Sunday, October 31, 2010

I'm Not in Love, Halloween Fright, and Genesis Questing

Downtown Washington, D.C., along 14th St., NW, near New York Avenue, NW, 6:39PM, Oct. 29, 2010.

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OK, I plan to post a regular and full update tomorrow (Monday) night. I'm a bit imbibed right now -- I was at my usual bar and my favorite bartender was ... well, let's just say he could be my boyfriend, or whatever, anytime he wanted.

The Washington Monument at dusk with a jet appearing to pass near the tip, 6:20PM, Oct. 29, 2010. I walked home from work -- my office is near L'Enfant Plaza -- on Friday.

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The election this week promises to be a catastrophe as Teabaggers -- bribed but clueless tools of Koch Brothers / corporate reactionary intrigue -- in a media-whore age go wild and stupid Dems and Pres. Obama (so eager to lose in 2012) cave in and roll over and pretty much act like they always do, but I'll write more about that later.

BUT!

There might be a big coastal low this week ... And more generally, I think Greenland -- as it melts at its edges -- is beginning to screw with our climate in a way that I like.

Yikes ... Who's that strange little man in the mirror?? To quote the refrain from "Greatest American Hero" theme song: "Believe it or not, it's just me!" ... 8:21PM, Oct. 31, 2010.

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The McDonald's on 17th Street, NW, in the heart of D.C. gayborhood on Halloween, 1:31AM, Oct. 31, 2010. This is Middle America's idea of what gay men are like.

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Oh, yes, I've been rereading one of my favorite sci fi series of all times: the two sci fi books by Donald Moffitt from 1986: : The Genesis Quest and Second Genesis.

I shall write about that, too, in my next entry.

I love hippos. But not dragonflies.

--Regulus

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Mostly Calm Root Canal and Turbulent Lake Gitche Gumee

The almost always crowded enclosed S Street dog park -- built with Recovery Act money! -- at the triangular shaped section created by New Hampshire Avenue, S Street, and 17th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. as seen at lovely dusk looking to the southeast, 6:26PM, Oct. 27, 2010.

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This is an update on my dental situation and a clarification since I realize I was not clear on a few points in my previous entry.

First, as I mentioned in my update yesterday, the first round of the root canal procedure yesterday went well, I think, all the drilling and that awful burnt-like smell notwithstanding. This drilling was necessary as the dentist (Dr. R.) had to drill through a tooth (#14) that was crowned in 2002.

The nerves were all sufficiently numbed, though.

Dr. R. cleared out two of the three "channels" that are in the root area. One remains and is scheduled to be done two weeks hence on Nov. 10th.

Thereafter, the entire thing can be filled and sealed off.

Speaking of filler, here is a filler image (meant to break up the text) of a tranquil sunset in my D.C. neighborhood from last Sunday.

Dr. R. is the person who performs root canals at the office of Dr. E. on Wednesdays. Fortunately, I had gone to Dr. E's office on Tuesday and there was space to see me the next day.

I may need a recrowning at some point in the future. The entire root canal procedure cost me $183.80. The recrowning would cost another approx. $500. Thus, the entire affair should be just under $700, assuming no complications or problems with the dental insurance.

Even this $700 is vastly cheaper than the $5,000 the first dentist (Dr. S.) wanted to charge for an entire replacement of the tooth. Even with insurance it still would have been about $3,500.

Funny how the office business manager came in and blathered on about how "we treat you like a person, and not just a number." She didn't even sound convincing to herself.

Both Dr. S. and Dr. E. were once my dentists -- 2002 and 2003, respectively -- and inserted a total of three crowns. Dr. S. inserted two of them, including the one (#14) that has become reinfected. In none was a root canal performed.

The one that my former / now once again current dentist inserted (#30) is fine, although it popped off 3 years ago and had to be re-sealed. (As for #19, its never had any issues.)

Of note, there doesn't seem to be any record in Dr. E's office of that visit.

This poor little guy ...

I'm on the antibiotic Clindamycin, which sounds like sometime you use to treat a venereal disease, and a heavy duty strength 850mg Ibuprofen.

Actually, the tooth began hurting somewhat today when I chewed food on that side, so I guess I'm not totally out of these dental woods yet.

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Speaking of things that hurt, here's a political interlude ...

While I'm really not inclined to have a big discussion about the Republicans and the Teabaggers, not to mention always-ready-to-lose Democrats and Pres. Obama, who I am starting to think is a weird GOP plant ...

But I do want to point out a few items:

Thomas Friedman had an excellent New York Times op-ed today. I don't normally read Friedman but I really enjoyed his Can't Keep a Bad Idea Down piece.

Howard Fineman -- now of Huffington Post -- talks about what Dems will do when the Republican crazies are running the house. It all promises to be a train wreck.

Now if we had a Nixon, or, heck, even a Bush (or Cheney) type president, they'd declare an emergency and start ruling my domestic degree -- even keeping things funded as needed (under their priorities). Meanwhile, an Obama-type Democrat would be so obsessed with letting "the process work itself out" that they'd let the government remain shut indefinitely until chaos ensued -- and the GOP took over anyway.

While I'm referring to the House here, I'm actually borrowing from Michael Lind's argument about what could happen in the future if the Senate becomes completely paralyzed.

Implicit in this argument is that a Sharron Angle Teabagger type could never actually be President.

Such an individual and his or her administration would very quickly self-destruct. But that's a separate argument.

Lastly, though, is a Talking Points Memo piece explaining how the Republicans really do not need to win that many votes to make it appear they won in a landslide -- or that it was a GOP tsunami. It's entitled What's In a Wave? How a Big GOP Midterm Win Really Looks.

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Pretty yellow flowers -- I'm not sure if these are small sunflowers -- in front of the Argentine (Argentinian?) Embassy at Q St. and New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 4:17PM, Oct. 27, 2010. I was walking home from the dentist's office when I took this picture.

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Fall Weather Arrives (finally) ...

We had a decent drenching of rain yesterday including 1.27" at DCA as a stormy frontal system (see section below) passed through. The cold(er) air was way behind the front and it actually reached 79F -- only 15F above normal.

Tonight is clear and windy with temps dropping into the 50s F. Much cooler weather is forecasted through the next 5 days -- hopefully with a wet spell next week.

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The North American Cyclone of Oct. 2010 ...

Because of my dental problems this week, I really did not mention the massive extra-tropical storm system that bombed out into an exceptionally deep low pressure over the upper Midwest and Great Lakes.

The NWS surface forecast map valid for 12Z (8AM EDT) 27 October 2010 - about 8 hours before the storm reached peak intensity -- that was issued 24 hours earlier.

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The low itself seems to have reached reached its peak intensity near Duluth, Minnesota.

The automated weather observing system at Bigfork, Minnesota (KFOZ) reached a 955.2 millibars (28.21 inches of mercury) sea level pressure at 5:13 pm CDT on October 26, 2010 -- setting a new record low pressure for the entire State of Minnesota.

Duluth set a record low pressure of 960.2 millibars (28.35" mercury), breaking the 964.3 millibars (28.48" mercury) set Nov. 10, 1998.

The NOAA GOES satellite picture with NASA MODIS true-color background of Earth, 2132Z (5:32PM EDT/ 4:32PM CDT), Oct. 26, 2010 showing a spectacular comma-shaped formation stretching across thousands of miles of the extra-tropical in question.

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Here is the NWS public information statement to that effect. More broadly, here is the Duluth NWS Web page to the North American Extratropical Cyclone of October 26 - 27, 2010.

The Weather Channel was in ultra-hysteria mode over this. I didn't actually watch it (I haven't watched the Weather Channel in about two years) except I caught a bit of its cover on a TV at, of all places, Cobalt yesterday evening.

The isobars of the extra-tropical cyclone at its peak intensity.

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The was an exceptionally deep storm and given the time of year, the folks at the National Weather Service (or somebody somewhere) starting likening to the giant extra-tropical cyclone of Nov. 1975 in the same region.

That was the storm that sunk the freighter S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, killing all 29 aboard and inspiring the 1976 Gordon Lightfoot song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" ...



My favorite lines:

"Does anyone know where the Love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put 15 more miles behind her ..."

And:

"Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion.
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams;
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.
And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her,
But the iron boats go as the mariner's all know
With the gales of November remembered ..."

And finally ...

"The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call 'Gitche Gumee.'
Superior, they said, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early!"

Image of a rocky coast along Lake Superior's shores.

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Returning to my here and now ...

OK, that's all for now. I'm home now (1030PM hour) watching a pleasant movie on Hallmark Channel called The Good Witch's Garden starring Catherine Bell.

The weekend is nearly here -- and with it Halloween.

I'm not sure if I'm going to go the "Rally to Restore Sanity" event down on the Mall on Saturday. My track record for getting up "early" on Saturday is not so good.

Of note, The WaHoPo has been urging through its op-ed pages that the rally be canceled because it's, of all things, "not serious."

For any non-D.C. area readers, this is worst criticism the dainty but corporate whoring Post (picture Anne Applebaum) can level after the dreaded "that's ... that's ... that's ... PARTISAN!" and then faint from the vapors.

Ha ha

Beyond that nonsense, it amazes me how anxious The Post is to alienate and lose all its local readership.

Simply put, the paper offers a crap product and I don't understand its business model at all of alienating its readership.

OK, that really is all for now. My next planned update probably won't be until Sunday.

--Regulus

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Root Causes

Updated 11:32PM 10/27/2010 ...

OK, I am supposed to get a root canal tomorrow as part of a dental procedure that my new former dentist is going to perform and that should cost be only 1/4 of the absurd amount quoted yesterday. The entire amount I'm responsible for upfront as quoted to me was $700, not $5,000 as quoted by the wacky dentist's office yesterday.

He was my dentist in 2003 and all was OK. But it IS a root canal and it is at 2PM tomorrow. I've never had one before.

In the meantime, I need to go to bed.


Oh, yes, I think behaved well at Cobalt tonight and was careful and cautious. I think all was well. But who knows.

Updated 11:32PM, 10/27/2010:

The first half of the root canal procedure seems to have gone rather well. I plan to update this blog tomorrow clarifying a few points.

The second half is scheduled to be performed Nov. 10th and the whole procedure cost $183.80. This does not include any future re-crowning, which should run about $500.

--Regulus

Monday, October 25, 2010

Chris T's L.A. Area Pictures and My New Dental Agony

The turret on the brick facade-house at the corner of S and 19th Streets (1836 S Street, NW), catching the last rays of the setting Sun, Washington, D.C., 5:52PM, Oct. 24, 2010.

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So I had some distressing and potentially very $$$ expensive $$$ news regarding my tooth ache when I went to the dentist today (I got a quick appointment).

This continues the long history of dental issues that I've had. At minimum I need a second opinion. Oh, and doing nothing is NOT an option.

On the flip side, though, I was able to go back to Cobalt last night with no issues and tomorrow should finalize it all as OK.

First, though, I am going to post a series of images that Chris T. took last week -- mostly on Tuesday, Oct. 19th -- on his brief business trip to the Los Angeles area between the 18th and 20th.

He sent all of these by picture message and I promised I would post them in an entry. He took these pictures with his cell phone camera.

Caption: Greetings from Sunny (?) California ... This is Marina del Rey in LA with the Pacific on the horizon.

Ed. Note: This was taken Monday Oct. 18, 2010 (shortly after Chris arrived). It is the view from The Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey.

Here is a more colorful image showing about the same view:


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I was not there and the captions are those he sent accompanying the photos. The pictures are not of downtown Los Angeles but rather the area near the airport, the Ritz Carlton in Marina Del Ray, and Venice, a section of L.A. that borders the Pacific Ocean.

I am posting them mostly in chronological order though I may have some out of order, since he sent them to me in a batches and then I forwarded them to my Hotmail later on the 19th.

The lobby of The Ritz Carlton hotel, Marina del Rey, Oct. 19, 2010.

Ed. Note: Yes, this is where Chris stayed.

Also, you will see that it is actually raining in some of the pictures. There was an out-of-season cutoff low that brought rain the Southern California, although actual amounts were relatively light. LAX had 0.22" on the 19th and 20th combined.

Of note, LAX has actually had measurable rain 6 of the last 9 calendar days including today, and at least a trace on 10 of the last 11 days including with 0.46" and 1.20" this month so far. Downtown L.A. at USC had 0.10" during the 19th and 20th. These numbers are well above the normal of about 0.25" month-to-date.

I'm paraphrasing the captions Chris wrote in the accompanying messages, though in a few cases he didn't write any.

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Caption: Here's a fancy ass fountain at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010.

Ed. Note: Here is the hotel's Web site.

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Here is the pool at The Ritz Carlton, Marina del Rey, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010.

Just for fun, I posted the image of the pool from the hotel's Web site:


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Caption: Hard to tell but these are nice houses on hillside.

Ed. Note: This is along Lincoln Blvd (Rt. 1) which runs through parts of the west side of L.A. and into unincorporated Marina del Rey.

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Caption: A strange medical building by LAX.

Ed. Note: As the building is conveniently named and numbered, I was able to determine this is the Reliant Medical Center at 9601 S. Supulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010.

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Caption: LAX towers.

Ed. Note: I'm not sure what structure this is -- it is not the main LAX control tower and iconic Theme Building, but instead is located near the LAX light towers (see next image).

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One of the LAX Light Towers as seen on a cloudy day, Oct. 19, 2010.

More of the LAX Light Towers as seen on a cloudy day, Oct. 19, 2010.

Editor's Note: This is one of the LAX Light Towers as seen during the day. At night these towers -- -- there are 26 in all of differing heights -- are illuminated different colors. This was taken Oct. 19, 2010.

The project was known as the LAX Gateway Pylon Project / Kinetic Light Installation. The artist was Paul Tzanetopoulos and his Web site is here. And here is more information the tower particulars.

Caption: Here's [ ] office building near LAX, Oct. 19, 2010.

Ed. Note: Yes, a rainy day (or at least part of a day) in Southern California.

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Ed. Note: Not sure where this was taken.

Caption: The Hollywood Hills and I'm pretty sure that's Century City on the far right.

Ed. Note: This is looking toward the N and NE from Marina del Rey across parts of "Westside" / West L.A., including Century City and Rancho Park and also Culver City, a separate incorporated city in Los Angeles County. The picture was taken from an office building on Oct. 19, 2010.

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A canal behind a chain link fence in / along the border of Marina del Rey that empties into the nearby Pacific Ocean.

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Caption: This here's the Canali Cafe ... It may be of interest to some.

Ed. Note: The restaurant's Web site states that the place is located in Marina del Rey rather than Venice (Venice Beach). The former is an unincorporated area while the latter is actually part of the City of Los Angeles. The boundary here appears to be along Washington Blvd. It had cleared up at this point later on Oct. 19, 2010.

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Palm trees on Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010.

Marina del Rey does not appear to actual border the ocean at all.

If you want a better view of how it fits together, see here.

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Venice Beach, Los Angeles, Calif., Oct. 19, 2010.

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The Pacific at last! Actually, Chris's caption read: "I touched it. Now's the time to go drinking."

Ed. Note: This is the Venice fishing pier. I already posted this image in a previous entry.

OK, that ends the L.A. pictures that Chris took last week.

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Bad Dental Problem ...

I was going to post more pictures that I took the past several days in my neighborhood, but my toothache is really flaring up now and I'm in pain with a headache. I'm going to have to end this entry now.

Basically, what's happened is the decayed root of a tooth I had crowned in May 2002 (#14, upper left, or the "maxillary first molar) has become infected (abscessed) and the crown needs to be removed and the tooth extracted.

The dentist -- the same guy who placed this crown in -- wants to do all kinds of work that will run to $5,000 and my insurance would, at best, cover half of it.

Scary indeed.

I have to get a second opinion and go to an in-network dentist at some point. In the meantime, I was given an antibiotic prescription I need to fill tomorrow.

**I'll be complaining and dwelling on this extensively in upcoming entries, so I'll just end for now.**

Oh, yes, we got screwed out of rain tonight, again, and it's way too warm (near 70F at the 11PM hour).

--Regulus

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Logarithmic Spirals -OR- A Fall Tropical Storm Named Richard (Part 2)

An intriguing image of the logarithmic spiral structure shared by a mature tropical cyclone -- in this case, Hurricane Isabel as it struck the North Carolina coast on or about Sept. 18, 2003 -- and a very far away classic spiral (pinwheel) galaxy, M51 (NGC 5194), a.k.a. the "Whirlpool Galaxy" (with its companion galaxy NGC 5195). Source Sept. 25, 2003 APOD.

Another hurricane - spiral galaxy logarithmic spiral comparison -- this one of Hurricane Katrina as it neared the Louisiana coast and an unidentified galaxy. Source here.

Of note, the Milky Way Galaxy is likely a barred spiral rather than a true spiral.

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SO!

As I mentioned in my last entry, a Tropical Storm has formed in the northwestern Caribbean Sea named Richard. I believe this is the first time ever in my life that there has ever been a tropical system named "Richard" -- which is significant to yours truly, Regulus, since that is the regular name by which he goes.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) update issued at 11AM EDT (this link will change over time) this morning states the following (in its familiar all-caps New Courier font):

...RICHARD RAPIDLY STRENGTHENS OFF THE NORTHEASTERN HONDURAS COAST ...HURRICANE WARNING ISSUED...

Location: 15.9°N 83.5°W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: W at 8 mph
Min pressure: 1000 mb

Here is visible image of a "rapidly strengthen(ing)" Tropical Storm Richard taken by the GOES Floater at 1615 UTC (1215PM EDT) Oct. 23, 2010.

As of 11AM today, T.S. Richard is centered about 65 miles (130 km) NNW of Cabo Gracias a Dios ("Cape Thank God") on the Nicaragua - Honduras border.

Above is a screen shot image of the Google map satellite view of Cabo Gracias a Dios.

The NHC discussion issued at 11AM today states:

RICHARD IS NOT LIKELY TO REINTENSIFY OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO DUE TO STRONG SHEAR ...THUS THE NEW FORECAST WILL SHOW THE SYSTEM DISSIPATING BY DAY 5 ... IN GOOD AGREEMENT WITH THE GLOBAL MODELS.

Gracias a Dios?

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The official National Hurricane Center 5-day track for Tropical Storm Richard issued 11AM EDT, Oct. 23, 2010.

The above forecast map shows Richard dissipating as an extra-tropical system over the southern Gulf of Mexico. Its track is beginning to look like another weak tropical storm earlier this year with a name that has some significance of a Mr. Sirius sort to me ...

This was the NHC forecast path and intensity for Tropical Storm Matthew issued on Sept. 23, 2010.

But three days later, after having come ashore as a weak tropical storm over Belize / Guatemala, Matthew sorta died in southern Mexico.

Here was one of the last NHC forecasts for Tropical Storm Matthew as it stalled and was dying -- raining itself out over the jungles of far southern old Mexico.

Perhaps -- hopefully -- the remnant moisture of Richard will get drawn northward into a strong storm system forecasted to develop next week over the Mississippi River valley. And hopefully it will move eastward to the mid-Atlantic.

GFS 12 UTC 23 Oct 2010 model run 78 hour forecast valid at 18UTC (2PM EDT) 26 Oct 2010 showing 6 hour precipitation, mean sea level pressure (MSLP) and 850mb temperatures.

I want it to rain.

Everything looks so vapid and dull this fall -- probably as a result of the intensely hot and rather dry summer.

I write the next paragraph advisedly, but I'm sure the anti-weather meteorologist magicians at LWX (and not just WOODY!) are earnestly seeking to have this storm "shear out with good drying moving in followed by rising heights and warmer temps."

Remember, it's the goal of the Sterling crew -- not to mention their favorite TV weather lady, Sue Palka (she of the snake eyes mascara) on channel 5 whom I long ago stopped watching -- to have hot, dry weather at all times.

Of course, they don't want it so hot that they are forced to issue ANY kind of heat advisories for our area. Instead, they prefer to write 7 page long area forecast discussions that conclude "will hold off on advisories since heat criteria will be at 104F" rather than 105F.

Here is LWX's ideal climate zone:

Sandstone Pillars, Karnasai valley, Chad central Sahara Desert, Chad, 1999, Photograph by George Steinmetz. Source URL here.

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Or better yet this ...

The Atacama Desert in either Chile or Peru (not sure where I found this picture).

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Let me be clear about wanting rain in the context of writing about tropical cyclones ... I do NOT want a catastrophic hurricane ...

The eye of Hurricane Katrina near its (scary) peak intensity of 175MPH sustained winds on Aug. 28, 2005 as taken by NOAA Corps Officer Lt. Mike Silah piloting a hurricane hunter aircraft. Image source here.

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which killed over 1800 people and caused somewhere on the order of $100 billion in direct damages, not to mention rendering New Orleans a lawless, uninhabitable "heckuva job" death zone for many weeks -- and setting off one of the largest internal diaspora in U.S. history, on par with the 1930s Dust Bowl and the 1860s Civil War -- and forever changing the city and country's perception of itself and its capabilities.

FYI: This is the Koch Brothers-funded Teabaggers "dream libertarian" scenario. As for Obama, he'll just "analyze all sides of the issue and compromise as necessary for the sake of bipartisanship."

Anyway, reason I am making a fuss about a possible "Hurricane Richard" is because the odds are so long of such a named storm.

For starters, the name only appears on the Atlantic basin list. Secondly, tropical cyclone names used in the Atlantic (and Eastern North Pacific) are repeated only every 7 years -- that is, a given list is used every 7 years, unless there is a major hurricane and the name is retired.

Atlantic sector GOES water vapor image, 1715 UTC (1:15PM EDT) Oct. 23, 2010.

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So it can only happen once every 7 years, and on that 7th year, you have to get up to the "R" storm in the Atlantic basin, which is actually rather hard to do. The name "Richard" does not appear on any other list of tropical cyclone names. (Oh, and yes, Richard and Matthew occur on the same Atlantic basin list.)

A simply awesome image of Hurricane Isabel as the storm approached the U.S. East Coast as seen from the International Space Station, Sept. 15, 2003. The storm was already weakening at this point. Source here.

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The naming conventions get much more complicated for other parts of the Pacific, where they are called typhoons. The Indian Ocean and Australian regions also have sets of names that have different rules for how they are used.

Here is a discussion from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on the lists and naming conventions in different parts of the world.

A map of all tropical cyclones and their Saffir-Simpson scale intensity, 1945 - 2006. Click on image for larger version.

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Now In the Indian Ocean, tropical cyclones are called simply "cyclones." This is a bit confusing since there are "tropical" and "extratropical" cyclones -- with the former driven by latent heat from warm tropical oceans and the FAR MORE common latter driven by equator-pole temperature differences. There are also hybrid storms (dubbed "sub-tropical storms").

The Blue Marble image of Earth taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts on Dec. 7, 1972 as they set out for the Moon.

Interestingly, in what is arguably THE MOST famous image of Planet Earth ever taken -- the "Blue Marble" photo shown above -- shows a little-known Indian Ocean cyclone.

As near as I can tell, that storm -- visible in the upper right of the photo striking India -- was simply called the Tamil Nadu cyclone for the state in India it struck (rather than having a proper name since there wasn't a common naming convention back then for the Indian Ocean) and it killed 80 people when it struck.

Here is a close-up of the Blue Marble photo showing the Tamil Nadu cyclone hitting India on Dec. 7, 1972.

Actually, the Blue Marble photo as taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts looked like this -- the South Pole / Antarctica was at their "top" due to their direction and orientation of travel.

This is how they probably saw the Earth -- "upside down."

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Now here is a part of the world that virtually never* gets hurricanes / tropical storms -- the coast of Southern California.

My friend Chris took this picture on Oct. 19, 2010 in Venice Beach, Calif., on a work trip to the L.A. area. It had actually been raining in an out of season way there -- due to an upper level cut-off low, not a tropical system.

*There are at least two notable exceptions: Sept. 1939 and even more noteworthy on Oct. 2, 1858 (this one is worth a look).

The map above shows weak tropical storms that technically "hit" Southern California in the past 50 years. Click on image for larger version. It comes from this overview of all such events.

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Changing subjects ...

This entry has gone on for quite some time, and I probably should wrap it up (not that anyone has actually read it in its entirety).

My work week was OK, I guess, although I still don't have enough long-term assignments to keep me busy (and justify my long-term employment there).

Our office is actually moving -- across the hall. My new office is a teeny - tiny cubicle in a warren of other cubicles.

No, this isn't my new office. But it does look like a call center in Bangalore -- a Washington Post editorial writer's Free Trade wet dream.

I'm not thrilled about that but I guess I'll get used to it. I can see daylight -- facing another part of the oddly shaped building. If the building weren't in the way of itself like that, I'd actually see the nearby U.S. Capitol Building.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is the day I believe I can return to Co. after a one-month hiatus ...

Last night, I went out with Gary and Kristof, first to Larry's Lounge and then to Omega, where I rarely go. We were going to go to Fab Lounge, but it appeared to be black lesbian night ...

Larry's Lounge, Washington, D.C., 9:40PM, Oct. 22, 2010.

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J. and his young straight friends showed up in a small group later on, which was kind of weird. True, I asked him to come, but it was still odd seeing three 20-something straight guys and a 23 year old girl at Omega, one of D.C.'s lower-rent gay bars.

My upper left gum above a crowned molar began throbbing and hurting very badly -- and was actually swollen, though my face was not disfigured.

This is something I worry about after the horrible abscess / gum infection in 2000 that could've killed me.

I thought the tooth was going to come out, except the tooth itself never hurt. There was a sort of big bump on my gum by the time I got home. But by this morning it had eased considerably and now it is gone.

I continue to suffer from frequent headaches and pains behind my eyes. I'm not sure if it is some sort of migraine, or stress, or something more serious. I probably should go to the doctor for a badly needed checkup.

Here is a picture of the wonderfully kitschy interior of Bangkok Garden in Bethesda that I took with my previous cell phone crummy camera, April 29, 2009.

As for today, I'm supposed to go to Bethesda to Bangkok Garden (see above image) to meet Sandie for dinner. She is my long ago landlord from the time I lived in Rockville in the summer of 1992. We meet about once every 6 months or so for dinner. As for tonight, I'm not sure what is going on with the usual gang.

OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be in a few days.

--Regulus