Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Preliminary Posting on Baltimore/Washington Regional Heavy Rainfall and Gulf Coast Flooding

Sterling (LWX) National Weather Service (NWS) county warning area (CWA) website map showing weather advisories in effect as of 6:08PM April 30, 2014.

The crimson / dark reds show flash flood warnings. The lime greens are flood warnings. The dark greens are flood and/or flash flood watches (they have the same color).


This is a quick update at the end of my workday (timesheet already submitted for pay period) to note the heavy rain that continues to fall over the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metro areas this evening following a monsoon-y rainy day. I intend to have a full update with daily and storm totals later tonight after I get back from the gym.

The LWX NWS radar in enhanced base mode reflectivity at 6:02PM April 30, 2014.

In this case, the enclosed dark green shapes indicate areas under a flash flood warning.


I also will note the fantastic amounts of rain that fell yesterday along parts of the Gulf coast, in particular the western Florida panhandle and Mobile Bay area. Pensacola had at least 11" of rain and other places had 24+ inches.

GOES East satellite image at 0150UTC (9:50PM EDT) April 30 (29th), 2014 showing the dramatic, many thousands of miles long "S" shape clouds associated with of the cut-off low and its attendant fronts with a strong feed of tropical moisture focused on the Florida panhandle and Alabama.

This followed two days of tornadic storms that killed at least 35 people across at least a half dozen states in the lower Mississippi River valley and the Deep South.  


This was all part of a massive cut-off low pressure system now spiraling slowly toward Lake Superior with spokes of vorticity rotating through the broad cyclonic circulation and a powerful plume of tropical moisture -- one of which focused on the Florida panhandle and another on the mid-Atlantic. There is a warm front that may push through the D.C. Metro area this evening which would open up the possibility of thunderstorms.

Left: The NWS weather advisories in effect as of 2215UTC (6:15PM EDT) for the eastern third of the Lower 48 U.S.

Again, the crimson / dark reds show flash flood warnings. The lime greens are flood warnings. The dark greens are flood and/or flash flood watches (they have the same color).

Through 5PM today, the following rainfall amounts have been reported at the four regional civilian climate stations for today along with storm totals for past three days.

KDCA: 2.00 inches (daily record); 3.32 inches
KBWI: 2.26 inches; 3.82 inches
KIAD: 2.88 inches (daily record); 4.24 inches (of note, KIAD also had a daily record yesterday at 1.19 inches)
KDMH*: 3.00 inches; 4.68 inches (KDMH does not have a full 30-year climate record yet).

*KDMH is the station identifier of the Maryland Science Center at the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Md.

OK, now I need to head home. This requires wrapping the computer in multiple layers of plastic bags and putting it in my book bag. I intend to go to the gym (an intermittent migraine headache I have notwithstanding).

Again, I'll try to have an entry posted no later than 2AM.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Awaiting this Week's Forecasted Rainy Deluge; And The Wall-P & Me Chronicles: A Prelude

Rainy evening in the 1400 block of Florida Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., on a gloomy - showering spring evening, 7:52PM April 28, 2014. This is where Florida Avenue starts back up (or ends, depending on your point of view) at New Hampshire Ave. and W and 15th Streets.


I'm not really sure what to write tonight. I had intended a longer blog write up with excerpts of pieces (Krugman and Chait, hurray!) over the past several days including some from today (well, now yesterday / Monday). However, it is late and I actually have to do a bit more work light copyediting another 30 pages or so of a document on electrical grid modernization.

Wet evening along the 2000 block of 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:03PM April 28, 2014.

I was walking home from work at this point. (Just FYI, the person with the umbrella in the photo is a guy not a girl.)


I'm home watching my late night sitcom reruns -- including that HILARIOUS episode of Frasier "Where There's Smoke, There's Fired" during which he has to get his agent, Bebe Glazer, to quit smoking before she marries a multimillionaire octogenarian from Texas "Big Willy" Boone who plans to buy the KACL radio station.

Gloomy wet dusk under the trees along the 1400 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:52PM April 28, 2014. I was walking to the gym. (I've written about the 1400 block of W Street before on this blog.)


I made it to the gym and had a good workout but the problem with the music -- specifically, the music played by one personal trainer who is there CONSTANTLY and who treats the place as his personal club deejay booth -- flared up again after I thought I had it somewhat resolved. This is a subject for a whole entry. The music is the worst kind of hybrid rap / R&B with really hardcore industrial hip hop. At least that's what I think it is -- my musicological knowledge is limited. I know I'm fighting a losing battle but I may write a letter of compliant on this one.

I mean, I'm no fan of Rihanna or Pitbull, but at least that music has some tonality and you just get used to it. The stuff the personal trainer often plays (running back and forth to the little side room to change the music) is beyond tolerable.

Of course, when you complain about stuff like this, you're automatically considered the bad guy / troublemaker / weirdo and the complaint pretty much just bewilders others. My own view is that for the most part, the background American pop culture is such blaring, shrieking, vulgar garbage at all times that nothing really makes a particular impression or rises above the level of general crap. 

An old entrance way at night at 1427 W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 7:53PM April 28, 2014.

This is an interesting non-row house on a street otherwise featuring (on the north side) all row houses. It has a sort of enclosed ground-level porch. There is a Kwanzan cherry tree that grows at the start of the short walkway, and it was shedding its blossoms tonight. (The beautiful Kwanzan cherry blossoms lasted a good 8 to 10 days -- surprisingly long, perhaps because it isn't so hot this year.)


Turning to the Weather ...

It's a drizzly, cool night following an intermittently rainy day though KBWI had more (0.31") than KDCA (0.11") while KIAD was in between (0.17"). HOWEVER, A LOT more rain is forecasted over the next several days as a slow-moving frontal boundary associated with a cut-off low now over the Great Plains approaches the Eastern U.S. while a plume of tropical moisture moves from the Gulf of Mexico along the Appalachians and Eastern Seaboard.

72-hour rainfall for the mid-Atlantic region including the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin and nearly all of New Jersey ending 8AM EDT May 1, 2014 with legend at the bottom. This shows 4 to 5 inches of rain in the D.C. and Baltimore Metro areas.


Rainfall totals of 4+ inches are possible in parts of the extended Washington/Baltimore region over the next 72 hours before the entire system clears out. There are widespread flood and flash flood watches in effect -- in some cases, overlapping -- including flash flood watches for most of the Sterling LWX county warning area including the District of Columbia.

NWS weather advisories for the eastern half of the United States valid at 0300UTC (11PM EDT) April 29 (28th), 2014.


Sterling LWX county warning area (CWA) advisories as of 11:14PM April 28, 2014.


Severe and tornadic storms hit Mississippi today. This followed a deadly outbreak of tornadoes in Arkansas and Oklahoma on Sunday that killed at least 16 people and caused the usual tremendous destruction so common in certain parts of the United States due to tornadoes.

The U.S. composite radar mosaic for the Ohio River Valley, Appalachians, and Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic portions of the U.S., valid 0258UTC (10:58PM EDT) April 29 (28th), 2014.


OK, I think that's all for now.

I am probably not going to update this blog until late Wednesday / early Thursday as I am planning to go to the Tuesday night happy hour with AP and Co. It is at the Elephant & Castle on Pennsylvania Avenue. The point is, I'm not going to take the computer home tomorrow evening -- hence, no blog update.


Oh, yes, before I go ... I've been mulling an idea for a new blog series: The Wall-P & Me Chronicles.

It features that little zero-dimensional robot "Eh.Eh.Eehehehe. Eh-ing" his way through whatever storyline. Also featured are Staff and a whole cast of other ridiculous characters from the Narcissistic Confederate Belle to the yowling Spaz-Manian Devil to assorted Lady Macbeth cheesecake-eating wives and their husbands who have been turned into buccal-pumping frogs astride suburban lily pads with shrieking little sticky, poopy children running around amid a sea of electronic and plastic toys.

The underlying story line also includes an even more ridiculous version of me that tries to go into various partnerships and relationships with Wall-P in a futile attempt to make more money, all of which end up in some form of disaster for me. This is because of a combination of my own many failings; the awfulness of that whole cavalcade of characters, gay and straight, that (in that alternate scenario) have remained in my life; and how awful and ridiculous is our system. Meanwhile, little Wall-P just rolls through each scene (head bobbing back and forth) saying, "Eh. Eh. Ehehehe. Eh. Dude. Eh. Cash. Dow up. Eh. Eheheh. Client call."

Think Mr. Bill (me) meets Sluggo (corporate legal crumb-bot, Wall-P) and ilk with Mr. Hand as American Oligarchical Overclass. And Mr. Hand's narration -- so soothing but always catastrophically wrong -- comes from the WaHoPo Editorial Board / Washington Consensus crowd that so impress Wall-P.

Got it? No? Good. It really isn't supposed to make sense to you.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Notes from a Lost Sunday Afternoon Ahead of a Forecasted Very Rainy Week

Updated 9:32AM 4/28/2014: See below in two places.

The rounded turret on the building at 1605 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, D.C., 6:40PM April 24, 2014. This is the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia (although the sign by the door was missing).


A quick Sunday early afternoon update.

I still haven't finished the remaining work on microgrids -- policies and developments -- in certain mid-Atlantic and New England states. I need to have it done by tomorrow morning, so I'm probably going to have to work on it tonight after I get home.

A young couple -- she was rather drunk -- with another couple (not in this photo) by the Vermont Avenue Street entrance to the U Street / Cardozo Metro along U Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:49AM April 27, 2014.


Last night was just sh!t. I should have just stayed in and saved the (excessive) money I spent.

I'm supposed to go to an afternoon dinner party in Capitol Hill in a few hours. I'm not feeling that well (a bit light-headed and fevered). My plan is to bike there. It's a sunny, pleasant day with temps around 68F. Of note, the weather looks quite wet all week -- and that's fine with me. Indeed, we may very well have flood watches issued in the next day or so.

Close up of the forecast icons for the upcoming week from the Sterling LWX NWS website for upper northwest Washington, D.C.


Here is the relevant part from the area forecast discussion issued at 10:05AM by Sterling LWX:



12Z GFS 4/27/2014 precipitation total valid through hour 84 / 0Z 5/1/2014. This shows 4" or more over the D.C. area.




Translation: Quite wet and cool this week. Good.

By the way, read this New York Times article about the woman, Megan Huntsman, who over a number of years killed 6 or 7 of her newborn babies (and no one even knew she was pregnant). Now I don't normally go in for lurid crimes -- the article itself is not that grisly but instead focuses on what a troubled life she had. And, of course, rightly or wrongly, the fact that it is set in a place called Pleasant Grove, Utah makes it all the more intriguing.

I went to the Pleasant Grove, Utah city website and the place looks, well, pleasant (no, I wouldn't be happy there but I'm not exactly suburban normal).

The quote from the mayor in the article is quite a good one. Of note, I looked up info on Mayor Mike Daniels on the city's website and it turns out he is Native Hawaiian and now living in Utah with a wife and six kids. That sounds like a strange journey in and of itself.

Updated 9:32AM 4/28/2014: Wendy tells me that there are in fact a significant number of Hawaiians / Polynesians in Utah. These folks adopted Mormonism and eventually found (continue to find) their way to Utah. "The More You Know ..."

I can't imagine what will happen to this woman now or how her life will go. I don't see that executing her is going to make anything "whole" or anyone feel better. Obviously, she's spend the rest of her life in prison, but her own mental prison is far worse than anything else.

Maybe Newt Gingrich (R - Huge Head) can explain why this situation in Utah is due to the "corrupt DemocRAT welfare state" -- oh, wait.

More than anything, I hope that Benji Wittes gives us the OFFICIAL WASHINGTON CONSENSUS legal view on this case. Except it doesn't involve Monica's Dress or "the tough choices" that poor people and the working class need to make.

(Updated 9:32AM 4/28/2014: Indeed, if you're interested you can watch Benji Wittes explain the profound morality and overall joys of widespread, nonstop drone attacks. The rebuttals are linked there to.)

In short, Fred Hiatt and THE WASHINGTON CONSENSUS don't really give a damn about lurid crimes among the American proletariat, only that they quietly support the oligarchical overclass.

"I see bipartisan nuance everywhere. I saw it in Iraq's WMDs and in every honest Wall Street financier handling your 401-K. Now hand over that Social Security money."


OK, that's all for now.

P.S. I've been listening to my dad talk on the phone as I've been writing this entry. Following a long monologue about his digital antenna and latest fight with the cable company down there in Flagler Beach, he abruptly said:

Dad: "This trailer is too small. And she's (Shannon) a pain in the ass. She has these friends and they get drunk."
Me: "Do you ever drink anymore?"
Dad: "More than ever."

Now -- as I sign off -- it's a long soliloquy on his missing teeth and Medicare.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry for April 26th, 2014 Featuring, Yes, "Jukebox Saturday Night" Plus a Couple Other Musical Pieces and Update

The view looking west down T Street near the intersection of 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 4:30PM April 26, 2014.


As I don't really have any specific musical videos that I want to post tonight, and because it has been a while since I've actually posted the song Jukebox Saturday Night for my "Jukebox Saturday Night" blog feature, here goes ...

"Jukebox Saturday Night" by Glenn Miller and The Modernaires.

This music video, as it were, was one of the 3-minute "Soundies" made in the 1940s. I'm not sure of the date on this one (if I'm reading the intro fine-print Roman numerals correctly, then it was in 1944). Soundies also eventually featured short skits as well as musical pieces.

"Goodman and Kyser and Miller / Help to make things bright! / Mixin' hot licks with vanilla, / Jukebox Saturday night!"

Actually, I don't believe that I've ever featured Jukebox Saturday Night in a true Jukebox Saturday Night Entry. I posted it as a sort of supplement to my then-regular Friday Night Musical Interlude.

Recall that this Saturday night feature started out on Friday night as imitation-is-the-best-form-of-flattery copy of the great Paul Krugman's Friday night musical entry on his daily must-read blog. (Don't forget that his regular twice-weekly NY Times op-ed columns are also must-read.)


Ragtime piano virtuoso Bryan Wright playing the mournful 1979 piece "Roberto Clemente" by David Thomas Roberts.

This was filmed at the 2012 Central Pennsylvania Ragtime Festival in Orbisonia, Pa. I met Bryan at the 2011 event.

The piece is a tribute to Clemente, a professional baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who was killed on Dec. 31, 1972 in plane crash while ferrying relief supplies to Nicaragua following a powerful earthquake that struck the Managua area.

As for Bryan Wright, I miss his archived radio shows on the internet radio show.

He had 150+ hours of just awesome ragtime, blues, big band, and related period music. (That internet site was reorganized and all the radio shows vanished.) He has a website with some radio shows but has not posted any new one since last August.


Because I referenced it in my previous entry ...

"Walkin' on the Sun" by Smash Mouth from the group's Fush Yu Mang album (1997)


A cumulus congestus cloud in the early evening sky above Washington, D.C., as seen from the corner of 14th and W Street NW, 6:52Pm April 26, 2014. I was walking back from the gym.


It's now about 1130PM on a breezy night with scattered light rain showers under mostly cloudy / overcast skies. It's still rather mild (around 65F) but a front passed through and it should be a bit cooler later tonight.

Tomorrow is forecasted to be sunny and seasonably warm with temps around 70F, but next week looks to be cool and wet.

I made it to the gym today though I didn't have enough time to go swimming or get in too much weightlifting, just the 6 mile jog (broken into a 42 minute and subsequent 18 minute segment owing to the treadmill computer crashing as it sometimes does (right there during the New Zealand South Island run in the middle of Kahurangi National Park).

I made dinner, did my laundry, and watched the usual Sci-Fi Saturday Night lineup on Me-TV including now the Svengoolie-hosted monster movie. Tonight it's the 1944 movie House of Frankenstein with its noteworthy lineup of Dracula, Wolf Man, Hunchback, and Evil Scientist (Boo), not to mention Frankenstein himself.

Anyway, tonight, I guess I'll go to No. 9 and Nellie's. As for tomorrow, I'm supposed to go to an afternoon dinner party in Capitol Hill at Tommy and Roni's place. (I don't normally comment on straight couples, but they really go together well.) My plan is to bike there.

OK, that's all for now. I need to do some work at home tomorrow late morning /early afternoon, so I probably won't update this blog until Monday night.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Night Fatigued -OR- "Not Exactly Walkin' on the Sun ..."*

*With apologies to Smash Mouth.

Updated 1:21PM 4/26/2014: See below.

Dazzling early afternoon Sun in a gentle blue sky fleeced with stratocumulus clouds on a cool spring day as seen over L'Enfant Promenade, Washington, D.C., 12:55PM April 23, 2014.

FYI ...

The solar constant is 1,360 W/m^2 at the top of Earth's atmosphere. Assuming Earth's orbit is circular about the Sun with distance "r", then if you integrate through this entire surface area of 4*pi*r^2 to get an energy flux through all points on that imaginary sphere, it equals the Sun's power output: 586 billion BILLION Megawatts (or, alternatively, 586 million billion Gigawatts).

Written out, in the unit of the watt, that's 586 septillion watts (i.e., 586,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 watts). Using E=mc^2, this translates into about 700 million tons of hydrogen converted into about 695 million tons of helium per second in the Sun's unimaginable thermonuclear core with the remaining 5 million tons converted via fusion into energy in that specified amount. Awesome. (I confirmed these figure once after seeing it on The Nine Planets websiteUse caution going to that site -- it has had issues.)


Friday evening.

It is a mostly cloudy, rather cool evening following a burst of heavy rainfall associated with a cold frontal passage that, in turn, followed sunny, pleasant afternoon. It looks as though the high at KDCA and KIAD was 69F while it reached 65F at KBWI. Those highs are almost normal for the date (70F / 70F / 68F, respectively).

(Updated:) Rainfall totals for today were 0.39" at KDCA, 0.34" at KIAD, and 0.63" at KBWI. It is now 55F at KDCA with a chance of lingering showers until about 11PM.

A gusty northwesterly breeze is forecasted to kick up later with lows around 50F in the District and in the 40s across suburbia into Republican far-exurbia.

There may be some additional showers later tomorrow followed by sunny, pleasant weather on Sunday with highs around 65F. Thereafter, next week looks to be cool and wet, which is fine with me this time of year both to keep the surging tree pollen at bay and to recharge the water supply (hydrological and climatological) ahead of summer. I also just like that kind of weather.

I would spend a couple hours updating this blog except I want to go out tonight -- and get a relatively early start.

I'm also physically fatigued and exhausted, in part due to two consecutive nights of good complete gym workouts (1 hour jogging, about 1 hour of light-to-moderate machine-based weightlifting, and approx. 20 minutes in the pool).

It is also due to the fact that I'm just always tired. What's more, this gym routine and work and blogging all tie into my perpetual sleep deficit during the week that I never really make up on the weekend, in particular with going out as I do. My whole schedule is ripe for collapse from exhaustion.

As for this weekend, I would like to go the gym tomorrow while on Sunday I'm going to an afternoon dinner party in Capitol Hill (a part of the city I seldom visit) that involves some folks I know through Andrea.

As for things I want and need to do this weekend, I want to do my laundry (tomorrow night), and I need to complete a short but concise report on microgrids in the mid-Atlantic and New England and how their development has been affected / driven by hybrid tropical / extratropical Superstorm Sandy (which is already a full year and a half in the past). I didn't finish the work this week.

I also want to update this blog with some excerpts of good pieces -- by Chait and Krugman and others -- that I read. I also wanted to post some thoughts on the Cliven Bundy sideshow that has so captivated the bat-sh!t crazy right and the center-right "far left" in America as played out in the media/entertainment complex this week. I love the fact his name is Bundy (as in Al Bundy ...).

But I just don't have enough time to do so now.

OK, that's all for now. Tonight, my plan is to do dinner at the bar at Eatonville and then go to No. 9 followed by Larry's Lounge, where Dominik is bartending.

Updated 1:21PM 4/26/2014:

I ended up first going to D-I-K bar but, unexpectedly, Chris H. was working, and I did not want to be see him. I didn't even look at him. Instead, I talked to bar acquaintance Frank for a few minutes. Next, I had dinner at Trio (it's new interior design is the topic for a separate entry). I then met Gary at LL.

End of update.

Oh, yes, I meant to relate that Gary has booked the hotel in Wildwood Crest, N.J., for later this summer for him, LP, and me and possibly Wendy. We're staying at the Adventurer Oceanfront Inn Aug. 22 - 26th.  The hotel is pictured above. I'm not exactly sure if it is in Wildwood or Wildwood Crest. Based on E. Cresse Avenue as the boundary, it is just inside Wildwood Crest.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Suburban Maryland Easter 2014 Weekend in 21+1 Pictures

Yours truly and my mom at the Rusty Scupper in Baltimore, Md., around 3 o'clock in the afternoon, April 19, 2014. My stepdad Ray took this picture.


Wholly Saturday: My Anny Runnell Kenny and Balmer, Merlin Day Trip ...

A giant version of that car dummy guy you see in car seat belt safety ads standing in front of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) headquarters, Glen Burnie, Md., 2:25M April 19, 2014.

Most other states call their comparable organization a DMV rather than an MVA.


Pride of Baltimore II in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Md., 3:12PM April 19, 2014.

The original Pride of Baltimore -- itself a partial replica of the original original early 19th Century Baltimore clipper schooner called the Chasseur -- was lost in a squall off Puerto Rico in May 1986 with four of her 12 crew lost (the others were rescued after four days at sea). This Pride II was launched in 1988. Its website is here.


My shrimp cocktail at the Rusty Scupper, Baltimore, Md., 3:16PM April 19, 2014.

The Rusty Scupper has a great location with an awesome view. It was also a very nice time with my mom and Ray.


Downtown Baltimore with its low-but-architecturally pleasing skyline along the Inner Harbor as seen from outside the Rusty Scupper, Baltimore, Md., 4:38PM April 19, 2014. Ray also took this picture.


The house at 24 Bristol Ave., Baltimore, Md., 4:58PM April 19, 2014.

This is the house that my stepfather, Ray, lived in for many years back in the 1960s with his brothers and parents until he was drafted as a 19-year old teenager into Vietnam in 1966. This was also the house where I spent my VERY FIRST night in Baltimore back in 1975 --coming down from New Jersey on a cold winter's night and how I cried missing my paternal grandmother and dad -- just after my 6th birthday and shortly before Ray and my mom moved to SHAPE, Belgium for nearly 4 years. This is also the house where my mother, Ray, and I lived for a horrendous time from Nov. 29, 1981 (the day we returned from Texas) into early 1982, at which point I moved back with my dad in New Jersey. This was a couple months before my mom and Ray moved to their first apartment in Glen Burnie, and I subsequently moved with them -- starting my Anne Arundel County life that eventually led to my life here in Washington, D.C.

For a bit of an overview of the world of 24 Bristol Avenue as I knew it way back when (1975 - 1982), and as I understand the way it was even further back when (1950s and 1960s), please see my October 2012 entry "A Postmodern Quest: In Search of Baltimore's Corner and Inflection Points, Past and Present" that involved a daytime trek with my very good friend Chester about two weeks earlier to find the, yes, corner and infections points of the present-day boundaries of Baltimore City. In particular, see the section "Dinner and (Side) Show in Baltimore: Prolefeed off Potee Street" for more info.


Dilapidated row houses on W. Jeffrey Street, Baltimore, Md., 4:59PM April 19, 2014.

This is the Baltimore equivalent of what in Washington, D.C., is called the "unit" block (i.e., numbers 1 - 99) and is so numbered because it is just west of the dividing line formed by Potee Street / Rt. 2, which becomes Gov. Ritchie Highway at the Anne Arundel County line.

Of note, Bristol Avenue is located one block south of W. Jeffrey Street, except it's not "West" because there is no "East" Bristol Avenue -- it becomes Calvert Street just east of Potee Street.


BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Rail Station located in unincorporated Anne Arundel County* near the airport, 6:33PM April 19, 2014.

*The rail station is geographically located in Linthicum, yet another unincorporated CDP in Anne Arundel County, which is replete with unincorporated places (both CDP and non-CPD). However, the station's zip code is 21240, it is a Baltimore City one, which would as far the U.S. Post Office is concerned make it technically in Baltimore City, except that just makes no sense. In short, the station is just sort of in a no man's land.

My mom had dropped me off at the rail station and I had about 25 minutes to wait. While seated on the southbound (far side) platform waiting for the 6:40PM Saturday southbound Penn Line MARC back to D.C. While I had had a really nice day, I was quite upset at this point over the whole wee hours Saturday morning situation with Chris H., although I also came to a mini-epiphany that this just wasn't my fault.

I also started remembering all the times I was at that train station -- in particular in the mid-to-late 1980s when it really was just a clearing in the forest located way off Aviation Blvd and near the interchange of 295 and 195 -- en route to and from New Jersey to see my dad and grandparents, and later (in the early 1990s) to see just my dad. Those weren't particularly good times but they morphed into terrible ones by the early 1990s. And then later in the 1990s and into the 2000s, I took the train to and from D.C.



Easter Sunday in Washington, D.C., and Silver Spring, Suburban Maryland ... 

The remainder of this entry features pictures taken the following day on my bike ride from my apartment in D.C. to Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring and then back.

Tulips and shrubs growing outside the Brittany located between New Hampshire Avenue and 16th Street NW and (south/north) U and V Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 1:39PM April 20, 2014.


The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints, 4901 16th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 2:00PM April 20, 2014.

I didn't realize there was a Mormon Church at this location -- indeed, I had never even noticed this building. It might actually be new / recently reconstructed. Or maybe I just never noticed it.


The house at 6630 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:09PM April 20, 2014.

This is a lovely, veritable mansion (which couldn't be any more different than the aforementioned 24 Bristol Avenue in Baltimore). It is that is the northernmost house on the west side of 16th Street (possibly in the Brightwood neighborhood, if it extends west of 16th Street) just before Rock Creek Park zigzags east to 16th Street itself.

This house is located at the top of the three-syllable alphabet ("Underwood") on the west side of 16th Street. There is another residential neighborhood (called Rock Creek Gardens) that starts up on the west side of 16th Street at Holly Street ("H" in the fourth and final alphabet of east-west running streets in D.C. -- namely, the floral / tree / shrub alphabet). Thus, this house -- numbered 6630 -- is two whole alphabets north of where I am at U Street (single letter / first alphabet "U").

Of note, the two-syllable "U" street east of Rock Creek Park is Upshur Street, but that involves Matthew "M-WADE" Henry, and I'm not going to get into that now.

Finally, there really is no floral "U" street and instead it skips from Tamarack Street to Verbena Street, the latter being the northernmost (north)west-(south)east running street in D.C., just south of the North Cornerstone of the original Territory of Columbia.

Oh, yes, going south (technically in Southwest D.C.), the "highest" street name is Joliet (three-syllable "J") while the highest residential street is Galveston (three-syllable "G"), whose most famous resident is probably this amazing lady.

CORRECTION 7:57PM 4/26/2014: It turns out that Joliet (on the north side) and Irvington Streets SW both are residential including a number of low-rise apartment block structures. On the south side used to be something called "D.C. Village" that was a sort of combo nursing home and homeless shelter until it was closed due to squalid and dangerous Third World conditions. I'm not sure what will eventually happen to the site, especially given the proximity of the D.C. Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Rock Creek Park as seen from the sidewalk on the west side of 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., between Underwood and Holly Streets (see above), 2:11PM April 20, 2014.

The land drops off really steeply into the forested glen below, and the forest was just starting its not-way-early budding this spring).


A group of people -- one with a dog -- pushing a beat up car (driven by a black guy) that had broken down on Colesville Road onto Sligo Creek Parkway, Silver Spring, Md., 2:33PM April 20, 2014.

Is this an example of that American "Can Do" Help-Your-Neighbor Spirit??


Wine and spring flowers at Quill's parents' house, Silver Spring, Md., 4:44PM April 20, 2014.

That house in the Four Corners area is so incredibly peaceful. It was also the first place I very temporarily lived in September 1992 when I arrived in the immediate D.C. area at the end of horrendous St. Mary's College period, where NOTHING good happened except to meet Quill. (The place is even where I met the robot Wall-P., and would subsequently live with him for 9 months in 2004 - early 2005 very nearby this house on Granville Drive.)


Yours truly in front of some forsythia blossoms bathed in the light of the setting Sun. This is just off Rosensteel Avenue, Silver Spring, Md., 6:43PM April 20, 2014.

This was after afternoon dinner and dessert and I was biking back home but Rock Creek Park / Beach Drive.


The Our Lady Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church located on Rosensteel Avenue just off Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, Md., 6:43PM April 20, 2014.


The cemetery of Our Lady Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe, Silver Spring, Md., 6:46PM April 20, 2014.


A statue of the Virgin Mary in the cemetery of Our Lady Queen of Poland and St. Maximilian Kolbe, Silver Spring, Md., 6:46PM April 20, 2014. At least I am assuming this is the Virgin Mary.

I posted this picture already in this entry.


The Linden Lane overpass of the Capital Beltway, Silver Spring, Md., 6:51PM April 20, 2014.

That's the Mormon Washington D.C. Temple silhouetted in the distance by the setting Sun as seen with my low-quality cellphone camera. It is located in Kensington, Md.


The Capital Beltway Outer Loop looking east as seen from the Linden Lane overpass, Silver Spring, Md., 6:51PM April 20, 2014.

Of note, that overpass visible in the distance is the old B&O Metropolitan Branch railway line (now owned by CSX and shared by the MARC Brunswick Line) -- and on the east side for many years stretching back to when the then-new Temple was dedicated in 1974 had painted the words "SURRENDER DOROTHY" with the Mormon Temple as is backdrop owing to its resemblance to the Emerald City royal palace in The Wizard of Oz. Actually, the graffiti has appeared in various forms -- and been removed -- and it is something of Washington, D.C., area legend.

Above: An undated picture of the aforementioned freight and MARC train overpass over the Capital Beltway with the Mormon Washington D.C. Temple visible in the distance. It was on this side that "SURRENDER DORORTHY" was painted in big letters for many years (though, again, there have been various iterations of it over the year).


The graceful neoclassical arches of the Connecticut Avenue Taft Bridge as seen from below, Washington, D.C., 7:51PM April 20, 2014.

This was taken exactly one hour of steady bike riding later as dusk fell. And I still had to push the bike up the steeply sloping ramp that connects Calvert Street and Connecticut Avenue to the Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway below.


OK, that's all for now. It's quite late and I need to sleep. I had a good gym workout tonight and then came home and made dinner while watching TV and completing this entry. My next update may not be until Saturday, although I want to post excerpts of another excellent Jonathan Chait column.