Sunday, August 28, 2016

That was a bit close! Asteroid 2016 QA2

It looks like Today, August 28th, 2016 was almost a day that would live in history.  As a matter of fact we were only roughly 50,000 miles away from it being a really, really bad day somewhere.

Asteroid 2016QA2 flew by at 1/5th the distance to the moon, which is uncomfortably close, especially since it was not noticed until it was already near by.  As a matter of fact all of the observations, which came fast and furious once it was spotted, are from within the last day.

It is not a little space rock either, 2016 QA2 measures ~40m across, which is a rock around 120 feet across, or the size of a small town business like the Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace in Duluth.
Of course the big difference is that it is solid.

Oh, and Hung is not working as a dishwasher there.

But anyway, look out for asteroids, remember, if the sun is down you are usually safe because if they are coming from the night side they are lit by the sun and easier to see.  If is when they are coming on the day side that they get lost in the glare of the sun.

Never thought of it that way, did you.

But anyway, it missed, and it looks like it will miss on every pass over the next 200 years.  This does not mean that there isn't something else that will come in and save us from our coming election though.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Hungism, origin stories, the origin of beer.

Early in the dish pit it was hot and there was a lot of work that needed to get done.  The work made Hung thirsty and he wanted something to drink after a long day of cleaning all of the dishes of the universe.

Hung thought to him self, I need something to cool me man...

After much thought as to what would be the most refreshing and relaxing after working a long hard day in the dish pit Hung determined that the best choice would be a nectar of the God, beer.

He went through the ingredients that he had available, which were many, for he had access to everything that was, could be, and will be.  He decided that malted grains and a touch of hops made the most relaxing beverage to be consumed after a hard day at work and he named it beer.

Beer was a wonderful beverage and it was not long after the invention of beer that all of the wonderful things that we now know as our world came to be.

But first there was Hung, then there was beer.

Cool it man.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Hungism, I am a diswasher

One day Hung was walking through the restaurant and the life on the third planet caught his eye so he decided to go down to the plate and see how things were going.

As he walked around on the blue-green swirly plate he came across some of the life that he had cooked up in the kitchen and Entropy had previously delivered.

The life was very surprised to see Hung as they had never met anyone quite like him before and life had a lot of questions.

Life asked, "who are you?"

"I'm Hung man."

"What do you do?"

"I'm a dishwasher."


The life wandered away and soon discovered that drinks had magically appeared in front of them.  They wanted to get drinks for the mysterious dishwasher who had appeared out of no where but he could not be found.

And so it is written, and so it shall be.

Cool it man.

Hungism, Origin of the Universe

In the beginning there was a dish pit, and it was good.  The dishes arrived dirty, and they left clean.  This is how things are meant to be.  But there was no order to how the dishes ended up until there came to be an organization of the chaos.

In the dish pit there was a man, his name was Hung and it was hung that cleaned the dishes and made them clean.  When the dishes were cleaned there were then placed into the spaces that made the most sense for them to end up in.

On the first day the restaurant was dark and and it was difficult to make sure the dishes were cleaned as well as they could be.  There was still a little light that came into the dish pit from other dish pits outside of the restaurant, but over all it was dark.  Then a dish was found that emitted light, Hung called this dish the sun and he placed it at the center of the restaurant.  Now there was light and it was good.

Hung finished cleaning his dishes and went and had a beer.  The days work was complete.

On the second day a dish came through and when it was cleaned it has a fancy blue green swirl pattern on the dish which Hung found pleasing.  Hung named the dish the Earth and placed it at a booth a distance away from the dish pit that it got just enough light to make its blues and greens really shine.  Shortly there after a bunch of other dishes came through that had different patterns on them, blues and greens, reds, even some whites.  These were placed in the restaurant at different booths, all at differing distances from the dish pit.

Now the days dishes were complete and Hung retired for the night and drank a beer.  Life was good.

On the third day a bunch of dishes came through that were smaller and seemed to not be as complete as the dishes that had come through the day before.  Hung decided that these dishes did not have as much beauty as the dishes that he had cleaned the day before but they were very complementary of some of the dishes that came through the day before so he distributed them around the restaurant.  At the pat of the restaurant nearest the dish pit it was already crowded so at the two plates nearest the dish pit he did not add any more.  At the third table with the pleasing blue and green swirly plate he placed one of the new smaller plates.  Further out he placed more until he was almost out, most all of the new smaller plates ended up around the tables which were between the fifth and eighth our from the dish pit.  He decided to call these little plates moons, and once they were all cleaned and distributed through the restaurant all of the dishes were cleaned and life was good.

Hung drank a beer and retired for the night, all was well in the restaurant.

On the fourth day Hung was bored with the static nature of the restaurant so he called in some new employees to assist him.  He named these new employees Gravity, Centripetal force, and Entropy.  Gravity was really good at moving the tables and everything on them towards the dish pit.  Centripetal Force was very good and making sure that he kept gravity from bunching everything up towards the dish pit and kept everything relatively where it was, although for some odd reason the constant work between them caused everything in the restaurant to rotate around the dish pit.  The tables nearest the dish pit moved the fastest and the tables further away moved slower and Gravity and Centripetal Force work back and forth against each other.  Since they did not have to run as far to get to the tables nearest the dish pit they moved the most, and hence they moved the fastest.  In the meantime Entropy, who was kind of a klutz would occasionally break things.  One day he smashed two of the moons around the sixth table out from the dish pit into billions of tiny pieces.  Gravity and Centripetal Force were besides them selves but did not want to bring thousands of tiny pieces into the dish pit so they made it into a halo around the table in memory of the two moons.  This is how Saturn got its ring.  The days dishes were all washed and the restaurant was working wonderfully.

Hung drank a beer and also bought beers for Gravity, Centripetal Force, and even Entropy.  Life was good.

On the fifth day Hung decided he wanted to see what he could make in the kitchen of the restaurant and he made a beautiful dish he called life.  Gravity and Centripetal Force were still busy moving the tables around the restaurant so he called on Entropy to serve this new dish called life to all of the tables.  When Entropy tried to serve life to the inner most planets Mercury and Venus Gravity and or Centripetal Force kept moving the table out of the way and Entropy, being the Klutz that he was never was able to get life to stick on those tables.

When Entropy tried to get life to the third table he managed to get it right on to the plate and it stayed, but when he tried to get it to any of the other tables further way from the kitchen, and the dish pit, he always spilled the life and it was never able to get any served anywhere else in the restaurant, although it is possible that a little bit of the life may have splashed up on the Mars table, and even possible onto some of the little moon plates around the Jupiter table and the Saturn table.

Hung was happy with the life he was created and he decided to call it a night.  He sat down and had a beer with Gravity, Centripetal Force, and Entropy.  Life was good.

Gravity, Centripetal Force, Entropy and Hung proceeded to drink straight through the next two days for it was the weekend, and even Hung deserves a day off now and then.

And so it begins...

The extended family is arriving.  I have not made any attempt to speak with any of these people in the last twenty years because we have nothing in common.

I am sticking around through lunch and then I am going to go for a hike, likely an all day hike, far away.

I have a few things I need to accomplish on the observatory before I leave, and I need my nephews to show up so I can accomplish that (side note, the nephews are good, they actually learn and process information well).

Anyway, when I go for my hike I will take pictures, then I can come home and write a blog about where I went and how awesome it was.


If I was really smart I would set up framelapse and do a time lapse video of the drive...  That would be kind of cool!

Hmmm, ideas....

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The tenets of Hungism

The religion known as Hungism, as set down by our most holy leader, Hung, are very simple.

Thou shall not be a douche.  If thou is a douche you must cool it man.

If we are not careful and faithful the world will burn, therefore we must tell it to cool it man.

If one is angry or aggressive, this is not cool, one must cool it man.

If your beer is warm, you must cool it man.

May your days be short, your nights be long, and your women be hot and ready.

If you follow these words and cool it man that would be so nice.

Cool it man.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Of Squirrels and birds

I have an old camera I traded from my sister, I had to do some maintenance to get it to work correctly but now I have a spare 8 megapixel Canon Dslr that I can have as a "kick around" camera.

You have no idea how satisfying it is to have a camera you don't worry about dropping!

I kept it in the kitchen for much of the spring so I could have a camera at hand when there was something interesting going on at the feeder.

And he just sat there on the end of the stump.


If you look closely there is a wren making a nest in the nose.

Pose much?

Fourth of July Fireworks

Much to my dismay we made it another year with out a massive disaster at the fireworks display.  Ever since I saw the fireworks explosion in 1989 (give or take) I have never been satisfied by a display.

This year I walked out on the pier, and unfortunately was on the wrong pier to get the shot I was aiming for, but the right pier to get a shot of kayakers in the reflection.


 Of course, saved the best shots for last!


Every year the front yard explodes.

That is all...

Quick walk at Split Rock

I got my state park permit, I have yet to make a proper use out of it, but now that the observatory is enclosed and structural damage will be less likely to occur as a result of delaying an extra day I may spend some late summer days out on the trail.

That and if the cross country skiing comes early this year (fingers crossed).

But anyway, Meagan and I went for a quick hike up at Split Rock because I had never hiked to the river before.  I brought a camera.

A daisy!  With bugs...

Wild rose

We had no idea what this insect is, if anyone knows please comment below.

Another picture of the mystery bug.

This is at the mouth of the Split Rock  river.  There used to be a lumber dock here, but it burned down around the turn of the century and was never rebuilt.

Another view.

Looking up the creek.

I had to get the shot through the tunnel that comes off the highway.

Giant Stonefly larva

Last view of the creek mouth.

As has been so frequent this year the weather looked like it was starting to take a turn for the worse and I decided it was time to hike back and drive home.  It went around Duluth largely, but it got pretty rock around there, even had numerous tornado warnings.

Speaking of which, the weather for tonight does not look severe, but definitely looks like it is going to be rainy and wet, which means it will be a good night to inspect the observatory for leaks!

Mammatus clouds, again!

This has been a crazy weather summer.  It hit 94 degrees in early May, a time of year that we are normally struggling to reach 70.  That was followed by a nasty thunderstorm.

A few weeks later it was almost ninety again, once again, nasty thunderstorms.

Reached towards 90 again, that night horrific thunderstorms, the story of which is going to become a blog post later because Duluth got whacked in that storm.

It was 90 again yesterday, we got some storms early this morning, and I am looking at the warning popping up to our west as I write this.

But anyway, June 19th we has storms pass just around us, the lake prevented them from rolling right over us this time, we did get some awesome mammatus clouds right at sunset!

Here are the pictures.