The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

More Webcam troubles


Astute readers will gather from the preceding post that I am out of the office for a couple of days. And pessimists will agree that, if something were going to go wrong in the office, it would go wrong the day I left. Pessimists: rejoice! The Inner Drive Webcam has decided to add a new page to its history:

Now, as nearly as I can figure it, you're looking there at the back end of the computer that hosts the camera (highlighted below), upside-down. I'll have to review the archives on Saturday to figure out exactly when this happened. And I'll have to review the method I'm using to secure it to the window.

Quick update

There's a lot going on this week as Anne and I prepare for the holidays. I expect to have some really interesting things to report soon. But I don't have them yet.

I will say, -18°C (-2°F) is really quite cold.

One thing of interest: Apparently there's a storm off the Pacific Coast that's generating some heavy surf. I'll be in Carmel, Calif., the day after tomorrow. I hope to have some photos of really big waves by Thursday.

Full sunrise chart for Chicago

Late addition, 26 March 2006: We have a dynamic version of this in beta over at

Last week, I posted a short chart of how sunsets are getting later. Today, because I wanted to know for myself, and therefore I can't imagine anyone else not wanting to know also, I've figured out when certain sunrises and sunsets will occur for the next year.

Here is the chart for Evanston, Illinois:

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
21 Dec Solstice, 18:35 UTC 07:16 16:22 9:06
30 Dec Latest sunrises start 07:19 16:28 9:09
8 Jan Sunrises get earlier 07:18 16:37 9:18
28 Jan 5pm sunset 07:07 17:00 9:53
4 Feb 7am sunrise 07:00 17:09 10:09
20 Feb 5:30pm sunset 06:41 17:31 10:50
27 Feb 6:30am sunrise 06:30 17:39 11:09
17 Mar 12-hour day 06:00 18:00 12:00
1 Apr Earliest sunrise until May 12th
Earliest sunset until Oct 11th
05:34 18:17 12:43
2 Apr Daylight savings time begins 06:33 19:18 12:45
4 Apr 6:30am sunrise (again) 06:29 19:21 12:51
12 Apr 7:30pm sunset 06:16 19:30 13:13
22 Apr 6am sunrise 06:00 19:41 13:40
10 May 8pm sunset 05:36 20:01 14:24
16 May 5:30am sunrise 05:30 20:07 14:36
9 Jun Earliest sunrises start 05:15 20:27 15:11
16 Jun 8:30pm sunset 05:15 20:30 15:14
21 Jun Solstice, 12:26 UTC;
but sunrises get later
05:16 20:31 15:15
23 Jun Latest sunsets start 05:16 20:32 15:15
1 Jul Sunsets get later 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 19:59 14:05
16 Aug 6am sunrise 06:00 19:51 13:50
9 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

You can get sunrise information for your location at

A brief history of the Inner Drive webcam

For a couple of years, Inner Drive has had a webcam pointing out the window. We've moved twice since the webcam first went online. From time to time, we've adjusted the webcam slightly. And, every so often, the webcam adjusts itself.

For example, the first cam image is from when we left the office last night, and the second from when I woke up this morning:
Webcam image showing actual stuff Webcam image is completely black except for the time stamp
(The images are displayed at half-size, but you can view them at full-size by saving them from your browser. You'll notice that they have timestamps, which are in Universal time.)

The poor webcam was lying on the floor of the office covered by the box upon which it had previously sat. See how it sits precariously in this photo? Imagine it now in a heap under the chair by the window.
Photo of the Inner Drive office

So, since we had to move it anyway, we decided to rotate it south 90 degrees, to this angle:
New webcam image pointing southeast

For those interested in history, here is what the image looked like yesterday during the day, and at 6, 12, and 18 months ago, respectively:
Webcam image from December 2005 Webcam image from June 2005
Webcam image from December 2004 Webcam image from June 2004

And finally, here is what the Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters looked like in October 2004 and October 2003:
Inner Drive office October 2004 Inner Drive office October 2003
(Yes, the image on the right is of my living room.)

Note: I didn't realize when I started this post that today is the second anniversary of the Webcam. As a special bonus, here is the very first Inner Drive Cam picture ever, from 17 December 2003 at 1:28 pm CST (19:28 UTC):
Webcam image from December 2005

Sunsets are getting later

In the Northern hemisphere, yesterday's was the earliest sunset of the year. Kieron Taylor, writing for the Sheffield Astronomical Society in the U.K., has a pretty good explanation of why this is so. Suffice to say, it's because the earth's orbit around the sun is elliptical.

Here, then, is a quick chart of the shortest days of the year, for Evanston, Illinois:

Date Significance Sunrise Sunset Daylight
4 Dec Earliest sunsets start 07:02 16:19 9:16
13 Dec Sunsets get later 07:10 16:20 9:09
21 Dec Solstice, 18:35 UTC 07:16 16:22 9:06
30 Dec Latest sunrises start 07:19 16:28 9:09
8 Jan Sunrises get earlier 07:18 16:37 9:18
28 Jan 5pm sunset 07:07 17:00 9:53
4 Feb 7am sunrise 07:00 17:09 10:09

You can get sunrise information for your location at

Snow at rush hour

I have never, as far as I can remember, in all my years, seen a traffic report like this. I can't imagine it's accurate, showing as it does five hours from Northbrook to the Loop (a distance of 40 km, 25 mi.):

Welcome home, Danielle

As I mentioned earlier this week, my friend Danielle is returning today from Peace Corps duty in the Republic of Kiribati. For her entire tour she has lived in a place that almost never gets below 30°C (86°F). At this writing she's waiting at LAX for her flight home.

Here is what home looks like as of 15 minutes ago:

The airline claims her flight is on-time. I guess I'll find out later tonight...

Update, 3:56pm CST/21:56 UTC: The airline now reports a two-hour delay, so technically Danielle won't be getting home today.

Late update: The airline cancelled her flight after all. Still waiting...

Hurricane season finally ends

The record-breaking 2005 hurricane season may finally be over. National Hurricane Center forecaster Avila writes this hour:


Good news for North Atlantic shipping, I suppose.

In Chicago, however, we have a good winter storm on its way. I'll keep you posted. Look for art around lunchtime (1:00pm CST/19:00 UTC).