Thursday, April 27, 2017

Late Night Blog Maundering: Rainfall Overview; Assessing Trump's Impending First 100 Days of Failure; Remembering Erin Moran; Poor Simon the Rabbit; & Prelude to Cassini's Grand Finale

McPherson Square at night, Washington, D.C., 8:33PM April 25, 2017.


Well, I had planned a regular entry tonight but it turns out that I have some work-related work to do tonight by way of finishing writing up the notes from the workshop I attended in Durham last week.

OK (even before posting this entry), this entry ended up a lengthy one -- and at this point, I just need to go to sleep. I'll get up and go into work early tomorrow.

Barcelona, 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C., evening, April 23, 2017.


I went to the gym tonight but it wasn't that good of a workout -- in particular, I only did one-third of my usual hour jog on the treadmill. I managed to get in an hour of weightlifting, but in looking at myself in the mirror in the locker room, it was just depressing.

Couple walking along 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C., around 7PM, April 23, 2017.


I'm getting old (and look it) and what's more, I've certainly plateaued in achievement. I could easily put on weight again. I'm approaching the 5-year anniversary of having rejoined the gym (the old National Capital YMCA).

Patrons at Starbucks, 1400 block P Street NW, Washington, D.C., April 23, 2017.


I'm also forced to admit that I just don't have any real gay male friends. There are a few that I like -- Fred, Chris in Atlanta, and even Chris in Massachusetts (although that one is a bit problematic) -- but I just don't get along with gay men, especially those under about 35 years of age. Yes, I realize this is my issue rather than the larger world's but that doesn't help me resolve it. In fact, at this point, it is unlikely I can change it.

1400 block, Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 10:13PM April 25, 2017.


Turning to the Weather ...

The weather is shifting back to very warm and humid.

The rainfall of the previous two days -- which caused massive wailing and gnashing of teeth on the CWG -- didn't amount to a great deal, specifically, in the range of 1/3 to 2/3 of an inch to include the following:

KDCA: 0.31 inches
KBWI: 0.67 inches
KIAD: 0.44 inches
KDMH: 0.67 inches

For the past week (since April 20th), the totals are:

KDCA: 0.85 inches
KBWI: 1.37 inches
KIAD: 1.27 inches
KDMH: 0.95 inches

The drought has been alleviated somewhat this month but conditions still remain too dry after 6+ months of well below normal precipitation (and well above normal temperatures).

Meanwhile, the coastal storm / cut-off low dropped 5 to 10 inches of rain in parts of North Carolina including the Rayleigh-Durham area where I was last week with KRDU recording 6.68 inches on the 24th and 25th and 7.75 inches since April 20th.

With the impending warm weather -- highs around 85F to near 90F on Saturday -- April is on track to be the warmest one on record at both KDCA and KBWI.

A few other items ...

Seth Meyers on Donald Trump's first 100 days ...

About the 100-day marker -- which arrives this coming Saturday when we may or may not have a federal government shutdown that would result in my being furloughed -- here is an excellent piece by Matthew Yglesias on the history of a U.S. president's first 100 days starting with FDR and how Trump's fixation with it (part of his obsession with cable media punditry in general) screws up the whole thing by letting it control him.

As I'm sure you've heard, Actress Erin Moran died this past Saturday at age 56 -- reportedly due to complications of stage 4 throat cancer. However, since her acting days -- most famously, Happy Days and its ill-conceived, self-parodying spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi, Ms. Moran's life was reportedly rather difficult with substance abuse issues. In recent years, she was living in a trailer park in Indiana and there was even a story a few years ago that she was homeless.

Upon her death, the surviving cast members of Happy Days all took to social media to write very nice things about her (whatever their actual present-day relationship with her was). However, Scott Baio decided to make Moran's death about himself.

As context, Scott Baio a real rightwing d-bag in love with Donald Trump and who last year caused a stir when he called Hillary Clinton the c-word around the time he attended the GOP Hate-Week 2016 political convention.

Without knowing anything, Baio implied she had died of drugs and alcohol abuse rather than cancer -- and then defended his assholery with more Scott Baio assholery mixed with his vintage political victimization shtick.

This prompted a withering blast from Moran's brother, actor Tony Moran, that turned into a thermonuclear blast when Baio's wife contacted him (Tony) to apologize. You can read about it here: Erin Moran's Brother Launches Withering Attack On "Tiny" "Coward" Scott Baio.

The "tiny" part refers to Baio's penis. Tony also called him a "piece of shit." He also threatened to beat the shit out of Baio if he comes across him.

Left: Actor Tony Moran, the late Erin Moran's older brother. I wouldn't want to cross him.

It's hard to overstate what an asshole is Scott Baio, but this is a time that should be about Erin Moran, not him.

Of note, in the obituaries to Ms. Moran I read, I didn't see mention of the most infamous movie (Galaxy of Terror) in which she starred. A horrible, violent, awful movie with no redeeming qualities, it's become a sort of cult classic that I saw one time (and one time only!) -- in the summer of 1982 or '83 -- with my childhood best friend Jonathan at his old house in Rumson, N.J., during one of my many sleepovers during our Tradewinds Beach Club days.

Also of note, there was a period of time from 1979 to 1981 (age 9 to 11), I was obsessed with Happy Days -- in particular Anson Williams.

I had this whole bizarre fantasy world that I was living in Happy Days -- and was even fixated on Milwaukee at one point. It began when I was still living in Long Branch, N.J., and extended all the way to early 1981 when I was living in Texas.

I even once wrote handwrote a letter to Ron Howard and -- per a suggestion from my late second cousin Betty Lu -- addressed the envelope as follows:

Ron Howard
Star of "Happy Days"
Hollywood, California

The letter eventually came back a few months later -- return to sender, address unknown.

Some sad news except the "hare/O'Hare" part is just too much (link): "Much-loved" giant rabbit found dead after United flight to O'Hare.

It's the story of a giant rabbit named Simon (pictured left) that was on his way from England to a farm in Iowa via Chicago O'Hare -- on image-marred United Airlines, no less -- who inexplicably died during the journey. Simon was to be entered into the "biggest rabbit" contest at this year's Iowa State Fair. He was the offspring of Darius, the world's long's rabbit.

Poor Simon.

Animals should not be transported as cargo on passenger jets. (As for the Post story linked above, the comment section is filled with a lot of jokes and bad puns, including a few by yours truly (Arcturus 24).)

I am curious, though, how one takes care of this creature. If you do have a rabbit this big as a pet, how do you care for it? Do you walk (hop?) it??

OK, I'm going to wrap up this entry now.

Some Preliminary Thoughts on Cassini at the Start of its "Grand Finale" ...

In my next entry, I really want to discuss the Cassini Saturn probe -- which just started its Grand Finale that will see the intrepid little probe burn up in the Saturnian atmosphere. Now this presupposes the probe survives a series of fantastic maneuvers that will take it ever closer to Saturn -- inside the ring -- between April 26th and the final, fiery plunge on Sept. 15th, 2017.

Artist's conception of the brave, awesome little Cassini probe on its final plunge into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15, 2017.

Cassini will disintegrate in Saturn's atmosphere -- but in so doing, it will become part of Saturn itself.


I want to dedicate a full entry to this -- and the wondrous discovers that Cassini (and its Huygens probe to Titan) has given us over the past 13 years.


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