I’ve meant to get a GoPro and do something like this from my bike (when I could ride), but this will have to do for now. Not unlike many in Hyde Park, the driver doesn’t recognize stop signs.
October 8, 2022
Autumn Saturday afternoon promenade around Promontory Point. But first the view on Friday that drew me outdoors on Saturday despite the persnickety and painful nerve.
The leaves were colorful in person under a beautiful autumn sun. This year the color snuck up on me, and I don’t know how long it will last.
I subscribe to SpotTheStation, which tells you when you may be able to spot the International Space Station (ISS). Most of the time it’s at too low an angle (behind buildings or trees) or too late/early (or also too cloudy). Today, however:
Time: Sat Sep 17 7:44 PM, Visible: 7 min, Max Height: 89°, Appears: 10° above SW, Disappears: 10° above NE
Almost straight overhead and before my bedtime!
I walked to the park across 55th and got a great look at it until it disappeared 10º above NE. Even in all the light pollution. It took about six minutes from the time I spotted it until it disappeared. Here it is toward the end.
My dad would have loved this. We watched for the burn-up of Skylab together but conditions weren’t right. Still a great moment. And on the way home from family’s house in Eden, we saw a meteorite, which we were both thrilled over. Two of my fondest dad memories.
July 23, 2022
Chicago Parks Foundation is sponsoring “Walk with a Future Doc” at a couple of parks, including Promontory Point. The inaugural walk had three future doctors (in the middle). The sky threatened rain, and when it began to thunder it was time to hightail it home. We got probably a half mile in and information about sleep health as well as a great photo. I missed the next one (every two weeks) as I’m forgetful and it was too hot for me, but maybe later this month I’ll try it again.
Or another June afternoon/evening in Chicago, when this is prime time for storms. I like a good storm, but midwestern storms are too intense for me. From my window, fast forwarded to 13:30, when it was getting worse, just before the hail.
January continues to be the best month for sea smoke on Lake Michigan.
Sea smoke is essentially just fog above water, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Samuhel. The occurrence of sea smoke is similar to the steam that appears over a boiling pot of water or a hot bath.
“It happens when the air mass is so cold it makes the water steam like a pot on a stove would,” Samuhel said. Sea smoke is also sometimes referred to as arctic sea smoke, frost smoke, steam fog or sea fog.
In order for sea smoke to occur, the air has to be very cold and the water has to be comparatively warm. As a light wind of cold air sweeps in, it cools the warm air immediately above the water, which makes the air dip below the dew point. The air is only able to hold so much moisture before it condenses into fog, or sea smoke.
I have a lot of favorite commercial signs, so I’ll break them up into manageable categories starting with barbershop poles.
Once upon a time, the working barbershop pole was a common, universal sign. Someone on Pleasant Ave. in Hamburg had one in front of his house. There may have been one at South Shore Plaza; I suspect my dad went to both places. Now they’re almost rarer than a hen’s tooth.
I get excited when I see a barber pole in working order. The first one up is the Varsity Barber Shop in Ann Arbor. The 2012 photo was missing the location data, but I figured it out from the Michigan colors. Varsity is still open.
The next one is from Arcade Barbers in Nickels Arcade, Ann Arbor, possibly my favorite shopping area anywhere. The shop started in 1917.
This one is from a couple blocks from me on a stretch of 55th Street with many tiny basement salons/barbershops. I was excited when this pole appeared and remain surprised it hasn’t been vandalized.
Finally, here’s what happens when you can’t bother with a pole or don’t have a place to hang it.
As an aside, I looked up barber poles on eBay many years ago and found some for hundreds of dollars. Now I see several on Amazon for under $100. Have they made a comeback, or have they never been out of style (or a reasonable price range)?
February 7, 2021
This year, the weather cooled off in February instead of January, but so far I’ve seen only a faint wisp of sea smoke once. Even though it is mostly above 0ºF, it’s cold enough outside, with frequent fits of snow.
Normally I’d have taken a couple of Amtrak trains to Pennsylvania for Christmas, but 2020 isn’t normal so here I am in Chicago. Normally if I were in Chicago I’d attend Lessons and Carols for Christmas Eve at Rockefeller Chapel on the University of Chicago campus. But it’s 2020, so here we are. I lit my own candle.