Monday, August 30, 2010

First Day Back

Today is my first day back at the healing place. A "mystery meat" crew, umpteen bajillion E-Mails, an in-box stuffed with numerous hard copies of superfluous B.S. and a report of D.C. Newby raising hell with my crew over something which he knows nothing about nor has any business getting involved with greeted me as I walked in the door.

It's great to be back, though I wish I was still up north. We have a quiet schedule today, I should be able to catch up on most of the stuff that I missed while gone.

I really didn't miss any huge excitement while away, though some residents of the K.B.F.P.D. seemed to lose their ability to drive while intoxicated without crashing their cars. I am quite sure it wasn't from a lack of practice.

Tonight, as I walk around the station ensuring it's security, I will gaze up at the dust filled and light polluted sky. I will be thankful for my career and the many blessings which I have been given. I will take note of the seven stars that I see and I will fondly remember the night sky from an elevation of 7800 feet.

Bajillions of stars are far better than bajillions of e-mails.
I'm just sayin".

Thanks for reading,
A grateful Schmoe


  1. Beautiful picture, and welcome back!

  2. Billions of stars, yeah.

    One night sweetie and I were driving from Phoenix to San Diego along highway 8. Not far from San Diego, the mountains push the road up nearly a mile. Phoenix city light blot out the stars, so we wanted to take the opportunity to see some. I pulled off of the road and a few hundred yards down a dirt road to get away from the glow of headlights. We must have spent 15 minutes gawking at the sky. There was no moon, no lights, and the cold, thin air was as clear as optical glass. I've never before or since seen the milky way painted across the sky so thickly. The beauty of the heavens took our breath away that night.

  3. Amazing isn't it? The night skies have not radically changed in eons (at least visually) and yet the stars still manage to hold our attention.

    That shot was of a relatively empty part of the sky, as the nearly full moon was washing the congested part of the sky out.

    I can't wait until this winter, with clear, cold nights.

  4. Yep yep yep.

    Hey Schmoe, enbiggen your picture and look midway vertically, about a third from the left. Is that a meteorite?

  5. Capt. Schmoe"
    Thanks for the "back to work" post; it made me chuckle. Hopefully, you can straighten your crew back out after D.C. Newby messed with their heads. ;-0

    The stars, ah, the stars. I am always surprised by how many there really are when I go visit my family in rural Vermont. It's pretty dark there; you can even see the Northern Lights.

    BTW, how'd you get the photos?

    The Observer

  6. Wayne - I had that happen several times that evening. At first I thought the artifact could be meteoric, but realized with the duration of the exposures, a meteor would have pretty much traversed the entire frame. I'll have to go with satellites. Almost as cool, but not quite.

    Observer - I don't know if you remember the nighttime city-scape shots - I bemoaned my tripod not being as rigid as I thought it should be. For this series, I set the tripod up on a heavy-duty U.S.F.S. pic-i-nic table and didn't extend the legs. I also purchased a remote shutter release on Craig's List. That enables me to take the picture without touching the camera.

    I opened the aperture fully, bumped the ISO to 2000 (I think), and held the shutter open seven seconds. For that night with that equipment, it seemed to work best. There are a few more things I can do to reduce camera movement on these extended exposure shots, I will try to implement them next trip. This stuff is a learning process for me, I have a long way to go.

    Thanks for commenting.

  7. Dear Captain Schmoe,
    There is no joy at work like that of kicking ass for dumb work and fixing what ails--DC Newby is an idiot, but doesn't he make you look good??

    Everything The Observer said. And stars--I have seen this in West Texas too and I never get over it. The sky is full and in the city I never see but one or two. Thanks for a great shot!

    Welcome back, Captain,
    Ann T.