Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rainy Monday Mornings and 4AM Secret Societies

OK, I need to update this blog, although I'm really tired as I explain below...

A rainy, wet, spring green yard behind a wrought iron fence surrounding a house on Calvert Road, College Park, Md., 4:26PM, April 20, 2009


I'm tired because I stayed up all last night to 9AM this morning finishing a report, and then I only got about 5 hours of sleep and had a relatively full day that has now spilled into another late night.

Anyway, I got up late on Sunday after a crappy Saturday night and got ready to go to Rockville to meet my friend LP. While walking to the Dupont Metro, I came across Gerry waiting at the light at Q and New Hampshire Ave., and he offered me a ride all the way to LP's Grosvenor Park place.

Driving up Wisconsin Ave., NW, past the National Cathedral at 3:02PM, April 19, 2009

Gerry and I usually do our drives into the suburban and exurban purgatory of Northern Virginia (he's from the Commonwealth like Mr. Sirius) rather than suburban Maryland.

I got to LP's place and (after one of our characteristic delays) went to a really late lunch, or maybe an early dinner, on Rockville Pike.

Here is LP at the Hollywood Diner on Rockville Pike, 4:35PM, April 19, 2009

LP then drove me to my friend Joe's apt. in upper Northwest DC, detouring near the water tower by Glenmont Metro in order to show me how it is strangely covered in tarp and scaffolding. Joe and I had arranged to go to see Bill Maher's documentary on organized religion, Religulous. That name, a combination of "religious" and "ridiculous," looks a bit like my blog name Regulus...

Here is a scene in Religulous where Maher goes to a theme park called The Holy Land Experience in -- where else? -- Orlando, Florida and talks to "Jesus."

It's quite a documentary / movie and I really liked it despite the criticism it was too preachy and heavy-handed at the ending in its ironically messianic-like condemnation of religion. The editing and juxtaposition of interview scenes and humorous clips makes some of the movie hysterical. Ditto the scene where Maher was gibberish was ranting Scientology gibberish at Speakers' Corner in London's Hyde Park.

Joe's plush dog Bushyness -- I think that's the right spelling and so named for the fact Joe won him at the Busch Gardens amusement park in Virginia -- watched the movie with us. My Flippo was home under the covers with the others.


I got home and finally started working on that memo for my on-again, mostly off-again contracting job by 11PM. I actually stayed up all last night and did not actually go to bed until 9AM. I did so all for the princely sum of $200 on top of the $80 I earned last week doing another memo. This topic was "hot" issues in higher education, a subject I'm not exactly expert on.

Staying up all night is an interesting and for me peaceful experience -- and how often do I find anything peaceful?

During the night (as it clouded up and started to rain outside), I watched TV sitcom reruns on Hallmark Channel and TV Land. I also saw a TV show on M*A*S*H hosted by Shelly Long (of Cheers fame).

I also watched a rather fascinating documentary on secret societies on the History Channel featuring the Council on Foreign Relations, the Freemasons, Skull & Bones and ...drum roll ...

The Bilderberg

Apparently, the Bilderberg Group runs the planet.

Then there's the "secret" Masonic symbolism apparently built into the street layout of the original City of Washington (that subset of the Federal Territory and later the District of Columbia). And to think I walk past that Masonic temple No. 33 everyday.

In addition to being a peaceful time for me, the middle of the night is also a strange time overall and this documentary fit in nicely with that sense.

I've often that that I should just start listening to that radio show Coast to Coast AM radio show, formerly with Art Bell and now George Noory. America is a weird place in the wee hours.

Once it got to about 4AM and cable TV descended into infomercial hell until dawn, I just tuned to music channel 887. This is the RCN "smooth jazz" station and it made for nice background music.


Anyway, by 9AM it had turned into a very rainy morning. Indeed, here was the morning radar ...

This was the Sterling LWX radar this morning at 8:24AM 20 April 2009 showing a large area of steady, moderate rain over the "South Atlantic" including the Washington - Baltimore - Northern Virginia Combined Statistical Area (a.k.a. the Baltimore/Washington area).

I got up around 2PM (so I got about 5 hours of sleep in all) and got ready and made it to College Park on the Metro and then I walked over to campus where I had an early dinner (actually, I guess it was my breakfast and lunch, too) and went to the policy school computer lab for an hour.

Thereafter, I FINALLY went to the gym and had a decent cardio workout, did some weightlifting, and went swimming. I left shortly after 9PM.

Despite this, I'm still flabby, miserable, and out of shape, though. I'm probably now about like the second to last figure on the right in the image above. Boo.


Farm Drive on campus near the CCS Building on a foggy, showery night, 9:21PM, April 20, 2009

It was a weirdly foggy, showery, mild night with a couple flashes of lightning and reverberations of thunder. I walked all the way to the College Park Metro and waited for a train back into D.C. and got home by quarter to 11PM. It took just over 90 minutes to do that -- which is a typical amount of time for me to do anything.


As for rainfall, the three regional airport rainfall totals for April 20, 2009 included: 1.19" at DCA, 1.44" at BWI, and 1.63" at IAD.

Stock photo of a rainy Appalachian day near Gatlinburg, Tenn.

This was the most precip at DCA since 1.26" on Jan. 7. Also, it was only the 6th calendar day since June 1, 2008 that there has been 1" or more of precip at DCA. The most in that time was 3.50" on Oct. 6, 2008. The second most was 1.66" on Dec. 11, 2008.

This was only the second event with 1" or greater of precip for the year at DCA and IAD and the most at IAD since an anomalous 5.11" fell on Sept. 6, 2008. IAD has actually been "dry" for most of the past five years since the record wet year there in 2003.

Anyway, the rainfall today further helped to end, at least for now, the drought into which the area was trending.

Here are the updated precip stats for the main regional airports:

Month-to-date: 3.71" +1.89" (normal: 1.82")
Year-to-date: 8.71" -2.55" (normal: 11.26")
Month-to-date: 5.55" +3.58" (normal: 1.97")
Year-to-date: 10.61" -1.78" (normal: 12.39")
Month-to-date: 3.77" +1.68" (normal: 2.09")
Year-to-date: 9.17" -2.29" (normal: 11.46")

Oh, yes, here are the final winter snowfall stats: DCA: 7.5" or -7.7"; BWI: 9.1" or -9.1"; and IAD: 8.0" or -13.2". When the next 30-year normals come out for 1980-2010, these averages are going to drop substantially (again).


Here are a few more images from Friday night.

Here Stephanie holds Oliver while Eric sits next to them, April 17, 2009

Here Gary sits with Oliver, April 17, 2009


OK, it's already after midnight and I'm supposed to go to an EPA career fair at the Reagan Building here in D.C. tomorrow early afternoon in my probably futile-attempt to find gainful employment before I run out of money by early July and have to leave, but I'm not going to talk about that right now. Suffice it to say, I'm not going to College Park to campus tomorrow.



fifi said...

Oliver look very well loved and looked after.

You do have nice jaunts around the place, to diners and friends places. At the moment i don't seem to go anywhere at all at night.

the weather is cold and rainy today. Awful. AND i had guests from the uk!!

Regulus said...

I would have thought that occasional wet and chilly weather would be nice in Sydney, where it's usually very warm (hot) and dry.

DJG said...

Interesting tidbit: (well interesting to me anyway) A combination of two words into one (e.g., religion + ridiculous = religulous) is called a "portmanteau". This term was coined by Lewis Carroll.

Regulus said...

Hey you.

Thank you for that tidbit.

I also believe a "pareidolia" refers to that phenomenon of seeing "something" significant in random shapes ...to wit, the Man in the Moon ... or shapes in clouds ... or the Virgin Mary in a puff of smoke from an Archer Daniels Midland corn sweetners plant in Clinton, Iowa ...Just sayin' ...

This should not be confused with a simulacrum.

fifi said...

I have been unable to see in here because my internet downloads "ran out" and I couldn't load your page.

The occasional raiy day does ot really bother me, except that I had guests from the UK and the weather was very hostile to my plans. Naturally it cleared immediately. (sydney is humid, incidentally, and perth is dry)

Sometimes during the last two years it has rained for up to a week. It is really green now, as opposed to brown. All the eucalypts have shiny new growth, I really love it.

Regulus said...

Not sure about the downloading problem. Bryan had similar issue not too long ago and couldn't see the comments.

I really don't know much about Sydney's weather, although I was surprised to see that it may actually get more precipitation than Washington, D.C. -- nearly 48" (1217 mm) versus 40" here.

I just assumed it was hot and dry there like most of Australia except for the far north where it is hot and wet.