Sunday, January 25, 2015

Back from a Winter Weekend on the Jersey Shore in My Snowless, Worthless Washington World

A wall and rocky outcropping along the beach in part of Long Branch, N.J., 3:15PM January 24, 2015.

Quite a few spots on the Jersey shore -- especially in Monmouth County, less so on the barrier islands to the south -- really have this vaguely post-apocalyptic, fortress-like appearance. You just get used to it if you grow up in New Jersey, and in fact, it's what a beach is "supposed" to look like, even though doing this to the coastline results in an ecologically dreadful coastal geomorphology. Part of this has to do, I think, with how property can be privately owned in New Jersey on the beach up to the mean high-tide mark.

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Seawall, jetty*, and Atlantic surf, Long Branch, N.J., 3:10PM January 24, 2015.

*More properly speaking, this isn't a jetty but a groin, which stabilizes a beach. A jetty is a usually much structure (of various materials including rock) used to stabilize an inlet.

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I'm back "home" in Washington, D.C., from my weekend in Long Branch, N.J., to say goodbye to and also to celebrate the life of a very special lady at a funeral and repast where I went with my mom and Ray even though this is on my dad's side of the family and my mom hasn't been married into that family since 1974. To be clear, dad is down in Florida and didn't go.

I have lots of photographs from my trek up and gadding about there but not, necessarily, from the funeral services.

Yours truly with one of the two sphinxes that grace the steps leading up to historic Wilson Hall ("Shadow Lawn") at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J., 2:14PM January 24, 2015.

This sphinx faces to the east, the other to the west. I think this east-facing one has had that broken nose since I the early 1970s (I vaguely recall it back then). There is also picture of me as a 5-year old sitting on the west-facing one.

Here's the west-facing sphinx with yours truly. His nose isn't broken.

When I lived in Long Branch the school was called "Monmouth College." It apparently became a "university" in 1995. As for Wilson Hall, it was featured in the 1982 movie Annie. Also, Norwood Avenue is the boundary of the City of Long Branch and the Borough of West Long Branch. The university is in West Long Branch.

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I intend to post the pictures along with other content -- both that describes the events and from the obituary and a front-page Asbury Park Press article that appeared in yesterday's print edition. (I already linked to it in my previous entry.)

However, I'm not going to even discuss anything in this entry lest my foul and dyspeptic mood mar the sanctity of that event.

368 Kirby Ave, Long Branch, N.J., 2:21PM Jan. 24, 2015.

This is the house my grandparents owned and live in from about 1957 to January 1981. I was there intermittently as a baby and young child and then lived there from March 1977 through January 1981, ages 7 to 11.

The person(s) who own it now ruined it with that ugly beige paint job (which was done sometime between early Sept. 2008 and late Jan. 2013). Oddly enough, the three evergreen (Yew) bushes visible in the image were all there when I lived there -- in fact, they are all older than I am. The lamp on the side of the driveway is also the original, as is the front entrance door with a glass "T" (which you probably cannot see in this picture's resolution) that stood for, yes, "Todaro".

The big Norway maple in the front yard is long gone. However, the Norway maple on the left edge of the picture (larger tree) was planted by my grandmother with her late son and my uncle and namesake, Richard, before he died in 1963.

What was once a garage is now an enclosed part of the house.

Another view of 368 Kirby Ave, Long Branch, N.J., taken at 2:23 PM January 24, 2015.

Goodbye, my old home.

As a bit of address trivia, the "368" is actually part of a numbering system that runs all the way from Ocean Avenue about a mile and a half away -- except these are long blocks and the numbers continue across intersecting streets from X01 to X99. I figured that out on this trip.

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OK, I wrote "home" above in quotes because Washington, D.C., is the worst place on Planet Earth both meteorologically and spiritually. Furthermore, EVERYTHING that has happened to me in and around since I came to the immediate area on that inauspicious day over 22 years ago has been varying degrees rotten. Imbibing the culture of the District of Columbia is little more than a of slow-drip spiritual death, a nihilistic suicide, if you will. As for me, not speaking hyperbolically, ALL my friendships and relationships here have been varying degrees mistakes, failures, disasters, and catastrophes.

Welcome to the Imperial Capital City of Oz. 

If D.C. is Oz, then its stupid Capital Beltway and radiating "state thoroughfares" are a sort of Yellow Brick Road to no where while 17th Street leads you the gayborhood Munchkin Gay Mafia Quarter with its Mayor and little inner sanctum.

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OK, clearly, I'm a foul mood and not even a just-concluded semi-decent gym workout has brightened my outlook. As for the wherefore and why, well, that brings me to the nitty-gritty of this entry: There will be NO further discussion after this entry on this blog of the impending "historic," "epic," and/or "paralyzing blizzard" that is set to affect the very part of New Jersey where I just was and points north and east across the New York City metropolitan area and into New England.

The NWS advisories for the northeastern continental U.S. at 7:42PM EST January 25, 2015. The color-coded legend is not included but the florid orange-red color represents blizzard warnings. The magenta - hot pink are winter storm warnings. The bluish-purple are worthless winter weather advisories. The deeper blue are winter storm watches. The deep purple offshore are storm warnings, a step up from gale warnings.

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This is because the system -- starting out as an Alberta clipper that transfers its energy to a coastal low that undergoes explosive cyclogenesis -- gives frickin', flippin' Metro D.C. the USUAL and FOREVER screw-over with "maybe an inch" of (actual) slushy shit.


All the Usual Suspects will be happy: Fred Hiatt's Washington Consensus crowd and their oligarchical overclass pay-masters (not to mention their special legal needs one, Benji Wittes). the Wall-P robotic money vacuum, and the Sterling LWX crew and their pet SHE-Dragon, the Palka-cabra creature.

The SHE-Dragon herself, the Sue Palka-Cabra creature, in her domestic abode.

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True, there is some stupid "winter weather advisory" in effect while the counties right along the west side of useless and polluted Chesapeake Bay (Anne Arundel, Calvert, and St. Mary's) have a winter storm watch in case the low is closer to the coast than forecasted. (The result of that set up is that Charles County actually has no weather advisories in effect.)

The Sterling (LWX) NWS webpage county warning area (CWA) advisories as of 8:15PM EST January 25, 2015.

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As for New Jersey around Long Branch, well, once again, it's the "usual" monster, in this case, 24 to 36 inches of snow. New York City could get up to 38 inches of snow and 3 feet as well on Long Island with white out blizzard conditions.

Updated 8:47AM 1/26/2015

I would like to be clear where I got the 38 inch figure for New York City. It comes from adding up the higher amounts for each period in the NWS's grid-point forecast for Manhattan from late last night.

Click on image for larger version and add the shown totals. The range is 25 to 38 inches of snow.

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A snowfall forecast map from the New York NWS Forecast Office (Upton, New York) valid through 7AM EST Jan. 28, 2015. There are widespread totals of 24 to 36 inches.

Finally, here is a New York Times article discussing the possibility of the snowstorm being among the biggest New York City has received.

End of Update.

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To be clear, I'm not even sure I would want that much snow. It is very disruptive and becomes a gloppy, impossible-to-navigate mess when it starts to melt. However, I'm just sick and tired of this shitty game that I've played multiple times over the years -- at least twice (see here and here) on this impending scale in just over the past 4 years -- and I refuse to play it again.

Thus, I am going into self-imposed weather information black-out mode for the next 48 to 72 hours. Nobody frickin' ask me ANYTHING about the weather. And NO texts from a certain person. I've already told him that -- FULL STOP.

The Mount Holly / Philadelphia (PHI) NWS CWA advisories as of 8:15PM EST January 25, 2015.

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SO if and unless anything unexpected happens here -- and it NEVER NEVER NEVER does in the present climate regime, at least on Jason Samenow's and his Capital Weather Gang's wintertime "BOOM" side -- this is the last I will mention anything of the impending non-event here no matter the outcome in New Jersey, New York, and into New England.

Oh, and in case I didn't mention it, I hates Warshingtun, D.C. It's not my home. It never was and never will be.

OK, that's all for now. As for that other entry, I just don't know how long it will take me to compose, but I'll try, though it could be days, weeks, or never. No, actually, I will make an effort to post those pictures.

--Regulus

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