Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Canary Sings in the Rain -OR- The Anniversary Waltz

**Updated 12:24AM 6/25/2014: See below.**

This iconic image of Gene Kelly from the movie Singin' in the Rain seemed appropriate for the two main themes of this entry -- the rainfall D.C. unfortunately did NOT get and the 7-year Mr. Sirius anniversary (see below).

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I wrote part of this entry yesterday (Saturday) but moved the content to a new entry dated today and then ended up rewriting most of it anyway.

Yellow roses in bloom at the Enid Haupt Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1:33PM, May 19, 2011. I work near here.

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This is my 498th post -- including the entry that I have just reposted from last June that I had to put into draft a few weeks later owing to an angry eruption of an acquaintance who felt it revealed too much about a former job. However, that person has a far better job now. As it is, I removed a bit of content in the reposted version.

Anyway, long story short, I'm quickly approaching my 500th entry.

View from my 5th floor apartment looking toward the nearby intersection of 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., and beyond -- into Virginia (Rosslyn) -- as seen at 2:09PM, May 21, 2011.

A sunny day in Washington, D.C., is no big deal -- it's always frickin' sunny here. Might as well live in L.A.

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Rockville -OR- Bust


Yesterday, I ACTUALLY LEFT the District of Columbia went to Rockville in suburban Maryland to have dinner with my friend and co-worker D. and his wife and 3-year old son. They also have a 2-month old baby daughter who was quite quiet during dinner. We went to dinner at Gordon Biersch in the Town Square area.

Here is a picture of Rockville Town Square I found online (Washingtonian magazine article) -- with Gordon Biersch visible on right side of the intersection.

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It took me an hour to get to Rockville on the Metro -- a half hour longer than it should have -- because one overcrowded train car developed door problems. After 10 minutes waiting at the Woodley Park station, the train operator off-loaded the train.

I was in the rear of an 8-car train, and went back to Dupont Circle because of the crush of people at Woodley Park.

Anyway, dinner was nice except D. unintentionally confirmed to me that some significant change that is happening at work on Monday -- but then he wouldn't tell me because he promised my supervisor that she would tell me in a scheduled meeting tomorrow.

What happened was I said something about my tasks and made a remark to the effect that "provided I keep doing these" (or something like that) and the look on D.'s face told me somewhat was up.

I don't think I'm (hope I'm not) being fired but my tasks may be changing in some significant way.

I had kind of a panic attack over this at the far end of the Rockville Metro station platform at balmy cobalt blue-gray dusk while on the phone with my mom. Anyway, I returned to D.C. and went to Nellie's last night with Gary and Kristof.

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Group of guys sitting outside of Larry's Lounge, Washington, D.C., 11:15PM, May 20, 2011.

Larry's Lounge is an interesting place -- gay-run, it sometimes is all gay and sometimes it is mostly straight, depending on the groups that go there.

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On Friday, I went to Larry's Lounge to meet Gary, J. and Wendy (who is leaving tomorrow for two months to work in Nairobi, Kenya this summer). I ended up getting somewhat imbibed last night -- and the crowds of young people out also were drunk, but that's D.C. these days on any weekend night. There were also a large number of heavy people , but that was partly a function of the Lauriol Plaza restaurant clientele. The restaurant is located across the street from LL.

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Looking at the intersection of T and 18th Streets, NW, from Larry's Lounge, Washington, D.C., 12:06AM, May 21, 2011

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8-Day Rainy Spell Totals and the National Airport Anti-Weather Force Field

The Washington Monument and National Mall at 7th Street under dramatic-looking clouds last week. This was taken 6:04PM on May 18, 2011 as I was walking home from work from L'Enfant Plaza to 16th and U Streets, NW (as I did two days last week -- it's about a 2 mile walk).

In the end, though, precious little rain fell out of those clouds on downtown D.C. or DCA itself during what in fact was for some places a very wet 8-day period.

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So as a follow-up to what I was complaining about in my previous entries, below I have posted the 8-day precipitation totals (May 13 - 20, 2011) for the seven regional climate recording stations in the National Weather Service's Baltimore / Washington Forecast Area, a.k.a. LWX or "Sterling" because the office is located in Sterling, Virginia near Dulles Airport.

It is also called the "CWA" (County Warning Area), as are all regional forecast areas.

I also posted the totals for the same 8-day period for selected climate stations located in the Philadelphia and New York NWS forecast offices.

This period is when a sprawling cut-off upper level low with abundant tropical brought showers and thunderstorms to much of the Eastern United States.

It is also meant to show how much National Airport (DCA) got screwed out of any rain (as usual), thanks to the "anti-weather" force field that seemingly surrounds the place -- and life-draining Washington, D.C., in general.

Image of Reagan Washington National Airport

Long story short, DCA had 1.00" of precipitation in that period. This compares to the 8-day climatological normal of (0.13" per day x 8 days =) 1.04".

Thus, precip for the period was 1.00" - 1.04" = 0.04" BELOW normal!

**Updated 12:24AM 6/25/2014: Content removed.**

U.S. Capitol Building as seen from same spot as above Washington Monument image at same time, but looking opposite direction.

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Now it IS true that parts of the District of Columbia had three times the 1.00" that DCA officially got -- that monsoon deluge that Wendy and I walked through last Sunday in the Spring Valley area dropped at least 2 inches of rain in a 45 minute period. And hydrologically speaking, the entire region is quite wet.

But DCA itself only received 1.00" officially -- and the only other of the seven recording stations in the LWX CWA that got less was Hagerstown, Md. (0.80") -- but that spot really DOES seem to be in a weather hole at all times.

So without further ado, here are the totals in descending order:

Charlottesville, Va. (CHO): 4.63"
Martinsburg, W. Va. (MRB): 3.59"
Dulles Int'l Airport (IAD): 2.27"
BWI Airport (BWI): 1.50"
Maryland Science Center (DMH): 1.24"
National Airport (DCA): 1.00"
Hagerstown, Md. (HGR): 0.80"

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Other 8-day totals for the period May 13 - 20, 2011 outside the LWX CWA:

New York City - Central Park: 4.15"
Newark Int'l Airport: 3.76"
Wilmington, Del.: 2.54"
Trenton, N.J.: 2.37"
JFK Int'l Airport: 2.02"
Atlantic City, NJ: 1.85"
Philadelphia Int'l Airport: 1.41"

(UPDATED through Saturday): And just as an update for the three big regional recording stations in the LWX CWA through 11:59PM EDT May 21, 2011 with departures and normals in parentheses:

DCA:
Month-to-date: 1.59" -0.99" (2.58")
Year-to-date: 13.56" -1.23" (14.79")

BWI:
Month-to-date: 2.33" -0.28" (2.61")
Year-to-date: 16.19" +0.16" (16.03")

IAD:
Month-to-date: 2.90" +0.08" (2.82")
Year-to-date: 17.26" +1.85" (15.41")

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It is Sunday afternoon and, as usual for my weekend days, I'm not really getting outside for the day because -- having gone out the previous night -- I'm too tired and groggy and hung-over to do that. I'm wasting my life away, lost in the District of Columbia.

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A few other items ...

Return of the Great Red Nose Spot (or Rather, It Never Went Away)

The removal of the main red blotch on the tip of my nose -- what was diagnosed in my visit on May 2nd as a fibrous papule but the subsequent biopsy identified as a flat wart, although I think it is in fact a fibrous papule -- has not been a total success. It was removed on that day, and the area is now all healed.

Except the frickin' thing is still there.

The dermatologist ended up only removing (scraping away) about half of it, so it isn't as large or as reddish as before, and many people don't notice it unless I point it out, but I notice, and I hate it.

I may have to go back to the dermatologist in a few weeks -- except I'm not sure if the doctor will be able to remove it on the cheap (a de facto cosmetic procedure using the excuse of performing a medically necessary biopsy to fool the insurance company) a second time. (Apparently, that trick used to be done with straightening a deviated septum years ago.)

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**Updated 12:24AM 6/25/2014: Substantial content removed.**

My shadow as seen in a pool of sunlight filtered through the stained glass windows of St. Dominic Catholic Church falling on the floor next to a baptismal font, Washington, D.C., 1:23PM, March 2, 2011.

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On a happier note, I heard the song Shine On Harvest Moon on that "Sound Stage" internet radio station I listen to at work on the BostonPete.com network and it was stuck in my head, so I'm posting a Youtube clip of Ruth Etting's lilting rendition of it way back in 1931:


Shine On Harvest Moon

How lovely.

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Speaking of the Moon and things celestial, here is an astronomy image detour ...

The Little Dipper from the May 14, 2011 APOD.

The Little Dipper -- conveniently outlined and its constituent stars (including POLARIS!) labeled from same APOD. Click on image for larger version.

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Stunning Tenerife Beauty in Time Lapse

I highly recommend watching this 3min 46sec video by Daniel López that features stunning time lapse images from Tenerife in the Canary Islands at different times of the year showing shifting stars and undulating "oceans" of clouds over the powerfully beautiful island landscape and set to haunting music ("Angel's Tear") by Matti Paalanen.




I think this was one of my favorite images (screen captured):

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I've previously posted this image from Tenerife:

Acantilados de Los Gigantes ("Cliffs of the Giants"), Tenerife, Canary Islands.

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OK, I think that's all for now. My next planned update (unless tomorrow features dire news) won't be until about the Day of Woden, I mean, Wednesday.

--Regulus

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