The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Nobody knows nothing yet

The last 48 hours have no precedent in US politics. People have only just started to absorb what it means for President Biden to drop out of the election and Vice President Harris to take his place (which she has almost certainly done, based on delegate counts--and the endorsements of both the House Minority Leader and Senate Majority Leader). No polling data released before Thursday will have captured any of that.

I will say, however, that I feel so much better about the election than I did Sunday morning, I believe we will win it. Clearly, I'm not alone.

The election is 15 weeks from today. That's 13 weeks longer than most people pay attention. And given how much has happened in just the last 4 weeks, a lot more can happen before November.

But for the first time in a while, I feel great about our chances.

Democrats in complete array

What a consequential 24 hours we've had.

After President Biden's historical withdrawal from the 2024 election, he endorsed Vice President Kamala Harris. So far, dozens of other elected Democrats have followed, including Illinois governor JB Pritzker just this morning.

And because the Vice President is already on the campaign, according to Federal election rules, she can use the entire $96 million campaign fund—and in fact she's already filed with the Federal Election Commission to do so.

In other words, Harris is, without question, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, which means next month's Democratic National Convention in Chicago will be the election kickoff we hoped for and not a repeat of 1968.

Some reactions from the usual suspects:

I should also add Aaron Sorkin's piece from yesterday's Times, published before President Biden's announcement: "How I would script this moment for Biden and the Democrats." But no, we aren't going to nominate Mitt Romney (R-UT).

Meanwhile, the news has put the Republican party in complete disarray as their entire election strategy just evaporated. Over the next few days we will see the convicted-felon rapist XPOTUS back in form as the racist, misogynist wanna-be thug that he is. But the best news of all from yesterday is: the chances we need to care about him for longer than 106 more days just got a lot smaller.

One or two other things happened yesterday, including the last-surviving piping plover chick on Montrose Beach getting a name. I'll have more later today.

President Biden withdraws

The New York Times reports that President Biden has withdrawn from the 2024 election:

After three weeks of often angry refusals to step aside, Mr. Biden finally yielded to a torrent of devastating polls, urgent pleas from Democratic lawmakers and clear signs that donors were no longer willing to pay for him to continue.

Mr. Biden said he will not resign the presidency, and intends to finish out his term even as he leaves it to others to try and defeat Mr. Trump. Over the next several months, the president faces the ongoing war in Ukraine and the increasingly desperate efforts to reach a negotiated deal to end the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

No sitting American president has dropped out of a race so late in the election cycle. The Democratic National Convention, where Mr. Biden was to have been formally nominated by 3,939 delegates, is scheduled to begin Aug. 19 in Chicago. That leaves less than a month for Democrats to decide who should replace Mr. Biden on the ticket and just under four months for that person to mount a campaign against Mr. Trump.

And now the race is between a demented 78-year-old who has a proven track record of chaos and corruption against a brilliant 59-year-old who has a proven track record of accomplishment and fighting for our rights.

The XPOTUS's campaign must be shitting bricks right now.

Here's the President's statement:

Playing around with Lightroom

I use Adobe Lightroom to catalog and retouch my photos. Like any complex piece of software, it has a lot of features I haven't learned how to use yet. So I decided to play around this morning. Here's a new edit of Cassie's Gotcha Day photo from March:

Here's the photo as previously published:

Other than the aspect ratio change, the changes are subtle, but I think the top photo is better. And Cassie is just as adorable in both.

Is/Was Brewing, Chicago (preliminary report)

Welcome to stop #113 on the Brews and Choos project.

Brewery: Is/Was Brewing, 5121 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago
Train line: Union Pacific North, Ravenswood (Also CTA Brown Line, Damen)
Time from Chicago: 16 minutes (Zone 2)
Distance from station: 600 m (1.6 km from CTA)

If this façade seems familiar, it's because this storefront has a long history of making adult beverages. Until September 2022, Urban Brew Labs lived here; before they moved in, Koval Spirits called it home. And last week, Is/Was opened their long-awaited taproom after buying much of Urban Brew Labs' equipment and furniture at auction. I popped in for a couple of minutes last Sunday.

They opened a week ago Thursday, quietly, hoping to build some buzz around the neighborhood while they finished getting everything together. Currently, their quasi-outdoor space contains a bunch of boxes and bottles of beer, and they haven't gotten their custom-made, 4-meter communal table, which will go roughly in the center of the area shown above. They plan a Grand Opening in August, which Cassie and I will attend, but until then they're only open Thursday and Friday evenings, and weekends.

Most of their beers are Saisons, a style I don't particularly like. But I did try their Table Beer, a 3.2% delight I expect to have if I take Cassie over there on a weeknight. They plan to add some more bourgeoise beers, including an English pale and possibly (they grimaced when they told me this) an IPA. You know, for the people who don't appreciate Saisons.

But I do appreciate that the newest taproom in Chicago is only 350 meters from my front door, and they welcome dogs and people who just want to drink a 3.2% beer while hanging out. I can't wait to see everything come together for them.

Beer garden? Not yet
Dogs OK? Yes
Televisions? None
Serves food? No; BYOF encouraged
Would hang out with a book? Yes
Would hang out with friends? Yes
Would go back? Yes

Some random person in Nebraska

Network security company CrowdStrike pushed a minor update to its Falcon Sensor product around 11pm Chicago time yesterday that managed to take down almost every virtual machine in Microsoft's Azure cloud:

Cascading technology errors stranded airline passengers around the world, halted hospital surgeries and crippled office workers’ computers on Friday in one of the most disruptive computer outages in years, highlighting how much of the world relies on potentially error-prone software from a handful of companies.

Technology experts said the meltdowns appeared to stem mostly from an error in a software update from CrowdStrike, whose technology is commonly used by businesses to defend against cyberattacks.

That defect affected computers that use Microsoft’s Windows, which powers hundreds of millions of personal computers and many back-end systems for airlines, digital payment, emergency services call centers and much more.

[B]ecause CrowdStrike’s digital protections are considered essential, its technology is given priority access on many computer systems. If something goes wrong with CrowdStrike software, that privileged access can grind computers to a halt.

CrowdStrike admitted that their software caused the problem:

  • Symptoms include hosts experiencing a bugcheck\blue screen error related to the Falcon Sensor.
  • Windows hosts which have not been impacted do not require any action as the problematic channel file has been reverted.
  • Windows hosts which are brought online after 0527 UTC will also not be impacted
  • Hosts running Windows 7/2008 R2 are not impacted
  • This issue is not impacting Mac- or Linux-based hosts
  • Channel file "C-00000291*.sys" with timestamp of 0527 UTC or later is the reverted (good) version.
  • Channel file "C-00000291*.sys" with timestamp of 0409 UTC is the problematic version.

Don't worry, you probably don't have CrowdStrike software on your PC at home; but you probably do log into your Windows PC through Microsoft Active Directory, which runs on virtual machines in the Azure cloud that depend on Falcon Sensor.

This time, the random person in Nebraska turned out to be a multimillion-dollar corporation in Austin, Texas. Though, I suspect, several random people in Texas are now looking for new jobs.

End of Thursday link roundup

Lots of stories in the last day:

Finally, comic genius and Chicago native Bob Newhart has died at age 94. He was a national treasure.

Wait, a tornado hit where, exactly?

Monday's derecho spawned so many tornados in Northern Illinois that the National Weather Service hasn't yet confirmed the paths they all took. But one of those paths got my attention:

That's, uh...that tornado ended at the front door of the Ogilvie Transportation Center, where I get off my morning commuter train, which is 300 meters from my office. It went straight down Madison Street from Racine to Canal. That does not usually happen.

And yesterday, this one little punk rainstorm dumped almost 10 mm of rain on the North Side in 15 minutes:

Notice the blue dot (i.e., where Cassie and I were caught). I put a video up on social media if you want to see how much fun she and I had at Spiteful last night. Fortunately we got to Spiteful a good minute before it started pouring. Unfortunately I underestimated how much water would descend on us, so we went inside for a bit before returning to the patio with a rag.

Now the NWS predicts "isolated showers" this afternoon as well. I really have had enough of this New Orleans-level heat and moisture. Tomorrow should be cooler and drier, though.