Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Washington, DC, America 2010: Under the Blue Summer Sky

An unusually clear and blue summer sky fleeced with cumlus and altostratus clouds as seen near the New Carrollton Metro at the intersection of Corporate Dr. and Pennsy Dr., (unincorporated) Landover, Md., 1:35PM, June 29, 2010

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This entry features pictures I took the past few days. The Sunday ones were taken while I was with LP out at Great Falls National Park in Montgomery County. The ones today were taken as I was heading back from a trek out to Landover, Md., near the New Carrollton Metro.

The sky earlier today as seen from New York Ave., NE, on the bridge over the train / Metrorail tracks in a crappy part of Washington, D.C., 11:41AM, June 29, 2010

I was heading to Landover with two coworkers -- in a car that one of them had just driven to D.C. from Colorado to move here.

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I went to my company's Landover office in the Metroplex Building on Corporate Drive in Landover to see a very interesting presentation by the company CEO. (I work in the D.C. Office near L'Enfant Plaza.)

The Metroplex Building, Landover, Md., 11:59AM, June 29, 2010.

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I think I've made a positive impression on him, and I think my boss (one of the VPs of the company) and at least one of the program managers views me positively. My boss is actually away now until next Tuesday (after the July 4th Federal holiday that falls on Monday, July 5th this year).

I'm putting together consumer fact sheets that are intended for use by the Dept. of Energy.

Another view of the black glassy Metroplex Building as seen under a fair blue summer sky from the parking lot at the edge of Corporate Drive, Landover, Md., 1:33PM, June 29, 2010.

I was walking to the Metro station at this time. I had seen this building many times from Rt. 50 over the years but never been in it. The building was nicer than I thought it would be.

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Department of Weather Complaints

As for the weather, and maybe as you can tell in the above pictures, the frickin' 100F heat and humidity has broken for now. Temps. are expected to be in the 70s and lower 80s Fahrenheit for highs the next few days and lows in the lower 60s and even upper 50s Fahrenheit for the next two nights.

There were some t-storms that blew through the area yesterday with the cold front -- and a VERY needed 0.79" of rain fell at Reagan National Airport (DCA), 0.70" at Washington Dulles (IAD), and 0.51" at Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport (BWI).

Here was the view from the 9th floor landing in my building looking at L'Enfant Plaza during the thunderstorm yesterday, 3:05PM, June 28, 2010.

I'm on the south side of the building and don't really have access to the building's north or west side whence weather approaches.

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We are still way below on precip. so far this year, esp. at DCA. The actual colder air is only now just beginning to arrive -- by "colder" I mean temps falling through the 80s and toward the 70s Fahrenheit.

The steps at L'Enfant Plaza heading to the Metro (you have to go up to go down into the station) with the sky about 2 hours after the storm. That is a remnant of a t-storm anvil head. It was actually very hot at this point, around 94F, after a high of 97F at DCA and 99F at BWI.

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As it is, June 2010 will almost guaranteed go down as the warmest June on record at DCA and probably at least one of the other two regional airports (BWI or IAD).

Though it will be cooler, there isn't any frickin' rain in the forecast for at least the next five days and it will start to warm up by the weekend -- and within a week we will probably be back into the horrendously hot and humid.

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The scuzzy-stagnant and mosquito-filled waters (HOORAY! HISTORY!) of the C&O Canal at one of the ancient locks, Great Falls National Park, Md., 5:24PM, June 27, 2010.

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Unwatchable News In a Profoundly Shitty Time


I am completely tuning out the news tonight, including Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. I just handle the fucking news and world tonight, esp. as delivered for two hours in endless tons of righteous but ultimately helpless indignation. Everything is wrong.

And for Kristof and Joe who are both in England right now (and both are to return within 3 months), you're lucky to be there.

We are in an extra shitty and tea-baggy time right now and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. Oh, and I'll literally die of a brain aneurysm if I have to follow the Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Those affairs are beyond unwatchable.

A sort of sill - water falls around one of the locks at Great Falls National Park, Md., 5:28PM, June 27, 2010. There was actually a big (blue?) heron waiting on the rock by the waterfall on the right, but he sort of blended into the rock. Eventually, he flew off -- and had at least a 4 foot wing span. He was waiting for a fish to go by in that soupy, nasty water.

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Taibbi & Krugman


Two quick commentary items ...

I recommend this Matt Taibbi blog piece slamming CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan for her sharp criticism of his Rolling Stone fellow reporter Michael Hastings for the latter's piece that ended up getting Gen. Stanley McChrystal sacked by Pres. Obama. The piece includes links to the Huffington Post article with embedded videos.

It's basically a profound clash of two very different views of the role of the journalist when covering the Government, including the military.

Another one of the locks with waterfall -- this one more impressive than the others -- at Great Falls National Park, Md., 5:30PM, June 27, 2010

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I also agree quite strongly with Paul Krugman's assessment of where and why Western leaders are going in a macroeconomic and financial policy. He has been making this point a lot lately.

Maybe like some speculate will happen with the BP / Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil disaster, and things will never get better.

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SAVING UP TO 50,000 BABY TURTLES!

I would like to detour here and post the following bit of frickin' GOOD NEWS. I'm sure GOD will screw with this, too, lest anything too good happen for too long.

It's about the efforts to save this year's cohort of sea turtles along the northern Gulf of Mexico, including the Florida panhandle and parts of Alabama, from the ecological catastrophe of the oil fouled Gulf of Mexico waters that those hatchlings who survive the gauntlet of their post-hatching beach run will enter.

A Hawaiian green sea turtle (honu), part of the larger green sea turtle population.

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The U.S. Government, in one of the few good things its done lately, and State of Florida are working collaboratively on a plan to move approximately 50,000 turtle eggs including loggerheads, Kemp’s ridley, green, and leatherback to the Atlantic side of Florida in order to save them from the Gulf's oil-poisoned waters .

The report released on June 16, 2010 is entitled Sea Turtle Late-Term Nest Collection and Hatchling Release Protocols for the Florida Panhandle and Alabama in Response to the Deepwater Horizon (MC-252) Incident.

The link is here, but it may be behind E&E's password barrier.

Some of the language is worth quoting:

"The activities identified in these protocols are extraordinary measures being taken in direct response to an unprecedented human-caused disaster ...They involve significant manipulation of eggs and hatchlings and are accompanied by definite but unquantifiable risks."

"These extraordinary measures and associated risks are not supportable under normal conditions. However, the continuing environmental disaster occurring in the Gulf of Mexico requires that we take extraordinary measures to prevent the loss of the entire 2010 cohort of hatchlings produced on Northern Gulf beaches..."

That is, if this isn't done, the entire Northern Gulf cohort is likely to die in the oil fouled waters.

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Anyway, instead of the news / commentary, I'm tuned to the easy listening channel on my RCN (channel 891). Right now it's the Mantovani Orchestra playing "Tara's Theme."

My friend Quill's brother is actually in the Mantovani Orchestra, or rather the posthumous descendant of it that only comes together episodically for special events.

Speaking of Quill, here she is holding the entire plush family -- hippos, monkeys, and all. This was taken Saturday at my apartment after we went to Bertucci's.

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I just finished my laundry -- it's so frickin' stressful when it shouldn't be, what with all that running up and down to the basement and needing to have $5 bill (or higher) increments (since the damn laundry card doesn't take $1 bills any longer) and hoping there are machines available. Now the laundry is just in a big pile on the floor. Sometimes I wait so long (over a week) to fold the white under-clothing that I ended just doing another load.

Yours truly looking out at the rapids of the "main stem" Potomac River and that give Great Falls its name -- and its class 5 whitewater rapids designation -- at 5:50PM, June 27, 2010.

Despite being so out of shape, I wanted to climb out there to near the biggest rapids, but it would take forever, and it is a bit risky and the park doesn't make that kind of thing easy with so much off limits. This was at the end of the boardwalk overlook on the Maryland side looking toward the Virginia side. It's actually a bit easier, I think, to get down to the river on the Virginia side.

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A typical danger sign you see in Great Falls National Park. The Potomac River is mighty dangerous indeed.

This being D.C. and everything hyper-political and reflective of the STUPIDEST political debates to which this country is prone, there was a big controversy years ago when the National Park Service first put the warning signs in Spanish ... on the policy grounds that it's better to let Hispanic immigrants drown while fishing in a river than post a stupid sign warning them because "that way, they'll learn to speak English, and, anyway, they're here illegally."

Stupid. And inhuman.

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Another view of Great Falls itself on the Potomac River, 5:48PM, June 27, 2010. The Potomac when it really floods every 25 to 100 years can literally cover this entire view.

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I will probably go to Cobalt for a drink tonight. I won't stay there too late.

The tuna fish I had for dinner earlier is stinking up my apt. The tuna fish was mixed with mayonnaise and I also had a handful of Keebler Townhouse Toppers crackers and some Coca-Cola.

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Here LP looks at a cedar tree that he thinks he remembers from nearly 50 years ago when he went there as a young boy. This is along the boardwalk / walkway leading out to the Great Falls overlook, 5:37PM, June 27, 2010.

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Last night, I spoke to my dad for an hour on the phone tonight. He is thinking of next year -- in March 2011 -- of moving back up this way from Florida, specifically, to the Delaware coast. And if my mom moves to the South Jersey shore area (Cape May County) in 5 years, that will bring them both back to the ocean -- and not far from where we all started many years ago in New Jersey.

I was fascinated by this Google satellite image showing the ocean floor topography of the continental slope / drop off to the deep abyssal plain. If you could "drain" the ocean, you'd see some incredible terrain as the continental slope falls from about 1,000 feet to 10,000+ feet down.

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Speaking the Jersey shore, my more immediate plan is to go there -- to Wildwood -- with Gary and LP in August for three days if possible. I will take off two days from work (remember I'm just hourly at this point, so I just don't get paid), probably a Friday and Monday.

This assumes LP's mom's health doesn't require him to stay in the area.

In September, I want to go down to Florida to visit my dad in Flagler Beach, which is where he is going to be at least until next spring. I will also take two days off, probably coinciding with the Labor Day weekend.

I guess by September, I should have a much better idea if this job is going to be made permanent or not.

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A most likeliy homeless / mentally ill man walking along the mainline Amtrak train tracks as seen from the Metrorail Orange Line, which parallels and then crosses above it, between the Cheverly and Deanwood Stations in inner slummy Prince George's County, 1:59PM, June 29, 2010.

I debated whether to make this image my lead one but my cellphone camera just couldn't get a better image of him.

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OK, I think that's about all for now. My next planned update probably won't be until Friday or Saturday.

--Regulus

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Summer in Washington OR Horrendously Hot in DeeCee Town

**This entry was written entirely earlier today before I went out with LP to Great Falls National Park. Some of the pictures were taken during that drive. I plan to post the remainder in my next entry.**

The Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) trail as seen from Great Falls National Park, Maryland,6:31PM, June 27, 2010.

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This was written mostly earlier today ...

The weather in the the D.C. area and mid-Atlantic region continues to be murderously hot and disgusting with 95F to 100F high temps, dew points nearing 70F, and a goddamn massive cap/inversion around 700mb that is suppressing any and all thunderstorm activity.

Here one pissy will cloud formed in the sky (just to mock me) above The Brittany, which is the much nicer condo building across the street from the Hampton Court where I live in Washington, D.C., 11:53AM, June 27, 2010.
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It actually reached 100F at DCA and BWI officially on Thursday, June 24th -- surpassing the daily record highs of 98F for both locations and the first 100F readings at either spot since Aug. 8, 2007 when it reached 102F at both locations.

That was also the last time it reached 100F at IAD, specifically, 101F. It reached 97F at IAD on the 24th, which as still a daily record -- surpassing the daily record of 95F.

Today's shitty records are as follows ...

... 98F at DCA in 1980 and other years, 99F at BWI in 1952 (that may have been a pre-BWI record when the obs were still taken in downtown Baltimore), and 100F in 1964 at IAD. The 100F at IAD was a record for the month of June as well.

DCA will probably at least tie its record. Not sure about the BWI and IAD records.

At the noon hour the temps are as follows: 95F at DCA, 95F at BWI, and 92F at IAD.

We are also rapidly descending into drought conditions.

**UPDATED: High temps today included 99F at DCA, 100F at BWI, and 97F at IAD. So DCA and BWI had record daily highs, but not IAD.**

The lovely turret-and-gabled row house at the corner of 31st and Q Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 7:57PM, June 27, 2010. (This was a picture taken today.)

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There is an "air quality alert" in effect but no heat advisories because the self-satisfied NWS idiots at Sterling (LWX) are all excited about the fact that the heat index will "only" be 103F or 104F today, which is below the advisory criteria of 105F for our area. This is like a big victory for them. As if you can even know what the "heat index" will be down to the degree on a baking hot, sun-lit concrete street.

Jackasses.

The NWS Eastern Region county warning area (CFA) extended map as of 11:16AM EDT, June 27, 2010.

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As you can see on the Eastern regional map, the entire states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware are in air quality alerts with the Metro Philadelphia area under an excessive heat warning. The criteria that NWS Mount Holly (PHI) uses its its forecast area is for 100F heat indexes for 1 to 3 hours, so it is less restrictive than the ones used by LWX for the Washington / Baltimore area.

Speaking of Philly, here is a picture Gary took yesterday (June 26th) while passing through Center City on a bus heading to New York for the weekend.

This frickin' hideous summer is going to be a brutal one with no end in sight to the massive ridge in place that is screwing up the weather.

There will be a brief respite next week with a strong frontal passage, but the LWX weather magicians and the giant-headed Doug Hill on channel 7 are already plotting ways to ruin any chance of thunderstorms / rain.

(I can't believe Bob Ryan went over to channel 7. What's wrong with him?)

The 1400 block of V Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:16PM, June 24, 2010.

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The part that bugs me the most is how happy so many people are with this heat and humidity. Our climate is criminal here and should be treated as such.

What also bugs me is how the ASOS (Automated Surface Observing System)sees even the slightest bit of haze as "cloudy" or "mostly cloudy." It is "cloudy" or "mostly cloudy" according to ASOS almost all the time when it fact it is sunny.

The above picture shows an ASOS sensor group at some remote observation spot.

What I want is a RAPID melting / collapse of the massive ice sheets over Greenland due to sudden warming (Antarctica would be TOO much) and a quick 5 foot rise in global sea level, combined with a partial shut off of the thermohaline circulation -- at least the Gulf stream portion of it -- and a rapid return to much colder conditions and a nice Nova Scotia or Newfoundland-like climate for the mid-Atlantic.

That's my dream. What's yours?

Generalized model of the global oceanic thermohaline "conveyor belt" circulation pattern showing warmer surface waters and colder, more saline deep waters.

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Anyway, if we get a few more weeks of this weather here in D.C., the topic of climate change will quickly move back to the top of the political agenda.

As it is, we are approaching a Democratic wipe out in November. I was trying to be optimistic, but I can't. But the Republican tea bagger crazies who will get elected in the House and Senate will be such whack jobs that they will will be wildly unpopular within 6 to 12 months -- and Obama should basically win reelection by default (that is, the Republicans "won't win") in 2012.

Meanwhile, the Washington WHORE Post editorial board will treat all of this with the utmost seriousness and sobriety in its never ending quest ...

... for the perfect milquetoast, wussy, pro-corporate, burbling, serial LOSER Democrat who stands for nothing but Wall Street bailouts, free trade, and a cheap, warmed over social liberalism, so that anyone in his over-class status doesn't have to pay taxes for their Hispanic nanny.

I wish The Post would go bankrupt already. I reckon that's still about 5 to 10 years away.

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Tiger lilies and hydrangea flowers in the small yard at 1711 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 6:01PM, June 26, 2010.

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As for my weekend, yesterday, I had a very nice time with Quill yesterday -- she came into D.C. and we went to Bertucci's for a late lunch / early dinner.

There was a surprisingly big crowd even there watching Ghana defeat the U.S. in the World Cup, but not as big / drunk / rowdy as the crowds pouring out of Lucky Bar and the other places along the east side of Connecticut Ave. just south of Dupont Circle. The Bertucci's crowd just sort of left quietly. We were seated way in the back away from the big TV screens.

The surprisingly cool and pleasant -- on a frickin' incredibly hot summer's day -- subterranean Dupont Circle Metro platform, Washington, D.C., 3:04PM, June 27, 2010
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Later, I went to Cobalt as bartender CH was somewhat unusually working at happy hour. Quill actually came with me to Cobalt and then i walked her back to the Dupont Metro by 10PM or so. I walked back home, intending on going back out, but I fell asleep and woke up at 3AM -- and, of course, just went back to bed. I didn't get up until about 1045AM this morning, so that means I had a good 10 hours of sleep, which I needed.

The "ancient" 1940s or '50s style Voight Building along Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 4:39PM, June 27, 2010.

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But I'm also having a crappy weekend there was the definitive ending to a strained and difficult friendship. While I feel badly for what I initially said, I don't regret this relationship ending.

I am very happy that Kristof is returning -- hopefully in the 2 to 3 month "time flame."

Don't get me started on that bitch at the 1099 job. What a nightmare. But at least it is over.

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Booeymonger's on Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 3:56PM, June 27, 2010. (Picture taken on Sunday.)
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As for today, I don't know what to do. It's so frickin' hot out. My mom and I were supposed to meet for lunch in College Park, but she understandably didn't feel like driving here from Millersville in 100F heat.

LP mentioned something about a movie -- one of the never-ending film festivals at AFI in Silver Spring. But I'm not sure I want to see a movie about a European all-men swim team ("Men Who Swim").

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A VERY brief downpour that occurred earlier today ... Windshield wiper and the 5202 River Road Transmission Tower, as seen while driving along River Road, Bethesda, Md., 4:51PM, June 27, 2010.

Officially, DCA and BWI had zilch while IAD had 0.06".

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I need to go to Macy's -- didn't I default on about $2,000 in debt to them, and it's now up to about $60,000 on interest and fees and assorted middle-men collection agencies, and all sort of lost in an American-style debtors' limbo, and God Bless America -- to get some new underwear, tee shirts, and socks.

Guess I'll be payin' in cash.

My apt. is very depressing -- and dusty as hell despite the fact I'm forever scooping / wiping / brushing it away. It's sort of reminds me of the radioactive dust fallout in that Philip K. Dick post-apocalyptic novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I'm thinking of putting thick curtains on the windows, or at least a sturdy shower curtain rod and dark sheets. Fuck all this sunlight and daylight that keeps coming in even when I don't want it to.

And Thank GOD ALMIGHTY Three In One On High, Alpha & Omega, World Without End, Amen, for my little window a/c. (Watch it break now -- that's the kind of spitefulness GOD deals in.)

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The 4th of July holiday is quickly approaching. As for my job, well, so far so good, I guess. I'll have more to say about that in subsequent entries.

--Regulus

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Temperature, Solar, Money, and Life Min & Max

The corner house at U and 15 Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 5:49PM, June 22, 2010.

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Just a quick update ...

Good News!

Kristof got his U.S. permanent residency and SHOULD be returning here by the end of the summer.

Here was Kristof leaving the U.S. at Dulles Airport on March 3, 2009.

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Very sad news ...

There is unhappy news in the land of Hippograms that I found out about from one of Hippo's "staff" and keepers. It's not good news. But it's not for me to write about in this forum.

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I recommend this David Brooks' June 21, 2010 column "Faustus Makes a Deal".

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Weather ...

The weather is vile and disgusting. It reached 97F at DCA and BWI today -- one degree shy of the daily record of 98F at DCA set in 1988 and tied with a pre-BWI Baltimore daily record set in 1894. IAD reached 95F, not a record.

The astronomical spring -- defined in the Northern Hemisphere as March 20 - June 20 -- was the warmest on record at DCA and IAD and just narrowly missed it (by 0.1F) at BWI, and June is shaping up to be the warmest at all three airports (DCA, BWI, and IAD). Source here.

KDCA climograph for 2010 through June 22, 2010

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And the hemispheric pattern suggests no sign of this ending anytime soon.

Last night there were some scattered very strong thunderstorms in the area -- DCA actually got 0.25" of rain while here in D.C. around Dupont Circle we had mostly just a big cloud of dust and detritus blow through.

A downed tree on the east side of the 1600 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW, yesterday (June 22, 2010) after powerful gusts of wind blew through around 8PM. Chris T. took this picture.

The other two big regional civilian airports -- BWI and IAD -- got zero.

However, there was a powerful thunderstorm nearby that struck where my mom lives in Millersville, and nearby Annapolis recorded 1.17" rain at the Naval Academy.

From D.C. at early night, I saw the storm -- laced and pulsating with lightning -- as it was receding. It was about 30 miles away and was spectacularly visible, although quickly moving away. I had just finished my goodbye dinner with Roger L., who is going to Mexico for a year on sabbatical from his college professor job.

By the way, here is a link to a WaHoPo article -- actually, it's from a New Scientist writer but the Post just carried it in their hateful, pro-corporatist, pro-Bush, pro-war way -- about the very deep solar sunspot minimum we have been in for the past few years and what it might mean, including (somewhat controversially) for Earth's climate.

Here is an image of the nearly "spotless" Sun taken either today or yesterday and posted on the Space Weather.com site.

As for me, I want to go to the ocean for a vacation -- whether New Jersey or Florida -- for a few days this summer as shown in the two pictures posted below that I took in last August.

The gurgling, burbling surf at Wildwood Crest, N.J., on a hot summer day last year, 3:21PM, Aug. 18, 2009.

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My work week so far has been OK. I think things are OK with my boss and the job, at least for now. I was actually taken to lunch today by the head of HR at American Grill in L'Enfant Plaza across the street from where I work. It was the first time I discovered the "upstairs" area including the plaza itself (off L'Enfant Promenade).

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The surf at Deerfield Beach, Fla., 12;22PM, Aug. 2, 2009.

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This evening -- with just about $6 to my name -- I trekked up to Bethesda and met my friend S. at The Barking Dog Pub, or rather in front of the Bank of America nearby. She brought me my final check -- for $440 -- from that nightmare consulting company for which I was a 1099 independent contractor for 15 agonizing months after a year as a regular employee there. I deposited it and got $100 back. Thereafter, we met her brother, who is visiting the U.S., and the three of us went to The Barking Dog.

It was S. who expedited all my paychecks during the horrible 15 months of the 1099 period -- I would not have made it without her.

A small fountain on a backstreet in downtown Bethesda, Md., 6:12PM, June 23, 2010.

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I'm supposed to get my second regular work check from my new job on Friday -- hopefully by direct deposit rather than a hard check as the first one was (and Fed Exed to me from Colorado). The check should be for approx. $1600.

I returned back into D.C. and got home by 9:20PM.

OK, that's about all for now. My next planned update will be Friday or Saturday.

--Regulus

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Watergate and Sulgrave Club -OR- Wealthy Washington Places

The big circular table in a small private room off the main dining room, Sulgrave Club, Washington, D.C., 8:07PM, June 20, 2010

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The images in this entry were taken on Sunday. I took a walk with Gary down to the Watergate yesterday and later in the evening I went to the Sulgrave Club at Dupont Circle -- that's a really wealthy women's club.

The Watergate fountain (or rather the lowermost flattened oval pool of it), 4:44PM, June 20, 2010.

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Today (Monday, June 21st) is the first day of summer -- and it was fucking 93F hot and simultaneously humid and dry and uninterrupted sunshine just to make things even more miserable. Tonight at the midnight hour temps are in the low 80s F with no sign of rain anywhere. The weather-whores on TV and elsewhere are thrilled that we are entering a drought. June is shaping up to be the warmest one on record at DCA.

The Watergate sunken, multi-tiered promenade and lower level shop area tucked within the arc formed by the Watergate Office Building and the Watergate South, Washington, D.C., 5:06PM, June 20, 2010.

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I've no idea if this job is working out or not. I can't figure it out.

Gary's reflection in the window of what I think is a weird, old-style travel agent's office in the Watergate Office Building (and not to be confused with the other buildings of the Watergate complex), 600 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 5:10PM, June 20, 2010.

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The Watergate Complex from the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., 5:14PM, June 20, 2010.

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The Kennedy Center interior, Washington, D.C., 5:22PM, June 20, 2010.

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Gary by the sign of the Western Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C., 6:12PM, June 20, 2010.

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HIPPO!

The George Washington University mascot hippo outside the Lisner Auditorium, Washington, D.C., 6:22PM, June 20, 2010.

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The traffic light and street lights -- old flat-faced one and the new and more ornate one being installed, corner of 17th Street and New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 7:54PM, June 20, 2010.

That's a first quarter Moon in the evening, eve-of-summer sky. I'll avoid a big discussion about the old and new street lights -- except to say that the flat-faced "old" one was actually among the tens of thousands of then-new ones the city installed in the late 1990s to reduce glare. The new new ones (along with the higher globular lamps for 17th Street) must certainly come from Stimulus bill money.

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Yours truly in the main ballroom of the Sulgrave Club, Washington, D.C., 8:12PM, June 20, 2010.

Ooh, I'm fat.

Weren't those curtains once featured in a Carol Burnett Show skit? I'm referring to the "Went With the Wind" parody of Gone With the Wind.

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A private upstairs room at the Sulgrave Club, Washington, D.C., 8:14PM, June 20, 2010.

It costs $5,000 upfront to join and you need three members to recommend you. Annual dues are about $2,000. Actually staying overnight for members in one of the 8 private rooms is relatively inexpensive for the location.

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OK, that's all for now. I probably won't update this blog until around Thursday.

--Regulus