Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Planned Blog Entry Shutdowns and Furlough Worries

A large house at the corner of Anderson and Forest Avenue in old, historic section of Rockville, Md., 2:17PM October 6, 2013. This house was decked out with giant fake-furry spiders (yikes) for Halloween, though you really can't see them in this picture.

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I am kind of annoyed right now at myself because I intended to post an entry featuring a portion of the 30 or so pictures I took on Sunday on my approx. 24 mile bike ride from the Rockville Metro, out to near Great Falls (on the Maryland side) -- getting lost for about 45 minutes on the forested trails in the closed national park while walking my bike, so I was doubly a scofflaw, and then back on the C&O Canal towpath trail starting at mile 11 before crossing onto the Capital Crescent Trail near mile marker 2 on the former and thence into Georgetown, where I stopped for a nice dinner at Chadwick's. Thereafter, I biked back home.

The C& O Canal towpath somewhere near mile mark 10 in unincorporated Potomac, Montgomery County, Md., 5:26PM October 6, 2013.

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However, I ended up writing YET ANOTHER flippin' lengthy entry about the ongoing Federal Government shutdown and impending debt limit breach replete with political commentary, links to Jonathan Chait pieces, and lots of references to Teabagging. I wrote this entry because this is actually beginning to adversely impact my personal well-being. In particular, it has to do with when I might be furloughed (possibly in as little as a week).

So I think what I'll do is simply hold off on the former and post it as a photo-essay of the ride while nixing the latter (for now) rather than trying to merge the two topics -- and writing until 3AM.

However, I will mention a few other items ...

First, I think I am going to take that 401k loan -- and set it in motion tomorrow or Wednesday. I'm going to do the full 50 percent "loan to myself." This would give me approx. $3,000. If the furlough lasts for months, then I would have an outright financial hardship on my hand and in theory could get the other half (whatever it is at that point).

NWS radar mosaic for the northeastern U.S. at 1258UTC (8:58AM EDT) October 7, 2013.

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I realize a lot of Americans don't even notice that the Government is shut, or if they watch Fox News / are in the rightwing bubble, think it's a great thing, but that will soon change -- and it will change catastrophically if there is a debt ceiling breach / default.

Secondly, there was a good and very needed dousing of rain today around the region today and a strong cold frontal passage with dramatically cooler temps. than Sunday's 90F-ish temps. While it reached 91F at KDCA, 89F at KIAD (a daily record surpassing the old daily record of 86F), and 86F at KBWI on Sunday, on Monday it reached just 78F at KDCA, 74F at KIAD, and 75F at KBWI today. Furthermore, those highs occurred in the morning -- most of the afternoon was already in the 60s F with low clouds and lingering drizzle following a gusty squall. (There was a tornado watch at one point today.)

Sterling (LWX) NWS enhanced composite mode radar at 11:31AM EDT October 7, 2013. Composite mode always looks more dramatic in thunderstorm situations. This was a gusty squall line approaching from the east.

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The following rainfall amounts fell on Oct. 7th:

KDCA: 1.13"
KIAD: 1.13"
KBWI: 0.84"
KDMH: 0.73"

Tonight is a gusty, cool, drier tonight with temps already around 58F and dropping and dew points around 45F. It feels distinctly and pleasantly fall-like.

Looking ahead, the week promises to feature highs only between 67F and 70F even in D.C. proper and with a chance of more showers on Wednesday.

Third, as a minor issue, I now have a new regular mouse for my work laptop when I bring it home, so that makes blogging / computer use much easier.

Fourth / lastly, I went to the gym tonight. I had a good workout -- the usual 5 mile jog climbing the equivalent of about 1,000 feet; some weight-lifting for an hour; and a half hour of swimming.

OK, that's it for now. Again, barring a disaster or some major news (such as related to a possible furlough), I will try to post in my next entry that photo-essay of my Sunday bike ride.

--Regulus

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