Friday, October 30, 2009

Same Ol' Same Ol' In My Life (How's That for a Scary Halloween Thought?)


A turbulent fall sky as seen from the 1600 block of 17th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 3:11PM, Oct. 28, 2009

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So in the end, I didn't do a ton of stuff this week, but only a sort of minimum amount. However, there were some mitigating circumstances, and I did make an important NRC connection with a phone interview this morning.

Part of my slowness has to do with the pay schedule for my contracting job. My checks are no longer being expedited (no one is ever on my side) and the next "accountant's visit" to that office after her upcoming Monday visit is two weeks later (Nov. 16th), so I can't get paid for anything until on or about Nov. 19th/20th. Thus, there isn't even that big a rush in terms of receiving payment. (The accountant as to visit and process the check since I am not a regular employee.)

However, theoretically, I could get as much as another $2455 in contracting work by early December if all goes well. (I'm going to get slammed in taxes next year since this is all untaxed but I'm acutely aware of this.) It is also possible much of this will not work out. (I won't be shocked if by Feb.-Mar. I have to give up my apt. and just finally leave D.C. to go to Florida.)

The 4800 block of College Ave., College Park, Md., 4:36PM, Oct. 28, 2009. This was taken on a back street of College Park, Md., near the Metro station.

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Speaking of money, I got $101.51 for my athletic dept. tutoring, and it was direct deposited, so I don't have to go to College Park to campus today, as I thought I would since I thought it took three or four pay cycles for direct deposit to kick in.

However, combined with the $790 "extra" check I got last week -- which is functioning as a sort of prepayment for my next two global climate change news compendiums, one of which I finished this past week -- will pay nearly all of my $953 rent. The remaining $62 will come from my paltry checking account, except I think I have (amazingly) a $30 credit on my rental account, so it may just be $32.

Dupont Circle fountain (as seen in my crummy cellphone camera image), 6:10PM, Oct. 29, 2009

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As for the extra check, I have that because I was supposed to go into the office to pick up this check, but the office administrator had inadvertently mailed the check out a short while earlier, so she ended up giving me another check, which I could do because the small company head was in the office. The next day, the check she put in the mail arrived.) I get $440 per issue, so the $790 covers all but $90.

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Here is a rather remarkable photo that appears in the Nov. 2009 National Geographic magazine. It was taken by Monica Szczupider and it shows a group of chimpanzees at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon looking at the dead body of "Dorothy," female chimp in her late 40s who died in Sept. 2008 of congestive heart failure. The back story of the photo, including the awful life that Dorothy had for 25 years before being rescued, is here. Dorothy was sort of the matriarch of this group of chimps at the rescue center.

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As I alluded to above, I just had a 42 minute phone conversation with a very helpful lady at NRC for another important report that will pay my December rent. However, as usual, the questions asked in the project spec were all off the mark, and now I have to figure out how to write up the way NRC actually carries out this particular set of activities versus what my boss and the client behind her want to hear. The country and culture behind this company thinks that there is a single rule book that describes the TOTALITY of existence in some hierarchical fashion, and it's very annoying to have to deal with that.

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The University of Maryland Memorial Chapel on the grounds of the University of Maryland, College Park, 4:50PM, Oct. 28, 2009.

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The weather today is overcast gray and 60F cool with a maritime flow and even a touch of drizzle with the trees at their autumnal peak here in and around D.C. More rain is in the forecast as we continue to have a cool, wet fall in the Eastern U.S. / middle Atlantic (OK, "northern Southern Atlantic") region. The month will end with monthly, seasonal and annual surpluses.

Here are the climographs and precip. totals through midnight Oct. 30th, 2009 for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD):

DCA

Month: 5.58" +2.56
Sept 1st: 8.89" +2.08"
Year: 35.55" +2.48"

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BWI

Month: 6.21" +3.25"
Sept. 1st: 9.69" +2.75"
Year: 42.54" +7.27"
(This is also above the yearly average of 41.94")

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IAD

Month: 5.64" +3.15"
Sept. 1st: 7.47" +0.50"
Year: 38.87" +3.67"

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Of note, other regional recording stations are well below these totals: Charlottesville, Va., is at 31.01 (but there is no 30-year record to compare it to); Martinsburg, W.Va., is at 28.71 or -4.58" below normal; and Hagerstown, Md., is at 27.27" (with no 30-year record to compare to). So Hagerstown is 15" below BWI's total.

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So Gloria is in town this weekend and next week from Peru, where she is on an extended work related assignment for the World Bank. I wish Kristof could be around.

The Oct. 23rd, 2009 Astronomy Picture of the Day showing the Full Moon and the planet Jupiter as seen behind a church steeple on a summer night in the German village of Weikersheim. Link here.

Lastly, I remain totally unemployed (except for my contracting job, which someone doesn't feel like actual work) and I realized this week I am going to be unemployed for quite some time. In fact, I may never get a job. I got rejected -- again -- from some stupid Booz Allen Hamilton ("A Strategy and Technology Consulting Firm") job.

My "employee referral" -- an acquaintance with whom I went to public policy grad school with -- could not come through in whatever perfunctory way she tried (now there's big surprise).

I never have luck with friends and acquaintances "helping" me get an "in" to some job.

The Booz Allen Hamilton would-be job (predictably) crapped out as I got a text from that person (a text!) informing me that the person in that division "doesn't believe I'd be a good fit" even though it is precisely in my chosen field and keen interest, climate change mitigation efforts. This was three months after the fact and 6+ months since my first attempt to get a job at "BAH" ended in a failure. She wrote in the text , "I'll keep forwarding your resume," to which I said, "No, please do not do that anymore."

Of course, BAH probably requires security clearances at some level and I don't think I could pass more than the most basic one. As it is, I'm no longer going to apply for any jobs with BAH.

Downtown Washington at dusk, the corner of L and 21st Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:24PM, Oct. 29, 2009

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Even worse when it comes to applying for numerous listed jobs and ALWAYS being rejected (i.e. never hearing back) is the crappy sprawling contractor ICF International.

I've applied for 11 jobs there since April and all of them are "deferred" (meaning I didn't get them) because I'm at once over and under qualified with no connections, no charisma, no talent, no relevant experience yet ineligible for "entry level" jobs, living in a shit economy that only helps amoral "Masters of the Robert Rubin Universe" corporate oligarchs, and -- perhaps most importantly -- operating under some weird supernatural curse that will only be lifted when I'm dead.

A picture of yours truly under an umbrella in a steady almost heavy rain as I walked the short way home from Cobalt, Washington, D.C., 1:56AM, Oct. 28, 2009

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Speaking of supernatural and the dead, I will not be dressing up for Halloween, except in the crummy, frumpy, baggy way I do anyway.

HUZZAH!

My next entry will be in a few days.

Lastly, here is Salon.com column by Joe Conason about why the deadly health insurance hydra's two biggest pimped-out Senate Democrat political whores, Sen. Joe Lieberman -- whose description by Norman Lear as having a backpfeifengesicht is spot on -- and Sen. Evan Bayh -- are in fact so whored out and compromised.

--Regulus

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