WEEK 37 2020
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Saturday - Warm.
Kind of bored. Not much to do when you can't bend or pick anything up.
Book #47 was Dreamhealer, but Jeff Duntemann. It was OK. I was expecting better, to be honest.
Fires everywhere on the west coast. Years, decades actually, of forestry mismanagement. Of course it'll all be blamed on Global Warming.
Friday -Warm again.
I don't know why the picture below isn't showing...a file permissions issue? I had this a while back and have forgotten what I did to fix it. Apple keeps "improving" their security, it was probably something to do with that.
I need to get back to an honest Linux distribution for my main machine. You just can't trust MS or Apple not to eff things up, if there is even the minutest chance of profit in it for them.
MS, for example, wants to get rid of the Control Panel. With all their failures, all their networking and browser issues, update releases with hundreds of vulnerabilities, you'd think they'd have something better to do with their money and manpower than mess up something that's been around for years. Apparently not.
I had planned to go down and work on the boat, and drop S off in Ojai at her dad's place, but couldn't face the drive. Gahh.
But it's getting better.
Thursday - Warm, maybe reaching 90F or so for a few hours in the afternoon. I would occasionally turn on the a/c, but mostly didn't need it.
Smoke again, but high, like a marine layer, not too much of an odor at ground level. Thick enough that the sun's disk often wasn't present. No stars visible in the evening.
I tweaked my back more than I realized yesterday, woke up sore and stiff as a board. Bah. I have things to do but ibuprofen and laying down a lot was the best option.
Did a bit of stuff on STARS, sent a file to Dr. G, but my back wasn't really up to a lot of time in an office chair.
I did order a gizmo from ScopeStuff to allow me to fine focus the C8, using PayPal. It (Paypal) seemed to work, and I got a confirmation from them and from ScopeStuff, so we'll see. Kind of a $20 test of the whole process.
The gizmo in question should fit over the existing 3/4" focus knob on the C8, and is itself about 3" in diameter, allowing finer control of focus.
You can buy a "Feather Touch Micro Focuser" replacement for the stock C8 focus gearing if your pockets are infinitely deep, it only costs $315...
I have the urge to buy a bigger refractor (there is nothing else to do but look at ads and articles right now, and that's dangerous to the pocketbook.).
It's the way to go eventually, but honestly, I've only spent three or
four hours looking through the 70eq, in very poor seeing conditions. No
rush. I don't even have my good diagonal and wide angle eyepiece yet!
Here's a shot of the moon, taken with the Canon T3i's 70-300mm Zoom the other day, handheld. A bit blurry, but not bad:
Canon T3i with 300mm Zoom lens, September 2020.
Wednesday - Warm, not hot. The smoke made a high cover, like a thin marine layer, and the temperature didn't hit 90F until late afternoon. Walking down to the mail box I could actually see Jupiter, and just barely make out Saturn.
I picked a couple handfuls of tomatoes. Unknown critters are still vandalizing the bell peppers, pulling the green fruit off the bush, taking a bit and dropping them on the ground. S gave me some chicken wire, I need to put that around them. I also have a bunch of red Jalapeno's, I guess it's time to pick them.
Since it was cool I went out and liberally sprayed the tomato plants with NEEM oil. Hopefully it will help with the leaf curl. The label says you can use it weekly, so maybe I'll do that for a bit.
I went out and "finished" the little bit of wall I started on Monday, then went into town and picked up materials for the next little section.
My back was a bit stiff after all of that.
I put the trash out, then realized that the trash trucks weren't coming until tomorrow, delayed a day because of Monday's holiday.
I received some emails and texts from relatives in the SF Bay area, and Lake Bonney in WA. The smoke is incredible, it's a weird end-of-days orange. Poor old LB is looking bad, huge fires, let's hope they avoid the fate of Paradise in California a couple years ago.
Signed up for Paypal, so I can buy some astronomy gear. A lot of the little specialty shops ONLY take PayPal, weird.
Tuesday - Hot, and very very smokey. I actually had the lights on, mid-day, inside the house!
The air was too horrible to work in, plus it was 84F on the porch at 7am.
Did a bunch of stuff around the house, trying to get organized again.
On Sunday there was a puddle of wet tar in the garage - probably Henry's - coming from the holes in the roof for the swamp cooler stand attachment bolts. Sheesh. Never seen that before.
Budd LOVES the heat in there. I had heard some mice sounds around the end of last week, but not recently, and he hasn't been as hungry as usual...
Monday - Labor Day. Very Hot.
The smoke is like a marine layer, it's gray and dark. No observing.
I did go out and start laying out he next section little wall in the morning, but quit when it hit 100F and I started getting dizzy. Gahhh.
The Barlow arrived. Nothing to see, even the mountains a few miles
away are obscured.
Sunday - Very Hot.
I went shopping with S, picked up a fair amount of stuff, didn't get everything home and unpacked until about 11:30.
I did a bunch of bills online.
I have been trying to go out and stargaze, but it's impossible, the stars and even bright planets are invisible through the smoke. Very irritating.
Still waiting on the Barlow and a decent astronomical quality dielectric star diagonal - this one wasn't from Televue (everyone is almost out of stock amateur astronomy gear) but is, I think, a re branded Orion. Which is fine. All this stuff can be kept and used with any scope, so it's all a one time purchase. Other than a finder scope for the C8 I am actually set for a while.
I guess if I take the little scope(s) on the road I should make a cases for them. Re-purpose a locker with some closed cell foam.