Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Very Rainy Entry -OR- "The Rain Man would come and sing to me ..." (Part 2)

**Updated 1:58AM 6/19/2014: The bulk of this entry has been removed. I simply could not preserve it. However, it is better this way.**

Updated 7:30PM 7/1/2011: See below.

Above: The lovely gloomy and cool rainy day of the sort I absolutely would love but will not be getting here in D.Shitty.C. for at least 5 months, if ever again.


Just a quick update ...

I really don't have anything to say. I went to the National Press Club with my co-worker (who is a member) last night and then to Larry's Lounge. I again went to LL tonight. We are on the cusp of the Independence Day holiday weekend.


Saw it on Bartcop tonight ...

Click on image for larger version.

This is so true. I was able to turn off that stupid chat thing permanently and this issue went away. At least for now. Until Yahoo finds some new way to screw with its users.


Wait ... This entry turned out negative. Sorry.


Interstellar dust about 500 light years away and spanning approximately 8 light years obscures the light from more distant stars at the edge of the Southern Hemisphere constellation Corona Australis (the Southern Crown).

On the upper right is the far more distant (~29,000 light year) globular cluster NGC 6723 located in the constellation Sagittarius -- and thus in the direction of the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. This was the June 27, 2011 APOD.


G'night, hippo.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weatherless in Washington -OR- More D.C. Summertime Nothing Crap

**Updated 1:45AM 6/19/2014: See below.**

A towering cumulus congestus cloud over Washington, D.C., as seen from L'Enfant Plaza, 6:17PM, June 28, 2011.

This cloud was ultimately ineffectual at making ANY precipitation. Go f-yourself cloud.


**Updated 1:45AM 6/19/2014: Content removed / adjusted.**

Here was the frickin' LWX radar in base reflectivity mode at 9:15PM EDT tonight (June 28, 2011) showing EVERYTHING missing D.C. I even hate those letters "D.C." now.


Unlike in some years when there is just drought all around, this year there have been about 10 to 15 misses in the past 8 weeks. Truth to tell, I've actually not observed a year THIS consistently spiteful in terms of missed weather.

The Northeastern U.S. quadrant radar mosaic at 0228 UTC (10:22PM EDT) June 29 (June 28), 2011 showing massive rainfall / MSC's everywhere EXCEPT on ANY trajectory for Shitty D.C.


**Updated 1:45AM 6/19/2014: Content removed / adjusted.**

Let's start a 35-day countdown of "no measurable rainfall" at frickin' DCA and its shitty rain bucket since that's where we are going and set a new record for longest driest stretch ever.

Except I can't move just quite yet.

New Jersey is my home home and I'll look for some other place. I was thinking of perhaps Eureka, Calif., for a period of time.

A picture of the Pacific Ocean near Eureka, Calif., that I found online.

I supposed I'd get bored and maybe even be lonely there. OK, maybe it would be better if I went to Seattle or Portland.


Anyway, more immediately, though, I think Gary and I are going to Wildwood (or rather, Wildwood Crest) New Jersey in late August for 3 days.

A picture of the gurgling surf at Wildwood Crest, N.J., 3:21PM, Aug. 18, 2009.

The sand dunes at the edge of the beach, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 4:17PM, Aug. 18, 2009.


Just out of curiosity, when was the last time there was a all-day heavy rain event in D.C., as opposed to 100F heat, shitty / stagnate / smelly air quality, stifling humidity, or below normal rain / snow?

Clouds at sunset as seen from the intersection of 15th and P Streets, NW, Washington, D.C., 8:38PM, June 28, 2011.


BTW, I heard that there was some crazy record low relative humidity event in Las Vegas yesterday with a 107F air temp and -22F dew point, giving a "dew point depression" of 129F and relative humidity of 0.6%. Source here.

The Whole Foods in the 1400 block of P Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 8:37PM, June 28, 2011. This is an overpriced, yuppie presumptuous, rather impractical grocery store.

I had stopped into No. 9 after work.


Anyway, I'm home tonight watching Frasier on Hallmark. I have social engagements the next two evenings including -- I THINK -- a trip to the Nat'l Press Club after work tomorrow with a colleague friend who is a member.

My next planned update won't be for a few days.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday and Monday Prime Meridians

A pleasant, albeit from humid day, in Meridian Hill Park very near where I live here in Washington, D.C., 4:50PM, June 26, 2011. The fountains were all turned on, although the water was quite green.

FYI: Yes, some folks call it "Malcolm X Park." I will NEVER call it that, no matter how good a man was Malcolm X. The park's historical and proper name is Meridian Hill Park.

The park has some strange sculpture including Joan of Arc on a horse (though she long ago lost her sword), President James Buchanan (our likely only gay president, but also a disaster of one) and Dante.


Two little boys playing at the edge of the terraced fountain, Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 4:52PM, June 26, 2011.


I was going to post a full entry tonight but I ended up going to the grocery store -- remember, I have to walk and lug things back -- and doing my laundry, all after I got home around 630PM. And it is Monday night, so I'm watching the line ups of Frasier and The Golden Girls on Hallmark Channel and We TV. Earlier today, I finished my Orem City compliance case draft report.

Looking "south" down the terraced fountain of Meridian Hill Park, 4:53PM, June 26, 2011, Washington, D.C.

My apartment building is behind the main one facing the park -- a sliver of it is visible down an alley way in the above image.


Last night, I had a surprisingly good time at Nellie's with the gang -- by which I mean J. (yes), Kristof, Gary, and even Li'l D. Earlier, I walked to Target in Columbia Heights where I purchased some needed clothing and kitchen items, as well as two pillows. And this evening, I went to the Metro Center Macy's, where I purchased some more clothing.

Just some of the crowd in Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 4:54PM, June 26, 2011. It's like a bit of Woodstock there every summer weekend day. Now at night, it gets a bit dodgy.

I was walking to the Target. Kristof helped me carrying some of my purchases and we walked back through the park. I then returned to the Target to trade UP a size one of the pairs of pants I bought. Boo.


Congo Bongo, D.C.-style ...

The African Drum Circle group banging away on drums and bongos, Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 4:54PM, June 26, 2011.


I am quite tired now and honestly I cannot get myself worked up about anything right now. Just DAILY read Paul Krugman's New York Times blog though.

The crazy GOP Teabaggers are pressing for a U.S. Government default to hasten the arrival of the oligarchical corporate fascist state that we aren't far from anyway, no matter how many 2011-style hippies loll about in Meridian Hill "Malcolm X" Park on a warm summer day in the Capital of the Empire. It's Grover Norquist's and the Koch Brothers' wet dream.

And read this this article about the perennial beach access wars along the Jersey shore that is entering yet another phase.

Oh, yes, I THINK Gary and I are going to Wildwood, N.J., Aug. 26 - 29th. I hope so.


The counter top at the Wendy's along Greenbelt Road in Kettering, Md., taken by J. yesterday (June 26, 2011). He was there with Gary playing softball.

Some of my friends and I have an inside joke about the word "dropsy" -- an old and no longer used term that referred to softness in the tissues due to excess water, and thus was more a symptom rather than an actual disease or malady. Today "dropsy" is referred to as edema, and it has a variety of causes including congestive heart failure.

From The Onion's Our Dumb Century: A March 1902 sheet music hit song: "Ernestaria, Darling, Please Do Not Die of the Dropsy."


I'm going to bed shortly. I had a very strange apocalyptic dream but it would take too long to relate right now.

Suffice it to say, it involved multiple tornadoes, the Chinese, huge and scary power lines being destroyed, and hurtling down a darkened bicycle path in the woods with my mom and dad, trying to get over a bridge before a series of huge power lines fell / exploded, and then my dad was gone and it was just my mom and I nearing that blackness.

Then I woke up.

But I went back to sleep and the dream continued. We had to cross over a damaged bridge to get over a river and head back to D.C., where we would remain.


OK, that's all for now. G'night.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Night Musical Interlude: "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)"

A sequence of images showing the full lunar eclipse above The Acropolis in Athens on June 15, 2011. This was today's APOD.


'Cuz it was in my head ...

Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)

Lyrics by Ian McNabb
Performed by The Icicle Works

"Love comes down upon us and it flows like water
Burning with the hope of insight
Feathered, looks they’re covered with a bright elation
Stolen in the sight of love

We are we are we are but your children
Finding our way around indecision
We are we are we are rather helpless
Changes forever
Whisper to a scream!

Birds fly in the eye of the faithless daughter
Broken at the bitter end
Wasted sacrifice for the new nirvana
Night time sends us on our way


We are we are we are but your children
Finding our way around indecision
We are we are we are rather helpless
Changes forever
Whisper to a scream!"


A lovely summertime blue sky fleeced with fair weather cumulus clouds above Washington, D.C., as seen from L'Enfant Plaza yesterday, 2:10PM, June 24, 2011.

I was on a late lunch break when I took that picture. Yes, it was a pretty day, but it's too damn dry this summer. We need some rain.


Today I was home all day just working on the Orem City report I mentioned in my previous entry. I did so while watching reruns of The Golden Girls and Frasier on Hallmark Channel.

Tonight I plan to go to Larry's Lounge and Nellie's (last night I only made it to LL and then promptly fell asleep when I stopped home before my planned trek over to Nellie's). Tomorrow, I plan to actually leave the apartment and get outside during the day.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Midnight Entry in June -OR- "It's Just My Blog's Tune!"

**Updated 1:39AM 6/19/2014: See below.**

A partial solar eclipse at midnight over Kaunispää Hill, Lapland, Finland, June 1, 2011. This was the June 3, 2011 APOD.

No, I can't pronounce "Kaunispää" ...


Here is a quick update ... So far, my home computer has NOT crashed in the past two days. (OK, that was the kiss of death to my home computer.) I MAY be able to get a computer from work to use at home.


Secondly, I'm going to post this YouTube video of the late, great Peggy Lee singing Elmer's Tune, as performed both by Glenn Miller and (in the You Tube clip below) by Benny Goodman and their respective orchestras. This tune has been stuck in my head since I heard it on Bryan Wright's Sound Stage show earlier today.

(The actual lyrics start around 1 minute into the clip.)

Elmer's Tune
Words and music by Elmer Albrecht, Sammy Gallop and Dick Jurgens

"Why are the stars always winkin' and blinkin' above?
What makes a fellow start thinkin' of fallin' in love?
It's not the season, the reason is plain as the moon
It's just Elmer's Tune!

What makes a lady of eighty go out on the loose?
Why does a gander meander in search of a goose?
What puts the kick in a chicken, the magic in June?
It's just Elmer's Tune!

Listen, Listen
There's a lot you're liable to be missin'
Sing it, Swing it
Any old way and any old time.

The hurdy-gurdies, the birdies, the cop on the beat
The candy maker, the baker, the man on the street
The city charmer, the farmer, the man in the moon
All sing Elmer's Tune!"


Pines of Florence restaurant interior, 2100 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 9:24PM, June 23, 2011.


Tonight, I had a nice dinner with K. at Pines of Florence at 210 Connecticut Avenue. It's an interesting restaurant located in a residential apartment building about a half-mile north-northwest from Dupont Circle. I was also there on Sunday with Quill.

Thereafter, I went to Larry's Lounge, where I met Kristof and Mark D. (from this past weekend).


Back register at City Lights of China restaurant, Washington, D.C., 8:37PM, June 22, 2011.


I'm worried because I didn't finish an important recommendation letter this Thursday to help solve a $5,000 compliance error.

It regards an issue for a town in Utah. I really need to finish it tomorrow -- and it should help to clear up a sizable Recovery Act-funded project compliance error. I don't want to screw up and be pulled off the project. In this case, I just got caught up in too much detail and phone calls.

To Utah.

I've been terribly tired / exhausted all week.


The stars of the Big Dipper -- conveniently labeled and outlined. This is the June 24, 2011 APOD. (Scroll over image if you go to the link.)


**Updated 1:39AM 6/19/2014: Content removed and adjusted.**

The weather here in D.C. and environs has been typical summertime PURE CRAP ...

... with overheated temps, swamp-like humidity, and no frickin' t-storms.

**Updated 1:39AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**


The weekend is coming up. I SHOULD have a bit of a money surplus after I get paid that I can put toward badly needed new clothing. Other than clothes shopping, I think I'll just sleep a lot.

OK, that's all for now.

"...It's just Elmer's Tune!"


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Suddenly Summer and Suddenly More Computer Crashing Crap

Rugged beauty on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.


Today is the first day of Northern Hemisphere summer.

I had planned a full new update but my shitty home computer is again starting with the repeated crashes / blue screen of death, which means the new hard drive is crapping out.

I'm not sure if it is a function of dust and heat or this is just a bad computer. My TV and cable box don't seem to have that problem.

I AM going to see if I can get a computer from work to use at home. If not, I'll purchase the cheapest one I can find. I'm so sick of this endless frickin' aggravation.

Anyway, in the meantime I am moving as many files as possible to the half dozen or so flash drives I have.

I WAS going to post extended excerpts of the most recent Michael Lind piece Why the GOP Should Nominate Barack Obama in 2012 but instead will just post the link. I highly suggest reading it.

Total lunar eclipse in progress as seen above Granada, Spain on June 15, 2011. This is today's APOD.


Yes, I've been adding to this entry gradually tonight waiting for the next crash (so far, none). Sigh. I'm not sure when my next update will be.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Keystone Rag Time -OR- Rural Pennsylvania 6-5000

Here Bryan Wright plays the piano at the outdoor portion of the Third Annual Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival being held this weekend in Rockhill Furnace, Pa., 3:56PM, June 18, 2011. I went up to this part of Pennsylvania with Gary to see this event, and I was hoping to meet him and did (yay!).

I also bought his new CD Breakin' Notes.


I'm back from a surprisingly tiring 24-hour trek up to Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania to see (as noted) the 3rd Annual Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival. Gary and I went there by way of an overnight stop at Mark D's hilltop cabin set atop a sprawling, mostly forested 275 acre spread that "fronts" into far northern Frederick County, Maryland (Sabillasville) but that is actually mostly in Adams County, Penn. He purchased about 3 years ago an old summer Bible camp site that belonged to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod that was known as Raven Rock. Of note, it turns out that two of my friends (Quill and D^2) actually visited there back in the mid-1980s in its previous incarnation.

The late morning view (to the north) from Mark's property, Adams County, Pa., 11:48AM, June 18, 2011.

As I noted, Mark's address is given as Sabillasville, Md., but the actual house and most of the property is in Adams County, Pa.


A lovely bucolic view from Rt. 552 either in Fulton County or Huntingdon County, Pa., about 10 miles or so south of Orbisonia / Rockhill Furnace, Pa., 4:48PM, June 18, 2011.

I'm not exactly sure -- and the road signage in (at least this part of) Pennsylvania is not so good.


Mark's place almost abuts a top-secret Pentagon site known as the Raven Rock Mountain Complex (RRMC) -- a.k.a. "the Underground Pentagon", "the Rock, "Site RT", or "NNMC-R" -- that is buried deep into Raven Rock mountain, and it is near Camp David. In fact, it's smack dab in the middle of the two.

(I'm sure I'm going to get some weird blog hits writing about that.)



It was so starry there last night even on a moonlit night with a thin high cloud deck and the view off to the north and northeast (toward Gettysburg) was so lovely. The Big Dipper and Arcturus were very prominent. In the winter time on a cold, blustery, moonless night it must be spectacular all around, and I'd like to go back up there then.

Gary did all the driving and it was, as it usually is, quite easy to travel with him, even when we got seriously lost in the forested night on a winding, narrow gravel road (DAMN YOU Eylers Valley Road!) -- see image at left -- with NO cellphone reception looking for Mark's place. And again earlier this afternoon when we took a wrong turn on Rt. 552 that caused us to intersect I-70 about 30 miles west of Hagerstown.

Click on image for larger version.


A gazing ball in a small yard in Rockhill Furnace, Pa., 3:45PM, June 18, 2011.


Another picture of Bryan playing the piano at the outdoor festival. He said he started playing the piano when he was 5. He attended William & Mary College and is now getting his Ph.D. at another school.


The word "festival" for the event might not be the best term since it is really just about a half dozen people -- all tremendously talented -- playing piano rags and other instruments (including fiddle) outside the Rockhill Trolley Museum.

Here is Adam Swanson playing at the same outdoor event in Rockhill Furnace, Pa., today. Adam -- who is about 19 years old -- is the three time 1st place winner of the Old Time Piano Championship (and has been "retired" from that contest as a result).


Our actual stay at there was quite short given the layout and lack of any amenities, and we did not stay for the evening concert if only to avoid a super-late return home. Also, it was so uncomfortably humid at the outside venue at the railroad museum where it was held with flies buzzing about. And the old-time coal-fired train on display there kept riding back and forth in billowing clouds of nasty 19th Century-style smoke and the train whistle was so damn loud.

Here Bryan was finishing the mournful rag "Roberto Clemente" in honor of the late baseball player as the coal-fired locomotive in question thundered toward the museum depot to nowhere.


Bryan is an amazing young man -- such talent and so softly well-spoken and articulate. I learned of him while listening to the internet radio show "Soundstage" that he hosts on the site, which I listen to at work.

More more picture of Bryan playing the piano today a the outdoor event.


As noted, the event was held in Rockhill Furnace, which is a tiny town that is almost indistinguishable from the adjoining speck of a town called Orbisonia, and both extremely rural with the only vehicles really being large pick up trucks and the folks looking quite that part of America these days (overweight, sloppy and not really doing much of anything).

Historic Mercersburg, Pa., 1:03PM, June 18, 2011. This is one of the prettier towns we went through unlike some of the other more vapid and depressing ones.

Of note, this was taken along Rt. 16 after an unexpected but (given that we had no map and no idea where we were) a shockingly successful detour that brought us back to Rt. 16 on country roads and the backside of a small boarding school known as Mercersburg Academy.


OK, that's all for now. I'm now back in the hateful but familiar D.C. gay mother's ship, and Gary and I are going to Nellie's tonight. I think I'm meeting Quill tomorrow for lunch.

This entry ended up being a lot longer and more detailed than I anticipated. My next planned update will be either Monday or Tuesday night.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Good Morning -OR- A Friday in June

**Updated 1:35AM 6/19/2014: See below.**

Benjamin Banneker Park's central fountain at the end of L'Enfant Promenade down near where I work. This is a strange and forlorn part of Southwest Washington, D.C., in an area hemmed in / spliced apart by I-395 and near the Potomac. And the water in the fountain was green disgusting. But the fountain itself looks pretty.


Hi everybody

This is just a very brief Friday morning update. I probably won't be able to post a full update until Monday evening, unless, of course, my computer decides to crash / otherwise crap out. It wants to "update" -- but that's just a corporate American / GOP scam to destroy it.

We had drenching thunderstorms across the area last night including here in the Dupont gayborhood. DCA officially had 0.78" while BWI had 1.67", including 1.33" during one hour (reported at 1AM). IAD had 0.34" plus an additional 0.23" earlier in the evening.

DCA still has not had a 1.00" or more of precipitation in a calendar day since March 10, 2011. And we are still below for the year -- DCA in particular. We may get a few more thunderstorms today and tonight.

I will post a full update of numbers on Monday evening.

Nighttime city electric downpour as seen from the corner of 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., 11:23PM, June 16, 2011 as I was walking home. I could only hold my cellphone in the deluge of rain for a few seconds to take the picture lest the phone be damaged by the water.


My week has been a mixed one after its nightmare start (see previous entry). I'm still not talking to Kristof, and at this point, it does not look like I will be. I went to LL last night and saw him there but he made no attempt to talk to me (other than a perfunctory wave across the bar). Ditto Jamie. And I've been having bad headaches all week -- migraines, in fact.

Cloudy, threatening skies as seen above the Smithsonian Castle across Independence Avenue "under" the DOE Forrestal Building, 6:04PM, June 14, 2011. This was on Tuesday, when I walked home from work.


The thunderstorm last night started in earnest and then there was a true deluge. I only had one drink since I was already full and tired, having eaten dinner and earlier in the evening going to Club Nine (the old Halo) after getting off the Metro at Metro Center rather than Dupont or U Street.

The Enid Haupt Garden on the grounds of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C., 6:06PM, June 14, 2011.


I walked home in the deluge around 1115PM and watching reruns of Frasier and the start of an episode of The Golden Girls before going to bed around 1230AM.

As for LL, the music was loud and I for some reason I started being laughed at by two gay guys at a table of four typically hateful, vicious, empty D.C. homos. I went up to them and asked WTF they were laughing at and they denied they were laughing at me. I had seen the one before but I'm not sure in what context.

My work week has been fine but I'm deeply unhappy and depressed, as usual.


**Updated 1:35AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**


The building at 1717 15th Street, NW, Washington, D.C., with the cross atop it, at cloudy-gloomy dusk, 8:33PM, June 16, 2011.


Anyway, I THINK I'm going to that ragtime festival with Gary tomorrow up in Rockhill Furnace, Pa., after staying tonight at Mark D's place -- he owns a sprawling 200+ acre estate on the MD-PA line in the Catoctin Mountains near Camp David. However, part of me does not want to go because I'm just really tired and want to rest this weekend, not to mention do my usual routine, as unhappy as it is. In point of fact, we are supposed to be back by tomorrow night so it's not like a particularly long trip.

I'm not sure.


A sand dune at the start of the expansive beach, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 4:17PM, August 18, 2009.


Speaking of summer trips, I so want to visit the New Jersey shore -- Wildwood or Cape May, or even better, my old Sea Bright summertime childhood / teenage abode. But I'm not sure how to get up there (remember I have no transportation other than public or depending on other people). How sad is that.

The gentle summertime surf of the Atlantic Ocean of the Jersey shore, Wildwood Crest, N.J., 3:21PM, Aug. 18, 2009.


Again, my computer is dying to "update" this morning ...

**Updated 1:35AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

OK, this entry isn't going to turn into THAT kind of one. It's already gone on longer than I anticipated, and I have to get ready for work. It's already 840AM.

Again, my next planned update will be Monday night.

Good morning.