It's rush hour in Chicago right now, where commuters are slogging through snow and -5°C temperatures as the second significant winter storm pushes through the area.
And I feel for them. But here in London, it's 9°C and sunny, so one doesn't even need a coat to go out for lunch.
I also had the presence of mind to park in the $17-a-day garage instead of the $19-a-day outside parking lot at O'Hare, which will add 5 minutes to my trip from Terminal 5 to my car and save 15 minutes shoveling it out.
Sometimes I can plan ahead effectively.
Some photos from London. Last night, South Kensington:
Early this afternoon, Earls Court:
Later, the Grand Canal at Kentish Town Road:
One of the pubs I've frequented in London has apparently re-imagined itself as a 19th-century public house. The Blackbird, in Earls Court, used to look like this (May 2015):
Then it looked like this (Sept. 2018):
(Notice all the building permits and the closed door.)
This morning it looked like this:
I mean, wow. That's quite a remodel. Plus, apparently they've converted the upper three floors to "beautiful bedrooms."
I'm still staying at the hotel around the corner, and not at the Blackbird. But it's an interesting shift, to say the least.
I remember the early evening of 9 November 1989. A bunch of us were hanging out on our floor in my college dorm when my roommate told us to come in and watch what was on TV. We saw Germans atop the Berlin Wall waving the Federal (West German) flag, and not getting shot.
Today's Times has a good set of photos from the wall's construction in 1961 to its destruction in 1989. as does CNN. Berliner Zeitung has an interview with Andrei Gratchev, Mikhail Gorbachev's spokesman from then, about the relationship between East Germany and the USSR. The Beeb explains how illegal raves brought the younger generation together and helped precipitate the East's collapse.
Germany reunified less than a year later.
My 207-day streak of 10,000 steps per day ended, as I suspected it would, at midnight GMT tonight.
Traveling from Chicago to London takes 6 hours out of the day, and it's hard to get enough steps before 7am to get to 10k by 6pm when most of that time is on an airplane.
Anyway, I'm in the Ancestral Homeland, about to finish the book that inspired the opera I'm performing in next week.
And then there's the other opera that requires I sing rapidly in Russian, without rushing. I brought the score for that one so I don't lose out on missing Monday's rehearsal.
More later. I actually have to get in sync with GMT so I can function on Monday. Wish me luck.
It's bitterly cold (at least for November), but otherwise the weather is perfect for flying this morning. My destination, London, is just dreary today and probably will be tomorrow as well. This is what I expect; it's as it should be.
Kudos, by the way, to the TSA. The Pre-Check line stretched back almost to Terminal 2, but the screeners managed to get me through in less than 10 minutes. Color me impressed.
Next update from South Kensington.
So, 25 million (recorded) steps in 1,840 days. And I'm currently on a streak—which will likely end today because of my long flight tomorrow—of 207 consecutive days of 10,000 steps or more.
Today's crop of articles:
And now, back to coding.
We have pretty normal autumn weather in Chicago right now, in that it's gray and cold with temperatures about 3°C below normal. Friday morning, when I fly out, temperatures will fall to 10°C below normal and then 13°C below normal when I get back Tuesday.
We have this ridiculous late-autumn chill because of climate change. Warm air over Greenland and the Grand Banks has distorted the circumpolar jet stream into an omega shape, bringing the Arctic to Canada and the central US and bringing California to Alaska. Check out the map.
I'll just have to drive to O'Hare and leave a winter coat in my car, I suppose.
I realized this morning that I've missed almost the entire season of The Good Place because I don't seem to have enough time to watch TV. I also don't have enough time until Friday to read all of these pieces that have crossed my desk only today:
And now, I must finish correlating two analyses of 1.48 million data points using similar but not identical algorithms. It's as much fun as it sounds.