Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Entry #2,222: Dateline Chicago - Looped In But Not So Deep-Dished

CORRECTION 11:54PM 6/1/2017: I had the name of the Willis (Sears) and Hancock Center Towers revered. It is now corrected.

Morning view in the 900 block of S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill., 7:21AM May 31, 2017.

Note: All image caption times in this entry are local, so Chicago ones are Central Daylight Time (CDT).


Entry #2,222.

Well, I'm here in Chicago.

Yesterday's jet ride from D.C. to Cincinnati (DCA to CVG) somewhere over, I assume, Ohio, 2:33PM May 30, 2017.

Of note, I flew the same jet in the same seat (11D) on both legs of the flight yesterday -- although I deplaned the airport and the second flight had a different number.


I flew into O'Hare (not Midway) yesterday via Cincinnati*. O'Hare International Airport is scary big and crowded, but I managed to find my way to the baggage claim and retrieve my one large duffel bag. I then made it to the CTA -- also called the "L" -- and caught an old Blue Line train (car 2626, I noted) into Chicago.

Chicago is enormous and its rush hour snarls commensurate with its size, or so it seemed on the route I followed into the city's Loop area.

(*OK, the airport is actually in Covington, Kentucky -- so that it was my first time in Kentucky since November 1984 with my dad. Wonderful Just where I wanted to be.)

The Ohio River as seen over northern Kentucky descending into CVVG, 2:35PM May 30, 2017.

The flight inbound to CVG followed the Ohio River for literally 200 miles.


I had intended to post an entry last night but the hotel -- the Blackstone Renaissance -- charges $14.95/day for Wi-Fi. You'd think for $222/night (government rate this time of year), you'd get it complimentary, but you would be wrong.

I may sign up for it tonight (my last night there) just because I want to post some pictures.

View of downtown Cincinnati on final approach into CVG, 2:42PM May 30, 2017.

The inbound route involves a loop to the northwest of Cincinnati and back over the Ohio River into the airport.

Oh, yes, at CVG, I stopped in a restaurant called Max & Erma's. The bartender twice called me "boss." Why do large, straight, young men always call me "boss"??


In any event, right now I'm at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on a Wi-Fi network made available to those of us at a DOE workshop in the engineering center.

I'm on a lunch break and only have a few minutes to post an entry. A decent lunch was actually provided. (OK, I actually finished this entry later in the afternoon.)

John Hancock Tower Willis Tower as seen in downtown Chicago, Ill., 6:00PM May 30, 2017.


So I have mixed feelings about Chicago. It's a gigantic city that has basically everything -- in that way, it's like New York, only more spread out, perhaps not as grimy in its inner core, and with more Middle American beefcake. But it also has vast, rundown areas of poverty and urban blight and pathology.

The skyline is huge -- and dominated by its skyscraping iconic structures of the Hancock Tower and Sears, er, Willis Tower. As in Atlanta, there are skyscrapers flung far and wide, not just in the urban core.

The Chicago skyline as seen at a particularly gloomy moment, 7:06PM May 30, 2017.


Many of these skyscrapers are old and rectangular and seen in the brilliant morning sunlight (while riding two stops on the Green Line train from the Roosevelt station to Bronzeville/IIT) created the weird sensation of the dream city of "Limbo" in the movie Inception.

The city's subway system -- which is at least as much above ground than below ground, or so it seems -- is vast and confusing with multiple color-coded lines. There also seems to be multiple names for the system: CTA, "L", and "Metro" -- not to be confused with the "Metra" system -- and which uses the "Ventra" electronic fare payment system. Then there's PACE and something called Jump.

CTA cards are $10 a pop -- and I had to use my credit card rather than cash (and enter my D.C. home zip code).

Skyscrapers -- the same two in the lead image -- visible from the Great Ivy Lawn along the Lakefront, Chicago, Ill., 7:11PM May 30, 2017.


The city's grid system is straightforward in the sense of block numbers with directional abbreviations (e.g., N, S, E, W) So way out at O'Hare, it was something like 8400N and 4800W. Or something like that. Where I am staying, it's basically 600S, 50E.

The hotel is alright but somehow there is no shower curtain or door -- just a semi-entrance with fixed glass partition. The bed has only those light hotel sheets, no real blanket, and no spare one in a closet. I'm in room 1405 so I can see Lake Michigan if I look sharply to the left, otherwise a massive building that is either a hotel or some sort of hotel or dorm room blocks the view straight ahead of me and down Michigan Avenue.

Dramatic looking sky as seen from the Lakefront park (Great Ivy Lawn), Chicago, 7:13PM May 30, 2017.


I got off the Blue Line station (at LaSalle) and after a confusing, vexing walk, I made it to the hotel but soon headed back out. There was a brief heavy shower and then -- over the next few hours -- there was an absolutely spectacular evening sky of clouds and setting Sun as what looked like a dissipating thunderstorm cloud pushed to the east. There was even mammatus clouds associated with it.

The display culminated in a beautiful rainbow over tranquil Lake Michigan as I saw while walking along the Lake Front between 12th Street and Buckingham Memorial Fountain. I tried to take some pictures but my flip open cellphone camera in the evening light didn't do a good job.

Rainbow over Lake Michigan from the Chicago Lakefront, 7:25PM May 30, 2017.


Lake Michigan's waterfront in Chicago appeared remarkably free of litter / garbage -- but the water is this odd blue/green opaque color.

There were lots of joggers in the park jogging along the water. At least this part of the population is fit.

A rainbow and mammatus clouds over Lake Michigan from the Chicago Lakefront, 7:26PM May 30, 2017.

Lots of people were taking picture of this rainbow (which briefly started to go "double-decker"). There may have been a thunderstorm cluster earlier to the north -- toward Milwaukee -- the edge of which clipped Chicago.


The Buckingham Memorial Fountain, Chicago, 7:33PM May 30, 2017.

No, I did not sing the Married, With Children theme song.


I wanted to have a nice dinner with American-style cuisine (I am in Chicago, after all), but there was no sit-down, open restaurant like that near the hotel. I may be the only person who ever came to Chicago and had trouble finding a place to eat. I think it's just that particular stretch of Michigan Avenue with its heavy concentration of hotels and theatres. To be clear, it was getting dark and there were lots of panhandlers about and I didn't feel like dealing with that in a strange city.

I ended up settling for the odd and noisy restaurant in the hotel -- a place Mercat a la Planxa offering only Catalan fare, something I did not really want. I had a conversation on the phone with my mom. She was feeling down. I went back to the hotel room and watched some TV -- including an episode of Modern Family with (speaking of Married, With Children), Ed O'Neill.

One of the joggers at the massive pedestrian crossing of S. Lakeshore Drive near Buckingham Fountain, Chicago, Ill., 7:30PM May 30, 2017.


I had a restless sleep with bizarre dreams and waking up numerous times, but I had no trouble getting up at 6AM (OK, that's 7AM EDT).

For tonight, I'm going to try to go to the hotel gym before getting dinner (where, I'm unsure), although I am included in the workshop group invitation to go to a nearby bar called Rocky's.

The main issue is that I'm just not really keen on a big Chicago weekend and to that end, I was able to shorten my stay -- with a return flight to D.C. (National Airport) via Detroit on Saturday afternoon rather than late Sunday night. If I had my own hotel, it might be different but I am staying with a former coworker and her boyfriend in their apartment not far from here tomorrow night at Friday night.

Grounds of the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, 12:37PM May 31, 2017.

Stunningly lovely day today here it was.


Friday will be my one free day to walk about. I'll try to get over to Boystown (Lake View) and see if the Willis Tower observation deck is open. I will be staying at a friend's apartment in the 1900 block of S. Michigan Avenue -- so actually about midway between IIT and where I am now.

OK, that's all for now. My next entry might not be until I am back in D.C. this weekend.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend Doings -OR- Rolling Softly Along New Hampshire Avenue on a Wet Sunday Afternoon

Flowers growing in the 1200 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 3:54PM May 28, 2017.

Yes, there is an unintentional "New Hampshire Avenue NW" theme -- and one topically unrelated to the entry itself -- to all but one of the pictures in this entry. Oh, and I also live on New Hampshire Avenue (in the 2000 block).


This is just a quick update on this Memorial Day holiday as I need to get out and about. (Yes, once again I got up at 130PM. Oh, well.)

My planned lunch with my mom yesterday did not happen. Once she heard it was Rolling Trump Voter Thunder event in D.C., she nixed the idea of taking the train into the city.

On a Trump Voter note, here is a totally non-shocking story: The U.S. is the most obese nation in the world, just ahead of Mexico.

Showery afternoon, 1800 block New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 3:24PM May 28, 2017.


Anyway, instead of meeting my mom for lunch, I left my apartment around 3PM and walked down to West End to have lunch at Café Deluxe, a restaurant adjoining a hotel.

While there, this fellow named Greg visiting D.C. for just one day started talking to me (we were seated at the bar). It turned out he was from Brisbane, Australia and on a whirlwind tour across Canada with a side detour to D.C. and New York City. I happened to catch him on his D.C. visit (his first time here and in the United States).

Greg is a 60-year old guy, never married (no, I didn't delve into whether he was gay, nor did I tell him that I am), who lives in an apartment in Brisbane and works in the central operations building for a friend train system.

The wet, shrub-filled yard of the International Temple, headquarters of the General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, Washington, D.C.,. 3:28PM May 28, 2017.

Yes, the Order of the Eastern Star is part of that whole Freemasonry thing. You can read about the building here.


I ended up taking him on a bit of a walking tour -- down to the Watergate, along the Potomac to the Lincoln Memorial (which was mobbed with tourists including those with obnoxious "selfie sticks"), along the Reflecting Pool past the World War II Memorial, and past the Washington Monument before detouring up 15th Street, where we stopped for a drink at Old Ebbitt Grill (in the Grant Bar where there just happened to be two bar stools free).

I pointed him in the correct direction back to his hotel in the 1100 block of New Hampshire Avenue and we parted in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. We didn't exchange numbers or emails or anything like that.

That was that.

The Phi Beta Kappa Society building in the 1600 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 3:32PM May 28, 2017.


Weather-wise, it was actually rainy for a few hours yesterday afternoon with overcast skies most of the day. Temps were only about 68F but dew points not far below that. This made for a partially busted / botched forecast -- at least from the CWG -- and that's fine with me, since the error was in favor of rain.

Actual amounts were light -- only 0.1" to 0.2" inches across the Baltimore/Washington region -- but it added to the monthly surplus and everything is very lush and green.

A nice house located in the 1200 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 3:53PM May 28, 2017.


Today is a partly cloudy, warm, and humid day with temps already about 80F and dew points about 68F. I am headed to National Airport because I want to see if I can move up my return from Chicago from Sunday to Saturday. I just don't want to get in so late on a Sunday night.

The plaque featuring the famous Abraham Lincoln quote outside the Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters, Washington, D.C., 7:29PM May 28, 2017.


Thereafter, I would like to stop at the Tombs in Georgetown and then head back around with my usual stop at Trade. I plan to be home no later than 10PM tonight and in bed by 1AM. My flight is at 130PM tomorrow, so realistically, this means I need to be up by 830AM to do everything and get to the airport an hour ahead of time.

My mom sent me the above picture taken at the Maryland Veterans Cemetery in Crownsville where there was a Memorial Day service. It is sad, of course, since this is the first Memorial Day since Ray passed away and he is buried there.

OK, that's all for now. I'll try to post another entry tonight. I am taking my computer with me to Chicago.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Jukebox Saturday Night for May 27th, 2017: The Whatever Works, Easy, and Extremes Edition

First up, a nice, light, upbeat smooth jazz piece ...

"Whatever Works" by John Jarvis from album of same name (1988)

Of note, the album "Whatever Works" has on it a song entitled "Paul Wants a Pig." (You can see that about two-thirds of the way through the song when the still image flips from the front to the reverse side of the CD jacket cover.)

I couldn't find the song as a stand-alone but instead it is on the YouTube "video" of the full playlist. It starts at 36:30 and is actually a nice piece.

As for Mr. Jarvis (pictured left), he does not appear to have a website but he has a Twitter account on which he expresses his political views about Trump -- and with which I wholly agree.


Next up, one of the 1970s standards ...

"Easy" by the Commodores from the group's eponymously-titled album (1977)

This video is of a live performance from 1978 and, yes, that is Lionel Richie as the lead singer sporting quite a 'fro and vintage period leisure suite.


And we'll end with something old school yet suitably Saturday night energetic ...

"I Go to Extremes" by Billy Joel from his album Storm Front (1989)

I can sort of relate to this song. The video to it is a sort of manic black-and-white frenzy featuring Joel and his band performing the song.

That album is the one which features one of Joel's number 1 hits "We Didn't Start the Fire."


OK, that's all for now. Please see my previous entry for an update. Also, I will most likely not have a Jukebox Saturday Night edition next week (on June 3rd) since I'll still be in Chicago wrapping up that work/pleasure trip.


Saturday Evening Post for May 27th, 2017: Friday Night Rewind - The Civilized Steakhouse, A Very Uncivilized Rebellion, Late Night Palatial Royalty

**This entry was posted May 27, 2017.**

The Washington Monument and recently re-grassed National Mall, Washington, D.C., 5:36PM May 26, 2017.

That picture was taken on a particularly nice afternoon.

The pictures in this entry were taken on Friday -- many of which during my 20-minute walk from L'Enfant Plaza to Bobby Van's restaurant on 15th Street via the National Mall where I met Andrea. A few were taken much later at Blaguard in Adams Morgan with Imara, Jake, and Matt.


Saturday night.

This is a recap of my past two days. This is not the political-themed entry that I have partially composed and would still like to post before my Chicago trip.

Some of the tourists who have descended upon Washington, D.C., this spring, National Mall -- 5:36PM May 26, 2017.

If I can adapt a famous line, "tourists in monstrous infinity ..."


Yesterday, I left work a bit early (everyone having bugged before me ahead of the Memorial Day holiday weekend thanks, in part, to the federal government giving two hour early dismissal) and walked from L'Enfant Plaza to Bobby Van's steakhouse on 15th Street NW (near the White House and to be confused with Bobby Vans grill at New York Avenue and 12th Street NW).

My route took me across the National Mall -- recently reopened after that multi-year project to dig up all the severely compacted dirt and replace it with new dirt and grass, not to mention a new underground drainage system of pipes and whatnot.

National Mall looking south near the Smithsonian Metro station entrance, Washington, D.C., 5:37 May 26, 2017.


The day was beautiful what with all the recent rain having turned everything so vibrantly green and leafy. The Sun was shining in a clean, rain-washed blue sky fleeced with puffy cumulus clouds brightly illuminated yellowish-white by the low-angled sunlight. There was as gusty northwesterly breeze and the air temp was about 75F and the dew point around 54F.

There was such a lovely feel to the day that even the throngs of tourists on and near the Mall were less annoying than usual. That never happens.

National Mall near 14th Street and Madison Drive NW, Washington, D.C., 5:40PM May 26, 2017.


At Bobby Van's -- my first time there -- I met Andrea. I don't get to see her much these days given her current position and responsibilities. We sat at the bar and had some excellent appetizers (the crab dip, the small pieces of filet mignon on bread, and a cheese platter) plus drinks (a Manhattan and some wine).

It was all very nice and very civilized (especially in contrast to so much of the rest of the night -- as explained below).

Another view of the National Mall near the same 14th Street and Madison Drive NW location, Washington, D.C., 5:40PM May 26, 2017.


Her husband, Imara, was with Jake and Matt at Rebellion on 18th Street and we took a taxi there. The place is located next to Larry's Trap House and Opium Den Lounge

Things went instantly very wrong in that way that seems to happen to me way beyond a normal statistical odds.

The waiter -- if that's what you would call him -- was about 5'11" and oblate spheroid, weighing in at least 320 pounds, dressed like a hipster slob, and covered in tattoos. He instantly aggressively insisted that neither Andrea nor I could sit at the table (despite the fact there was certainly room) because it violated the fire code.

A young couple walking north in the 200 block of 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 5:44PM May 26, 2017.


He walked off and Andrea and I sat down anyway, whereupon he came running -- lumbering -- back, yelling that he would call the police. I lost my temper with him almost immediately and was immediately kicked out with physically threatening moves on this part. (To that end, I said fuck you and called him a hippopotamus while going down the steep stairs to the main level.)

To be clear, I never saw anything quite like it: The upfront belligerence, the aggressive approach that would have included physical violence (all the more startling for someone of that size), the screaming about calling the police on something so trivial, and just the whole absurdity of it.

That being the case, I won't be going back there.

The sky above the U.S. Commerce Department building, Washington, D.C., 5:46PM May 26, 2017.

There was a fresh and refreshing breeze from the northwest at this point.


The place (Rebellion) is trouble and I honestly cannot tell what the "look" for "vibe" or whatever the place is attempting in its catering to annoying D.C. millennials. As I see it, you do not run a restaurant like that. If there is a fire code issue, you have a sign up or something that alerts patrons upfront -- not through that approach by an out-of-control employee.

Rebellion is the place where this female bartender once worked with whom an ex-Larry's Lounge friend -- let's call him Uncle Fester because that's what he looks like -- had a big obsession (and despite the fact he is married and has a young child). When that situation blew up, she hurled glasses at him (as in, the things you drink out of).

The sky fleeced with cumulus clouds above Pershing Park next to the Willard InterContinental Washington hotel, Washington, D.C., 5:49PM May 26, 2017.


I left with Andrea while the others stayed. I was furious that such bullshit INSTANTLY was visited upon me by the fates or God or whatever. I also figured that the others would just stay -- since nobody, but nobody, EVER takes my side in these things.

I am fed up with being the bad guy -- and in this case, I was not even if I argued back and said what I said to him.

However, it turned out they were just paying the bill and we all left together and went to nearby to the Blaguard. At some point -- after more drinks and shots -- Andrea went home and the three of us just stayed out. Being with three straight young men (ages 28 to 32), we naturally eventually ended up at that skanky club called Royal Palace with naked female dancers performing gravity-defying acrobatic maneuvers on various metal poles on elevated platforms illuminated by spotlights.

Yours truly and Imara at Blaguard, Washington, D.C., May 26, 2017.


Royal Palace has managed to survive in that prime location at Florida and Connecticut Avenues into the year 2017 and shows no sign of going anywhere.

The place was actually a tad less ghastly than I remember. The female dancers did not come around the tables demanding money -- and insulting you if you didn't give it to them. And the door bouncer was not doubling as the deejay -- grunting into a microphone, "Yeeeaaahhh .... Look at dat. You can SMELL da funk!"

Another picture of Imara and me at Blaguard, Washington, D.C., May 26, 2017.


Actually, now that I think about it, I recall that I was the one who recommended going there rather than to the strip clubs farther away on M Street NW.) I don't quite remember leaving but I made it home safe and sound -- and did not finally get up until 320PM this afternoon, although I woke up a number of times throughout the morning.

Jake and I at Blaguard, Washington, D.C., May 26, 2017.


Once up for good, I made it to the gym and got in a 5-mile jog and almost an hour of moderately strenuous weightlifting plus a swim. I'm home now in my wee apartment, two lamps and the window air conditioner turned on. I just finished four loads of laundry. I may go out a bit later to No. 9 and Trade, but I'm really quite tired and want to be in bed by 2AM.

Outdoor café area at the Willard InterContinental Hotel, Washington, D.C., 5:50PM May 26, 2017.


Tomorrow, my mom is taking the MARC train into D.C. to Union Station and we are going to lunch somewhere -- either there or take a taxi somewhere else. I was thinking maybe of Circa DC in Foggy Bottom and then, weather-permitting, showing her the Top of the Gate bar atop the Watergate hotel.

Monday is the Memorial Day holiday, and I have it off from work. However, the gym closes early that day -- 4PM and pool by 330PM -- so it is unlikely I'll be able to make it.

Cheese platter and wine at the bar at Bobby Van's Steakhouse, Washington, D.C., 6:54PM May 26, 2017.


Looking ahead to next week, I leave for Chicago on Tuesday for the two-day workshop on Wednesday and Thursday. Thereafter, I'm taking off Friday to just sightsee -- as I may have mentioned recently, I've never actually been to Chicago (other than passing through O'Hare or Midway).

I was not able to get rooms for Thursday - Saturday nights, inclusive, but a former coworker named Amanda offered to let me stay at her apartment with her and her boyfriend. (To be clear, I have a (nice) hotel for Tuesday and Wednesday nights but that is part of the workshop and is on the government's dime. The rest is my own time and my responsibility.) I'm scheduled to return on Sunday evening, June 4th. I kind of wish I had made the return date instead on Saturday.

15th Street and New York Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 7:29PM May 26, 2017.


OK, that's all for now. My plan is to post an entry either tomorrow or Monday.

This weekend's Jukebox Saturday Night entry edition to follow momentarily (as I already have it composed).


Friday, May 26, 2017

"Another Day, Another B1tch Day..."*

*Or so used to say my late paternal grandmother. I still miss that woman so much.

OK, this entry is just to replace the previous one as the lead. I do NOT need anything involving that stupid topic and its ostensible central focus as my lead. Idiot.

I have an entry-in-the-making, but it is a political-themed one and sort of expanded -- metastasized -- into something lengthy and vituperative and requiring all manner of pictures to break it up. At this point, that particular entry may never get posted.

Anyway, this entry is just to replace the previous one.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going back to bed for about 2 hours before going into work.



Thursday, May 25, 2017

The A-Gay Boy Reaches 40 on the Interstate of Life, Next Exit, Is (Not) the Knacker's Yard; -OR- Onward, Time and Tide ...

It's May 25th and that means it's time for another celebratory birthday blog entry for a certain someone. Truthfully, I'm sort of making myself post this entry -- in part because I posted entries two and five, but it is this one in particular that calls out for an entry (yet one I had to force myself to write it because, well, I just don't care anymore; indeed, this entry is more just a general commentary than to any one specific person).

This birthday is the BIG FOR-OH, 4-Zero ... also known as FORTY.

Yes, that milestone relentlessly approached and came right on schedule. Yes, "time and tide wait for no man." Alternatively, "time is a harsh mistress" indeed.

Coincidentally it's also the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie (later retitled, "Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope").

That being the case, I have come up with what I think are a suitable mélange of videos to commemorate the event of a person of his caliber and character. They follow below.

As for turning 40, welcome to middle age.

It's not really a joyful time, all the more so as a gay man cut off from the standard arc of a middle class American straight male who is married, with children. In that trajectory of life, the wife turns the man, in a manner of speaking, into a buccal-pumping frog on a suburban lily-pad, but all the systems and structures of society are in place.

For a typical gay guy, that option at least culturally doesn't really exist as a viable option -- the exception being those gay men who marry some guy and settle down and end up morphing into a single blob (again, in a manner of speaking).

This is problematic for the "A-Gay" types, though, who basically just marry versions of themselves -- such a problematic course of action seldom works out (not because of the "marrying version of self part" itself but because the type of person "self" is).

(My working assumption here is that in the straight world, men marry versions of their mothers and women marry versions of their fathers. In the gay world, gay men marry themselves. As for lesbians, I have no idea.)

(Some of the comments to this one on the YouTube page are kinda funny.)

Gay middle age marks that long decent out of youth and -- no matter how much you go to the gym and try to eat right -- for the erstwhile A-lister into moobs, general sagginess, ever-more-leathery and crinkled tattoos (if one was dumb enough to get a bunch of them), not to mention that natural scent of Cheez Whiz and perfumed ass.

OK, maybe I exaggerate a bit -- and I added those last two parts after a friend texted that to me because I found them hilarious.

What is true is that the next awful generation of 20-something gay sorority boys -- gay mafia, indeed -- will take your place at the top of the vapid urban, upper middle class gay social hierarchy and, if you spend anytime in their presence, will look at you as though you're only good for the bone yard or glue factory (in England, the knacker's yard).

For the self-absorbed A-lister turning 40, think of the last 20 years of the first 40 as the climb to "Peak A-Gay," and know that the first 20 years of the next 40 is all about the loss of all that and, in the process, necessarily becoming something very different.

What that different thing is -- well, who's to say, that's up to the person within the contexts of ability, place, and time. Obviously, that's wide open.

The main effort should be to develop values, relationships, structures, and supportive resources that give one ability to navigate perilous time and tide. If not, then the journey will be a difficult and unhappy one. ()

It may also mean getting rid of relationships including friends that you previously though sacrosanct. Of course, some people are just inherently much more unhappy than others with life difficulties, so there's that to consider, as well, but that doesn't change the relentless pull of time and tide and the need to adapt (on your own terms as much as possible but not foolishly so -- fighting everything is a sure way to lose).

Have I done all of this at age 47-1/2? Hell no. But I think I'm beginning to see, perhaps, how to do it and within my own life context.

Onward, time and tide ...


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Late Wednesday Night Weather Update: A Wet Cut-Off System Progged to Cross Eastern U.S.; Info on Those Broody "X" Cicada Stragglers

Sterling (LWX) NWS radar in base mode reflectivity looped 10:27PM to 10:59PM May 24, 2017.


Back from the gym a short while ago.

It's a breezy, softly overcast, cool night, KDCA 11PM air temp 62°F and dew point 57°F with rainfall starting to move across the immediate D.C. area.

Looking at the weather situation, a cut-off low presently centered over the Ohio River valley (near Cincinnati) will loll eastward while the warm front associated with it pushes up the Eastern Seaboard courtesy a strengthening low-level jet.

NWS high-resolution surface weather map for a portion of the U.S. valid 0Z (UTC) May 25, 2017.

The system is starting to occlude and become vertically stacked.


The moisture-laden system will be further enhanced by spokes of shortwave vorticity rotating through it, bringing moderate-to-heavy rainfall to the Baltimore/Washington region during the overnight hours. There is also the chance of thunderstorms as the low passes overhead and the late May Sun destabilizes the atmosphere.

The system should slowly push out by Friday with breezy conditions.

Here are the some radar images:

The NWS composite radar mosaic for a portion of the eastern United States at 2148UTC May 24, 2017.


Southeastern U.S. sector composite radar looped 1828 to 1938UTC May 24, 2017.


Great Lakes sector composite radar looped 1818 to 1928UTC May 24, 2017.


Great Lakes sector composite radar looped 0148 to 0258UTC May 25, 2017.


Earlier today in the warm sector, over the Southeastern U.S., there have been widespread tornado watches in effect all day and some tornado warnings.

Now this is the forecast. If KDCA ends up with, like, 0.05", well, that wouldn't be the first rainfall bust there, nor the last one.

Here is the CWG entry bellyaching about the rain.

A Brood X cicada on, yes, Locust Lane, Fairfax, Va.; photo by Kevin Ambrose.

For more info, see below. To be clear, a cicada is not a locust.


Speaking of the CWG, here is a very informative CWG post featuring an interview with cicada expert Dan Mozgai -- keeper of the blog Cicada Mania -- on why these so-called "stragglers" from the 17-year cycle Brood "X" of cicadas have been emerging this spring across the D.C. area and portions of the eastern United States in non-trivial numbers -- despite not being due for another mass showing until 2021 (and joining the Brood VI that are expected):

A map of the Brood VI and Brood X cicada sightings in the eastern United States, May 2017.

The Brood VI are due to come out this year, but not the Brood X. Both are on 17-year cycles.


I didn't realize there were so many broods variously on 13-and-17-year cycles, and the whole concept of "acceleration" is very interesting, too -- basically, evolution in action.

OK, that's all for the weather entry. At least one more entry to follow tonight.