atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#2664: I was just thinking about this the other day (orbital mechanics edition)

Asteroid 2010 SO16 has a really cool orbit.

The asteroid actually co-orbits the Sun with Earth. Check this image out that I STOLE! from the link above:

The asteroid orbits just inside the Earth's orbit for 175 years, moving just a little bit faster than Earth. As it gets close to the Earth, the planet's gravitational pull speeds it up.

Here's the thing: when you're in orbit, you speed up to slow down; adding velocity puts you into a higher orbit, in which you move slower than you did in the lower orbit. It's counterintuitive as hell, but it's how it works. So the asteroid speeds up a bit as it approaches Earth, and that ends up placing it in a higher orbit, where it's moving just a wee bit slower than the Earth is.

And so, for 175 more years, the asteroid slowly falls behind Earth, until it wraps around; and again Earth pulls on the asteroid, slowing it down...thus dropping it into a lower orbit where it moves just a smidge faster than the Earth.

The really neat thing is how precisely balanced it all is. When the asteroid reaches its point of closest approach to Earth, the Earth loses a tiny bit of kinetic energy and the asteroid gains it. At the opposite end, the asteroid loses that bit of kinetic energy and the Earth gets it back. The orbital mechanics get a lot less confusing if you think in terms of energy rather than speed, in fact.

Either way, it's damn cool.

* * *

Errand day! *sigh*

...Mom's taxes are done, and she owes more than three grand. Each of the kids will have to split it. (Capital gains and an unscheduled IRA distribution. Even death doesn't release you from taxes. This is bullshit, but what can you do?)

Next stop: Charter One, to find out WTF kind of wacky drugs they're smoking over there. They turn out to be epic wacky, so I've got to go back with more paperwork. For one thing, there's no record of my first visit to the place in January; and that's just one problem. Requiring more paperwork than just a death certificate in order to answer questions is another.

Important tip to all you readers: AVOID DOING BUSINESS WITH CHARTER ONE AT ALL COSTS. THEY ARE ASSHOLES. It's not the employees' fault; they're just grunts in the trenches. It's their corporate policies that make them assholes.

Then I went to my bank and (argh) withdrew $2,500 from my IRA there in order to have money handy to:

1) pay medical insurance
2) pay car insurance
3) just in case, to pay whatever else crops up
4) pay my chunk of Mom's income taxes.


I also discovered that a) I was on Mom's savings account, and 2) there was $500 in it; so I took the $500 from that and put it into the house fund, then moved in the $2,500 I took from my IRA and made myself sole tenant on the account. So, now I have a savings account. Whee!

I'm going to go back tomorrow, because I only just now realized I still have two other banks that have $$$ in IRA funds which are mine, and in order to get them into my bank I have to have my bank do the transfer paperwork. Argh etc.

* * *

...I was going to get a haircut today, but now I'm simply too damned worn out. The tax bill was a shock. I went over there thinking, "Okay, if it's a few hundred, it's not a problem" but OVER THREE GRAND! FUCK!

"Too damned worn out" and it's only 2:15, and I left the house at 11:30. WTF.

On the plus side, there's money to pay bills for another few weeks before I have to dip into my own money, and I know my siblings (most of them, anyway) won't leave me hanging on the tax front. I guess that's about as good as it can be, considering.

* * *

Got a call from the owner of #2 last week, and we chatted for a bit; he said he was going to talk to his son (the company's operations manager, basically) and said he'd call me back the following night. it's next week. Heh. Well, he's harder to get ahold of than Abraham Lincoln, and I figured the process of actually getting me down there to do some actual work for actual money was going to take a while. It's all good, really, because it gives me time to deal with taxes and recalcitrant banks and other stupidity.

But it sure would be nice to be earning a friggin' paycheck.

Today, before I had to start moving, I was thinking about how--if Og's employer had only hired me in January!--I'd already have about two months under my belt, and I'd have a decent wad of cash in the bank from my paychecks. When I did the math, I was stunned at how much money it would be, even if they'd given me the lowball starting salary for a robotics/CNC technician in this area.

Even figuring typical expenses, it was more than I made in my last year at Target. (Of course, hours had been cut to the bone and I'd been working about 2 days per week; still. That does not invalidate the comparison.) I mean, I'd be making that money without having to pay rent or utilities; and in fact they give their techs gas cards, so I wouldn't even have to pay for gasoline to get to and from work!

...and I would have been working my ass off, too, and not spending much money on anything other than groceries and such. Maybe I might have bought manga and a NAS box (and maybe a carbine) but otherwise I'd have spent very little of that money.

With #2, I'm either going to be spending a chunk of money on gas, or else I'm renting an apartment. Either way, I'm not going to be banking most of my paycheck. That kind of blows.

* * *

Temps here hit 85 yesterday. A storm front went through but it didn't cool off much until the wee hours of the morning. Today it's 60° and pleasant.

The daffodils just exploded. Saturday evening there was one bloom; now there's about three billion. (Count slightly exaggerated.) Mom would have loved it; I think there are more this year than last and she was astounded at the number of blooms we got last year. *sigh*

* * *

I forget when it was that I joined the NRA to get "free" entry into a gun show, but my membership card finally showed up today, so I am once again a card-carrying member of the NRA.

I was last a card-carrying member of the NRA about ten years ago, but I let my membership lapse because I was unemployed and had lost my career in technical writing.

Ooo, here's a sticker I can put on my Jeep's rear window!

...I want to do that because of the same contrarian streak that makes me want to present my FOID card when I'm asked for a photo ID.

* * *

Gas hit $4.09 here. Thanks, Democrats! Thanks, Obama!

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