Saturday, April 28, 2012

Battleship Of Presidents

The Missouri Class  Iowa Class WW2 battleship, USS Iowa showed up in my Facebook News Feed Friday morning. The USS Missouri was one of four Iowa Class battleships built of the six planned.

My favorite TrainwreckNews was doing live remotes all morning from the Iowa...of course I didn't see them live, COMCAST only feeds one Sacramento station to the Inland Valley.

The Iowa is still berthed in Richmond Harbor getting a new paint job, and general maintenance before she's towed down to Long Beach to become a floating museum.

You can get a taste of the ship from GoodDaySacramento's clips Here and Here.

The Iowa is open weekends 10AM-4PM in Richmond for two more weekends before she ships out May 20th.

I had planned to watch them move the Iowa, but May 20th is when the annular eclipse happens, and I plan to be in Truckee when the Path of Totality crosses over!

I better get my butt down to Richmond post haste!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Nap Time

It's after 2AM...I'm pretty much wide's my own damn fault...

I was up at 6AM and fell back asleep before 6:30AM.

I woke up again and stayed up at 8AM.

The Giants pregame started at 8:30AM on the radio...9AM on TV.

It was a pretty good game...then it got tough...and the Giants won it in the 9th on an Angel Pagan three run homer.

That's when my trouble nap was a good hour long...

I woke up in time to make red snapper picata with rice and a zucchini mushroom medley.

Now I can't get to sleep...

It's not helping to read some really geeky Formula One technical blogs...there's still some grousing about the Bahrain GP, too...

More in depth news reports on the CA/NV fireball are trickling in too...pieces of the meteorite landed on California's Mother seems somebody drove over pieces of the meteorite in a park parking lot...

That's it...I'm going to stream some radio podcasts and turn the lights and TV down...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

More Fireball Fallout

That didn't take long! Pieces of Sunday morning's meteor have been found in California's Mother Lode.

It seems like I spent more time looking for the story than it took for the meteorite hunters to find the meteorites!

This one frustrated me 'cause it reported the finds, but not the locations. These deals drive me those braggadocious Fishing Reports that talk about what good luck and what great a fisherman the report's writer is, but leaves out the location of the catching!

Ha! There's a human angle too...Behold the tweets of the Sacramento CBS station's reporter, @mariaCBS13 :
"We found the meteorite hunter who found the first meteorite from Sunday's sky spectacle! More on at 6 and 10pm! "

@mariaCBS13 :
"Oh, and ladies -- the meteorite hunter looks just like brad pitt. Watch at 6 and tell me if you agree!"

It's so refreshing when TV Station Brass let the troops have a little free reign! Yes, Talking Heads are People too... To my eyes, the on-screen talent at Channel 13 seem like "just regular folks" when compared to the other news outlets in the Sacramento ease, relaxed, human.

Clearly, not all astronomy is a nightime, dark sky endevor...which brings me to Solar Astronomy.

The Sun has been on my mind a little more than usual of late, there's an eclipse coming up on May 20th. An Annular Eclipse that will obscure 96% of the Solar Disc, and it's path of totality comes right over Truckee!

I'm taking a break from the keyboard now to watch NOVA on PBS. Tonight's new episode is "Secrets of the Sun" Perfect...

Impressive show...pushing the catastrophic CME crashing the Power Grid possibility...beautiful images and video....but not a word on how the Sun has been so quiet this cycle. The quietest it's been in 100 years...

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What'd I Miss?

Well, I didn't miss any Giants baseball or Formula One racing over the weekend!

I gave a shot at seeing the Lyrid Meteor Shower Saturday night. I walked into the back yard at the Ancestral Digs, and despite the high level of urban light pollution, I saw a shooting star in about 20 seconds! Even with a New Moon, the meteorite was very washed-out by the ambient light...satisfied I wasn't going to miss an awesome show, I headed back inside.

To really view any meteor shower, you should try to find a place where the sky is dark enough to see the Milky Way. Saturday night, I could only see a few dozen stars

Sunday morning people from Winnemucca, NV to Sacramento, CA to Bakersfield, CA heard the sonic boom of a meteor exploding over the Sierra Nevada foothills. Scientists who study these things say the meteor was about the size of a minivan, and released the energy of five kilotons of TNT!

Lisa Warren photo courtesy Reno Gazette Journal
The meteor was visible in the bright morning sky just before 8AM.

With the Giants-Mets game postponed due to the big nor'easter that pounded the Northeast, I listened to the radio most of Sunday. The meteor became national news by dinnertime in New York.

There's lots of news stories about the meteor:

"American Meteor Society: 82 Records Found for Event 588"

" Sierra Fireball Decoded"

"Scientist says sound signal from exploding meteor lasted 18 minutes"

"Fireball over California/Nevada: How Big Was It?"

"Local resident's photo of Sunday's meteor goes international"

I was fast asleep Sunday morning, and read no reports of the blast being heard in the San Francisco Bay Area.

You know what they always say...Snooze, you lose...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Late again...sorry...

I got caught up...really. Just as I was about to put my head on the pillow, I noticed that LiveUpdateGuy was going to cover the last Spring Classic before Grand Tour Season begins for real with the Giro d'Italia.

Liège–Bastogne–Liège, "La Doyenne" (The Oldest) is the last of the Spring Classics in Belgium's Ardennes...I even ran a Fantasy Team for the event. I started following the race about 45Km from the finish.

It got so hot during the day Saturday, that it took me until almost 1AM to cool my room enough to sleep I logged onto the chat and read along as events started raining on the course as the riders were making the last steep climbs.

My eyelids finally got heavy and I konked out, but the alarm clock roused me at 4:30, but I fell back asleep during the F1 pre-race show. I woke up about seven laps into the 57 lap race. I didn't have any trouble staying awake, it was a great race, with uncertainty aplenty, high tire wear, and passing on the track from front to back!

After three rounds of trouble in a the new 2012 uncompetitive car, my guy finally won. That makes it four different winners, from four different constructors, in the first four races.

In the twelve hours since the checkered flag waved, there's been no reports of violent civil unrest in Bahrain.

Today's big Nor'easter started pounding the Northeast, washing out the SF Giants/NY Mets game, so I watched the re-air of the Bahrain GP Pre-Race and the first laps that I slept through, before tuning in and ignoring the final 40-something laps of the NASCAR race from Kansas...Boring...

The Giants/Mets stage their Make-Up Doubleheader Monday, and our mini-heatwave is forecast to abate...TeamCorduroyPlanet, my fantasy bicycle racing team finished 43rd out of 48 teams in La nine man team finished in 9th, 15th and 16th...

I'm goin' to bed now...

Monday 12:28AM Update

That didn't last long...Reports out of Bahrain cite violence and Foreign Journalists detained.