Saturday, April 22, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for April 22nd, 2017: The Anniversary Waltz (for a Special 100-Year Old Lady), Babe, and Beyoncé Edition

First up, a wonderful song from the era of the Greatest Generation ...


"The Anniversary Waltz" as sung by the great Dame Vera Lynn "for all World War II sweethearts."

This wonderful song was written by Dave Franklin with lyrics by Al Dubin and first published in 1941. This is the rendition by World War II songstress -- a.k.a., "the Forces' Sweetheart" -- Dame Vera Margaret Lynn, CH DBE OStJshe.


Ms. Lynn is best known for her renditions of World War II-era British standards such as "We'll Meet Again", "(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover", "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and "There'll Always Be an England." Ms. Lynn is still alive at the spry age of 100 -- having celebrated her centenary birthday on March 20th, 2017.

Here is a BBC interview with her as she turned 100 discussing her life and what she sees as her secret to longevity.

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Next up, a wonderful ballad from the end of the 1970s ...


"Babe" by Styx from the group's Cornerstone album (1979)

Styx is still together although the lead vocalist here -- Dennis DeYoung -- is no longer with the band.

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And let's end with something somewhat Saturday night upbeat and energetic (in the way I so totally don't feel right now)...


"Sweet Dreams (Beautiful Nightmare)" by Beyoncé from her album I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008)

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OK, that's all for now. Please see my previous entry for an update. As I wrote, I am so physically fatigued ... worn out ... beat ... tonight after my gym workout that I may very well just stay home tonight. Well, forget that. I lost the entry I had written in a technical snafu.

--Regulus

A Frickin' Foiled Entry Because the Goddamn Universe Sucks

**This non-entry entry was posted April 22nd, 2017.**

Well, I had a full entry written up with lots of content -- although no pictures just yet -- but I fucked up and it disappeared when I inadvertently hit the fuck-fucking back fucking button.

It's gone for good, and I can't repost it, so instead, I'm just going to post the Jukebox Saturday Night one I've already made.

It was a good entry, too. Lots of weather talk (cool, rainy day and all that) and other stuff. But it's gone for good and I'm not going to try to recreate it now. It's too late and the Laughing Blog Deity can go screw itself.

Fuck you, Blogger. And you, too, Universe. Fuck you both.

--Regulus

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Evening Follies: Generally Bad Humored Update in the Time of Trump Interspersed with Additional Durham Work Trip Pics

Morning view from my apartment, Washington, D.C., 8:36AM April 21, 2017.

It was already thickly humid and warm.

The bulk of the images in this entry were taken on my work trip to Durham, N.C., earlier this week.

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Friday late afternoon. (Well, it is early evening by the time I post this entry.)

It's a warm and thickly humid day for late April with an air temp of 81F and dew point of 69F at KDCA at the 4PM hour. (Somehow, though, relatively nearby KBWI is only 68F / 63F.)

Office view overlooking Southwest Washington, D.C., toward the waterfront, 3:01PM April 21, 2017.

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Tree pollen levels are, metaphorically speaking, stratospheric and I'm suffering mightily. Of course, it doesn't help that in D.C., the tree pollen is mixed with vehicular fumes, construction site fumes, pot (as in marijuana) fumes, incense fumes, and any random other fumes of the urban experience.

NWS point-grid icon forecast for Washington, D.C., for day and night for the period April 21 - 25, 2017.

I suspect very little of that rain will materialize.

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Rain / thunderstorms are constantly in the forecast and yet nothing seems to pan out -- and that's annoying. In particular, EVERYTHING but EVERYTHING continually misses National Airport and downtown D.C.

Wooded area between Wingate by Wyndham at Durham hotel and parking lot off Slater Rd., Durham, N.C., 7:19AM April 18, 2017.

Yes, 7:19AM. And this was a quick shortcut rather than walking out to Page Road.

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It might rain steadily tomorrow -- we could use it for a number of reasons -- but it might not. Tomorrow is, by the way, the March for Science timed for Earth Day here in D.C. (marches are also supposed to be held in other cities around the United States).

Parking lot view from The Solution Center, Durham, N.C., April 18, 2017.

Yes, The Solution Center. It's actually a well-run conference venue -- and well-stocked with food and drink (including cans of Vintage Seltzer water).

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The moral sickness and (to quote the inestimable Charles Pierce) "meretricious goonery" of the Trump / GOP era is making the March for Science quite timely, although it does nothing to break down the media/entertainment complex-enforced bubbles and Manichean Red/Blue state, rural/urban divide of the present era.


Living as I do here in D.C., I'm tempted to go down to the march, especially given the nature of it. I have some co-worker friends who are attending. Of course, Saturday is my gym and laundry day, and I'm reluctant to break that pattern.


Now next weekend -- Saturday, April 29th -- is the 100th day of Trump's historically mistaken tragedy and historically tragic mistake of a (p)residency thanks to the Perfect Storm of travesties of 2016 -- not to mention the fact that Trump was the "ideal" candidate to exploit the rot and eccentricities of our system to ride to victory despite a popular vote loss of 3 million.

Given his socio-pathological solipsistic zero-sum worldview of "winners" and "losers" only, and desperate for a "win" ahead of the stupid 100-day marker, Trump is heavily leaning on crazy GOP'ers to resurrect and pass that abortion of an Obamacare "repeal and replace" bill (itself a stalking horse of another multi-trillion dollar tax giveaway to multimillionaires and billionaires).

However, as Josh Barro explains here and Jim Newell explains here and Paul Krugman explains here, this remains a fool's errand due to the impossibility of reconciling the competing demands or, if you prefer, squaring that circle.

The bar at Page Road Grill restaurant, Durham, N.C., 6:19PM April 18, 2017.

I went there both evenings that I was in Durham.

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The bigger (and growing) threat is of a government shutdown when the current CR expires on April 30th -- and since Trump is a megalomaniac and demanding money for his border wall obscenity and intertwining it with his health care reform deform obscenities, it is quite possible we could have a shutdown. This will result in my being furloughed (since unlike in 2013, the agency I support does not have funds to continue to operate).

Yours truly in the hotel room, Durham, N.C., 10:07PM April 18, 2017.

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Speaking of Josh Barro, here is a worthwhile piece to read (link embedded): A quote from 'The Art of the Deal' perfectly explains Trump's presidency.

Returning to the above-linked Charlie Pierce piece, here is an excerpt:

"The myth of Trump's vulnerability has two sources, I think. The first is the apparently irresistible impulse in some quarters to score some sort of final victory over the Clinton family. We dealt with that on Monday.)

The other is the reluctance of Republicans -- and of the elite political classes at large -- to accept the reality that Trump is merely a cruder manifestation of the political prion disease that has afflicted conservatism and the Republican Party since it first ate the monkeybrains 35 years ago. It was all leading to someone like Trump, and something like last year's election.

There are any number of reasons for people to deny that simple truth. The margin of victory was to be found in a unique candidate responding uniquely to a unique set of circumstances. Nobody lost that campaign. Donald Trump won it."

The proverbial two martini (Cosmo?) lunch at 42nd St. Oyster Bar & Grill, Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport, 1:40PM April 19, 2017.

I had a really good mahi-mahi sandwich with grilled vegetables. Of note, getting decent food -- as in, fish and vegetables, rather than fast food garbage galore -- was not hard down there in North Carolina, although this was in the Research Triangle area.

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(I would post Jonathan Chait stuff but he has been away the past week and not updating his site.

OK, I guess that's all for now.

Moving walkway at Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport, 1:49PM April 19, 2017.

Alas, I was not able to get my bright blue can of Vintage Seltzer water through security. That got taken away during the usual hokey-pokey dance.

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For tonight, I may (or may not) try to go to one of my "usual" places and see that goes -- if I even can go. Oh, well. Honestly, deep down, I don't care. Bars -- especially those of the gay variety -- are nothing but trouble for me and no good ever comes from them.

I'd like to try to post another episode of BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature -- especially as I have not posted one in several weeks and yet her Y'EYEMOSITY and our joint failure are YUUUUUGER than ever -- but we'll see how that goes.

Oh, by the way, here is a TMZ article on the prison pen pal letters that former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez wrote -- specifically, a really weird one to some woman who wrote him. An actual scanned version of the letter is available here. Wild.

A large American Airlines jet on the tarmac at Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport as seen from my Delta flight while taxiing for takeoff, 2:47PM April 19, 2017.

I was heading back to D.C. at this point.

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Serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole (and despite having recently been exonerated in two other slayings) Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell a few days ago by hanging.

Moment of take-off from Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport, 2:59PM April 19, 2017.

There were no other reference objects nearby -- just a distant line of woods -- so there is no real sense of motion or takeoff. If you look closely, though, on the grassy area you can see what I think is part of the KRDU weather observation post (or something like that).

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OK, that really is all for now.

--Regulus

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Back In Home-Not-So-Sweet Washington, D.C.; A Couple "Sweet" Caroline Street Pics*

*With apologies, of course, to Neil Diamond.

The row house at 1522 Caroline St NW, Washington, D.C., 6:11PM April 19, 2017.

Caroline Street is one of the side streets that runs between the east-west alphabetized streets (specifically, T and U Streets) for a short distance (between 15th and 16th Streets).

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Apologies for lack of entry last night.

Following my return from Raleigh-Durham yesterday afternoon, my plan was to go to the gym and then write a late night entry while watching my late night line up of old sitcoms on Antenna TV.

However, instead I met Andrea and (after she had gone home) stayed out too late and it wasn't a good night in the end. For some reason, I had some words with somebody at Trade. Not sure why. Just the usual stuff. Not even worth mentioning.

National Mall and downtown Washington, D.C., as seen on final downriver approach into Reagan Washington National Airport, 3:47PM April 19, 2017.

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I will say, though, that 25 years and counting, I could leave D.C. later today and never return -- and it would be like I was never here. I've just been here too long and nothing good will ever happen.

A row house in the 1500 block of Caroline Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:12PM April 19, 2017.

I think this is 1505 or 1507 -- not sure. The house didn't have a number on it. I rarely walk on the "hidden gem" of Caroline Street even though it is very close to where I live. It's just too risky at night -- even in the present era.

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I think I have an ulcer or something is wrong in the nether regions. I need to make an appointment with my doctor, or rather, with the Medstar facility in Chevy Chase where I go (the doctors are forever coming and going, revolving door like, there).

Tonight is definitely a gym night and I plan to post an entry thereafter.

OK, that's all for now.

--Regulus

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Dateline Raleigh-Durham (OK, Really, Durham): Late Night Hotel Posting from a Suburban Office Park No Man's Land

Upriver ascent from Reagan Washington National Airport looking at the National Mall including the Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and White House, Washington, D.C., 4:19PM April 17, 2017.

It was a gray day following some light (but insufficient to break the drought) rainfall.

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Here I am in Durham, North Carolina -- in a decent hotel with a tongue-twister of a name due, in part, to its Durham location. That would be the Wingate by Wyndham Durham. This is part of the whole Research Triangle area.

I have a nice, carpeted room with a single, large bed. The currents are drawn (does drawn mean closed or open??) -- by which I mean closed. The air conditioning unit is swooshing away and making the room pleasantly cool.

Upriver ascent from National Airport looking at downtown Washington, D.C., 4:19PM April 17, 2017

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This is the same blurry image as above taken with my crummy cellphone camera, but focused on my part of D.C.:

Upriver ascent from National Airport looking at downtown Washington, D.C., with my apt building marked; 4:19M April 17, 2017.

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My journey here was quick and mostly painless -- including a relatively quick two-part Metro ride (there is another month-long "surge" on the Green / Yellow Lines screwing things up), a fast sprint through TSA security (for whatever reason, a number of passengers including myself were waived through without having passed through the full body scanner), and a Delta jet that was barely half filled.

Descent into Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport (RDU) flying over Falls Lake, 4:56PM April 17, 2017.

I was able to match this lake -- and the roadway crossing it -- using Google maps.

Here is the Google map view:

Google maps view of a portion of Falls Lake, N.C.

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I should note that when I made the reservations, Delta's online booking system showed the entire jet filled except for a sort of premium section (not first class but "Delta Comfort" second class), which required me to get that seat at a slight upcharge.

Descent into RDU over woodsy suburbs of Raleigh, N.C., 4:58PM April 17, 2017.

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I've not made any mention about the whole ugly mess with United Airlines last week and the passenger -- Dr. David Dao -- forcibly removed by the Chicago police because he refused to give up his paid-for seat for last-minute Delta crew trying to get to Louisville. The whole horrible incident was filmed by multiple passengers and has caused United no end of (deserved) very bad week-long publicity and some changes to the airline overbooking system.

The reason I haven't mentioned this is because I've been having trouble posting blog entries and fallen behind on political-themed posts.

Descent into RDU over woodsy suburbs of Raleigh, N.C., 4:59PM April 17, 2017.

Lots of McMansions.

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The only trouble was a young couple with a two year old boy who was yelling and screaming for the entire hour-long flight -- and being encouraged by his parents.

It is true, of course, that I am not a parent and have never raised a baby or small child (and never will), but I just don't understand the American approach to parenting whereby that kind of behavior is encouraged and rewarded. I honestly don't understand it.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport terminal, 5:15PM April 17, 2017.

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Anyway, the descent into Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport was quite stunning -- passing through dramatic-looking cumulus clouds (there was a cluster of thunderstorms developing). Then the jet passed over leafy McMansion suburbs filled with wending streets and cul-de-sacs. I'll refrain from any political commentary here.

When the jet made its last turn for final approach, I got a great view of the airport and its runways.

Parking lot located off Slater Rd., Durham, N.C., 6:07PM April 17, 2017.

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Of note -- and as the lead image of this entry shows (or at least suggests -- I also had a great view of D.C. and environs as the jet followed an upriver take off from National Airport and I had a right-side seat (i.e., one facing the District). I could easily see my Hampton Courts apartment building (and practically, ever-so-briefly, my window). (See image above with yellow arrow.)

Upon arrival at RDU, I called the hotel front desk and a van was dispatched to pick me up -- and it was a quick 5-mile ride with a nice driver. I tipped him $7.

Yours truly, in my hotel room, Durham, N.C., 8:53PM April 17, 2017.

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Once checked in, I headed over to the workshop venue (just to make sure of the way -- it's a quick walk) and then I had dinner at the Page Street Grill, also nearby.

I've been watched TV tonight -- old sitcom reruns on TV Land and Hallmark. I've had numerous (as in dozens) text exchanges with Chris on various topics including on the author George Saunders and his newest, bestselling book Lincoln in the Bardo. Right now (at 11:42PM), it's a rerun of The Golden Girls.

3rd floor corridor, Wingate by Wyndham Durham hotel, Durham, N.C., 10:17PM April 17, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now. I have to be up by 6AM in order to get to the workshop by 730AM. Mornings are not my thing.

Oh, yes, last night, after the gym, I went to Jo Jo on U Street (near my apartment) and watched a live jazz band and had a bit of dinner and few drinks. My neighbor Fred joined me.

Jo Jo, Washington, D.C., 10:47PM April 16, 2017.

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Also, on the walk to the Metro station from my apartment, I bumped into Nellie's bartender Derrick. That was a bit of a coincidence since he is originally from Durham, N.C. As ever, Derrick looked amazing. He's certainly one of the most attractive guys I know.

OK, that really is all for now. I'll try to update this blog tomorrow evening (my second and last night here).

--Regulus

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Night Update: Easter and Temperatures Are Risen, Rainfall Still Has Not ...

Odenton MARC train station platform, Odenton, Md., 1:49PM (Easter) Sunday, April 16, 2017.

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I home from this gym this Sunday night. I came back into D.C. earlier this afternoon after a weekend at my mom's place in Glen Burnie. I had a good, multi-part workout (treadmill, weightlifting, and swimming pool).

So I have to go to fly to frickin' Raleigh-Durham tomorrow to attend a day-and-a-half workshop (on Tuesday and Wednesday morning) and return on Wednesday mid-afternoon. I looked at the workshop venue and adjacent dumpty hotel -- they are in a suburban office park no man's land technically in Durham.

Sigh.

Overhead wires / power lines, Odenton MARC train station, Odenton, Md., 1:51PM April 16, 2017.

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It was another goddamn way, way, way above normal temperature day in the eastern United States. It reached 89F at KDCA, 87F at KBWI, and 86F at KIAD. None of those were daily record highs but the month is averaging far above normal (+6.7F through yesterday) and it's too goddamn dry -- although we had a quick and noisy thunderstorm last night in Glen Burnie with nearby KBWI recording an impressive 0.36" in just a few minutes (see animated radar image below), but zilch fell here in D.C.

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped 10:04PM - 10:29PM EDT April 15, 2017.

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There are chances of rain the next several days -- but it's all paltry and underwhelming and the drought continues.

I hate the weather pattern of the past 10 months. It sucks. Oh, and the Atlantic Ocean is basically worthless when it comes to providing any "weather" in this area.

A house with a large yard and a flowering (dogwood?) tree, Odenton, Md., 12:31PM April 16, 2017.

I think we (my mom and I) were driving along Annapolis Road.

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Oh, and on another note, I hear that Planet Earth -- as in "Gaia" -- is planning in the next 50 years or so on "removing over half the human infestation" from the land surface of the planet? I heard a rumor to that effect. Probably through a pandemic -- unless Trump and Kim Jong-un do it first.

Intersection of Telegraph and Annapolis Roads, Odenton, Md., 12:34PM April 16, 2017.

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Oh, and it was Easter, too. Big frickin' deal.

It's a dumb-ass holiday with its convoluted "falls on" day rule (the first Sunday after the first full Moon after the spring equinox) -- and preceded by a lot of dumb-assery. As for me, I've completely lost any religion. Oh, well. There are enough fundie whack jobs in the world to keep human civilization churning for a long time.

Statue of Jesus Christ outside a church somewhere in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:16PM April 9, 2017.

(I forgot what street this is on -- but it's an east-west one near Wisconsin Avenue.)

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OK, I need to get some dinner, so I am signing off for the time being. I would like to do my laundry tonight and also post another entry, but, honestly, it has been a royal pain in the ass lately trying to update this now-9-year old blog. However, given my hotel accommodations / amenities (or lack thereof) and what surrounds the place, I may have time (whether I want to or not) to post an entry tomorrow night -- provided I take my laptop and the hotel has Wi-Fi.

--Regulus

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Past Is Prologue -OR- Regulus Blog Turns 9

Saturday late morning.

I'm in Glen Burnie visiting my mom this weekend. I'm at her new apartment in the Colonial Square complex where we lived over 33 years ago in the period 1982 - 1984 with Ray. No, it's not the very same apartment but it's not far from it.

Speaking of anniversaries, of note, this Regulus blog turns 9 years old today -- my first entry was on April 15, 2008. This is entry #2,186.

Today, we're going up to Baltimore to Johns Hopkins Hospital to visit a family friend Jerry in the hospital. His wife Lola is with him.

We're going to have an early dinner at the Inner Harbor.

OK, that's all for now. I don't have time to post anything more than this right now.

--Regulus


Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday 2017 and a Not-So-Paschal Posterial Mystery; Blogging Remains a Pain in the Same ...

One of the large, stately row houses in the 1500 block of 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:25PM April 12, 2017.

8:45PM 4/16/2017: Caption and file name corrected to 1500 block of 16th Street NW, not the 1600 block of 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

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Apologies for no entry last night and a greatly truncated one tonight -- it's the same problem of not having enough time and then it's too late when I finally try to do it. Even trying to write this entry tonight, I got bogged down in a political-themed entry that went on too long and that I simply could not finish before some ungodly hour (and I do have to go to work tomorrow).

As it is, this goddamn entry isn't getting posted until nearly exactly 3AM.

Phlox growing along the sidewalk along 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:16PM April 12, 2017.

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Suffice it to say, I'm home after a gym night. I made dinner -- chicken Rice-a-Roni and steamed broccoli. I'm watching TV -- my nightly reruns on Antenna TV of Wings, Becker, and Newhart. (Becker is a excellent show and Newhart is pretty funny.)

Last night, I left work and made it to the Hair Cuttery to get my monthly shearing. At this point, I am considering just buying a pair of shears with a #2 head to give myself my usual monthly haircut in lieu of spending $30 every time.

House of the Temple, headquarters of the Supreme Council, 33°, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, USA, Washington, D.C., 7:18PM April 12, 2017

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Anyway, I came home before going back out to Trade where I met Mark. We had dinner later at Annie's (the salmon salad is very good; the air inside smells heavily of steaks slathered in something heavy). Fred joined us there and then I walked home with him (he lives in the building next to mine). I sometimes like Mark except he is also very tiresome. (We met back in Jan. 1995 as a hookup and have had a weird relationship stretching back since then -- though with very distinct periods that have morphed over time to something that is about as close to friendship as ever in the mid-to-late '10s.)

The house at 1639 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:21PM April 12, 2017.

This corner house -- at the corner of 16th and R Street NW -- is my favorite along 16th Street in the Dupont area. In particular, I really like the turret visible in the picture. Like every stately row house along this part of 16th Street, I've never been in any of them (well, except for one once long, long ago in my early days in D.C.).

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It's a quiet, flat sort of night weather-wise with temps around 54F at the 3AM hour here in D.C.. It has been too goddamn hot this past week, although today (Thursday) was more pleasant -- highs around 70F. This followed temps in the mid-80s Fahrenheit couple days ago. It is also getting dry again -- indeed, my hope that the drought was ending appears to have been misplaced / premature.

Two ladies on the Metro Green Line, Washington, D.C., 12:07PM April 13, 2017.

It was the birthday of the young lady holding the balloons.

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So that's all for now. I am visiting my mom in Glen Burnie this weekend -- taking the MARC train up to Anne Arundel County tomorrow (Friday) and returning on Sunday. I'm traveling next week -- Monday - Wednesday -- to a workshop in Durham. Yes, Durham, as in Raleigh-Durham.

I guess that's all for now.

Street scene, 3200 block M Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:30PM April 9, 2017.

I had just come from having dinner at the bar at Clyde's.

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Oh, I do have an issue that is probably going to require me to go to the doctor after I return from Raleigh-Durham to undergo something I really don't want to do, but I might not have a choice. It's the kind of thing that a spouse -- or would-be spouse such as my BETROTHED BIG Y'EYEMAH -- LOVES, in particular, a female spouse once the couple is over 45 or thereabouts.

Fountain at Washington Harbour, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:54PM April 9, 2017.

This is a wintertime ice skating rink (unless it is so obscenely warm -- as it usually is -- that it is impossible to keep it iced over even with all the machinery used). Oh, and yes, that's the ever-taller skyline of Rosslyn in the nearby distance.

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Indeed, there's NOTHING that a suburban American wife likes more than getting her buccal-pumping frog of a husband to the doctor for that procedure.

In my case, married to frickin' BIG Y'EYEMAH, I'd be in the recovery room, face down and severely groggy on the gurney, exposed ass up in the air -- breaking wind and leaking whatnot -- while the doctor checks his stock holdings, the nurses are busy taking selfies, and the office business manager is on the phone with your insurance company following a claim denial.

Fuck that.

OTOH, it could be hemorrhoids or just extra sensitivity.

Speaking of BIG Y'EYEMAH, I'm going to try to post a BIG Y'EYEMAH Friday Night Creature Feature edition tomorrow (well, later today).

I still need to post the other edition ...

"Corn-cheese and Commercial Space Flight" although tomorrow's might be "BIG Y'EYEMAH's Weekend Paschal Mystery: She Consumes the Host Plus Many Easter Eggs and the Wind is Risen. Amen."

Oh, and I wanted to write something about shitty Wall-P -- that ultimate self-unaware tool of reactionary corporate overclass intrigue -- and his power-fawning, money-grubbing, and titillation with the "gig" economy.

"Eh. Eh. Eheheheheheh. The gig economy allows individuals to come together with perfectly equal market power and a perfect price point, and thus it represents the most efficient and therefore optimal allocation of resources between -- "

Ohhhh, shut-up, Wall-P, you clueless and classless, not to mention vulgar and amoral stooge-bot.

OK, that really is all for now. Good Friday to all.

--Regulus

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Excerpts of Jim Newell and Francis Wilkinson Pieces on Trump Palace Intrigue, GOP Political Vacuum Plus Assortment of My Weekend Pics

Lady entering a house in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:12PM April 9, 2017.

Honestly, I can't remember the house number or street where I took this picture.

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So this is the flippin' entry I tried to post last night but never got around to completing. I'm going to abbreviate it and just post it as is -- and then try to post a second entry. It features pictures I took over the weekend. However, I can't be up late tonight because I have to be up and all shaved, shorn, and showered before 9AM tomorrow as there is a planned water outage in the building.

From yesterday ...

This entry features an extended excerpt of a Slate article Jim Newell: Steve Bannon vs. "the Democrats".

Sub-headline: Who will win the battle for the soul that Trump doesn't have?

Intersection of H and 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 5:38PM April 7, 2017.

This is the heart of the Chinatown area -- which is really the Chinatown block / intersection. It was cold on this Friday -- likely the last cold day until next fall or winter.

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Excerpt:

In the long run, the Trump administration will be judged by its ability to make meaningful progress outside the purview of a few teed-up, set-piece executive orders. This means passing legislation in Congress.

Palmer Alley, CityCenterDC, Washington, D.C., 5:44PM April 7, 2017.

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Excerpt continued:

But what are the real stakes of this personality clash? A White House that employs Jared Kushner and not Steve Bannon still wouldn’t be able to get 216 votes on a health care bill, and vice versa. The only adviser that will ever truly have Trump’s ear is the host of whatever cable news show he happens to be watching. The stakes here aren’t the future of the country. The stakes are whether Bannon's tell-all book will come out in 2018 or 2020.

Palmer Alley NW, CityCenterDC, Washington, D.C., 5:46PM April 7, 2017.

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Excerpt continued:

I am trying to think of how Republicans might have reached 216 votes for the American Health Care Act if Kushner had been in Washington the week of the failure and not gone skiing. What alchemical methods would Trump's son-in-law have used to gin up 20 or 30 extra votes for a piece of bad legislation? It would seem that no human could fail more spectacularly than Bannon did at whipping Freedom Caucus votes on the health care bill. That's probably because Kushner never tried.

Franklin Square, Washington, D.C., 5:55PM April 7, 2017.

The WaHoPo's new digs is visible through the trees.

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Excerpt continued:

What is happening on Capitol Hill is independent of the palace intrigue at the White House. If a breakthrough is ever made on health care policy, it will not be because Gary Cohn has better access to Trump's ear than Stephen Miller. It will be because conservative Rep. Mark Meadows and moderate Rep. Tom MacArthur came up with a policy that allowed health care markets to be simultaneously regulated and unregulated. If Trump now decides to abandon Republican-driven health policy, instead choosing to make "tweaks" to the Affordable Care Act with the help of Democratic votes, it will not be because Kushner successfully caught Bannon in a bear trap and hid the wounded beast in the White House bunker. It will be because Trump wanted to cobble together a health care bill that could get 216 votes, and this was the only option.

Another view of Franklin Square, Washington, D.C., 5:55PM April 7, 2017.

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Excerpt continued:

The same goes for tax reform. Trump is open to working with Democrats on overhauling the tax code, allowing him to circumvent the Freedom Caucus. If he chooses this path, it won't be a "win" for more moderate members of the administration. It will indicate that the only roads to 216 and 51 run through Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, and Trump just wants to sign bills.

Yours truly, Annie's Paramount Steak House, Washington, D.C., 8:14PM April 7, 2017.

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Excerpt continued:

The richest part of the speculation about which direction Trump may be heading in is the idea that the man is capable of choosing a direction and sticking to it. Trump has no attention span, doesn't know anything, and bases his "directions" on whatever channel the TV landed on the last time he sat on the remote.

Ha ha

Blurry picture of a waxing Moon in a variably cloudy sky seen through the trees, 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 9:21PM April 7, 2017.

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Here is a good comment by ChuckRoast-ev associated with that article:

Well put. The NY Times et al love to paint an administration grappling with Very Important Issues because then they can publish lots of stories featuring experts expounding on Complicated Things. Everyone in this circle jerk feels smart and happy that they have Access to Power.

But, as Newell point out, Trump is a moron. He isn't weighing up ideologies here, he's watching TV.

That's what we're dealing with.

Row houses 1400 block W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:21PM April 8, 2017.

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I'm trying to post an entry tonight but having trouble. I'm home after a non-gym night and watching TV -- the late night reruns of Wings, Becker, and Newhart on Antenna TV.

The Northumberland at dusk, Washington, D.C., 7:09PM April 8, 2017.

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Here is another piece I came across ...

Trump Knocks the Air Out of Republicans
By Francis Wilkinson

Source here

Excerpts:

The vacuum created by an uninformed president with a policy agenda that maxed out at 140 characters "was supposed to be a feature, not a bug," said Republican consultant Liam Donovan, via email. Donald Trump would get to tweet, and House Speaker Paul Ryan would get to determine the contours of the American future.

After 11 weeks, vacuums are breeding vacuums...

Some vacuums won't fill. A 70-year-old man is unlikely to develop a moral sensibility, and his beleaguered and compromised staff appears unable to supply him with a facsimile.

Plush hippos (and monkey!) on my pile of bedding, Washington, D.C., 7:26PM April 8, 2017.

I was about to do the laundry -- washing all of the bedding (well, except the stuffed animals themselves*a).

*I do wish I could "launder" them but there really isn't any way that I know how to do that. In any event, Flippo is a trans-dimensional angelic being (generating Universes in the Multiverse at will) with no need of mere washing in Washington.

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People along the Potomac River, Washington Harbour, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:40PM April 9, 2017.

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Likewise, Trump's almost supernatural ignorance of American history leaves him unable to connect present to past, leaving a continent-size hole at the core of the White House narrative. Trump's awkward efforts to commune with the spirit of Andrew Jackson only underscored how parochial and disconnected he is. For Trump, the founding fathers will always be Roy Cohn and Fred Trump.

The political vacuum is one of the more curious features of the Trump administration. Republicans built powerful majorities in Congress and the states in recent years. Their aggressive violation of Washington political norms just yielded a conservative on the Supreme Court. Yet with their policies now adrift, and White House leadership absent, Republicans possess a dominant hand with strangely little within its grasp.

"Politically," said Donovan, "I'd argue it's less of a vacuum and more of an eclipse. Trump blocks out the political sun for any and all Republicans, much to the delight of the opposition."

Yachts docked at Washington Harbour, Washington, D.C., 6:46PM April 9, 2017.

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And here is a comment associated with that article by commenter Martin Hamilton:

Not even 100 days into his presidency Trump has now played golf 16 times while spending almost double Obama's annual travel budget. He is on track to spend 60 million this year just on Mar-a-Lago visits alone. And guess what? Most of that money actually gets paid to Trump! What a gig - every weekend is a luxury vacation, paid for by tax payers, and payed directly to Trump! And this doesn't even account for the tens of millions more we are spending to protect Melania in her NY ivory tower.

So lucky us, the worst performing president in US history is also the most costly. Now that's making America great!

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OK, that ends this entry.

--Regulus