Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Suburban Maryland Easter 2014 Weekend in 21+1 Pictures

Yours truly and my mom at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore, Md., around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, April 19, 2014. My stepdad Ray took this picture.

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Wholly Saturday: My Anny Runnell Kenny and Balmer, Merlin Day Trip ...

A giant version of that car dummy guy you see in car seat belt safety ads standing in front of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) headquarters, Glen Burnie, Md., 2:25M April 19, 2014.

Most other states call their comparable organization a DMV rather than an MVA.

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Pride of Baltimore II in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Md., 3:12PM April 19, 2014.

The original Pride of Baltimore -- itself a partial replica of the original original early 19th Century Baltimore clipper schooner called the Chasseur -- was lost in a squall off Puerto Rico in May 1986 with four of her 12 crew lost (the others were rescued after four days at sea). This Pride II was launched in 1988. Its website is here.

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My shrimp cocktail at the Rusty Scupper, Baltimore, Md., 3:16PM April 19, 2014.

The Rusty Scupper has a great location with an awesome view. It was also a very nice time with my mom and Ray.

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Downtown Baltimore with its low-but-architecturally pleasing skyline along the Inner Harbor as seen from outside the Rusty Scupper, Baltimore, Md., 4:38PM April 19, 2014. Ray also took this picture.

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The house at 24 Bristol Ave., Baltimore, Md., 4:58PM April 19, 2014.

This is the house that my stepfather, Ray, lived in for many years back in the 1960s with his brothers and parents until he was drafted as a 19-year old teenager into Vietnam in 1966. This was also the house where I spent my VERY FIRST night in Baltimore back in 1975 --coming down from New Jersey on a cold winter's night and how I cried missing my paternal grandmother and dad -- just after my 6th birthday and shortly before Ray and my mom moved to SHAPE, Belgium for nearly 4 years. This is also the house where my mother, Ray, and I lived for a horrendous time from Nov. 29, 1981 (the day we returned from Texas) into early 1982, at which point I moved back with my dad in New Jersey. This was a couple months before my mom and Ray moved to their first apartment in Glen Burnie, and I subsequently moved with them -- starting my Anne Arundel County life that eventually led to my life here in Washington, D.C.

For a bit of an overview of the world of 24 Bristol Avenue as I knew it way back when (1975 - 1982), and as I understand the way it was even further back when (1950s and 1960s), please see my October 2012 entry "A Postmodern Quest: In Search of Baltimore's Corner and Inflection Points, Past and Present" that involved a daytime trek with my very good friend Chester about two weeks earlier to find the, yes, corner and infections points of the present-day boundaries of Baltimore City. In particular, see the section "Dinner and (Side) Show in Baltimore: Prolefeed off Potee Street" for more info.

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Dilapidated row houses on W. Jeffrey Street, Baltimore, Md., 4:59PM April 19, 2014.

This is the Baltimore equivalent of what in Washington, D.C., is called the "unit" block (i.e., numbers 1 - 99) and is so numbered because it is just west of the dividing line formed by Potee Street / Rt. 2, which becomes Gov. Ritchie Highway at the Anne Arundel County line.

Of note, Bristol Avenue is located one block south of W. Jeffrey Street, except it's not "West" because there is no "East" Bristol Avenue -- it becomes Calvert Street just east of Potee Street.

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BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Rail Station located in unincorporated Anne Arundel County* near the airport, 6:33PM April 19, 2014.

*The rail station is geographically located in Linthicum, yet another unincorporated CDP in Anne Arundel County, which is replete with unincorporated places (both CDP and non-CPD). However, the station's zip code is 21240, it is a Baltimore City one, which would as far the U.S. Post Office is concerned make it technically in Baltimore City, except that just makes no sense. In short, the station is just sort of in a no man's land.

My mom had dropped me off at the rail station and I had about 25 minutes to wait. While seated on the southbound (far side) platform waiting for the 6:40PM Saturday southbound Penn Line MARC back to D.C. While I had had a really nice day, I was quite upset at this point over the whole wee hours Saturday morning situation with Chris H., although I also came to a mini-epiphany that this just wasn't my fault.

I also started remembering all the times I was at that train station -- in particular in the mid-to-late 1980s when it really was just a clearing in the forest located way off Aviation Blvd and near the interchange of 295 and 195 -- en route to and from New Jersey to see my dad and grandparents, and later (in the early 1990s) to see just my dad. Those weren't particularly good times but they morphed into terrible ones by the early 1990s. And then later in the 1990s and into the 2000s, I took the train to and from D.C.

Sigh.

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Easter Sunday in Washington, D.C., and Silver Spring, Suburban Maryland ... 

The remainder of this entry features pictures taken the following day on my bike ride from my apartment in D.C. to Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring and then back.

Tulips and shrubs growing outside the Brittany located between New Hampshire Avenue and 16th Street NW and (south/north) U and V Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 1:39PM April 20, 2014.

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The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints, 4901 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 2:00PM April 20, 2014.

I didn't realize there was a Mormon Church at this location -- indeed, I had never even noticed this building. It might actually be new / recently reconstructed. Or maybe I just never noticed it.

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The house at 6630 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:09PM April 20, 2014.

This is a lovely veritable mansion (which couldn't be any more different than the aforementioned 24 Bristol Avenue in Baltimore). It is that is the northernmost house on the west side of 16th Street (possibly in the Brightwood neighborhood, if it extends west of 16th Street) just before Rock Creek Park zigzags east to 16th Street itself.

This house is located at the top of the three-syllable alphabet ("Underwood"). There is another residential neighborhood (called Rock Creek Gardens) that starts up again at Holly Street ("H" in the fourth and final alphabet of east-west running streets in D.C. -- namely, the floral and tree alphabet). Thus, this house -- numbered 6630 -- is two whole alphabets north of where I am at U Street (single letter / first alphabet "U").

Of note, the two-syllable "U" street east of Rock Creek Park is Upshur Street, but that involves Matthew "M-WADE" Henry, and I'm not going to get into that now.

Finally, there really is no floral "U" street and instead it skips from Tamarack Street to Verbena Street, the latter being the northernmost (north)west-(south)east running street in D.C., just south of the North Cornerstone of the original Territory of Columbia.

Oh, yes, going south (technically in Southwest D.C.), the "highest" street name is Joliet (three-syllable "J") while the highest residential street is Galveston (three-syllable "G"), whose most famous resident is probably this amazing lady.

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Rock Creek Park as seen from the sidewalk on the west side of 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., between Underwood and Holly Streets (see above), 2:11PM April 20, 2014.

The land drops off really steeply into the forested glen below, and the forest was just starting its not-way-early budding this spring).

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A group of people -- one with a dog -- pushing a beat up car (driven by a black guy) that had broken down on Colesville Road onto Sligo Creek Parkway, Silver Spring, Md., 2:33PM April 20, 2014.

Is this an example of that American "Can Do" Help-Your-Neighbor Spirit??

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Wine and spring flowers at Quill's parents' house, Silver Spring, Md., 4:44PM April 20, 2014.

That house in the Four Corners area is so incredibly peaceful. It was also the first place I very temporarily lived in September 1992 when I arrived in the immediate D.C. area at the end of horrendous St. Mary's College period, where NOTHING good happened except to meet Quill. (The place is even where I met the robot Wall-P., and would subsequently live with him for 9 months in 2004 - early 2005 very nearby this house on Granville Drive.)

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Yours truly in front of some forsythia blossoms bathed in the light of the setting Sun. This is just off Rosensteel Avenue, Silver Spring, Md., 6:43PM April 20, 2014.

This was after afternoon dinner and dessert and I was biking back home but Rock Creek Park / Beach Drive.

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The Our Lady Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church located on Rosensteel Avenue just off Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, Md., 6:43PM April 20, 2014.

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The cemetery of Our Lady Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe, Silver Spring, Md., 6:46PM April 20, 2014.

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A statue of the Virgin Mary in the cemetery of Our Lady Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe, Silver Spring, Md., 6:46PM April 20, 2014. At least I am assuming this is the Virgin Mary.

I posted this picture already in this entry.

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The Linden Lane overpass of the Capital Beltway, Silver Spring, Md., 6:51PM April 20, 2014.

That's the Mormon Washington D.C. Temple silhouetted in the distance by the setting Sun as seen with my low-quality cellphone camera. It is located in Kensington, Md.

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The Capital Beltway Outer Loop looking east as seen from the Linden Lane overpass, Silver Spring, Md., 6:51PM April 20, 2014.

Of note, that overpass visible in the distance is the old B&O Metropolitan Branch railway line (now owned by CSX and shared by the MARC Brunswick Line) -- and on the east side for many years stretching back to when the then-new Temple was dedicated in 1974 had painted the words "SURRENDER DOROTHY" with the Mormon Temple as is backdrop owing to its resemblance to the Emerald City royal palace in The Wizard of Oz. Actually, the graffiti has appeared in various forms -- and been removed -- and it is something of Washington, D.C., area legend.

Above: An undated picture of the aforementioned freight and MARC train overpass over the Capital Beltway with the Mormon Washington D.C. Temple visible in the distance. It was on this side that "SURRENDER DORORTHY" was painted in big letters for many years (though, again, there have been various iterations of it over the year).

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The graceful neoclassical arches of the Connecticut Avenue Taft Bridge as seen from below, Washington, D.C., 7:51PM April 20, 2014.

This was taken exactly one hour of steady bike riding later as dusk fell. And I still had to push the bike up the steeply sloping ramp that connects Calvert Street and Connecticut Avenue to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway below.

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OK, that's all for now. It's quite late and I need to sleep. I had a good gym workout tonight and then came home and made dinner while watching TV and completing this entry. My next update may not be until Saturday, although I want to post excerpts of another excellent Jonathan Chait column.

G'night.

--Regulus

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Student Loan Indentured Servitude Update: The Sallie Mae Strumpet 25-Year Anniversary Waltz


Last Wednesday (April 16th), I received one of my periodic electronic updates from Sallie Mae -- that strumpet-for-life with which I'm in a shotgun marriage for life via my gargantuan and unpayable consolidated Direct Loans student loans since it became the servicer provider -- and the update was glorious in its ridiculousness and never-in-a-million-years could possibly happen.

Number of Payments | Payment Amount | Due Date
347| $1,401.01| 06/28/2014
7 | $753.59 | 05/28/2043

Amount to be paid on your loan(s):

Unpaid Principal Balance (includes interest previously added):
$211,742.07

Accrued Unpaid Interest Added to Principal With This Statement:
$38,852.74

Outstanding Late Fees: $0.00 (HUH??)

Total Principal to be Paid:
=$250,594.81


Estimated Total Amount of Interest: + $243,953.79 to be Paid During Repayment (if payments made as scheduled)

Estimated Total Loan Amount to  be Paid:
= $494,548.60
(This amount will click over $500,000 this year.)

Altogether:

"And I'm proud to be an American / Where at least there's a corporate oligarchy, / And I won't forget the vicious overclass that gave that joy to me!!!"

Now I will say that I also had some important news today -- and this followed online researching wondering how much can be garnished from my wage if I defaulted on all of this. The ANSWER: 15 percent of disposable income but NO court order is needed because this is considered an "administrative" garnishment.


It appears as though I have TWO years of remaining availability on my excessive student loan debt forbearance (not sure I understand the rationale behind that but whatever) and ONE year of voluntary forbearance. Thus, I SHOULD be able to go all the way to June 28, 2017 before I have to make a first payment when I'm 47 years old. Thus, I don't have to have any forced conjugal visits with my shotgun bride-for-life for that entire time.

Thereafter, assuming I get into the income-based repayment (IBR), I shall have to pay 15% of my disposable (rather than discretionary) income. Of note, this is precisely the same percentage as the standard wage garnishment amount that the Department of Education has taken upon itself through its 2003 Final Rule.

Based on my 2013 AGI (which, obviously, will change), my monthly payments would be $560 per month (in 2014 dollars) for 25 years.

At that point the debt "goes away" (rather than the 10 years you get under the public service option) -- although you can be sure the IRS will tax that discharged debt as an earning, which would certainly be another 5 years' worth of high payments on an installment plan.

Anyway, 25 years translates into just 300 EASY payments.

While this duration makes the plan as ridiculous and unworkable as the duration AND dollar amounts in the standard repayment plan -- even in that extremely unlikely scenario I would pay 300 x $560 = $168,000 in my current income or about 33 cents on the current 2014 dollar.

That translates into an ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM -- assuming (if) no corporate theocratic fascist state has taken over by then (a big "if").

But I should also point out that in this scenario, by the time the remainder was discharged in late 2042 -- that's 2017 + 25 years -- my total debt load might not have even fallen that much -- if at all.

So think of it as just a fixed amount to pay. Over 25 years.

But, again, exactly what America or the world will be like then is anyone's guess, or how or into what the student loan system will have morphed by that distant year. I'm not going to guess (though I doubt it will be good). More to the point, though, there is probably a greater than 50-50 chance that I'll be dead by then (although I have an idea of moving to New Zealand by then and/or becoming an author of some success).

I WIN!

--Regulus

Easter Weekend Photo-Recap Prequel: Stormy Afternoon / Evening Pictures from Last Tuesday

**This entry was posted April 22nd, 2014 and updated at 12:10AM 4/23/2014 - See below. **

Stormy skies over L'Enfant Promenade, Washington, D.C., last Tuesday afternoon as AP and I were walking to the DOE cafeteria for lunch, 1:18PM April 15, 2014. The cold front had blasted through and it was starting to rain.

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I had intended to post my Easter weekend pictures -- both in Baltimore on Saturday and in D.C. and Silver Spring on Sunday. However, I ran out of time tonight, partly because I need to be out of the apartment quite early (that's 9:30AM for me).

Rainy, chilly evening in the Enid Haupt Garden of the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C., 6:52PM April 15, 2014.

I walked home from work on Tuesday in the rain, stopping first at Elephant & Castle and then later at No. 9 and Dupont Italian Kitchen.

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This is because there is an ALLL day planned water outage this Tuesday in order to repair a fire hydrant in front of the building. So instead, I'm posting some earlier pictures from last week, in particular on stormy Tuesday when it rained and then snowed a bit, that I intended to post.

Rainy evening at Pennsylvania Ave. and 12th Street NW looking to the east-southeast, Washington, D.C., 7:04PM April 15, 2014.

I actually felt badly for the tourists I walked past -- little kids and their parents still in their shorts in the suddenly cold steady rain.

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In addition, my toilet -- the one replaced after this disaster / narrowly avoided catastrophe and following this weird follow-up occurrence -- is to be replaced with a tank top-mounted one.

Anyway, I want to be in bed by 1AM tonight.

Updated 12:10AM 4/23/2014: The toilet replacement has been postponed for the time being -- probably until my apartment can also be repainted. The building manager suggested this be done while I'm away for a few days, which means not until mid-to-late August during my planned annual summer Jersey shore (Wildwood / Wildwood Crest / Cape May) with Gary, Wendy, and LP.

End of update.

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Interior of Elephant & Castle at the far end of the front bar, Washington, D.C., 7:13PM April 15, 2014.

It was quite cozy in there -- not too crowded and I had beef-and-rice soup and toasted roll, hot tea, and white wine. All very civilized even with the low-key trivia game that was going between musical interludes.

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As for tomorrow night, I'll try to post at least the first half of the pictures (the Baltimore ones). However, I do need to go to the gym beforehand tomorrow night AND gain Wednesday night. Tonight, I didn't do anything except go to Larry's Lounge for about 90 minutes where I met Kristof (something I don't do much anymore).

Stormy gloomy dusk outside Elephant & Castle, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 7:58PM April 15, 2014.

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I took this picture the following night:

A young man helping an old lady walk along the 1400 block of P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 9:18PM April 16, 2014. He had helped her cross the street and was telling her about his boyfriend.

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OK, that's all for now. Oh, yes, read this Jonathan Chait piece: America's Most Powerful Conspiracy Theorists. Awesome piece. I wanted to post the whole thing, or at least excerpt it, but I've run out of time tonight.

--Regulus

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Easter Weekend Craptacularly Bad Mood ...

Virgin Mary statue -- at least I think it's the Virgin Mary -- in the cemetery at the Our Lady Queen of Poland / St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church off Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, Md., 6:46PM April 20, 2014.

Updated / corrected 8:30PM 4/21/2014: Image file name updated to reflect Silver Spring, Md., location. (For some reason, I originally wrote "Washington, D.C." in the image file name.)

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I can't post anything tonight. I'm in a truly a flippin' horrible mood, and f#ck it all. I'll try to post something tomorrow night. I guess it has to do with what happened in the wee hours of Saturday morning and the fact that I'm still really upset about it.

I did bike about 20 miles today but GOD will use that as an excuse to make me fatter. GOD's Goal for me is for me to be a gelatinous dugong because GOD GLEEFULLY does and makes happen EVERYTHING that you don't want. Anyway, I biked to Silver Spring (Four Corners area) and back -- directly there and via Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park at sunset on the return trek.

I'll try to update this blog tomorrow, but I can't promise anything at the present time. (Oh, yes, my dinner with Cole got pushed back until next Monday.)

--Regulus

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry for April 19th, 2014 with Brief Update / Follow-Up to My Very Bad Good Friday Night


"Hello Tomorrow" by Larry Carlton from his Discovery album (1986)

This is a mellow smooth jazz piece and there are some lovely (likely Pacific Ocean) coastal scenes both rugged and with palm trees. (The initial text disappears after about 30 seconds.)

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I'm home after what turned out to be a very nice afternoon with my mom and Ray up in Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City. I have some pictures that I'll post try to post tomorrow morning before my Easter Sunday trek to Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring.

I was watching a very old rerun of Wonder Woman on Me-TV as part of that network's Sci-Fi Saturday Night lineup. It's the episode "Bermuda Triangle Crisis." This is a later season episode (1977) and has a different opening sequence and the theme song is somewhat altered from the first season.

This is the ONLY episode I know of in which Wonder Woman does a subsequent spin after she has already "spun" into Wonder Woman -- and ends up in a full-body slinky swimsuit. She then does a third spin to resume her "normal" Wonder Woman persona. (No episode that I know of ever showed her spin "the other way" or do whatever it was she did to resume her Diana Prince persona.

Oh, yes, I never knew that her Paradise Island home was supposed to be in the Bermuda Triangle.

Thereafter, I watched Star Trek: The Original Series (but with its amped up special effects that enhance rather than detract from that wonderful show). The episode featured was "The Paradise Syndrome."


"Puerto Banus" by Paul Hardcastle on his The Jazzmasters 4 release (2003)

This video features some lovely dusk and nighttime views of cities, only some of which I can readily identify. I'm not sure any of the images are of Puerto BanĂºs itself (that's in Spain). It appears to be a relatively small town on the western Mediterranean Sea not far from the Strait of Gibraltar.

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Thereafter, I guess I'll go out. I am still quite upset over last night's debacle with Chris H. It partially ruined my day. While I'm not happy I screamed at him -- I should have walked away -- I really hate the way he spoke to me.

I'm sorry, Brady. I'm unsure if I'll ever get to see you again.

Such unwarranted invective over what I still think was nothing, or at the very least, none of his business (my conversation with another person) was just unacceptable and beyond the pale.

Furthermore, this is part of a general pattern of behavior toward me that is at best indifferent and sometimes just callous and mean.

Oh, and of course, the Observable Universe -- heck, maybe the Total Universe -- would fulfill the Poincaré Recurrence Theorem before he would apologize to me. No one ever apologies to me.

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And now for something, while not more Saturday night upbeat, certainly more appropriate for how I'm feeling right now ...


"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics from their album of same name (1983)

I would like to point out, Dear Reader, that my mom once said to me MAAANY years ago -- not long after this very popular song came out with its oddly and weirdly engrossing video (what with the close-cropped orange-haired androgynous Lennox and that cow walking around a corporate boardroom table) -- that every time she heard of it, she thought of me. Hm.

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OK, that's all for now.

--Regulus

A Really Bad Good Friday and a Wholly Awful Holy Saturday Morning -OR- None for My Baby

**This entry was posted on April 19th, 2014.**

The peaceful interior of St. Dominic Church, Washington, D.C., 2:08PM April 18, 2014.

I found out yesterday that LBJ used to go here occasionally during his presidency. I also found out the place barely survived the ugly "urban renewal" of the late 1950s / early 1960s.

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Some Holy Saturday.

I am badly hung over and in pain. Yesterday was among the worst days I've had in a long time -- both workwise and socially. Some Good Friday.


My workday was just difficult. And my social day would have been good except for a terrible, horrible fight I had with Brady's dad. That would be Chris H.

He inexplicably and viciously turned on me (though he never really liked me anyway). He was spewing at me for reasons that I still can't figure out*, and I blew up pretty badly back at him, yelling right there on T Street at the 3AM hour. So I guess I won't be seeing Brady again. Indeed, he even mentioned that and that I would blog about it -- so here it is.

Consider it blogged.

Oh, and then he saw a cop cruiser and thought he could get me arrested because he just could. Yeah, right. The MPD roam the streets of D.C. at night looking to intervene in situations where drunk gay men are arguing. It's such a high priority.

There, M. WADE Tipamillyun -- now you can be happy. Oh, and I detest you, too.

*As near as I could tell, he was upset that I talked to the NPR correspondent guy who is married to the woman who runs the new restaurant where he works. He was saying, "You're not a good person ..." and other similar comments.

I never turn on people like that but I get that ALL the time, and there are oceans of antipathy and distrust and fear between me and others. I also react badly to being berated, especially in a hateful way when I've done nothing wrong in my mind. I don't handle that well -- never have, never will. Indeed, I don't think I should have to (should I?).

OK, yelling isn't good, but I inherited crazy and explosion. On both sides. Big time.

I deleted Chris's number and don't really know what to do. I guess there is nothing to do. Now he doesn't have to get and ignore multiple text messages from me.

Being a gay man is the worst thing in the Universe. It's an idiotic, ugly, unhappy, miserable reality. And in my case, everybody hates me anyway (well, except perhaps Quill and perhaps Miss Wendy). And I hate most of them back. Come on, Dear God -- let's see how a sh!t of a day today can be, too. There's nothing You can't do.

The presently-peaking double-flowering Kwanzan cherry tree blossoms. This tree and three others actually grow in the little yard at the corner of 16th and T Streets NW where aforementioned person lives. I took this yesterday (April 18, 2014) at 6:17PM.

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I don't want to get up today but I also don't want to miss meeting my mom for our scheduled afternoon dinner in Baltimore at the Rusty Scupper. But somehow I have to make it to Union Station and schlepp up on the MARC to BWI Rail Station by 1:05PM. All I really want to do is sleep all day.


This song is stuck in my head. Not sure why.

OK, if everything goes right -- should I even finish that flippin' sentence?? -- I will be back this evening.

--Regulus

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Blog Housekeeping and Statistical Numerology: A Healthy Spring Has Sprung


I'm posting this entry at 10AM on Friday morning. Good Friday, no less.

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Blog Housekeeping ...

I just was too tired after work and the gym last night plus my previous night's insufficient sleep to spend until 3AM composing an entry (which few people would read anyway). On a related note, I should note that my blogging activity over the next five days is likely to be intermittent with only short entries.

For starters, I need to go to the gym this evening.

Tomorrow, I am taking a MARC train to BWI Airport Rail Station to meet my mom and Ray, and we are going to an afternoon dinner at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore.

I intend to return by evening, and I plan to post a jukebox Saturday night entry.

On Sunday -- Easter -- I am going to Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring during the day. My intention is to ride my bike there and back.

On Monday, I might be taking a Nellie's bartender friend to a delayed 30th birthday dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill or some other place.

Tuesday will necessarily be a gym night.

Thus, I may not have any entries until late Tuesday or even Wednesday.

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Weather Update ...

Before it recedes too far in the past, I wanted to note the rainfall totals from the storm earlier this week as well as monthly / seasonal / year-to-date totals through 4/17/2014 and their comparison to the 1981 - 2010 normal values at the three regional civilian airport climate stations (National, BWI, and Dulles) are given below.

Of note, all three had "trace" snowfall with Dulles's "trace" a daily record.

KDCA

Storm rainfall: 1.53 inches;
Month-to-date: 2.01 inches / Departure: +0.25 inches;
Season-to-date (since March 1st): 6.27 inches / +1.03 inches;
Year-to-date: 12.87 inches / +2.20 inches;
Seasonal snowfall: 32.0 inches or +16.6 inches

KBWI

Storm rainfall: 2.42 inches (daily record remains 2.52 inches in 2007);
Month-to-date: 3.09 inches / Departure: +1.24 inches;
Season-to-date (since March 1st): 7.47 inches / +1.72 inches;
Year-to-date: 14.76 inches / Departure: +3.06 inches;
Seasonal snowfall: 39.0 inches or +18.9 inches

KIAD

Storm rainfall: 1.23 inches
Month-to-date: 1.68 inches / Departure: -0.31 inches
Seasonal-to-date (since March 1st): 5.78 inches / Departure: +0.41 inches
Year-to-date: 12.28 inches / Departure: +1.49 inches
Season: 52.8 inches or +30.8 inches

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Affordable Care Act Update: The Numbers

Lastly, I really want to mention the very good news on the Affordable Care Act announced yesterday, namely, the 8 million exchange sign-ups that occurred during the initial open enrollment period ending March 31st, as well as the total failure of a non-Fox News actuarial death spiral to emerge owing to the healthy age mix of the signups. This is sure to drive the GOP Political / Media / Infotainment Bubble even further into an alternate and delusional reality.


Allow me to quote at length Jonathan Chait on this matter:

For all the Sturm und Drang, implementing a successful health-care reform was not actually very hard, for the simple reason that the United States started with the worst-designed health-care system in the industrialized world. When you spend far more on health care than any country, and you're also the only advanced democracy that denies people access to medical care, it's incredibly easy to design a better system.

[But i]f it's so easy to massively improve health care, why didn't it happen before? Because passing a health-care reform through Congress is incredibly hard. The system's waste created an enormous class of beneficiaries with a vested interest in the status quo. And the insecurity of private insurance made Americans terrified of change (which was necessarily complex).


And this is what conservatives have never understood ... The triumphs of Obamacare were designing a plan that could acceptably compensate the losers and generating the resources to cover the uninsured without alienating those with insurance. Designing and passing Obamacare was a project requiring real policy and political genius. Implementing it was easy.

But Chait -- just like Pres. Obama -- noted the utterly immorality, indeed, outright evilness of those radical Republican-controlled states (mostly, of course, in the American South) that have refused to expand -- at no cost to them -- Medicaid -- and thus denying 5 million of their people basic health care.


 
Nevertheless, things are moving in the right direction in so many ways -- and it doesn't matter if there is a GOP sweep in the November midterms (we know why that will happen) that allows Michael Barone to write yet another "American Political Atlas" explaining why there is an emerging yet another "New GOP Supermajority." It's just not true.

OK, that really is all for now.

--Regulus