Advertisements

Tag Archives: Comet

Not Even a Drizzle!

I stayed up last night to see if I could catch a couple of Leonids. After all, some of the news stories were predicting the possibility of a half storm (as many as 500/hr). Well . . . truth to tell, by the time yesterday rolled around the reality was that if it was going to be that strong anywhere on the planet it would be in Asia, but they were still saying there should be 25 – 30/hr in North America, with the possibility of as many as 200/hr. I don’t live in the darkest part of the world, but Simi Valley is a somewhat sleepy little town and my back yard is reasonably dark.

My first experience with a meteor shower was about thirty years ago, out in the Mojave Desert where some friends and I had gone to view the Perseids, one of the more spectacular showers that usually peaks on or about the morning of August 12. It’s a good time to view them – the weather at night in the desert can be quite pleasant and it was. I saw some beautiful bolides; a couple being bright enough to cast faint shadows on the desert floor. Spectacular! Wondrous! Unfortunately, life intervened and I was never able to get out to that spot again, but I’ve attempted viewings many times since; just never in a really dark location. Now that I have more time, or at least my time is more flexible than it’s been for the last couple three decades, I’m beginning to wonder if my eyes are giving out. Surely my patience is wearing thin.

This year I’ve so far attempted both the Perseids and the Orionids and haven’t seen a damn thing! Last night (this morning) was no exception. I did see two meteors, but neither was a Leonid. One came out of the West and was bright and extremely fast. The other came out of the Northwest and was a bit slower and quite a bit fainter. However, the Leonids were a no-show for me. Perhaps I should have planned to stay out all night, but I just couldn’t afford to give up all of today. I guess I’ll have to content myself with the knowledge I have seen at least one spectacular showing and, perhaps, that will have to be good enough. I’ll probably try again; the Geminids are coming up next month. <sigh>

Advertisements

The Sky is Falling

For the record, I am neither religious nor superstitious. However, enough things have gone wrong today to make me wonder if I shouldn’t at least be knocking on wood my house is still standing and (obviously) my fingers are still working.

The first thing to go on the fritz was our only service/tool I would consider a social tool where I work. We’ve had our IT folks and support from the vendor look at everything and each one of them, so far (time to put the hammer down), is looking at the machine logs and – seeing nothing untoward – shifting responsibility. The problem, however, remains and needs to be dealt with immediately, if not sooner.

So . . . then Twitter suffers a denial of service attack and is either down or clunky for hours on end. I was going through double withdrawal and it was beginning to make me twitch a little bit. Something had to be done.

Well, not much I can do about Twitter but, as the project manager for our internal social tool, I could raise a ruckus and get people doing something – collectively – to help fix this problem. So we get the vendor rep on the phone and he is always helpful and knowledgeable and we work with him frequently to resolve minor issues and discuss feature upgrades, etc.

The conversation starts out just fine but suddenly his phone starts distorting and cutting out. He tries using his cell phone and, after a couple of minutes, it drops from the call. He calls back and, again after a few minutes, it starts distorting again. As of now, we’ve been on and off the phone for over an hour, the problem still exists internally, Twitter stills seem famischt, but at least the phones kinda worked.

I’m wondering, the Perseid meteor shower is only six days away. Maybe Comet Swift-Tuttle is returning to slam us and we’ve just missed it. Maybe its the end-of-days, maybe the Mayan calendar is right or Nostrildamus hit it “on the nose”. Stay tuned.


%d bloggers like this: