say over the weekend when I have more time to say it, but I do like Texas BBQ, and the two beers I had were quite good.

Home tomorrow, just in time for our own heat wave. Yay.

WinGARdium leviOsa!

Twenty-five years ago today, an unknown author published a short novel about wizards, witches, flying broomsticks, and the return of a once-defeated monstrous evil. Jo Rowling has gone on to become one of the most loved and most hated authors in the modern world, and the series that started with a print run of just 500 copies on 26 June 1997 has sold over a half-billion books.

Happy birthday to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Time for a re-read.

Hottest day in 10 years–almost

Chicago's official temperature last hit 38°C (100°F) on 6 July 2022, almost 10 years ago. As of 4pm O'Hare reported steady at 37°C (98°F) with the likelihood of breaking the record diminishing by the minute. At Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, we have 37.2°C, still climbing, but leveling off.

In other hotness around the world:

Finally, Florida Fish and Wildlife Officials captured a 95-kilogram, 5.4-meter Burmese python, the largest ever discovered in the state. Apparently it had recently dined on a deer. So far they have found over 15,000 of the snakes, none of them quite so large.

Update: Not that I'm complaining, but after holding just under 37°C for three hours, the temperature finally started to drop. At 6pm O'Hare reported 36°C. So no record.

It's like a mild cold that can kill your neighbors

On day 3 of my symptomatic Covid-19 experience, I feel about the same as I did yesterday, but more annoyed. It's exactly the kind of day when I would meet friends at a beer garden or outdoor restaurant and not sit inside reading. But I don't want to expose people who can't get vaccinated to possible illness (people who can get vaccinated and choose not to, however...), and after a 3 km walk with Cassie half an hour ago, I really can't do much more than sit and read for a while.

My friends who have gotten this strain in the last six weeks or so report that my experience sounds about right, and I should be through symptoms by Tuesday. And looking ahead at my summer plans, which include a trip to Austin at the end of this month and a trip to the UK at the end of July, plus two opera performances and many afternoons sitting at beer gardens, it turns out this was simply the best weekend for me to miss. Lucky me!

Cassie, on the other hand, seems bored. And she would very much like that squirrel to get just a bit closer: