42

Recently I took an unintended hiatus from my writing. With all the weather we’ve been having, trying to see C/2011 L4 PANSTARRS (still haven’t!), cabin fever, trying to proofread, and trying to wait on a new Beta reader to get his evaluation, doing my taxes, etc., etc., I’ve not done much writing.

Not ‘none’, just not much. I’ve been working on my time lapse photography ebook, tweaking Keylim which is now Kelin here and there, and I’ve got 2,219 words in the next story, tentatively titled Ghost Ship . As you can see, I have been doing a little bit of writing. I’m slowly returning to my previous level of writing with this new story, so it’s just been a minor speed bump in the road of writing.

Oh, and I wrote the lyrics to a Blues (?) song. Now I just have to tweak the lyrics a little and compose the music.

Like I said above, I’ve still NOT seen the comet. We had a really nice night Tuesday night and I was out looking for it, but no dice. As far as I could tell, it was too low on the horizon. That’s one problem with the days getting longer — with the comet fading out it has to get darker to be able to see it, assuming you can find it. I checked with Stellarium before heading out, and after. I’m fairly certain the ephemeris for the comet is the latest available, and for my location that puts the comet down in the haze: less than 10 degrees. As an example of seeing conditions, at that time the comet was on the way down towards the horizon and the highest star of Cassiopeia at the time, Epsilon Cassiopeia, was barely visible at -2.31 magnitude. That makes the comet, at about 5.84, dimer than M31 and so much harder to dig out of the haze. Understandable, but dang it!

Friday night I’m hoping to head out for some evening photography. Even though the prediction is for clouds, I’ll be out in the country in a much more dark location so maybe, just maybe I’ll find it. I’ll have my favorite binoculars along, 12×50, and while my planned photography will be automated I’ll be scanning the skies. Wish me luck!

The photo session is to gather the necessary photos for a time lapse I’ll be using to teach how to create a time lapse from your photos. The sequence of photos I’ll be taking can be used to create two different time lapses: a video and a still. The photography is very similar in both cases, the only difference being the timing between the shots. So by shooting for a video, I also generate the necessary photos for the still time lapse.

I think that with the clouds and all, I’ll even have a wonderful sunset to include in the time lapse. I hope so, as I’m also planning to try out a new technique to see if it works. The one problem with shooting a time lapse is that you can’t necessarily check the photos, adjust the camera settings, and re-take the shot like you could with, say, a portraiture session.

I’ve been doing some research on my Yaesu FT-857D radio while getting ready to hit the Owyhees. Most of my research has been with trying to understand, as in grok, the difference between RF Gain and Squelch. I have a much better understanding of how each works now, but unfortunately, IMHO, I can only control one or the other on this radio, not both independently. I can live with that, since each is more useful in a particular range of the spectrum: RF Gain in HF, Squelch in VHF/UHF. I won’t be messing with the radio on Friday’s shoot, but hopefully this weekend I’ll finish wiring in the Tahoe to be able to use the 857D in it. Right now I can only use it with my Geo Tracker. It’s a great little rig and I want to use it a lot more this year.

I seriously need to clear out my garage. I now have a small trailer, given to me by a neighbor who’s moving, that provides me the frame I need to build my Vardo, based on this one. I’ll be stripping the trailer to the frame, cleaning that up, then either building it back up and trading with my son-in-law for his trailer (same size, heavier construction and axle), or beginning construction. My goal is to have it built at least enough that I can do some camping in it this year and finish up the inside details over the winter.

I have some other woodworking projects I want to do, of course. My telescope’s travel case and better tripod, for example. I think all this is doable if I just do it. One of my problems, if you haven’t figured it out yet, is all these ideas and so little time and funds.

One step at a time.

BTW, JIC: 42? Google this:    42 Douglas Adams

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