Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Update: The "March Out-Like-a-Lion" A Stormy, Gusty, Rainy / Sleety Edition

The view from my apartment kitchen window (well, craning out from it) looking to the northeast "up" New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, D.C., 1:01PM March 30, 2014.

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Portion of the NWS high-resolution surface weather map valid at 12Z (8AM EDT) March 30, 2014 focused on part of the U.S. East Coast and Appalachians.

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It is a showery, gusty, even outright stormy and rather chilly day across the Metro D.C. and Baltimore areas as a vertically-stacked cut-off low is parked almost overhead (at 11AM it was put just east of Charlottesville) and a surface reflection with attendant fronts located at 8AM over southern Delaware. The system is thus almost perfectly vertically stacked (which would also indicate occlusion is occurring).

The Northeastern U.S. radar mosaic (a series of composite-mode radar images all put together) valid at 1718UTC (1:18PM EDT) March 30, 2014.

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Outside my apartment window, rain is occasionally slashing across the window screen and pinging (almost as if sleet) on my little window air conditioner. Actually, I leaned out my kitchen window and -- whaddaya know -- it IS sleeting here in my part of Washington, D.C. Guess I should check to see the freak-out going on over at the Capital Weather Gang, at least in the comment section of the current lead entry. The storm is basically generating its own cold air in terms of depressing the thicknesses.

The Sterling LWX NWS radar in base mode reflectivity at 1:14PM EDT March 30, 2014. Those yellows and oranges are telltale signs of sleet.

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The Sterling LWX looped radar shows waves of precipitation -- rain and sleet -- circulating cyclonically over the immediate area from NE to SW. Winds are gusting to 25MPH from the northwest and temps are ranging from the mid-30s to mid-40s Fahrenheit region-wide. It is 43F at the noon hour at KDCA with rain while KIAD is 37F and is actually reporting snow flurries. KBWI is at 40F.

Here were some other radar images for this storm event from earlier ...

This was the Dover NWS radar (DOX) at 3:14AM this morning showing a conveyor belt of precipitation just off the Jersey shore that was actually moving NNE'ward into central / eastern Long Island. The radar also shows the precipitation over the D.C. area.

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The Northeastern U.S. radar mosaic (a series of composite-mode radar images all put together) valid at 0208UTC March 30, 2014 (10:08PM EDT March 29, 2014). This shows the storm system before it became vertically-stacked and completely cut-off with a significantly larger precipitation shield over New England.

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There has been accumulating snow today above 1,500 foot elevations in the Potomac Highlands and Blue Ridge / Shenandoah. While there is a winter weather advisory for those areas, no other weather advisories are in place for the Sterling LWX county warning area except gale warnings on the Chesapeake and tidal Potomac River.

Rainfall amounts for the event through the 1PM hour include 2.10" at KDMH (Maryland Science Center); 2.08" at KBWI; 1.50" at KDCA; 1.27" at KIAD; and 0.94" at KCHO (Charlottesville).

Yesterday (March 29th), KDCA specifically had 1.02" while KBWI had 0.99" and KIAD had 0.89".

This event should push the three airport climate stations into precipitation surplus for the month and year-to-date. I'll post the monthly and year-to-date totals once March is over.

All in all, a rainy, gloomy, stormy late March day, and I quite like it.

Franklin Square in downtown Washington, D.C., on a rainy day, 5:22PM March 29, 2014.

I had taken the S4 bus to go to the Metro Center Macy's.

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As for today, I must go to the gym, as I didn't go the past two days. I'll try to get there by 4PM-ish.

Last night, as I noted in my previous entry, I went with Quill to Eatonville and then we watched Star Trek: TOS and the Svengoolie-hosted monster movie on Me-TV. The movie was The Invisible Man starring Claude Rains. I didn't really like it but I suppose it's a movie you have to see once. As for Svengoolie, he had the usual groan-inducing puns and rubber chickens and a few political jokes.

Thereafter, I went to No. 9, where I met LP, and we subsequently went to Nellie's to closing time.

Interior of Eatonville, Washington, D.C., 8:46PM March 29, 2014.

Eatonville is quite a remarkable place in terms of its clientele and bustling yet festive atmosphere. The wall murals, though, tell a dark story of slavery and the African American experience. Somehow, it all works, though, especially with the Zora Neale Hurston quote in the entrance way.

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The view from the upstairs deck at Nellie's on a windy, rainy night, Washington, D.C., 2:09AM March 30, 2014. Though enclosed, water was dripping and blowing in like crazy.

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As I write this (at 1:44PM) it is both raining and sleeting noisily outside on my window air conditioner and sill). Furthermore, the rain that is also falling looks as though it could turn to snow. It's that kind of weather day.

OK, that's all for now, but before I go, I would like to post this clip of Bill Maher excepted from the closing "New Rule" segment of his most recent Real Time episode. It speaks for itself but in short, it tells idiot Democrats to stop being such flippin' wimps and wussies and embrace who and what they are and are trying to do. I also liked his nice shout-out to President Jimmy Carter and while Dems should embrace him rather than run away from him.



The problem is that the Beltway media and political elite -- the Fred Hiatt Gang of 500 lapdogs and bribed tools of the corporate oligarchical overclass here in the Capital of the Empire -- are so steeped in their meta-narrative that only by being Republicans can Democrats win that Michael Barone and George Will end up dictating received D.C. conventional wisdom.

I never did post the Bill Maher one from earlier this month featuring his epic anti-God rant ...  


In this one from March 14th, 2014, Maher calls God "a psychotic mass murderer" and "a dick" and observed "if we were a dog and God owned us, the cops would come and take us away") that was triggered by the movie Noah. It's kind of epic.

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OK, that really is all for now. It looks as though I have posted 31 entries this month -- as many as their are days in the month of March.

--Regulus

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jukebox Saturday (Rainy) Night Entry for March 29th, 2014 "Stress Free and Peaceful" Edition

**Updated 7:49PM 5/13/2014: See below.**


"No Stress At All" by Paul Hardcastle from his Hardcastle VII album (2013) released on the Trippin 'N' Rhythm label.

Hardcastle has also released pieces under other names including The Jazzmasters.

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As a brief update ...

Tonight is a pleasant night and with soaking showery rain that has dropped so far today nearly 1 inch around the region.

This includes 0.98 inches officially at Reagan National Airport (KDCA); 0.97 inches at KBWI; and 0.87 inches at KIAD at the 10PM hour. This is good because rain this time of year builds up the water table for the spring and summer, and it helps with the vegetative cycle (which is now suddenly and quickly underway).

Of note, it is 61F at KDCA but only 49F at Washington Dulles Int'l Airport (KIAD) owing to a frontal boundary draped across the area, as the 8PM EDT high-resolution weather map below reveals.

High resolution NWS map of part of the U.S. East Coast and Appalachians, valid 0UTC (8PM EDT) March 30, 2014.

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Quill is with me tonight in my apartment watching Star Trek: TOS. This episode is "Assignment: Earth" and features a young Teri Garr.

I didn't go to gym today but I intend (shall) go tomorrow and Monday. Instead, I went clothes shopping at the Macy's at Metro Center, which is rapidly becoming a flea market but that's fine. I then stopped at D-I-K, where Chris was working the happy hour, and then came home (with my new pants, shirt, and shoes in tow).


"Road to Peace (A Prayer for Haiti)" by Gerald Albright from his Pushing the Envelope release (2010)

Of note, I updated my entry from May 2013 where I featured this absolutely wonderful piece, which I am resposting in this one.

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I quickly headed over to Eatonville, where I met Quill. We had a really nice dinner -- and the place was bustling with such an eclectic crowd. The place is basically the restaurant equivalent of a nightclub.

(Of note, the owner of Eatonville, Andy Shallal, is one of the Democratic primary mayoral candidates. As it is, I was thinking perhaps I should vote for Muriel Bowser in the primary -- if only to vote against Vincent Gray -- and then vote for Catania in the general election.)

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And now for something more Saturday night fun and upbeat (with a rather fascinating video featuring various key events of the second half of the 20th Century) ...


"I Decided" by Solange from her Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams release (2010)

Updated 7:48PM 5/13/2014: OK, I must admit that I didn't even realize Solange Knowles is Beyoncé Knowles' younger sister. And, yes, "news" of this family dust-up is why I realized it.

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OK, that's all for now. I may update the blog tomorrow (not sure) .

--Regulus

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Friday Night Star Trek Episode Odd Couple: "The Cage" and "The Menagerie"

The marker in Riverside, Iowa noting that in the Star Trek universe, this is the future birthplace of Captain (later Admiral and later still, as I recall, Captain) James T. Kirk, given as March 22, 2228 (now just under 214 years away!).

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Home right now on this Friday night waiting for a few loads of laundry to finish drying. I'll go out in an hour or so -- probably my usual No. 9 and Nellie's, although I really haven't had a proper dinner, so maybe I'll go to a restaurant. Tonight would be a good Old Ebbitt Grill night. As for tomorrow evening, I'm meeting Quill for dinner at Eatonville and then we'll watch some of the Sci Fi Saturday Night lineup on Me-TV including Star Trek: The Original Series (although with the prettied up special effects in a non-distracting way).

Speaking of Me-TV and Star Trek: TOS, I'm actually watching the latter on the former right now as I compose this entry. (Well, actually, I'm trying to compose that long-delayed Buffalo entry, but the pictures I took with my ill-suited Smartphone during its short time with me aren't that good and surprisingly low-quality.)


Me-TV is actually airing TWO Star Trek: TOS episodes this Friday night and it just so happens to be the only two-parter of the original series, "The Menagerie," which had a weird intricate relationship to the actual pilot episode "The Cage" -- the latter which was not aired on regular TV until 23-1/2 years after the fact in November 1988.

Captain Pike and The Keeper along with other members of the Enterprise landing crew (including Majel Barrett as "Number One" rather than Nurse Christine Chapel) on the surface of Talos IV in Star Trek: TOS episodes "The Menagerie" and "The Cage."

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"The Menagerie" and "The City on the Edge of Forever" are among the best Star Trek: TOS episodes, both of which won Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Production. "The Menagerie" has a touch of The Matrix to it in terms of the illusions and moving in and out of them.

It features Christopher Pike as the Captain of The Enterprise 13 years earlier. Pike is played by Jeffrey Hunter, who died tragically only four years later at age 42. Some of the dialogue in this combination episode -- especially that said by Vina (Susan Oliver, who also died too soon) is awesome.

The Talosians as seen in two episodes of Star Trek: TOS with The Keeper on the left.

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The Keeper was played by none other than Meg Wyllie, except I've never been sure if that was her actual voice. As it is, the Talosians communicated both telepathically and verbally. Ms. Wyllie, who died New Years Day 2002, was on three episodes of The Golden Girls.

Yes, that is she.

There's the scene where The Keeper "puts" him briefly in Hell, and she says flatly: "From a fable you once heard in childhood."

And the two best closing lines:

"This makes you far too violent and dangerous a species for our needs."

-and-

"Captain Pike has his illusion, and you have your reality. May you find your way as pleasant."

Totally like The Matrix, IMHO.

I love the spooky music played during it with that strange, piercing whine (which would otherwise be annoying) such as played when the Talosians create the illusion that Captain Pike is on Rigel 7. (As for this episode, apparently even in that quasi-utopian 23rd Century, the Federation still had the death penalty -- for anyone who went to Talos IV. At least that was stated in this episode.)

Starfleet Academy headquarters / campus on the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge (presumably still standing structurally sound and the same international orange color) in present-day Sausalito. This is supposed to be in the latter 2300s and thus it is set in the time of Star Trek: The Next Generation (fully 150 years after the birth of Captain / Admiral James T. Kirk).

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OK, my laundry is done, and in lieu of folding it, I'll get ready to go out. On Me-TV now is the first of two episodes of The Odd Couple. I remember watching that show (along with Honeymooners and The Twilight Zoo) with my dad back in my Kirby Avenue, Long Branch, New Jersey childhood days in the mid-to-late 1970s (on, I think, WPIX-11).


Felix Unger and Niles Crane have similar characters, albeit separated by 25 years.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will just be my jukebox Saturday night entry.

--Regulus

Some Thoughts on the Krugman - Silver Feud: How Mr. 538 Could Wind Up A Corporate Stooge

Maddy's Tap Room at the corner of 13th and L Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 7:58PM March 25, 2014.

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I was going to write a different entry entirely tonight, but I think I should hold off on that one.

I also wanted to post some links to recent entries on Paul Krugman's blog, in particular those taking serious issue with Nate Silver's new website, as well as Jonathan Chait's take on the feud that gets it spot on and right to the heart of the matter. As for the feud, naturally and of course, I am on Krugman's side. The man is my guru, and I read his blog and twice-weekly op-eds religiously.

Chait summarizes it well:

Silver's great added value was to bring basic statistical literacy to the fields of political forecasting and sports commentary, which are dominated by old-line hacks who rely on horse sense and either disdain data in any form or use data very badly.

The new FiveThirtyEight tries to expand this revelatory contribution to other fields. The trouble is that many of those fields, like economics and climate science, already have real experts. Silver's role, at least in its crudest form, represents the kind of autodidactism that Krugman rose to fame decrying. His war against Silver is nothing terribly new, but merely the return of an old love, or, more accurately, an old hate.

My view is that if Silver doesn't get it together soon, he's going to end up with a website that's nothing but a conduit for every corporate interest peddling whatever bulls!t dressed up as "neutral data."

Silver should just stick to sports and analyzing pre-election polls. He's way out of his league and doesn't understand what he's doing in other areas and that will make him an unknowing tool of corporate oligarchical and rightwing reactionary intrigue very soon.

It'll be like that "TechCentral" site that James K. Glassman ran for a while and which collapsed under its own absurdity -- except Silver won't even know, much less embrace, his role as pimped-out corporate apologist and, ultimately, comical libertarian stooge.

Left: Glassman maybe 15 years ago.

But it's too late for all that now.

Ha ha

I just made a late dinner (jasmine rice (my new favorite), steamed broccoli and carrots, and some frying pan-heated grilled steak strips and mushrooms, all mixed up) after going to the gym. It was my first gym visit since Monday. Oh, yes, as for dinner, I am enjoying a new drink concoction: Some of that Sparkling Ice black raspberry drink -- zero sugar but overloaded with sucralose -- mixed into seltzer water. That seems to work.

OK, that's all for now. But I'll end with this picture ...

L'église Notre-Dame-de-Bonne-Espérance à Fort Good Hope, or in English, the Church of Our Lady of Good Hope, located in Fort Good Hope, waaaaay up in the Northwest Territories of Canada, as seen in a February 2006 picture that is posted on its Wikipedia page.

It sure looks lonely and cold up there.

I was looking at my North America atlas and this church -- or rather, the Mission of Notre Dame de Bonne Espérance -- was marked with a red dot next to Fort Good Hope and along the (mostly frozen) Mackenzie River on a map of the Northwest Territories (not to be confused with Nunivaat).

OK, that's really all for now. I may try to update the blog tomorrow night.

--Regulus

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The (Likely) Final D.C. Area Seasonal Snowfall: Some Pictures, Amounts, and Airport Statistics (UPDATED)

Updated 1:27AM and 8:46AM 3/28/2014: See below.

Henry House Hill, Manassas National Battlefield, Virginia in the late season snow yesterday, March 25, 2014.

Why are there so many Henry's associated with the Colonial and Civil War eras??

The above picture was taken by Kevin Ambrose and posted in this Capital Weather Gang entry that features some really lovely images from yesterday's snow both at the battlefield park and in D.C, with the latter ones  taken by Ian Livingston.

Dupont Circle with its central fountain in the snow yesterday, March 25, 2014. This picture was taken by Ian Livingston and posted in the same CWG entry linked above.

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This is a brief after-work update as I am not taking the computer home tonight (for the second night in a row). I'm not going to the gym (I'll go tomorrow) but instead I'm taking Kristof to dinner at Dupont Italian Kitchen downstairs (where Chris is working). It's Kristof's birthday. I think he's 21 for the 26th time. Right.

My workday was a rather busy both with the Hawaii project (it's almost finished, at least this phase of it) and my compliance case work.

Yes, once again another view from my apartment this season on a snowy day -- this one taken at 9:44MA March 25, 2014. This is probably the last such snowy scene image for the season from my apartment kitchen window. Aren't ya happy??

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As for taking the computer home, it is also too also to tote it around. This winter has really not wanted to give up, although it is supposed to warm up in the next few days with temps around 60F by Friday. It also looks like a wet Friday into Saturday on tap.

Today, preliminarily, it reached only 39F at Reagan National Airport (KDCA) and 36F at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport (KBWI) while Washington Dulles Int'l Airport (KIAD) barely broke freezing at 33F. (I think that's a record low max, surpassing the 35F in 1971.) Tonight will be rather cold with lows around 22F.

Updated 8:47AM 3/28/2014: KIAD actually set THREE consecutive days of record low maximum temps including 39F on 3/24 (old record 40F set in 1972 and 1983); 33F on 3/25 (old record 38F in 1974); and 33F again on 3/26 (old record, as noted above, 35F in 1971). It also had a record low of 15F on 3/27 (old record 17F in 2001). End of update.

Actually, the reason I wanted to update this blog was to note yesterday's snowfall totals.

It snowed much of the day, although not a whole lot stuck, in particular on pavement. Cars and grassy areas had a fair amount of snow, especially for so late in the year.

Sterling NWS (LWX) county warning area (CWA) snowfall totals for March 25, 2014, updated at 2:59PM yesterday. Click on map for larger version.

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Area-wide totals ranged from a trace to about 4 inches with more in the immediate D.C. area and points west and south. Baltimore had less. My understanding is that the Delmarva around Rehoboth had upwards of 6 inches (as that area was close enough to the main precipitation shield of the storm in the evening).

Here are the summary snowfall statistics for the three regional climate stations (through midnight). The normal period is presently 1981 - 2010. There was a "trace" of snow at KDCA and KIAD today with some late morning snow flurries.

KDCA

3/25: 1.7 inches (daily record: 1.5 inches in 1906)
March 2014: 12.7 inches
Season-to-date: 32.0 inches
Normal season-to-date: 15.4 inches
Normal season total: 15.4 inches
(Normal-to-date and season are identical since the accumulating snowfall season is over at KDCA.)

Updated rankings of snowiest March events and overall monthly totals for Washington, D.C..

This is now the 5th snowiest March officially on record for Washington, D.C., including all those snowy winters of the late 19th and early 20th Century (long before National Airport official observations started in 1945). The March 2014 total is now 12.7 inches. Normal is just 1.3 inches.

KBWI

3/25: 0.2 inches (daily record: 3.2 inches in 2013 -- yes, just last year).
March 2014: 12.1 inches
Season-to-date: 39.0 inches
Normal season-to-date: 20.0 inches
Normal season total: 20.1 inches


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KIAD
3/25: 3.8 inches (daily record; old record was 3.2 inches set just last year in 2013)
March 2014: 19.8 inches
Season-to-date: 52.8 inches
Normal season-to-date: 21.4 inches
Normal season total: 22.0 inches

A quick perusal of KIAD's snow totals for its entire climate record -- which, admittedly, only goes back to Jan. 1963 -- shows this winter ranks 3rd behind 2009-2010 (73.2 inches) and 1995 - 1996 (61.9 inches). Yesterday's snowfall boosted the seasonal total above the previous third place / now fourth place winter of 2002 - 2003 (50.1 inches). Furthermore, this March is the snowiest one on record at KIAD (previous one was 15.5 inches in 1993).

Of note, there have been places in northern Montgomery County this winter that have had in excess of 70 inches of snow.

Updated 1:27AM 3/28/2014: I just wanted to note that CWG posted this entry on March 27th providing a comprehensive summary of the regional 2013 - 2014 seasonal snowfall statistics including KDCA and KIAD as well as other spots. The site makes a fuss about the 1945 start of observations at National Airport, and while I agree, nevertheless all D.C. records has to be compared to the full history back to 1871 (or 1888 for snow), not 1945.

End of update.

Cherry blossoms (though not the signature Yoshino "Japanese" ones) emerging despite the snow in Washington, D.C., March 25, 2014. This picture was also taken by Ian Livingston (see above link).

As it is, the blossoms -- Yoshino, double-flowering Kwanzan (my favorite), assorted hues of crabapples, Eastern redbud, and whatever other ones you like -- will be coming out in the next couple weeks in their floral splendor, and the city will look just beautiful, even if it is overloaded with tourists. The cold weather has held the blossoms and the tourists at bay.

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OK, that's all for now.

--Regulus

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

(Very) Early Tuesday Morning Update Including Preview of the Big Nor'easter to Bypass Us

The front entrance to St. Dominic Catholic Church in the strangely isolated part of Southwest Washington, D.C., 1:37PM March 21, 2014 (the first full calendar day of spring).

I work a few blocks from here, and every once in a while, I walk over there at lunchtime. It's always so peaceful. Of note, the same guy I vaguely knew from 15 years ago in my rightwing Catholic days around Tim A. is there in the nearly otherwise empty, vaulted interior at that early afternoon hour. He has been there almost every time I've gone for the past nearly 4 years, which is to say at least since I have worked in my current job and probably longer. I don't think he remembers me, which is which is just as well.

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Too late to blog tonight, but here I go anyway.

I'm home having some dinner that I just made (the usual Thai jasmine rice / steamed broccoli and carrots / meat combination with tonight's choice being pork chops). I'm also TV watching my usual late night sitcom reruns.

The off-ramp (left) and on-ramp (right) to I-395 in front of St. Dominic Church, Washington, D.C., 1:37PM March 21, 2014.

I-395 (Southeast - Southwest Freeway) severs the bulk of the small Southwest quadrant of D.C. from the rest of the District of Columbia. The quadrant-severing highway and the numerous architecturally hideous mid-20th Century "urban renewable" buildings have created an inner an yet quite isolated Modernist purgatory that is Southwest D.C. today.

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I had a decent gym workout tonight that included another six mile treadmill jog, a shortened weightlifting, but 35+ minutes in the pool. I've gone two days in a row, and so I plan to take the next two days off and go on Thursday. My work day was OK as I started a compliance case in Henry County, Georgia (more on that in a later entry) even as I continued with my Hawaii work.

The interior of St. Dominic Catholic Church, Washington, D.C., 1:38PM March 21, 2014.

The early afternoon light flooding through the stained glass windows combined with the vaulted, nearly empty interior and the endlessly rising and falling, mournful swooshing sound of the passing freeway traffic all combine to make the place quite sublime. There is a noon mass, but by the time I get there, it's well over.

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Oh, yes, I also e-filed my Federal taxes with that Free Fillable Forms site, and it was amazingly fast from (re)creating a user name and password to submitting to IRS acceptance. (Unlike last year, I didn't get a rejection email the following day, but this year my taxes are simple enough to do the 1040EZ.) I think I can use the same site (or a variation of it?) for my D.C. taxes, which I'll try to do tomorrow. As it is, I printed out / wasted FAAAR less paper forms than in all my other tax-paying years. In general, I've been trying to cut back on printing out things -- and ending my obsessiveness in that area.

Turning to the weather ...

The NWS advisories for the Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) updated at 1:11AM March 25, 2014. It shows a general winter weather advisory in effect for the immediate region.

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The National Weather Service (Sterling LWX) has put much of the D.C./Baltimore area under a winter weather advisory for Tuesday, and the latest operational model runs -- the 0Z NAM and GFS -- are both wetter with approximately 0.5 inches liquid equivalent, and at least initially it will be cold enough for snow.

Sterling LWX CWA "most likely" snowfall forecast map generated at 10:43PM March 24, 2014 through 8AM March 26, 2014.

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However, the combination of the strong late March Sun angle and wind increasing from the east are forecasted to turn the snow to rain in the I-95 corridor and points east to the Delmarva. Snow totals of 1 to 2 inches are possible, though that is more likely well to the north and west. Very little is likely in the immediate D.C. area except on grassy surfaces.

In this way, the CWG downplaying the event for days is probably correct -- and it will most likely be the last accumulating snow event of this season here. (I'm not going to link to the CWG entries -- you can find them yourself if you're so inclined.)

The 0Z 3/25/2014 GFS showing 850mb temperatures, mean sea level pressure (MSLP), and 6-hour precipitation (legend not included) valid at hour 45 / 21Z (5PM EDT) March 26, 2014 focused on Eastern North America and the adjoining Atlantic waters. The low has bombed out to just under 960mb (28.35" Hg -- about as strong as a Category 3 hurricane).

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As the upper level trough deepens across the Ohio River valley, energy rotating through the base of it will combine with a surface low developing off the Georgia / Florida coast. As a result of the phasing of the northern and southern jet stream branches along an intense baroclinic zone over the Gulf Stream, a major nor'easter is expected to develop in a classic case of explosive cyclogenesis.

However, as the image below shows, the low will be far enough offshore to avoid a classic Northeast blizzard (the sort that buries Boston in 2+ feet and blankets New York City in 10 to 14 inches; snarls Philadelphia in 6 to 8 inches; coats the northeastern suburbs of Baltimore in 2 to 4 inches and even gives BWI Airport 1 inch but TOTALLY misses D.C.). However, eastern Massachusetts (Barnstable County) and far eastern Maine are under blizzard watches, and Nova Scotia could really get walloped.

NWS Eastern Region map showing weather advisories in effect as of 12:56AM March 25, 2014.

The crimson / brick colors off the coast of New England are those highly confusing "hurricane force wind warnings" that the NWS foolishly issued during Hurricane Sandy once the storm was north of Cape Hatteras on the grounds that the system would transform from a tropical to an extra-tropical cyclone -- and thus there was no need for the National Hurricane Center to issue tropical cyclone warnings. It was a very dumb decision, and in the event of a land-falling system in a similar situation (a tropical cyclone being captured by a mid-latitude trough and transforming into a sub-tropical / extra-tropical one even as it strikes the coastline), NWS won't repeat that mistake.

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The Boston (BOX) NWS CWA advisories updated at 1:27AM March 25, 2014. The light yellowish-green is a blizzard watch that is in effect for Barnstable County, which includes the entire Cape Cod peninsula. Snow totals of 5 to 10 inches are forecasted with winds to 65MPH on Wednesday.

There is a winter storm watch for the adjoining counties. As for Boston proper, there are presently no weather advisories in effect (although 2 inches of snow are forecasted).

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OK, I'm going to bed. But one last picture ...

This was my remaining Brady the adorable puggle picture that I took late last Tuesday (well, actually, Wednesday by that point) at Chris's apartment. I'm on the left (with Brady's fur on my fleece hoodie) and Chris on the right.

He's such a wonderful little dog.

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OK, that really is all for now. I probably won't update the blog tomorrow night and possibly not even Wednesday night. In fact, it may not be until Thursday night that I update it.

--Regulus

Monday, March 24, 2014

Some Details on the Really and Truly Genuine Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

A hot air balloon belonging to Digital Design & Imaging Service (DDIS) that had been lofted high above Dupont Circle (I can't estimate but perhaps 700 feet) is retracted downward to the truck carrying it that was parked at the intersection R Street and Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 6:40PM March 21, 2014.

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OK, I started this entry earlier tonight but did not complete it. In the meantime, I went to Larry's Lounge, where I met up with Gary and Kristof. While Chris did not show up, I unexpectedly met up with Craig M., a long-time bar friend that I rarely see these days.

Row houses in the 1300 block of W Street NW as seen outside the Anthony Bowen YMCA as I was leaving, Washington, D.C., 6:50PM March 23, 2014.

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I'm home now watching TV (reruns of The Golden Girls). I'm going to bed shortly. I will try to update the blog tomorrow night as well. It is a cold and blustery night (around 35F here in D.C. with a gusty northwesterly wind). As for the "big storm" that supposed to form, it is going to be so far offshore that I'm not even going to bother with it (even if we get a bit of snow from it on Tuesday).

As it is, Nova Scotia might be walloped ...

The 0Z GFS showing 850mb temperatures, mean sea level pressure, and 6-hour precipitation for the United States and adjoining regions valid at hour 66 / 18Z (2PM EDT) March 26, 2014.

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From earlier ...

The search corridors for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 from The New York Times showing based on satellite date.

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Sunday evening. I'm home making dinner after a good gym workout that excluded only my final 20 - 30 minute swim in the pool (as it was too crowded). I'm going to go to Larry's Lounge for a bit to meet Gary and maybe Chris.

Known sequence of events of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370.

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I am presently watching on MSNBC a program about the on-going mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 (now just referred to as "Flight 370"). (Also, as an aside, Flight 370 has been replaced by Malaysia Airlines with Flight 318.)

The mysterious disappearance is quickly become a legend with conspiracy theories and false multiplying faster than Fox News Channel outlets in Red State America. The way I see it, this is the D.B. Cooper story, but it's on a massively larger scale involving 239 people on board that Boeing 777 jet and upwards of 28 MILLION square miles of Planet Earth (based on how long the jet may have flown), none of which are American territory, and 24+ nations.

The timeline of events of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 as it appeared yesterday on the Wikipedia site. Click on image for larger / readable version.

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The jet disappeared on March 8th in the wee hours during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with its final known location somewhere over the southern Gulf of Thailand between Malayaia and the southern tip of Vietnam. It was soon realized that the jet had made a sharp left (westward) turn that brought it into the eastern Indian Ocean.

The "ping corridors" including the last known possible locations (somewhere on the red lines) of Malaysia Flight MH270 based on a satellite over the Indian Ocean on March 8, 2014.

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A satellite over the Indian Ocean picked up a signal from the jet that suggested the aircraft could have flown over an area pretty much encompassing the entire Indian Ocean and South Asia. However, based on the far heavier radar coverage on the "northern corridor" of this path, the search focused on the "southern corridor." Furthermore, based on the fact that the jet is thought to have flown essentially on autopilot (which was somehow reprogramming in-flight), the search area has focused on an area about 1,500 miles west-southwest of Perth, Australia.

By the way, the search location is not far from the ANTIPODAL point from Washington, D.C., though it's probably more like Toronto; the search area is almost into what is called the Southern Ocean).

A map of the continents with labels of locations showing the antipodal points as reflected in the inverted continents superimposed on the map.

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Over two dozen nations have joined in the search including the United States but it is China -- which lost the most people -- that has sent the largest search armada in its history to search for the jet's wreckage. Satellite data and images are being used to assist in the location of possible wreckage targets. It was on Tuesday that China announced one of its satellites had spotted an object about 74 feet long and 43 feet wide and about 75 miles to the south and west of objects seen two days earlier by a separate commercial satellite.

Malaysia Flight MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah and co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid.

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As for the investigation, it is now thought that whatever happened to change the course of Flight 370 was in the words of Malaysian Prime Minster Najib Razak a "deliberate" act. However, it remains totally unclear (despite much speculation) whether the pilot or co-pilot or both are somehow responsible for what happened, or another unknown party. The Malaysian authorities already had the homes of both men searched with the (somewhat unusual) sophisticated flight simulator possessed by Captain Shah seized.

A schematic diagram of how jetliners can be tracked with satellites, ground-based civilian and military radar, air traffic control, and ACARS.

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All of this is very unusual, and the search goes on.

Oh, and as I mentioned, this story understandably continues to get heavy coverage in the American media because of the mysterious nature of it. It is also basically a non-political story, except on Fox News and rightwing talk radio and internet sites, where it somehow ties into Benghazi and perhaps Obamacare -- er, sorry, "ObamaCare" -- and whatever else their fevered imaginations can create. Meanwhile, on CNN, Don Lemon wondered last week if the jet had disappeared into a black hole ...

Right. Don Lemon asks the hard questions.

OK, that's all for now. G'night.

--Regulus