The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Is it October yet?

It was 29°C (85°F) by 9 this morning. The temperature may possibly fall below 25°C (77°F) before sunrise Tuesday, but not likely before then.

Last night, my buddy from Washington remarked about the 30°C (86°F) evening and said, "back home, this is delightful July weather."

Bleah. I want frost.

Thunderstorms + old radar = bad flying

Anne is stuck in Washington because of storms in Chicago...sort of:

O'Hare International Airport was experiencing [hour-long] delays, she said, but the airport's flight schedule also had been interrupted by technical problems at a Federal Aviation Administration facility in Elgin.
[Chicago Transportation Dept. spokeswoman Wendy] Abrams said the delays were expected to continue throughout the early evening.
The National Weather Service in Romeoville issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, which will remain in effect until 11 p.m., for northeastern Illinois and northwest Indiana.

I may see her tonight. I hope.

Ten&mdash;excuse me&mdash;<em>billion</em>?

ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) posted a $10,360,000,000 profit last quarter:

The earnings figure was 36 percent above the profit it reported a year ago. High oil prices helped boost the company's revenue by 12 percent to a level just short of a quarterly record. Exxon Mobil's report comes a day after another large U.S. oil company, ConocoPhillips, said it earned more than $5 billion in the quarter and at a time when many drivers in the U.S. are paying $3 for a gallon of gas—increasing the likelihood of further political backlash in Washington.

I wonder, does this have anything to do with the secret Cheney energy-policy meeting in 2001? I wonder. I also wonder who's getting that money. Are you an ExxonMobil shareholder? Do you know anyone who is, whose annual income is below $500,000? I wonder.

Just for giggles, you might want to know that their profit works out to $1,317 per second. In the time it's taken for me to write this entry, they've earned almost $400,000.

As we say in Chicago: "Where's mine?"

One more thing: Temperatures in Chicago should hit 32°C (90°F) every day for the next week, so it's possible my estimate of their earnings was low.

Sunrises and sunsets

I noticed this morning that the sun is rising a little later. So I thought, other than pressing personal and professional obligations, why not update the sunrise chart? (You can get one for your own location at

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
1 Jul Sunsets get earlier 05:19 20:31 15:12
6 Jul 8:30pm sunset 05:22 20:30 15:08
16 Jul 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:25 14:55
9 Aug 8pm sunset 05:54 20:00 14:05
16 Aug 6am sunrise 06:00 19:51 13:50
29 Aug 7:30pm sunset 06:14 19:30 13:16
14 Sep 6:30am sunrise 06:30 19:03 12:32
16 Sep 7pm sunset 06:33 19:00 12:27
25 Sep 12-hour day 06:42 18:43 12:01
3 Oct 6:30pm sunset 06:51 18:30 11:39
12 Oct 7am sunrise 07:01 18:15 11:14
22 Oct 6pm sunset 07:12 18:00 10:47
28 Oct Latest sunrise until Dec 26th
Latest sunset until Mar 9th
07:19 17:51 10:31
29 Oct Standard time returns
Earliest sunrise until Mar 6th
06:21 16:49 10:28
6 Nov 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:31 16:39 10:08
15 Nov 4:30pm sunset 06:42 16:30 09:48
1 Dec 7am sunrise 07:00 16:21 09:20
3 Dec Earliest sunsets start 07:02 16:20 9:18
15 Dec Sunsets get later 07:13 16:21 9:07
21 Dec Solstice, 00:22 (Dec 22) UTC 07:16 16:23 9:06
30 Dec Latest sunrises start 07:19 16:28 9:09
9 Jan Sunrises get earlier 07:18 16:38 9:19
28 Jan 5pm sunset 07:08 17:00 9:52
5 Feb 7am sunrise 06:59 17:10 10:10
20 Feb 5:30pm sunset 06:40 17:30 10:49
27 Feb 6:30am sunrise 06:29 17:38 11:08
10 Mar Earliest sunrise until April 15th
Earliest sunset until Oct 28th
06:11 17:51 11:39
11 Mar Daylight savings time begins
Latest sunrise until Oct 21st
07:10 18:52 11:42
17 Mar 7am sunrise 07:00 18:59 11:59
18 Mar 12-hour day 06:58 19:00 12:02
3 Apr 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:30 19:18 12:47
13 Apr 7:30pm sunset 06:15 19:30 13:15
22 Apr 6am sunrise 06:00 19:40 13:39
10 May 8pm sunset 05:35 20:00 14:25
16 May 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:04 14:34
11 Jun Earliest sunrises start 05:14 20:26 15:11
19 Jun 8:30pm sunset;
Sunrises get later
05:15 20:30 15:14
21 Jun Solstice, 18:06 UTC 05:15 20:30 15:15
25 Jun Latest sunsets start 05:16 20:31 15:14

You can get sunrise information for your location at

Days like this might convince me to like summer

Yesterday I rode 80 km (50 miles) in some of the most beautiful weather Chicago can have. It started off cool and got pleasant but not hot, with a light breeze and low humidity. If every day were like this, I thought, we'd be in Santa Barbara.

It rained a little last night (here, anyway; a collossal thunderstorm charged through the Western suburbs), so new we have even better weather than yesterday, if such is possible. If my legs were not still rubbery right now I would go for a bike ride.

Stupid post, I know, but that's what this weather does to me.

Sod this for a game of soldiers

Today was the hottest July day ever in London: 35°C (95°F). At this writing it has cooled somewhat, to 34°C (93°F)—but it's still 36°C (97°F) in Paris where the Health Ministry is blaming the heat on nine deaths (French). The Times of London reports:

Today has been the hottest July day ever with temperatures eclipsing 36 degrees (97°F) in Surrey—surpassing the previous record which has been held since 1911.
At 3pm, Charlwood in Surrey was the hottest place in the country, with Heathrow close behind, recording 35 degrees, and extreme heat also felt in Oxfordshire, Wilkshire and Hampshire.
The full results will not be analysed until tomorrow morning, but it seems unlikely now that temperatures will be higher than the all-time record, 38.5 degrees (101°F) reached in Faversham, Kent, in August 2003.

For comparison, the hottest day in Chicago this year was yesterday (36.1°C, 97°F), and the hottest day of the past four years was last July 25th (38.9°C, 102°F). (Fortunately for me, on that particular day Anne and I traveled from Galway to Killarney, Ireland, where it was 20°C (68°F) and delightful.)

Yesterday's game: Hot times, cold pitching

I had a great time at Wrigley Field yesterday, except for two things. First, the field temperature was 33°C (92°F) at game time. Second, the sixth inning...well...look:

No, I mean, look closely:

Yeah, two grand slams, a two-run homer, and a solo homer in one inning. And it's worse, because, as the Tribune pointed out: "For the first time in the 130-year history of the franchise, the Cubs gave up two grand slams in one inning Sunday in a stupefying 13-7 loss to the New York Mets."

Plus, someone let a whole bunch of Mutts fans into my section. Criminy.

Morning roundup

First, I'd like to gloat that Anne and I had dinner last night at Charlie Trotter's, to celebrate our anniversary. Wow. I mean, wow. We've decided to save up to go again, which we hope we can do before our children graduate college.

Now back to the program.

Frank Rich (sub.req.) today reminds us that, despite the new story making the rounds about how the Administration (919 days, 3 hours) is trying a new foreign policy, the fact remains the Administration does not have now and has never had a foreign policy of any kind:

The only flaw in this narrative—a big one—is that it understates the administration’s failure by assuming that President Bush actually had a grand, if misguided, vision in the first place. Would that this were so. But in truth this presidency never had a vision for the world. It instead had an idée fixe about one country, Iraq, and in pursuit of that obsession recklessly harnessed American power to gut-driven improvisation and P.R. strategies, not doctrine. This has not changed, even now.

And yesterday, Josh Marshall summed up the differences between Republicans and Democrats:

Democrats seem to have a highly evolved (and perhaps misplaced) sense of sportsmanship: magnanimous in victory; chastened in defeat. Whereas Dems will rise to a political fight when they deem circumstances warrant, Republicans consider politics nothing but a fight, with peace the exception, not the rule.

I think this hypothesis has legs. We Democrats want to live in peace and not be bothered, pretty much. The Republicans claim the same things, but to them, the fight is never done. Even if they got everything they wanted, they'd still fight, because that, more than the things they're fighting for, is more important.

Fortunately, I think most people just want to be left alone, which is why the Republican strategy always over-reaches.

Finally, I'd like to complain that Chicago weather has taken a turn for the worse, with temperatures expected today around 37°C (99°F). This will not stop me from going to Wrigley Field this evening.

Climate change talking points

The New York Times on Tuesday ran an excellent summary (sub.req.) of what we know about global climate change. Strange that they put it in the Opinion section.

Also, a thought cheered me this morning: throughout history, political groups have always seemed strongest right before collapsing. I believe there is a correlation between effots to appear strong and a loss of true strength. I'll have to think about this some more.