Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year's Eve 2018: Looking for Hopeful Hints of the Beginning of the End of a Dystopian Time (Plus a Few Pictures of the Usual Sydney Harbour NYE Fireworks Extravaganza)

Another New Year's Eve, another pyrotechnical extravaganza in Sydney Harbour with a spectacular fireworks show launched at midnight hour from the Sydney Harbour Bridge, New Years Eve 2018.

The only fireworks display D.C. ever does is July 4th. It does nothing for New Years Eve. (The New Years Eve 2000 was a pathetically sad for the Capital of the United States / Start-of-Third-Millennium Seat of Empire. I'll never let that one drop no matter how many years pass.)

A view of the Sydney Opera House in the foreground with a pyrotechnical lollapalooza taking place on the nearby Sydney Harbour Bridge at the stroke of midnight (AEDT), January 1, 2018.

*******

Well, I was going to try to post a more meaningful entry on this final day of 2017, but the day -- a Sunday -- sort of got away from me.

I had wanted to write a bit of a political-themed entry on how if things don't improve in 2018 -- by which I mean, Dems regain control of at least one House of Congress in the midterms (and to take effect next January) -- in this Trumpian / rightwing GOP dystopia, then a positive change will never happen in this country.


That's my way of being optimistic, or at least hopeful for 2018.

However, I don't have time to post that right now.


As an update, I actually never did my laundry last night, as I was too busy posting the previous three entries and watching the MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night and Sunday Red-Eye Sci-Fi line up. Instead, I did my laundry this afternoon.

However, because I got up late and because I'm supposed to go up to Rockville to meet David and his family for dinner in a couple hours, I didn't have time to go to the gym. I may instead try to go tomorrow (as the gym is open until 4PM on New Years Day), or alternatively, I'll just wait until Tuesday to get back into my every-other-day routine.

I went yesterday but I skipped on the jogging part, which is what I had wanted to do today.

It's VERY cold and overcast today with scattered snow flurries across the region as a extremely fast moving tiny burb (ripple) in the polar jet stream zips along.

Temps at the 3PM hour are 21F at KDCA and KDMH and 19F at KBWI and KIAD. The dew point is around 1F plus or minus and there is still a northwesterly breeze putting the wind chill around 5F. Lows tonight are forecasted to be around 10F, so bitterly cold for New Years Eve.

As I mentioned in my entry last night, the pattern remains a very cold and very dry one for the next week (with a possible near-miss of a coastal storm in the Thursday - Friday time frame).

OK, I'm going to sign off now. My plan for tonight is to go to Rockville to have dinner in the Town Center area and then return on the Metro before midnight and go to No. 9 and/or Trade.

One more picture of the Sydney Harbour fireworks frenzy, New Year's Eve 2018.

*******

Happy New Year 2018! See you on the other side.

--Regulus

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for Dec. 30th, 2017: The End of Year Edition

Let's start out this final Jukebox Saturday Night edition of 2017 with a gentle piece ...


"Bright Light" by Bernward Koch from his album Flowing (1989)

This YouTube version features lots of nice footage of New York City near and around the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk.

Note: Flowing had a U.S. re-release in 1996.

*******

Next up, a nice song from the 1980s ...


"Doing It All For My Baby" by Huey Lewis and the News from the group's album Fore! (1986)

According to the Keeper of All Knowledge, this song was one of five songs from this album to achieve top-ten Billboard Hot 100 status, the first for any group.

Note: I opted not to feature the original video accompanying this that takes the form of a 7-1/2 minute monster movie spoof. You can view it here.

*******

And we'll end with a really jazzy-upbeat piece that includes lots of sexually-overheated, gyrating young millennials ...

"Daft Funk" by Nathan East from his eponymous album (2014)

As the song title suggests, this one features the Daft Punk duo. And it's definitely New Years Eve suitable.

OK, that's all for now. Please see my previous entry for an update. I am planning on posting an additional entry tomorrow (New Years Eve).

--Regulus

Saturday Evening Post for December 30th, 2017: The Very Cold End of the Year Edition

**This entry was posted December 30th, 2017.**

Martin's Tavern, Washington, D.C., 7:20PM Dec. 28, 2017.

*******

Saturday night and the Eve of New Years Eve.

I'm watching the Me-TV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night and Sunday Red-Eye Sci-Fi line up of shows. The Svengoolie-hosted monster movie was a weird one: Dr. Cyclops.

Right now, Star Trek: The Original Series is on, specifically, the episode "Journey to Babel" -- which is the one where Spock's parents, Sarek (a Vulcan) and Amanda (a human and played by Jane Wyatt) are first introduced.

Thereafter, it's Battlestar Galactica and two episodes of The Outer Limits: "It Crawled Out of the Woodwork" and "The Borderland." I love The Outer Limits.

In addition to doing a few loads of laundry, I intend to post a Saturday Evening Post and Jukebox Saturday Night edition tonight.

It's quite cold out there as a reinforcing shot of Arctic air has pushed into the region. The midnight air temperatures are between 19F at KIAD and 23F at KDCA and KDMH with KBWI at 22F. Wind chills are around 10F with a gusty, frigid northwesterly wind. 

There was some snow in the wee hours of this morning. In particular, the following amounts fell:

KDCA: 0.2"
KBWI: 0.5"
KIAD: 0.4"
KDMH does not report snow totals.

Oh, yes, I forgot to note: The initial snow total of 2.0 inches reported at KDCA back on Dec. 9th actually had to be revised DOWNWARD to 1.5 inches. I really think that Sterling and the FAA contractor crew at the airport who take the snow measurements are just messing with us.

The forecast for the next week has much of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. in a frigid grip -- even as there is virtually no moisture as the subtropical jet remains completely "turned off," so to speak. This dry pattern has gone on for a number of months and pushed the region back into drought status (although this time of year, that's not a major issue the way it is in the growing season).

NWS weather advisories for the United States, updated 0344UTC December 31, 2017.

All those shades of blue are wind chill advisories and wind chill warnings, winter weather advisories, freeze watches, and hard freeze watches, not to mention heavy freezing spray warnings (on Lake Superior and Lake Erie) and some avalanche warnings (in western Montana and northern Idaho).

*******

This frigidity is, naturally, endless fodder for stupidity for the fundie and Fox News faithful about "global warming being a Chinese hoax" (or something like that). Here is what Jennifer Rubin -- who has become a must-read in this dystopian Trump time -- had to say (link embedded): Trump is as unfit and ignorant as ever. Naturally, it makes not the slightest difference in their Bizarro-World bubble that the rest of the planet this week is running above or well-above normal.

GFS/CFSR average 2-meter temperature anomaly [in Celsius] for December 28, 2017 as produced by ClimateReanalyzer.org..

Note that most of the planet was experiencing above-to-well-above normal temperatures this week with only a portion of North America well below.

*******

So earlier today, I made it to the gym. While I had a good weightlifting and swim, I got there so late (about 445PM) that I didn't have time for a jog. I'm planning on going tomorrow again before heading up to Rockville tomorrow evening to meet David for dinner. My plan is then to return before midnight and perhaps go to Trade or No. 9.

The weather is progged to be frigid tomorrow night -- indeed, one of the coldest New Years Eve on record -- with lows here in D.C. forecasted to be around 12F.

My mom outside the Hotel Dupont, Washington, D.C., 5:32PM December 29, 2017.

*******

As a recap of the past few days, my mom came down by train on Thursday. We had a late afternoon lunch at Circa by Foggy Bottom and later headed over to Martin's Tavern in Georgetown where we sat at the bar and had a couple nice conversations. We then walked back to the hotel -- the Hyatt Place -- stopping at Maxime's.

Yours truly in the mirror of the Hilton Garden Inn, Washington, D.C., 2:08PM December 30, 2017.

The bathroom to the Café Deluxe is in the adjoining Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

*******

Yesterday, we had lunch at Café Deluxe and then went by taxi to the National Portrait Gallery / Smithsonian American Art Museum to see a few exhibits including the Marlene Dietrich one. Later, we went on the Metro to Dupont Circle and stopped at Bar Dupont before going to Fred and Doug's place next door to my apartment building for dinner and a couple episodes of 'Allo 'Allo!

Yes, my mom and Flippo.

We stopped briefly at my apartment before going to Fred and Doug's place.

*******

OK, that's all for now. I'm going to end this entry so that I can get this posted before midnight.

--Regulus

Reposted: Ken Tucker's Take on the TrumpWorld "War on Christmas" Horse-Pucky and Ezra Klein on Dear Leader's Mental Unfitness for Office

**This entry was posted on December 30th, 2017.**


Apologies for lack of entries in recent days. As I mentioned in my previous entry, my mom was here in D.C. for two days, and I was busy doing things with her (not to mention going to Trade and No. 9 the past two nights).

I'm home now on this very cold night -- the Eve of New Years Eve -- and watching the Me-TV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night and Sunday Red-Eye Sci-Fi line up of shows. In addition to doing a few loads of laundry, I intend to post a Saturday Evening Post and Jukebox Saturday Night edition tonight.

However, for this entry -- and before we get too far from Christmas -- I would like to post some political commentary. Specifically, I want to repost this piece by Ken Tucker, the "Critic-at-Large" for "Yahoo Entertainment" that appeared on Dec. 27th, 2017 remarking on that weird ad made by some dark money-funded, pro-Trump, organization called "America First Policies" about how Trump has liberated the Fox News fundie faithful from the bogus "War on Christmas" nonsense.


The 'Thank You, President Trump' ad was a terrible Christmas present

Ken Tucker
Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo TV
December 27, 2017

Source here.

God, just look at him.

Caption: President Trump, at Mar-a-Lago on Christmas Eve, talks on the phone with children as they track Santa’s movements with the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Santa Tracker. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Aren't you glad President Donald Trump has liberated all of us from the oppressive forces that had kept any American from ever uttering the phrase "Merry Christmas"? Don't you feel so grateful to Trump, the Great Emancipator, that you wish someone would make a video expressing your humble but enthusiastic gratitude for his noble battle, his fearless victory in the bloody War on Christmas? Well, that video arrived shortly before Christmas! What a glorious gift, yes?


Hmmm. What a glorious gift, no. This ad, which peaks with an adorable little girl declaring, "Thank you, President Trump, for letting us say 'Merry Christmas' again,” is nauseating. It suggests that we now live in a country in which the president can "let us" say things we want to say. It is, of course, an ad that furthers the whole “War on Christmas” issue, which has always been a bogus one. 

It's one of the countless ways Fox News rouses its rabble about fake controversies -- in this case, some Americans' use of "Happy holidays" as another way of acknowledging the holiday season that's now coming to an end. (And if you think I should have written "Christmas season" in that sentence, look at the calendar, dummy: Christmas and New Year's Day are both holidays to be acknowledged.)


The "War on Christmas" was a favorite tool of Bill O'Reilly, who used it when he had a popular show on Fox News, and before he was booted in disgrace, to intimidate non-Fox viewers and entire businesses, equating the use of the greeting "Happy holidays" with anti-Christian sentiments.

Now we have a man in the White House who doesn't just parrot Fox News talking points: He uses the power of the presidency to lend credence to these false myths. That video, widely played both on TV and online, adds an unprecedented layer of hostility to the War-on-Christmas malarkey.


The ad -- made by America First Policies, an organization created to promote Trump's policies -- does something disgraceful at this time of year: It divides the country into opposing camps. It insists that we are not a united group of people during a festive time, but rather that some of us are oppressed by our fellow citizens, made to feel ashamed for uttering the word "Christmas." This is well beyond ridiculous; it's repulsive.

The Christmas season is supposed to be a time when we all come together, set aside our differences, and acknowledge our common good. Once again, the noxious hostility that has been set free by the last election mars yet another great American tradition. Better luck next Christmas, America. Maybe we'll be more united than divided -- indeed, more merry. I'm trying to be optimistic.

*******


I'd also like to call attention to this Ezra Klein piece in Vox.com discussing Trump's latest interview with the New York Times:

Incoherent, authoritarian, uninformed: Trump's New York Times interview is a scary read

Source here.

The last part is worth quoting in full:

As the Dunning-Kruger effect suggests, [Trump] doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know, and that, combined with his natural tendency toward narcissism, has left him dangerously overconfident in his own knowledge base.

Speaking of narcissism:

We’re going to win another four years for a lot of reasons, most importantly because our country is starting to do well again and we’re being respected again. But another reason that I’m going to win another four years is because newspapers, television, all forms of media will tank if I’m not there because without me, their ratings are going down the tubes. Without me, The New York Times will indeed be not the failing New York Times, but the failed New York Times. So they basically have to let me win. And eventually, probably six months before the election, they’ll be loving me because they’re saying, "Please, please, don’t lose Donald Trump."

What is one even to say about this? Is it a joke? If so, why is Trump taking this opportunity to make it? Is it an attack on the media? Is it Trump finding another way to compliment himself, to give himself credit for the media’s success?

Imagine how we would react to literally any other president speaking like this. Trump has bludgeoned us into becoming accustomed to these kinds of comments but that, too, is worrying.


This is the president of the United States speaking to the New York Times. His comments are, by turns, incoherent, incorrect, conspiratorial, delusional, self-aggrandizing, and underinformed. This is not a partisan judgment -- indeed, the interview is rarely coherent or specific enough to classify the points Trump makes on a recognizable left-right spectrum. As has been true since he entered American politics, Trump is interested in Trump -- over the course of the interview, he mentions his Electoral College strategy seven times, in each case using it to underscore his political savvy and to suggest that he could easily have won the popular vote if he had tried.

I am not a medical professional, and I will not pretend to know what is truly happening here. It's become a common conversation topic in Washington to muse on whether the president is suffering from some form of cognitive decline or psychological malady. I don't think those hypotheses are necessary or meaningful.

Whatever the cause, it is plainly obvious from Trump's words that this is not a man fit to be president, that he is not well or capable in some fundamental way. That is an uncomfortable thing to say, and so many prefer not to say it, but Trump does not occupy a job where such deficiencies can be safely ignored.

*******

OK, I will now post my planned twin Saturday night entries (well, at least before midnight).

--Regulus

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Midweek Wee Hours Update This Final Week of December 2017 -OR- Zoloft and Snow's Off in TrumpWorld

A snowy evening in a suburban neighborhood.

Based on the tabular information on this page when I got this image, I believe this picture was taken on Dec. 9, 2017 in Regina, Saskatchewan. It looks very much like a snowy night in a New Jersey bedroom community or even here in the D.C. area.

*******

Late night.

Back home in my D.C. wee efficiency following the Christmas holiday visit to see my mom in Glen Burnie and today's return to work and nighttime gym visit.

I'm home now watching the Me-TV lineup to include: Carol Burnett & Friends, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and two episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (I don't always stay up this late).

The Perry Mason episode was "The Case Of The Envious Editor" and The Twilight Zone episode was "The Case of the Obsolete Man." Right now it is the second Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "De Mortius."

Earlier this Tuesday, I got up at 830AM and took the MARC train back from Odenton just before 10AM this morning to Union Station, but instead of going straight into the office, I came home.

I had to for a couple reasons -- one of which is that I had forgotten to bring any Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride), and by this morning (owing to the abrupt stop) I was feeling a bit dizzy and agitated.

I've been on the damn stuff for a few years now, and I can't tell what, if anything, it is doing.

The weather is cold and variably cloudy tonight with air temps around freezing here in the city (33F at the midnight hour at KDCA), and a bit colder in the suburbs (30F at KBWI and 31F at KIAD). There is a chance of snow flurries tomorrow as a weak upper level disturbance swings through in association with a reinforcing shot of Arctic air.

Sterling (LWX) CWA weather advisories with legend, updated 12:45AM EST December 27, 2017.

*******

There is actually a winter weather advisory up for the northern and western D.C. suburbs and into the Baltimore area -- if only because any snow that falls will stick and the "event" will be during the "morning commute" -- and this assumes anything actually falls since the PoP is only 30%).

Despite a prolonged period of unseasonably cold air, any meaningful snow chances for the Baltimore/Washington area in the next 7 to 10 days have basically disappeared.

Characteristically, the op GFS has been all over the place with the chance of snowstorms with forecasts ranging from 2+ feet to nothing, and it has presently settled on nothing.

Zilch. At least in the 0Z run.

Whatever finally happens (and it is likely to be little, if any snow, given our regional wintertime climate), the GFS is almost useless for mid-to-long-term forecasting model for winter/cold season U.S. East Coast storms owing to its wild run-to-run inconsistence.

In any event, highs are forecasted to be around freezing for late in the week and even colder (28F to 30F for highs and lows in the teens) next week for the start of 2018.

As for 2018, if it doesn't mark the end of completely unchecked Trump / GOP / Fox Agitprop Machine one-party oligarchical rule in all its chaotic, vulgar, vicious, tribal, total destructiveness, then no year will.

One last weather item: A lake effect snow event has dropped 50+ inches of snow (and counting) on parts of the Erie, Pa., area -- with the bulk of it falling in the course of just 30 hours and setting all kinds of records. Here is the CWG entry about it.

Massive lake effect snow dump on the Erie, Pa., area; photo by Twitter user Chatty Kathy 715 and featured in the above-linked CWG entry.

*******

Changing subjects ...

Looking ahead for the rest of the week, my mom is coming into D.C. this Thursday afternoon and spending one day and two nights (at a hotel over in the West End area). I am taking off Friday, and we have plans for Thursday night, Friday, and Friday night.

Left: The General Grant giant sequoia in the snow, Kings Canyon Nat'l Park.

Plans include dinner in Georgetown (restaurant TBD), dinner at Fred and Doug's place, a possible walk through the National Zoo's ZooLights exhibits, and a visit to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the co-located National Gallery.

The purpose is to see at the former some paintings I really like and at the latter the Marlene Dietrich exhibit that I saw in late October and that runs through mid-April (see here).


Speaking of Marlene Dietrich, today is her 116th birthday -- and there is a Google Doodle to commemorate it (see image directly above).

One more snowy image (and, no, I've no idea when or where it was taken) ...


I'm not planning on posting any entries during that time and regular entries won't resume until Saturday night. However, I may try my level best to get that damn South Carolina eclipse trip entry posted on Wednesday (i.e., later today). I intend to stay at work late (it's a non-gym night) and will try to finish it. I'll try.

OK, that's all for now.

--Regulus 

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Christmas Story 2017: To Annapolis, Baltimore, Glen Burnie, and Back -OR- If Not Silent or Holy, Certainly Friendly

Sunlight flashes through the trees along Sunrise Beach Rd, Crownsville, Md., 1:28PM December 25, 2017.

I took this picture early this afternoon while my mom and I were headed to the veterans cemetery to visit Ray's grave.

This entry contains photos taken over the past few days of this Christmas vacation to include earlier today, yesterday at Rusty Scupper, and on Saturday night in Annapolis at Middleton Tavern.

******

The view of the grounds of the Maryland Therapeutic Riding facility as seen from Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, Md., 1:31PM December 25, 2017.

Maryland Therapeutic Riding is a nonprofit whose stated mission is improve the quality of life of children, adults, and veterans with disabilities through equine therapy and activities.

*******

Christmas Day 2017 -- well, now nighttime of Christmas Day. I'm still here in Glen Burnie visiting my mom. I head back to D.C. tomorrow late morning on the MARC train.

It has been a nice Christmas with both my mom and seeing Lynda on Saturday (more on that below). I also had a lengthy (nearly 70 minute) phone chat with my dad a short while ago. He's doing fine.

I will say dad seems to have a bit of a fixation on the show Doc Martin and, in particular, the actress Caroline Catz. Not only does he want to send her a fan letter, but he also actually wants to visit Port Isaac in Cornwall -- where the show is filmed as the fictitious "Portwenn" -- during the filming of an episode in the planned season 9.

*******

Riding along Sunrise Beach Road, Crownsville, Md., 1:29PM December 25, 2017.

*******

As I mentioned, my mom and I went to Ray's grave at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery Crownsville. It was a brilliantly sunny, blustery day with a biting west/northwesterly wind. Midday highs were in the mid-30s Fahrenheit (recall an Arctic front pushed through in the wee hours). Winds gusted to 30-35mph at times (although the forecast of wind gusts up to 50mph did not materialize).   

Ray's grave marker at Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Crownsville, Md., 1:37PM December 25, 2017.

*******

We came home and watched one of the TNT airings of the perennial classic movie A Christmas Story and then had dinner around 4PM. I ate and drank too much -- or maybe the wrong things -- including a heavy spaghetti dinner combined with part of a rum-spiked egg nog, which left me feeling a bit ugh for a while.

The issue is that I get full (filled?) quite quickly and it is easy for me to overeat in a particular "sitting."

I tend to eat a little bit at a time. Isn't that referred to having a "bird-like" appetite?

Relevant line from The Golden Girls:

Blanche: I have a bird-like appetite.

Sophia: Yeah. Rodan.

*******

A large evergreen tree growing at the corner of St. James and Nottingham Drives in Glen Burnie, Md., 2:01PM December 25, 2017.


I'm watching on WHUT 32 a program "The First Silent Night" on the history of the most famed of Christmas carols, Silent Night.


Hosted by British actor Simon Callow, CBE, it includes biographical information on Father Josef Mohr himself, the writer of the words to Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht, and lots of historical overview -- to include stunningly beautiful footage -- of Salzburg and nearby villages in the Austrian Alps.

Among those villages were Arnsdorf, where lived Franz Xaver Gruber, the school-master and organist who, in collaboration with Fr. Mohr, composed the carol's German lyrics, and Oberndorf bei Salzburg, where is the small Silent Night Chapel (pictured left) in which the very first rendition of Silent Night was performed on Christmas Eve 1818.

*******

For the rest of this entry, I would just like to post, self-indulgently, some selfies of myself ...

My mom and I at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore, Md., December 24, 2017.

********

This was my third time at Rusty Scupper with my mom. The first time -- this past May for Mothers Day and three years prior in April 2014 with Ray. She was also there for her 41st anniversary with Ray in December 2015.

Another photo of my mom and me at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore, Md., December 24, 2017.

********

The next few pictures are of my dear friend Lynda and me taken at Middleton Tavern in Annapolis on Saturday night ...


Lynda was a high school classmate (Class of 1988) and friend from the mid-to-late 1980s, and then for a time at St. Mary's College before I abruptly departed there in Sept. 1992 to go to the D.C. area, but whom I had not seen in 20+ years until just a few months ago when she reached out to me via my blog (this was the second time did so following an initial attempt about two years ago).


Lynda is a high school economics and history teacher for Anne Arundel County Public Schools and a mother of three teenage children. She is just also a wonderful person.

I have to say I am so glad that she came back into my life. I've had to end SO many bad / unhealthy / failed friendships end in the past five years that this has been such a refreshing and pleasant change.


We stayed for about an hour and half at the downstairs bar and then went to the small upstairs piano bar, where there was a really good performer, although it was the space was too small for how loud it was. I also had a brief conversation with a guy named Chris from Annapolis.

We left around 10PM and she drive me back to Glen Burnie. I would like to invite her to D.C. on a Sunday for the day.

OK, that's all for now. I will try to post an entry late tomorrow (after the gym) but it might not be until midweek.

--Regulus

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve 2017: It's An OK Life (Except for This Living In TrumpWorld Reality Thing)

The top of the Capitol Christmas Tree, Washington, D.C., December 13, 2017; photo by Flickr user George Jiang and reposted in this CWG entry.

*******

(I don't have many pictures for this entry.)

Christmas Eve.

I'm here in Glen Burnie.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a good day. I took the train up from Union Station at 1230PM -- although I got up too late to take a shower / shave since I had gone out the previous night -- and met my mom at Odenton. We went to Adams Grille in Severna Park and then she dropped me off at Lynda's place in Millersville.


Lynda and I went to high school together (graduating the same year) and then were at St. Shitty's -- I mean, Mary's -- College for a period of time (until I departed there).

As a result of some very-teenage-related issues involving one of her three children, we stayed at her place for a few hours. (I really like the family dog "Winter").

Deer head, the Old Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 9:27PM December 22, 2017.

*******

It was a gray, showery, windy, borderline warm day (high temps reaching in the 62F to 65F range. By early nightfall, squally downpours swept across the area -- although KDCA managed to get less than the other airports. (More on the weather below.)

Lynda and I went to the Westfield Annapolis Mall. It was mobbed and chaotic. Later, we went into Annapolis proper and to Middleton Tavern. (The plan was to go to O'Brien's, but in the bar area where we were going to sit, the TVs were tuned to a football game with the volume blaring, so we instead went to Middleton Tavern.)

Middleton Tavern main bar, Annapolis, Md., 8:40PM December 23, 2017.

*******

We sat downstairs in the bar area and had dinner (and I had a couple drinks). We then went upstairs where are both the restrooms and a small piano bar where a man was performing. (While there, I had a nice chat at the small bar with a man named Chris.)

The really odd thing was that a guy dressed up as a woman came in with another guy -- a gay couple. In D.C., this would be nothing of note, but we were in very conservative Annapolis what with its mixture of Naval Academy types, the ultra-rich yachting set, and the south (Anne Arundel County) rural and vestige farm population, and it quite surprised me.

Lynda drove me back to Glen Burnie later to my mom's apartment.

Oh, yes, Lynda took a few selfies of her and me that she posted on her Facebook page -- and, apparently, some of my high school classmates with whom she is Facebook friends "immediately" recognized me (after nearly 30 years).

Today, my mom and I went to the Rusty Scupper for Christmas Eve dinner, although we got there at the tail end of the Sunday buffet brunch was still going -- with everyone feeding from the food troughs. Soon, that ended and that crowd left and the regular menu kicked in.

We drove up to Baltimore and back via Ritchie Highway. Of note, the Hanover Street Bridge, a.k.a., Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge, is literally falling to pieces. The road is almost too pot hole-pockmarked to navigate at regular traffic speeds, and the entire structure is within a few years of being structurally unsafe.

It's symptomatic of the shape that Baltimore is in. The bridge desperately needs to be massively repaired -- or simply replaced outright. Perhaps Trump's bogus-garbage "infrastructure" spending will help. Yeah, right.

As for Baltimore, in the spirit of Christmas and the Holidays overall, I've decided not to say what I am thinking and feeling about that city other than that it is a fucking basket case, historical tragedy, and American shame. (Yes, I've gone quite off Baltimore in the past year or so.)

As a brief political comment ...

Living in the TrumpWorld reality, it wouldn't be Christmas -- or any time of the year -- without the Vulgar Talking Yam spewing out some hateful and/or incoherent garbage that titillates his atavistic #MAGA! "base" and that is biogas fuel for the Fox News Infotainment Agitprop Machine.

OK, back to my personal narrative entry ...


A short while ago, we watched (on a DVD) the great movie Auntie Mame starring Rosalind Russell. My mom had not seen it previously. For tomorrow, the plan is to have Christmas dinner here in the apartment and -- other than possibly visiting Ray's grave in Crownsville -- staying in all day and watching at least one of the all-day TNT showings of A Christmas Story.

For tonight, the plan is to go to a Christmas Eve church service at the latest church my mom is attending -- Glen Burnie United Methodist.

Turning to the weather ...

The day was an overcast one with seasonable temperatures -- highs in the middle 40s Fahrenheit -- with some light showers this evening.

Great Lakes sector composite radar mosaic looped between 2228-2338UTC December 24, 2017.

*******

A powerful cold front is forecasted to blast through the mid-Atlantic in the wee hours later with scattered gusty rain showers that could turn to snow showers even in the immediate D.C. and Baltimore areas, although the accumulation chance is remote-to-nonexistent. There is a wind advisory for the region beginning around 3AM and lasting into tomorrow afternoon.

Yesterday (Saturday) was a warm and stormy one for the time of year. Daily highs and departures from normal daily highs for Dec. 23rd were:

KDCA: 65F (+20F)

KBWI: 64F (+21F)

KIAD: 62F (+18F)

KDMH: 65F (+21F)

Note: KDMH does not yet have a full 30-year normal base period.

None of these were daily record highs nor were any of the daily lows record high minima for the date.

There were scattered rain showers during the day that turned into a period of squally downpours in the 6PM to 8PM period as a frontal system passed through. Daily precipitation totals for Dec. 23rd were as follows:

KDCA: 0.18"
KBWI: 0.35"
KIAD: 0.34"
KDMH: 0.25"

We are below normal on precipitation for December and well below normal for climo fall (since Sept. 1st).

For the rest of the week, it is forecasted to be dry and cold with below normal temperatures. The GFS and Euro models had been suggesting a major snowstorm this coming Thursday - Friday, but that feature has disappeared in more recent runs. But it is forecasted to be quite cold next week with highs perhaps not even reaching freezing through New Years Day.

NWS high resolution surface weather map for a portion of the eastern U.S., valid 21Z December 24, 2017.

*******

OK, that's all for now. I'll try to post an entry tomorrow but it might not be until late Tuesday / early Wednesday. I'm taking the MARC train back on Tuesday morning and will go straight into the office. Tuesday night is a gym night, so any entry would be thereafter.

--Regulus