Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday Protest and Action Plans

Updated 9:00AM 6/3/2014: I have removed a significant amount of content from this entry, which renders the blog title somewhat problematic, but I think it's better to do so these 3-1/2 years after the fact.

Devonshire Place as seen from Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:23PM, Jan. 29, 2011. It was a suddenly sunny but still chilly January day. Someone very important to K. used to live up there but has recently moved away.

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Updated 9:00AM 6/3/2014: **Content removed**

I just returned from a trek up to the Van Ness part of D.C. where I viewed an efficiency in a building I like. I'm going to move there in early March. I then walked all the way back to my apt. via Adams Morgan and the Harris Teeter grocery store. It is about a 2-1/2 mile walk and it was during it that I took some of the pictures posted in this blog entry.

While walking down Connecticut Avenue this afternoon (Jan. 29, 2011) past the UDC - Van Ness campus, I chanced across a noisy group of protesters calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down.

Egypt, especially Cairo, is in the
throes of anti-Mubarak protests and riots that have turned deadly, and this was a noisy but peaceful sympathetic one, I guess.

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Some more images of the protest that I took ...

Here the protesters -- with a lead and trailing MPD police escort -- spill onto Connecticut Avenue from Van Ness Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:04PM, Jan. 29, 2011.

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Here the protesters were actually marching down Connecticut Avenue, NW, blocking southbound traffic. I figured I wouldn't be getting an L2 bus anytime soon, so I just started walking.

The mostly young crowd was chanting various things in caller-response way to a guy with a mic including a syllable-challenged adaption of an oldie: "Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Mu-BAR-ak's got to go!"

How long has Hosni Mubarak been leader of Egypt? I think since 1981 when Sadat was killed. That's 30 years -- except it seems, like, 150 years.

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One last protest picture along Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:07PM, Jan. 29, 2011.

The protesters were actually marking from the Egyptian Embassy, which is located behind the UDC - Van Ness campus. Of note, it is also located literally right next to the Israeli Embassy.

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Updated 9:00AM 6/3/2014: **Content removed**

The snowy depths of Klingle Valley Park -- a finger of the larger Rock Creek Park system -- as it runs underneath Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:21PM, Jan. 29, 2011. The Wed. night - Thursday "thunder snow" storm dropped 5 to 10 inches of snow region-wide.

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Updated 9:00AM 6/3/2014: **Content removed**

Another view of snow-covered Klingle Valley Park from Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:22PM, Jan. 29, 2011.

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Updated 9:00AM 6/3/2014: **Content removed**

Rock Creek Parkway as it disappears into a tunnel as seen from the Duke Ellington Memorial Bridge that carries Calvert Street over the roadway and the Rock Creek itself, Washington, D.C., 2:39PM, Jan. 29, 2011


The Crayola-colorful set of row houses along (the 2500 block?) of Cliffbourne Place, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:43PM, Jan. 29, 2011.

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As for my dad, he has decided NOT to move to the Delaware shore and will be staying in Florida -- but possibly farther north in the St. Augustine area as close to the beach as he can afford. I think that's a better idea.

Updated 9:00AM 6/3/2014: **Content removed**

My next planned update won't be until about Tuesday or Wednesday.

--Regulus

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Snowy Washington, DC Evening -OR- Sins Not Made as White as Snow

**Updated 11:00PM 6/16/2014: Content removed and altered. See below.**

Connecticut Avenue near the Woodley Park Metro station, Washington, D.C., on a snowy / slushy evening, Jan. 26, 2011. Photo courtesy ChrisT.

It has become quite a messy night with heavy wet snow after a period of rain and sleet, although now as snowy dusk falls, the world actually is quite beautiful.

Earlier, there was even thunder snow, though I myself did not hear it (or see any lightning).


The Federal Government and most offices closed 2 to 3 hours early, but that was right when the heavy sleet was falling, and the city was as snarled mess.

The Taft / Connecticut Avenue Bridge over Rock Creek Park on a snowy / slushy rush hour in an image taken a short while ago this evening by ChrisT.

I bought a pair of much heavier and studier walking shoes than the shitty old ones I had -- and walked out of the store with them (after paying, of course), as well as a needed pair of gloves.

That was an unexpected expense, of a sort, all $153.75 of it -- and coming after the $800 I paid today (wiping out half my remaining cash this pay period) to settle on the third of my five defaulted credit cards (the other two remain in a limbo).

Anyway, up to 6 inches of wet snow is expected in this vigorous storm system in D.C.

The LWX radar in enhanced base mode showing heavy sleet and snow falling across the Washington / Baltimore area, 4:32PM EST, Jan. 26, 2011.

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I'll try to update this blog tomorrow (I suspect there will be at least a morning delay for the Federal Government).

One of the giant lion sculptures that sit astride the ends of the Taft Connecticut Avenue Bridge, Washington, D.C., on a snowy evening, Jan. 26, 2011. Photo also courtesy ChrisT.

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**Updated 11:00PM 6/16/2014: Content removed**  

OK, that's all for now. I'm going to Larry's Lounge to meet Gary and Kristof and watch the snow for a bit (usually that's exactly when it cuts off).

--Regulus

Grrr.... (Part 2)

**Updated 11:00PM 6/16/2014: Content removed / adjusted. See below.**

Jamie says hello to the 17th Street D.C. gayborhood.

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**Updated 11:00PM 6/16/2014: Content removed.**

--Regulus

Monday, January 24, 2011

Reposted: Trying to Exit the Dreadful 17th Street Universe

**Updated 11:08PM 6/16/2014: Substantial content has been removed from this entry -- so much so that it renders the blog title problematic. However, it is better that way.**

OK, this entry is a reposting of my current Arcturus blog entry. I still intend to take that blog down at some point.  

Actually, this is Eldric, the Guild Navigator, in Frank Herbert's Dune Universe, as portrayed in the 1984 epic film Dune.

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It's actually the truly disgusting and psychotic Baron Harkonnen as portrayed by the late actor Kenneth McMillan in the 1984 film version of Frank Herbert's sprawling Dune saga, and the Youtube clip is the trailer of the 1984 film version. I love the opening monologue given by Princess Irulan as portrayed by Virginia Madsen.


"The beginning is a very delicate time. Know then that it is the year 10,191. In this time, the most precious substance in the Universe is the spice melange. The spice extends life. The spice exists on only one planet in the entire Universe. The planet is Arrakis, also known as DUNE."

Herbert wrote this back in the 1960s when it really wasn't fully appreciated the existence of galaxies as "island universes" separated by vast distances from each other -- and thus the utter, effectively infinite, immensity of the total Universe.

Also, the year 10,191 refers to the Dune "Guild" calendar -- and corresponds to about AD 21,266.

I love the concept of the future -- esp. the really long term to far future (i.e. centuries to millennia hence) and how the world will be. Of course, depending on the epoch, it could be something so alien and scary that you wouldn't want to be in that reality.

--Regulus

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Very Bad Weekend

I had a very bad weekend involving Matthew H. (a.k.a. "Mr. Sirius") and an encounter with his boyfriend at Cobalt that resulted in my being banned from there (likely for good). I really don't feel like writing about it in depth here, and instead I direct the interested reader to my Arcturus blog (which I'm probably going to take down soon).

I'm very upset right now -- plus I'm concerned there will might be additional ramifications. I've had some very nice text messages from my mom and my friends. But this is basically a disaster and -- once again -- all I can say is that I am desperate to leave Washington, D.C. At the very least, I am going to move out of this neighborhood within a couple of months. I hate living here and have for quite some time.

--Regulus

Non-Update Update

Sorry for the lack of updates ... I plan to update this blog later today or tomorrow. I haven't really been feeling that well. I've also decided to take my other blog offline (private) for the time being.

It looks like there will be a big coastal storm in the Tuesday - Wednesday time frame but whether it is rain, snow, or a big mix is yet to be determined.

Oh, yes, today is my dad's 70th birthday. Oddly enough, I remember when he was half that age -- 35 -- way back in 1976 when I was just 6 years old in New Jersey.

--Regulus

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In January Sunlight and Winter Moonlight

This is a strange part of Southwest DC: The 500 block of School St., SW, Washington, D.C., 12:55PM, Jan. 19, 2011. I was walking to the Subway shop for a sandwich. This is about a quarter mile from where I now work -- but I used to work right along the street in a job back in 2002.

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This is my midweek update.

So far, it has been a good week -- at least job-wise, esp. this Wednesday as I received a nice compliment on my work. I put together a fairly comprehensive and detailed list of solar photovoltaic manufacturers (with an emphasis on U.S. ones).

I must have called about 40 manufacturers -- large and small -- in the past few weeks and created a color-coded Excel spreadsheet with all pertinent info.

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On the other hand, I've been going out too much lately, but that's the inherent curse of living in the D.C. gayborhood.

I'm home now on a breezy, moonlit night. In fact, there is a Full Moon (or very nearly so) riding high in the night sky among a scattering of fast moving stratocumulus clouds and above the winter-bare trees.

No, I didn't take this photo -- I found it on the internet. My little cellphone camera could not do the scene any justice of the iridescent Full Moon riding through the gauzy, creamy gray clouds.

I always recall at such times the Alfred Noyes poem The Highwayman, specifically, the opening lines:

"The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,

The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,

The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,

And the highwayman came riding,
Riding—riding,

The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door ..."

OK, the effect isn't exactly the same in downtown Washington, D.C., but you get the Moon - clouds idea.

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It is about 40F now after a relatively mild day (temp reached 53F at DCA). Much colder weather is forecasted and there is a chance of a minor to moderate snow "event" late tomorrow into Friday across the Wash.D.C./Baltimore area, but I'm not going to play that frickin' tiresome, bullshit game now.

Here is the bullshit snow forecast for the Baltimore / Washington NWS County Warning Area (CWA) through 7PM, Jan. 21, 2011 as it now stands. This will be revised -- surely downward. Link here.

I'm watching reruns of The Golden Girls on WeTV at this late hour.

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OK, the remainder of this entry is a tad political. I'm going to keep it short since it is already kind of late ...

Rush Limbaugh Speaks Chinese!

Rightwing Political Comedian Mimics Chinese President Hu Jintao in his best Dr. Fu Manchu / "China-Man" Voice, Deeply Insults 1.3 Billion People


Is it wrong to find this quite funny?? (It's only 45 seconds.)

Source here

A billboard in Tucson, Ariz., for the Pigboy's radio show, with suitable imagery. Oh, and channel 9 the ABC affiliate in Tucson, Ariz., has station call letters "KGUN" (or rather, "KGUN9"). How appropriate -- esp. since ALL rightwing American political language and imagery is STEEPED in images of violence and firearms.

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From Paul Krugman's New York Times blog (not to be confused with this biweekly column), quoted in full:

January 18, 2011, 5:32 pm

Upton Sinclair and the Wonk Gap


"Jonathan Chait bemoans the wonk gap

'One of the unusual and frustrating aspects of the health care debate is the sheer imbalance of people who understand the issue at all from a technical standpoint. Even the elite policy wonks of the right make wildly incorrect claims about the issue.'

"First of all, I don’t think this is unique to health care, or especially unusual. Monetary policy, fiscal policy, you name it, there’s a gap, although not quite as large as on health.

"Second, I’m surprised that Chait doesn’t refer to Upton Sinclair’s principle: it’s difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. In fact, in general right-wing think tanks prefer people who genuinely can’t understand the issues — it makes them more reliable.

"Doesn’t this apply to both sides? Not equally. There was a time when conservative think tanks employed genuine policy wonks, and when asked to devise a Republican health care plan, they came up with — Obamacare! That is, what passes for leftist policy now is what was considered conservative 15 years ago; to meet the right’s standards of political correctness now, you have to pass into another dimension, a dimension whose boundaries are that of imagination, untrammeled by things like arithmetic or logic.

"Wouldn’t the right be better served by better wonks? No. For one thing, they’d be unreliable — they might start making sense at an inappropriate moment. And, crucially, the media generally can’t tell the difference. I’ve had long exchanges with reporters over the doc fix; let me tell you, it’s very, very hard to get the point across. People like me tend to think in terms of simple thought experiments, but reporters keep wanting to dive into the political ins and outs, no matter how many times you try to say that those are irrelevant.

"Or maybe the simplest way to say this is, Ignorance is Strength. And why tamper with a winning formula?"

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Paul Krugman also had an excellent column in the regular New York Times last week on the topic of the political climate in the country right now: "A Tale of Two Moralities" that is worth a read. The link is here.

Excerpt:

"But the truth is that we are a deeply divided nation and are likely to remain one for a long time. By all means, let’s listen to each other more carefully; but what we’ll discover, I fear, is how far apart we are. For the great divide in our politics isn’t really about pragmatic issues, about which policies work best; it’s about differences in those very moral imaginations Mr. Obama urges us to expand, about divergent beliefs over what constitutes justice.


"And the real challenge we face is not how to resolve our differences — something that won’t happen any time soon — but how to keep the expression of those differences within bounds."

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And with that, I will end this entry. My next planned update will be on Friday or Saturday.

--Regulus

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Neither a Teenage Dream Nor Much D.C. January Glee (though a bit of history)

This is an image of a person (a young man) digging in the sand at Point Reyes National Seashore, Calif., that I found online four or five years ago. I've posted it occasionally on my various blogs over the years. I've always loved this picture. I don't know where I found it but it was taken by someone identified as Polvi.

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I need to update this blog -- and it feels more like a chore than anything else -- if not for my few remaining readers / random Google image searchers, than for myself.

This is another image -- sailing on the open ocean on a sunny, windy day -- that I absolutely love that I found four or five years ago online and have occasionally posted on my various blogs.

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Neither of those two images are what I see from my 5th floor apartment somewhere in Washington, D.C., right now.

It is kind of a blah and vapid mid-January day, air temp. about 40F with a high overcast and the world looks suitably dull.

A picture of my Gold Dust Croton plant (at least I think that's what it is). It has gotten quite large.

I've had to repot it twice.I'm getting such a late start that I probably will not make it to the Phillips Collection -- it would be my unprecedented second Sunday in a row -- even though today is apparently an open house to celebrate the place's 90th anniversary. I went last week, as I wrote about in my previous entry.

My only achievement so far today is to do two loads of laundry.

Monday is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal holiday and I have the day off.

Last night I was at Omega with Kristof and LP. While it wasn't a particularly memorable, or even fun night, I happened to see an extended version of the following scene from the TV show Glee -- which I've never actually watched.



It's a strange musical number that is a kind of hybrid sprawling version of a barber shop quartet / boy band rendition of Katy Perry's Teenage Dream with an overtly gay theme. As a 41 year old gay man, I find it rather confusing, if nothing else because I don't know the plot line back story to it. Nevertheless, I kinda like it and so I'm posting it.

So far, I've done basically nothing this weekend except go out to Cobalt, Larry's Lounge, and Omega at night. Yes, it's rather depressing. I'm in a deep, year's long rut. Or may, shockingly, this is all my life ever will be -- at least while I'm here in D.C.

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Speaking of D.C., what follows is a modified reposting of my current Arcturus blog entry. I was in a better mood when I posted it than I am now. I've previously posted similar themed content regarding the history of D.C. on my blogs, so some of this is just repeated stuff.

A postcard picture of Washington, D.C.'s iconic structures -- the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the U.S. Capitol Building as seen across the Potomac River on the Virginia side at winter dusk (with snow on the ground)

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Although the resolution is blurry, this is a rather stunning picture that Gary took from his window seat on ascent from National Airport looking across Washington, D.C., from about 10,000 feet at dusk on Jan. 14, 2011.

The aircraft was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and had followed the upriver take-off and then traced a graceful arc around the District of Columbia. (Gary and I always sit on the right side of a jet when taking off from DCA on the hope of an upriver take off. Conversely, we always sit on the left side when returning to DCA on the hope of a downriver approach.)

The vantage point is looking west across D.C. from its easternmost tip and toward Virginia.

Weirdly illuminated Eastern and Southern Avenues come almost to a "point" by the East Cornerstone while the city's east-west lettered streets mostly dead end at them.

The brighest east-west running street just south of the East Cornerstone is East Capitol Street.*

You can also see the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers with two bridges -- to the left, the John Philip Sousa Bridge carrying Pennsylvania Ave., and to the right, the Benning Bridge that carrying Benning Road -- over the latter.

Here is the -- blurry -- close up of downtown Washington, D.C., from the same image. Dupont Circle is actually visible just above the center of the picture, as is the Washington Monument (very blurry on the dark part of the National Mall, upper left), while off to the lower right, is the (ghetto-y) Trinidad section of D.C. where all the streets run at an angle to the regular numbered / lettered streets of the rest of the city (excluding the state-named diagonal ones that criss-cross the district).

*(From above): This indicates that the city's directional quadrants are not geographically uniform. The actual geographic center point of the original 10 mile by 10 mile Federal Territory that includes Arlington, Co., and part of Alexandria, Va., is an unmarked spot on the grounds of the Organization of American States near the White House.

An 1862 map of the Federal Territory -- after the Virginia portion had been "retroceded" back to Virginia in 1846 but before the Organic Act of the District of Columbia of 1871 that unified the City of Washington, Georgetown, and Washington County into a single entity, the District of Columbia. (The retrocession itself may have been unconstitutional, but it is, obviously, a done deal.)

Part of the text of the Organic Act of the District of Columbia of 1871 passed by Congress on Feb. 21, 1871 (41st Congress).

Here is an 1878 map of the Alexandria County -- later renamed Arlington County -- 32 years after after it had been retroceded back to Virginia. A much higher resolution of this available on Wikipedia here (you may need to click on the image to get the larger version).

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The North Cornerstone of the District of Columbia being touched by Yours Truly, July 25, 2009 (ignore the bird crap on the stone).

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And somewhere lost in the District of Columbia at night in a shower of street light ...

Yours truly at the corner of 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 11:45PM, Jan. 13, 2011.

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Speaking of Yours Truly, I've become so flabby and practically fat. It's very unpleasant. I feel either like a hippo ...

Quill's brother Alan took this photo in Chobe National Park, Botswana, Dec. 3, 2009.

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... or perhaps this dugong ...

... frolicking in the warm, sunlit waters off Egypt.

Except I don't ever really frolic. The only solution to my to my weight and physique is to go on some awful drastic diet, never drink, and go to the gym daily and spend a depressing hour on the treadmill. Yet my D.C. life is depressing enough that I don't feel like doing that. At least not yet.

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More Washington, D.C. views ...

Peering into an electric blur of melancholy city lights: This is the view looking south down 17th Street from V Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 9:33PM, Jan. 8, 2011.

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Turning to the weather ...

The current NWS forecast for Washington, D.C. for this upcoming week. It looks a lot more dire than it really will turn out to be. Most of that freezing stuff will be quite light. We actually need a good soaking of rain more than anything.

Beyond the above panel, there is a lot of weather uncertainty for late week and next weekend as to whether there will be a full-fledged coastal storm. It will certainly be cold enough for snow by then.

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Spooky red back exit to a blue place ...

The deep crimson red stairwell back entrance of Cobalt, Washington, D.C., 12:36AM, Jan. 11, 2011. It looks like a stairwell down into a scary place where someone needs an exorcism.

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An unplanned bit o' political commentary ...

It was not my intention to post ANY political commentary in this current entry -- and instead just save that for a future entry. However, I do think Frank Rich's New York Times column about the political climate that contributed to the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabby Giffords in which 5 were killed is worth a read.

Rich gets it just right -- and knocks down the patently absurd idea that the level of rhetorical violence has been the same on both the right and left in this country in recent years.



This is a meme pushed (as you'd expect) by the carnival barking propagandists of the right, but even some people in surprising places -- such as that jackass Steve Kornacki of Salon -- have argued there is no relationship whatsoever between the political climate and the actions of crazies such as Jared Lee Loughner.

Kornacki is a political reporter -- and like most jackass political reporters who cover the American political scene (think Chuck Todd) they see the world in fairly amoral terms wherein everything is just horse-trading and positioning and there are no actual meaningful or absolute standards of right and wrong, and they are incapable of seeing otherwise.

In addition, there is a powerful mainstream corporate media narrative to pretend that there is a phony equivalency between the two sides when that is, prima facie, bullshit.

This is a brilliant cartoon -- click on it for larger version.

The only good news to come out of this horrible tragedy is that Sarah Palin -- a Frankensteinian modern day "reality TV world" hybrid of P.T. Barnum, William Jennings Bryan (minus the intellect), Huey Long, a mid-19th Century "Know Nothing", and Oprah -- has been powerfully undercut.

Virtually ALL of her rhetoric is steeped in violent imagery involving insurrection and regular use of firearms to achieve any and all purposes -- including, politically, some amorphous bullshit libertarian "freedom from tyranny" (though, ironically, to follow her path would be to speed up a rightwing American - style fascism).

To deny (as many do) the violence imagery that imbues all her rhetoric is is profoundly intellectually dishonest.

Every decent person should be so sick of her bullshit shtick. Plus she's profoundly intellectually stupid.

Just go away, Sarah.

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OK, I guess I did introduce some political commentary here. My apologies.

My next planned update (assuming nothing bad happens to me) will be mid-week.

--Regulus

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Brief Snowy Tuesday Night and Works of Sunday Art

Suddenly snowy night as seen along the 1700 block of T Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 7:35PM, Jan. 11, 2011.

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I've opted to not write the entry I had planned. It was my own commentary on President Obama's speech at the Tucson Memorial tonight for the victims of the mass shooting on Saturday in the assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle "Gabby" Giffords (D - Ariz).

Chris T. early today took another one of his sunset pictures from his office just off Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Washington, D.C.

However, it would take too long to write everything out, and more generally, I'm just finding it very difficult to keep up this blog, esp. since I am keeping up another one -- plus I am having a very busy week. I basically need 6 hours uninterrupted to write one of these entries. My apologies.

As it is -- except for the Usual Suspects -- my blog readership among my regular readers is way down.

The (briefly) snowy intersection of 16th and U Streets, NW, at New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 7:29PM, Jan. 11, 2011.

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The next set of pictures were taken by me with my low-quality cellphone camera at the Phillips Milk of Magnesia Collection here in D.C. (only my second ever visit to that place). I went there with LP to see a separate exhibit but the Side by Side exhibit featuring 25 works from the Oberlin College collection was the one I really enjoyed.

Michiel Sweerts' Self-Portrait, ca. 1656 - 1658, as it appeared at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 5:46PM, Jan. 9, 2011.

This picture (with a vaguely Mona Lisa feel and similar ethereal landscaped setting ) and the other three posted in here really captivated me. It was so weird looking into the eyes of a person who lived 350+ years ago, yet he appeared so modern, as if he were alive right now (and had just shampooed and conditioned his long hair!). And the painting (like the others) was in such good condition.

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Saint Sebastian Tended by Irene by Hendrick ter Brugghen (1625), as it appeared at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 5:47PM, Jan. 9, 2011.

This was an amazing work. You can read about it here.

Death of Adonis by Giovanni Battista Gaulli ("Il Baciccio"), ca. 1683 - 1685, as it appeared at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 5:47PM, Jan. 9, 2011.

The colors on this were so vibrant.

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And here is what is arguably the Phillips Collection's most famous of its permanent works of art ...

Renoir's Le déjeuner des canotiers ("Luncheon of the Boating Party"), 1881, as it appeared at the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., 5:46PM, Jan. 9, 2011. Here is the work in its Wikipedia close up.

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Snow Update ...

So in the end, there was about 1 to 2 inches of snow area wide. There was 1.0" at DCA, 2.0" at BWI, and 1.2" at IAD. Officially.

There isn't any more snow forthcoming and if anything it should warm up finally and there is a chance of (needed) rain on Monday (which I have off as it is the MLK Jr. Federal holiday). Despite the warm up, I wanted to post this close up of one panel in the 12Z GFS model run from today.

This is the 12Z 12 Jan 2011 GFS run showing surface pressures, 850mb temps, and 6-hour precipitation valid at hour 192 or Jan. 20, 2011 at 12UTC (7AM EST).

I posted it because of this feature ...

This is a close up of part of the map domain showed above (same time frame ), specifically, the northern U.S. and central and northern Canada. It shows the winter time polar vortex itself having COMPLETELY "sloshed off" the North Pole / high Arctic region and has "slipped" way south into Canada -- and actually approaching the Lower 48. The -30C and rarely seen -40C isotherms at 850mb mark the boundaries of the polar vortex.

In the later hours (hrs 216 - 252), the vortex actually crosses New England. The -20C isotherm is south of D.C. -- meaning low temps. of about 0F.

Now this may very well not happen (it wasn't nearly so dramatic in the 18UTC run). However, the -40C isotherm RARELY shows up in this way and in the context of the polar vortex so displaced off the North Pole / high Arctic. (The GFS is a 16-day model but anything beyond day 7 really can only show general trends and after 12 days is mostly useless.)

Having the polar vortex on "this side" of the Northern Hemisphere also means that Siberia is probably well above normal temp-wise.

OK, that's all for now. I really need to go to bed. My work week has actually been busy redacting emails from FOIA requests and making a list of solar PV cell and module manufacturers.

--Regulus