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.
Just a few:
And finally, atheist sci-fi author John Scalzi...bought a church?
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.
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.
I've finally resumed progress on a major update to Weather Now. I finished everything except the user interface way back in April, but between summer, Cassie, and everything else, I paused.
At least, until last week, when something clicked in my head, and I started writing again. As my dad would say, I broke the code's back.
It turns out, the APIs really work well, and I'm getting used to .NET Blazor, so I'm actually getting things done. The only downside applies to Cassie, who will probably only get 90 minutes of walks today instead of the two hours or so she got on summer Saturdays.
Cassie and I took a walk by Montrose Harbor on Sunday afternoon at just the right time:
And yesterday, at my downtown office, I also got the timing right:
Winter begins tomorrow, but we can still enjoy the last few days of autumn.
A group of pub-goers in Yorkshire got trapped with an Oasis cover band after freak snowfall made the area impassible:
Dozens of people, mostly strangers, spent the weekend snowed in together at the remote pub after heavy snowfall blocked the exits.
The Tan Hill Inn, which calls itself the U.K.'s highest pub, was hosting the band Noasis when snowfall made leaving the area dangerous for staff, musicians and pub-goers.
So they stayed — and stayed and stayed — all weekend, waiting for the danger to pass.
The band was trapped at the pub as well, causing them to miss their next gig in Essex. "We're very sorry to announce that we are stranded in Yorkshire, snowed in at the venue after last night's gig at The Tan Hill Inn," the band wrote on Facebook.
I mean, I guess there are worse places to be trapped. At least they had food and beer.
...on Wednesday. And to remind us of this, yesterday didn't get above freezing at my house. It finally went above freezing at 3:04am, according to my thermometer. And at Chicago's official weather station at O'Hare, yesterday was the coldest day since February 21st.
Today won't get too much warmer. Still, in about 90 minutes, I'm taking the Brews & Choos Project out of Illinois for the first time. Kenosha, Wis., has two breweries within a couple of blocks of each other and the Union Pacific North Line's northern terminus. Cassie had a stomach issue on Thursday, which for reasons I won't explain but you can infer, turned out to be a hunk of one of her toys. So she will have a quiet day at home while I almost finish all the stops on the UP-N.
While running errands this morning I had the same thought I've had for the past three or so weeks: the trees look great this autumn. Whatever combination of heat, precipitation, and the gradual cooling we've had since the beginning of October, the trees refuse to give up their leaves yet, giving us cathedrals of yellow, orange, and red over our streets.
And then I come home to a bunch of news stories that also remind me everything changes:
- Like most sentient humans, Adam Serwer feels no surprise (but plenty of disgust) that a Wisconsin jury acquitted Kyle Rittenhouse: "This is the legal regime that a powerful minority of gun-rights advocates have built—one in which Americans are encouraged to settle their differences with lethal force, preferably leaving as few witnesses capable of testimony as possible."
- Charles Blow worries about the follow-on effects—i.e., vigilantism. Says Blow, "Right-wing gun culture is not unlike the wellness industry, in that it requires the cultivation of a sustained insecurity in its audience, in order to facilitate the endless purchase of its products."
- Dan Friedman finds Rittenhouse's acquittal terrifying: "[M]ost reasonable people would agree that armed vigilantes facing off with armed protesters, or rioters—while police hide blocks away in armored vehicles—is, by and large, bad. But in Kenosha, and much the country, it is legal. And it is becoming normal. ... [T]he biggest failure was that the events of the trial, and the public perception of it, will not deter the kind of conduct that led to it. It seems sure to cause more right-wing vigilantism, more armed confrontations, and more political violence in the streets."
Outside of Kenosha:
Finally, Israel's government has loosened the certification process for Kashrut inspectors, to the outrage (do they express any other emotion?) of the Haredim. One possible factor? "The head of the Chief Rabbinate’s kashrut division was indicted on bribery charges in 2020 after being videotaped allegedly accepting envelopes of cash from food importers." Oy gevalt!
Just a couple of eye-roll-worthy lunchtime links today: