Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Donald "Sandworm" Trump's Psychotropic Spice: All-Megalomania-and-Chaos All-the-Time (plus a Local Hero's Little Local Mess)


Home tonight after the gym and a day at work and following a weekend in which I way overspent, although part of it was for a good reason (a going away lunch for Debbie with my mom). I'm watching TV, specifically, Antenna TV and its unlikely sitcoms: Wings, Becker, and Newhart. I'm really starting to like Becker -- and it was only a couple of weeks ago that I discovered this show that was made between 1998 and 2004.

So as I mentioned in recent posts, I am intentionally not posting all the chaos and mayhem that the sicko would-be dictator Donald Trump is intentionally causing as a result of his obvious megalomaniacal psychosis. This includes all the standard rightwing Republican bullshit on any number of commonsense matters ...

... such as environmental, healthcare, occupational safety, consumer wellbeing, energy efficiency, progressive taxation -- you name it.


However, Trump's unconstitutional, reckless, and hateful immigration Executive Order banning people from entering the U.S. from seven countries -- including those already in the United States with green cards -- requires some mention.


It was on Friday, Jan. 27th -- Holocaust Remembrance Day, no less -- that the vile Donald Trump the as-yet-unnumbered EO (likely 13770) that indefinitely bars Syrian refugees from entering the United States, suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days, and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, refugees or otherwise, from entering the United States for 90 days including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.


Trump is creating a vortex of chaos and dangerous social division. He is, of course, a deranged lunatic who will do an uncertain amount of potentially catastrophic damage to this country, its institutions, and its people. But Trump is also the culmination of decades of the conservative media/entertainment complex's malevolent influence on the American body politic.


The good news is has triggered a nationwide groundswell of protests by people of decency. Of course, those who think Trump is their American savior are as deluded and in love with Trump as they are full of shit, so no changing their minds.

Here is a hopeful-for-the-long run piece by Jonathan Chait: Obama's America Rises Again.

Protestors at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on Saturday, January 28, 2017 against Trump's actions on immigrants from seven Muslim countries.

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For an interpretation on this immigration EO -- which tonight caused a "Monday Night Massacre" at the Justice Department as the Trump Lunatic fired the Acting Attorney General Sally Yates for her refusal to carry out his illegal edicts -- I refer you to a source that I would not have thought I would cite but such is the time in which we are living:


Wittes really is arrogant SOB enamored with his own sense of brilliance and importance, but this is still a good piece from his Lawfare blog. Also, here is another piece from that site by Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith on why Yates screwed up in how (not why) she went about things:


OK, that's all I'm going to post in this entry. I was going to post another entry but it's just too damn late right now.

I'm keen on mentioning David "Local Hero" Perruzza's current richly deserved little mess. I definitely have some thoughts on that -- including why it likely erupted into the public.

However, in the interest of a good night sleep, let's save that topic for a better time.


--Regulus

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for January 28th, 2017: Remembering Mary Tyler Moore, The Key to You, and Moments in Love Edition

In remembrance of Mary Tyler Moore -- who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 80:


"Love Is All Around" (opening theme song of The Mary Tyler Moore Show) by Sonny Curtis (1970)

This is more of a montage of key opening scenes rather than the opening of any particular season. Sonny Curtis, now 79, is still alive and performing.

I met Mary Tyler Moore in November 1995 at the old Dupont Supercrown -- later, as a result of the nasty Taft family feud, Books-a-Million (itself now defunct) -- when she was on a book tour for her autobiography After All.

I asked her what happened to her hat -- actually, it was a tam o' shanter -- that she tossed into the air -- and into American cultural legend -- on that cold, gray winter day on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis in January 1970. She said she had it for years but someone stole it ...

The culturally iconic tam o'shanter toss on Nicollet Mall in the opening scene of The Mary Tyler Moore Show with Mary's unwitting "co-star" Hazel Frederick in the head scarf looking on).

That scene was reenacted -- in a sort of flash mob -- in downtown Minneapolis yesterday at the IDS Crystal Court:


Story here. The story features some interesting vignettes of people whose life and career choices were inspired by The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

We'll always love you, Mary Tyler Moore.

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Next up, a really nice song ...


"The Key to You" by David Benoit from his album Every Step of the Way (1988)

David Benoit is a prolific American jazz pianist, composer, and producer who -- according to the Keeper of All Knowledge -- has had 25 charted albums since 1980.

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Finally, let's end with a really awesome piece ...


"Moments in Love" by Art of Noise from the group's Who's Afraid of Art of Noise? album (1984)

This is the full 10-minute "new wave/post-punk" version. This particular YouTube version features scores of beautiful-to-stunning place and natural images at all times of the year from all over Planet Earth -- most of the images conveniently labeled for location.

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OK, that's all for now. I'm skipping any Saturday Evening Post for tonight. I just did a bunch of laundry and earlier today, I went to the gym. For tonight, I'm going to get dinner at Old Ebbitt Grill at the Old Bar. For tomorrow, I'm meeting my mom and Debbie at Union Station for lunch. (Debbie returns to Texas on Tuesday.)

--Regulus

Friday, January 27, 2017

Midwinter Night's Starry Dream: An Adorable Premature Baby Hippo Theme, Not a Donald Trump Epochal Disaster Meme

The starry winter sky featuring the constellation Orion and planet Jupiter as seen from the Mojave National Preserve, Calif., in a photo by photographer Kevin Palmer, January 31, 2014.

Mr. Palmer referred to this as the "Winter Pentagon" because of the presence of Jupiter vis-à-vis the entire constellation Orion but the two permanent celestial features are the Winter Triangle and the Winter Hexagon.

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Back from the gym on this gusty, blustery, starry night.

Actually, the air temp is not really cold for a normal late January night -- it's 44F at the midnight hour at KDCA with a 27F dew point, but there is a gusty westerly wind.

This January continues to average well above normal with the following temp departures through January 26th at the three main regional airport climate stations:

KDCA: +6.6F
KBWI: +6.6F
KIAD: +7.0F

There is virtually no chance of snow this January or really this winter, but I'm not really perturbed by that as I would have been / was in past years. I wouldn't mind (actually would enjoy) some additional rainfall -- maybe another wet and windy nor'easter.

The CWG had this entry about the snowless winter. (Alas, the comment section to that entry was flooded with anti-snow trolls.)

To date, KDCA has had only 0.4 inches but KBWI and KIAD are also quite low at 0.7 inches each. By contrast, places south of here have had a lot more snow including KRIC with 7.1 inches, KORF with 5.3 inches. Williamsburg has had over 12 inches.

San Francisco/Monterrey NWS (MTR) infographic tweet on the rainy January 2017 across the Bay Area.

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There was also this good entry about how much coastal / valley rain and mountain snow have fallen in California and helped greatly ease the historic drought that was afflicting nearly the entire state. See images directly above and below from that entry.

U.S. Drought Monitor Map for the State of California: October 25, 2016 versus January 24, 2017.

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So right now, I'm watching Antenna TV, right now an episode of a show I had never even heard of (despite the fact it was on for six years from 1998 to 2004) but that is quite funny and interesting: Becker starring Ted Danson.

View from my office overlooking SW Washington, D.C., 5:21PM January 24, 2017.

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An Adorable Premature Baby Hippo, Not a Disaster Human Orangutan ...

I was going to write about the ongoing Trump presidency catastrophe -- and we are only just reaching the one-week mark -- but there are so many moving parts to this epochal disaster that is only JUST BEGINNING that there is really no way to summarize it, and I've decided for this entry not to even try.

One of a series of pictures of a premature baby hippo born earlier this week at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Yes, that Cincinnati Zoo. Thank you to my good friend Chester for pointing me to this happy story.

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I just don't see how Trump himself lasts for four years as president. I think there might be something to the issue that Trump is mentally unbalanced -- and likely to get worse. He won't quit, of course, but were the time come for a successful impeachment, he would likely resign ahead of time. Of course, he might also do something really nuts, too.

Anything is possible with him.

Donald Trump's oddly creepy and characteristically bullyingly aggressive-looking "official" White House portrait.

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As for professional rightwing radical GOP rule (think Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan), I can easily see that lasting for years, especially with the upcoming Republican schemes to screw with the Electoral College in way analogous to what was done with the House districts after the 2010 Census to disenfranchise as many Democrats as possible -- and allow for GOP presidential race electoral "victories" in states that they fail to carry.

The baby hippo -- which weighed in at 29 pounds versus the 50 to 100 pounds that is normal for a newborn hippo -- was born six weeks premature and is being closely cared for by zoo staff.

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Anyway, it's late and I'm tired and need to go to bed. Last night -- a non-gym night -- I met Andrea at Baan Thai and we had a nice dinner and some drinks. Thereafter, I went to Trade and had too much to drink before walking home. Actually, I think I took a cab the short distance up 16th Street.

What an incredibly adorable, as-yet-unnamed baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo; the hippo is showing positive signs.

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Getting up this morning was very difficult, but the good news -- in a manner of speaking -- is that I'm presently in a slow period at work (after a very busy period in December and early January).

Moeraki Boulders, Koekohe Beach, Otago region, South Island, New Zealand.

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I'm signing off for now. My next planned entry will be Saturday. For Sunday, I'm meeting my mom and Debbie for lunch. They are coming into D.C. for a few hours. (Debbie returns to Texas on Tuesday.)

OK, g'night.

--Regulus

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Hilarious Highlights of Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog's Visit Among the Crowd at Trump's Inauguration Parade


YouTube clip of Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog's appearance at Trump's Inauguration this past Monday as shown on "Conan."

From the Rolling Stone article:

Robert Smigel's cigar-smoking puppet unleashed a flood of vicious burns, offering the crowd extra tickets to sit in the anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim sections. "I have a lot in common with Trump, actually -- the only difference is the hand up my ass isn't Vladimir Putin's," he said.

Elsewhere, Triumph handed out alternative "Make America Great Again" hats with fresh slogans like, "America Gonna Great Yes," "Hey, Bring Me A Coors" and "I Have No Idea What's Going On." He also attempted to bring liberals and conservatives together over their shared love of Betty White – only to chop up acclaim for the actress into a brutal montage of people saying, "White forever," "White is the best" and "White power."

Triumph closed his inauguration trip with one last try at bridging America's massive political divide. However, he was barely able to get the words out of his mouth, barfing each time he said, "President Trump."

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A compilation of some of the funniest lines ...

"On Monday, Trump will move into the White House, continuing his long tradition of evicting black families..."


"Here, in the Nation's Capital, it's gray and overcast. Yes, the Sun just one more of the many big stars that refuse to show up for this event."


"Look at this inspiring mass of overweight, overaged, predominately white humanity. Nothing but Roseannes and Fieris as far as the eye can see."


"Yes, if Walmart could vomit, this is what would come out ..."


"As you can see, there is incredible Secret Service and police presence. It takes a lot of people to make sure Melania doesn't run away."


"I just want to make some money off these idiots ... Who needs tickets?? I've got a couple of tickets in the anti-Semitic section. I think I can get you an upgrade into the anti-Muslim section."


"Now coming up to the stand are the Trump sons, also known as the less-motivated Menendez Brothers."


"Of course, health care is an issue of great important to Trump supporters as many of them have a pre-existing mental condition."


"And as the owner of a small business owner, [Obamacare] must have killed you - probably were forced to lay off so many of the employees in your meth lab."


And, yes, the doctored montage tribute to Betty White is also hilarious.

--Regulus

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Trump "U" Degree and a Marriage Proposal for My Betrothed -OR- The BIG "Y" Chronicles, Reloaded


Tuesday late morning.

I'm trying to get back on a regular work schedule after the upheavals and disruptions of the past few weeks. I'm not quite there yet. And probably never will be.


Yesterday's storminess -- squally rain showers mixed with the occasional bit of sleet (though not here in D.C. proper), a gusty wind, and temps only around 40F -- has ended. Today is just seasonably chilly (for late January) and breezy, temps around 43F.

As for snow, that is looking ever-more-unlikely this winter, but, honestly, I don't care.


WTF??

For tonight, I think I should return to discussing in intimate detail my betrothed, BIG Y'EYEMAH, a.k.a., the BIG "Y"

So dainty, petite, and delicate.

My BIG Y is always thinking of me. I can tell by the all the gifts, the endless thoughtful correspondence, the candle-lit Italian dinners (can she eat!), those romantic weekends in Adirondack cabin retreats, four-day Caribbean getaways, and annual holidays to the Greek Isles: Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, and especially big Lesbos.


Lately, my betrothed as taken up yoga and ballet. I think it's time I proposed to my delicate Moon Orchid flower. (Or is it Moth Orchid??)

I'll have a big backyard wedding in some low-rent backyard wedding in Woodbridge, Va., I mean at the Trump International Hotel in D.C.

I'll have to invite that money grubbing roach Wall-P and its his awful Staff ... GASY the Hangry Chipmungorilla (unless he's busy stealing tangerine-flavored steaks from his nearest Giant) ... J-Me (since it has been a while since I was viciously insulted in a lights out cage match of ego and wits over, well, nothing) ... the incessantly Honking Goose ...

I'll also invite, of course, the vapid and vacuous blob of all-consuming self-absorption known as M. WADE Tipamillyun (is it tax season already?) and his beloved Crow Creature. They always travel together and they'll arrive together in the former's newest and whitest BMW.


Oh, and of course, the entire truly useless and deeply depressing Larry's Trap-House and Opium Den gang to include the Crypt Keeper and Psycho Gollumo, the Milwaukee Lawn Gnome (he'll have a BEER), the Polish Kielbasa, and anybody else I forgot.

I'll be so beautiful and such a celebration of life and love... On second thought, forget it. I can't stand anyone of them.

OK, that's all.

--Regulus

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for January 21st, 2017: It's Miss Riddle's and Crystal Whispers -OR- The Contact: Anywhere Is Edition


"Miss Riddle" by Boz Scaggs from his album Dig (2001)

This is a lovely song -- so mellow and smooth jazzy and wonderful.

Of note, according to Wikipedia, the album Dig was released on September 11, 2001 ...

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"Crystal Whisper" by Paul Hardcastle from his Hardcastle VII release (2013)

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And to conclude -- at the start of this Trumpian nightmare regime and after having just re-watched the Jodie Foster movie "Contact" tonight, I think this is appropriate ...


"Anywhere Is" by Enya from her fourth studio album The Memory of Trees (1995)

The lyrics are awesome and worth posting in full:

I walk the maze of moments
But everywhere I turn to
Begins a new beginning
But never finds a finish
I walk to the horizon
And there I find another
It all seems so surprising
And then I find that I know


[Chorus:]
You go there you're gone forever
I go there I'll lose my way
If we stay here we're not together
Anywhere is


The moon upon the ocean
Is swept around in motion
But without ever knowing
The reason for its flowing
In motion on the ocean
The moon still keeps on moving
The waves still keep on waving
And I still keep on going

[Chorus]


I wonder if the stars sign
The life that is to be mine
And would they let their light shine
Enough for me to follow
I look up to the heavens
But night has clouded over
No spark of constellation
No Vela no Orion


The shells upon the warm sands
Have taken from their own lands
The echo of their story
But all I hear are low sounds
As pillow words are weaving
And willow waves are leaving
But should I be believing
That I am only dreaming

[Chorus]


To leave the thread of all time
And let it make a dark line
In hopes that I can still find
The way back to the moment
I took the turn and turned to
Begin a new beginning
Still looking for the answer
I cannot find the finish.


It's either this or that way
It's one way or the other
It should be one direction
It could be on reflection
The turn I have just taken
The turn that I was making
I might be just beginning
I might be near the end.

OK, that's all for now. My next entry will likely not be until Tuesday night. Please see my previous entry for an entry.

--Regulus

Saturday Evening Post for January 21st, 2017: The On Base and (Way) Off Base Edition

**This entry was posted January 21, 2017. Finalized version.**

**UPDATED 12:34PM 1/22/2017; See below.**

A misty, foggy late afternoon at Annapolis Rd. and Rt. 3, Odenton, Md., 3:58PM January 21, 2017.

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This is just a quick Saturday night update ahead of my Jukebox Saturday Night that I have already prepared.

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar looped from 10:37PM to 11:20PM EST January 21, 2017.

This looks like a precipitation hosing about to happen -- as in, all the rain will miss our area.

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It is a misty / foggy and mild night (for January) with a temperature of 45F at the 11PM hour at nearby KBWI and 48F at KDCA -- and dew points basically to match. Rain is forecasted for tomorrow into Monday and, indeed, there is a slug of moisture south of the D.C. area over central Virginia, although it doesn't appear to be in too big of a hurry to get up here (see above animated Sterling LWX radar image).

NWS weather advisories for the United States (not including the legend) updated 0358UTC January 22, 2017.

All that gray represents dense fog advisories. The bright yellow over the southern half of Mississippi and Alabama are tornado watches. You see, Hillary had a LESBIAN E-MAIL SERVER based in BENGHAZI and until she's locked up in jail, Jesus can't save at Walmart, which, in turn, is causing bad weather in the American South.

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Speaking of the weather, another big storm system is slamming into California bringing abundant coastal and valley rains and mountain snows to the central and northern parts of the state. The above map shows all the weather advisories in effect in California and Oregon. I think California is reaching a point where the multi-year extreme drought is ending. That's a good thing.

Pacific SW sector composite mode radar mosaic looped 0228 to 0338UTC January 22, 2017.

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San Francisco Bay Area (MUX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped 7:43PM to 8:20PM PST January 21, 2017.

The hourly obs for KSFO shows just 0.14" since 6PM PST but about 1.5" for the last three days.

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Updated 12:34PM 1/22/2017

I just wanted to note on this early Sunday afternoon the heavy rainfall now impacting Southern California in what is mid-morning there.

Pacific SW sector composite mode radar mosaic looped 1528 to 1638UTC January 22, 2017.

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Los Angeles (Mount Sulphur) (VTX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped 8:24AM to 9:07AM PST January 22, 2017.

That east-west line that appears is simply because the radar can't "see" over the mountainous terrain. Of note, the cumulative three-day hourly obs for KLAX and KCQT show 1.91" and 2.48", respectively, for rainfall.

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Nearer to my part of the world ...

NWS office weather advisories for the New York / Upton (OKX) county warning area (CWA) updated at 12:21PM January 22, 2017.

Note the hurricane force wind warning for the Atlantic waters off the south shore of Long Island. This confusing-sounding advisory -- one that was used to maximum confusion during Hurricane Sandy -- is for the low pressure system forecasted to swing through late tonight into tomorrow. For the Baltimore/Washington area, Sterling LWX has no weather advisories in effect yet -- just a forecast of "rainy and breezy."

End of Update.

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Tonight, after dinner, my mom, Debbie, and I watched the 1997 movie Contact starting Jodie Foster. I've seen it at least twice before and I love it. Trouble tonight was, the DirecTV network on which we watched it has incessant and insufferable commercials literally every 10 minutes -- stretching out the movie to 3-1/2 hours.

Lunch at Ruth's Chris Steak House with my mom, Debbie, and yours truly, Odenton, Md., January 20, 2017.

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Earlier this Saturday, we went onto Fort Meade (my mom has a military ID) and stopped at the Exchange (what I guess is the descendent of the old PX) and then to the Fort Meade Commissary. It was an interesting experience -- especially as I had not been on Fort Meade in many years. It's hard to overstate the -- oh, never mind. I will say that the Fort Meade Commissary grocery store was very crowded with people.

Our table at Ruth's Chris Steak House, Odenton, Md., January 20, 2017.

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I'm heading back to D.C. tomorrow. Things should have settled down, or at least I hope so.

For starters, the Vulgar Talking Yam has been installed as part of the new Trump - Putin regime with James Comey as usefully idiotic water boy and Paul Ryan as (to quote Charles Pierce) zombie-eyed granny starver as part of the bizarre and deeply abnormal Ayn Rand cultic philosophy that infuses the GOP's white entho-nationalistic, Know Nothing approach to all knowledge and governance. Oh, and the half-human / half-pug Mormon thug Jason Chaffetz has promised to spend the rest of eternity investigating Hillary's lesbian email server.

The bar at American Legion Post 276, Severn, Md., 4:04PM January 20, 2017.

The bar crowd was watching (and applauding) the (relatively speaking, sparsely attended) inaugural parade on the half dozen plus flat screen TVs around the bar that were all tuned to Fox News Channel -- until a big, bearded guy came in and sat next to us and put on The Jerry Springer Show (which I didn't realize was still being made).

Somehow, that was appropriate.

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Men's room toilet blockage warning sign, American Legion Post 276, Severn, Md., January 20, 2017.

Part of this was cut-off including the part about stormwater.

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Secondly, today's huge protest marches came and went in D.C. (and many other cities around the country). (I quite liked what Madonna had to say in her surprise appearance at the one in D.C.)

I know multiple people who went to the D.C. protests and described its enormity. Here is Jonathan Chait's take on what the protests represent even if nothing changes for the short-to-medium term.

Entrance to the Exchange, Fort Meade, Md., 2:27PM January 21, 2017.

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Trumpolini and the GOP cult are already busy trying to ram through the whole rightwing laundry list of nightmares starting with taking health insurance away from 30 million Americans and obliterating the biosphere. The American right is a very deranged and diseased thing -- as a political philosophy and system of governance, it is basically the equivalent of the Ebola virus: Something so deadly that it kills off the host so quickly that it destroys itself.

Shoppers at the Fort Meade Exchange, Fort Meade, Md., 2:29PM January 21, 2017.

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In the case of Trump, this vulgar buffoon and world-class huckster that successfully worked a broken and dysfunctional system to become U.S. President on a technicality is busy carrying out publicly and embarrassingly airing every conceivable grudge and grievance he has with everyone and everything -- the supply of which is uncountably infinite and that would any other human being in his position wouldn't think to take, but this venal, megalomaniacal man-child can't help himself.

The customer service desk, the Exchange, Fort Meade, Md., 2:51PM January 21, 2017.

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For tomorrow, I have to complete a much-delayed work-related task -- and it probably means that I'll be up all night into the wee hours to do so. However, I plan on going to the gym right after I get back tomorrow.

The Fort Meade Commissary is well-stocked with Bubba Burgers. Thank God. Everything is right in this Universe.

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Lake Burba, Fort Meade, Md., 3:39PM January 21, 2017.

This is in a nicer corner of the sprawling Fort Meade military base. However, I have no idea why this lake is called "Burba" but the lake and the surrounding grounds are infested with aggressive Canada geese that are basically perpetual shitting machines.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be late Tuesday, which is a gym night and by which I mean likely after midnight Wednesday.

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry to follow momentarily.

--Regulus