‘Cause it’s cloudy and I can’t go comet hunting tonight, that’s why.
- But there was a break in the clouds at sunset and I was at a location where I had a good view of the western horizon. Venus and Mercury are only 1° apart and while I could clearly see Venus of course (REALLY STINKIN’ BRIGHT!) I could not see Mercury.
- How did people playing poker become a television “sport” complete with breathless color commentary? And why does it have to come on after the hockey game so that I have to either stop what I’m doing to change the channel or just put up with it? (Yeah, #FirstWorldProblem!)
- There’s no “Flash Fiction” tonight (or last week) because our Grand High Phoobah Chuck Wendig hasn’t given us new assignments. Probably a holiday break sort of thing. And I didn’t participate two weeks ago just because it was about 23:30 before I realized that it was Thursday…
- So that’s another “next clear night” thing – get the binoculars (and camera, of course), get to someplace with a good western horizon (the hill at Pierce College sounds good) and go hunting for Mercury.
- A thing going around The Intranets today showed where it was colder here (mainly northern tier states, New England, and 99.9999% of Canada) than it was on Mars. Cool meme (yeah, I passed it on) but the “spin” on the facts that makes it true(ish) is that we’re comparing high temps for the sol on Mars to low temps for the day on Earth. The lows on Mars (apples to apples) was about -75°. Plus there’s that whole total lack of a breathable atmosphere thing.
- Re: not realizing that it’s Thursday until 23:30 – I might have a rotten brain. Or I might just be trying to stuff ten pounds of thinking and stress into a five-pound brain pan. (That old figure of speech got mangled pretty badly there, didn’t it?)
- In thinking about a good local place with a slightly darker sky (to do it right I would need to drive up into the San Bernadino mountains, or better yet, out to someplace like Joshua Tree, but that’s four hours each way) I realized that there’s a “wilderness” park up in the canyons near our home, between LA County and Ventura County. It’s listed as “closed at dusk” but I called, got some administrative dude, and got told that I “probably” would be fine going there after dark with a camera and/or telescope. A ranger or cop might see me, but they “probably” would leave me alone once I explained why I was there. And I was “unlikely” to have anyone close the gate and lock me in for the night. But I did need to be cautious about the coyotes. And rattlesnakes. And possibly mountain lions. And skunks, especially skunks…
- Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch!
- I’m going to check out that park and see if there’s a gate to be locked. If not, it might be critter time!
Remember, “There are two types of people in this world – 1) Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data”