Wednesday, January 28, 2009

D.C. Midwinter Night's Dreams -OR- On the 3rd Rock from the Sun

No, this is not in Washington, D.C. ...

A random picture off the internet of a lovely turquoise tropical ocean seen through a curtain of palm trees. I once posted this image on my old Arcturus blog (which I shouldn't have deleted).


The following image is from my world ...

The 1500 block of Swann St., NW, Washington, D.C., around 145AM, Jan. 28, 2009 after some snow, sleet, and freezing rain.


So our official D.C. area snowfall totals -- before it turned to sleet and freezing rain -- were 1.7" at DCA, 1.2" at BWI, and 1.0" at IAD.

Pres. Obama's impromptu morning commentary of Washington, D.C. winter weather pussiness versus Chicago winter weather "flinty toughness" is here:

Of course, I'd like to point out that D.C.'s average snowfall continues to fall over the past few decades. Our winters are just getting less snowy. As it is, I told both LP and my mom to leave work early yesterday and I told my mom to go in late today.


There is the potential of a significant coastal storm for the East Coast that would -- according to the 0Z 29-01-09 GFS model run -- give the D.C. area a rain-to-snowstorm (which basically never happens here).

Shown here is a segment of the 1000-500mb "thickness" and precip., valid for hour 126, 0600Z (1AM EST), Feb. 3, 2009. The higher numbers (e.g. 1004) represent the surface pressure.

Thickness is a measurement of the height difference between the 1000mb and 500 mb pressure surfaces. The colder the temp, the closer those two layers and thus the lower the thickness. For snow, you need a thickness of 540 or less. That refers to 540 dekameters or 5400 meters (about 19,000 feet). The 1000mb pressure surface corresponds about to sea level.

The next increment (six hours later) has the 540 thickness line well to our east. In reality, such a scenario would likely mean the precip would instantly cut off as soon as the low was past our latitude, so rain to windy, blustery, and partly cloudy in the D.C. area. Boston would get a blizzard again.

This is all subject to endless iterations -- four a day with the GFS -- not to mention all the other models.


The intersection of T St., NW, and New Hampshire Ave., NW, Jan. 27, 2009


Yours Truly, Regulus, in the lobby of my building last night around 145AM, Jan. 28, 2009


Republican Depression-Inviting Economics...

So the House passed the $819 billion stimulus plan (HR1 in the 111th Congress) 244-188 with ZERO Rethug votes, even after Pres. Obama agreed to water it down with a bunch of worthless supply side tax cut bullshit, since the GOP far prefers to let the country go into a deflationary economic depression.

The Republican Party really has no business as a governing party anymore. It does not believe in any serious policy to bring about improved national welfare and a common good. It doesn't even believe such concepts exist. It's perverted low Protestant fundamentalism, corporate fascism, and hate-based politics preclude that. It answers to the wackiest of the wacky -- to the Rush Limbaughs and Ann Coulters -- and that strangest creature of all, the GOP "base."

Now it is true the House will have a second vote after the Senate passes its version (S.1) that, hopefully, will get at least a few Republican Senators, and then bill goes to conference committee.

Oh, yes, Dick Armey's behavior on Hardball tonight toward Salon's Joan Walsh was disgusting. Armey, the former House Republican Majority Leader who looks like an elephant and may have been intoxicated on the air, is your typical GOP s-hole whose idea of "policy" debate is to cackle, mock, and ignore basic facts. They're just rotten people.

(Matthews himself was a jackass, too, tonight and it took New York Times op-ed writer Bob Herbert, who was the next guest, to call Armey out on that, but only to Matthews.)

Kissing GOP ass doesn't work. I hope Pres. Obama soon realizes that fact.

As for Republicans in Congress, they are apparently obligated to kiss the big OxyContinated ass of the thrice married, hate radio maestro Rush "hanging with his boys in the Dominican Republic / bend over and grab your ankles" Limbaugh.

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R - Ga.) had to beg Rush for forgiveness for some criticism of him. How sad. And what a pathetic, increasingly irrelevant party is the Grand Old Party.

A much better, more positive example of a debate -- even though I think this thinking was wrong -- was Rachel Maddow's debate with Republican Congressman Don Manzullo (R-Ill.)


Switching gears: Midday TV ...

I've been watching the British TV series "Ballykissangel" aired on MPT in the late afternoon on my days home. It caps the end of the "Britcoms" aired on MPT during the weekday.

This show isn't a comedy per se. The opening theme is very nice. The fictitious town's name "Ballykissangel" is supposedly (but not really) an Anglicized version of the Gaelic name "Baile Coisc Aingil", which means "The town of the fallen angel." The show is set in Ireland.

The series creator grew up in the actual nearby townland of Ballykissanne in the village of Killorglin. It's the site of the annual 400+ year old Puck Fair. The highlight involves crowning a goat, "King Puck." The fair dates back at least to the 1600s, but possibly much longer than that into the pre-Christian era.


Movin' On Up? Down? Or just South.

On an unrelated note, my dad wanted me to look up trailer/mobile home parks in Key West in preparation of a possible move there within the next year. I found this site.


More late night TV stuff ...

Two screen shots from one of the Wednesday night episodes of "3rd Rock from the Sun" when Dick and Nina do a seriously well-choreographed Jitterbug routine.

The YouTube clip is here:

It starts at 4:08. The whole clip is actually quite good and funny. The last two minutes are also sweet with Dick and Mary doing a ballroom dance outside.

I want to learn how to dance like that (the Jitterbug thing, which actually includes a series of Swing era dances). And I don't want to be a lazy fat blob like I have become of late. Tomorrow, I start my gym work outs, 3 or 4 times per week. As I noted in my previous entry, I will do this.


Blogger Buddy Good Reads ...

Please read my dear blogger friend Fifi's Jan. 29, 2009 and Jan. 20, 2009 entries. Lyrical. And, once again, I'm borrowing an image from her blog.

This is of a beach somewhere in Australia, I think one the coast of New South Wales near where she lives, but I'm not sure. The picture image was just "headland."

It all seems so profoundly far away from Washington, D.C., on a cold night in late January.


Well, anyway, that's about all for now. My next entry will be in a few days.



Anonymous said...

I'm not gonna gripe about how long the entry is because that's your style and that's all there is to it, right?

But YAY on you for noting the Dick Armey slam at Joan Walsh, and the way Matthews was dumbfounded, and the way Bob Herbert didn't let it slide. I love Bob Herbert. Him, I would marry. Maybe. If I were the marrying kind.

Also yay on you for noting that Obama's gesture bought him... exactly nothing. I hope the Senate puts back every single concession Obama gave up, most particularly adding the contraceptives and deleting the tax cuts. An unexpected pregnancy destroys a family's stability faster than anything but addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling. Oh wait, or domestic violence. Okay, so unexpected pregnancy only comes in third, but STILL.

Out here in Fairfax, snow so bad my poor dog Ace - a large dog - fell and just laid on his side until his daddy could come get him. It was all ice; he could not get traction.

fifi said...

You don't think I'm giving away the name of that secret location?

It's very remote.

I am wondering if you should move somewhere more cold rather than warm...wher you will actually get some snow.
Florida is probably very similar to here, perhaps warmer. I would probably prefer somewhere with a bit more seasonal difference.

I'd quite like to live in England for a bit. It's very pretty.

I used to watch Ballykissangel many many years ago. It was sweet.
I havent watched any tv for about 4 years, and before that, hardly any.

Regulus said...

Ankhorite: I'm not gonna gripe about how long the entry is because that's your style and that's all there is to it, right? Pretty much.

Re. the stimulus bill, I totally agree with you on the tax cuts -- just a waste of money. As for the family planning / contraceptive thing, I'm not entirely sure how that's related to economic stimulus and its seems to me that it is something that would needlessly antagonize some natural allies, like kooky Catholics nevertheless concerned over social justice.

Sorry to hear about your dog. I hope he was OK! Glad you were there to rescue him (I'm assuming you are his daddy).

I will add you to my blog roll. I've taken so many people off in recent months that it is nice to add someone.

Fifi: You're not going to tell me where that wonderful beach is? Keeping it a secret?? Boo.

Re. the weather, ideally, if I were a rich man (do I have to finish that sentence), I'd have a tropical residence and a colder climate residence. Unlike most folks, though, I wouldn't flee the cold and snow in the winter time, at least not until I got tired of it. There is never a chance to "get tired" of snow in D.C. because it simply doesn't snow enough.

I've actually lived in England and it's a mixed blessing. The food is dreadful ... the water is kinda lousy ... and the air in the winter time is soupy and grimy in the urban areas (I was in Oxford), even as it is cold, damp, and clammy.

That aside, I loved England.

"Ballykissangel" is set in the southwestern corner of Ireland near the Ring of Kerry, so it is a very different place. I go to visit the Ring of Kerry on a bus tour in 1989.

fifi said...

ha ha ,
I will give you three guesses, oh king of google earth.

Pick three places at random,( yes it's nsw) and I will tell you if you are warm or cold.

There are HUNDREDS of places look like that. But lets see if you can pick it. it can be a fun game.

Who wouldn't have seasonal residences? I would!!

I lived in London for a bit. I was a bit sad at the time but I still loved it and I still adore going there. I can't wait to go back.

Regulus said...

I dunno.

Is it near legendary Bondi Beach? Brisbane Water? Curl Curl? I've no idea

fifi said...

Brisbane Water is vaguely warm.

Keep guessing. Go northerer.