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Showing posts from August, 2007

The Last Posting of August

Maybe the last posting of the social summer...

People seem to think that the summer season ends with the advent of September. It really doesn't, not until circa 24 September, but the way in this area that the seasons are viewed are by other events than astronomy. The month of September is viewed as autumn, even though more than half of that month is summer astronomically speaking. But the kids return to school, the beaches are no longer open to people with money fees and life guards, and the vacation season has ended. Summer is over.
Tomorrow is 1 September and I will be in the Boonton Labor Day Parade in the line of march for judging. I need to be in my dress whites and have my cert cards with me. I have never been in the line of march of a judging parade. This will be something new for me. I'm nervous and excited. However, it will also be 1 September, the six-year anniversary of my car accident. I like the idea of replacing my accident with being in judged in a parade with the…

KIDS IN CHURCH

This is funny:

3-year-old Reese: "Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A little boy was overheard praying: "Lord, if you can't make me a better boy, don't worry about it. I'm having a real good time like I am."

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After the christening of his baby brother in church, Jason sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong. Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, and I wanted to stay with you guys."

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One particular four-year-old prayed, "And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets."

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A Sunday school teacher asked her children as they were on the way to church service, "And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?"
One bright little girl repl…

A New Survey

I always enjoy these things. My friend in England, the Bean, sent it to me - I haven't read it yet, so this should be interesting. So let me answer it, and see what others will discover.
Two Names You Go By:
1. Aislínge or Ash
2. Bunkie (my parents call me that - no one else!)

Two Things You Are Wearing Right Now:
1. My claddagh ring
2. Deep purple golf shirt

Two Things You Would Want (or have) in a Relationship:
1. Luis show more emotions
2. Stay happy like we have been and are

Two of Your Favorite Things to do:
1. Blogging/writing
2. Riding on the ambulance

Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment:
1. No more back pain
2. Autumn

Two pets you had/have:
1. Puss-puss, a black and white cat when I was a kid
2. Cheryl - a black and white Guinea pig

Two people who will fill this out:
1. Rich
2. Not sure!

Two things you did last night:
1. Read more of Under the Banner of Heaven
2. Watched CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Two things you have eaten today:
1. BBQ chicken pizza
2. Pistachio nuts

Two people you Last…

Suddenly Feeling Hopeful!

I went this morning to get the x-rays taken, which was a great experience; the technician, Jeff, was really great - personable, funny, knowledgeable and very anal about making sure that the scans came out really perfect, no blurs or issues. It was interesting, too, to see how far the technology has come. The table under me held the "films" although I don't know if they are really films anymore. The machine that goes over the table can be adjusted up and down, and moves on rails for very easy adjustment. The machinery is small and not noisy. Technology is an incredible thing.
I got the scans on a disc and called Betsy to let her know I was heading over. I drove over to Biomed, and brought her the disc, and she had me come up to her cubicle. I found myself remembering the companies I'd worked for with cubicle-lands. I found myself smiling - the place was a beautifully designed place, but cold. Not temperature cold, but cold, austere, all squares and hard lines and littl…

A.W.A.D. - A Potpourri of Words!

This week we feature a potpourri of words. We opened a dictionary, shook it gently, and these words fell out. They came in all shapes, sizes, and senses. They're short and long. They're flighty and grouchy. Call 'em what you will, a medley of words, a farrago, or a gallimaufry. They're disparate, they're diverse. They are varied and variegated, unclassified and unsorted. And they're all ready to serve.

bedswerver
(bed-SWUR-vuhr) noun
An unfaithful spouse.


[From Old English bedd (bed) + sweorfan (to rub, to file away).]

eyeservice
(EYE-sur-vis) noun
Work done only when the employer is present.


[Referring to the service performed only when the employer is watching.]

malacia
(mu-LA-shuh, -shee-uh) noun
1. An abnormal craving for spiced food.
2. Softening of the organ or tissue.


[From Greek malakia (softness), ultimately from the Indo-European root mel- (soft) which also gave us malacology (study of mollusks), malt, melt, and mulch.]
transpontine
(trans-PON-tyn) adjective
1. Acros…

Still Feeling Hopeless and Helpless

I know that physically I am not in good shape. I know I am not a model by any means. I get that - but I get that I am still suffering from severe back pain and I don't know what to do. I am going tomorrow to get the x-ray. I have been told that I may have a herniated disk. I know enough people - friends, patients - who have this and I am scared. Scared to my bones. I don't want to live my life in pain forever. I don't want to have to undergo back surgery that has not really fixed anyone with this problem. I work hard to be happy and positive but it is a struggle just to get up and function.
Some of that is undoubtedly the medication - muscle relaxants and narcotics do not make you feel normal. It is hard to be normal on this stuff. But I am much more unhappy thinking that my future may not have EMS in it; that I may be in pain for the rest of my life. I don't want to be that person.
The fact is that if this is the case, well, I'm a fighter and a survivor and I'll…

Refrigeration May Be Returning!

The guy from the Sears Repair center came and installed the compressor. He said there is a teeny-tiny chance that maybe something would be wrong with it, and it will not be usable for one full day. It takes time to cool down and for the freezer to be frozen, not merely cold. So at 1600 tomorrow I can restock the fridge.
I hope.

I was so happy that he came and fixed this I could've hugged him. But I won't actually know until tomorrow if this is truly fixed. It has been a long ten days without. My mother said something about how her grandmother never had refrigeration and what it must have been like to live without it. I find that amazing too, but in this case, my discovery was more like how dependent we have become on these things. I have had refrigeration all of my 40 years and while it has gotten bigger and more complex, it is still the same basic concept - food lasts much longer than without. Going without for ten days has been annoying as all get out. But it makes me wonder i…

Standy At Jimmy and the Parrots Concert

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The township of Parsippany finally pulled it off and got a really great band! We saw Jimmy and the Parrots when they played at the Hot Air Balloon festival last year, the end of July (there is a posting there... under 28 July called "Balloons and Big Toes" and there is a shot of Jimmy and the Parrots playing there). They were very, very good and a lot of fun. They also bounced around and had a lot of fun, ignoring the unbelievable heat and full of energy.
Me with Nan from Car 65.

This is our third concert in Parsippany, and the first two were really bad. What a disappointment they both were. But Jimmy and the Parrots were fun, talented and really made the concert thoroughly enjoyable. Not to mention that it was another fun time with the OEM and Car 65 people - a lot of good people that I always enjoy seeing!
It also got me out of the house, and although I wasn't thrilled to be using the Percocet, it made it manageable. I was able to stand around and talk to people and got s…

A VERY Bad Driver!

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This person should have her license revoked immediately. She was tailgating and playing musical lanes and was a complete danger to everyone. Here is what to avoid! What an idiot.

The Sun By Day

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Loving astronomy means more than just the moon and the lunar eclipses, of which I have seen many over my 39 years of living. But there is the magic and majesty of the sun, which gives us life in rich abundance, deserts, jungles, etc. The sun that gives life to everything, all that we are and have. I love the sun, too - and not in a how-much-pigmentation-can-I-add way, either. I can't anyway - I'm Irish, but I have sallow skin that fries and then returns to its natural yellow-white state... The sun rising over the New York City skyline seen from the fourth tee of the Upper Course. This was taken on Tuesday, 28 August, at approximately 0625.
I have an incredible telescope that lets me view the sun as much as the moon and the stars at night. I have a big incredibly dark filter made for solar viewing. I had it in time for the transit of Venus across the morning sun in June of 2004. It was AMAZING. My intent is to also see it transit again in 2012. I'm hoping the gods are as good…

The Moon By Night

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This is Wikipedia's image of the moon.

I think man has been completely beguiled and besotted by the Moon since he first looked up to the full moon and thought about what he was seeing. I feel that way every time I look at the moon in all of its phases - full, half, crescent, visible in the day or the night. I love it when it is a largesickle hanging low in the sky in the crepescular light of dawn.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, Nor the moon by night
It is with those amazing words that I look upon the Moon as my friend. Astronomy makes some people feel insignificant, but astronomy is the celestial dance to which we all belong, just as we are a part of the Earth, the Earth is a part of the solar system and the solar system is a part of our galaxy, the Milky Way. We are all fitted together. An insect has his role in the universe just as Jupiter has its role.

This image is also mine, taken as the Moon went more into the Umbral shadow of the moon.


I got up with my alarm at 0420 and the…

Is This REALLY Funny?

While some of it was cute, this mostly serves to show how prejudiced people are:
THREE ARGUMENTS THAT JESUS WAS IRISH:
- HE NEVER GOT MARRIED
- HE NEVER HELD A STEADY JOB
- HIS LAST REQUEST WAS A DRINK

Sometimes being Irish engenders a lot of ideas that get old fast. I'm unusual for not drinking alcohol; I'm almost unheard of because I'm Irish and don't drink. Of course, no one mentions that the German, Russian and British/Scottish side drinks, either. Hmmmm. Anyone know any culture that does NOT drink?
Most Irish people I know are married. How is that even a noteworthy thing?
Most Irish people I know are employed. Again, not sure how that has become an Irish thing.
THREE ARGUMENTS THAT JESUS WAS PUERTO RICAN:
- HIS FIRST NAME WAS JESUS
- HE WAS ALWAYS IN TROUBLE WITH THE LAW
- HIS MOTHER DIDN'T KNOW WHO HIS FATHER WAS

Oh, because in America, we have no one who doesn't know their father. Or plenty of Americans or other nationalities in trouble with the law. And Jesus sound…

An Interesting Comment

I got this e-mail:

tom sheepandgoats has left a new comment on your post "Zealots of Religion":
'No. Not about the fringe group, anyway. But I'm not so sure about this, which we hear so often it seems popular wisdom:... 'it is the height of unforgivable hubris to say, "Mine is the only right one and the rest are wrong"'. I don't know why that conclusion has to hold. Religion, after all, is a path. A lot of paths don't really lead anywhere or even lead a way we don't want to go. If only one group was making such claims, probably we would, albeit with a little grousing, make examination. But when such groups are a dime a dozen, it's hard to resist bundling and dismissing them all as nutcakes, I agree.'
I'm not sure if Tom is defending religious groups in general or agreeing with me. I found his blog and it looks like the main focus is religion. And I agree with his description that it is a path. I guess it is up to each person wha…

Another Unsatisfying Medical Experience

I am consistently being led astray by the medical community. Or I'm being put off on a regular basis... I am still having trouble with my back. Shocking. It's been 12 days and nothing is working, but then again, all I have had done is have drugs thrown at me. It's beyond old now. How long am I supposed to go down this road?
I went to my doctor on Friday, 17 August, was twisted twice like a pretzel and given the muscle relaxant - whatever it was called - and told to put heat on it. Then on Saturday I went to the hospital (not by bus, but by Luis in my car (a strange experience, being a passenger in my own vehicle). The doctor felt around my back a little bit, recommended heat and gave me scripts for percocet and Valium (yikes). More drugs.
Today I called up my doctor and he is away on vacation. He gave the information for a covering doctor at the Montville Medical Associates. I called them and got an appointment for this afternoon. I was ushered into a room, had my vitals che…

Zealots of Religion

I am not a good person when it comes to the whole religious thing.
There are several reasons for this, but what I hear in the news and what motivates a lot of the current events certainly doesn't help. I understand the basic tenets of most religions, and I understand the appeal of it to most people. No one likes not knowing things, not knowing why things happen, and religion allows for an easy answer to allay those fears. Whether it is total fiction or the old standby that "God works in mysterious ways", many are comforted by having an answer.
There is nothing wrong with that.

And on paper, broken down to the very simplest of rules, religion is meant to give good directions: be a good person, don't harm others, you get the idea. Once people get involved in running it, then it loses that goodness.
For me personally, I have not had much exposure to religion. Ray was raised a Christian Scientist, but is not practising and is by his own admission, agnostic. My mother was nom…

The Process of Aeration

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This week is aeration week. It is called "airification" by the Grounds department, but I suspect the correct word is aeration. No matter what, though, it is an interesting process!


Three times a year, the golf course goes through this process, a necessary rejuvination of grass that takes quite a lot of abuse from its constituents. (So to speak...) But the August one is the biggie - the whole course gets done, not just the tees and greens. And the fairways definitely take longer than anything, as they take up a lot of the space. Gold courses are big creatures - and ours is a 36-hole course (the Upper course and the Lower course), so there are acres of grass to be done. Not a day's work!


The process is this: holes are bored through the course, about one and a half to two inches apart, and maybe two or three inches long. The dirt cores are all shoveled and carted off (I don't honestly know what they do with all the cored dirt). Then, sand is thrown onto the area to fill i…

That Hopeless Feeling

I know someone at work who is watching his daughter go through hell. Apparently there is a messy divorce and a terrible fight over the child from this now-broken union, and he is suffering, his daughter is really suffering and his grandchild is suffering - or will be. There is no way to come out of that without extra baggage that no one needs.
I heard myself saying to my coworker that while I cannot imagine on any level what she is going through, having been in a very happy relationship for over 17 years, I do understand on a very personal level the despair, the hopelessness, that she is feeling. It is an ugly, ugly thing.
My situation is nothing like that, and logically, I feel that there must be a solution, an end to this, but right now, after a full nine days of intense torturous pain, the hopelessness has set in. Last Wednesday I began to have painful back muscle spasms. And not just one muscle that would tighten up for a while, but really, really intense spasms all over the lower t…

Happy Anniversary - Mt. Vesuvius

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Thank you, Wikipedia, for the endless font of knowledge that you are!
Vesuvius has erupted many times. The famous eruption in 79 was preceded by numerous others in prehistory, including at least 3 significantly larger ones, the best known being the Avellino eruption around 1800 BC which engulfed several Bronze Age settlements. Since 79, the volcano has also erupted repeatedly, in 172, 203, 222, possibly 303, 379, 472, 512, 536, 685, 787, around 860, around 900, 968, 991, 999, 1006, 1037, 1049, around 1073, 1139, 1150, and there may have been eruptions in 1270, 1347, and 1500. The volcano erupted again in 1631, six times in the 18th century, eight times in the 19th century (notably in 1872), and in 1906, 1929, and 1944. There has been no eruption since 1944, and none of the post-79 eruptions were as large or destructive.
The eruptions vary greatly in severity but are characterized by explosive outbursts of the kind dubbed Plinian after Pliny the Younger, the Roman naturalist who observed…

Refrigerator Woes

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Some times timing is a terrible thing.
On Tuesday evening I had my parents over for dinner. Ray and I ran across the street to get soda and when we returned, we smelled something weird, burning, in the kitchen. We hunted all over and could not find whatever it was that was causing the odor. It was confined to the kitchen - the living room, dining room, sun room and hallway to the bedrooms all smelled fine. We opened the frig and could hear the fan running and the lights came on. None of the knobs were turned on the oven (not that it smelled like gas, but still). It dissapated but left me with a bad feeling - nothing causes that kind of smell and doesn't have some kind of repercussion.
I came from work on Wednesday and decided to have Bagel Bites, little frozen pizza bagels - I love them. It is easy enough to make (especially since I can only boil water and not even that well) and they are delicious. When I took them out of the freezer, they weren't - they were defrosted! What th…

Little Project #2

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Ok, you asked for it:



That is it. My expression at the moment. One of amused disbelief. I use it often at work (pick a job). It works well with people who are flimflamming me and this happens more than I like to think.I tend to be extremely expressive, although I don't do when the situation is not open to it, such as firing people or listening to some of the nutjobs we get on calls. (Unless they are drunk, in which case why hold back? They won't remember my expressions or me!)The project:"Ever now and then I like to show my true feelings by pulling a facial expression. Enough said!Project #2 Take a picture of yourself showing how you feel through a facial expression. post it on your blog, send me the link."

OK. Here it is!

A Very Big Earthquake

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
NO. 7-234
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
AUG 22, 2007
NEIC/WDCS-D QUICK EPICENTER DETERMINATIONS
UTC TIME LAT LONG DEP GS MAGS Q SD GAP STA F-E REGION AND COMMENTSHRMNSEC MB Msz USED

AUG 15
234057.9 13.354S 76.509W 39G A 0.9 29 274 NEAR THE COAST OF CENTRAL PERU. MW 8.0 (GCMT), 8.0 (GCMT). ME 7.5 (GS). At least 650 people killed and 1600 injured in the Ica-Lima-Pisco area. Extensive damage at Chincha Alta, Ica and Pisco. Widespread communications and power outages ocurred in the area. Relief efforts were hindered by cracks in the Panamerican Highway. Possible earthquake lights were observed in the area. Broadband Source Parameters (GS): Dep 39 km; Radiated energy 4.2*10**15 Nm. Complex earthquake. Depth based on first event. Centroid, Moment Tensor (GCMT): Centroid origin time 23:41:59.0; Lat 13.76 S; Lon 76.97 W; Dep 33.3 km; Half-duration 23.0 sec; Principal axes (scale 10**21 Nm): (T) Val=1.12, Plg=67, Azm=106; (N…

Still Stymied by My Back

I started having problems last week with my back. It has been spasming a lot, and not just one muscle but everything in my lumbar area, sometimes the thoracic area... it is not fun. I must look odd when I am walking around (not that I am doing much of that right now), because people are asking me if I'm OK. I know sometimes I will be delivering something and suddenly I will have a really bad spasm and all the colour drains out of my face. It's at the very least awkward.
I hate feeling this way.

I went into work today and managed to stay until 1330. By then I was in agony. I can't just sit there, and I can't move around. I put on heat and when I get home I take the muscle relaxants. (Clearly my brain is a muscle... it is rendered useless with the rest of them!) I go to bed and sleep like the dead. Then I get up, feel OK for a couple of hours until the muscle relaxants fully wear off and then the pain sets in. I keep waiting for it to get better...
I guess I have to survive…

Everyone Has Their THING...

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I have a few things that are my things:

Sensa pens
The formerly Willat Company produced a high-end pen that has the special gushy part for your fingers. I loved it the moment I tried it. It was sheer delight - it happened to be a sheer $50 delight. I got it anyway. I loved it from the moment I tried it and now I have about 50 or more Sensa pens. That is my thing. Well, that is the first thing. There are plenty more things I am into.
Writing Paper
There are plenty of people who are strictly into computers or worse, they are physically joined to their cell phone which allows them to text each other. That is most definitely not my thing. I like e-mail - I enjoy it, but just for its speed and convenience. But a letter should be personal and warm and fuzzy! So having the best possible pen to write upon the best possible paper, to use my best penmanship to scroll words across the page that adorn your mailbox... so much more important than anything one could do in e-mail.
So while I may not want …