Sunset Colors

Sunset Colors

This sunset image was in the file from a week ago. We get a lot of nice, colorful sunsets like this year around. Luckily, we didn’t have a dense cloud cover for yesterday’s eclipse.

The weekend forecast is for more clear skies and we will be looking the International Space Station tomorrow evening. At our location, the ISS will pass over just before seven PM AZ time. I might try and photograph the passing, but no guarantees. ;)

Click on the image to enlarge.


Partial Solar Eclipse

Partial Eclipse Panel

Damsel and I watched periodically as the new moon partially obscured the sun today. The eclipse stats for Phoenix (according to NASA) are as follows (Times MST):

  • Eclipse begins: 14:21
  • Maximum eclipse: 15:38
  • Eclipse ends: 16:45
  • Sun altitude: 24°
  • Sun azimuth: 236°
  • Magnitude: 0.449
  • Obscuration: 0.331

The three-image panel above shows the lunar disc (left to right) just appearing, near maximum obscuration and just disappearing. I used the same setup today as I did for the 2012 annular eclipse and transit of Venus. Click on the image to enlarge.

The terms “magnitude” and “obscuration” above (I infer) refer to the percentage of penetration of the lunar shadow across the solar disc and the percentage of of the total solar area blocked by the moon. Those numbers (more or less) can be seen in the middle image above near max eclipse. I assume that the azimuth and altitude (elevation above horizon) are for maximum eclipse time.

We were blessed with beautiful, clear skies during the event and enjoyed yet another one of God’s wonders from our desert home. We’re still planning to be in a position to see the August, 2017 total solar eclipse event.


Now THAT’s a Sunspot!

Sunspot 2192

We are going to have a partial solar eclipse tomorrow afternoon. I went out this morning to take some practice shots of the sun and it just so happens that major sunspot AR 2192 is transiting the nearside of the solar disc. There are several other smaller sunspots visible. Click on the image to enlarge.

As for the eclipse, there are some details about it on NASA.

And more about this giant sunspot at

Earth-effects could increase in the days ahead. AR2192 has an unstable ‘beta-gamma-delta’ magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful explosions, and the active region is turning toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate at 65% chance of M-class flares and a 20% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.

Watch for some of our eclipse photos here after the event.

UPDATE: Sunspot 2192 has moved to the right and is in a position almost directly facing the Earth. Click here to view photo taken 23 Oct 14.

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Wickenburg Weekend Bike Invasions

Bikers in Town

We don’t normally go out on the weekends, but today we had occasion to drive to the post office and then to deposit a check that came in the mail at the bank. We also did some shopping while we were in that end of town (Old Wickenburg).

As we drove through the old section, we noticed a lot of two-wheelers parked at the cafes downtown. We hear the bikes on the weekends from home, but rarely get to see some of the nice motorcycles in person. This bunch of bikers were enjoying some of the great Mexican food available at the only Mexican restaurant in old downtown. Click on the image to enlarge.


Happy 239th Birthday, US Navy!

USNHappy Birthday to my old armed service force, The United States Navy.

I enlisted in 1960 when President Eisenhower was still in the white house and I mustered out in 1966 while President Lyndon B. Johnson was busily escalating the war in Vietnam. I never regretted the training, experience and honor of serving in the US Navy.

From The Patriot Post:

On Oct. 13, 1775, the U.S. Navy was born when the Continental Congress authorized the arming of two sailing vessels with 80 men and 10 carriage guns in order to intercept British supply and munitions transports. The Declaration of Independence came nine months later, followed by the creation of the Department of the Navy in 1798. Today, our Navy is the most powerful in the world. We at The Patriot Post offer our thanks to all our sailors for a job well done and wish you a Happy 239th Birthday! God bless you and your families.

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Second Spring Butterfly

Second Spring Butterfly

Signs of Second Spring have persisted for several weeks. Today, there were dozens of butterflies browsing the flowers on the sage, red birds and Rosemary. The nice thing about using Rosemary for ground cover along the RV drive, is that butterflies of all sizes, colors and descriptions are attracted to the tiny blue flowers.

I captured this photo of a yellow and gold butterfly lighting on a Rosemary just under the top of the little hill out back. Click on the image to enlarge.

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A Personal History


I attended a time management seminar as a requisite to becoming a senior technical group leader when I worked in the aerospace industry in 1991. The seminar was based on the popular Franklin Planner organizing tools.

For over fifteen years, I faithfully recorded notes, personal and vocational goals in my planner. I retained the records in binders, one for each year I used the system. I was organized, believe me.

As we cleaned out the old stuff from the house in California after completing the sale, I elected to bring my volumes of planner with us to Arizona, so I could review, and dispose of the old notes as appropriate.

There were a lot of important events I recorded. I looked in the initial 1991 volume today and found the page where my first grandchild was born. That was the granddaughter who just recently gave birth to my first great grandson last month.

It will be conflicting to me, but, since we don’t really have a place to store them, I will probably gather them up and have them shredded. Way too much personal and potentially dangerous (i.e. identity theft) information. Nothing too incriminating . . . ;)

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Exiting California

Lisa Benson Cartoon

We are now completely disassociated with Kalifornistan, save for our friends and relatives there. We will go back for visiting purposes, but our money and property will be elsewhere.

And, we’re not the only ones leaving the formerly Golden State. Millions of retirees, like us, are out of there. Plus, businesses and manufacturing jobs are moving. The Lisa Benson cartoon above adds some snark, but a very good article by Daniel J. Mitchell links the changes in California to a steady flow of jobs to Texas and other places.


Much of my writing is focused on the real-world impact of government policy, and this is why I repeatedly look at the relative economic performance of big government jurisdictions and small government jurisdictions.

But I don’t just highlight differences between nations. Yes, it’s educational to look at North Korea vs. South Korea or Chile vs. Venezuela vs. Argentina, but I also think you can learn a lot by looking at what’s happening with different states in America.

So we’ve looked at high-tax states that are languishing, such as California and Illinois, and compared them to zero-income-tax states such as Texas.

With this in mind, you can understand that I was intrigued to see that even the establishment media is noticing that Texas is out-pacing the rest of the nation.


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Gas Guzzler vs. Economy Car?

Big and Little Gas

On our way into Southern Cal today, we passed this RV that was towing one of those funny (and ugly) little economy cars. I guess the mindset being that if we burn x gallons per mile getting where we go, we can make up for it by cramming ourselves into our towed ride which gets beaucoup miles per gallon and tour the local area after parking the big dude in the RV park. I think that unless they drive hundreds and hundreds of miles locally, they may not completely offset each other’s gas consumption.

Now, don’t get me wrong - we all know the energy “crisis” is a complete fraud and I have no problem with consumers consuming whatever resources thy can afford. We do the same when we travel. It just seems to me that if you’re going to consume “precious” resources, that you should be towing a Hummer and not that pathetic little Nissan POS. Just sayin’.

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The New Red

green.pngI forget where I found this graphic. Maybe at The Patriot Post. At any rate, I like the not-so-subtle comparison of the current administration to the Communist Party.

The EPA and other .gov agencies, the media and the hard left (but I repeat myself) continually foist the Global Warming Climate Change Climate Disruption nonsense on the public knowing full well that it is all unmitigated bovine feces. The whole charade is merely a method to allow government to gain control over energy resources because, obviously, it is ALL about government gaining control with progressives.

I found the following snark in the Patriot Post Daily Digest for Friday:

Comedian Jimmy Fallon:

“The federal government is starting to plan for climate change by making extended forecasts that can help people plan for extreme weather — because what can go wrong when you combine the efficiency of government with the accuracy of weathermen?”

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