Lunar Eclipse Photo

Eclipse Photo

Our son took this image from near Pasadena, CA after midnight PDT on the morning of April 15th. The red moon and blue star Spica (α Virgo), about 2° away from the moon, can be seen in the (clickable) image. Planet Mars, about 10° away from the moon is not in this view. I don’t have details about the point-and-shoot camera and which aperture and exposure settings he used, other than a tripod was used in autofocus mode.

The red color of the eclipsed moon is explained by SpaceWeather.com:

Why red? A quick trip to the Moon provides the answer: Imagine yourself standing on a dusty lunar plain looking up at the sky. Overhead hangs Earth, nightside down, completely hiding the sun behind it. The eclipse is underway.

You might expect Earth seen in this way to be utterly dark, but it’s not. The rim of the planet is on fire! As you scan your eye around Earth’s circumference, you’re seeing every sunrise and every sunset in the world, all of them, all at once. This incredible light beams into the heart of Earth’s shadow, filling it with a coppery glow and transforming the Moon into a great red orb.

Income Tax Deadline

taxes.jpgIt’s April 15th, “National Wealth Redistribution Day.” I estimate that the average income earner will have to work 80 out of 260 working days this year to pay for his/her tax obligation. Over thirty percent of the money one earns becomes property of the government to spend at their whim.

Lucky for us, we’re not like the poor bastard in the image; our taxes were filed via TurboTax® in January and the refunds received before the middle of February - all electronically.

By an interesting quirk in history, April 15th is the date when RMS Titanic hit the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. We have TWO disasters to celebrate today: the IRS and the Titanic!

Lunar Eclipse

Lunar Eclipse

Courtesy MrEclipse.com, here is tonight’s total lunar eclipse events translated to Pacific/Arizona times. The Better Half and I plan to stay up to see this one, especially since near-opposition Mars will be in the picture. That will be a sight to behold. We’re not planning any astrophotography tonight, but there is bound to be plenty of visuals on the internet. Clickable image.

Timesink

Two Games

The first couple weeks of the regular baseball season are over now, but we are still avid fans and watch a lot of the games. We subscribed to “Extra Innings” on DirecTV, which gives us access to most of the games.

Today was no exception to baseball watching with at least five games we watched on the two TVs. Of course, we have to take time out for other obligations like eating and walking the dogs, among other things.

It was a good weekend, with entertainment, nearly perfect weather (a few more degrees, please) and delicious chow prepared by The Better Half and myself (I grilled some beef for the entrée under her supervision, of course).

Seasonal Changes

Patio ClockAlthough the first day of summer is still almost three months away, the high temperatures here in the upper desert have risen to over 90° for several days and the forecast is for more of the same over the next week. I took this (clickable) photo of the outdoor patio clock this afternoon after the breeze had started to cool things down.

The temperature widget said almost 93° at that time. I do not know what the high temperature was this afternoon, but it was warm enough to run the air conditioner for a while. We have the indoor thermostat set to 82° which feels really cool when it’s 105° outside. The A/C probably wouldn’t have kicked in except we had the windows and doors open to get some fresh air in here.

We noticed a couple of good side effects to our warming temperatures today during our weekly grocery shopping trip; some of the snowbirds seem to have gone home since the traffic was light and there were fewer “snow zombies,” as The Better Half and I call them, clogging the aisles in the supermarket.

Spring Cleaning

The Patio

The Better Half washed the patio down with the hose today after removing (most) of the patio furniture. She also hosed down the floor mats and patio furniture and cleaned and polished the spa cover.

This is just a start to the external cleaning effort. We have to remove the sun screens from the windows and security gates and give them the hose treatment as well.

For the last week or so, some unknown flying insects (UFIs) have been getting inside the patio screen. My theory is they must be crawling under the aluminum baseboard before becoming airborne and swarming on the screens. They are seen mostly around dusk. I laid out a four inch wide stream of ORTHO® bug spray along the baseboard inside the patio and out. Hopefully, that will be that, for the time being.

Classic Car Gathering


The Better Half was at the dentist this morning for some minor restoration. I told her that after the anesthetic wore off, I would take her to lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant. As we sat by the window, a parade of antique cars came up the street, one shiny classic after another. Shortly after the cars went by, we realized that the occupants were coming into the restaurant as a large group.

After finishing lunch and paying the tab, TBH and I were delighted to see the parking lot filled with a dozen or more classics. She took several photos which I merged into the slideshow above. Click on the images to advance to the next - eight in all.

Fort Hood Aftermath

Fort Hood Aftermath

Will the real COMMON SENSE gun laws please stand up . . .

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