Welcome to Winter Solstice Eve Morning

Good morning and welcome to the last half day before Winter. Officially, Winter begins tonight after ten o’clock (Central time)

Winter Solstice 2019 Countdown

Enjoy the shortest day of the year because I’m looking forward to the longest, darkest night of the year – every amateur astronomers dream.

Today, my son, daughter-in-law and grandson are driving here from Texas. They left before dawn and we anticipate their arrival late this afternoon.

With the help of my daughter, who arrived earlier this week, my main floor living area is mostly baby proof. And the new furniture was delivered Thursday afternoon. And Friday, Rachelle setup the Christmas tree and last night over home-made pizza we decorated (or rather she decorated because she’s the artistic one).

Rachelle and I will spend part of the day shopping, taking advantage of her Costco membership to stock up on food she can eat (corn allergy) and for the rest of the family as well. While I have a Christmas goose in the freezer, I need to plan for other meals and sides. Instead of just Terry and I to feed, I’ll have three to four times that many to provide for.

So we are ready for family gathering and making new memories until we once again scatter back to our nests for the new year.

Lessons from History? — L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website

Once upon a time, I was the staff director of a Congressman’s office. He was a Republican. At that time, the Democrats held an overwhelming majority in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. 354 more words

via Lessons from History? — L.E. Modesitt, Jr. – The Official Website

I woke up to the longest day of the year (summer solstice). I read through Modesitt’s latest blog post, which turned my longest day into perhaps my most frustrating one? Are we truly doomed to repeat history because we choose to ignore it?

I’m old enough to have seen the swing of politics from one abusive majority to another abusive majority of a different party, but most Americans either haven’t lived long enough to see it, don’t care so long as “their” party prevails, or have no idea what I’m talking about.

History would suggest that this kind of situation, unless defused, will only get worse. The only question may be whether we’re looking at a repeat of 1968 or 1861.

Do we really want another bloody brutal Civil War?

I don’t.

But I am not a Republican nor a Democrat and I voluntarily pursue lessons from history because I don’t wish to ‘rinse and repeat’ the mistakes of more predecessors.

I can only hope I’m not alone.


The Sky this Week: December 20–29, 2013 | Astronomy.com


Giving equal time to the other astronomy publication.

Also interesting for those of us in the Central time zone,  Winter begins at 11:11 am tomorrow.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

My Midsummer Night’s Dream

Every year I look forward to the summer solstice in June, not because I’m in love with the heat and humidity that pervades Kansas, but rather because it signals the beginning of the shorter days and longer nights.  Until recently, my amateur astronomy goals didn’t include solar observing, but twice in the last month I’ve been drawn into observing a solar eclipse and the transit of Venus.  I can safely say I’ve had my fill of the sun for the foreseeable future.

Diagram of the Earth’s seasons as seen from the north. Far left: summer solstice for the Northern Hemisphere. Front right: summer solstice for the Southern Hemisphere.

This evening at 6:09 p.m. CDT, less than an hour after I return home from work, the sun will reach the highest position in the sky, as seen from the Northern Hemisphere.  Tomorrow, and each succeeding day thereafter, the sun will ‘fall’ ever so slowly back towards the south (most notable at dawn or dusk).  Someday I hope to visit the far north, perhaps Canada or Alaska and experience the midnight sun, or rather a full day of sun, sans sunrise or sunset.

But for the next six months, I will take advantage of the lengthening nights to achieve some of my other astronomical observing goals, provided the clouds, humidity and winds cooperate.

In the short term, though, my yard and trees could really use some rain. You won’t catch me lighting a midsummer bonfire in my backyard tonight!  Too much chance of everything, including the house, going up in flames.

Welcome to Summer!

Venus Transits the Midnight Sun ~ NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (for June 20, 2012). Click image to enlarge.