Saturday, June 23, 2012

Some Pics From An Evening on Kitt Peak

I was up on Kitt Peak for a private event last night. It was held at the picnic area and I had never had the opportunity to take night pics from there so I snuck away a couple of times to get some shots.  The picnic area is located by the Very Large Baseline Array (VLBA) dish. The VLBA is a network of 10 identical radio telescopes stretching from the U.S. Virgin Islands to Hawaii. The observations from all the scopes are combined to give the resolution of one big scope about 5,000 miles across. The VLBA dish is right behind the picnic area (if you visit Kitt Peak, go to the picnic area to get the best view of the dish!)
Sunset was a little hazy, but I noticed a temperature boundary as the Sun was setting. Note the small mock mirage (the little piece of the Sun breaking off at the top) that formed. I saw a couple of others in the process of forming, but they were small and the small ones are difficult to time your pics to get them (unlike the big ones I got a few weeks ago!)
You might notice it looks a little hazy out there. Lots of haze scatters shorter wavelength light making a green flash less prominent, but didn't totally obscure it tonight.
Shortly after sunset, there was a nice gathering in the west. The crescent Moon was joined by (from left to right) Mercury, Pollux and Castor.
After it got dark, I walked by over to the VLBA dish and got a shot of a nice starry sky behind it. Look closely and you can see the 4 meter telescope dome in the background. The lights you see behind the mountain come from Tucson, over 50 miles away.
Finally, as it got darker, the summer Milky Way rose above the eastern horizon. I had to look southeast to see it and couldn't find a trial to get the VLBA dish in the foreground that didn't lead off the side of the mountain. I still got the four meter and a couple of others in this one. The tree in the foreground was illuminated by light coming from the bathroom window. I went inside to try and turn out the lights and there was no light switch! I assume the mountain staff know how to turn it off, but seems like a design oversight to not give people the option to turn it off themselves! Fortunately, it wasn't too bright at this distance to hamper the photography and in the end, I kind of like the way the tree came out.
Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Open Blog - Weekend

Enjoy yourselves.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Times They Are a-Changin'

Less than a month after Dylan recorded the song, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. The next night, Dylan opened a concert with "The Times They Are a-Changin'"; he told biographer Anthony Scaduto: "I thought, 'Wow, how can I open with that song? I'll get rocks thrown at me.' But I had to sing it, my whole concert takes off from there. I know I had no understanding of anything. Something had just gone haywire in the country and they were applauding the song. And I couldn't understand why they were clapping, or why I wrote the song. I couldn't understand anything. For me, it was just insane."


I grew up in the 60’s it was a great time and will never happen again. Bob Dylan sure was right when he wrote this song. I can think of many many changes that have happened here in the United States alone; All the wars and we’re still at them, Watergate, my buddy Billy Clinton, a black president and the list goes on and on.

Please enjoy the song....SER

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Four for Fridays! It's been a long and hot week and I'm so ready for the weekend.... How about you? Anyways here are some questions for you...

1) Do you consider yourself a pack rat or readily throw away stuff?

2) Do you get sunburned easily?

3) When the last time you have seen the sunrise or the sunset?

4) Where you get your news sources?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday

Have a very good day. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my sweltering sweeties!  How are you?  Hot, hot, hot, is my guess, although most of us have access to air conditioning.  I feel sorry for Mr. drewzepmeister because of the conditions he has to work in.  Well, “they” are saying that today will be the last day in the 90’s, and then we’re back in the 80’s again.  Low to mid-80’s I can tolerate, although I prefer it cooler.  This 90 and over stuff really drains me.  And, of course, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.”  Mr. hale-bopp has higher heat than us, but lower humidity.  I was in Arizona once and it’s true that the drier heat doesn’t feel as oppressive as the humid heat.  In any case, I prefer neither.
I like it warm, not hot; cool, not cold,
I might move before I get too old.

Now that the great recall election is over (mostly), it would be nice if we could “all get along,” in the words of the late Rodney King.  My prediction, however, is that the presidential campaign and election will keep the fires of hatred fueled.  Even after that, the bickering will go on.  "A house divided against itself cannot stand."  Well, we shall see.

I noticed that our Mr. Mayor Dickert was in the news again concerning a lawsuit over the settlement of his previous lawsuit. I predict that before all is said and done that at least one more lawsuit will result from this.  I try so hard to make Junior see the advantages of becoming an attorney, but all he wants to be is a roadie for Die Kill Dead, his favorite band.  Oh dear.  I tell him that no matter the outcome of any case, the lawyers always win.  It’s the perfect career choice for Junior.  I want to see him in a handsome suit, in court, wowing the judge and jury with his oratory skills.  I don’t want to see him deaf at 25, addicted to God knows what.  Of course, if Junior doesn’t have what it takes to become a lawyer, there’s always politics.  Anybody (or thing) can do that. 

Señor Zanza, Junior, and I went to North Beach last week.  Oh my, how nice it is!  I haven’t been there in a long, long time.  There were many people enjoying themselves.  I remember North Beach as deserted.  Now it’s beautiful and welcoming.  I know that the work of Dr. Julie Kinzelman, from Racine’s Health Department, was crucial in reclaiming the beach.  Also, Mr. Paul Curtin cleaned up and reopened the North Beach Oasis.  Thank you so much to both of these people for their work in turning North Beach into one of our city’s jewels again.

Beware, my dears, the dangers of the water.  Racine just lost a 16 year old boy to drowning at Quarry Lake Park.  Last year, an even younger boy drowned near North Pier by North Beach.  Personally, I can swim to save my life, but not much else.  I stay out of the deeper water.  A large bathtub is the perfect place for me to swim.

Thank you for reading my blog this week.  If you were here, I’d smooch you on the lips, each and every one of you.  I love my audience.  They are part of my extended family.

Want to know what other people think of you?  Oh yes you do:

Don’t get too hot, my friends.  Enjoy the weather, but don’t overdue it.  Now we learn that too much sun is bad for the skin and eyes.  Moderation in all things, my dears.  Ebriose!

Hanging With Friends

Open Blog - Wednesday

Enjoy your hump.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Electric Guest - "This Head I Hold"

When I first heard this song, I thought the lead vocalist was a woman.

"How Not To Kick A Pole"

I know it's impolite to laugh at the misfortune of others, but this one breaks me up. I hope the poor fellow is OK.

Open Blog - Monday

I hope that your day is smooth sailing.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"In a corner - City sues regarding release of mayor slander settlement"

Originally posted Saturday, June 16, 2012, at 9:07 PM:

From The Journal

"RACINE — In the latest development stemming from Mayor John Dickert’s settled slander suit, he and the city find themselves painted into a corner, and it’s taking another lawsuit to get out of it.

"The city taxpayers who paid $100,000 for the mayor’s slander suit, brought against him by a former employee, do not know how it was settled. The Journal Times filed an open records request with the city and mayor contending: 'Taxpayers of a community have the right to know how and why their money is spent,' as per a 1994 Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision.

"And now Dickert, and possibly the city, is caught between the state open records law and the confidentiality clause he agreed to with former city employee William Bielefeldt, who has reportedly refused to release the settlement. The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the city and the mayor thus asks a judge 'to issue a judgment declaring the responsibilities and duties of the parties regarding the release.'"

Was Dickert acting as mayor or not when he entered into the confidentiality agreement?  No matter, the lawyers always win.  This is Racine's version of "Dallas.


Update:  From

"Mayor Dickert/City of Racine serve summons on Father’s Day"

"1:24 p.m. – Sources have confirmed that William Bielefeldt‘s wife was served with a summons today from Mayor John Dickert/City of Racine- plaintiff  vs. William Bielfeldt- defendent . The summons was served out of jurisdiction in Mount Pleasant and was served by a uniformed Racine Police Officer at 8:30 a.m. Mount Pleasant Police were not on scene.  Bill’s wife stated how pleasant the officer was while serving the summons. This is a summons and complaint concerning Bill Bielefeldt’s refusal to sign a release concerning the settlement, which included a confidentiality clause."

Read more:

What an incredibly cheap shot from a cheap shot artist.  When they fired Mr. Bielefeldt, the police delivered a letter to his home just before midnight.  As one of the commenters on RacineUncovered said, this is to be expected from Dickert.   

Useless Information

Did you know:

On January 30, 1945 511 POWs were rescued.

The raid on the POW camp Cabanatuan in the Philippines was the most successful rescue mission in U.S. military history.

Source: “The Great Raid” &

Happy Father's Day

Hooray for all of the fathers out there!