Castle In Clouds

It’s Castle Peak to be specific.

You’ve seen it on fire from our front yard, and in any number of evening sunset and ISS pass photos as well. This picture shows it wreathed in low hanging clouds. The perspective’s different because it’s taken on the street down on the flatland at the bottom of our hill.

You’re getting it tonight, even though there are way too many wires, street lights, and telephone poles in it, because:

  1. It was a very pretty sight
  2. I’ve got an amazing story to tell you but I need to do it correctly, and…
  3. I’m out of time tonight (so what else is news?)

I know. I’m a tease.

Go wash your hands.

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Filed under Photography, Weather

Someplace Special – April 08th

Fenway Park, Boston

August, 2004. I took most of the family (The Son was overseas in the Air Force) to Boston. Being us, we had to go to a baseball game there in what was to them a new baseball stadium. In what was to me a cathedral, and old friend, a long-lost happy place.

It had been sort of a shitty vacation up to that point. We had been up in Vermont visiting my mother, which was nice, and had gone to visit Montreal, which was nice right up until our car got broken into, our luggage and my briefcase stolen, and we got the pleasure of spending most of the next three days trying to cancel credit cards and bank accounts before the identity theft got too bad.

We were going to the 2004 Worldcon in Boston and knew the Angels were in town against the Red Sox, so we spent more on 3rd row seats behind the Angels dugout than we spent on airfare. (Thank goodness the tickets had been left in Vermont and weren’t in my stolen briefcase!)

The Sox were up early and after seven innings the Angels were losing, 10-1. The Daughters had brought their rally monkeys (which were ALL the rage that year) and were waving them wildly despite the score. And we scored two in the eighth inning. And then scored four in the ninth inning…

I remember having at least one guy still on base and maybe two, so the tying run was at the plate before they finally got us out and won the game. A lot of the Boston faithful had left early, but those that remained were giving us some serious stink eye.

It was glorious.


I know the world has an abnormally high ratio of shit in it right now – but it also still has a lot of good things, and good things that will come back to us. It’s important to remember that. So let’s remember that and hold onto it when we need it.

Our family and many others are missing the simple pleasures now, like going to a ballgame, or even just watching one on television. It sucks. It’s a constant, nagging reminder that things are not right.

But so far we’re all healthy – I hope you are too. This will pass, and the baseball games will return.

We need to be doing this now in order to help as many of us as possible be around when they do.

Wash your hands. Wear a face mask. Maintain physical distancing.

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Filed under LA Angels, Photography, Sports, Travel

When It Rains, It Pours

There’s a lot going on these days.

You might have noticed.

A lot of stress, not a lot of sleep, a lot of angst, not a lot of relaxation.

“Take care of yourself,” folks say, and that’s good advice. When you get on a plane they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first if there’s an emergency, because that way you can help others without being one of those who needs help.

So tonight was going to be great. There was an ASTONISHING space station pass over Southern California. Almost horizon to horizon, straight through the zenith, brighter than Venus. (Remember Venus?)

(Image from Heavens-Above.com – get it – use it!)

On top of that, there’s a “SUPERMOON” tonight! Yeah, y’all know how I feel about the sensational headlines and click bait. It’s a full moon when the moon is at perigee, the point in a body’s object when it’s closest to Earth, so it looks about 1% bigger than “normal.” You would never know that just by looking at it. But, it’s a full moon, it will be bright, it will be spectacular.

Been looking forward to this for days and days. Needed to remember the joys of the little things.

And Mother Nature said,

It’s been POURING. Flash flood alerts sort of pouring. Biblical-class rain on and off. You would be soaked to the skin just thinking about going outside.

So there was a really spectacular ISS pass. But we couldn’t see it.

There was a beautiful, bright full moon rising. (Unclear if it was “bad.”) But we couldn’t see it.

Mother Nature’s a bitch.

And not the good kind.

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space, Weather

A Three-Day Beard

(After reading this before posting I’ve decided that it might be the most useless, stupid thing I’ve ever put on this site, but I’m too lazy to go check for what might have been even more stupid or useless, and I’m too tired to write anything else. Sorry)

On a 24-year old, it makes him look roguish, rough, sexy, perhaps a little bit dangerous.

On a 64-year old, it makes you look a LOT like one of the homeless guys under the freeway asking for change on the onramp.

In this day and age it might also be a sign that you’re just completely exhausted and putting a sharp object to your throat first thing in the morning isn’t a good idea. But that’s a given and perhaps why you need to do it anyway.

Plus it itches. And tickles. And the little hairs at the corner of my mouth are like a new toy for my tongue to play with, which is annoying as hell after about five minutes.

I always think that this time will be different – it never is.

Just one more frustrating thing in the world right now, one more freakin’ little detail that I would truly love to ignore and let go of – but the alternative is worse.

That pretty much defines the last few years. (Except for that whole “my beloved Chiefs won the Super Bowl!!” thing, of course.)

Thank you for sitting through my not-so-fine whine. I’m cranky.

Wash your hands! Stay home!

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Filed under CoronaVirus

Another Weekend Gone, Another Week To Face

Between the disruption of the “working at home” routine, the fact that this entire crisis has increased my workload by a factor of “way too much” regardless of whether or not it’s exponentially harder to actually do under these circumstances, and the sort of 24/7/365 existential terror that the whole thing has vibrating along everyone’s nervous system, we’re all losing track of time. We’re untethered, adrift, fighting our way through chaotic times as best we can.

So far as I can tell, another “weekend” has past, its essence diluted to a glimmer of its former self by work and worry. That, in turn, means that another “work week” is here with all of its accompanying horrifying news from the hospitals, total shit shows from the White House, and unending crises de jour from all other fronts.

These guys in Cleveland have it right:

The news and the workload may be unrelenting – so must be our resolve, our courage, and our determination. A key weapon on our side will be our sense of humor. Hawkeye Pierce was right – sometimes going a little bit insane is the only way to stay sane when the world has gone totally insane. (We’ll ignore what happened in that farewell episode since it basically proves me wrong.)

Denial – it’s not just for the West Wing breakfast bar anymore!

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Lonely Grill

It’s not “normal” by any means, but perhaps an attempt to have a tiny sliver of normality. If you’ve read this site for any extended length of time, you’ll know that we like to have family over and BBQ.

A normal, “happy” grill has a half dozen hot dogs, a dozen hamburgers, some chicken, probably some corn on the cob, perhaps even some kabobs or shrimp or a steak. We’re usually feeding at least four or six or more.

Tonight it’s just the two of us – no visitors, physical distancing and “Safer At Home” protocols in place. There wasn’t any lettuce or tomato or potato salad or corn on the cob or beans, not because they aren’t available at the stores, but because we didn’t have them in the house already and we won’t make a trip to the store just to get stuff like that for one meal.

So it was a lonely grill, with just the birds that are nesting on the porch to provide entertainment. (Every time I go out back they fly out of the nest above the door and perch on the fence berating me for invading “their” space.) Tomorrow several days of rain move in. Clouds tonight obscured Venus and the Pleiades, as well as a magnificent ISS pass.

But we’re still healthy. I hope you’re the same. (Feel free to use the comments to let me & others know how you’re doing.)

Stay home.

Wash your hands.

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Photography

No Context For You – April 03rd

Not art, just something really odd that came out of the camera just like this. I’m not sure if the physical mechanism of the shutter in the camera failed (this is from my Canon Rebel XTi, not my phone) or if it’s something glitchy in the logic that combined bits and pieces of two frames.

Having reached yet another Friday evening, it is an appropriate representation of our world right now. Both right and not right, fractured, bits and pieces recognizable but not fitting together the way they are supposed to.

So I guess there was some context.

My bad.

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