Category Archives: Photography

Echoes Of Christmas

With our lights down as of last weekend, I’m simultaneously both a bit jealous of the couple of houses down the block which still have theirs up, and grateful for them since it gives me something brilliant and bright to look at.

Later, I noticed that, even from the back yard, there were still reflections of our Christmas tree visible in the back yard, via the china cabinet.

It’s there if you look for it.


Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas Lights, Photography

NASA Engineering Humor

Late. Tired. Keep It Short, Stupid!

I may have posted this at the time (I can’t imagine that I would have passed up the opportunity) but I don’t see where, so let’s go with it.

From back when I could go to NASA Socials, i.e. 2015, here’s a picture of an unpowered drone that would carry instruments and be pulled behind an aircraft at the end of a long rope or cable.


…it’s a toad drone.

I’ll be here all weekend. Tip your waitress!


Filed under Photography, Silly Shit

Is It February Yet?

There are a lot of things in my life that all collide in January. It’s a busy time.

So far I’m keeping my head above water, but there are days when I start to see just how close it’s going to be on a project or deadline or another…

As Crash taught us, “Don’t think. You can only hurt the ball club.”

When in doubt, post a picture of a dog or cat.

Jessie was the best girl. Except, of course, when she was being a total brat and getting into a ton of trouble…

Leave a comment

Filed under Dogs, Photography

Last Week’s Full Moon & Clouds Before The Storm

Last Friday night the full moon looked amazing through the cloud layers that were leading the way for the rest of the big storm that hit on the weekend.

What was really odd, and not really visible at all to the eye (which makes me wonder if it’s some sort of artifact, like dew or moisture on the lens) was the ring around the moon a minute or two later.

But looking at the way there’s a thin layer of clouds from about 7:00 to 3:00, where the arc is, but no thin clouds and no arc from about 3:00 to 7:00… Maybe there was some odd boundry layer there in that layer of clouds and I was seeing the moon at just the right spot?

Who knows? I’m just throwing ideas up against the wall to see what sticks…

Leave a comment

Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Weather

A Hint Of Green

One almost immediate benefit that’s come from all of the rain that we’ve had is that the back yard is starting to look a tiny bit less barren.

With a few days of sun in between a few days of rain, for the first time since the lawn watering restrictions went into effect back on June 1st the back yard has some green to it. There’s a long way to go, but any port in a storm! (So to speak…)

Unfortunately, it’s not grass, except for a couple of patches around the sprinkler heads where there were slow drips. Instead it’s this clover-like stuff, so it’s not clear how much actual coverage we’re going to get, how sturdy or hardy it is, or anything else.

I would probably worry more about it if I owned the house. But we’ve been renting for 4+ years, and it’s ultimately not going to be my problem. I try not to be a schmuck about such things, but I’ve also got my limits on what I can afford to spend time worrying about, and someone else’s landscaping when under a strictly enforced set of water restrictions is over the line for me.

Welcome, little clover-like stuff! Don’t get eaten by the birds!

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Weather

Converging Lines

It’s really late and it’s been a really long day.

It’s raining again, but before the clouds moved in, there were two contrails, one old, one new, converging as the planes took the same route to their destination.


Leave a comment

Filed under Flying, Photography, Weather

The Dark – 2023

As 16:00 comes and goes with no monstrously huge surge in the regional demand for electricity, the SoCal Emergency Energy Management Agency realizes that today was the day I took down the Christmas lights and they can re-mothball that backup nuclear power plant that they’ve needed ten hours a day since Thanksgiving.

The dark has returned to West Hills, as it always does sometime in January. (Okay, there were years when it was February [or March…] when the lights came down, but they always got turned off by late January.) Normally it might have been next weekend, or even the weekend after, but the weather forecast for next weekend is abysmal and the 21st isn’t looking much better. Today was actually nice (if still more than a bit muddy) so the smart money said to take my shot.

As always, the good news is that the lights that took four days to put up only take four hours to take down. And the tree is still up inside, so there’s still some holiday cheer for another few days.

The fact that my beloved Chiefs stomped on the hated Raiders and tied up the #1 seed in the AFC playoffs and the bye next week is just gravy.


Leave a comment

Filed under Christmas Lights, KC Chiefs, Photography

Another “Set SCE To AUX” Day

If you know, you know.

“Miles to go before I sleep…” as they say. Tomorrow will be another day.

So far 2023, four days in, is “more of the same” mixed in with “Say, WHAT?!” When the going gets weird, the weird get going.

Stay weird, freindos!

Leave a comment

Filed under Paul, Photography

Random Old Photos – January 03rd

I’m a sucker for taking pictures of statues, and god knows there were enough of them on this day. Lots of Native Americans, wilderness dudes, cowboys, and so on. But this one of the spouting seal and child was the one that tickled my fancy the most.

Denver, there for Worldcon, fifteen years ago in August, somewhere near the capitol building and US Mint.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Travel

First Sunset Of 2023

I really wasn’t expecting to be able to see anything for the rest of the week as far as sunsets go, given the “atmospheric river” that lining up to dump many inches of (much needed, I know, I KNOW!) rain on California for the last four or five days and the next ten days or more. But lo and behold, we were between rain bands this evening and the sky was clear right at sunset.

Nice gradient. That whole thing I was talking about last week with all nine planets lined up has pretty much passed. Mercury has now sunk down in the evening sky toward the Sun and is too dim in the twilight to see, so on the Western hornizon we’re just left with Venus.

Even it’s not far from the Sun, but it’s really stinking bright so you can see it there just below center, to the left of that tree.

Above it was easy by this time to see Jupiter (also stinking bright) straight overhead, and Mars off to the east, reasonably bright and red, over in the neighborhood of Orion. In between Jupiter and Venus you can see Saturn if you know which one it is, and the Moon is also up off in the east, so that’s five of the six naked eye stars visible, plus the Moon. (I’m counting the telephone pole, wires, and neighbor’s houses as a legitimate sighting of the Third Rock from the Sun.)

I hope your New Year’s Eve was safe and enjoyable and your New Year’s Day restful and fun. Tomorrow we get all of the parades and the remaining football bowl games, so I hope you get to enjoy them without having to work. You’ll know how the weather’s deteriorating in SoCal by the weather conditions for the Rose Parade (should be dry-ish) and the Rose Bowl (may or may not get through the whole game without rain).

Meanwhile, 2023 fired a warning shot across my bow in the form of a whole slew of two-factor authentication codes being sent to my phone for my Google and Gmail accounts. I’ve changed the passwords and that seems to have stopped it for now, and I’ve verified that there aren’t any unauthorized logins, but I may end up spending a good chunk of tomorrow updating and changing all of my passwords on all critical accounts. Fun! Just what I was looking forward to.

Let’s not start off this way, 2023. I will not be willing to cut you much slack, just to be clear.

Leave a comment

Filed under Astronomy, Photography, Sunsets, Weather