The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Krugman reminisces

Great column from Krugman today (reg.req.):

A year ago, before "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" became a national punch line, the rising tide of cronyism in government agencies and the rapid replacement of competent professionals with unqualified political appointees attracted hardly any national attention. ...
A year ago, most Americans thought Mr. Bush was honest.

Very quick update

No real entry today and no entry at all yesterday because I was helping my mom move. However, all of the pieces of the Inner Drive Technology Comprehensive Testing Facility are in, so we should complete construction tomorrow morning or, possibly, on Saturday. Photos will follow.

Inner Drive testing lab progress

The Inner Drive Technology Testing Lab at IDT World Headquarters is nearly complete. Today we have a fully-functional, multi-computer testing lab. We'll be moving some computers around probably next week, and we expect to add a chair or two. We may also put some maps up on the wall, because we love maps.

Here's the nascent facility:

Vincent Schiavelli dies

From the Associated Press (published in the Chicago Tribune):

Vincent Schiavelli, 57

Actor Was Known for Creepy, Eccentric Roles

ROME — Vincent Schiavelli, the droopy-eyed character actor who appeared in scores of movies, including "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Ghost," died Monday at his home in Sicily. He was 57.
He died of lung cancer, said Salvatore Glorioso, mayor of Polizzi Generosa, the Sicilian village where Schiavelli lived.

As I'm never one to rise below a little morbid humor at the expense of the living, I would ask, with Schiavelli gone, who will play Dick Cheney in future films?

Happy day

If you're Christian, merry Christmas!

If you're Jewish, happy Chanukkah!

If you just want to be with your family and share the joys of the holiday season, happy holidays!

Finally, if you believe we athiests have declared war on Christmas, read Michelle Goldberg's column in Salon, then Frank Rich (reg.req.) in the New York Times, then reflect on why any majority group in a democracy, who control the government and the press, would persist in believing that the minority were oppressing it.

Webcam back up; millions rejoice

The saga of the Webcam continues. At least it's back on its perch.

Here's what I found when I got to my office a few minutes ago:

Fallen camera

And here is what the Inner Drive Webcam saw as it teetered, tottered, and tumbled to the floor of the office. At 5:53pm Central time, all was fine:

5:53pm

Then, suddenly, the mounting began to give way. The first shock came at 5:54; the second, at 5:57:

5:54pm 5:57pm

The mounting held for a while; here are shots at 6:15 and 6:30:

6:15pm 6:30pm

The end, when it came at 6:33, came swiftly. A jolt at 6:31, another at 6:32, then at 6:33, blackness:

6:31pm 6:32pm 6:33pm

Until, bleary eyed and stunned, it woke to a changed world at 7:30 the next morning. The final shot is 9:00am, about the time I discovered the horror of the fallen Webcam:

7:30am 9:00am

But, gentle readers, the Webcam is back up. At this writing, here is the image, in all its properly-mounted glory:

Christmas Eve, 9:50pm

(Your guess is as good as mine what it sees tomorrow morning.)

Chicago Olympic bid gets Tribune help

Yesterday I posted about news articles I found funny, that included a Chicago Tribune report that Mayor Daley was musing about hosting the 2016 Olympics.

Today the Tribune's architecture critic wrote a surprisingly detailed column about it, offering a list of pros and cons.

Now, forgetting for a second that just a moment ago I posted about the U.S. paying Iraqi media paid to run news stories, what do people think? Should we try to host the 2016 Olympics in Chicago?

Suggested headlines for Iraqi news media

Molly Ivins suggests in her latest column (URL to follow) that we can dtect American military interference in Iraqi news by headlines such as:

  • "26 million Iraqis Unhurt in Latest Terror Blast."
  • "Few Changes Needed to Turn Abu Ghraib Into an Applebee's."
  • "Voting Machines in Upcoming Elections Donated by Florida."
  • "New Automatic Citizenship Law Turns U.S. forces Into Crack Iraqi Army Overnight."

And now for something completely different: Did you know pet pigeons are banned in Chicago? I didn't either.