The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

My domain name is 25 years old

On this day in 1998, I registered, and just a few weeks later built the first draft of what became this blog. When I registered it, only about a million domain names existed, though 1998 turned out to be the year the Internet exploded worldwide. Just seven years earlier, only 100 .org names existed, so may be one of the oldest .orgs out there. (For comparison, there are just about 350 million registered domain names today.)

Of course, the 25th anniversary of hasn't yet become a global holiday, so a few other things happened in the last 24 hours:

  • The Democratic Party really wants US Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) to retire, as it has become painfully clear she can no longer perform her duties in the Senate, preventing us from confirming new judges. Seriously, ma'am, go.
  • We also want Justice Clarence Thomas (R) to go, especially after a new revelation that he sold property to the billionaire "friend" who has taken him on half-million-dollar vacations. Seriously, sir, go.
  • At least his colleagues on the Supreme Court all seem unimpressed with the "independent state legislature" bullshit espoused by some right-wing Republican state legislators.
  • New Republic's Timothy Noah thinks "remote work sucks," but (our hero writes from his open and airy home office just steps from his dog and refrigerator) not all of us do.
  • Paul Krugman explains how immigrants are saving America's economy.
  • The New York Times has a lot of good things to say about Chicago hosting next year's Democratic National Convention.
  • Your local, urban apiary might actually be hurting your neighborhood.

Finally, we have another gorgeous day in Chicago, a bit cooler than yesterday where I live thanks to delightful lake breeze, but still more like July than April. 

Record temperatures

Chicago hit 28.3°C yesterday afternoon, breaking the record of 27.7°C set in 1887 and tied in 1941:

The new high mark lasted for at least three hours Thursday and towered above typical temperatures for mid-April, weather service data showed.

Standard April 13 high marks average 15°C, with lows usually [just above freezing].

But despite summer warmth waiting in the wings, the beach-worthy weather is poised to soon go away, if only temporarily, as another system brings cooler weather to Chicago.

Despite the chilly change, warmth-loving Chicagoans have little to complain about this year. Temperatures were 2.1°C above normal throughout the winter months, another National Weather Service meteorologist told the Tribune last week.

I can't remember turning on the air conditioning this early before, at least not in Chicago. (I've spent time in Richmond, Va., and Houston, Texas before.)

It all goes away tomorrow night, though. Pity.

Happy dog

Yesterday's temperature at O'Hare got up to 17°C, with a forecast of 17°C again today. Just perfect for a 4 km walk (in each direction) to Horner Park DFA, where Cassie met tons of new friends and stole dozens of their toys (she gave them back):

Today's plan calls for a Ride in the Car! (I need groceries) and another 10 km or so of walkies.

We get about 30 days a year this perfect, so we use them. Pity I have to go into my downtown office tomorrow...

Spring is here, spring is here

Life is skittles and life is beer!

Seriously, just check out this forecast:

Sunny, with a high near 7. East northeast wind 15 to 20 km/h.
Mostly clear, with a low around 3. Northeast wind 10 to 15 km/h becoming southeast after midnight.
Sunny, with a high near 12. South southeast wind 15 to 20 km/h becoming east northeast in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 30 km/h.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 4. East wind 10 to 15 km/h.
Sunny, with a high near 13. Southeast wind 10 to 15 km/h, with gusts as high as 25 km/h.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 7.
Partly sunny, with a high near 18.
Monday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 9.
Sunny, with a high near 21.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 12.
Sunny, with a high near 23.
Wednesday Night
Clear, with a low around 12.
Sunny, with a high near 24.

That's about as perfect an April week as we can get.

Oh, and check out this girl, who lost 3.6 kg since her last vet visit. That means she only has 800 grams to go before hitting her ideal weight:

She's fitting into her harness again. Now, if I could just lose 5 kg, that would be great.

Asyncing feeling

I spent all day updating my real job's software to .NET 7, and to predominantly asynchronous operation throughout. Now I have four stubbornly failing unit tests that lead me to suspect I got something wrong in the async timing somewhere. It's four out of 507, so most of today's work went fine.

Meanwhile, the following stories have backed up:

Finally, a very rich person is very annoyed after his or her private jet got stuck in the mud at Aspen's airport. It seems the guy sent to pull it out of the mud maybe needed another lesson on how planes work, because he managed to snap the nose gear right off the $3.5 million airplane. Oopsi. (There's video!)

Ah, spring...

Cassie and I ran the last block of our first walk of the day because I underestimated how fast a squall line was moving. You know what comes after a squall line? A cold front:

Because who doesn't love a 10°C temperature drop in 2 hours?

The forecast for the rest of the week is for gradually warming temperatures and dry skies.

In other news

Stuff read while waiting for code to compile:

Finally, Chicago Tribune food critic Louisa Chu says I should take a 45-minute drive down to Bridgeview to try some Halal fried chicken—just, maybe, after Ramadan ends.

Stubborn March weather

After having the 4th-mildest winter in 70 years, the weather hasn't really changed. Abnormally-warm February temperatures have hung around to become abnormally-cool March temperatures. I'm ready for real spring, thank you.


  • ProPublica reports on the bafflement inside the New York City Council about how to stop paying multi-million-dollar settlements when the NYPD violates people's civil rights—a problem we have in Chicago, for identical reasons—but haven't figured out that police oversight might help. (One Daily Parker reader suggested taking the money out of the police pension fund.)
  • A bill moving through Florida's legislature would address suburban sprawl by redefining it. (Want to bet a real-estate developer lobbied for this one?)
  • A ransomware attack a few weeks ago has affected up to 130 organizations, according to researchers and online boasts from the attackers.
  • United Airlines wants to start air-taxi service between the Loop and O'Hare by 2025, using electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) airplanes.

Finally, I laughed out loud at the YouGov survey that found 46% of American men who have never flown an airplane think they could land an air transport with only some help from Air Traffic Control. I laughed because I do know how to fly a plane, and I don't think I could land a 787 well enough to use the plane again under any circumstances without a few dozen simulator hours. In fact, I would probably spend several crucial minutes trying to figure out how to change the radio to 121.5 and the transponder to 7700. But hey, the United States put Dunning and Kruger on the map, so this seems about right to me.

Ten days to After Hours

The Apollo Chorus annual fundraiser/cabaret is on April 1st, and tickets are still available. If you can't make it, you can still donate.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the world:

And finally, screenings of Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, the new slasher pic featuring Winnie and Piglet as serial killers, will not be shown in Hong Kong and Macau, because Chinese dictator Xi Jinping thinks it's a jab at him. Seriously.