Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day Minus One: July 4th Plans with July 3rd Bike Ride Photo-Essay

Storm clouds approach from the west "down" the Potomac River with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in the near-distance, as seen from Georgetown Waterfront Park, Washington, D.C., 4:19PM July 3, 2014.

This entry includes a series of low-to-medium quality cellphone pictures that I took yesterday on my bike ride from Bethesda (where I went with the bicycle on the Metro) back into D.C. via the Capital Crescent Trail. Of note, I took the day off outright from work.


First things first ...

Joo-lie 4th it is today.

Independence Day.

America's 238th birthday.

And across the New Old Confederacy, it's "God, OMG Gay Marriage, & Guns Galore and Fox News At All Times" Day ...



I'm home right now this early afternoon. It is a sunny, breezy, rather pleasant day with temps. only about 80F and dew point about 57F. There is a northwesterly breeze occasionally gusting to 30-mph. In that sense, it is not a "typical" July 4th weather day, although to the layman, it just looks like a sunny, pleasant day. But the way the wind is occasionally gusting against my window and rustling through the leafy trees is distinctly not summer-like.

This weather is in the wake of a cold frontal passage / middle latitude trough that also is sweeping Hurricane Arthur rapidly offshore. The precipitation shield this morning got as close to D.C. as about St. Mary's County and the lower to middle Chesapeake Bay.

Over the past few days, there was between 1/2" and 1" of rain region-wide. The 3-day totals through this morning were as follows:

KDCA: 0.56";
KBWI: 0.96";
KIAD: 0.58"; and
KDMH: 0.93".

And that's it for the time being -- at least until the middle of next week.

As for Hurricane Arthur ...

GOES U.S. East Coast visible satellite image at 1615UTC (12:15PM EDT) July 4, 2014.


Hurricane Arthur -- a category 1 hurricane with top sustained winds of 90-mph -- as of early afternoon is brushing the Jersey Shore and Long Island and into southern New England with moderate to heavy rainfall as it accelerates to the northeast over the Atlantic Ocean. The winds right along the shore no more than 40-mph (and mostly lower) and are also from the north (i.e., not onshore), so the impact in the areas so devastated by Hurricane Sandy nearly two years ago should be minimal. Conditions should settle down by this evening for July 4th revelers.

Some radar images from earlier this afternoon ...

The Mount Holly (Fort Dix) DIX NWS radar in composite mode* at 1:03PM EDT July 4, 2014.


The New York City (Upton) (OKX) NWS radar in composite mode* at 1:06PM July 4, 2014.

*Actually, I have these two radar images as being in composite mode, but they could have been in base reflectivity mode. There is no information on the image itself to indicate which is which.


4th of July Plans / 3rd of July Photo-essay ...

As for me, I was going to go to Annapolis with Andrea & Co. today, but in the end, I opted instead to stay closer to home and go to Quill's parents' house in Silver Spring. It would have been an all-day ordeal going to Annapolis, walking around Annapolis, and getting back from Annapolis.

The outdoor deck area of the Bethesda Towers complex in Bethesda, Md., 2:44Pm July 3, 2014.

Bethesda Towers consists of three office buildings along East-West Highway in, yes, Bethesda, Maryland. This particular building (4340) is the one where I worked for two agonizing years at the Japanese turkey farm -- first as a regular wage-slave employee and later in even-more-agonizing (as in, I will NEVER live that way again) 1099 "independent wage slave" contractor. The turkey farm is housed on the 9th floor of the building.

Pitty Shil, a.k.a., Wall-P, thought my working there was the best idea ever and that I should have stayed there in utter agony for the rest of my life. To hell with Pitty Shil.


Another view of the exterior of Bethesda Towers, specifically, the base of the middle one (4340).

I also stopped at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, where I used to sometimes find lunch hour refuge back in 2008, though not always for religious and/or mystical reasons.

Did I mention how much I dislike Pitty Shil? And "his" Staff.


Furthermore, I'm still somewhat traumatized by the events that happened last July 4th after I parted with the same group. I really don't want to get into the details now (most of which I don't remember anyway), but suffice it say it required me to get a new driver license* and new set of keys. I will not have that kind of time again.

*In the intervening year, D.C. DMV has implemented the new driver license requirement. Apparently there was something wrong with the old ones in terms of security. My driver license expiration date isn't until November 26, 2019 (my 50th birthday - yikes). I suppose I'll get it changed before then, though.

This is the large transmission (transmitter) tower located in the 5200 block of River Road, Bethesda, Md., at 2:44PM July 3, 2014.

As an aside, this is one of the half dozen or so really large transmission towers in the immediate area, though this one is actually located in Maryland rather than in upper reaches of Washington, D.C. This particular tower is almost like a "candelabra tower" -- like the big one in Baltimore on TV Hill. However, it has no nighttime red winking navigation light mode but instead ONLY a strobe mode (which other towers use for their daytime mode). (Increasingly, transmission towers use red LED lights for their nighttime mode. This includes the giant Hughes Memorial Tower off Georgia Avenue in D.C.)  This particular tower carries (or at least it used to carry) the signal for both WDCA-20 and WETA-26.


Instead, I am going to Quill's parents' tranquil and peaceful house on Rogart Road in tranquil and peaceful suburban Silver Spring. I intend to bike. About my bike, it started to function more or less normally yesterday when I took it out, specifically, once I was on the Capital Crescent Trail.

The old Dalecarlia Tunnel that was once on a freight train line and now part of the Capital Crescent Trail in Montgomery County, Md., not far from the D.C. line, 3:36PM July 3, 2014.


Earlier, I had taken it to the Bike Rack shop here in D.C. and the fellow who checked it out / did a test ride couldn't find anything wrong with it. (I've been having all kinds of gear problems with it -- as in the gears don't seem to work and there is no traction when I try to ride it.)

The Capital Crescent Trail as it passes over Canal Road, Washington, D.C., 3:44PM July 3, 2014.


In the end, as already alluded to with the pictures in this entry, I had a good 10-mile ride yesterday from Bethesda (or "Behfesda," as my stepfather says it) back into D.C. I biked along the Capital Crescent Trail into Georgetown, stopping at Chadwick's as a thunderstorm swept across the area in dramatic fashion.

Stormy skies over Rosslyn (Arlington) and the Potomac River as seen from Georgetown Waterfront Park, 4:03PM July 3, 2014.


I stayed at Chadwicks for nearly two hours, first at the downstairs bar where I had a nice blackened chicken and provolone sandwich and a side of buttery spinach, and then upstairs where I finished one of my drinks and ordered another plus a shot. (Yes, I know, this is borderline AA territory, but that makes me an urban gay man in good standing.) I then biked back through the backstreets of Georgetown to Dupont via the Q Street bridge and then to home.

Another view of the approaching storm as seen over the Potomac River and nearby Key Bridge visible, 4:18PM July 3, 2014.

This is NOT the same picture as the lead one -- it was taken about 1 minute earlier in a slightly different direction.


Thereafter, I went to Larry's Lounge where I met up with Gary and LP. The place was crowded and we had in the end a good time. However, I've been spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave this pay period -- I'm already $168 over what I initially allotted as I keep in daily Excel spreadsheets. This means that my next pay period (which is a rent paying one) will feature austerity.

Storm clouds -- the turbulent base of cumulonimbus clouds -- seen over an anachronistic smokestack in Georgetown along K Street, 4:24PM July 3, 2014.

To be clear, that smokestack was once part of a factory of some sort -- although as the Federal capital city, there wasn't much heavy industry in D.C. even in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries when America still made stuff and before The Washington Consensus and Sebastian Mallaby turned everything into Detroit. Today, this being Washington, D.C., in the early 21st Century, that smokestack is called the Chimney Stack and is part of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel.


OK, this entry has already gone on far too long. If I don't end it now, I'm never going to get my day started. As it is, I am still backed up on two entries including the ones with the pictures from last Sunday, and a New York Times article on the boomerang generation. I'll try to post at least two of these as well as a jukebox Saturday night entry over the holiday weekend.

The squall as it arrived across the Potomac River and nearby Key Bridge as seen from the Georgetown Waterfront Park, Washington, D.C., 4:26PM July 3, 2014. The ducks were hunkered down along the edge of the river. They seem to understand instinctively what is a storm.


OK, a few more pictures from yesterday ...

The upstairs section Chadwicks in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:25PM July 3, 2014. There is a small bar upstairs in addition to the dining area. However, that bar is open only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.


Oh, yes, one last item: I woke up around 5AM this morning and my old Lasko box fan had shut off. I'm fairly certain that the motor just burned out in the middle of the night (double yikes). But I just bought a new one earlier this week and I was able to get it out of the box and plug it in and it worked like a charm.

A group of young people walking up 31st Street NW in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:48PM July 3, 2014.


A blurry picture of the C&O Canal as seen from 31st Street NW, Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 7:53PM July 3, 2014. I think this is Lock #4 on the C&O Canal.


And with that, I will end this entry. My next planned update will be my Saturday night jukebox entry one.



CompTron said...

I also woke up in the early morning to find that the fan I run pretty much 24-7 had shut off. I figured I'd run it to death - but then saw the AC was also turned off, and the microwave reset. Realized my power had just gone out at some point in the evening -- I suppose you'd know best, but I assume there were storms?

Regulus said...

Everything else was on and fine. Indeed, I tried it subsequently in other outlets and it doesn't work. The fan just died.

I just got home from Silver Spring. It was a quick ride -- since it is significantly more downhill than uphill -- but the night was insane with the fireworks. I shouldn't have gone down 13th Street but rather 16th Street. Going through Columbia Heights was like going through Sarajevo during the civil war.

I hope Tacoma wasn't too frightened.

Home now. Probably will go out for a little while. Text me if you're around Saturday or Sunday.