Monday, June 02, 2008

June 2008


Welcome to the Month of June!- did my stretches. I decided to take the day off from any exercising.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 63 to 96, winds from the NW at 8-11 MPH, humidity around 17 percent, clear skies with haze. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny, with a high near 93. West northwest wind between 13 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69. West northwest wind between 9 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.”
        Called and jawed with my brother Kevin for a long while. My friend John Massy called from Oregon where he is staying; he is the one whose house burnt down a few months ago. Mike from Hermosa also called to jaw for a spell. So I spent most of the day yakking to folks on the telephone. I did get some of the stuff moved from the front patio to the new patio in the back. The new patio on the eastside of my home is really keeping the morning sun off the house plus it’s giving me a lot more storage.
        Went on over to feed the dogs and then went on over to Stoney’s for lunch; we had leftovers from leftovers of yesterday’s meal. Sat around and yakked for a spell while some show was on the Science Channel about “Green Energy” and how solar panels are going to cost around ten cents a watt in a few years using a new method with polymers or some such. I’ll believe it when I see it.
        Got home just in time to watch the sunset on my evening walk. I started reading a new chapter in “Black Holes and Time Warps” about wormholes. And later on I read some Sci-Fi.
        While I was writing about the last chapter yesterday: “The squeezing of matter making them compact and excited until they are so squeezed together and so excited that when matter reaches the black hole stage matter achieves the speed of light that cannot be exceeded in our universe. And that’s when spacetime gets stripped of the dimension of time, and possibly (this is my thought) other dimensions as well, to form a singularity that has infinite density and zero volume.” I came across the word “Causality” which states: “cause simply had to precede its effect” Also “Special relativity has shown that it is not only impossible to influence the past; it is also impossible to influence distant objects by signals that travel faster than the speed of light.” But I thought to myself that if spacetime is stripped of “Time” in a singularity then Causality that depends on a timeline (cause proceeds effect) is thus not applicable in a singularity because “Time” doesn’t exist, and matter that has fallen into a singularity can exceed the speed of light. And if this is true this matter can escape from a black hole back into the universe causing a black hole to evaporate at a faster pace than once believed. Or of course I maybe all wrong.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 02- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 65 to 91, winds from NW to W at 9-12 MPH with gusts up to 24, humidity around 17 percent, haze. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 93. West northwest wind between 8 and 16 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 69. West northwest wind between 15 and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.”
        Got cracking on my column for the newspaper and about have it all done. Then I thought that because of the high gas prices that I’d better fix my “Trusty Scooter” and use it to ride around locally. The problem with the scooter was that the feed line for the two-stroke oil that mixes with the gas had deteriorated and was bleeding oil all over. I found a hose that I could use to replace it. Filled up the tires with air, it started on the first kick, and I drove it over to visit Stoney. Sue with her “rat dog” was over visiting; well it’s a little bigger than a rat but that’s what I call it. Cute and friendly little dog who rolls right over so you can scratch its belly. Stoney found an old pair of binoculars that he didn’t know he had and gave them to me! Cool! I can really use them on them nights when I take out my telescopes.
        Went for my evening walk. The winds had started picking up about that time, so it made for a windy pace. Continued reading “Black Holes and Time Warps” the chapter on wormholes. It is the last chapter in the book and I feel a little sad that it will be over. It is a great book and the author dispersed a bunch of his knowledge in the writing of it. And for that I am grateful because I have learned a great deal. What will I read next?
        Watched rerun of “Bones” on FOX. It was the one where they found a secret society’s lair in a bank vault with a silver skeleton made up of bones from different people. This is the first we hear of this society and it relates to the seasons final episode where it is found that Zack is involved. Then I read a little more until it was time to do my exercises. Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 03- did my stretches, ran a mile, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 65 to 93, winds from the NW 9-15 MPH with gusts up to 30, humidity around 20 percent, haze with cirrus clouds later in the evening. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 89. Windy, with a northwest wind 17 to 20 mph increasing to between 30 and 33 mph. Winds could gust as high as 37 mph. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 64. Windy, with a northwest wind 30 to 33 mph decreasing to between 20 and 23 mph. Winds could gust as high as 43 mph.”
        Ron Dehart called to say hi. He told me that he had finally caught the packrat that has been chewing wires and collecting stuff. Ron decided to tear his house apart to find it. It had its nest in a draw under his bed. Ron found that the rat had collected the three mousetraps in the nest that he had set around the house to trap the little bugger. Ron was so impressed with the packrat’s ingenuity that he didn’t have the hart to kill it and was able to shoo it out the front door.
        Finished writing my column for the newspaper and sent it in. Joel came by with my mail. There was a check from Michelle for fixing her Dell computer. I told her $40 would be okay but she sent $60; I ain’t going to complain!
        Drove my “Trusty Scooter” over to Stoney’s to look at his new rug he had installed today by some guys from Home Depot. Looks dang nice too! We watched “How It’s Made” on the Science Channel about how plastic cups and eating utensils are fabricated.
        Got home and there was a message from Barbara saying that her laptop won’t start. She is just around the corner so I just went on over to have a look at it. Got it working, but I told her that I should take it when she doesn’t need it for a day to do a better job of it. She went on my evening walk with me.
        Finished the book “Black Holes and Time Warps”. The last chapter was about wormholes and how our knowledge of quantum gravity needs to be a whole lot more advanced to know if it is really possible. Now I’ll have to go looking for another book on the same subject.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went on a windy nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 04- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. The wind was blowing pretty dang hard when I went for my run.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 63 to 85, winds from the WNW at 25-35 MPH with gusts up to 60, humidity around 19 percent, thick haze-blowing sand. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 85. North northwest wind 18 to 21 mph decreasing to between 10 and 13 mph. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph. Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 62. Northwest wind between 6 and 10 mph.”
        Stoney called wanting me to come over and measure the rug that was leftover from yesterday’s installation: He thought that they might have over charged him. I told him I’d be over after I ate breakfast. Chris showed up as I drove into Stoney’s driveway. He was there to pickup the old carpet to place around his swimming pool, but when we checked it out we found that it was too rotten in some parts to use; so we threw it in the dumpster. We measured the leftover new carpet and found that the installers had to cut part of it off to use in the front room.
        Got back home to get ready for the birthday party over at Lee and Marcie Hines. I not really very good at writing birthday cards so I dug into my garden to pulled out a few Century cactus [agave] to present instead of cards: we are celebrating four birthdays that are from the last two months and this month!
        Got over to Lee and Marcie’s a little after 3pm. There was Cal and Donna Meyers, Stoney, Bob Seeley, Dynn Carrol, Dorothy Robinson, Sherry Rotruck, Seimi, Bill and Jan Bonner and a couple from Desert Hotsprings that were guests of the Bonner’s. Lee had barbecued beef and pork ribs that were mighty tasty. There were three kinds of salads and two strawberry cakes that Sherry made: there was plenty to eat and it was all really good because it was all gone when I left. We all sang Happy Birthday to Bill, Lee, Stoney, and Sherry before we had the strawberry cake and ice cream. We all had a great time; it was more like a reunion of old friends, because we haven’t done birthdays this way in a long while.
        Home again and the wind was blowing so hard it was picking up sand and hitting me like a sandblaster! I was reading some Sci-Fi when Barbara my neighbor came knocking at my door. When she opened my gate it blew over to lay on the ground and she thought that she had broken it. I told her it was normal for that gate to fall down with these strong winds and not to be worried. She had some CDs she needed copying for her son’s birthday and to borrow a sleeping bag for a trip she has planned. I told her it would take a little while to copy all of them. She asked if it would be all right that when I got them done to bring them over to her house because she had to prepare for her trip. I said okay, and did, and we sat and jawed about this and that and other important things.
        Back home again to settled down for the night reading my Sci-Fi until late into the evening. Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 05- did my stretches. Taking the day off from my exercises.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 62 to 85, winds from the WNW at 7-11 MPH, humidity around 20 percent, clear but with a little haze. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny, with a high near 95. West northwest wind 11 to 21 mph becoming south southwest. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 65. West southwest wind 17 to 20 mph decreasing to between 7 and 10 mph. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.”
        Got to working on my patio beefing it up in places where I felt it wasn’t strong enough. I was surprised that it didn’t blow away with the high winds of yesterday. While I was working, Barbara came by wanting some flyers for her business printed: no problem. Later she left her laptop for me to give it a “tune up”. Seimi came over with two metal poles for the new gate I am going to build. Just got tired of the old one falling over all the time.
        Got everything done that I wanted to do today on the patio. At least it looks stronger. Went for a short evening walk. I guess I’m a little tired from working on the patio.
        I went online to do some web work on my website and a few other things. Brenda and Carol came by to drop off Patty’s dialup payment for another two months. Carol is having some problems with her desktop computer and I told her to bring it by and I’ll have a look at it.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. I’m still trying to figure out what science book I’ll read next. Maybe I’ll try another subject that I haven’t studied before. Does anyone have any suggestions?


Friday 06- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 65 to 96, winds from the NW to SW at 4-14 MPH, humidity around 17 percent, clear but with a little bit of haze. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 92. North northwest wind between 5 and 11 mph. Saturday Night: Clear, with a low around 67. West wind between 6 and 10 mph.”
        Worked on the Copper Mountain Mesa Website that took up the better part on the morning. I had to load the pictures I took from the Potluck onto it and a few other tweaks. Then I got cracking on Barbara’s laptop that she left for me to fix. It’s an old Dell running Win98 with a Pentium II processor and 128Meg of RAM. Had to run a program called EndItAll2 that kills all the running processes before I was able to do a Scandisk and Defrag. By the time the Defrag ended it was time for lunch.
        Hopped on my Trusty Scooter and rode it over to Stoney’s for some leftover spaghetti that he had frozen about a month ago: hey it was pretty good! Watched a little of “How It’s Made” on the Science Channel, about how they cast toilets, and making rubber mats out of recycled tires. Then I went to feed my Friend’s dogs; they were glad to see me! It’s nice to feel wanted.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to an astronomy lecture about the beginnings and ending of the universe. I’ll have to go over it again because my mind kind of wandered on my walk and I also fell asleep listening to it when I got back.
        I found a book that I bought at a library sell several months ago called “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery” 1992 by William Liller; a professional astronomer at Harvard and Michigan University for thirty years, and retired to become an amateur astronomer. The book is about finding new asteroids: comets, novas, and super novas, where are the best places in the sky to look, and what equipment to use. I read the first chapter and it seems quite interesting to me.
        Read some Sci-Fi until it was time to do my exercises. Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. While I was running I noticed that the wind had died down and the sky was dark and crystal clear, so I took out the small telescope. I saw Jupiter rising in the SE with her moons hugging close by. Then I trained the scope on Sagittarius to just meander for a while on some globular clusters and a few planetary nebulas.
        Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 07- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 65 to 92, winds from the NW at 8-10 MPH. Humidity around 22 percent. Clear skies overhead: haze on the horizons with the smell of smoke in the air. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 94. West northwest wind between 5 and 8 mph becoming calm. Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 65. Calm wind becoming southwest between 6 and 9 mph.”
        Went online to answer some emails. Worked on Barbara’s computer a little bit trying to do a backup of her files, but I couldn’t get my external CD burner to install on Win98 so I’ll have to use a USB thumb drive, but that can wait till tomorrow. Did some yard work cutting some dead palm leafs off the palm trees and watering the plants. Worked on the patio some getting it beefed up a little more by cutting a two by four to fit across the last plywood sheet I installed on the side.
        Went over to Stoney’s just to say hi and we jawed for a little while. He was watching some dumb comedy western starring Frank Sinatra called “Dirty Dingus Magee” 1970. It might have been good in its day, but by today’s standards it stunk. It was so bad that we jawed all the way through it.
        Went over to feed my Friend’s dogs. I fed them hotdogs while I yakked at my Dad over the cell phone. We must have talked over an hour, which is a long time for both of us to talk to anyone: we mostly just listen while other folks yap.
        Got home and went on my evening walk listening to that astronomy lecture about the Cosmological Principle and how the universe is homogenous and isotropic when you view it on a large scale. Everywhere that you look the population of galaxies are statistically uniform. Also discussed the redshift of galaxies, how it’s expanding and astronomers can determine their distance by using the Hubble Constant: the redshift of light coming from galaxies is proportional to their distance.
        Downloaded three more lectures (18Meg each and on slow dialup) while I talked to my sister Shiela for over an hour. Read another chapter in “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery” about Comets; their history, composition, and where is the sky is the best place to find them: with in two hours after and before sunset and sunrise, and close to the plane of the ecliptic for short-period comets.
        Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. The downloads were still downloading, so I took my new binoculars outside to watch the Moon set, and to just scan the heavens for a while. I was talking to Mike from Hermosa on my cell phone when those downloads finally finished at 12:30am and I took the computer offline, then the phone rang. It was Patty having computer problems and has been trying to reach me since 10pm. I said goodbye to Mike and I tried to help her, but I think she’ll have to bring it over for me to work on it.
        Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 08- called my brother Kevin when I first woke up. I just wanted to know how he was doing because I haven’t heard from him in a while. I did my stretches: it’s my rest day.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 65 to 94, winds from the NW at 6-9 MPH. Humidity around 20 percent. Clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 96. Northwest wind at 8 mph becoming east. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 70. Southwest wind 8 to 11 mph becoming northwest.”
        Worked on Barbara’s laptop backing up all her files by thumb drive to my laptop: a slow process because her laptop has USB 1.1 and the transfer rate is not very fast. While doing her backups I finished the last two online lessons of “Project Management”. I also downloaded an open source project management program called “OpenProj” and will fool around with it when I get the time.
        Signed up for another online class on search engine optimization for websites. I think the class will be a perfect fit for my web design.
        Called my friend Billie from Redondo Beach and had a quick chat with her. And called Tom and Aki to touch base. Called a few more Family and Friends but they seemed to be out doing something on this fine day, so I left messages for them.
        I had three computers and my refrigerator running all at the same time on solar and still had a little power to spare! Cool!
        Went over to Stoney’s after I got all of Barbara’s files copied over to my laptop and will burn them tomorrow. We had some of that leftover spaghetti. He had the Discovery Channel on and I noticed that “When We Left Earth” was on at 6pm. I really, really wanted to watch it, and asked Stoney if he wouldn’t mind. Well he said sure thing, great! I had an hour before it came on, so I hopped on my Trusty Scooter to go feed my Friend’s dogs, and got back just in time as the show began. It’s about our history, “our” being USA, from our beginnings where nobody really knew what would happen to the human body in space, and rockets seemed to blow up forty percent of the time. Cool program! It’s on next Sunday with a new episode.
        Got home at 9pm to do a little reading of the Sci-Fi book. Then around 11pm I went outside to setup the small telescope for a little stargazing. The waxing crescent Moon was low in the west with Saturn and the star Regulus in Leo close by. Afterwards I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 09- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It’s getting hotter outside, so I guess summer is upon us now.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 69 to 102, slight breeze from the NW. Humidity around 17 percent. Hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 8 to 11 mph becoming west between 25 and 28 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 67. Breezy, with a west northwest wind 25 to 28 mph decreasing to between 14 and 17 mph. Winds could gust as high as 37 mph.” Dang more winds!
        Gosh I got a good nights sleep, slept a whole eight hours- I usually sleep six hours. So I got up later than I usually do and had to get cracking on what I need to get done for the day. Cleaned up around the house a little. Made my morning drinks: where I put in my blender two whole oranges with the skins still on, same with the three apples, a few carrots, Aloe Vera from my garden, and Knox Gelatin. I put it all in the blender and set it on high. It makes four glasses that I put in the fridge. Got to work on my column for the newspaper collecting and organizing what I want to include. Then tomorrow I will clean it all up and send it in.
        Patty called telling me that she got her computer working- she called me last night at 12:30am and I told her to check all her connections. She had checked all her connections this morning and found that she had hooked her telephone wire to the phone out socket instead of the modem socket, and was able to go online after she corrected it.
        Spent a few hours constructing a wooden inside cover for my vent. I had it cut to the right dimensions and it fit just fine. What took so long was trying to figure out how to put a latch on it. I tried many ways that didn’t work right. Then I finally hit upon the simple idea of how a door has its latches fitted, and did it that way. Duh! It worked and it made me feel pretty dumb that I didn’t do that in the first place.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to the astronomy lecture on the big bang again: that makes three times! There was a lot of info, too much for my little brain to absorb, in just one listening.
        Cleaned my telescopes and exchanged some parts from one to the other for a better setup on one scope that has a larger focal length. Went outside to check it out and I was quite pleased, despite the high clouds and haze, when I trained it on Saturn and the Moon.
        Read a chapter on nova and supernova in “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery”. A nova is created by a white dwarf that sucks in matter from a near by star and when it gets to a critical point when too much has built up it goes nova and blows off the excess matter and starts collecting it all over again: these novas are called type I. Type II are supernovas, created mostly by massive young blue giants that burn their fuel quickly and when they implode they blow themselves apart leaving a neutron star or black hole at its center: are 10 magnitudes brighter than a nova. Also a type I can gather way too much matter that it can become a supernova. The best place to look for novas is along the galactic plane where it is rich in dust “star clouds”. Supernovas are best discovered in other galaxies, especially in the “S” classes called spiral galaxies.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. When I got back I got the telescope out again. I used a 2x Barlow lens to look at the Moon, which looked more like my stucco job I did on my house. Jupiter looked mighty fine and I could make out more detail of the bands running around the surface using the Barlow lens.
        Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 10- my brother Kevin called to tell me that his daughter, my niece, Crystal is having her baby sometime today. I had planned to go to Tucson for the birth, but with the price of gas and other things beyond my control it was a no go. Did my stretches and ran two miles
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 71 to 109, wind from the WNW at 6-18 MPH. humidity around 17 percent. Hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 89. Breezy, with a north northwest wind 19 to 22 mph decreasing to between 7 and 10 mph. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 65. North northwest wind between 7 and 9 mph.”
        Got cracking on my column, put it all together, and sent it to the newspaper. Finished doing the backups for Barbara’s laptop by burning them to five CDs. Dang hot outside so I did some sorting of picture files getting rid of duplicates.
        Went over to Stoney’s for lunch. Andrew was also there and we ate barbecued pork strips with baked potatoes and country gravy. Just before we got down to eating, my brother Kevin called to tell me that the baby, her name is Athena Jane, has arrived at 8.5lbs and 20” length. No wonder it took so long! Welcome to the world Athena Jane!!!
        Went on my evening walk listening to a new astronomy lecture about the size of the universe, but I was only able to listen to about half of it. Watched “NCIS” on CBS, a rerun about the shooting of a Navy intelligence officer in her hotel room. The winds are really starting to blow pretty hard. Then I read Sci-Fi until really late into the night. Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 11- I decided to go to town today and take the day off from exercising: so I only did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 65 to 88, wind from NW to SW at 6-14 MPH. humidity around 22 percent. Hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 94. North northwest wind 5 to 7 mph becoming east. Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 67. South wind at 11 mph becoming northwest.”
        I had to get a bunch of stuff together to go to town like: bills, birthday cards, Father’s Day cards, a bank deposit, and a list of things I need to buy. I finally got it altogether and left the house in the Gross Polluter around 12:30pm.
        First stop was the post office to mail the bills and cards. When I got to Yucca Valley I started looking for a gas station. I never go to Arco because it’s usually crowded and I hate lines and would pay a few cents more to avoid them, but I was in luck! There was a spot open at Arco that I’d have to back into if nobody got there first; all the other pumps were being used. I had no problem backing in and walked to the counter to give the lady there $25; at $4.39 a gallon- it was 10 cents more in Joshua Tree- that filled up my truck with a little left over to put into a gas can for my Trusty Scooter.
        Next stop was at WalMart and then Stater Bros, where I had decided to purchase three months supplies that I usually get there once a month. That way I won’t have to come this way for a while and save gas. Yucca is over 50 miles round trip, were as the Stater Bros in 29 Palms is 26 miles round trip from my home. Call Stoney from the parking lot before I left to tell him I bought some lemon chicken for dinner.
        Got home, put the groceries away, fed Fat Cat, and then went over to Stoney’s for dinner. The “Big Valley” was blazing on the TV in the living room, while he was playing spider solitaire on his computer in the kitchen, and turned it off as I walked in. The chicken was pretty good, better then the over cooked ones I had brought last time from Stater Bros. We had a side of cottage cheese with it. Sat around and jawed a bit about his son Jimmy and his fishing hobby. Stoney is glad that Jimmy found something that he is really into that gives him a break to be on his own once in a while.
        I walked in my door and the phone rang; it was Dale from Landers who wanted to chat for a spell. He says that we need to harness the methane that is stored on the ocean’s bottom off the east coast to use for fuel. I told him about my idea for electric hub motors that can be bolted on where the wheels are on current cars. Eliminating the need for an engine and transmission, replacing them with batteries.
        Barbara came by to pick up her laptop. Went for my evening walk listening to the rest of the astronomy lecture. Again I’ll have to re-listen to this lecture until I can get a grasp of the subject. There’s something I have to checkout about type I nova and type IA supernova that I have to get straight.
        Spent time on the computer deleting duplicate pictures and files. Read some Sci-Fi until it got late. Then I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 12- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 67 to 99, slight breeze. humidity around 18 percent. Hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 99. North northwest wind between 3 and 9 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 72. South wind 6 to 10 mph becoming northwest.”
        I’d just finished my run when Egie Eaton and her husband Marvin Burns drove by my house looking for recyclables. I wrote about their family’s plight, that many families are facing, during these days of financial distress and hardships, in my 05-03-08 column. They stopped and we chatted for a while. Their truck has been repossessed and they are now driving a small car to collect aluminum cans and such stuff that can get them a little money. I showed them some aluminum strips that I had removed long ago when taking off the pink asbestos tiles that they used to use for siding in the 50s. They didn’t have room in their little car and told me they’d be back on their next trip.
        Well now that I’ve got the back patio mostly completed it is time I started moving stuff under it. I totally cleaned out my front patio of junk that was piling up, moved it to the back patio, and swept it clean: it looks dang nice now! Moved a big desk that’s been sitting outside over there too. This took the better part of the day with only a break for a quick lunch and to finish the Sci-Fi book I’ve been reading.
        I sent away for the $40 coupon that the government sends out for a TV converter, and bought one yesterday. I had earlier called the station that sends our signal over UHF and they told me we wouldn’t be needing one. But I bought one anyways just in case I wanted to sell my old analog TV set. Well I connected it to my TV just to make sure it functioned and wasn’t really expecting to receive anything. I turned the dang thing on; it did a scan, and found four channels! Unfortunately three were paid advertisements and one was a Spanish station. I tried it later in the night and found that the three ad ones changed to a: Korean, and Armenian languages, while the third played Spanish. I watched a little of a Korean soap opera, but had trouble keeping up with the subtitles. I’ll tell you one thing; the picture I received was crystal clear just like satellite! Maybe someday we can get some American-speaking channels on it. That would be nice!
        Went for my evening walk listening to another astronomy lecture about dark matter, dark energy, and how little we know about the other 70 percent of the universe that we cannot account for, but know is there. Lots of stuff to remember! I should see if I can purchase the textbook that they use in the class. I’m at a disadvantage since it is audio I can’t see the charts and pictures that the professor is showing the class.
        Read about asteroids in “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery”. There are three groups of asteroids that can threaten earth: Apollo and Aten that have their perihelia points inside Earth’s orbit. And Amors stay within Mars’ orbit and sometime comes very close to ours. The difference between Apollo and Aten is that Atens are short period asteroids of less than one year, which make them quickly move through their orbits.
        Did my stretches and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 13- did my stretches and ran a mile.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 72 to 105, slight breeze, humidity around 16 percent. Hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Light wind becoming southwest between 13 and 16 mph. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 73. West wind between 9 and 16 mph.”
        Called my brother Kevin to find out how my niece and her new baby are doing. Kevin says that she was still in the hospital and would be released some time today. He also told me that he is one proud Grandfather!
        I updated the Copper Mountain Mesa website and sent out the Newsletter.
        Well I spent the whole day moving stuff over to the back patio. I moved a seven-foot long workbench, which was a chore because the drawers wouldn’t come out and I had to leave most of the stuff in it while I hauled it on the dolly. Then the drawers would slide open and dump stuff if I turned it too quickly. I had to arrange everything to where I wanted it or where it would fit. The temp was pushing 105 degrees and I believe that I must have drunk over a gallon of water while I was doing all this, and sweated out more. I felt sorry for my plants and gave them water too. I got plumb tuckered out! But the back patio is starting to look more like a shop where I can have all my tools in one place and work on things in the shade for once.
        Went for my evening walk, but made it a short one. Then I just collapsed on my bed for a few hours to just lie there thinking of things; I was so tired that was about all I could do. Went on line for a while to surf the web. Did my stretches and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 14- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 73 to 103, slight breeze, humidity around 16 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Mostly sunny and hot, with a high near 102. West wind 5 to 8 mph increasing to between 15 and 18 mph. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 75. West southwest wind between 9 and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.”
        Stoney came by after the board meeting at the community center to have a look-see at my new patio. He thought it was great! Told me that one of the board members said that I wrote something unfavorable about the center. He couldn’t remember what it was about and I couldn’t imagine what I had written that would be considered unfavorable. Well I called Chris later on and he said that the president of the board made a big fuss about my column where I wrote about the break-ins and being able to jerk the front door open. I said sure I wrote about that but I also wrote that Steve came down and fixed it later that day. Chris said that he told the president that and it took the winds out of his sails. I guess some folks like to stir the pot and serve the stew without all the ingredients.
        Called my sister Paula and we yakked about writing, family, and Kevin’s new Granddaughter. We had a nice talk! She is doing research on a book she is writing about the plight of women who’ve had their children taken from them.
        Went to feed my Friend’s dogs and played with them for a while. One of the dogs is very vocal and likes to tell me all about his day when I arrive to feed them. I decided to drop on over to Stoney’s, but I was about a quarter of a mile away when the engine quit on my Trusty Scooter! I had to push it the rest of the way there. Stoney was watching TV and said that “Quigley Down Under” was on at five o’clock; he knows it’s my favorite western, so I stuck around for the movie. Made a quick call to my Mom and Dad to tell them I’ll call tomorrow: being that it’s Father’s Day I felt that I could get away with it.
        After the movie was over I tried to start the scooter but we noticed that it was leaking gas and wouldn’t start. Stoney offered me a ride home but I declined. It’s only about a mile to my home and I wanted to start working on it tonight. Well the mile turned out to be up hills push all the way till I got to the crest of the hill I live on. I watched the sunset as I hopped on it and rode it the rest of the way down hill to my driveway. After feeding Fat Cat his dinner, I put the scooter up on blocks inside the new patio and started to dismantle it. I would have worked on it longer into the night but for the many flying bugs that were attracted to the light I was using. Tired and frustrated I quit, went inside to watch two episodes of “The King of Queens”. I hardly ever watch the show but I find that it makes me laugh every time I do.
        Did my stretches and went for my nightly run, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web and called it a night


Sunday 15- I promised Chris and Stoney that I would be over to the community center at 10:30am to help them setup the bags for the USDA that is tomorrow. I woke up at 10:15am and threw on my clothes, fed Fat Cat, jumped in the Gross Polluter, and still made it there on time.
        While we worked putting the cans in the bags Brenda was keeping us company yakking about this and that until she left. I asked her about Carol’s computer and when it might be that they bring it over for me to have a look-see at it: she said maybe today. It kind of bothered me a little that I had to ask, they had told me they’d bring it by last week and didn’t, and didn’t bother to call either. Maybe I should stop working on computers or start charging! Nah! Folks up here don’t have much anyways and I’m glad to help them out. But there are starting to be limits!
        After Brenda left it was Mary Helen’s turn to show up. I swear that you can ask that woman a simple direct question and she finds some way of twisting it around where you end up knowing less than when you started.
        Stopped off at Lee and Marcie’s on my way home to say howdy. Lee’s back is doing much better now. What is it, over a month since he had the operation? Marcie tried to serve me up some cake but I told her I hadn’t had breakfast yet.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 75 to somewhere over 110, NW to SW winds at 7-14 MPH, humidity around 16 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. West wind 5 to 8 mph increasing to between 17 and 20 mph. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 75. West wind between 11 and 20 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.”
        Did my stretches, ate breakfast, and went online to read and answer some emails. Then I called my Dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day. And made calls to Family and Friends.
        When I went outside at 2pm to work on the scooter it was 109 degrees and the wind was blowing hot like a convection oven. Sweat evaporated off my clothes and sat on me like they were newly pressed. I cleaned the carburetor: blew it out really good. While I had the scooter apart I cleaned some of the built-up muck and wire brushed the sparkplug. I pulled the feeder line from the gas tank where a vacuum line feeds into a casing containing a rubber valve and spring and found that this was my problem. It was so stopped up with sediment from the tank it would cause the gas to flow freely into the carburetor. With that fixed I did a test start and it ran perfectly.
        Brenda called and said she be coming over with Carol’s computer. While I was waiting for Brenda, Lee came driving up with his two sons who made the trip up here for Father’s Day. About that time Brenda showed up with a Dell Optiplex 270 whose hard drive has been wiped clean, no reinstall disks, but it has a Microsoft XP Professional product key tag on the side. I’ll call around to see if I can hunt down a copy. I told her that I couldn’t promise that I’d get it running but will give it a try.
        Then I put the whole scooter together and rode it over to Stoney’s to watch “When We Left Earth”, about the missions to the Moon. We had leftover spaghetti. I did my laundry while I was there, too.
        When I got home I called Leeanne and had a nice chat with her about old friends we knew way back when we were kids.
        I’ve been working on a new song for a few months and I’m just now starting to put words to it. It is all starting to fall together. I am calling it “City Lights”: because I used to sit on my sailboat in the harbor on Saturday nights; I see the city lights shining bright, I wonder what to do tonight, I’m so lonely. Did much contemplating there.
        Did my stretches. Called Mike from Hermosa to check up on him. Then I practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 16- I am going to the Doctor’s office today so I just did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 77 to somewhere around 115, NW to SW winds at 6-13 MPH, humidity around 16 percent, a few high clouds. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 105. Northwest wind 5 to 8 mph becoming west southwest between 15 and 18 mph. Winds could gust as high as 22 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 77. West wind between 9 and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.”
        Got to working on Carol’s Dell computer. I hooked it all up, powered it on, and nothing happened! The monitor was just blank. I got to thinking of what it could be: BIOS, memory, bad power supply, or something else. Opened it up and pulled out one of the RAM modules, closed the cover, and fired it up again: it worked! But it came up with an “Invalid Disk Drive”. Now that I got it running I first tried to load up a Win98 CD that I had lying around, but that wasn’t any use to me because when it went to format the hard drive it asked to insert a startup disk and this Dell doesn’t have a floppy drive. Dang! Ok, I have a recovery disk for my Dell 2350 and I’ll just try to install that. I mean Carol has a valid XP product code for it so I figure I’m not doing anything illegal. Walla! It loaded XP without any problems. Now all I have to do is download the drivers for the audio and modem from Dell, install Service Pak2, and a few other programs like a firewall and anti-virus. But time is running short and I have to prepare for my trip to the Doctor’s office.
        Got to the Doctor’s and had a short wait and read a little from “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery” until my name was called. I need to see the Doc once a year to get a prescription filled. I was done in thirty-five minutes, sixty-five dollars lighter, and on the road back home.
        Stopped and picked up Stoney’s mail from his box on Lear Ave. and then drove to his house. He was in the kitchen deep-frying zucchini when I arrived. So I sat and helped him. He’d dip them in batter, then cover them with flower, drop them in the fryer, and when he scooped them out it was my job to put them on a paper towel to soak the grease off of them. They were mighty good, but I am not used to all the grease and got very sick to my stomach. The pain was terrible in my gut and my left arm hurt and went numb! So I made my way on home.
        Mac came over and we sat in my new shop (it was a new patio but I turned it into a shop) and jawed for a while. I was feeling better, drinking lots of water trying to rid my body of all that grease. Carol called asking when her computer would be done. I told her before that it would be a few days, and I reminded her of that. Mac left two hours later and I went inside to lie down, but when I did the pain hit me again really bad; so bad in fact that I almost considered driving to the hospital. I found a really old bottle (like three years old or more) of Milk of Magnesia. It was a fourth of the way full, dried and caked up, so I added water to it and shook it up really good and drank it down. That did the trick, but I won’t go into its effects afterwards. I was feeling mighty weak and was able to just lie down, and that’s about all I was good for the rest of the night, except to write this in my journal. I lost any taste for deep-fried foods that I might’ve had and will probably never want deep-fried anything again!


Tuesday 17- did my stretches. Still feeling weak from yesterday’s fiasco with the deep-fried zucchini vs. my stomach.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 77 to somewhere around 115 again, NW to SW winds at 4-13 MPH, humidity around 17 percent, a few high clouds. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 104. West northwest wind between 7 and 14 mph. Wednesday Night: Clear, with a low around 75. West northwest wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.”
        Wrote my column while I downloaded modem drivers for Carol’s computer from Dell’s Service site. None of the drivers worked when I installed them, so either the modem is bad or it’s one that somebody else put in; total waste of my time. I did a search on all the codes printed on the no brand name modem board without success. I’ll just tell her to purchase a new one. Finished my column and sent it off to the newspaper.
        I downloaded Firefox 3 to my laptop. Today is Firefox’s official download day where we are trying to beat the Guinness World Record for the most downloads in a twenty-four hour period. When I last checked at 1am on Wednesday morning it was over five million!
        Ron Dehart came by for a visit and I got to show off my new shop/patio on the eastside of the house. Ron gave me an old Remington 22 rifle he had gotten from a neighbor many years ago. Ron has no use for it because he probably couldn’t hit anything he’d be aiming at. Nice rifle, made sometime in the 50s, and well used.
        Felt good enough to go for my evening walk. Sat with Fat Cat watching the sunset while I brushed his hair. Then I watched “Nova: Mystery of the Megavolcano” about scientists finding clues to a Mega eruption some 74,000 years ago in ice cores in Iceland, core samples from the ocean’s floor, and dirt samples taken from a number of sites around the world. They had to track down where this megavolcano was located and after many years of looking through samples taken from known volcanoes, finally pinned it down to a large lake in Sumatra in Southeast Asia.
        At the end of Nova I watched to see what was on next week, when I saw Huell Howser talking to my old boating friend Doug Odum for tomorrows “California Gold: Bird Rock” program at 7:30pm on PBS. Doug had a little fishing boat called “Little Toot” on the moorings where I lived in Redondo Beach Harbor back in the 70s. Him and his girlfriend Cookie lived in Hermosa Beach. Cookie was a waitress in the cafĂ© area at the Lobster House Restaurant where we boaters used to hangout. Boobo, Cookie’s brother, was a friend of mine; we got into all sorts of interesting stuff like glass blowing and oceanography at El Camino College. Well Doug left for Cantilena Island where he became Harbor Master at Two Harbors and married a gal he met there. If you watch the program, Doug will be the one with the handlebar mustache!
        Did a little reading of the Sci-Fi book. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run: felt great! Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 18- did my stretches, ran a mile, and lifted weights. Really windy this morning!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 76 to around 110 again, NW winds at 6-13 MPH, humidity around 16 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 103. Northwest wind between 5 and 13 mph. Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 73. West northwest wind between 5 and 13 mph.”
        Downloaded a driver for the Creative Labs Sound Blaster card. It was 24Meg and it took almost two hours to download on dialup. When I tried to install it on Carol’s computer it came up and asked for a disk! What disk! So I couldn’t do the install of the driver and took the dang card out and use the audio that’s on the motherboard, but only after I download the Intel chipset drivers. Dang! But I did install Service Pak2, an anti-virus program, and a firewall. So I felt that I accomplished a little something on it today. And surprise, surprise, I got the modem working and went online!
        Joel came by with my mail. I showed him my new shop (I’m calling it a shop instead of a patio now) and he thought it was a great idea to turn it into a shop area where I can work on stuff.
        Marcie called wanting me to put a notice in my column for a patio sale at the community center this Saturday, but I told her that I have already sent it in to the newspaper and that I need any news items no later than Tuesday morning when I write the column. I’ll put it in the newsletter and on the website for her.
        Read a chapter on variable stars in “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery”. The writer discusses different types of variables: Mira, RR Lyrae, Cepheid, Tauri, and a few others. Best way to find them is taking several photos of the same part of the sky with a camera at different times, and then comparing them to see if any stars have brightened or dimmed.
        Went on my evening walk and listened to the last astronomy lecture of the class (I will be re-listening to them for a long time). This on was on the different theories pertaining to multi-universes and its grand size, and life in different star systems. I’m only gotten halfway through the lecture.
        7:30 rolled around and it was time to watch “California Gold” on PBS that had my friend Doug Odum from the 70s (I’m not sure on the spelling of his last name) who is the Harbor Master at Two Harbors on Catalina Island! They all took a boat out to Bird Rock with the owners of the rock. Doug said he had been living there for over twenty-five years and had fished and dived around the rock but had never stepped foot on it. Great show and it was good to see Doug again!
        Did some online work and downloaded some more drivers for Carol’s computer. Did my stretches and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 19- did my stretches and ran a mile.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 76 to near 110 again, slight breeze, humidity around 14 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 103. Northwest wind between 7 and 11 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 74. West northwest wind between 10 and 14 mph.”
        I was checking my email reading a renewal notice from Yahoo for a domain name I have registered with them that made my toenails curl: “Please note that the billing center will not reflect the new $34.95 domain-renewal price until July 1. Until that time, you will continue to see the old renewal price next to your plan.” Wow! That is triple what I am paying now! I called Yahoo to see if this is some kind of mistake. I was put on hold for TWO HOURS before I got to talk to a Representative. Basically it wasn’t a mistake the Rep said. “Didn’t you get the email we sent out?” I told him I didn’t. “Well we’ve had a problem with the emails and told everyone to check their spam folder”, he said. “So you emailed everyone to check their spam folder? That doesn’t make much sense”, I said. I asked him why is it that Yahoo is tripling the price. The higher ups told him that the cost was too much for technical help. Now my question to him was what kind of technical help does a person need who just has a domain name parked there? I asked the Rep if he thought it was just a little unethical to triple the price for a domain name? He didn’t comment. Is it unethical that your signup page still reflects the $9.95/year price? The rep then said that it does reflect the new price somewhere on the site. Well I had already checked this out and I couldn’t find it stated anywhere; I even went so far as to go through the process of getting a new domain name on the site all the way to where it asks for your credit card: nothing! So it all boils down to this: you can pay the $34.95, or go somewhere else. And I went elsewhere! My two domain names at Yahoo would have cost me $69.90! Yahoo bills credit cards automatically. Can you imagine the look on some poor soul’s face that has ten domain names or more at Yahoo when they review their credit card statement? Yikes! This isn’t the Yahoo I remember. Welcome to the dark side!
        Well I spent most of the day doing the above and Transferred my domain names over to GoDaddy.com, which took more of my time. When all this was done it was time to go for my evening walk. I listened to the rest, and last astronomy lecture of the series. The Professor ended the class with a quote by Oscar Wilde: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
        Carol came to pick up her Dell that I fixed. She seemed mighty happy about it. Settled down to read my Sci-Fi book for the rest of the night. Andrew called to yak for a while. We had a nice chat: I got to tell him all about the Yahoo debacle! Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 20- called my friend Joan to see how she is recuperating from her hip surgery. She said it is a long and slow process, and it really hurts. Did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 75 to 109, winds out of the West to Northwest at 4-11 MPH, humidity around 15 percent, hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 105. North northwest wind 6 to 14 mph becoming west southwest. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 77. West northwest wind between 11 and 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.”
        Updated the CopperMountainMesa.com Website and sent out the Newsletter. Then I completed two lessons on my “Search Engines 101” course. Describes the different types of search engines and how they index a site’s information; finding and using key phrases and embedding them into your site; being linked to other sites to increase the ranking of your site.
        Went over to Stoney’s to eat some fried chicken he got from Stater Bros. I ate two pieces and was able to keep them down (I have a problem with deep-fried stuff since last Monday), they were good but I would have preferred something else. Went over to feed my Friend’s dogs and to make sure they had plenty of water on this very hot Friday evening. Then I went on over to another Friend’s house to check on it while they are away on vacation.
        Got back home and went on my evening walk, watered the plants, and cut some dead or dieing limbs off my palm trees. Every time I trim the palms I end up getting cut somewhere by their saw like teeth; this time it was on the forearm and it bled pretty bad, dang!
        Read Sci-Fi till late into the evening. I still haven’t found a good science book to read. Did my stretches and went for my nightly run. Tomorrow if the winds let me, I’ll take out the telescope for a little stargazing. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 21- woke up late! I had slept a whole eight hours: I usually sleep six. I guess my body needed the rest, so I just did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 79 to 111, winds out of the Northwest to Southwest at 8-16 MPH, humidity around 15 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 103. Breezy, with a west northwest wind 10 to 13 mph increasing to between 19 and 22 mph. Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 75. Breezy, with a west wind 19 to 22 mph decreasing to between 10 and 13 mph.”
        It’s mighty hot today so I mostly stayed inside. Called my brother Kevin who was in the process of driving my niece Crystal and her new baby to get a another cell phone after the one she had broke after only three months. So I got to talk to her too! Went online to check and see if my domain name has been transferred from evil Yahoo to GoDaddy: not yet. And I read and answered a few emails.
        Read some of “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery”. The rest of the book seems to be stories written by successful professional/amateur astronomers: how they got started, giving their background in astronomy, and tips on how they made their discoveries.
        Jumped on my Trusty Scooter to go feed my Friend’s dogs. While I was there I called Mom and Dad and yakked with them for over an hour. I made myself a ham sandwich and also ate some chocolate I found in the fridge. I forgot that eating chocolate is like drinking four cups of coffee, and I got mighty wired up. Then I went over to check my other Friend’s house while they are away. All was fine with that and headed on home.
        I saw that Frank and Mary were home and stopped there to say hi. They invited me inside for pizza and I had three pieces. I must have yakked my fool head off because of all the chocolate I ate, and before I knew it was 9:45pm! I had a fine time there but I didn’t want to overstay my visit and left for home again. They are mighty fine folks!
        Fed Fat Cat who was impatiently waiting at the front gate for me to get home. It was cooler outside the house than inside, so I setup my telescope to do a little stargazing and watered some plants. I also burned the rest of the Sahara Mustard plants I had collected months ago in a fifty-five gallon drum. It was kind of nice watching the flames lick out from the drum into the hot summer night. About the time the Moon raised a tarnished red out of the east to replace the stars and the dark skies, Andrew called and I went inside. We talked about the heat.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 22- I just did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. Dang hot today!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 76 to 111, winds out of the Northwest to Southwest at 7-18 MPH, humidity around 17 percent, cumulus humilis clouds rolled in by mid-afternoon. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Calm wind becoming southwest between 12 and 15 mph. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 75. West southwest wind between 8 and 15 mph.”
        Mostly kicked back to read some Sci-Fi for most of the day. I’m not really sure I like the book yet because there are too many characters to keep up with.
        Jimmy called and we talked for a spell. He told me that him and his family went to an Angel’s game last Wednesday. It went into extra innings; they didn’t get out of there till 11pm and he had to get up for work at 2am! The Angels lost. He didn’t get much sleep that night.
        Went to feed my Friend’s dogs and then checked up on my other Friend’s house.
        Went over to Stoney’s to watch the last episode of “When We Left Earth” about the history of the Space Shuttle and the great efforts and tragedies that NASA went through to keep the program going.
        Got back home and read some more Sci-Fi till late into the night. Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.



How to Predict the Weather Without a Forecast


from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Long before technology was developed to predict the weather, people had to rely on observation, patterns and folklore to avoid being caught off guard by the elements. If your plans, livelihood or even your survival depend on the weather, it certainly wouldn't hurt to become familiar with some of these methods, especially since you never know when you might be out of touch with the local weather report. These methods aren't foolproof, but they have their usefulness, and if you don't have a forecast on hand, what do you have to lose by trying them?

Steps


  1. Check the grass for dew at sunrise. If the grass is dry, this indicates clouds or strong breezes, which can mean rain. If there's dew, it probably won't rain that day. However, if it rained during the night, this method will not be reliable.
  2. Remember the rhyme: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight; Red sky at morning, sailors take warning." Look for any sign of red in the sky (not a red sun); it will not be a bold orange or red the majority of the time, but that depends a little on where you live.
    • If you see a red sky during sunset (when you're looking to the west), there is a high pressure system with dry air that is stirring dust particles in the air, causing the sky to look red. Since prevailing front movements and jet streams weather usually move from west to east (see Tips), the dry air is heading towards you.
    • A red sky in the morning (in the East, where the sun rises) means that the dry air has already moved past you, and what follows behind it (on its way towards you) is a low pressure system that carries moisture.

  3. Look for a rainbow in the west. This is the result of the rising sun's morning rays from the east striking moisture in the west. Most major storm fronts travel west to east, and a rainbow in the west means moisture, which can mean rain is on its way. On the other hand, a rainbow in the east around sunset means that the rain is on its way out and you can look forward to sunny days. Remember: Rainbow in the morning, need for a warning.
  4. Detect which direction the wind is blowing. If unable to immediately detect the wind's direction, throw a small piece of grass in to the air and watch its descent. Easterly winds can indicate an approaching storm front, westerly winds the opposite. Strong winds indicate high pressure differences, which can be a sign of advancing storm fronts. Deciduous trees show the undersides of their leaves during unusual winds, supposedly because they grow in a way that keeps them right-side up during typical prevalent winds.
  5. Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and smell the air.
    • Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain.
    • Swamps will release methane just before a storm because of the lower pressure, which leads to unpleasant smells.
    • A proverb says "Flowers smell best just before a rain." Scents are stronger in moist air, associated with rainy weather.

  6. Check for humidity. Many people can feel humidity, especially in their hair (it curls up and gets frizzy). You can also look at the leaves of oak or maple trees. These leaves tend to curl in high humidity, which tends to precede a heavy rain. Pine cone scales remain closed if the humidity is high, but open in dry air. Under humid conditions, wood swells (look out for those sticky doors) and salt clumps (is that shaker working well?).
  7. Watch the clouds.
    • Clouds going in different directions (e.g. one layer going west, another layer going north) - bad weather coming, probably hail
    • Cumulonimbus clouds early in the day and developing throughout the day - greater chances of severe weather
    • Mammatus cloud (formed by sinking air) - thunderstorm is dissipating (not forming)
    • Cirrus clouds high in the sky like long streamers - bad weather within the next 36 hours
    • Altocumulus clouds like mackerel scales - bad weather within the next 36 hours. The old sailor's saying for these types of clouds is "Mares tails and mackerel scales, tall ships carry short sails." Another is "Mackerel skies and mare's tails, sailors furl their sails." Mackerel skies and mares tails formations sometimes appear in the same sky. When that happens, rain is sure to follow the next day.
    • Cloud cover on a winter night - expect warmer weather because clouds prevent heat radiation that would lower the temperature on a clear night.
    • Cumulus towers (cumulus castellanus) - possibility of showers later in the day

  8. Observe animals. They are more likely to react to changes in air pressure than we are.
    • If birds are flying high in the sky, there will probably be fair weather. (Falling air pressure caused by an imminent storm causes discomfort in birds' ears, so they fly low to alleviate it. Large numbers of birds roosting on power lines indicates swiftly falling air pressure.)
    • Seagulls tend to stop flying and take refuge at the coast if a storm is coming.
    • Animals, especially birds, get quiet immediately before it rains.
    • Cows will typically lie down before a thunderstorm. They also tend to stay close together if bad weather's on the way.
    • Ants build their hills with very steep sides just before a rain.
    • Cats tend to clean behind their ears before a rain.
    • Turtles often search for higher ground when a large amount of rain is expected. You will often see them in the road during this period (1 to 2 days before the rain).
    • A very old wives tale says if birds feed in a storm it will rain for a long time, if they don't it will clear soon.

  9. Make a campfire. The smoke should rise steadily. Smoke that swirls and descends is caused by low pressure (i.e. rain on the way).
  10. Look at the moon during the night. If it is reddish or pale, dust is in the air. But if the moon is bright and sharply focused, it's probably because low pressure has cleared out the dust, and low pressure means rain. Also, a ring around the moon (caused by light shining through cirrostratus clouds associated with warm fronts and moisture) can indicate that rain will probably fall within the next three days. Remember: Circle around the moon, rain or snow soon.
  11. Create your own prediction methods. The methods provided thus far are based around a few key (but very general) principles: Low pressure brings rain, and major weather systems move from west to east. Predicting the weather is all about recognizing the signs of pressure change in your area. While prevailing systems may move from west to east, for example, individual storms in a particular region may not, due to local weather phenomena. Long term residents who spend a great deal of their time outdoors, particularly farmers, commercial fishermen and the like, learn to observe trends that give them clues to long term weather patterns and seasonal changes in their specific geographical location. In the southern United States, for instance, dogwoods are seldom caught off guard by late spring frosts, so when they bloom, you have likely seen the last frost of the season. By being observant, forming hypotheses, and testing your predictions, you can fine-tune your weather predicting abilities beyond what any article could ever instruct.
  12. Look for pine cones Pine trees are an excellent indicator of the overall harshness of the coming winter. In fall, look to the pine trees in your area and note if the cones are high on the tree or low. Low hanging cones indicate a mild winter.


Tips


  • If you have the inclination, you can use a barometer (or make your own) to measure changes in pressure. Keep a notebook and observe what else happens when the pressure changes. Be attentive and you might come up with your own weather-prediction method that's localized to your area.


Warnings


  • Don't risk your life or well-being based on these indicators and proverbs. They are correlational only. Predicting the weather in this manner is not an exact science.


Related wikiHows




Sources and Citations





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Monday 23- did my stretches and ran a mile.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 75 to 109, slight breeze, humidity around 19 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 99. Light wind becoming southwest between 12 and 15 mph. Tuesday Night: Clear, with a low around 73. Southwest wind 17 to 20 mph becoming north northwest 7 to 10 mph. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.”
        Did the two final lessons in my online class “Search Engines 101” and completed the class. Read some astronomy and hunted around the house for another science book to read. I think I’ll have to go out and buy one.
        Jumped on my Trusty Scooter and scooted over to feed my Friend’s dogs some hotdogs and made sure that they had plenty of water. Checked on my other Friend’s home and all was well.
        Then scooted over to Stoney’s to say hi. He was in the kitchen eating microwave taquitos and offered me one: I turned it down. Told me a story of his last trip to the store. He had bought a whole bunch of groceries and after paying was busy moving the electric cart to the side trying to hurry so the next person in line can get through. As the box-girl was putting bags in the shopping cart for him, he asked her to fetch his change and she said, “That lady there yonder took it!” Stoney looked to where she was pointing and saw a lady hightailing it out of the store with Stoney’s 51 cents! Stoney is eighty-eight years old and don’t move to quickly anymore; he said that for now on he will take his time and to hell hurrying up for the next person in line.
        We watched “The Shadow of the Moon” by Ron Howard, about the Apollo 11 landing of the first men on the Moon, with commentary by the Astronauts in their own words of how it felt. Dang fine documentary!
        Got home and worked on the computer deleting duplicate files and sorting out over a decade’s worth of junk I have accumulated from different computers that I’ve owned. I’m trying to organize where I can conveniently access it all in one place. I should have taken out the telescope because when I went for my nightly run there was no wind and the sky was crystal clear. Dang! I am so used to it being windy or having the Moon out stealing the dark that I just plum forgot to check. I will go out tomorrow night! Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 24- did my stretches and ran two miles. It’s a little cooler today.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 73 to 104, slight breeze, humidity around 18 percent, hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Light wind becoming southwest between 14 and 17 mph. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71. Breezy, with a southwest wind 19 to 22 mph becoming west northwest 7 to 10 mph. Winds could gust as high as 31 mph.”
        Got cracking writing my column for the newspaper. Sometimes when I start to write a new column I don’t have any idea of what I’m going to write: this is one of those times. When I finally got it done and sent it off the time was two hours later into the day.
        Andrew came by with some posters and mission stickers that Gina got working for a contractor to NASA! Wow! He also brought me a windup LED flashlight too! It is his way of saying thanks for taking care of his dogs while he’s away. I will hang the poster containing the Saturn 5, the Space Shuttle and the Ares 1 and 5, on my living room wall! Too cool!!!
        Did some cleaning around the house and then went online to download a program I was reading about late last night. What this program does is to create a copy of a Windows XP CD to a USB drive. Then you can load it on the ASUS EEE laptop that runs Linux and have the EEE running XP after the install. I went through all the steps and had XP loaded to an SD drive and then stuck it in the SD slot in the EEE. I got all the way with the XP install to where you have to delete and setup a partition and I chickened out, because XP has to run in C: partition. You have to delete about three partitions to have enough room for XP to fit in and I want to know what is in those that I’m deleting: one had BIOS in it and that shouldn’t be. I’m sure it’s just a copy of the BIOS because it should be firmware flashed to a chip, but I want to check it out first.
        Went over to Stoney’s for dinner. He had made a chef’s salad and it was mighty good. We caught the last hour of “War Wagon” (1967) starring John Wayne, Curt Douglas, and Keenan Wynn. About a rancher who returns to find his ranch stolen from him; at least this is what I got from the little that I saw of it. Looks like a good movie to see from the beginning!
        Went for my evening walk and started listening to the astronomy lectures again from the beginning. Lecture one is a simple overview of the material that will be covered in the course. Talked about the scientific method, scientific notation, the celestial sphere, and other such stuff.
        Watched “NCIS” on CBS about a terrorist who has acquired a chemical agent that causes death and is threatening to release it in a populated area.
        Then it was dark enough to take out the telescope and do some stargazing! The sky was dark but hazy and you could smell the pollutants, so it must have been smog creeping up from LA! We don’t get much of that up here where we live, but you could sure smell it tonight; it was like standing behind a diesel bus. Around 11pm I saw a few meteors streaking across the sky from an east to west direction. It looked to me like their radiant was the constellation Aquila. Jupiter was still too low in the east but I did get a good look at its bands and moons. Checked out the Milky Way with binoculars for a while so I could get used to looking at a star with unaided eyes and then bringing the binoculars up quickly to find the star. Now if I could only get Fat Cat to stop pestering me for a scratch and interrupting me.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 25- did my stretches and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 73 to 100, wind out of the W to SW at 6 15 MPH, humidity around 20 percent, hazy smoggy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97. North northwest wind at 10 mph becoming east southeast. Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 73. South southwest wind 5 to 14 mph becoming northwest. Winds could gust as high as 18 mph.”
        Got everything ready to go to town to get my prescription filled in Joshua Tree, and jumped in the Gross Polluter and headed out. First stop was to retrieve my mail from my PO Box; I was looking for my Government Rebate Check, but it wasn’t there! Have they forgotten about me? Oh well, I’ve lived without handouts from the Government all my life so why start now. Went to Starr Pharmacy and got what I needed except one prescription that would have cost me $250, Wow! I told Rocky that I’d have to think that one over. Maybe I’ll call the Doctor’s office to see if they have any samples.
        Stopped off at the Joshua Tree Health Food Store to get some yeast that I add into my oatmeal for breakfast. I got talking to the lady clerk Pamala who is a Gourd Artist. She also paints desert scenes on walls and teaches gourd design classes. I had a nice chat with her.
        Then to get my hair cut at Stan and Jan’s Hairstyling. Stan has been cutting my hair for the last two years and does a mighty fine job at it, and the prices aren’t that bad at all. I just tell him to work his magic. He told me that my hair looks wind blown and he sprayed water onto it. I jokingly asked him if spray would help make it grow where it’s getting a little thin on top. Jan butt in to say it didn’t work for Stan; who is bald. Stan told us he wants a Lex Luther (from Superman) tee shirt because Lex is also bald and was an inspiration for getting his head shaved. Nice folks!
        Got gas at $4.51 and filled up the Polluter and a gallon of gas for my Trusty Scooter for only $16.53. I guess riding the scooter around instead of the truck is paying off!
        Stopped over at Lee and Marcie’s to pay them a visit. Lee asked if I would help them move a big screen TV at 4pm and I said sure. Lee was also having trouble putting an ad on Craig’s List for some property he wants to sell, so I helped him on that and got it listed. 4pm rolled around and Seimi, Lee and Marcie, and I went to help move the TV, but the lady who wanted it didn’t realize it was so big and called it off for another day until she had a chance to see if it would fit into her house.
        Went over to Stoney’s for dinner. He gave me the rest of the rug that was left over from when they installed carpet into his living room. Cool! I’ll find a place for it.
        Got home and went for my evening walk listening to the second lecture of the astronomy class. About terms used for measuring distance; light year (about 5,878,625,373,183.61 miles or .037 parsecs) parsec (3.26 light years), and astronomical units (the average distance from the Earth to the Sun).
        Read a little of “The Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery” where astronomers write and give tips of how they discovered comets and novas. Then “Nova Science Now” came on exploring dark matter, Alzheimer’s and work being done to return memory loss. Good show!
        Joel called to tell me that the Yucca Valley Board has just approved the Super WalMart construction at the site over by Home Depot after many years of debates. Did my stretches and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 26- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike. The sky is filled with smog and it is worst than yesterday!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 73 to 100, wind out of the NW to SW at 3-11 MPH, humidity around 22 percent, more hazy smoggy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97. Calm wind becoming south southeast between 8 and 11 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 71. South wind 5 to 15 mph becoming west northwest. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph.”
        Did a few corrections to the website getting it ready for tomorrow’s weekend update. Then I spent the rest of the day sorting files, editing, and getting rid of duplicates: a slow and boring job! By the time I went for my evening walk I had most of them copied to one source on my laptop.
        Listened to astronomy lecture 3 about the Doppler effect, and the Stefan-Boltzmann Constant: the energy radiated by a black body is directly proportional to the fourth power to the black body’s temperature. Has to do with the size and brightness of stars at different temperatures, I think.
        Called my brother Kevin to find out what he’s been up to recently. Then Andrew called needing help moving a sofa so I went over to assist him. His dogs greeted me at the gate thinking about hotdogs they’ll be getting. We yapped for a little while about this and that, and then he had to get back to work getting his house ready to rent.
        Went right back to working on my files and got it all done and backed up! I’m glad that is done. There is a little more editing and deleting of duplicates but they’re all on my laptop for easy access for that part of the process, and then I can update the backup files on my other hard drive to keep everything current.
        Did my stretches and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 27- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 71 to 100, wind out of the NW to SE at 4-11 MPH, humidity around 21 percent, more hazy smoggy skies but less than yesterday. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 98. Northwest wind at 10 mph becoming southeast. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 74. South southwest wind 6 to 13 mph becoming west northwest.”
        Worked on the weekend update and finished it all up! You can see it here at: CopperMountainMesa.Com Website. While I was online I answered some emails that have been wanting a reply.
        Went on over to feed my Friend Andrew’s dogs. It will be the last time I see them for a long while because they are moving to a new home in Juniper Hills on the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, along with Andrew. I hope they miss me as I will miss them (or is it the hotdogs they’ll miss?). Then I went over to check on my other Friend’s home and all was ok.
        Andrew had a bunch of frozen burritos in the freezer he wanted me to take over to Stoney’s. Stoney was surprised when I brought them in because there were two sacks of them and I think there are 12 to a sack. That ought to keep him happy for a spell. I took a shower while I was there and I’ll be all cleaned up for Potluck tomorrow.
        Went for my evening walk listening to the rest of lesson 3. It was about how electrons in orbit around a nucleus get excited by photons and change orbits depending on how much energy the photon carries. Depending on which frequency the photon and orbit of the electron determines what frequency the electron can accept and the orbit the electron will jump to. The spectra of a star can help in finding out the star’s makeup, if it is moving towards or away from the observer, and if it is a binary system it can tell the mass of the two stars and their period. I’ll have to delve more into this!
        Kicked back and read some Sci-Fi until 10pm. Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Then I took the telescope out for an hour or so to do a little stargazing. Jupiter is a little higher in the east now and I could count four of its moons. I took at the binoculars and toured the Milky Way especially around Sagittarius. The sky was a little turbulent and the stars did a lot of blinking.
        Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 28- did my stretches, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 75 to 101, light breeze, humidity around 21 percent, hazy skies with a few fair weather clouds (cumulus humilius) that blocked the sun from my solar panels. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 103. Light wind becoming south southwest between 11 and 14 mph. Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 79. South southwest wind 10 to 14 mph becoming west northwest.”
        Went online to check my email and then called Friends and Family. My brother Kevin called while I was talking to Mom and Dad so I called him up later on. Got everything ready for Potluck: I made some macaroni and cheese to take along. Dale from Landers called to say howdy and complain about the government and folks in general.
        I was trying to figure out how I was going to carry all the stuff down to the community center. I had some tools that Andrew had borrowed from Lee that I needed to fit on my scooter along with everything else. Just then Chris drove up headed to the center and I asked him to take them down to the center and give them to Lee. Problem solved!
        Drove up to the center on my Trusty Scooter where Stoney was sitting outside in the shade among stuff that Marcie was selling at her Patio Sell that started at 9am; she made a whole seventy dollars! Dana and Karen arrived and I went over to say howdy. They haven’t been to potluck for a spell and I was glad to see them. Karen has been having some health problems and Dana been working very hard collecting scrap iron and driving it down to Indio.
        Besides the regular crowd: Joaquin was there for the first time. I usually see him driving his dune buggy down Winters Road on his way to Twentynine Palms and would stop by my house to yap. He’s a friend of Dale Knoll from Landers, another friend of mine. Cindy is another first timer to our potluck and was helping Marcie with the Patio Sale. She lives on the other side of Border Ave. about three miles down. Carol came with her son’s family and new baby girl. I was glad to see Ruth Tuttle show up and she gave me a big hug when she saw me. Frank and Mary came a little late but there was plenty left to eat.
        I’d say there were over twenty folks who came to feast at our potluck and I think that was mighty fine indeed!
        Got home to take a short nap, then I went on my evening walk and listen to lecture four of the astronomy class. More about absorption lines: wrote about that yesterday, emission lines: when energetic electrons radiate energy to seek a lower orbit, and emissions nebulae: where the clouds of dusty interstellar gas, or the remains of dying stars, are ionized with ultraviolet radiation by hot stars nearby. Oh there’s so much more! But I think I got a little bit of an understanding of it now in my tiny brain. I’ll need to study this more because it seems to be very important and I want to make sure I get it down pat.
        Called my childhood friend Larry Carlock to yak at him about old times in Torrance California.
        Decided to move the Big 12” Telescope out of the battery room and into the new shop where I’ll have easy access to it. The sky was a little hazy but not as bad as the last few nights. I set it all up, collimated the focus, and then trained it on Scorpio and its stars. The brightest in the constellation is Antares whose size is 700 times greater than the Sun. Played around in that area of the sky for a few hours.
        Did my stretches and went for my evening run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 29- My body said to take a brake so I just did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 76 to 109, light breeze, humidity around 19 percent, hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 105. Calm wind becoming south southwest between 10 and 13 mph. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 79. South southwest wind 10 to 13 mph becoming west northwest.”
        Was just going online to check my mail and eat my breakfast when Dianne called asking me if I could contact Andrew to see if he still wants to sell the big screen TV, and if so if I could help her and her friends move it. Called Andrew right then and there and he said all right, so Dianne said they’d be over at 12:30pm to get me. They arrived while I was yakking at my Brother on the phone and will call him back. We drove over to Andrew’s house that he had just rented to a nice guy whose name was Eric. We got the TV moved into Dianne’s truck without any problems and I told Eric that I would be over in an hour to visit and get to know him.
        Called my brother back and yakked for a spell, then I went over to visit Eric. I gave him the rundown of our desert area and told him that if he needed anything to call me. We had a nice chat! He also has a telescope too!!!
        Went on over to Frank and Mary’s for a visit but they weren’t home, so I went to check on my Friend’s house and everything was ok. Then I went over to Stoney’s. He was watching TV and it was putting me to sleep: so I left to go home for a nap.
        Watched the Sun as it set behind the mountains in the west while I yakked at my Brother again. Turned on the tube to watch “Mystery: Inspector Lewis- Old School Ties” about a cyber convict who wrote a book of his crimes and has gotten death threats. Inspector Lewis is called in to protect him, but a young college woman is found strangled with a revolver lying next to her body in a room adjacent to the author’s.
        Took the telescope out for an hour or so. The seeing wasn’t that great because of some haze from the fires in the north. I spent most of my time observing Jupiter and its moons. One of the moons looked to be going behind the planet but I figured it would be a few hours before it did and I was getting tired, so I put everything away for tomorrow night’s session.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 30- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 79 to 107, SW winds to 13 MPH, humidity around 19 percent, hazy skies. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 104. North northwest wind 6 to 11 mph becoming west southwest. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 78. West wind between 10 and 13 mph.”
        Spent the day gathering trash and stuff I don’t need anymore, putting it all in the back of the Gross Polluter and will take it all to the dumpster at Stoney’s. While I was doing all that trash gathering stuff I updated Kstars the astronomy program on the ASUSE EEE Laptop running Linux. Kstars is a desktop planetarium: open source, easy to use, has a user-friendly interface, and above all I like it. To update I have to connect the EEE to my Toshiba laptop to use a dialup connection- the EEE only has WIFI and I don’t have a WIFI connection.
        Called Stoney to tell him I’ll be coming over to use his dumpster. He made some peanut butter cookies, my favorite!
        I got back home and went for my evening walk. It was too windy to listen to a lecture but I think I want to pause on the lectures until I learn as much as my little brain can absorb of the Spectra: the absorption and emission lines that the last two lectures talked about.
        Watched “Bones: Mummy in a Maze”. I haven’t seen this one yet. About finding a missing young girl in a Halloween maze that was mummified a year earlier.
        Went outside to setup an old cheap equatorial mount I had lying around. I must have done something wrong somewhere and I think it was the polar alignment. I haven’t done this since college but that was on a more professional mount. This one’s RA and Dec setting circles are so small that it was hard for me to read. Anyways I was able to follow Jupiter using the fine adjustment cables, but not very well. I’ll have to go online later to find some documentation and see what I’m doing wrong. The seeing wasn’t very good with all the particulates suspended high in the air from the fires in northern California scattering light. It made the sky appear like a quarter Moon was out and I didn’t need a flashlight to navigate around. So I got out the binoculars and sat back trying to name some of the constellations I know. There was Hercules high overhead, Corona Borealis, Bootes, and several others. The asterism “Summer Triangle” with Vega (in Lyra), Deneb (in Cygnus), and Altair (in Aquila), was making its way up in the eastern sky. I used Kstars on the laptop to help me find some of the other constellations I’m not that familiar with. All in all it was a productive night and it feels good to get outside and try to recall the names of the constellations and stars.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. Goodbye to June! We’ll look forward to seeing you again next year!