Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Evening Post for June 24th, 2017: The Everything Sucks (Except for the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse) Edition

**This entry was posted June 24th, 2017.**

Dazzling Sun above the Christian Tabernacle Church of God, INC., at V and 11th Streets NW, Washington, D.C., 12:12PM June 23, 2017.

The D.C. pictures in this entry were taken by me over the past few days. They are topically unrelated to the entry.


First off, apologies for no BIG Y'EYEMAH's Friday Night Creature Feature edition yesterday.

I wanted to post a new edition -- I really did -- but I got bogged down trying to draw a picture of my beloved / betrothed in a way that captured her inner essence AND her massivity. Alas, I lacked a frickin' pencil and eraser -- strange how something so basic has become so rare these days -- and just couldn't draw the picture correctly.

You see, BIG Y'EYEMAH's massivity -- her enormity -- with those rolling waves of fat and her total inability to navigate small, winding places (or to catch a ride in my gay Miata) are such that any image must be drawn very carefully.

Here we are: My betrothed and myself (Loseturd Q. McNebbish).

We'll be getting married soon -- and living in Trump / GOP World smack dab in the middle of that Venn Diagram of poverty, obesity, and passivity. Yes, POP goes the BIG Y'EYEMAH.

I'll try again next Friday night.



Anyway, it's Saturday night now and I'm home, having had a good multipart gym workout earlier this afternoon / evening and just now finished several loads of laundry including bedding. I need to fluff and fold at least some of it before I head out tonight for my usual Saturday night doings (No. 9, Trade, and Old Ebbitt Grill).

I'm getting better with weightlifting. I also completed a six mile treadmill jog (plus 0.34 mile cool down) -- something I haven't done much of lately -- and a concluding swim. 

Row houses and an old elm sycamore tree, 1200 block W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 12:28PM June 22, 2017.


Tonight, I've had about 30 text exchanges with my mom tonight on the topic of the upcoming August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse that she and I plan to see down in South Carolina with Andrea and Imara and Imara's parents, as well as my friend Chris from Atlanta, and my dad (driving up from Florida, if he can navigate the path sanely, a big if these days).

The reason for the texts is that there is apparently something on cable (CSPAN?) about it tonight that she has been watching.

August 21, 2017 eclipse path and historical odds of cloudiness (shaded circles) for many locations.

This doesn't include a legend for the degree of shadiness.


I came across this excellent piece on the eclipse that includes embedded in it an outstanding NASA video -- posted on YouTube and embedded below -- showing the path of the Moon's umbral shadow, adjusted for local terrain *and* the jagged edge of the Moon (due to lunar mountains and valleys). It also includes a series of high-resolution maps featuring the path of totality through various states, times, and duration of totality.

NASA YouTube video of the path of the eclipse with explanation / narration.


We are staying in Charleston that weekend but the plan is to view the eclipse a bit farther up the coastline -- in the vicinity of the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge -- in order to be under the path of maximum duration totality.

The weather / sky conditions, of course, are a big wildcard and we are limited in backup plans.

Close-up of the Aug. 21, 2017 eclipse path through coastal South Carolina (from the article linked above).


Speaking of the weather, the Weather Gods -- or maybe The Lord(TM) -- screwed up any chance we had for some needed rain yesterday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy Lou Who that came ashore over Briny Breezes and Piney Sneezes Trailer Park Estates on the Louisabamaissippi border and created floating mats of fire ants sort of crapped out as they approached the D.C. area.

We basically got zilch and now there is no chance of rain for at least another 4 to 5 days.

Row houses, 1200 block of V Street NW, Washington, D.C., 12:10PM June 23, 2017.


Thus, it was the usual summertime shit here -- although this craptacular weather pattern has gone on, on and off, for about a year now.

Now tonight is a nice night insofar as the dew point is down around 57F (after an extended spell of it being in the 70s Fahrenheit) and it shouldn't rise too much tomorrow -- so that the forecasted high of 86F here in D.C. is more or less reasonable. Actually, by midweek, it is forecasted to be below normal with highs only around 77F on Tuesday.

Bottle of Moutai Yingbin at Momiji upstairs bar, Washington, D.C., 8:47PM June 22, 2017.

As context: My colleague Robert and I went to the work happy hour at the Hyatt City Place rooftop bar in Southwest D.C., and then he and I walked to the Japanese restaurant Momiji located at 5th and H Streets NW. We went to the little upstairs bar and (among other drinks) had shots of what is called Moutai Yingbin, a type of baijiu (sorghum wine) made in China that is 53% alcohol by volume ...

Robert was born in China but came to the United States as a child, although he has visited on occasion and speaks the language.


For tomorrow, I'm supposed to meet Wendy for lunch. I've not seen or even spoken to her in any way for about 18 months, but then she suddenly texted me on Friday.

Of all my former / ex-friends to include Gasy the Hangry Chipmungorilla, J-Me, L-Peep and the Trash Heap, Gdansk Danse Macabre, Wall-P and that money-grubbing, awful bourgeois lot, and anyone else I cannot think of right now, Wendy is the only one I actually liked and regretted not being in touch with her.

Yours truly in the elevator of my apartment building, Washington, D.C., 12:30AM June 23, 2017.

After Robert and I parted outside Momiji, I stopped for dinner at Cuba Libre and then walked home.


Before I go, I would like to mention a little bit about that abortion of a Republican health care "reform" bill in the Senate -- the demon conjoined twin of the House Republican plan that narrowly passed the lower chamber last month.

The bill itself, of course, is just a trillion-dollar tax giveaway to multimillionaires and billionaires and corporate oligarchs everywhere with the money coming from the Medicaid reductions and other actions that will result in mass death. Everybody knows that -- or at least people who don't get their mis/disinformation from Fox News and the larger rightwing media/entertainment complex.

Flag waving in a gusty, warm and humid wind at L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C., 2:30PM June 23, 2017.

The Spy Museum going up on the plaza is a monstrosity of a building -- presently resembling something from the Giedi Prime world of David Lynch's version of Dune. You half expect to see a grotesque and corpulent Baron Harkonnen fly down from the steel rafters.


Trump himself is not specifically actively involved in this. Instead, he is, as ever, completely cognitively dissociated from reality -- living in his alternate TV reality -- and this particular abomination is being driven by Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. There is a big to do about whether "moderate" GOP Senators will support the final bill -- but as everyone knows, "GOP Moderates Always Cave."

As Jonathan Chait points out in the linked piece directly above, they do this when a bill is made more punitive. And the whore-media simply goes on and on about cosmetic changes -- or as Chait notes, contributing to the "anchoring effect."

1300 block of W Street NW, Washington, D.C., 3:07PM June 24, 2017.


To that end, on CNN today (as I saw from the treadmill at the gym), there was the usual "process" story bullshit about whether the GOP can pass the bill in the Senate, how many moderate and rightwing holdouts there are, and will Trump be able to keep his "promise" to "the American people." What contrived garbage.

The bill will pass with 50 GOP votes plus Mike Pence breaking the tie. That is a foreordained outcome. Once it passes, though, the tragedies it will unleash will be vast and horrible. To that end, I would like to link to this Charlie Pierce piece:

A Message to Trump Voters on the Occasion of This Healthcare Bill. I'd like to repost the entire piece but I don't have the time or wherewithal to do so tonight.

An auditorium full of Trump's Red State easy marks at a rally in Iowa several days ago.


The concluding two paragraphs are worth quoting in full, though:

I'm sorry, but I can't let the suckers off the hook on this particular Thursday, not when I know in my bones that, in a year or so, there are going to be more expeditions into The Real America in which we hear sad tales about the closing of rural hospitals, and medical bankruptcies, and children who died because the insurance company denied them a life-saving treatment. There will be all kinds of reasons postulated for this terrible state of affairs. "Culture" probably will be one of them, and it will be the stupidest one of all.

More of Trump's downwardly mobile white working class marks -- these in Tampa last year.


What will not be mentioned is that many of these people brought their tragedies on themselves, that voting has consequences, and that using a presidential election to hock a collective loogie at "The Establishment" and at Those People is a particularly dumbass way to participate in democracy.

Oh, and speaking of Charlie Pierce, he is quite upset at former President Obama for not raising a bigger public fuss about the massive, sustained Russia government meddling (including hacking of numerous state voting systems) in last year's presidential election. The Washington Post had this stunning expose on the whole mess.

Infographic from the Washington Post for the story on Obama's struggle to punish Putin for his active meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year.


Ultimately, Obama publicly said or did very little for a variety of reasons including not wanting to be seen as trying to affect the outcome of the election. The Republicans smiled sweetly at that little nicety.

OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be late Monday or early Tuesday.

Jukebox Saturday Night edition to follow shortly ...


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