December 17

First things first: Or maybe I mean last. Even though it’s the tail end of the day, only 23 minutes left of it in Pacific time, still: Happy birthday, Chris.

Cold snap, Berkeley-style: Just came in from taking The Dog on his final neighborhood patrol for the evening — I say, “Patrol?” to him, and he jumps up to go out. We get frost here every once in a while, but rarely do you see it so early in the evening. A late commuter returning to his car across the street started up his engine, then I could hear the scraping of the wipers across the icy windshield. He kept that up for about five minutes waiting for the defroster to work. Gone now.

Names named: Not that it’s important or that it means anything, but if I don’t keep score no one will: Another one of my guesses about the unnamed persons in the Rod Blagojevich complaint panned out. The first was the man the complaint called Tribune Financial Advisor, who I surmised from an old magazine article was someone named Nils Larsen, a young tycoon who works for Tribune Owner (Sam Zell). That guess checked out. Number Two is Highway Contractor 1, someone that the governor and his cronies were allegedly expecting $500,000 in campaign contributions from in exchange, the complaint suggests, for an inside track on future tollroad work. I guessed that Mr. Highway Contractor 1 is Gerald Krozel, listed as president of Prairie Materials in southwest suburban Bridgeview and chairman of the American Concrete Pavement Association. A business reporter for Crain’s got confirmation that Krozel’s company is talking to the authorities. Next up: The secret identity of the governor’s grilled-cheese chef.

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