Thursday, May 25, 2017

The A-Gay Boy Reaches 40 on the Interstate of Life, Next Exit, Is (Not) the Knacker's Yard; -OR- Onward, Time and Tide ...


It's May 25th and that means it's time for another celebratory birthday blog entry for a certain someone. Truthfully, I'm sort of making myself post this entry -- in part because I posted entries two and five, but it is this one in particular that calls out for an entry (yet one I had to force myself to write it because, well, I just don't care anymore; indeed, this entry is more just a general commentary than to any one specific person).


This birthday is the BIG FOR-OH, 4-Zero ... also known as FORTY.

Yes, that milestone relentlessly approached and came right on schedule. Yes, "time and tide wait for no man." Alternatively, "time is a harsh mistress" indeed.


Coincidentally it's also the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie (later retitled, "Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope").

That being the case, I have come up with what I think are a suitable mélange of videos to commemorate the event of a person of his caliber and character. They follow below.



As for turning 40, welcome to middle age.

It's not really a joyful time, all the more so as a gay man cut off from the standard arc of a middle class American straight male who is married, with children. In that trajectory of life, the wife turns the man, in a manner of speaking, into a buccal-pumping frog on a suburban lily-pad, but all the systems and structures of society are in place.


For a typical gay guy, that option at least culturally doesn't really exist as a viable option -- the exception being those gay men who marry some guy and settle down and end up morphing into a single blob (again, in a manner of speaking).



This is problematic for the "A-Gay" types, though, who basically just marry versions of themselves -- such a problematic course of action seldom works out (not because of the "marrying version of self part" itself but because the type of person "self" is).

(My working assumption here is that in the straight world, men marry versions of their mothers and women marry versions of their fathers. In the gay world, gay men marry themselves. As for lesbians, I have no idea.)


(Some of the comments to this one on the YouTube page are kinda funny.)

Gay middle age marks that long decent out of youth and -- no matter how much you go to the gym and try to eat right -- for the erstwhile A-lister into moobs, general sagginess, ever-more-leathery and crinkled tattoos (if one was dumb enough to get a bunch of them), not to mention that natural scent of Cheez Whiz and perfumed ass.

OK, maybe I exaggerate a bit -- and I added those last two parts after a friend texted that to me because I found them hilarious.



What is true is that the next awful generation of 20-something gay sorority boys -- gay mafia, indeed -- will take your place at the top of the vapid urban, upper middle class gay social hierarchy and, if you spend anytime in their presence, will look at you as though you're only good for the bone yard or glue factory (in England, the knacker's yard).


For the self-absorbed A-lister turning 40, think of the last 20 years of the first 40 as the climb to "Peak A-Gay," and know that the first 20 years of the next 40 is all about the loss of all that and, in the process, necessarily becoming something very different.



What that different thing is -- well, who's to say, that's up to the person within the contexts of ability, place, and time. Obviously, that's wide open.


The main effort should be to develop values, relationships, structures, and supportive resources that give one ability to navigate perilous time and tide. If not, then the journey will be a difficult and unhappy one. ()


It may also mean getting rid of relationships including friends that you previously though sacrosanct. Of course, some people are just inherently much more unhappy than others with life difficulties, so there's that to consider, as well, but that doesn't change the relentless pull of time and tide and the need to adapt (on your own terms as much as possible but not foolishly so -- fighting everything is a sure way to lose).


Have I done all of this at age 47-1/2? Hell no. But I think I'm beginning to see, perhaps, how to do it and within my own life context.

Onward, time and tide ...

--Regulus

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Late Wednesday Night Weather Update: A Wet Cut-Off System Progged to Cross Eastern U.S.; Info on Those Broody "X" Cicada Stragglers

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in base mode reflectivity looped 10:27PM to 10:59PM May 24, 2017.

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Back from the gym a short while ago.

It's a breezy, softly overcast, cool night, KDCA 11PM air temp 62°F and dew point 57°F with rainfall starting to move across the immediate D.C. area.

Looking at the weather situation, a cut-off low presently centered over the Ohio River valley (near Cincinnati) will loll eastward while the warm front associated with it pushes up the Eastern Seaboard courtesy a strengthening low-level jet.

NWS high-resolution surface weather map for a portion of the U.S. valid 0Z (UTC) May 25, 2017.

The system is starting to occlude and become vertically stacked.

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The moisture-laden system will be further enhanced by spokes of shortwave vorticity rotating through it, bringing moderate-to-heavy rainfall to the Baltimore/Washington region during the overnight hours. There is also the chance of thunderstorms as the low passes overhead and the late May Sun destabilizes the atmosphere.

The system should slowly push out by Friday with breezy conditions.

Here are the some radar images:

The NWS composite radar mosaic for a portion of the eastern United States at 2148UTC May 24, 2017.

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Southeastern U.S. sector composite radar looped 1828 to 1938UTC May 24, 2017.

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Great Lakes sector composite radar looped 1818 to 1928UTC May 24, 2017.

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Great Lakes sector composite radar looped 0148 to 0258UTC May 25, 2017.

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Earlier today in the warm sector, over the Southeastern U.S., there have been widespread tornado watches in effect all day and some tornado warnings.

Now this is the forecast. If KDCA ends up with, like, 0.05", well, that wouldn't be the first rainfall bust there, nor the last one.

Here is the CWG entry bellyaching about the rain.

A Brood X cicada on, yes, Locust Lane, Fairfax, Va.; photo by Kevin Ambrose.

For more info, see below. To be clear, a cicada is not a locust.

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Speaking of the CWG, here is a very informative CWG post featuring an interview with cicada expert Dan Mozgai -- keeper of the blog Cicada Mania -- on why these so-called "stragglers" from the 17-year cycle Brood "X" of cicadas have been emerging this spring across the D.C. area and portions of the eastern United States in non-trivial numbers -- despite not being due for another mass showing until 2021 (and joining the Brood VI that are expected):


A map of the Brood VI and Brood X cicada sightings in the eastern United States, May 2017.

The Brood VI are due to come out this year, but not the Brood X. Both are on 17-year cycles.

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I didn't realize there were so many broods variously on 13-and-17-year cycles, and the whole concept of "acceleration" is very interesting, too -- basically, evolution in action.

OK, that's all for the weather entry. At least one more entry to follow tonight.

--Regulus

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday 3T Travails: Chicago Travel Trouble; Trump Budget Trauma; & Treadmill Totally Tired

Storm-charged large waves on Lake Michigan battery the Chicago lake shore on a squally day; photograph by Joshua Mellin, source image here.

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It has been an awful day so far in that I had a crushing headache this early afternoon and I feel uneasy and agitated -- all the more so because of work-related issues (discussed below). However, first things first ...

I composed an entry last night but it is the one for M-WADE Tipamillyun turning the big For-OH, I mean, 4-0, later this week.

However, even as I composed it, I realized how little I care and that I'm only doing it basically out of a habit and custom.

What do I give a damn about anything to do with the Baby Wade?

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I'm also very perturbed about my impending -- yes, impending -- trip to Chicago next week. It's a work trip for the same program office for which I attended the workshop in Atlanta in early March and for the same purpose.


The issue is that I extended my stay from the end of the workshop (mid-afternoon Thursday) to Sunday in order to visit Chicago, a city I've never actually previously visited (instead only having jetted, pun intended, through O'Hare and Midway airports), but I cannot find a hotel room nor even an Airbnb (or VRBO).

Chicago as seen from a high rise overlooking Lincoln Park.

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The available hotel rooms and Airbnb spaces in the Loop / Near North Side / Lake View ("Boystown") / and Lincoln Park are exorbitantly priced (often well over $500/night) -- yet another libertarian "dynamic pricing" paradise, I guess, also known as "price gouging" -- and I'm tempted just to cancel the "pleasure" part of the trip.

As it is, I don't enjoy anything.

Buckingham Fountain in Chicago; let's all sing the "Married, With Children" theme song.

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Quick, somebody call Big Y'EYEMAH, a.k.a., the Big Yo'meye'mah (thanks, Chris T. for that): I could use the cooing at that crowded mind-body intersection of failure, passivity, and enormity.

I actually don't believe that there is a shortage of rooms for a random weekend in early June in Chicago. I think it's more the Orwellian quality of our reality.

Cloud Gate, a.k.a., "The Bean," Millennium Park, Chicago.

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At this point, if I want to stay, is find a place miles and miles out and take in the "L" train through every Good Times ghetto just to see the Cloud Gate sculpture, a.k.a., The Bean, the Willis (Sears) Tower, and Buckingham Fountain. (Then there was the Chicago Stockyards, but I'm not sure where they were located.)

I might just nix the extra three days -- it's just not worth it given all the transportation and accommodation troubles.

Chicago's infamous stockyards: Union Stock Yard & Transit Co., 1947.

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Beyond that, though, the bigger issue is whether I'll even have my current job by fall thanks to the Trump/Putin budget that just came out -- one that the inverted Marxist Republican radicals of the GOP Cult are only too happy to pass since it includes Paul Ryan's "secret sauce" of no taxes on billionaires mixed with a bunch of libertarian claptrap, Mitch McConnell amorality, and neo-Confederate "Freedom Caucus" tea-baggery.

Abandoned garden apartment complex outdoor courtyard -- quickly becoming overgrown along Q Street just west of the Dumbarton Bridge over Rock Creek -- Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:33PM May 21, 2017.

I suspect that this apartment complex is to undergo a major renovation -- or replacement. Nothing remains abandoned in Georgetown for very long.

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This budget "proposal" is a disaster for the part of the federal agency that I support, but none of it is intended to work. Again, we're back to George Orwell territory.

This is a good time to post this memorable and timely quote by the late, great Isaac Asimov:

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"

-- Isaac Asimov, 1980 "A Cult of Ignorance"

If I do lose this job, well, I'm not going to kill myself trying to get another one. Instead of looking for a job, I'll just be the best burden to society that I can be.

We've created a Frankensteinian monstrous system that is simultaneously rigged and so overcrowded that it no longer functions.

Ooohhh, let me submit my resume to this online portal and watch the magic of the internet and the "marketplace" take over.

What a bunch of 1998 techno-glibertarian garbage is that.

That's the kind of shit that Wall-P spouts in some self-deluded sense of his own genius, clueless that he is a bribed tool of oligarchical intrigue living in a gilded cage.

"Eh. Eh. Eheheh. Looking for a job is all failure until it's a success. Eh. Eh. Eheheh."

Ohhhh, shut-up, Wall-P, you travel-sized tube of vendible corporate stoogery.

In point of fact, the internet is nothing but filth, foreign trolls, malware, alternative facts and false realities, and atomization of human relations.

2700 block Poplar St NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:40PM May 21, 2017.

Poplar Street is a side street in Georgetown that dead ends into a flight of steps leading up to the sidewalk of 28th Street between O and P Streets NW.

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Anyway, last night, I went to the gym and had a decent workout BUT! I dramatically reduced my treadmill time from 65 minutes to 30 minutes and only got to 2.6 miles rather than 6.67 miles.

This was partly because I walked about 9 miles on Sunday on a big loop from my apartment via Dupont Circle into Georgetown to the Key Bridge, down the Mt. Vernon bike trail to the 14th Street Bridge and back home via Trade. (The remainder of the photographic images in this entry were taken on that walk.)

Another view of the 2700 block of Poplar Street, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:40PM May 21, 2017.

To be clear, the 2700 block of Poplar Street is the only block of Poplar Street that exists.

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In addition, I'm just completely burnt out on jogging so much -- and in the context of having gained nearly 20 pounds in the past 12 to 18 months (true, about half is muscle mass) -- following a loss of 42 pounds the 3-1/2 years prior to that, and I don't feel like blowing out my knees by the time I am a 50-something man.

Rosslyn skyline as seen on the Key Bridge over the Potomac River, 5:14PM May 21, 2017.

Sunday was quite overcast at times but there wasn't any rain.

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As it is, I've treadmill jogged on the order of 3,000 miles in the past 4 years and 11 months, so that's clear across the Lower 48. This is a ballpark figure based on a few reasonable assumptions.

The Washington Monument (and Post Office Tower) as seen across the Potomac River from the Mt. Vernon bicycle trail, Arlington, Va., 5:58PM May 21, 2017.

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For tonight, I'm unsure whether to go to the gym again. My plan had been Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, but I could do Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Another view of the Washington Monument as seen across the Potomac River from the Mt. Vernon bicycle trail, Arlington, Va., 6:03PM May 21, 2017.

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Today is an overcast, cool day, air temp around 67F, dew point about 60F, easterly (maritime) breeze, and scattered light showers in the area. Rain is forecasted for tonight and again tomorrow night into Thursday. Good.

Folks are bellyaching because it isn't relentlessly hot and sunny. To hell with them. This isn't frickin' Phoenix.

The base of the Washington Monument and nearby trees, Washington, D.C., 6:48PM May 21, 2017.

The National Mall area was overloaded with tourists. The tourists from, say, the Arab speaking countries or India or Europe only get on nerves light-to-moderately.

It's the yall'ing, drawling, slovenly bovine tourists from Trump's America really get on my nerves -- and the last thing I want to do, when on a walk making a pit stop at one of the memorials' subterranean bathrooms, is to smell the inside of their colons and the remains of their digested "Make America Great Again" McRib dinners.

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OK, I think that's all for now. I'm in a crap mood today and additional writing isn't going to improve that.

Pfft.

As an update to the Chicago trip, I know a former coworker who lives there with her boyfriend who said I could stay at their apartment, so maybe I will remain there the extra three days.

--Regulus

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for May 20th, 2017: Remembering Robert Miles and His Children Plus Janet Jackson's Escapade Edition

In memory of Robert Miles (Roberto Concina), the Italian producer, composer, musician, and DJ who passed away on May 9th at the age of 47 from terminal illness ...


"Children" by Robert Miles from his Dreamland release (1996)

This is probably the best-known dream house or dream trance pieces of all time. (This is the music piece I had intended to post last Saturday night.)

Here is a nice musical tribute to Robert Miles ...



It is set to a slower, more somber version of "Children" and features numerous black-and-white still images of him.

Miles was born on November 3, 1969 -- just 23 days before me -- which means in 12 days (on June 1st), I'll be the same age as he was when he left this world.


Well, Robert, I hear that heaven is the best house setting of all ...

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Let's end on a more upbeat note hear on Earth with this great Janet Jackson song ...


"Escapade" by Janet Jackson from her album Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989)

I never get tired of Janet Jackson.

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

--Regulus

Saturday Evening Post for May 20th, 2017: Hair Cut Follies; A DOG-Gone Discussion; General Update with Thursday Georgetown Jaunt Pics

**This entry was posted May 20th, 2017.**

The C&O Canal in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:17PM May 18, 2017.

I took this picture on one of the side streets between K and M Streets that crosses over the canal, which for its part, is presently mostly empty of water as some major renovation work is done on it.

The pictures in this entry were mostly taken on Thursday on my walk back from Georgetown University Hospital (as explained below).

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Saturday very late afternoon / early evening (when does afternoon become evening?).

View outside Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., 3:16PM May 18, 2017.

Note the distant cirrus clouds -- with a distinct anvil shape. That was the supercell thunderstorm forming well west of Washington, D.C., that would later create such a dramatic sky vista (explained below).

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I skipped the gym today -- boooo! -- because I just didn't feel like going but instead wanted some needed quiet time at home. My plan is to go Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, although I won't do the full hour-long treadmill jogs on each of those visits.

Another view outside Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, D.C., 3:16PM May 18, 2017.

Those are fair weather cumulus clouds in the bright, warm, blue sky of this hot May day.

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As it is, my weight has crept back up to 160 pounds -- from a low of 142 pounds but still down from my peak flab of 185 pounds in June 2012 -- and although some of that is definitely muscle mass (I do a reasonable amount of weightlifting at the gym), some of it is just relentlessly creeping middle-aged American fatness.

Georgetown Univ. on Convocation Day, Washington, D.C., 3:29PM May 18, 2017.

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So yesterday, I did a very dumb thing: I cut my hair with the Wahl hair clipper I bought at the Columbia Heights Target a few weeks ago, but I somehow managed to forget to put on the blade. I was in such a hurry to get started -- and I was sure I had put on the No. 2 blade the previous night when I opened the box -- that I basically gave myself a "No. 0" cut with just peach fuzz.

Yours truly with a severe buzz cut, 5:19AM May 20, 2017.

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It'll grow back quickly enough, but I am an idiot. It's precisely the kind of mistake that I would make.

Oh, and standing there in the bathroom in just some boxer briefs, I was covered in hair, and I was also a bit overheated having just come inside from the warm and humid afternoon, so I was sweaty as well with the hair sticking to me.

This created an effect not unlike that of a facially-tattooed skinhead.

I look like I should be on a box of Lucky Charms cereal.

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I carefully picked up as much hair as I could and took a thorough shower before getting dressed and heading back out. I met Fred at DIK bar and then we went to Annie's and, thereafter, I made my way to No. 9 and Trade with the night ending in the usual fashion. I got home and went to bed -- with about an hour interlude being up around 530AM -- and didn't get out of bed until 215PM.

That's my life.

Healy Hall, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 3:31PM May 18, 2017.

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For tonight, I'm going to Fred and Doug's place next door in the nice Northumberland building for a bit of dinner and to watch a few episodes of the old British comedy 'Allo 'Allo! Fred swears it is a great program -- and created by the same duo of Are You Being Served? fame (Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft). Of note, the actor who starred in 'Allo 'Allo! -- Gorden (Gordon) Kaye passed away this past January.

Bright, very warm sunny day, 3600 block N Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:35PM May 18, 2017.

I think this was as mother and son. I saw them a bit later at The Tombs. Oh, and there were lots of moving trucks on the side streets. Time to head out into the World of Trump.

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Thereafter, I may go out to my usual pair of places, but I'm again in a state of severely overspent for this pay period, so I really cannot spend much until I get paid on Friday.

For tomorrow, I just intend to take a walk -- maybe on the Virginia side -- and stop for early dinner.

The legendary "Exorcist Steps" of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 4:44PM May 18, 2017.

I should note that William Blatty died this past January. Oh, and that's not M. WADE Tipamillyun -- or Tripabillyun -- up there.

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Oh, yes, I forgot to mention: On Thursday, I made my way over to Georgetown Hospital and went to the Division of Gastroenterology ("DOG" -- yes, that's how it's abbreviated on certain forms).

I was poked by finger up the, as it were, Bight of Biafra region and talked about consistency, texture, and solidity of poop, sorry, defecation. I think there was a section or two in Gulliver's Travels about that.

There were also questions about sexual activities. (In my case, it has been zero for about the last 12 years and not much for 3 years prior to that.)

The cobblestoned stretch of the 1200 block of 35th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 4:46PM May 18, 2017.

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Anyway, the good news is that the main doctor does not think I need a colonoscopy for the time being. Instead, he recommended an endoscopy in case I have any ulcer-related issues or damage to the esophagus due to periodic severe acid reflux from which I suffered about 10 to 12 years ago.

So instead of a Bight of Biafra expedition, it's one via Djibouti into the Great Rift Valley.

I should note that the problem I was having that brought me to the DOG facility in the first place seems to be ameliorating itself.

Potomac River and Rosslyn view from Georgetown Waterfront Park, Washington, D.C., 4:56PM May 18, 2017.

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Thereafter, I stopped at the Tombs for a couple drinks. It was "Convocation Day" at Georgetown University just ahead of this weekend's graduation ceremonies, and I ended seated at the bar next to this fellow who is the president of the Georgetown alumni association.

He is an attorney in New Jersey and one of this two daughters attends Georgetown presently. He also showed me a few pictures of him and his daughter climbing Kilimanjaro in 2014 -- reaching the summit. He was 65 years old at the time. That's impressive.

Another view of the Potomac River and Rosslyn view from Georgetown Waterfront Park, Washington, D.C., 4:59PM May 18, 2017.

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Next, I went to Mr. Smith's in Georgetown (at it's "new" K Street location) and had a nice dinner before continuing on and meeting Fred at Trade.

That was my Thursday.

Potomac River looking toward the Watergate and Kennedy Center from Georgetown Waterfront Park, Washington, D.C., 5:00PM May 18, 2017.

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It was a hot and sunny day (temps around 90F, although KDCA only reached 88F) with creeping humidity, and in the early evening, a large supercell thunderstorm formed west of D.C. -- slowly and dramatically moving toward the area. It had the sort of anvil top and mammatus cloud formation that you typically get in the Great Plains, not in the eastern United States.

Dulles (KIAD) had some heavy rainfall -- 0.61" -- while National (KDCA) just picked up 0.03". What was really amazing was the "anvil crawler" lightning display that occurred at dusk as cloud-to-cloud lightning forked its away through the mammatus clouds "underbelly" of the thunderstorm cloud tops.

Mammatus clouds are formed basically by an upside down convection.

Supercell thunderstorm anvil head well maybe 40 miles west of D.C. as seen from Rose Park, Washington, D.C., 6:46PM May 18, 2017.

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The CWG had the following entries with lots of photographs about the storm: here, here, and here.

Steps somewhere in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:22PM May 18, 2017.

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Yesterday was another hot day -- reaching at least 90F at all three airports and KDMH including 93F at KDCA. Today, the weather is mostly cloudy and much cooler with temps around 70F and an easterly (maritime) breeze. There are rain chances between Sunday and Thursday with temps not forecasted to break the 80F mark all week.

The super-duper expensive 3000 block of N Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:27PM May 18, 2017.

That's one big-ass, super-expensive house. I'm not sure the number -- but it's not the Newton D. Baker House where Jackie Kennedy lived for a little while after JFK was assassinated. That's at 3017 N Street NW.

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OK, that's all for now. I'm refraining from any political commentary in this entry in the interest of time. A jukebox Saturday night entry to follow momentarily (as I've already composed it).

Sidewalk, 3000 block N Street, Washington, D.C., 6:28PM May 18, 2017.

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My next planned regular entry will be late Monday or a bit after midnight Tuesday.

--Regulus