Saturday, June 4, 2011

June Sour Cherries -OR- DC-Flavored Life Savers

**Second update 1:22AM 6/19/2014: See below.**

Updated 4:33AM 6/5/2011 -- see below (caution: bitter).

Morning (or maybe evening, I can't tell) surf on the powerfully and ruggedly beautiful Na Pali coast of the island of Kauai, Hawaii.

No, this lead image has nothing to do with the entry ... I just like the picture, so shut up. Neither does this image:

Colliding waves, Ke'e Beach (at one end of the Na Pali coast), Kauai, Hawaii.

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I guess I should update this blog, except I really have nothing to say. I just don't feel like writing.

I was SUPPOSED to take a walk today into Battery - Kemble park to find that magical tree that I THINK is a sour cherry tree.

It is a tree that I visit almost annually (yes, that's two separate links), and that SHOULD be at fruitful peak right about now (it's usually the first week of June and when I saw it three weeks ago, it appeared to be on schedule).

Last year -- possibly owing to whip-sawing weather extremes from deep blizzards to ferocious heat and drought -- the tree may not have produced any cherries, or at least not in the early June period.

Here is a map showing the approximate location of the cherry tree (red circle). Battery Kemble park is actually part of the larger Rock Creek Park system. The street running along the NW and W side of it is Chain Bridge Road (a narrow, winding, steeply sloping street with strange and whimsical houses of the Very Rich along it).

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However, I never made it because I couldn't get out of bed as I was so tired with such a sleep deficit from last week, plus last night featured the usual Larry's Lounge - Nellie's gay do-sa-do with Gary and Kristof.

I WILL try tomorrow to visit The Tree tomorrow.

This picture didn't come out that great but it's me pretending to watch a discarded TV placed on the sidewalk of Vermont Avenue, NW, near U Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 2:30AM, June 4, 2011.

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My week was OK, I guess. I lost (temporarily) one writing project owing to internal agency budgetary machinations, but I was able to pick up my main project. This one involves a certain kind of compliance violation of Recovery Act-funded grants that go toward usually small-scale public works projects from all over the country.

It is quite interesting work, and since usually it ends up involving forgiveness for unintentional errors that is often based on misleading information provided by certain manufacturers selling their wares to folks who don't understand the rules, it has a happy outcome.

Obviously, I don't tell them that upfront, nor do I make any final decisions.

I was on the phone with people in North Dakota a lot this past week. I think everyone in North Dakota knows everyone else.

The abandoned Twin Butte School #1 somewhere in Williams County, northwestern North Dakota. I found this image online here.

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Also, a key problem that could have lead to furloughs by mid-July has been resolved. However, I'm still living check to check, though. I'm not Wall-P where I just vacuum-cleaner up massive amounts of cash at all times.

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**Updated 1:22AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

Back alley of the 1500 block of Upshur Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 4:14PM, Oct. 1, 2009.

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OK, I really don't have much to say right now. It has been too dry and warm -- nothing but endless sunshine and excessive warmth and/or humidity in DC Town, Capital of the Late Stage American Empire, circa 2011.

There is (as of 4PM today) a big mesoscale convective system (MCS) in central Pennsylvania dropping south-southeastward but there isn't the SLIGHTEST CHANCE that it will hold together once it enters Maryland. These things never do.

The Sterling LWX anti-weather magicians and the  Palka-cabra creature take care of that.

There she is in her natural habitat.

Now if they were moving toward New Jersey, it would be 4" of rain across half the state there.

Just the usual near-miss bullshit shown here on the radar mosaic image of the Northeastern quadrant of the U.S., 3:28PM EDT, June 4, 2011.

Of note, it has now been 86 days (nearly 3 months) since there has been a day with 1" or more of precipitation at DCA. Specifically, March 10, 2011 when 1.41" fell.

**Updated 1:22AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

I saw this image on Paul Krugman's blog -- a site that should be among your daily reads.

**Updated 1:22AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

Aerial view of Washington, D.C., as seen taking off from National Airport in an image I found online.

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Highly Worthwhile Reading ...

I highly recommend reading the following three pieces that appeared in Salon this past week.

It started with my favorite political philosopher author Michael Lind making a provocative case -- esp. in a forum such as Salon -- that not only are we not exiting the Age of Fossil Fuels (Peak Oil and all that in a carbon-constrained world) BUT "fracking" technologies will allow us to extend fossil fuel usage CENTURIES into the future, and renewable energy will always remain mostly a mirage.

Political / all-purpose writer Andrew Leonard responding that Lind's case was far and away overstated. (He didn't mention a key point, though, about how renewable energies, esp. wind and solar, should reach "grid parity" in the coming 10 to 15 years in many places.)

Lind then replied with what I think is an even better and more thoughtful piece here in which he made, alas, an even stronger case for why fossil fuel usage is likely here to stay for the indefinite future.

My favorite quote from the third one:

"Furthermore, it is politically naïve to believe that an energy-constrained world would be egalitarian or liberal or democratic. If you think society is oligarchic today, just wait until electricity and fuel are rationed. A brutal, nepotistic nomenklatura in every nation would monopolize energy-consuming technology for its members, while energy austerity was imposed on the impoverished majority. And you can forget about world peace, in a Hobbesian world with rising energy costs. Energy production and distribution would be completely militarized.

"For political reasons alone, plans to replace fossil fuels by scaling up wind energy, solar energy and other renewables, or by massive, voluntary cuts in consumption will remain in the realm of fantasy.

"If there were really a clear and present danger of catastrophic overheating, we could not afford to rely on feeble, indirect, 'market-friendly' measures like cap and trade and renewable energy mandates on utilities, to say nothing of trivial, symbolic gestures like LEED certification of 'green' houses.

"The only rational course of action would be for the federal government to declare martial law, nationalize the energy sector, conscript American industry and engage in an emergency nuclear power build-out at taxpayer expense. There would need to be Marshall Plan subsidies to help poor coal-burning countries shift to nuclear energy. Most people would consider an occasional Fukushima or Chernobyl a price worth paying, if the apocalyptic alternative were a runaway global greenhouse effect and the end of civilization or humanity on an earth as dead as Venus."

SELAH!

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Anyway, changing subjects back to my DC-o-phobia, I am trying to think how I can visit the ocean this year -- especially the Jersey shore, here are some images I've taken in the past two years of such trips.

The gurgling summer surf at Wildwood Crest, N.J., 3:21PM, August 18, 2009.

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I always have the option of visiting my father, who lives a couple blocks away from it in crummy Flagler Beach, Fla. While this isn't exactly my idea of a nice time, he DOES live very near the ocean.

View from outside my dad's former house in Flagler Beach, Fla., 10:56AM, Sept. 5, 2010. He has since moved about four miles north of this location. The ocean is less than 1,000 feet away from here.

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The ocean as seen from Gamble Rogers State Park, Flagler Beach, Fla., 4:43PM, Sept. 7, 2010.

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OK, that's all for now. My next planned update won't be until mid-week (around Wednesday).

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**Updated 1:22AM 6/19/2014: Content removed.**

--Regulus

3 comments:

GT said...

Nobody is a better angry writer than you. You could teach Lewis Black a thing or two.

Regulus said...

Thank you. I think.

city said...

nice opinion.. thanks for sharing...