Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Late Night Topical and Photographical Blog Smorgasbord: A Trumped Up Quadrennial GOP CrazyCon, Hot & Stormy July, Picture Potpourri

The "backyard" view from a booth at Great American Steakhouse in Odenton, Md., 1:24PM July 17, 2016.

This entry contains a hodgepodge of images that I took mostly on Sunday and Monday during a thunderstorm.

I would have led with one of the two stunning above-Harpers Ferry images that my friend Nick took on Sunday while there with his wife, but that trip really had nothing to do with my weekend -- and I have a more suitable place below for them anyway.


So as I start this entry, the issue I have is that I must finish up an assignment for work by Wednesday COB, but I'm already well past my allotted hours. While I can go over, it's not something I'm eager to do, and I'm trying to figure out a way to minimize that amount. I considered staying up all night tonight, but that's not going to work. Instead, I need to go to bed and I'll just (hope to) get up earlier than normal tomorrow and work through the assignment all day.

Another lovely summertime view behind Great American Steakhouse, Odenton, Md., 1:06PM July 17, 2016.

I stopped there with my mom and Ray on Sunday for lunch before heading back to D.C. However, I had salmon and broccoli instead of any kind of steak.


Also, let me add that I simply do not have the time or energy / wherewithal to post anything political tonight even though it is the first night the Republican National Convention.*

*The late, great Bartcop preferred the term "NaziCon" but I didn't want to overstate things, so I'll just stick with CrazyCon.

The summer sky above the Odenton MARC train station, Odenton, Md., 1:48PM July 17, 2016.


However, the part that is the most annoying to me is that the mainstream media entertainment machine insists on peddling its false equivalency whereby "both sides have valid points" except that the "shrill voices go too far." There As David Roberts of Vox.com pointed out back in early May, there is a powerful system in place that is seeking to normalize Donald Trump. I'm not just talking about the Republican Party but also what Roberts referred to as the whole media/political "ecosystem."

The unofficially-named Lux Manor stream that runs through the grounds of the Grosvenor Park complex in suburban Montgomery Co., Md., 3:33PM July 17, 2016.

I took the Metro to Grosvenor straight from Union Station and walked to Bethesda, where I caught the Metro back into D.C. on Sunday.


In reality, the false equivalency -- or, as Paul Krugman dubbed it, "bothsidesism" is just that -- a false equivalence and harmful nonsense in the Cokiest of Cokie Roberts / Uncle Fred Hiatt's Washington Consensus sense -- although, to be fair, Fred Hiatt and his editorial "stable" including Mother Marcus have been aghast at Trump. At least so far.

The nanosecond he favors "entitlement reform," they'll go gaga.

Verdant greenery along the Bethesda Trolley Trail, Bethesda, Md., 4:11PM July 17, 2016.

I walked along the "BTT" over the Capital Beltway -- there is a pedestrian bridge -- and into the sprawling, nebulous, residential area of Bethesda.


In the meantime, CNN and the rest are dutifully transcribing everything and being "wowed" in that media entertainment complex way. There was much hyperventilating -- as I heard while at the gym on the TV in the locker room that was tuned to it -- about the speech by Eva Braun Melania Trump introducing her husband.

I recommend you to read the inestimable Jonathan Chait's take on the First Night in Cleveland (link embedded): Night One in Cleveland: Ethno-Nationalism and C-List Celebrities.

Bamboo Curtain: Along the Bethesda Trolley Trail, Bethesda, Md., 4:14PM July 17, 2016.


I'm not sure how many damn nights I have to work to avoid catching any glimpse of the mass media rodeo -- Scott Baio?? Antonio Sabàto, Jr.? (Well, at least he's pretty to look at.)

I assume the this carnival sideshow runs through Thursday or whenever it is that Herr Trumpster accepts the nomination and starts bellowing at the frenzied mass of scary humanity in that convention center.

Sycamore trees on the public grounds just outside the fenced-off campus of the National Institutes for Health, Bethesda, Md., 4:39PM July 17, 2016.


I will say two things: First, it appears that after all the worry about how anarchical NaziCon 2016 would be with a contested convention and marauding bands of "open carry" "take America back" posse comitatus gun nuts, is just settling down to the usual carnival sideshow fare. Secondly, for whatever it is worth, I am glad that the Democratic convention goes last.

One of two stunning above-Harpers Ferry, W.Va., pictures that my friend Nick took while there on Sunday.

The two images are relevant for the next part of this entry.


Speaking of glad, I'm very glad that that West Virginia state Republican legislator -- Michael Folk -- was suspended by United Airlines from his job as a airline pilot owing to his hateful tweets about HRC being "hung" [sic] on the National Mall because of her email "treason" and whatever other bilious nonsense is in his mind and soul.

I suspect that Folk tweeted himself right out of a job -- and one that he probably quite liked, namely, an airline pilot. As of now, his tweets are "protected"." Honestly, I am so frickin' fed up with all this Hillary hatred that comes from a steady diet of Fox News and AM hate radio that electrifies the detestation of her for hysterical-driven vendible profit.

The second of two beautiful above-Harpers Ferry, W.Va., pictures that Nick took on Sunday.

This shows the confluence of the Shenandoah River with the Potomac River. I love the name Shenandoah.


Expect now the usual roster of idiots to whine and moan nonsensically about how Folk's "First Amendment rights are being trampled upon" -- reflecting that fundamental cluelessness about what the First Amendment actually protects. And -- as I read in the TPM.com article comment section about this -- expect Fox News to hire him as a "Constitutional scholar."

Of course, Roger Ailes has much bigger problems right now than employing this bilious yahoo.

The festive crowd at Trade bar, Washington, D.C., 6:18PM July 17, 2016.

Sunday Funday ought to be called Sunkday Drunkday.

Bartender Aaron showed me some pictures of his just-concluded trip with some friends to Cuba. They drove about 1,000 miles around the island ...


Changing subjects, I went to the gym tonight and had a good multi-part workout including weightlifting. I'm getting a bit better at it. I also did my initial hour-long jog (plus five minute cool down) totaling tonight 6.72 miles and an ending core workout that was followed by a short swim in the pool.

Another view of the crowd at Trade, Washington, D.C., 6:24PM July 17, 2016.


Weather Update: Thunderstorms and Heat

The American flag at half-staff as a thunderstorm approaches, L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 4:14PM July 18, 2016.

If you look carefully, you can see the top of the Washington Monument poking up in the nearby distance. The flag was at half-staff, I believe, because of the weekend Baton Rouge cop killings. The American flag seems to be at half-staff a lot these days.


Turning to the weather, as some of the following pictures in this entry indicate, we had a line of gusty thunderstorms push across the D.C./Baltimore area today following a terribly hot and humid day with temperatures climbing well into the 90s Fahrenheit and dew points around 70F. Highs reached 95F at KDCA and KIAD while KBWI hit 94F and KDMH (the Maryland Science Center) touched 97F.

A view of the approaching thunderstorm from Benjamin Banneker Park overlooking the Francis Case Memorial Bridge and I-395, not to mention the Southwest Waterfront fish market and Washington Channel, Washington, D.C., 4:20PM July 18, 2016.


None of these were daily record highs -- indeed, on this day in 2012, it was brutally hot with triple digit heat and record highs at KBWI and KIAD.

Of note, KDCA continues to come in with unusually high dew points this season including a 75F dew point at the 1PM hour when KIAD was reporting 63F and KBWI 68F. I don't think the tidal Potomac is making that much of a difference.

Afternoon thunderstorm deluge at L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 4:31PM July 18, 2016.


Rainfall totals for July 18th -- all from the cluster of thunderstorms -- included 0.44" at KDCA, 0.21" at KIAD, 0.12" at KBWI, and a scant 0.01" at KDMH (Maryland Science Center).

Looking ahead, it may very well climb into the triple digits with highs at or just above 100F in the Baltimore/Washington region by the weekend as a massive dome of high pressure sets up across the Lower 48 with significant positive height anomalies.

To that point, here are some related images:

U.S. National Weather Service advisories, updated 0513UTC (1:13AM EDT) July 19, 2016.

This does not include the legend but across the interior of the country are excessive heat watches, excessive heat warnings, and heat advisories. In the Western U.S. are some red flag warnings.


The 6Z July 18, 2016 GFS showing 500-hPa geopotential height anomalies in normalized standard deviations across North America valid at hour 132 / 18Z July 23, 2016.

Heights are also really elevated over Greenland -- but there is still that "cold blob" even in the 500mb anomalies to the southeast of Greenland. (I'm assuming this is just a transient feature, though.)  This image is prettied up by WeatherBell.com.

Chart of the forecasted average high and low 2-meter temperature from the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) ensemble for Washington, D.C., (KDCA) for the 16-day period from July 19 - August 2, 2016, as prettied up by WeatherBell.com.


OK, I think that's about all for now. My next planned entry will not be until at least late Wednesday night or early Thursday.

The American flag whipping around in a drenching thunderstorm, L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 4:34PM July 18, 2016.

I have no idea how the frickin' Spy Museum is going to be placed there on the plaza.


Dreamscape ...

Oh, yes, I meant to mention that I continue to have the strangest early morning dreams. They're frequently set in some hybrid place of University of Maryland, College Park and the Jersey shore (OK, granted, no mystery there) that also involve traveling to and from downtown D.C. at dusk through strange and upscale neighborhoods (of the sort that mostly do not actually exist along that "vector").

Yours truly resting comfortably at my mom and Ray's place, Millersville, Md., 9:54PM July 16, 2016.

I was watching channel 360 on their DirecTV that shows lots and lots of Sanford & Son reruns. I got to bed by 10:30PM and slept for 11 hours. It's very comfortable in that little place.


In this morning's dream, there was a bit to-do with the Washington Monument (never mind that part but it involved whether it would be destroyed or not) and a very complicated interaction with Jamie. Oh, and I had the ability to make things better, so I was on Rt. 1 / Baltimore Ave, which becomes Rhode Island Ave heading toward the District, near the D.C.-Maryland line.

TV image of the Sanford & Son episode I was watching, Millersville, Md., 9:20PM July 16, 2016.

LaWanda Page's real name was Alberta Peal and Redd Foxx's real name was John Sanford. They were frickin' hilarious -- individually and together.


In the dream, I had this supernatural ability to transform ugly, garishly lit convenience stores and liquor stores into nice places, but then I woke up as I was wrecking a convenience store.

OK, that really is all for now and until later this week (Wednesday or Thursday).


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