Saturday, April 14, 2012

April Summer Allergies -OR- "Who Wouldn't Love You, Virginia?"

UPDATED 2:00PM 4/15/2012: I replaced the lead picture of this entry. The original lead picture is directly below it. Also see bottom of entry.

An oak tree growing along the leafy 1900 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 6:32PM, April 14, 2012.

I took this picture after I finished and posted this entry, but I have decided to make it the lead image.

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A tree grows in Washington, D.C. This one -- with its new crown of vibrant spring green leaves that could really use a dousing of rain -- grows along 25th Street NW, a sidestreet off K Street, at the edge of the Foggy Bottom district, 6:20PM, April 12, 2012. (The image is slightly blurry. I was walking to Georgetown after getting off the Foggy Bottom Metro.)

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Saturday afternoon ... and again, it's sunny, again, with no sign of any meaningful rain but instead just the usual big warm-up coming with the usual way-above-normal temps. The +5F anomalies since December are becoming the new norm in the D.C. area.

The view -- familiar to my blog readers -- from my 5th floor apartment somewhere in Washington, D.C., 12:28PM, April 14, 2012.

Of note, all the trees (that would be three medium to large ones and one or two small ones) on the east/north side of the 2000 block of New Hampshire Avenue are dying or have died in the past two years. I'm not sure what's up with that.

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I supposed these non-stop above normal -- i.e., given enough time, the new normal -- conditions will be attributed by today's Know-Nothing GOPers, tools of Koch Brothers' reactionary intrigue, to "Jesus and global cooling."

Meanwhile, The Washington Post Editorial Board -- mouthpiece of the ruling oligarchical overclass -- will say, "Seems like a reasonable, bipartisan approach ..."

Then Uncle Fred and Mother Marcus will call for neocon wars of late stage imperalistic hubris against "Evil Doers" everywhere.

Then they'll demand more free trade agreements to destroy the working class; and more bullshit "Third Way" or "professional centrist" fake deficit concern over Social Security and Medicare since because -- to paraphrase Dean Baker -- a dollar in the pocket of the working poor or the middle class is NOT a dollar in the pocket of the monied elites and they can't abide that.



"Hi, I'm Sebastian Mallaby, Tory pseudo-intellectual and self-important D.C. think tank corporate gigolo. Let me help you set up your corporate oligarchy today. Rates reasonable. All bullshit justifications for the monied overclass are given full airing in 'white papers.' Get the combo pack and Ben Wittes can give you the legal cover you need for whatever you want to do."

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Anyway, tomorrow will reach about 81F in the D.C. area, which is about 15F above normal for the daily high.

The NWS National Digital Forecast Database graphical output of high temperatures for tomorrow, April 15, 2012 for the Lower 48.

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Basically, it's never frickin' cool and wet anymore. I need a cooler (and wetter) climate a la New Zealand, Seattle, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland (my new focus on interest).

As for my terrible allergies that may in fact have been a sinus infection or head cold of some sort, they seem to be getting slightly better but it's still rough.

I purchased both a 12-pack of Allegra and a 5-pack of Zyrtek yesterday along with more eyedrops for a grand total of about $30. (That's called "Freedom.") The Claritin just didn't seem to be working although it may be that I have a head cold outright and the Claritin can't help with that.

I suspect that the pollen level -- after its explosive highs as a result of (1) no real winter and (2) record March heat -- is actually being to drop. I found this image from last April in the Washington Post online. the units here are in grains per cubic meter, which I believe is the typical way of measuring pollen, although it can expressed in any volumetric unit.

I could not find an update for 2012 since the whole Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Allergen Extract Labratory doesn't seem to have the same website anymore.

However, I found this chart online which shows pollen levels for 2012 through early April compared to the 1998 - 2011 (or 2012?) average, except I'm not sure if this is for the D.C. area, a larger region, or what. As for the units, the author said it is in "grams per cubic meter" but I think he meant "grains per cubic meter."

But the bottom line is this: If it is accurate, it suggests that in the same way the pollen surged early this year, it may decline ahead of schedule as well.

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Musical Interlude


Who Wouldn't Love You, as performed by Kay Kyser and his Orchestra, circa 1942, with music and lyrics by Carl Fischer* and Bill Carey

*I'm not sure if this is referring to an actual person or more likely the company.

Here is my adapted version with the actual lyrics accompanying as well:

Who wouldn't love you, who wouldn't dare?
Who wouldn't love you who wouldn't care?

You're so delightful, a hippo so rare.
You're so enchanting people must stare

You're the plush one that plushness is all about,
You're the dream that dreamers want to dream about

You're the little hippo that I croon about and swoon about.
You're the breath of spring that lovers gad about or mad about

Who wouldn't love you, who wouldn't try?
Who wouldn't love you who wouldn't buy?


The plush side of heaven with two button blue eyes.
The west side of heaven if you winked your eye

You're the answer to my need for plushness, hippo!
You're the answer to my every prayer darling

Who wouldn't love you, who wouldn't dare?
Who wouldn't love you who wouldn't care

[Refrain]

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Previewing Wall-P's Wedding Reception


In the weeks ahead, as Wall-P's wedding matrimonial contractual execution day approaches, I will be featuring vignettes about the preparations, most notably the stuff to be shipped in for the reception at the plantation near Harper's Ferry.

Already the guest restroom arrangements have been made.

Ditto the purchase of portable Igloo coolers to hold the Miller Lites. The 10 gross of 24-packs of taquitos have also been ordered from a regional wholesale distributor.

And then there's the answer to ANY contingency -- financial, personal, or moral that might arise. "Eh. Eh. Eheheh."

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From Weddings to Anniversaries ...

Tomorrow (or late tonight, depending on how you reckon the actual ice berg collision time) is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. That's a whole giant topic I'm not even going to touch.

Here is The New York Times headline for April 16, 1912 (which accurately captured the situation, unlike the (Baltimore?) Evening Sun headline the evening before, see here).

Here is a closer-up of the top half ("above the fold") of that fateful New York Times edition.

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Today is also the fourth anniversary of the start of this Regulus blog (you can easily find it by clicking on 2008 and April) that replaced my older Arcturus blog that started in March 2006. That blog no longer exists. I have another (hidden) Arcturus one that I don't really know what to do with any more.

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Ha ha

This is a Lord of the Rings parody of the late Thomas Kinkade's Deer Creek Cottage. Kinkade the "Painter of Light" died unexpectedly on April 6th at age 54. I had some links to articles / commentary on Kinkade and his work but I'll post that some other time.

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Anyway, I have been invited to a BBQ in Arlington ... yes, Arlington, meaning I have to LEAVE the District of Columbia -- that is, the D.C. Bubble -- and go NOT to Maryland, with which I'm mostly fine, but rather into frickin' Virginia.

You see, I hate Virginia, Virginia ...

... especially the suburban and exurban parts of "NoVa" -- which, as described to me once by a GMU college professor I know , is a ghastly and uniquely American Frankensteinian hybrid of political correctness and religious fundamentalism.

The most Siriusly dumb idea is a gay man choosing to be a school teacher in that climate.

That aside, it's near Ballston and my task lead and friend A. invited me to go. She and I and her husband went to Mr. Smith's in Georgetown on Thursday evening and that was quite nice.

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Black and Orange -- the hamburger grill place, not a comment on the young couple talking -- at 14th and U Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 3:05AM, April 14, 2012.

Let end with a couple of interesting late night U Street corridor scenes, in particular, as I was waiting at Black and Orange at 14th and U Streets for what turned out to be a delicious Mr. Pollo marinated chicken breast sandwich on ciabatta DESPITE the hot cherry peppers whose presence in the description just didn't register with me. I will ask to have them kept off next time.

Another Black and Orange line scene, 14th and U Streets, Washingotn, D.C., 3:08AM, April 14, 2012. The blue jacketed arm in the image is mine.

I was walking back from Nellie's around 3AM and I got to this place -- which specializes in two sizes of hamburgers, the Welterweight and the Heavyweight -- just before a crush of people (all late night 20-and-30-somethings coming back from the bars and clubs). The place is open until 5AM. I took the food home.

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OK, that's all for now. I really need to get ready for this BBQ. I am already way late (it's about 5PM, and I haven't even finished this blog post).

My next planned entry will be next week.

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UPDATED 2:00PM 4/15/2012: In addition to the new lead picture, I wanted to note that the new firewall I've been talking about is to be installed on my computer on Monday, so I'll find out if it has any impact on my blogging abilities or use of a site meter.

And while I'm at it, here is another picture I took in the 1900 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 6:23PM, April 14, 2012.

I had just started on my trek to Arlington via Foggy Bottom Metro. The train was overloaded with tourists and exurban Virginia types. I didn't get to my destination on N. Buchanan Street until 7:40PM or so and stayed about 3 hours before riding with A. and I. back into D.C., and then I went to Larry's Lounge where I met up with Gary, Kristof, and John. I was pretty tired by the time I got home.

End of update

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--Regulus

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