Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trumped Out Tuesday Night: Brief Update Ahead of Trip to Atlanta; February, Out Like a Lamb

Crocuses in early bloom in New York City's Central Park, February 28, 2017.

The flower images in this entry are taken from here.


Back from the gym tonight and I'm very tired. In addition, I have to leave for Atlanta tomorrow on a flight from National Airport shortly after 11AM, which means for me, I need to get up by 7AM.

I'm doing a single load of laundry tonight -- mixed white and colors -- rather than multiple loads. I'm just too tired.

A tulip a magnolia tree in bloom, Washington, D.C., February 28, 2017.


At the gym, initially all the goddamn televisions were tuned to CNN with Wolf and the Gang in some weird orgiastic glee over Agent Orange's ass-hat speech to Congress, again attempting to normalize the deeply and permanently abnormal. More than anything, it was CNN -- and James Comey's FBI "October surprise" quasi-coup -- that facilitated this sick state of affairs.

Thankfully, there was being aired some stupid college basketball game on some permutation of ESPN, and all the televisions got tuned to that. (They're muted except the one in the locker room.)

Daffodils in bloom in New York City's Central Park, February 28, 2017.


By the way, here is a good interview in Slate.com with Russian-American journalist and activist Masha Gessen -- whose immediate post-election piece Autocracy: Rules for Survival is a must-read (link embedded): Donald and Vlad: Compare and Contrast.

Tonight is warm, showery one -- yes, a night featuring very needed and welcome rainfall. Temps at the 11PM hour are well above normal even for the typical end-of-February highs including 58F at KDCA, 56F at KBWI, and 54F at KIAD.

Rainfall totals have been about 1/3 inch (less at KBWI).

Oh, yes, not surprisingly, February was the warmest on record for KDCA and KIAD (I need to check on KBWI) and the climatological winter ended up in the top five (#1 at KIAD). Tonight's rainfall, however, keeps it from being the driest February on record at KDCA, though. I'll post final numbers in a subsequent entry.

OK, that's all for now. My plan is to post an entry tomorrow evening from the place in Atlanta -- an Airbnb residence in the Midtown section. I am taking my computer and there is supposed to be Wi-Fi. The workshop is at Georgia Tech on Thursday starting quite early (I need to be there at 730AM). I'm staying into the weekend -- visiting Chris at his place in Sandy Springs.

I don't have a window seat on the flight tomorrow. Boo. Maybe I can have my seat assignment changed.


REPOSTED: The Cincinnati Zoo's Hippo Baby Blog #3: Little Hippo, Big Personality -OR- Now ~60 Pounds, Fiona Is Saying Her First Grunts ...

**This entry was posted February 28, 2017.**

Baby Hippo Fiona at the Cincinnati Zoo.

I want one of these.

Regular Fiona updates are available here.



Reposted from the Cincinnati Zoo's blog ...

Hippo Baby Blog #3: Little Hippo, Big Personality

Posted on February 27, 2017 By Wendy Rice
Source here.

The last week has been especially exciting for #TeamFiona. We seem to have cleared the most recent set of health hurdles and are finally seeing consistent forward progress. Additionally, as our little girl feels better, the many facets of her complex personality are really starting to show! It's especially fascinating to watch how the different elements of her personality seem to reflect the natural history of the hippopotamus.

Even though Fiona is still technically 2 weeks premature, she has finally reached normal birth weight at just under 60 pounds. In the last week alone, she has gained 12 pounds and has shown a lot of promising progress: bottle-feeding with more consistency, taking in larger volumes per feeding, and also processing the formula without any gastric incidents. Currently, the nursery team has Fiona on a feeding schedule, offering bottles every 3 hours or so. If Fiona wakes up from a nap early before her scheduled feed time, she will often wander around her nursery space, grunting (sounding very similar to a pig) and bumping her nose into bedding, stuffed animals, caretakers and everything else within her reach in the hopes of finding a full udder.

When it is bottle time, Fiona often crawls into the lap of the keeper, impatiently tossing her head up and back, over and over again in anticipation of the bottle. A poorly timed kiss or cuddle could easily result in a fat lip for the care team, but it's a risk we bravely undertake in the name of conservation. After some corralling and coaxing, Fiona usually settles down, latches onto the nipple and goes into full-blown suckle mode. Baby hippos will often nurse underwater, so closing the nostrils and ears is an innate part of the suckling response. The same is true for Fiona and it is absolutely adorable to observe. She pinches her nostrils shut, tucks her ears down and back and closes her eyes, going into auto-pilot and slurping down 3 bottles in as many minutes. When she's finished nursing, we usually see one of two responses: she will either pass out immediately, instantly engaging in "nap-mode" right in the lap of the keeper, or she will open her eyes and nose and resume the aforementioned head-tossing, sending the bottle and any leftover milk flying! Either way, she makes it pretty well known that she is officially finished eating.

The conclusion of bottle time usually dictates the next part of Fiona's daily routine. If she has engaged in one of her bottle and milk-tossing episodes, that’s usually a good indication that she has enough energy for some pool time! Keepers will check and adjust the temperature of her 8ft. pool and then walk Fiona from her nursery space to her aqua playground.

Once in the pool, Fiona will romp, splash, dive, roll and of course, poop! She seems to enjoy the freedom and space of the larger pool and gets an opportunity to practice all of the aquatic skills she will need to have mastered before she is reunited with her parents. Pool time is when Fiona is at her most independent, but even then she frequently "checks in" with her surrogate moms for reassurance and support. One of the most interesting aspects of pool time is that it puts Fiona physically closer to Henry and Bibi who then have an opportunity to observe her safely from nearby. During one pool session, Henry bellowed and Fiona stopped everything she was doing to listen wide-eyed to her 3500-pound dad. Bibi has also come over to investigate Fiona's pool antics, seeming to show interest in the tiniest member of the Cincinnati bloat. For now, pool time rarely lasts beyond 10-15 minutes as Fiona tires quickly and still needs a lot of rest, but as she grows in size and strength, the pool will become a more prominent part of her daily routine.

While pool time seems to be the highlight of the day for both Fiona and the keeper staff, more often than not, bottle feedings actually culminate in instant-naps. Fiona does seem to be gaining more energy as time goes on, but the vast majority of her daily routine is spent sleeping.

A growing preemie recovering from a myriad of health problems needs a lot of rest, roughly 18-20 hours worth at this point. Fiona seems to prefer constant contact with the keeper staff and will often seek us out and crawl into our laps before settling in for some sleep. Fiona's seemingly cuddly behavior actually reflects the natural history of the hippo, as babies will often climb onto their mother's backs to rest and sleep as it is safer than being between the 3000+pound members of the bloat and eliminates the need to surface periodically to breathe. Regardless of the motivations behind the behavior, keeper staff are always thrilled when Fiona clambers onto us for a snooze.

While Fiona is resting and relaxing, her care staff stay busy keeping records, changing bedding, applying lotion, refilling humidifiers, swapping out oxygen tanks, and prepping her 20+ daily bottles of formula. We regularly disinfect her nursery space and all the adjacent areas of the building, and we disinfect and refill her pool at regular intervals as well. Additionally, our veterinary, nursery and nutrition staff meet constantly to reassess Fiona’s changing daily needs, making alterations and adjustments as required.

Even communicating the daily changes to the 22 staff members involved in Fiona's care is a large undertaking. The multi-faceted and dynamic care Fiona requires can take its toll on some days, especially because of the emotional attachments we have all inevitably formed with her. But in spite of the hardships and challenges we've faced, every step of the journey has been an incredible experience that we all feel privileged and honored to be a part of. And possibly the most impactful element of Fiona's remarkable story is that it has given us an opportunity to demonstrate and share the important and invaluable work that happens in accredited zoos everyday, all over the world! Thank you to everyone who has followed Fiona’s story so far and offered their love, support and well wishes! We'll keep you posted as the journey continues!


Monday, February 27, 2017

REPOSTED: Jonathan Chait's Column on Trump, the GOP, and "Complicated" Healthcare Policy -OR- Take Good Aim

Trade, Washington, D.C., 9:19PM February 27, 2017.



Reposted ...

President Trump: "Nobody Knew Health Care Could Be So Complicated"
By Jonathan Chait
February 27, 2017
Source here.

If there's one thing almost everybody across the political spectrum knows about health-care reform, it's that it's really hard. People who study the issue closely know it. People who don't follow the issue know. (That's why lots of smart people don’t follow the issue closely -- it's really hard!) But there is apparently a category of people who did not realize until very recently that the issue is hard, and that category consists of Donald J. Trump, who told reporters today, "It's an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew health care could be so complicated."

Health-care reform is extremely complicated even under the best of circumstances. But when you combine the inherent complexities of the subject with the ideological rigidities of the conservative movement, the problem goes from hard to prohibitively impossible. Providing access to medical care to the tens of millions of Americans who can't afford it on their own, because they're too poor or too sick, is arithmetically futile if you’re bound by a dogma that opposes redistribution from the rich and healthy to the poor and sick.

House Republicans have decided to resolve the contradiction between party dogma and the promise not to harm the public in favor of the former. A study prepared by the National Governors Association, and which leaked to the media Saturday evening, finds that the House Republicans leadership's formative plan to replace Obamacare will deprive millions of people of their insurance. The Wall Street Journal reports that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, lacking the votes for a plan that would create massive humanitarian and economic damage to the health-care sector and millions of voters who would lose their access to care, want to just push the bill ahead anyway. Their purported calculation is that they can force wavering Republicans to go along with the bill for fear of betraying the noble cause of Obamacare repeal that has animated the base for years. "You're a Republican, you've been running to repeal Obamacare, they put a repeal bill in front of you ... Are you going to be the Republican senator who prevents Obamacare repeal from being sent to a Republican president who is willing to sign it?" said Doug Badger, a longtime Republican leadership health-policy adviser, tells the Journal.

Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein report that many of the most orthodox members of Trump's administration, including Mike Pence, who is close to Paul Ryan, side with this strategy. On the other hand, they report, numerous Trump advisers are concerned about the political fallout of blowing up the health-care system. These advisers include Jared Kushner, NEC director Gary Cohn, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.

And the reason they fear that is that Trump did not just run on repeal. He ran for president making irreconcilable promises on health care. To win support from voters, he promised "terrific" insurance that would "take care of everybody." But to remain acceptable to Republican elites, he avoided embracing any policies that would violate party dogma against tax increases. The actual details of his health-care plan were fuzzy and usually ignored, but to the extent they existed at all, they consisted mainly of warmed-over conservative platitudes that would mostly resemble the old, pre-Obamacare system and do little or nothing to cover the uninsurable.

Trump held together the contradiction by simply pretending the solution would reveal itself over time and would be extremely easy. Quite likely Trump believed this himself -- as a committed nonreader, and a narcissistic devotee of his own negotiating prowess, he surely believed that he could broker a deal that would satisfy both the moral objective of universal coverage and the specific ideological hang-ups that had prevented his party from ever supporting a plan that would accomplish it in the past.

The only thing that held Trump's position together was a refusal to engage with the substance of the issue, and a magical belief that it could all be waved away. At best, he will keep either his promise to the Republican elite or his promise to the electorate. At worst he will keep neither. His offhand comment that the issue is hard is a window into the mind of a man who realizes the jig is almost up.


Here is a great comment associated with this entry:


The great question about Trump is this: Is his disorder emotional, or cognitive? Okay, both, right. But which is dominant? Emotionally, he's a narcissist and megalomaniac of the first order. That's obvious. But something's wrong cognitively too, and we're seeing it here. It's not just that he doesn't know anything, can't read briefing papers, can't absorb or process the information a president needs to be halfway functional. It also seems like he doesn't understand cause and effect, and he thinks if he wants something, the wish itself somehow brings the thing into existence. Hence his repeated announcements that he already has "plans" for defeating ISIS or providing universal health care at lower cost. It seems like wishing there were such a plan is the same thing in his mind as such a plan materializing. And then he blurts out that there's a plan and it's about to be announced, apparently unable to think a step ahead and realize that this is just asking to be shown up as a liar or fantasist.

I think he's cognitively impaired in some way. Maybe instead of attacking the press, he should demand that they make special accommodations for him under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for Feb. 25th, 2017: The Babyface, Benson, and Ronson Edition

Let's start with something really nice and upbeat ...

"We've Got Love" by Babyface from his Return of the Tender Lover album (2015)

How have I not featured anything previously by Babyface in my Jukebox Saturday Night series?


Stepping back in time a generation and then some, but continuing with an upbeat and mellow pace ...

"Love X Love" by George Benson from his Give Me the Night album (1980)

By the way, I should note that Al Jarreau died earlier this month (Feb. 12th) at age 76. Here are some of Benson's Twitter tributes to his "good friend and brother, the great Al Jarreau."

As for George Benson, he's still going strong.


And I'd like to end with this interesting piece the video to which I watched at No. 9 last weekend ...

"The Bike Song" by Mark Ronson (and the Business International) from his Record Collection album (2010)

The video is just odd, but in a harmless sort of way. I almost pick up a touch of retro 1960s in it.

OK, that's all for now. Please see my previous entry for update.


Saturday Evening Post for February 25th, 2017: Winter's Pathetic Comeback Attempt; Turbulent Springtime for Trumpocalypse

**This entry was posted February 25, 2017.**

View outside my apartment, 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 4:05PM February 25, 2017.

This old elm tree probably doesn't have a lot of time left. Actually, it's not that old but it's in poor health and has been repeatedly "de-limbed" by chainsaw because large branches were dying. I'm surprised it has been removed outright. (The Southern magnolia to the left tops out right under my window.)


Saturday night.

For starters, I forgot to bring home my new Ethernet cable from work and the one I have -- connected between the computer an modem -- is broken at one end (a tiny piece of plastic came off one of the ends). I've gotten it to work by ramming an old calculus book against it.

This is the calculus book atop which my laptop usually rests when I have it home and set in its usual spot on my shitty little kitchen table) against it.

Downtown Washington, D.C., near Metro Center, 11:45PM February 24, 2017.

I had gone from Kevin's place to Harry's Pub where I had dinner and some drinks and was walking to Trade.


I'm home this Saturday night after a trip to the gym earlier today. I skipped the hour-long jog -- I just couldn't / didn't want to do it. However, I got in a solid hour of weightlifting. I also did a total of a half hour of light cardio on one of the cross fitness machines. I also went swimming for about 15 minutes at the end.

As I did my laundry on Wednesday night, I don't need to do it tonight.

For tonight, I'll do my usual Saturday night routine of Trade / No. 9 and Old Ebbitt Grill Old Bar. For tomorrow, my mom is taking a MARC train to Union Station and I think we're going to have lunch at the Dubliner.

13th Street and New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 11:49PM February 24, 2017.


So the forecasted cold front barreled across the region today with squally showers and thunderstorms that dropped some much-needed rainfall (not to mention hail in isolated spots enough to cover the ground). However, amounts varied widely with the four regional NWS climate stations recording the following amounts:

KDCA: 0.18 inches
KBWI: 0.75 inches
KIAD: 0.08 inches
KDMH (Maryland Science Center): 0.60 inches

We're still well below for the year and since December 1st and stretching back for the last 12 months. I don't really feel like posting all those numbers, but suffice it to say that even after today's rainfall, KDCA and KIAD are only at about 1/3 inch of precipitation for the month.

However, scattered rain showers are in the forecast for the period Monday night through Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day, temperatures were again ridiculously above normal including highs of 75F at both KDCA and KBWI and 77F at KIAD.

Neither the KDCA nor KBWI highs were close to daily records because the daily records -- 84F at KDCA and 83F at KBWI -- recorded on Feb. 25, 1930 were also record highs for the entire month of February. Both are pre-airport records when the weather (climate) stations were in other locations -- M and 24th NW (Washington, D.C.) and the U.S. Custom House (Baltimore, Md.), respectively.

In the case of KIAD, the daily record high of 79F -- set Feb. 25, 2000 -- was also a record high for the entire month (and joined a previous occurrence of 79F on Feb. 24, 1985).

Low-angled rainbow after the rain squall earlier today as seen over Howard Univ., Washington, D.C., Feb. 25, 2017; photo by Clay Doherty, reposted in this CWG entry.

Apropos of nothing, I was mugged at Howard University back in 1996 or '97 -- one of two muggings here in D.C. (The other time was about a year or so later. Both times by four young black men -- and both times, amazingly, I was not physically hurt.)


Tonight is a blustery night as a result of an occasionally gusty northwesterly wind, although 50F to 55F air temp hardly qualifies as cold for late February.

As a follow-up to my Friday entry on the February warmth, through the 24th, KDCA and KIAD are now both having their warmest Feb. on record at +8.5F / 47.1F and +8.8F / 44.5F, respectively. KBWI is at its 3rd warmest at +8.3F / 43.7F. I'm not going to post any more monthly or seasonal temperature departure information until after March 1st (when climatological winter is over).

Changing topics, I'd really like to write a political-themed entry given the nonstop disasters of Trump and the lunatic GOP now with total power (but clueless how to actually run anything). This would take much too long, though. (For a running synopsis, see anything by Jonathan Chait.) Instead, I'm just going to embed two three YouTube clips ...

Hillary Clinton giving a message of hope to Democrats.

I still love this woman. Her defeat on the vestigial slave institution Electoral College technicality was nothing less than an American historical tragedy -- one of those inflection points of history where "things go very wrong" and the consequences are permanently destructive.

Bill Maher's "Real Time" opening monologue on the Trump Circus from his February 17, 2017 show.

Oh, and while I'm at it, here is the "Press We Can" part of Bill Maher's New Rules segment for his Real Time show last night:


OK, that's all for now.

My Jukebox Saturday Night edition to follow momentarily (as I already composed the entry). It is unlikely I will post an edition next Saturday -- and, indeed, I probably won't even have a Saturday evening post -- as I am scheduled to be in Atlanta.

I'm heading there on Wednesday afternoon, the DOE workshop I am attending (as a note-taker) is on Thursday, and then I'm spending a few days visiting Chris T. before returning on Sunday.

I'll have more to say about the significance of this trip to Atlanta -- a city I do not know and in which I have very little interest -- in an upcoming entry. Suffice it to say what happened on my previous "business trip" there in January 2004 fundamentally changed the trajectory of my life. That being the case, I'm very wary of this trip and will have an abundance of caution.

My next planned regular entry will be late Monday or early Tuesday.


Friday, February 24, 2017

BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature for Feb. 24th, 2017: Pancakes and Waffles and Who's Spherical Now?? -OR- STOP ACKING!

Well, I was going to attempt the kickoff properly my planned new Friday night feature -- which is actually an adaptation of my episodic Friday Night Creature Feature. It's to be called BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature.

While I had a preliminary one two weeks ago, this was to be the proper one. In this inaugural episode, BIG Y'EYEMAH and I and our palpably demonic spawn Annabelle Mae are on one of four buses and to attend the Holy Moly Roller-in-Christ’s after-church Sunday Brunch Special at the Who’s Spherical Now? Pancake and Waffle House off Interstate 696.

You see, we attend the Holy Moly Roller Redeemed-in-Christ Church of the Sacred Cash Cow located conveniently next to our trailer park in Eastern Trumpistan County, but the Who's Spherical Now? Pancake and Waffle House is about 10 miles away.

We're going there because of the $10.95 all-you-can-eat booooffet that appeals to BIG Y'EYEMAH -- at least until the management cuts her off at her 27th helping.

En route, descending in an elevator of a bus terminal between the upper level and lower level to go from the Q-69 to the Z-99 bus. Elevator doors open. Me running toward the Z-99 bus about to pull of.


BIG Y'EYEMAH moving along at 2-cm per second in her motorized wheelchair, totally self-righteous but otherwise blank expression on her face. No sound but that of BIG Y’EYEMAH softly breaking wind from her wheelchair.



BIG Y'EYEMAH: WHAT? Are you forgetting what the Bible teaches about the man providing for his family?


BIG Y'EYEMAH: Then how could you deny your own daughter and wife the nourishment we need?? We'll MISS YOU IN HEAVEN!!

Me: Hey, I work my BUTT OFF to feed you both! I get nothing in return!





Maybe it doesn't flow right?

OK, enough of that. My next planned entry is tomorrow after the gym. HOWEVER, I'm having a problem with my Ethernet cable and the replacement one I was able to get from the office -- while it should work -- might not, in which case I have to jury rig the existing one with tape to hold it in.

It's supposed to get cooler tomorrow with a frontal passage that might bring some t-storms, but that's bullshit. We're stuck in this frickin' endless pattern extreme late winter warmth and drought.

For tonight, I'm stopping by Kevin's place in Penn Quarter, getting some dinner at Harry's Pub, and then going to Trade. In that order.


This Worthless Mid-Atlantic Region Winter: Record Monthly & Seasonal Warmth Overview (Updated with Additional New Rec High Temps)

**This entry was posted February 24, 2017.**

The view from the Navy Memorial in Penn Quarter, Washington, D.C., 12:02PM February 23, 2017.

I was heading to a 12:10PM dental appointment at Dental Bug.


February warm wave and winter drought update ... in a word, shit...

We remain in an intensifying late winter drought -- with the Baltimore/Washington corridor in D1 / moderate drought and larger parts of the region in D0 / abnormally dry conditions. In addition, there remains a complete and total lack of any seasonably cold air across much of the United States and Canada.

Temperature-wise, it is ridiculous. KIAD reached a daily record of 77F yesterday. KDCA and KBWI were at 77F and 75F, respectively, but those did not surpass their daily records of 78F each set in 1874. Today, temps were again in the mid-70s* but the daily records were 78F (KDCA/KBWI) and 79F (KIAD) and tomorrow's are the highest temperatures ever recorded in February, so they are out-of-reach (see below).

*Highs today reached 77F at KDCA and KIAD and 74F at KBWI. None of these were daily record highs.

Incidentally, Boston -- at KBOS (Logan Int'l Airport) -- reached 72F 73F this afternoon, surpassing the previous warmest high ever in February of 70F set coincidentally on the 24th in 1985.

A summer-like sky -- in late winter -- above the Spy Museum construction site at L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 2:11PM February 24, 2017.


The Baltimore/Washington area is now in the warmest February ever and among the warmest ever climatological winters (Dec. 1st - Feb. 28th/29th). Below is the climatological information for the three regional airport climate stations. It is adapted slightly (for formatting and style) from information give in the most recent Sterling (LWX) area forecast discussion (AFD).

I'm not going to bother with the precipitation (or, even worse, snowfall) deficit numbers for this entry. It is all too depressing anyway.

Mid-Atlantic drought index maps updated Feb. 21, 2017.


Warmest Februaries (average temperature) and the current February so far:

46.9F (1976)
45.2F (1990)
44.7F (1997)
44.3F (2012)
43.9F (1949)

February 2017 through the 23rd: 46.3F (2nd warmest)

44.0F (1976)
43.9F (1949)
43.3F (1890)
42.7F (1932)
42.6F (1909)

February 2017 through the 23rd: 43.0F (4th warmest)

42.1F (1990)
41.1F (1976)
41.0F (1998)
40.9F (2012)
40.5F (1997)

February 2017 through the 23rd: 43.6F (1st warmest)

Warmest Winters (Dec 1-Feb 28/29) and the current winter so far:

44.7F (1931-32)
44.3F (1889-90)
43.3F (2011-12)
43.2F (2001-02)
42.8F (1949-50)

Winter 2016-17 through Feb. 23rd: 43.4F (3rd warmest)

45.3F (1931-32)
44.4F (1889-90)
42.4F (1948-49)
41.9F (1949-50)
41.3F (1879-80)

Winter 2016-17 through Feb. 23rd: 40.1F (tied for 10th)

Keep in mind that prior to June 1950, Baltimore's climate station was downtown at the much warmer U.S. Custom House.

40.0F (2011-12)
39.7F (2001-02)
39.4F (1997-98)
39.0F (2015-16)
38.3F (1990-91)

Winter 2016-17 through Feb. 23rd: 40.4F (1st warmest)

Not this year: Sunrise through a snowy forest setting, Oakton, Va., January 8, 2010; photo by CWG photographer Kevin Ambrose.


The all-time record warmest highs and warmest overnight lows in February are as follows:

84F Feb. 25, 1930
82F Feb. 28, 1948
79F Feb. 17, 1976

61F Feb. 17, 1891
60F Feb. 22, 1874
59F Feb. 20, 1939

83F Feb. 25, 1930
79F Feb. 24, 1985
78F Feb. 23, 1889

58F Feb. 17, 1891
57F Feb. 20, 1939
55F Feb. 14, 1949; Feb. 16, 1954; Feb. 24, 1985

79F Feb. 24, 1985; Feb. 25, 2000
75F Feb. 1, 2002; Feb. 17, 1976; Feb. 18, 2011; Feb. 29, 1972
74F Feb. 12, 1999; Feb. 27, 1997

55F Feb. 17, 1976
53F Feb. 18, 2011; Feb. 24, 1985; Feb. 24, 2017 (tentative; tied this morning)
52F Feb. 1, 1988; Feb. 8, 2017; Feb. 22, 1981; Feb. 23, 2017 (tentative; tied yesterday morning)

Updated 5:30PM 2/24/2017

Here is a map created by CoolWx.com of the record highs for Feb. 24, 2017 and posted in this CWG entry.

Here are some factoids from that entry, although I cross-checked them with the relevant observation sites and corrected them as necessary:

KBOS: 73F, new all-time Feb record; surpassed previous all-time Feb. record by 3F.
KBUF: 71F, tying all-time Feb. record.
KCEF: 73F (Springfield, Mass.), new-all time Feb. record.
KALB: 74F (Albany, N.Y.), new all-time Feb. record; surpassed previous all-time Feb. record by 5F (which was, incidentally, set yesterday).
KLUK: 78F (Cincinnati): surpassing previous all-time Feb. record by 2F.
KDAY: 76F (Dayton): surpassing previous record.
KCMH: 78F (Columbus): surpassed previous record by 3F.

End of Update.

Tourists in their shorts at the corner of 7th St and Independence Ave SW, Washington, D.C., 1:29PM February 23, 2017.

I was walking to the office from the dentist. Yes, it is the start of -- if I can adapt a famous phrase -- "tourist season in monstrous infinity" -- in D.C.


Contextual information:

Temperature records for the Washington, D.C., area have been kept at Ronald Reagan National Airport (KDCA) since July 1941. Additional temperature records for the Washington, D.C., area date back to Jan. 1871.

Temperature records for the Baltimore, Md., area have been kept at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (KBWI) since June 1950. Additional temperature records for the Baltimore, Md., area date back to Jan. 1871.

Temperature records in the Dulles, Va., area have been kept at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD) since Jan. 1963.

Top ten least snowy winters in Washington, D.C., stretching back to 1888.



For the KBWI winter ranking, I looked at the Baltimore historical records here. I noticed that some of the numbers listed for the top five rankings in that file -- which is presumably the anointed official one -- differed from the LWX AFD list by 0.1F. The general page for LWX climate information is here.

OK, that's all for this entry.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Late Night Lodging and Blog Entry Layover

Forested meadow, Gisborough Priory, England, Aug. 2010; Photo by Graham Turnbull, source image here.


Apologies for lack of entries the past few days.

I had intended to post an entry last night but that didn't happen as I went out after work to Trade and No. 9 and wasn't in much of a blog-posting state when I walked home. For tonight, I went to the gym for a full workout and then, when I got home, I just had to do my laundry and make dinner.

I'm exhausted now and need to go to bed.

I would like to post about the obnoxious weather of abnormally (and soon to be record) warm and exceedingly dry February and winter ...

... as well as some political-themed entries one month into the Reign of Agent Orange, also known as the Man-Child Emperor Wannabe, Trumpolini, and wall-to-wall rightwing Republican rule that our failed political system and structures have produced.

However, I will say that if the anger at the "town hall meetings" is any indication, the path to GOP Oligarchy and Libertarian-themed Slavery might be harder than first anticipated.

Also, I would like to mention that I have all my travel and lodging arrangements (an Airbnb!) set for my upcoming work trip to Atlanta next week followed by a couple day visit with Chris in suburban Atlanta.

However, I'm much too tired for writing anything in depth now and instead I'm going to bed now.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

No Hippos, Just Great Chinese Dancers, at the Baltimore Hippodrome; Neither Cold Nor Snow This Obnoxiously Warm and Dry Winter

Tangled wooded overgrowth (not exactly pristine old growth forest) along the MTA Light Rail line going over the Cabin Branch between Ferndale and Linthicum, 12:02PM February 19, 2017.

Everything looks dull and forlorn in this ridiculously warm and way-too-dry winter. As it is, I was trying to get a picture of the large double house at the end of Orchard Road (in Ferndale).

Most of the pictures in this double entry were taken on Sunday both on my light rail trek into Baltimore and heading over to the Hippodrome and then inside the Hippodrome Theatre before the dance troupe dance performance. They are only partially topically related to the entry.

Alas, there were no hippos to be found in The Hippodrome.


Storefront, Marley Station Mall, Glen Burnie, Md., 7:23PM February 18, 2017.

I don't recall the Marley Station Mall being so low-rent proletariat trashy back in its late 1980s heyday. As it is, this mall won't be in existence too much longer -- it's on its way out.


OK, so the entry below is one I composed last night. However, I just couldn't complete it -- if only because I wanted to watch TV with my mom before she fell asleep. (She slept in the living room and let me have her very comfortable back bed.)

I'm back home now in D.C. in my wee efficiency and watching late night TV. I went to the gym earlier. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is back to work.

The Shen Yun dancers from an online picture on the dance troupe's website.


I was going to do my laundry tonight, but I just didn't get around to it. I normally do it Saturday but was away.

The weather continues to suck beyond bigtime with nothing but endless sunshine, dry, and abnormal warmth (the sort of weather that titillates the vapid and banal bourgeoisie, as you can see in the comment section of any Capital Weather Gang entry).

That aside, what follows is the entry I wrote last night ...

View from the MTA light rail along Orchard Road, Ferndale, Md., 1201PM February 19, 2017.

I took this image 1 minute prior to the lead image. In looking at these houses, I was thinking that all those years ago in the 1980s, we should have moved into one of these -- it would probably have been paid off by now and likely would have avoided so many problems.


Sunday night. Very cozy here in the little Millersville trailer.

The Shen Yun performance at the Hippodrome in Baltimore earlier today was very enjoyable. However, per my previous entry, I was wrong when I said the whole Falun Dafa / Falun Gong issue was hidden.

The elevated spaghetti maze of freeways above where the Patapsco River widens into the Middle Branch, Baltimore, Md., 12:17PM February 19, 2017. (If you look really closely, you might be able to see my mom's reflection in the light rail car window.)

The Middle Branch is the filthy tidal estuarial mouth of that sad and severely silted river that jointly forms with the Northwest Branch -- itself the mouth of the Jones Falls stream-- what is known as Baltimore Harbor. While downtown Baltimore and its Inner Harbor complex sits on the edge of the Northwest Branch, the Middle Branch is a forlorn and forgotten urban wasteland.

I've written about this before.


In point of fact, it was quite out in the open ... And despite all the wonderful and wonderfully colorful and choreographed dance and music, the apocalyptic ending / Second Coming-like Redemption of a Christ-like Buddha figure seems much more Western eschatological than traditional Chinese. At least that's my understanding.

My mom on the light rail passing over the urban estuarial wasteland of the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River heading into Baltimore, 12:17PM February 19, 2017.

By the way, the light rail is also badly showing its age. It's quickly becoming a decrepit system.


We had a nice lunch at what is called the "Hipp Café" in the Hippodrome Threatre before the show and later -- after light-railing back to Cromwell / Glen Burnie -- we went to Glory Days along Ritchie Highway for a bit and sat at the bar.

We're back now.

The downtown skyscrapers of Baltimore, Md., as seen from the Convention Center light rail stop, 12:20PM February 19, 2017.

You can see what emains in 2017 ever since its completion in 1973 the tallest building in Baltimore City -- what is now the Transamerica Tower but previously the Legg Mason Building and, originally, the USF&G Building -- is visible in this picture.


I also wanted to note that I just watched a wonderful 2007 docudrama program called "Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs" on DirecTV channel 104. Here it is in its full glory:

This is definitely worth watching. There is something so other worldly about ancient Egypt. And the recreations in this are intriguing.


Turning to the (shitty) weather ...

Weather-wise, our mid-February heat wave (highs around 70F and lows 45F - 50F) and endless frickin' drought continue apace. I can't even imagine what this goddamn spring or summer are going to be like -- most likely, an overheated nightmare.

The famous Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower, Baltimore, Md., 12:28PM February 19, 2017. It was the tallest building -- at 289 feet -- in Baltimore from 1911 to 1923.


February 2017 is now averaging +5.5F above normal and likely to reach +6F above normal in the next couple days. And climatological winter is -- so far -- is in the range of +3.7 to +3.9F above normal at the three NWS airport climate stations (that is, KDCA, KBWI, and KIAD).

Updated before posting on 2/21/2017: Through Feb. 20th, the departures are now +6.6F at KDCA and KIAD and +6.5F at KBWI. The climatological winter average departures will be eclipsing +4F.

The Abell located at 1 S. Eutaw Street, Baltimore, Md., 12:31PM February 19, 2017.

The Abell apartment building is located at the intersection of W. Baltimore Street and S. Eutaw Street (yes, "Eutaw" rather than "Utah"). W. and E. Baltimore Street forms the east-west dividing line of the city's grid system while N. and S. Charles Street forms the north-south dividing line.


Precipitation is below normal -- about 72% of normal since Dec. 1st and roughly 65% of normal since January 1st at the three airports. For February, precipitation has fallen off the charts -- between 9 percent and 25 percent of normal.

Looking east along W. Baltimore Street from the intersection of Eutaw Street, Baltimore, Md., 12:32PM February 19, 2017.

As noted, the weather was absurdly -- obnoxiously -- warm and dry for February (reaching about 70F). The air conditioning actually was necessarily on in the Hippodrome.


But Sue Palka -- the snake-eyed She-Dragon of all endless heat and drought -- and the local bourgeoisie and their proletariat servant class will, do, love it.

Another view of the Abell as seen at the intersection of Eutaw and Baltimore Streets, Baltimore, Md., 12:33PM February 19, 2017.

As this picture shows, because this building has a north-south numbering and is located at the intersection of W. Baltimore Street, it's address is as low in the single digits as you can get -- in this case, all the way down to "1". A few blocks to the east is where Charles Street runs -- and the intersection is the (0,0) point of the Baltimore grid system (which extends erratically out into the suburbs, primarily on the major thoroughfares).


I'm heading back to D.C. tomorrow on the train, although I think I'm going to a group lunch first with my mom involving the veterans group with which Ray was involved in the six months before he died. There is a luncheon at Rams Head luncheon. I suspect everyone in that group is a hardcore Trump voter, so I guess I need to just not talk about anything political.

Inside the lobby of the Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, Md., 12:53PM February 19, 2017.

We had a very nice lunch that we ordered from the "Hipp Café" in the Hippodrome. We were eating in the lobby area where tables were set up.


Updated 2/21/2017 prior to posting: In point of fact, I did not go to the Rams Head luncheon but just slept in.

My plan is to go to the gym tomorrow evening. I intend to post a new entry -- or at least an update -- tomorrow night.

Seated inside the Hippodrome Theatre, Baltimore, Md., 1:43PM February 19, 2017.


Updated 2/21/2017 prior to posting: As I noted above, I went to the gym and I'm home now and ready to go to bed and start another workweek. Tomorrow night is not a gym night. My next planned posting will be late Wednesday or early Thursday.