The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Back, I think

My body doesn't know if I got up this morning at 7 or midnight. I can't decide whether or not I'm hungry. And because I neglected to check email for two days, I had 980 messages totalling over 600 MB (one of my friends sent me the same...photos...four...times), of which 650 were spam.

I will now collect my dog.

Distracting news roundup

A larger-than-usual bunch of news stories piqued my interest this morning:

Three up, three more up, the last three up...

I almost had to pull over this afternoon when I heard about the Orioles losing 30-3 to the Rangers last night:

...[T]he Orioles were battered by a team that kept batting around. They surrendered six home runs, two of them grand slams, and a club-record 29 hits. They also gave up the most runs scored in the majors since 1900, historic indiscretions that punctuated a 30-3 loss to the Texas Rangers before a sparse but wildly entertained gathering at Camden Yards.

Wow, only one Baltimore error:

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Texas « 0 0 0 5 0 9 0 10 6 30 29 1
Baltimore 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 9 1

Alone in the office

After attending the ALS fundraiser (i.e., Lou Gehrig Day at Wrigley Field) last night, I decided to sleep past the normal play-group time and take Parker to day camp instead. Several bits of good news in this: first, the Les Turner ALS Foundation raised butt-loads of cash; second, even though the Cubs lost, so did the Brewers, so the Cubs are still only one game out of first place; third, Parker gets to hang out all day with his friends; and fourth, said hanging-out will make Parker sleep most of tomorrow when he's back here.

The only bad part is, of course, no office puppy today. Sad.

Tapping on empty skulls

I admit that on occasion I've bought bottled water, for example on long road-trips. But I've also found it amusing that Evian backwards spells...well, you can figure it out. The Economist this week explains why, exactly, buying bottled water shows consumers are daft:

The success of bottled water is in many ways one of capitalism’s greatest mysteries. Studies show consistently that tap water is purer than many bottled waters—not including those that contain only tap water, which by some estimates is 40% of the total by volume. The health benefits that are claimed for some bottled waters are unproven, at best. By volume, bottled water often costs 1,000 times the price of tap water. Indeed, even with oil prices sky high, a litre of bottled water can cost more than a litre of petrol. And on top of that, there are the environmental costs of transporting bottled water and of manufacturing and disposing of the bottles.

Yet sales of bottled water have been booming. In 2006 Americans spent nearly $11 billion buying 31.2 billion liters of the stuff, an increase in volume of 9.5% on a year earlier. The average American drank 104.5 L of bottled water last year, up from 63.2 L in 2000.

All of which shows the problems of the average IQ being 100.

ALS Walk4Life Sept. 8th

I'll be participating once more in the Les Turner ALS Foundation's annual Walk4Life, this year on September 8th. You can make donations to my mom's team through CharityWeb.

Here's the text of my mom's letter:

As you all know, on March 17, 2004, I was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, a fatal neuromuscular disease that attacks motor neurons. It makes even the simplest movements of walking, speaking, and gesturing nearly impossible. No one knows its cause; there is no cure.

Today, I can no longer live on my own. I have wonderful caregivers who help me with everything—from getting me out of bed in the morning, to putting me into bed at night. I can no longer speak clearly or type, so communication has become much more difficult. Even so, I am so very fortunate to have family and friends whose patience, care, and senses of humor keep me from despair. I have felt so cared for and cared about that "thank you" is hardly adequate.

Once again, I will be rolling along on the Walk4ife this September 8th to raise money for the Les Turner ALS Foundation. The money is used to fund Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Lois Insolia ALS Center for research at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine to find the cause of, and a cure for, the disease.

Donate and walk. Parker will be there, too.

72% cacao

Long-time readers will know that I rarely post personal news here (and I'm sure some thank me for it), but this one is good: it appears we've sold our condo. In the present real-estate market, that's really good news. It sold about three months faster than I expected (but three months slower than we'd hoped.) So, barring the buyer getting hit by a bus, that's one huge thing we no longer have to fret over.