Monday, December 28, 2015

Recap of the Rest of My Extended Christmas Holiday Weekend and Another Weather Update

Cherry blossoms practically in full bloom in Fairfax, Va., in a picture taken by CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose on Dec. 26, 2015 and posted in this CWG entry.

True, some of these cherry blossoms are "fall blooming," but it's ridiculous this year.

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This entry recaps my past two days. I am a bit thin on pictures but I'll do my best. It is quarter to 11PM as I start this entry after the extended Christmas holiday weekend that was, on balance, a good one for me although it involved too much drinking.

I have to be at work early tomorrow because I actually have to be onsite -- rather than in my usual office -- by 915AM or so. I have to staff a desk for two days in a row at the agency. Thus, I need to be in bed by midnight or thereabouts.

Both yesterday and today ended up good days, although my early evening-to-nighttime walk from Bethesda back into D.C. wasn't the best idea I had (more on that below).

The Christmas decorations in the yard of the rectory of the Swedenborgian Church, The Church of the Holy City on 16th St NW, Washington, D.C., 8:39PM Dec. 26, 2015.

This is the church where Darrold Hunt's wake was held.

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Last night (that would be Saturday night), after I posted my previous two entries (here and here), I met Brian at Logan Tavern for dinner. Brian was in D.C. this weekend as part of a trip to see his family in Maryland. He came down from New York City where he lives in Midtown Manhattan with his husband of many years.

(Brian and I went to high school together in Glen Burnie back in the mid-to-late 1980s.)

After dinner, we tried to go to Trade but didn't have much luck so instead we walked to Floriana where we had a couple drinks at Dito's Bar. En route, we met LP, who ended up joining us for the night.

Larry's Lounge, Washington, D.C., 12:33AM Dec. 27, 2015.

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After one of those invigorating conversations with Dito, I departed with Brian and LP and we headed to Larry's Lounge. It was a festive night there with the whole regular crew in place including my friend Dave J., who had a good conversation with Brian.

The night could have -- and, indeed, probably should have -- ended right there. However, Brian wanted to do something 1990s D.C. Old School, so we went to Ziegfield's / Secrets, the combo drag show and male dancer go-go bar in Southwest D.C.

A picture from March 2006 shortly before the Nationals Park baseball stadium was constructed showing the business establishments that graced the Unit Block of O Street SE and the 1300 block of Half Street SE, Washington, D.C.

This old entry from August 2008 discusses it a bit more. (There is a picture of me as well -- I was so frickin' fat at 40+ pounds heavier.)

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To be clear, this "Z/S" is not the original one that occupied the legendary "Unit Block of O Street SE" -- now on the very footprint of the Nationals Park Baseball Stadium -- but rather the replacement one that exists on the other side of South Capitol Street in the not-as-blown-out-as-it-once-was-but-still-kinda-badass section of Navy Yard in the 1800 block of Half Street SW.

("Unit" block in D.C. address system parlance are numbers 1 - 99; there is a Half Street SE and a Half Street SW between South Capitol Street and 1st Streets SE and SW, respectively.)

Blurry image taken during a high speed drive on the subterranean I-395 tunnel under the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 1:49AM December 27, 2015.

During Obama's first inaugural, thousands of people were trapped in this tunnel -- the "Purple Tunnel of Doom" -- for hours thanks to the massive security theatre performance put on by the military-industrial-surveillance state apparatus, which for its part was DELIGHTED with that outcome. Fred Hiatt's Washington Consensus was purring like a kitten it was so "bipartisan" pleased.

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We took an Uber there -- Brian paid -- and although the place was not really crowded, I got to see these places (Ziegfield's is downstairs and Secrets is upstairs) for the first time ever in its "new" location.

Brian and I used to go to the original Z/S, not to mention La Cage Aux Follies and Wet (located a bit of a distance away) back in the 1990s day ... Unless you were there, it's kind of hard to describe the scintillating illicitness of it all -- and seeing the U.S. Capitol dome about a mile away all gleaming illuminated at night.

Anyway, a boozy, hazy, stage fogged time later upstairs in the Secrets go-go dancer boys part, we took an Uber back to Dupont and parted ways (actually, LP dropped me off). (Of note, I cannot do Uber with my dumb flip-open phone.)

Late night on the dance floor at Ziegfield's, Washington, D.C., 2:38AM December 27, 2015.

It's a blurry picture but there is also nothing incriminating, so I think I'm OK in posting it.

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For today (Sunday), I had few plans. I actually nixed plans with Quill since I didn't think I was going to be able to get up and function. However, Brian texted me and cajoled me out of bed. We met around 130PM after the checked out of his hotel, and we drove all the way up to White Flint to see the destroyed ruins of the mall there (not sure what is going to replace it).

Then we went back down to Bethesda where we had an awesomely wonderful time at Mon Ami Gabi, where I went with Quill about two months ago. Lunch was delicious, and we had an excellent waiter, although I again spent more than I intended.

We parted around 430PM, although not before listening -- with a group of others -- to this violinist fellow named Cal Morris (I took a card he had out) who had been playing there both Saturday (Brian told me) and today. He was playing a variety of pop songs on the violin, and I particularly enjoyed his rendition of Katy Perry's Firework.

Cal Morris playing the violin outside Barnes & Noble, Bethesda, Md., 4:15PM December 27, 2015.

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I opted to walk back to D.C. via the Capital Crescent Trail, which in the end was kind of a dumb idea. I made it -- in the dark at that point -- to the DC/Maryland line in the area around Sibley Hospital, exiting the trail by Newark and Potomac Streets, and walking along MacArthur Blvd and Reservoir Rd into Georgetown.

The Capital Crescent Trail somewhere south of River Rd., Bethesda, Md., 4:53PM December 27, 2015.

Yes, this is kind of a forlorn and depressing picture. It was.

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I walked about 7 miles but could not make it anymore and got a cab at Wisconsin Ave. and Q Street and took it most of the rest of the way to Larry's Lounge, where I met up with Dave J., Gary, and Fred before heading home. Fred, who is also my neighbor in the next building, walked with me back home.

So that was my weekend. Tomorrow night is a planned gym night. New Years Eve is later this upcoming week -- the end of 2015 and the start of 2016.

New Jersey Turnpike southbound near Exit 11 with a sign for "The Amboys" and "Shore Points" in an undated photo.

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Oh, yes, I wanted to mention that Brian texted me while en route back to New York City to tell me that he had just passed the sign for "The Amboys" on the New Jersey Turnpike. Interestingly, my friend DD -- with whom I am having dinner on New Years Eve in Rockville (at a Thai restaurant in Rockville Town Square) with his and his family -- texted me the very same thing on Christmas Day.

"The Amboys" refers to Perth Amboy and South Amboy. My mom is from South Amboy and my uncle still lives in the very same house on Henry Street, but it is highly unlikely I will ever see that place again.

Weather-wise ...

NWS weather advisories for the United States as of 424UTC December 28, 2015 (11:24PM EST Dec. 27th, 2015).

This does not include the color-coded legend.

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It is another ridiculously mild night with an earlier downpour having given way to drizzle and mist. Temps. are still 65F at the 10PM hour following a daily high of 70F at KDCA (not quite enough to break the daily record high of 72F).

But so far the daily low (51F) is enough to break the previous daily record high minimum (50F in 1881 -- a pre-National Airport record).

KBWI easily broke its previous daily record high of 65F by climbing to 68F (which it did around 4PM and then again at 8PM and 9PM, which is quite amazing).

KBWI actually dropped to 49F in the early hours (before a boundary moved back north again as a warm front), so it did not break the previous daily record max low of 52F.

KIAD reached 69F, significantly below its daily record high of 73F and its overnight low of 51F narrowly missed the previous daily record max low of 52F.

All of these numbers are through the 5PM preliminary update.

The 0Z 12/28/2015 GFS showing 6-hr precipitation, mean sea level pressure (MSLP), and 1000-500mb thicknesses over the United States valid at 6Z 12/28/2015.

This is a model run but it is so close to the current time that it is effectively a surface analysis. Indeed, by the time I post this entry (around 12:45AM), it will almost be 6Z. This is easier to show than the NWS high-resolution map or the cartoon low-resolution map.

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This should be the last day of record warmth for the time being as a frontal boundary sags back south again as a powerful storm system -- involving a deep closed low over Texas that is generating all kinds of weather from tornadoes to flash flooding to howling blizzards in the Southern Great Plains -- lifts north-northeastward up the Mississippi River Valley toward the Great Lakes, opening up and dragging a lot of moisture across the Eastern Seaboard.

NWS composite radar mosaic for the Southern Great Plains sector looped from 0118 - 0228UTC Dec. 28, 2015.

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Tomorrow (Monday) is forecasted to be much cooler with highs only around 45F during the day (indeed, the high temp is likely to occur around midnight across the region) with rain showers and a chilly northerly wind. While 45F is actually about normal for this time of year (indeed, even a degree or two above normal), it will feel MUCH colder after all the recent record warmth.

However, there won't be any frigid weather for the East Coast -- winter remains in total abeyance, and it is quite likely that the three regional airport climate stations here (not to mention a number of other places in the Eastern U.S.) will have the warmest December on record.

NWS composite radar mosaic for the Southern Mississippi River valley sector looped from 0128UTC to 0238UTC December 28, 2015.

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Through Dec. 26th, the month is running +10.7F above normal at KDCA at 50.9F; KBWI is +11.4F at 48.7F; and KIAD is +11.2F at 48.3F. Of note, Buffalo (KBUF) is running +12.6F above normal at 43.4F and has had 0.1" snow for the month.

OK, that's all for now. I may try to update the blog tomorrow (Monday night) but it might not be until Tuesday.

--Regulus

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