total solar eclipse!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 08:27 am
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The path of the total solar eclipse that will happen on August 21 includes Columbia, SC, where I live!

The total eclipse path in SC also includes Greenville and Charleston, two of the other largest cities/towns in the state.

This NASA map shows more details, and the area that will get a 90% eclipse is pretty big. I imagine 90% will be pretty stunning to see, too. But it may not be, because we had a partial eclipse before which was nearly unnoticeable. A small amount of sun is still very bright.

I hope it won't be cloudy here on that day.
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Yesterday after work, I drove to Congaree Park with my mom. From the status updates posted by the park, the peak firefly activity might have already been over. But even if so, I thought it would still be neat to be in a wilderness area after nightfall. Most other parks around here close at dusk. The forecast was for clear skies, so maybe there would also be a nice starry sky - here in town there is too much ambient light to see more than the brightest ones.

I looked up directions on how to drive there. I found that the Google Maps app has an option for downloading a zoomable map of a selected area. You can download maps of where you are planning to go using WiFi, and later on use them to navigate with GPS, without using any cellular data.

But my car also has a built-in navigator. So once I reached the outskirts of town, I turned it on and entered the address. I just wanted to be sure that I didn't miss the turn-off way down on Bluff Road. The expected route displayed on the screen, but once I started driving, it told me to turn right when I was certain that I should turn left. I stopped to verify on Google Maps that my memory was correct. Then I turned left and drove on. It started nagging "Turn left... recalculating", "Turn left ... recalculating", "Make a U-turn!" and so on and so on. I have no idea where it was trying to take me to. I wanted to turn it off, but neither my mom nor I could figure out how. Finally, after parking the car again and pressing a bunch of things on the screen, I turned it off.

The park's website had said that only flashlights with red filters or covers should be used, to avoid disturbing the fireflies. I happened to have a flashlight, plus a small BugLit flashlight, plus a headlamp, all with red LEDs. As my mom was coming too, I also brought 2 other flashlights, with red/pink cellophane covering the lights. But they weren't necessary. I only needed a flashlight on the way out. My mom only used the BugLit. The ones with the cellophane covers were still really way too bright anyway.

The parking lot was full already at the park, so I parked behind another car on the side of the road. It was already dusk. On the boardwalk, we walked past a lot of other people. We finally stopped at what seemed a good spot. (Beset by thoughts of "Maybe there are more fireflies further down. Or maybe there are fewer. Maybe that would only take us closer to that crying baby.") There were a lot of people noises. In the beginning, people were also constantly walking past behind us in both directions. Later on, much of that subsided and it was more peaceful. Surely there are places in the park where one could see fireflies too, without the crowds of people. But you'd need to be familiar with the park to know where to go.

There were a lot of fireflies, but not as many as I had hopefully envisioned. The peak activity must already be past. I didn't notice much synchronicity going on, although there were moments when a small group of them would flash at nearly the same time, and then go dark, and then do that again a few times. But there were also other fireflies around them doing their own thing, so it wasn't very obvious. The status posted by the park today said "Fireflies were again active last night (Friday, May 26). Visitors reported that separate groups of fireflies were synchronized (as opposed to all of them being synchronized together)." Maybe it was more obvious in other spots, than where we were standing.

When I see fireflies in my yard, the color of their flash is bright yellow. But the flash of the ones in the park was more white, like moonlight. (Maybe that was only because they were further away - the ones that were closer did have more color). But that white light made them look like twinkling stars in amongst the trees. Very magical. Twinkling moving stars. The kind of thing which might make you believe in fairies. In the moments when people were being quiet, you could hear the nighttime insect noises all around. There were occasional owl (I assume) calls. (Not hoot-hoot sounds. Though now checking YouTube for owl calls, it didn't sound like those, so maybe they weren't owls after all.)

We stayed after most other people had left. It was nicer then, without all the distractions, even though the twinkling fireflies seemed fainter by then, more misty and dreamlike. As we were on the way out, a few other people arrived. Perhaps they wanted to avoid the crowds too.

Other than the fireflies and the flashlights of people walking by, at ground-level it was quite dark. But looking up, you could see the sky a lighter blue between the dark outlines of trees. Even when we left, around 11pm, the sky still was that color. Not pitch black pierced by white stars, as I'd expect. Although the stars themselves were plentiful and beautiful. Does the night sky never really get black, even in the countryside? The moon was almost new, so the light wasn't from it. Maybe it was still ambient light from town; the park is only about half an hour away. Or do the stars always make the night sky seem a lighter color?

On the way out, I stopped at another small parking lot to get a better view of the sky. It was beautiful. I wasn't able to see the milky way (would it be overhead? I don't even know where to look). I think there was a pond nearby, but it was too dark to tell. There were some weird animal noises coming from the other side. I have no idea what it was. My mom guessed it might be a male deer. Maybe, based on this - the sound was sort of like that, though it's hard to remember now.

eclecticity

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 11:14 pm
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Putting silicone sealer on the mouse wheel to add traction had very good results, even though it didn't go on very smoothly.

Actually, it's an acrylic sealer. I previously had a silicone-based one, but when it ran out, the store no longer had it, so I got the acrylic one, which was listed as non-toxic and low odor.

Today it occurred to me that: 1) The insects are spelled 'beetles', 2) the cars are spelled 'beetles', 3) but the band is spelled 'beatles' 4) because the music has beats. It's a word-play, and it's possibly the first time I recognized it as such. I guess I always just thought they named themselves after the insects or maybe the cars.

The fig tree is growing little fig leafs again! The young leaves that died earlier haven't fallen off yet.

Just as I had driven up to my driveway this evening, I looked left out of the car window and saw a light moving across the sky in a straight line. In a direction from the south towards the southeast, sort of. Just a single white light, small, not blinking. It wasn't moving very fast, nor slow. The light flickered out for a moment, then came back, still moving, then flickered out again and stayed out. I thought it might have been a meteor, but the Lyrid meteor shower isn't supposed to start until the 16th. And my visibility here is poor. So it was probably a plane after all, maybe disappearing behind some clouds.

I like this song & video:

Video title: Space Unicorn - Parry Gripp and Brianne Drouhard
Posted by: ParryGripp
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17o1OlroNSE



And these songs:


Video title: Imagine Dragons - Believer
Posted by: ImagineDragonsVEVO
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wtfhZwyrcc




Video title: Wardruna - Wunjo (New Album Runaljod - Ragnarok)
Posted by: Tatiane Akemy Oshiro
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heDBX-HCMDA
darkoshi: (Default)
My mom called to tell me that she heard that Jupiter is bright tonight - at opposition - and that it might even be possible to see its moons using binoculars. I thought, fat chance of that for me, but I went and looked. First I had to figure out how to adjust the focus on the binoculars; it's been a long time since I used them, and I was turning the diopter adjustment by mistake. Then, when I was looking at Jupiter, I did see another fainter object to the west-south-west (ie, left-bottom-left) of it, about 8 Jupiter-widths away. Could that be a moon? Based on this diagram, it's probably the star Theta Virginis.

Tonight, I kept having a problem with the binoculars, seeing double. I'm not sure if it is an issue with them or my eyes. To begin with, it wasn't double. Then, when it was, every once in a while, the double vision went away.

Since the moon is almost full, I looked at it through the binoculars too. Wow! Maybe I've never looked at it through binoculars before? That is the clearest I've ever seen the moon, that I can recall. The craters and lines/rays and texture/contours (towards the bottom) are visible, and even a crater sticking out on the left edge between light and dark.

Curiosity rover shows new signs of wheel wear - it's still sending back photos from Mars!? Wow, I didn't realize we still had contact with it.

By the way, it's weird that the moon always looks black & white / grayscale, when the rest of the universe is in color.

(no subject)

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 09:27 pm
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Wow. Forestfen just called me and said she noticed a lunar eclipse was happening, even without having heard about it on the news or anything. And she's right.

(no subject)

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008 11:52 am
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Quadrantid meteor shower tonight - best viewable from western Europe and the Eastern U.S./Canada.

This page has a sky-chart of the radiant location.

It's going to be vewwy vewwy cold here tonight though, not sure if I will venture outdoors long to peek at the sky.

hair milestone

Monday, November 19th, 2007 12:18 am
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Today was the first day since I started growing my bangs out that my hair felt comfortable enough not to have to pin it back out of my face. In other words, it wasn't scratching my eyeballs or tickling my nose.

It sure is nice to be able to pull shirts over my head again, without it messing up the pins in my hair. And it looks much better without the pins.



.

I can see the sun as it rises from the yellow room window.

(The sun below the horizon is a window reflection.)
It is surprising how fast the sun rises - on the day I took the above photo, the sun was only halfway over the horizon when I first looked out the window, and that is what I wanted to capture. But in the minute or so that it took me to get my camera from the other room, it had already risen all the way over the horizon, as can be seen in the photo.

I will take a photo every week or so until the solstice, so I can see how the sun moves along the horizon, and what the southernmost sunrise point is... Maybe I'll try to figure out where it should rise on the solstice, based on this data, and then see if I'm right or not.

(no subject)

Thursday, October 25th, 2007 09:15 pm
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I noticed that one of the quarters I have is dated 1972. It is as old as I am. I wonder where it has been in its lifetime, what many places it has travelled to and from, how many pockets and purses and cash-registers it has been in, how many hands it has touched.

Light from the setting sun was giving things a golden tinge as I got out of my car in a store's parking lot this evening. Then I looked at the sky, and saw a wonderful rainbow appearing - a full semi-circle, from close to the horizon on one side, to behind the store building on the other. There were dark clouds in the sky in that direction. It had been sprinkling while I was driving, but had stopped. There was even a faint 2nd rainbow, too.

(no subject)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007 06:39 pm
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Someone at a neighboring house started blasting music this morning around 2:45am, awakening me and keeping me from falling back asleep for at least half an hour. But the thing is, I really liked the music. It was in Spanish, and dancy, and neat-sounding. I might buy it for myself if I knew what artist/CD it was. So I lay there in bed, slightly annoyed but also choosing to simply take pleasure in it.

This morning I heard that there had been a lunar eclipse, and wondered if perhaps my neighbors had been having a lunar-eclipse-party?! Perhaps they were celebrating while the earth's shadow crossed the moon's disk? So I looked up the time of the eclipse, but they were a couple of hours too early for that.

.

I wonder how much of my gender identity has been influenced by the book-reading I did as a kid. Many of the books I read had male protagonists. Yet many of those books' authors were female. Therefore, perhaps the male characters whose personalities I identified with, weren't exactly masculine in a real-life sense, as they were written from an arguably feminine perspective. And perhaps that gave me somewhat of a not-quite-feminine, not-quite-masculine gender identity myself?

(no subject)

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 08:15 pm
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I can hear my neighbors having an argument from my bedroom. Sounds like they are both tired and irritable.

I will have to call a different electrician up. If the other guy doesn't want my business bad enough to even call me back with the estimate like he said he would, he won't get it.

Maybe I should do some of the work myself. I've grounded an outlet before. I guess I could do as good a job as they would do, perhaps. I can put the pull-switch on the kitchen light myself, so I guess I'll do that part myself at least. I just want the wiring done right. But there's no guarantee that anyone I hire would do it right. They might do as amateur a job as me.

Oh dear, now I can hear them from this room too. She is shouting. He wants her leave him alone while he finishes the yardwork.

I have to decide on a washer and dryer. I need to fix the floor in the washer/dryer area first, because the linoleum is torn. Or should I just leave it torn? I don't want to. But I don't want to buy a vinyl floor product. And I don't want to deal with adhesives. And tile is complicated too. Why is it all so complicated???

Maybe I will need to hire a plumber to replace all the shut-off valves, so I can at least turn them.

I've felt vaguely moody, like crying. I notice it mostly at work... then I finally come home and don't find the time to relax and cry.

Oh, look. The moon.

I was wondering, what is more important in a romantic relationship. Feeling comforted by the other person's presence, or feeling excited?

Tired. Hungry. Should go cry. Should go eat. Should go do pushups.

I was going to go jogging yesterday, but then didn't feel like it. I just sat instead.
I was considering going jogging today, but didn't feel like it. I walked a bit instead.

Should go install locked handle on bedroom door.

Maybe I should just put some thick plastic on the floor, and some of the big leftover tiles over that, without any adhesive or grout. Or maybe I should just tape shut the torn part of the linoleum, and put the tiles over it. Even though they won't fit right in the space. Would need to cut them to size. That would be difficult.