Yours truly (center) with my mom and stepfather (Ray) at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:32PM July 2, 2015.
Blog Editor's Note:
The first 8 pictures in this entry were taken this afternoon at Thunder Grill at Union Station here in D.C. today.
The bulk of the other pictures were taken on my approx. 20-mile Sunday bike ride that had the following route: My apartment north up 16th Street (on the sidewalk, of course) to Silver Spring, connecting to the Georgetown Branch Trail and over to Bethesda, and then down the Capital Crescent Trail into Georgetown and back home (though not before I stopped at No. 9).
Another two pictures were sent to me by a friend who is in Maine right now.
Today has been a good day in that it featured a nice extended lunch with my mom and Ray and my invited guest, Andrea, at Thunder Grill at Union Station. I really like that place, in particular when it's early to midafternoon and not crowded. I also love how the trains lightly shake the place when they pass directly underneath it.
Andrea and myself, Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:30PM July 2, 2015.
The rest of the day was kind of mediocre and a bit stressful as I tried to do some errands via my bike, which I did NOT want to ride today, and it caps a disjointed week that also includes some foot issues. In order to explain, let me back up a bit.
For starters, this has been something of a topsy-turvy week in terms of my work schedule, trying to go to the gym twice (which I did), keeping up this blog, going out on Tuesday night, and sleeping.
My mom and stepfather, Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:33PM July 2, 2015.
In a sense, I'm quickly getting too old to be able to do all of that and function well.
As for the gym, everything was fine on Monday night with my usual three-part workout of jogging, weightlifting / minor core workout, and a brief swim spanning 3+ hours. However, on Wednesday night (that is, last night), my jogging (6.69 miles over 65 minutes including 5 minute cool down (too much?)) really exacerbated some of the foot problems I have been having.
Yours truly, Richard Todaro, at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:42PM July 2, 2015.
I'm not referring to my
fascist planter plantar fasciitis, which seems to have ebbed, and no more lost toe nails (three at least count), but rather, on my middle right toe, just a somewhat painful under-the-skin red blotch from bleeding. At this point, I need to go to the podiatrist, although I have to go to my regular physician for a checkup -- scheduled for July 17th -- to get a referral (which I know she will give me).
Slightly blurry photo but I like it: Andrea and myself, Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:42PM July 2, 2015.
More immediately, I'm not sure I can do any jogging, in particular tomorrow as I wanted to go to the gym tomorrow because Saturday is July 4th / Independence Day and the YMCA has limited hours. At this point, I'm not sure what to do.
Yours truly, Richard Todaro, at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:43PM July 2, 2015.
Yes, another picture of me -- and I've got still one more to post below!.
Giving up the jogging is not something I want to do but I might have to, at least for a while. It's not like there aren't other things I can do at the gym. Rather, it's just that it has paid off so well over the past four years in terms of losing and keeping off 40 pounds, not to mention being a truly outstanding "detox" procedure.
But I guess I'm just getting old.
Yours truly, Richard Todaro, at Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., again at 3:43PM July 2, 2015.
As it is, I purchased -- for frickin' $14 -- Dr. Scholl's Massaging Gel insoles at the Dupont Circle CVS. (The new layout of that place with its second floor is so much nicer. All it needs is a lunch counter and non-fluorescent lighting and it'll be just like a 1940s Peoples Drug back-to-the-future, early 21st Century-style.)
Ray and my mom (partially visible in this picture), Thunder Grill, Union Station, Washington, D.C., 3:34PM July 2, 2015.
As for today, workwise, it was mostly a total loss although we were given 2 hours early dismissal. My supervisor (who is no longer Andrea, so she's just back to being my friend) was good about letting me claim the 2 hours even though I was off for half the day due in large measure to the extended lunch at Thunder Grill.
East-West Highway in Silver Spring, Md., near Rosemary Hills (and the North Cornerstone), 4:41PM June 28, 2015.
The sky (cloud deck) was distinctly not summerlike -- more like a mid-to-late autumn sky.
(Blog Editor's Note: For the discussion that follows until the next bike ride picture, I have no cellphone images, so you just have to image it.)
The morning featured some soaking rain showers that woke me up as large drops hit against my window a/c, although it quickly became a showery rainfall rather than a downpour.
KDCA is already at 1.32" of rainfall for the month and we are only two days into July. The other three regional climate stations are less to much less: KBWI at 0.80"; KIAD at 0.05"; and KMDH at 0.38".
Today's dawn featured the most wonderful subdued lighting, at once misty-blue-gray but not somber or ominous.
Rather, the rainfall and mist, the green of the city trees that line the avenues, and the street / exterior lights that were still on all combined to a wonderful feel (at least from my 2000 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW perspective).
The glow of an orange hybrid sodium / mercury vapor lamp on the side of The Brittany -- the historic "crime (deterrent) light" of American cities was reflected in a pattering puddle beneath the leafy green elm tree above it. The whole effect was wonderful.
Alas, I was so tired, I feel right back to sleep and got up way late.
View of the Rock Creek nearly in flood stage as seen from the Georgetown Branch Trail bridge, Silver Spring, Md., 4:57PM June 29, 2015. I already posted this image here.
Oddly enough for this time of year, the rest of the day was solidly overcast with only a hint of the around 6PM. Continuing with the odd light patterns of this day, the sky began to clear at sunset and a slightly iridescent yellowish-orange glow that slowly shifted to orange filled the air. The Sun was behind The Brittany (from my vantage point at this time of year), so I didn't see it actually set.
Potomac River and Virginia side view from the Capital Crescent Trail, Washington, D.C., 6:52PM June 28, 2015.
The Potomac was borderline in flood stage and quite silt-filled brownish from all the heavy rainfall runoff.
Speaking of sunsets ...
... we just past the latest sunset times of the year -- 8:38PM EDT here in Washington, D.C., this year, between June 26th and 30th -- and already it is starting to get earlier (8:37PM EDT tonight). The earliest sunrises occurred, as always, ahead of the summer solstice (this year, June 10th - 18th). The "longest day(light)" was, of course, on the solstice (June 21st this year). It's not a coincidence that in the present epoch, Earth reaches aphelion each year around now, i.e., the first week of July. (Yes, Earth is farthest away from the Sun at the start of the Northern Hemisphere summer.)
Anyway, I rode my bike to work today. I actually did not want to but I need to go to the ATM, and I didn't feel like walking to Dupont Circle or going up to Columbia Heights to a Bank of America. The bike ride is the easiest way to do this because there is a Bank of America at 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Again, Potomac River and Virginia side from the Capital Crescent Trail, Washington, D.C., 6:52PM June 28, 2015.
I had a very minor collision with two tourist pedestrians by the White House (an older large man and a lady). It was nothing like the near-disaster I had back in 2002 or thereabouts, also by the White House involving a 7-year old boy (Jeremy) who was with his mom (Virginia) on an all-black church tour group Chicago. Actually, that one ended with a prayer circle and no one badly injured. It was close. In today's event, I was almost able to stop though not entirely. It was, technically, my fault (they were stepping into the bike lane, not looking, except they had the crosswalk and the bike lane is supposed to stop). Nothing came of it and I continued on my way.
I headed over from L'Enfant Plaza to Union Station on the Metro around 120PM and met Ray and my mom at Thunder Grill. Andrea was stuck in a meeting and joined us around 215PM.
Lunch was nice and enjoyable.
Yachts docked along the Potomac River in the Washington Harbour area -- with Rosslyn in the distance -- Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:10PM June 28, 2015.
The flood gates were actually raised on Sunday afternoon along Washington Harbour.
As I said, I quite like Thunder Grill, although it got crowded by the time we left. The next time I go there, though, I am going to order something a bit heavier, or rather, more filling. I was hungry by the time I got home and had some dinner after that late lunch.
Union Station itself was mobbed with tourists and travelers coming and going, and the central hall is still partially under renovation (but when isn't it??).
Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway by the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument in the distance, Washington, D.C., 7:16PM June 28, 2015.
The bronze sculpture on the left is (the backside of) Aspiration and Literature, which joins Music & Harvest opposite it as the two James Earle Frasier sculptures that adorn the entrance to Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway. These are the "Arts of Peace" duo. The "Arts of War" duo of "Valor" and "Sacrifice" by Leo Friedlander loom over the entrance to the Arlington Memorial Bridge leading to Arlington National Cemetery.
Interestingly, a certain someone who (upon his request) shall remain nameless started texting me -- he always texts me at random times and always on his terms. I say "interestingly" because he used to go to Thunder Grill at Union Station 10+ years ago when he lived in Severna Park (which is next to Glen Burnie, where I used to live with my mom and Ray back in my teenage years).
Now living in coastal New England, he was visiting the Maine coastline. He sent me two pictures from Kennebunkport of the Bush Family compound at Walker's Point. They are quite nice pictures, actually.
They are posted below with the horizontal and vertical ratios unchanged; click on them for larger versions.
The large central house of the Bush Compound, Walker's Point, Kennebunkport, Maine, 2:24PM July 2015.
Do you think Babs the She-Dragon was home, screaming at the servants and going on about her "beautiful mind"??
Walker's Point with the main Bush house visible on the right, Kennebunkport, Maine, 2:25PM July 2, 2015.
I was actually going to make this the lead image of the entry, but then I realized that just wouldn't have made any conceptual sense.
After lunch, and it now being about 4PM, I headed back to the office (which was deserted and the lights out), collected my computer in my backpack , and started for the Metro -- only to realize that I had biked to work today. So I walked over to the spot outside DOE HQ, retrieved my bike, and headed up to Dupont Circle, where (as mentioned), I stopped at Dupont CVS. I then went over to the Hair Cuttery and got a haircut before coming home.
My mom and Ray headed on a MARC train back up to Anne Arundel County and home, where she sent me some of the pictures I posted in this entry.
As for tonight, it is basically the equivalent of a Friday night since tomorrow is the federal holiday. I suppose I'll go to No. 9, though I might stop at Larry's Lounge and/or Floriana.
That concludes this meandering update. My next planned update will be on Saturday.