Monday, October 31, 2011

What an impressive collection of Indian spear and ceremonial points, found in West Texas.  That white one in the middle, well, that bad boy looks like it would go clean through you if pushed by a determined Apache!

Realistically, however, these could be from multiple ancient peoples, and their manufacture separated by thousands of years.  Imagine the stories they could tell.  Some might have been passed down through generations, for hundreds, or perhaps if we like, for thousands of years before being lost in battle, snowstorm or some other mishap.  To our great misfortune their stories are forever lost in the mists of history, and we will never know their tale.  

I don't know the guy who posted this on the net, but I do know my late uncle would frequently find arrow heads after plowing on his farm in the Treasure Valley of Idaho.  Another person I met once found a spear point like one of these while deer hunting near Sonora Pass.  It was just lying on the ground in plain sight and on no particularly notable spot, as if it had simply been absent mindedly dropped there one day.  This collection below, however, is just exceptional.

                                                                Mondays: they're like that.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wow.  Most hotel safes are apparently of this kind - makes you feel secure, doesn't it.
The family took advantage of the fine weather and went up to Sorensen's resort this weekend.  The aspen groves are nearing the end of their display for the fall, although still a wonderful sight.  In two weeks, even without a storm, the performance will be over, however.   The water shots below are of the Carson River as it rushes down it's canyon towards the desert.   

In addition to the aspens, we visited Leviathan Peak lookout, Bodie State Park and JT's Bar and Restaurant in Gardnerville for a feast of Basque food.  

The fifteen year old enjoys the view from the lookout on Leviathan Peak, where the view is so broad that the curvature of the earth would be easily discernible if not for the rugged mountainous landscape.

I personally love the sagebrush country at this time of the year, as it is full of subtle colors and textures.

This bird at Bodie was irritated at our attention and took flight for a less public place to perch.  


   Alas, the kids have all grown to the place where they are all taller than their mom.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Well, the oldest chick is ready to leave the coop, and she just now got her first acceptance letter to Pacific Lutheran University.  Her mother is ecstatic, as she is now sure our little pumpkin will be leaving the "vegetable garden" for the big wide world.  Now with the security of at least one acceptance letter in hand, we can have fun seeing what else comes over the next few months.

New stuff

Norwegian Ole Salomonson captured this amazing auroral display over Tromso, Norway just as the latest display this month was simmering down.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adriano Celentano put together this catchy number back in the seventies to demonstrate what English sounds like to someone who doesn't speak any.  I might add that this is American fake English, not English fake English.


                                                                       Who can fly better?

                                                                               or Cats?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A cool picture from the Cassini spacecraft shows a piece of the rings of Saturn and four moons.  The giant in the background is Titan, Saturn's largest moon.  The next is Dione, the bright white moon in the foreground, complete with it's signature craters and ice cliffs.  Just outside the farthest ring is Pandora, only 80 kilometers across, and which shepherds the outside of the furthest narrow F ring.  Finally, barely visible, is Pan, inside the smaller gap in the rings, appearing here as a tiny bright speck.  It is barely 35 kilometers in diameter, and its job is to keep the smaller of the two ring gaps that we see here, known as the Encke gap, clear of debris.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Theo Jansen's Animaris Rhinoceros.  It weighs two tons, has a steel skeleton covered by polyester, and is powered only by the wind.  This guy is a Dutch Da Vinci.


                      Navy Seals show how the toughest of the tough get in shape in Afghanistan.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things I'm liking right now.

I stumbled across this bear attack story from Alaska that was pretty hair raising.  This guy showed unbelievable fortitude in not shooting until he did.  Just so it's clear what they are talking about, brown bears are what they call grizzlies up in Alaska.  Notice their amazement at the speed of these giant predators as well.  From what they describe, there is simply zero chance of outrunning a determined bear.  Worth the read, indeed.


 A CME hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 24th at approximately 1800 UT (02:00 pm EDT). Acording to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the impact caused a strong compression of Earth's magnetic field, allowing solar wind to penetrate all the way down to geosynchronous orbit for a brief period between 19:06 UT and 19:11 UT. Earth-orbiting spacecraft could have been directly exposed to solar wind plasma during that time.

Christian Praetorius of Hafnarfjördur, Iceland took this picture at Lake Kleifarvatn using a Nikon D3, 3200 ISO, and 30 seconds of exposure.

                                                          Mondays: they're like that.

Tell me this roaring crowd doesn't appreciate Jorge W. Bush!   They miss him down in Texas.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Man, when I was a kid back in the seventies, you couldn't hardly go to any public event without somebody streaking like this.  Nice plan to dress as a referee, everyone looked nicely confused when he ran out there swinging his arms.   I hear this incident also sparked a bench clearing brawl.  That never happened in the seventies.  Then, half the people laughed and the other half (the old fuddy duddies) covered their eyes and shrieked.
Sunday morning church action.

The Orionid meteor shower occurred on Saturday night, as the Earth passed through the debris stream from Halley's Comet.  This one was captured by Jeff Berkes in Pennsylvania.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Last weekend I was up in the Tahoe basin playing hooky from my responsibilities, and perhaps 50% of the aspen there were turning colors.  In Hope Valley, it was surprising that only about 30% were in their fall colors this late in the year.  I did get a photo of these aspen at the Lake, and on second thought, I like it more than I did at first.  

Soon, the snow will fly in earnest, and all this year's leaves will disappear under a white blanket, but for the next week or three, we will have an excellent fall display in the high country.  Make it up there if you have half a chance.

A sleepy Saturday is a good time to let the creative juices flow, and on this Saturday the juices flowed toward a second attempt at buttermilk bread, from scratch.   Bread making really isn't hard, it just takes some time and attention.   The first picture is the batter at the very beginning, being mixed up with a potato masher.

Here is the bread as it appeared right out of the oven.  This time I experimented with an egg wash on the top during the bake, which left the loaf pleasantly shiny and noticeably browner.

                                    Lastly, cooling at the window.  All in all, a successful bake.

Ok, this is silly and childish, but even so, it will still make you chuckle, and feel better immediately.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Last Saturday morning the dogs treed these three racoons here on our two acres behind the house.  They are cute, if potentially destructive little devils.  Although they or their relatives have no doubt been around before, this is the first I have seen of them on my property since moving out here in 1991.  The dogs got special chew stick for doing their job well with these little interlopers. They quickly disappeared after we took the dogs in the house, and I hope they learned their lesson about hanging around our property.

I tried an experiment with a new recipe, buttermilk bread, for the cast iron camp oven.  It turned out pretty well, and it uses two cups less flour than shepherd's bread. Find out how to do it yourself here. Like!

Winter in Yosemite National Park from Henry Jun Wah Lee on Vimeo.

Do I pine for the winter?   I pine for the winter.