Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Wide, Wide World of Hippos (and other stuff)

A close-up image of two nearly submerged hippos peering above the waterline in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda, late Jan. 2011.

This above hippo picture and the other ones featuring hippos and other wildlife were taken by my friend Gloria on her January 2011 trip to Kenya and Uganda. Gloria has a most interesting job and travels the world. Yes, I'm envious.

This is as the full image appeared.


This entry was intended to show Gloria's hippo and other wildlife pictures but it ended up (as you'd expect with me) also including my usual weather and life complaints and vitriol. These are included as an interlude.

My weekend overall has been OK, I guess, although I continue to be preoccupied mentally by Mr. Sirius. See below.

On Friday night, I went to Millie & Al's in Adams Morgan where there was an unusually large group -- about 20 of us, or basically the entire old gang. Here was a picture from Friday night that was taken with Gloria's camera:

Here were some of us (left to right): Gerry, Gloria (she of recent African safari and more general world travel adventures), Kristof, Yours Truly, Steph, and Gary. You can't really see it in this reduced version, but I had some odd blue smudge under my left eye.


The Wide, Wide World of Hippos (Part 1)

A close up of two hippos including one doing that gaping mouth thing that they always seem to be doing. This is also in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda, late Jan. 2011.

Here is the same picture as seen in full.


I'm still not sure how close Gloria was when these images were taken. As reporter Emma Hurd of Sky News famously said in her wonderful story from several years ago about Jessica the Hippo:

"It is one of the rules of Africa: If you see a hippo, head the other way."

Still more hippos milling about in Lake Mburo National Park, Jan. 2011.


And here is a close up of that same image.


Vitriolic Interlude One: The Weather ...

... Shit.

As for the weather, there isn't a goddamn thing to talk about except endless dry. It's actually unusually dry across the entire frickin' United States, not just the Washington, D.C., area or mid-Atlantic region.

Here is the national radar mosaic image for 1818UTC (1:18PM EST) Feb. 13, 2011 showing virtually no precipitation across the entire 3,000 miles by 2,000 miles Lower 48.


While Sue Palka -- a.k.a. Miss Mascara Snake Eyes -- is giddy in that nasty way of hers, and the Sterling LWX crew (whose mascot she is) are burbling with glee (especially ONE! in particular) over the prospect of "no sensible weather" for weeks and convinced that they are responsible for this situation -- I find it very vexing. Of course, there isn't a damn thing I can do about the weather.

Here Miss Snake Eyes poses with the LWX crew from some cooperative event held at some point in the last few years and posted on the LWX Website.

Here is Sue Palka's and Sterling's dream climate zone.

The stupid GFS continues to show lots of rain -- but ALWAYS at hour 200 and beyond. It's just a joke from the weather gods.

No, I won't be doing this much this year.

This is going to be a ghastly weather year with lots of heat and drought. It will be hot by late April and stay hot until late October, and precipitation will likely be 50 percent or more below normal.

At least that's my hunch.

The Capital Weather Gang will be very happy with nonstop alerts and updates touting how wonderful it is to be 100F and in a drought.

And, of course, the local population -- while not at Teabagger levels of ignorance as in other parts of the country -- is just clueless and happy whenever it's hot and sunny.


Vitriolic Interlude Two: More Mr. Sirius Crap

I really would love to know what he has written about me on his password protected blog. I'd sue for libel so fast, especially since I was essentially accused of criminal wrongdoing (trying to trip his ridiculous drunken boyfriend who crashed into me down a flight of stairs).

Again, I direct anyone interested in this whole sordid little drama to my Arcturus blog.

As for that blog, I really don't see the point in keeping it any longer.

Part of me wants to delete it, but then again, I put too much effort into it. I could just let it go dormant and not update it again, but that too is difficult for me to do.

Of course, I AM still VERY angry about the whole situation, so I continue to vent over there, and may continue to do so for a while.

He and that whole little 17th Street gay mafia are nasty and self-absorbed SOBs who hurt people without mercy, and not once in the whole fucking 10 years did he ever show me any kindness or forgiveness. And now this.

Well, to hell with him and I hope my letter works.

Marx said that history repeats twice -- first as tragedy and then as farce. May 2004 was the tragedy. I'm not sure if this is another tragedy, a farce, or more likely, just a nonsensical ending.


OK, back to our previously scheduled program -OR- The Wide, Wide World of Hippos (Part 2)

A giant hippo lumbers out of Lake Nakuru in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, in Jan. 2011. This is actually a close up of the larger picture below.

Here is the full image -- except it really doesn't post well in Blogger. Click on image for larger version.


A pod -- or more properly speaking in terms of "nouns of assemblage", a BLOAT -- of hippos sleeping and lolling about in a muddy lake under the intense African Sun in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, late Jan. 2011.


And a few non-hippo wildlife images ...

A very muddy baby elephant in the elephant nursery / sanctuary that is part of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust haven for elephants and rhinos located in Nairobi, Kenya. The sanctuary takes in orphaned baby elephants and rhinos -- most of whom lost their mothers to human poachers.


This cow -- it doesn't look like any cow I've ever seen -- with ginormous horns just gave birth to that calf right there along the side of a dirt road in Lake Mburo National Park, Uganda, Jan. 2011.


OK, this is right ON the Equator in Uganda (not sure the exact location where this is), Jan. 2011.

The problem we have here (assuming the marker was correctly placed to begin with) is that Africa (as in the ENTIRE CONTINENT) is moving at least a couple centimeters or so per year to the EAST as the Mid Atlantic Ridge pushes Africa and Eurasia one way and the Americas the other way even as Africa also rotates slightly clockwise (to the north) into Europe (eventually sealing the Mediterranean Sea).

Thus, assuming this Equator marker is about 20 years old, unless the net continental drift motion is due east (along the marker), then the marker is up to 50 centimeters (20 inches) off base.

And, please, no dumb tricks for the tourists about water in a bowl swirling one way on one side and the other way on the other. The Coriolis force doesn't work over distances of 5 to 10 feet.


And last but certainly not least ...

Here are two granite carved colorful hippos that Gloria got for me in Uganda. I've named them Gary (the blue one) and Matilde (the scarlet - lavender one). I've introduced them to Flippo, Harvey, and Aurora. Here they are with my Sunshine Buddies and behind them is a carved wooden box that my former friend Dan got for me on one of his far-flung travels to weird Eastern European and Caucuses / central Eurasian republics about 10 years ago as part of his Treasury Dept. job.

OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be in three or four days.



  1. i like the picture of the six of you (no, not the one ni the desert!) - in the bar...

    gary looks like he is at most 22...

    what's his fucking deal? :)