It's still not what I want to see on Hallowe'en:
Tomorrow will be warmer, we think.
We officially had our first freeze last night as the temperature at O'Hare dipped to -1°C. At Inner Drive Technology World HQ it only got down to 0.1°C, barely above freezing, but still cold enough to put on ear muffs and gloves taking Cassie to day camp this morning. It'll warm up a bit this weekend, though.
Meanwhile, I'm writing a longer post about propaganda, which I may post today or tomorrow. And that's not the only fun thing happening in the world, either:
- Ukraine has had a lot of success blowing up $2 million Russian tanks with $400 drones. Good.
- The XPOTUS keeps making fun of the President's age, which, like everything else he does and says, turns out to have a pretty large element of projection. (Remember: to figure out what the XPOTUS wants to do, listen to what he says our lot are doing.) Bad.
- Chicago house prices have risen faster than in any other major US city lately, but only because they still lag almost every other US city. Mixed.
- BlueTriton, the parent company of Poland Springs-brand bottled water, not only sells one of the worst products for degrading our natural environment, but also has engaged in ballsy corruption to "persuade" the Maine legislature to let it continue doing so. Bad.
- HackRead reports a 587% increase in "quishing" attacks, where bad guys get you to scan bogus QR codes to steal your credentials. Very bad.
- Paleontologists have published evidence that the dust layer kicked up by the Chicxulub impact 66 million years ago may have persisted for 15 years, shutting down photosynthesis entirely for up to 24 months. Bad for the dinosaurs, good for the paleontologists.
Finally, as you sniffle and snort this winter, it might not comfort you to know that you have two noses that can get congested and runny. Bad.
With a concert on Sunday and other things going on in my life before then, I don't know how much I'll post this week. Tomorrow I get to walk Cassie to day care and hop on a train to my downtown office in the snow, which sounds really bad until you look at the data and see that October 31st is actually the average date of Chicago's first snowfall. The weather forecast promises it won't stick.
Speaking of sticking around:
- David French believes President Biden has threaded the needle well with his response to the war in Gaza, even though his poll numbers have declined.
- US Sen. Kristen Sinema (I-AZ) may have done more to enable the lunatic fringe of the party she claims to oppose than any other Democratic senator (before she became "independent"), save perhaps Joe Manchin (D-WV).
- Author Anne Lamott, who recently turned 70, offers a plea to let yourself age gracefully.
- Bruce Schneier points out a hack long known to Scandinavians: you can avoid EU alcohol tax by taking a ferry from Helsinki or Stockholm to the Finnish archipelago Åland.
Finally, John Kelly interviewed some expert sources to find out what language tics really irk them. For example, to someone who rows, saying "a crew team" is like saying "an ATM machine." Don't do it.
We have a typical cloudy autumn day, good for reading and not so good for long walks with the dog. So I'll read and Cassie can wait for a bit:
- Turns out, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is even more of a scary, right-wing Christian nationalist nutter than most people knew. Paul Krugman concurs, warning that Johnson wants to eliminate the social safety net entirely.
- Actor Matthew Perry drowned in his California home yesterday. He was 54.
- New DNA evidence confirms that the Assateague horses on Delmarva's barrier islands arrived in North America when a Spanish galleon wrecked there 400 years ago.
- Data from Tallinn, Estonia, suggests that even free public transit doesn't keep people from wanting to drive.
- Chicago's first railroad line turned 175 this week. Happy birthday.
Finally, new research shows elucidates the complex relationship between alcohol and orgasms. Apparently there's a sweet spot somewhere in the "moderate drinking" zone. I will leave the details as an exercise for the reader.
I really love the Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood in Chicago's Edgewater community area. I only had 25 minutes to walk Cassie while my car got serviced nearby, so I didn't stop to photograph everything. But I did snap this at the corner of Magnolia and Bryn Mawr:
And then, just 200 meters away on the 5400 block of Wayne, this:
That's not too creepy, is it?
Yesterday's temperatures at IDTWHQ fell off a cliff right before dinner:
(I know, we play this game a lot.)
I spent way too much time chasing down an errant mock in my real job's unit test suite, but otherwise I've gotten a lot done today. Too much to read all these articles:
OK, assuming this build works, I'll have closed 4 story points today—with 4 very small 1-point stories. The harder ones start Monday morning.
I've had a few things on my plate this week, including a wonderful event with the Choeur de la Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris at Old St Patrick's Church in Chicago. We had a big dinner, they sang for us, we sang for them, and then some of us hosted some of them in our homes. Tonight I'm hearing their real performance at Alice Millar Chapel in Evanston.
Sunday night I saw comedian Liz Miele at the Den Theater. I'm totally crushing on her and highly recommend you catch her on this tour:
And naturally I have a few photos of Cassie that got imported into Lightroom this morning:
Real post later today, probably around the time the cold front hits.
House Republicans have (finally) elected a Speaker, far-right Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), an election denier who tried to popularize the "independent state legislature" malarkey after the 2020 election:
Elected to Congress in 2016, Mr. Johnson is the most junior lawmaker in decades to become speaker.
He may also be the most conservative. An evangelical Christian, Mr. Johnson is the former chairman of the Republican Study Committee and sponsored legislation to effectively bar the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity at any institution serving children younger than 10 that receives federal funds.
He served on former President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment defense team, played a leading role in recruiting House Republicans to sign a legal brief supporting a lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election results and was an architect of Mr. Trump’s bid to object to certifying them in Congress on Jan. 6, 2021.
Josh Marshall has links to Speaker Johnson's podcasts, just in time for Hallowe'en. They're scary.
Election day is 376 days away...
It's 22°C and sunny right now, making me wonder what's wrong with me that I'm putting together a software release. I probably should fire off the release, but I'm doing so under protest. I also probably won't get to read all of these things I've queued up:
Finally, Stan's Donuts will open a new store just three blocks from the apartment I moved out of one year ago today. I might have to stop in soon. I will not, however, wash them down with CH Distillery's latest abomination, Pumpkin-Spice Malört.