Wednesday, July 20, 2011




Our front yard was awash in Moonlight this morning as I was out of bed early again & headed for my recliner.  Didn't fire up the laptop or my usual ambient music.  Didn't even turn a light on.  Just sat quietly in my chair with beams of gentle moonlight filtering through the Pine trees & alighting softly on our living room floor.  Sometimes, I wish quiet moments could last forever.

Like many other folks across the land right now we are spending our days in the safety, security & comfort of our A/C.  We are sooooo glad we made the decision 3 summers ago to put in central air.  I did slip out earlier in the day figuring on trimming some weeds but 10 minutes later had me back in my recliner enjoying the air conditioned cooling Arctic breezes from a fan near my chair.  I was soon considering the addition of a sweater.    
DSC_4081When I saw on the news awhile back that Slave Lake in Alberta was deluged with rain & saw the sudden flash flood that resulted I wondered if Ivan from ROADTRIP 2011 had been caught in that & had to break out his boat paddles.  I knew he had been in town schmoozing with Royalty's Will & Kate a few weeks earlier & we hadn't heard too much from him sense.  Figured he & Hailey had got themselves a little Star Struck maybe.  Ivan finally 'surfaced' in Blog Land Tuesday with his own photos of the flood that could very easily have turned his truck camper into a boat swamper!!

It was the pure magic of the first Harry Potter movie I saw years ago that brought me back to each movie thereafter.  However, the simplicity & charm of that first movie quickly gave way to a darker and murkier form of magic & madness.  By the time I saw the last Harry Potter movie in the series I had been left so far behind in the thickening plot twists that I had no idea of who was being most violent to whom. 

Tonight I shall don my round black Potter glasses once again & head off to the land of Muggles, Quiddich, Hogwarts & Half-Bloods.  I shall grip my theater seat tightly, expand my lungs deeply & oxygenate my brain thoroughly.   I shall focus my mind on the big screen before me in hopes of not being left in the wretched dust when I am once again swept up & whisked away to the land of magical mayhem & violence .  Wish me luck now.... lest I cast a spell upon you all.

My interest in Astronomy began in earnest while we lived in the old tumble down farm house back in the late 90's.  We had crystal clear night skies with hosts of shimmering diamonds overhead.   I found myself increasingly drawn to the infinite darkness that enveloped us each & every night of the year. 

Subscribed myself to a Canadian Astronomy magazine called, SKYNEWS.   This quickly led me to editor Terence Dickinson's book, NIGHTWATCH third edition. 


On many warm & not so warm nights, armed with my new book & it's open page star charts I headed out the door, across the driveway & into the field about 10 yards away.  There, I set up my tripod with a pair of 7x50 binoculars steadily affixed.  Seated in a lawn chair with Astronomy book on my lap & a dim red beamed flashlight to read by, I began pouring over the star charts trying to figure out what I was observing all laid out above me. 

Tomorrow night I will tell you about my early night sky discoveries & the beginnings of many pleasant nights under the stars with no one to ask for directions to where I was going.  I would have to find my own way to the far off Stars, Constellations & ever elusive traveling Planets.

The photo below actually shows a very typical boon docking set up for us in the desert.  I included this photo to show my binoculars set up on the left hand tripod for day or night viewing.  On the right tripod is my Stellarvue 80" Nighthawk Refractor telescope which I have 3 separate eye pieces for.  More about this telescope in a later post.  This is the same telescope/lens I use on either my Nikon D40 or my Nikon D90 cameras which turns that Telescope into an equivalent 700mm photo lens.  The way the telescope appears in the photo does not show either a camera or the eyepiece set up on the far end. 


Ok, time to saddle up my Quiddich broom & head off in search of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows..........the final movie.  But first..........

THE LAST PARAGRAPH:  Being I was in a big hurry to get the blog out early tonight I didn't come up with anything for the last paragraph except to say that the old nugget, 'Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained' has been rattling around in my head all day..........   




I halve a spelling checker,
It came with my pea see.
It plainly marks four my revue
Mistakes I dew knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait aweigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the era rite
Its rarely ever wrong.

I've scent this massage threw it,
And I'm shore your pleased too no
Its letter prefect in every weigh;
My checker tolled me sew.

The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right
now...... AL.


  1. As each Harry Potter book came out Craig read it to me out loud on long winter nights in front of a cheery fire. I have also listened to the first four on audio cassettes while working on my art work. (COSTCO sold them as a set one year.)

    We have seen all of the movies both in the theatre and at home. We just re-watched the last one a few nights ago and will get to the theatre to see the new one soon.

    Yes, it got darker, but so has the world. What was surprising and delightful in the first book and movie would be tiresome if repeated in eight movies. We have come to take the magic for granted.

  2. have fun at the 'movie'!! out for the 'muggles'

  3. I hope you enjoy your Harry Potter movie. One of my Granddaughters got hooked at a young age (she's an insatiable reader). My husband and I made sure to get all 1st editions for her.

    I was thinking the other day as I was hiding in my air conditioning, "I don't remember being hot when I was young and we didn't have air conditioning. We even drove cards with no A/C. How did we survive?" Al, do you remember stores that had the blue and white signs out from advertising that they had A/C, and if you walked in you froze to death? I don't think the movies had A/C, either, though I may be wrong about that. That was in the days of the big theaters--just one; not ten or twelve found all together.

    I have a question for you. I have a Nikon D40. I really don't know what lens I have on it--it takes pretty good pictures. If you were to recommend one good all around lens for travel (and you could only have one), which would it be?

  4. Haven't seen any of the Harry Potter movies. But everyone is saying that this one is by far the best. Hope you enjoyed it and maybe it helped you get out from under the murk.

  5. I'm so gla you are going to be writing something on astronomy now. It has always interested me, but as I said before, I am rarely where I can get a good sky view.

    Enjoy the Harry Potter movie. I read all the the last two books, and it got so convoluted I could no longer follow it. But what fun it has been.

  6. OK, Al..Now I'm callin' you out on this one...Even Dennis and I won't fight the crowds to go see Harry Potter...I was totally SHOCKED that you did...This is a good sign, though..You just THINK you are anti-social..I don't think so...We never do THAT is backward...Even after pouring through Lord of the Rings book, I waited until it came out in DVD....

  7. Al, I hope you enjoyed the Harry Potter Movie...seems like a lot of folks got hooked on them!
    I know you and Kelly are glad you put the ac in a few years ago...nothing as bad as being hot and sweaty.
    Take care & I really enjoyed the bird pics.


  8. Wow! Your life sounds wonderful. Harry Potter, telescopes, a Nikon D90, RVing. Can life get much better? Those pictures of the birds are incredible! Excellent!

  9. Hope you enjoyed the movie. I am not sure why, but I would have not thought that you would have been a Harry Potter fan :)

  10. Re 'The Last Paragraph'...take a chance Al.

  11. Your groaner's corner is a HOOT!! I have always had a thing about misspelled words. It also shows how difficult it would be for non English speaking folks to learn to read and write in English.
    Take care.
    Don in Okla.

  12. Ah Potter! I found out long ago you had to read the books first before watching the movies to understand all of it. If you read or see just part of it you will never get the gist of it. We are getting ready to go see it again tonight. We did a 7 movie marathon over 3 nights before going to see the last film. It was awesome!

    So glad your a Potter fan, Al.

  13. We watched the first few Potter movies on DVD, and one or two in a theater. After that, we just looked at the DVDs on the rack in the stores. Costco will probably come out soon enough with the full series in a fancy collector's album for $125. We'll probably skip that also. No time for movies with Google+ trying to take over our life! May the Force be with you! (Mixed metaphor there, but so what?)