Friday, October 14, 2016

The Interminable Entry: A Hybrid Update and Political-Themed Posting at the 3AM Hour

Farragut West Metro station, Washington, D.C., 9:12PM October 12, 2016.

Unbelievably, Metro is again facing (1) extended repair-related service disruptions; (2) mechanical and track problems; (3) budget shortfalls; and (4) general crisis management.

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This entry was originally an attempt to merge two entries -- an update and a political-themed entry that was a reworking of what I initially composed on Tuesday night. I wrote that after going to the gym but ran out of time in that it was too late to continue and I needed to sleep to get to work at a decent hour.

Sidewalk along 23rd St NW nearing Constitution Avenue by the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., 5:17PM October 10, 2016.

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However, in the end, as with most of my blog entries, it became a disjointed and interminable hybrid entry. The photos in this first part are from my Monday, Columbus Day walk down to the Mt. Vernon bike trail along the Potomac River.

Starting with the update part, I did not go to the gym tonight -- thus nixing one of my two workweek nights in which I have regularly gone with only rare exceptions for several years now, and I'm not happy at all about it.

One of the two "Art of War" bronze, fire-gilded statues -- Sacrifice, I think -- that frame either end of the Washington, D.C.-side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge, 5:26PM October 10, 2016.

The two "Art of Peace" statues are at the entrance to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway a few hundred feet away.

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You see, Gentle Reader, going to the gym -- along with having a relatively healthy food diet, with some exceptions, of course -- is what allows me to remain in reasonable shape for a man my age (on the cusp of 47 years old) and with a short, small body morphology that would also quickly be at this age pudgy-to-outright fat. It also allows me to drink as much as I do, which of course, isn't a good thing.

The Potomac River and Rosslyn skyline as seen from the Arlington Memorial Bridge, 5:29PM October 10, 2016.

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More than that, though, it also makes me feel better rather than slipping into middle-aged doughy, sad obscurity -- the best days of life already in the rear-view mirror -- the only thing that keeps reasonable and tolerable my lost life in Washington, D.C., early 21st Century as a forever unattached gay man.

A spur of the Mt. Vernon trail that connects the east side of the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the actual path -- Arlington, Va., 5:40PM October 10, 2016.

I had to run across a busy, multi-lane road as I was on the west side of the bridge. Also, to get to the actual trail, you have to cross the George Washington Memorial Parkway -- where the high-speed traffic is just supposed to stop because you are a pedestrian.

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While I can't fight age itself and my overall life situation is more or less fixed at least for the next few years, I don't want to -- and won't let myself -- also become a vapid blob. And were I straight and married with now-teenage children (indifferent to anything I said), my wife having long since turned me into a buccal-pumping frog on a suburban or exurban townhouse lily pad ...

A typical middle class American married male about 5 years into a regular straight marriage.

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... well, then I guess it would be different as in, it wouldn't matter how physically out of shape I was or with what regularity and freedom I broke wind in front of the flat screen TV in my rec room "man cave" while talking back to the cable news/entertainment shows and telling my overweight and unhappy wife that she wasn't overweight.

It's a REAL LOVE, an HONEST LOVE, my dearest Brunhilde.

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However, having said all that, I just couldn't make it to the gym this Thursday night. For starters, I was not feeling well this morning with an upset stomach, or rather, nether region that waylaid me and kept me in the apartment until early afternoon.

I also just slept in late and had really weird dreams. They were again of the Jersey shore, again just off the shore of the old Tradewinds Beach Club in Sea Bright, again interacting with an offshore buoy (this time painting it green and orange) while waiting for a major hurricane to strike. That part involved my dad and his old New Jersey house -- for obvious reasons.

Oh, yes, as for my dad, power was restored on Monday, so all is back to normal for him down there in Dumpwater unincorporated Flagler-by-the-Sea, Florida.

The not-so-long shadow of yours truly with the Potomac River and Washington Monument visible, Mt. Vernon bike trail, Arlington, Va.**, 5:41PM October 10, 2016.

**To be clear, all the places I've marked the Mt. Vernon bike trail between the Arlington Memorial Bridge and 14th Street Bridges (in particular, the George Mason span) as being in Arlington, Va., it is technically in most, if not all, of those places in Washington, D.C., even though it is on the Virginia side of the Potomac River.

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While I went into work, I didn't have to go into DOE HQ today. Instead, I went into my regular office and worked on a lengthy client-related task that I really need to get done but that is going to take several days. I stayed until about 9PM before coming home, walking from Farragut West station and stopping at the 17th Street Safeway.

Spur of the Mt. Vernon bike trail near the Arlington Memorial Bridge, 5:41PM October 10, 2016.

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I just didn't feel well all day with a headache (sort of a mild migraine), but it went away when I got home and I feel fine now (just regularly tired at this late hour). I'm in my wee, lamp-lit efficiency with my air conditioner humming away and making some dinner. As it is, I need to rest and I'm also flat broke until tomorrow -- with my paycheck scheduled to arrive electronically at some point before 6AM.

Anyway, barring some disaster, I fully intend to go to the gym for my usual Saturday routine.

Potomac River view looking upriver toward the Arlington Memorial Bridge from the Mt. Vernon bike trail, 5:50PM October 10, 2016.

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Part of the problem is that I went out last night after work -- going to a happy hour in Arlington (Clarendon) at Spider Kelly's with Andrea & Co., where "Co." refers to a whole panoply of 20-and-early 30-somethings. I had too much to drink there along with an attempted healthy dinner -- chicken noodle soup (which was good) and a Caesar salad drowning in dressing (never order Caesar salads in bars).

It was the latter that got me this morning, although not as in outright food poisoning as I had back in April.

The Navy – Merchant Marine Memorial on Columbia Island, Washington, D.C., 6:04PM October 10, 2016.

I find this memorial quite moving. (Again, this is on the Virginia side of the Potomac River but technically in D.C.)

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Speaking of that group, some of them are going camping in the Shenandoah the weekend of Oct. 22 - 23rd. I have been invited and by all that makes sense, I really ought to go -- a nearly free camping weekend out in the Shenandoah in the fall that gets me out of my D.C. Bubble for 2 to 3 days.

A vista in Roaring Plains West Wilderness, West Virginia, on or about October 8, 2016. My friend Chester went hiking and camping last week both in Roaring Plains and the adjacent Dolly Sods wilderness area, both of which are in the Monongahela National Forest.

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However, I'm highly reluctant to go because (1) I'm ill-prepared for camping, and (2) I don't like camping, as my one and only attempt back in May 2013 clearly demonstrated (although the particulars of that one were quite different).

This is a photo that Chester took back in August and I've been meaning to post it ever since: Arcturus Drive in the vicinity of South Glastonbury and Emigrant, Park County, Montana, August 16, 2016.

Remember that I have another blog -- Arcanity from Arcturus -- that I haven't updated in forever. Most of the entries that were on it involving M. WADE Tipamillyun that I removed. (Nonsensical entries for a fraudulent topic.) Arcturus was the name I used on my first blog (March 2006 - early 2008) that I long since deleted.

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Anyway, I came back into the city and stopped at The Bottom Line for an old fashioned. The place was quite lovely in that it was slow and quiet on a Wednesday night. Walking back home, I stopped en route at Dito's Bar at Floriana.  I should avoid dark liquor but I've gotten to like old fashioned drinks.

The Bottom Line on a quiet night, Washington, D.C., 9:29PM October 12, 2016.

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So that was all too much and hence my discombobulation this morning. While there, we watched on YouTube some hilariously overacted scene in some Mexican soap opera and then part of a documentary about Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential race.

Planned TIME magazine cover, Oct. 24, 2016 edition.

About presidential politics, I simply cannot get into the ongoing Donald Trump presidential campaign reality shit show -- at least not in this entry. I have one composed from a couple days ago that I will try to post but things are moving so frenetically and the whole thing so extraordinary (literally two to three scandals a day, presently all involving Trump sexually harassing any number of women), that it's impossible to cover it in "real time" in this forum.

He's literally in a full meltdown and he is eagerly taking everyone and everything with him that he can -- manically flinging as much shit as he can.

FiveThirtyEight.com Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump odds of winning electoral map (shaded) in the current polls plus forecast model, October 13, 2016.

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For her part, Hillary Clinton is doing quite well in the polls -- even in the most conservative and rigorous of models, the FiveThirtyEight "forecast plus polls," she is presently at 82 percent likelihood to win to Trump's 18 percent. In the polls only, it is 85.6 percent to 14.4 percent and in the now-cast, it is 88.5 to 11.5 percent.

FiveThirtyEight.com Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump trend line of odds of winning from June 8th - Oct. 13th, 2016 in the current polls plus forecast model.

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Oh, and if that Mormon Republican guy Evan McMullin on the ballot in Utah keeps Trump from carrying the Beehive State -- which is not far-fetched at all -- and HRC manages to get even a slight plurality of votes, then she would win that state's Electoral College delegate slate (it being winner-take-all, as are most states). As for the more far-fetched scenarios involving Evan McMullin, those are, well, quite far-fetched.

At this point, we will probably have Hillary Rodham Clinton -- a.k.a., the Madame -- as our first female President, and I'm thrilled all around -- but a Republican House and Senate and so four years of political trench warfare and nonstop scandal-mongering by a furious and radicalized GOP.

In a presidential campaign of bat-shit insanity crossed deep into surreal farce, this has to take the cake: The "Women for Trump" group of "evangelical wives" married to Trump-supporting Republican House Members get ready to take their side show on the road.

Phew. What a silly, nutty country.

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While the GOP richly deserves this fate, the problem is that we have a country with a national government that runs on a two-party system, and one of those parties is just nuts now and is being pulled into self-destructive vortex by a narcissistic, pathologically lying, puerile, carnival-barking fraud with deeply authoritarian tendencies and no clue or even interest in anything resembling public policy.


Above: Donald Trump harangues a crowd of fervent supporters at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center on Oct. 13, 2016 during which he repeatedly called Bill and Hillary Clinton of "widespread criminal activity" and being part of a global conspiracy to destroy his candidacy through "lies" about his groping women -- and being done at the behest news media and multinational corporations. (He's getting awfully close to saying "international Jewish bankers.")


Story here.

On Tuesday, Trump also effectively declared war on his own Republican Party after it came out that House Speaker Paul J. Ryan -- the "zombie-eyed granny starver," to quote the always-hilarious Charles Pierce -- wasn't going to campaign for him but work instead only to preserve the party's House and Senate majorities.

Three of an "unshackled" Donald Trump's tweets taking on his own party on Oct. 11, 2016. Quite extraordinary.

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By the way, the Washington Post editorial board's editorial enthusiastically endorsing Hillary Clinton for president should be read, as should its "closing argument" in the form of a "He said, we said" summation of 16 months of the worst of Donald Trump -- both in his own words and the responses of the Post editorial board, op-ed columnists, and other contributors.

Yes, that Washington Post editorial board -- world HQ of the Washington Consensus and its received conventional wisdom for the neoliberal world order. What can I say but invoke the old and quite truthful expression about politics making for strange bedfellows.

See -- I can't even "briefly" mention the campaign without getting into all this??

Screenshot of CNN's airing of the second presidential debate, 9:11PM EDT October 9, 2016.

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Turning to the weather, tonight is a dry, cool one with air temps around 60F (55F-ish in the suburbs) at the 11PM hour with a light northwesterly breeze. There is still no frickin' rain in sight -- just a bone dry October. It's supposed to warm up next week with temps reaching near 80F, so that will suck.

Having complained about the lack of rainfall in the D.C. area, I should note that severe flooding from Hurricane Matthew persists in eastern North Carolina. I haven't discussed that at all and don't have time to do so now.

Drone footage of flooded homes in Cumberland County, North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. The drones enable rescue workers -- as shown here -- to reach those trapped.

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NWS Doppler-estimated rainfall for eastern North Carolina for the seven day period beginning Oct. 3rd, 2016 as a result of Hurricane Matthew.

This isn't a very good color-coded map so it doesn't give you the sense of how widespread was the 8 to 16 inches of rainfall. Nor can it show how that much rainfall in such a pancake-flat region simply floods everything. Add into it all the pig-and-chicken farms with all that pig and chicken shit overflowing everywhere -- not to mention all the drowned pigs and chicken -- and you have yourself a real nasty mess.

Being it's North Carolina, though, the state legislature's solution is to ban any photos of that or, for that matter, even measure the fecal matter or other shit in the water.

A flooded poultry operation in Duplin, N.C., in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Oct. 2016.

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OK, that really is all for now. I'm going to bed. I won't post another entry until Saturday evening / night in the form of the usual twofer of "Saturday Evening Post" and "Jukebox Saturday Night" series.

A really lovely picture of the Yoshino (Japanese) cherry trees -- yes, those trees of cherry blossom fame -- on the Tidal Basin in their fall splendor in a photo taken Nov. 8, 2015 by Kevin Ambrose of the CWG and featured in this recent entry.

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Good night. And good morning.

--Regulus

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