Yesterday around 7am, I made it from where I parked in the main O'Hare parking garage to the concourse past security in 7 minutes. Today, at Raleigh-Durham, I made it from my Lyft to the concourse past security in 4 minutes.
If you have the option of traveling to or from a smaller airport on Saturday afternoon, do it.
Also, it's gorgeous out, so I not only got a chance to walk around Durham for an hour after brunch, but I also got to play with this cutie in her yard:
That's Hazel, my host's 6-month-old pit-lab-something mix. Chillest puppy I've met in a while. And so sweet. Fortunately for my host, Hazel didn't fit in my carry-on.
I'm in Durham for the first time since May 2011, catching up with some people on the Duke campus and off it. Regular posting should resume tomorrow from RDU.
Whiskyfest was Friday evening, so I spent yesterday doing quiet things around the house, including starting some projects for an upcoming staycation.
Today will be a little more running around, including possibly a vet visit since Parker has been staying off his right hind leg completely since yesterday evening. He had trouble getting up the stairs after his evening walk, but he doesn't seem to be in any active pain and the leg has full range of motion. I gave him an NSAID; we'll see if that helps.
In other news, Loyola advanced to the NCAA Final Four yesterday, and Duke plays Kansas tonight for the possibility.
As time permits today I'll have updates on Whiksyfest (i.e., which whiskies I'll be looking for), Duke, and Parker.
My #2 alma mater Loyola University Chicago's men's basketball team has done something for the first time in my life:
This marks the first time since 1963’s NCAA championship team that Loyola has remained alive this deep into the season. Wearing their championship rings, Jerry Harkness and several of his teammates sat in the front row at Philips Arena to cheer for the 2018 team.
The program hadn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 1985’s Sweet 16 squad. Now, the Ramblers will face Kansas State, a 61-58 victor over Kentucky, on Saturday in the NCAA South regional final.
Meanwhile, my #3 alma mater, Duke, plays Syracuse tonight.
Crain's reported yesterday on the latest business-school rankings from US News and World Report. University of Chicago tied with Harvard at the top spot and Northwestern landed at #6:
The magazine labels its ranking a year in advance, so this is the 2019 list. While it started the rankings in 1990, it has historical data reaching back only to 1994, but it was confident this was the first No. 1 showing for Booth.
“The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business tied for No. 1 this year due to its strong placement data, meaning it had the highest percentage of employed students at graduation and, among the very top ranked schools, the highest percentage of graduates employed three months after graduation,” Robert Morse, the magazine’s chief data strategist, said in a statement. “The mean starting salary and bonus of Booth graduates was one of the highest among top schools.”
Duke dropped to #11 in the full-time rankings, but stayed at #5 in the Executive MBA list.
I expect they care more about this in Durham than I do here in Chicago.
Two of my almae matres yesterday advanced in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament. One of them, Duke, didn't exactly struggle, so I'll just acknowledge them for now. Another of them, Loyola University Chicago, didn't even expect to get to the tournament, so their win yesterday felt really great:
Donte Ingram’s 3-pointer just before the final buzzer delivered the 11th-seeded Ramblers’ first NCAA tournament victory in 33 years — a 64-62 upset of No. 6 seed Miami.
As the players partied Thursday afternoon, a 98-year-old nun who serves as the team chaplain was pushed onto the corner of the hardwood in her wheelchair. With TV camera crews trained on her, Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt folded her hands in her lap and smiled, waiting for an embrace from each player as he exited the court.
“She’s just so special, her spirit,” Ingram said. “She’s just so bright.”
After his divine 3-pointer and celebration, Ingram spotted Sister Jean’s outstretched arm as he ran off the court. The undisputed team MVPs for the day hugged.
Call the duo The Shot and The Prayer.
Don't tell anyone, but I'm considering skipping out for a couple of hours to meet some friends at a local wings place. Duke plays Rhode Island tomorrow afternoon, and Loyola plays Tennessee tomorrow evening. (Here's the official NCAA bracket.)
In the reading queue:
Did I mention that DUKE WON?!
Duke Basketball coach Mike "Coach K" Krzyzweski won his 1,000th Division 1 game yesterday:
Mike Krzyzewski earned his 1,000th career win Sunday, making him the first NCAA Division I men's coach to reach the milestone, when No. 5 Duke surged past St. John's in the second half for a 77-68 victory at Madison Square Garden.
When the final horn sounded, Blue Devils players engulfed Krzyzewski and he received a bear hug from assistant Jeff Capel. Photographers swarmed the coach on the court, and players were given T-shirts that read "1,000 Wins And Kounting."
Today is also the 29th anniversary of the only time the Chicago Bears won the Superbowl.
The heirs of actor John Wayne, who manage his likeness and other trademarks associated with him, have sued Duke University to resolve a long-running dispute over the name:
Duke University has been fighting with the late actor's heirs over "Duke" trademarks (restaurant services, gaming machines, celebrity licensing services, etc.) for nearly a decade, and last year, the school stepped forward after John Wayne's family attempted to register "Duke" for all alcoholic beverages except beer.
The school told the Trademark Office, "Consistent with its policies and in order to prevent tarnishment of its brand, [Duke University] does not permit use of confusingly similar marks associated with unapproved goods or services, of uncertain quality and/or unregulated by [Duke University]." Duke University, established in 1838, added that what the actor's heirs wanted to grab threatened its own hold on a variety of food products and beverages.
John Wayne Enterprises is now going to federal court over the objection, asserting jurisdiction in the Central District of California because the school actively recruits students there, raises money there, maintains alumni associations there and sells university-related products there.
One thing that the private research university doesn't do? "Duke University is not and never has been in the business of producing, marketing, distributing, or selling alcohol," states the complaint. "On information and belief, the actual and potential customer base of Duke University is vastly different from the customer base of JWE."
The actor's family now is seeking a declaratory judgment that there is no likelihood of confusion and that its attempts to register and use "Duke" alcohol will not dilute Duke University's own rights.
Later, I'll be going to the Duke of Perth to duke this out with my friend Earl.
The New York Times on Tuesday lamented the state's decline:
In January, after the election of Pat McCrory as governor, Republicans took control of both the executive and legislative branches for the first time since Reconstruction. Since then, state government has become a demolition derby, tearing down years of progress in public education, tax policy, racial equality in the courtroom and access to the ballot.
The cruelest decision by lawmakers went into effect last week: ending federal unemployment benefits for 70,000 residents. Another 100,000 will lose their checks in a few months. Those still receiving benefits will find that they have been cut by a third, to a maximum of $350 weekly from $535, and the length of time they can receive benefits has been slashed from 26 weeks to as few as 12 weeks.
At the same time, the state is also making it harder for future generations of workers to get jobs, cutting back sharply on spending for public schools. Though North Carolina has been growing rapidly, it is spending less on schools now than it did in 2007, ranking 46th in the nation in per-capita education dollars. Teacher pay is falling, 10,000 prekindergarten slots are scheduled to be removed, and even services to disabled children are being chopped.
I lived in Raleigh for a few months and went to Duke, so it pains me to see the South's most-progressive state become its most-repressive. As the Times concludes: "North Carolina was once considered a beacon of farsightedness in the South, an exception in a region of poor education, intolerance and tightfistedness. In a few short months, Republicans have begun to dismantle a reputation that took years to build."
Update: Reader TB, writing from New York, says: "I can attribute this to one thing, and that is NC becoming more of a purple state in the last few elections. They are trying to be more punitive towards those who vote Democratic. Not to mention the abortion restrictions they are trying to pass, which McCrory promised during the campaign he would not sign."
I think he's right.