Forget Christmas songs: Chicago does not have the most wonderful time of the year between mid-November and the beginning of January. We haven't seen the sun all month (well, I have, but I was in California), and we had a lovely thing we call "wintry mix" during morning rush hour. It looks like we might get up to 13°C on Friday, at the cost of an obscene amount of rain dumping on the Pacific Northwest as the warm air mass makes it way toward us.
And finally, Bruce Schneier believe generative AI will greatly enhance spying capabilities enabling spying on a scale never before imagined. "We could limit this capability. We could prohibit mass spying. We could pass strong data-privacy rules. But we haven’t done anything to limit mass surveillance. Why would spying be any different?"
With that, 5 straight days of overcast skies doesn't seem so bad.
I got about a full hour in the lounge on my way to the Bay Area with no stress or bother on the way in. After dropping Cassie off at my friends' house near Wrigley Field, I got to economy parking at O'Hare in less than 40 minutes. Of course getting from the economy lot to the other side of security took another 30 minutes, but as things go, that's pretty speedy. I got a light lunch and some iced tea. My only complaint is the salesy guy in my area of the lounge who has not stopped talking since well before I sat down. I hope his plane leaves soon, with him on it.
But this is traveling mid-day on a Thursday: no crowds, no fuss, and (I hope) no big delays before takeoff.
Next report from San Jose, Calif., tomorrow morning. Enjoy the last few hours of autumn!
Tomorrow I have a quick trip to the Bay Area to see family. I expect I will not only continue posting normally, but I will also research at least two Brews & Choos Special Stops while there. Exciting stuff.
And because we live in exciting times:
Finally, if you're in Chicago tonight around 6pm, tune into WFMT 98.7 FM. They're putting the Apollo Chorus performance at Holy Name Cathedral in their holiday preview. Cool! (And tickets are still available.)
I guess not all of the stories I read at lunchtime depressed me, but...well, you decide:
One happy(-ish) story, as I didn't have to travel this past weekend: the TSA reported that on Sunday they screened more people (2.9 million) than on any single day in history. And of the 100,000+ flights scheduled between Wednesday and Sunday, carriers cancelled only 201 (0.2%). Amazing.
Good explanation, and no, it's not looking good for the Hawker crew:
I closed a 3-point story and if the build that's running right now passes, another bug and a 1-point story. So I'm pretty comfortable with my progress through this sprint. But I haven't had time to read any of these, though I may try to sneak them in before rehearsal:
- The XPOTUS has started using specific terminology to describe his political opponents that we last heard from a head of government in 1945. (Guess which one.) Says Tomasky: "[Republicans] are telling us in broad daylight that they want to rape the Constitution. And now Trump has told us explicitly that he will use Nazi rhetoric to stoke the hatred and fear that will make this rape seem, to some, a necessary cleansing."
- Writing for the Guardian, Margaret Sullivan implores the mainstream print media to explain the previous bullet point, which she calls "doing their fucking job."
- The average age of repeat home buyers is 58, meaning "boomers are buying up all the houses." My Millennial friends will rejoice, no doubt.
- Bruce Schneier lists 10 ways AI will change democracy, not all of them bad.
- The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution says not to worry, the Gulf Stream won't shut down. It might slow down, though.
- The Times interviewed Joseph Emerson, the pilot who freaked out while coming off a 'shrooms trip in the cockpit of an Alaska Airlines plane, and who now faces 83 counts of attempted murder in Oregon.
- Author John Scalzi got to see a band he and I both listened to in college, Depeche Mode, in what will probably be their last tour.
- The Times also has "an extremely detailed map of New York City neighborhoods," along with an explainer. Total Daily Parker bait.
Finally, a firefighter died today after sustaining injuries putting out a fire at Lincoln Station, the bar that my chorus goes went to after rehearsals. Given the description of the fall that fatally injured him—he fell through the roof of the 4-story building all the way into the basement—it sounds like the fire destroyed not only the restaurant but many of the apartments above. So far, the bar has not put out a statement, but we in the chorus are saddened by the fire and by Firefighter Drew Price's death. We hope that the bar can rebuild quickly.
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.
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.
I woke up this morning feeling like I'm fighting a cold, which usually means I'm fighting a cold. One negative Covid test later, I'm still debating whether to go to rehearsal tonight. Perhaps after a nap. And wearing an N-95.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the world:
- Kenyan runner Kelvin Kiptum ran the world's fastest marathon yesterday in Chicago, finishing the race in 2:00:35, 36 seconds faster than Eliud Kipchoge's 2:01:09 set last year in Berlin.
- David Ignatius reflects on the massive intelligence failure that allowed Hamas to attack Israel over the weekend.
- Matt Ford completely debunks the XPOTUS's argument that being president granted him total immunity from prosecution. Along those lines, David Graham says that anyone who represents the XPOTUS in court has a fool for a client.
- David French finds "moral outrage" in the insult "OK Boomer."
- Chicago spent $3.5 million hosting NASCAR over the summer, offset only a bit by the $620,000 in fees the organization paid to the city for the privilege. And we're stuck doing it next year, too.
Finally, pilot and journalist Jim Fallows annotates a 17-minute video of the Air Traffic Control conversations with FedEx 1376, which made a gear-up landing at Chattanooga, Tenn., last week. (No one was injured, but the Boeing 757 will probably be written off.)
Meteorological autumn begins at midnight local time, even though today's autumn-like temperatures will give way to summer heat for a few days starting Saturday. Tomorrow I will once again attempt the 42-kilometer walk from Cassie's daycare to Lake Bluff. Will I go 3-for-4 or .500? Tune in Saturday morning to find out.
- Quinta Jurecic foresees some problems with the overlapping XPOTUS criminal trials next year, not least of which is looking for a judicial solution to a political problem.
- Even though I prefer them to rabbits, even I can see that Chicago has a rat problem.
- Pilot Patrick Smith laments the endless noise in most airport terminals, but praises Schiphol for its quiet. (Yet another reason to emigrate?)
Finally, it seems like anyone with a valid credit card number (their own or someone else's) can track the owner of that credit card on the New York City subway. I wonder how the MTA will plug that particular hole?