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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Resolution Re-run

New years by the score
have left me in doubt
as what more to leave out.
I gave up hard spirits,
tobacco and speeding,
soaped out my mouth
and even stopped fibbing.
I once gave up slouching
and dating bad men,
ran from intolerance
to pose on the fence.
I’m not pure lily white
but surely modest and mild.
I’ve come full circle
which is rather odd
so this year I resolve
to resume smokes and gin,
to step up my pace,
and regain ten pounds
while practicing road rage
and lewd finger waves.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Boughs of Winter

Puffy snowflakes swirl
as if giant hands
tipped our globe of glass.
Snug in the car
we sip lattes
move in and out of fog
slip up the narrow road
curve high along the hill.
At the crest
wintry sun breaks through
throws diamonds on the white
shows an ancient tree
toppled on a bed of boughs.
We stop to gather limbs,
breathe steam into the air,
no bird, no skiff of wind,
no soughing of the trees
break the winter silence
until from far below
a creek rustles
beneath its quilt of snow,
weaves between
the feet of massive trees
on its travel to the sea.
Northwest night sneaks down
while we retrace our route
in a car as warmly fragrant
as the perfect cedar chest.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Stellarium - Software

The sky at night, viewed through clouds, trees and city lights. The sky at day, viewed through snowflakes and coats of gray.

A 25 meg download, Stellarium is free open source planetarium software. It shows a realistic sky in 3D - what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope - when it sets itself to your computer time and date. It can also be used in planetarium projectors.

Watch the sky at any longitude and latitude you wish while the stars, planets and nebula advance in real time. The click of a button produces constellation lines and/or art plus many other options. The initial program provides four landscapes but a dedicated digital illustrator can insert her own backyard as the viewing ground.

This awesome program will tide me over until the sky turns clear and the air warms enough to venture outdoors with Stellarium to identify those objects seen overhead.