Monday, October 11, 2010

Rainbow Bridges to Somewhere

A fascinating picture of a exceptionally low-angled and "nearby" rainbow taken by J's friend David (see below) in summer 2010 while driving somewhere in the rolling Virginia horse country approaching the Blue Ridge (not exactly sure where).

Clarification: David told me the above photo was taken on I-81 in or near Broadway, Virginia, 4:44PM, Aug. 15, 2010.


This was a good holiday-extended weekend for me.

Not only did I have a good weekend, but two important issues seem to have been resolved. This includes the Phil situation -- for which I have to thank Stephanie and her genuine concern and desire to keep friends close and relations good -- and, startlingly, the Cobalt situation.

A picture of a just-emerged Monarch butterfly taken by my dear friend Quill in Silver Spring outside her office on Sept. 14, 2010.

You can read about the details on V.R. Trakowski's blog Write or Wrung.

Apparently, this is in fact just a 1 month situation, not a lifelong one such as the two other places. If this indeed comes to pass, then there isn't a strong reason for me to move out of the 17th St. gayborhood just yet.

Also, if in fact this comes to pass -- and it startles skeptical me since I'm unaccustomed to bad situations resolving themselves quickly -- I have decided I will not darken the well of a certain somebody there but just avoid him outright.

This will keep things simpler and happier.


Here is another picture that J's friend David took this past summer in Babcock State Park in West Virginia. It is of the Glade Creek Grist Mill. Here is the park's Web site. David also took the lead picture of this entry.

Starting from right now, it is the end of Columbus Day, which still gets celebrated as a Federal holiday.It is also Monday night -- meaning We TV is showing its marathon of The Golden Girls.

As for the weekend, it also featured some interesting calender numerology: 10:10:10 on 10/10/10 and 10:11:10 on 10/11/10. True, the latter doesn't work using non-American date notation.

The particulars of this weekend are given below.

The weather today and the past week has been sunny and increasingly warm, uncomfortably so today. I'm SOOOO over this damn summery weather now stretching well into autumn. For a particular complaint about this see below.


First, though, right now ...

I'm home watching the last of the Who's the Boss? reruns on Hallmark Channel.

Here is an interesting screen shot I took from an episode of Who's the Boss? on Friday night showing Tony Danza and Danny Pintauro.


In Memoriam.

My mom's little parakeet Mr. Tweeters died last Monday morning. Mr. Tweeters -- whom I met once about two years ago -- was about 4 years old.

Above image: Here he was in his little cage with his little fake bird companion in my mom and Ray's place near Glen Burnie, Md.

Goodbye, Mr. Tweeters. I hope you're happily singing in some tree in a heavenly garden.


Returning to Friday night I went to Adams Mill Bar where there was a big, sprawling, festive crowd whose original purpose was to celebrate the return of Abby from Abu Dhabi -- or was it it Dubai? Somewhere in the UAE -- with her husband. I took a few less-than-stellar cellphone pictures that night. The group expanded to include about 15 people.

Kristof, Phil, and Abby unknowingly in my camera image, Adams Mill Bar, Washington, D.C., 8:03PM, Oct. 8, 2010.


Another picture from this past Friday night: Eric, Gary, Aimee, and Phil among others are in this photograph, Adams Mill Bar, Washington, D.C., 10:03PM, Oct. 8, 2010.


Here is part of my group at Adams Mill Bar, Washington, D.C., 10:36PM, Oct. 8, 2010. I won't identify everybody.


On Saturday late afternoon, Gerry came over and performed his usual computer magic by identifying the corrupted system files in my computer and running fixes on them.

My computer had been crashing, in particular when my anti-viral software was running a full system sweep. I was even getting the BSOD -- the Blue Screen of Death.

I may have had some kind of malware in the computer -- based on one message from my Avast! -- but I'm not sure if that was linked to the corrupted files, or if the these were related to failed updates.

As for Gerry, he took a solo trip up to New York City on Friday. His purpose was to take a walk across the George Washington Bridge in remembrance and as a statement of support for the Rutgers University gay student Tyler Clementi who committed suicide on Sept. 22, 2010 by jumping from the bridge after he discovered his roommate and a friend had been secretly videotaping and internet streaming his intimate encounters with another man.

The George Washington Bridge and Hudson River as seen from its Fort Lee, N.J., western terminus, October 8, 2010.

The two -- Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei -- have been charged with invasion of privacy, but there is a clamor to increase the charges to include outright hate crimes. The story is here. There is apparently a memorial walk over the bridge this week, but Gerry went this past Friday.

The view of the Hudson River shimmering in the early fall sunlight and the skyscrapers of the Manhattan borough of New York City as seen from the George Washington Bridge, October 8, 2010.


Later on Saturday, Gerry and I joined J. and his friend N. and walked over to Chris T.'s for one of our Saturday night dinners of the sort we haven't had in a while. Gary, Gloria, and Kristof also joined us. It was a very nice time, but I didn't take any pictures.


The 10/10/10 DC Dinner Party ...

On Sunday (Oct. 10, 2010) I went to Gloria's place for a second dinner party. The pictures below were taken there -- the bulk with Gloria's digital camera and a few by my cellphone. It's pretty obvious which are which.

Josh, myself, and J. (he prefers I not use his name, which is silly but that's what he wants) in Gloria's kitchen, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2010. Josh and J. were the chefs and together realized a perfect culinary synergy ...

Also, I can explain my hair. I know it looks hideous.

Yours truly in the same bunny ears hat, Gerry, and Gloria.

I had pomade in it and it wasn't sitting very well. My hair is actually getting bushy and has poofed out, hence the need for pomade. But that is clearly not working and I'm planning on getting a haircut tomorrow.

Dinner was quite good: scallops for starters and then a sort of combination grilled and breaded chicken with assorted mushrooms that was outstanding.

Gary and Kristof were also there and Jenn showed up later on after dinner.

I'm trying to fill in space for this left justified picture image.

OK, that should do it.

Here is a picture showing the actual main entry at the 10-10-10 DC dinner party (that's October, 10, 2010 in Washington, D.C.). Pictured clockwise from lower left: Gloria, Josh, Kristof, Gary, yours truly, and Gerry. Not pictured was J. -- he was taking the picture.

Another picture of chefs Josh and J.


Another kitchen cooking picture. Cooking involved a lot of wine -- for reduction sauce purposes as well as drinking.


Clockwise from right: Kristof, Gloria, Gerry, and yours truly at the dinner party, Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2010.


Gloria and J. and the dinner table, 9:08PM, Oct. 10, 2010


Yours truly in bunny ears dancing to Madonna's Material Girl -- that's what was playing at that point -- with Gary seated on the couch.


Gary in the same bunny ears.


The man in the mirror ...

... or "the reflectionary of me" (not my phrase!), Washington, D.C., 12:10AM, Oct. 11, 2010.

After the dinner party, some of us went to Windows for a little while.


OK, turning to the weather ...

For starters, there is some good news (if it holds up), namely, that Thursday and Friday look to be cool and rainy.

Here is the NWS forecast panel for Washington, D.C. (downtown grid point) for Oct. 12 - 16, 2010.

However, the weather has been increasingly and uncomfortably warm lately including 88F at DCA today, 2F shy of the 90F daily record high and surpassing the record number of 90F days for a calendar year.

The year 2010 is currently tied with 1980 at 67 days at DCA, although the 2010 climatological summer was warmer. BWI and IAD -- which easily reached a daily record of 86F, surpassing the 2001 record of 78F, but remember IAD's records only go back to 1961 -- are both at records for number of 90F days in 2010 at 59 and 58 days, respectively.

My complaint, though, is an admittedly odd one. It has to do with what I consider to be the editorializing in the area forecast discussions (AFDs) by the forecasters -- one in particular -- in the Baltimore/Washington NWS Forecast Office, also known a "Sterling" because it is located in Sterling, Virginia or its three letter identifier, "LWX."

They are writing commentary in the AFDs about how great is sunny, warm weather.

The sort of unhealthy looking crown of the oak tree growing in the small yard of 1711 19th St., NW, Washington, D.C., 5:50PM, Oct. 10, 2010.



According to LWX head meteorologist this does not count as "editorializing" because the NWS policy states: "narrative content of this product should be professional and remain focused on the meteorology."

A postage stamp sized front yard garden with a strange gourd object on the step ledge, 1749 Swann St., Washington, D.C., 6:05PM, Oct. 10, 2010.


The meteorologist in question continued with this non-editorializing professional conveyance about said "typical fall weather elements" with these comments from Friday's morning AFD: "CAN'T GET TOO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS" and subsequent afternoon AFD: "WOW. TALK ABT GRT WX."

That's NOT editorializing, at least not according to LWX.

I already noted that the head LWX meteorologist said to me in an email that he didn't think this violated the policy since it merely "conveyed" the forecasters meteorological thoughts in a succinct way. He also wrote that this individual has 16 years as an expert forecaster in the mid-Atlantic area and his emails are 100 to 1 positive over negative. The first point is suspect and the last two are irrelevant.

The pumpkin patch, sort of, outside Whole Foods, P Street, Washington, D.C., 8:55PM, Oct. 10, 2010.


Either the NWS has a policy or it doesn't. And for me, it is annoying to have to read it since -- as well as the commentary on the likelihood of "dreary" weather by week's end, another one wrote earlier today in the AFD.

In the end, it's not about an individual weather forecaster's opinions of how great is any particular type of weather, nor how many people agree with him or her.

The latter point is especially true in this depressing and hysterical mass media age, since NWS meteorologists are civil servants charged with forecasting the weather and informing the U.S. public. They are not TV weather-caster celebrities pandering to a lowest common denominator audience.

Full well do I know what that LCD weather is: blazing sunshine and 95F with drought. Must be time for the next GOP electoral landslide.

One last point about these forecasters -- they don't exactly try to remain anonymous and to me have regularly made themselves public figures. This includes assorted public outreach campaigns and local TV and newspaper articles.

Here is a picture of LWX crew -- including LWX chief meteorologist and the forecaster in question I've been talking about, but I'll leave it up to you to figure it out who they are -- from several years ago posing with a favorite looooooooong time local weather forecaster, Sue Palka.

She and Doug Hill have made watching the local TV news weather segments an unpleasant chore for the past quarter century. In fact, I stopped watching them years ago. (As for the third local biggie, Bob Ryan, I like him.)

The above image comes from the NWS communications Web page here. The caption for this photo is Baltimore-Washington Media Partners Visit Forecast Office -- and no one is exactly trying to be self-effacing, IMHO.

OK, I think that's about all except for this:

It looked briefly about 10 days ago as if the wussy Dems were making a comeback ahead of the November midterm elections, but now they are back -- appropriately, and all is well in the world -- to collapsing in the polls and are set to be trounced in the coming vote.

And the depressing ping pong game will continue.

Read Glenn Greenwald's piece Collapsing Empire Watch. It has to do with new study showing that U.S. life expectancy has fallen to 49th among nations -- part of a litany of depressing U.S. statistics that I'll spare posting here.

I came across a new book in the Dupont Circle Books-a-Million by Alexander Zaitchik called Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance. I perused it and read the ending few pages. Looked interesting.

OK, that really is all for now. My next planned update -- unless something good or bad noteworthy happens -- won't be until Wednesday at least.



fifi said...

You are looking very handsome and distinguished, I think. And some of these pictures are truly amazing: the shot ffrom the bridge, the butterfy and the rainbow.

That little bird is australian. A budgerigar. Vey sweet,
goodbye Mr Tweeters.

Regulus said...

Thank you, Fifi, for such a nice comment. Just for clarification, though, several of those pictures -- including the butterfly, bridge views, and rainbow ones you mentioned -- were NOT taken by me.

I'll let my mom know about Mr. Tweeters' lineage.

krzysztof said...

So many great photos