First, I need to apologize for the brief, unannounced hiatus that Cooler on the Lake Shore has been on. All good. This was deadline week for a freelance writing project on which I’ve been working for the past few weeks. Yes, I still write for money. Ask me how! (Because I need to write for money more often if I’m going to reduce the burn rate on our retirement savings.)
Anyway, this piece for an academic-oriented publication called CQ Researcher (which was formerly owned by the place where I formerly worked) is an opus of more than 10,000 words with several moving parts. Not only was that the only writing that I had time to do this week, but I’m just now caught up through Tuesday on my daily newspapers.
I also had to put aside my guitar and only started to practice yesterday for my lesson Sunday. Fortunately, Carlos, the instructor for my class at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music, has tastes in rock music that are very similar to mine — mainly ’60s and ’70s — even though he’s a good several years younger than me. Which means that, even on those rare weeks when I fall a bit behind on practice, I tend to play catch-up with a bit of zeal.
To wit, one of the songs we were assigned for homework this week is Against The Wind by Bob Seger. I became a Seger fan while attending Michigan State in the mid-1970s. He was becoming a big national star at that time but the Dearborn-born (and, um, Ann Arbor-raised) performer already was a big effin’ deal in his home state.
So I’m really getting into learning how to play this song. How could I not, with lyrics like, “I’m older now, but still running against the wind.” And, “Wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then.”
It fits me so well.
Since this is a catchup day on the old blog, I figure I should provide photographic proof that nothing much has changed in Chicago over the past week…
Finally, I’ve got a whole lot catching up on the Cooler on the Lake Shore Chicago vs. D.C. Weather Smackdown, too much for one sitting. So I’m going to do three days’ worth here, and we’ll get there eventually.
According to Weather Underground…
Last Saturday (that was January 21), Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 26, a low of 16 and a trace of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 34, a low of 28 and .23 of an inch of precipitation. Pretty darn cold here, but having lived in D.C. for 30 years, there are few phrases that terrorize hearts there more than “wintry mix.” I’ma give this point to Chicago.
On Sunday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 43, a low of 16 and .44 of an inch of precipitation (this was the night when it poured and we had a January thunder-and-lightning storm). Washington Reagan National reported a high of 32, a low of 30 and a trace of precipitation. Nothing to write home about for D.C., but I can’t put my thumb on the scale when we had a rain storm.
On Monday, Chicago O’Hare reported a high of 46, a low of 30 and .25 of an inch of precipitation. Washington Reagan National reported a high of 44, a low of 32 and .03 of an inch of precipitation. OK, this is nuanced because the extra rain that Chicago got was part of that same storm and it ended in the early morning hours, with the rest of day turning out pretty nice (and the high temp about 15 degrees above normal).
That 2-1 split brings the overall score to 89-84 in favor of D.C.