Angelic Paranoia

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Wednesday 24th February 2021 8:02 pm

I had done some stargazing years ago, inspired by Stargazing Live. Last year I finally managed to catch the ISS going over, but generally standing outside in the freezing cold in January learning constellations wasn't as appealing. But then I was inspired by the recent Jupiter an Saturn lining up. I went out to look and could only see one bright dot (Jupiter), but through the binoculars I could see another, less bright dot (Saturn), right beside it.

I got an Amazon gift voucher from work for Christmas and decided to spend it on some decent binoculars for stargazing. The ones I have are cheap and light and good for looking details/people in the player/royal box at tennis matches, but that's about it. That's what I bought them for, so it's not unreasonable.

After loads of research I bought a pair... and then it was cloudy. Every night. Well, I got to the point where I stopped checking and was surprised a couple of times on my way out shopping - and of course it was cloudy when I got back. But late last week we finally got a clear night, and the temperature was above freezing. So I went out and looked at the moon through the binoculars and it was pretty exciting. Handily, the moon was up in the day a couple of times, so I got to see it looking less bright (relative to the rest of the sky).

I assumed at the time that the planets and ISS were the only other things you could see through binculars. The only planet that was up was Mars and it was behind the moon. The other night it had moved away and I discovered that through binoculars that little red dot became... a brighter red dot.

I then wondered if I could see any nebulae, discovered some were in Orion and pointed my binoculars at it... and discovered there were suddenly so many stars in the sky. I have no idea if I saw a nebula or not, I was too distracted! I can't go somewhere away from lights on my own (especially holding a pair of binoculars, that's just asking for them to be stolen) so I've always been happy with whatever stars I can see.

Afterwards I looked up what you can see through binoculars and it's not any details of Mars, it's just too small. But I bookmarked a website that I can check through next time it's a clear night (it's looking good for later this week!). I am really keen to see the ISS through binoculars, but it's hard finding a night when it goes over at a reasonable time, high enough above the horizon and it's a clear night. But it also moves pretty fast, so going to be hard to follow with binoculars.

For anyone interested in Stargazing I recommend the SkyView Lite app. You can hold it up and it'll identify what's in front of it. And you can ask it to find specific objects and it'll direct you to them.

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Merry photos
Wednesday 17th February 2021 7:36 pm

Merry being up in the morning is quite handy for photograph taking with a bit of light. These are from a couple of weeks ago when he ran around the lounge while I worked and didn't go to bed until nearly 10am!

Merry by the skirting board

Merry by the shelf

Merry by the door

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 10th February 2021 6:06 pm

What I Just Finished Reading
The Secret Political Adviser by Michael Spicer. I get why he's branched out and this was funny, but not as funny as his videos. It just has a different feel to it: in the book he's horrible to the politicians, and is really just as bas as they are, but in his videos it's more like he's put upon and you feel sorry for him.

The Year of Less by Cait Flanders. This was cheap and sounded interesting - and I read the preview and couldn't stop so I had to buy it to read it. It was really interesting. Cait was basically a shopaholic, so decided to stop and go cold turkey - and also do a lot of de-cluttering. And during that year she learnt a lot about herself and why she shopped. It inspired me to do some more decluttering - I thought I'd finished, but it turns out there's always more you can get rid of!

What I'm Currently Reading
My Word is My Bond by Roger Moore. This is his autobiography. I do like reading about other people's lives and this is particularly interesting because he was born in 1927 and the world was a lot different to how it is now.

What I'm Reading Next
After reading The Year of Less I am thinking that I should really not buy any more books until I've read the unread/partially read ones on my ebook reader and taking up space on a bookshelf. Not least because the latter will then free up some room, assuming I don't end up keeping them all. So next I'll read one of those - I don't know which, it depends on what I feel like reading.

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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 3rd February 2021 5:16 pm

I went on an ebook buying spree, because it is just too easy to do. Even though I already have some physical and ebooks to read.

What I Just Finished Reading
The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway by Una McCormack. I got this because I'd enjoyed the Kirk and Picard autobiographies and Una McCormack's writing. And it was alright, but the basic problem was that I just don't care about Janeway. And at no point during this book did I care. I had been thinking about giving Voyager another chance, but after reading the bits of the book set during that time, and having been reminded of how terrible it was, I am definitely not.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Secret Political Adviser by Michael Spicer. You'll have heard of Michael Spicer - he's the bloke who does videos with political figures like he's talking into an earpiece they're wearing. This book is along the same lines, but with a shadowy organisation that's advising politicians. It's quite amusing, but a different feel from his videos.

What I'm Reading Next
I will probably look at what else on my Kobo I've bought and not read and pick one of those.

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