Saturday, April 24, 2010

Good News, Good Earth

The "Science on a Sphere" globe with projected film in the Global Ocean Systems exhibit at the Natural History Museum, Washington, D.C., 4:08PM, April 24, 2010

For explanation, see entry below.

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GOOD NEWS!

So I have some very good news to report for me: pending final approval, I will be hired on as a regular employee of the DOE contracting company in question for at least a trial 3-month period.

One of the side gardens along the National Mall with a sign that said "Butterfly Habitat," Washington, D.C., 10:04AM, April 23, 2010

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But First ...

However, before I continue with that, I need to post an update to my previous entry. It concerns what I said about my attendance at the 20th Earth Day here in D.C. in 1990. My friend Kevin has taken issue with what I wrote about what he was thinking that day and said what I wrote was inaccurate. I want to note that here and apologize to him.

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Sandra Bacon's "Ripple" globe sculpture on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 10:09AM, April 23, 2010.

This globe was one of a series along either side of the Mall for an extended 40th Earth Day celebration that includes a concert called "The Climate Rally" on April 25th (Sunday) that features as top billing Sting.

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GOOD NEWS! (cont'd)

OK, back to the 3-month job as a DOE contractor ... during this time I will research and write reports on a variety of energy efficiency / renewable energy topics with the goal of "establishing" myself for the client (various DOE personnel) and thus ensuring a permanent job. The VP of this company is attempting to create a position for me rather than hiring me into an existing slot. She is very interested hiring me. This position would essentially be a cross-programmatic one involving topics such as wind, solar, geothermal, advanced fuels, etc.

Nina Weiss's "Tall Grass" globe sculpture on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., 10:13AM, April 23, 2010

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I found this out on Friday morning around 945AM when I spoke to her at her office near L'Enfant Plaza. I thought I was going there to talk about being a 1099 independent contractor, which is what I already do for the Bethesda company I'm always referencing.

The VP said she needs to get a final OK for this but she did not think that would be difficult to get. She said she'd be in touch with me by this coming Thursday.

The silhouetted Washington Monument with just a tiny bit of the Sun peaking above its tip top capstone, 10:24AM, April 23, 2010

On that capstone is inscribed the words Laus Deo -- "Praise to God."

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It helped that I finished that 30-page report for the other company on the topic of U.S. market assessments and related technical issues for electric heat pumps / heat pump water heaters; small wind turbines; high brightness LEDs; and photo-catalyst building and construction materials. I was able to submit this as another writing sample.

I left the office shortly before 10AM and walked home instead of taking the Metro. I walked on a circuitous route that took me down the axis of the National Mall and over to the Watergate and thence up New Hampshire Avenue to my place by 16th and U Streets, NW. The pictures in this entry are both from that walk and my subsequent visit down there today to the National Museum of Natural History and the Air and Space Museum with Quill and Gary.

Underside of the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge over the Potomac River, 10:48AM, April 23, 2010

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As for the news about my likely new job, I called my mom first to tell her and I think the second person I told was Chris T. Most of my blog readers who know me already know that I probably got this job.

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Three men fishing in a weird little boat with the towers of Rosslyn in Arlington poking above the forested spread of Teddy Roosevelt Island, 10:54AM, April 23, 2010. There was also a dog on the boat.

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Saturday Museum Visit

As for my trip down to the National Mall today to the two Smithsonian facilities -- the National Museum of Natural History and the Air and Space Museum -- the reason was that Quill wanted to go to the various museum gift shops to get presents for her friend's children when she visits next month.

Her friend lives near L.A. and Quill wanted to get presents that reflect a D.C. theme -- by this she meant a Smithsonian kind of present. One of her presents is the DVD of the excellent series The Future Is Wild (which, by the way, features "Amasia" instead of "Pangaea Ultima/ Proxima" as the far distant future super-continent).

A slightly blurry picture of a 45-foot long model of the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale hanging in the Sant Ocean Hall of National Museum of Natural History.

The model is based on a real female whale named Phoenix. More information is available here.

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Oh, yes, Quill unexpectedly got me a SECOND plush hippo. I think this one will be named Aurora, my first female plush hippo.

Here is The Family in all their plushness. Aurora is the new one in the front next to the furry green frog Oscar and my Sunshine Buddies.

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The museums were overrun with tourists. The really local crowd -- such as those of us who live around Dupont Circle / Woodley Park -- actually don't tend to get down there that often even though it is less than two miles away.

We saw a really cool "Global Ocean Systems" exhibit also called "Science on a Sphere" consisting of a series of four short films projected onto a large rotating sphere. They included information about the oceanic global conveyor belt and the impact of the oceans on the climate. The exhibit's Web site is here. Afterward, we went to the National Air & Space Museum

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The large object is this picture (other than the tourist in the shorts and orange baseball cap) is the underside of the Apollo 11 Command Module "Columbia" that is one of the most prominent exhibits at the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, D.C., 4:37PM, April 24, 2010.

There is a Web site to it here.

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Saturday Night

I'm home on this cool, overcast, showery night here in Washington, D.C., watching the Britcoms on WETA and MPT. It's actually NOT frickin' pledge-a-beg-a-thon time on either of them. I have been watching Keeping Up Appearances and Last of the Summer Wine. Later on Waiting for God, Are You Being Served?, and Fawlty Towers are on, as are Vicar of Dibley and To the Manor Born.

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This is the teddy bear Magellan T. Bear, who has flown in space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1995 and has also been around the world. He is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum.

Surprisingly, Magellan T. Bear does NOT have a Wikipedia article to him.

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Weather Update

The weather is supposed to be showery - rainy and cool tonight (temps are only around 57F). There is a low pressure system in the mid Mississippi River valley with complex warm, cold, and occluded fronts extending across the Southeastern U.S. and then another quasi-stationary frontal system to the northeast of it that is creating almost a cold (cool) air damming situation for the mid-Atlantic and New England.

This is a very energetic springtime system with a widespread outbreak of severe / tornadic thunderstorms. A series of tornadoes killed at least 10 people and maybe more around Yazoo City.

Portion of the U.S. radar mosaic at 0048UTC April 25, 2010 (8:48PM, April 24, 2010)

Maybe God was mad that the state didn't do enough to stop Obamacare and gay marriage.

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Political Commentary

Speaking of the political weather, The New York Times is at it again with nonstop articles about the impending GOP midterm tsunami (OK, so a tsunami is not a weather event) that will obliterate the Democratic Party and usher in the 1000-year American Republican Reich, or at least for six months until the idiot electorate ping-pongs back and forth again.

The Apollo Lunar Module exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., 5:10PM, April 24, 2010.

The Web site to the exhibit is here.

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I personally loathe Adam Nagourney's brand of political journalism. He and the other gay New York Times political writers past and present (I'm thinking of Richard Berke, to whom I once said "fuck you" at a house party, admittedly not my finest moment, but I was so mad over his treatment of Al Gore in the lead up to the 2000 Bush Coup, and he asked me if I were crazy) are titillated when they can write articles about impending GOP blitzes and why that will remake America for the next 1,000 years. I think this is at least the third time in the past 16 years we've gone through this.

I won't even talk about The WaHoPo, a totally unreadable and worthless newspaper that I actually expect will go bankrupt within 10 years, or at least be reconstituted in a very different form, maybe just wholly electronic.

The Apollo Lunar Module exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., 5:13PM, April 24, 2010.

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Have You Seen Me?

BTW, the Washington Times print edition seems to have disappeared from street view. All its vending machines seem to have disappeared.

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Don't Piss Off A Closeted Republican Gay Guy

Oh, yes, there was a major development on the "KGL" climate change / energy bill today as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R - Closeted Gay) threatened to pull out of the trio consisting of himself and Sens. John Kerry (D - Windsurfing) and Joe Lieberman (I - Annoying) after Sen. Reid announced the Senate would take up immigration reform this session.

Sen. Graham is very upset about this and says he won't participate in the roll out or even support the bill -- which would ensure its death in the dysfunctional and broken Senate where 60 votes are needed to do anything -- if immigration reform is considered before the long-awaited KGL bill. It was to be unveiled on Monday. This bill will be basically supersede HR 2454 "Waxman Markey" and its Senate counterpart, S. 1733 "Kerry Boxer" (yes, the same Kerry).

The tiresome and silly issue of immigration has flared up again following Arizona's passage of a draconian and unconstitutional bill that criminalizes illegal immigrants and turns the civilian police into a kind of internal ministry of interior in support of a law that would please any fascist government throughout history.

Like most U.S. states, Arizona has a state legislature dominated by rightwing crazies, and it has a leathery rhymes-with-witch of a governor who couldn't wait to sign this bill.


Naturally, the mainstream media -- never mind the Fox Nazis -- have flattering articles about how "brave" and "courageous" she is. Bullying and harassing the weakest among us is what passes for political bravery and courage in America, a country whose existence is based on immigration of people seeking a better life (though that really isn't possible any more).

The good news is it will almost certainly be voided in the Federal courts, and legal challenges are already being prepared.

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The Solo Piazza rooftop with quintessential D.C. rooftop architectural fluff, Washington, D.C., 6:28PM, April 24, 2010

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OK, I think I will now end this entry. Gary and LP are supposed to come over in a little while. LP is dealing with an ongoing serious family medical issue involving one of his parents.

I think Gary, Gerry, and I are going to try to take one of our Northern Virginia drives tomorrow. We haven't done that in a while.

My next planned update will be around Tuesday or Wednesday.

--Regulus

16 comments:

krzysztof said...

This is fantastic news and I'm sure you will "establish yourself with a client" in no time whatever that means.

It is noon and I'm watching GG "Journey to the center of attention" which I like. Last night after pub I accidentaly watched two very sad episodes: The series finale and the one where Phil dies. Even though the latter was incredibly sad I was amazed by Estelle Getty's ultimate absolute mastery in the final scene. What a phenomenal actress she was!

Regulus said...

Hi Kristof,

I love the fact I have helped make you as much a Golden Girls aficionado as I am.

My two favorite episodes are "Bringing Up Baby" and "Not Another Monday" -- one very funny, the other very poignant.

Are you watching them on DVD in full length with nothing edited out?

I think Betty White -- who is to host on Saturday Night Live on May 8th -- had the best range of facial expressions.

krzysztof said...

On YouTube. So it's in no particular order

krzysztof said...

Blanche: The truth is Mel makes me feel young and beautiful and special. When we are together we laugh a lot.
Sophia: Why wouldn't you? You're both naked

ha ha ha

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

great news!!!

still gonna hold all my fingers and toe crossed until thursday...

in the meantime - try to get yourself immunized to spending the whole working day under fluorescent lights, baby!

:)

vines!

krzysztof said...

Oh of course, I keep my legs crossed too (don't make me stay like that for too long)

Regulus said...

Mike G -- Thank you. As you can see from Kristof's comments, he also keeps his legs crossed. As for working under fluorescent lights, as per an earlier comment made by Kristof, I have decided to embrace this too and walk toward the fluorescents.

Kristof -- Thank you for the comments. Of note, my cable and internet went out earlier today and while the former is back on, the latter remains out. I schlepped up to College Park to the public policy computer lab to do some work today. Not sure when it will be back up. Can you imagine if electricity was as reliable as internet connectivity? We'd have at least one power outage every other day and the lights would flicker constantly.

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

krzysztof,

say it ain't so!

first that horrible volcano, now you crossing your legs until at least thursday - whatever happens to london's night life?

:)

on the lighter note by staying on the subject (volcano and... that other thing) - there is a rather obscenely named stratovolcano in peru huaynaputina...

i have no idea why i am saying that...

anyway, regulus, once again - good luck!

kedises!

krzysztof said...

According to one website Huaynaputina means "New Volcano" but I have my doubts...

Regulus said...

What do Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl mean? Are the Wikipedia articles to be believed?

krzysztof said...

I actually got it from this website. Gloria says it's from Qechua, the tongue of the Inkas. And as I understand 'putina' does not mean 'little slut' as I initially thought:-)

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

actually that volcano should be the saint of all russian opposition - it's so funny...

but i fear for peruvians if that ever happens.

that little kgb prick is pretty powerfull nowadays.

hate him!

bakin!

krzysztof said...

It's not just the 'Putina' thing. I've read that its 1600 eruption lead to a nasty cooling resulting in a famine in Russia (that's from Wikipedia). Next thing you know Poland invaded and took over the Kremlin in 1610. I'm not blaming the volcano for the latter, just thought it's worth mentioning:-)

Regulus said...

Now let's not re-fight any wars between Russia and Poland right now.

Regulus said...

Counter off again.

krzysztof said...

OK no fighting.
The stuff about that eruption in 1600 and its impact on climate is interesting though. I'm not yet convinced that it's entirely correct. I thought this was the beginning of the Little Ice Age caused solely by the Maunder minimum.

Anyway, it's late...
'night everybody