Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Storm Before the Storm? Deluge Drops 1 to 6 Inches of Rain Across Region, Ending Drought; Attention Turns to Tropical Storm Joaquin (Not Quite Ready to Hit Weather Panic Button Yet)

An umbrella-carrying, texting young person in a deluge on 14th Street NW near Logan Circle, Washington, D.C., in an undated photo, although likely from earlier this summer.

This image is featured as the thumbnail to this CWG entry. I think it was originally in the entry as a larger photo but it has since vanished -- replaced by a looped radar image. Alternatively, it was just the thumbnail image to it from the beginning.

I'm posting it because it captures the weather feel of earlier tonight.


Baltimore / Washington area local radar image loop from 752PM EDT to 1005PM EDT Sept. 29, 2015.

I think this radar is the one located at Freeway Airport in Bowie, Md., not the Sterling LWX NWS radar.


OK, I am managing to sneak in yet another blog entry despite my severely limited time constraint owing to the DOE workshop that I attended today (Tuesday) and need to attend again tomorrow (Wednesday) with an 815AM-ish arrival time (meaning I have to get up at 6AM because of how long it takes me to function in the morning).

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in enhanced base mode reflectivity, 10:01PM EDT Sept. 29, 2015.


This entry contains a discussion of t he weather and what is suddenly a wet and potentially very stormy pattern with three events -- one current and two possible over the weekend.

First, tonight's D.C. area deluge that has dropped 1 to 6+ inches of rain across the region -- effectively ending the prolonged dry spell / developing drought -- thanks to a tropical moisture feed along a slowly sagging cold frontal boundary with two upper level lows -- one riding the southern stream and other over the Great Lakes -- and multiple mesoscale surface lows across the mid-Atlantic.

NWS high-res surface weather map analysis for a portion of the eastern U.S. valid 0Z Sept. 30, 2015.


It was a tropical-type rain with warm, humid conditions. (That is forecasted to change by later in the week to much cooler.)

Rainfall totals have reached 3 to 6+ inches across the Blue Ridge and Potomac Highlands. In the Baltimore/Washington corridor, totals are in the 1 to 3 inch range. Through 11PM, KDCA itself has had 1.65" while KIAD has had 1.57". KBWI had picked up a hefty 2.56" (bringing its yearly total to within striking distance of 40" and not far from its current 30-year annual average (41.88"). KDMH picked up 1.92".

The control tower and terminal B of Reagan Washington National Airport as seen from the Metrorail earlier this rainy evening, 5:33PM Sept. 29, 2015.

I was heading back into D.C.


The second weather feature is tied strongly with the third one: A deepening negatively tilted trough with coastal low -- or multiple low pressures -- along the Eastern Seaboard and Tropical Storm Joaquin, possibly intensifying into a hurricane with a POSSIBLE (though not probable) weekend mid-Atlantic landfall.

12Z 29Sept2015 GFS showing total precipitation through hour 144 / valid 12Z Oct. 5, 2015 for the northeastern U.S.

This is from the Tropical Tidbits Numerical Model Prediction page with the much better graphics.


The same 12Z 29Sept 2015 GFS run showing total precipitation through hour 144 for the entire U.S. domain as seen on the NCEP model guidance page.


18Z 29Sept2015 GFS showing total precipitation through hour 138 / valid 12Z Oct. 5, 2015 for the northeastern U.S.


This is potentially a major story. Of note, the 12Z and 18Z operational GFS take an outright category 1 hurricane into the D.C. area -- the 18Z featuring a 976-mb tropical cyclone directly over the lower-to-middle Chesapeake Bay by Sunday morning:

18Z GFS 29Sept2015 showing mean sea level pressure (MSLP) (in mb) and 10-m winds (in knots) valid at 12Z (8AM EDT) Oct. 4, 2015 for the northeastern U.S.


We don't need that.


The HWRF and U.K. Met Office models -- including the 12Z and 18Z HWRF -- do the same thing but other models including the 12Z ECWMF do not (due to differences in the greater strength of a ridge to the north of the storm). The just-updated 11PM EDT official NHC track is still well offshore, but the track has been shifted to the west.

The 0Z 30Sept2015 GFS is not yet out -- and that could easily shift the storm again west or east given how uncertain is the synoptic pattern forecast.

Updated 12:20AM 9/30/2015: The 0Z 30Sept2015 GFS is out and it shows more or less the same thing:

0Z GFS 30Sept2015 showing mean sea level pressure (MSLP) (in mb) and 10-m winds (in knots) valid at 12Z (8AM EDT) Oct. 4, 2015 for the northeastern U.S.

This brings a 975-mb low directly over the Norfolk - Newport News area and has a screaming 55-MPH sustained wind (and gusty) from the east with a deluge of rain for the immediate D.C. area.

Even though this is practically a Hurricane Sandy track for the D.C. area (rather than New York City and the Jersey shore), I'm still going to wait a day or two before hitting the weather panic button. Hour 108 is 4-1/2 days away.


NWS 5-day track for Tropical Storm Joaquin through 8PM EDT Oct. 4, 2015, Advisory No. 9 at 11PM Sept. 29, 2015.


The Sterling LWX discussion from earlier this afternoon is worth quoting:



Rainy evening outside my apartment in the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave. NW Washington, D.C., 6:45PM EDT Sept. 29, 2015.


At this point, a tremendous amount of rainfall is forecasted over the next 7 days:

NWS - WPC 7-day QPF valid 0Z 9/30/2015 - 0Z 10/7/2015.

That's about as high as I've ever seen it for us (note the legend in inches on the left) -- and over such a large part of the country.


Here is a CWG entry from earlier today about this (link embedded): Tropical Storm Joaquin could cause major East Coast rainfall this weekend.

I'll end with a text Gary sent me a short while ago: "The outcomes for this event I think range from bad (windy, very heavy rain) to awful (direct strike down on the northern neck [of Virginia]."

OK, that's really all I can write right now on the weather situation.

As the briefest of updates ... I got to King Street Metro by 810AM this morning (!) and made it to the adjacent Hilton for day 1 of the DOE AMO "Process Intensification" workshop where I was exposed to a vast new topic that I cannot possibly begin to go into now, even as I assisted in one of the breakout sessions.

The rain started by the time I left around 515PM. I got home and soon went to the gym (second night in a row).

I need to repeat all of this tomorrow, but I won't be going to the gym tomorrow night but probably stop at No. 9. However, I might have a company press release to finalize tomorrow night as well. (Remember I do both client and company work.)

I'm leaving the computer home tomorrow. If the weather situation warrants, I will post an update tomorrow night.


Monday, September 28, 2015

A Sneak Entry with Some Lovely Pictures of a Fishermen's Shanty Slum On Pedro Bank Middle Cay, a.k.a., GOP Libertarian Paradise Found

Aerial view of a fishermen's camp -- a shanty slum -- on Jamaica's Middle Cay located on the Pedro Bank.

What?? You haven't heard of Pedro Bank?

No worries.

From the Wikipedia article, a.k.a. The Keeper of All Knowledge: Pedro Bank is a large sand and coral bank that rises about 80km south of Jamaica and as includes four cays, rocks, and reefs. They all belong to Jamaica. Of the four cays, Middle Cay has a fishermen's camp consisting of a small shanty slum on it. The population varies seasonally, but this Jamaica Observer article from 2012 puts occasionally at about 400.

As that article also describes, there's no running water, only capture rainwater, no sanitation or functioning toilets, garbage everywhere, and the public health disaster you'd expect from such abject poverty. In other words, it's a GOP paradise.

Left: Livin' the planned GOP American Dream circa 2025 for anyone foolish enough to be born poor.


Another aerial view of the fishermen's shantytown slum on the Pedro Bank Middle Cay that belongs to Jamaica.


I have an hour in which I can post a blog entry. As long as I'm in bed by 1115PM, I should be OK. I have to be up by 6AM tomorrow to get to the first of the two-day workshop in Alexandria (thank God it's right by the King Street Metro).

I left work a bit early and got in the bulk of my three-part gym workout. I'm home now on this warm, humid night in my wee, lamp-lit, air-conditioned apartment (at the west end of the U Street Corridor), having eaten dinner, and trying to post a quick entry.

In order to make that possible, I am already removing all the commentary that had accompanied this and instead just post the links.

The GOP libertarian metropolis of no government, no nothing in the form of the shanty slum on Pedro Bank's Middle Cay, Jamaica.


Here is an excellent Jonathan Chait article (link embedded): Why Are Republicans the Only Climate-Science-Denying Party in the World?

Here is a single excerpt (the last paragraph):

The "moderate" [Republican presidential] candidates are still, by international standards, rabid extremists. It is the nature of long-standing arrangements to dull our sense of the peculiar, to make the bizarre seem ordinary. From a global standpoint, the entire Republican Party has lost its collective mind.

A few points ...

First of all, I disagree with the premise todays' GOP is conservative: It's rightwing Southernized radical. Big difference. Secondly, my own view is that America's toxic mix of fundamentalism, Shining-City-on-the-Hill notions of exceptionalism, and libertarianism are at play here. Third, it's no surprise that the deepest red of Republican insanity is from the former Confederacy.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Andrew Jackson in some sense is still President of part of this country.

Republican Paradise Found: A dump amid the tiny shantytown squalor on Jamaica's Middle Cay on the Pedro Bank.


And since we are talking about GOP crazy, here is Paul Krugman's excellent Monday New York Times op-ed piece spurred by Speaker John Boehner's announcement that he is retiring at the end of October (link embedded): The Blackmail Caucus, a.k.a. the Republican Party.

As ever, I also recommend reading Krugman's regularly updated blog.

OK, enough of that.

Oh, yes, I should note the big news of the day: Scientists studying images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have concluded that the dark streaks along the slopes of certain mountains, craters, and canyons are in fact created by flowing water at certain times (in the present) -- albeit briny water mixed with salts.

An artificially colorized image of unspecified Martian terrain* showing the dark streaks that are believed to be evidence of intermittently flowing briny water when the Martian atmospheric conditions are favorable.

*I don't have enough time right now to look up the actual article in Nature Geoscience to try to figure out what is this portion of mountainous Martian terrain.

As some have pointed out, saying that evidence has been found of water on Mars isn't exactly new...

Back here on Earth ...

As for the weather here in D.C., it's too goddamn warm, humid, and rain-free. Here is a good CWG entry about all the rain that the D.C. area missed this past week.

This Monday started out a pretend gray-gloomy, cool morning but with a dissipating overcast that gave way to late afternoon / early evening sunshine, dew points around 68F, and a frickin' high of 83F at KDCA (+8F above normal), so it just sucked.

As has been so common of late, rain is still in the forecast but not materializing, although the PoP chances are now 80 for Wednesday and the forecast has it actually cool and damp by the end of the week (high of 66F on Thursday and 63F on Friday and lows around 56F here in the District).

NWS surface weather map forecast for the Lower 48 valid at hour 48 / 12Z Sept. 30, 2015.


However, there is still a lot of uncertainty as to whether the forecasted midweek cold frontal passage will include a subsequent coastal low along it -- those things usually crap out, especially in this shitty weather second half of the year.

Here was the earlier LWX area forecast discussion:


Oh, and the discussion (by WOODY!) mentions a tropical storm that could be relatively near the Eastern Seaboard by the weekend. Here is a relevant CWG entry (link embedded): Atlantic depression could become Tropical Storm Joaquin and threaten Mid-Atlantic and/or Northeast by the weekend.

NWS-NHC 5-day forecast track for Tropical Depression 11 through 2PM EDT Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 as given in advisory #4 issued 5PM 9/28/2015.


I'm not even going to bother thinking about this right now. Besides, I assume the front would just sweep it far out into the Atlantic. Of course, there's always the chance that everything will conspire to screw us out of any much-needed rainfall.

OK, that's all for now.

I'm going to try to go to the gym again tomorrow night and see if there is any time to post an entry. However, if not, then my next update would not be until either late Wednesday or even late Thursday (assuming I go out after work on Wednesday and don't have time to post an update).


Totally Eclipsed: The Super Disjointed Entry at the End of a Crummy Weekend and Ahead of a Difficult Work Week (with Limited Blogging)

A picture of tonight's "Super Blood Moon" lunar eclipse as seen over the spire of the Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church, Frederick, Md., around 9PM, September 27, 201 in an image taken by Frederick News-Post journalist Graham Cullen and posted here on his Twitter page.

More on tonight's lunar eclipse below.


This ended up a shitty weekend, although Sunday was OK.

Actually, Saturday night was mostly fine until, predictably, the very end. Initially, I went to Floriana where I had a few drinks and watched the last third or so of the awesomely wonderful movie Auntie Mame (the perfect Rosalind Russell version, not the Lucille Ball Mame version). Dito shows this movie occasionally, and for me, it never, ever gets old.

Thereafter -- and long story short -- I ended up at Duplex Diner rather than going, as I had planned, to No. 9, and thence to Larry's Lounge, where things soured. Without going into why, Dave J. who was there, got mad at me. For my part, I didn't like what he texted me earlier today, and I think at this point, we might need to take an extended break from each other. Whatever I did wrong, I don't like being talked to that way.

I'm also depressed on the thought that it is increasingly unlikely that Hillary Clinton is going to be able to win. The level of contrived media insanity over the bullshit "missing emails" is simply too high and it's bringing back all the political media-and-GOP-fueled Clinton Wars garbage of the 1990s, except she's not her husband, by which I mean she lacks his almost superhuman political dexterity for dispatching his enemies.

This means wall-to-wall rightwing radical Republican rule for at least 2 years and probably more like 4 to 6 with incalculable damage as the country reverts to feudalism and oligarchy.

Lunch at John Strongbow's Restaurant and Tavern, Alexandria, Va., 3:55PM September 26, 2015.

I had lunch here and, of note, it WASN'T mobbed, noisy, filled with blaring music, or overwhelmed with a frickin' football game. It was actually quite nice and subdued -- with the only music being of folks practicing on their Medieval musical instruments.


This Sunday was a disjointed sort of day. I ended up taking the Metro to King Street, taking one of the free trolleys half the way to the waterfront (rather than walking the 1.3 miles as I normally do), having lunch at John Strongbow's Tavern, and walking to National Airport, where I caught the Metro back into D.C.

Unrelated to my entry but worthwhile to post: Pope Francis in Philadelphia waves to the crowds.

Read this article on his awesomely successful visit to the United States: Pope Departs, After Showing a Deft Touch.

Pope Francis clasps hands with a prisoner in the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, Pa., on his visit there , September 27, 2015.

Francis is awesome. Here is a link to a local Philadelphia TV station story with pictures from his visit.


The walk up the Mt. Vernon bike trail on this humid, mostly cloudy, warmish day was not enjoyable at all for a variety of reasons including my own bad mood and all the ass-hat bikers. (To be clear, I had considered taking out my bike but the tires need air and I lost the damn Velcro band to wrap around the bottom of my right pants leg to keep the material from getting ripped in the bike gears.)

The Potomac River at Founders Park, Old Town Alexandria, Va., 4:52PM September 27, 2015.


The weather was variably / mostly cloudy, humid, mild, and breezy (from the northeast) all day but with no rain. The high reached 75F at KDCA and KBWI; 72F at KIAD; and 73F at KDMH.

Oh, yes, all this weather hullabaloo -- including on my part -- notwithstanding, in the end, virtually zero rain fell in the D.C. / Baltimore region this weekend except for a few drops last night.

For the past three days, KDCA and KBWI have both had a trace; KIAD has had 0.04"; and KDMH has had zero.

In summary, the the drought continues -- except, yet again, there are multiple chances of rainfall in the forecast this week.

NWS text weather forecast for Washington, D.C., for the period Sept. 28 - Oct. 3, 2015.


This evening actually ended up quite pleasant. Fred B. invited me over to his place in the Northumberland -- the ornate co-op building featured in three different Hollywood movies that exists cheek-by-jowl to my Hampton Courts building -- where he lives with his partner Doug. We had a few drinks (Doug is good at making drinks -- I even had a Manhattan)

Later, we went onto the building roof to watch tonight's "Super Blood Moon" lunar eclipse that happened earlier tonight.

Another picture of tonight's lunar eclipse as seen in Frederick, Md., taken by journalist Graham Cullen and posted here on his twitter page.


The Moon is at perigee (i.e., a "Super Moon") and there is a total eclipse -- hence the "blood" part because of the hue of the Moon at totality due to indirect sunlight refracted through / around Earth's atmosphere.

These two events haven't coincided since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033.

There was / is a broken stratocumulus overcast (wanly illuminated a faintly iridescent orange by the lights of the city) that occasionally parted to reveal the ongoing eclipse and I saw the Earth's umbral shadow sweep over about half the face of the Moon, but then it clouded up more, blocking much of a few of the Moon in eclipse totality with the weird, deep coppery reddish glow.

Actually, to me the Moon looked quite dark to me -- the coppery red was not that pronounced.

Here is an excellent short video put together by NASA Goddard and put on YouTube about tonight's eclipse:

This was uploaded about a month ago. It puts tonight's lunar eclipse in context of other "Super Moon" lunar eclipses.


Speaking of the Northumberland, it turns out that the unit that Harrison Ford's character enters in the movie Clear and Present Danger is the one directly next to Fred and Doug's place, and he walks right past their door. (I've not seen the movie.)

The view from the roof of the Northumberland of D.C. at night is very lovely. It was also weird seeing the roof of my building (I've never been on it in the 10-1/2 years I've lived in the Hampton Courts). I also had an interesting vantage point of watching the jets on an upriver approach into National Airport seeming to disappear behind the Washington Monument.

This picture was apparently taken earlier tonight during the total lunar eclipse with the Moon appearing just above the top of the Washington Monument, Washington, D.C., September 27, 2015. Photo by J. David Ake.

If it was taken tonight -- I got it from this Yahoo News article -- then it wasn't clear for that long, as I personally saw from here in D.C.


The long corridor at Reagan Washington National Airport between the A and the B and C terminals, 6:15PM September 27, 2015.

This is sort of a no-man's land between the old terminal and the much larger and newer B terminal. There is a USO Lounge facility and even an interfaith chapel -- in case a soldier returning from World War II anyone would like to stop and pray.


One particularly large jet created a surreal effect of making the base of the Monument (or at least as far down as I could see before intervening buildings blocked the view) appear flooded in dazzling white light).

There were about 8 people on the roof of the Northumberland including a lady who is a senior building board member.

A wedding party takes photos along the Mt. Vernon bike trail, Alexandria, Va., 5:03PM September 27, 2015.


OK, I'm going to wrap up this entry. Let me say that this is going to be a difficult week for blogging, at least for the first few days, as I have a workshop in Alexandria I must attend for work on Tuesday and Wednesday -- as a note-taker and on a topic I know little about -- that starts at 830AM. This means no late night blogging. This means that my next blog entry literally might not be until late Wednesday or early Thursday, though I'll try to post something before that.

As it is, I'm so far behind on planned entries that I'm probably never going to catch up.

Pope Francis greets the prisoners at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, September 27, 2015.

Again, this Pope is a very, very good man. We are very lucky to have him at Pope after all that has happened.


OK, that's all for now. I'm going to go to bed. Again, blogging will be quite limited through mid-week.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Jukebox Saturday Night Entry for Sept. 26th, 2015: Tina, The Trammps, and Genesis Edition -OR- What Does Love Got To Do With It??

"What's Love Got to Do with It" by the great Tina Turner from her Private Dancer album (1984)

I've mentioned this before: Tina Turner and I have the same birthday -- Nov. 26th -- but she is precisely 30 years older than me.

The opening of the great music video to the song features the lower Manhattan skyline of 1984 and so the Twin Towers are quite prominent.

Tina! That's quite a hair do.

Relevant GG quote:
Blanche: "I am a natural blonde."
Dorothy: "Yep. You and Tina Turner."

Ha ha


And, well, just because it's kinda wonderful in a 1970s time capsule way ...

"Disco Inferno" from the album of same name by The Trammps (1976)

I mean, it is Saturday night upbeat.


And let's end with something really energetic ...

"Invisible Touch" from the album of same name by Genesis (1986)

It's a nice song although there really is no "video" to it -- just Phil Collins and the group fooling around a soundstage set.

Updated Jan. 30, 2016: I had to replace the YouTube video because the previous one had been taken down.

OK, that's all for now. As I mentioned, I might not post another update until Monday night, and blogging might be limited until Wednesday night.


Saturday Night Weather Update; The Blocking High, Coastal Trough, and Upper Level Low Battle for Meteorological Supremacy

**This entry was posted Sept. 26, 2015.**

A rainy fall day on the grounds of Colgate University, Hamilton, N.Y., Sept. 2013. Image source here.

This image isn't directly related to this entry -- I just like it. Of note, the source site itself looks kind of interesting: Dick Carr's Big Bands, Ballads, & Blues. I'll have to explore it a bit.


Weather Update ...

We really are in a somewhat peculiar weather pattern with a persistent blocking high over Maine ridging down the coast into the mid-Atlantic; a weak low pressure / inverted trough over the North Carolina Outer Banks, and some upper level energy over the Ohio River valley. There is sort of a battle between the high and the surface and upper low -- to be clear, the high will always win out and instead it just has to move away.

A lot of showery precipitation has broken out across Virginia.

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in enhanced composite mode, 7:18PM EDT September 26, 2015.

Ordinarily, this would be indicative of heavy rainfall imminent, but not in the current pattern.


Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in enhanced base mode reflectivity, 7:24PM EDT September 26, 2015.


Of note, one of the commenters in this CWG entry -- he is a regular one -- linked to a site called "Tropical Tidbits," specifically, to the Numerical Model Prediction section that is buried inside the site here.

It includes as much model information as you could want and with excellent color graphics (much superior to that given on the actual NCEP Model Guidance page).

I've already bookmarked this page for future use.

You have to click on "Global" for the GFS and (low-res) ECMWF (the high-res is, of course, not available to the public) or "Mesoscale" for the various NAM (4km, 12km, and 32km resolution). You can also pick another region -- by focusing on the Northeast and total precipitation, you get the following two images:

GFS 18Z Sept. 26, 2015 showing total precipitation for the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. valid at hour 132 / 6Z Oct. 2, 2015.


NAM-12km 18Z Sept. 26, 2015 showing total precipitation for the northeastern quadrant of the U.S. valid at hour 84 / 6Z Sept. 30, 2015.

Obviously, there are big discrepancies even with the different time scales.


The Sterling discussion at 311PM seems to downplay everything yet there is a chance of precipitation in the forecast for each of the next five days. There is also a coastal flood warning in effect along the Chesapeake and here in D.C. for the tidal Potomac owing to elevated tides and a northeasterly flow.

High-resolution surface weather map for the northeastern U.S. and adjacent regions, 21Z (5PM EDT) Sept. 26, 2015.


Of note, the actual surface weather map (above) shows not much of anything -- it's one of those things where you just have to know how to read it and, of course, have all the other upper level, model, and radar data.

Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) advisories as of 8:28PM EDT September 26, 2015.


The variably cloudy sky this afternoon and evening has featured an interesting and sometimes dramatic-looking, shifting array of clouds rolling in from the east. By sunset, as I was walking back from the gym, there was a dark looking cloud bank off to the south (not surprising, in retrospect, given the radar image).

I had assumed we weren't getting anything. However, at this point, it might rain a lot, a little, or virtually not at all. It's a very low confidence forecast.

I'm home now after a good gym workout. I'm also cooking dinner. I'm going to post a jukebox Saturday night entry shortly. I plan to go out later. I might stop at Floriana and go back to No. 9.

I've posted this scanned old photo before but I'd like to post it again: It was taken on a rainy autumn day in northern New Jersey (perhaps Montclair) in or around 1972.

I think my mom and dad were together that day and one of them took the photo. Not sure why they were driving up there since we were in Monmouth County in and around Long Branch.


For tomorrow, I need to spend a few hours editing a proposal for work, so I might not update the blog until Monday. Also, I have to attend as a note-taker a two-day DOE workshop in Alexandria -- getting there at 830AM, which will be a pain in the butt. This will certainly affect (preclude) any late night blogging on Monday and Tuesday.

Oh, yes, it rained briefly while I was writing this entry.


POPE FRANCIS CRUISES THE CREW CLUB! (Well, In a Manner of Speaking ...); A Rainless Saturday Afternoon Update

**This entry was posted Sept. 26, 2015.**

A frame-grab image of a video of Pope Francis' motorcade going north on 14th Street on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015.

The Pope's black Fiat is visible in this image, but, alas, you can only get a vague glimpse of him in the car. The real story for those of us who live in gay D.C. is that he is passing the Crew Club (it's the ugly-looking building with the metal grate on the second floor. (The bottom floor now houses the Thai restaurant Teakwood.)

The video was shot by Tommy, the owner of Baan Thai, outside his restaurant. I went there last night with Andrea and Imara and he showed me the video and I got him to send me this above image.

Pumpkins at the 17th Street (or Corcoran Street) Safeway, Washington, D.C., 1:52PM September 26, 2015.


The "Pope Passes the Crew Club" image calls to mind another weird juxtaposition of the Papacy and gay Washington, D.C.:

It was during the last Papal visit to D.C. in mid-April 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI held a mass at Nationals Park stadium. The stadium, of course, occupies what had been the "unit block" of O Street SW where had been located all those gay go-go bars and what not including Secrets, Ziegfields, and that "Glory Hole" theatre and bathhouse place (it's actual name was, ridiculously, Men's Glorious Health and Entertainment).

The much-missed La Cage Aux Follies (where Brian and I went so often in period 1993 - 1005) was also there although it was located just outside the actual stadium footprint.

So Benedict's Papal mass was held on the site of the legendary raunchiest gay spots that ever existed in D.C.

This is another frame grab image of a video of Pope Francis passing through the Logan Circle area on Sept. 23, 2015. The Pope is much more clearly visible in this image.

This video was taken in the 1400 block of P Street NW by No. 9 bartender Aaron (he who sent me this amazing picture from New Zealand).

I should point out that I could have avoided my entire 5-hour White House Papal & Presidential Great Disappointment of not seeing Pope Francis and simply stayed in my neighborhood and watched him ride by in his black Fiat. (Francis basically did a little tour of the Logan Circle and U Street Corridor en route to the Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception for a late afternoon mass.)

Benedict was awful. This Pope is awesome. The best thing Benedict did was to resign the Papacy. That forever saved his own historical reputation -- from deplorable to just lousy.

We love you, Pope Francis: The Pontiff is greeting as he arrived this morning today in Philadelphia.


OK, I'm going to wrap up this entry so I can get ready and go to the gym. I will try to post another entry this evening discussing a little bit more about wonderful Pope Francis's visit to D.C., New York, and (today) Philadelphia. I also intend to post a jukebox Saturday night entry.

My uncharacteristically full refrigerator late Thursday night. I had gone grocery shopping earlier in the day at the 17th Street Safeway and then took up a bottle of wine and some beer left over from the wine-beer-and-pizza social we had in the building that night.


Last night, as mentioned, I went to Baan Thai to meet Andrea and Imara. We had some drinks and dinner. Imara actually paid my tab, which was very kind of him -- all the more so that this weekend is his birthday. (Happy Birthday, Imara!)

Later, I went to No. 9, where I got kinda drunk amid a throng of gay men and sent out a bajillion text messages to people I know (from my always-hated-on flip-open cell phone). I walked uneventfully, albeit slowly, home and went to bed.

Various types of pumpkins and/or gourds for sale outside the Whole Foods on P Street NW, Washington, D.C., 1:24AM September 26, 2015.

I had just left No. 9, crossed the street, and took this picture, except I don't actually recall taking this image.


Just a word on the weather: It is totally dry today with just variably cloudy skies and a northeasterly breeze. The rain chances are steadily diminishing for the weekend. It just can't frickin' rain lately. The whole pattern is all bollixed up anyway with a relentless blocking high over the Northeast. It might rain tomorrow but I call bullshit already.

OK, that's all for now.