With only about a week of autumn left officially, we have some great weather today. Cassie is with her pack at day care and I'm inside my downtown office looking at the sun and (relative) warmth outside, but the weather should continue through Friday.
What else is going on?
Finally, I hate to tell you, we will never find any real evidence to support the existence of Noah's Ark.
Despite coming in "later and cost[ing] more than originally expected," construction on a new Terminal 2 and revamped Terminal 1 will start soon:
Under the latest plan, two new remote satellite terminals will be the first to open, in 2027 and 2028, off the existing Terminal 1, where most United Airlines flights are located.
Once that is done, full-scale work will begin on the centerpiece of the project: the demolition and reconstruction of Terminal 2, which will be converted into a combination domestic and international terminal. That will locate customs and related facilities at the center of the airport, and not at the exiting, somewhat remote Terminal 5, as is the case now.
Officials had estimated the project's estimated cost at $8.5 billion—but that's in 2018 dollars, when the plan was unveiled and approved by the City Council under former Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
In August, the city had new estimates, with the original $8.5 billion plan projected to cost $9.8 billion. Along with other previously approved and additional projects, the total for O'Hare's overhaul was slated to cost $12.1 billion.
Fortunately, Federal money—not my city property taxes—will pay for it.
I just hope it takes less time to build than the railway platform by my house.
I'm just finishing up a very large push to our dev/test environment, with 38 commits (including 2 commits fixing unrelated bugs) going back to last Tuesday. I do not like large pushes like this, because they tend to be exciting. So, to mitigate that, I'm running all 546 unit tests locally before the CI service does the same. This happens when you change the basic architecture of an entire feature set. (And I just marked 6 tests with "Ignore: broken by story X, to be rewritten in story Y." Not the best solution but story Y won't work if I don't push this code up.)
So while I'm waiting for all these unit tests to run, I've queued all this up:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced today that she will step down from her party leadership role when the 118th Congress meets on January 3rd.
- This came on the heels of a loser Florida retiree trying to get his old job back. Tina Nguyen looks at who might challenge the loser retiree for the same job. One thing I know: this won't end well for the Republican Party.
- Maybe that's why 12 Republicans in the US Senate crossed party lines to vote on moving the Same-Sex Marriage bill forward?
- Aaron Gordon investigates why American transit projects cost so much more than any other country's (hint: they have stronger anti-corruption laws).
- And yet, Washington got a Metro line to Dulles after waiting only 60 years, just slightly longer than we in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood have waited for the inbound Metra platform to open.
- Speaking of corruption, Kelsey Piper got a phone call from Sam Bankman-Fried, the guy who made a couple billion in crypto go *poof* last week, so he could clear the air. On the record. With pending litigation. (Seriously, who's his dealer?)
- For no reason anyone can determine, certainly not the recent dismissal of half its workforce including the only engineers who know where the bolts go, Twitter has experienced some intermittent problems with its multifactor authentication setup. Even better, "a researcher contacted Information Security Media Group on condition of anonymity to reveal that texting 'STOP' to the Twitter verification service results in the service turning off SMS two-factor authentication." Oh my!
- Speaking of that dying company, Elon Musk has done his utmost to hasten the exodus of engineering talent by giving everyone until (checks watch) two hours from now to choose a lifetime of misery or a three-month severance. Because we software engineers do our best work for narcissists with whips. (There simply isn't enough popcorn in San Francisco for this shit show.)
- Sadly, Republican speechwriter and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson has died at 58. I didn't agree with him much, but he remained one of the sane ones till the end.
Finally, one of Chicago's last vinyl record stores, Dave's in Lincoln Park, will close at the end of this month. The building's owner wants to tear it down, no doubt to build more condos, so Dave has decided to "go out in a blaze of glory."
All right...all my tests passed locally. Here we go...
I mean, why? Just why?
- The XPOTUS, as predicted, announced his run for the 2024 election, despite looking like a total loser in the 2022 election. But narcissists gonna narcise.
- The Illinois Worker Rights Amendment passed, and will now become part of the state constitution. I think this will have a bunch of unintended consequences not beneficial to workers, so I voted against it. We're stuck with it now.
- Boomer Kathleen Parker spends her column today tut-tutting Boomers for not understanding Millennial jobs, picking "influencer" as just one example. I'm an X-er who completely understands "influencer" (i.e., children monetizing their own narcissism) and "change manager" (i.e., operations flunky) just fine, and suggests that the problem lies not with the Boomer parents but with the Boomer executives. (Longer post, maybe?)
- Pushwoosh, a Russian software company that writes spyware has pretended to be an American company, for reasons left as an exercise to the reader. About 8,000 apps use their stuff. As Bruce Schneier has said, supply-chain security is "an insurmountably hard problem."
- Bloomberg laments that "the wrong Americans are buying electric cars."
- Julia Ioffe cautions that Ukraine's re-taking of Kherson could lead to dangerous overreach as the war goes on—and a difficult diplomatic situation for the US.
Finally, the Missouri Department of Transportation proudly announced the 50th anniversary of their engineers killing downtown Kansas City, and the Internet let them have it.
Busy day today, but I finished a major task at work just now. As I'm waiting for the CI system to finish compiling and pushing out a test build, I'm going to read these:
Finally, we got our first official (trace) snow of the season this morning, even as forecasters predict temperatures over 21°C this weekend. While I'm packing. All day.
Equipment problems caused an Amtrak train to break down on a trip from Detroit to Chicago, turning a 6½-hour trip into a 19-hour adventure:
Passengers traveling Amtrak's Wolverine train No. 351 from Michigan to Chicago expected a trip totaling about 6 1/2 hours on Oct. 7. Instead, they endured delays that turned it into a 19-hour ride that left them without power, heat, lights and access to working bathrooms. Some riders, fed up with being stranded, ignored the rules to stay on the disabled train and opened emergency doors to flee and find other ways to reach their destination.
By the time the train made an unscheduled stop in East Chicago, Ind., late Friday night, "you couldn't go to the bathroom, it was overflowing. So this is when everybody really was like, 'I'm escaping,' " said Sheri Laufer, who often takes the Wolverine as she commutes between her home in suburban Detroit and Chicago. Laufer, a business analyst for Crain Communications—the parent of Crain's Chicago Business—said she wanted to know why Amtrak didn't send buses to rescue passengers.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said the rail agency tried. "We work with a variety of bus vendors; we contacted them all and they all said they had no buses available,” he said.
Maybe if we started properly funding our trains as the public service they are, instead of starving Amtrak the way we starve most of our government functions (see, e.g., the IRS), we might actually have a country worthy of its history.
As far as I know, I'm moving in 2½ weeks, though the exact timing of both real-estate closings remain unknown. Last time I moved it took me about 38 hours to pack and 15 to unpack. This time I expect it to go faster, in part because I'm not spending as much time going "oh, I love this book!"
I'm taking a quick break and catching up on some reading:
Finally, a new survey says Chicagoans swear a lot less than most Americans, with people from Columbus, Ohio, swearing the most. Fuck that shit.
I've had a busy day. I finally solved the token-authentication problem I've been working on all week for my day job (only to discover another flavor of it after deploying to Azure), while dealing with a plumber ($1600 repair!), an HVAC inspector ($170 inspection!) and my buyer's mortgage appraiser (not my problem!). That left some reading to do tonight:
Finally, despite the crashing temperatures outside my window right now (down 5.5°C in the past 2 hours), Illinois had a pretty dry and mild start to autumn.
YouTuber Not Just Bikes shows how North American traffic engineers prioritize the convenience and speed of drivers in ways that make our streets the most dangerous in the developed world for pedestrians:
The local alderman's office sent me an update this afternoon on Metra's and the Union Pacific Railroad's stupefying 9-year mission to construct a single station platform that thousands of commuters per day would like to start using:
I spoke to the foreman this week who, unfortunately, informed me of further delays on this project. The project is still awaiting a delivery of tiles from the manufacturer who, due to one person catching Covid recently, has informed them that the tiles won't be ready until the end of the year. This is on par which many of the delays on this project, which have been due to supply chain issues.
This pushes final completion of the project closer to March of next year. We are in communication with Metra to see if they might be able to reopen a portion of the station to commuters before that date, as most of it is complete by now.
Yes, of course: the tiles. It took me a moment to realize that the foreman meant the tiles that will cover the walls of the stairwells and ramps from the street to the platform, which I expect will reduce maintenance costs. All things equal, tiles are probably easier to clean than concrete.
Looking across Lawrence Avenue at the yet-to-open platform, though, I would say it just needs guardrails so people don't fall onto the street below.
But when I'm standing on the "temporary" 10-year-old platform across the street in a snowstorm some Monday morning this winter, I'll comfort myself knowing I'm doing it for the tiles.