Thursday, January 25, 2018

Another 3AM Hour Blog Installment: Tuesday Night Recap Plus Weary Wednesday; Cape Town Approaches "Day Zero"; Chait & Pierce Excerpts

**Updated 2:22PM 1/25/2018: See below.**

Owens Island, Little Cayman, Cayman Islands

See below for explanation of the tropical seaside images.


Wednesday night -- well, Thursday morning by the time I post this. I don't think it's possible for me to compose and post an entry in a timely fashion -- hence the 3AM postings.

Apartment view 16th and U Streets and New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 1:49PM January 24, 2018


I'm home -- thank God, or as the late, great blogger Bartcop* would say, the Invisible Cloud Being -- and watching the late night Me-TV lineup of shows. It's the late weeknight usual: Carol Burnett & Friends, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. If I stay up late enough, Mannix and Cannon.

I also made dinner.

*It's such a shame that Bartcop isn't around for the Trump era.

Apartment view in the 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 1:49PM January 24, 2018 


Last night was ridiculous in terms of all the places I went. I went with Tim to Dirty Habit in the Hotel Monaco (in Chinatown). A Trade bartender who is a bar manager at Dirty Habit was working.

Tim and I parted and thereafter, I went to nearby Gordon-Biersch, where I sat at the bar and had a 41-minute phone conversation with my dad (it being his 77th birthday).

Sky and row houses, 1700 block 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C., 4:16PM January 24, 2018


Next, I walked to Trade, where I stayed for maybe a half hour before going to No. 9 and thence to Annie's, where I met (as planned) my friend Fred. I then went to upstairs D-I-K bar before going home. (There was some other stuff, too, but I'm not going to go into it -- no, not involving any place I went or anyone I met.)

I will say that, naturally, I way overspent on my daily budget. As for this (Wednesday) morning, I simply couldn't get up and go to work. More broadly, I just couldn't face the world.

Stratocumulus clouds as seen from near the S Street dog park, Washington, D.C., 4:35PM January 24, 2018.

Updated 2:22PM 1/25/2018: These stratocumulus clouds were classic gravity wave clouds, and their appearance yesterday evening is discussed in this CWG entry.

Yes, the term here is "gravity wave" rather than "gravitational wave" --that is something entirely different.

End of Update.


Instead, I stayed home, although I was able to do a few hours of work editing a document. I also plan to work on an Excel spreadsheet a bit later tonight after I post this entry.

In staying home from work, I was able to grocery shop around 4 o'clock and then I went to the gym a bit after 530PM. I had a full, multi-part workout including treadmill jog, weightlifting, and pool swim.

Bare trees and more stratocumulus clouds, 2000 block New Hampshire Ave NW, 4:43PM January 24, 2018


It's a blustery, chilly night -- although about average for late January. At the 11PM hour, there is the usual region-wide temperature discrepancy between National Airport and the other spots with KDCA at 37F, KBWI below freezing at 31F, and KIAD splitting the difference at 34F.

There isn't much weather to speak of -- we really need some rain. There might be some rain over the weekend. Accumulating snow is unlikely here anytime in the next 7 to 10 days.

An empty Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp (outside Cape Town), Western Cape, South Africa.


By the way, I read this story on the NPR site about a prolonged severe drought in parts of South Africa that has gotten so bad that Cape Town itself is set to run out of water -- and on a very specific day, April 12th, "Day Zero."

April 12th is the day when the city's dams (reservoirs) are considered depleted -- or at least the remaining water is shut off and residents are required to line up to collect an allotment of 6.5 gallons per day at one of about 200 distribution points to be set up across the City of Cape Town (the metropolitan municipality) with a population of 3.74 million.

A few notes:

The NPR article gives "Day Zero" as April 21st, but apparently it was moved up by Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille to April 12th.

The term "dam" in South Africa is used for both the physical structure (earthen or otherwise) that creates an artificial reservoir as well as for the artificial reservoir (lake) itself. Source here.

6.5 gallons per day is the World Health Organization's guidelines for the minimum amount of water per person per say needed in an emergency.

Nearly empty Theewaterskloof Dam near Villiersdorp, Western Cape, South Africa (at some point in mid-2017)

Here is a detailed data dive on the severity of Cape Town's drought that appeared a few days ago on the News24 site (link embedded): How severe is Cape Town's drought? A detailed look at the data.


Chait and Pierce ...

For the remainder of this entry, I'd like to post some excerpts of recent political-themed pieces by Jonathan Chait and Charlie Pierce. The links are embedded in the headlines. The pictures I used to break up the text are tropical seaside ones that I copied from this photo-montage of "30 Beaches That Will Make You Forget About Winter." The lead picture to this entry is also from that photo-article.

Les Saintes, Guadeloupe

I've been two Guadeloupe twice -- in March 1993 and again Feb 1998 to see a total solar eclipse.


For the first piece, it's too long to excerpt so I'm just posting the link:

Frenchman's Cove, Jamaica


Bloomberg has a report on Donald Trump's relationship with Theresa May. The particulars may not surprise you. In conversations between the two leaders, May "finds it almost impossible to make headway and get her points across, one person familiar with the matter said. Trump totally dominates the discussion, leaving the prime minister with five or ten seconds to speak before he interrupts and launches into another monologue." Moreover, Trump complains to her about criticism he has received in the British press, and threatened to withhold a visit "until she could promise him a warm welcome."

Great Courland Bay, Tobago


The reporting here echoes the primary revelations in a Washington Post report from last month. The report conveyed Trump's disdain for Angela Merkel, who shares with May two qualities that alienate Trump: She is female, and a democratically elected leader...

Les Salines, Martinique


The Post story quotes a Trump adviser describing Trump's favorite world leaders. "Who are the three guys in the world he most admires? President Xi [Jinping] of China, [Turkish president Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and [Vladimir] Putin. They're all the same guy."

Sugar Beach, St. Lucia


When they hacked Democratic emails, Russians were counting on a gullible mainstream news media and an unprincipled right-wing echo chamber to transform a bunch of trivial internal communications into a pseudo-scandal by wrenching them from all context. It is ironic that the current Republican effort to dismiss the very real scandal that arose from those hacks is using the exact same method.

West Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands


In his long and spotty career as a media critic, Howie Kurtz has been a monument to upward mobility, much like nausea is. In 2013, he ended up at the Fox News Channel, a career trajectory approximately as unpredictable as the daily passage of the sun. And now, in the era of President* Trump, he has decided to become a “rebel” against what he sees as a mutual suicide pact between the president* and The Media. From Politico:

Playa Bonita, Dominican Republican


"The past two years have radicalized me," Kurtz writes. "I am increasingly troubled by how many of my colleagues have decided to abandon any semblance of fairness out of a conviction that they must save the country from Trump."

If I want to study a tool, I'll go to trade school.

To borrow a phrase from young Mr. Lyman, I'd eat this book before I read it.

That's how Howie "Mistah" Kurtz has always rolled: A rightwing ass-hat with massive conflicts of interest pretending to be some god-like objective "media critic" journalist. As Pierce states, Kurtz is now a fucking apologist-tool for the Trump kleptocracy on the ostensible grounds of "objectivity" -- what a jackass.

Banana Bay, St. Kitts


OK, that's all for now. My next planned entry will be Friday evening. I'd like to post a BIG Y'EYEMAH-themed entry.


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