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weekly critter November 16, 2017

November 16, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The holiday season is upon us.  Where does the time go.


Make sure you go outside tonight after midnight and watch the Leonid's meteor shower.  If you go out before dawn, which is the best time for the meteors, you can also see the moon, Jupiter and Venus close to each other.  Look east.  I'll be up early because I'm doing another solar outreach at an elementary school tomorrow.  One hundred and twenty 10 year old's.  Oh boy.


I have two photos for you today.  Actually, I should say just one.  The first photo was taken by Linda and I turned it into a black and white.  I think it's very nice. 


I don't know if you've been to the Joyce Kilmer WMA but it's a beautiful forest in North Carolina named for his poem 'Trees'.  Several years ago many of the very large trees around the main visitors area and trail were badly damaged.  The forest service decide they didn't want to cut the trees down because it wouldn't look natural and they couldn't leave them.  So they decided to use dynamite to make it look like storm damage.   Very cool if you think about it.   The second photo is the end result.






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weekly critter, November 10, 2017

November 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

One of the kitten's favorite toys is the cardboard tube left when you finish a roll of toilet paper.   He has several strewn about the house but wants a new one after several days of playing with the old one.  I guess we haven't been keeping up with production of toilet paper tubes and when Linda went into the bathroom this morning someone had unrolled almost an entire roll of toilet paper.   When the kitten was confronted he had a smile that said "hey, I was just trying to help out."


I have two versions of messier 42, the Orion nebula which is a diffuse nebula in the milky way.  The first version was in a critter back in April and I've included it for comparison.  The second version is of the same data processed with some new software.  Lots of fun for a rainy Thursday.  I only have nine 30 second exposures to work with which isn't much.  So tell me what you think.  Hopefully, I'll be able to collect several hours of data this winter.






weekly critter, November 4, 2017

November 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I've been giving the tractor a workout or I should say it's been giving me one.  I should have bought one 30 years ago.  One of my friends commented "With a tractor that big you need to buy more land.  How big a garden are you going plant for Linda?"  To the first comment I answer NO (preceding adjectives deleted).  To the question about the garden I responded that I did look at a pto rototiller for the tractor and it can be mine for only $2600.00.  Ouch.  Seems like a lot of money just to feed the deer. 


I would like to put in a garden but 'sequences' will probably render it impractical if not impossible.  The 'sequences' would include (in part) having Linda pick a spot for the garden which will certainly not be where I would want it.  Then I need a plow to break up the red clay, a rototiller to till the soil, a landscape rake to get all the rocks and stuff out, a load or ten of good dirt, a loader to spread the dirt, till again,  a box blade to flatten everything,  a post hole digger to put up the fence, an excavator to run the power and water and finally something to spread fertilizer.  I almost forgot, a new rifle to shoot the damn deer which I then have to process starting entirely new sequences.  Sequences are fully explained in Pat McManus's book The night the bear ate goombaw.   I dare you to read any of his books and not laugh.


I have two photos today.  The first is of a dead tree which was in the perfect spot to be lit up by the sun with the dark forest behind it.  The second photo I just like.  Can you spot the person in the photo.






weekly critter, October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

It's been a bizarre couple of weeks.  Exploding bottles, several astronomy events and the return of the dreaded sinus infection.   I don't know if any of y'all drink kombucha (I don't) but the bottles can explode.  Linda had a bottle in the fridge at the observatory and it exploded.  Literally.  I heard a muffled whump and went looking.  I finally checked the fridge and this stuff and broken glass was everywhere.  What a mess.  The seeds in that stuff stick to everything and are impossible to cleanup.  Oh, and did I say it stinks.  Last week Linda decided she was going to have some as an evening cocktail.  When she started to open the bottle it went off.  Luckily she wasn't hurt but the kitchen was a disaster.  That stuff went everywhere.  The pots and pans, light fixture, fridge, microwave, stove, oven, cabinets and ceiling were coated.  We're still cleaning it up.


Then my sinus infection came roaring back.  I called the doctor thinking I could get another round of antibiotics, but no.  I had to go see the NP the next day.  She poked and prodded and agreed I needed the heavy duty antibiotics and an antibiotic shot to get things going.  The nurse came in a few minutes later with a syringe and I started to roll up my sleeve.  She just smiled and told me to drop my pants and bend over the examination table.  WTH.  I haven't had a shot in my butt since I was a child.  At least she was cute.


I have a color and black and white versions of a gnarly root and tree at the base of a waterfall for you today.  Let me know which version you like or if you don't like either.







Weekly Critter, Se[tember 30, 2017

October 12, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I just got finished freezing my credit on all three sites.  Experian and transunion were rather straight forward but equifax was a pain in the butt.  They kept trying to force me to lock my credit rather than freeze it.  The place that should have been easiest (because of their data breach) was the most difficult.   I recommend freezing your credit rather than locking it because if it's frozen and they screw up they are responsible under state law.  If your credit is only locked they are not responsible.  Now on to freezing Linda's credit.


Do you believe that it's already the end of September?  Where did the month go.  At least it looks like the temperatures will only be in the 80's this week.  Thursday at the observatory the temperature hit 97.


I have two photos today.  The first is something growing out of a stump.  I'm not sure if it's a fungus or a mushroom.  I couldn't find it in any of my guides.  The second photo is of a rhododendron taken in June.