Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Summer Sunlight & Downpours

A total solar eclipse this past Sunday swept across remote stretches of the Pacific Ocean including Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Solar eclipse at totality on July 11, 2010 with the haunting Moai standing as silhouetted sentinels in the foreground. Image taken from July 14, 2010 APOD.

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Remember that Aug. 21, 2017 is the next total solar eclipse in the Lower 48 -- with the line of totality passing as close to D.C. as central Kentucky (see here).

Assuming I'm still around and able to, I so plan to see that eclipse. Total solar eclipses (as I saw in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, Feb. 1998) are rare and very powerful experiences for a human being.

As for the next total solar eclipse in the immediate D.C. area, that doesn't occur until April 14, 2200 -- and even that one just misses the District proper (or whatever will be present day Washington, D.C. on that long-from-now day) with totality in the Montgomery County, Md., suburbs running to Baltimore.

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The view from my apt. kitchen window during yesterday evening's deluge, Washington, D.C., 8:04PM, July 13, 2010.

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Rainfall update ...

DCA has had preliminarily 3.79" of rainfall this month, including 2.20" in the past 24 hours, putting a big dent in the drought but we're still 3.40" below year-to-date at 17.39".

BWI has had 2.83" this month so far and Dulles 1.79" but both airports were not as far below as was DCA. BWI is at 21.99" or -0.46" normal YTD of 22.45" and IAD is at 19.79" or -2.77" from the normal YTD of 22.56".

Now it's back to 92F to 94F heat and humidity for the next few days, which is crappy but not as hellish as last week.

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This was the enhanced composite mode of the LWX radar at 8:14PM EDT, July 13, 2010. The composite mode also shows activity within the cloud, so it looks more dramatic than the base mode.

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Adulthood, Sort of ...

So today is the 18th "anniversary" of my incident in Rockville in which I ended up at Shady Grove Adventist hospital and then the following day -- July 15, 1992 -- I "voluntarily" went next door to what was then the "PIMC" (Psychiatric Institute of Montgomery County) for a 10 day stay until July 25, 1992. That was also part of the larger situation that brought me to the D.C. area

I remember it like it was yesterday.

Shortly after a summer downpour next to the Foggy Bottom Metro / Ronald Reagan Building of the George Washington Hospital, Washington, D.C., 6:05PM, July 14, 2010.

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It was at once a terrifying yet deeply formative experience ... terrifying because of the profound and profoundly disturbing loss of one's freedom ... deeply formative because of the realization it allowed that there are so many people in the world who suffer in ways that you may not be able to fully comprehend but nevertheless in whom you immediately recognize (and thus empathize with) the very frailties, sufferings, aspirations that define what it means to be human and the imperative for compassion and love for any sentient being.

Same caption as image directly above.

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No, I don't feel or practice all of those thoughts and feelings on a day-to-day basis but the realization of these things is always there and emerges in more sublime moments.

One last note from that long ago stay ... I had so many friends come visit me (half a dozen of whom I am still close friends). My dad picked me up and took me back to New Jersey (where he was still living) on July 25th after I signed myself out "AMA".

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Another Watergate Safeway Journey

This evening after work, I took one of my Watergate excursions to the Safeway store there rather than the 17th Street "Corcoran Street" one in the gayborhood.


Approaching the Watergate near the intersection of New Hampshire and Virginia Avenues, NW, Washington, D.C., 6:11PM, July 14, 2010. This was shortly after a summer warm and humid downpour of rain.

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Earlier this evening after work, I took the Metro to the Faggy Foggy Bottom Metro, whence I had gone from Elephant L'Enfant Plaza. My intention was to make one of my occasional visits to the "subterranean" Watergate Safeway. (Actually, it's not so much underground as under the Watergate East.

An outdoor market area at the corner of I and 24th Streets, NW, near the Foggy Bottom Metro, Washington, D.C., 6:06PM, July 14, 2010. I didn't buy any of the fruits or bakery items on sale here.

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About this periodic Watergate Safeway trek, I will, say, though, that the idea of it (whether one way from work or round trip from my apt.) is always better than the actual execution, if only because the walk back home (near 16th and U Streets, NW) takes so long and I hate as a pedestrian dealing with rush hour traffic.

And it has been extra bad this frickin' interminable summer with seemingly endless daylight and its disgusting heat just keeps on going, and up Jim Inhofe's igloo.

The Watergate Shops promenade area with fountain and folded up yellow umbrella, Washington, D.C., 6:25PM, July 14, 2010.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be over the weekend. I'm hoping to see Damon G. tomorrow or Friday. He and Shaila leave for Australia for a year (he got a post-doc at a university there) on Saturday. If my finances permit it, I intend to visit them there for a few days.

--Regulus

3 comments:

krzysztof said...

This is a nice and personal entry an me likes it.

Sigh. I so wanted to attend the Euro Pride which is in Warsaw this year but there's just no way. It's on Saturday. Let's hope Polish right-wing nationalists won't do anything during the parade that would further embarass the country they claim to love so much.

Regulus said...

Thank you, Kristof, I appreciate that. I figured my philosophical and spiritual observations would appear as trite and silly since it didn't mention the French atheist expressionalist anarcho-socialists of the 1910s Bow Wow Haus Movement and why a picture of a dark gray circle on dark gray background (so that it is invisible) is the solipsistic limit as the Null Set approaches Infinity and the only thing that exists is that cigarette package.

I'm going to Crappy's Lounge (where I never go) tonight to have one last drink with Damon before he heads out with Shaila to Australia for a year (or two). I plan to go there early next year to visit him if I can.

BTW, I just set up my IRS online payment account (via EFTPS). Quite interesting how you have to go about it.

krzysztof said...

If I didn't know better I would think there's a touch of sarcasm in your comment. Are you implying that I'm pretentious?
Moi?!:-)