Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Unlikely but Keenly Appreciated Gift on an Unremarkable but Othewise OK Birthday

The entrance to The Cairo in the 1600 block of Q Street NW, Washington, D.C., 9:57PM, Nov. 25, 2012.

This is the building that was the original catalyst for the height restriction on buildings in the District of Columbia -- originally for safety reasons and later codified in Federal law for aesthetic reasons.

I was walking to Floriana, where I met Jamie in that little Dito's bar, named for the fellow who runs it.


OK, I was simply going to update my previous entry where I note that today (Nov. 26, 2012) is my 43rd birthday. However, I've decided instead to post a new entry, and probably just after midnight, so it will have a Nov. 27th time stamp.

I'm posting it to note an unexpected birthday gift today, but more on that below.

As for birthday wishes, I actually ended up with only four wholly unprompted -- my mom, Gary, Wendy, and Quill. And I did not hear from my dad. The rest were all sort of prompted in some way, and even then there were only an additional four. (I'm not counting the e-card that the work HR department sent me, nor the one I got from my Allstate renter's insurance agent.)

Not that I was keeping tabs, notes, or anything like that. Oh, yes, and in the interest of full disclosure, I'm actually terrible at remember friends' birthdays and frequently forget (including Andrea's last week), so I guess I'm being a wee hypocritical. But mostly it's just a metric for how fewer nomimal friends I have than a year or two ago, but the ones that remain are true and good friends.

The downstairs bar at Nellie's, Washington, D.C., 7:28PM Nov. 25, 2012.


In any event, today (that would be Monday, Nov. 26th) ended up the kind of quiet back-to-work Monday that I hoped with no issues and moderately productive and following a tiring weekend (which, in turn, followed the Thanksgiving weekend). I am now working on yet another Texas compliance case, this one for a county way out in West Texas.

My desk in my little cubicle down in the concrete jumble of L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 6:26PM, Nov. 26, 2012.

I sort of work a 1045AM to 7PM schedule, which I really should not do but it seems to have settled into that time frame.


And tonight I had a very good workout at the YMCA with my personal trainer Tony. I also jogged for 45 minutes on the treadmill and concluded the gym visit by going into the swimming pool.

While on the treadmill, as I often do, I watched the last third of Hardball and the first half or so of The Ed Schultz Show on MSNBC (reading the closed-captioning, which I figured out how to turn on).

Ed Schultz was in high dudgeon over the comments by David Plouffe of the Obama administration about the need for Democrats to accept "hard" entitlement reform -- and the possibility that Obama will give away the store to Republicans when the actual issue should be about ga-jillionaires paying more in taxes and (over time) reducing the overall cost of health care so that Medicare and Medicaid costs can come into line with inflation (instead of growing at a dangerously hyper-inflated rate with respect to the overall economy). But THAT is a different issue.

Republicans, by the way, are running away fast from that 20-year old Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge (see above Huffington Post headline from earlier today). Whatever oligarchical corporate interests are behind Norquist masquerading as libertarian horsesh!t really need to hire a new frontman.

Schultz was at his best when he commented on the truly obscene spectacle of billionaire megalomaniac but otherwise policy-wise clueless CEOs, in particular that amoral little troll Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs talking about the need to "lower expectations" on Social Security.

This is part of the organized monied interests funded in large measure by Peter G. Peterson (pictured here) that are using the bogus "fiscal cliff" -- complete with digital display countdowns -- to further their agenda of trillions in tax cuts for the superrich and corporations while "reducing the deficit" on the backs of the working poor and middle class.

Enough of that sh!t already.

We've had 30 years of that garbage and it doesn't work.

As for Blankfein's comments on Social Security, to begin with, the trust fund has enough money for the next 20 years (through 2033). Secondly, all of his observations were just factually wrong, including the one that people collect Social Security for 30 years when in fact it is just over half that time, about 16-1/2 years on average. Ditto his stupid remark about careers lasting on average 25 years (it's really closer 40). And raising the retirement age on the laboring class is immoral and counterproductive -- but someone such as Blankfein is clueless to that reality.

Lloyd Blankfein is flat out an evil person, and he is the head of a malevolent organization, Goldman Sachs -- so perfectly described by Matt Taibbi as a "vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity."

And it is beyond disgusting for the head of that organization -- which itself received huge taxpayer bailouts for the very global financial and economic crash it helped to trigger with its sky-trillion dollar CDO schemes -- and that even today remains the quintessential incarnation of present-day American-style vulture capitalism and destructive-only financialized bubble economics -- to lecture about anything of a public policy nature, much less on how society assists the retired working class.

It's more than disgusting. It's an actual mortal sin.

But Scott Pelley couldn't wait to interview him. And as Paul Krugman would surely agree, the Very Serious People in the D.C. establishment -- headquartered at The WaHoPo editorial board -- get all tingly all over whenever anyone talks about "entitlement reform."

Anyway, all that aside, I had a good gym workout.


OK, now as for that "birthday gift" I mentioned, here is what happened ...

I went to the gym and the area was crowded near where I had my locker. There was also a really hot guy there getting dressed. I got distracted and started putting my clothes and possessions in the wrong locker (the door to which was open). I realized my mistake moved everything into the correct locker -- EXCEPT for my pants and fleece jacket.

I returned two (2) hours later to discover my oversight. My pants and jacket were hanging in the open locker, but I was sure the wallet and/or cash were gone (the latter totaled $167 as I had just taken out $160 at the Bank of America at K and 18th Streets).

Anyway, EVERYTHING was there, nothing had been stolen.

And that, Dear Reader, is what I decided to view as my birthday gift or present. Without it, my day and hence my birthday would have been a flat out and costly disaster.

Indeed, I was in a good mood -- so much so that I did not engage in my usual inner fury and silent profanity as I walk by JR's, where Matthew "M. Wade Tipamillyun" Henry collects $167 in tips in about 2 hours on a typical night, rising to between $500 and $600 in a 6-to-8 hour period.

Anywho, I went to the Safeway and bought a candy bar for the homeless man outside the store who asked for candy as I entered.

The 1400 block of 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 10:43PM, Nov. 26, 2012, as seen on my walk home from the gym earlier tonight.


OK, that's all for now. It's a pleasant late night as I compose this entry and watch funny reruns of The King of Queens. I'm also cooking a late dinner. I cook the Signature Cafe beef stew (removing it from its microwavable container and instead put it in a pan) that I mix with Success Boil-in-Bag rice. It's actually quite good. And I have one of those Glacéau VitaminWaters (Essential) that may or may not actually be healthy.

The houses at 1641 and 1639 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:58PM, Nov. 24, 2012.


OK, that really is all for now. I do not intend to take the laptop home again until Thursday, so I will not have an entry until at least Thursday night -- and very possibly not until Friday night.

Again, my next planned update will be on Thursday or possibly Friday night.


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