The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

What a nice day

I'm not usually personal in this blog, but a combination of things have occurred over the past 24 hours that feel pretty good.

First, my apartment is done. Done, done, done. The last door was hung on the last doorframe, the last stick of furniture found a good home for itself, the last drop of paint splatted on the wall. Done.

Second—and this is, I'm not kidding, front-page news in Chicago—the temperature hit 21°C today for the first time in six months (it was 27°C on October 21st).

And finally, I believe I've broken a logjam (passed a kidney stone? sailed around the Horn?) at my office.

I will celebrate with beer, a book, and fresh air this evening.

Airfare annoyances

Living in Chicago, air travelers have two easy options: American and United, both of whom have hubs here (United is headquartered here), and both of whom are two of the top-ten airlines worldwide using just about any measurement.

Astute readers will already know both airlines (accidentally just typed "airliens"—Freudian?) have made news lately. American is just getting around to applying an airworthiness directive to its aging MD-80 fleet, and United just announced serious fare increases that American will no doubt follow as soon as they can update their databases.

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Both of them, however, have gone out of their ways recently to demonstrate why we used to have regulated airfares in the U.S. Now, I'm not advocating a return to regulation—in today's dollars, Chicago to Los Angeles would cost around $1,000—but it really irks me that an upcoming trip to Richmond, Va., would cost more than double if I actually flew into Richmond instead of to Washington, even including the $55 to rent a car for two days.

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Well, that's traffic, I guess

As I woke up this morning to Abby Ryan's traffic report on Chicago Public Radio, I didn't know what to make of this: "...Inbound Stevenson, it's 35; if you're going to Midway all ATA flights are cancelled today because it filed for bankruptcy; the inbound Edens from Lake-Cook, that's 42..."

I'm just imagining what it's like to hear that your company doesn't exist anymore—on the morning traffic report.

Unrelated to that: yesterday's Cubs game started with the first pitch launched onto Waveland Ave. Guess who won.

It's official: 2007-08 one of the worst winters ever

From Chicago Tribune weather forecaster Tom Skilling:

Chicago's 2007-08 snowfall tally eased above 153 cm Thursday, making it one of only seven season to reach or exceed 60 inches. ... Thursday's 4.3 cm at O'Hare became the city's 43rd day of measurable snow. No season since 1978-79 has recorded more days of measurable (2.5 mm) snow.

Skilling yesterday gave the cheery forecast that the Cubs' home opener Monday will get rained out.

Finally, did you know the U.S. government patented the atomic bomb? This suggests a tactic we can use against North Korea: sue them for infringement! Forget the 82nd Airborne, send the patent attorneys!

$101 million Evanston sale

Via Evanston Now:

The pension fund TIAA-CREF has closed on its purchase of the 10-year-old Park Evanston rental apartment tower at 1630 Chicago Ave. from the John Buck Company.

The sale price of the 24-story structure—$101,125,000—is reportedly the highest price ever paid for a suburban apartment building.

The transaction late last month brings an immediate real estate transfer tax benefit to the city of $505,625 in what has otherwise been a slowing market for property sales.

This interests me because it's right across the alley from where I'm sitting: