From “One Giant Leap” boldness, to “Interstellar” brain cramps

Posted By on June 15, 2019


Brenda and I watched the movie Interstellar (2014) once before, but we watched it again this past week, and as often happens, we picked up on a few more interesting facts that made our brains hurt … well at least mine: General relativity, The Science of Interstellar, Black Holes and Time Warps.

Thankfully I could for the most part ignore the brain cramping and appreciate the parts of the filmHelloMyNameIsRich that made more sense to me like human emotion of love (HA!), computing and binary code. The last couple of items were areas of study that I semi-grew up with and can relate to its development. In particular, it reminds me of our space race which required computing power we did not have … and the pressure to build, advance and use it in the 1960s to get to the moon.   

BinaryCodeIt still boggles the mind as to the amount of courage, dedication and teamwork it took to actually put someone in space, orbit and return them to the earth … land then in a few short years actually land man on the moon. It’s been 50 years! We’ll mark the anniversary  next month one-giant-leap-9781501106293_lgas re remember July 20, 1969.

The book, “One Giant Leap – The Impossible Mission that Flew Us To The Moon,” by Charles Fishman is an amazing review and account of a few of the details that few of us think about nowadays when casually reflecting on the challenge facing NASA. Tidbits like the women “wiring” the 0 or 1 binary switches of early computers to what the “moon smells like.” Great book … and an excellent NPR FreshAir interviewmp3 (worth a listen).

  ‘One Giant Leap’ Explores The Herculean Effort Behind The 1969
      Moon Landing | 6/12/2019

Bonfire leftovers and starting a new pile for another fire

Posted By on June 14, 2019


After the weekend bonfire for Taylor’s birthday party without burning down the woods or catching any trees on fire … I told myself, “I’m never going to let the pile get that big again.”  From now on the fires need to be of a “reasonably” safe size. Now, what that size is … I’m not really sure?

So, after cutting up a fallen tree and relocated a few trimmings that didn’t make it to Saturday’s fire (because it was too big), I’m ready to start a new pile.


The Moon and planets gave me a show tonight in Cincinnati

Posted By on June 14, 2019


With the colder weather and clear sky over Cincinnati late Thursday evening and Friday morning this week, I took my Lumix GX-8 camera and 100-300mm lens out in the backyard to see what I could photograph. Not much as expected from Jupiter, but I think I could make out a couple moons in the pixelated photo below … on the other hand, our moon looks nice in the photo above (click for larger). Who knows, maybe I’ll end up with a longer lens or telescope someday?

Jupiter with 300mm and at 300% and moons to left and right

This is why we own shares of Pepsi $PEP and Coke $KO #TBT

Posted By on June 13, 2019

We have so many cans (mostly Brenda’s Diet Pepsi, but plenty of my Diet Mountain Dew as well) is almost embarrassing how I take aluminum cans to a local recycling center. It is even more eye-opening to “see” just how much pop (soda) we buy and consume! How is it possible to drink this many cans of carbonated soft drink … even though I did try to switch several times?


And it is not like this is a new addiction … no, we’ve been drinking pop from aluminum cans for 40 years and the consumption level is significant. I’d estimate that between the two of us, we likely drink 10 cans each day … although I’m slightly lower than Brenda only because I drink a couple cups of coffee each day …where she is only Diet Pepsi. We both need to work on it … but for now stay invested in $PEP and $KO!

EDIT – also triggered a Throwback Thursday #TBT memory:

We had an old barn back when we lived in Hudson, Ohio. Besides the pop/soda Brenda and I would drink, I would also bring home the cans from the employees at my office and started storing them in the barn. Eventually the quantity grew and I decided to offer them to a Boy Scout troop as they were raising funds for camp or whatever. When they arrived with their trailer, their eyes grew big and it was as if they had hit the jackpot. Hilarious reaction!

It is a great week for night stargazing and sky watching–#Jupiter

Posted By on June 12, 2019

Just north of Cincinnati the sky was perfect for viewing the rise of Jupiter as the sky darkened about 9:30PM. The bright dot (photo below from my iPhone) JupiterScreenShot190610rose in the SE sky and arched slowly until reaching its highest point due south at about 12:30AM and then moved lower well after I was in bed.

Viewing the night sky reminded me of spending cool evening in the backyard with my daughter Katelyn when she was younger. She took an interest in astronomy and even bought her own telescope when other teenager girls were shopping for purses, shoes and make-up (not that she did without).

As I was in and out of the house several times watching the bright and brilliant Jupiter and heading back in to warm up. I mentioned that this reminded me of stargazing with Katelyn to Brenda who said … “send her a message.”  I knew it was too late and that she would be in bed, but couldn’t resist emailing her in case she had a clear sky later this week and wanted to get her telescope out to show Drew and Annalyn. It is never to early to pique the interest of a 2 year old.


For those with a telescope, this is a great opportunity to view Jupiter’s “Great Red Spot” and maybe even see a couple of the large gas planets’ 79 known moons? 

The Great Red Spot may have existed since before 1665, but the present spot was first seen only after 1830 and well-studied only after a prominent apparition in 1879. The storm that people had seen in the 1600s may have been a different storm than the one we see today. A long gap separates its period of current study after 1830 from its seventeenth-century discovery; whether the original spot dissipated and reformed, whether it faded, or even if the observational record was simply poor, are all unknown.


Archiving Taylor’s 30th birthday party with photos and video

Posted By on June 11, 2019

We had a great 30th birthday party for Taylor and his friends on Saturday in the backyard … just as we have many times before. Happy30BirthdayTaylorSQAs a parent it is nice to know he has always enjoyed bringing friends to our house rather than going someplace else … and seemingly his friends are okay with it too? Either that means we don’t offend millennials all that much or they are mature and respectful friends (I’m sure it is the later).

Anyway, the day was long and the invite was open-ended as to his friends stopping by when they could. Brenda and I particularly enjoyed seeing both new and familiar faces – we couldn’t help but notice how “kids” who are now adults, have matured in their late 20’s and early 30’s. Some are married with children, others parents “to-be,” a few are newlyweds or engaged … and there are those who are single and still dating. Definitely a lot of change happens in the decade between age 25 and 35! (a compilation of photos and video below)

Brenda asked Taylor pick out his favorite party foods and the list included barbequing baby back ribs, Brenda’s macaroni salad and his late grandma Howard’s Key Lime Pie instead of a cake. TaylorMeganFamilyBday190608It made Brenda smile when Taylor’s lifelong friend Mike (who left an hour for his dad’s birthday) asked “hopingly” if there was a piece of Key Lime Pie left for him … as he shared the memories of Brenda’s mom making it for the guys when they visited Taylor’s grandparent over spring break in Florida. Good memories.

Taylor included his girlfriend Megan’s parents this year and that gave us a chance to talk with them. We’ve known Denny and Dave Schneider since Katelyn and Megan were in figure skating together (Megan was younger), but Dave and I really never had the time to talk. Dave is a super interesting guy and regaled me with story after story from his MGB, to his football coaching years and the many interesting celebrities/bands he met working security at several venues in Cincinnati; it is strange that I remembered him as a much quieter guy?  Boy was I wrong! (And learning about Dave’s years of working security at Riverbend while Megan was a little tike, at least NOW I understand Megan’s connection to Jimmy Buffett – I’ll work at getting a couple of photos for my blog!)


Below is a compilation of photos from the day … from eating, to opening presents (including a bunch of “Get Lost” hiking/camping items from Schneider’s dog – hm?), to pool and Knockerball.  Taylor and Mike finished the night off with fireworks and lightning the bonfire (2 years in the making on my part). Those of us older than 30 passed on roasting marshmallows and the making S’mores … but it was interesting, nobody stay late like the old days. 🙂

Happy Birthday to our son Taylor. He is 30th this year.

Posted By on June 10, 2019

From 3 years old (photo) to 30 years old this year in 2019 … the years of watching Taylor grow up have zipped way too fast. Taylor3yrGmaCcake1992I suspect every parent and grandparent has said that at one time or another?

Birthday “year” celebrations, become “decade” celebrations, and we no long even contemplate the candles on a cake or even the number of times I’ve blogged a Happy Birthday to him … but let me count and link them from the MyDesultoryBlog archive anyway:

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016a, 2016b, 2017, 2018

This year both Taylor and I had big birthday milestones, he is ONLY 30 (wouldn’t that be nice) … whereas I turned 60 last month. Ugh.

EDIT: Miss a 2017 Taylor Birthday post!

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016a 2016b 2017 2018

We celebrated Taylor’s 30th at our house with a pool party this past weekend (photos and post still coming)… much like we have done many times before. I asked him … “Are you sure you want to have your friends here again?” Obviously he doesn’t have a problem coming home … and Brenda is always up for a party. A good time, great bonfire and wonderful adult son.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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