Friday, May 27, 2011

Blog Entry #500: Stairway to Heaven or Pathway to Hell?

**Updated 1:57AM 6/19/2014: See below.**

Stairway to Heaven. Or Hell.

The Exorcist Steps, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 1:13PM, May 25, 2011.

Say, Mr. Sirius, why don't you run up and down these a few times real fast? As vicious as he is vacuous.

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The same as above, but looking down, 1:11PM, May 25, 2011.

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This is my 500th entry on this Regulus blog. I had intended a big, full entry with lots of content but it's Friday evening and I have plans -- unless I drop dead from my high blood pressure from which I'm suffering or some other malady.

Healy Hall and the Georgetown University campus, Washington, D.C., 1:06PM, May 25, 2011.

I was walking from Georgetown Hospital to the Rossyln Metro (via the Key Bridge) to head over to L'Enfant Plaza.

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Yes, it turns out I have high blood pressure. I'm going to the doctor on Tuesday again (thankfully, or maybe I should say "amazingly" since this IS America, I have health insurance these days). I'm going to have to go on some kind of medication for high blood pressure.

That blood pressure chart I posted last month apparently has been superseded by a newer one in which my 150/100 reading counts as stage 1 hypertension.

I believe this chart is a bit more "up-to-date" -- and it puts me in Stage 1 Hypertension.

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It's not just that I'm 25 to 30 pounds overweight, though that is true.

**Updated 1:57AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

Also, as the neurologist I saw at Georgetown Univ. Hospital said to me on Wednesday (where I basically confirmed my high blood pressure with a third such elevated reading in the space of six weeks), I need to cut back on blogging because this is actually screwing up my sleep weekday schedule. As for my would-be sleep clinic study, that does not seem likely at this point.

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Towering willow oak shade trees in a vibrant green setting at the edge of Georgetown University along 37th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 1:09PM, May 25, 2011.

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Tonight is a breezy, warm evening with some thunderstorms approaching the area -- in fact, there had been a tornado warning up a short while ago for a small cell moving quickly northeast, ostensibly toward Washington, D.C., but it quickly fall into the "weather hole" that surrounds the District of Columbia and AT MOST there will be one grumble of thunder and 0.01" rain at frickin' DCA.

The edge of the Potomac River on the Georgetown side -- including Jack's Boathouse (with the red boat launch) and Fletcher's Boat House -- as seen from the Francis Scott Key Bridge, 1:17PM, May 25, 2011.

The river always looks so much more turgid-brown when you see it in person.

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**Updated 1:57AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

The Sterling (LWX) radar in enhanced base reflectivity mode, 6:58PM EDT, May 27, 2011.

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Yesterday, temps soared into the lower 90s Fahrenheit (92F DCA, 91F BWI, and 90F IAD), and it was somehow the unofficial start of the usual hellishly hot, humid but droughty, smelly and stagnant summer that defines 6 months of the year in the District of Crapumbia, where I am so tired of living.

**Updated 1:57AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

I must live in a cooler climate -- New England, Wisconsin or Seattle. Or New Zealand.

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Updated ...

A quick thunderstorm actually blew across D.C. about an hour ago with brief downpours, gusty winds and, yes, lightning and thunder. It dropped approximately 1/10" of rain (0.06" at DCA).

View of thunderstorm approaching from the southwest as seen from my 5th floor apartment window, Washington, D.C., 7:41PM, May 27, 2011.

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The same view / storm appraoching, three minutes later (7:44PM).

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For Your Political Reading Pleasure ...

Here area a few excerpts and links to items I read the past week that I enjoyed. I had intended to -- and may still -- post images to accompany these but right now and, besides, it would take another two hours, and I don't want to go on and on blogging. I'm tired of sitting in front of a computer right now.

The first is by Michael Lind on why "a huckster as vulgar and shallow as Niall Ferguson" -- a rightwing British pseudo-intellectual -- can be such a big hit in the D.C. punditry, link here. This is similar in spirit to the WaHoPo's former editorial whorehouse member, Sebastian Mallaby.

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Jacob Weisberg on the detachment from reality of today's GOP:

"One party, the Democrats, suffers from the usual range of institutional blind spots, historical foibles, and constituency-driven evasions.


"The other, the Republicans, has moved to a mental Shangri-La, where unwanted problems (climate change, the need to pay the costs of running the government) can be wished away, prejudice trumps fact (Obama might just be Kenyan-born or a Muslim), expertise is evidence of error, and reality itself comes to be regarded as some kind of elitist plot." Source here

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And another wonderful Gene Lyons column on GOP budget lies: Excerpt:

"How you can tell [Republicans are] about to do something momentously dumb is when they're unanimous, i.e., operating on sheer ideology. Show me a unified GOP, and I'll show you a budgetary disaster about to happen. That's what makes the pending showdown over raising the national debt limit so worrying ..." Source here.

More info on this chart here. This is part of the Grover Norquist / Koch Brothers / GOP plan to create a catastrophe that ushers in their corporate fascist dystopia.

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Oh, yes, and ANYTHING by Paul Krugman. Here is a link to his New York Times blog. He is required daily reading.

Lastly, in terms of TV news and commentary - analysis, I've really gotten to like Lawrence O'Donnell and his show The Last Word on MSNBC. He is so much better than Olbermann was and I prefer him to Rachel Maddow.

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OK, that's all for now. I'm still not feeling that well. I planning to go to Larry's Lounge and/or Nellie's tonight. Oh, yes, I was able to retrieve all my images from my old / damage hard drive. This means I can post some of those pics on this blog and my other one...

 This is a great image.

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My next planned update here will be around Monday or Tuesday.

--Regulus

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