This morning I saw a shooting star slice westward through Gemini's legs. Nice.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The stars were bright and beautiful when I went out at 5:30 this morning. On mornings when they are bright I search my memory for the names of stars and constellations. I was reasonably good at identifying them when I was in my late teens, but I've forgotten most of them now.
Orion is always immediately recognizable wherever it is in the sky, as are the Pleiades close by. It's sort of odd that I have a harder time with the Big Dipper; that's because light pollution and trees are always worse in that direction.
Two bright stars really caught my attention this morning. One, as I looked at it, had a tellingly reddish tinge, and I wondered if it was a red giant. Usually I can see the red in Mars on nights that it's visible and identify it by its color and brightness. This time, though, I didn't recognize this particular "star" as Mars, but it was Mars anyway. This I found when I looked up a star chart on my computer afterward.
The other star was Sirius. I had wondered if it was; as the brightest star in the sky, it's very noticeable. At first I thought it might be Venus, but it wasn't bright enough for that and I didn't think it was in the right place. Then I thought perhaps it was Jupiter. Once again, the Internet cleared it up for me later on.
I'll be taking a star map with me next time.
Monday, September 28, 2009
I just returned from a lunchtime sketch excursion to
I used a whittle-down stem to draw with (I'd have used a brush, too, but I accidentally left them at home) on a small piece of paper. It was looking pretty nice, I think, but I pushed it a little too far and it got sort of ugly. It was a good experiment, though.
It's my plan to take some acrylics over during lunch break this week to do a little painting.
Here's a Web site that I find a little too engrossing. There are some amazing images here from the ongoing Cassini mission to Saturn. This photo is of the 17-mile-wide moon Pan casting its shadow across Saturn's rings during Saturn's recent equinox. ( http://ciclops.org/view/5748/Pans_Lengthening_Shadow )
Monday, September 21, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
|Here's some news from Saturday that I missed until this afternoon:|
I hope more like him step up. How many people have been credited with saving hundreds of millions of human lives?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours doing some long-overdue yard work. I mowed and then used the weed-whacker, and as I cut around the vegetable garden I found, hidden under some tall grass by the fence--
A pumpkin! It's as big as a badly over-inflated football and is still mostly green.
The vine supporting it is barely alive, but it looks like I might have a pumpkin for the front porch after all.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
The night before last I mixed up some bread dough, and the girls helped me knead it (they had a lot of fun with it; Jill provided a constant loud narration of all her actions, as if she were showing an auditorium full of students the proper method).
The dough came out fine, but I left it sitting on the counter to rise for a little too long. We were done kneading it around 7:30, and I didn't put it into the over until nearly 24 hours later. Now I realize what's causing a problem I've had with some of my bread and pizza dough. It's over-fermented.
The bread is edible, it just has a slightly bitter edge to it. We tried some while it was still warm, and Kim thought it had a little bit of a taste or smell like wine. I detected an odor of beer. It's not awful by any means, but my daughters didn't much care for it and I'll do my best to shorten the rising time from now on.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I just don't feel like putting anything on my blog without pictures, but it's been ten days, so I guess I better put up something just to maintain my image of freshness.
I just got back from getting my allergy shots. The nurse who gave them to me is pretty nice, but she makes my arms sore. I feel like someone punched me. The shots don't hurt when I'm getting them, but I sure feel stiff afterward.
Last night I had a dream related to the movie "The Car," which I saw on TV about 25 years ago. It's a really bad movie about this demonic car that runs people over and is terrorizing a small town. In the dream, it was directed by Franco Zeffirelli, but it was real, and the car was stalking me and my family.
My garden is neglected, which it is every year at this time. The pumpkins and squash are nearly dead from powdery mildew or other diseases; I will be very surprised if I have any pumpkins to harvest. I might get a couple more summer squash before the plants keel over.
The tomatoes, though, are still running nuts. I have lots of cherry tomatoes that I haven't had time to pick, but I can't send the girls out after them because the mosquitoes are so horrendous. I have ten big tomatoes on the kitchen counter. I might have to dry some again to store for the winter.
We went camping last weekend from Friday evening until Monday. We had a great time, and the girls loved their first camping trip. It was nice spending time with friends, and we got a lot of help from Ed and Loraine, who loaned us some vital equipment for outdoor comfort (most notably, a great tent).