The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Spicy poké

I swear, the local poké place used three shots of chili oil instead of one today. Whew. (Not that I'm complaining, of course.)

While my mouth slowly incinerates, I'm reading these:

On that last point, comedians Jimmy Carr and Emil Wakim lay down epic burns against anti-vaxxers:

Thursday afternoon miscellany

First, continuing the thread from this morning, (Republican) columnist Jennifer Rubin neatly sums up how the Republican justices on the Supreme Court seem poised to undo Republican Party gains by over-reaching:

We are, in short, on the verge of a constitutional and political tsunami. What was settled, predictable law on which millions of people relied will likely be tossed aside. The blowback likely will be ferocious. It may not be what Republicans intended. But it is coming.

Next up, Washington Post sports columnist Barry Svrluga argues that the Major League Baseball labor dispute and the lockout announced this morning will do nothing to prevent baseball from continuing its fade into irrelevance:

What can’t happen as MLB and the players’ union negotiate, though, is the actual game they stage being forgotten. Whatever the flaws in its salary structure and the dispersal of revenue, there’s money to go around. ... What should matter more than the money, then, has to be the game itself. The game itself is wounded.

Finally, today is the 20th anniversary of Enron filing for bankruptcy. In honor of that history, I give you the Deodorant Building Enron Headquarters in downtown Houston as it appeared in June 2001:

Sure Happy It's Thursday!

Lunchtime links

We've just completed Sprint 50 at my day job, which included upgrading our codebase to .NET 6 and adding a much-desired feature to our administration tools. Plus, we wrote code to analyze 500,000 emails from a public dataset for stress testing one of our product's features. Not bad for a six-day sprint.

The sun is out, and while I don't hear a lot of birds singing, I do see a lot of squirrels gathering walnuts from the tree across the street. It's also an unseasonably warm 7°C at Inner Drive Technology World Headquarters, going up to 10°C today and 12°C by Thursday. So Cassie and I will head to the dog park in just a few minutes.

First, though, just a couple things of note:

And with that, Cassie has some running around to do.

Short-term license agreements

Today is the 50th anniversary of DB Cooper jumping out of a hijacked airplane into the wilds of Washington State. It's also the day I will try to get a Covid-19 booster shot, since I have nothing scheduled for tomorrow that I'd have to cancel if I wind up sleeping all day while my immune system tries to beat the crap out of some spike proteins in my arm.

Meanwhile, for reasons passing understanding (at least if you have a good grasp of economics), President Biden's approval ratings have declined even though last week had fewer new unemployment claims than any week in my lifetime. (He's still more popular than the last guy, though.)

In other news:

Any moment now, my third DevOps build in the last hour will complete. I've had to run all three builds with full tests because I don't always write perfect code the first time. But this is exactly why I have a DevOps build pipeline with lots of tests.

I mean...

The richest person in Illinois has bought one of the only remaining original copies of the US Constitution at auction for $43 million, and I think this says a lot about where America has gotten in the 21st Century:

Citadel Founder Ken Griffin bought a first printing of the U.S. Constitution which sold for a record-setting $43.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction, the auction house announced Friday.

Griffin said he will loan the document to Billionaire Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The artifact carried a presale estimate of $15 million to $20 million and belonged to collector Dorothy Goldman. Her late husband, S. Howard Goldman, had purchased it for $165,000 in 1988. 

The piece is one of 13 surviving copies of the Official Edition of the Constitution printed in 1787 for the delegates to the Constitutional Convention and for the Continental Congress.

The second-place bidder was a group of cryptocurrency investors. So, a man who got rich by taking a small piece of each transaction from millions of other people outbid a group of people who got rich scamming millions of other people.

I'm so glad Griffin has loaned the thing to another billionaire so she can put it in her museum. That sauce really brings out the flavors of this gander.

Cashless

Just a quick observation: since I last visited London two years ago, almost every business I've encountered has gone cashless. Coffee shops, pubs, the Transport Museum, all cards-only. In 2019, most of the smaller places preferred cash.

No real consequences, other than not needing to withdraw Sterling so far this trip. When I get home and sync up Quicken, I expect I'll have a little work, but again, not a biggie.

Take this job and help me get out of my status-quo bias

In his subscriber-only newsletter this morning, economist Paul Krugman speculated about why so many people have left their low-wage jobs recently:

The experience of the pandemic may have led many workers to explore opportunities they wouldn’t have looked at previously.

I’d been thinking vaguely along these lines, but Arindrajit Dube, who has been one of my go-to labor economists throughout this pandemic, recently put it very clearly. As he says, there’s considerable evidence that “workers at low-wage jobs [have] historically underestimated how bad their jobs are.” When something — like, say, a deadly pandemic — forces them out of their rut, they realize what they’ve been putting up with. And because they can learn from the experience of other workers, there may be a “quits multiplier” in which the decision of some workers to quit ends up inducing other workers to follow suit.

I've got a lot of anecdotal evidence to back this up. People I know or interact with in the service industry have consistently said they don't tolerate things they used to tolerate. (You've probably heard the same thing.)

Krugman also suggests that the pandemic gave people time and space to think about other jobs they might do instead, where the phenomenon of status-quo bias might have had them in a rut beforehand.

It may take years to see, let alone explain, all the changes Covid-19 has wrought upon the world. Krugman's observations make sense as a starting point for this bit, though.

Stupid request limits

I had to pause the really tricky refactoring I worked on yesterday because we discovered a new performance issue that obscured an old throttling issue. It took me most of the morning to find the performance bottleneck, but after removing it a process went from 270 seconds to 80. Then I started looking into getting the 80 down to, say, 0.8, and discovered that because we're using an API limit with a request limit (180 requests in 15 minutes), I put in a 5-second delay between requests.

Sigh.

So now I've got all this to read...someday:

Finally, the economics of workers vs employers has taken an odd turn as job applicants have started simply ghosting interviewers. But, as Slate says, "employers have been doing this to workers for years, and their hand-wringing didn’t start until the tables were turned."

Crisp fall morning

Cassie and I both love these crystal-clear autumn days in Chicago, though as far as I know she spent her first two autumns in Tennessee. Does Nashville have crisp fall mornings? I don't know for sure, and Cassie won't say.

I meant to highlight these stories yesterday but got into the deep flow of refactoring:

I will now make Cassie drool buckets by using salmon skin as a training tool.

Evening reading

I was pretty busy today, with most of my brain trying to figure out how to re-architect something that I didn't realize needed it until recently. So a few things piled up in my inbox:

And finally, Whisky Advocate has four recipes that balance whisky and Luxardo Maraschino cherries. I plan to try them all, but not in one sitting.