Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The True Meaning

(Yes, I post this every year)

"And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid... And the angel said unto them, "Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

"And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men."

"That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
--Linus Van Pelt (and Charles M Schultz)

Monday, December 24, 2007

A New Rant Today. Can You Believe It?

And it's the same old story. People can't get their facts straight. And this time I'm going to call them out by name.

If you've read my "stories" on here before, you know how I have ranted against the media when it comes to science and scientific accuracy. And most - if not all - of my rants have been focused on one television station: WOOD TV8 here in Grand Rapids. Not only are they the "National Enquirer" and "Weekly World News" of broadcasting, their weather department is a joke as well.

(In fact today they made an intern do the weather in the morning and noon, because the actual paid people probably whined about working today. So let's let someone who isn't even a meteorologist do the forecast. Oh wait... they do that all the time. Not all of their paid weather staff are meteorologists.)

But instead of being nameless (and leaving it up to the reader to dig for the info) today I'm calling one of them out.

Bill Steffen. You Are On Notice

Tonight on their 5pm news, he said three times that there will be a big full moon in the sky tonight,

That's WRONG!!!!

You hear that Bill? YOU ARE WRONG!!!

The full moon was last night, December 23rd. At 8.15pm EST exactly. There are numerous places to get this information, but apparently this fool can't be bothered. You can find it online, in books, and there are computer programs that will tell you (I use a great program called "Moonrise.")

Their tagline on their station for the weather is "accurate forecasting." Well, it isn't very accurate when they can't even get established information correct, let alone the weather (they are 3rd in accuracy locally behind the other two stations).

I can't write about this on my astronomy club's blog, because there I have to be the "voice of reason" and can't have personal vendettas. But here I can.

I urge everyone to boycott WOOD TV8, and send them emails, letters, even call them and tell them they are doing a disservice to the public, and they should be ashamed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Shiny Goodness - and Pain

So cool, a present for myself.

I get (for free) an upgrade to a great software package because a few years ago the company bought one of my photos. So yesterday the big upgrade came in the mail.

I go out and get it from the box, turn and trip over my own big feet. The result? A dislocated finger on my right hand. And it's the important finger: the one I flip people off with.

So I go to the med station, and they say it's not broken, just dislocated. In fact, when it happened, I popped it back in when I grabbed the finger, spouting expletives into the crisp winter air. So it hurts like a bitch.

But last night I got the software up and running, and it's really cool. But typing's a bitch.

Why does everything happen to my right hand? When I was a kid, I got the ring finger slammed in a door. Then a few years later, playing football, I got the pinky bent backward and broken. Then, many years later, while cutting a mat for a photograph, I put the cutter (razor) through my hand. Oh yeah, I've also dislocated my thumb on that hand. But now how can I give people the bird if that finger is taped to the next one? Is there such a thing as a single-hand-double-bird?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Power and Popularity

Before I get into the subject matter, I have to say right now Dell is on my "cool" list. They fixed my laptop in two days. I sent it out last Friday, and it came back Wednesday. Had a bad hard drive and a bad board. Now to load everything on it.

Okay, on to the subject...

It is a known fact in this world that the people that hold the power (be it in actuality or implied) have the friends and popularity. And once said power is taken away, the "friends" and the popularity go as well. What does that have to do with me, who has neither? Well, in about 30 days I'll have less than neither, I'm guessing.

I'm considering it quite seriously to step down and resign all my positions in my local astronomy club except for the website (which is my baby: I designed it, built it, kept it warm in the winter and cool in the summer). My term as President is up in January, and the other positions I "hold" are mine by the simple reason that no one else wants to do them (or do anything, for that matter).

So if I leave it all behind, what will I be leaving, you ask?

A position on the board of directors for the corporation; the officership; editor and publisher of the newsletter; publicity; database management; media relations; membership affairs; correspondence; public event scheduling, and meetings and programs. Oh yeah, and the website.

I currently do ALL of this. And in reality, I'm only supposed to be President. People have become lazy, and are letting me do this because they are slugabed bastards. "In the good old days" as the saying goes, we had separate people for each of those jobs aforementioned. But not anymore. And I'm sick of doing it.

I'd like to take at least a year off. A year to kick back, de-stress, concentrate on my wellbeing, do some casual observing, photography, etc. I don't want to have to worry about meetings, programs, newsletters, etc etc etc etc.

And I know that if I go ahead and do this, I will be diminished. I'm sure that - once I don't have a position of power, the individuals who "hang around" me (whether often or rare) will fall by the wayside.

Do I care? I don't really know. I've been alone so long, fending for myself, that I don't know if I would miss anything or anyone.

Perhaps if I were left alone I could find my tail (I'm supposedly called "Eeyore" by some people).