Wednesday, May 01, 2002

How Fast is Fast

I'm now online via ATT Broadband. Nice speed. Plus the network my brother and I set up in the house. In fact, I think Dad's upstairs still online. We'll turn him into an Internet junkie soon.

It's finally up after a few days of wailing and gnashing of teeth. It was installed Monday, but we (Kendall and I) couldn't get it to work. Good thing we didn't get them to come out again - the problem was on our end. Plus, my computer has a (in)famous Windows problem: a TCP/IP error. The only way to fix it is to reformat the drive. Oh well, I was going to do that and put XP on my system, but only after I got a new scanner (my Mustek won't work with XP). I just have to live without it for a while. Tomorrow I'll back up all the stuff on the drive onto CD, then work on reformatting.

But I'm "speedy" now.:)

Friday, April 26, 2002

The Need for Speed


How does that saying go? "Fortune Favors the Bold?" or "Fortune Favors the Foolish?" Nevertheless, on Monday I'm going to "feel the need for speed." I'm getting Broadband here at Casa Kevin.

Who knows what I'll do with it. It's not like I download porn or anything. I'm too clean cut and straight-arrowed for that stuff. Probably download Buffy episodes and movie trailers.:)

The countdown has begun....

Sunday, April 21, 2002

Worth 1000 Words?

I'm currently watching a new documentary on Ansel Adams, probably (well, not probably. More like definitely) the best American photographer that will ever live.

Seeing his images strikes a visceral chord in me. I can just completely lose myself in the photographs, even those of subjects I personally don't really care for.

If I can ever be 10% of the photographer Ansel Adams was, I'll consider myself good. But, since I am my worst critic, I will never be really sure.

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Feel the Power!!!

I have my powers back. I am lord of the photograph.

After almost a month of bad photographs, I finally have the "monkey" off my back. Today's photos of the moon and venus, moon and mars, have turned out wonderful.

Now on to better things with portraits and stuff.

Friday, April 12, 2002

Orbital Mechanics

What might have been...

First, a few quotes:

"We are planets to each other
Drifting in our orbits
To a brief eclipse
Each of us a world apart
Alone and yet together
Like two passing ships"
-- Neil Peart

"The other Yoda spoke of was your twin sister."
-- Obi-Wan Kenobi

"Wendy, Wendy what went wrong..."
-- Beach Boys

Tonight I spent a few hours with a woman (she of the name Wendy) who was probably the closest thing to my other half, but knowing that it was just this one night.

Tuesday was the first night I met her, out at the observatory, when the group she was in visited. Someone made a comment that elicited a response from both her and I at the same time, quoting the movie "Airplane." All of a sudden I looked up and had a flash. I asked her, "Python?" To which she started quoting Monty Python! Amazing! We spent the next hour throwing episode and movie quote at each other.

Cut to tonight. I was hoping she was going to be back with the group tonight. Sure enough she was. And we took up right where we left off the other night. We were in such "synch" it wasn't funny. Well, actually it was really funny, and we were throwing one-liners, movie quotes, etc., back and forth. It was really weird. In fact, a few people commented on that it seemed that we were twins, causing her to say, "I found my brother!" and me saying "Sis?" It was that intense.

We quoted the same stuff... laughed at the same things... made the same gestures... and what's really intense, we were easily able to finish each other's sentences. Almost like we shared the same consciousness/brain. It was the most enjoyable time I have had in (possibly) decades.

But that was it – just one night. She left around 10:30, and I know I won’t ever see her again.

After her whole group had left, I wandered over to the west lawn, where one of the guys was telling the others how "Kevin and this girl were really hitting it off. It was amazing how they were connecting." I only wish.

“Yes we’ll never know… what might have been.” If only…

Tuesday, April 02, 2002

Good and Bad

The good news: I won my court case about my ticket. If the officer wants to appeal, I will be getting a letter by next Monday. If I don't, I'm home free, and can use that $80 for something else.

The bad news: Indiana lost the NCAA Championship. First time they have ever lost when they played in the big game.

In other news, boy was Mindy mad at me Sunday evening when I brought in the photos Kendall shot for me for my court case. Whew. But do I care? I don't know.

Saturday, March 30, 2002


Ahhh. Finally. A chance to relax after a hectic week. The skies cleared this evening, allowing me to go out to the observatory and relax under the stars. I took the opportunity to shoot Comet Ikeya-Zhang, the Orion Nebula, and the Horsehead nebula with my 400mm lens.

After a few false starts, I hope I got some good shots. I’m going to take the film in to the lab tomorrow and see what I got. Maybe I broke the jinx on my photo-mojo. After that, I got back home around 10:30 to find out that my guys – the Indiana Hoosiers – won their game and will be going to the big dance – the NCAA Championship Game. Go Big Red!

Today was a hellish day at work – a full 8 hours of busy customer service. Most of the time it was okay, but very draining. The day ended kinda on a downer, as a lot of the people left there working were kids not bothering to even do their jobs, and a bunch of my other “fellow workers” talking about a party they were all having. I tell ya, it made me feel real good to know I wasn’t invited. Almost seemed like I was back in high school, having the classmates there ignore me while they planned their big weekend gigs. Oh well.

Hopefully tomorrow will be okay, and I can put March behind me and look forward to better months ahead.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

It's Really Bad

Saturday had to be the worst day of my life (at least recently).

Everything was fine this morning getting ready for work (yes, some of us have to work on the weekends). I then decided just before leaving that I would take the roll of film that was in my main camera to be developed, as there was only 3 shots left of the roll. On said roll I had shots of the moon/Jupiter conjunction, some SFX shots of the moon with the telescope at the observatory, and a bunch of shots of the blizzard from last weekend - snow on the branches, sun shafts, etc. I was anxious to look at them.

I started to rewind the film, but something didn't feel right, so I took it in the dark and opened the camera. What I found shocked me to the core: There wasn’t a roll of film in there! Everything from the past two weeks was gone: it never existed! I have never made that mistake in all my years as a photographer. It was a mistake an amateur would make!

Needless to say that ruined the day completely. Work was just as bad, as the film mistake screwed up my karma for the day. Nothing went right at work, and I barely made it through the day.

Man, if I’m making amateur mistakes, how can I even think about teaching people about photography? Heck, how can I think about shooting Julie anymore, let alone Kat, Kate, Samantha, or anyone else? Or Sharon’s wedding? I’m ab-so-f*cking-worthless! Who have I been kidding?

Now we’ll see what fate has in store for me in the days to come…

Sunday, February 10, 2002

A Train?

Too funny.

Watching a program on TLC about tornadoes. There's footage of the May 1999 F5 in Oklahoma City, and a guy in a baseball cap trying to describe the sounds. He says "they all say it sounds like a train, but it went by with a lot of noise, and we never did hear no "Woo Woo!" sounds." Hah! What a yokel!

They always seem to find the strangest people to interview.

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Arise Storm!!

Wind, snow, freezing rain, ice.

The storm has arrived in force.

For those of us who understand these dynamics, there was no way we were going to miss this.

God, I want summer to be here (doesn't help I'm coming down with a cold).

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Fight!! Fight!!

Tonight is the "Battle Of The Local Meteorologists"

In this corner, Peter Chan from WXMI TV-17.
In the other corner, George Lessens from WZZM TV-13.

Peter has taken some of the snow out of the forecast for later in the week. He thinks that we will be in a "dry slot" on Thursday, with the freezing rain a little farther north, maybe affecting Grand Rapids. He has also said it's "uncertain" and he will know more tomorrow night.

George says that starting late tomorrow night we will see heavy snow through Thursday. A slighter chance of freezing rain up here.

Who will be right? Who really cares. I want it to be sunny and warm during the day, and clear and warm during the night. I don't want to wait until July.

Oh yeah. And what does Craig (this isn't my real name) James from WOOD TV-8 say? Who really gives a rats' ass? I don't watch him or his flunkies. They're a bunch of snobby jerks.

Told Ya So!!

Now the other shoe has dropped. I knew we were going to pay for the nice weekend (and yesterday)....
Statement as of 5:40 am EST on January 29, 2002

...A Winter Storm Watch Has Been Issued For Wednesday Night And Thursday...

Light snow is expected to begin in earnest Wednesday evening and last into the day on Thursday. Accumulations in excess of six inches are possible. The snow may mix with sleet and even freezing rain late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The snowfall could be quite heavy and for this reason a Winter Storm Watch has been posted for Wednesday night and Thursday.

A Winter Storm Watch is issued when severe winter weather is possible...but not imminent. At this time...there is a potential for significant snow and/or ice accumulations for southwest Michigan. Future driving and walking conditions may become it is important to monitor the latest forecasts from your National Weather Service.

Stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio and other local media for further details or this weather event unfolds. Remember... slight deviations in the track or strength of this winter storm could greatly alter the ice or snow potential at any one location.

Sunday, January 27, 2002

Ahh Warmth!

From the NWS at 1:56 pm.

Temperature: 54° F
Humidity: 47%
Dewpoint: 34° F
Wind: WSW at 16 mph
Pressure: 29.92 in
Conditions: Mostly Cloudy
Visibility: 10 miles
Clouds: Mostly Cloudy (BKN): 20000 ft
(and no snow on the ground)

Isn't it great!?!?!? Spring's on the way! And Summer's not far behind!

Let's not talk about how this week will end, or the next month or two. I'll be in denial.

Saturday, January 26, 2002

Oooh!! Sunny!!

It's rare, but we're going to have a nice weekend this last weekend of January. No snow, and temperatures in the high 40's and mid-50's. Sunny days and clear nights. You know what that means....

Outside during the day, and observing at night. Party on!

Better do it this weekend, because the other shoe's gonna drop. Next weekend looks to be crap - cold, wind, snow. Typical midwinter stuff. I blame the people at WOOD TV-8.


Man, what a day Friday was. First, I had to go into work, which always sucks. Then, about 15 minutes into work, I volunteer (always a bad idea) to go get a piece of our equipment that was found near a church a few blocks away. No problem, it'd be a nice walk, and 20 minutes away from work. Boy, was I wrong.

I got kind of turned around walking down the streets, and it took me nearly an hour to get back to work. Also, it was a tad windier than I thought, so I was cold, despite wearing a jacket. At work, it was busy all day, and my "walk" kind of tired me out. So I needed to relax somehow. And what better way than to go to the observatory, as it was clear.

Pack up the laptop, cameras, etc., and drive out to the "boonies." The moon is in gibbous phase, just to the west of Jupiter in the constellation of Gemini. A beautiful (but windy) clear night. Tried a few special effects shots, and will see how they turn out in a few days.

Getting cold, we (Jeff & Tom were there as well) took off from the hill around 10:00. Back home to talk to Ed on the phone regarding his website. He also told me that I had to thank Dorothy for getting something off the net for me (she said she had to "fight someone for it," and "Well, Ed wouldn't do it, so I had to."). Well, thank you Dorothy.

Now sitting downstairs watching Star Gazer on television. Almost time for beddy-bye.

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

What's in a Name?

Ah fame. And name-dropping.:)

Just got off the phone a few minutes ago with Ed out in LA. He was calling me from the El Capitan Theater, where he was attending the world premiere of the movie "Count of Monte Cristo." I guess since he did the television spots (trailers) for the movie, it was best for him to be in attendance.

But of course, there were the "brushes with greatness" that he had to tell me about. Like James Colburn being interviewed just outside, and how he had just been standing near Penelope Cruz ("and what a petite thing she is" he stated). Ah well. But so what? I talked to George Lessens last night! Doesn't that mean anything? Doesn't a local meteorologist compare with world famous movie stars? I guess it's not the same.:)

Isn't life boring here in Grand (Bland) Rapids?:)

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Pretty Colors

Finally some fun news after a depressing few days. WZZM TV-13 is in the process of revamping and resurrecting an old favorite to the local skyline - the Weatherball. They have a site set up for it, with some "memories" posted. I of course, posted mine, and so did my friend Jim (who doesn't live around here anymore). Looking at their site today, I noticed both of out "memories" are posted. And to make Jim really mad, mine is first (as of now - they might change later). here they are....
"I always looked for the Weatherball when I was around downtown. I also remember back in the late 1970's when we added a new color to the weatherball. It was "WeatherBall Black - Nuclear Attack." Most of the kids around here knew of that line to end the "Weatherball Saying." It'll be great to have it back."
And here is Jim's...
"I grew up from birth in Grand Rapids, but am living in Phoenix, Arizona now. I will never forget the Weatherball, and am glad you're bringing it back. A friend of the family's was involved in its construction, and I remember thinking he must have been a real important guy to have anything at all to do with the Weatherball. Going to school with Peter Chan, we used to joke that his job as a meteorologist would be to sit in a little room underneath the Weatherball and push the buttons that turned it red, blue, or green; and then a special extra switch would make it blink. He surprised all of us."
Of course, now Peter Chan is Chief Meteorologist at another local station, WXMI TV-17 (the only two stations to watch around here. No one with any sense of morality would watch WOOD TV-8).

Of course, that got me thinking. We need a graphic for the Weatherball. So my brother made one up. Here's the graphic on my site.

Saturday, January 12, 2002


Ah bliss. A few hours out under the stars. After the day I had, I needed it.

The day started out fine. Then went straight to hell. Not enough help at work thanks to asshole bigwigs who cut labor. So we get slammed. And I'm doing my job plus another one. I actually called and said if I didn't get any help, I was walking away from my post.

Didn't want to go right home after work as I was pissed, so I drove out to Lowell and hung out at Optec for a few hours. Talked to Ron about the race site, and setting up his new one.

Finally came home and spent a few pleasant minutes talking to Diana on IM, then found out around 7 pm that it was clear! Oh Joy!

Called around to see who wanted to go out to observe (after reserving the dome). Tom was out, as he had plans with Amy. Jeff was ready to go, and would meet me out there. Called Bob&Sara, but only talked to the machine. Called Mindy (from work), but she had to pick up someone at 9:30, or she would have "loved to come out" (yeah... sure). Decided not to call Marcy, as she wasn't home and was probably busy having a life. Called Will, and he said he might come out.

Packed up the laptop (as the computer in the dome isn't working) in the old briefcase, as I don't have a proper laptop case as of yet. Grabbed the twins (the cameras) in case "something wonderful" happened (like another aurora). Made it to the hill at 7:30.

Jeff got there, and the Will around 8:30. Had the scope on Saturn, the Jupiter. Will boogied, and then Bob shows up (without &Sara). He had tried to call my phone, but I left it in the car. He finally saw me online, and knew I was out there.

Spent the time looking at Jupiter and two satellite events as Io and Ganymede were eclipsed by the planet, and then moved to Saturn for a few views (much BS'ing and joking about work and other things during this). We finally settled on the Orion Nebula as a fitting tribute to the end of the evening (and we were getting cold).

Stood outside for a few minutes taking in the view, as who knows when it will be clear again around here. A beautiful night. I ended it by stopping and getting gas for Dad's van and coming home. This evening took care of the stress of work. I have to get a better job.

Tomorrow night I might spend in Middle Earth (3rd time for LOTR).

Thursday, January 10, 2002

I'm Called...

Cool cool cool. Just found out my brother got a new job. Now if I can only get one.

Heard something great while watching the movie Mad Max...
"The Nightrider. That is his name.
Remember him when you look
at the night sky."

It sounds like something an astronomer would say, instead of a psychopath like "The Toecutter." So I will take on the mantle.

Either that or "The Nightwatcher."

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Ringing In...

New Year. Old Stuff.