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Author Topic: December in Texas  (Read 571 times)
Tommy T
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« on: December 02, 2014, 03:28:43 PM »

Getting ready to head North to the Wasatch for the winter, Linda in a bathing suit and a light weight, sun-block top is using a garden hose to clean some dock furniture before we store it until next summer.  The date of these pictures is December 2, 2014:



This is just a shot of lower end of our drive and upper end of the walkway going from the house down to the water front.  The leaves are still falling (I only clean up leaves once each year) but plenty of hardy flowers are still in bloom:



Tommy T.
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 04:41:00 PM »

Well Tommy, It sure has been a long time since we last communicated.

Things on my end are quite busy; My son is 4 now, and I'll be having another son in a few weeks !
New puppy (9months old now: BloodHound / German Shepard Mix)

Three Scopes, and am buying Jonathan (4 y/old) his own for Xmas.
I have accomplished quite a bit with astrophotgraphy; and am working on building an auto-guider for my Meade LXD55 8" SN scope.
Moon, Saturn, Jupiter w/ Moons, Orion Nebula, Ring Nebula, Many Clusters (Its a great hobby)

I've been meaning to catch up with you for a while; just got the twitter notification you posted here so I'm striking while the iron is hot.


Great to know you are heading back up to the Wasatch for the winter; I hope to pop on more often than I have as of late.

I do a great deal of sharing w/ Google+ so if you look me up there you will see a good amount of imaging, (I'm in the amateur astronomers community; learned a TON from them, and am  humbled by what the "pros" can do)

 
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Tommy T
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2014, 12:17:09 AM »

Well Tommy, It sure has been a long time since we last communicated.

Yes it has been a while.  I look at the home page almost once a day, just as part of a routine run around a circle of occassionally interesting sites.  I do still use the gallery as a staging site for other www uses, so I try to post something that people might find fun or interesting periodically.


Things on my end are quite busy; My son is 4 now, and I'll be having another son in a few weeks !
New puppy (9months old now: BloodHound / German Shepard Mix)

Wow! tempus fugit.  I'm going to trump you for sure on that paragraph.  I have at least two granddaughters who are considering marriage!!!  One is a junior at Case/Western Reserve and the other is in med school at Ohio State.  Both have been to visit the family of the potential groom.  "Great-grandpa Taylor."

Three Scopes, and am buying Jonathan (4 y/old) his own for Xmas.
I have accomplished quite a bit with astrophotgraphy; and am working on building an auto-guider for my Meade LXD55 8" SN scope.
Moon, Saturn, Jupiter w/ Moons, Orion Nebula, Ring Nebula, Many Clusters (Its a great hobby)

  I'm not really active at observing at all, except when something rare and interesting is likely.  I subscribe to Sky & Telescope and read every issue cover to cover so I know when to watch for an interesting occultation or when to see Mercury just before sunset  --  that sort of thing.  We live in Texas in slightly hilly country with heavy woods and poor sky views in most directions.  We have good dark skies but not a good look at the center of the galaxy.  My very good friend and best snowboard student ever, Angie, has college/grad school training in astronomy and archeology and we use that as an excuse to have something to talk about whenever we get a chance.  ]

I've been meaning to catch up with you for a while; just got the twitter notification you posted here so I'm striking while the iron is hot.


Great to know you are heading back up to the Wasatch for the winter; I hope to pop on more often than I have as of late.

Well, we own a house in Salt Lake City now and spend close to 6 months a year living there.  Usually the areas don't shut down until the end of April and one or two will make it well into May.  There is no state income tax in Texas and there is a fairly substantial one in Utah.  We are gradually changing our investments to bonds that will not be taxed in Utah, but becoming residents of Utah will still take a four figure tax bite from my law firm payments to me as an "Of Counsel" retired partner, withdrawals from my IRRA and Social Security.  Offsetting that is having the Wasatch year-round, knowing the location of 13 brew pubs in the SLC region, having close access to U. of Utah medical center, much urban culture and a vibrant amateur music scene of which I have become a part.  (Where we are in Deep East Texas is over an hour from our primary care physicians and our dentists and, counting traffic close to two hours to the good medical center and hosipitals complex near Rice U. on the South side of Houston.)  Offsetting our beautiful little lake in Texas is the fact that there is not a single dedicated coffee shop, like a Starbucks or even a Duncan Donuts, in the entire county. ]

I do a great deal of sharing w/ Google+ so if you look me up there you will see a good amount of imaging, (I'm in the amateur astronomers community; learned a TON from them, and am  humbled by what the "pros" can do)

In general, I hate the whole social media thing.  I hang on here at BCA and I am active on a trumpet players' board, where I get to discuss the latest Metropolitan Opera HD broadcast with the principal trumpet in the Met orchestra and the state of jazz with the head of the jazz program (a trumpet player) at Indiana University's school of music but I aggressively dislike things like Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In.

Stay in touch. 

Tommy T.




 
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atruss
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2014, 10:48:09 PM »

I'm glad the site still has a purpose; I'd like to give it some attention but time is a limited commodity these days.
I don't have any plans to close it down anytime soon; its on a server that I need up anyway.

I loath social media more or less too; Google+ seems to not be so social but more content if you choose to build your content providers in such a way.
I see it as a social network for the anti social, or individuals looking to learn from others on specific topics like photography, 3d printing, programming, etc. personally I've learned a ton through the astronomy and programming communities.  Twitter, linkd, and the rest are the bane of my web marketing world; as I still do it part time for the company I've always done it for. Website rankings, and what not are excessively skewed by social media "trickery" ripe with false accolades and "traffic" and its difficult to compete with and because of that I have to market via social media at times.

I forgot to mention that I succeeded in launching and retrieving a high altitude weather balloon this past June.
My club students, and I researched and developed a system from scratch to collect data, and track its flight path. 
We used an Arduino Uno board, w/ a barometric pressure sensor (analog)/thermometer paired with a program we wrote in C++ to convert the pressure to altitude, record temp and time, and alt on an internal micro SD chip.  We achieved an altitude of 120,000', and of course captured the video and audio data on a DIY HD cam.
We launched in West Hartford, and 3 hours later it landed in North Stonington 7 miles away from our forecasted target; and 2 mins off in time.

Here you can see Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod 3/4 the way up


And just a few other random shots near the bursting altitude







And since I'm showing photos here's some astro shots

Shot of Saturn


Milky Way on the Cape
[/img]


Moon mosaic ( This image has been reduced down to 20% its original size; there is quite a bit of detail on this one; however this is not perfect.
I did this all manual means of blending images I snapped with the DSLR body keeping location by landmarks; I've learned of better methods but I have yet to try


Jupiter


What a fantastic hobby; I just need time to play

Talk to you later.
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Tommy T
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 06:49:20 PM »

That is very nice, sharp, high contrast, good resolution and clean detail for the Moon shot.  I was using high screen magnification, looking for footprints around Tranquility Base.  I thought I had some, but a little math suggested that they were about 60 meters across, so -- probably not footprints.

Nice cloud bands on Jupiter -- is that a hint of the Red Spot?`

Tommy T.
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Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
                                                                             -- Pablo Picasso
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