Monday, September 28, 2015

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

--Regulus

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