Friday, May 25, 2012

Meet My New Attorney

Just a few seconds into the commercial and I knew that Adam Reposa is the man for me.

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Welcome to another amazing episode of Four for Fridays. It's been an interesting week so far. Here are some questions for you.

1) Have you ever been involved in scouting? If so, how far did you go?

2) What clubs were you invoked in high school?

3) How often do you exercise?

4) Did you have any Memorial Day weekend traditions?

Enjoy your weekend!

"Cassini, 8 Years Around Saturn"

"This video was created using the images taken by Cassini probe of the Saturnian system since 2004."

Read more:

This is right up hale-bopp's alley.

Open Blog - Friday

Have a good day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"Bizarre Illusion Turns People Ugly"

It took me a couple of tries to 'get' it. De-focusing your eyes for Bedtime Games probably helps here. It's a strange illusion.

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my cool, cool cucumbers! How are you?  The wonderful weather endures. If this keeps up, Racine should surpass all attendance records for the various summer events held in the city.  We have months of party time headed our way.  Let’s enjoy! 

I already have most of my vegetable garden planted.  The big thing now is keeping it weeded and watered.  That’s where Junior is supposed to come in, but he doesn’t.  I realize that he’s still in school, so I don’t lean on him too hard.  In the summer, though, he better be working a real job, or working in our garden.  He must have inherited his father’s work ethic, because he sure didn’t get it from me.  Look up ‘lazy’ in the dictionary and it just says, “See ‘Junior.’”

I read in the Journal Sentinel Online that the naming rights to the Bradley Center have been sold to BMO Harris Bank: It is now known as the BMO Harris Bradley Center.  Of course, that is a travesty, but what are we going to do about it?  What’s even worse is that we are taxed especially for a stadium in Milwaukee County, but a brewery owns the naming rights.  It should be called Southeastern Wisconsin Taxpayers’ Stadium instead of Miller Park.  And to top it all off, Mr. Herb Kohl says we must build his basketball team a new arena.  My, oh my, the greed for public dollars never ends, never. 

Perhaps we should sell naming rights to places and things in Racine to raise money.  City Hall could be Ivanhoe’s City Hall,  Pershing Park might become Pershing Pabst Blue Ribbon Park, Monument Square could be Menard’s Monument Square (with “Save more money at Menard’s” blaring out of the monument’s top), or how about Monument Builders Square, and so on and so on.  The possibilities are almost endless.  All funds raised would be used to offset property taxes for Racine residents.  I offer this idea free of charge to Racine because I love my city.

Finally, my dears, please take a moment this weekend to reflect on what Memorial Day means.  So many freely forfeited all of their tomorrows so that we could have all of ours.  It’s an almost incomprehensible gift from one generation to the next.  Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for all that you did for us.

And thank you for reading my blog this week.  It’s wonderful when someone stops by to look things over.  My readers are my friends, irregular and otherwise.  Thank you, friend.

Have a wonderful week, each and every one of you.  Better get you air conditioner up and running.  Better get yourself outdoors (not you, Ms. Lizardmom) and have some fun.  Two more weeks and the electioneering ends.  I can’t wait.   Transcalent!

Open Blog - Wednesday

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Useless Information

Did you know:

There are more germs on a public bathroom floor then any other place in the room.

You have a greater chance of catching something if you put your purse on the floor then touch your purse.

I guess this one isn't really useless information.

Finally - introvert/extrovert finale

Ok, life has settled down enough for me to get back to a little fun. 
A while ago, I did a 'pre-blog', on how we thought our gang here fit in the extrovert/introvert scheme of things. 
The book is called "Quiet - the power of Introverts in a World that can't stop talking".
I thought it would help me with insight into my hubby who is an introvert, as well as a couple other people I know. I have never been, nor have I considered myself to be an introvert, but after getting 1/2 way thru the book so far, am realizing, that I AM an introvert! Hmm, interesting!

One section early on caught me - "introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the 'real me' online......   They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of 200 people might blog to 2000, or 2 million, without thinking twice. "  Hmmm, interesting.

A bit later on they write of a study done on a group of 4 month old babies, with the theory that the study founder thought he could peg which ones would grow up to be which way. His study actually turned out pretty precise. The basis, in a nutshell is determining the degree of reactivity, which determines where we end up. The babies that reacted strongly were the ones that ended up more introverted, too much stimulation shuts them down. The babies that had little reaction ( like to a balloon popping, sudden noises, etc), could withstand more stimulation and weren't fazed by it, and ended up being the extroverted group. 

I have started to understand why I much prefer to do things in a quieter setting, my thought process definitely shuts down when too much external noise is going on, whereas extroverts thrive with commotion around. 

I never thought myself to be an 'inny' but, wow, it makes me make more sense! 

So, with this new little tidbit of insight, how do you see yourself and did it change at all?

Spring In Wisconsin Part 2!

I was driving through town around three different detours of construction to go and pick up Drew from work and one day on the way I seen this. I just had to take a picture of it for a post. This was on Carlton Dr.. The first time when I past it I didn't have my camera with me and then I said to myself I have to keep the camera with me. I pointed this out to Drew when I was taking him to work one morning. He can't figure out what they are suppose to be. Both the top picture and the bottom are from the same house.

In the top picture I know there is a frog's head in the middle and I don't know what the other two are. The bottom picture the first one looks like a dinosaur and the middle looks like a bear or dog. I really like this it is really something different.

This is a lilac bush we seen this while driving around. This picture was taken on 16th st. last month. I have seen lilac bushes on 4 mile rd. too. Then when I went past them yesterday and all the flowers are off of the bush already. I just couldn't believe that with in a month the flowers came off the bush. I love the smell of the lilac flowers in the summer.

We went walking one day through Shoop Park. I came across this bush and I thought it was really pretty so I took a picture of it. Come to find out during my search on the computer this is a Climbing Prairie Rose. I thought this was a good picture with all the buds on the branches too. I am sorry that the picture is a little out of focus.

I am really having fun taking the pictures and sharing them with everyone. I do hope all of you are enjoying this right along with me. I do have a lot more to look up and post for you. The hard part is when I am out trying to remember all the pictures I have taken already. Feel free to leave any comments!♥

Open Blog - Tuesday

More pansies, and butterflies, too.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Annular Eclipse Report

Time for my eclipse tale. I took in the eclipse from the Grand Canyon. I stayed in Flagstaff (visited Meteor Crater and Sunset Crater...maybe another blog on that later) and drove up to the Canyon Sunday morning. I got there about 11:00am and went through the east entrance near Desert View/the Watchtower. The Watchtower is where the park service was going to set up telescopes. I decided to drive down and check out all the overlooks to see where I wanted to be. By the time I hit Grand Canyon Village, I knew Lipan Point was my choice so I turned around (ate lunch on the way) to go back there. Only problem was, Lipan Point had limited parking and not a lot of room for setup so I was worried I might have missed my window of opportunity.

I pulled into Lipan about 2pm and got lucky as a great parking spot opened up. Even luckier was finding a great spot to set up. I set up close to the edge of the Canyon (past the guard rail) so people wouldn't stand in front of me. Now just a long wait until the eclipse. I tweeted early in the day that today was like the Super Bowl for astronerds. Well, this was the tailgaiting part of the day. Lots of people were there, looking through scopes and swapping stories. The park service closed acces to Lipan later in the day because the was no more parking. As a result, it never got too crowded.

I set up my Canon Digital Rebel with a solar filter and a PST (Personal Solar Telescope) on a tracking mount. Finally, the Moon took a small bite out of the Sun.
The eclipse progressed nicely. Look closely for sunspots!
I attached a small, inexpensive point and shoot camera to my PST. The PST has a hydrogen alpha filter on it which lets you see prominences and filaments. I should have taken more pics with it, but they looked lousy on the small camera screen. They looked better when I downloaded them. Here is a shot from the PST. Note the little flame-like structures on the edge of the Sun (prominences) and the filaments (little dark lines on the Sun). You can only see these with a hydrogen alpha filter, not a white light filter.
Another PST shot closer to totality. You can see a nice active region in the lower right of the Sun.
Finally, we have the ring of fire!
That is a white light image of the ring of fire. I took a long video with my PST showing the progress through annularity. Here is the video for you.
And the Sun set with a small sliver still missing.
The Big Picture has a gallery of eclipse photos.  Look at #39 and #41 which were takend from the Grand Canyon. The background matches up with mine...they were taken from the same spot! He obviously used a very long zoom lens. I am pretty sure I know which one he was!

Interesting sidenote: This eclipse is part of Saros cycle 128. These eclipses repeat every 18 years, 10 days and six hours (approximately). I saw the previous annular eclipse from Michigan State in 1994 (we were just outside the path of annularity). The next one in this cycle is June 1st, 2030. If I see it, I will have completed an exeligmos (look it up, that's your vocab word of the day...I learned it from David Dickinson on twitter).

It was a great day with perfect weather and skies. I am already looking forward to 2017 when the continental U.S. will finally get a total solar eclipse!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Open Blog - Monday

Me, too!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Bee Gees - "Words"

"Robin Gibb, Bee Gees star and co-founder, dies at 62 after losing battle with cancer"

I never was a fan of the Bee Gees, and from what I've read, Robin didn't even sing in this song, but it's one of the few Bee Gees songs that I like.

RIP Robin Gibb.  

Upcoming Partial Eclipse

Just bumping this to the top as a reminder! Clear skies all!

I figured I should write a Racine specific blog for the upcoming partial solar eclipse. On May 20th, there will be an annular solar eclipse. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun but doesn't quite cover the Sun. The Moon has an elliptical orbit...remember "Super Moon" a couple of weeks ago? The Moon was larger because it was near perigee, or the closest it gets to Earth. Well, two weeks later, the Moon is near apogee, the farthest it gets from Earth. Therefore, the Moon appears smaller, too small to entirely cover the Sun. If you are near the center line of an annular eclipse, you see a "Ring of Fire" around the Moon.

The center line of this annular eclipse passes over Japan, the Pacific Ocean, northern California, Nevada, northern Arizona (guess where I will be?), New Mexico and the eclipse ends in west Texas. However many people north and south of the center will see a partial eclipse, including Racine.

In Racine, the Moon touches the face of the Sun at about 7:20pm CDT on May 20th (sunset is at 8:12pm). The Moon will slowly cover the Sun until sunset. At that time, over 60% of the Sun will be covered by the Moon. I used Steallarium to create an image of what you would see at sunset if you had a clear western horizon.

Now to observe the eclipse, you don't want to just look at it with your eyes. Even partially covered near sunset, the Sun is still bright enough to cause eye damage. Fortunately, eclipse shades are cheap (a buck or two). You can get them from various places. American Science and Surplus (6901 W Oklahoma in Milwaukee) carries them and I bet the Milwuakee Public Museum might as well. You can also make a pinhole viewer to observe the eclipse. Whichever you choose, you can also use it to watch the upcoming transit of Venus on June 5th (future blog).

Unfortunately, I don't see anything on the Racine Astronomical Society website indicating they will be having an event. The telscopes in the domes may have limits as to how low in the sky they can observe and, since this is sunset when the Sun is very low, they may choose not to open for it.

If you don't live in Racine and want to know what is visible from your location, check out NASA's interactive eclipse map. Just click on your location and you will get the details.

Oh, and I will be in the Grand Canyon, in the path of annularity, for this eclipse and yes, there will be pictures!