The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Seattle Public Market

I didn't have time yesterday to get a skyline photo from out in Puget Sound, so I decided on this as the quintessential Seattle photo:

I'm now back at the Half Moon Bay Peet's, better known as the Inner Drive Technology Western Region Development Center.

(Incidentally, the bridge to nowhere previously mentioned now goes somewhere, as the state have lengthened the bike path another kilometer or so.)

Devastating day for pitchers

The Chicago White Sox gave up 28 runs yesterday, losing both games of a double-header with the Indians, 19-10 and 9-8. While that went on, Philadelphia beat the Dodgers 16-1, and Milwaukee got spanked 10-3 by the Pirates.

In total, there were 171 runs in Major League Baseball yesterday. I don't know if that's a record, but an average of 11.4 runs per game seems a little high, doesn't it?

But, wow. Twenty-eight runs in one day against one team. That's the super-special kind of baseball they play on the South Side.

Cubs at Mariners: The Geas reaches 3rd on a single

Park #25 is in the bag.

The Seattle Mariners beat the Cubs 5-4 in 10 innings yesterday after being up by 3 in the top of the 7th. Because if you're up by 3 in the 7th, and you're the Cubs, you're probably going to screw up the 9th. And here is Mike Zunino hitting the 10th-inning single (with bases loaded) that won the game:


So I'm in Seattle, and I have a couple of hours of work to do before my flight to San Francisco. I need some coffee. Where to go? That's a no-brainer: I am under an obligation as a tourist to go to the first Starbucks:

More Seattle and game photos later.

In transit to Park #25

It turns out, all of O'Hare has free WiFi these days, so I can do work right at the gate when my plane's delayed by several short intervals. (A long delay would have seen me in the club, what what!)

Tonight I'll be at Safeco Field watching the Cubs probably lose to the Mariners and taking in my 25th park. Right now, I'm at H11A waiting for them to clean the plane.

Pretty normal travel day, except for getting out of the Loop.

Wettest year ever

As predicted yesterday, Chicago has had more rain so far this year than we had all last year—699 mm in the first half of 2013 v. 684 mm in all of 2012.

That also makes the first half of 2013 the wettest January to June ever:

Wednesday morning’s deluge is just the latest to hit portions of the Greater Chicago area in a year which has been producing precipitation at a record rate. There hasn’t been a single year since official weather records began 142 years ago in 1871 which has produced a year-to-date precipitation tally greater than the 699 mm currently on the books.

Meanwhile, in the West:

Forecasters in the West aren’t mincing words about the heat preparing to intensity before the week’s end across that region. They are referring to the impending heat wave as one of "potentially historic and prolonged proportions."

Excessive heat warnings have been issued from Arizona into southern California and a swath of Utah and Colorado with temperatures in Phoenix predicted to reach the 45-48°C range while Las Vegas heats toward 47°C and the hottest readings near Death Valley move to within striking distance of 54°C.

Next weekend I'll be in parts of the country much cooler than Phoenix (in so many ways).

Today in climate change news

Note: The DOMA and Prop 8 decisions just came out during the phone meeting that interrupted this entry. I'm sure I'll have something to say about SCOTUS in a few hours. Right now, I have to take advantage of the letup in rain and get to the office.

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled blog entry, already in progress:

The monsoon-like rains stalled over the Chicago area today, which will push us past having more precipitation in six months (662 mm as of 7am, with the rain still coming down) than we had all last year (684 mm), isn't the only bit of weather this week enhanced by anthropogenic climate change. Yesterday it was hotter in Alaska than it's been in Chicago since last summer:

Alaskans dealing with unusual heat; Fairbanks' 33.3°C Tuesday high exceeds Chicago’s 2013 peak to-date of 32.7°C to date.

It was snow and an abnormally chilly late spring temp regime which headlined Alaska weather only a little over a month ago. Since then, an extraordinarily rapid transition to record heat has followed—a warm-up which has generated some of the state's warmest temperatures on the books.

The 33.3°C high recorded Tuesday at Fairbanks is warmer than any daytime high recorded yet this year in Chicago. And 90s [Fahrenheit]—in some cases mid-90s [Fahrenheit]—were common in Interior Alaska Tuesday with some 90-degree temps recorded in Canada’s adjacent Yukon Territory as well.

In fact, the heat in central Alaska may accelerate climate change, since melting tundra releases methane gas into the atmosphere. Fun times, fun times.

James Cameron needs to help find my car

We've got a bit of rain in Chicago this morning:

UPDATE: 7:00 am

Arlington Heights 93 mm

Mundelein 65 mm of rain

Wheeling Chicago Executive airport 107 mm between 4-7am

Lake Zurich 135 mm

McHenry 134 mm- Most of it falling since 3am

Crystal Lake 24 hour rainfall 114 mm

The rain has shut down area transportation:

Flooding has closed the Edens Expressway at Pratt Avenue this morning and has stopped at least three trains on Metra's Union Pacific Northwest Line.

The expressway was closed around 7 a.m., according to the Illinois State Police. Officers were diverting northbound traffic at Peterson Avenue and southbound traffic at Touhy Avenue.

Here's the one-hour rainfall total from the National Weather Service:

And the current image, showing a line of storms stalled across the region:

I'm debating going into the office...

Wendy Davis is my favorite politician today

You call that a filibuster? That's not a filibuster. This is a filibuster:

With tensions running high on both sides, state Sen. Wendy Davis [mounted] a dramatic filibuster block passage of a controversial and politically charged anti-abortion bill.

Because the special legislative session [ended] at midnight, the Fort Worth Democrat [succeeded by] talking on Senate Bill 5 — a move that [blocked] a mandate by top state Republican leaders to pass the measure during the special legislative session.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) returned to the Senate floor at 3:01 a.m., banged the gavel and announced that, “regrettably, the constitutional time expired” on the special session. Senate Bill 5 cannot be signed because it passed after midnight, he said.

Davis spoke for almost 13 hours, without taking a break or sitting down, before being ruled out of order around 10pm. When the state senate finally tried to vote at 11:45,

[f]or the next 15 minutes — far longer, actually — spectators in the gallery overlooking the Senate floor unleashed a tremendous and sustained scream that drowned out every effort to establish order.

Earlier in the day, Republicans had jammed through the most restrictive voter suppression law in the country only two hours after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 along party lines gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Still, faced with the most extreme right-wing legislative agenda the country has seen in more than a century, one politician literally stood up and said, "not today." I'm impressed.

A Chicago team did what?

Won, apparently:

The journey began with Jonathan Toews organizing informal workouts while the NHL lockout raged on and ended with the Blackhawks captain holding the Stanley Cup aloft.

The Hawks' magical 2013 season concluded with seemingly the only result Toews and Co. would allow — the franchise's fifth title and second in the last four years after a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Monday night at TD Garden.

And like the first title, the second sparked a celebration that began on the ice, continued on the flight back to Chicago and showed no signs of letting up as the team partied first at Harry Caray's in Rosemont and then at a private gathering at The Scout bar in the South Loop.

Last night we had fireworks, a huge impromptu rally a few blocks from me, helicopters taking video of the huge impromptu rally, and a drunken neighbor having some difficulty getting into his apartment at 1:30 am that set Parker off.

Well done, Hawks. I'll have to watch the last 76 seconds of the game at some point.

Meanwhile, the Cubs and Brewers both had a day off yesterday, keeping them tied in 4th place. One of my friends has a bet going with a cheesehead that hinges on which team is ahead of the other by the All-Star Game on July 16th. The loser has to do something public and embarrassing: changing his or her Facebook picture to the winning team's logo. For my friend's sake, I hope the Cubs can stay in 4th place. (Third place is now an insurmountable 12 games away. We're in 4th this season.)