Saturday, April 27, 2019

Jukebox Saturday Night for April 27th, 2019: The Take Me Home, Time to Come Home, and Boss's Home Edition -OR- N.J. & Me, Perfect Together

OK, I've posted, I believe, all three of these songs before, but I'm going to repost them for this edition since they all see so appropriate …


"Take Me Home" by Phil Collins from his 
No Jacket Required album (1985)

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"If You're Gone" by Matchbox 20 from the group's Mad Season release (2000)

"If you're gone, maybe it's time to come home …"

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And I can't think of a better way to end my Jukebox Saturday Night edition during this New Jersey visit  …


"Born to Run" by Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen from album of same name (1975)

OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be next Tuesday or Wednesday.

--Regulus

Saturday Evening Post for April 27th, 2019: The Jersey Shore But You Can't Go Back Edition

**This entry was posted April 27, 2019.**

Breaking ocean waves on a spring day, Asbury Park, N.J., 11:01 a.m. April 27, 2019

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New Jersey. Asbury Park.

OK, I'm pissed and ticked off right now … but I don't want to go into it and I shouldn't be in that mind frame because it IS such a nice weekend.

Morning view from Berkeley Hotel, Asbury Park, N.J., 8:48 a.m. April 27, 2019

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Suffice it to say, the one element of this "nostalgia trip" weekend to New Jersey forward to which I was looking (?), turned out shitty -- and after spending $150 over two days to include M. WADE Tipamillyun-level tips -- because the place has two mean lesbian bartenders. Horrible women. And, no, I didn't do anything wrong.

But, again, I'm not going to get into that right now.

A house in Ocean Grove, N.J., 1:04 p.m. April 27, 2019

*******

I'm back in the hotel -- the Berkeley, formerly, the Berkeley-Carteret -- and watching an HLN Very Scary People episode involving "the Reverend" Jim Jones and the Jonestown mass suicide / murder (and, yes, many of those were murders). My dad is not in the room -- I think he went to a bar or some such place, and I'll probably go back out.

This show includes lots of interviews with his actual biological son, Stephan Jones.

Asbury Park shoreline view from a jetty, er, notched groin, 11:09 a.m. April 27, 2019

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Of note, there was a powerful cold frontal passage yesterday to include an extended squall-line -- with a tornado warning that occurred in northeastern Maryland while I was on the Amtrak and everybody's phone went nuts (no, not my flip-open).

When I walked into the room, the television was tuned to Fox News and Trump was giving one of his Oceana-Is-A-War / Hillbilly Nuremberg rallies (not my term but so correct), and I quickly changed the channel.

The next channel over was HLN -- but it was Forensic Files, and I ended up looking up information and finding this YouTube video on the late, great narrator Peter Thomas.

Anyway, today was weird -- in a good way -- as my dad and I met our cousin Tony and rode all around Ocean Grove, Long Branch, and Sea Bright and experienced how much this area has changed. I'll have a lot more to say about this in a future entry.

Yours truly in the backyard of my cousin's house in West Long Branch, N.J., 4:15 p.m. April 27, 2019

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Oh, yes, I discovered that my childhood home -- at 368 Kirby Avenue -- is no longer the house that I knew. It has been wholly reconstructed and is weirdly different. Seeing it like that -- and I first saw it last night on a Google image street view -- actually was good as a closure. It's a different place.

WTF???

This is how it looked when I lived there (except there was a giant, aging Norway maple in the front yard). …

368 Kirby Avenue, Long Branch, N.J., Sept 6, 2008 (but the house looked identical to the way it had when we moved out in January 1981).

And this is how it looked for a short period in the 2010s (2014 - 2016, I guess) …

368 Kirby Avenue, Long Branch, N.J., on a snowy/wet winter day, Jan 24, 2015

The house looked awful, in my view. In that way, the new incarnation -- essentially, a new house -- is better for me since it has no connection to the past.

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Anyway, back to the present …

It's a music festival this weekend here -- "Riot, Redemption, and Rock 'N Roll" -- and even The Boss himself (Bruce Springsteen) is here (or so I heard). No, we didn't come here for that event.

The old Convention Center, Asbury Park, N.J., 11:19 a.m. April 27, 2019

*******

OK, I'm going to sign off.

--Regulus

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Wednesday Evening Entry Ahead of a Week With My Father and a Sort of Nostalgia Trip Up to New Jersey Interspersed with Easter Sunday National Mall & Georgetown Riverfront Pics -OR- Trump Unnatural Chaos

About midway along the National Mall with a view of the Washington Monument through some nearby trees, Washington, D.C., 4:10 p.m. April 21, 2019

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This entry contains some pictures that I took on Sunday (Easter) during my walk from L'Enfant Plaza, where I had gone into the office for a few hours, via the Smithsonian Enid Haupt Garden and National Mall over to Georgetown's Washington Harbour.

Once I got there, I had an overly-expensive early dinner at the outdoor bar of Sequoia and then stopped briefly at Tony & Joe's before heading back to Dupont. I concluded the day by meeting Fred at D-I-K bar for a short while before heading home to pull an "all-nighter" of finishing up the minutes write up of the second of the two meetings I attended last month.

Tree, building, and sky, 1500 block V Street NW, Washington, D.C., 12:21pm April 21, 2019

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The weather was exceptionally nice with a clean, deep blue sky filled with flattened-to-puffy cumulus and stratocumulus clouds both celestial white and brooding gray. The natural world, such as it is, was alive with tender but vibrant greenery of that mid-spring sort that makes D.C. in springtime a particularly nice place to be (except for the pollen, tourists, and any early humidity).

The quality of light and springtime colors made even the images taken by my crappy flip-open cellphone camera look really nice, at least in a few instances.

Smithsonian Castle from the Enid Haupt Garden, Washington, D.C., 4:06 p.m. April 21, 2019

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As for the images, they are mostly topically-unrelated to the entry. What's more, except for the first few images, I am not captioning them since it's fairly obvious what they are. The exception are the last several that were taken in Georgetown's Washington Harbour Potomac riverfront area. 

The pictures are posted chronologically. If you are interested in any of them, click on / download that image. The file name contains the place and time information.


So, I am posting this entry to explain why I probably won't be blogging much for the next week. As an upfront statement, though, things should settle down by early May, as I will be in the process of completing the big "pulse" of work that I've had since February and hope to get back to a more normal schedule.


My father is to fly into National Airport tomorrow around noon from Jacksonville for the start of his six-day visit that includes our extended weekend trek up to New Jersey by train. That trip-within-a-trip is basically a sort of nostalgia tour to Long Branch and Asbury Park. I'm hoping I can see a few of my second cousins including Tony who are still up there.


The trip has ended up a costly one -- $900 for the hotel and $600 for two round-trip Amtrak coach-class tickets (adult and old man, er, senior) between Union Station and Newark (where we will get a NJ Transit train down the coast to Asbury Park, where we are staying). Oh, and I'm convinced those online purchases that say only 2 seats available are bullshit.


Anyway, we are to return on Monday and have Tuesday free here in D.C. Depending on how my mom feels, she may come down by MARC train from Maryland for the afternoon and we'll go to lunch somewhere, but her mobility is quit limited these days. Then, he leaves on Wednesday.

I suppose I should see him more than once-a-year these days. Likewise, I should see my mother more often.


However, over the course of the next 15 hours or so, I need to finish three financial monitoring reports for work (one of which I have already done but it needs revisions). I also need to do my laundry including my current bedding.


On that topic, I went to the Columbia Heights and purchased a new quilt, pillow, sheets, and pillow cases, all of which I quite needed. But these are for the purposes of making another bed on the floor, where my dad is going to sleep, as I do (yes, I have foam cushion underneath as well), even if he is 78 years old. God, he got old.

The point is, I do not have a regular bed and have not for years.


I doubt I have the time to go to the gym tonight, which is a shame because (1) I've gotten borderline pudgy again -- although it looks worse than it is because I'm so goddamn short, which exaggerates the my middle section's apparent width; and (2) I won't be able to go again until next Wednesday.


For tonight, I will probably be up until dawn finishing these tedious Grantee financial monitoring reports (that no one reads anyway) -- so MeTV and 1960s and '70s TV shows (Perry Mason, Mannix, Cannon, among others) will keep me company again. I tried to get a lot of sleep last night -- another one of those 12-hour sleeps -- to prepare for this.


OK, that's all for now. Again, the time of my next entry is uncertain -- it could be over the weekend from New Jersey or possibly not for a week from now. But it will be nice to take a break from the latest Trump lawless political and moral atrocities and the GOP's brazenly, amoral enabling of him.


In the wake of the Mueller report, Trump's bullying, hectoring, yet ever-more-meaningless "I WON! I WON!" bullshit tweets. Honestly, at this point, I think Trump wants to be impeached -- since he knows conviction in the Senate is impossible -- as that in his syphilis-addled, solipsistic mind would be another "WIN" for him.

The actual link to the Rolling Stone article referenced in this Yahoo News feed is here.

*******

Speaking of Trump and the socially virulent toxicity of social media, he met with that dick Jack Dorsey of Twitter and, naturally, complained about the number of his Twitter followers (60 million) versus Barack Obama (106 million) (see above image) while Dorsey apparently "gently" explained that a lot of Trump's followers that periodically get removed (making his numbers go down) are Russian bots. This, Dear Children, is what goes through the mind of the Leader of the Free World and Most Powerful Human Being on Planet Earth.


Naturally, this "meme" has been instantly subsumed into the rightwing agitprop media/entertainment complex's contrived victimization narrative about how social media and Big Tech are "bias against conservatives." It's all just goes into the mix of our post-factual, quasi-fascist, late-stage oligarchical capitalist dystopian world, but there you have it.


I've made my peace with the fact that Trump's reelection is basically a coin toss -- and even that assumes he wouldn't pull some outright Third World coup-like attempt, although I'm not convinced the military and the judiciary would go along with something of that nature. We'll see.

Evening view from Sequoia restaurant in Georgetown of the Potomac River (with Kennedy Center visible), Washington, D.C., 7:10 p.m. April 21, 2019

I sent this picture to my mom and she wanted to know what is that bizarre-looking structure. Well, long story short, it's a sculpture called "Scarlet Natural Chaos" and it was assembled -- or whatever is the term of art -- by Belgian "conceptual artist" Arne Quinze, who explains his artistic vision of it here here.

Here's a close-up of it …

Scarlet Natural Chaos

Rising from the patio property of Sequoia restaurant, and it was commissioned by the founder of Sequoia's parent company. Some people think it's incredible. I think it looks like the end result of eating a oversized plate of cheese, salsa, jalapeno peppers, and sour cream-topped nachos.

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The yacht "Miss Guided" docked at the Georgetown (Washington Harbor) waterfront, Potomac River, Washington, D.C., 7:11 p.m. April 21, 2019

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Returning to the topic of my dad and his impending visit, for reason I don't fully understand, my father is a Trump supporter. To be clear, he had always been a liberal Democratic. And he lives in Florida, where electorally, it matters because of our deranged, indeed, malevolent Electoral College system. The good news is that I don't have cable in my apartment, although the hotel will.

Sunset from the Georgetown Potomac River "Washington Harbour" waterfront, Washington, D.C., 
7:40 p.m. April 21, 2019

Yes, it has the British spelling.

*******

OK, that really is all for now. Again, my next planned update might not be for a full week.

--Regulus

Monday, April 22, 2019

Trump's Predictably Rotten Easter Egg Roll in the Time of Endlessly Indifferent GOP Dystopia


Yes, this is a for-real picture taken at Monday's White House Easter Egg roll. The look of shock on the Easter Bunny's face is probably no accident.

You won't be surprised to hear that Trump managed to turn this ostensibly apolitical and happy event into one of his signature vulgar (indeed, borderline obscene) political rant and general shitfest with some little kid supposedly telling him to "build that wall" -- whether true or not is irrelevant -- because that's all his syphilis-addled, megalomaniacal mind can do.

In a sad historical irony, this annual event coincided with Earth Day.

******

Kwanzan (or Kanzan) cherry tree blossoms, 17th and V Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 1:23 p.m. April 14, 2019

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OK, this isn't the entry I planned tonight.

Written after I got home from the gym, that entry got bogged down in extra content and the need to upload lots of pictures -- including those I took on my Sunday walk from L'Enfant Plaza over to Georgetown. My plan is to post that entry on Tuesday night.

Spring day, 17th and V Streets NW, Washington, D.C.,
2:45 p.m. April 15, 2019

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That entry, however, contained a snippet of politics that I think would be better placed here, especially with that lead image that I found. (The other images in this entry were taken recently by me while walking about, others of which I posted in my previous entry.)

Gold and red tulips growing outside the NANBPWC (National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs) at 1806 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 2:47 p.m. April 15, 2019

*******

On that topic, in the wake of the Mueller report and the totally predictable GOP reaction -- do nothing except have Lindsey Graham (R - Gay) get the vapors about investigating the investigators -- the WaHoPo had one of its signature nihilistic "political analysis" pieces that basically concludes in the present day world, with the Republican Party in its current amorally diseased state, a future (Republican) President will be able to do literally anything with no accountability. (To be clear, no Democratic President of this sort could even get elected, much less behave this way in office.)

Row houses on, I think, 20th St NW, near Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., 3:02 p.m. April 15, 2019

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The sub-headline from the article reads:

The aftermath of the special counsel's report, as well as Congress's inability to help serve as a check on President Trump, could create a precedent in which it remains unclear where to draw lines on presidential behavior.

As if we didn't already know this. I really hate the Washington Post sometimes. 

It lives in this Reagan era time-warp in which it is "informing its readers" of either the painfully obvious in that (as Paul Krugman once said) "views differ on the shape of the Earth" fake-balance.

Alternatively, it's giving you whatever the Gang of 500 and its late 1990s-era Washington Consensus Received Wisdom thinks is worth knowing before heading to Sally Quinn's dinner party while Fred Hiatt beams in that beatific vision way of his. Idiot.

Rose Park at the western edge of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:21 p.m. April 15, 2019

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Speaking of Paul Krugman, he has this New York Times op-ed that I would like to note (link embedded): The Great Republican Abdication.

I'm considering reposting this op-ed in full. In the meantime, and again quoting Charles Pierce, the Republican Party is indeed (link embedded) a big, plague-ridden, zombie-filled tent. What's more, per Pierce, "Donald Trump is the inevitable product of movement conservatism and the Republican Party that's hosted it for 40 years. Never Trumpers need to clean their own house."

Looking down the Exorcist Steps, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:52 p.m. April 15, 2019

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But who are we kidding?? Entho-racially panicked whites (some economically badly stressed, others not) combined with Bottomless Pockets of the Oligarchical Overclass and our country's 19th Century political system will ensure that the GOP continues to win in ways far outsized to its numbers for decades to come. I'm just not sure if the dystopian overclass is more George Orwell or Aldous Huxley in character.

Dazzling low-angled sunshine as seen looking west from 1400 block of V Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:00 p.m. April 20, 2019

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OK, that's all for now. Again, I'll try to post the entry I intended tomorrow.

--Regulus

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Saturday Evening Post for April 20th, 2019: The Springtime Menagerie Edition -OR- Lost in Place

Tulips growing in a small patch of a yard in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 2:12 p.m. April 15, 2019

Among the non-topically related images in this entry are a set of cellphone pictures I took over the past week -- primarily on Monday when I took off the afternoon because of the lovely, breezy, cool, pleasant weather and walked down through Georgetown to the Potomac. The above-one, however, was taken on Sunday when Aydin and I walked town to Georgetown.

*******

Sky and trees on a pleasant spring day,
1700 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 2:49 p.m. April 15, 2019

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Saturday Night.

I'm home watching the MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night lineup and trying to get a blog entry posted before I turn to my main task, which is to complete the minutes -- about 45 pages' worth -- of the meeting I attended last month in Crystal City and that is due first-thing Monday morning.

The Indonesian Embassy housed in an enormous, ornate Walsh Mansion, Washington, D.C., 3:10 p.m. April 15, 2019

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On Friday, I finished the major revision to the notes from the meeting at SLAC in Menlo Park, Calif., also held last month. But I still have to finish three financial monitoring reports by Thursday morning -- when my dad arrives from Florida. That's when I start a planned four days off (plus weekend) that includes a side trip with him up to New Jersey.

Street view, 2100 block P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:15 p.m. April 15, 2019

I think that's the building where the old Mr. P's used to be. Now that was a gay skank-o-rama.  

*******

Finally, I have an additional five financial monitoring reports to finish by early May -- I'm way behind on them, too. At that point, I'll be caught up workwise. I think.

View of the First Baptist Church - Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:25 p.m. April 15, 2019

*******

The most pressing issue is the aforementioned Crystal City meeting write up. However, I also want to be able to enjoy my Sunday -- to include a walk down to Georgetown. The weather is supposed to be variably cloudy (with "sunny spells") and cool (high around 65F) with a chance of a few showers (see my previous entry for a weather update).

A large house in Georgetown (either on Dumbarton Street or N Street), Washington, D.C., 3:29 p.m. April 15, 2019

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As an update … Yesterday, I stayed at work late, leaving around 8 o'clock. It was a warm, wet, and windy night with squally rain showers. I didn't take the Metro but instead walked from L'Enfant Plaza across the Mall -- and since the Haupt Garden was closed for the night and I didn't want to go either to 7th or 12th Streets, I slipped through the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden.

The row house at 3019 N Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:31 p.m. April 15, 2019

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I mention this because in the warm, rainy, soft darkness, it was just so pleasant, as was crossing the Mall and the Butterfly Habitat Garden over to Constitution Avenue. Everything is in rapid, full bloom so the leaves created that summertime enclosed look.

Harry's Pub, Washington, D.C., 11:05 p.m. April 19, 2019

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From there, I headed over to Harry's Pub where I had dinner and a couple drinks. I like that place. It tends to be quite festive and even its dive-i-ness makes it enjoyable. It also has some surprisingly good food -- including some healthy options. And, by and large, the staff are nice and attentive.

Another view of Harry's Pub, Washington, D.C., 11:05 p.m. April 19, 2019

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Next, I went to Old Ebbitt Grill's Corner Bar for a drink. There I met a trio of young guys and, long story short, I ended up at some strange bar on Bladensburg Road in a strange part of Northeast D.C. (where I never go) at the edge of Trinidad. I don't even remember the name of the bar, and I didn't stay that long, but one of the fellows got me a Uber back to my neighborhood. (I had left at one point and was going to try to find a cab -- even walking -- but, wisely, did not and instead went back inside.)

Blurry image of the far end of the Corner Bar, Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, D.C., 12:02 a.m. April 20, 2019

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Back home, I cooked some dinner (two pork chops and Brussel sprouts) and watched part of an episode of Cannon on MeTV. I finally got to sleep around 4:30 a.m. -- and, not surprisingly, I ended up losing my entire Saturday daytime because I slept all day.

Yours truly in my apartment, 4:07 a.m. April 20, 2019

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This 12-hour sleep period featured all manner of dreams in that weird dream-world I seem to inhabit when I slumber. Among these was a lengthy one involving Bea Arthur and the old Tradewinds Beach Club in Sea Bright, N.J., where I used to go every summer in my childhood and teenage years, and her young Asian housemate. This guy (in the dream) had a cabana, and I was trying to get to know to him in order to visit her.

Row houses and trees, N Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:41 p.m. April 15, 2019

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I finally got up around 4:30 p.m. and shaved / showered and got all cleaned up before heading for a brief period. My original goal was just to go to the CVS, but it was such a nice early evening that I stopped at Provision 14 and sat at the front bar -- having a snack, a drink, and enjoying the occasional gusty breeze blowing through the open door.


Anyway, right now I'm watching the Svengoolie-hosted movie was one of the dumbest I've seen in his series: Valley of the Dragons, the 1961 film "loosely" based on Jules Verne's 1877 story Off on a Comet. Indeed.


The Svengoolie himself said, it's a sort of cave man version of Three's Company -- until the volcano explodes, at which point it goes from absurdity to campy farce. The lizard monsters and half-human creatures in this movie are parody.


It ends with the two white guys getting their cave women and peace breaking out.

The Lost in Space episode next was "Visit to a Hostile Planet."

This episode is an interesting one in that the Robinsons (and Dr. Smith) end up on Earth -- but in 1947 or 50 years before they were supposed to have left -- and are viewed as hostile extraterrestrial aliens.

MeTV is now up to the third season of the original Lost in Space series when the opening theme by John "Johnny" Williams was much more up tempo and expansive …



The episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was a weird one -- "The Satyr" -- and now Star Trek: TOS is "The Menagerie: Part II." I wrote about this episode and Star Trek: TOS more generally in this entry last week.

Watching again "The Menagerie" -- and "The Cage" upon which it is built -- I can see just how profound and profoundly good they are.

What I'm not entirely sure is if the voice of The Keeper is really that of Meg Wyllie (but distorted a bit in some fashion). I don't think so but I'm not sure.

OK, that's all for now.

Dazzling sunlight, 35th and N Streets NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 3:43 p.m. April 15, 2019

*******

I would like to try to post a Jukebox Saturday Night entry, but given how much I need to finish by Monday morning and that I don't have a ready-made set I want to feature, I may skip it this week. I'm also likely to skip next week since I'm supposed to be in New Jersey with my dad on our nostalgia tour, as it were, to Long Branch and Asbury Park. But trying to compose a JbSN edition this week just isn't a good use of my time.

The Exorcist Steps as seen from the base of them, Washington, D.C., 3:54 p.m. April 15, 2019

I walked down them from the area around Georgetown University.

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As it is, I just spent nearly 90 minutes preparing a set of about 50 photos I took since last Sunday -- primarily on Monday -- to post in upcoming entries, although I am featuring a number of them in this entry. This includes a set of 14 that I took at the Norman Rockwell exhibit at the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum -- a sort of combo museum located in Foggy Bottom. Fred's husband is one of the curator staff there. I went there after my Monday walk down to Georgetown when I met them there. (They had just returned from an extended weekend in New York to see an opera.)

Francis Scott Key Bridge and the Potomac River as seen from the Georgetown Waterfront Park, Washington, D.C., 4:02 p.m. April 15, 2019

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For the week ahead, as alluded to, I have a lot to do between now and Thursday. For tomorrow (Sunday), I intend to do my usual G'town walk routine, and I'm supposed to meet Fred & Doug for dinner and some 'Allo! 'Allo! viewing (they were able to get the entire series on video even though it is no longer on Netflix).

St. Augustine Catholic Church exterior, Washington, D.C., 5:58 p.m. April 20, 2019

*******

For the week ahead, as alluded to, I have a lot to do between now and Thursday. My next planned entry will be either Monday or Tuesday.

--Regulus