The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Glad I planned to stay in Chicago this weekend

This looks fun:

WGN fleshes out the forecast's bones:

  • Snow develops Thursday – beginning in far western sections (west of Interstate-39) during the morning and spreading east with deteriorating conditions across the area by early-mid afternoon
  • Blizzard conditions possible, particularly late Thursday night through Friday afternoon (heavy blinding blowing snow with visibility under a quarter mile or less for at least 3 consecutive hours). Very difficult and dangerous travel conditions.
  • Wind gusts to 90 km/h may cause power outages. Winds shifting to the W/NW area-wide by Thursday afternoon with initial gusts 50-60 km/h, peak gusts 90 km/h+ later Thursday night and early Friday.
  • Dangerous life threatening wind chills, falling temps Thursday afternoon. Sub-zero [Fahrenheit] wind chills possible by late afternoon and early evening Thursday. Increasing winds and falling temps could eventually result in wind chills of -28°C to -37°C by Friday/Friday night with wind chills well below -18°C continuing through the weekend.

So, I had planned to work downtown tomorrow, which will still happen, just for a much shorter interval. And I had planned to let Cassie hang out with her friends at day camp all day, because my darling middle-aged dog has the energy of a whippet puppy if she doesn't get many hours of play a week.

And, as I mentioned yesterday, I also had planned to review a couple of breweries Friday afternoon. That will also have to wait.

As long as I don't lose electricity, Cassie and I will ride it out at home Friday. And if the power goes out, at least I have a gas fireplace and a warm dog.

Brace yourselves: winter is coming

We get one or two every year. The National Weather Service predicts that by Friday morning, Chicago will have heavy snowfall and gale-force winds, just what everyone wants two days before Christmas. By Saturday afternoon we'll have clear skies—and -15°C temperatures with 400 mm of snow on the ground. Whee!

We get to share our misery with a sizeable portion of the country as the bomb cyclone develops over the next three days. At least, once its gone and we have a clear evening Saturday or Sunday, we can see all five of the naked-eye planets just after sunset.

Meanwhile, I'm about to start my team's Sprint 75 Review, the last one of 2022, which contains a few goodies we put off because we spent most of our time on client requests. We have a strange habit of doing what paying customers know they want before we add the things they don't know they want.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world:

Finally, director James Cameron ended all debate about whether Jack and Rose could both have survived in Titanic: "Cameron maintains that Jack simply had to die, telling The Sun that 'if I had to make the raft smaller, it would have been smaller.'" Because the story, you see, required it.

Second day of sun, fading fast

What a delight to wake up for the second day in a row and see the sun. After 13 consecutive days of blah, even the -11°C cold that encouraged Cassie and me to get her to day care at a trot didn't bother me too much.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast says a blizzard will (probably) hit us next weekend, so I guess I'll have time to read all of these stories sitting on the couch with my dog:

Finally, one of my college music professors died this month. Herbert Deutsch co-created the Moog synthesizer and taught at Hofstra University for 40-plus years.

Look! Up in the sky!

This was the view out my (downtown) office window Friday afternoon:

And this, after 13 straight days of overcast skies, was the view out my (home) office window a few minutes ago:

On the other hand, it's -9°C going up to -4°C...but that trade-off works fine for me.

Another gray morning

As I look out my office window at the blowing snow accumulating on downtown Chicago streets, I think back to days gone by when we had sunlight. Eight straight days of gray tend to wear on a person. It looks like we'll have sun on Sunday, just before the arctic blast comes through and drives temperatures down to -14°C by Wednesday.

This also comes just after Cassie got a perfect bill of health at the vet yesterday—except that she's now 15% overweight. Guess who's getting raw green beans for dinner for the next few weeks? Because even though she has a double coat and loves the cold, -14°C is too cold even for her. Poor bored puppy.

The price of living in the Greatest City in North America

First: the past. Chicago has not seen the sun since last Thursday at all, and hasn't had 50% of possible sunlight since the 4th. We might have sunlight on Sunday—when it's -3°C. Because nothing says "December in Chicago" like 11 days of overcast skies.

Second: the future. Today's forecast predicts temperatures 11°C below normal by next Friday.

But winter builds character.

How is it 6:30?

With tomorrow night having the earliest sunset of the year, it got dark at 4:20 pm—two hours ago. One loses time, you see. Especially with a demo tomorrow. So I'll just read these while devops pipelines run:

Finally, John Seabrook takes a few pages to explain how to become a TikTok star. Hint: do it before you turn 22.

Darkest nights of the year

In Chicago, from November 15th to December 31st, the sun sets before 4:30pm. Not much before; for about 11 days, it sets within a few seconds of 4:20pm before getting just a few seconds later.

The only point I'm making is: it's dark already. Cassie has gotten exactly one walk in full daylight a day for the last week, and that will likely continue.

Ah, winter.

Oh, and the Fourth Circuit has once again (metaphorically) called XPOTUS-appointed Federal Circuit Judge Aileen Cannon an idiot.

Winter is here

Meteorological winter begins in the Northern Hemisphere today. In Chicago right now we have sunny skies and a normal-for-December 2°C. And any day above freezing between December 1st and March 1st works for me.


Finally, on a whim I looked back at my posts from 10 years ago, and I came across this painful memory of debugging an Azure 1.8 deployment. And 15 years ago we got our first snowfall of the season. Ah, memories.