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.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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