Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Washington, DC (as well as Arlington, VA, and Baltimore, MD) in Springtime ...


The house at 1515 N. Utah St., Arlington, Va.., 6:10PM, April 5, 2009

The flowering cherry trees such as the one in the above picture have been at floral peak for an unusually long time owing to the recent cool spring weather. I don't think the one above is actually a Japanese Flowering Cherry (Yoshino) but rather another variety.

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Speaking of Washington, D.C., in springtime and cool April weather ...

Here is the view looking south along the 1800 block of 16th St., NW, Washington, D.C., 7:05PM, April 7, 2009

There has also been needed rainfall the past week (3/4" to 1-1/2") but the region is still below below normal on precipitation for the year.

I may regret writing this, but I wonder if the current unusually deep DEEP SOLAR MINIMUM has anything to do with our cool spring weather?? Solar minimum is associated with less solar output and reduced Earth temperatures (at least in the pre-industrial era before CO2 and other human-related greenhouse gas emissions started overwhelming the climate system).

We've had no sunspots AT ALL for 13 days now and 85 days this year so far, not to mention 596 days since 2004, well above the 485 days for a typical solar minimum period.

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Anyway ... I actually have a few photographs from my late drizzly - foggy night Tidal Basin walk with Gary and Cobalt bartender C/H that I discussed in my previous entry to see the Japanese flowering cherry trees are floral peak (well, see them as well you can in the soft darkness of the midnight hour).

The Washington Monument -- with me and Gary in the foreground -- as seen from the corner of Constitution Ave., NW, and 15th St., NW, around 11:15PM, April 1, 2009

These photos were kindly provided to me by C/H. He took them with his digital camera rather than my crummy cellphone camera. Recall we walked down to the Mall / Tidal Basin / FDR Memorial at the midnight hour from the Dupont / Thomas Circle area here in D.C. after a visit to the bar Stan's.

We started the walk around 1100PM (April 1st) and finished it (taking a cab back) around 130AM (April 2nd).

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Yours Truly, Regulus, along the Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C., right about midnight, April 1-2, 2009

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Here Gary and I (peering toward the camera) stand on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial, just after midnight, April 2, 2009.

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THIS was my favorite photo taken shortly after midnight, April 2, 2009. It is a picture of a heron (or some such wading bird) standing in the shallow water along what HAD been the edge of the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial, but that is now partially (i.e. a few inches) submerged owing to (I believe) a general subsidence that seems to be claiming the edge of this "enclosed" bit of the Potomac River. C/H took this picture -- his surname-sake bird.

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Here is a picture of Gary and me at the sculpture of FDR's beloved Scottish Terrier dog, Fala, at the FDR Memorial, April 2, 2009. By the way, I was once told that when I smile broadly (as in this picture), I look stupid and nutty. So, basically, I can't win.

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Yours Truly, Regulus, poses with the bronze statue of a long-ago archetypal man listening to one of FDR's fire side chats on his old wireless radio. This was around 1235AM, April 2, 2009.

And THAT, Dear Reader, concludes the pictures from the Wednesday night /early Thursday morning walk down to the Tidal Basin.

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Several days later, on Sunday late afternoon - early afternoon, April 5, 2009, Gary, C/T and I took a circuitous, roughly 5 mile walk from Ballston Metro (after detouring into the Ballston Common Mall) to Rossyln in Arlington, Va. We would have walked back over the Key Bridge into D.C. (Georgetown) and back to Dupont (another few miles) but it was getting late.

The following pictures were taken from that walk ...

The Metro was MOBBED with out-of-town tourists heading down to the Tidal Basin to get a look a the Japanese Flowering Cherry (Yoshino) blossoms that were still at peak.

Here is why we love our D.C.-visiting tourists (esp. those from Middle America) ...

Pretty much all the American out-of-towner tourists -- whether from 30 or 300 or 3,000 miles away -- visiting here in D.C. look like this. This was taken on the orange/blue line platform at the subterranean Metro Center station, 4:15PM, April 5, 2009.

Again, Metro Center, orange/blue line platform, Washington, D.C., 4:15PM, April 5, 2009

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Bradford pears just after spring floral peak at the corner of hotel, 9th St. N, Arlington, Va., 5:52PM, April 5, 2009

A relatively large Bradford pear 11th St. N, Arlington, Va., 5:57PM, April 5, 2009. These trees don't grow very large and tend to have weak branches and roots -- often blowing down in storms.

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The house at 1215 N. Stuart St., Arlington, Va., 6:01PM, April 5, 2009. By the way, the street grid in Arlington features alphabetized north-south running streets and numbered east-west streets (the opposite sense as in D.C.), albeit it in a highly irregular, wending way.

The lettered streets start out with single syllable names (rather than just letters), the "lowest" being Ball Street ... then two-syllables from Adams to Wayne ... then three-syllabes from Abington to Westmoreland ... and ONE four-syllable name right at the West Cornerstone of the original Federal Territory ("Arizona Street").

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Two houses in the 1400 block of N Stuart St., Arlington, Va., 6:08PM, April 5, 2009

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Glebe House, Arlington, Va., 6:17PM, April 5, 2009 ... All I could find out about it was this in the WaHoPo. Most of the house dates to 1820 and for much of the 20th Century until 1983 it was occupied by the Ball family -- from which nearby Ballston (part of Arlington) gets its name.

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Pink flamingos in a yard of 2105 N. Stafford St., Arlington, Va., 6:38PM, April 5, 2009, near the corner of 21st St. N. and N. Stafford St., where there is a nice view. Mr. Sirius and his boyfriend live here. Just kidding. Yes, I'm bitter.

By the way, I may have mixed up where the "North" (N") goes (either way) -- before or after the street name and my ADC Atlas is of no use.


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The house at 2818 23rd St. N., Arlington, Va., 7:10PM, April 5, 2009

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Telephone poles, 3000 block Lee Highway, Arlington, Va., 7:19PM, April 5, 2009; yes, that is the Moon visible under the lower most wire of the left side pole.

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Here Gary tries to figure out exactly what shade of blue is this house at 1709 N. Adams St., Arlington, Va., 7:31PM, April 5, 2009.

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Chris looks down the alley between N. Adams Street and N. Wayne Street (the bottom of the Arlington 2-syllable and top of the Arlington 1-syllable alphabets), along Key Blvd., Arlington, Va., 7:33PM, April 5, 2009.

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OK, that ends my photos of the Sunday walk.

I'm home now 2AM-ish after a 90-minute Cobalt visit and I'm feeling bloated right now as I try to finish this entry that I started earlier ... At Cobalt I had three vodka tonics and one Cape Cod and also a lemon drop shot ... and then I came home and ate a lot ... including six pieces (1 serving size, according to the damn package) of Oscar Mayer shaved ham on as many Triscuit "reduced fat" crackers, a 1/8" x 1/4" x 2" piece of sharp cheddar cheese (please), a 16-oz Lipton Pureleaf lemon-flavored iced tea, four left over Ritz crackers (plus some cracker dust), a 5-oz can of Bumble Bee (Bumble Bee??) solid white albacore tuna fish right out of that damn can, and some left over slices of mango I had in a plastic container in the refrigerator.

NOW HOW THE HELL SHOULD I KNOW IF THAT IS HEALTHY OR DEATH ON A STICK??

In fact, I HOPE it's death on a stick and be done with it.


I mean, if I did eat a bunch of crap to make me even fatter (after drinking too much), and I have adversely affected my health overall, just think how HAPPY GOD will be because it means SOME HUMAN SOMEWHERE FAILED. I wouldn't want HIM to NOT be HAPPY.

HE THRIVES on stuff like that, and you know HE does.

Anyway, I need to go to bed now.

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Two more photos ...

Here is the LAST picture I will post this year of a Yoshino "Japanese Flowering Cherry" tree at floral peak, spring 2009. This tree grows next to the Microbiology Building on the Univ. of Md., College Park campus, 7:13PM, April 6, 2009.

OK, before I finish this entry, there are two others things I want to relate before I finish this entry. The first is about the "strictly confidential" report of the International Committee of the Red Cross that by Mark Danner in The New York Review of Books for April 30, 2009.

There are two more things I want to say. The first was about that "strictly confidential" International Committee of the Red Cross report on Bush-Cheney era CIA "black sites" torture camps.

The second is about an MPT documentary set to air tomorrow night at 9PM on William Donald Schaefer.

He is the 87-year old former Maryland Governor for whom the 3rd tallest building in Baltimore (tallest if the flagpole is counted), is named.

He is also the
Bush Family-loving, (Hilda Mae Snoops aside) probably closed homosexual, and bad-tempered / wacky dyspeptic old coot, who in his increasingly dementia - afflicted old age thought gays "deserve" AIDS and who -- after hanging around a bit too long even for a plurality of Maryland voters' preference -- was finally defeated in 2006 in his State Comptroller re-election bid.

Idiot.

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I'm going to bed now. It's nearly 5AM and my sleep schedule ... OH, NEVER MIND ... 'Night

--Regulus

P.S. Where's Fifi ??

9 comments:

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

the heron pic is indeed very pretty...

so we are currently at the minimum of 11-year cycle of solar activity?

it's gotta have some masking effect on the global warming - i already hear complains from all around me, that we are being duped and a new ice age is coming... :)

--
mikeG

Regulus said...

Re. sunspots, yes, that sounds about right ... both a possible effect and what folks are saying. I personally wouldn't mind replacing our hideous, torpor-inducing, sultry summers with a climate more like Newfoundland!

But I have to ask you again, what does "к.нео.физ.де.му" mean? I looked at your blog but there was only one entry, but it's all in Russian, so I've no idea what you're saying.

Quill said...

Nah, you just look like you're about to laugh.

I'm looking forward to seeing you on Sunday! It's been too long.

Regulus said...

Thanks, Quill, that means so much to me.

Yes, looking forward to Sunday. I'm going to hang out in the basement for a while, so perhaps the washing machine / dryer can be going ... Hmmmmmmmmmm ....

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

к.нео.физ.де.му - means something like "a club for men not preoccupied with strenuous physical activity"...

:) it's nothing really - just a blog i started to set up and maybe trash talk about our once a month poker games...

fifi said...

the night shots are very lovely.
as is the pear tree.

Hae you seen the new Fererro Rocher chocolate things?
They are drak chocolate and just to die for...and I am not even a chocolate fan.
Well I'm just saying because yesterday I ate six and today I woke up with fat arms.


I dont think any of that food is particularly bad, but eating it at that hour of the night is, since it will be stored as fat.
My husband the Food Nazi shouts at the children if they eat food after 7.30 pm. It's sort of funny. But not.

fifi said...

oh. I didnt see that last bit.


here I am! just busy with my life: had some wonderful news though.....

Regulus said...

Hi Fifi,

No, I've not seen or heard of that new chocolate.

What's the wonderful news? I guess I should check in on your blog? Or is it something better said by email?

Bryan said...

It's nearly 5AM and my sleep schedule ...

Part of me want's to laugh, another part want's to cry. You know I sort of understand.