Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Washington In the World Series: The Rainy Night Remote Conclusion -OR- Houston, Do We Have A Problem? UPDATE: The World Series Win Has Landed!

**Updated 1:06 p.m. 10/31/2019: See bottom of entry. **

A rainy night U.S. Capitol view; image by Young Choi; Source here

Yes, this image was taken in the spring (April 2017), but it still makes the point.

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Wednesday evening.

I'm here at the office but getting ready to leave for the day. It's a non-gym night -- as I went both Monday and Tuesday nights. In addition, tonight is Game 7 -- the final one -- of the World Series and whoever wins tonight set to win the title.

The Nationals won the first two games in Houston -- and then promptly lost the next three here in D.C. to the Astros -- only to win last night in Houston, hence the three-three series tie. (Both teams have so far lost all the games they played in their home cities.)

Anyway, long story short, I'll watch part of the game at, I think, that old-looking new Union Trust Bar -- so named because it is in the old Union Trust Building, where Joe's is also located -- and then, right near where I live, at Exiles. Gary is supposed to join me, I think.


Obviously, I'm hardly a professional sports fan -- baseball is probably the closest game that I even tune into -- and on those times that I do get interested, well, much like watching election returns roll in, my side always loses when I do by virtue of jinxation (is that a word?). But this is the first time since 1933 that the city is in a major league baseball world series, the first time this close since 1925, and were they to win, the first time since 1924, or so says The Keeper of All Knowledge.

Regardless, it's nice to take a break from...
All Ugly Things Fucking Trump and GOP Cult-Like Insanity.


Tonight is a gloomy, cool, rain showery late October early evening, temps around 64F.

OK, that's all I really wanted to say. My intention is to update the blog tomorrow night.

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Updated 1:06 p.m. 10/31/2019

[I wanted to post this last night but I was too tired.]

Washington Post online headline late last night.

The Washington Nationals won the 2019 World Series!

The Nats defeated the Houston Astros 6 to 2 in Game 7 of the series -- thus winning the title for the first time in the franchise's history (or rather, it's current D.C. incarnation). It is also the first World Series win for Washington, D.C., since 1924.

Another Washington Post online headline late last night.

I just wanted to note this.

Today is a gloomy, rainy, rather mild (70F / dew point 67F), and potentially stormy day ahead of a strong cold frontal passage later tonight and much cooler temperatures. I'll try to post a new entry tonight. 

End of Update and of Entry

--Regulus

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Recent Rains-Enhanced Peak Fall Foliage Colors and Recent Trump Gangster Regime's Extortion-Related Impeachment Hearings Peak Testimony

Ginormous ash tree at fall foliage peak on the grounds of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 2:43 p.m. October 27, 2019

I think this is a white ash tree (Fraxinus Americana) but with an enormous trunk that bifurcates into giant but still sinewy smaller trunk segments before the branches start. Maybe it's an offspring of Yggdrasil …

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The bulk of the pictures in this entry were taken from Sunday on my Georgetown walk with Andrea (and are not posted in chronological order). We walked over to Georgetown University campus and then had lunch and a few drinks at The Tombs before having a few more drinks at Tony & Joes outdoor bar by the Potomac River (in a Sunday sunny-and-warm-weather-crowded Washington Harbour). We parted around 5:30 p.m., and I walked back home -- whereupon I went to Fred & Doug's place for dinner.

Fall day, 1800 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 1:47 p.m. Oct 27, 2019

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Home tonight at this late hour in this tiny apartment, lamp-lit and window a/c humming. I went to the gym earlier tonight after work, and while I got in a full jog, I just couldn't do much weightlifting and only a perfunctory swim. I'm going to try again tomorrow and then take off Wednesday night.

View from the entrance of my apartment building, 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C.,
1:41 p.m. Oct 27, 2019

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About that walk, the morning started quite gloomy and rainy as a strong weather system pushed across the region, although I slept in (of course) and missed most of that. It cleared up by early afternoon and the remainder of the day was very sunny and borderline-uncomfortably warm owing to a lack of any serious cold air advection behind the front.

Same view as above -- but without the overhang visible

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Indeed, it reached 80F at both KDCA and KBWI, not that far below the daily record highs of 83F and 82F, respectively, both set in 1963. KIAD reached 79F -- five degrees below the record daily record of 84F that was also set in 1963. (That was apparently a very dry, warm month in this region.)

3200 block P Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 2:31 p.m. October 27, 2019

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Rainfall totals from the event were as follows -- along with updated monthly (MTD), seasonal (STD), and yearly (YTD) totals to date (i.e., through the end of Oct 28th) and departures (given in parentheses) from the 1981 - 2010 NWS base period normal values.

"Seasonal" refers to climatological season (beginning Sept 1st) rather than astronomical fall.

KDCA:
Event: 1.48"
MTD: 5.15" +2.09" (3.06")
STD: 5.40" -1.38" (6.78")
YTD: 36.18" +3.00" (33.18")

Note 1: KDCA would be below normal but for the July 7th flood.
Note 2: Last year at this time, KDCA was at 52.89" -- and on its way to a record wet year (66.28").

KBWI:
Event: 1.28"
MTD: 4.89" +1.89: (3.00")
STD: 5.05" -1.98" (7.03")
YTD: 32.14" -2.74" (34.88")

Note 1: At this time last year, KBWI was at 57.14 -- and on its way to a record wet year (71.82").

KIAD:
Event: 1.29"
MTD: 4.25" +1.33" (2.92")
STD: 4.66" -2.18" (6.84")
YTD: 34.50" -0.34" (34.84")

Note 1: At this time last year, KIAD was at 53.30" -- and on its way to a record wet year (66.74").

We seem to have gotten enough rain in the past three weeks to have "saved" a decent fall foliage -- rather than the leaves turning straight brown.

Fall foliage backdropped by a rain-washed blue sky, 3600 block P Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C.,
2:36 p.m. October 27, 2019

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We're still supposed to have a full-on early-season Arctic outbreak across much of the Lower 48 United States by the weekend, modified in the eastern U.S. somewhat but highs on Saturday and Sunday still only about 55F.

I'm not going to write about the tremendous wildfire conflagrations raging in California in a "cold Santa Ana" event except to note that it's happening -- now focused on Southern California.

Fall day, 3400 block P Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 2:35 p.m. October 27, 2019

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Well, I was going to write a full entry tonight, although I wasn't quite sure about what. I had been thinking of an entry about three high school teachers I had -- two of whom were shitty and a third of whom was as close to a "mentor" as I ever had, except that ultimately failed -- and all of whom are now passed away. But that would be too much to get into right now.

Another Georgetown street view (can't recall which), Washington, D.C. 2:22 p.m. October 27, 2019

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Instead, I'm going to wrap up this entry -- except I would like to post a comment that really caught my attention. It was associated with this strange New York Times op-ed (link embedded): ‘Clueless’ and ‘Saved by the Bell’ Are How We Got Trump.

The piece itself -- by Lindy West -- argues that 1990s pop culture inured young people of that time to view any sort of progressive activism as stupid and pointless. Having lived through that period, I don't disagree with that notion.

However, Ms. West then starts talking about the activism of the current generation of teens and 20-somethings -- but in so doing, she veers into a sort of identity-politics-based cultural Marxism.

Putting that aside, it's the comment by "Mickey in NY" that I would like to repost:

It’s interesting to read through the multiple pieces published daily in The NY Times which go about earnestly trying to figure out how Trump could have happened. It really is a perfect storm: gerrymandering, the electoral college, decades of propaganda Fox TV and conservative radio, plutocracy and money in politics, the dumbing down of civil discourse, decades of romanticizing neoliberalism, decades of war, the growing fear of a non-white and non-English speaking majority, reality TV and the internet, the slow death of the social safety net, conspiracy theory culture, social atomism, a kind of intellectual relativism— “my ignorance is the same as your knowledge”...

Ultimately cook it all up in a pot and we end up with a pathological and dementia-touched carnival barker billionaire playing the role of strongman to eager crowds draped in red, white, and blue. This feels a lot like the late-capitalist, postmodern version of what happens during the last days of any great empire.

This basically sums up how I see things.

A jack-o'-lantern on the steps of 1064 27th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 5:53 p.m. October 27, 2019

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Speaking of the New York Times, it has this story tonight of a new major development in the Trump House impeachment effort (link embedded): Army Officer Who Heard Trump's Ukraine Call Reported Concerns.


The person is Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman -- the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council -- is to give his testimony tomorrow before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform during the closed preliminary deposition period concerning his direct, first-hand knowledge of Trump's July 25th telephone call.

Vindeman pictured above in Kiev (or "Kyiv," as it is now being spelled in some quarters), in May 2019

That call is, of course, the central focus of the impeachment inquiry and the exclamation point of Trump's ongoing, multi-pronged Ukraine extortion attempt -- run through Rudy Giuliani, Trump's "shadow Secretary of State" and gangster regime caporegime (running around with all kinds of Eastern European and Middle Eastern bagmen) -- in order to get dirt on his political rival and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Page 1 of Alexander S. Vindman's opening statement

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His opening statement is nothing less than remarkable -- as is Vindman's personal life story, starting out as a young child refugee from the old Soviet Union and including earning a Purple Heart during a combat mission in Iraq. (I'm posting three of the six pages as image files herein.)

Page 2 of Alexander S. Vindman's opening statement

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Of course, this will change nothing with Trump's GOP cultists, and the Fox News Agitprop machine, itself part of the larger GOP media/entertainment hate and outrage complex, is still remarkable. Trump himself will spew more of his profanity-laced hate that really ought to get him kicked off Twitter -- but fucking Jack Dorsey will never do that in a billion years.

Page 3 of Alexander S. Vindman's opening statement

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To be clear, Vindman is not the whistleblower whose complaint started this whole thing. (Naturally, the shit-flinging monkeys around Devin Nunes are leaking that person's name left, right, and central. But they're Republicans, so therefore, it isn't a problem, much a federal crime like it would be for anyone else.)


Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D - Awesome Cubed) is preparing for the House to vote on the impeachment resolution on Thursday -- thus ending the bullshit Republican process complaint, except it won't because the goalposts are being moved as fast as Trump can toilet tweet because, to reiterate, the present-day GOP is malevolent quasi-fascist cult -- itself locked in a Trump cult-of-personality.


But I've gone on about that enough lately.

OK, that's all for now. Maybe I'll post another entry tomorrow. If not, then later in the week.

--Regulus

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Fall of Fire, Water, Color, and Cold Mixed With Gangster Trump Crazy and His GOP Cultists

Colorful fall leaves in the vicinity of Burlington, Vermont, October 21, 2019

This picture along with two others from Burlington were taken by Andrea on her return from living in Morocco to D.C. via Montreal -- and a New England fall foliage drive.

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Saturday night.

I'm home now watching the MeTV Super Sci-Fi Saturday Night and Sunday Sci-Fi Red-Eye lineup, although I missed the Svengoolie-hosted monster movie (The Mummy's Ghost), because I went to Annie's (upstairs bar) with Fred and Doug. We had a nice dinner and time.

The Star Trek: TOS episode was "Journey to Babel" while both Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and The Invaders were part 1 episodes (which, in principle, I dislike): "Flight of the War Witch: Part 1" and "Summit Meeting: Part 1." Lost is Space features a great episode: "The Hungry Sea." 

I'll stay up through Land of the Giants.

And I need to do laundry.

It's a mild, overcast evening with scattered light rain showers. At midnight at KDCA, it was 60F with 56F dew point and easterly breeze.

The raging "Tick Fire" burns in rugged swath of Los Angeles County, Calif., Oct 25, 2019

*******

Meanwhile, California remains on fire -- like it always is, the proximity to the Pacific Ocean's 187 quintillion gallons of water notwithstanding (yes, I understand the atmospheric general circulation pattern). Tomorrow is forecasted to be a warm, humid, showery day.

Another scene of the Tick Fire approaching upscale homes Santa Clarita, Calif., Oct 25, 2019

*******

Next week, a major early season Arctic outbreak is forecasted to sweep across nearly two-thirds of the Lower 48. The CWG entry on it is here:


GFS 12Z 25 October 2019 showing 2-meter air temperatures for North America looped hourly between hours 0 and 120 and three-hourly between hours 123 - 171 ending 15Z 01 November 2019, as prettied up by WeatherBell.com

*******

Earlier today, I made it to the gym, where I had a good workout, albeit a bit shortened, to include jog, weightlifting, and swimming.

This followed going out last night to several places on U Street -- Nellie's, Solly's, and The Saloon -- and once again spending way too much money for the day (due to having gone to an impromptu work happy hour at the L'Enfant Plaza Hilton).

As a follow-up to my previous entry, the Nationals lost to the Astros last night in game 3 and tonight in a near blow-up in game 4 (8 to 1) -- meaning the series is now tied up. This means that even if the Nats win tomorrow, they could not win the World Series here in D.C. but rather it would have to be in frickin' Houston.

This assumes they will win, which they probably won't because ANY TIME that I want one side to win a contest (of whatever stripe, sort, or flavor), they promptly lose.

Yes, this includes most American elections.

Misty fall morning in a cemetery in the vicinity of Burlington, Vermont, Oct 21, 2019

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On a related political matter, it's hard to overstate how mentally ill is Donald Trump as the impeachment inquiry proceeds due to Trump's attempted Ukraine extortion. The torrent of tweets and verbal rants -- increasingly profane and grotesque -- over the past few weeks reflect Trump's worsening mental illness, whether antisocial personality disordered, narcissistic, sociopathic, or whatever, combined with possible early-stage dementia.

And a final picture of a misty fall morning in a cemetery in the vicinity of Burlington, Vermont, Oct 21, 2019

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Likewise, it is hard to overstate how frenetic, bizarre, and dissociated from reality are Republicans (to include House GOPers and that embarrassing closeted homosexual Lindsey Graham (R - Gay), not to mention 30 to 35 percent of the country's stupid electorate) in their cult-of-personality worship of Trump and refusal even to perceive Trump's gangster-like values and criminal behavior.

Rainy Sunday afternoon view from the Starbucks at the intersection of U and 16th Streets and New Hampshire Ave NW, 3:42 p.m. October 20, 2019

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I don't want to get too far into the weeds on this, but here are two useful Washington Post articles (links embedded):


A sunflower on a rainy Sunday afternoon, 1800 block R Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:58 p.m. October 20, 2019

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"Lickspittle Lindsey" -- how appropriate, although Andrew Sullivan refers to him as "Butters" (!) … In this piece, Milbank runs through all the almost schizophrenic cycling of behavior that Lindsey has vis-à-vis Trump -- but always coming back to being an obsequious little POS and Trump court jester.

The same sunflower plant on a rainy Sunday afternoon, 1800 block R Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:58 p.m. October 20, 2019

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Then there was "Brooks Brothers Riot: Part 2" -- with pizza included -- that a bunch of vicious, stupid House Repugs with the mindset of a 1980s fraternity house threw earlier in the week (at Trump's urging) by "storming" the secure "SCIF" room where closed-door preliminary depositions are being taken. If the original "Brooks Brothers Riot" in 2000 was the tragedy, this was definitely the farce. Matt Gaetz is a worthless POS.

Blurry picture of a jogger on the National Mall with the U.S. Capitol backdropped, 6:28 p.m. October 23, 2019

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This is the GOP's torrent of bitching about the "process" because they can't defend Trump and his criminal actions (unlike in the endless Russian inquiry).

Damp night after a rainy afternoon at K and 16th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 8:00 p.m. October 22, 2019

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But the Dems are doing a damn good job at this preliminary phase of the impeachment -- and gathering information from numerous dedicated public servants that the Trump thugocracy tried to silence but failed with more to come.

This includes the testimony given by William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, a Vietnam combat veteran with 30-year-plus career in public service -- who Trump tweeted was "human scum" despite the fact (to quote Frank Rich) it was Trump’s own Secretary of State and Ukraine shakedown co-conspirator, Mike Pompeo, who put Taylor in his current post.

This is the sort of syphilitic Trump sickness and megalomania that the GOP are defending like some Stalinist cult-of-personality.

About Andrew Sullivan, he had this Friday Daily Intelligencer piece:

The Difference Between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.

It includes three parts: Why Brexit should be completed even if you are totally against the idea (rather than forever sabotaging it); abhorrent Republican behavior for Trump; and assessment of the current crop of Democratic presidential candidates.

I will excerpt the endings of the second and third parts since they speak to me …

Wet leaves on a sidewalk at the corner of Volta Place and 35 Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 4:42 p.m. October 20, 2019

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Closing of the second part:

This isn’t hard. (It’s as easy as respecting the result of a legitimate referendum, as the Remainers should do in the U.K.) It’s just that when you’ve been captured by an authoritarian cult, it seems that way. But you can escape the cult if you want to, and cut your ties to the lawless, louche demagogue who’s gripping our liberal democracy ever more tightly by the throat. You can set yourselves (and all the rest of us) free.

Another view of wet leaves on a sidewalk, 3400 block Volta Place NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 4:42 p.m. October 20, 2019

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Closing of the third part:

Don't get me wrong. I'll vote for anyone, including Warren or Sanders or even the vacuous "Beto" to defeat Trump. We proud human scum will not be distracted from the central task at hand. But let's be honest: This is a field that has largely wilted upon inspection. For what it's worth, I suspect Warren will win the nomination and dutifully lose the election just like Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, and the second Clinton. She has that quintessential perfume of smug, well-meaning, mediocre doom that Democrats simply cannot resist.

Sunset view at the intersection of W and 14th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 6:00 p.m. October 19, 2019

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OK, that's all for now. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing tomorrow (well, later this Sunday). It's my free day. I might be meeting up with Andrea, but it is also supposed to rain part of the day. I have the usual dinner-and-TV-viewing at Fred and Doug's place at 7 p.m. with them, Aydin, and Eddie. My next planned entry will be late Monday or Tuesday.

--Regulus

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Washington in the World Series ...

OK, this is a somewhat strange entry …

… but I am actually paying attention to the World Series of baseball …

The Washington Nationals swept the National League Championship Series (NLCS) in a four-game shut-out vs the St. Louis Cardinals. And now they are in the World Series against the Houston Astros -- who defeated the New York Yankees.

The "Nats" have now won two of the first two World Series games -- and the two teams are going to be here in D.C. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday -- which means that the Nats have the chance of winning the World Series on a weekend.

The last World Series win for Washington, D.C., was in 1924 when what was then called the Washington Senators (now called the Minnesota Twins) beat the New York (now the San Francisco) Giants …

And the last time they were in ANY World Series was in 1933.

Now, I'm a bit concerned the final BIG BLOW-OUT of a game might occur on a weekend night -- enough to let the city and its youthful population go nuts.

--Regulus

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Chairman Poo, Awful Humans, and This Blog At Entry # 2,797 -OR- Not a Chinaman's Chance


Oooh, I hate this blog and the POO that comes out of its backside -- all 2,797 entries that I've written so far (including this one).

Anyway, in the meantime, read this comment from the following slate article (God, I hate Slate) by somebody with the screen name H Zzzz

It's ultimately trade and not ideology which will bring benefits to the people. The biggest benefactors of America's recent foreign policy decisions are actually the Chinese people. Say what you will but China's rise in standards of living since Nixon's opening up to the country has lifted more people out of poverty than the entire history of the world. Without the US, China would be just be a bigger version of North Korea.

[For] [t]his China should be completely grateful to the US, and the US should be proud of. On fighting for freedom and liberating nations, it should not take a genius to figure out that taking out an evil dictator often makes things even worse for everyone.

Take Saddam, with [h]is removal[,] the power vacuum lead to the development of ISIS. Without Saddam out of the way, ISIS would not have proliferated. Biology tells us that in a natural ecosystem if you take or introduce any predator the sequences are completely unpredictable.

So [,] what makes people think that using external forces to "liberat[e]" nations will [not?] result in utter instability to the whole region?

I couldn't agree more (with the possible bracketed corrections noted) … But I think an old person wrote it because each sentence had two spaces after the comma that I removed -- to make a single space after each. As for China, it's where Japan was in 1990 -- at the start of a prolonged period of deflation and overall demographic decline …


… except its an order of magnitude (or maybe two) greater with commensurate consequences for the world to include the ecological destruction and climate change catastrophe it has bequeathed to the biosphere while it builds itself up at everyone else's expense.


You know … Trump's inadvertent "policy" toward China is the ONLY thing that he has done with which I quite agree, even if he stumbled into it in his usual obscene and grotesque Trumpian way.

OK, I'll try to post an entry later.

--Regulus