Posts about photography, contract bridge, astrophotography, astronomy, Java development, internet systems.

Just another full moon

Almost-full moon rising over I-210 in Pasadena at 8:00 p.m., July 24, 2010.

It was about 8:00 p.m. Saturday night. Jane and I were driving home from having just seen Salt in Pasadena. This beautiful moon was rising above the Foothill Freeway, with dark blue earth shadow just below it.

I realized in this one picture was […]

Short summer night

Jane snapped this shot of me shortly after sunset, squinting into the bit of wind we had.

Happy Independence Day!

This weekend wasn’t our usual dark sky new moon weekend; there would be a third-quarter moon rising just at midnight. With summer sunset at 8:00, and no real dark sky until about 9:00, we were looking at […]

Observing report, dark desert June skies

Mojo, Caroline, Jane, Catherine, Gary, and Todd

Update: Jane wound up using most of my astrophotos below in her July NASA What’s Up podcast. Check it out!

The forecast was for a very temperate desert evening, so six of the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers headed off to the Colorado Desert to play outside all night. Seeing was […]

Finding the test that corrupts the suite

(Finally a tech blog post …)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before!

The web application has excellent coverage in unit tests and integration tests that run continuously, but some time ago (weeks actually) some number of tests began failing with strange state errors. In our case, out of 138 test classes and 1176 tests, 82 […]

A galaxy from the inside

Sometimes it’s the simplest thoughts that have the most profound effect on your visitors to the telescope.

This past weekend we spent two clear dark nights in Mojave National Preserve sharing our big telescopes with about fifty park visitors and the MNP Conservation Association.

This time of year, the sky is full of galaxies. We were showing spirals, […]

Pathology Report

Here’s the deal: All along, this whole “prostate cancer” thing seemed to me like a gigantic fraud. Well not fraud, but maybe “surreal.” That all changed yesterday.

I felt fine, always did. I wasn’t running to the bathroom two or three times a night. My doctor never felt anything. I have no family history of prostate cancer. It was just a blood test, an imprecise secondary indicator, that suggested a biopsy.

Okay, I believed the biopsy, but still it all seemed abstract.

So I had the surgery. Sure, take it out. I don’t really need it. But I want to know.

This is why I picked surgery over radiation. The radiation therapy is known to be effective, but it’s still all abstract, not real.

Yesterday I went in to have my staples and catheter removed. (Yay!) (Anyone who is facing this procedure and wants to know more about it, I’m happy to share in a private exchange.) Meanwhile my nurse practitioner delivered the pathology report, and I asked her for a printed copy.

I’ll post all of the relevant parts below, followed by a few word interpretations.

Continue reading Pathology Report

Prostate Cancer

With Jane’s encouragement, I thought I would write this blog entry. I want to keep my friends and family up to date, and for the most part they are the only ones reading this blog anyway.

The short version is that I was diagnosed with a small but clinically significant prostate cancer in September, and will have RP surgery (Radical Prostatectomy) using robotics on January 19. I’ll be at Kaiser’s West L.A. Medical Center for one night, then recovering at home for about three weeks. Within a few months, the expectation is that I’ll be pretty much back to normal for the duration.

For those of you who really want all the details, how this came about, and what decisions were involved, I’ll go into it all below. For lots of people this comes under the category of “too much information,” and you are certainly excused without prejudice.

Continue reading Prostate Cancer

Pinwheels, Horseheads, and Flaming Stars

Photo from Feb. 2009 of the Astro-Physics Traveler getting ready for a night of imaging at Chuckwalla Bench

Jane and I were by ourselves for the dark sky weekend of November 14, 2009. We set up at our usual spot at Chuckwalla Bench. Unlike the past two months, this night featured a cold air mass that […]

Finally autoguiding

Full photo album of setting up and astrophotos here at the Whiteoaks Photo Album.

Update: Here’s Jane’s version of the same evening.

It was another perfect new moon Saturday for a trip to our favorite spot in the Colorado Desert out I-10.

Yes this is a very full Grand Caravan!

Jane and I happily took out all the […]

Perfect wallpaper from digital photos using Linux and Netpbm

The world is full of wallpaper managers for every operating system out there. I enjoy wallpapers taken from some of my digital photography, such as this trip to Yosemite last year.

On nice modern monitors, you can really enjoy the full resolution of your pictures. Jane and I just replaced our old Viewsonic CRT monitors with some […]