Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Night Non-Frightening Entry: Serene Surfing Video Concerto and Weather Update

The above video was posted on Andrew Sullivan's blog yesterday in this entry (link embedded): Mental Health Break. It's so worth watching -- the exquisite slow-motion video and sound quality of tumbling, crashing ocean surf with graceful and highly acrobatic young surfers riding and "tubing along" these waves. And, of course, the somber orchestral music that starts about 2 minutes into it makes it sublime.

This entry was right after this entry that is really worth a read (link embedded): What Do These Midterms Mean?

Sometimes Andrew Sullivan's blog makes me happy. I have to tell him that the next time I see him about and about in the neighborhood.


It's Halloween night, not to mention a Friday night, so I'm expecting D.C. to be a real Millennials shit show. As for me, I'm not feeling very well. I've had a migraine headache for part of the day owing to being really stressed out. And updating this blog is just another source of stress. As it is, I cannot blog for very long, and by that I mean no more than 20 minutes. This entry will just focus on a weather update since the weather will be sort of interesting this weekend.

NWS advisories map for the United States valid 2333UTC (7:33PM EDT) Oct. 31, 2014. Click on image for larger version.

The dark / navy blue are all freeze warnings for various counties. (Once you get to the western U.S., advisories are no longer by county by my similar climate zone, which in turn is a function of topology, hydrology, and other geophysical similarities. The deep pink / magenta are winter storm warnings -- both in the High Sierra and the highest parts of the southern Appalachian range (see below).


The weather this evening here in D.C. proper is calm, mostly cloudy, and a bit chilly tonight with temps. around 55F. However, there is an active weather pattern shaping up as an unusually vigorous upper level low / shortwave behind a strong frontal boundary drops NNW to SSE from the Great Lakes to a position tomorrow along the South Carolina coast*, at which point cyclogenesis will occur off the Outer Banks -- and too far to bring the D.C. area any "sensible weather" other than rain showers associated with the frontal passage itself. (A weak surface low at this hour is over South Carolina. It marks the location to which the upper-level vortex is being drawn.)
*At that point, it will reach Sen. Lindsey Gay Graham (R-Gay) and gayily prance out to sea.

This was yesterday's 500mb relative vorticity and geopotential height forecast at hour 60 from the 6Z 10/30/2014 name valid at 18Z (6PM EDT) Nov. 1, 2014. It is a frame grab of one of a looped set of images that were prettied up by and appeared on in this CWG entry.

The forecast hasn't really changed since then.


There is actually a winter storm warning in effect for the highest portions of the Great Smoky Mountains and the southern Blue Ridge for as much as 15 inches of snow in a bit early season snowstorm. (That's big for anytime of the year there.)

There is rather cold air behind it and there is a freeze warning broad swath of the middle Mississippi River and Ohio River valleys, across parts of the Midwest, and into the Great Plains. This includes all of Missouri. It will mark the end of this year's growing season. There are frost advisories in effect down to the Mississippi Gulf coast.

Here is D.C. it might drop to 32F (though probably not at KDCA itself, of course) by Monday morning.

Here is a screen shot of the Morristown, Tenn., NWS Forecast Office (MRX) website at present.

It looks like something you'd see on mixed with a bit of Nancy Grace, complete with suggestions of AMBER alerts and all. Well, actually, AMBER alerts DO go through the NWS system.


Of note, the NNE to SSW air trajectory from this shortwave over Lake Michigan is actually bringing rain and snow showers into the Chicago area now that will turn to all-snow later tonight.

The national composite radar mosaic loop shows the swirling vortex dropping, as described by others, "like a bowling balls" with the center right about near Cincinnati at present.

Portion of the U.S. Lower 48 national composite radar mosaic at 2328UTC (7:28PM EDT) October 31, 2014.


One last weather item: A Pacific storm with elongated frontal system came ashore on the U.S. West Coast today with moderate rainfall across parts of central California and snow forecasted in the Sierra Nevada Mountains tonight.

Here is the info graphic from the Sacramento NWS Forecast Office (STO) website earlier today that I thought was sort of cute for Halloween. Click on image for larger version.


OK, that's all for now.

Gary invited me to a house party involving one of the Larry's Lounge bartenders over on Swann Street but I was not specifically invited by that person himself, so we shall see if I really am invited.

Later, I intend to go to No. 9, though while writing this, I also had a text from Andrea to meet up.

As for tomorrow, well, I really should just go the gym. However, I am tempted to go on that Clarendon Halloween-themed bar-crawl with Andrea, Imara, Nick, Jake, et al., although sans any costume. I don't do costumes. Actually, I'm not really sure at this point.

That's all for now.


Trick-or-Frickin' Blogging Treat

**This entry was posted October 31, 2014.**

Sorry, Reader, I tried to update this blog but the goddamn entry just got too long and unwieldy. I just don't have 6 hours to blog every goddamn day on every topic under the goddamn Sun -- all just to have the same 3 readers.

This blog is a pain in the ass to upkeep. For instance, I have spent 3 hours on this goddamn worthless blog since 11PM last night including nearly an hour this morning (when I need to go to work) and yet have jack-shit show for it except this stupid interim entry. I'm really fed the hell up with this goddamn blog.

I'll try to update it whenever.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Quick Post-Work Wednesday Evening Update

A scarlet (or crimson?) dawn picture featuring the scaffolding-encased U.S. Capitol dome yesterday morning, Oct. 28, 2014 in a picture by John J. Young that appeared in this entry on the Capital Weather Gang site.


This is a quick post-work update as I am not taking the computer home tonight.

I finished the two main work-related tasks I had to do this week including the Arizona BA report just now. For tonight, I was to meet Brett for dinner but it is the tie-breaking game of the World Series and it is best if we reschedule for next week, which we did. (It is basically the equivalent of me postponing a weekend trip away from D.C. in order to not want to miss a big snowstorm.)

Instead, I'll just go to No. 9 for a bit. I am actually suppose to meet Kristof there. As for tomorrow night, that will be a gym night.

Dawn yesterday with the Washington Monument and buildings along the Potomac River silhouetted in this picture take by Kevin Ambrose and posted in the same CWG entry as above.


Weather-wise, it is a cool (about 60F), variably cloudy night following a frontal passage with some light rain showers.

By the way, it reached 80F yesterday at KDCA and KBWI and 82F at KIAD. None were daily record highs. Oddly, KDMH only reached 73F. (The 84F at KMRB was a record high for the day. Unsure of the 84F at KCHO.) That *should* be the final 80F day of this season.

OK, that's all for now. I intend to update the blog late tomorrow night, or possibly on Friday (which is, by the way, Halloween).

Oh, yes, here is some fun reading along with this.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Brief Weather Update Featuring Some Lovely Fall Foliage Pictures; 80F Today, Near Freezing Sunday Morning

Lake in Seneca Creek State Park, Maryland, Oct. 25, 2014. Photo by Erin Kelly.

This might be Clopper Lake.


I didn't want my previous entry to be the lead entry for any extended period, especially as I will not be able to post any entries tonight and possibly tomorrow night.

Thus, I am posting this entry. It is just a brief weather update with some pretty fall pictures from around the region in the past several days taken by people with far superior cameras to mine.

Clopper Lake, Seneca Creek State Park, Md., Oct. 27, 2014. Photo by Kathy Swendiman.

(Note: The link doesn't work. To be clear, links and names are taken directly from the CWG entries, so it's GIGO in terms of accuracy.)


As for the CWG, the weather blogger and photo-journalists there just can't help themselves with their silly, over-the-top descriptions of fall days. Today it is Matt Rogers' turn. He writes in this entry with that today will feature, "Big, bold, and beautiful weather dominates our final Tuesday of October..." that thanks to "quality sunshine"gets YET ANOTHER "10" on that weather grade-inflated scale of 1 to 10 the CWG contributors use.

A maple tree nearing vibrant fall peak in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va., October 25, 2014. Photo by Nathan Jones.


"Big, bold, and beautiful..."

Now is Matt describing the fall weather; a soap opera from the 1980s; or a D.C. drag show??

A side street in Georgetown, Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Photo by Ian Livingston.

Actually, this might be in the West End section of D.C., but I'm not changing the photo name at this point.


Anyway, the autumnal-themed pictures sent in by CWG readers in recent CWG posts including this one have been quite lovely and are included in this entry.

Turning to the weather, today is forecasted to be sunny with highs around 80F at KDCA. It will quite likely be the last 80F day of the season (I think I might have already said that in an earlier entry this month).

Fall colorful trees somewhere in the D.C. area (probably in Virginia but I couldn't determine) on October 24, 2014. Photo by Nathan Jones.


A cold front moves through tomorrow with some scattered showers, and then it starts to turn MUCH colder with highs this weekend only around 45F and lows around freezing even in D.C. proper. A CWG entry from yesterday features temperature forecast maps of temperatures and temperature anomalies.

Ignore the part about possible snow flurries somewhere in the region on Saturday. Let's not start that game just yet.


Some Pictures and Thoughts on that Ugly Homophobic DFW Airport Incident Last Week

**This entry was posted on October 28, 2014.**

So my work schedule changed a bit and I had time to post an entry tonight.

So I would like to post this YouTube clip of that ugly incident at Dallas - Fort Worth International Airport (Gate C30) last Thursday, Oct. 23rd, in which a likely very drunk, foul-mouthed, fat, young redneck is threatening and berating a (likely) gay man in a hot pink shirt with homophobic slurs. (you'd really have a hard time coming up with a better hateful archetype).

This entry contains a series of frame grabs from the YouTube clip. (Is it me or are we always analyzing frame-by-frame filmed events in Dallas??)

The situation quickly escalates -- and, while certainly not helpful, I don't think it was decisive in the attack the fact that the man being verbally abused and then attacked is filming him with his Smartphone.

A man in a dark Stetson or cowboy hat of some sort tries to talk to the man.

"Yeah, but what are you upset about?" the cowboy-hatted man asks in a Texas and/or Southern accent (I can't quite tell).

"He's QUEER! This FAGGOT right here! THAT'S what I'm upset about!" the man shouts.

There is the usual homophobe's torrent of filth about sticking objects you-know-where. At that point, the redneck pretty brutally attacks the smaller man, which triggers an instant melee with the attacker almost instantly subdued. One of the men subduing him breaks his ankle (you can hear the "crunch" sound at 1:22 -- it's kind of awful).

While there are four passengers and a police officer in all who take down the man, it is the guy in the cowboy hat who really stands out, at least in how I am interpreting matters, because as he subdues the young man, taking him down, you hear him bellow in his powerful baritone:


That should be the quote of the week.

Now I'm not sure if he just meant attacking anybody, or if he meant it because he recognized the nature of the attack. If it is the latter -- which makes his good Samaritan deed of defending a stranger being physically attacked -- really awesome. Why? Because that man also looks to be quite a Texas good ole boy himself who probably doesn't interact with a lot of gay men in his life.

The rest of the tape is just the man subdued on the ground, occasionally thrashing and threatening violence (though he is now handcuffed and immobile) to at one point appearing the be passed out, and then even grinning demonically. He tries to get the two black police officers to be on his side only to verbally attack them.

Oh, and as mentioned, one of the other men who helped take him down -- ironically, also in a hot pink / fuchsia polo shirt -- breaks his ankle in the fracas because by the end, he is in a wheelchair and the paramedics are being called because he cannot walk. Again, you can hear it at 1:22.

For their part, the police just need to get him up, which they do. This brings us to the second great part o the video -- watching that fat fuck be practically frog-marched past all those people, his nasty t-shirt nearly coming off so you see his blubbery body.

Quite humiliating and totally deserved. (The man hasn't been identified yet by the Dallas police.)

The whole incident was filmed by a red-bearded young man named Andrew Kennedy -- who appears to have some professional background as a local TV reporter (unsure where) and who was at DFW airport with his (beardless) brother (Neil?) and parents. He then interviewed his brother, who tried to be philosophical and end on a hopeful note about the country, it's criminal justice and social services system (not sure about either) and the young man tackling his demons..

The story has been picked up extensively by the media and was on Yahoo News all day.

Living in the uber-socially liberal D.C. Bubble, as I do, where about quarter of the male population is gay and the rest of the men are young and Millennial gay-friendly (and ditto virtually all the women), I forget that bullying and violence and hate such as this still exist.



Ah, Texas.

I lived there during parts of 1980 and 1981 when I was 10 and 11 years old. I stayed in Copperas Cove and later Killeen (where I attended 5th and 6th grades), and I was certainly in Dallas (and DFW Airport) a number of times. My love of meteorology was really ignited in Texas. To this day, this gay, Social Democratic-minded Northerner has a real soft spot for Texas, a state that is really a multi-faceted country in its own right. (And all my BA case work in Texas allowed me to interact with the governments of so many little towns and counties across the Lone Star State, and almost uniformly a positive experience.)

As a brief update, I had a good gym work out following a busy day at work. As noted, my work schedule changed a bit with an extra day on the Arizona BA report. For tomorrow, I'm probably just going to No. 9 after work. Oh, and speaking of how gay is D.C., and a gay safari for socially tolerant straight Millennials, I am totally avoiding the annual, incredibly annoying high-heel race. On Wednesday, Brett and I are tentatively having dinner though I'm not sure where to go.

OK, that's all for now. I probably won't update this blog until Wednesday or Thursday.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday Old Town Alexandria Bike Ride Recap with Pictures & Excerpt of Thomas Frank Piece

The tidal Potomac River looking south -- Virginia on the right, Maryland on the left -- as seen from Jones Point, Alexandria, Va., on a tranquil fall day, 4:44PM October 26, 2014.

The pictures in this entry were mostly taken on my bike ride this Sunday in Old Town Alexandria. They are presented more or less in chronological order.


I'm home tonight on this quiet Sunday night (though it will be somewhat after midnight on Monday when I post this entry).

I had not intended to post another entry but I came home "early" on a Sunday night (see below), and I'm just "nesting" in my wee, dimly lamp-lit efficiency. I have the air conditioner on; however, it is just in blower mode since it is too cool outside for it to work. At this moment as I start the entry (10:11PM), I am listening to the "Singers & Swing" music channel 899 on my RCN cable.

Alexandria Nat'l Cemetery, Alexandria, Va., 4:21PM Oct. 26, 2014.


Some of the songs are quite nice by wonderful artists -- Frank Sinatra (what more can you say?), Lee Wiley (fantastic), Dinah Washington (an amazing woman and among the greats), Count Basie (also among the greats), Nat King Cole (just wonderful), Steve Tyrell (very enjoyable), and Louis Armstrong (another one of the truly greats), to name some in the past hour. (Of that group, Tyrell is still alive. Indeed, here is his website.)

Later on (at 11PM), The Golden Girls reruns on Hallmark. Oh, and Married, With Children reruns are on Antenna TV at that time.

At this point, I'm ambivalent about whether or not to give up cable TV outright once Hallmark shifts (starting next weekend) into its two months' worth of Christmas-themed movies.

Another view of Alexandria National Cemetery, Alexandria, Va., 4:22PM October 26, 2014


As for my day, I finally got out of the apartment around 330PM and rode my bike to the Foggy Bottom Metro. I was either going to get on a Silver Line to Wiehle Avenue - Reston East and bike back on the W&OD trail or get on the Blue Line and go to Old Town Alexandria.

Home of Peace Cemetery, Alexandria, Va., 4:25PM Oct. 26, 2014.

This is located right next to the Alexandria National Cemetery.


As it turns out, I had missed a Silver Line by a few minutes, and there was a 17-minute wait until the next one while two Franconia-Springfield-bound Blue Line trains came just minutes apart. I just missed the first but got the second. I rode the Metro to King Street and then got on a Yellow Line that was immediately behind it and went one additional stop to Eisenhower Avenue station.

Of note, I saw quite a few people who had just finished the Marine Corps Marathon. They were wearing the thin white jerseys that were handed out and had plastic bags. I would not have pegged some of the folks I saw for being able to run a marathon but there it was.

The Potomac River and the National Harbor complex on the Maryland side as seen from Jones Point, Alexandria, Va., 4:49PM Oct. 26, 2014.


I biked on a circuitous route over to Jones Point -- on some strange side streets of Alexandria that I had never seen before and that felt kind of isolated and hidden -- and stopped by the South Cornerstone (well, above it and saw it through the little glass window sitting there in the bulkhead along the marshy, dirty, tidal Potomac).

A new plush stuffed animal to join the menagerie.

While there, I found on the ground a hapless little stuffed animal, specifically, a Zubels hand-knitted, cotton-stuffed small spider monkey (judging by its nearly foot long slender tale) with a little cap and big red lips (mouth closed). He is pictured above in my apartment tonight.

He's very soft. I wasn't going to take him but I couldn't just leave him there. So I put him in my backpack. I'll wait a few days (a sort of quarantine for any fleas or what not) and then introduce him to the rest of the plush gang.


Yours truly at Jones Point, Alexandria, Va., 4:50PM October 26, 2014.


I then biked to Old Town Alexandria, stopping at John Strongbow's Tavern for an early dinner (a beer and the Gallentyn pie with sautéed vegetables). The bartender (Andy) remembered me. And the owner / manager -- who also plays the Duke in the Medieval Madness dinner theatre show that takes place regularly upstairs -- was there and seemed to recognize me. He came over and asked how was my food.

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge from Alexandria, Va., looking across the Potomac River to the Maryland side, 4:53PM October 26, 2014.


I also had a conversation with a man, John, from Ashburn, Virginia. He was there with his wife, who for her part was involved in this big, complicated conversation with another younger woman who was there with her two friends that involved cellphone calls to family members. The reason was that the two discovered they were both from Clearfield, Pennsylvania, although they differed in time by a full generation (early 1970s versus mid-to-late 1980s) and didn't definitively know anyone in common.

I was drawn into the conversation -- or at least with John -- when one of the other women asked me where I was from. Why, New Jersey, of course, but I've been in D.C. for, oh, about 1,900 years.

Fishermen along the Potomac River looking north, Alexandria, Va., 4:53PM October 26, 2014.

If the resolution of my camera were better, you could see the D.C. skyline about 6 miles away including the Capitol dome and Washington Monument.


Oh, yes, I parked my bicycle again at the corner of S. Columbus and King Streets right next to Eamonn's ("a Dublin Chipper"). I couldn't help but notice that the squiggly whitish-blue CFL "bulb" in the outdoor light fixture outside the little door to the adjoining "secret" speakeasy, PX, was missing.

Not sure what that means.

The Patton-Fowle House at 711 Prince Street, Alexandria, Va., 5:03PM October 26, 2014.

This historic Federal era-house is a private residence but there is a sign on the front fence discussing its history.


The last couple times I parked the bike there, I saw people (a young couple) knock on the door and NOT be let in and another time, I saw two young guys (one of whom was kind of hot and I would have let in) knock and have the door open. They had a conversation on the small two-step stoop with someone I couldn't see in the doorway and then the door closed.

To be clear, I don't bother with these modern-day speakeasies such as PX or The Gibson (two blocks from where I live here in D.C.) because there is no frickin' way I would be let in. I'd be standing there like an idiot and whatever person inside looking at me through the security cameras wouldn't in a million years open the door.

If I can borrow the funny line from the Married, With Children episode where the Bundy's meet the (late) Tammy Wynette, I may be many things but I'm not a wannabe because I NEVER TRY.

Let's cue the Groucho Marx line: "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member."

The intersection of Columbus and King Streets, Alexandria, Va., 5:06PM October 26, 2014.


Look, I get the reason why speakeasies are popular in D.C. -- they give the illusion of something exclusive and secret (maybe even a tad illicit) that keep out all the annoying masses that have overwhelmed everywhere and everything else. It's the bar equivalent of the nightclubs with the velvet red rope and the ginormous, stone-faced black security guys in suits who have to give a slight nod of assent that permits one to enter.

Of course, the fact that PX has a website means it isn't exactly a speakeasy in the sense that someone from the 1920s would have understood that term. Ditto The Gibson.

The interior of John Strongbow's Tavern, Alexandria, Va., 5:10PM October 26, 2014.


Anyway, I left a bit after 530PM biked on the Mt. Vernon bike trail at dusk back to D.C., stopping at No. 9 for two drinks (it was the two-for-one special). Bartender Jose was working. I didn't realize he spoke fluent Portuguese, though I should have given his upbringing. I skipped Larry's Lounge and instead came home.

The marina in Old Town Alexandria, Va., 5:46PM October 26, 2014.


The bike ride itself was fine except for the part between the Jefferson Memorial and the White House going up 14th Street: The tourists were extra annoying, blundering about right into my path, wandering across sidewalks and roadways, forcing me to stop. In one instance, the idiot was listening to music or something through ear buds and did not hear my repeated alerts. His female companion had to physically touch him. Idiot.

A dock house of some sort at the marina in Old Town Alexandria, Va., 5:48PM October 26, 2014. And that geyser of water is always bubbling away.


OK, I want to wrap up this entry. However, I first want to post an excerpt of a piece by Thomas Frank that appeared on Sunday in Salon. It discusses the undeniable, similarities in personality, style, and approach to governing between Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter. Here is the piece (link embedded):

Thomas Frank: "We are such losers"

Liberals yearn to believe in post-ideological blank slates -- and get disappointed every time. Will we ever learn?


"Barack Obama survived his re-election, but he is suffering a form of Jimmy Carter's fate nevertheless. The ambiguous idealism of Carter’s first run for the presidency was precisely what set the table for his downfall later on. Being a "blank screen" or the personal object of the enthusiasm of millions -- these may play well when a candidate is unknown, but they are postures impossible to maintain as president. In both cases, they led inevitably to disappointment and disillusionment.

"The moral of this story is not directed at Democratic politicians; it is meant for us, the liberal rank and file. We still "yearn to believe," as Perlstein says. There is something about the Carter / Obama personality that appeals to us in a deep, unspoken way, and that has led Democrats to fall for a whole string of passionless centrists: John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, Gary Hart and Bill Clinton. Each time, Democratic voters are enchanted by a kind of intellectual idealism that (we are told) is unmoored from ideology. We persuade ourselves that the answer to the savagery of the right -- the way to trump the naked class aggression of the One Percent -- is to say farewell to our own tradition and get past politics and ideology altogether. And so we focus on the person of the well-meaning, hyper-intelligent leader. We are so high-minded, we think. We are so scientific.

We are such losers."


Last image for this entry ...

... blurry image of the Washington Monument at dusk, 6:34PM October 26, 2014. That little whitish blur is a young crescent moon.


OK, that's all for now.

As I said in my previous entry, owing to a high-priority BA report that I must have completed by Tuesday COB (or at the most extreme, Wednesday morning), I am probably not going to do any blogging on Monday night after the gym. My next update might very well not be until midweek.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Star Named Sol (and a Regulus Blogging Note)

The Sun, dazzlingly bright, in a blue sky from the 2000 block of 15th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 2:54PM October 25, 2014.

Actually, I wouldn't mind clouds and rain. But I'm funny that way.


Speaking of the Sun, there was a ginormous sunspot that rotated across the photosphere on the side facing Earth this past week. It was easily naked eye visible (provided the Sun was dimmed enough such as at sunset in a hazy sky). Here is an NPR report: 'Freakish' Sunspot Wows Astronomers.

This is a close-up of sunspot AR 2192 in a NASA photograph taken last week.

Remember the Sun's surface is actually incandescently bright white. This "yellow" color is a false color.


Here is the YouTube clip showing a portion of the Sun with the AR 2192 region rotating into view over a 72-hour period between Oct. 18 - 20, 2014.

Description: "Region 2192 continues to evolve as it rotates across the southeast quadrant of the visible solar disk. New spot development is being observed within the central portion of the cluster this morning and this indicates that this complex continues to grow. With a prominent delta magnetic formation present, additional flaring will be very possible. Just how big is this sunspot? Our planet Earth could line up across the cluster at least 8 times over. This upcoming week will see the active region in a better geoeffective position for possible Earth directed eruptions."

"Attached video using the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) instrument shows the development of AR 2192 over the past 72 hours (Oct 18 - Oct 20, 2014)."

Thankfully, there was no Class X (or Z!) solar flare / coronal mass ejection occurs aimed directly at Earth such as this one.


Basically, a sunspot is a massive "canyon" in the solar photosphere as locally intense magnetic field lines depress the plasma, causing it to "fall" into these enormous "valleys" so that the "surface" is much lower, which causes the region to appear cooler compared to the rest of the (incandescently bright) photosphere -- hence the apparent darkness.

Eventually, the magnetic field lines relax / breakdown, causing the "canyon" to fill. The breakdown process features the stunning "light bridges" as "fingers" of plasma thousands of miles long leap across the "filling" sunspot.

Here is a close-up image showing two such light bridges spanning an old sunspot.

I got this image a number of years ago, so I'm not sure who or what organization should be credited.


Further speaking of the Sun, it's a sunny, breezy, pleasant enough day. I need to get out of this dust-trap of an apartment. I will try to take a bike ride, although it is getting dark early enough now that I do not have the luxury of late starts (i.e., 4PM or so). Also, the Metrorail is always so bollixed up on the weekend with track line and station closures and/or single-tracking that it takes forever to get anywhere. As you may know, my method is to take the bike on the Metro to an outer station in Montgomery County, Md., or on the Virginia side and bike back in.

The view from 15th and W Street NW into Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C., 2:55PM Oct. 25, 2014.

This is on my short walk to the gym.


OK, that's all for now.

As a blogging note, owing to a high-priority report I must have completed by Tuesday COB (or at the most extreme, Wednesday morning), I am probably not going to do any blogging on Monday night after the gym. My next update might very well not be until midweek.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry for October 25th, 2014: Taking the Long Way Home and Waiting for Fall to Star Edition

"Warm Breeze" by The V.I.P. Club from the group's Coconut Kiss release (2001)

It's a nice smooth jazz piece. This YouTube version features some nice seaside imagery (including a cabana somewhere) mixed with pictures of assorted young, pretty women in different poses.


For some reason, this entry from nearly 3 years ago on the occasion of my 42nd birthday has been garnering a tremendous number of hits today (approx. 100 so far), based on Blogger info (though who is visiting, I don't know since Blogger doesn't show that). StatCounter shows nothing (but it shows little these days anyway).

I mention all of this because I embedded this video in that entry, and because I like it so much (not to mention the fact that it's STILL posted on YouTube, meaning Wall-P and his ilk haven't removed it yet), I'll repost it here ...

"Take the Long Way Home" as performed by Roger Hodgson, formerly of Supertramp, with orchestral accompaniment (possibly in Montreal in October 2006)

I love this song's lyrics and I quite like this version.

"Take the Long Way Home" is a song by Supertramp from the group's highly popular Breakfast in America release (1979) with its intriguing but now-vaguely creepy cover art (see above).

I wonder who that woman was.


And now for something more Saturday night upbeat ...

"Star to Fall" by Cabin Crew released as a single (2005)

This is, of course, a remix of Boy Meets Girl's 1988 hit "Waiting For a Star To Fall" from their Reel Life release that year. (There have been a few other remixes.)

The original version always reminds me of Seattle because the song came out in, for me, the unhappy year of 1988 when not only did I lose my paternal grandmother, but I also graduated high school and (at the behest of my crazy father) undertook what would be a failed three-month stint at the University of Washington in Seattle. The events of that year set me on a path that brought me to where I am today. Anyway, I remember the song being quite popular that fall when I was there, so it now reminds me of a Seattle / Pacific Northwest life that never was to be.

Interestingly, Shannon Rubicam is from Seattle. She is half of the Boy Meets Girl married duo and a professional song writer who with her then-husband (George Merrill) co-wrote two of Whitney Houston's biggest hits.

As for the Cabin Crew remix, it is a true dance club version with its energetic, rapidly pulsating and gyrating beat. And speaking of gyrations, the dancing moves in there remind me nothing so much as one of those 1930s over-the-top musical numbers with their synchronized female dancers.
OK, that's all for now. I am meeting Wendy soon to go to dinner. Earlier, I had a decent gym workout and I also did my laundry.

Notes on a Number 9 Brookings Panel (of a Sort): The Deep State and its D.C. "Gang of 500" Cabal

**This entry was posted on October 25, 2014.**

The almost-setting Sun as seen from the National Mall with the Washington Monument off to the side, 6:01PM Oct. 23, 2014.

I walked over there from the office after work to see that partial solar eclipse. While I could see the tiniest arc-like "bite" taken out the solar disk, the Sun was too bright to really view it.


Saturday late morning. (Well, Saturday afternoon by the time I post this entry.)

I went to No. 9 last night where I met with Gary. Earlier when I first got there, I unexpectedly this straight couple that I know from Andrea's Tuesday night happy hour group. I knew K. already but I met his girlfriend and she is a quite a delightful person to talk to.

For starters, she works at the Brookings Institution in one of its divisions. For that reason, and given my own political views that I have expressed on this blog, I am not going to mention her name or section where she works at all. I will say that I am amazed at the fact she is about 20 years younger than I am. I've really wasted my life.

Anyway, for the uninitiated, Brookings is one of the "think tank" nodes of the larger D.C. Imperial Court class of scribes, media pundits and propagandists, and apologists for the oligarchical overclass.

It also includes (although this is more a Council on Foreign Relations specialty) more than a few of those little Napoleonic complex'd neocon warmongers who Fred Hiatt never tires of publishing on the op-ed pages of The WaHoPo. Indeed, he's actually proud of it.

You know the sort: almost always men (there are a few exceptions), usually under 5'4, most some erstwhile high-level Pentagon military official and/or defense contractor; all wearing Gucci this, Prada that, $600 suits, wingtips, Blackberries and i-Whatevers; all egomaniacally self-important at this or that PANEL DISCUSSION where the topic is which Muslim country to bomb and/or invade today.

Many of these same people end up as pro-war pundits on CNN, Fox, or PBS NewsHour. The latter is a program that has really descended in the past 15 years into unwatchable corporate media whoredom. The "Gang of 500" is always welcome there to speak fawningly to power.

But now I'm getting slightly off subject.

Brookings styles itself for its non-partisan and "independent" stance, which is mostly bullshit, of course, but it is different from the farrago of foundation-funded rightwing agitprop organizations (e.g., Heritage, Cato, anything associated with the Koch Brothers' many-tentacle hydra, etc.).

"Yay! Drones for Christmas!"

As the conversation progressed, she spoke highly of the Lawfare "Hard Choices for Other (Especially Poor) People" Blog run by my proposed mascot of the American Deep State, the great Benji Wittes, in particular, the variety of content and how influential and widely read it is (in the D.C. Bubble, that is.) (Of course, being influential within the Imperial Capital Courtier class of the is a sort of self-negating proposition, at least to me.)

Oh, yes, apparently I have been saying his name wrong: It's pronounced "Wi-TES" rather than "Witts" (that is, you pronounce the "E" in it).

I told her I would rather read Glenn Greenwald. (And Paul Krugman. And Jonathan Chait. And Thomas Frank. And Michael Lind. And watch Bill Moyers and his thoughtful guests.)

However, she convinced me that I just might be missing a larger picture with a wider variety of voices and viewpoints with ideas of how to make the world a better place.

That is, Brookings is NOT JUST the marquee "voices" for whom it is always some weird hybrid Fred Hiatt Washington Consensus world of, one the one hand, 1990s Wall Street deregulation, hyper-financialization, and Free Trade Agreement deindustrialization / destruction of the American working class; and, on the other hand, the Sept. 12, 2001 Military / Industrial / Surveillance complex springing to Frankensteinian and zombie undead eternal life.

In short, if I may reinterpret what said into my own world view (she herself was not saying this): The Brookings Institution, outward appearances as a tool of the oligarchical overclass and the American perpetual war machine notwithstanding, is more than the D.C. cabal of people whose professional lives are spent justifying all the shit that has sent the country on a very wrong trajectory.

Returning to last night, after K. and his girlfriend departed, I just stood around in the crowd and No. 9 and had several $5 flavored Absolut and soda drinks. Then Gary showed up and we talked for a while before we both headed home.

Light from the setting Sun bathing the top of the William Jefferson Clinton (formerly Ariel Rios) EPA Building at 12th and Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 6:09PM Oct. 23, 2014.


Earlier in the evening, I went to Macy's, where I bought a needed $106 in clothing including 10 pairs of new socks. All my white socks were falling down. (I am old school and get the ones that go at least calf "crew" length rather than are down around the ankles. I hate those. As it is, the even higher ones are quite difficult to find. It's different than it was in the 1970s and 1980s for sock-wear.)

Sunlight bathes the top of the Old Post Office Pavilion, Washington, D.C., 6:12PM Oct. 23, 2014.


As for today, I need to go to the gym. Also, I am supposed to have dinner with Miss Wendy tonight. Workwise, I have a high-priority Arizona BA case to complete by COB Tuesday. I wanted to work on it this weekend, though tomorrow I'll might take a bike ride. I'm not sure.

OK, that's all for now. I do intend to post a jukebox Saturday night entry tonight.