The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Today's Daily Parker

What?, he's thinking, I'm being good:

Also, some sad news from the dog park. Last night, Andy, a six-year-old giant schnauzer, succumbed to liver cancer. He was a great dog, a little introverted perhaps, but always patient with Parker.

Today's Daily Parker

I recently started introducing Parker to some new foods that the dog walkers recommended, and what do you know? Parker cleans his bowl of every last kibble. There seems to be a side-effect, however: he's put on more than a kilo since his last weighing on July 4th, up to 26 kg. Back to a strict feeding schedule, dude. Sorry.

Oh, and the ParkerCam is live today.

Acme Animal Control

A coyote hanging out at Francis Cardinal George's mansion got away from Chicago Animal Control on Monday. Repeatedly:

The wild animal played hide-and-seek with police officers and later the Animal Care and Control team for more than five hours. The last three hours were spent chasing the coyote back and forth from baseball fields at Lake Shore Drive and LaSalle Street to the yard of Cardinal Francis George's residence at North Avenue and State Street.

The coyote seems to have sought sanctuary recently on the mansion's grounds. The nuns at the residence said they were not bothered by the coyote, which they say gets rid of the rabbits that ravage their garden.

Yes, they get rid of rabbits, which have surged in Chicago since West Nile started killing all the crows a few years ago. (Crows eat rabbit kits as hors d'oeuvres.) So why bother the coyote?

"It doesn't make sense," bystander Mahlon Canete said after the coyote whipped past him. "They're chasing him with a van. That was embarrassing."


Shortly after the officers abandoned their hunt Monday, the coyote made its way to the middle of the cardinal's yard and lay down for the first time in hours.

Shelter Boxes

These things are cool. For about $1,000 each, the Shelter Box Trust (Shelter Box USA here) provides shelter to people in disaster areas. They've distributed over 32,000 boxes to half a million people since 2001, including to Indonesia in December 2004 and New Orleans in August 2005.

Each is a 49-gallon box containing a tent, ten sleeping bags, cookware, water jugs (sans water) and other neccesities that people need immediately following a disaster.

Today's Daily Parker

Neither rain, nor snow, nor dead of night, can keep Parker from playing with a tennis ball:

He even brought me the ball, but, you know? Standing out in a raging thunderstorm throwing a soggy ball to a soggy dog just doesn't have a huge appeal to me:

The Greedy Old Party (GOP) front-runner is...

..."none of the above." So says the latest AP/Ipsos poll (PDF; via Talking Points Memo):

In a new AP/Ipsos Poll, 25% of Republican respondents say they are either undecided or would prefer someone other than the current field — more than the vote share of any actual candidates listed in the poll. Compare this to the Democratic side, where only 13% of respondents are undecided or prefer none of the above. In the horse-race numbers, Rudy Giuliani leads the GOP side with 21%, followed by Fred Thompson at 19%, John McCain at 15%, and Mitt Romney at 11%. Among Dems: Hillary Clinton 36%, Barack Obama 20%, Al Gore 15%, and John Edwards 11%.

The poll also shows the "right direction/wrong track" numbers at 26% and 69%, respectively. Fortunately, at maximum, only 553 days and two hours remain in the worst presidency ever.

ALS Walk4Life Sept. 8th

I'll be participating once more in the Les Turner ALS Foundation's annual Walk4Life, this year on September 8th. You can make donations to my mom's team through CharityWeb.

Here's the text of my mom's letter:

As you all know, on March 17, 2004, I was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a fatal neuromuscular disease that attacks motor neurons. It makes even the simplest movements of walking, speaking, and gesturing nearly impossible. No one knows its cause; there is no cure.

Today, I can no longer live on my own. I have wonderful caregivers who help me with everything—from getting me out of bed in the morning, to putting me into bed at night. I can no longer speak clearly or type, so communication has become much more difficult. Even so, I am so very fortunate to have family and friends whose patience, care, and senses of humor keep me from despair. I have felt so cared for and cared about that "thank you" is hardly adequate.

Once again, I will be rolling along on the Walk4ife this September 8th to raise money for the Les Turner ALS Foundation. The money is used to fund Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Lois Insolia ALS Center for research at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to find the cause of, and a cure for, the disease.

Donate and walk. Parker will be there, too.