Sunday, January 31, 2010


It chilled. It chilled fast. The snow was powdery, because it was cold. It was 36 degrees today, enought to melt some of it. The fluffiness will be gone. It will be just ice in the morning, because it's cold now.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Salt and Sand

Ha! WOuld I believe it! Our third Saturday snowstorm of the season! This one's a little different from earlier ones- it's the powdery stuff that you get when it's really cold. Not that 33 degree barely snow material. I wonder if it's any good for skiing: we sent a brigade and are awaiting news. For the matter, the DC area has surpassed the average seasonal snowfall with this storm. Bring the powder on!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Set oven to 450.

Put disliked book in. Hope for the best.

In the most objective sense,J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" opened the floodgate to a new genre of unrefined literature. The work is monumental, if not provincial in the sense that many could have thought of the concept of being the first to cuss, swear and psychoanalyse a mentally troubled kid. There was Flowers for Algernon, which at times became unsuitable for children, and most recently Feed, which lays waste to the english language. No, that last book is over the edge. It's irresponsible. It's unrestrained criticism of the housing bubble and ever-shrinking technology before it popped. So basically, Salinger taught the writing world to break with modesty and devolve into a free for all. This could be for better, that there is pan-symbolism to be found in any psychotic rant, or worse, for the same reason.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

You can take it with you

(anchor) So, Commissioner Brook, whad'ya think of the local population surge?
>Well, it's some good work on our part. The population's grown so much I think next Census we're getting a third senator on the Hill.
>(Laughter from crowd)
>(mummered by intern): you mean another congressman .
>No, I'm serious!
>(anchor) so that's why they call you babblin'.

It's close to Census time and it's been said that there has been a 'major tectonic shift' in the population base. Take, for example, the measure of the mean center of population. For the 1790 census, this was Chestertown, MD, on the eastern shore. It continued moving southwest at 8 oclock, just about the trajectory of I-70. The measure is near Louisville, KY now. The MCP continues to move south. This brings up the point of reassignment of congressmembers. I suppose this is done as little as possible, because someone loses their job. Except by a stroke of luck, it'd be hard to get that newly vacated position.

There are about 500,000 constituents per congressmember. Thus, it is pretty obvious that Michigan, with 15 reps and 9 million people, is bloated compared to DC with 0. Face reality, there is something called a declining state. Err, New York's bloated too, with 23/19mil. North Carolina has 13 for the same about 9 million, and Maryland 8 for its 7 million. Federal presence buys favors but not seats.

So who's getting those rust belt seats? Again, the southeast. Virginia (disclaimer- grown by feds), and the rural south like South Carolinaland. There is also Nevada, and Utah naturally. Depending on political climate, DC could be given one, constitutionally or not.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sorry, Out of Towners

The article explains it all.
What was for one year a 'scenic parkway' through the woods was doubled in width into a hazardous "roller coaster"

The beltway was not widened to 8 lanes until the 1990's. Somehow, there is still a short 6 lane section and even a 1/4 mile 4-lane section abutted by 10 lane sections. What about the traffic jam? Non existent according to traffic patterns.

While the eastern half of the belt was always 6 lanes to serve as an I-95 bypass, the Western portion in Virginia opened with a quaint 4 lanes. I-95 through DC was never completed.

The exit numbering system is an ever-changing jumble, and is explained as clearly as possible by the article. Locals tend to refer to exits by crossroad.

The proper term is Capital Beltway (named by Maryland and Virginia together), not Capitol, to indicate that it served the area and not just the city or that big-domed building (the 'Capitol' beltway project was a totally different urban renewal effort).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shopping Spree!

Civil War Friendship Memorial, a massive memorial spanning the potomac river commemorating the end of the Civil war and the reuniting of North and South.
Why it's bogus- Put the memorial on the Mason Dixon Line. Maryland was a 'northern' state by coercion.

Federal Stimulus Memorial Southern Bay Bridge, a record-length combi suspension and trestle bridge. Why it's bogus- it serves no interstate interest.

Federal Stimulus Hart-Miller-Pleasure Northern Bay Bridge, another impressive bridge over the Chesapeake. Why it's bogus- it serves only Baltimore.

Virginia Flying V Ceremonial Air Brigade- an impressive sight of aerial might! Why it's bogus-It's Frivolous!

Anti-Nephalim Spacepod- forget just the nuke threat. The final coming will be indiscriminate to anything or anyone- unless this thingy is built. Why it's bogus- have these officvials been to church lately?

State Pride Protection Program TIme Machine- its ostentatious use is to go back in time to stop Spiro Agnew from gaining political power by locking him in the Dungeon, also to be built with Fed funds. Why it's bogus- Einstein proved that time travel is all but impossible.

Fairfax County Business Attraction Magnet- the details are unknown, whteher tilting MontCo on its side or using large powerful CEO magnets. Why it's bogus- It's a B>A>M race; MontCo will just buy one, too.

Rockville Sister City Visitation Incentive Program- the program will provide trips free of charge for Rockvillers to visit Pinneburg, Germany, in the name of cultural awareness. Why it's bogus- Junkets! Anyway, there's a brand spanking new arts+ humanities center two miles down the road at Strathmore.

The real story: PG County (MD) can't manage to spend $2 million in HUD money, although the state as well as bordering Virginia have doused themselves with billions in BRAC, ARRA, and other federal monies.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Homework Excuse: Obama left me spellbound

I just could not believe it. This year, the local tranist agency was running a normal weekday schedule- as if this holiday did not matter. It was empty at the library, until midday. For the afternoon, I had a concert to attend. The boilerplate MLK Day special at the Kennedy Center. Nothing new. Last year I performed in an orchestra at the Strathmore event. But this year I'm here and passing by lots of police- DC police, no Secret Service or Capitol Police. Someone important, but maybe not from the White House. There were magnetometers. That was a teltale sign. So were the uniformed secret service agents. On the stage was a podium with the Presidential Seal and the 'smokescreen', like the setup in the White House press room. The concert proceded as usual, though more talk than music. We did learn that our Michelle Obama was in the audience, as well as a few congressmembers. Yes, they occasionally ride the DC subway like anyone else (as feds, they do get the mass transit allowance). But- "here is a speech from the President of the United States". Loud cheers erupt. Yes, it was The Man, although his ears seemed more pointy than on television or in the paper. It was like watching 3D TV, but it was real. I could actually see his face (At the Inauguration, he was barely a speck from .7 mile away). He was about 200 feet away, and within good camera distance. There is a policy of no photography during shows, but this adage was broken by most everyone. A redcoat did apporach me at the end of the show about it, though. Standard procedure. The president was in clear view, on the stage, for about 20 minutes. He left gracefully with the awardee, a Congolese pro-Basketball star, who, with part of his NBA money, funded a new hospital and research center in Kinshasa. Yes, Obama was dwarfed by the player's sheer height. The fairy tale was mostly over, altough cameras did turn to the rear at the end of the show. I didn't see the spectacle, but I suppose that the First Family was waiving to India.Arte from two tiers below me.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

They knew it. I blew it.

Final mile. A traffic circle, a yield, and a few blocks to go. But wait! There's something that looks like a traffic stop done in the horrible place of the center of the roadway. I pull over to the right lane. Traffic. I see the fire vehicles ahead. Another embassy event. Three point turn- bing. First practical application of that. Pull towards downtown to avoid that traffic. Cars blocking the 3-Way intersection. Bing! My first use of gridlock. Down a tunnel, around that little Longfellow square, and down the street. A fire vehicle passes and pulls back into the fire station. Two blocks, and stopped traffic. There is a crane extended to the top of a 10 story building. I thought it was typical roof work. I forgot that it was Sunday. Another fire incident. Back up 75 feet to open cross street. First practical use of reversing. Edge into an alley, take a right turn, cut diagonally across Pennsylvania Avenue into an alley and I'm almost home.
City driving.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Get to Bed

"In 1925, under pressure from his publisher to submit a manuscript*, Arrhenius started getting up at 4am to write. As might be expected, rising at such an early hour had an adverse effect on his health"
(*Sidenote: publishers are like that)
Masterton and Hurley, Chemistry; "The Human Side" (pg 87)

Get your sleep. I had fallen behind in doze time in the past two weeks- and guess what. Friday, I wake up] with a sore throat. Fortunately, the 3-day weekend is allowing some sweet recuperation time. The sore throat, after 9.5 hours of sleep, is gone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Toast

I was not on the cast list, although it seemed that everyone else was casted. Senority issues, maybe, I thought. Then today, at least three casted came to me at different times and said along the lines of: You're on the cast be there Wednesday- it's a mistake.
Since our finale of soccer in mid-October, I have become quite accustomed of getting home at 4:30pm. The sloth sets in. But as I watched the sunset at 5pm, I knew that things were going to change- for good? The end of the play will roll smoothly into tennis season. With that, late night homework angst. But that's life. I hope that all this after school business will make me more productive and efficient.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Snow Dance

If it starts snowin', schools start closin'.
The situation today in the DC area reinforces the stereotype of the ningaphobic school administrator (ningaphobe= latin/greek for person afraid of snow). There was about an inch on the ground. All around schools called a 2 hour delay to help parents negotiate powdery conditions. For me, it was a one-hour late start; however, we paid back the time through compressed classes (same material shoved into less time) and a shortened midday 'mingling period',aka, lunch break. Obama must have another snide remark about school closing policy during his second Washington winter.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Look at that its a Free Period!

It's caused controversy and animity. It's also the cause of an errant commercial aircraft. It's called scheduling. I took a look at my 2nd semester schedule. Somewhat different. Let's look at some details-
No more 4th period off. This meant I had 3-1-3 class layout and gave me time to finish english papers midday. Last period free- most days. Except for Labs on Monday and Wednesday- Music Theory and Chemistry. No free period except lunch on Mondays and Wednesday. But Chem Lab on Wednesdays- that' s a lot of fun and free moving. Tuesdays are quite empty: Service occupies periods 3-5. On Thursdays, I get second period off. According to standard procedure, I should have been put in the other chem class to get first period off- and a midweek sleep-in. But in-school free period makes for more productive time. Now I have to get back to Situational Awareness.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bogs and Blogs

Yes, I feel bogged. And I have waded through a bog before. A real one. But a consequence of schoolwork bogging is that- I don't get to blog as much. Naturally, I should start a Facebook petition, but I'm not that much of a rebel.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


2010- won't feel much different- for a while. Sometime in 2000, people thought that recessions were a thing of the past. The fundamental of the economy hasn't been made that strong. Otherwise, 2010 doesn't call for any miracles.