Saturday, October 18, 2008

Step Right Up

This is my second entry for today but I wanted to post some pictures I and my friend Quill took earlier this afternoon ...

Here is a picture of Yours Truly, Regulus, at the Spanish Steps at the dead-end of 22nd St., NW, in the upscale urban-residential Kalorama section of Washington, D.C., where lots of embassies and ambassadorial residences are located.

Yes, yes, the real Spanish Steps (pictured to the left from an internet image) are in Rome and are located in the Piazza di Spagna and are known variously as the Scalla di Spagna and the Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti. We don't have piazzas in D.C., except for a solo one. We do have traffic circles encompassing circular parks, and square parks, too. As you can see, the Spanish Steps of D.C. aren't quite the same.

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Turning to the weather, we are in a prolonged dry spell for almost four weeks and there is no real sign of ending for at least another week, whereupon the pattern may change.

There has been no measurable rain since Oct. 1 and we are running at just 0.04" at DCA, 0.12" at BWI, and 0.19" at IAD. Ironically, we're still nearly double at both DCA and IAD over last year's drought-ravaged totals, and we're still above normal by about 25 percent year-to-date normal at DCA.

At least the unseasonably warm weather ended, though.

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A sunken stairway into an "English basement" apartment in the 2100 block of R St., NW, next to the Fondo del Sol art gallery.

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Returning to the weather, specifically, for DCA, we're at 40.00" or +8.03" above normal through today and +18.36" above last year's total, which by Oct. 18, 2007 was the last day of a record 33-day dry spell at DCA from that stretched between Sept. 15 - Oct. 18, 2007, inclusive, with no MEASURABLE rain ("trace" doesn't count).

The previous dry spell was a 32-day stretch that precisely encompassed the month of October from Sept. 30 - Nov. 1, 1963.

Even though it does not show up in the climatological record (DCA averages 3.22" for the month) Octobers in my experience are often dry times in the D.C. area since (1) there is no active storm track, (2) there are no summer thunderstorms, and (3) our minimal tropical activity is almost nil by this point. My guess is that the standard deviation of precip amounts in Oct. are higher than in most other months.

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Here is the R Street Art Gallery right next to the Fondo del Sol in the same 2100 block of R St., NW. There are weird little art galleries and studios that I've never been to because I'm totally un-high cultured. This is at the edge of the Dupont Circle and Kalorama neighborhoods west of Connecticut Ave. That is Quill in the corner of the picture.

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As for the other two regional airport recording stations, IAD is at 38.25" or +4.20" above normal for 2008 so far and +19.21" or double last year's 19.04" by Oct.17. Last year was a record dry year at IAD. Meanwhile, BWI is at 38.02" or +3.81" above normal for 2008 and +14.32" above last year's 23.70" by this time last year.

This picture of me was taken by Quill with her cellphone as we sat at the Spanish Steps after our lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.

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It was a nice cool day with a northeasterly breeze. A coastal storm is forming but it is going to miss us. Temperatures reached around 60F for highs today, which is a bit below the daily normal high of 67F.

This is the view looking south -- you can see about a mile down 22nd St., NW, all the way to the State Department in Foggy Bottom.

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One last related weather note ...

This weekend is the open house of the new (and given our "weather-free" climate, superfluous) Baltimore / Washington Nat'l Weather Service Forecast Office in Sterling, Va. The office was moved to a new building but still in Sterling, Va., and it shouldn't be confused with NWS operational headquarters in Camp Spring, Md., which is eventually to be moved to College Park, Md., nor NOAA headquarters, which is located in Silver Spring, Md., between College Park and Bethesda.

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This is the view at the top of the stairs. That is a bright yellow panda statue left over from a whole panda series that were placed in parts of D.C. (mostly downtown).

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Anyway, I am supposed to accompany Gary, who is being a VIP tour since he is one of the forecasters for the local Verizon weather line. Of course, there is never any weather to report. Some of the local TV weather people -- Bob Ryan included -- may show up, too.

IF I see the longtime TV forecaster Sue Palka -- and I don't think I will -- I probably shouldn't tell her who I am, though in truth she may not even remember me. (It's a convoluted story.)

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An old urn next to the aforementioned (Washington, D.C.) Spanish Steps earlier today.

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Lastly, I got a haircut today -- but only a trim -- and did my laundry. I need to get ready and go to Cobalt and/or Osmegma (Omega) to meet Kristof. My next entry won't be until midweek.

--Regulus

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P.S. Updated at 4AM, Oct. 19, 2008 ...

A nasty mess at McDonald's on 17th St., NW, a short while ago, and NO ONE cleaned it up. Yes, I had some food there. Boo.

Tonight I saw a friend of Mr. Sirius, or at least someone I thought was his good friend. I was with LP going to Omega (yes). It was in passing and he didn't see me.

He was stumbling drunk down the back alley toward P St., NW, alone, and I felt badly for him.

On an unrelated note, it must be great to be able to just breathe and the entire self-replicating Multi-verse rearranges itself for one's benefit -- down to the instant of preferential symmetry breaking and (ever since) every Planck-scale quantum fluctuation. Yay, life is good.

5 comments:

travistee said...

Hey, your hair looks darker. Is that your 'winter' color?

Regulus said...

It's 75 percent "-3" setting on the cellphone camera's brightness and 25 percent Just For Men dark brown, which is my hair color anyway.

Blanche: "I am a natural blond."

Dorothy: "Yep, you and Tina Turner."

fifi said...

I really like that last paragraph,
no idea whta it means, but I like it...

Regulus said...

Hi Fifi,

It was my attempted quantum mechanical and cosmological metaphor to say that some people seem to have so much good fortune while others sort of languish all their lives, and there doesn't seem to be any particular reason for that, but eventually it becomes self-reenforcing.

I was also trying to note a certain symmetry breaking in the relationship between the guy staggering down that alley and someone else on whom fate and fortune seem to smile so much, and how sadly ironic was that.

On another note, written at 940AM on a Monday morning, I wish I were in Australia with you, that way it wouldn't be Monday morning but Tuesday around 1AM and I'd be sound asleep. Wait, that didn't make any sense.

Anonymous said...

I had a lovely time indeed! Zombies and all. :D I didn't even know I could do that with my phone.