atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4062: I hope I can get after the Jeep tomorrow.

Today, Mrs. Fungus and I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. She's been eager to see the dragon since before the last one, in which we got exactly one look at an eye before the movie ends.

We saw considerably more of Smaug in this one.

After the movie--which took three hours--we went out to dinner; then we came home and collapsed for a while.

* * *

I love this.

"Snow on the pyramids" is not congruent with "man-made global warming" unless you're a lunatic.

* * *

More about the weakness of solar cycle 24. This is the weakest solar maximum in 200 years, and the article concludes, "As time goes on a link between decreasing solar activity and the halt in global warming 17 years ago becomes harder and harder to deny."

The most fascinating sentence in that article is, "The sun right now is a magnetic monopole." That basically means that it has only one magnetic pole, either north or south, which is damned interesting.

I still don't get monopoles. How the hell does that work?

* * *

Watch a Cepheid variable star demonstrate speed-of-light delay! It's pretty interesting to see how each pulse of light propagates through the nebula surrounding the star.

* * *

Next week is Christmas, which seems kind of hard to believe. My work schedule is fair-to-middlin; after I leave the store this coming Saturday night, I don't work again until Thursday the 26th and I'll put in about 22 hours next week. This is both good and bad (hence "fair-to-middlin") but it gives me some much-needed time to get things done before the holiday.

For one thing, I've got a turkey to brine, a whole one. I picked it up Sunday and it's in the downstairs freezer; it's going to be the centerpiece of a delicious Christmas dinner. (And several days' worth of leftovers.) It felt kind of strange to be buying a turkey, especially a whole one; that's Mom's bailiwick, damn it. *sigh*

Well, carving the turkey is Dad's bailiwick, and I wasn't happy to be doing the honors in 2009, which was the last Christmas dinner I had with Mom.

Still: as an adult, I have to do things which were formerly handled by my parents, and that includes the holiday traditions. And it's not a sad thing; it's merely nostalgic or melancholy (or both).

I am looking forward to Christmas.

* * *

Tonight I took Mrs. Fungus on a bit of a drive around the Fungal Vale, to look at Christmas decorations, and as we drove through one neighborhood I saw a deer. It was a buck, and a pretty sizable one at that; it was a gorgeous, healthy animal.

...and it looked damned tasty, too, even though I'd only just finished eating dinner.

Ironically, the things Dad taught me about conservation are now topsy-turvy. It used to be that hunters were to avoid shooting females and shoot only males, but now the populations of white-tailed rats deer have gotten so large that hunters are to leave the males alone and shoot females. There isn't enough hunting going on to keep the populations down to healthy levels, so we have to limit the number of breeding females.

Animals aren't stupid, so they tend to migrate to where they're not being preyed upon. That's one reason why we're seeing more of them in town; we can't shoot them inside village limits.

The same goes for geese, which also have burgeoning populations, and for the same reasons. (Another tasty game animal. And they cost $65 in the store, so....)

* * *

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow I can work on the Jeep and get my heater working.

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