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Sunday, February 24, 2008

 
[#] [2]
i took michaelmas to compusa to look for cheap hard drives. since compusa is going out of business, i found this sales plaque funny on a number of levels, not least because it was actually being sold AND for such a low price. i was *very* tempted to take it home...


the next day i saw this license plate on the way to a meeting and i scrambled for the camera before the car could turn left. isn't this the best license plate in oregon? :D


after that meeting, i passed the first flowers i've seen poking out of the ground this season. i have some tulip & bluebell shoots out in my yard, but no actual flowers yet. are these snowdrops?


edit: ann says they're crocus.

Friday, February 22, 2008

 
[#] [0]
it's gorey's birthday! read the gashlycrumb tinies or the doubtful guest. you'll be glad you did!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

 
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well, that just goes to show you the weather people don't know anything! despite numerous rain forecasts for wednesday, last night was a perfect night to watch an eclipse. that actually caught me off guard a little, so i was late getting us started up the hill to powell butte. because the moon was rising at the time of the eclipse, we couldn't see it on this side of the hill, but by the time we got up there it was already in totality.

still, we got to see saturn & regulus patiently flank the eclipsed moon in leo, and we got to see the moon slip away from its veil and shine fully again. i love that moment when the curved edge of the moon begins to gleam after an hour in the darkness. as it grew brighter, it was neat to see the sky change as stars that had been visible during the eclipse disappeared, and others grew smaller or dimmer.

it seemed like a beautiful summer night: the frogs & crickets were in chorus, and we heard owls call to each other from the trees. it was really cold, though, and i was grateful sven brought a thermos of french onion soup with him (whereas i brought a chocolate bar embedded with pop rocks).

the next full eclipse visible to us won't be until december 20, 2010! i'm so very glad the weather decided to cooperate; an amazing event for a normally unrequited astronomer. thank you portland!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

 
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i stayed at the edgefield a couple of weeks ago for an unbirthday retreat (thanks, michaelmas & sven!). the first night, a thursday, was woooooooonderful: the todo list i carry around in my head lightened considerably as i read a book, ate good food, wandered the hotel, took a bath, looked out my window. the next day i had a fabulous lunch and wandered the golf course grounds. i settled into my room to finish my book & take a nap: that's when the weekenders began to arrive, and i wouldn't know peace for the rest of the night.

there was a shrieking party three doors down; people knocked on my door and ran away, laughing; i got chased out of a comfy chair in a public area by people who were mad i was in the same room they were; i got chased out of a conference room by a security guard; the restaurant stopped serving just before i got there. lesson learned: only go to the edgefield during the week, not on the weekend.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

 
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wondering when the lunar eclipse is next week? mark your calendar for wednesday, feb20 and wonder no more!
As the moon rises from the east, the eclipse gets underway at 5:43 p.m. PST when the umbral shadow takes a small, dark bite out of the left edge of the Moon. For 73 minutes of the partial phase, the darkness engulfs more of the Moon's disk as it slides into the shadow. The partial eclipse ends and totality begins at 7:01 p.m. PST, when the Moon slides completely within the umbra. The total phase lasts 50 minutes, with mid-eclipse (when the Moon looks darkest) occurring at 7:26 p.m. PST with the moon at 18 degrees above the eastern horizon. What makes it so much fun is that no one can predict what color the Moon will turn during totality. Will it be bright orange, or blood red? Only the shadow knows. Moreover, this eclipse comes with a rare bonus. The planet Saturn will be shining three degrees from the Moon. The total eclipse will end at 7:51 p.m. as the moon exits the umbra. Then at 9:09 p.m., the moon will exit the earth's umbral shadow.
powell butte will block the rising moon if we stay on this side of it, so we may need to hike up to the top.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

 
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snow today! i wish some of it had stuck.

on thursday night we hosted a monster month book release party. it was fun. we made "grimberry juice" and sven actually made a cake and frosted it with the creature on the cover of the book (mmmm, giant lightning sloth cake!). we had a bunch of different people from different parts of our lives collide, but it think it turned out okay. thanks for coming, everyone! it really meant a lot for us that you came to support this. we'll have to do it again sometime! ;)