Monday, August 26, 2013

Space shots

OK, this is a bit late- but I wanted to share these. We were at a farm last weekend and away from the light pollution; stayed with a friend. And so, when every other sane person had gone to bed, I retrieved my equipment from the car, and all alone out there I took some pictures.
This one is of Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda. It's relatively easy to find in the night sky if you look out for the distinctive W shape. It's harder to see in the picture because of the over-exposure which makes the other stars show.
 Here is the same picture with the outlines. I was not able to see this then, but was somewhat surprised when I looked at the pictures that there was a blurry blob at the lower right corner. While I was initially thinking it was a nebula, as it turns out it was probably the galaxy Andromeda (circled). That happens to be the nearest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way.
 This was a 20-second shot of the Milky Way. Thought it turned out OK; could not point it to the brightest parts as the moon was full and it would have overexposed the photo.
 And this was my shot of Polaris, the north star. Because the Earth revolves around it, on a timelapse shot like this (10 mins), the star trails tend to revolve around it.

As it turns out, Polaris is actually a multiple star, which you can barely make out on this one shot.
Sigh. This hobby is going to get more expensive really quick. I'm already wondering if I should get a larger scope.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Birthday!

Ahem. To me.
Yup, mine came a few days after my princess'. And I have to say, it's a whole lot more fun having your kids get excited for you.
Though I caught myself thinking as I looked in the mirror yesterday, of how my age is showing (don't ask).
Signs you're getting older:
  • Your eyebrows are starting to curl.
  • Grey hairs on scalp? Bah. You're beyond that; you're finding grey nose hairs.
  • You look at your pictures and catch yourself thinking, Gawd, that's my dad!
  • You fart when you laugh. Unintentionally.
  • 9PM is 30 mins past your bedtime.
  • Sexy is a blonde holding a bottle of beer. Except you're more interested in that beer.
  • Your optometrist (the bastard!) tells you you're going to need bifocals in two years.
  • You're starting to worry about your retirement funds, and your kids' college funds.
  • You prefer plaid jackets rather than suits, fancying the university professor-look
  • You get mysterious and migratory aches. Right knee, to left foot, to neck, to left knee, and back.
  • You have trouble hearing when talking on the damned cellphone.
  • You refer to 20-plus year olds as "kids"
  • Them "kids" in turn refer to you as "uncle" (KNNCCB!).
  • You're ever so tempted to consider trading in that Porsche for a minivan
Sad to say, I'm not even making these things up. But oh well, age is all in the mind, right? Right?
That being said, I'm having a blast with my ladies.
Ask me again when I hit 40- I'm probably going to need Prozac to get over the change.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

One Year

Can't believe this one is a year old already.
It didn't seem that long ago when we rushed off to the hospital when Kristin's contractions became more frequent. In a mere 3 hours from the time we checked in, Ava then came into this world, and our world went from crazy to blissfully chaotic.
No, she doesn't have teeth yet (Alli was a late teether, too). But that didn't stop her from making short work of her cake.
Happy Birthday, Princess!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Perseids Shower

So I was stupid enough the other night to get up at 3:30 AM on my Sunday morning. No, wasn't oncall. And the baby was asleep.
I got up to try to catch some shooting stars, and take a picture of Jupiter. Haven't yet had the chance to do that as Jupiter is up usually during the day, and sets well before sunset. Which leaves me the option only of early in the morning.
Never mind that I was dead tired for the rest of the day, but I'd say it was worth it. I saw 6 shooting stars that morning before sunrise. And even managed to snap a not-too-brilliant meteorite in picture (see that faint line in the top portion?), but hey, it was my first time.
And though I didn't quite get to see the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, I saw two major cloud bands and at least 3 of her moons.
Maybe someone can tell the wife I'm needing a more powerful (and expensive) scope?

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Nice to see Malaysian exports hitting our shores here. Heh, I was tempted to get this from our local Asian store...

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Why My Girls Will Be Smelly

Conversation between Alli and I as she as watching me get dressed. I reached over and grabbed my underarm deodorant.
Alli: Daddy, what are you doing?
Me: It's so that my armpits will grow hair.
She looks over to mommy and notices her clean pits, and then looks back at me.
Alli: O_o
Ah, and they say parenting is no fun. Next, I'll have to teach my kids why you need to wash your butt after you take a dump.