Return of the Wanderer

By: Bogon , 4:45 PM GMT on December 11, 2009

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When last we parted, I was driving west into an approaching storm. I was hoping the front would pass quickly, but it lasted from Greensboro to Morganton, well over a hundred miles. Fortunately the rain was light and scattered. The clouds finally parted as I approached the base of the mountains,

Clouds through my car window

just in time for me to squint into the glare of the setting sun while winding across the Eastern Continental Divide.

I-40 Westbound

My destination for the week was the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (pari.edu). PARI was once a NASA satellite tracking station. My cousin used to work there. It was he who suggested we might volunteer our services for a few days, since PARI depends on private contributions and government grants for its continued existence. Both of us have worked with computers and electronics all our lives, so we felt we might have knowledge and expertise that the folks at PARI would find useful.

It was an interesting week. It was surely the first time I ever had anything to do with a radiotelescope.

26 East

Since returning home it's my body that has been in demand. Somehow all my doctor appointments have come due at once. I have been examined, poked and palpated, drilled and scoped. I have new glasses and a new tooth. I should be good to go for at least six months before submitting to another round of inspections, injections, drills and bills. Sheesh!

Yesterday I had a little free time, so I drove over to Elon to take a walk around the campus.

Elon University

It was a scene full of youth and beauty, which are always good for a man's disposition.

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14. surfmom
10:58 PM GMT on December 19, 2009
Just in from horse world, MIL world & getting ready to enter Kitchen world...while trying to catch-up with Christmas *: )
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
13. Bogon
3:55 PM GMT on December 18, 2009
Surfmom, thanks for introducing me to the Mummers. If I had one of those pointy hats, I could dance around the fire, too.

Shore, I'm glad you enjoyed Mr. French. You got the front end of the storm that is knocking on my door now.

Synthman, my wife and I are headed to the grocery store as soon as she gets off the phone.

Mass, thanks for the weather report from the arctic frontier. We're expecting winter to put in an appearance down our way momentarily. Best holiday wishes to you and your family!
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3855
12. masshysteria
3:45 PM GMT on December 18, 2009
Mornin' Bogon!

Hope you and yours remain safe from the predicted snowstorm! Currently, we're experiencing artic temps of 9 degrees early am and now a balmy 17 LOL's! Supposedly, parts of Mass. that are South of me might get hit with snow. I, for one, am thinking of warm tropical climates.

May you and yours be well, all have a very happy winter solstice and ....

img src="50 States Holiday Greetings Comments and Graphics for MySpace, Tagged, Facebook" alt="" />
Member Since: June 21, 2006 Posts: 66 Comments: 7844
11. synthman19872003
2:52 PM GMT on December 18, 2009
Bogon, stocked up on the milk and bread yet? LOL! :)
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 4045
10. Bogon
12:10 PM GMT on December 18, 2009
Snow!

The 's' word figures prominently in our forecast for today and tomorrow. Total predicted accumulation ranges from five to ten inches. My wife wants to throw a solstice/birthday party tomorrow night. My parents will try to drive down this morning, a day earlier than they had planned. The elements are not cooperating.

This is a large storm. I'm sitting on the northeastern fringe of it now. The associated rain shield stretches west to the Mississippi and south past Cuba. We have the wedge working, which is when the east wind drives cold air up against the base of the Appalachians. The current temperature is 31°.

In other news, conditions continue soggy in the (heretofore) Dry Slot. For the first time in I don't know how long – years – the University of Nebraska Drought Monitor shows no drought in North Carolina. I would post the map, but there's nothing to see. It's just a blank map of the state, which you've probably seen before.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3855
9. shoreacres
2:14 AM GMT on December 16, 2009
Looks like a great trip you had. Finally got around to a little blog-tending over at the country place ;-) I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed that link you left - actually, I did tell you, but now I'm doing it again.
That was one of the most intriguing bits I've seen in some time.

We missed the meteors here, too - the fog's finally gone, but the cold's settling in and more rain's on the way. I was telling DocNDswamp today our fireants are mounding like its July and there's a storm firing in the Gulf. Don't know what that means - never seen it before.
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15288
8. surfmom
10:33 PM GMT on December 15, 2009
LOL - Bogon - when I ding my first car (via my spouse) he wouldn't let me get it fixed - said it would serve as a reminder.... ticked me off

but it worked LOL

img src="" alt="" />
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
7. Bogon
3:38 PM GMT on December 15, 2009
Hey, Rob.

'Boggy' is right. During the Thanksgiving weekend my wife drove a car off our driveway and got it stuck in the mud. Fortunately she's an AAA member, and a tow truck soon fished her out. We still have a big rut in the yard to memorialize the incident. (I want to give this lesson a chance to, uh, sink in. That kind of problem is so avoidable. Stay on the concrete!)

Since Thanksgiving we've had lots more rain. The whole yard is squishy. In summer, when it's dry, you can hardly dent the clay with a pickaxe.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3855
6. RobDaHood
11:45 AM GMT on December 15, 2009
Mornin Boggy!

Hope all is well today.
Interesting reading about the telescopes.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 101 Comments: 33557
5. surfmom
2:37 AM GMT on December 15, 2009
img src="" alt="" />
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536
4. Bogon
7:17 AM GMT on December 14, 2009
Hello, everyone, thanks for stopping by.

Synthman, the Elon campus is a great place to take a stroll — or a photo. It's surely a relaxing environment for those of us who don't have to teach or make grades.

Aqua, there's another identical radiotelescope sitting a few hundred feet to the west of the one in the picture. The folks at PARI are working to hook up the pair for interferometry.

We'll have to convince the marketers that there's a demand for inflatable radiotelescopes. So far they're only interested in holidays and sports events. Looks like these guys might produce custom installations to order. I think it would be cool to set up my own miniature VLA in the front yard. What would the neighbors think? Muah-ha-ha!

It rained all day today on my house. The weather man says we may finish the year with a two inch surplus. First time that has happened in a while! I don't think I'll change the name of my blog just yet.

The rain is over now, and a thick fog has settled. I understand there is a big meteor shower going on. Not much chance of viewing the sky tonight, I'm afraid. You'd be lucky to see a hundred yards.

Of course, if you had a radiotelescope, fog wouldn't matter.
Member Since: June 26, 2008 Posts: 80 Comments: 3855
3. aquak9
1:37 AM GMT on December 14, 2009
That radiotelescope is awesome.

I wonder if they make one in a yard-sized, blow-up version...
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26648
2. synthman19872003
1:31 AM GMT on December 14, 2009
Enjoyed the read too :) Also like the pic at Elon University; looks relaxing!
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 52 Comments: 4045
1. surfmom
12:50 AM GMT on December 13, 2009
gorgeous photos & a few WOW's , enjoyed the read: )
Member Since: July 18, 2007 Posts: 30 Comments: 26536

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Unemployed software engineer. "What is that?", you may ask. It's someone who has time to blog about the weather...

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