Saturday, May 1, 2010

Light at the End of the Poverty Tunnel? Up the Career Steps?

I actually started this entry Saturday night but did not get around to posting it until 120AM Monday (May 3rd).

Interior of the Dalecarlia Tunnel along the Capital Crescent Trail, 4:47PM, April 28, 2010


So on Friday early evening I received the following email ...

RE: just checking in ...
Friday, April 30, 2010 6:15 PM
From: [-----]

You will be receiving an offer next week.


The building at 3 Bethesda Metro, Bethesda, Md., 2:56PM, April 28, 2010


Here is the email I sent to her two days earlier:

Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 2:04 PM
To: [-----]
Subject: just checking in ...

Hi [------]

I just wanted to check in with you and touch base to see what the status of things are with respect to my trial employment period. I understand that you have to finalize this arrangement before you can provide any details. As for me, I am delighted to have this opportunity and will do my best with it.

I will be offline for most of the afternoon and reachable only by cellphone (xxx-xxx-xxxx) but I'll be back online working tonight on another report.

Looking forward to hearing from you this week!



The 1900 block of New Hampshire Ave., NW, looking toward T Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:20PM, April 28, 2010.


I actually didn't get this message until this (Saturday) afternoon as I logged off a short while before it arrived. The result was I was severely depressed with a crushing tension headache for a few hours as I wandered around ... first to Windows where I actually had dinner from Dupont Italian Kitchen (you can order the food from the downstairs restaurant and have it brought up) ... then as the night evolved when I went with Gerry to an apartment party in the Hamilton House near Dupont Circle ...

Old Georgetown Road and Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, Md., 2:57PM, April 28, 2010


By the time I walked back to Windows and then went next door to Cobalt, I was feeling better (if only because I was imbibed). I walked home by the 245AM hour and went to bed. I didn't check my email until after I got up at 2PM ...

During the afternoon I contacted numerous people including all my close friends (except Quill -- Sorry, Quill!) by text and phone call to let them know about my job offer.


The pictures in this entry were taken on my long walk last Wednesday (April 28th) from Bethesda (whence I went on the Metro) back into D.C. via the Capital Crescent Trail and Georgetown.

The confusing intersection of Old Georgetown Rd., Wilson Ln., Arlington Rd., and (unseen) St. Elmo Ave, Bethesda, Md., 3:02PM, April 28, 2010.

I was walking to the Old Georgetown Grille for a late lunch. That pastel green building in this image is the PeriPoint Building that now houses the Gallery Neptune art museum where I went with LP last December to a "drink and draw" and was told in a polite way by the woman who runs the place that my drawing (the head part) sucked.

Well, I didn't like her drawing style at all. It was ugly, IMHO. Every figure was grotesque and bulbous with gigantic bristly hairs coming out all over.


Old Georgetown Grille interior, Bethesda, Md., 3;19PM, April 28, 2010.

I'm not exactly sure how this place stays in business as it is only busy for about 2 hours a day and otherwise nearly empty, and the prices are quite low.


This afternoon I walked over to West End Library where there was a Census "debriefing" involving filling out a questionnaire / survey for the group quarters enumerators. I was such an enumerator for the District of Columbia but the job only lasted a month. One of the people in my group said follow up work of all sorts -- including residential -- was likely.

The formal start of the Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda, Md., 3:35PM, April 28, 2010.

This is near mile marker 3.5. The parts from mile marker 0.0 to here is actually the Georgetown Branch Trail, also known as the Future or Interim Capital Crescent Trail, except it is tied up in the never ending debate over the proposed Purple Line Metrorail expansion or (more likely) light rail line.


Of course now that I have this job, I may not be able to do that with the new job. More importantly, I may give up my 1099 contracting job for the Bethesda company whose name I won't mention. I don't want to do this until I know this new position is in fact permanent -- and that may be three months or longer. I'll just stick with the biweekly climate change news compendium for the time being.

The transmission tower at 5202 River Road, Bethesda, Md., 4:08PM, April 28, 2010.

This tower resembles a "candelabra tower" in this view but from a distance it looks more like a two-pronged fork. It is (or was) the over-the-air transmitter tower for both WETA-26 and WDCA-20 -- has no red lights / LEDs but only strobe lights for both day and night.

Speaking of WETA, I'm actually watching it right now (via my RCN cable). It is actually NOT in a pledge-a-beg-a-thon this week, while MPT is. Instead, it is airing its Saturday night movie, which this week is the 1958 silly musical Gigi, which I've never actually watched before. (The above was written on Saturday night.)

I didn't realize that Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan are both still alive, the latter 90 years old.

Old auto repair shop -- called Gary's Auto Body, I think -- in Bethesda underneath aforementioned tower and along the Capital Crescent Trail, 4:11PM, April 28, 2010


Speaking of Gigi and The Golden Girls ...

Sophia: "I never understood why your brother Phil liked to wear women's clothes, unless he was queer."
Blanche: "People don't say 'queer' anymore, they say 'gay.'"
Sophia: "They say 'gay' if a man knows the entire musical score to Gigi. But a 6'3", 250-pound married man who likes to dress up as Dorothy Lamour, I think you have to go with 'queer.'"


Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda, Md., 4:13PM, April 28, 2010


I was listening -- as I often do when writing reports and not watching sitcom reruns such as The Golden Girls and Cheers -- to instrumental easy listening station, channel 891 on my RCN.

Mantovani, anyone?

BTW, I don't recall if I mentioned but I found out at Easter dinner at Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring that her brother is actually a member of the Mantovani Orchestra as it now "periodically" exists. (Mantovani many died years ago.)


Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda-ish, Md., 4:38PM, April 28, 2010


OK, I actually wrote this entry in a disjointed way at two different times and so I'm going to take a major detour here and talk a bit about the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. I'm sure Charlie Cook, Mark Halperin, and the usual vapid D.C. media-commentariat crowd will find reasons to explain why this too will help the GOP win all 435 seats in the House and 33 Senate seats this November.


Oily Discharge ...

Satellite picture showing the oil spill located off the Bird's Foot Delta that is the southernmost lobe of the mouth of the Mississippi River as seen on April 29, 2010

There have ALREADY been over two dozen lawsuits, 26 to be exact, filed in just two weeks as a result of this ongoing spill -- and that number is steadily rising.

Here is the same image as above but with a close up on the oil slick.

This spill may exceed the Exxon Valdez 1989 spill and it almost certainly nixes any prospect of incorporating more offshore oil and natural gas drilling proposals into the would-be "Kerry Graham Lieberman" climate and energy bill, thus probably dooming its chances.

Oh, and the kooky right already has conspiracy theories.

It does, however, probably boost support for offshore wind turbine arrays such as the Cape Wind Project, and I'm all for that.

Here is an artist's conception of part of the Cape Wind turbine array assuming it comes to pass.

As now planned, the project will include 130 wind turbines with maximum blade height of 440 feet arrayed across 25 square miles of Nantucket Sound located on average 10 miles off Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island, possessing a maximum power generation capacity of 468 Megawatts, enough to power 200,000 homes and offset 700,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year.

Yes, I realize Cape Wind will generate base load electricity and offset utility emissions whereas the offshore oil rigs are primarily for retrieving petroleum for transportation sector fuel, i.e. gasoline.


Political Cartoons

Here are some funny political cartoons related to Arizona's immigration law, SB1070.

I'm actually not sure which version was signed by Gov. Jan Leathery Rhymes-With-Witch Brewer. The Senate engrossed version is here and the House engrossed Senate version is here. I think she signed the latter.

Anyway, I'm glad the state is going to suffer serious economic and financial consequences for this law both in terms of lost convention related activity and tourism thanks to a host of boycotts; interminable and never ending legal expenses; and very high implementation costs associated with turning state and local police into a Federal immigration enforcement authority.

Yes, yes, I know: AriZona iced tea is not made in Arizona but instead in New York.

As for Gov. Brewer, she doesn't really give a damn. You can tell that she's in the same mold as Michelle Bachmann and Sister Sarah Palin wherein serious public policy is not the goal or intention but rather indulging in kooky rightwing tele-evangelistic theater for purposes of whipping up portions of the electorate into a frenzy in order to gain power (Bachmann) or money and fame (Palin).


More generally, these whack-job state legislatures in the interior love to pass insane and divisive laws and silly resolutions. Remember South Dakota's anti-global warming draft house resolution 1009 that cited, among others, the "astrological, thermological, [and] cosmological" reasons for climate change and said that "global cooling" is actually underway. True, the version that ultimately passed removed all that conceptual gibberish that merely serves to illustrate how stupid the legislators really are. (We won't even talk about Utah's draft and amended resolutions.)


Returning to my Wednesday walk ...

Approaching the Dalecarlia Tunnel along the Capital Crescent Trail, 4:46PM, April 28, 2010.

This is still in Maryland in unincorporated Bethesda / Montgomery County. The Capital Crescent Trail was originally part of an old rail line -- the B&O, or was it C&O? Or the Something &O? No, upon reflection and Wikipedia-ing, it was definitely B&O (Baltimore & Ohio) Railroad.

Anyway, the Dalecarlia Tunnel is where it runs under MacArthur Boulevard and the Washington Aqueduct. The top image of this entry was taken from inside the tunnel.


The water tower on the fenced-off Dalecarlia Reservoir Grounds, 5:01PM, April 28, 2010.

The grounds incorporates part of the Washington Aqueduct and is run by the Army Corps of Engineers and provides water to the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC WASA).

Here is more information about the Washington Aqueduct.


View of the Potomac River and the Key Bridge from the Capital Crescent Trail, 6:20PM, April 28, 2010.

If my camera quality and the contrast better, you'd see the Washington Monument poking up above the Key Bridge about three miles from where I took this picture.

The trail crosses into D.C. by the Dalecarlia Reservoir Grounds and Sibley Hospital (near Mile Marker 6.5 on the trail). This is around mile marker 9 to 9.5. As mentioned above, the trail starts in Bethesda near mile marker 3.5 -- prior to that it is the Georgetown Branch Trail or "interim/future" Capital Crescent Trail that starts at mile marker zero in Silver Spring. It ends at the Key Bridge near mile marker 10.5.


The old building that houses Jack's Boathouse and the Potomac Boat Club under the Key Bridge and at the D.C. terminus of the Capital Crescent Trail, 6:32PM, April 28, 2010.


And finally ...

The Exorcist Steps in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:38PM, April 28, 2010.

It is quite strenuous climbing up from the trail to the edge of the Key Bridge, thence to M Street and up the Exorcist Steps to 36th Street and Prospect Street, NW. Students from Georgetown like to exorcise exercise running up and down them.


OK, that's FINALLY it for this entry. My next entry will probably include pictures I took this Sunday on a trek to the Audubon Society's Woodend sanctuary / park in Montgomery County, Md., with LP on the occasion of the annual Audubon Nature Fair.

Here the Washington Revels dance about the make-shift maypole on the grounds of the Woodend Sanctuary, Chevy Chase, Md., 4:17PM, May 2, 2010.


As for this week, again, I am supposed to get my formal job offer. I probably won't be getting a badly needed check from my 1099 job as the office manager is away until Wednesday -- two days after the accountant's biweekly visit. I submitted an invoice for $500 on Friday but I don't I'll be getting paid for it this week. I may be flat broke for about 5 days between May 15th and 20th.

My next planned update will be around Tuesday or Wednesday.

*Update at 4AM May 3, 2010:*

It's 81F at the 4AM hour this May 3rd at DCA and IAD and 80F at BWI, which are absurdly warm temps, but we should get some decent showers / t-storms by mid-morning.



krzysztof said...

When I got my NASA job in Nov 2001 the initial informal pre-offer email came on a Saturday morning too (or at least I read it on a Saturday morning). I remember it was two sentences in plain simple English but still I had to ask Eric to read it and tell me if it said what I thought it said.

That oil slick thing looks bad. Very bad. That poor Louisiana again...

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the job!! This will be the start of good things to come..

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

"During the afternoon I contacted numerous people including all my close friends (except Quill -- Sorry, Quill!) by text and phone call to let them know about my job offer."

:) either i am quill, or - i don't wanna think about or...


oh, well! once again - congratulations!

here is the place i was texting you from:


Regulus said...

"I remember it was two sentences in plain simple English but still I had to ask Eric to read it and tell me if it said what I thought it said."
Awwww, you must have been ADORABLE back then. I still can't imagine what you were like when you didn't know the English so good ...

Steph -- Thank you. I also answered your comment in the previous entry.

I had weird dream involving you and Phil. You were both asleep on a mattress on the floor in this dark room in an apartment located in some very complicated, multi-story building. I threw this yellow blanket over you, or at least tried to, but it missed and you woke up and I ran out the door through a maze of hallways and out one of two exits, except you saw me running out the door that I picked, so I tried to reverse time and do it again and go out the door from which you couldn't see me. No idea what that means.

MikeG -- I'm sorry, I did forget to mention you, too. I totally overlooked calling you. I'll send you that pic of Eric A. and his girlfriend I took yesterday. It's not a very good one as it was from a distance and a bit blurry.

к.нео.физ.де.му said...

it's ok... :) please, do send that pic though!

btw, what are you doing tomorrow between 5 and 7 pm?

remember our last meeting? i have to be in dc tomorrow for the same thing, so i though we can meet again...

what do you think?


Regulus said...

Yes, I'm free tomorrow at those times and I would love to meet you. I also WON'T be flat broke. I'm apparently getting my check from the Bethesda place early (tomorrow early afternoon).

To quote Al Bundy, with all this stuff going write, I'M DOOMED ...

Do you want to go to the same Black Rooster place? Let me know.

BTW, did you see Virginia's whack-job fundamentalist Attorney General is trying to prosecute a "climate-gate" scientist name Michael Mann from Penn State. And a Mississippi Congressman -- a Democrat, but in Mississippi that doesn't really matter, since they all make Jefferson Davis look like Thomas Jefferson -- said the Gulf oil spill "was like chocolate milk" and will "break up naturally." I guess every state has the government its people deserve.

krzysztof said...

I knew English I just couldn't quite believe this was happening.

Re your last comment I think Michael Mann would have a pretty good case against a few people who slandered him.