Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Regulus Blog Entry #1,999: The Outer and Inner Space Edition -OR- Prelude to the 2,000th Post

Updated 1:55PM 8/27/2016: See bottom of entry.

Yes, this is Regulus Blog Entry #1,999.

Late night, and I'm back from the gym, where I had a relatively good multi-part workout, although the pool is closed -- and empty -- ahead of a scheduled three-day shutdown of the entire gym to scrub it down and repair things. Given that I am visiting my mom this weekend, I won't be able to go on Saturday -- and so won't be there again until Monday of next week.

L'Enfant Promenade on a pleasant summer day, Washington, D.C., 2:03PM August 22, 2016.


Speaking of pools, I have been having multiple dreams of late involving swimming pools -- sometimes empty, sometimes me at the bottom of it, swimming about. These dreams are always at the University of Maryland, College Park or some weird hybrid of D.C., UMCP/College Park, and the Jersey shore with an endlessly expansive UMCP campus through which I am rushing, building after building, level upon level.

Another view from L'Enfant Promenade under a summer sky fleeced with fair weather cumulus clouds, Washington, D.C., 2:05PM August 22, 2016.


I continue to be worryingly non-billable at work, but it is late August and things are very slow with the federal government in general including the agency I support. I'm doing some overhead work that should actually be helpful for the company next year as part of the continuation effort.

One of the corner towers on the Smithsonian castle at sunset, Washington, D.C., 7:34PM August 22, 2016.


Last night, I stayed late at work and then walked home, transiting the Mall -- that lawn restoration project can't conclude quickly enough; it has been going on for years now -- and heading toward Dupont Circle via Metro Center. I stopped at the really expensive restaurant Mastro's Steakhouse, where I sat at the bar and had a glass of red wine and listening to a man-and-woman doing a piano-and-singing duo act.

I'd like to have dinner at that restaurant but it ain't cheap. (For interior picture, see below in this entry.)

I then walked up to Floriana grotto bar, stopping there for about 90 minutes where I fun time, before heading home.

An aerial view of a thunderstorm and the haboob it was creating over Phoenix; photo by Ryan Vermillion taken on August 21, 2016.

This image and the directly below appeared in this CWG entry.

As for the CWG, while I like it, and I have liked participating in the internet comment section over the years, the squirrel-like infinite supply of vapid internet trolls is beginning to depress me as too many have infiltrated the comment section of the CWG entries.

I'm sick of the climate change-denying Know Nothings, the anti-Hillary fanatics, and the alt-right provocateurs that foul up everything with their ignorance and poison. And the fact that all this garbage is celebrated as the highest form of "free speech" is even more annoying.

No, I don't have a ready-made answer for it -- at least one that would pass constitutional muster.


As for the weather here, it has been sunny and seasonably warm the past two days with highs around 85F and with lower dew points (around 60F) under mostly sunny skies. This is a lot more comfortable than what we experienced last week.

It is supposed to get hotter and more humid, though, and there really isn't any chance of rain for the next several days.

There could be some tropical cyclone formation next week that potentially impacts the Southeastern U.S. coast, but not really here in the D.C. area. The "H" storm would be Hermine. Also, of note, this is the year when my name -- Richard -- occurs in the Atlantic basin, but it's unlikely that we'll get that far, or if we do, that it will be anything but a minimal storm with no effects.

A microburst over Phoenix, August 21, 2016; see above CWG entry link for info on photograph.


Oh, by the way, it was 5 years ago today -- August 23rd -- that the magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred here on the East Coast centered about 90 miles to the SSW of D.C. in central Virginia, epicenter located in Louisa County. I was on the 9th floor of a building next to L'Enfant Plaza and it was, well, scary. (Yes, I realize I won't have this entry posted until after midnight.)


Some political commentary ...

Having lived through the Clinton Wars of the 1990s -- starting with the Arkansas Project and culminating in the Monica Lewinsky impeachment farce that got the Beltway media / pundit crowd all worked up into a mouth-foaming lather about "moral turpitude"* -- I know intellectually fully well that the lunatic, indeed, atavistic Republican right will never give Hillary a moment's peace.

The fake scandal machine is a sort of thermodynamics second law-defying perpetual motion machine that has been going more or less continuously for 25 years with only intermittent breaks.

Nevertheless, it is still emotionally exhausting and exasperating. In the current era during Hillary's run against a would-be fascist and very real megalomaniac in the form of Donald Trump, the fake scandal are "emails" and it NEVER ends with the combination of the rightwing agit-prop group Judicial Watch** and the FBI itself continually reigniting -- seemingly intentionally -- this bullshit "story" of which the mainstream whore-media never tires by "(re)finding" more and more emails.

Whether or not it will work in causing it's ultimate goal, namely, causing Hillary to lose the election -- and thus Americans to lose their country -- remains an open question (and will until the election) although all the polling evidence still indicates she is significantly ahead of Donald Trump rather than tied, if only because she is running against Donald Trump rather than a "generic Republican."

Current odds of Clinton and Trump winning the presidential election with trend line running June 8th - August 23rd, 2016.


Speaking of polls, Nate Silver has this very interesting piece about the USC Dornsife / LA Times tracking poll that consistently shows Trump doing much better than in other polls -- even ahead of Hillary. The piece is more about raw and discounted "house effects" in polls and why it's better to have outlier polls such as this one -- and adjust for it -- rather than "browbeat it" into a consensus submission.

Nate Silver's calculated raw and discounted presidential poll "house effect" as of August 23, 2016.


Notes from above

*I remember Wall-P, a.k.a., Pitty Shil, that font of Fred Hiatt's and Cokie Roberts's Beltway Received Conventional Wisdom, kept saying the phrase "moral turpitude" over and over again as if he had coined the term and was so brilliant.

"Eh. Eh. Eheheheh. At that time, I had just started out as an associate at Aching Rump and therefore my salary was only a fifth of what it is now, proving that top talent is eventually properly remunerated --"

Ohhh, shut-up, Wall-P, you legal stooge-bot.

**Be mindful that link -- to a great piece by Heather Digby Parton -- is on the site, which is frequently malware infected. Also, just navigating on that site is very difficult due to the paralyzing amount of clutter and crap.

As a concluding thought, though, I tend to agree with Jonathan Chait that Bill and Hillary really ought to just shut down the Clinton Foundation at this point. It's too much of a distraction and ready-made target.

(It was from that piece that I got the very-apt term "lunatic" to describe her GOP tormenters.)

Speaking of Jonathan Chait, he had this hilarious piece (link embedded): Mass Lesbian Farm Infiltration Is Obama's Best Scheme Yet.

This has to do with the latest fevered fantasies from the rightwing political swamp, in this case, from Jabba the Hutt himself -- that would be Rush Limbaugh -- and it has to do with a USDA outreach summit for LGBT American living in rural locations.

So Thane Maynard, a world-class publicity whore when it suited his self-aggrandizing needs, now shuts down the Cincinnati Zoo's Twitter account because he doesn't like the negative publicity. Well, my hope is that no organization or government ever provides the Cincinnati Zoo with another gorilla or any great ape of any kind.

Oh, and nobody gets a hippo until I get one first ...


For tomorrow, I'm meeting Andrea after work for some dinner and/or drinks, though unsure where. We are planning our trip to South Carolina to see the August 21st, 2017 solar eclipse.

Smithsonian castle at sunset, Washington, D.C., 7:35PM August 22, 2016.


ENTRY #2,000: The Prelude

So my next entry is the big #2,000 and I want to put some thought into it. I'm going to try to post it on Friday evening / night, but I'm unsure. As I mentioned, I am away on Saturday into Sunday to visit my mom.

For my 2,000th entry, I intend to have the full panoply -- mélange -- of characters who have appeared on this blog over the years.

This includes Wall-P and The Staff; M. WADE Tipamillyun and its Beloved Crow Creature "Oooza"; the Palka - Cabra; Gasy the Chipmun- gorilla; Shits-Off; and the Honking Goose ...

... that's forever circling the airport with boring-ass stories in hijacked social situations; and, oh, just everybody I dislike ...

...Ya gotta phonebook??


OK, that's all for now. Heading off to bed. Maybe I'll dream of swimming pools and being at the University of Maryland, College Park not going to any of my classes or doing a lick of work while trying to get a FOURTH masters degree ...

Mastro's Steakhouse bar, Washington, D.C., 8:05PM August 22, 2016.

Here is a better picture of the bar area.


OK, goodnight. (I had a picture of me in the elevator pretending to be asleep, but, as ever, I looked stupid and ugly, so I'm not posting it.)

Updated 1:55PM 8/27/2016:

Apologies in the delay for getting entry #2,000 posted. It has taken me a while to post and it's still not done. In addition, it has been a difficult and tumultuous week (there was more drama and bridges burned in my failed D.C. gay-o-sphere life). My work life is OK, though, thankfully.

As for today (Saturday), I'm heading up to Anne Arundel County to visit my mom. I'm going to try to post the new entry tonight from her place in Millersville, but I still need about two hours to complete it.

End of Update and of Entry.


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