Friday, March 30, 2012

Money & Laundry-ing -OR- Friday Night Blog Follies

Here is another picture of that tall sycamore tree that grows in front of the Horizon House -- a public housing apartment complex for seniors and disabled individuals supported by the D.C. Housing Authority -- at 1150 12th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:21PM, March 29, 2012.

For the second day in a row, I walked home from work, passing on this Thursday evening by the tree, which is prominently visible looking north from the National Mall up 12th Street. By "prominently," I mean you can see it about 3/4 mile away standing by itself. Most folks wouldn't even notice it.

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OK, I'm trying to get used to Blogger's new publishing format. It isas radically different and while it contains all the elements as the old format, as well as new options, it is taking time to get accustomed to it. Also, it appears that this new format is compatible with Internet Explorer in the way that the previous one was not, while Chrome -- which I had been previously using -- appears to be less compatible.

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It is Friday evening (at this moment about 7PM) and I'm trying to figure out whether to do my laundry. I typically do my laundry on a Friday evening before I go out since the basement laundry room is quite empty.

It would entail spending $10 since you can only put money on the card in increments of $5, $10, or $20 and two wash / two dry cycles comes to $6.50. I only have $65 in cash in increments of three $20 bills and a $5 bill, so this would actually mean putting a frickin' $20 on the damn card.

One of Party Rental Ltd.'s trucks with the pink hippo along 12th Street between Madison Drive and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 6:29PM, March 28, 2012.

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Another pink hippo-themed Party Rental Ltd. truck on the following day, this one outside the Metro Center's Macy in downtown Washington, D.C., 7:09PM, March 29, 2012.

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Then I would have to go to the ATM, but since I refuse to pay an ATM fee, I have to go to the damn Bank of America, which means walking to frickin' Dupont Circle or Columbia Road/Adams Morgan -- the opposite direction of where I intend to go later on (Nellie's).

In addition, if I don't go home thereafter, it means walking around with my ATM card on me, which I try to avoid doing at night. And right now I have extra money in my account because my IRS tax refund arrived a few days ago ($1,106). I was going to pay my April rent early but now I'm thinking of just waiting until my regular twice-monthly check arrives (April 10th). The first one of the month I have always used to pay my rent -- fortuitously on the last day possible (the 10th, when the check typically arrives, unless that date falls on a weekend or holiday, in which case it is moved up) before it is considered late.

Say, lookie thar, it's Mr. You-Know-Who's two-night tip earings.

Finally, I am beyond exhausted ... I was so tired this week that it actually interrupted my work schedule, as in I got into work quite late yesterday (I took an hour off, unless I can make it working from home this weekend). The office was practically empty yesterday and today.

I REALLY need to catch up on my sleep -- I get 7 hours or so a night but that is not enough for me -- and probably will do so well into tomorrow afternoon, once again effectively losing my Saturday daytime.

The Smithsonian Castle seen from the Haupt Garden, 6:23PM, March 28, 2012. I work near here and was starting my walk home (Wednesday).

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As for tomorrow -- Saturday -- I would like to purchase a new and significantly larger pot that I really need for my gold dust croton. The plant is simply too big and starting to topple out of its current home. Also, I am considering going to one of the early voting places tomorrow (probaby Jood-wish-yoo-whary Square) to vote in D.C.'s totally irrelevant primary. The actual primary day is April 3rd. I'm tempted to write in a candidate in lieu of Obama -- voting for Obama in the Democratic primary in D.C. is (to borrow a Sophia Petrillo line) like barking in a kennel.

There she is, Queen Noble ("THIS IS CAPTIVITY!").

More importantly, I am deeply chagrined that Queen Noble of the H.E.R.O.S.H.E.R.O. party is not on the ballot. I wonder how goes her $994 TRILLION lawsuit against the United States Government (an amount that is only 12 times WORLD GROSS PRODUCT for 2011 of about $79 trillion) for slavery reparations, which she intends upon assuming office to go after SWIFTLY AND IMMEDIATELY.

View her priceless campaign video here when she was running against D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. As it is, I am not going to vote for Norton. She's just been in office too long and her anti-gun stance for law-abiding citizens is annoying -- all that does is ensure young thugs will act and terrorize with impunity.

Look, there's the reality we want and then there's the reality we have. And, no, I don't own a gun and not sure I ever would. That would probably not be the wisest idea.

ANYWAY, as for my laundry, I could just do it another night but I get obessive compulsive about doing things on the same night -- not to the point that it is debilitating, but it's not far from it. And even if I don't, I probably still need to go to the ATM.

Speaking of money, I came very close to buying a "Mega Millions" lottery ticket today since the jackpot is a record-shattering $640 million -- the highest ever for an individual lottery -- at present with the drawing later tonight.

But I simply could not bring myself to stand in line in a ghastly, robbery-prone, East Asian-run fluorescent-lit convenience store behind my D.C. brethren and sistren.

As it is, I have never played a lottery in my life -- I never even gambled that 5 days in Las Vegas in 1997. Furthermore, on the one hand, I'm not throwing away a dollar just to lose it (1 in 176 million odds). On the other hand, in the astronomically unlikely chance of winning, the disruption to life would be nothing short of irreversible and violent.

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The Old Post Office building along Pennsylvania Ave. NW in downtown Washington, D.C., 7:03PM, March 29, 2012.

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There is a lot more I want to write including weather-related and politically commentary.

For the former, I wanted to note that today was a lot cooler than forecasted (not to mention cloudier with a few needed rain showers), with high of "only" 54F, so what I thought would be an "average" day turned out to be below average.

This daily temp high (and depending on the low, which should end up being 43F) may jeopardize (depending on tomorrow's temps) a record that I am hoping we reach -- if only because I have to suffer through all the damn March 80+F heat to get to it -- namely, surpassing the warmest March on record for Washington, D.C. (as recorded at DCA) set in 1945 with its +9.4F departure -- vis-a-vis the current March average of 46.8F -- at 56.2F.


We were up +10.7F as of yesterday for the first 29 days of the month at 57.1F. It is NOT the case that we can lose 1.3F and still tie it -- we can actually only lose 0.9F because the first 29-day average is 46.4F, not 46.8F (that's the current 30-year full monthly average).

I had reckoned we would do it based on a zero anomaly for today and tomorrow, but today will probably turn to be about -2F daily average anomaly. The normal high is 61F but the normal low is 42F. This will knock off a few tenths of a point from the monthly anomaly. So it will all come down to tomorrow's temperatures, which are forecasted to be normal to a tad above.

As I noted already, BWI cannot have a warmest March -- it will be 3rd -- because there are old pre-BWI Baltimore records from 1921 and 1945 (when the weather obs. station was in much warmer downtown Baltimore at the Custom House).


For better or worse, the NWS considers it a single unbroken record. The current anomaly through yesterday was +11.0F at 54.2F. The warmest ever was 55.7F in 1945 (and 54.6F in 1921). The 55.7F is +12.1F above the current 30-year full monthly average of 43.6F.

As for Dulles (IAD), it is running nearly 5F ahead of its previous warmest March in 2010 at 54.6F or +10.8F above the average of 43.8F through yesterday (the first 29 days of the month). The previous warmest full month March warmest was 49.5F in 2010 or +5.3F above the current full monthly average of 44.2F. In short, there is NO WAY Dulles cannot have a record warm March -- and by at least 4F above the March 2010 anomaly. Of course, IAD's records only go back to Jan. 1963 versus 1871 for Baltimore (now BWI) and Washington (now DCA).

DCA always manages to "just miss" records -- except record high minima.

Surface temperature anomalies across the Lower 48, southern Canada, and parts of Mexico as measured by MODIS aboard NASA's Terra satellite for the period March 8 - 15, 2012. Source here.

Nationwise, given the +10F to +20F departures in the Midwest and Great Lakes region, and +5F to +10F in New England and the mid-Atlantic, it should be among the warmest Marches on record, if not the warmest. Chicago's current departure is +16.5F (through yesterday) at 54.0F and no matter the temps today or tomorrow, it will far surpass its warmest March, which was 46.8F, also set in 1945.

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The other topic I wanted to discuss was today's Paul Krugman's excellent Friday regular op-ed New York Times piece.

He discussed the consequences of the likelihood of the Supreme Court's "Scalia 5" five fascist / nutty ideologues striking down the deeply flawed but still better than nothing Affordable Health Care Act.  I would like to cite the paragraph in reference to the stupidity of supposedly legal genius Scalia's broccoli analogy:

"That comparison horrified health care experts all across America because health insurance is nothing like broccoli. Why? When people choose not to buy broccoli, they don’t make broccoli unavailable to those who want it. But when people don’t buy health insurance until they get sick -- which is what happens in the absence of a mandate -- the resulting worsening of the risk pool makes insurance more expensive, and often unaffordable, for those who remain. As a result, unregulated health insurance basically doesn’t work, and never has."

Full article here.

Uh, oh ... It looks like Wall-P's got something to say about this ... I know he got all tingly and was profoundly impressed by French bulldog Scalia's bullying and hectoring.

"Eh. Eh. This proves yet again I'm right. Eh. Medicare Part D doesn't appear in the Constitution. Therefore, if you want health care, amend the Constitution. Or get rich. If you don't like it, get your own army and your own damn country -- "

That's enough out of you, Wall-P, you little sewing thimble on wheels. Go recharge yourself.

As it is, this ruling will rank up there with Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. FEC, two other 5-4 crypto-fascist corporate oligarichal criminal rulings cheered by the lumpen-proletariat, Marx's "bribed tools of reactionary intrigue" that they are.

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The house at 1330 13 Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:00PM, March 28, 2012.

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OK, I really think that's all for now. I didn't actually post this until 11:30PM and I'm just going to go to Nellie's with no ATM detour. I have enough money for tonight. I may post another shorter entry this weekend or if not, then the next planned one will be on Monday night.

--Regulus

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