H-alpha Viewing

Since it was such a nice sunny day today I set up the PST and took a good look at the sun. There was one really nice prominence there today! This PST really is one really cool little telescope!

I took a few shots with the LPI, and if anyone’s interested, they’re here.


Amici Signature Italian

I had to go to Warehouse Photographic to pick up a couple filters for the new camera and due to a wreck on I-35 I hopped off the freeway one exit sooner and cut through Old Downtown Carrollton to get over to Belt Line. I noticed the restaurant as I was passing by it and made a mental note to head back and check it out.

So this evening I went back. The first interesting thing was that the restaurant is upstairs. It kind of reminded me of the restaurants in Finland. As for the food and service, what can I say but that they were excellent, no, outstanding. This is one fantastic restaurant! The menu is ecclecticly Italian with a good mix of beef, veal, seafood, and chicken dishes. My meal was large enough that I didn’t have room for dessert so that will be tried another time. But there definitely will be another visit!

The Camera’s Here

The new camera arrived today, so I’ve got a new toy to learn how to use. But it’s still an EOS so I’ll be able to hook it up to the telescopes and do some photography. I purchased the external battery pack because one of my goals is to do some long exposure Milky Way photography with it piggy backed on the ETX. I’m planning on using the LPI as an autoguider for those shots.

Hopefully I’ll be able to burn a roll or two this weekend, during the Pascha services.

PST First Light

The new PST came in today and I had a good opportunity to take it out before I left work. All I can say is that I’m extremely impressed. The case is solidly made with space for the tripod legs and cut out sections of foam for storing it with the tripod attached to the body. It’s got a sun finder built in so it’s pretty easy to align on the sun, though you do have to do a little tweaking to fine tune it. The supplied 12mm Kellner eyepiece provides pretty decent views but I’m going to try a couple others this weekend.

This is the first time I’ve seen an H-alpha image other than JPEGs on the internet and am totally blown away. Actually being able to see prominences is amazing. It’s too bad we’re on the down side of the solar cycle, but there’s a sunspot that will hopefully show something a little more interesting when it rotates off.

I’m going to try attaching the 35mm and the LPI this weekend and see if I can get some photos.

Scarborough Faire

I finally got a free day to take a trip down to Scarborough Faire, a renaissance festival in Waxahachie. It was a lot of fun, as usual. The guys at The Mud Show did a pretty funny take on Dante’s Inferno. This was also the first time I sat down to watch Hey Nunnie Nunnie!‘s act. It was hilarious, and per Alex’s request there are a couple CD’s bound for South Carolina.

I picked up a couple pieces of wall art to start covering up some of the bare walls at the house. The first one is a piece titled Defiance by LA Williams. The second one is a small celtic style print from Gutenburg Press (no website).

It’s a great way to spend a Satuday or Sunday so go if you get the chance!

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, the feast of the entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem. It’s called Palm Sunday because of the palm branches that the people waved during his entry. It marks the beginning of Holy Week, leading up to Pascha.

Entry Into Jerusalem

The New Camera

I got a small bonus from work and have decided to use some of it to pick up a new film camera. I’ve really fallen in love with the Canon EOS platform and so I just placed an order for an EOS Elan 7NE. It’s a little better than the Rebel 2000 that went up to Illinois, mostly because it’s a little newer. So that and a new 50mm f/1.8 lens are on the way from Adorama.

The only bummer about it is that I can’t shoot infrared film because of the IR film advance counter, but I’ve got an old screw mount Pentax that’s completely manual, so that’ll become the IR platform.

Back To Work, Back To School

First day back at work and there’s lots of stuff to do. I definitely kept myself busy. We got in the new server we’ve been waiting for only to find that HP shipped us the wrong one, not just the wrong configuration but the wrong server. The serial numbers don’t match!

I also went to church this evening and was greeted with a surprise. Fr. John and Fr. Michael have ripped out some of the walls and floors to expand one of the rooms. There’s a lot of work going on! I’m going to bring some new insulation up for the duct work since what’s up there is pretty well trashed.

This evening was also the first day of class, DBM/405 (Database Management Systems). The University of Phoenix changed the start day for their on-line classes from Thursday to Tuesday so I lost a couple days of break this time, but it hasn’t changed the class schedule one bit due to the big gap caused by Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Driving Home

Today was the trip back to Dallas. Leaving always hurts, it’s not fun. But I made good time and got back in at about 8:40 PM. Time for bed…