The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Visiting the remote bits of the world

I've just added two places to my shortlist of vacation spots once travel becomes a little easier.

On Tuesday, I saw Japan's entry for this year's Academy Award for best foreign film, Drive My Car (ドライブ・マイ・カー). Most of it takes place in Hiroshima, Japan. Clearly director Ryusuke Hamaguchi loves the city. For obvious reasons most of the central parts of Hiroshima only date back 70 years, but the hills and islands surrounding the postwar downtown look like the Pacific Northwest.

And this morning, the New York Times Canada Letter reported from Newfoundland. I've wanted to see the Maritime Provinces for years. Maybe Cassie and I can spend a couple of weeks some summer driving from Maine to Nova Scotia to PEI and then take a ferry to "The Rock?" (There's a ferry from North Sydney, N.S., to Channel-Port aux Basques, Nfld.)

For what it's worth, I think I'd fly to Western Japan...

Ambassador Emanuel

The US Senate has confirmed former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who lives just a couple of blocks for me (for now), as the new US Ambassador to Japan:

The Senate voted 48-to-21 to confirm Emanuel, with the longtime political operator receiving support — as well as opposition — from Democrats and Republicans alike.

The vote came in the middle of the night after Democrats struck a deal with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who agreed to lift a hold he had placed on 32 of President Joe Biden’s nominees in exchange for allowing a vote next month on legislation related to a Russian gas pipeline on which Cruz has wanted to place sanctions. Given the late hour that the Senate concluded its business for the year, just 69 senators were present to confirm Emanuel.

Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Jeff Merkley of Oregon voted against Emanuel while progressive independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont did not vote. Eight Republicans voted in favor of Emanuel: Sens. Roy Blunt of Missouri, Susan Collins of Maine, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, John Thune of South Dakota and Todd Young of Indiana.

Enjoy Tokyo, Mr Ambassador. Hit me up for some tips about sushi spots.

Backlog

I just started Sprint 52 in my day job, after working right up to the last possible minute yesterday to (unsuccessfully) finish one more story before ending Sprint 51. Then I went to a 3-hour movie that you absolutely must see.

Consequently a few things have backed up over at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters.

Before I get into that, take a look at this:

That 17.1°C reading at IDTWHQ comes in a shade lower than the official reading at O'Hare of 17.8°, which ties the record high maximum set in 1971. The forecast says it'll hang out here for a few hours before gale-force winds drive the temperature down to more seasonal levels overnight. I've even opened a few windows.

So what else is new?

So what really is new?

But Sprint 52 at my office, that's incredibly new, and I must go back to it.

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.

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.

Really December now

I'm looking ahead to two long rehearsals, three performances, and squeezing into my tuxedo, all while the temperature drops over the next six hours to a predicted -9°C. I conclude from these facts that it's the beginning of winter.

I also just spent the last hour trying to get Visual Studio to log into the correct Azure subscription. So instead of reading these things at lunch, I had to let them pile up:

And now, back to the mines.

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