Thoughts and essays about music, physics, martinis and pretty girls.

[ about the author ]
Name: Roger L. Smith
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Interests: Astronomy, Science,  Bicycle Racing, Music,  Photography, Tennis, and why...
Occupation: Computer Scientist, Software Engineer

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Martini Records

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Martinis at Midnight

Thursday, May 20, 2004

quick post

i finally made it to a real meeting of the graaa tonight. it seems like a great group of people, and the speaker did an outstanding job of presenting the history of the transit of venus. i have gained a whole new level of respect for the event that is going to take place on june 8. it makes me want to go out and buy a solar filter for my scope...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

the rain stopped (temporarily), and the clouds parted and today was a beautiful mid-may spring day. i think we can look forward to more rain tonight, but i did get back outside with my telescope tonight. since the weather has been so crappy, and it likes like it'll be crappy for another week or more, i was hoping to see and possibly photograph comet NEAT. i searched high and low and couldn't find that little bugger. darn!

i took a look at jupiter and saw 4 of it's moons. it looked quite nice, however i wanted to see something that i've never seen before. i decided to search for some galaxies.

since ursa major (the big dipper) was the only visible constellation (due to a hazy atmosphere and a lot of light pollution), i decided to look for m109, m108 or m97. i figured i'd at least be looking in the right area even if i couldn't see anything. and that's exactly what i saw, nothing.

it's hard to believe that charles messier discovered all these deep space objects in the 1700's. i guess the skies were darker back then...

if all goes as planned, tomorrow night i'll be finally attending a meeting of the graaa and hopefully joining. i've been planning on doing this for at least the last 12-18 months.

Monday, May 17, 2004

saturday night we ended up going to the local race track to watch some great stock car racing. our hometown racing hero, johnny benson was back at his home track for the first saturday of this year. his regular schedule of nascar nextel cup(winston cup) and busch racing has given him a break and allowed him to come home again. you can read all the stories at http://www.berlinraceway.com

for the first time in a month the skies cleared up and would have been good for sky watching. last night i didn't have the energy to move after 9pm and tonight there were thunderstorm watches all evening but when i closed the garage at 10pm the sky was crystal clear. go figure... if i would have known it was going to be like that i would have set up the scope. oh well, there will be plenty of clear skies this summer, right?

i've been reading more about string theory. i'm slowly plugging my way through "the elegant universe". this is an incredible book. i can't wait to start reading the next one by brian greene.

Friday, May 14, 2004

tomorrow night is going to be the first clear night in a long time. should i stay home and set up my telescope? i could try to get some images of some deep space objects.

should i go to the observatory for super saturn saturday? that would certainly be a good time.

or should i go to the local racetrack for some good old fashioned saturday night stock car racing? our local racing hero, johnny benson, will be there and we've been big jb fans for a long time.

no matter what is decided, i will be happy, unless it rains...

i haven't been in a very creative mood lately. i apologize for the lack of substance in this last group of posts. i'll try to return to some simple level of intellectual entertainment.

Monday, May 10, 2004

does a wise man plan for tomorrow,
or live life today?

planning for tomorrow seems the conservative approach.
what if tomorrow doesn't come?

living life today seems more reckless and carefree.
it also seems more exciting.

what about those who aren't in control of their lives?
what about the people that can't plan for tomorrow because it takes everything they have just to get through today. what about the people that can't live life today because it takes everything they have just to live today.

our world is full of too many people that can't plan for tomorrow, OR live life today.

i hope in the time that i have left, i can help someone plan a future, and live life everyday.

can you do the same?

Friday, May 07, 2004

i sure am slippin' on my commitment to my blog.

in the long run, it's probably a good thing that i've taken a few days away from my night sessions online. i've really needed to catch up on my sleep, and i have somewhat.

tonight i'm listening to the new cd from diana krall, "the girl in the other room". i stumbled across diana's music a couple years ago at the library, and i've been a big fan ever since. i really like her new work, it's a great next step. if you like jazz, you'll like this cd.

on the astronomy front, we've had more clouds than i have ever seen before. i haven't had the telescope out in about 3 weeks now. i am looking forward to some clear night skies and hopefully finding some deep sky objects.

i keep slowly plugging away at reading about string theory, but i don't seem to be getting very far with it.

it seems like i'm so busy, but i don't know where the time goes. i rush there to wait for that, and back to do this, that, and one other thing. then i get my fifteen minutes of peace and quiet to share my life with you. i'm not looking for pity, i just think there's gotta be others that can relate.

i'll go to bed in a little while, and tomorrow it all starts over again. even though tomorrow is saturday, the game is the same, just the pieces are different.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

i can't believe that i haven't blogged in a week. now that i'm actually awake past 10pm, i'll try to at least put a few words down. it may be a quick post, because it sounds like there is a nasty thunderstorm about to roll in.

i've read a little more about string theory, and the things that i proposed in my last post have already been pondered by the string theorists. i love reading about that stuff though; it just makes you really stop and think about where we are, where we came from, and why we are here.

i've been listening to some new music lately. i hope to write some brief reviews in the next few days.

quote of the day:
"stress is like an old lumpy bed. once you get the lumps pushed down in one place, they only pop up again some place else." - roger smith


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