Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Dumb Shift of Time

Saturday, November 5th, 2016

Tonight we shift back to standard time. In a few months when we start the Dumb Shift of Time (DST) think about this:


Star Dog

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Today I lost the best dog I’ve ever had. She happily spent nights outside with me as I worked the observatory or watched for meteors. For the past two years she came with me to the Okie-Tex Star Party. Lucy was a star dog if there ever was one.

Lucy lies on the grass listening to Chuck and I ramble at the 2014 Okie-Tex star party.

She was the finest dog I’ve ever have had.  None have ever been more devoted than her. Whats funny is I didn’t pick her, a dear and special friend brought her home and Lucy chose me.

We’ve had almost nine years of fun and adventure.  I’m deeply saddened by her passing but I’m glad it happened so quick. Just last night we were out back looking at the stars together, well, she was hunting around while I looked at the stars. Then all of a sudden, from this morning to this afternoon she slipped away.

We haven’t had much snow so far this year. Lucy loved being out hunting in the snow, like this from two years ago:

Lucy Hunting

Tonight around midnight the constellation Canis Major will pass over Lucy’s grave. She truly was the “greater dog”.

Update Thursday 1/22:  I woke up without my companion. Last night a friend sent me the OTSP picture above

The first morning without my girl feels just as bad as the moment I lost her yesterday. Every morning for the past few years she was my alarm clock. The moment she heard me stirring she came over by the bed, her wagging tail thumping against the wall. She would nudge my arm with her nose. I always smiled, how can you not?

That Time of Year Again

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 bitch about Daylight Saving Time. Its my biannual rant against this stupid change. However, it seems some are thinking the same as I do. Several states are considering legislation to get rid of the time change. One state, Tennessee is actually considering making it year around. W.T.F?

As the allegedly American Indian quip goes, “Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

Couldn’t have said it better!  That wonderful little saying I read just today from an article on Daylight Savings Time in Indian Country.  Worth the read as its got some good informational links.

Summer Solstice: Solargraphy

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Today I took down the solargraphy canister that Phil Anderson provided me in 2012. For six months it captured the path of the sun across my back deck.  The image above is from scanning the print paper, inverted in photoshop and contrast enhanced. Click it for a larger version. Pretty cool old school picture.

Code Is Poetry

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Happy 10th birthday WordPress!  For the past seven years you’ve served me well.  I’ve always admired the tag line “Code Is Poetry”.  It’s true.


The Last Frisbee

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

This morning I had to make a hard phone call. One I knew was coming for days, the problem was I wasn’t ready. It’s not easy even though he told me it was time. Yes its true, I know this now, your dog will tell you when the time has come.

Last Sunday morning I awoke to find a look in Einstein’s eyes that I had never seen. But I knew right then and there what he was saying and what I had to do. After all these years the tough little guy was ready to go. The puppy Casey had chosen thirteen years ago, that I had seen grow up to be one of the finest dogs I’ve ever had was ready for the next step. I did all I could to make these last days good. Even before that I had known time was short. An outdoor dog all his life the past few months he’d slept in the house. He stayed inside through the brutal heat this summer. He got his favorite treats, even a fresh picked whole red tomato, which he oddly loved to eat.

Last night I threw his frisbee for the last time. He didn’t run and catch it like he did years ago but when he returned a few minutes later there it was gently held in his mouth. Although he was tired and in pain he still wanted to play. But he no longer wanted to eat. I knew that would be the last night. This morning the vet came and like so many days the past few years he went to sleep on the back deck.

There are no regrets, I’d done everything I could to ensure he was happy to the end. For me, I found there is a special finality when you’re the one to prepare the earth and lay your best friend to rest.

Milky Way All Night

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

This is the time of year to enjoy the most spectacular feature in our night sky. The Milky Way. From the moment its truly dark until the end of darkness the next morning the Milky Way is on display all night long. Saturday night I was out in the Flint Hills to soak in the starlight of  this wonder.

For awhile the night sky was really good but as the night went on upper level moisture moved across the area. How ironic given the area, heck most of Kansas, is in extreme drought. What was a bit surprising was the strength, the intensity of the air glow that night. Clearly visible as the green color in the photo below (click image for larger version):

Milky Way From the Flint Hills

This single 40 second photograph using a Canon 5DMII (ISO 3200) with a 14mm Samyang @ f2.8 was taken just before midnight and is looking south-east. Yes the image is very noisy, temperature was in the mid 80s. Running the camera continuously really heated it up. The high that Saturday was over 100 degrees.

Along the lower right side of the picture the string of red dots are the blinking warning lights from the Beaumont wind farm some 30 miles to the south. Most of the white light to the left of the wind farm is from Eureka, KS, which is closer, about 16 miles away. From the right spot you can see a long, long way out here. All the way to the center of our galaxy!