Saturday, March 16, 2013

"Teaching our puppy how to catch"

It looks like puppy doesn't want to learn how to catch.

Sunset and Moonset in Chile

Today I am in Chile at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. I have been having a great time touring and doing night photography and observing (my camera is outside snapping shots for a timelapse I hope to put together tomorrow). I am sure I will post lots of pics and several blogs, but wanted to get tonight's sunset posted. The Pacific Ocean is to the west and you get great temperature gradients when you look down from the top of the mountain over the cold Pacific Ocean. Lots of great effects tonight. Here are three of my favorite pics.
First look closely at the top limb of the Sun for a hint of a purple flash. I have never recorded purple so early in a sunset.
IMG_2542Next, you can see a nice strong green flash at the top of the Sun.
IMG_2577Finally, there was this completely crazy thing that happened with multiple simultaneous green flashes, very strong ones.
IMG_2622Don't even ask me how that happened!

Finally, the same atmospheric processes that create these sunsets are also present at Moonset. Tonight the Moon became very distorted as it set. 
IMG_2792I really wasn't quite prepared for that and missed a great pic. I was watching the Moonset on liveview on my camera and saw a green flash FROM THE SETTING MOON! Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to capture it. I will have another chance from CTIO tomorrow night and will be ready!

It is late and getting cold and I am getting tired, so other posts will have to wait until tomorrow!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Open Blog - Weekend

See you at the gathering.

Friday, March 15, 2013


For those coming for the gathering tomorrow, 
please check your emails for change of location, 
sent just a few minutes ago. 
If you didn't receive it, please let me know here,
and I will check 1st thing in the morning 
and re-send if needed.
See you soon!

Happily Ever After??

What happened next?

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Welcome back to Four for Fridays after an extremely busy week! Sorry, that I'm a little late, but I took the day off from work and just slept in... Anyways, some questions for you....

1) If you owned a luxury yacht, what would you name it?

2) Who is your favorite super hero?

3) What environmental cause do you feel strongly about?

4) What kind of puzzles do like to do?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Pope Francis Resigns"

Holy cow!

"Why Your Phone, Cable & Internet Bills Cost So Much"

So, money was allocated to internet service providers to expand and upgrade our country's internet service, but they did something else with the money, maybe, or it just disappeared. I've heard numerous times that overseas internet connection speeds far surpass ours.

What's Your Internet Connection Speed?

That's my speed above. It's high for me.  Road Runner Turbo promises only 15Mbps download speed.

Take the test and see your results: Just click on "Begin Test" and let it happen.

"Two Men Watch Childbirth for the First Time"

After watching that for the first time, I don't think I could witness childbirth, either.

"Gay" is a Profanity

The Journal Times won't allow the word "gay" in their online comments.  It's considered a profanity. 

Sometimes living in Racine is like living a hundred years ago.  "Gay" is the word that homosexuals prefer.  There is nothing profane about it.  Of course, the Journal Times just keeps censoring the truth and publishing lies.

Party on, propaganda mongers!

Dear Lying Pigs at Time Warner Cable


Even the Pope Knows Better

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my damp dears.  How are you?  A lot of our snow is melting.  That’s too bad because the ground is still frozen and the moisture just runs off to the sewers.  The runoff may be good for Lake Michigan levels, but we’ll need a lot more rain and snow to take care of that.  I sometimes wonder about the snow piles that the city puts on the lakefront to melt in Pershing Park.  I would think there would be road salt, oil, coolant, and other contaminants in the snow, leaching into the lake.

This coming Sunday, March 17, is Saint Patrick’s Day.  On Saturday, March 16, there will be a Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown.  Erin go bragh!

Dear Ms. B(utt)L(ard) Basketcase:

Please stop calling me fat.  The photo at right comes from an earlier blog: Do you understand?  I can be anything that I want.

Madame Zoltar®

I look forward to seeing all of the Irregulars at the upcoming gathering (except for Ms. B(rawny)L(egs) Basketcase).  I predict that a great time will be had by all.  See you there.

Next up, my dears, is a video entitled  “Saint Patrick's Day: celebrating a life of mission.”  At no time does it mention beer, green or otherwise. 

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog.  You’re always welcome.  My favorite part of the week is now my blog.  Here I can be myself without worrying about pretense and profits.  You’re the ones who make it happen.

Need something un-happened?  Contact:

Daffodils, even early tulips, are sprouting near foundations.  Let’s hope that we don’t get another killing frost after so many plants have started to bud.  Mid-March approaches and we’re still battling snowstorms.  Oh my.  Be careful out there.  March winds can blow you over on ice.  Do the mincing steps.  Sapidity!

legalize the sale of raw milk

Should the law be changed to legalize the sale of raw milk?

You may select up to 3 answers.....
Click Here to read the complete article on JSOnline.

Open Blog - Wednesday

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Unjust Justice System

We must have the most unjust justice system in the world.

As an example, in the State of Wisconsin a 5th or 6th time drunk driver can receive a $600 to $10,000 fine and 6 months to 6 years imprisonment

Here is a person that has the high potential of seriously injuring or killing an innocent person!

BUT…copy (pirate) a DVD you can get 5 years imprisonment and $250,000 fine.

No wonder Dickert gets away with the shit he does……

Blind Justice.

Photos from my past

Here's one from my studly long hair days:

And here's one of me at last summer's JTI bash:

Boy, did I fatten up.

Open Blog - Tuesday

Enjoy your day.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Comet PanSTARRS Gets Brighter

I was out again tonight...and Comet PanSTARRS brightened a bit from last night. Tonight it was visible to the naked eye for a while...fairly easily as well. If you haven't seen it yet, try tomorrow night when the comet will be just above the crescent Moon. Unfortunately, I will be traveling but will try to get photos on my layover! Yes, I am that determined!

So here are a few shots from can see a plane passing through a couple of them.

Common Merganser

Take a trip to the harbor or the marina and you may find a few of these.... Common Mergansers

A migrant from the north, the Common Merganser finds themselves paradise in the frigid open waters of Lake Michigan. Preferring to be farther away from the shore than the other ducks, the Common Merganser dives frequently into the water in search of fish and molluscs, capturing its prey with its saw like beak.

Easily mistaken for its close relative, the Red Breasted Merganser, the male Common has a green head with a scarlet bill with a CREAMY white belly and undersides and a black back. The male Red Breasted has a spiky crest on the back of its head. The females, however, are a little more difficult to decipher. Both female of the species of mergansers sport a shaggy red crest and a slate grey back , BUT the female Common has a white chin strap while the Red Breasted lack it.

During migration, I've seen literally hundreds of both kinds flying in the distance over the lake, using a friend's scope that is... There are times they will get close to the shores to feed.

The top picture of the male was taken at the Pugh Marina on 2/14/2013 and the female on the bottom was taken at the same place on the 1/3/2013. The seem to hang around the marina quite a bit.... has a thing for Barbie

(I had to Google her. She's a singer and a judge on American Idol.)

Happy Birthday KK!!!

Happy Birthday Ms. KK!!!
Have a wonderful day!!!

Party On Gear

"Party On Gear features the Hand Lettered look that has been banned by City Hall and is strictly VERBOTEN! Keep away from all store front windows. Whether you're avoiding crumbling buildings, criminals, or the potholes in Racine, be sure to steer clear of City Hall's SWAT*. Store Window Aesthetics Team. Let City Hall know you are on to them."

Open Blog - Monday

How patriotic!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Comet Pan-STARRS Arrives

You may have heard about a Comet Pan-STARRS gracing our evening skies. It has been visible in the southern hemisphere for a couple of weeks now and is finally moving into the northern sky (if you can envision a comet approaching our solar system from below, that's roughly what is happening and now is is moving above the plane of our solar system so it is becoming visible from the norther hemisphere).

Tucson has been pretty cloudy for several nights in a row (I first looked for the comet last Monday without success then the clouds rolled in). Today the skies were clear and I was able to get the comet. It was not visible naked eye but it was easy in 8x42 binoculars. I am testing a pair of 22x100 binoculars this weekend for work and it was really nice through them!

Of course I had my Canon 60d out and the best pics were zoomed in with my EF 70-300mm lens. Here is what the comet looked like.

Today was the comet's closest approach to the Sun which is when they are usually brightest. However, it won't instantly disappear from the sky although it will start fading over the next week or so.  A great time to look is Tuesday night (March 12th) when the comet will be near the crescent Moon. You probably want to start looking about half an hour after sunset and the comet will set about an hour after sunset. Find a clear western horizon to maximize your chances.

Unfortunately, I won't get many more chances to see it. Tuesday I leave for my first trip to our observatory in Chile! I have looked at my flight and if it is on time, I will land in Dallas right after sunset and will have to find the top of parking garage or something to try and see it between flights. In Chile, the comet will not be visible (but I might get to see another southern hemisphere comet, Comet Lemmon!)

Open Blog - Wednesday

Mrs. Toad

Two weeks ago, Biggie D and I were at The Icehouse in Punta Gorda, Florida. After one of their fabulous burgers and a pilsner, we left. As I walked to my truck, I spy a white car with a WI personalized license plate. MRS. TOAD. Yesterday, I'm exiting my favorite grocery store, Publix. Yes, that's its name. Anyway in front of me is this white car....yep, Mrs. Toad again. I think she's hanging out in all my favorite haunts. Today, Biggie and I have to pick up a couple things. Will she be popping up again? Time Will tell. Oh, and she was at Bocca Lupo's on Thursday night too. Saw that darn car there as well. You guys send a spy down here?

Daylight Saving Time Begins

"Spring forward" one hour, or be late for everything.

Useless Information

Did you know:

In 1905 25% of Chinese men were hooked on opium.