Ice Rings

I went outside to take out the trash, grateful that it had stopped raining, even though it was cold. (As always, that’s “LA cold,” not “real cold.” In other words, 51°, not 11°!) Once I got out I could see that it wasn’t as dark as I had expected, with some moonlight and the clouds breaking up a bit after a week or so of steady rain.

Between the cold, the moon, and the layers of icy, high level clouds, there was the most amazing colored 360° moonbow surrounding the moon overhead.

The cellphone doesn’t do a spectacular job on this type of photo, mainly because of the extreme contract in brightness and the lack of anything solid to focus on.

But you can get an idea of the moonbow. Not as vivid as a rainbow’s colors, but still quite beautiful!

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Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Space

Milestone For The Big Blue Max

I told you it would happen!

I kept waiting for the transmission to blow out or some maniac doing 100+ mph in the rain and traffic to take me out in the last mile, leaving it forever stuck on 199,999 miles – but nothing like that happened.

It was uneventful, except for possibly the trivial and inconsequential coincidence that it happened EXACTLY in front of my office, which happens to sit right next to the freeway. That was a tiny bit weird and random.

On to the next 100,000 miles! She may be neither small nor zippy (like Hissy is) but she’s reliable and reasonably comfortable. And we’ve been through a lot together.


Which brings up another point. I know that my kids name their cars and give them personalities because I do and in that sense I’m either an outstanding, super cool role model or a terrible, psychotic one. But does anyone else do this?

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Filed under Castle Willett, Paul

Life Commentary In Eleven Words

Some days this just describes the whole shebang:

Stupid server.

Time to count backwards, slowly, in German, from Dreihundertsiebenundvierzig, then reconnect.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Paul

The Red Trees

A couple of weeks ago some of the trees at work went from green to bright yellow overnight. Today I noticed that the trees out in the parking lot had gone red.

 

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Filed under Los Angeles, Photography

Friday Night Lights

Well, the pictures are from last Friday. We didn’t see the moon or any clear sky here for the last couple of days.

After a long day of putting up lights, while I was starting to put ladders and boxes and extension cords and tools away because it was getting dark, I spotted the crescent moon and bright Venus off in the west.

I like my Christmas lights, but it’s tough to compete with the light show in the sky some times.

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Filed under Astronomy, Christmas Lights, Photography

What’s Up With ATC Tonight?

As I’ve mentioned, we live pretty much right under the extended centerline for Burbank runway 8, which leads us to have 737’s and the like overhead at about 4,000′ all day long. Since I’m an airplane nut, this is not a problem.

It also means that I’m pretty used to which direction planes are coming from 99.99% of the time. So when I’m busy on the computer but I hear one coming from an odd direction, it makes my ears prick up.

When a second one follows, I pull out FlightAware to see what their flight paths are.

(Image from FlightAware)

That first plane (a United flight) came in from the northwest (not so unusual), then did a big 360° turn over Hidden Hills (pretty unusual) before he got lined up and had just exited stage right toward final approach. (For reference and scale, from our house at the blue dot, the 405 Freeway and Van Nuys airport there are about half way to Burbank.)

The second guy (a Southwest flight), currently over Tampa Avenue, came in a bit more normally from the north over Simi Valley, looped a little wide, but was now on final.

Then the third plane (Alaska Airlines Flight 1150) followed the second plane and made an even bigger 360° out over the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu!

What’s up with Air Traffic Control (ATC) tonight?

Let’s step outside and look toward the southwest and Malibu, shall we?

Yep, there he is!

And, yep! There he goes!

A weather-related issue? Possibly. You can see a storm cell over Topanga State Park to our south. There’s a front moving in and some of the showers were supposed to get severe, but that wasn’t supposed to happen until tomorrow morning.

Spacing? ATC maintains minimum separation between aircraft and if there are a few coming in all at the same time, someone might get told to take the scenic route and linger for a few in order to not crowd anyone else.

Whatever. I got my own personal mini air show! The day got better!

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Filed under Castle Willett, Christmas Lights, Flying, Photography

Kotter Was Here

Found in the back yard this weekend.

Forget about Kilroy.

Kotter was here.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Photography