The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Shit Went Down

Having finished Hard Times, I started a new book last night, and realized right away it will take me a year to read. The book, Shit Went Down (On This Day in History) by James Fell relates an historical event for each day of the year. The recommendation came from John Scalzi's blog. I have about 60 recommendations from Scalzi's blog now, and someday I might read a fraction of those books.

Fell's book reminds me that on this day in 1925, a jury in Dayton, Tennessee, convicted John Scopes of teaching human evolution in a state-funded school. Despite the wonderful things that have come out of Tennessee, the state's constant competition with neighboring Mississippi and Alabama for the "stupidest legislation of the decade" award always entertains. My friends from the state assure me that smart people actually do live there, but their protestations have less of a persuasive effect given they left Tennessee at the first opportunity.

In any event, I really need to carve out more time for reading. Come on, UK, open up to vaccinated visitors already! I need the airplane time.

Cassie turns 3 (probably)

According to the paperwork I received from Cassie's shelter, she was born on 18 July 2018 in Cheatham County, Tenn. They may have guessed; no one will ever know. Regardless, I decree that her birthday is officially July 18th. Time for a birthday portrait or two:

(Or maybe a portrait and a landscape?)

Happy birthday, Cassie!

Mouse in the house

Cassie and I got completely pwned by a very small rodent last night. The critter managed to get past her and me even though we had it completely cornered at one point. I hope, however, that (a) the mouse understands the relative survivability of getting caught by a human vs. caught by a Weimaraner, and (b) the mouse understands the relative survivability of my house vs. the neighbor's dog- and cat-free house on the other side of my wall.

All of this happened, by the way, while I was brushing my teeth, so I also learned that Cassie really needs to hear complete English words or she has no idea what I'm trying to get her to do. "Cassie, to me" sounds less coherent with a toothbrush in my mouth, for example.

Tennessee punishes teenagers with health mandate

The Tennessee Dept of Health will stop telling adolescents about vaccinesespecially about the HPV vaccine:

The Tennessee Department of Health will halt all adolescent vaccine outreach – not just for coronavirus, but all diseases – amid pressure from Republican state lawmakers, according to an internal report and agency emails obtained by the Tennessean. If the health department must issue any information about vaccines, staff are instructed to strip the agency logo off the documents.

The health department will also stop all COVID-19 vaccine events on school property, despite holding at least one such event this month. The decisions to end vaccine outreach and school events come directly from Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey, the internal report states.

After the health department's internal COVID-19 report was circulated on Friday, the rollback of vaccine outreach was further detailed in a Monday email from agency Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tim Jones.

Jones told staff they should conduct "no proactive outreach regarding routine vaccines" and "no outreach whatsoever regarding the HPV vaccine." 

Staff were also told not to do any "pre-planning" for flu shots events at schools. Any information released about back-to-school vaccinations should come from the Tennessee Department of Education, not the Tennessee Department of Health, Jones wrote.

Decisions to ratchet back outreach comes amid pressure from conservative lawmakers, who have embraced misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine, said Dr. Michelle Fiscus, Tennessee's former top vaccine official.

Despite being Cassie's birthplace, not to mention the state other close friends come from, we must remember that it also hosted the Scopes trial in 1925. The state government has a long history of anti-science legislation. This mandate seems particularly idiotic, but we also have to remember that with the modern Republican Party, the cruelty is the point.

Busy 4th

Cassie and I had a long day yesterday, which included several rides in the car and lots of play time. It also involved tons of fireworks. And a raw, marrow-filled bison bone:

Adding more data to the "failed hunting dog" hypothesis of Cassie's origin, we walked through a neighborhood southwest of the city with fireworks exploding left and right, and Cassie didn't care. We did normal leash work, in fact, because the fireworks didn't even distract her. Happy dog:

Redundant recovery systems at 100%

The good news: putting my phone number and a close friend's phone number on Cassie's ID tags worked!

The bad news: I gotta trek back to the dog park to pick up Cassie's tags.

Because of the way they lay on her collar, they don't jingle when she walks, only when she shakes or (as happens from time to time) rolls over to let me demand that I rub her belly. So while walking back from the dog park, I had no idea that she didn't have her tags anymore.

Sigh.

Full house today

One of my neighbors is having his floors redone today, so I'm dogsitting. Cassie is nonplussed:

Cassie and Sophie know each other pretty well already, so no worries there. But Sophie is a quiet, middle-aged dog, and Cassie is the equivalent of a recent college grad on a bender in Lincoln Park. Sophie just wants to take a nap. Cassie just wants to play. Sophie is now on her third sleeping surface, hoping Cassie stops doing this:

I feel you, Sophe. Cassie's a lot before 9am.

At some point I'm going to have to walk both of them together. That should be...fun?

Strong storms last night

I had some difficulty falling asleep before midnight last night because a major thunderstorm hit around 11. We had heavy rain, which we needed, and heavy winds, which we didn't. In the western suburbs, they had a lot of wind:

[A] tornado first hit Naperville around 11:10 p.m., in the area just south of 75th Street and Ranchview Drive, and at least five people were injured, one of them critically, and they were being treated at Edward-Elmhurst Hospital, according to Kate Schultz, a spokeswoman for the Naperville city manager’s office. Sixteen homes have been deemed uninhabitable by city engineers and at least 10 people have been displaced as a result, she said.

About 11:30 p.m., a tornado touched down east of Route 53 between 83rd Street and 75th Street in the southwest suburban Village of Woodridge, causing a tornadic debris signature so significant on radar screens at the National Weather Service office in Romeoville that there was virtually no mistaking the event, said meteorologist Matt Friedlein.

Although it was too early to say for certain, Friedlein estimated the tornado may have been an EF-2, a ranking on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which goes from zero to five. An EF-2, should it be confirmed later Monday, would mean the tornado had wind speeds of [176 to 216 km/h].

No one died but the tornados injured 5 people. Here in the city, we got localized flooding, including at Cassie's day care facility, so I get to go back to bed for half an hour.

Relaxing weekend

Cassie and I headed up to Tyranena Brewing in Lake Mills, Wis., yesterday to hang out with family. Today, other than a trip to the grocery and adjacent pet store where Cassie picked out an "indestructible" toy that now lies in tatters on the couch, we've had a pretty relaxing Sunday. I thought I'd take a break from Hard Times to queue up some stuff to read tomorrow at lunch:

I will now return to Dickens, because it's funny and sad.