Friday, May 4, 2012

Too Blog Entry Long for Comfort -OR- U Street District Passport

Betty White as "The Happy Homemaker" Sue Ann Nivens and Ted Knight as Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.


This has been a particularly difficult entry to write -- and I say that noting that all these damn entries are hard to compose, given how much effort I put in and all for no particular reason.

I started this entry yesterday evening (the climate change broadcast news coverage part) and then tried to finish it last night (the weather and rooftop pool deck / bar visit part) and now on Friday evening (as I do my laundry and prepare to cook dinner alone in my dusty little 5th floor cave), I am trying to unify it all and frickin' post it. I will try to smooth out the different parts and unify it.


Dusk as seen from my 5th floor apartment window looking at the low-to-medium rise jumble of buildings at the intersection of 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Ave. and well beyond -- lost in the blur of my low-resolution image -- to Rosslyn in Arlington about 3 miles away. This was at 7:42PM, May 4, 2012.


It was a very warm and humid day today with highs of 84F at DCA after an overnight low of 65F -- both the usual at least +10F above normal, in this case, +12F each, although the day so far as averaged +13F above overall. These are just the preliminary numbers through 5PM issed by the NWS.

For BWI, it was 85F and 60F, or +14F and +12F, respectively, and +14F for the day overall, again through 5PM. And for IAD, it was 84F and 60F or +12F and +13F, respectively, and +12F through 5PM.

It actually tried to rain a bit earlier though we're still in a drought. There was a t-storm late this morning over parts of the District and Arlington and DCA officially even got 0.12" -- so the day is at least "average" for rainfall. BWI had 0.03" in a t-storm last night before midnight and another 0.01" earlier in the day for 0.04". IAD had 0.05" in the late morning t-storm.

For the year, we are still well below but I'm not going to quote the numbers now except to say that DCA is at 7.75" or -4.69" year to date.


This is the portion of the entry I wrote earlier ...

Speaking of extreme weather and climate change ...

Last year featured a record number of weather disasters across the United States in terms of number of billion dollar damaging events, and there has been extreme weather the first three months of 2012.

And now new evidence suggests that dumb Americans, which in large measure tuned out climate change and stopping "believing in it" (as if it were a religious discussion) in the '00's, are starting to "believe in" the subject again because of all the weather upheavals and extremes in the U.S. and globally. (Sorry, Americans have NO clue what goes on outside their country, so scratch that last part.)

Say, look at that -- it's Republican Jesus.

Quoting from a joint Yale / George Mason University report just issued:

"In 2011, Americans experienced a record-breaking 14 weather and climate disasters that each caused $1 billion or more in damages, in total costing approximately $53 billion, along with incalculable loss of human life.

"These disasters included severe drought in Texas and the Great Plains, Hurricane Irene along the eastern seaboard, tornadoes in the Midwest, and massive floods in the Mississippi River Valley. In the period of January through March 2012, Americans also experienced record warm temperatures, with temperatures across the contiguous United States 6.0 degrees F above the long-term average. In March alone, 15,292 warm temperature records were broken across the United States."

And according to the survey of 1,008 people conducted in March 2012 for the study:

"A large majority of Americans believe that global warming made several high profile extreme weather events worse, including the unusually warm winter of December 2011 and January 2012 (72%), record high summer temperatures in the U.S. in 2011 (70%), the drought in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 (69%), record snowfall in the U.S. in 2010 and 2011 (61%), the Mississippi River floods in the spring of 2011 (63%), and Hurricane Irene (59%)."

However, and here is the non-shocker, the American corporate media and infotainment whoreocracy --

-- enthralled as it is to rightwing multi-millionaire and billionaire oligarchs (e.g., the Koch Brothers) and their GOP/Teabagger shock troops and foundation-funded pseudo-intellectual moral gigolos (can you say "James K. Glassman"), not to mention The WaHoPo courtier-pundit class) -- opted not to cover it.

According to report released by Media Matters last month, American mainstream broadcast media coverage of the issue of anthropogenic climate change has falled off a cliff in the past few years with priorities (as you would expect) Bizarro World screwed up.  

Coverage here refers to both the Sunday broadcast shows on CBS, NBC, ABC, and Fox (although Fox is a cable channel) and nightly news shows on CBS, NBC, and ABC (Fox has no nightly news show). Coverage tumbled 90% from 2009 to 2011 on the Sunday whore-chatter shows to just 9 minutes in 2011.

And those 9 minutes were given over ONLY to GOP politician "climate skeptics," a term which is media whore-speak for the GOP Know-Nothing and Flat Earther crowd. Anyway, for the full three years, it was a 68% to 32% split for the GOP in over 1 hour devouted to the topic.

And the coverage was little different on the commercial network nightly news shows, which is still where most Americans get their (extremely limited) information.

Here is another key point, worth quoting directly:

"Each Network Covered Donald Trump More Than Climate Change In 2011."

"Every program included in our analysis devoted more airtime to Donald Trump's flirtation with a presidential run and birther antics than to climate change in 2011, with the exception of ABC World News, which gave equal time to the two topics."

Oh, and this part of the study is also worth quoting:

"Almost Every Mention Of Climate Change Was About Politics."

"Our results show that on the Sunday shows, 97% of stories mentioning climate change in the past three years were about politics in Washington, DC or on the campaign trail. One story -- on Fox News Sunday -- was driven by extreme weather, and none were driven by scientific findings."


Oh, I meant to mention that for a large part of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes region, March 2012 averaged WARMER than April 2012 in absolute terms. In this region Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) managed to do that: 54.3F (+10.1F) versus 54.0F (-0.4F).

Last night was just another ass-hat warm and useless night in D.C. where every damn random t-storm that forms misses us.

Weatherwise, the Sterling crew under WOODY the Woodcock with their pet Sue Palka-cabra creature enjoy endless drought and brag about it in the NWS discussions or on the TV weather.)



A Gay Gym Rooftop With a D.C. View

However, having said that, let me say that last night -- other than the usual hot, young, and hateful D.C. gay crowd -- was a good night that included a visit to the rooftop pool deck and bar at Vida with its stunning, sweeping views located just next to my apt. (on the opposite side of the U and 16th Streets from where I live).

You can even see the U.S. Capitol Building and almost all of the Washington Monument (2.5 miles and 1.5 miles away, respectively).

A (blurry cellphone) picture of the rooftop Penthouse and Pool Lounge of Vida's U Street location, Washington, D.C., 9:25PM, May 3, 2012.


What has attracted me to the place -- which is actually called the Penthouse and Pool Lounge -- are these weird globular red lights over the bar that are visible from street level.  Lights and strange objects in the distance always attract me.

There are even these weird bed/tent-like structures with pillows (called cabanas, although not like the ones long ago at Tradewinds Beach Club in Sea Bright, N.J., where I spent so many of the childhood and teenage summer years).

Screenshot of Vida's rooftop Penthouse and Pool Lounge at its U Street location.


I was able to go up there -- despite the fact it is only open to members and the bouncer-like guy at the front desk downstairs, who turned out to be accommodating -- because the bartender from Nellie's C. works there at certain times and he sort of invited me. I only stayed about 10 minutes, admiring the setting and view. There was a group of hot, young, sorority girl-like gay guys having a private part up there.

As for the red or reddish light beacons, recall that there is another red light on the opposite end of the portion of U Street that I traverse -- near Nellie's at 9th and U where that sign is for the Anandu Corporation. That's a very different place than Vida.

And there was a lightning flashing and flickering to the north, but it soon was obvious it wasn't moving this way.


Too Close or Not Close Enough for Comfort?

I went to Larry's Lounge and met a group, but everyone except John and me was spoken for and left early. And there was one hot guy there in tight shirt, shorts, and sandals, but he was with his other gay friends and paid me no mind, except maybe to laugh at me. John actually drove me the short way home (usually I walk since it is only 10 minutes).

Once home, I watched TV -- including a show I had not seen in about 20 years, Too Close for Comfort, on Antenna TV.

It was the episode "Briefly at the Counter" featuring Audrey Meadows, who played rgw mother-in-law to Ted Knight's Henry Rush character. The late Ted Knight is best known for his Ted Baxter character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

That bright red house intrigues me. Here is a YouTube opening sequence screenshot of it. The Wikipedia web page contains some big, long, convoluted discussion that explains why you may or may not be able to use it. I couldn't figure it out. Wall-P would love that discussion.

Updated 2PM 5/6/2012: I decided to ues the Wikipedia image of it after all.

As it is, the house -- located at 171 (or 171 - 173) Buena Vista Avenue East in San Francisco -- is no longer red, as seen here is a Google Map street level view image that I was able to screen capture.


One Client Call at a Time (Cont'd)

Speaking of TV shows, Wall-P is starring in a new TV series of his own. As I mentioned in a recent entry, it's called One Client Call at a Time. Twenty episodes have been ordered for next season.

Gravelly-voiced announcer:

"Next week, the Dow drops 5 percent in one day and Wall-P fears his asset flow may go negative. Can Wall-P increase his billable rate in time? Will his net worth actually drop ahead of his wedding day? How will the wife-to-be react?? Find out next week on an all-new episode of One Client Call at a Time."

Wall-P says, "Tune in. Eh. Eh."


Passport Renewal ...

So today I sent in my DS-82 application for my passport renewal, and it was a characteristically for me convoluted process. While trying to manually orepare the application, I had trouble stapling the image (or what I thought was trouble but likely it was fine).

So I returned to the L'Enfant Plaza CVS to (try to) get another copy of my pictures (which I first got yesterday to replace the dreadful ones taken at the Van Ness CVS on Wed. evening). While I was able to get another set of copies -- paying $10.49 for a third time (though the first time I had a $2 coupon) -- the whole process was agonizing-- and probably needlessly so because the original copy was likely fine.

Long story short, I managed to cut my right middle finger on a stapler remover and waste an hour of work time at midday, but I sent it off. I have a feeling it is going to come back, though, for some reason or other. I paid $140 to get the passport book and card.


OK, that's all for now. I'm planning to go to Nellie's later but at this rate it won't be until 1AM. My next planned update probably won't be until Monday or Tuesday night.


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