Just a quick update ...
Kristof got his U.S. permanent residency and SHOULD be returning here by the end of the summer.
Very sad news ...
There is unhappy news in the land of Hippograms that I found out about from one of Hippo's "staff" and keepers. It's not good news. But it's not for me to write about in this forum.
I recommend this David Brooks' June 21, 2010 column "Faustus Makes a Deal".
The weather is vile and disgusting. It reached 97F at DCA and BWI today -- one degree shy of the daily record of 98F at DCA set in 1988 and tied with a pre-BWI Baltimore daily record set in 1894. IAD reached 95F, not a record.
The astronomical spring -- defined in the Northern Hemisphere as March 20 - June 20 -- was the warmest on record at DCA and IAD and just narrowly missed it (by 0.1F) at BWI, and June is shaping up to be the warmest at all three airports (DCA, BWI, and IAD). Source here.
And the hemispheric pattern suggests no sign of this ending anytime soon.
Last night there were some scattered very strong thunderstorms in the area -- DCA actually got 0.25" of rain while here in D.C. around Dupont Circle we had mostly just a big cloud of dust and detritus blow through.
A downed tree on the east side of the 1600 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW, yesterday (June 22, 2010) after powerful gusts of wind blew through around 8PM. Chris T. took this picture.
The other two big regional civilian airports -- BWI and IAD -- got zero.
However, there was a powerful thunderstorm nearby that struck where my mom lives in Millersville, and nearby Annapolis recorded 1.17" rain at the Naval Academy.
From D.C. at early night, I saw the storm -- laced and pulsating with lightning -- as it was receding. It was about 30 miles away and was spectacularly visible, although quickly moving away. I had just finished my goodbye dinner with Roger L., who is going to Mexico for a year on sabbatical from his college professor job.
By the way, here is a link to a WaHoPo article -- actually, it's from a New Scientist writer but the Post just carried it in their hateful, pro-corporatist, pro-Bush, pro-war way -- about the very deep solar sunspot minimum we have been in for the past few years and what it might mean, including (somewhat controversially) for Earth's climate.
Here is an image of the nearly "spotless" Sun taken either today or yesterday and posted on the Space Weather.com site.
As for me, I want to go to the ocean for a vacation -- whether New Jersey or Florida -- for a few days this summer as shown in the two pictures posted below that I took in last August.
The gurgling, burbling surf at Wildwood Crest, N.J., on a hot summer day last year, 3:21PM, Aug. 18, 2009.
My work week so far has been OK. I think things are OK with my boss and the job, at least for now. I was actually taken to lunch today by the head of HR at American Grill in L'Enfant Plaza across the street from where I work. It was the first time I discovered the "upstairs" area including the plaza itself (off L'Enfant Promenade).
This evening -- with just about $6 to my name -- I trekked up to Bethesda and met my friend S. at The Barking Dog Pub, or rather in front of the Bank of America nearby. She brought me my final check -- for $440 -- from that nightmare consulting company for which I was a 1099 independent contractor for 15 agonizing months after a year as a regular employee there. I deposited it and got $100 back. Thereafter, we met her brother, who is visiting the U.S., and the three of us went to The Barking Dog.
It was S. who expedited all my paychecks during the horrible 15 months of the 1099 period -- I would not have made it without her.
I'm supposed to get my second regular work check from my new job on Friday -- hopefully by direct deposit rather than a hard check as the first one was (and Fed Exed to me from Colorado). The check should be for approx. $1600.
I returned back into D.C. and got home by 9:20PM.
OK, that's about all for now. My next planned update will be Friday or Saturday.