Monday, December 10, 2012

A Splash of Color in a Gray and Blue World

Some color after a gray day ...

A Toco Toucan at Birdworld, Farnham, Surrey, England, UK, May 23, 2011.

What an astonishing looking creature, such amazing plumage. And that bill.


It was a gray, drizzly, and misty sort of day followed by an intermittently showery, chilly, and forlorn night, but the temperature is more or less normal for this time of year.

It reached 51F at KDCA but spent most of the day and into tonight at 48F. Rainfall was minor -- so far, around 0.15" at the three airport climate stations -- although the ground and the dead leaves on it are very soggy. I'll update this with the final numbers.

We remain well below for the year at -8.10" or -22 percent at 29.56" through 5PM today at KDCA, although a bit more fell this evening. There is still no sign of any winter weather with snow forthcoming for our area in our globally warming world, or if you're in the Fox News / Talk Radio GOP bubble of anti - everything fanatics, global cooling.

Through Saturday (Dec. 8th), KDCA was running +6.4F for December at 49.3F and both KBWI and KIAD are +7.1F (46.9F and 46.8F, respectively). We are probably within a week or two of being able to raise the flag on this winter as yet another well above normal, snowless one for the D.C./Baltimore area.


The weekend is now over and I return to work tomorrow, or at least that's my assumption. I suppose I could always abruptly lose my job. Earlier this Sunday, I did not go to the gym but instead I stayed home and edited a report on offshore wind energy surveying and modeling efforts.

Tonight, I was severely and incredibly depressed as I went first to Nellie's and later to Larry's Lounge, riding the Metro from U Street / Cardozo around to Dupont Circle.

My D.C. life is a train to no where and I just don't want to be here in this place anymore.

Speaking of being severely depressed and/or mentally deeply troubled ...

One of the new bright red suicide hotline signs placed in D.C. Metrorail stations, this one at the southside entrance to Track 2 at the Dupont Circle Metro station, Washington, D.C., 10:00PM, Dec. 9, 2012.

The stations are rather dark and dingy, but it reads: "You Talk, We Listen. Together We Survive."

There have been more than a few suicides (Metrocides?) in the system in the past several years. I wonder if this will make any difference.


I'm home now, kinda depressed, although watching TV Land reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond and The King of Queens. My plan is to go to the gym tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Alas, even though I'm down to 164 pounds -- or 21 pounds down from my peak, although 19 pounds from the first time I weighed myself on the big scale at the YMCA -- I still look depressingly flabby and unattractive compared to the 20-something hot guys I see at Nellie's and elsewhere.

I've decided to go to my mom's place on Sunday, Dec. 23rd and return on Christmas night with Gary after the dinner we are planning at the Chart House in Annapolis.


Paul Krugman blog entry of note ...

Here is an interesting blog entry by Paul Krugman noting that the labor share of non-farm business sector output is falling rapidly, and it seems to be a function of rising monopoly power of corporations.

Krugman tenatively concludes: "So a rising-monopoly-power story would be one way to resolve the seeming paradox of rapidly rising profits and low real interest rates."

In other words, America continues its slide into corporate oligarchical fascism. The folks at the usual rightwing D.C. think tanks, not to mention on the The WaHoPo Editorial Board, are very pleased. Meanwhile, the white working class, esp. in the Red States, are kept whipped up into a frenzy by the "conservative entertainment complex" -- funded by the forces of corporate oligarchical intrigue -- about labor unions' alleged excessive power.

This graph from another Krugman entry showing the share of compensation in gross domestic income, 1970 - 2011.


On a happier note ...

Hippo Update - Part 1 ...

Now you've heard of the Aga Khan? (Indeed, it appears as though we are up to Aga Khan IV, which kind of sounds like that Star Trek movie.)

Well, meet the Aga Hippo I (Flippo) and his other royal court hippos (Harvey and Aurora) plus, yes, a toucan (Mikey). The rest of the court were under the blankets and quilts.


Hippo Update - Part 2 ...

Wendy sent me this link featuring hippos born this year at the Zoo Berlin and Kuala Lumpur Negara Zoo.

Here is a baby hippo and its mom at Zoo Negara. Baby was born on August 23, 2012. Mom looks hippo perturbed. Or just hungry.

The world needs more hippos. And toucans.


OK, that's all for now. If I don't update this blog tomorrow night, then the next update may not be until Wednesday night.


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