The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Not how I expected to spend the day

When we started planning this trip in May, it didn't occur to us that we would spend half a day at the Ileach equivalent of a county fair, complete with purple sheep:

The day started here, however:

We took part in the warehouse tasting, in which Lagavulin's Iain Macarthur let us taste some malts pulled right out of the barrels, including a 35-year-old and a 23-year-old, worth well over £150 each.

Now we're chilling before catching live music at the only venue that's open anywhere near us tonight, the Islay Hotel.

Slow news day

President Trump, our hypocrite in chief, is taking the first official vacation of his presidency, after spending 41 of the last 196 days away from the White House. This is a man who criticized President Obama for taking too much time off, which makes sense because Trump projects and lies the way you and I breathe. Obama, in fact, had spent 21 days away from the White House at this point in his presidency, including 8 visits to Camp David (which, while relaxing, is hardly a vacation).

As CNN's Chris Cillizza points out,

Generally speaking, I think "the president is taking a too-long vacation" is a dumb storyline. Presidents -- of both parties -- deserve some down time. Whether they play golf or clear brush in their free time, it's fine with me! We all need a little break. And let's be honest: If I am always not so far from my phone (and work) on vacation, then you can sure as hell bet the president of the United States is staying dialed in too. It's not as though these presidents go to a remote island where there's no phone or Internet service.

That said, Trump asked for this criticism. He was relentless not only in his attacks on Obama's vacation habits but insistent that he wouldn't take any vacation if he was elected president.

"Pres. Obama is about to embark on a 17 day vacation in his 'native' Hawaii, putting Secret Service away from families on Christmas. Aloha!," Trump tweeted in December 2013. "President Obama has a major meeting on the N.Y.C. Ebola outbreak, with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!," he tweeted in October 2014.

I'm on vacation as well, flying out tomorrow to the Ancestral Homeland. First, though, I'm spending a day enjoying our perfect late-summer weather at the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Photos forthcoming.

Housekeeping

A year ago today I posted that the previous month, July 2016, was my worst blogging month in 5 years. Well, July 2017 was my best blogging month in 3½ years. The last month I posted 47 posts was January 2014 before I slowed down to the point where this past February I only posted 20 times for a rate of 0.74/day, a number not seen since November 2010.

I have some hypotheses why this happened, and why posting has rebounded. For now, though, I'll just say I've had three consecutive months of beating both the running 12-month average (1.21/day) and the all-time average posting rate (1.31/day).

Grounded for a very long time

Through a number of circumstances mostly beyond my control, I didn't fly anywhere between last December 26th and this past Saturday, a total of 208 days. I have to go all the way back to 2006, when I didn't fly for 154 days, to get even close to that interval. On average, since 1 January 2001 I've taken a flight every 10.6 days. Even last year, in which I flew the fewest miles since 2003, I flew every 25 days on average.

Well, the next five weeks will bring the 2017 average up a bit. But still, I miss traveling. I hope I can do more of it going forward.

Hot enough for ya?

I'm in New York for a friend's wedding this weekend, so light posting, depending on what blows up in Washington tonight. Josh Marshall is already in total freak-out mode. But President Trump tends not to do any work over the weekend, or in the evenings, or at all.

Anyway, regular posting returns Monday.

Busy weekend

Bristol Ren Faire opening yesterday (sorry, no photos), lots of catch-up around the house today. Regular posting resumes tomorrow.

Welcome to summer

Chicago temperatures stayed below 32°C for almost nine months: September 7th all the way until last Sunday, June 4th. Then we had absolutely gorgeous weather during the last work week, which all ended on Saturday when the temperature hit 32°C for the first of (so far) three times. Our forecast calls for continued hot and shitty weather through at least Thursday.

Hey, it happens every year. And our cool weather was pretty good while it lasted.

The bad part is that the temperature killed my Fitbit numbers this weekend. I had the worst day since December 23rd, and that poor performance was because I spent 8 hours on an airplane. Fingers crossed that yesterday's 7,044 steps remains the worst of the year.