Monday, December 20, 2010

Solstice Eclipse


The last time there was a lunar eclipse on the Winter Solstice was in 1638, 372 years ago. Shortest and Darkest Day of the year and a red Moon. What could be better?

It would be cool if the weather deities would be so kind as to remove the cloud cover from the Puget Sound so we can all enjoy it. Wouldn't it.

So far, so good! :-)

Here are some pictures from my walk.

Uh Oh! Clouds coming in!

Relatively clear skies.

Huge Moon!

And more . . .

And now 9:43 pm PST (US), approximately 50 minutes before the eclipse is to start! Time to get the good camera out.

11:30 pm PST (US) and the clouds parted:

And now I have to go to sleep. WAY Past My Bedtime!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random Stuff for November and December

Well, here it is, the gorging season has officially arrived and my email inbox is stuffed with exhortations from the most "famous running magazines of all" about "avoiding those holiday pounds" this year. It is kind of funny that most "lifestyle" magazines have the same messages, just different modalities. Damn those holiday pounds. But let me ask you, would anyone actually eat "Cream-cheese filled wraps and mini meatballs"?

The quarter is over, has been for a week, and I took the very first opportunity to come down with a nasty cold right after turning in my grades. That was fun but at least I could relax, enjoy it without having papers hanging over my head, and catch up on my TV watching. On top of my holiday faves ("Christmas Story", "Holiday Inn", and "Miracle on 34th Street") I've been watching "The Pacific", "Community", and "Centurion".

FYI "The Pacific" is quite riveting. Though all war movies have now internalized the conventions, look and feel of "Saving Private Ryan", "The Pacific" presents a rather honest look at the complexity of war and its dehumanizing effects. There is a wrenching scene during the Battle for Okinawa where a moment of re-humanization occurs which renders all the militaristic bombast that passes for war and action film these days pale by comparison. Devastating. "Community" made me cringe when it first came on. I teach at a CC and, well, it just seemed stupid (close to the bone?) but the show has sure developed into a romp through popular culture parody. "Centurion"? Give it a miss. It is standard, unidimensional chase film disguised as a splatter-fest (joyfully attested to by the directors and actors in the DVD extras). Even better, go see "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" in Smell-O-Vision (and sing-along, taste-along) if you can.

We've been having some bizarre weather of late. City closing snow storms, warm and wet rain storms, and sun. In honor of this randomness, here are some pictures taken as I walked around the neighborhood over the past month.

Monkey Puzzle Tree after the snow storm that shut Seattle down for about a week.

Couldn't catch that Gingerbread Man.

Pineapple Express came in and blew and washed leaves into interesting patterns.

Same thing with crab apples.

Some Seattleites have odd senses of humor.

Some are even odder . . .

And today? Today it blew 16 mph sustained with gusts from 33 to 50. We went out into the mountains for a run. It snowed on us.

49 days to go for the Orcas Island 50 and 25K. I am entered. Think I can train up in time?

Happy Holidays! Time to decorate our tree, perhaps the Charlie Browniest on the block.

Stay tuned for the obligatory running year assessment . . .