Friday, February 13, 2015

A Friday Night Calm Before the Arctic Storm and Paul Krugman on Money and GOP Crazy

The view at dusk from my 5th floor Hampton Courts apartment looking across 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, D.C., 6:21PM February 13, 2015.

I took this picture with my Smartphone camera instead of my flip-open cellphone camera. That speck of light above the Balfour in the clear sky is the planet Venus. Not visible in this image were distant brilliant specks of floating light just above the horizon that I suspect were passenger jets on ascent from Dulles Airport about 30 miles west of Washington. (Jets on the National Airport upriver takeoff and downriver approach are easily visible from my apartment.)


I'm home on this Friday evening.

I'm doing two loads of laundry (I was at the lead of a big rush into the laundry room) and having a light dinner. I'm supposed to meet Damon G. later as his wife and young son are out of town for the weekend (probably down in Columbia, S.C., where her parent's live).

The only time I get to see straight, married male friends is when the wife and children are away. Of course, in the case of the crowd around Wall-P, not to mention Wall-P itself, they are thankfully out of my life forever.

A brilliant red Coca-Cola truck making a delivery into the dilapidating, fortress-like Frank Reeves Center, Washington, D.C., 1:29PM February 13, 2015.

Plans to raze this structure in a land swap down by Buzzard Point were nixed because of disagreements over how to redevelop the site, although the new soccer stadium is supposed to built. Mayor Bowser, reflecting the "Old School" D.C. Marion Barry-type kleptocracy, probably wants to keep it in its current role as a nighttime de facto outside homeless shelter under some mega-rich developer lines the appropriate pockets.


I am still trying to recover from a post-work solo happy hour yesterday evening that morphed into the equivalent of a more drunken weekend night out, especially once I left No. 9 and met up with Jamie. We met at Fox & Hound but went to a place that might have once been the Pop Stop but is now a restaurant / bar called, confusingly, Duke's Grocery. (It has a London East End theme.)

Until last night, I didn't even know there was such a place in D.C. The only "Duke's" I knew as a bar was the Martin's watering hole on Frasier. In other words, a fictitious sitcom one.

It is on 17th Street between Church and P Streets NW, and thus it is very close to JRs, one of the two foci of the 17th Street D.C. Gay Mafia, and thus I tend to skip the block and miss what's new and what's the same and eternal there. Prior to this, the place was occupied by Café Green and in some unspecified number of incarnations earlier, it was the Pop Stop (or Popstop) back in the early 1990s when I first came to D.C.

Dazzling winter sunlight in the alley behind my apartment building leading out to the 1500 block of U Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:26PM February 13, 2015.


JR's and its gay mafia are, of course, eternal. Speaking of which, I've not seen one of the two principle members is many months and the other only briefly at No. 9. He flew out of there and back to 17th Street. This must be understood in the context of the fact that neither one of them can stand not being the Center of the Observable Universe, so they tend to stay in places where that can be actualized.

Of course, one is ALWAYS necessarily at the center of one's observable Universe, no matter the Hubble volume in question.

As for last night, I had two (or three) drinks at Duke's, which put me over the top and it really tore up my day today, so tonight I need to take it easy. My plan is to go to the gym tomorrow as I usually do on Saturday afternoons.

My worst "going out" nights involve meeting up with friends -- typically, Gary or Jamie -- on workweek nights. I just can't do that anymore. The after effects, not to mention the money spent, are unsustainable. It's totally my fault and no one else's fault.

A Yuengling beer truck and passing cars in the 1300 block of U Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:31PM Feb. 13, 2015.


Turning to the weather ...

It is a cold, clear, almost calm night around the D.C. area with temps already around 25F and falling. The high at KDCA was only 30F today and neither KBWI nor KIAD got out of the 20s (both reached 27F).

A powerful Arctic front -- still well over 1,000 miles away across the upper Midwest / Northern Great Plains -- is progged to blast through the Baltimore / Washington corridor tomorrow with snow showers and even snow squalls though only minor accumulations, if any.

A portion of the NWS high resolution surface weather map at 21Z (4PM EST) February 13, 2015 showing the mid-Atlantic, New England, Ohio River Valley, Great Lakes, and Upper Midwest / Northern Great Plains. Click on map for better version.


Winds could reach 50MPH late tomorrow into Sunday. Highs on Sunday are only forecasted to be around 17F even in D.C. and lows Monday morning around 5F inside the Beltway. Wind chills will be bitterly cold -- as much as -10F to -20F.

There is a high wind watch in effect and an actual storm warning on the waters of the middle and upper Chesapeake Bay and tidal Potomac.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS county warning area website map of weather advisories as of 7:27PM Feb. 13, 2015.


The clipper system associated with the Arctic front is going to bomb out into a major nor'easter for New England and bring possibly another foot of snow to Boston itself. The seasonal total at Logan Airport (KBOS) is 79.5 inches and it is quite possible this winter could surpass the 1995-1996 winter for all-time snowiest, especially if there is another system next Wednesday.

Blizzard warnings are in effect across eastern Massachusetts. There are even hurricane force wind warnings in effect on the open Atlantic Ocean and storm warnings closer in including Massachusetts Bay.

As for here, snow is in the forecast for Tuesday into Wednesday but it is very iffy, and despite all the cold weather coming in the next two weeks, there really aren't any meaningful snow possibilities on the horizon. Just cold air.

The Boston / Taunton (BOX) NWS county warning area website map of weather advisories in effect as of 7:26PM Feb. 13, 2015.


Paul Krugman on Money and GOP Crazy ...

Before I conclude, I would like to post a link and an excerpt from Paul Krugman's Friday New York Times op-ed (link embedded): Money Makes Crazy:

"Modern money -- consisting of pieces of paper or their digital equivalent that are issued by the Fed, not created by the heroic efforts of entrepreneurs -- is an affront to that worldview. Mr. Ryan is on record declaring that his views on monetary policy come from a speech given by one of Ayn Rand's fictional characters. And what the speaker declares is that money is 'the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. ... Paper is a check drawn by legal looters.'

"Once you understand that this is how many conservatives really think, it all falls into place. Of course they predict disaster from monetary expansion, no matter the circumstances. Of course they are undaunted in their views no matter how wrong their predictions have been in the past. Of course they are quick to accuse the Fed of vile motives. From their point of view, monetary policy isn't really a technical issue, a question of what works; it's a matter of theology: Printing money is evil."

As ever, I strongly recommend reading his twice-weekly op-ed columns and his frequently updated blog.

OK, that's all for now. I intend to update the blog tomorrow with a jukebox Saturday night entry.


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