“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Nice night for stars


There's some moisture in the air, but it's still a good night for looking at the stars. I turn out all the red security lights, and go back up behind the shop into the meadow. Then I go up slope, to the treeline. There's a good view of the night sky from there. I turn out the lantern, and once the eyes adjust, there are the stars and the silhouettes of the mountains.

 To really enjoy the night sky, you have to be in a position where there is no artificial light at all.  A blacked out warship at sea will give you the best view of the entire bowl of the sky at night.  The desert will do it, too, if you are far enough out from civilization.  The mountains don't let you see 360 degrees unless you are on the highest peak in the region, and my mountain is not that. But I can see the sky , down the mountain and towards North Carolina. It's very relaxing. A quiet night with the stars up there does wonders for keeping things in perspective.

It was hot today, in the low nineties range. The humidity was high.  It's still not what I would call cool at one in the morning, but it's more tolerable.  Once it gets to the high summer days, I tend to stay inside by day, and spend more time outside in the evening and at night. You get less heat stress that way.

I finally straggled down to the mail box to see what had accumulated, and found a new Graf and Sons catalog. This is a big event for me,  since I buy most of my reloading supplies from them. Midway is my second supplier. Between the two I can get everything I need. The catalogs are free and more fun than most magazines I pay for.

 I was in the apartment today, looking for something and I opened a cabinent I haven't been into for awhile. I found this book in there.  At first, I couldn't remember it at all and thought maybe I'd bought it and then not read it.

But when I thumbed through,  I remembered it.  Not a bad book.  The title is a give a way that it's about an electromagnetic pulse, but it has some unusual twists to the story that keep it from being stale. I bought it some time ago, and haven't seen any reviews so I don't know if Williams wrote anything else, or even if this is still in print.

It's a good way to spend a hot afternoon, though. The book is well written, and it feels "professional." As if the author has been writing for a long time and has story telling down pat.  I don't know anything about him, it's just an impression.

All in all, it's not been a bad day.

22 comments:

  1. Hey Harry,


    (captaincrunch)

    Years ago onboard the "Puget Sound' in the middle of the Atlantic I saw the true night sky you were talking about. Being at 'darken ship' helps out a lot were the only lights were the running lights forward and aft.

    There is some new tv show called "The Last Ship" that premered tonight on one of the cable channels. I had it recorded. I read the book many, many years go and the book was very good.
    The tv show appears to be about a plague that wipes out billions of people and only one Navy ship is left with a research crew on board to find a cure for the plague.
    That deviates from the original story and I found out too the producer is this "Micheal Bay" and he makes somewhat cheesy movies so I am not to exicited about this tv show. I got a feeling it will start off strong and the writers will kill the tv show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's odd you and I served aboard the same ship, and a Destroyer Tender, at that. I always thought it was lame that the Admiral had to use a tender for a flagship. Should have been a Heavy Cruiser or a Battleship, like in the good old days.

      I think I heard something about that book, but I've never read it. If the plague wipes out everybody else but the ships crew, it's a good thing there are women sailors now.

      Delete
  2. I too am awake here in the wee hours. Heat index of 105 here today. I read the book too and do believe he wrote a sequel but not sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a certain type of person who spends more of his time in nocturnal activities than diurnal. I think they call them "psychopaths." At least you are in good company, I know lots of night people. :-)

      If the guy wrote a sequel I need to find it, because the book is actually pretty good. A Rastafarian who slays his enemies with a machete. What's not to like?

      Delete
  3. We're getting more and more lights out our way as people move in. We used to have an amazing view of the sky, it's still nice but we're too close to towns. I'll bet it's really nice to watch the sky from your place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is. It's one of my main pleasures, to tell the truth. I always go out and try to see the meteor showers and that kind of thing, but my eyes are not too good so I never see the "events." I still enjoy hearing the wind blowing through the trees and sitting out there, when it's cool and quiet.

      Light pollution is a real joy killer.

      Delete
  4. I truly miss a glorious night sky. We just live to close to town to get a good one. I haven't seen the milky way in years!

    Thanks for the book recommendation too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leigh,

      I've seen your pictures though, and you have a really nice place. Everything is a trade off. Maybe at some point in the future, you and your husband can get a backup place out in the woods, and then you'll have that tranquility to hand again.

      Delete
  5. Stephen above is correct - REFUGE I believe is the title and its scheduled to be released very soon, if not already. I thought PULSE was an entertaining read - sure did make sailing on a catamarran sound good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm going to check. I sure want a copy if it's out. Post apocalyptic fiction is not hard to find, but well written post apocalyptic fiction is like hens teeth.

      Thanks for the heads up. I've done some sailing but only in Lightning class boats, and then not far off shore. I'm like the Greeks and Romans, I want to be able to run in to shore if anything threatening comes up.

      Delete
    2. Well, I tried to order REFUGE from Barnes and Noble last night, but was told it would not be published until September 9. Pity - I'm in a reading mood right now. Guess I'll just have to wait.

      Fwiw, the author does have a blog more tuned to the prepper, BUG OUT SURVIVAL. Its pretty much defunct, but the past articles and comments are interesting and well worth reviewing.

      Delete
    3. I'll try to order it then. I'm going to order Rawles' two new books, which come out in October, on preorder. I'll try to get all three.

      I need to take a look at that blog. I'm always looking for new sources of information. Too bad he let it slide into disuse.

      Delete
  6. If we ever get "pulsed", we'll all be seeing the stars as never before.

    Years ago, I was in Northern Ghana where the electricity hadn't reached yet. Even with the village campfire I saw a pretty awesome starry display.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It probably still hasn't reached there yet.

      That must have been an interesting experience. You and my wife would have a lot to talk about, she grew up in Nigeria and Niger. But I don't think it was all that great a childhood for her, she said she'd never go back.

      Delete
    2. Other than landing in Nigeria, I'll for certain never set foot there again. ON our way back home, our plane had minors issues that forced a lay over in Lagos. We couldn't use the restrooms on the plane and were forced to to go the ones in the airport under armed guard.

      As far as Ghana goes, I'm very much afraid that the Muslim violence will come over from Nigeria soon. They are killing Christians and those who won't convert to Islam by the Dozens, just about every Sunday .....religion of peace and all that,....

      Of course, if the Muslims don't get you, maybe the uncontolled Ebola outbreak that's currently going in West Africa might.

      Delete
    3. Militant Islam is enjoying a resurgence all across the globe. It's easier to make your religion the only religion if killing off non-believers is advertised as the will of God. That's been an issue with religion, all religions, at one time or another but Islam doesn't ever seem to "grow out of it."

      Lagos is where the mission school was that my wife was sent to with her sisters and brothers. When she graduated high school she worked in the bush clinic for a while, then went to the University of Tours in France. Her parents wanted her to go in the mission field, but she refused. Went to Southern Mississippi, got her degree, and worked in a hospital for a few years. Then she joined the Navy, went to OCS, and was assigned to Naples where I met her. The odds of all that happening in just the right sequence for us to meet must have been astronomically against.

      Delete
  7. My youngest daughter commented a few weeks ago, "Wow stars, never see that in Orlando" indeed not with all that light pollution. Give me the country any time. Can you just imagine back during the earlier times of our country?? What a site that would have been.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can well imagine. If they'd had air conditioning I'd be ready to go back in time and live then. But as I was thinking the other day, I don't see how in hell people survived in these mountains in summer. Especially with the women cooking in the house on a wood burning stove or in the hearth. I'd last about ten minutes.

      Delete
    2. Cooking in summer was a nightmare, but imagine the trouble of hauling ALL your daily water to your home every day - omigosh, my knuckles would be dragging the ground in no time.

      Delete
  8. I step out my back door at night and marvel at the stars and milky way. No city lights and here in the high desert of Oregon with low humidity and cool evenings the stars look close enough to grab. Our temp was 80 today with 23% humidity. It was perfect. I envy you in the winter, though. In the good old days, many people had outdoor kitchens. It's what one gets used to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You live in a great place. My trip there to go camping along the Snake river sold me. I saw the most beautiful thunderstorm I've ever seen there. In the Oregon high desert you can see so much, so far. Here I'm always closed in, the forest just wraps around you and sometimes you feel completely enveloped in it.

      There are still some cabins preserved here that date to the late 1840's. They were built simply, with an eye to defense but not much concern for comfort. No windows, just a door. A chimney and hearth at one end, or, if the people were ambitious, at both ends. People here were dirt farmers, but the only good land is along the river and in a few coves. This is still a hard place to live and it must have been very tough in the old days.

      Delete
  9. The pulse, I believe is a solar flare. I reviewed both books. The sequel was The Darkness After. They are not perfect, but are entertaining. The author is an outdoorsman and writes about boating type stuff, so boating tends to feature heavily.

    ReplyDelete