Saturday, February 15, 2020

Saturday Night Fevered for February 15th, 2020: Flipped Off Pictureless; Mole People and More MeTV Watching; Two Bill Maher New Rules; and Dennis, the 3rd Atlantic Ocean Storm Menace

Powerful waves crash violently into the southeast coast of England last week during Storm Ciara.

More on the parade of storms that have impacted the British Isles this month follows toward the bottom of this entry.


Saturday night.

I'm home after a rather shortened day in which I did, well, basically nothing, specifically, after getting all showered and cleaned and ready, I rode the Metro from Foggy Bottom to Old Town Alexandria.

Pintail duck floats on the water at Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Va., Feb 15, 2020; photo by CWG pool contributor Miki Jourdan, source here.


I had intended to walk to the Potomac riverfront and then up the Mt Vernon bike trail -- if not all the way back to D.C., at least to National Airport.

Early blooming cherry blossoms on the Supreme Court grounds, Washington, D.C., Feb 14, 2020; photo by CWG pool contributor Brian Moulton, source here.

As for featuring various pictures, this is an appropriate time for the following blogging note (and why I'm posting pictures other than my own), I am presently unable to send any picture messages from my phone to any of my email addresses (rather than to any phone number).

This involves my new Alcatel GO FLIP V flip open device. I am unsure how to resolve this -- since any attempt to send to an email address (such as Yahoo or Hotmail / Outlook) simply results in nothing happening. It's doubtful that anyone at Verizon can help me since my device is, if not so primitive technologically, is something those 20-something year old technicians never use, nor are even are familiar with.

The Alcatel device itself is made in China, so that's a non-starter in terms of getting any help from the company itself.

Unless and until I can resolve this (or just finally get a smartphone), I won't be able to post any pictures that I take.

Of course, I've posted ten thousands of low-to-medium quality pics that I've taken with 8 to 10 phones (nearly all flip phones) over the nearly 12-year history of this blog … And there aren't many pics -- at least of places and things here in the D.C. area -- that I want to post.


A bike path on a sunny, tranquil, mild winter day, Feb 8, 2020; photo by CWG pool contributor Jeanne McVey, source here.

This is at the southern end of Rock Creek Park with the ornate concrete arches of the Taft Bridge visible nearby as it carries Connecticut Avenue over Rocky Creek Parkway.


However, as I'm still not entirely recovered from my bout of the flu, I stopped at Joe Theismann's and then a new place called Augie's and, finally, at La Madeleine. By then, it was already chilly dusk and I was tired -- not to mention in three drinks, one of which was a hot toddy -- and so I just returned to the Metro and headed back home.

Bike path in Rock Creek Park near Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C., Feb 13, 2020; photo by CWG pool contributor Joe Flood, source here.

This is basically within 1,000 feet of where I now live.


Guess I'm in for the night, and as such, I'm watching my Saturday night MeTV lineup of shows.

That lineup now includes The Three Stooges in place of Wonder Woman (!) just before the Svengoolie-hosted monster movie at 8 p.m.

Yes, I sometimes actually watch The Three Stooges when it is aired on MeTV. It turns out there is something weirdly funny about this Vaudeville, slapstick, all-around idiotic short films.

Rounding out the Saturday night-to-Sunday wee hours lineup: At 10 p.m., Star Trek: TOS ("Assignment Earth"); at 11 p.m., Buck Rogers in the 25th Century ("The Awakening: Part 2"); at midnight, The Invaders ("The Pursued"); at 1 a.m., Lost in Space ("The Magic Mirror"); at 2 a.m., Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea ("No Way Back"); at 3 a.m., Land of the Giants ("Double Cross"); and at 4 a.m., The Time Tunnel ("The Death Merchant"), though I rather doubt I'll be up until 4 a.m.

The Svengoolie-hosted monster movie was the 1956 weird horror film The Mole People starring John Agar, Cynthia Patrick, and Hugh Beaumont (of Leave It To Beaver fame).

Svengoolie, of course, makes the film hilarious with his comedy asides, mini-skits, and songs during it, not to mention making it more interesting with the bits of trivia he good naturedly also provides along the way.

I'm mostly recovered from my bout of the flu, although not entirely. I still need to go grocery shopping as I don't have a lot of food in the place.

As ever, I would like to have an extended political commentary on the current, pathologically diseased state of Trump era America's polity with its Baby Boomer generation-heavy GOP-enabling cult …

… and the open question of whether it is only the Bernie Bros Millennial generation-dominated cult that might be able to counter this in the (likely) event of Russian/GOP election rat-fucking …

… or if a Michael Bloomberg candidacy could, in fact, electorally topple it -- and in a way in which Trump could not find support for allowing him to remain in office if he refuses to leave. It's just like a Third World banana republic -- or, with Trump, a mobocracy.

However, in lieu of that, I am simply posting a pair of clips of two recent New Rule editorial segments from Bill Maher's Real Time program delivered by Maher himself -- the first last Friday and the second yesterday …

First, from the Feb 7, 2020 edition …

100% That Mitch

Synopsis: In his editorial New Rule, Bill calls out Republicans over their undemocratic behavior and warns that when republics fall, they do so quietly.

Maher has been especially vocal and concerned on the topic of what happens if a Democratic candidate wins in November, but Trump simply refuses to vacate the White House.


Second, from the Feb 14th, 2020 edition …


Synopsis: In a special Valentine's Day New Rule, Bill explores the latest emerging sexual trend: people who don't need people – and why it's bad news for humanity.


The Weather …

Satellite image of the North Atlantic Ocean showing the massive "Storm Dennis" extratropical cyclone on Feb 13, 2020 as it was approaching the British Isles.

Also visible is part of the "atmospheric river" -- a plume of tropical moisture -- along the approximately 5,000-mile long cold front accompanying the central low extending all the way back to the Gulf of Mexico, as the 12Z NWS surface weather amp across the Atlantic Ocean shows:


The weather has suddenly turned wintry cold -- after a nearly non-existent winter this winter -- but it's more of a big nuisance than anything with an unfamiliar stinging cold wind under mostly sunny skies.

Highs today were around 35F -- specifically, 36F at KDCA and KIAD and 35F at KBWI -- and following overnight lows of 22F at KDCA, 19F at KBWI, and 15F at KIAD. The 22F low at KDCA tied the coldest temp for this climatological winter so far -- matching the 22F low set Dec 19 -- as did the 19F low at KBWI (set on 3 other mornings this winter) while the 15F low at KIAD was the coldest temperature of the winter.

Today's weather was the first below normal temperature weather in literally three weeks.

While precipitation has been a bit above normal this year so far, it has nearly all fallen as rain with very little snow (still officially 0.6" at KDCA) and none forthcoming.

I'm not going to try to explain the numbers on the chart directly above since I'm not entirely clearly on it -- involving, as it does, the projection of daily (00Z) 1000mb height anomalies poleward of 20°N onto the loading pattern of the AO, which is to say, the leading mode of Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis of monthly mean 1000mb height during 1979-2000 period. See here and here.

The Arctic Oscillation (AO) remains anomalously strongly positive this winter -- thus ruining any chance for significant U.S. East Coast storms.

However, this anomalously positive AO has created ideal conditions for a super-fast zonal flow and a deep area of low pressure by southern Greenland -- which, in turn, has energized a series of extremely powerful North Atlantic storms between Greenland and the British Isles. These have included Storms Brendan, Ciara, and now Dennis.

Note: These names are from the British naming system for winter season extratropical cyclones and come from the UK Met Office. For full list, see here.

Storm Dennis's central air pressure plummeted by 56-millibars in a 24-hour period between Friday and Saturday afternoon -- reaching 920 millibars.

Preliminarily, is the second strongest recorded extratropical (i.e., non-tropical) cyclone in the North Atlantic Ocean in history.

What's more, this is the third storm in three days in that part of the North Atlantic to have had a central pressure dropped under 930 millibars.

913 millibars is the lowest pressure for a North Atlantic extratropical cyclone on record -- set in the so-called Braer Storm of 1993.

Ocean wave significant heights between Iceland and the British Isles have been in the range of 56 feet -- meaning that individual waves could be double that (i.e., in excess of 100 feet).

Giant waves crash into the Newhaven Breakwater Light, Newhaven, East Sussex, England during Storm Ciara, February 9, 2020


OK, that's all for now. Tomorrow is Sunday and then Monday is the Washington's Birthday ("Presidents Day") federal holiday, so I have another two days off. I don't have any particular plans for either day.


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