Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Heat and the Fury (The Prequel)

Headline of The Washington Post online (image cropped a bit) a short while ago.

I have drafted an entry discussing yesterday's weather day to remember -- both the record-breaking heat (104F at DCA, just like last July 29th) and the violent storms that exploded across the Washington - Baltimore area last night in a textbook case of a "MCS" (mesoscale convective system).

LWX radar in base mode reflectivity, 9:26PM EDT, June 29, 2012.


At least four five people died area wide and about 1.3 million customers (homes and businesses) have no power.  Winds gusted to hurricane force including 70MPH or so at DCA and there was much-needed drenching rain (0.59" at DCA).

Today, though, here in "inner" D.C. this Saturday, everything is fine except for a few downed tree limbs. Storm-related power outages "in the city" where power lines are underground are extremely rare.

The Sterling (LWX) radar in standard composite mode reflectivity, 10:14PM EDT, June 29, 2012. Composite (as opposed to base) mode reflectivity tends to exaggerate things but in this case it is warranted.


 For a couple of minutes, I thought I had made a mistake going outside. The fast moving approaching squall was all the more frightening looking in the dim nighttime illumination of the city lights that was punctuated by dazzling flashes of blue-white lightning. And then the 70mph gust exploded through in a blizzard of dust, the air alive with that freight train-like roar the wind makes above a certain speed. People were scurrying wildly amid hoots, shouts, and screams.

I called my mom to warn her -- she lives in Anne Arundel County in Millersville in a trailer -- of the approaching storms and I actually reached her. Then I got to Larry's Lounge just as sheets of rain started to fall. I want to post her subsequent texts when the storm hit there. They read like a haiku.

KDCA observations showing the powerful thunderstorms and earlier extreme heat.


Earlier in the day, there was exteme heat, including the 104F at DCA -- the hottest ever in June in Washington, D.C., for the full climate record back to 1871.

The Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) advisory page at 5:04PM EDT June 29, 2012 showing the 104F reading at DCA. The District was in an excessive heat warning and the storms were will over West Virginia.

It was the 11th time it officially reached 104F or higher in D.C., including seven times at 104F and two times at 105F and two times at 106F. (Please note this is corrected now in my July 30, 2011 entry since I unintentionally omitted two 104F occurrences originally.)

However, both 106F readings (on July 20, 1930 and Aug. 6, 1918) and one of the 105F readings (July 10, 1936) occurred before National Airport (DCA) became the official recording spot circa 1941. It is located on the expansive tidal Potomac and tends to be a tad cooler in summertime.

U.S. map showing NWS advisories, valid 2113 UTC, June 29, 2012. That's a lot of hot air across the United States.  


However, while I have drafted the entry, there is so much text that it would take me a a few hours to get all the images posted and formatting, by which time I will be unable to go to the gym. I said I was not going to let this blog writing drive my life so much any more and I am not.

Tonight, I'm going to DG's for a house party that is still on because he has power. He lives up 16th Street in the 16th Street Heights area (or whatever that area is called). And tomorrow I have a BBQ to go to in Arlington, which is also still on because J. has power, though many of his neighbors do not.

I'll try to post the full entry tomorrow. It may again include some of the above images.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

June Global Cooling and Unaffordable Scalia-Care

Updated 11:55PM 6/28/2012: See below.

Apocalyptic-looking smoke and eerie red from the giant Waldo Canyon fire burns entire mountains above Colorado Springs with the Air Force Academy's Falcon Stadium appearing so tiny in the foreground. This was taken yesterday, June 27, 2012.


Just a geninuely and really quick update ...  I'm going to the office in suburban Maryland today.

The Sterling LWX county warning area (CWA) advisory map, valid 9:13AM EDT, June 28, 2012.

So another frickin' ferocious heat wave is impending across the Eastern U.S., including here in the D.C. area. We are actually under an excessive heat watch for heat indices that will meet the criteria threshold. This is the same heat wave that has afflicted large parts of the United States.It has been exceedingly hot with drought conditions across much of the U.S.

Here are the current NWS advisories across the United States valid as of 1306UTC (9:16AM EDT), June 28, 2012. Those orange, crimson, and scarlet colors denote heat advisories, excessive heat warnings, and red flag warnings, respectively.

And here is the Indianapolis CWA advisories map as of last night. It looks about the same this morning. Parts of Indiana are having their hottest and driest June ever.


Massive wildfires are burning in parts of the Rocky Mountains, esp. in Colorado, in particular the Waldo Canyon fire (see lead picture). Tens of thousands have had to evacuate and homes have been incinerated. The lack of meaningful snowfall last year is exacerbating it.

I guess this is why the Teabagger / GOP / Fox News / Koch Brothers / Citizens United kooky billionaires Super-Pac crowd are shrieking about "global cooling".

The NWS forecast for 2 miles N. of downtown Washington, D.C., graphic icons, valid June 28 - July 2, 2012.


As for the D.C. area, highs are forecasted to reach 100F in the D.C. area with near record daily highs at DCA and BWI (the daily records for June 29th - July 1st are rather high at both climate spots) and record highs at Dulles.

I guess the Sterling LWX crowd are happy, and their pet Palka-cabra she-dragon must be thrilled. Typically, I don't read the LWX discussions because they are often too annoying.

Yes, there is a chance of t-storms, but these are the widely scattered type that ALWAYS miss frickin' DCA and most of D.C. proper and instead are the usual and unhelpful 20 minute explosively violent spasms that drop about 0.20" of rain.

I know there was some discussion of the mid-Atlantic being in a favorable "ring of fire" region at the northeastern periphery of a high pressure ridge -- at least I thought I read that yesterday.

Speaking of climate change effects, the U.S. Geological Survey had this news release on the rise in sea levels along the Eastern U.S. since 1990. It has been at 2 to 3.7 mm per year in those 20+ years, higher than the global average (which is still due primarily to thermal expansion rather than Greenland or Antarctica ice cap melting), due to complicated factors I can't get into right now.

As Alex Pareene wrote on Salon earlier this -- I don't have enough time this morning to get the link -- sea level rise and global warming will continue no matter how are whore Supreme Court under the "Scalia 5" rule on Obama's health care law. Scalia has turned into a crude rightwing radio host.

And he isn't nearly as brilliant as he and the myth surrounding him claim -- although Wall-P will be duly "impressed" with whatever offensive decision and even more offensive reasoning he uses.

I guess Ruth "Mother" Marcus and the WaHoPo editorial board again will be "stopped cold" when she and they hear that criticism.

As for that impending Supreme Court ruling, let's face it -- Obamacare is based on a shitty premise of forcing the uninsured to purchase with modest subsidies through the tax code a shit product from for-profit health care behemoths.

I'm not exactly sure why any liberal would want to die to save that law, although I do realize in a country as nutty and viciously corporate oligarchical capitalist as America, that's about as best you can hope for nowadays.

OK, that's all for now. I will try to update this blog if not tonight than on Friday evening.

Updated 11:45PM EDT 6/28/2012:

So the shocker is that the Afforable Care Act was mostly upheld in a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling issued this day with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the majority, who cited the taxing power of Congress rather than the Commerce Clause, which he expressedly said is not applicable, giving atavistic libertarians everywhere a Socially Darwinistic delight. There is much discussion of why he voted as he did, as well as some curious speculations. I'm not getting into any of that now -- I just wanted to note this.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Endless Blue Sky and a Third Visit to the Y.

Deep blue skies fleeced with stratocumulus clouds over L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 12:45PM, June 26, 2012.


OK, this is genuinely a quick update ... I was quite busy tonight.

For starters, it was a delightful day -- or rather, it would have been an ideal summer day here in Washington, D.C., with highs around 82F and dew points around 44F under deep blue skies with late morning / early afternoon stratocumulus and late afternoon picturesque cumulus clouds, except it has been so dry this year and the weather has basically sucked (above-to-way above normal temps, drier than normal on precip) for the past two years.

Secondly, I so didn't want to go to work today (esp. as the office was practically empty today) and I was dragging for most of the day.

However, by mid-afternoon I started to perk up as I got into looking up detailed info on Sanyo solar panels, Sunny Boy inverters, and Unirac solar PV panel racks, all part of one of the project compliance cases on which I am working.

I then went to the gym -- the YMCA National Capital that I rejoined this past Saturday. This was my third trip there (I went Saturday, Sunday, and this evening).

I again spent 30+5 minutes on the treadmill, about 15 minutes on one of the bikes, and even a bit of time on a few weight machines -- oh, they're FreeMotion, not Nautilus. I've never been good with weight lifting.

And then I even went into the swimming pool and did a couple laps. (My preference is to frolic in the water rather than swim laps but that's a bit difficult in the pool with all the lanes and lap swimmers and classes that frequently occur.)

Once again, it was strange being there after nearly 8-1/2 years, but tonight there was some melancholy as the bedazzling Sun set behind the jumble of nearby office and apartment building in the direction of Connecticut Avenue and Dupont Circle. (Oh, yes, it turns out the lady S. I mentioned in my last entry is no longer at the YMCA.)

Dinner at Dupont Italian Kitchen (at the bar), Washington, D.C., 10:27PM, June 26, 2012.

Finally, tonight, I had dinner at Dupont Eye-talian Kitchen over in the 17th Street D.C. Gay Mafia's territory. I had not been there since the night of the Cobalt incident in Jan. 2011.

I hates the D.C. Gay Mafia. Dreadful humans and an Unloved Crow Creature.

Anyway, I had dinner with Gary, Kristof, John, and Howie. And now I'm home watching The King of Queens. I love that show. But I need to go to bed. I'll try to update the blog tomorrow.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

"When you're feelin' like Pillsbury Dough / Best to go to the Y-M-C-A ..."

540PM 6/24/2012 AND 923PM 7/6/2012: See updates in weather comment section.

Scott Circle beneath a sun-bedazzled day with puffy cumulus clouds in a clean and clear blue sky, Washington, D.C., 12:26PM, June 23, 2012.

It was a very sunny day with picturesque puffy clouds in a blue sky. See further below for a weather discussion.


So I would like to note that today, June 23, 2012 I REJOINED the YMCA National Capital located at 17th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. (Some of the pictures in this entry were taken while I was walking to and from the YMCA.) And I also managed to get in a work out -- 30 minutes jogging on the treadmill and a bit of use of the Nautilus equipment.

The YMCA National Capital as seen from 17th Street. This image is from its website.

This is the YMCA to which I belonged from July 2001 until about March 2004 when things were totally falling apart in my life -- unemployed, no money, and then the awful May 2004 event.

This was shortly before I moved in with Wall-P for 9 months -- before he completely turned into a dial tone-emitting, utility - and - cash flow - maximizing corporate robot -- at his then-Silver Spring house on Granville Dr. It actually turned out to be very peaceful there, and I am actually very grateful to him for letting me live there (rent free for 8 of those months).

Once I was (safely) back in grad school by Jan. 2005 for the star tof my THIRD (and finally useful) masters degree program and living on student loan refunds, I subsequently returned to D.C. in Feb. 2006 into the apartment building where I now live. (I changed apartment units in mid July 2009.)

My previous YMCA membership was thus many mistakes, disasters, bad decisions, and 50+ pounds ago. And, not surprisingly, it was weird being back there today with lots of regretful feelings to think of all the things that transpired in those years that should not have.

Dappled sunlight filtering through the leaves and branches of the trees growing along 16th Street NW next to The Tiffany (yes, that's its name), Washington, D.C., 12:12PM, June 23, 2012.


In addition, I had forgotten about the place's complicated, multi-level layout from bottom level pool to top-level main workout room and all those corridors and stairwells.

I know I should have rejoined a while ago -- I almost did in September 2010 but something happened and I thought I might be moving to upper NW D.C.

The main issue has been the sustained money and effort that it requires. But I've now gotten heavy and disgusted with myself enough to do it.

I rejoined for the $73/month single membership, although my amount was pro-rated for the current month. I also purchased a pro-rated year-long basket rental, plus there was a reduced membership fee to join. I paid a grand total today of $147.20 -- which I was able to do because my work check arrived (direct deposited) two days earlier than anticipated. This happens sometimes when our twice-a-month pay day falls on a Monday. (If it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, it is moved up to Friday.)

The actual basket rental has to wait until the work week when the business office is open.

The yard at 1631 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 12:18PM, June 23, 2012.


It turns out that the same lady (I won't say her name) who signed me up waaaay back on that day on Friday, July 13, 2001 -- I remember that because I gave her a check for the fee and the check number was 666 (I did that on purpose since my checks then were already in the lower 660s) -- still works there. Another person signed me up this time. (As I recall, she thought the whole thing a bit disturbing.)

This time, I just used my ATM / debit card, although I brought a check in case I needed it (actually, I brought two just in case, check nos. 1506 and 1507). I've had the same Bank of America account the whole time -- actually, it stretches back to Nov. 1992 when it was Nations Bank.

And, no, I'm not sure I actually used 850 or so checks in the past 11 years. I think I threw out a whole series that had the 1415 Rhode Island Ave. address on them. (That was where I lived in early 2004 when everything fell apart and I wanted nothing from that time there.)

The checks I now use have my old 1833 New Hampshire Avenue / Apt. 403 address on them and I simply cross that out to "2013" and my current apt. number (since my current apartment building is also along New Hampshire Ave.)

As it is, I rarely write paper checks anymore.

Anyway, my plan is to go to the gym at least two and more likely three times per week. And to reduce blogging to no more than three and perhaps just twice weekly. Unless I could somehow write significantly shorter entries, but that doesn't seem doable.

My goal by the end of this year is to reduce my current dreadful 188 pounds back to the low 160s. I don't think I can get back to the low 130s as I was at one point in 2002, but maybe that isn't so good -- even at my height of 4'2" a tad over 5''7".


The Huntley at 1601 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:31PM, June 23, 2012. I hooked up with a guy who lived in an English basement apartment there way back in the earliest days of my D.C. life when I was still residing in College Park, circa 1994.


Turning to the weather, it was dazzlingly sunny today and hottish (highs around 90F) but with blue skies fleeced with puffy cumulus / cumulus congestus clouds. The flippin' heat from last week has ended for now.

Oh, yes, I meant to post the image directly above in my last entry showing my summertime (and, for that matter, spring and fall) savior: My little window a/c as seen this past Thursday when it reached 99F outside for a high. (And those are my Sunshine Buddies given me by my late blogger buddy Bryan Haberstick.) And you can see the leaves of my now-oversized croton.

Overall today was in-and-of-itself a nice day, except once again it failed to rain decently yesterday. True, selected spots in the D.C. area had the usual summertime once-every-10 days-or-so violent thunderstorm that knocked down trees and powerlines, including north of here in the Crestwood and 16th Street Heights neighborhoods, and dropped about 0.25" to 0.50" of rain in a half hour.

Gary took this picture from inside his vehicle outside his place on Longfellow Street during the height of the storm.

But many other places got only a trace of rain -- including where I live and, OF COURSE, the "official" Washington, D.C., climate station of Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

For the flippin' year through today, DCA is at 12.53" or -6.33" below normal. And for record -keeping purposes, BWI is at 12.86" or -6.86" and IAD is at 14.22" or -5.69".

I have this sense that the LWX crew is happy since whenever anything misses the airport "officially," it somehow validates their worldview. This is especially true in winter snowfall events.

As an aside, a number of operational meteorologists on balance tend to not "believe" in climate change, as opposed to climate scientists, for whom it is a quasi-religion, although one based on a lot of frickin' evidence, no matter how loudly the Teabaggers and Fox News scream.

Then there's the whole "commercial" weather-forecasting side -- as rightwing Republican-leaning as it is unnecessary (not to mention prone to media-whore hyperventilating over everything well beyond the point of farce to drum up ratings and business).

Weather forecasts are a public good, end of flippin' libertarian story.

Updated 540PM 6/24/2012 and 9:23PM 7/6/2012:

I revised this section to add additional information and correct information about the Weather Channel ownership and the relationship of AccuWeather and Joe Bastardi.

I refer both to the Weather Channel and AccuWeather. The Weather Channel, previously owned by Landmark Media Enterprises, is now part of a consortium called the Weather Channel Companies owned by NBC Universal, Bain Capital (yes, THAT Bain Capital), and the Blackstone Group.

AccuWeather is a for-profit corporate entity founded by Joel Myers, a rightwing Republican, that employes graduate students as indentured servants and fancies itself a serious "competitor" to the National Weather Service. The public face of AccuWeather for many years was its long-time "senior meteorologist," a former bodybuilder with the eponymous name "Bastardi." He resigned from AccuWeather in 2011 and now is mostly just on the Fox News payroll as its go-to global warming denier, though he has no particular scientific credentials or background in the field, just a steroidal opinion.


Speaking of National Airport ...

... I made my reservations to visit my dad for several days in late July. I am flying from there to Daytona Beach and back via Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Dubai, Tokyo, Sydney frickin' Atlanta Hartsfield. Likewise on the return.

The total gym and airfare expenditures today were a bit under the $500 I budgeted. I got the airfare for $277.20.

An ornate corner house at 1623 16th Street NW -- "corner" because it is at the corner of 16th and Corcoran Streets between Q and R Streets -- Washington, D.C., 2:33PM, June 23, 2012.


OK, I think that's all for now. I'm not sure what I am going to do tonight. I think I'd like to try to go to Millie & Al's for a bit -- the shot bulb lamp and all that -- and then go to Nellie's. And tomorrow I plan to go to the gym again.

Oh, yes, I would like to post this image that DD took earlier tonight from the terrace of the Kennedy Center at dusk looking toward Rosslyn (Arlington). A (blurred) waxing crescent Moon is visible.

My next planned update will be on Tuesday night / midnight-ish Wednesday.

-- Regulus

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Too Damn Flippin' Hot Outside -OR- Excessive Early Summer Heat

Fall foliage along the Big Carp River in the Porcupine Mountains of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

It doesn't look like that outside my window right now here in shitty D.C.


I'm in a flippin' horrible mood as I start this entry around 530PM-ish, so I'm not sure how I'm going to get through it.

In fact, I really ought not write it at all as I am really sick of blog posting. But more on that shortly.

Updated 12:10AM 6/21/2012: I am finishing this entry after a nice time at the Post Pub.


For starters, it's flippin' disgustingly hot today ...

... with temps in the upper 90s Fahrenheit and dew points even in their late afternoon mixed out "low" around 62F -- and  sure to spike into the  70s F during the night when the atmosphere settles down.

It reached 99F at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). BWI Marshall Airport reached 100F while Washington Dulles Int'l Airport (IAD) reached "only" 96F (its daily record was 98F in 1988).

The 99F at DCA broke the 98F daily record set in 1923, 1933, and 1988; the 100F at BWI tied the 1923 record. In both cases the 1923 record and the 1933 one for DCA are actually pre-airport records and really ought not count given where that stupid weather / climate station is now located on the airport grounds alongside the Potomac or in a field -- both outside the city).

DCA's automated surface observing system (ASOS) weather station -- aerial view.


BWI's ASOS -- ground north view.


I'm not going to get into a big, lengthy, tortured hot weather discussion -- if you want the stats, look them up yourself on the Sterling / LWX NWS site -- except to say a few things:

Even with yesterday's 98F high at DCA, the first 20 days of June 2012 were actually running -0.7F below normal. The previous two Junes and Julys were beastly hot including a record hot June in 2010 and a record hot July in 2011 at DCA. (I don't feel like looking up the BWI and IAD numbers now.)

This must be why the GOP/Teabagger crowd -- the shocktroops of Koch Brothers / corporate oligarchical overclass "reactionary intrigue" -- shriek so loudly about "global cooling."

Theirs is an amoral upside-down Alice-in-Wonderland bizarro world that only a corporate media whore who is desperate for some fraudulent balance, or a bought-and-paid for corporate whore pundit or bogus intellectual at this-or-that rightwing foundation-funded think tank, could take seriously.

Speaking of global warming, it's the overnight low temps. that are consistently setting new record high minimums, esp. in temperate and sub-Arctic locations and esp. in wintertime.


Secondly, my hunch was correct: The Philadelphia area (part of the Mount Holly / PHI NWS forecast office) uses a different procedure for determining when to issue an excessive heat warning versus a heat advisory in the mid-Atlantic.

Here is a map -- which I've modified slightly to include temperature in Fahrenheit label -- showing the excessive heat warning criteria used by the NWS for parts of the Eastern U.S.

An excessive heat warning occurs when the forecast is for a "heat index of at least 105F for more than 3 hours per day for 2 consecutive days, or heat index more than 115F for any period of time."

Here is a map -- which I've modified slightly to include temperature in Fahrenheit label -- showing the heat advisory criteria used by the NWS for parts of the Eastern U.S.

A heat advisory occurs when the forecast is for "a heat index of at least 105F but less than 115F for less than 3 hours per day, or nighttime lows above 80F for 2 consecutive days."

However -- as shown here in the advisories map updated at 833PM June 20, 2012 -- the Mount Holly NWSFO uses the "Kalkstein procedures" for Philadelphia and its surrounding areas that somehow (unsure how) takes into account the city's susceptibility to urban heat-related deaths. The procedures are named for Prof. Laurence S. Kalkstein of the University of Miami.

I'm not sure why it includes half or all of Burlington and Mercer Counties, N.J., and Bucks County, Pa., but it does.

The Mount Holly area advisories shows up at the edge of the Sterling area map, in particular, a sliver of Chester County, Pa. (circled), such as it appears on the LWX CWA map.

I discovered this in an interesting article here on the local WJLA tv station "blog." (I still don't understand why Bob Ryan, an excellent local TV meteorologist for 35+ years, left channel 4 WRC to go to channel 7 with frickin' Doug Hill.)

As it is, the LWX crew are quite legalistic about when these thresholds are reached: It suspect that it has to be in the shade at the DCA weather station thermometer, which is kind of absurd. The Sterling crew also drop heat advisories -- as they did this afternoon by 6PM (see above map) -- the nanosecond it isn't at threshold levels at whatever dream location they favor.

Given the fatalities caused by heat, esp. among vulnerable populations, I think that's irresponsible. I also think the 105F reading is simply too high even here.

Thirdly, only a deranged person or she-dragon could love this kind of heat.

The good news is that the heat is supposed to break and there is a good chance -- at least for now -- of needed rainfall in the form of thunderstorms by tomorrow night. Right now, everything is capped in the D.C. area.


As for me, I got to work at 10AM (too late) and left early (430PM) -- yes, I owe at least another 90 minutes of work -- and I rode the Metro Green Line to and from L'Enfant Plaza. As a result, I avoided massive commuter throngs -- and any of Metro's now-ubiquitous hot weather "hot cars" in which the a/c has malfunctioned.

OK, that's enough weather.


For the remainder of this entry, I am out of photos for the time being ... I may update the entry with some additional photos ...

My second topic involved this blog. This is my 682nd entry on this blog. I have been posting blog updates regularly for six and a quarter years now (since March 2006), including four and a quarter with this blog (since March 2008).

If you include the 200 or so entries on my now-seldom-updated and hidden Arcturus / Dark Matter blog. Add to that the 430 or so on my old Arcturus blog and 60 or so on my short-lived Procyon blog, and that comes to about 1,370 entries. Even assuming 3 hours per entry -- and it was probably more like 4-1/2 hours per entry on average -- that works out to 4,110 hours or 171 days.

Let's just say 180 days.

That means that of the past 6-1/2 years, a full 1/2 year has been spent blogging or over 7 percent of the time. That's one out of every 13 minutes. For 6-1/2 years. That's ridiculous.

Today saw some unwanted blog visits -- in the form of at least 300 hits from somewhere in Lubbock, Texas (though in fact, with the anonymous electronic sewer that is the internet, who the hell knows where). I finally blocked the counts on my StatCounter. I'm not sure what that was about -- some "denial of servicehorseshit" attack or some nefarious "bot" or Chinese or Russian-borne internet criminal enterprise or viral garbage. Or maybe America's doing it to Iran again.

In short, I hates the internets.

It's a sick, immoral, and fetid invention based upon corporate theft -- or otherwise general scamming -- and driven by the "thrill" of would-be sex that is itself a weird and unfulfilling proxy for a pathetic lost and hopeless search for love. It thus captures the best of the human race. And God.

Anyway, I actually left work early today as I was feeling so fat and just wanted to get home. I'm supposed to meet A. and her husband at the Post Pub this evening. At this point, I think I may finally rejoin the YMCA when I get my next paycheck. (Yes, I live flippin' paycheck to flippin' paycheck. That's the beautiful bullshit libertarian essence of America.)