The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

You know you're a Chicagoan when...

...the temperature goes from -20°C all the way to -16°C and you feel warmer.

I'm going to San Francisco later this week—a place about which Mark Twain said "The coldest winter I ever experienced was a summer [there]"—and I'm looking forward to the weather.

Happy winter!

Despite the snow covering Chicago for the past few days, winter officially began with the solstice this morning at 6:04. To celebrate, the weather changed overnight. I forgot what -21°C felt like until taking Parker out a few minutes ago. Even he wanted to go right back inside.

In Chicago, we say our weather builds character. I'm starting to think, maybe I have enough.

I forgot to mention the wind chill: -35°C with 34-knot winds. Yummy.

Update: On our noon walk, poor Parker made it half a block before his paws started to hurt. He likes cool weather, but even this dog, with his double fur coat, has his limits.

He shall fight them on the beaches...

The best governor we have right now shall never surrender:

Gov. Rod Blagojevich said today he "has done nothing wrong" and will not resign in the face of federal corruption charges.

"I will fight. I will fight. I will fight until I take my last breath," he said. "And I'm not going to quit a job that people hired me to do because of false accusations and a political lynch mob."

Blagojevich, however, did not get into the specifics of the political corruption charges he faces, saying he's "not going to talk about this case in 30-second sound bites ... on the TV news."

The governor went on to quote from the poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling....

Stunning. His approval rating is within the margin of error of zero, and he thinks he's still serving the people of Illinois? Is he deluded or just stupid?

Warning: the Enterprise computer is off-line

Sad news from L.A.:

Majel Barrett Roddenberry, the widow of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry and an actress whose longtime association with the "Star Trek" franchise included playing Nurse Christine Chapel in the original series, died early Thursday morning. She was 76.

Roddenberry died at her home in Bel-Air after a battle with leukemia, said family spokesman Sean Rossall.

New Scientist: Smart soldiers die faster

A British government study found that smarter Scottish soldiers were more likely to die than dumber ones in WWII:

The 491 Scots who died and had taken IQ tests at age 11 achieved an average IQ score of 100.8. Several thousand survivors who had taken the same test - which was administered to all Scottish children born in 1921 – averaged 97.4.

A previous study found a fall in intelligence among Scottish men after the war, and at the time Deary's team theorised that less intelligent men were more likely to be rejected for military service. The new study appears to refute that suggestion. Men who didn't serve were more intelligent than surviving veterans, and of equal intelligence to those who died.

In related news, our governor, who still hasn't resigned, has announced a press conference today at 2pm.

Sun Times columnist: Let's bribe Blagojevich to leave


Just how much money do you think it would take to persuade Blagojevich to get the bleep out of the way?

I'm serious. Big corporations do it all the time. They've got a screw-up executive in the way, and they need to make a change. To save time and trouble, they pay him to get lost. It could be worth a try.

Would a year's salary do the trick? Probably not, but he'd have to give it serious thought.

In all seriousness, I've often wondered how my life might be simpler were I sociopathic. The best governor we have right now suggests that the unexamined life might not be so bad after all—at least, until the inevitable move to Duluth.

The downside of Chicago

Today's National Weather Service forecast:

Today: A 40 percent chance of snow, mainly after 3pm. Cloudy, with a high near 28. Calm wind becoming southeast around 5 mph.

Tonight: Snow and sleet, becoming all snow after midnight. The snow could be heavy at times. Temperature rising to around 31 by 4am. Breezy, with a east southeast wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Friday: Snow and sleet, becoming all snow after 9am. High near 33. Breezy, with a northeast wind between 15 and 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Little or no snow accumulation expected.

Continuous updates on my other site.

Turning Japanese

I've given up for the evening attempting to configure a recalcitrant firewall. To cheer up, I turn to Paul Krugman, who reminds us that a 0% Fed rate means we're in trouble:


That's zero interest rate policy. And it has arrived. America has turned Japanese.

This is the thing I’ve been afraid of ever since I realized that Japan really was in the dreaded, possibly mythical liquidity trap. ...

Seriously, we are in very deep trouble. Getting out of this will require a lot of creativity, and maybe some luck too.

At least I think I've figured out where I mis-configured the firewall....

And here we go

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan has started impeachment proceedings against Governor Blagojevich:

Madigan, a veteran Southwest Side Chicago lawmaker and head of the Democratic Party of Illinois, announced the move against the state's first Democratic governor in more than a quarter century at a news conference at the State Capitol.

"It is my intention to appoint a special committee to begin immediately an investigation into the governor's conduct in office and to undertake the preparatory work that is a prerequisite to an impeachment proceeding in the Illinois House," Madigan said.

Yes, you read that right. His own party chair is heading up the impeachment. And he still won't resign. I mean, how does he think this is going to turn out?