Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Gym, the Badge, and the First Metrorail Car (UPDATED)

Updated 2:08AM 4/30/2013: My badge was in a pocket of my dark Dockers. See below.

Azaleas in full floral bloom at in the yard of 2034 16th Street NW (at the intersection of V Street), Washington, D.C., 4:29PM April 28, 2013.

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Well, I was going to write an entry in which I posted a backlog of pictures I took over the weekend and the previous week. However, my previous entry took far longer to write than I anticipated. Furthermore, I realize that idiot me left my DOE badge at the YMCA in my locker, and I need to retrieve it as early as possible in the morning. The place opens at 530AM -- four hours from now.

UPDATED 2:08AM 4/30/2013: My badge was in my Dockers side leg pocket. Thank you, Jesus.

Car #1000 -- the FIRST numbered car in the original Rohr model 1000 series introduced when the original core of the Metrorail system opened in March 1976 (and probably built a few years prior). It was today in service as part of a Blue Line that I got on at L'Enfant Plaza heading toward Franconia / Springfield (I got off at Farragut West), Washington, D.C., 6:52PM April 29, 2013. I sat in the unoccupied bulkhead.

Car #1000 is "married" to car #1001. Everytime I see car #1000, I immediately get into it. I'm not sure I've ever been in car 1001.

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As it is, I had a very good gym workout after work tonight. This was my first time since Wednesday. I finally started to feel better today, though I still took the morning off. My work day was fine except I really need to move faster on those compliance reports.

As for the gym, the good news for me is that my weight is getting closer to my goal. I was down to a whisker over 155 pounds or down 28.5 pounds from when I (re)started in late June 2012 on the big scale on which I weigh myself in only my bathing trunks and after a workout but before swimming. With the combination of some muscle development, I can definitively say I've lost 30 pounds from my peak weight (which was actually more like 185 pounds, so it's even a bit higher than that). My ultimate goal -- aside from being in good shape with some musclar tone -- is about 142 pounds. However, I'll settle for the low 150s.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) building located at 17th St. and Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. It is located diagonally across from the YMCA National Capital. This was the view as I left the gym at 10:21PM April 29, 2013.

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I'm just glad that I'm no longer pudgy. I live in a fairly hateful and judgmental "gayborhood" of 20-something gay boys, and it's nice not to feel fat anymore. Yes, I realize this is very problematic all around.

Today was a misty gray day with scattered rainshows and cool temps. Highs were around 60F and rainfall totals were light around 0.1 to 0.3". I'm not going to look up / post the specific airport numbers. I wish it had rained more. At least it washed out the tree pollen from the air.

OK, that's all for now. I'm probably not going to post another entry until Wednesday or Thursday night. As it is, I'm going to have to get up at 5AM and walk to the YMCA by 530AM to see if I can get my badge. I remember the locker number I had. I'll come back home and try to sleep for another 2-1/2 hours or so.

Updated 208AM 4/30/2013: The badge was in my Dockers side leg pocket. I am SOOO happy that I don't have to get up at 5AM and schlep down there to the YMCA. I hate dealing with the world at super-early hours, esp. in an urban environment.

Thank you, Who or Whatever Runs this Universe.

Oh, and to my earlier point in this entry, I am also SOOO happy that I don't have to post the dugong picture anymore.

--Regulus

Jonathan Chait on George F. Will's Climate Change Lying Loon-acy

Posted below in its entirety is Jonathan Chait's blog entry today taking issue with right-wing gas bag George F. Will.

I'm adding some additional images to break up the text as well as the two that accompanied the article (one of which is the annual and 5-year mean of global annual surface temperature anomalies relative to the 1951 - 1980 mean).

Also, the NASA link and chart that Chait provides is to a report from Jan. 2008 for 2007. More up-to-date NASA info is available here.

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George Will, Anti-Climate-Science Loon, Strikes Again

By Jonathan Chait

Link here

"George F. Will, in the midst of a discursive, Larry-King-style-if-Larry-King-were-a-Tea-Partier Sunday column that rambles through such topics as Richard Cordray, sequestration, Obamacare, gun control, a new chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, the Internet sales tax, and the failure of one electric car firm, uses the last occasion to share his favorite statistic: There has been no global warming for fifteen years!

Will has been making this point enthusiastically for four years now. It has appeared in such columns as "Dark Green Doomsayers," "Climate Change's Dim Bulbs," "Climate Fixers' Hard Sell," "Cooling Down the Cassandras," "Climate Science Tantrums," among others.

The original, circa-2009 version of this talking point was that "there has been no recorded global warming for more than a decade." What Will meant by this was not exactly what you might think. He meant that the hottest year on record was 1998, and no year has exceeded that one, and so there has been no global warming.

Recently, Will has subtly altered his formulation, the most recent version of which is "global warming, of which there has been essentially none for 15 years."

That "essentially" has been added because 2010 was clearly hotter than 1998.

In any case, even if that weren't true, and 1998 were still the hottest year on record, would Will be correct in asserting there has been no global warming for fifteen years? No, of course not. 1998 was a freakishly hot year due to El Niño. But there's just a basic concept in statistics called a trend. Here’s the trend in global temperature, per NASA:


NOTE: Here is an updated chart through 2012:


Any remotely honest person would look at that data and recognize that the trend has been rising. Now, it's true that it hasn't risen in a completely straight line, because that's not how most data works. Will’s old method was to pluck that spike you see in 1998 and make that a starting point, insisting there's been no climate change. For this claim to make sense, you'd have to believe that the world experienced a huge, sudden, and permanent spike in temperature in 1998, and hasn’t changed since. Of course, since Will's favorite meaningless fact stopped being true, he's just started inserting weasel words that allow him to pretend his unimportant-if-it-were-true fact is still true.


Will's enthusiastic disdain for climate science, which appears to date back to his enthusiastic 2004 reading of Michael Crichton's State of Fear, a really weird anti-climate science polemical novel, tells us a lot about the state of conservative movement thought. You can find examples of non-conservatives embracing fringe anti-scientific beliefs, like vaccine rejection, but you don't find this happening among prestigious, mainstream liberal intellectuals.


George Will is as intellectually prestigious a conservative thinker as you’ll find. Before David Brooks came along, he was the conservative liberals liked to cite when they wanted to hold up a conservatives they could respect. And he’s crazy as a loon!"

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There is a lot that I and others could add here. It's too much to go into now. But I'll just make a few points:


The good news is that people like Will have less influence than ever in terms of shaping any policy debates or popular opinion outside of the bubble of the right-wing media/entertainment complex of Fox News and talk radio. He may still get the "Washington Consensus" circle jerk crowd all tingly but that "Gang of 500" is actually less relevant than ever. 

I also think that the dreadful and worthless WaHoPo editorial page "Uncle" Fred Hiatt bears some responsibility for this.

For decades now, he has constantly publishing Will's crap on any topic with no fact-checking, which typically for punditry doesn't matter but in the case of climate science, it is simply disseminating lies.

Of course, Hiatt just reflects what the billionaire Graham family wants.

As it is, in the late 1990s, it would not have been possible to have a piece such as Chait's published so quickly and disseminated widely to counter Will crap. Thankfully, it's not 1998 when the Great and Mysterious Martha "M.J." McAteer acted as the WaHoPo letters editor "gatekeeper" to make sure that only establishment-approved and/or right-wing "voices" were heard.

Here she is: The Great and Mysterious M.J. McAteer.

Or rather, any stupid print edition letter that appeared 5 days after the fact would not be from an articulate scientist but rather some milquetoast wussy that would say something like, "While I think Will makes excellent points, I would respectfully point out that it might help if we gathered more evidence, but I'll defer to him and Newt Gingrich on that point ..."

But more likely, it would have been a "correction" about how someone was misquoted in saying "real hot" when they actually said "really hot" -- and the WaHoPo would be all self-satisfied.  And this would have followed a Benjamin Wittes written editorial and 17 op-eds by the whole stable about Monica's Dress.

As for Will, I think I liked him better when -- after he cheated on his wife -- she tossed all his things out onto the front yard.

Needless to say, Will was part of the GOP morality squad during the Clinton Wars of the 1990s that culminated in the impeachment sideshow which so wonderfully backfired, giving everyone at Sally Quinn's dinner party agita.

--Regulus

Monday, April 29, 2013

Name that freaky physical theatre troupe that uses rolls of toilet paper for masks...


Mummenschanz!

That's the name of the freaky silent "mummers" physical theatre troupe that uses surreal masks and weird props to suggest facial expressions and communication including, yes, rolls of toilet paper. I couldn't remember it until I heard the name tonight (in an unlikely setting -- on a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond).

Here's their website and here a Boston Globe article from this past December (2012) on the occasion of the 40th anniversary year of their founding.

I remember seeing commercials for them back in the 1970s as a little boy watching the channels from New York City -- and I remember being scared by them.



Here is a YouTube clip (which starts off with rough quality) of when they were on The Muppet Show in 1976. It's a light-hearted and upbeat segment.

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I'm home now watching TV (see above) and still feelling somewhat under the weather, although I'm better than earlier today. This cold and/or sinus infection waxes and wanes. At this point, I'm not sure I'll be able to go to work, at least in the morning.

I may try to post my weekend pictures -- although upon review there aren't that many of them, and I'm pretty tired right now.

--Regulus

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Everything Except Rick Perry is Bigger in Texas and My Saturday Cold and Allergy-Plagued Day

Entry #900

Awesome political cartoon by Jack Ohman of the Sacramento Bee published April 25th, 2013 as relates to the catastrophic explosion at the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company plant in the small town of West, Texas (near Waco) on April 17th that killed as many as 15 people including 10 firefighers who had just arrived on the scene, injured as many as 180, and obliterated surrounding houses and other buildings. Click on image for larger version.

The explosion registered on Richter scales as a 2.1 earthquake that was recorded on seismographs in Amarillo -- 400 miles away.

Here was the seismograph on Lake Whitney near Meridian, Texas located about 40 miles away. Click on image for larger version.

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Here is a picture of the mushroom cloud from some distance away immediately after the explosion. I see the visage of Ayn Rand and her "makers versus takers" society in that mushroom cloud of freedom from all taxes and regulations.

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The plant -- overloaded with huge quantities of anhydrous ammonia and ammonium nitrate -- was last visited by severely overworked and underfunded OSHA in 1985.

Unfortunately, this story and its causes were lost in the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.

The good news is this picture upset Gov. Rick Perry himself and he wrote to the newspaper expressing his "extreme disgust and disappointment" in the cartoon.

 The "VRWC" Agit-Prop Media and Entertainment Machine is trying to gin this up into the latest profitable outrage to get $19.95 from Fox News Teabaggers everywhere.

But cartoonist Jack Ohman had an excellent rejoinder that you may read here -- and for that matter so did Stuart Leavenworth, the Sacramento Bee editorial page editor (which you may find under Perry's letter in the first link).

Fred Hiatt and the dainty WaHoPo editorial and op-ed "Washington Consensus" crowd this is not. Where's Martha "M.J." McAteer when you need her??

Perry is a clown. I think he might actually have a learning disability.

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Changing subjects ...

I'm still feeling like crap today, and all that walking in the pollen-thick air yesterday afternoon in Silver Spring to see Quill (who is recovering at her parents' house from surgery), and then going out last night didn't help matters. In all, I walked about 6 miles yesterday including from and to the Silver Spring Metro on a circuitous route, portions of which I had not done in 8 years.

The towering tree-filled yards of the houses along Sligo Creek Parkway by Worth Avenue in Silver Spring, Md., 5:57PM April 27, 2013. I was following a route I had not since I lived with Phil on Granville Dr. back in 2004 and early 2005.

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A very nice house fronting on Burnett Avenue but with (I think) a Lorain Avenue address, Silver Spring, Md., 5:46PM April 27, 2013. Brunett Avenue runs under the Capital Beltway, so it is one of the few thoroughfares -- other than Colesville Road itself -- along with one may walk to get on the other side.

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I didn't make it to John's party in Arlington last night (I would have had to walk about a mile and half from the Ballston Metro at night), so it was just a standard D.C. weekend night -- solo dinner at Trio's, a jaunt to No. 9, and then a taxi cab ride (I didn't feel like walking at that point) to Nellie's.


While at Nellie's, I saw young and pretty Donny Osmond with a gaggle of gay sorority boys and wearing his "Vinny" outfit of tee-shirt (all muscled-out) and jeans (see above picture). They usually sashay up and down 17th Street through the D.C. Gay Mafia's territory (to whose "consigliere" he was briefly married but, alas, it didn't work out -- now there's a shock), though sometimes they'll go to Nellie's or even No. 9.  

I'll write about my Saturday of this in my next entry, which I will try to post tonight,  though it may not be until Monday night. I am going to try to go to the gym today as I've not been since Wednesday.

I still feel lousy.

--Regulus

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spring Fevered -OR- My seasonal tree pollen allergies sure can do a spot-imitation of a cold

This is a picture I took almost two years ago -- on June 5, 2011 -- of the mansion and its beautiful setting in the 4900 block of Glenbrook Rd. NW in the section of Washington, D.C.., known as Spring Valley. This is probably the wealthiest section of D.C. (even more so  than Georgetown). Paradoxically, because of WWI era munitions stored in the vicinity, there is also an EPA Superfund site in that neighborhood.

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This is Entry #899.

It's a very lovely Saturday afternoon in late April -- the last of this month -- with sunshine and a slightly blanched blue sky. Temps. are near 70F.

However, I have suddenly come down with what seems to be a full-fledged cold, and I feel like crap. However, it could be just my seasonal allergies to the raging tree pollen this time of year that is mimicking a cold (is that possible?).

Regardless, I really don't want to be trapped inside all day, and I still want to see Quill at her parents' house in Silver Spring (where she is recuperating post-surgery). I also feel terribly guilty about not having been to the gym since Wednesday, but at this point, it's just going to have to wait until Sunday (tomorrow), as I think I'm going to try to get to Silver Spring anyway.

Naturally, the Metro is all bollixed up with the Red Line closed in a key segment because of the endless upgrade and repair work being done. 

My familiar 5th floor apartment view looking onto the 2000 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 1:09PM April 27, 2013. I dreamed this morning that this (elm) tree (the one on the near side of the sidewalk to my building -- there are two main ones in this photo on opposite sides of the sidewalk) was dying (actually, it sort of it), and I was watching as it was cut down.

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As for tonight, I'm a big undecided on John's party in Arlington (YES, this would entail crossing the Potmac to NoVa!). On the one hand, I never get invited to parties, and I never frickin' break my D.C. routine. On the other hand, I feel like crap, and would sort of prefer to be in my own bed (and not get drunk at a house party while sick). I already called him up to let him know I might not make it. I hate making those kinds of phone calls.

OK, let me get ready and get the hell out of this apt.

Oh, yes, the pattern looks like it might turn into wet and cool one for next week. Indeed, if some of the GFS runs verified (a giant "IF"), then it would be really wet. Of course, I personally LIKE cool, wet weather (esp. during the work week) AND it has the wonderful benefit of washing the tree pollen out of the air.

--Regulus

Friday, April 26, 2013

Caught between the Media Political Pundit Devil and the Deep Blue Keynesian Sea

The Great Blue Hole on Lighthouse Reef off the coast of Belize.

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This entry contains some links I would like to post (some a few days old). It's part of the original entry I started on Wednesday but never finished.

For starters, Noah Smith of Noahpinion blog posts this wonderful piece KrugTron the Invincible about how New York Times columnist Paul Krugman every week vanquishes some idiot libertarian economist, politician, or pundit who is screaming about  how Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation is around the corner because of deficit spending and why we need austerity now.

Smith argues -- and not from an entirely Krugmaniac point of view as I would -- that in similar fashion to the 1980s cartoon Voltron regularly vanquishing the Robeasts with his "Blazing Sword" each week. He writes:

"In the econ blogosphere, a similar dynamic has played out over the last few years. Each week a Robeast will show up, bellowing predictions of inflation and/or soaring interest rates. And each week, Paul Krugman...I mean, KrugTron, Defender of the Blogoverse, will strike down the monster with a successful prediction of...low inflation and continued low interest rates. Goldbugs, 'Austrians', New Classical economists, and harrumphing conservatives of all stripes have eagerly gone head-to-head with KrugTron in the prediction wars, and have been summarily cloven in twain."


Smith writes that Krugman properly recognized with the IS-LM framework (that is, the "investment-savings, liquidity-money" model) that informs his Keynesian worldview that it is Japan in the period 1990 to the present -- with its very high levels of debt and liquidity trap conditions and resulting near-zero interest rates -- that is the actual model for the U.S. since 2008, rather than the U.S. itself in the period 1975 - 1985 when high inflation and high interest rates created the "government spending caused high inflation" meme.

I love that Smith uses the term "econo-trolls" to describe the Austrians (held in worshipful regard by kooky libertarians everywhere).


Krugman wonderfully entitled his entry about Smith's piece Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto — I Mean, Mr. Smith.

Krugman also stops Harvard economists Reinhart and Rogoff from getting one over on everybody in their NYT op-ed after their "90 percent" disaster.

Finally, Krugman put a lot of these thoughts together in his New York Times print edition op-ed that appeared today, Friday April 26th, 2013: The 1 Percent's Solution that discusses why the economic elites prefer austerity.

Excerpt:

"Part of the answer surely lies in the widespread desire to see economics as a morality play, to make it a tale of excess and its consequences. We lived beyond our means, the story goes, and now we're paying the inevitable price. Economists can explain ad nauseam that this is wrong, that the reason we have mass unemployment isn't that we spent too much in the past but that we're spending too little now, and that this problem can and should be solved. No matter; many people have a visceral sense that we sinned and must seek redemption through suffering -- and neither economic argument nor the observation that the people now suffering aren't at all the same people who sinned during the bubble years makes much of a dent.

But it's not just a matter of emotion versus logic. You can't understand the influence of austerity doctrine without talking about class and inequality. "

On a related note, Henry Blodget of Business Insider wrote this piece a few days ago: The Economic Argument Is Over - Paul Krugman Has Won.

And he will continue to win -- as we are still in a liquidity trap with weak macroeconomic demand and up against the lower zero bound of interest rates. And no amount of libertarian gibberish or character denigration of Krugman can change that.

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What follows are two Jonathan Chait pieces from the past two days.

The first is on the annual corporate media whore-fest that is the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Weekend (WEEKEND??) Annual Washington Journalism Nadir Celebration Commences.


The second is a content-filled and satisfying piece: Yes, George W. Bush Was a Terrible President, and No, He Wasn't Smart.

It's too long and detailed to excerpt here (esp. since I'm short on images) but it in response to the concerted effort by sundry Bush minions, cronies, and apologists to "rehabilitate" his disastrous presidency through a coordinated media campaign on the occasion of the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Note Chait's easy take down of idiot Jennifer Rubin's piece, specifically, how he calls attention to all the crude, simplistic, and Bizarro World tricks in which someone such as herself (best known for her terminal case of Mitt Romneyosis last year) to affirm Bush's alleged success as a president. Rubin is someone that only "Uncle" Fred Hiatt could view as an asset to Don Graham's operation.

As for presidential libraries, they have because at once bullsh!t hagiographic shrine and taxpayer-funded corporate scams. There were good pieces on this topic on MSNBC last night by Chris Hayes on his All In program and Lawrence O'Donnell on The Last Word.

Having said that, here is a picture worth posting since the current and former presidents rarely all get together for a group photo:

Here is a picture of President Obama and the four previous living presidents. The got together for the dedication of that library in Dallas, Texas on April 25, 2013.  Yes, George H.W. Bush is in a wheelchair and wearing weirdly colorful socks. Left to right with their ages: Presidents Barack Obama (51), George W. Bush (66), Bill Clinton (66), George H.W. Bush (88), and Jimmy Carter (88).

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Sigh.

Jimmy Carter.

His presidency was a lifetime ago in a place and time and reality called "America, the late 1970s."


The picture speaks for itself. It was taken in New Jersey circa 1977. I actually sort of remember Two Guys in New Jersey in the 1970s (not sure exactly where it was).

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OK, that's all for now. I am going to try to post a Friday night musical interlude tonight, except I really don't have any good pieces in mind. Perhaps I'll just skip it tonight. I'm actually not feeling all that well with a mild cold or bad pollen allergies, or some combo thereof.

--Regulus

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Brief Blog Break / Quill Condition Update

A water main break on 17th Street just south of Massachusetts Avenue as seen at 5:47PM on Sunday, April 21, 2013. I was walking back from the gym.

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Sorry for lack of updates. I started a new entry tonight but it immediately got too lengthy and convoluted, so I'll have to hold off on posting it. I'm much too tired to complete it. I'll try to do so Thursday night, though it may not be until Friday evening.

I do want to note that Quill is doing fine after her operation. The procedure was more involved than anticipated but the result was what was hoped for. She is now recovering at the hospital. I intend to visit her at her parents' house in Silver Spring on Saturday.

--Regulus

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Some Notes on a Friend and Family -OR- Blog Entry Ebb and Flow

The Atlantic Ocean as seen from a rocky promontory at Rockport, Mass., on April 21, 2013.

This picture was taken by N. while hiking there with his mom on Sunday. He is doing better, and he should be returning to D.C. shortly.

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Well, I was going to write a political-themed vituperative entry while posting the pictures I took on Saturday afternoon. Indeed, I was sorta dreading writing the entry since I was in such an irritable to outright foul mood, exacerbated by things going on the news that have really greatly irked me.

A room with a partial view: The view outside one of my 5th floor little apartment windows looking onto New Hampshire Avenue and spring greenery, Washington, D.C., 1:38PM April 20, 2013.

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I say "dreading" since I figured such an entry would take hours to post, resulting in a 3AM bedtime, even as I fretted about the content of the entry since I really do have to be mindful of what I write.

The view (familiar to my regular blog readers) from my apartment looking southwest at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and 16th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 3:05PM April 20, 2013.

In the distance (not really visible in this blurry image) are the towers of Rosslyn in Arlington, including a new one at 1812 North Moore Street that apparently will (and certainly look to) be the tallest in the D.C. area at 35 stories and 390 feet high (set atop a hilly rise).

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However, owing to a variety of factors, I've instead decided to nix entirely the political themed entry, and indeed, and to post just some personal items, as well as some of the aforementioned pictures I took on Saturday. In terms of additional entries this week, unless I can post an entry on Tuesday night (i.e., Wednesday morning before I go to bed), then I may not have a chance to post another one until Thursday or even Friday. But given my low readership, that's not a big deal.

Sunlight shines through the tender leafy green boughs of an oak tree in the 1900 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 3:14PM April 20, 2013.

The house at 1940 NH Ave. was having some massive outdoor gay BBQ with all the kool kidz of the D.C. gayborhood in attendance including, I understand, the main members of the JR's / Cobalt gay mafia such as Oooza the Unloved Crow Creature, M. Wade Tipamillyun, and the Turkey Vulture (although not at the time I walked by). However, I bumped into Jon C. as he was walking there, and during a brief, pleasant chat, he made a highly inappropriate yet quite funny comment / suggestion in jest that I will not repeat here.

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So instead, let me  note several items ...

Tomorrow Quill is having significant (borderline major) surgery. I spoke to her tonight on the phone. She will be staying with her parents in Silver Spring as she recovers. I need to visit her.

The double-flowering Kwanzan cherry tree (just past floral peak) at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and S Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:18PM April 20, 2013.

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My step dad Ray has been diagnosed as having pulmonary fibrosis. He also has some serious heart issues, so all in all, he's not in good health, although he is still working. Ray is about to start collecting Social Security. I thought the lung issue might be due to what he was exposed to in Vietnam back as a young man in 1966 or '67, but apparently pulmonary fibrosis is not considered by the VA as being linked to Agent Orange exposure.

As for my mom, she's fine. I had a nice conversation with her today.

Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., on a sunny spring Saturday afternoon, 3:25PM April 20, 2013.

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My dad, too, is fine, although still recuperating from knee replacement surgery. (Of note, he is 72, and he started collecting Social Security years ago and he gets a pension from the State of New Jersey, so all in all, he's fine financially living down there in the trashier parts of Florida.)

Yours truly at a beautiful double-flowering Kwanzan cherry tree growing beside the Grosvenor Metro in Grosvenor Park, Rockville*, Md., 4:07PM April 20, 2013.

I rode the Metrorail Red Line from Dupont Circle to Grosvenor - Strathmore station to meet LP at Grosvenor Park where he lives. Located about 12 miles to the NW of downtown D.C., and in a cooler micro-climate, the trees weren't quite as far along in "leafing out" -- and the Kwanzans were in full floral peak, including this one.

*This is not Rockville proper but the Post Office has it listed as a Rockville address.

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The same delightful double-flowering Kwanzan cherry tree at floral peak contrasted on a clean, rain-washed, gentle blue sky, Grosvenor Park, Rockville, Md., 4:07PM April 20, 2013.

The blossoms on these trees remind me of the Truffula trees in Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. And as I've mentioned, I think they are prettier than the Yoshino "Japanese" cherry blossoms that everyone gets so worked up about.

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The only problem in his life -- aside from the usual chaos of his female relationships including the current one Shannon and in which I refused to be involved during my ill-fated visit there last July -- is that he has to move. His landlord wants to reclaim current place in which he lives, so he has to find another place. He is planning on remaining in Flagler Beach for the time being, and may even move closer to the "center" (i.e., SR 100 and A1A).

One last picture of aforementioned double-flowering Kwanzan cherry tree at peak contrasted on a gentle April blue sky -- and probably the last such image of a Kwanzan cherry at peak that I shall post until next spring.

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Work is alright, I think, although it looks like my grant related work that has been my long-term assignment for the past two years may be ending by early June. This week, though, I've been back to contacting small towns and counties (presently all in Texas).

Yours truly in profile heading toward Grosvenor Park II ("GP II") where LP lives.

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Lastly, I had a great gym workout tonight including a full hour (55 minutes + 5 minute cool down) on the treadmill jogging 5.17 miles / expending approx. 730 calories / climbing 739 feet (if the displays are to be believed); an hour of light-to-moderate weight-lifting; and a half hour in the swimming pool.

The behemoth and massively energy consuming Grosvenor Park II (or "2") located next to "GP I" building. (As LP once remarked, "You can't walk through the lobby without using energy ...")

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My weight on the big scale (wearing only bathing trunks) was a whisker over 156 pounds or down 27.5 pounds from my original weight on that scale 10 months ago on June 23, 2012 and -- as I've noted before -- owing to some muscle mass gain, without doubt down at least 30 pounds in fat. My goal has been 145 pounds but I'll take the low 150s by the one-year anniversary.

The lobby with the Grosvenor Park II building with its 1980s décor that itself is a throwback to the original 1960s Modernist décor.

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After we met, we drove around Rockville, Potomac, and the Cabin John area and stopped at Glen Echo park before heading back into D.C. by nightfall. We also spent about 45 minutes at a Panera in Rockville that was surprisingly pleasant, esp. with what sounded like John Coltrane music playing softly.

A large home set back on a large lot along a road in Potomac, Md., 6:10PM April 20, 2013.

I have additional pictures from that part of the day (i.e., the drive), but I'll try to post them some other time.

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Turning to the weather, it was sunny and on the cool side today. This spring has been mostly really pleasant in that regard. And we may get some additional needed rainfall on Wednesday night.

The intersection of Glen Mill, Glen, and South Glen Roads near Watts Branch Park, Potomac, Md., 6:11PM April 20, 2013.

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OK, that's all for now. At this point, I think I'm not going to update the blog again (unless circumstances warrant it) until Thursday or Friday night.

--Regulus