Monday, July 13, 2009

My Slow Internet AND Dance of the Dusky Dolphins

Some of the pictures in this entry (and it will be obvious which ones) ...

... such as this Dusky Dolphin leaping out of the Pacific waters off Kaikoura on New Zealand's South Island are screen shots taken from various YouTube clips of the BBC nature series South Pacific, that is being aired this week on the Discovery Channel under the name Wild Pacific.



I had wanted to update this blog to relate a few important things going on in my life, including my upcoming move from apt. 414 to apt. 504 in my building, and my contracting work and financial situation (about which I won't talk, except as my friend Eric M. pointed out on Friday night, I always say this and then proceed to talk about it anyway), not to mention my employment search and my plan to visit Florida for a week at the end of this month into early August.

Yours Truly, Regulus, in this African mask art shop on 18th St., NW, in Adams Morgan late Friday night with Phil, Stephanie, Eric M., and David. Phil was buying, like, his 112th and 113th such mask and because Stephanie and David parley voo the Frances so well, the French West African proprietor gave Phil a reduction. We had just had dinner at Little Fountain Cafe, where I was the charity case. Again.


However, my planned entry may have to be nixed because my home internet connection is severely slow tonight -- although it is working quickly enough at this precise moment. I was thinking that perhaps this internet slowness is because I upped my firewall protection in the wake of a nasty virus attack on Saturday -- the second one on computer since February -- and one that my friend Gerry helped me fix. No, I did not go to any X-rated site but rather I went to a site related to a report I was writing (see blow) that I think had been attacked.

Another scene from the aforementioned African mask shop Friday night with Eric and Stephanie also in the picture. Unlike last time I was in the store, there were no wooden sculpted hippos. Boo.


Also tonight, I also have another assignment to do for my contracting job that requires a bunch of internet searching.

Concerning the first report, I FINALLY finished my main first draft of a 20 page report on distributed energy (power) generation equipment safety issues related to manufacture and installation. All for a princely $600 plus $82.50 for the PDF version of the National Electrical Code (NEC) 2008 I purchased.

A green turtle gets his shell and head cleaned and probably massaged in a sense by some colorful tropical fish.


This second project on nuclear power issues is for $350 and is due tomorrow morning, and then I have a third one for $120 that is hopelessly vague that is due by Thursday morning.

A kelp forest off the South Island of New Zealand near Kaikoura.


The total in payments by the end of the month therefore are $1152.50, a sum that would get me through the end of August into early September. As it is, I have paid up my rent through the end of August and between help from my friends LP and Phil -- although I think this will necessarily be a one-time deal -- I should also have almost enough money for my September rent EVEN IF no other assignments were forthcoming.

Another frolicking, leaping Dusky Dolphin off Kaikoura, New Zealand.


Concerning my rent, the frickin' $953 check MAY be lost in the frickin' mail. This would be the second time that happened (the last time was in September 2008) and if it happens it will again cost me $35 in a canceled check fee -- and both times I went to the post office. The first time was in Bethesda and the second time (on Thursday) from the Temple Heights post office on Florida Ave., NW, near where I live. It should have been to the property management company by now but so far as not.

Oh, yes, concerning all the creditors after me (4 in all plus Macy's, or whoever that debt will get sold to), I made an $85 payment to the collection agency / law firm in Towson, Md., with whom I signed an agreement. I am trying to avoid a summary judgment.

However, if things don't turn around by September, it will be unavoidable -- and my checking account will be depleted, so even if it were seized via a lien, there would be nothing in it. Additionally, I will have to bag it here in D.C. and move to Florida with my dad. He will probably be in Key West by that point.

Finally, concerning my apartment switch, it is scheduled for Thursday / Friday -- the property manager fellow is giving me two days to move, which is nice of him. I am moving into an apt. that faces directly onto New Hampshire Avenue NW, and the Brittnay directly across the street, with the 2000 block of 16th Street, NW, running N-S at an an oblique angle to the NNE - SSW running New Hampshire Avenue. Unlike my present place, which faces the courtyard, the new one has a nice view -- including of the towers of Rosslyn in the distance. Alas, I get no view of the Washington Monument from the new apartment.

From my current kitchen window in the winter time, I can see in the reflection of another apt. window the glow of the flashing twin red lights atop the north facing side of the Washington Monument.

This is not the view from my old or new apartment window in Washington, D.C. This is an aerial view of the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific.


There is also a view to the west and northwest. Maybe we'll get some frickin' thunderstorms -- we are trending back into D.C. summer seasonal hot, humid, smelly drought -- and I can watch them rumble in from the northwest.

Anyway, I may not be in that apt. beyond September 30, but I won't dwell on that now. I've been in my current place since Feb. 2005.

Either my friend Kristof in England with his new friends last weekend OR fish swimming along a tropical coral reef in the South Pacific. Just kidding, Kristof, baby doll.


Oh, yes, a bit of good news ... the Screen on the Green movie series shown every summer on Monday nights on the National Mall here in D.C. is in fact BACK ON after HBO had announced its cancellation for this season. Apparently there was enough of a fuss that the powers that be -- the Trust for the National Mall in association with HBO and Comcast -- ponied up the money.

This summer's movies begin with one of my all-time-favorites, Close Encounters of the Third Kind next Monday night, July 20th. I think I can get a sufficiently big group together -- alas, with no Kristof -- to go there with food and wine in tow on a blanket. No, you're not supposed to bring liquor, but whatever.

Here is this season's line up:

July 20: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
July 27: Dog Day Afternoon
Aug. 3: On the Waterfront
Aug. 10: Rebel Without a Cause


Last night while working on the report, I had on my TV and between 8PM and 2AM on the Discovery Channel were three hour-long episodes -- each one shown twice -- of the show Wild Pacific. The episodes deal with almost every corner of the Pacific and its incredibly biodiversity and stunning ecosystems and powerful physical beauty.

The Wikipedia article on South Pacific states: "Filming took place over 18 months in a variety of remote locations around the Pacific including: Anuta (Solomon Islands), Banks Islands, French Frigate Shoals, Papua New Guinea, Palmyra, Kingman Reef, Tuvalu, Palau, Caroline Islands, Tuamotus and Tanna Island in Vanuatu."

A remote tropical coral atoll in the vast South Pacific ... perhaps tens of millions of years ago this was actually a high volcanic mountain peak.

The program was in the same spirit as the BBC's incredible Planet Earth series. Indeed, the program was actually made by the BBC Natural History Unit as a six-part series under the title South Pacific. The British original is narrated by actor Benedict Cumberbatch while the U.S. version is narrated by Discovery Channel TV personality Mike Rowe.

The main theme music for the series is this absolutely wonderful ditty sung in some Polynesian language by a female voice. The song runs from slow and mournful to fast paced rapturous.

The best of it is during a 30-second scene in the episode "Eat or Be Eaten" -- though in the BBC version it is called Endless Blue -- in which hyper-acrobatic Dusky Dolphins in super pods numbering in the hundreds to maybe a thousand strong are shown frolicking and leaping and cork-screwing jumping in the cold, stormy, teeming Pacific surf off Kaikoura in New Zealand's South Island on a bright sunny day with the snow-capped Southern Alps towering in the distance.

HERE is that scene. Move the little button to where it begins at 7:45. The scene runs the remaining 2 minutes and 16 seconds until the end. My favorite part is around 8:45.

I think this Dusky Dolphin joyful acrobatic maneuvers set to the music I described was one of the nicest bits of television nature documentary I have ever seen. I asked my friend A. who works at Discovery Channel if he could find out what tune that was. I couldn't find it on any internet search.

Another kelp forest off New Zealand's South Island

There are three more episodes -- each aired twice -- on the Discovery Channel tonight as well even as I write this (I just changed the channel from Rachel Maddow's show and I'm actually skipping the Monday night line up of reruns of The Golden Girls on WeTV).

I guess I better end this entry and get to work before my internet goes down again.



krzysztof said...

I would definitely go to Close Encounters of the Third Kind if I were there as opposed to here.

I didn't quite get why you have to switch appartments. It sounds like the new one is nicer though. And perhaps there will be no more floodings from the upstairs.

Regulus said...

Thanks for posting a comment, Kristof. My comment section has been dying lately. Things haven't been the same since Bryan passed away and Fifi decided she had better fish to swim with. It must be great to be so stupendous as she.

Joe said you and he had a nice visit. I hope you are not feeling too badly there. Your living situation aside, you are in a relatively solid position both with your short to medium term job and living situation and your long term plan to return to the United States. Just remember that.

I'm switching apartments because the SOB upstairs has five times nearly flooded my apt. with his bizarre kitchen plumbing activities over the past four years. Each time I was here to collect in large bins the water has it poured down through light fixtures. But I told Wm. C. Smith & Co. the situation was intolerable and that I WOULD SUE if it ever happened when I wasn't here and ruined my stuff.

The solution was to move me to a new unit. I really like it when I saw it and -- voila -- I'm moving. It may only be for 2 to 3 months though.

Rita said...

Moving can be good for the soul, or whatever that thing is.

I'm very happy in my new apt. Although, I did not like packing(I'm such a procrastinator about some things)& having to trot everything up a flight of stairs. UGH!
It is amazing how a new view can change ones outlook on life, though.

The Pacific Coast is great & I love the Pacific Ocean! I have never been to the Atlantic coast/Ocean. In my mind it is cold, rough, & Grey. I always think of "Moby Dick" or equally dour... Pilgrims crossing the Atlantic. Or even worse The Rime of the Ancient Mariner :)

krzysztof said...

Yeah, moving can be a bitch - unless you just leave all your stuff and walk away as, I know, some people do.

Wow, Regulus, you did the right thing and you won (yay). My current lease expires in 5 months and I may be moving too. Unless I get too lazy.

It was so nice to see Joe! Now, who's coming here next?...

Regulus said...

Rita -- I actually have a somewhat different view. I picture the Atlantic seashore along the U.S. East Coast as inviting and pleasant with lots of people on sandy beaches and boardwalks with amusement arcades, palm readers, and fishermen on piers, while on the West Coast, esp. the Oregon and Washington coastlines, as rocky and forlorn with lots of evergreen trees, rocks extending way out into the gurgling surf, and mist in the air and VERY dark at night.

Kristof -- I'm still not entirely sure I want to move. I have until tomorrow to change my mind.

Joe said he had a good time there visiting you.

I'd love to come to your England but I'm not sure that it feasible at this time. By the way, I answered your email ... and I mentioned about a dream I had about you last night. It involved your old apt., a bed, MH's boyfriend, and a large cat.

к.нео.физ.де.му said...



if you ever write at least some of your dreams - it'll be a bestseller, an instant classic!


i read your blog regularly (almost said religiously, then reconsidered) :) not always finding something to say as a comment...

btw, is your friend form the hurricane center in town by any chance? we have people in our branch for a workshop and i think i heard his name mentioned, but i might be wrong...

Regulus said...

Hi к.нео.физ.де.му,

I am referring to Chris J. -- this is the same fellow that I told you about last time. Yes, he is visiting again. He does a lot of work at NCEP. In fact, he is probably in your building today.

As for that dream, basically, it involved Kristof and a very nice, affectionate cat. I was in his old apt. on 16th Street, except it was much bigger and laid out differently. No one had entered it since he left except once when your roommate came to clear out his stuff -- and that roommate would be Mr. Sirius's boyfriend.

Now there's a meeting of minds.

The cat had been in there the whole time but somehow was fine. I was very sad because Kristof had to leave again and I didn't know when he'd be back or what would happen to the cat. This was a large bed, too

к.нео.физ.де.му said...


there is a workshop involving our and another group from our branch - and chris is one of the visitors...

ask him how he liked his pizza for lunch... :)

speaking of cats - our poor bastard has been diagnosed with diabetes, imagine that... now we (boris and i) are giving him insulin shots and draw blood for the sugar count... we had to change his diet to exclude carbs...