August 28th, 2007


Red Moon

Originally uploaded by how3ird.

At the height of the lunar eclipse this morning, taken at Houge Park in San Jose, where lots of SJ Astronomical society people with far better equipment were getting cool shots. This was taken on a still camera after an hour of recording the eclipse on a camcorder.


Not so sleep-deprived

Mostly because it was clear as soon as the lunar eclipse reached totality that I didn't have good enough gear to justify photos through the end of the event about 2 hours later. Also, took a nap for an hour and a half before heading for the park.

For the record, Houge Park is not even close to being an ideal location, too much light, barely enough parking, and the sprinklers turned on at about 2 am soaking the sidewalk we were setting our tripods on. And it's in a city, so lots of stray light. But the company was great, and worth the other annoyances.

I almost set up in the back of the apartment complex when I got home, there was a clear view of the moon, but that didn't change my equipment issues, so I packed it in at about 3:30.

For really fine images of the red moon, check out these sites:

Stephens Observatory

Astronomy Magazine

And, of course:

As of this writing, NASA doesn't have any new images up, but they do have tips on how to photograph the next one in February.

I am a bit bummed out because I brought the camcorder & Sony software to work, knowing it has a USB connection, but after installing the software and poking at the camera and the program, it became clear that the USB connection is only for transferring still images from the memory stick (of which I have none) and it requires the i-link (aka Firewire) connection (of which I have none at work) to download video. So I'll do that tonight at home. Thanks to having a rental car not equipped with any kind of alarm system, I have not been keeping my laptop in the car as is my usual habit - it does have a real i-link port.

Busy week

BASFA last night was interesting. The IHOP had double-booked our room, but rather than just suggest we have dinner there scattered throughout the restaurant (which Hick'ry Pit did to us at least once) they found a meeting room in the adjoining Holiday Inn, set it up and served us there.

Sounds great on paper, but in actuality it took about half an hour to set up the room, and food orders were not even taken until about 8:45. I didn't order anything because it did not look as if food would actually arrive until after the meeting was over. Which was, in fact, what happened. Though most folks (including myself) did stay for an auxiliary meeting after the close of the scheduled one.

This IHOP is still my first choice for a BASFA meeting place. Our reserving the room was done as an afterthought during the previous meeting, rather than being scheduled with the day manager, so I'm not too surprised about the mix-up. While I'm not impressed with the implementation, I am impressed with the fact that IHOP, which was pretty well packed to the gills, decided they wanted our business enough to go out of their way and stretch themselves pretty thin. And the room they found for us was big enough, and laid out well for our kind of meeting. They have a great menu, service is good, separate checks are not a problem, and they are open 24 hours so no bum's rush. And the location is good for me, as well as lots of other members. And it's down the street from Baycon 2008's site.

I won't be going to the next meeting - have had enough of pizza places, thank you very much.

Meeting seamoose tonight for turntable goodness

Tomorrow I'll be meeting the Comcast installer around noon, and after work there's a Peace Corps alumni hangout in Campbell. And maybe I'll need to go to Fedex to pick up another package.

Nothing on the docket for Thursday night. Friday my car ought to be done. No weekend plans yet. Or at least none I can remember.

A Blast From The Past - Strawberry Pop Tart Torches

One of the first web pages I ever saw was documentation of an experiment worthy of the Journal of Irreproducible results, done by Patrick R. Michaud in the early 90's. I stumbled upon it again this week, and was thoroughly amused all over again. Amazed it is still online, and more amazed that it is unchanged since 1994.

Check it out at this link.

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