sailing the NorSea


WEEK 36 2021 

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Saturday 4 September   2021

Saturday - Warming up again, temperatures in the low 100's in the afternoon.

In the morning I did yard cleanup work, in the enclosed area.  As usual there were a lot of tumbleweeds, mostly still green, and other weeds, so I grabbed the Bagster and started filling that.  There was also beau-coup amounts of various yard debris, bricks, pavers, boards, you name it.  I pulled the two dead tree stumps from last year, and removed the chicken wire that I'm always tripping on.

Not only is all of this unsightly, but it's a safety hazard when wandering around with a telescope or binoculars at night.

Also R&S are on travel to SC at the end of the month, and I needed it cleaned up for chihuahua duty.  I might go somewhere myself, so a nice cool morning (it's supposed to get hot again next week!) is nothing to let slip by.

Speaking of which, I attached the ADM adapter and dovetail to the Super Polaris mount, and then mounted the little Svbony APO into the Vixen style dovetail. 

And, at least for now, I put the 2" refractor star diagonal on it, that I bought earlier in the summer. One issue with big diagonals is "infocus travel", the light path through the diagonal is like that of an extension, and you have to move your draw tube almost all the way forward.  Fortunately I could do that, with almost a centimeter to spare, except for a couple of oddball eyepieces.  Curiously it was the long focal length, low power, eyepieces that had the most trouble.  using a Barlow lens seem to help things, so I'm not worried.

Altogether, along with the counterweight, it's quite a load, more than can really be considered a single trip grab-n-go. But the dovetail means that it's easy to detach the scope OTA and carry in/out separately.

I went out rather early, 9pm, and did a brief bit of stargazing.  Both the mount and scope seem nice, though the air was pretty turbulent and dirty.  Mostly I looked at Jupiter, because the 102mm scope came with no finder-scope at all.

Since I had to shop on Sunday morning I packed everything back up by 11pm.

Friday 3 September 2021

Friday - Hot by the afternoon!

I heard noises fairly early, and looking out saw that Lee's Bee's was already at Aarons.  I walked over, and they'd dropped off an entire pallet of pellets, 50 bags.  Twenty five of those were mine.

Since we were both low on propane we decided to take care of that first, before it got hot and buys. I pulled to top off the Ram, it was easy, just as advertised :-) Aaron and I loaded up the truck and drove into town and refilled our tanks at Costco. We just beat the rush.

Then we came back, unloaded and hooked up the tanks, then filled the back of my truck with 25 bags of pellets, to store in the container.  Aaron also had three cords of hardwood delivered at the same time, so unloading was left as a chore too me.

It went pretty fast actually, since I could just park the truck next to the container that I cleared out yesterday.

Then I knocked off, about 2pm, and after a short wait for the water to heat up, had a nice shower.

At some point in the afternoon my phone chimed, and the adapter plate and dovetail from ADM was in my mailbox!! And it was.

Thursday 2 September 2021

Thursday - Warming up, still reasonable in the morning.

Aaron had called last night and asked if I wanted to go halves on a ton of pellets from Lee's Bee's, last night.

I said "yes", and know I had to clean out the container to get them in there.  And I had a bunch of wood shelves that I got last week that needed putting inside before they were ruined.

So, for about six hours I just cleaned and organized and threw stuff out.  There's plenty of room if you take the time to get a bit organized.

Wednesday 1 September 2021

Wednesday - Only warm, I'm not sure that it even broke 90F.  And 'smazey'. But, of course, windy, easily into the 20's, with gusts much higher. It is supposed to start warming up again, with temps back into the 100's by this time next week.

The Tahoe fires continue to rage, it is in the basic and threatening the town of South Lake Tahoe, though I guess they caught a little break last night.

Brought in a cat grass planter.  It isn't as dense a growth as earlier in the year, but the two older cats nibbled (I saw Jim trying to eat a silk plant earlier) and Budd then grazed them level with the top of the planter at dinner time!

I did a quick trip (hah!) into town looking for a small piece of aluminum flat-stock.  Lowes: nothing.  Home Depot: nothing.  Surplus/scrap yard on Division: closed.

So I just gave up and ordered the piece I want online from  I'm going to be hanging hundreds of dollars of delicate equipment from it, it might as well work right and be safe.  And even if I found a piece of bar stock I'd have to buy a metric tap set - mine is SAE.

While I was at Lowe's I picked up another 20 landscape blocks, so now I can finish the last tree ring in the front yard. And some sealer and a sprayer for the wood trellis stuff on the porch.

I also went by Trader Joe's and bought several bottles of their house brand 10yo single malt scotch - I kind of had to look for it, their whiskey section has been moved, and it seems to me, been downsized quite a bit.

The checker asked me if I wanted paper wrappers for it...  Do I look that disreputable?  I said "No, I'm just going to drink it in the parking lot."

I did work on the app a bit - S sent me V.3 of the spec.

I also replaced the original Y/M/C cartridges in the brother printer, the new ones have been sitting on the floor next to it for months, and I've given up on them installing themselves (so much for the 'smart' home!).

Tuesday 31 August  2021

Tuesday - Warm - it only dropped to 78 overnight, and windy and cloudy. Not smoke, but actual clouds, with virga here and there.

It's also very windy today, which was predicted.  Wind speed dropped to zero briefly, then went back up into the 20's, so no telescope observing here tonight.

Apropos of scopes: I did a few calculations on using a steel adapter plate for the vixen clamp, to the SP mount, and calculated almost 100lbf thermal loading for every 10 degree's Centigrade, which is just too much.  If something didn't break (the mount flange is just a 5/16" Al casting) it would almost certainly warp the telescopes optical train.  I'll see about buying a piece of Al plate in town tomorrow, or just order the whole kit n caboodle from online.

I did some basic chores in the yard, in this case it included loosening the guys on the tree's in front because, gasp!, they've grown.  Really I should remove them (the guys), but we are predicted to have a windstorm shortly, so not a good time!

The tree at the northwest corner is looking a little better, after losing a bunch of leaves, now that it's getting a lot of water.

Of course they are saying that water rationing is imminent, it's just that no politician wants to admit it just before the recall election for governor next week.

My TV has been buffering and freezing horribly the last few days. I finally turned off the router/modem, unplugged the Roku, then started everything up.  And now it's fine.  I was dreading a wait for Frontier tech support. I suppose something happened during the power outage last week.

Monday 30 August 2021

Monday - Warm and windy, it hit about 106 again.

Also smazey all day..

Not as bad as up in Carson City, where they are getting smoke from the disastrous Caldor Fire, which is on the verge of entering the Tahoe basin.

They are, of course, blaming the "global warming induced drought", the all purpose excuse for negligence and incompetence used by governments everywhere now.

Reading, it turns out they knew the basin had a huge issue with unburned "fuel" in the forests, after a huge fire in 1985.  So they began clearing and burning, but at such a slow rate that as of today they had cleared only 60,000 of 250,000 acres, in 36 years.  I assume that the initial cleared areas are probably already grown over and ready to burn by now.

Indeed, if you do the math, then at 1,700 acres a year the 225,000 acre basin would have taken 148 years to clear.

I also saw a note to the effect that that "...they are using helicopters at night, which SoCal started 7 years ago, but which was banned in NorCal until now..."

Had they used the copters at night at the beginning, had they had replacements for the 747 water bomber, and the Mariner Mars water bombers...would we be in this condition now?

I did a bit of yard work, cleaning things up a bit, but there is a lot more to do, and it's hard to get anything done after about 10am in this heat.

The new refractor arrived, a week ahead of schedule. Oddly I didn't hear them drive up, despite being in the office. But the main swamp cooler was on, as well as the quiet-ish Haier window a/c in the office, and some fans, so no big surprise there.

I want to put it on the Super Polaris mount, but ADM wants $115 for a simple plate adapter.  I imagine I can make one for $10, but it's another task to add to the list.  I can perhaps make one out of a nice piece of oak from the old treadmill, at least temporarily.

Because of the winds and clouds and smoke this isn't a hugely urgent task.

Anyway, spent the afternoon in the office working on the iName app. SwiftUI is odd.  The Hacking with Swift tutorials are OK, but they tend to leave stuff out.

In the evening I moved the little bookshelf into the office, it fits nicely, though the lime green doesn't really go with the decor.

Sunday 29 August 2021

Sunday - Hot, worse than Saturday, about 110F.

I went shopping with S in the morning, I was running low on a bunch of things.

I picked up about 3 weeks worth of canned cat food again, though I messed up and bought a bunch of "Savory Shreds" rather than "pate".  The older cats tend to just lick the gravy off and leave the "shreds", but Budd will eat it, so no big deal.

I also picked up a small $15 bookshelf from a Craigslist ad, from someone just around the corner from R&S. The owners are packing up and leaving California, for Vancouver Washington.  I can't remember the last time I asked and someone was moving in-state...

The shelf is lime green, but it will fit under my white board nicely, and I can paint it any time.

I was supposed to return a couple of items to R&S, but forgot.  But I decided to go get the rest of the free shelves from the guy giving them away, so I dropped those off when I came into town and did that.

And, since the mixer was still there, I bought it as well, for $100.  So it turned into three trips into town.

My internet is buffering a lot.  We had a power outage last week, looks like maybe it bollixed something up.  If it doesn't improve I'll call Frontier, though a quick speed test from their site says 14Mbps, which should be fine.

I am resuming watering the tree's almost daily.  A couple look very stressed after a week of every other day.  Dang.

Picture of the Week

A smoky sunset, early August 2021.
A smoky sunset, early August 2021.

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