Oops!

I had a brain fart today, just wanted to share. Drove by a sign waving in the wind. I read it as “Live Natively”…

For a full second there I was like, how the hell does one live natively? Then it hit me.  It is that time of year I suppose for live nativities. My brain farts happen more often than I’d like to admit.  🙂

 

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C’mon Guys. We Have to Do Better Than This.

I’m sure everyone with a television has heard about the moronic maroon in Alabama. Now it’s (Noooo!) Al Franken. Then there was all the hoo ha at Faux News. And we have the Trumpish pussy grabbing Trump, and the list just goes on and on and on.

It appears we just can’t help ourselves. By we, I mean guys in general not me personally. Though there was this one time I did tell a lady I did not know that she was pretty, I immediately saw that it made her uncomfortable, and I still feel bad about that. I have (mostly) always strived to be gentlemanly towards the opposite sex, and almost always prefer to be the quiet guy in the room (there is a lot to learn from that perspective). Now that does not mean I haven’t had my encounters with the opposite sex. You know why?

Because if they are interested they will let you know! Ok? I know from experience you don’t have to be the guy that can talk any woman out of her good sensibilities in 20 minutes or less (my brother is a fine example.) You don’t have to be a big Billy Bad Ass, you don’t have to be flamboyant and loud, you don’t have to be the super jock, and  you sure don’t need to be somebody that thinks they are Mr. Bigshit just because of wealth and fame or whatever it is that makes someone think they are Mr. Bigshit… to gain the attentions of the opposite sex. And Mr. Bigshit, you sure as hell do not have special freedoms to maul, molest, harass, or otherwise misbehave in general towards women because of your perceived status! Let’s just be ourselves, and keep our hands to ourselves, and stop being jerks. Alright? If a woman is interested in you, she will let you know. Until then be a gentleman goddammit!

Now for the umpteenth time, ladies, I apologize for the behavior of my gender. We aren’t all this bad I swear.

All of you jackasses, and you know who you are, go to your room, think about what I have said, and do not come out until you have some understanding of it! Next time I won’t be as nice. (Is there no one out there to have this talk with their sons?)

Impeach The Bastard!

Let me begin by saying I have never been so damn busy in all my days. I have let the blog go slack, have neglected my friends blogs, but life can do that to you sometimes 🙂 But I will make time for this, if you have not seen it already, or heard about it, there is a large petition sponsored by Tom Steyer (a bloody billionaire, a real one, unlike tRump) that has already accumulated more than 1.6 million names. I just added my name to the list. I hope you will too.

It is fast, easy, painless, and a course of action any level headed individual would feel good about taking part in. Interested? Go here:

https://action.needtoimpeach.com

The work I have been involved in will play out before long I think, then I might get back to my old posting self. Till then I miss you guys and gals and think of you often.

 

Picture Day!

Finally! A post from this blog. Mak was supposed to be keeping the place up, but I don’t think he has been here in a while. Cobwebs and dust bunnies all over the place…

I eventually got the boat I have mentioned in earlier posts and comments restored to the point it can be taken out. We have had a ball with it, It is truly a pleasure to go for a boat ride on Ky. Lake, especially in a boat you brought back from the dead. I took my digiscoping rig (An Orion ED 80 Apochromatic telescope and a lightweight digital camera) with me the last time we went out, hoping for some good wildlife shots, but I soon discovered the boat itself is a terrible platform for taking pics, no matter how solid and stable the boat is, if there is more than a ripple in the water the image in my magnified picture taking view looks like we are out to sea in 20 foot waves. One of those “it seemed like a good idea” moments. I also discovered that the annual migration of the pelicans had either already taken place, or I was early. Darn it.

It was hot, probably around 92 degrees and humid. So every time the boat came to rest the heat immediately slapped us in the face. The water was down too making it difficult to get around. There are hundreds of shallow bars and underwater obstacles to be wary of, it pays to know your way around.

Anyway I tried to get a pic from the boat, that wasn’t happening, so I just grabbed the tripod, scope and all, and set it down at waters edge to get a few pics. First up is a pair of gulls. Note the exposed bar they are standing on is usually under 3-4 feet of water in summer months.

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This one I suspect is an Egret?

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This one highlights the low water danger. It is obvious the stumps on the shallow bar, my trained eye sees that you do not want to get anywhere near it. The shallow water goes well beyond what you can see. I have seen guys lose their lower units from their boat motors from these kinds of places, or knock the entire back end of the boat out because they did not understand the lay of the land and go running around with wide open throttles. Dumbasses…

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This one a Great Blue Heron standing on a point jutting out into the water. Note the ripples indicating shallow water well beyond the heron.

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This one a lonely Cypress with some gulls for company. That’s all of my river shots for today, but can you imagine this scenery being the place you worked for 3 decades? I was the luckiest guy…

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This next one, being an old pot smoker from days gone by, I got a whimsical chuckle from this sign.

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Sun Dog!

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Guess what? Another Sun Dog! Certainly less spectacular, but a sun dog nonetheless.

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This one is a result of my strange eye. I saw the reflection of the “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear” thing reflected across the side of this red truck. You can see my forearm and legs there, and the front wheel of the car in the reflection too. Also I had no idea anyone was in the truck when I took the pic! You can see their fingers in the shot. They probably thought me a weirdo, they could be right…

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This was a bright cloud that caught my attention.

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A foggy sunrise. Almost looks like it is hovering over the field.

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This one, we went to the Kroger, I parked next to this truck. Had to get the pic. If you can’t read the sticker in the window it says “Resist Democrats” “Resist Lying Media” The Trump sign speaks for itself, and the owner of the vehicle. You know, what you can’t see here, I got a good look, the guys truck was literally painted in places with a rattle can. This guy is not exactly living the Republican dream, but he is living the delusion for sure. (I assume it was guy. Probably a pussy grabber!)

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A Tennessee sunset.

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This is a new moon (just above the dark cloud) from a few days ago. The iphone did not care for the low light, it is a crappy pic, but here it is anyway!

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This is the last one. A lonely bunch of Black Eyed Susans with the ready to harvest corn as a backdrop. I saw this and realized the corn would be gone soon, and the pic impossible afterward. Fall is upon us. This would be one tough puzzle!

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That’s it for this one, hope you enjoyed. I’ll see you guys and gals soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damn You Harvey!

I know I have no place to complain with the many thousands homeless, many missing, and several dead already with this storm. The tragedy of its entirety has yet to be understood. I am sure it will be historic when it all gets sorted out. Probably already is. My heart goes out to all affected by this storm.

And we were just affected. Not to the extreme of most, we just got the remnants of the hurricane, but wow what a ride we had last night. Heavy downpours, tornados to our east, and the wind was really whipping. I slept as best I could through it, but about the time you thought it would ease up it came back just as ferocious as before. We could hear things banging and clanging and the occaisional snapping of wood out there, no one dared go look in the dark. The power predictably went out. (just got it back maybe 30 min ago)

First thing I saw this morning a tree across the street was down. But our damage was limited to a few shingles, a lot of tree debris, and then one of the boys had me go look at the shop. A tree lost a large limb that caved the roof of the shop in. Damn. (And my homeowners ins, does not cover outbuildings)

I got busy with getting the coffee on, which means digging around for the little propane camp stove and getting it going. Also forgot to fill a few buckets with water before the storm, when you lose power out in the country you need water on standby to flush a toilet because the well runs off of electricity. So I had one of the boys help me gather 4 buckets of water from the now swollen pond. Then I stretched out an extension cord from the car to the house. I have a small inverter that makes a little bit of 110 power from the car battery, so we could get television enough to see what was going on in the world.

Then about that time Vanderbilt called, we had an appointment to make today, they called to let us know that they were flooded. So no taking the wife to the neurologist. We were about to call them and cancel anyway, but it’s just freaky when they call you, because they were flooded…

Well as I mentioned the power is back. The wife is pleased that she can get a shower. So am I actually. We can only be thankful that things are manageable. We will get through this with little difficulty. I only wish the same could be said for all those from Houston to Nashville and beyond.

Hope all is well with all of you.

Can You Say TOTALITY?

I have been busier than a six legged dog a scratching fleas, but…I made time to gather up my telescopes, binoculars, eclipse glasses, umbrellas, cameras, snacks, coolers, lawn chairs, then load up the fam damily even if they did not want to go, picked up a straggler, (a friend of one of the boys) and drove the hour and a half drive to Eddyville Ky. for the Total Eclipse of the Sun!

Eddyville was darn close to the centerline of totality, and NOT one of the big towns garnering all of the attention, (and droves of people by my reasoning) so it seemed like a good spot to go.

We rolled into Eddyville snooping for a good place to setup, I saw a sign about some city park, figured that might be a good place to try. We got there only to be met by a park employee with lights flashing away on the park truck, they were not allowing eclipse goers to access the park. I mean they shut down a city park! I guess they knew we were coming… 😉 The nice lady handed us a printed map showing the “approved” viewing locations in Eddyville. Sheesh! I looked the map over, they were malls, a water park, and other places with concrete/blacktop to setup on, and my goal was grass. It was a blistering 95 degrees today and with the kind of humidity we get ’round here you really don’t want to be spending time on a blacktop lot for any reasonable amount of time.

So we backtracked a ways, I remembered seeing a sign previously indicating a river access point for the launching of boats. (We were right along the Cumberland River) We got down there and first thing we saw were a handfull of other eclipse enthusiasts setup. So I pulled in. I drove around to where a couple of folks were setup and took a parking spot. The parking lot was paved, but fortune leaned my way, right at the edge of the pavement was freshly cut grass. It took a good while to get everything unloaded and arranged, but we managed.

I set up my ED 80, equipped with a solar filter, and mounted on the Celestron ASGT mount. The mount is driven and keeps up with the motion of the sky, but you have to set it up just so for the tracking to work right. Try as I might, I nudged and fudged and fiddled but never got that mount to track as it should. Which meant I had to tweak it along the entire time I took pics. I also setup another 90mm achromat refractor in front of a whiteboard. This was a projection rig that could be safely observed with no glasses or other eye protection.

I took some time to chat with my new neighbors, the people right next to us was a mother from Wisconsin, and her two sons from Chicago. They had other family on the way, and they did indeed make it for the event. Just on the other side of them was an older gent from Indiana, and he had his mother with him. He had an 8″ Schmidt Cassegrain setup for solar views and pic taking. I also met another astronomy nerd who hailed from New Hampshire. He won the ‘who drove the farthest for the eclipse award!’ At least among those I met.

I took a few pics the day before as a test run. This is one:

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It was hot. Damn hot. I was fiddling with the scope mount and missed first contact. Dammit. I caught this as my first pic of the day today:

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There was a persistent haze in the sky, and a few wispy clouds. The haze made it difficult to achieve good focus. Any upcoming pics that look whiter will be suffering from the haze. The haze pretty much was consistent.

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This next pic was my last. My ding dang battery died! I had another battery but it refused to take a charge, and I thought I would maybe get through this event, I sadly did not. The wife got a decent pic through her handheld camera, I will try to get it up soon.

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Once totality hit it was like someone hit the light switch. It got dark! We could see Venus to our right. And Jupiter to our lower left. I had binoculars on hand for totality because when totality strikes you can look directly at it with binoculars and it was spectacular! The corona was glowing brilliantly. We could also see Mercury in the same binocular view. Everyone in my group got a good look with binoculars and we oohed and ahhed so much, I felt bad for my immediate neighbors, they had no binoculars, so I walked over and shared the binoculars with them. They were as stunned with the view as we were. I got the binocs back and took another good look, as I did the eclipse was seconds away from ending. I actually saw through the binoculars Baileys Beads. Baileys Beads is a well known phenomenon that resembles 4-5 bright pearl like beads strung out along of the freshly exposed limb. Just a mind blowing sight, and then it was way too bad to look at anymore as the suns glow was bright enough to hurt my eyes, I had to look away. It was over.

Hey there is another total eclipse not far from here in 7 years. I am making plans…  🙂

Jesus and Mo

I must admit to seeing this first at WEIT. At first I thought maybe Jesus was too stupid to realize that this result is bad for religion. Then I thought, wait… maybe because the analysis indicates that people who follow religion might be a little dense, they can’t realize they are being scammed. Either way works for the chuckle I suppose.

 

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So being the what I am, and curious about this analysis, I followed a link here:

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1088868313497266?journalCode=psra&

Now I briefly looked at DL -ing the PDF there, but it looks like it might be a pay to view thing, so I’m not going to go quite that far. However there is a very interesting abstract, or summary if you will. I will share that with you, note that this was back in 2013:

“A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24). Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices.”

Note the word significant in that first sentence. Fascinating 🙂

And moving along: Intelligent people are less likely to conform? Maybe, maybe every inmate in prison has an intelligence problem? I don’t know, but I know I do have issues sucking up what religion has to offer with no supporting evidence for their claims. It all goes way beyond reason and slips into the realm of complete absurdity very quickly for me, and frankly I am somewhat surprised that a great number of people have no issues at all with talking snakes, virgin births, and massive floods that if happened would have left ample evidence for, which we do not see. It is just a fine and dandy fantasy for them. For us, it’s just wacky…

I find it intriguing that an analytic vs. an intuitive thinking style was brought up. I believe that may be a huge factor in the differences between the them and us, and a significant reason in the why, we can’t really seem to communicate across the divide very well. We find the way they arrive at their world view completely alien to how we understand things, and I figure (from what I have seen) their side is just too damn stubborn to bother learning or thinking about the how and why they wound up where they are at in the first place.

Being self sufficient, and dealing with reality on realities terms, which is how I am interpreting this: “several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence.” That is we deal with our emotions, our control, our inner selves, on our own. We need no outside influence to keep us on the straight and narrow path. We need no imaginary friends to keep us in line. We just manage with no need of some social construct to supposedly make us better. We find we have no need of some mysterious godly excuse for all of the bad things that happen in life. Also I can’t even imagine what sort of person needs an outside influence to keep them straight so badly that church every damn Wednesday and twice on Sunday is a must experience situation for them. Doesn’t even compute for me. Just suck it up people and do what needs doing, reason will help you get there! Sheesh.

I suppose we all sort of already knew this was what we were bucking up against. Only thing I can figure is, we may never fully understand what drives the religious to adamantly oppose reality, and avoid analytical thinking at any cost. Even to the point of not sending their children to a public school. The fantasy must be maintained!

All we can really do is keep on keeping on and deal with our own realities the best we can. Of course pecking away at the stone of ridiculousness every now and then can keep us happily occupied.  Just thinking out loud, I hope this finds you all well.

 

http://www.jesusandmo.net