Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Evening Follies: Generally Bad Humored Update in the Time of Trump Interspersed with Additional Durham Work Trip Pics

Morning view from my apartment, Washington, D.C., 8:36AM April 21, 2017.

It was already thickly humid and warm.

The bulk of the images in this entry were taken on my work trip to Durham, N.C., earlier this week.


Friday late afternoon. (Well, it is early evening by the time I post this entry.)

It's a warm and thickly humid day for late April with an air temp of 81F and dew point of 69F at KDCA at the 4PM hour. (Somehow, though, relatively nearby KBWI is only 68F / 63F.)

Office view overlooking Southwest Washington, D.C., toward the waterfront, 3:01PM April 21, 2017.


Tree pollen levels are, metaphorically speaking, stratospheric and I'm suffering mightily. Of course, it doesn't help that in D.C., the tree pollen is mixed with vehicular fumes, construction site fumes, pot (as in marijuana) fumes, incense fumes, and any random other fumes of the urban experience.

NWS point-grid icon forecast for Washington, D.C., for day and night for the period April 21 - 25, 2017.

I suspect very little of that rain will materialize.


Rain / thunderstorms are constantly in the forecast and yet nothing seems to pan out -- and that's annoying. In particular, EVERYTHING but EVERYTHING continually misses National Airport and downtown D.C.

Wooded area between Wingate by Wyndham at Durham hotel and parking lot off Slater Rd., Durham, N.C., 7:19AM April 18, 2017.

Yes, 7:19AM. And this was a quick shortcut rather than walking out to Page Road.


It might rain steadily tomorrow -- we could use it for a number of reasons -- but it might not. Tomorrow is, by the way, the March for Science timed for Earth Day here in D.C. (marches are also supposed to be held in other cities around the United States).

Parking lot view from The Solution Center, Durham, N.C., April 18, 2017.

Yes, The Solution Center. It's actually a well-run conference venue -- and well-stocked with food and drink (including cans of Vintage Seltzer water).


The moral sickness and (to quote the inestimable Charles Pierce) "meretricious goonery" of the Trump / GOP era is making the March for Science quite timely, although it does nothing to break down the media/entertainment complex-enforced bubbles and Manichean Red/Blue state, rural/urban divide of the present era.

Living as I do here in D.C., I'm tempted to go down to the march, especially given the nature of it. I have some co-worker friends who are attending. Of course, Saturday is my gym and laundry day, and I'm reluctant to break that pattern.

Now next weekend -- Saturday, April 29th -- is the 100th day of Trump's historically mistaken tragedy and historically tragic mistake of a (p)residency thanks to the Perfect Storm of travesties of 2016 -- not to mention the fact that Trump was the "ideal" candidate to exploit the rot and eccentricities of our system to ride to victory despite a popular vote loss of 3 million.

Given his socio-pathological solipsistic zero-sum worldview of "winners" and "losers" only, and desperate for a "win" ahead of the stupid 100-day marker, Trump is heavily leaning on crazy GOP'ers to resurrect and pass that abortion of an Obamacare "repeal and replace" bill (itself a stalking horse of another multi-trillion dollar tax giveaway to multimillionaires and billionaires).

However, as Josh Barro explains here and Jim Newell explains here and Paul Krugman explains here, this remains a fool's errand due to the impossibility of reconciling the competing demands or, if you prefer, squaring that circle.

The bar at Page Road Grill restaurant, Durham, N.C., 6:19PM April 18, 2017.

I went there both evenings that I was in Durham.


The bigger (and growing) threat is of a government shutdown when the current CR expires on April 30th -- and since Trump is a megalomaniac and demanding money for his border wall obscenity and intertwining it with his health care reform deform obscenities, it is quite possible we could have a shutdown. This will result in my being furloughed (since unlike in 2013, the agency I support does not have funds to continue to operate).

Yours truly in the hotel room, Durham, N.C., 10:07PM April 18, 2017.


Speaking of Josh Barro, here is a worthwhile piece to read (link embedded): A quote from 'The Art of the Deal' perfectly explains Trump's presidency.

Returning to the above-linked Charlie Pierce piece, here is an excerpt:

"The myth of Trump's vulnerability has two sources, I think. The first is the apparently irresistible impulse in some quarters to score some sort of final victory over the Clinton family. We dealt with that on Monday.)

The other is the reluctance of Republicans -- and of the elite political classes at large -- to accept the reality that Trump is merely a cruder manifestation of the political prion disease that has afflicted conservatism and the Republican Party since it first ate the monkeybrains 35 years ago. It was all leading to someone like Trump, and something like last year's election.

There are any number of reasons for people to deny that simple truth. The margin of victory was to be found in a unique candidate responding uniquely to a unique set of circumstances. Nobody lost that campaign. Donald Trump won it."

The proverbial two martini (Cosmo?) lunch at 42nd St. Oyster Bar & Grill, Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport, 1:40PM April 19, 2017.

I had a really good mahi-mahi sandwich with grilled vegetables. Of note, getting decent food -- as in, fish and vegetables, rather than fast food garbage galore -- was not hard down there in North Carolina, although this was in the Research Triangle area.


(I would post Jonathan Chait stuff but he has been away the past week and not updating his site.

OK, I guess that's all for now.

Moving walkway at Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport, 1:49PM April 19, 2017.

Alas, I was not able to get my bright blue can of Vintage Seltzer water through security. That got taken away during the usual hokey-pokey dance.


For tonight, I may (or may not) try to go to one of my "usual" places and see that goes -- if I even can go. Oh, well. Honestly, deep down, I don't care. Bars -- especially those of the gay variety -- are nothing but trouble for me and no good ever comes from them.

I'd like to try to post another episode of BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature -- especially as I have not posted one in several weeks and yet her Y'EYEMOSITY and our joint failure are YUUUUUGER than ever -- but we'll see how that goes.

Oh, by the way, here is a TMZ article on the prison pen pal letters that former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez wrote -- specifically, a really weird one to some woman who wrote him. An actual scanned version of the letter is available here. Wild.

A large American Airlines jet on the tarmac at Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport as seen from my Delta flight while taxiing for takeoff, 2:47PM April 19, 2017.

I was heading back to D.C. at this point.


Serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole (and despite having recently been exonerated in two other slayings) Hernandez committed suicide in his prison cell a few days ago by hanging.

Moment of take-off from Raleigh-Durham Int'l Airport, 2:59PM April 19, 2017.

There were no other reference objects nearby -- just a distant line of woods -- so there is no real sense of motion or takeoff. If you look closely, though, on the grassy area you can see what I think is part of the KRDU weather observation post (or something like that).


OK, that really is all for now.


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