Friday, January 27, 2012

"So what am I to do to keep the sky so blue?" -OR- Prairie Home TV Companion

A blue sky fleeced with turbulent post-frontal clouds as seen above the central fountain at Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., on an unseasonably warm mid-winter morning, 10:27AM, Jan. 27, 2012.

I was walking to the dentist (he's on 19th Street just south of Dupont Circle). As you will note, the sky was exceptionally rain-washed blue in the picture I took this morning. It was also unseasonably mild (around 60F -- see below). I was singing to myself that song Who Will Buy? from the 1968 movie musical Oliver! based on the Dickens' novel Oliver Twist.

The two-lamp lamp post with signs on the south side of Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., 10:29AM, Jan. 27, 2012.

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I'm exhausted. 

I've been terribly worn out all week and I'm concerned something might be wrong with my health. I'm physically worn out with headaches and just exhausted. Of course, I still went out last night to Larry's Lounge with Damon after a nice dinner at Thai Regent.

This morning I went to the dentist for a six month cleaning and everything was fine from a dental perspective.

The S Street dog park and buildings along 17 Street, NW, directly into the heart of the D.C. gayborhood, Washington, D.C., 10:19AM, Jan. 27, 2012. This was just after the heavy morning rainfall.

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I'm not sure if I'm just tired or if there is a more serious health issue. It may just be that I am not eating properly, even though I'm pudgy (though that is probably from being so sedentary as an office working and drinking too much). I had a banana, tuna fish, and carrots a short while ago -- two food items that have decent nutritional value.

A view of the Swann House bed-and-breakfast place at the corner of New Hampshire Avenue and Swann Street, NW, Washington, D.C., 10:19AM, Jan. 27, 2012.

I remember Wall-P once rattling off in rapid-fire, monosyllabic style how he was going to put his parents up there for a visit.

That's a good son.

And when you earn a HALF GOOGOL (no, not Google) dollars a year, you can do stuff like that. But honestly, I didn't think Wall-P actually had parents. I thought he was just assembled in a factory in Qingdao by one of those people who work 21 hours a day.

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It is a Friday night -- the last one this January -- on a windy but not at all cold night here in D.C. with temps presently around 45F. This followed a brief, drenching, lightning and thundery downpour this morning as a cold front passed through but it is very mild with high temperatures spiking to 62F, 63F, and 64F at DCA, BWI, and IAD, respectively. 

DCA actually had 0.63" of rainfall today, pushing its monthly total to over 2" (2.19" to be exact) but still a tad below (-0.24") the normal of 2.43". BWI had 0.89" and brought its monthly total to 2.54" (-0.10"). IAD only had 0.19" and has a monthly total of 1.85" (-0.45").

The blue sky seen through the winter bare branches of the trees along the 1700 block of New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 10:21AM, Jan. 27, 2012.

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Temperature-wise, DCA was running +3.8F above normal for the month as of yesterday and after today it will probably be at least +4F. BWI was running +4.3F and IAD was +3.6F for the month as of yesterday.

The blue sky seen through the winter bare branches of the trees along the 1800 block of New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., 10:21AM, Jan. 27, 2012.

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Snow-wise, we've had about 2" of snowfall this month (1.7" at DCA, at 1.3" BWI, and at 1.7" IAD). For the season, all three climate stations are well below normal (-5.8", -7.8", and -7.8"). Of note, IAD's seasonal total is 2.3".

Long story short, there is no real winter weather going on here or across most of the United States and I don't expect much this year given the upper level pattern (with more than a dash thrown in of the steady progression of climate change).

This is also a "typical" winter of the past 30 years or so.

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Anyway, tonight I am doing my laundry (in the basement laundry room) while watching TV in my wee little apartment.


I'm watching TV -- presently, a particularly annoying episode of Little House on the Prairie. It's a two-part episode "Gold Country" where the Ingalls and that weird guy Isaiah Edwards and his wife, Grace, played by Bonnie Bartlett, leave Walnut Grove (in Minnesota) due to flooding rains and head west to the Dakota Territory to join a gold rush -- with predictable results.

Let me just go off on a brief tangent:

Fuck gold.

I hate all it represents from 15th Century Spanish conquistador New World genocide to 19th Century American-style boom/bust deflationary economics, rapaciousness, and violence, to the fiscal straitjacket its monetary "standard" embodies.

Needless to say, all of this benefits the corporate oligarchical / rentier overclass. And naturally, this is why today's GOP overclass loves gold and the gold standard (and its equivalent, Federal balanced budget requirements). And this is why it whips its fundie base into a frenzy with all that "DOLLAR TO COLLAPSE! BUY GOLD NOW!" bullshit advertised so much on rightwing cable TV and AM hate radio.

Speaking of Little House on the Prairie, about two weeks ago I was trying to find the exact location of the biggest of the three trees in the opening title shot of Little House on the Prairie TV series, and to figure out if that tree still exists.

Screenshot from the YouTube clip mentioned discussed below. 

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During the course of my search, I found two YouTube clips of a visit on April 14, 2010 to the Big Sky Ranch near Simi Valley, specifically, to the site where the TV show was predominately filmed during its 1974 - 1982 run. The tour guide for the trip was none other than Alison Arngrim, who played the unforgettable Nellie Oleson. She took the guy filming the visit and four other friends there that day.

Of note, Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder, the woman who actually wrote the Little House book series that decades later became the basis for the show, had a daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who helped her mother write the series.

Here is a screen shot from part 1 of the YouTube clip showing "The Hill" in the opening as it appears today, except the opening title scene superimposed over it.

Needless to say, it should be pointed out that Walnut Grove was supposed to be in western Minnesota but the Big Sky Ranch is located in a much drier climate and a hillier / rugged terrain of the Santa Susana Mountain range of Southern California with chaparral scrub and oak trees.

As for Lane, she was was a hard-core libertarian who in the 1940s with the Head She-Libertarian Devil Herself Alisa Rosenbaum Ayn Rand helped "to found" that movement, which itself is a grotesque distortion of actual freedom based on absurd, unworkable, silly, and ultimately fascist precepts ("I'M ÜBERMENSCH! EVERYONE ELSE IS A PARASITE!")

Lane obsessed about the evils of Social Security back in the 1940s. Silly bitch.

Anyway, here are the clips of that "Back to Walnut Grove" YouTube visit.

Part 1: Back to Walnut Grove

Part 2: Back to Walnut Grove

Two other items:

Apparently the person "Lindsay Sidney Greenbush" -- the name listed in the opening credits as the person who played the youngest daughter Carrie Ingalls -- was actually TWO people, the twin sisters Rachel Lindsay AND Robin Sidney and their last name is really Bush, not Greenbush.

Jonathan Gilbert, who was in every season of the show's 8 year run from 1974 - 1982, is the adopted brother of Melissa Gilbert, the star of the show, and both were adopted by the same parents. I tried to find what Jonathan Gilbert looks like today but could not.

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Brief Political Detour ...

One political item:

Alas, it looks like the wheels are again coming off the Newt Gingrich Crazy Train and the GOP Death Star is getting its fundie "base" to back Willard Mitt Romney, a living caricature of the parasitic, rentier 1% Overclass.

Crazy Newt is probably going to do badly in the Florida GOP primary, and that's a shame. As Paul Krugman noted, it was fun while it lasted.


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OK, that's all for now.

I'm still home right now (it's about quarter after ten PM as I write this) and don't really fell like going anywhere tonight, although I suppose I'll go out for a bit. Right now on Planet Green is the interesting show Inside the Bermuda Triangle. But I'll refrain from starting a post about THAT topic.

I plan to update this blog over the weekend.


--Regulus

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