Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Springtime Washington Crazy GOP Reign of Trump: You're Only Just a Metro Delay Away ...

Spring day, 1900 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 3:22PM April 2, 2017.

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(I'm in a hurry to finish this entry and there is no way I can get as many pictures as I would like to have.)

Wednesday early evening It was another frickin' sunny day. It's supposed to rain tonight -- or at least the chance of some showers. Highs today were around 74F.

I forgot to mention that last month -- March -- actually managed the feat of being COLDER in absolute terms than February and yet STILL ABOVE NORMAL at National Airport (KDCA) owing to just how incredibly warm was February. So February averaged +8.7F above normal at 47.7F while March was +0.4F above normal at 47.2F.

A schematic comparison of years in Washington, D.C., stretching back to 1871 in which February was warmer than March; created by Ian Livingston for this CWG entry.

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I'm not going to look up the KBWI or KIAD numbers right now to see if this was also the case at those two locations.

Land-Ocean temperature departure for February 2017 versus the 1981 - 2010 base period; source NOAA / National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).**

**This was formerly the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). And, yes, the data is still be generated despite being two months into the Trumpocalypse.

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The NCEI data for March 2017 is not yet out. Instead, I have this map (from the above-linked CWG entry) for the Lower 48:
Lower 48 CONUS March 2017 temperature departures from the 1981 - 2010 base period.

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The weather looks like it might be stormy tomorrow morning for the D.C. area. Here is the CWG entry: Threat of severe storms early Thursday morning into the afternoon.

Southeastern CONUS weather risk map for April 5, 2017 that also shows locations of three NWS radars presently offline; map from this CWG entry.

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Here is a high-resolution NAM radar simulation for the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachians between 2AM - 4PM EDT April 6, 2017.

I'm unsure of what run this is but it comes from one of the above-linked CWG entries.

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A few bits of politics ...

Here is a great Vox.com headline and sub-headline:

He's too ignorant, dishonest, and ethically compromised.

Headline from The Hill April 3, 2017 after an IBD / TIPP poll showed his approval / disapproval at 34% to 56%.

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And here is a link to Charlie Pierce piece on the effort of the rightwing media/entertainment complex to blame former National Security Advisor Susan Rice for the Trump / Russia story:


The closing paragraph is worth quoting: To [Rice's] credit, Rice appeared with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC on Tuesday afternoon and tried to explain that this whole thing is, at best, a smokescreen—a diversion to give substance to the president*'s previous diversion about wiretapping. Her appearance is, of course, already being parsed into a fine pulp. (See that WaPo clip above.) This will now become A Beltway Thing because it's a way for people to cover Both Sides of the story of Russian ratfcking and, also, because there are suckers born every minute. If there weren't, we would have a different president, at least.

I love how he writes "president*" -- with the asterisks -- every time he mentions the dangerously unqualified lunatic who presently occupies that position.


Oh, and here is a piece by Jonathan Chait to which I would like to return soon (link embedded): Before This Is Over, Republicans Are Going to Wish Hillary Clinton Won.

Silhouetted trees, 1800 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 3:23PM April 2, 2017.

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Changing subjects ...

Yesterday morning absolutely sucked trying to get to work in a meaningful, on-time way. Not only did it -- characteristically -- take me seemingly forever to get ready and out of the apartment -- but the Metro was in an especially infuriatingly fucked up way.

For starters, the 13th and U Street entrance to the U Street / Cardozo Metro station is closed for an estimated six months for a big escalator replacement project. That it would take Metro six months to replace two small escalators (small by the standards of the D.C. Metro system) is typical Metro bullshit and incompetence.

This means I have to walk an extra four to five minutes to get to the Vermont Avenue side.

WMATA Metrorail System Map

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Secondly, the Yellow Line is not running through April 12th as part of one of the stupid maintenance "surges" that make precious little sense to me -- as in, why is the single-tracking / partial line closures invariably between a line terminal station and the station right before it (e.g., Eisenhower Ave to Huntington or Greenbelt and College Park)?

Should this be more randomly scattered (say, Tenleytown to Friendship Heights or Capitol South to L'Enfant Plaza)??

Even with that, the lines are fucked up -- creating a cascade effect of delays and misery. Not to worry, though, because the clowns at Metro Central Control play announcements CONTINUOUSLY -- both the idiotic "See it, say it" and the related "'Is that your bag??' canned public service ones (in English and Spanish), the surge closures / schedule alterations, and the special announcements for whatever stupid delay is afflicting a portion of the system -- not to mention the elevator outage ones.

That "ding, ding ..." announcing an announcement plays almost continuously and is enough to drive one mad.

Oh, and the voices of the Central Control people who make the announcements are -- with one or two exceptions -- seemingly designed to be mocking and offensive.

Cloudy dusk, Wakefield Hall, Washington, D.C., 7:12PM April 1, 2017.

This is the sister building to the Hampton Courts where I live.

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Anyway, this means only Green Lines are passing through U Street / Cardozo -- which means wait times of at least 12 minutes between trains and, more typically, 15+ minutes.

And to that point, yesterday, I managed to get to the goddamn station (via the Vermont Avenue side) just in time to miss a train and have what was ostensibly a 14-minute wait but was more like 18 minutes. So it took me 50+ minutes to get to work -- I could have walked it in that time.

It must take a lot of effort on God's part to have so many things simultaneously go shitty.

Speaking of the Metro, here is something I composed a few weeks ago but never posted so I'll do so in this entry:

Today Last month, I was on an 8-car train seated in the rear bulkhead, which was open and available. (To be clear, sometimes the drivers will leave part of the bulkhead open with only the driver's seat closed off; this is not possible with the new 7000 series cars because of how they are designed.)


Anyway, on the short trek from U Street / Cardozo to L'Enfant Plaza, I was able to see the tunnel signs at the far end of each station that tell how far in feet is the distance either to the next station or an escape ladder or other exit. In the case of the U Street / Cardozo to L'Enfant Plaza Green / Yellow Line stretch, all the distances are to the next station. They are as follows:

U Street / Cardozo to Shaw / Howard University: 1,956 feet
Shaw / Howard University to Mt. Vernon Square / Convention Center: 1,927 feet
Mt. Vernon Square / Convention Center to Gallery Place / Chinatown: 2,385 feet
Gallery Place / Chinatown to Archives / Navy Memorial / Penn Quarter: 1,280 feet
Archives / Navy Memorial / Penn Quarter to L'Enfant Plaza: 2,351 feet

Grand total: 9,899 feet or 1.875 miles.

However, each platform is about 600 feet, so if we add 300 (midpoint of the platform at origin station) + 600 + 600 + 600 + 300 (midpoint of the platform at destination station) = 2,400 feet, which increases the total to 9,899 + 2,400 = 12,299 feet or 2.329 miles.

That distance is less than half the tremendous distance between the Spring Hill and Wiehle - Reston East station (the latter being the current end of the Silver Line on the Virginia side).

OK, enough of that.

Sunset, 1400 block P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:12PM April 2, 2017.

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For tonight, I'm supposed to meet Kevin tonight after work at some hotel bar in Gallery Place. Last night was a gym night and while it was very difficult getting there, I had a good multi-part workout including jog, weightlifting, and nice swim at the end -- and I felt much better for it.

The "non-gym nights" that are supposed to be the "fun" ones invariably turn out to be crap and I feel significantly worse for it. I am trying to get to a point there the most I do on those nights is just go to a restaurant and refrain from any bars except on the weekend.

On Monday night, I had dinner at the bar at Baan Thai and then went to Trade, where I met my neighbor Fred. That was actually nice. I also had a nearly hour long conversation with my dad on the phone while at Baan Thai (it has been a while since I spoke to him) and then I called my mom when I got her text message.

She found out some good news but I don't want to go into it here. It does make a real positive difference, though.

Cloudy evening, 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:15PM April 1, 2017.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be late tomorrow night (after the gym).

--Regulus

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