Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Take, Take Me Home..." and the Tropical Autumn Monsoon

No, I won't be moving into this place ...

This is an image taken by Ron Kuhnel of the William Carson Mansion in Eureka, Calif., that I found online here.


OK, there's a lot I want to say, although I don't feel like posting an entry that takes 6 hours to compose.

We had the metaphorical ton of rain today across the Metro D.C. and Baltimore areas today, as well as up and down much of the East Coast, and another metaphorical ton is falling tonight.

As of 5PM, it was already been actually the wettest day at National and BWI Airports since Sept. 2008 -- that is, the wettest in two years -- and the wettest day at Dulles Airport since May 2009. And by midnight the figures will be substantially higher. Please see below for more weather information.


I'm home right now -- having taken the day off from work because I amassed about about 14 hours of overtime this pay period. I realize that P. works that much "overtime" per day, but I'm not P.

I also looked at three apartments today as part of my my plan to move out of the frickin' gayborhood. There is a really nice one-bed room apt. in The Frontenac (that's what the building's called) on Connecticut Avenue, and is also a William C. Smith & Co. building.

The only problem is the overall monthly cost is a bit high -- higher than I'm comfortable paying. I will probably wait for an efficiency to become available in The Frontenac.

Larry's Lounge on a rainy night, Washington, D.C., 11:42PM, Sept. 29, 2010.


So last night, I went to Larry's Lounge with Gary. Remember that "LL" is where I like to go on really rainy nights although it wasn't raining until just before I departed. We had a good time. Thereafter, as it began raining, I went to Fox & Hound -- even though I now prefer to avoid 17th Street outright -- to meet Jamie. He had gotten off work late.

I got up around 930AM today -- intending to sleep in more -- but I discovered that my refrigerator wasn't working (it wasn't cold inside) and there was water leaking out from the bottom.

No, this isn't my refrigerator.

Long story short, my fridge seemed to have choked (or rather heaved on) on the ubiquitous dust in my apt. -- that was what the vile spinach-looking stuff was that was in the water underneath the unit when I moved it.

I called the property manager, who called the maintenance man came promptly, but the problem sort of took care of itself, and everything is fine now, as well as cleaner.

The maintenance guy -- who is absolutely wonderful in terms of promptness and diligence -- also snaked out my bathroom sink, which was also nearly clogged with that ghastly dust and assorted gross dross from the past year.

The corner of S and 16th Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 1:55AM, Sept. 30, 2010.


Afterward, since I was now up (though not feeling very well), I got ready and headed out around noon to the Dupont Metro. It was tropical showery rainy and so humid. I headed on the train to Friendship Heights and walked via Jenifer (one "N") Street over to Connecticut Avenue to the Chevy Chase Towers, where I met the lady who showed me the apartment.

The yards to the houses at 4210 (left side) and 4214 (right side) Jenifer Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 12:47PM, Sept. 30, 2010.


I actually liked this apt. quite a bit, and the quoted rent (once the old carpet was removed) was $1295 per month -- utilities included. Interestingly, this second floor unit looked out onto Kanawha Street, which I pointed out was the original intended name for West Virginia. It also looked out onto an empty and serenely overgrown lot that must have once been the location of a house.

Here is a photograph of that grassy vacant lot with the steps to no where that I took earlier this year -- April 16, 2010 -- while on the L2 bus. This is the view from Connecticut Avenue.

The only trouble was I felt so weirdly isolated there.

The house at 3816 Jenifer Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 12:54PM, Sept. 30, 2010. I really liked that upstairs window -- I was envisioning the coziest bedroom up there. Jenifer Street is in the Friendship Heights section of upper Northwest. I'd love to live in one of the houses up there.


The next place we looked at was just a few blocks away. It was in The Roberta, also on Connecticut Avenue. As with the first one, it too is a Borger Management property. I also found that unit quite nice too. In fact, both were nicer than I anticipated and I could see myself living in either.

The rent is $1365 per month -- utilities included. This is a ground floor unit. I actually prefer the 2nd or 3rd floor. I presently live on the 5th floor, which is the upper limit of what I like.

Green Light! The intersection of 16th and U Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:08AM, Sept. 30, 2010.


Thereafter, I walked down rainy, breezy Connecticut Avenue, stopping for an unhappy lunch at a little deli / market sort of place. I texted Joe, and it turned out he was working from home and said I could stop by his place. He and Ana live in an apt. building along Connecticut Avenue. Their apartment is so peaceful -- and nice and cool and comfortable.

After I left, I continued down Connecticut Avenue until I reached my destination, the building at 4550 Connecticut Avenue, NW, called The Frontenac.

Here is an image of The Frontenac taken from the William C. Smith Web page to it.

It is an old brick building built with a rather ornate interior design. I was able to see the friendly building manager, and it ended up a much more involved meeting than I anticipated. While there are no efficiencies available, there is a one-bedroom unit on the 3rd floor that is possibly available (depending on whether another person takes it).

The person who had lived there only briefly was actually moving out as I talked to the building manager, and she took me to see it. went to look at it (3rd floor unit).

The apt. was beautiful but the rent of $1550 plus a fraction of utilities (natural gas and partial electric), so it could be between $1650 and $1700 per month, or about one of my two paychecks per month, i.e. 50% of my after tax monthly income.

A rubber ducky, a bottle of Fantastik and a bottle of Soft Scrub in a friend's bathroom (never mind who).


I am very eager to move into that building -- since I really want to move away from my close and unhappy proximity to the evil, vicious, bitchy, nothing-but-years-of-regret-and-unhappy-memories gayborhood. I remain very unhappy about the Cobalt situation. Jamie's take on the situation notwithstanding, I feel the aggrieved party.

It was C. who had been working earlier but who was himself more than a little imbibed at that point (we did a big shot together earlier), turned on my explosively with no brokering or benefit of the doubt given. Just instantaneous. This occurred after someone (maybe his friend?) called me a derogatory name -- the same stupid pun on the old nickname for my actual first name -- and I said "F--- you" or something like that. C. said I was "screaming."

The scuffle occurred as I was being kicked out when I pushed him back -- pushing him in the face, whereupon in a low voice he called me psycho and chased me out of the bar and down R Street almost to 16th Street. (Oh, yeah, the bitch who called me a name just enjoyed his cocktail and remained a blissful bitch.)

This situation in some ways has a lot in common with the Mr. Sirius one, except in some key ways it does not.

To borrow Karl Marx's famous adage about history repeating twice, first as tragedy and then as farce.

If the Mr. Sirius situation was akin to a commoner going to the top of Mount Olympus and basically smacking Zeus and being forever banished to the netherworld or outer most regions beyond the Pillars of Hercules...

... then the scuffle with C., which also included a sort of weird standoff whereupon I pulled at his bag and the strap broke, and then he just walked away, was more like a backyard family party fight in East Orange, New Jersey after too many beers, or maybe a quick drunken fight at the San Gennaro festival ...

Anyway, none of it matters -- except that this was sort of the last straw as far as my time living in / near the D.C. gayborhood.


How I wish I could turn back time to when I lived here ... my childhood home at 368 Kirby Avenue, Long Branch, New Jersey ...

Here is an image of that house. It was taken on Sept. 6, 2008 when I was in New Jersey with my dad for his 50th high school reunion.

Tonight, I found out that the house is for sale and there is an online listing for it here that includes interior and exterior images. While I recognize the basic layout -- of the dining room ... the kitchen ... and a room we called simply "the den," I don't recognize ANY of the particulars.

The kitchen of 368 Kirby Avenue, Long Branch, N.J.

The stove is where a dish washer used to be -- and that was broken and unused for my childhood, or at least my living memory of it, circa 1974 - Jan. 1980. As for those two adjoining doors, the bigger one goes to the utility / laundry room and the other into to a cupboard.

The formal dining room that we only used for large holiday dinners -- and into which Borky, our bull mastiff, was not allowed. It didn't look anything like this. I remember the window.

And here is the den. Seeing a computer screen in the house is also so out-of-place weird.

Even the backyard doesn't look quite the same -- much more greenery and vegetation, including a 3 foot high birch tree sapling I transplanted from my dad's subsequent Upper Freehold Township property in 1979 that's now a full grown tree.

Here is the backyard. The birch tree with a crooked trunk is visible (how symbolic). That swing / playground set was not present when I lived there -- it was a large garden, (and prior to that when I was a baby) had been an enclosed dog run for my dad's giant Saint Bernard Wencel, who ultimately turned vicious and had to be put down.

All of this is so weird because I've long had recurring dreams about what the interior must look like.

Now I know.


Returning to my apartment hunting, the only issue with The Frontenac one bedroom apt. is the cost -- a full 50% of my after-tax income. I'm not even sure William C. Smith & Co. would approve this, at least not without a co-signer ("guarantor"), which my friend LP agreed to do.

So I have decided to wait until an efficiency opens up. But I will keep close tabs on that. Oh, and I have to tell both The Frontenac building manager and the Borger lady my decisions.

And with that I will end the regular "personal" part of this blog and turn to the weather.

I'm presently watching an unusually creepy and even disturbing episode of Little House on the Prairie -- a typhus plague sweeps Walnut Grove. The episode is called, aptly, Plague. This is part of my "comfort TV" reruns I watch on Hallmark Channel.


Oh, yes, saw this in the Safeway store earlier today ...


The Weather: Tropical Deluge

Surface weather map issued at 4:33PM EDT Sept. 30, 2010 by NCEP/NPC National Weather Service.

A highly north-south elongated low pressure / frontal system has tapped a massive plume of tropical moisture right out of the Caribbean with an ill-defined tropical system that was briefly dubbed (for reasons known only to the NHC) as Tropical Storm Nicole. There was also vestige moisture from the previous tropical system, Matthew, that may have tied into this.

The LWX (Baltimore/Washington National Weather Service Forecast Office) CWA (county warning area) showing the various weather watches and warnings in effect at 1033AM this morning.

The middle Eastern Seaboard / eastern U.S. radar mosaic (composite mode), 2148 UTC (548PM EDT) Sept. 30, 2010.

Here was a radar image from this morning:

The Northeastern U.S. quadrant radar mosaic (in composite mode), 1328UTC (9:28AM EDT) Sept. 30, 2010.


Updated stats are at the end of this entry.

Preliminary rainfall stats through 5PM were as follows as National Airport (DCA), BWI Airport (BWI), and Dulles Airport (IAD) for today, Sept. 30, 2010:

DCA 2.64"
BWI 3.56"
IAD 3.22"

The BWI and IAD tallies are daily records. The DCA tally is shy of the daily record of 2.76" set in 1924 (a pre-National Airport D.C. record), but this figure has already been (as of 10:32PM) surpassed by well over an inch.

The 5PM DCA figure is the most since 3.50" fell on Sept. 6, 2008 (when the above Kirby Avenue picture was taken!) and the BWI figure is the most since 3.57" fell on Sept. 27, 2008.

Thus, it was the wettest day in 2 years for both DCA and BWI.

With the additional heavy rain, this is likely to be pushed back significantly farther -- I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with close to 5 inches of rainfall for the day.

This was the most rainfall at Dulles since May 26, 2009 when 3.59" fell. This too is likely to be surpassed.

I say this because another huge slug of tropical moisture -- a Caribbean plume riding up a stalled, highly meridional cold front -- is moving due north. In fact, earlier while I was watching my Who's the Boss? reruns, the emergency alert system -- which I thought only went on for tornadoes in the Great Plains states and global nuclear Armageddon actually interrupted my television viewing to announce -- in that stilted NWS automated voice that elongates, exaggerates, and flattens certain vowel sounds -- that there is a flash flood warning in effect.

Here is the LWX CWA map valid at 10:33PM EDT Sept. 30, 2010. The crimson red areas are under flash flood warnings, along with sundry other ones, but the color of the most serious one always dominates.

I'll sign off with another of those radar composite images for the Northeastern U.S at 0028UTC Oct. 1, 2010 (828PM EDT Sept. 30, 2010). This precipitation is moving due north.

And with that I will end this entry. My next planned update will be over the weekend, but possibly not until early next week.


Updated 10/01/2010: Yesterday's precipitation stats were quite impressive:

DCA had 4.66" of rain, the most in a single calendar day since a 5.19" gully washer on June 25, 2006, which BTW was followed by a 4.22" deluge on June 26, 2006 and was in a month that saw 14.02" of precipitation.

The total rainfall in the past week including the storm event was 5.34". The yearly deficit has been reduced by nearly two-thirds to just 2.76" as of today.

IAD received 4.74", the most since 5.11" fell on Sept. 6, 2008. The Dulles total in the past five days is 5.62".

BWI had a whopping 6.02" -- and I could not quickly determine when was the last time it had this much since the daily summaries organized by month on the LWX Web page only go back five years.

The five-day total there is 7.32" -- and BWI is actually into surplus of 4.11" as of today. As for yesterday's total, I actually think this figure is one of the top five all-time daily precipitation totals for Baltimore. There was a 6.11" on June 21, 1972; 6.14" on Aug. 2, 1944 (pre-BWI Baltimore record) and 6.39" on Aug. 23, 1933 (pre-BWI Baltimore).

And here are the overall storm totals -- both radar based and rain gauge measured at dozens of locations region wide, not just the official airport totals. These are overall storm totals stretching into two days so they are higher than just the Sept. 30 figures quoted above.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Alternate Realities -OR- Big Bird on Lake Huron

Arp 188, the Tadpole Galaxy with its 280,000 light year long tidal tail of young, bright blue giant stars, located 420 million light years away in Draco. This was the Sept. 26, 2010 APOD.


OK, so let's start this entry. I don't have a great deal of pictures posted ...

... except of this little fellow.

I've decided to NOT post anything about Saturday night -- the facts, my view of what happened (which no one will believe anyway), and an alternate view given by Jamie -- for the time being.

I will say that Jamie's view embodies a profoundly different reality that scares me because it suggests a truly weird and unhappy person with a pathetic pattern of falling for gayborhood bar bartenders in lieu of an actual relationship, and where there is a massive emotional investment in a situation where there is nothing in return.

That is, he says I have a strong pattern of weird one-sided emotional relationships -- bartenders in particular -- who are not involved with me in return and that I have such an investment in what amounts to a fantasy where I get nothing in return.

This is all in lieu of an actual relationship since I'm so terrified of being romantically involved that I supplement it with bartender crushes.


I refer to Mr. Sirius and the person I shall call "Big Bird" or alternatively, Lake Huron, although he prefers the French spelling Lac Huron).

Here's that bartender and I in happier times. Actually, this is Big Bird and actress Maria Menounos.

As for writing about the details of Saturday night and my take on it, I'm just waiting until I have a little better sense of the situation, especially to see if I'm permanently banned from Cobalt. I have written about it on my other blog if you want to look it up.

Lake Huron as seen from Ipperwash Beach in Ontario. I assumed this was near sunrise, but it might actually be (if on the eastern shore of this Great Lake), near sunset.

I'd apologize to Big Bird except (1) I doubt he wants it, and (2) I don't think I was all in the wrong. But, of course, none of that matters.


Oh, yeah, I'm also "banned" from S&P place in Adam's Morgan because of my "sense of entitlement" and behavior -- which, ironically, occurred on the previous final Saturday evening of the month when Big Bird of Lake Huron was working happy hour. In that instance, I should have stayed there. So that's a two-fer this weekend.

Would anyone else like to ban me from anywhere?? There's OPEN ENROLLMENT for the next 24 hours. Just email me or comment below.

Here O. and R. chat at Adams Mill Bar in the outdoor seating area while R. holds their dog, Gracie, 9:38PM, Sept. 24, 2010.


I found this out at Adams Mill bar on Friday night in bustling Adams Morgan, where I went to a happy hour, if that's what you call it. Long story short, while I still want to be friends with S., my friendship with P. ended long ago.


Turning to the weather ...

Well, we got screwed out of a lot needed rain, at least here in the immediate D.C. area with just 0.27" at DCA for the entire event through the 9PM hour and only 0.18" at IAD.

By contrast, BWI received much more -- as did the Baltimore area and locations along the Chesapeake Bay -- with 1.14" at BWI. This will make the DCA / BWI discrepancy this year -- even larger.

Through 5PM EDT today, DCA is at 22.33" year-to-date or -7.36" below normal while BWI is at 30.36" year-to-date or -1.59" below normal, so the difference is 8.03" or 36% more for BWI compared to DCA.

The rain on the radar is mostly bypassing us tonight as this image shows:

The LWX enhanced mode base reflectivity radar, 8:55PM, Sept. 27, 2010.


Updated while writing this: The LWX discussion that came out at 959PM still forecasts periods of heavy rain late tonight into tomorrow.

It has cooled down but it is still very thickly humid and warmish around here. Of note, both the 18UTC NAM and 18UTC GFS for today show some sort of a weird tropical-like system moving ashore over South Carolina/North Carolina and moving due north with copious amounts of rain.

The image above is the 18UTC Sept. 27, 2010 NAM model showing 6 hour precipitation, mean sea level pressure (MSLP), and 850mb temperatures valid at hour 78, or 0UTC Oct. 1, 2010. This suggests a very tight precipitation gradient with 1 to 3 inches in just that six hour time step.

I'm skeptical.

The image above shows the same three quantities except it is from the 18UTC Sept. 27, 2010 GFS model run and is valid for hour 72, or 18UTC Sept. 30, 2010.

This run suggests a 3+ inches of precipitation for the D.C./Baltimore area for this six hour period (I'm not sure if it starts, ends, or is centered on the time given).

Oh, yes, it reached 93F at DCA this past Saturday, bringing the total number of 90F+ days this year for Washington, D.C., officially to 67 days, tying the 1980 record. BWI and IAD are at 59 days and 58 days, respectively, both records.

It was also the warmest summer climatologically -- June 1 through Aug. 31 -- at DCA and BWI and probably IAD.

Lastly, the 99F record high on Sept. 24th at DCA not only broke the daily record of 94F by a whopping 5F, but it is worth noting that if it had hit 100F -- it didn't -- it would've broken the previous latest 100F in Washington, D.C., by 16 days. The previous latest 100F day was Sept. 8, 1939, which is actually a pre-National Airport Washington, D.C., record. The latest at DCA itself appears to be Sept. 2, 1980 when it reached 101F. Source here.

It's Monday night and I'm watching The Golden Girls lineup on WeTV. I'm tired.

Oh, yeah, I never did post the last set of images from my Florida trip. I'll get around to that at some point.

Lastly, I am still keen to move out of this neighborhood and into another part of D.C. to get the hell out of the gayborhood.


Sunday, September 26, 2010


I have to figure out how to proceed from this point on. I'm not really sure what to do. I want to leave Washington, but there's no real place for me to go right now, and I sort of like my job. At the very least, I can't stay in this apartment or neighborhood anymore. I can't handle it here any longer. I'm losing my mind and soul here.

Update 2:53PM 9/26/2010: I'll explain more fully what this is all about in a subsequent entry, but probably not until Monday or Tuesday.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall 2010 Arrives -OR- Washington D.C. and the Overheated Zombie-Undead Summer of 2010

Microsoft Windows XP "Autumn" desktop image.

This image is my work computer desktop image. I don't have it on my home computer (Windows 7 operating system). Vanity Fair contributing editor Nick Tosches tracked down where the image was taken (near Burlington, Vermont) as recounted in his Feb. 2007 article.

Of course, the Bliss image is much more famous. Read it about it here.


Once again, this is not a full update.

I've been in a terrible mood all night. Grrr...

True, my job is presently going relatively well and seems more secure. And overall I'm doing better.

But this frickin' endless overheated summer is getting to me, and we're back in the goddamn heat for another two days.

True, the climatological fall arrived on Sept. 1st and astronomical (seasonal) fall 12 minutes ago (from 11:21PM) at 11:09PM EDT with the autumnal equinox. But the summer itself -- with its vicious and record-high heat and drought with all the missed rain opportunities -- keeps coming back to life undead zombie-like no matter how many cold fronts pass through.

Sunset over Washington, D.C., on the autumnal equinox 2010, around 6:55PM, Sept. 22, 2010. Fall actually arrived at 11:09PM EDT (just over 4 hours later).

This picture was taken by Chris T. from his office. That's the view looking west down E Street with Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, veering off to the right on a "diagonal" toward the White House beyond Freedom Plaza (a skate boarder's heaven, hellish for everyone else).

We were screwed out of rain again tonight -- that's what ALWAYS happens here in Washington, D. F.U. C., and environs. Meanwhile, the usual places, including New Jersey and NYC got all kinds of rain.

The NWS radar mosaic of the Northeastern U.S., 2338 UTC (7:38PM EDT), Sept. 22, 2010, showing the immediate D.C. area getting screwed again, while New Jersey and the NYC area get deluged.


Highs of 91F and 94F are forecasted for tomorrow and Friday, respectively, at DCA, bringing the yearly total number of 90F+ days to 65 and 66, respectively, the latter one shy of tying the 67 days in 1980 (though the 2010 climatological summer was warmer).

Yes, a big cool down is forecasted for next week, but it might be a useless rain-less one and thus this bitch weather will continue endlessly.

Bottom line, I NEED to live in a cooler, wetter climate -- whether coastal New England, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland, or Seattle, it doesn't matter.

The NWS forecast panel for Minneapolis, Minn., where "Bishop Charlie" is visiting this week for a conference.


I was planning to take off Friday as some "comp time "for the big assignment I completed with 10 hours extra work, but I may not be able to do that and may need to wait until next week.

OK, that's all for now. I plan to update this blog over the weekend.


Monday, September 20, 2010

"Just Another Manic Monday" -OR- Fanfare for the Common Blogger

I just wanted to update this blog with a few pretty pictures I got off the internet.

A pleasant pastoral image I got off the internet of a barn in a meadow somewhere.


Earlier tonight, and after work, I was with Kristof and Jamie. I met Kristof at Windows, where we had a few drinks and dinner. On the way, I had to dodge a crazy person on the walk there from my apt. -- one of those profanity-spewing, insane, young-to-middle aged African American homeless men who populate D.C. in its glorious, wondrous loveliness and who appear out of nowhere.

I'm still finishing a huge assignment at work, or rather, I'm part of a huge assignment. I simply don't have time to update this blog in a big way. It involves me reading through many, many emails from 2009 that have been printed out.

A field with a grazing cow above the sea, Barbados, that I also got off the internet.


But I also think I may be in trouble at work -- I've been consistently 10 minutes late in the morning, arriving at 910AM or so. I may be in trouble for this. I should know tomorrow. This morning (I found out around 515PM from my office mate) that one of the top people poked his head in at 9AM and asked where I was. I got in at 910AM.

Port St. Joe, Florida. I'm assuming it's at sunrise, though it may be sunset.

If I'm fired, I'll move to Florida with my dad and that'll be that. And NONE of you will hear from me again (except Quill & Kristof).

My life would be very different. Maybe in the end it wouldn't be so bad. And maybe my dad would stay there -- rather than moving to the Delaware shore next year.



The weather here in the D.C. area is forecasted to be hot, sunny, and shitty this week with highs near 90F through Friday, although tonight is cool.

There is a slight chance of t-storms on Wed. night and then another chance with a bigger frontal passage on Saturday.

Were it to reach 90F on Wed., Thur., and Fri. at DCA, as the MOS guidance earlier suggested, it would be the 64th, 65th, and 66th day, respectively, of 90F or higher this calendar year there. The 66th day would be just one day shy of tying the 67 day record in 1980. It was already the hottest on record for the climatological (June 1 - Aug. 31) at DCA and BWI (and also, I believe, IAD).

Anyway, I have to sign off now. WeTV is showing its Monday night lineup of reruns of The Golden Girls.


Changing topics, please read these two excellent recent op-eds in The New York Times:

The Angry Rich by Paul Krugman and David Brooks' The Backlash Myth.

A meadow with grazing cattle somewhere near Durango, Colorado in the Great American West. Cue Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. Obviously, I also got this image off the internet.


The latter is about how liberal Dems are kidding themselves if they think that Tea Party (tea-bagger?) "extremism" is alienating "independent" voters in the 2010 election.

But he also states that the same Tea Party folks are in fact carrying "viruses that may infect the GOP in the years ahead. Its members seek traditional, conservative ends, but they use radical means. Along the way, the movement has picked up some of the worst excesses of modern American culture: a narcissistic sense of victimization, an egomaniacal belief in one’s own rightness and purity, a willingness to distort the truth so that every conflict becomes a contest of pure good versus pure evil."

Good stuff.

OK, that's all for now. G'Night, hippo.