See you for Nablopomo 2011?!
Okay, so I was a Nablopomo failure, although at least I attempted it this year (I don’t think I’ve even considered attempting it since about 2007). I definitely have lots to write about, but most of the time I feel like the space between my ears is filled with sludge and it’s tough for the coherence to burn through. I’m sure blogging would be easier if I had a routine, but since moving life is still a series of new, daily surprises (Surprise! The kitchen sink is leaking! Surprise! The overnight low was 26 and the well pipes froze!)and my routine consists of making sure the pets are fed and that I empty the litterboxes.
One distraction living out here in the boonies is that the night sky is amazing. I walk outside and can see not only the the Pleiades star cluster, I can see the cloudy blue tinge that covers the cluster and adds to its awesomeness. I’m supposed to be taking our little, blind dog, Phoenix, out for her bathroom trip (and ensuring she doesn’t fall into one of the backyard’s potholes), but I often end up staring at the sky with my jaw hanging open, making a note to identify this star and that constellation after I get back inside. I use the free Astroviewer program for most of these identifications, btw, if you’re looking for a fairly simple program to help you identify the objects in your night sky. Since we moved in late August I’ve seen multiple “shooting stars” (including a few from the Perseid meteor shower), looked at Jupiter through telescope and bincoculars, and had my first ever glimpse of Uranus and Neptune. Early today I watched the International Space Station cross over for about 5 minutes before it disappeared from my field of vision, and it was incredibly easy to spot and really stood out as the brightest object in the sky (other than the moon). Our belongings got really messed up and separated during our move so I’m still searching for a couple of missing pieces of the telescope (mainly I need the counterbalance weight to keep it from tipping over), but when I get it properly assembled I’ll take some photos with the camera. My telescope is quite old (it was a gift from about 15 years ago), but it still gets the job done, and it’s still freaky and fascinating to see the rings of Saturn. My “sky viewing” goals are to see the Sombrero galaxy and to try to see the comets 2010 V1 Ikeya-Murakami and 103P/Hartley before they vanish near the end of the month. I try to remind myself that even though it’s 26 horrible degrees outside and breezy and I’m freezing, the cold weather makes for a clear and bright night sky (and I can see my breath!).