Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Some Springtime Notes on a Stormy Night -OR- "Thunder Only Happens When It's Raining..."*

*With sincere apologies to Fleetwood Mac.

Apartment view during a drenching evening thunderstorm overlooking the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:56PM May 2, 2016.


Today (Monday) turned out to be a good day despite getting off on an uncertain footing -- and following an equally uncertain Sunday (although I actually had a nice time yesterday, as well).

I'm back home after an unusual Monday night jaunt at Floriana, where I went following an early (i.e., late afternoon / early evening rather than late evening / nighttime), multi-part gym workout -- which I did, in turn, because I had to telework again this Monday because the office internet / phone / email was down. (That has since been fixed, or so we've been told.)

View from my apartment during a drenching thunderstorm overlooking the intersection of 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 7:56PM May 2, 2016.


Tonight was a very pleasant night at Floriana -- and while there, I got to watch a re-airing of President Obama's HILLARIOUS White House Correspondents' Dinner speech. The full video is embedded below -- and embedded within it is the skit with him and former House Speaker John Boehner.

I'm starting to miss Obama already as President ...


I'm not even going to get into the fisticuffs that erupted between the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's little hench-stooge, Jesse Watters at the same White House Correspondents Dinner, or rather, at some associated event. However, here is the take on it by Amanda Terkel, Grim's HuffPo colleague and, apparently, the reason for the altercation.

Bar view, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Washington, D.C., 5:57PM May 1, 2016.

Those were some wilted Kwanzan cherry blossoms in the glass container there.


Yesterday (Sunday), I didn't leave the apartment until too late -- yes, partly because I spent too long blogging -- so I didn't do an extended trek anywhere. Instead, I went to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse on Connecticut Ave. and enjoyed the $9 bar happy hour of food and drink (well, mixed drinks are $13). I had two appetizers and two drinks.

Thereafter, I went to Larry's Lounge (where I rarely go anymore*) and ended up in a lengthy conversation with Mark D. and two of his friends before going to the Safeway to do a bit of nighttime shopping and then returning home and going to bed.

*The Chipmunk - Gorilla was there when I first walked by yammering away, doing something that maximizes its own pleasure at anybody else's expense, so I didn't stop in.

The Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in standard base mode reflectivity looped from 7:36PM to 8:09PM May 2, 2016.


As for the weather, there were drenching thunderstorms across the Baltimore/Washington area tonight including here in the District on a warm, gusty, wet, fast-moving weather night (see above LWX NWS radar loop from earlier this evening).

Sterling (LWX) county warning area (CWA) NWS advisories as of 7:10PM May 2, 2016.

The bright red triangular area just southeast of D.C. was as tornado warning.


There were powerful t-storms around 930PM tonight in the northern reaches of the District (north of Dupont Circle) and into suburban Maryland including hail. Earlier at dusk, there was also a tornado warning earlier for the Charles County local tornado-magnet spots -- Waldorf and La Plata.

The t-storms tonight dropped 1.13" at KDCA in the context of a three-day total of 1.71" -- which goes a way toward making up the small-to-moderate precipitation deficit this climatological spring and the bulk of the year-to-date deficit (-2.96"/3.69" and -1.92"/10.16", respectively, as of May 1st).

The other regional numbers were as follows:

KBWI: 0.50" tonight and a three-day total of 1.03
KDCA: 1.37" tonight and a three-day total of 1.98"
KDMH: 0.15" tonight and a three-day total of 0.39"

All these numbers are taken from the 3-day hourly observations list from the NWS website.

The weather forecast has quite a few chances of rain showers for the next five days, which is fine with me.

I say that because it will be hot, humid, and shitty soon enough here -- with extended dry spells -- lasting until late September.

The NWS icon forecast for 2 miles NNW Washington, D.C., May 2 - 6, 2016.


By the way, here is an incredible picture of a cloud-to-ground (river) lightning bolt striking the Monongahela River by downtown Pittsburgh taken at 430AM Sunday, May 2nd, during a thunderstorm

Picture by Dave DiCello and reposted in this CWG entry.


I had planned a longer entry for tonight, but that's not in the cards now, as I want to go to bed. I will note a few things ...

At issue is whether one of the six men in the iconic -- indeed, foundational -- late World War II photo of the raising of the SECOND American flag on Iwo Jima's Mount Suribachi (see above) is in fact the man so identified. Specifically, the issue involves the lone Navy corpsman (combat medic), John Bradley.

His son, author James Bradley, is not happy.

1900 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 4:55PM May 1, 2016.


I had a few more things I wanted to post but I'm so tired now and need to go to bed. I'm probably not updating the blog tomorrow. Tomorrow is a after work non-gym night and I'm meeting Andrea and then probably going to Trade and Floriana. The Indiana Republican and Democratic primaries are tomorrow night.

Fred Hiatt's WaHoPo editorial board continues to soil its dinner party dainties that Trump is probably going to be the nominee. Good.

In this case, Uncle Fred and Auntie Ruth are raising a fuss about the Republican Party's "moral and ideological bankruptcy" because of Trump -- while Cruz is just A-OK to it.

Talk about a morally blinkered, overclass-privileged world view.

Flowers -- chrysanthemums, I believe -- growing in the tiny yard of 1903 S Street NW, Washington, D.C., 6:24PM May 1, 2016.


At this point, I should have a whole section of the entry dedicated to Andrew Sullivan's hysterical piece on Donald Trump -- parts of which I really liked, but which, on balance, I found annoying. (Yes, Sullivan is back, now writing for the Daily Intelligencer site where Jonathan Chait writes regularly.)

This isn't so much what Sullivan wrote -- although it sounds little different than what Fred Hiatt or Cokie Roberts are opining on any given day -- but rather it's more given Sullivan's history as a fanatical armchair Bush Iraq War cheerleader (until he turned on the war) -- to the point of calling anyone (including Paul Krugman) who disagreed a "Fifth Columnist" (i.e., a traitor).

He has never really acknowledged that -- so why buy his over-the-top hysterical rhetoric now?

It's also because of his fanatical anti-Bill-and-Hillary hatred through the 1990s and into the 2000s that, all of a sudden, goes out the window because of the supposed "extinction level event" posed by Donald Trump.

As an aside, I sort of know Andrew Sullivan in passing in my neighborhood -- and have spoken to him a number of times over the years, although he doesn't know me by name.

I guess I will post this excerpt that I really, really liked ...

"For the white working class, having had their morals roundly mocked, their religion deemed primitive, and their economic prospects decimated, now find their very gender and race, indeed the very way they talk about reality, described as a kind of problem for the nation to overcome. This is just one aspect of what Trump has masterfully signaled as "political correctness" run amok, or what might be better described as the newly rigid progressive passion for racial and sexual equality of outcome, rather than the liberal aspiration to mere equality of opportunity.

Much of the newly energized left has come to see the white working class not as allies but primarily as bigots, misogynists, racists, and homophobes, thereby condemning those often at the near-bottom rung of the economy to the bottom rung of the culture as well. A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to "check his privilege" by students at Ivy League colleges.

Even if you agree that the privilege exists, it's hard not to empathize with the object of this disdain. These working-class communities, already alienated, hear -- how can they not? -- the glib and easy dismissals of "white straight men" as the ultimate source of all our woes. They smell the condescension and the broad generalizations about them -- all of which would be repellent if directed at racial minorities -- and see themselves, in Hoffer's words, "disinherited and injured by an unjust order of things."

And so they wait, and they steam, and they lash out..."

Indeed they do ...


OK, that's all for now. My next planned update will be late Wednesday or early Thursday.


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