The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Since yesterday

"I'm Goin' Alone" did win last night, giving us a 12-2 record and another gift certificate that we are certain to plow right back into the bar next time. (It's quite a scam, really, but we're happy to participate.

Also, as promised, here is my annual Parker Day portrait from last night:

He's getting a little greyer around the muzzle, but he's otherwise a happy, healthy mutt. I'm hoping for another half-dozen Parker Days in the future.

Parker Day

Nine years ago today I adopted Parker:

I didn't post his annual Parker Day photo last year because I was out of town, and I didn't have time to take the photo this morning on the way to work. So, if I'm not too lazy, look for it tomorrow.

Sticky

A pile of Gulf moisture has arrived in Chicago making the otherwise-comfortable 22°C feel like a sauna. I'm using the day to do some planning for my next trip (11 days, 22 hours!) and move (28 days, 22 hours!), client work, and taking Parker to an interview of sorts at a new daycare facility. Yes, an interview: he has to play with the other dogs for two hours so they can decide whether to allow him to come back. I hope he passes.

Results from that, as well as a probably thunderstorm (unrelated), later today.

Barking mad at dog poop

The London borough of Barking and Dagenham (yes, really) will fine you £80 if you don't clean up your dog's poop. How will they catch you? Doggy DNA:

In its pilot stage, only one or two local dog parks will be involved in the DNA testing, according to Eric Mayer, head of business development for Biopet Vet Lab. Anyone who wants to use those facilities will have to submit a canine swab, which cost about $45. (The fee will probably be split between the owner, the borough and the lab.) But by 2016, all 27 of the borough's parks and open spaces could be patrolled.

That seems a little invasive on the one hand, but on the other, it hurts dog owners everywhere when one or two lazy bastards fail to clean up after their pets. Still, who wants the job of matching samples to dogs?

Things on Chicago Streets

First, a not-so-smart car:

I'm not sure what amused me more, the disproportionate tow truck or that the Smart Car driver parked in a rush-hour tow zone long enough for Streets & Sanitation to remove him.

Then, for everyone who takes his dog to work, there's this food truck:

I didn't pick anything up for Parker yet. ($2.50 per biscuit? Did I read that right?) But if it comes back, maybe.

Cascading failures

Parker didn't get picked up this morning by 8:15 so I had to cart him off to day care. Apparently the guy showed up around 8:20. But no matter, because at that point I was nearly an hour past the time I usually leave and nearly 90 minutes past his usual Monday pick-up time.

So, survey: should I just trust that he'll get picked up and leave him home? Or should I continue to make sure he leaves the house before I do, just in case there's a problem and they can't pick him up?

Long walks and avoiding Opening Day

Parker and I walked about 10½ km yesterday, resulting in plenty of sleep and (probably) sore paws for both of us. We also got caught in a pneumonia front, in which late-afternoon cooling stops driving a land breeze and allows denser, cooler air from the lake to spread outward over the shore. Temperatures dropped from 18°C to 9°C in twenty minutes—unfortunately, the 20 minutes coinciding from our farthest distance from home. This bothered Parker a lot less than it bothered me, owing to his two fur coats, but fortunately I had an extra layer available. And I walk fast.

I also stayed away from Opening Night at Wrigley, the first regular game of the baseball season, in which the Cubs got their asses handed to them by the Cardinals 3-0. (They went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, too. Great work, guys.) The New York Times called the game "beginning their 107th year of waiting for a World Series title." Sounds about right.

Rhythms of the week

Apparently my last four weekends have been pretty busy. Once again I have almost no time to post anything, not least because it's sunny and 13°C, so Parker and I are getting ready to go hiking.

So here's a listicle. Generally I hate them, but this one from Inc. listing frequently-misused cliché phrases made me point to my screen and shout "yes, that!"

11. Baited breath
The term "bated" is an adjective meaning suspense. It originated from the verb "abate," meaning to stop or lessen. Therefore, "to wait with bated breath" essentially means to hold your breath with anticipation. The verb "bait," on the other hand, means to taunt, often to taunt a predator with its prey. A fisherman baits his line in hopes of a big catch. Considering the meaning of the two words, it's clear which is correct, but the word "bated" is mostly obsolete today, leading to the ever-increasing mistake in this expression.

I'm waiting with bated breath for the next bit of list bait to cross my Facebook feed...