Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Fevered -OR- Weather Gay or Straight

The ornamental-sized weeping cherry tree in full floral flower and a fountain outside the National Association of Broadcasters building at N and 18th Streets just off Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 6:31PM, March 21, 2012.

I think this is a weeping Yoshino cherry -- not to be confused with the regular Yoshino cherry, the signature tree of Washington, D.C., in spring time.

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So this entry is a completely reworked version of the one I started to write on Saturday afternoon but simply could not finish if only because I lacked sufficient pictures. In the meantime, I've posted two other entries.

Namibian Embassy, Washington, D.C., 6:37PM, March 21, 2012. This building looks like something out of a Brothers Grimm faerie tale story.

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Because part of the entry was about the weather on Saturday, it makes no sense to post that now on Wednesday evening. However, the pattern of abnormal warmth with a summer-time pattern in place featuring a massive Bermuda high anchored offshore in the western Atlantic continues apace. The bottom half of this entry is dedicated to a weather discussion.

An interesting Banana Republic ad -- one of a series of three -- in Metrorail car 2064 on the Greenline, somewhere under 7th Street and Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 9:07PM, March 21, 2012.

In this picture, the lady -- who looked sort of like a World War II brunette glam type -- was seated in an empty room with three partially visible clocks above her that were on 9 o'clock, 5 o'clock, and 8 o'clock. I assume this was some oblique reference to a "9 to 5, 8-hour job" and that it meant the clothes at Banana Republic are suitable for the working woman.

Here was one of the other two Banana Republic ads in Metrorail car 2064 on the Greenline at 9:08PM, somewhere under 7th Street / Georgia Avenue NW, 9:08PM, March 20, 2012. 

In this case, she had a calendar behind her with the 2nd - 28th fully or partially visible, meaning the 1st and remainder of the month (unless a non-leap year February) missing.

The third Banana Republic ad on the other side of the door featured this lady and a guy and a number "01" behind them -- thus making up for at least one of the missing numbers.

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At this point, I must mention that my work IT is installing a new firewall on Friday, and this may affect my ability to reach Blogger (not to mention Statcounter). I will have to deal with this if it happens.

In short, it could disrupt my ability to post blog entries for a period of time until I figured out a solution.

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The other issue is that my left lower leg -- calf area -- has been very tingly and feeling odd tonight. I hope nothing horrible is happening to me. I suppose it's some sort of circulation thing.

*Sigh*

I'm home tonight watching TV Land -- Everybody Loves Raymond, Hot in Cleveland, and Happily Divorced.

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From the Department of Partial Nuttiness ...

Oceania 1984 Meets American Gay Urbania 2012

With profound apologies to George Orwell (and only because I'm obsessed with the twin but unrelated topics of the social aspects of gay society and America's oligarchical overclass) ...

The Theory and Practice of Gay Oligarchical Collectivism


by Regulus

Chapter One

Gay is Straight

"Throughout the past 4 decades, and probably since World War II when gay discharged soldiers began to gather in large numbers in San Francisco, there have been three kinds of homos in the world, the A-List, the Average, and the Trolls. They have been classified and reclassified in many ways, they have borne countless different names, and their relative numbers, as well as their attitude towards one another, have varied from bar to bar, but the essential structure of gay society has never altered.

"Even after enormous strides in widespread social acceptance and seemingly irrevocable positive developments, the same pattern has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other.

"The styles and attitudes of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable..."

Adapted from the actual text here.

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Some pictures I took the past several days ...

Two ladies from very different worlds walking along the 1800 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 6:41PM, March 21, 2012.

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The produce section of the Harris Teeter on Kalorama Road, Washington, D.C., 4:04PM, March 17, 2012.

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Outside in the seating area of Mr. Henry's in Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., 6:47PM, March 20, 2012. I went on a Tuesday after-work happy hour with my co-worker/supervisor, her husband, and some of their friends.

I had not been in Capitol Hill for about a year -- and this was probably only the third trip there in three years. I just never get to that part of the city.

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Looking west down L Street from 18th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:21PM, March 21, 2012.

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A Good Read ...

Here is an excerpt of a terrific Rick Perlstein piece in Rolling Stone online "Why Conservatives Are Still Crazy After All These Years."

Perlstein addresses the question -- Are American rightwingers crazier now than in the past? The answer he says is no -- rather, the nuttiness and paranoia of the right is about the same, but rather than being marginalized on the fringe, it is now much more mainstream in the Republican party, and thus it has more power. The craziness seems less in the past because we look at history through rose-tinted glasses -- esp. at historical figures such as Ronald Reagan and even Barry Goldwater.

Also, he argues it is foolish to think this trait in America is ever going to go away. At present, there is the "demographic" argument that as the country changes its racial and ethnic makeup, the American right will go away. That is not going to happen.

Excerpt:

"As more and more of the sub-rosa conservative extremism – think: women who use birth control are sluts, taxation is theft, all public goods should be privatized – finds its way into high-level debates in the halls of Congress, into the decisions of an increasingly right-leaning federal judiciary, into presidential campaigns and the A sections of major metropolitan newspapers, mainstream pundits declare that conservatism is on its way out, since, like a vampire, it cannot survive in the light of day ...

"Here's the problem: To this way of thinking, the triumph of enlightenment liberalism is always inevitable. Now it’s demographics that's the inexorable force (I debunk that argument here); in the 1960s, it was the certainty that Americans would never consent to give up their big-government perks. And yet, somehow, alongside the ordinary tacking of American political preference between Democrats and Republicans, conservatism continues to thrive.

"That's because power begets power: Democrats can be counted on to compromise with conservative nuttiness, and the media can be counted on to normalize it. And it's because there will always be millions of Americans who are terrified of social progress and of dispossession from whatever slight purchase on psychological security they've been able to maintain in a frightening world. And because there will always be powerful economic actors for whom exploiting such fear, uncertainty and doubt pays (and pays, and pays).

Conservatism is not getting crazier, and it's not going away, either. It's just getting more powerful. That's a fact that a reality-based liberal just has to accept – and, from it, draw strength for the fight."

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A tranquil evening sky as seen from Mr. Henry's, Washington, D.C., 7:03PM, March 20, 2012.

After I left there, I took the Metro to U Street / Cardozo and stopped in Nellie's and then went to The Saloon for a late steak dinner before getting home around 11PM. It was a long day.

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March Summer-like Weather Madness (Cont'd)

The initialized 18UTC (or 18Z) 21 March 2012 NAM initialized (that is, valid at the model run time) showing 1000-500mb thicknesses and sea level pressure over North America and the western Atlantic Ocean.

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The initialized 18UTC (or 18Z) 21 March 2012 GFS initialized also showing 1000-500mb thicknesses and sea level pressure over North America and the western Atlantic. The two should effectively be identical.

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The pattern has featured 70F+ warmth (80F+ heat last week) but with repeated nighttime incursions of maritime air off the much chillier Atlantic. This air brings fog / low clouds that occasionally bank all the way up against the Allegheny Front / Blue Ridge, but at other times only reach to about Dulles Airport (IAD). There has also been widely scattered clusters of showers and t-storms across the Eastern Seaboard -- most notably today in the Tidewater area owing to a weak mid-level low.

Otherwise, it has been mostly dry with precipitation deficits increasing in the mid-Atlantic.

The 500mb vorticity plot from the 18UTC GFS 21 March 2012 valid at hour 39 at 09UTC (5AM EDT) 23 March 2012.

However, looking ahead, a cut-off low that has been lolling across the country like a slow-moving bowling ball drifting down the lane starting over Southern California and now over the Texas panhandle -- it is most impressively seen if you loop the 500mb vorticity maps on the NAM and GFS -- is forecasted to reach the mid-Atlantic by Saturday and bring a good chance of measurable rainfall.

The Lower 48 CONUS composite radar mosaic, 0058UTC 22 March 2012 (858PM EDT March 21, 2012).

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Temperature-wise, today it "only" reached 69F at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), 68F at Baltimore/Washington Int'l Airport (BWI), and 66F at Dulles Washington Int'l Airport (IAD).

It is too soon to talk about monthly records but the March temperature so far at DCA is 56F or +11.0F above normal-to-date. Of note, this is just 0.2F degrees shy of the full monthly March record of 56.2F set in 1945. HOWEVER, remember that the monthly average is steadily rising this time of year, so you can't realistically compare the first 20 days of March average to the full 31-day monthly average. In terms of anomalies, the 56.2F in 1945 compares to the current 30-year average of 46.8F or +9.4F, so if the +11.0F held for the full month, it would easily be the warmest on record.

For BWI, the current monthly departure is +11.1F at 52.9F and for IAD it is +10.9F at 53.2F..

Here was the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) high temperature forecast for Saturday, March 17, 2012.

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Much of the rest of the Lower 48 U.S. is way above normal too. Here is a look at select number of other cities' anomalies for the first 20 days of March:

Chicago (O'Hare): 52.5F +16.5F
Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP): 45.8F +15.5F
St. Louis: 58.2F +14.2F
Atlanta (Hartsfield): 62.8F +9.8F
Philadelphia (airport): 51.2F +9.5F
New York (Central Park): 49.9F +9.2F
Denver: 45.7F +6.7F
Dallas/Ft. Worth Int'l: 62.6F +6.4F

The O'Hare and MSP anomalies are, like, scary.

The NDFD high temperature forecast for the Lower 48 for Friday, March 23, 2012.

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OK, that's enough weather. My next PLANNED update will be over the weekend, but this depends on no firewall related disruptions to my blogging.

--Regulus

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