Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday Early Morning Brief Update; On the Cusp of a Possibly Very Rainy Spell

NWS CONUS Great Lakes sector composite radar mosaic looped 0758 UTC - 0908UTC (3:58AM EDT - 5:08AM EDT), Sept. 28, 2016.

At this time of the day, ground clutter abounds on radars, but you can still see the spiraling upper level low that is dropping toward the mid-Atlantic region. There are also thunderstorms just south / southwest of the immediate D.C. area.

*******

Apologies for failure to post planned comprehensive update on Tuesday night. It was a non-gym night but I vowed I would just come home after a quick after-work drink.

Instead, I went to Floriana, where I had a rather nice time -- especially in the wake of Hillary's excellent debate performance side-by-side with Donald Trump's widely acknowledged mostly disastrous one, a topic I had intended to write about in detail* -- but I ended up staying longer than I planned.

The Postscript bar located in the Loews Madison hotel, Washington, D.C., 7:56PM Sept. 27, 2016.

I stopped there after work for a drink. (I actually stopped at the Post Pub initially, but it was so unpleasant that I just left.) This place was kind of pleasant and it has a nice little happy hour menu.

*******

It is a gray, mild, murky pre-dawn early morning here in D.C. The forecast calls for a period of heavy rainfall -- something we haven't had in months -- and there is a flash flood watch in effect for the entire Baltimore/Washington for Thursday and Friday.

Washington, D.C., NWS point-grid forecast icon and text, Sept. 28 - 30, 2016.

*******

By the time I walked home, I just went straight to bed. I'm up now -- at almost the 6AM hour -- but I'm going back to bed until 730AM.

*Whether it changes the polls -- and the American voting public minds presumably behind those numbers -- well, that's another matter. As for the reflexively virulently anti-Hillary media-whore narrative, it seems to have changed a bit in the past week with the dawning realization that Donald Trump could actually win.

Tonight is also a non-gym night and I might be meeting Kevin, so again there might not be an entry. My next gym night is Thursday and I intend to post an entry thereafter.

NWS Sterling (LWX) weather advisories webpage updated 4:53AM EDT Sept. 28, 2016.

*******

The NWS point-grid forecast has between 4 and 7 inches of rainfall forecasted for the next 36 hours, which would beat the total rainfall we've had for the past several months combined. We'll see if that actually happens. These big would-be big weather events in D.C. often turn out to be big busts.

Here is a CWG entry on it.

OK, that's all for now. Again, my next entry likely won't be until Thursday night.

--Regulus

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not Istanbul, Nor Constantinople -- Nor the Blog Entry I Planned; Rather, Just a Brief Update (With Free Carpool Karaoke and Welcome Rain)

A very nice picture of my very good friend Andrea in Istanbul's Blue Mosque taken on Sept. 24, 2016.

Andrea and Imara are back from their whirlwind three-week Mediterranean basin visit that took them from the Greek isles to the Amalfi coast of Italy to Istanbul.

*******

OK, once again, I started an entry -- a political-themed one involving the presidential campaign and remarks on the debate which I expressly did NOT watch tonight -- but it is already 12:15AM and there is no way I can post that entry before, say, 2AM, and more likely 230AM -- something I am not going to do given that I have to get up early and be onsite at DOE no later than 930AM.

1500 block R Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:29PM September 25, 2016.

I was heading to Pearl Dive on 14th Street, where I met up with my new friend Kevin.

*******

In the meantime, here is a very enjoyable and funny edition of "Carpool Karaoke with James Corden" from his show The Late Late Show with James Corden.

This one features Chris Martin, lead singer for Coldplay -- whose song Viva la Vida I featured in my most recent Jukebox Saturday Night edition. This edition was filmed earlier this year on the occasion of Coldplay performing at the Super Bowl ("opening" for Beyoncé).



As an update, I'm back from the gym after a decent multi-part workout ending in a swim. Actually, the weightlifting was fairly good and I've definitely noticed some results. (No, not Results. I go to the YMCA.)

My next planned gym night is on Thursday. I should note that I am going to throttle back the going-out-during-the-week after work but that routine is just not working for me.

NWS high-resolution surface weather map, Northeastern U.S. and adjacent regions, 0Z September 27, 2016.

*******

Turning to the weather, tonight features some scattered needed rain showers ahead of a cold frontal passage. KDCA recorded 0.12" so far (the most of the four regional climate stations.) The front is forecasted to stall just south of the D.C. area tomorrow.

NWS point-grid forecast for Washington, D.C., with icons, Sept. 27 - Sept. 30, 2016.

This is A-OK, as far as I am concerned.

*******

By Wednesday, a cut-off low is forecasted to settle over the area and potentially induce cyclogenesis over the region, leading to a prolonged period of showery, cool weather -- which is perfectly fine with me if it indeed happens.

OK, that's all for now. I'll try to post what I had intended to post tonight, but I'm not sure. (It is rather vituperative.)

Headin' to beddin' and dream land ...

-- Regulus

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Jukebox Saturday Night for Sept. 24th, 2016: The Sad Eyes, Greatest American Hero, and Coldplay Viva la Vida Edition

Let's start out with something old school and nice ...


"Sad Eyes" by Robert John from his self-titled album (1979)

I remember this song very well. In fact, it was quite popular in the summer of '79 when I was visiting my mom in Belgium (as Ray was stationed at SHAPE). The Americans listened to the Armed Forces Radio Network* -- the local SHAPE edition of it -- and top 40 and top 100 songs were played all the time. I remember Wolfman Jack's show being aired nightly.

*I think it is actually called the American Forces Network, the brand name of the United States Armed Forces Radio and Television Service.

However, I'm unsure if it was called that back then. I just (think I) remember the name "Armed Forces Radio Network" being used.

Keep in mind I was 9 years old.

This particular video is a bit strange -- it mostly features Robert John singing in that falsetto of his but the timing is a bit off, indicating the music was dubbed in over it. That is, his lips don't quite match the lyrics being sung but that's because of how this video was made.

As for Robert John, he appears to have sunk into some obscurity but is still alive.

*******

Next up, the popular theme song from a long-ago TV comedy/drama show that I've always really liked ...


"Believe It or Not - Theme Song to 'The Greatest American Hero'" by Joey Scarbury and appearing on his America's Greatest Hero album (1981)

The music was written by Mike Post -- who wrote many popular TV show theme songs -- and lyrics by Stephen Geyer.

*******

Lastly, here is song I've always really loved -- and one that I featured long before my Jukebox Saturday Night series and its predecessor Friday Night Musical Interlude ones, specifically, back in May 2009 shortly after the unexpected death of my New Jersey blogger buddy Bryan Haberstick.


"Viva la Vida" by Coldplay from the group's album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)

Left: Album cover for Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.

Listening to this song makes me tear up. It really is am amazing song in some many ways including the wonderful lyrics. The Wikipedia article describes it thusly:

"The lyrics to the song contain historical and Christian references, and the track is built around a repeating string section in unison with a digital processed piano with a timpani background."


Song excerpts ...

"I hear Jerusalem bells a ringing / Roman Cavalry choirs are singing/ Be my mirror my sword and shield/ My missionaries in a foreign field ..."


"For some reason I can't explain, I know Saint Peter won't call my name/ Never an honest word/ But that was when I ruled the world..."

The lyrics that really get me:

"Revolutionaries wait / For my head on a silver plate / Just a puppet on a lonely string / Oh who would ever want to be king?"

*******

OK, that's all for now. Please see my previous entry for brief update.

--Regulus

Saturday Evening Post for September 24th, 2016: Sliding Into Fall and Toward Trumpocalypse

**This entry was posted September 24, 2016.**

Dawn breaks along the Amalfi coast of Italy by Positano, September 24, 2016.

Andrea sent this picture to me just after midnight my time. She and Imara are wrapping up their 3-week whirlwind tour of the Greek isles, Italy (including Rome), and Istanbul.

*******

Saturday night.

I had a good multi-part gym workout earlier today and now I'm home doing several loads of laundry (including bedding). For tonight, I am going to stop at Floriana and then go to my usual spot at the Old Bar at Old Ebbitt Grill and then perhaps Trade thereafter.

Alley off the 1400 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:16PM September 24, 2016.

*******

Yesterday, I left work and walked back to Dupont owing to yet another bout of Metro mayhem, this one caused by a fire of some sort at Metro Center that bollixed up multiple lines. I walked to Annie's, where I met Fred and we had a nice time. Thereafter, we went to Floriana, although things were a bit fuzzy by the time we left.

I got home and slept for about 12 of the next 14 hours before getting up and going to the gym.

Sunrise in Barnesville, Md., Sept. 23, 2016; Photo by Gary Geernaert and featured in this CWG entry.

*******

The weather today was mostly cloudy until evening, at which point it cleared up. It reached 77F today -- rather than 90F+, as it did for the 57th time this year at KDCA yesterday -- with a northeasterly breeze. (We won't reach the 62 times record set both in 2010 and 1980.)

There is a chance of some much needed rain on Monday into Tuesday, but probably not enough to end the mild drought underway.

Here is interesting climate note from tonight's LWX discussion:

Autumn-like temperatures are finally making an appearance over the area, and DCA may fall below 60 degrees early Sunday morning for the first time since June 9th (total of 106 days through September 23rd). The record most consecutive days at or above 60 degrees in the Washington DC area is 112 set in 2012.

Changing subjects ...

Here is another worthwhile Nate Silver piece on the current state of the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and authoritarian lunatic Donald Trump (link embedded): Election Update: The Case For And Against Democratic Panic.

FiveThirtyEight.com Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump odds of winning electoral map (shaded) in the current polls plus forecast model, September 24, 2016.

*******

Excerpt (but without the embedded links on some of the terms):

There's also not much consensus among pollsters about where the race stands. On the one hand, you can cite several national polls this week that show Clinton ahead by 5 or 6 percentage points, the first time we've consistently seen numbers like that in a few weeks. She also got mostly favorable numbers in "must-win states,: such as New Hampshire. But Clinton also got some pretty awful polls this week in other swing states: surveys from high-quality pollsters showing her 7 points behind Donald Trump in Iowa, or 5 points behind him in Ohio, only tied with him in Maine, for instance. The differences are hard to reconcile: It's almost inconceivable that Clinton is both winning nationally by 6 points and losing Ohio (for example) by 5 points.


Sigh.

More and more, I'm starting to think Trump is going to win -- only in a plurality and in a frightfully close race, but that doesn't matter. At that point, America gets what it deserves. That's fine with me -- I'm free of any "ownership" of the self-inflicted multiple disasters that will befall the country in a Trump / rightwing Republican regime.

FiveThirtyEight.com Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trend line of odds of winning from June 8th - Sept. 24th, 2016 in the current polls plus forecast model.


*******

I'm not watching the debate on Monday night. Besides, it's a gym night anyway, and although it will be on the televisions in the workout area -- and almost certainly on the one in the locker room -- the former ones are muted.

OK, that's all for now.

I'm heading out shortly. For tomorrow, I would like to take a walk and get lunch, probably in or around Bethesda or, alternatively, Old Town Alexandria. Anything to get out of the D.C. Bubble, even if it just to those nearby places.

Dramatic (but harmless) skies at sunrise over the Potomac River, Alexandria, Va., Sept. 18, 2016; Photo by Chris Militzer and posted on Twitter and reposted in a CWG entry about six days ago.

*******

My next planned update will be Monday night. As I have mentioned recently, I'm working onsite at DOE HQ for the time being and this requires me to get into work by 915AM-ish, so I am quite constrained in posting my usual late night entries. The ones I do post will necessarily have to be brief.

Jukebox Saturday Night edition to follow momentarily (as I have already composed it).

--Regulus

Friday, September 23, 2016

Late Night Brief Entry -OR- Energy Plus Work Is Inversely Proportional to Blogging Time, Squared

United States Department of Energy headquarters -- also known as the James Forrestal building with its architecturally problematic design for a large office space in the early 21st Century -- in Washington, D.C., 6:13PM September 21, 2016.

*******

Ugh. And sigh.

It's 12:20AM as I start this entry.

I am home following a regular work day in which I got into work an hour later than I should have (recall that I am onsite at DOE HQ for the next 2 to 4 weeks and so I need to get in at a certain time, as opposed to my regular office where I have more of a flex schedule).

It also follows a gym night -- multi-part workout -- rather than drinking (and some eating as well) after work and spending -- wasting -- a shit ton of money that I can't afford if I ever want to do something beyond living paycheck to paycheck.

Behind the bar at the Bottom Line pub, Washington, D.C., 7:03PM September 21, 2016.

I quite like this place but the problem is that it is (1) often very crowded and (2) the music -- when someone plays the jukebox -- is horrendously loud, especially if it is (as is often the case) a bad song. (A bartender explained to me that when the bar's regular music plays, it is much quieter.)

I went there and then headed over to Floriana, where I met Mark.

*******

Oh, Great Oracle of Hippo, what timeless wisdom did the gods reveal to you this day??

"AND THERE YOU IS -- A BURPIN' AND A BELCHIN' AND A BREAKIN' WIND like NOBODY'S BUSINESS!!"

Very profound insights, indeed, Great Oracle of Hippo. We thank you for bestowing these upon us.

******

Because I am very tired now and really do not want to get into work late tomorrow, I'm just going to fob off on the entry I planned -- which was the usual mix of weather (sunny, too warm despite the arrival of autumn, and still drought-dry) and politics (Hillary has upticked a bit but the election as measured in the FiveThirtyEight polling model of her odds of winning) is still a Trumpocalypse-in-the-making).

The Madame mixes with the masses at a campaign stop at Frontline Outreach Center in Orlando, Fla., Sept. 21, 2016.

Re. the election, here is a useful Nate Silver analysis piece (link embedded): Clinton's Leading In Exactly The States She Needs To Win: Here's why that isn't as good as it sounds.

For tomorrow, I may meet Fred at Annie's right after work, and also a gym acquaintance later at Floriana, so I probably won't have a regular blog posting until Saturday -- and that will be my usual two entries of Saturday Evening Post and Jukebox Saturday Night editions.

G'night. Time again, I guess, for some weird dreams.

--Regulus

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Lost in Place on the Autumnal Equinox 2016

That Microsoft desktop image of a lovely fall day -- somewhere in, I believe, Vermont, date unknown.

*******

Apologies for the lack of updates. The last two evenings have been non-gym nights in which I went out -- Trade and Floriana on Tuesday night and Bottom Line and Floriana last night -- and by the time I walked home, I was too tired and imbibed to post anything. Tonight is a gym night and I plan to post at least a brief entry.

Today is the first day of fall (autumn), arriving at 10:21AM EDT, but it remains too goddamn sunny, rainless, and above-normal warm (highs around 84F forecasted). I hate the D.C. area climate. In fact, I hate D.C.

Oh, and we're all still waiting on the possible Trumpocalypse with Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell as the two legislative wingmen.

Anyway, that's all for now. Have to go into work late (I'm onsite at DOE HQ for the next few weeks) and be miserable.

--Regulus

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

At Last, a (Somewhat) Rainy Day - An Overview; Topically-Unrelated Sunday Walkabout Pictures; A Bit of Chait & Krugman

The Key Bridge Boathouse located in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:07PM September 18, 2016.

The Key Bridge Boathouse used to be Jack's Boathouse. It's now part of a larger multi-location entity called Boating in DC.

This picture was taken at the end of my approximately 6 mile walk along the Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda into Georgetown, itself part of a longer ~10 mile walk on Sunday. The pictures in this entry are mostly from my Sunday outing.

*******

So I am really in a blog bind here in that -- for the time being -- I need to be onsite at DOE HQ by about 915AM (today, I was there at 8:58AM) in order to staff a particular desk. As a result, I simply cannot stay up into the wee hours to post blog entries but instead have to get to bed.

It is already 11:31PM as I write this, and I need to have this entry wrapped up by 1230AM. (Updated: I did not actually get it posted until 1AM.)

Blurry cellphone image of the Old Bar at Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 1:46AM September 18, 2016.

That's bartender Larry in the picture. He and bartender Andrea are my regular servers and take care of me when I go there late Saturdays.

I had a really nice conversation with an unusual fellow named Dan who sat next to me (and who texted his wondering wife -- as I saw -- that he was having "a shake" when he was drinking with me at the bar. Dan is a retired police officer from Albany, N.Y., who comes to D.C. on occasion.

*******

I'm back from the gym, where I had a good multi-part workout. I just made dinner -- pork chops and jasmine rice. They actually came out decent. (I suck at cooking.)

Yesterday, I went up to Bethesda in the mid-afternoon on the Metro and had lunch at the bar at Café Deluxe, my first time trying that "American - French bistro"-themed place. The restaurant is actually one of a chain of four in the D.C. area including the one in Bethesda.

The Café Deluxe restaurant bar, Bethesda, Md., 3:44PM September 18, 2016.

I'm not sure if "Café" has the accent acute over the "e" but Blogger auto-corrects it that way, and I'm not going to fight it.

The food was good -- I had the grilled Atlantic salmon Nicoise and two glasses of white wine. However, the 20-something year old bartender and server staff -- not to mention a few customers -- were engrossed in some stupid Redskins football game (we're already at that time of year), and I had to move because I was seated at one point at the bar literally under one of the TVs (all mercifully muted).

Two customers were noisy about the football game. That's some American bistro. Maybe just call it Le Bistro d'Honkytonk and be done with it.

Having said that, my bartender / server, Joshua, was quite attentive.

*******

I then walked on the Capital Crescent Trail the entire way back to D.C. -- into Georgetown -- and thence (after a brief stop at Mr. Smith's, formerly Chadwicks) -- back to Dupont and home. All in all, I walked about 10 miles yesterday (thus making up, at least in part, for having skipped the gym on Saturday). As stated above, the pictures in this entry are taken from my Sunday stop in Bethesda and that walk.

The interior of Café Deluxe, Bethesda, Md., 3:46PM September 18, 2016.

Nearby Mon Ami Gabi is more of an authentic French bistro.

*******


Turning to the weather ...

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard composite mode looped 6:52AM to 7:22AM EDT September 19, 2016.

This looped image shows the first batch of rain that missed D.C. and the next batch that did not -- although it looked a lot more impressive on the radar than what actually fell.

*******

We finally had some much-needed rain today (Monday) -- the first rain of any note in nearly a month (August 21st to be precise). Daily tallies included the following:

KDCA: 0.46"
KIAD: 0.23"
KBWI: 0.64"
KDMH: 1.78"

The KDMH (Maryland Science Center) amount reflects a morning thunderstorm that did not hit the immediate D.C. area.

The welcome and beneficial rain in this area came late morning and early afternoon.

Actually, when I woke up at 630AM and saw that it had not rained at all -- the pavement below on New Hampshire Avenue was just a bit moist -- it felt like one of those snowstorm busts that happen in the D.C. area with some regularity.

The comment sections of the few CWG entries about the rainfall were all lit up over it. (I'm not going to link to those entries -- it's too late right now for me to do that.)

The Eastern Shore (in particular, the central Delmarva peninsula) had the jackpot with radar estimates of 4 to 8+ inches and even isolated amounts of 10 inches. At least that's what the radar shows.

The giant transmitter tower at 5202 River Rd., Bethesda, Md., 4:28PM September 18, 2016 as seen from the Capital Crescent Trail.

This is one of the dozen or so major transmitter towers in the immediate D.C. area. It carries over-the-air channel 20 WDCA and channel 26 WETA and, I suppose, their digital permutations. The tower has only a daytime strobe mode even at night.

*******

It was also a remarkably humid day for mid-September and on the cusp of autumn. So while the high temp at KDCA was 78F -- exactly normal for Sept. 19th -- the dew point was as high as 73F today and is still at the 11PM hour 71F.

The Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda, Md., 4:37PM September 18, 2016.

I think this is near mile marker 5.

*******

No additional rainfall is forecasted for the next 5 to 7 days. High temps are forecasted to be back in the frickin' 80s F through Saturday before cooling off into the 70s F by Sunday and Monday.

The Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda, Md., 4:39PM September 18, 2016.

I had to use the forest twice.

*******

For tomorrow, I'm supposed to meet my mom at Union Station (at Uno's) for lunch. She is taking the train in from Anne Arundel County. Tomorrow night is a non-gym night, and I'll probably stop at my two usual places (Trade and Floriana), but I also need to be home by 10PM-ish for the same work-related reason.

Another one of my always-blurry pictures of the Dalecarlia Tunnel along the Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda*, Md. 4:59PM September 18, 2016.

*I guess this is technically considered Brookmont, Md., although most folks just call this Bethesda. The tunnel runs under MacArthur Blvd and the Washington Aqueduct. It is an old rail line tunnel, of course, that is now part of the CCT.

*******

OK, that's about all for now, except for this ...

... a depressing piece by Jonathan Chait about House Speaker Paul Ryan's latest deeply perverse reverse- class-warring and ecologically destructive "plan for America" that a possible Trump presidency would ensure is enacted into law (link embedded): Paul Ryan Tired of Giving Rich People Most of the Tax Cuts, Decides to Give Them All of the Tax Cuts.

The "Washington Aqueduct" water tower belonging to the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant almost exactly on the D.C.-Maryland line, 5:04PM September 18, 2016.

*******

This is what all those virulently anti-Hillary millennials voting for that idiot Gary Johnson and that even bigger idiot Jill Stein are going to help facilitate -- it's the Ralph Nader spoiler effect only Trump is about two orders of magnitude worse than George W. Bush.

Paul Krugman had truly sincere cri de coeur on this very topic in his Monday New York Times op-ed: Vote as if It Matters.

It won't make any difference because nothing ever does -- minds are never changed -- but still ...

Sunlit vegetation along the Capital Crescent Trail, Washington, D.C., 5:11PM September 18, 2016.

Nearly all of this undergrowth are invasive species of various sorts. "Green concrete" is the term sometimes used for Kudzu and the like. This is near mile marker 8 or thereabouts.

*******

OK, that really is all for now. I'll try to update the blog tomorrow (Tuesday night) but I'm unsure.

--Regulus

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jukebox Saturday Night for Sept. 17th, 2016: On the Cusp of Fall Edition

Let's start out with something really nice ...


"When Julia Smiles" by Stanley Jordan from his album Flying Home (1988)


*******

Next up, a terrific (and popular) smooth jazz piece from Rick Braun ...


"Notorious" by Rick Braun from his release "Body and Soul" (1997)


*******

Finally, here is a wonderful song that I already previously featured in this Nov. 2013 Jukebox Saturday Night edition but since we are now actually in the middle of September and on the cusp of fall (even if the weather won't necessarily reflect that fact next week), I think it only appropriate to showcase it again ...


"September" by Earth, Wind & Fire from the group's The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 album (1978)

Love the vintage 1970s disco-and-psychedelic sound, look, and feel.

OK, that's all for now. Please see my previous entry for update.

--Regulus

Saturday Evening Post for September 17th, 2016: Entry #2,016 - The Blog Post Number Equals the Calendar Year Edition

**This entry was posted September 17, 2016.**

Small canoes at Fletcher's Boathouse along the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., Sept. 12, 2016; Photo by Joe Flood and reposted in this CWG entry.

*******

Entry #2,016 -- the entry number matching the current year.

I do not feel that well tonight. In fact, I skipped my usual Saturday afternoon / early evening gym routine (and I'm not happy about that). Instead, I didn't get out of bed until literally 4PM.

This is because I went out after work yesterday evening and stayed out much too long and drank much too much. I initially went to the National Press Club bar with a co-worker (and good friend) who is a member. I had about four drinks including an old fashioned. (Dark liquor is a no-no for me.) We had some food, too. Thereafter, I stopped at a new restaurant near Franklin Square and had a Moscow Mule.

Another photo by Joe Flood of Fletcher's Boathouse along the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., Sept. 12, 2016.

******

I would mention the name of the restaurant (it's in the location of the old Tuscana West) except my attempt at humor with the bartender at the expense of one of the managers (who was not nearby when I said it) fell very flat and I soon left (after paying my tab via another bartender).

The manager -- an older, short, heavy-set man in a suit -- had the biggest jowls I've ever seen relative to someone's face. Indeed, when he looked down, he had no chin at all -- just rolling, gelatinous fat that squished out into a sphere 

My dad and myself and our bull mastiff dog "Borky" in our house in Long Branch, N.J., circa 1977.

*******

I remarked to the bartender that my childhood bull mastiff didn't have jowls that big (see above picture).

Crickets and awkward silence.

Lobby of a building in the 1300 block of I Street NW, Washington, D.C., 8:24PM September 16, 2016.

*******

I stopped at the Green Latrine Lantern, but didn't have anything there. Instead, I went to Trade and then to No. 9, at which point the night just sort of faded out.

I must have stopped for dinner before walking home. I say this judging by how much money I spent last night and judging by the results of flossing this afternoon, esp. as I had no food in the apartment.

New Hampshire Ave and 17th St NW, Washington, D.C., 5:36PM September 17, 2016.

*******

Having said all that, I managed to get out of the apartment around 5PM and get a haircut at the Hair Cuttery. Bea again cut my hair, and I quite enjoy talking to her. Thereafter, I went grocery shopping, although it was a pain in the ass because that 17th Street Safeway is a bit ghetto and a bit Third World, including the sidewalk homeless encampment outside of it.

In this case, only one checkout line was available with a cashier (because of a computer issue) so I used the self-checkout line, except I always screw up the bagging badly.

I also just did several loads of laundry including bedding.

Evening sky and trees, 1700 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 5:38PM September 17, 2016.

*******

For tonight, I'm going to go out -- but only for a short while. I'm still not recovered from last night. Mostly, I'm just going out to -- in the immortal words of Uncle Fester from Larry's Trap House / Opium Den / Gay Boozer Lounge -- to "damage control," or rather, just to see if there are any issues since (as mentioned), I don't recall much of the end of last night including walking home.

If I'm banned from anyplace -- or, indeed, every place --  that I went to last night, well then HOT DAMN! It's a big city -- I'll find other places to go.

1700 block R Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:15PM September 17, 2016.

*******

Turning to the weather, there is FINALLY a decent chance of rain across the area tomorrow with amounts of 1/2" to over 1". We really need the rain.

Of course, the CWG's Greg Porter -- one of the newer meteorologists to start writing for the site and a graduate student in the same (though since renamed) UMCP program through which I passed almost 20 years ago -- is still reflexively anti-rain, remarking in this evening entry that today (Saturday): "It's been a better day than Sunday will be, as the second half of the weekend looks wet."

12-km resolution NAM 18Z 9/17/2016 run showing total precipitation in inches from 18Z 9/17/2016 through 3Z 9/20/2016 for the northeastern quadrant of the United States.

*******

While I get the anti-rain reflexive sentiments of non-meteorologists, what confuses me, is when the "I want 12 months a year of sunny, warm weather!" come from people who actually study meteorology because, presumably, they are really interested in "the weather" in its many manifestations. (I posted that in a comment there under Arcturus24.)

Next week is forecasted to be back in the frickin' 80s Fahrenheit for highs. I wouldn't be shocked if we get to 90F again before the "warm season" is over -- even in October.

OK, I'm going to start to wrap up this entry. My next planned entry will be on Monday night. About entries for next week, because I again have to be onsite at DOE HQ for much of the week, and because this requires being there by about 915AM, I simply cannot post entries at 230AM. Instead, anything I post will have to be by midnight -- and, thus, necessarily shorter in length.

As it is, I'm tired of writing about this goddamn presidential campaign, all the hatred and bile directed at Hillary, and how Donald Trump is forever surging in the polls.

FiveThirtyEight.com Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump odds of winning electoral map (shaded) in the current polls plus forecast model, September 17, 2016.

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However, before ending, I would like to direct your attention to this very good piece by Matt Yglesias of Vox.com: The race is tightening for a painfully simple reason.

As for the authoritarian lunatic buffoon that is Donald Trump -- and who could very well become the next president, a fact that says some profoundly disturbing things about the American citizenry -- he's back to making Hillary assassination jokes and it gets big laughs inside the rightwing media / entertainment bubble while the "mainstream media" complex with their nihilistic horserace approach and reflexively pathologically anti-Hillary bias lap it all up.

FiveThirtyEight.com Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trend line of odds of winning from June 8th - Sept. 17th, 2016 in the current polls plus forecast model.

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Any country that elects Trump -- even with just a plurality -- deservedly gets whatever disasters he brings upon it. And voting for that idiot Gary Johnson and that even bigger idiot Jill Stein counts as voting for Trump.

OK, that's all for now. Again, my next planned entry will be late Monday. Jukebox Saturday Night entry to follow momentarily (as in, I've already composed it).

--Regulus

Friday, September 16, 2016

Sci-Fi Author Kim Stanley Robinson Discusses His Novel Aurora; Link to His Essay "What Will It Take for Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?"

This is not an update of any sort. Rather, I want to post this YouTube clip featuring a short talk by the excellent (and still very much living) sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson ...


In it, Robinson discusses the motivation of -- and what it would take technologically to realize the vision of -- his 2015 novel Aurora.

For an overview of Aurora, here is the Wikipedia article on it: Aurora (novel).

As excerpted from this article, the novel is about humanity's first attempt to colonize another star system in the form of a generation ship that travels to the Sun-like star Tau Ceti located about 12 light years from Earth.

Launched from Saturn in 2545, the generation ship consists of 24 self-contained biomes and an average population of 2,000 people.

After 160 years and about 7 generations -- not to mention ongoing decay of the ship's infrastructure and internal ecology -- the ship approaches Tau Ceti and undertakes a colonization effort of an Earth-analog moon of one of Tau Ceti e. 

Things go quite badly and the ship ends up returning to Earth.

A hypothetical Earth-like planet orbiting Tau Ceti, a very Sun-like star with a somewhat smaller mass.

For a series of other stars, see this entry that I posted in March 2015. (The idea that these would be Earth-like is quite unrealistic, especially at the close distances posited.)

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The name "Aurora" a nod to one of the planets in the Robot series by truly great Isaac Asimov, one of the giants of 20th Century science fiction. Indeed, Robinson's Aurora and Asimov's Aurora both orbit the star Tau Ceti.

The first edition Doubleday cover of The Robots of Dawn, one of the Robot series published in 1983.

(In the above video, Robinson refers to Aurora in The Naked Sun, one of the original 1950s novels in the Robot series.)

As for Robinson, he wrote an essay on this topic back in January that appeared in Scientific American (link embedded): What Will It Take for Humans to Colonize the Milky Way?

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OK, that's all for now. I'm back from the gym -- where I was able to go a full hour earlier than usual as I got to work a full 2 hours earlier than usual -- and made dinner and created a new spreadsheet for the upcoming pay period (Friday is payday).

I need to go to bed as I have to be back again at DOE HQ by 915AM-ish tomorrow. I'm going to the National Press Club with a friend afterward and then to Trade and/or Floriana. My next planned entry will be on Saturday evening.

--Regulus