Saturday, August 17, 2019

Lovely Autumn Evening Last Night

Yes, I know it is still summer, but only in direct sunlight in the day does it feel like it.  I am sitting on my back porch with the cool wind blowing past me.

We had a number of people from church up last night for dinner and astronomy.  The sky was clear and relatively calm.  At 156x, Jupiter's multiple clouds bands were highly visible, with good contrast.  All four Galilean satellites were visible, and bright enough against a dark motionless sky that everyone immediately recognized that they were not stars.  A couple of the adults did not realize that satellites are not always artificial.  But once they mastered that idea, they realized that they are like our Moon.

As expected, no one looked at Saturn without be overwhelmed.  Cassini's Division was very obvious on the east and west sides of the planet.  This was at 78x.  I should probably have gone up in power, but the Moon was rising.  At least one of the adults immediately recognized that he was looking at several of Saturn's larger satellites.  Titan, in particular, is so bright and non-twinkling that it sort of hours itself away.

I showed them Antares to show them why stars twinkle and planets, except of very turbulent nights, do not. The column of light from even the closest stars is at best an arcsecond across.  Planets have light that is tens of arcsecond across, and this less beat up by air currents. Even at 39x, Antares is a little twinkling fireball. 

The Moon rose through the trees a bit north of Bogus Basin and it was a very nice sight to see the trees against the face of a nearly full Moon.  But the burble of the air passing through an extra 4000 miles of atmosphere meant the Moon's limb was alive.  I hope to have them up again with a first quarter or younger Moon, when contrast is higher and there is less burble.

One irritation: while some people use the word "moon" to refer to any natural satellite, this is not correct.  Moon (capital) is the proper name of our satellite, and like Sun should be capitalized.  I wish the built-in spell checker in the Blogger app knew this, instead of trying to force Moon into moon.  If you read The Stand, just spell it M-O-O-N.  If you did not read it, you might enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A very Troubling Article

Read it, and get schedule open for sniper practice.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Probably Not Enough to Qualify As a Mass Murder

But not for lack of trying.  8/13/19 U.K. Daily Mail:
Blood-soaked man 'shouting Allahu Akbar' in Sydney's CBD attempts to stab multiple people - with one woman rushed to hospital and another found dead with her throat slit in a nearby building
But no gun, so move along, there's nothing here to see.
Police are investigating whether the alleged attacker, Mert Ney, 21, from Blacktown in the city's west, had escaped from a mental institution.
That seems likely in spite of  Allahu Akbar.

If Only There Wasn't This Climate of Hate Being Promoted by Politicans

8/13/19 NBC San Antonio:
FBI agents are searching for suspects in connection with shots fired at two ICE buildings early Tuesday morning.
The shooting first reported took place around 3 a.m. Tuesday on the 1700 block of NE Loop 410 near Brookhaven Drive. We're told another shooting happened at a separate ICE facility around the same time.
Investigators say that multiple shots were fired on two floors targeting ICE officials. No one was hit, but windows were broken in the building. One person was injured, it's not clear how they were, though.
"I don't think there's a question that they knew which floors the ice offices were," FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Combs said Tuesday. The building shot at has multiple tenants, with the ICE facility located on upper floors.

"All of the shots that we have found are on the floors where ICE had offices," Combs explained. "This is no question a very targeted attack. It's not a secret facility, you can go online, it's out there. So they did some research, they knew what floors ICE was on, they knew what buildings they were and and they hit those."
Imagine if BATF offices had been targeted in the Clinton or Obama Administrations.  The hollering about Republicans promoting hatred would be never ending on CNN.  The left wants a Civil War.  They are going to be very disappointed at the results. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Partially Blocked Small Colon

No, it is not the name of a 1980s punk band.  I woke up at 2:00 AM with a distended and painful stomach.  In the ER AT 7:00. AM I thought it was food poisoning, but I could not vomit.  CAT scan showed a partially blocked small colon.  I am in the hospital.  The goal is to see if the lower bowel turns its self around, so wet can avoid surgery.  I am beginning to pass gas, and I can feel stuff moving into my intestines. I may be out tomorrow.

MONDAY update: Waiting for the paperwork to be completed and then I go home.

Once again, St. Alphonsus' Medical Center was showing their Jesus.  As usual not just caring, but profoundly caring employees.  Even Julio who wheeled me downstairs for abdominal X-ray was deeply concerned about my comfort, as was Marisa, the day shift RN, and Olga, the day shift CNA.  (I cannot remember the names of the night shift RN and CNA, but also wonderful and caring people.)   The gal from food services, who I suspect is not well paid, did an exemplary job of not only ordering my meals (which were at first only clear liquids) but also showing concern for my medical condition.  I have not ever had what I would call a bad experience at St. Luke's, their Protestant competitor here in Boise, but St. Al's just go above and beyond my expectations.

The trauma surgeon who came up to discuss possible surgery was also a caring person.  The guy was Trauma Services who up after the X-rays, ditto.  "The good news is you do not need a surgeon."  And a sense of humor: "A surgeon stabs you until you get better."

If you know someone who works for St. Al's, please share this with them.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Epstein Succeeds on 2nd Suicide Attempt

Yeah, right.  There are already four big names exposed.  I suspect even more would have come out of a plea bargain.

Is Trump Going to Throw the Next Election?

He is backing mandatory private party background checks.  I am hoping this is like Bush's willingness to renew the assault weapons ban in 2004, if it ever reached his desk.  Republicans in Congress made sure it never got there, and Bush probably breathed a sigh of relieve.

Contact your senators and remind them that the Dept. of Justice found that a fraction of 1% of criminally used guns came from private party sales, All of the recent mass murderers bought guns after passing background checks.