doubt72: (waterfall)
Another set of pictures; this time from a pair of hikes Ai-chan and I did in Rocky Mountain National Park in September when the aspen were changing.

Lake Haiyaha:

[Click through for the rest.]
doubt72: old telescope (astronomy)
Finally (after almost four months) got around to going through my pictures from RMSS (Rocky Mountain Star Stare) back in June. And so, the triumphant return of the photo blog.

Also, as part of the trip (and so part of the photo set), on the way back from the star party we stopped at the Royal Gorge. Which was worth a few good pictures, although overall it's a horrible tourist trap and not worth the money (which we might have paid except for it being father's day... Er, long story). Anyway, here are some pictures, include a rather nice sunset:

[As is always the case, click through for the full set.]
doubt72: old telescope (astronomy)
This evening, the last Venus transit for the next 105 years happened (I missed the last one in 2004, not sure when the last one before that was, but suffice to say, they don't happen too often).

We got lucky, the weather forecast for Denver was not very favorable for seeing it, and in fact part of the transit was clouded out, but we got lucky in that it cleared up long enough to see both first and second contact, and again at sunset, so we got the best of it (third and fourth contact happened after Sunset for North America, though). At one point we'd considered jumping in the car and just driving east for an hour or two, but the forecast didn't look any better there, and considering how things turned out (and the fact that we were hanging out watching it with a bunch of other locals as a bonus), it's a good thing we didn't.

At any rate, here are a few pictures:

[As always, click on the image for the rest of the set.]
doubt72: (bear)
Because the internet needs more kitten pictures, have a picture of Wolfram in a box:

[Click through the picture for more new kitten pictures.]
doubt72: old telescope (astronomy)
So, Ai-chan and I went down to Albuquerque this weekend to see the total annular eclipse. Of course, since we wanted to avoid the 14-hour death march, we went down Saturday, and since we were there Saturday, we hooked up with the local astronomy club on Saturday night at their dark sky site, and then took a quick side trip to the VLA on Sunday morning. Of course, I took a few pictures along the way, including a few rather ad-hoc eyepiece projection pictures of the eclipse itself:

[Click through for the rest.]

Anyway, the eclipse pictures themselves were really not the best quality, but I didn't really plan to do any such thing, anyway -- we were just planning to watch it. We perhaps could have planned the trip a bit better, but we had a blast, anyway, so it's all good.

In the process, I also got my picture in the Albuquerque Journal. ^_^
doubt72: (bear)
Have I mentioned that we adopted two Siberian kittens? So we have:

[More pictures past the link.]

Well, perhaps Ai-chan may have mentioned it now and then. The black one is Wolfram (pronounced "tungsten") and the tabby is Catmium.

Anyway, I'll probably take more pictures when I get some better light than we've had the last couple of days.


1 Apr 2012 20:38
doubt72: (Default)
So, broke down and got the Nissan 370Z I'd wanted for some time. Ai-chan isn't particularly happy about the spending, but is somewhat mollified that I got the touring edition with heated seats (been so warm that it's not useful right now, but she's all for it in principle). And with the new job, we can afford it. It does mean that Domo-kun (the XTerra) is going to be relegated to the street -- only room for two cars in the garage. I couldn't ask Ai-chan to park the Fit on the street since she's the only one really driving these days anyway. Besides, I had to give on some things to get her to buy off on it in the first place.

No pictures yet -- they're doing final detailing and we'll be picking it up tomorrow (I forgot to take anything at the dealer). Plus busy setting up a new desk for the new equipment for the new job.

Also, did a Messier marathon last weekend before I went to Seattle to start the new job; I should do a post on that, maybe in a day or two.
doubt72: old telescope (astronomy)
So, long time, no update. I suppose stuff's been going on, I just haven't been connected to this journal thing in a while. Not sure that this will become any sort of habit, though -- we'll see.

At any rate, I suppose one piece of big news is that I'm diving back into astronomy, and it all started when I picked up a used TeleVue NP-101 from an old acquaintance who was selling it (since he had a couple of larger refractors and didn't really use it anymore). Since this was the large(-ish) refractor I lusted after back in the day, I couldn't really resist (I had a 70mm TeleVue Pronto back then, which is about half the size at about the same focal length -- this is about as large a refractor as I'd want to deal with, for larger apertures I prefer other telescope designs). And so, now I have a scope again.

Well, a scope needs a mount, and I really want to stick it on a Losmandy GM-8. Unfortunately, they're somewhat backordered, so I'll have to wait a couple of months for mine to arrive, and in the meantime I'm making due with a borrowed alt-az (which works okay, but really isn't the same, especially if you want to put power on something, what without the tracking and the slight shakiness when you focus).

I also got some other stuff to make it useful -- I'd had a few books and supplies, but was missing a few key items like, say, eyepieces. So I got a cheap Celestron set (for the filters and such as much as the eyepieces, honestly -- the eyepieces themselves will make good star party eyepieces someday, maybe), and now a couple of "real" eyepieces, namely a 22mm Nagler and a 7mm Pentax XW. They make a decent pair, but eventually I plan to get a few more (the current plan is to get a 9mm Baader Orthoscopic, a 12mm Nagler, a 5mm Takahashi LE, and -- maybe -- a 2.8mm Takahashi LE someday, as well as a 41mm Panoptic whenever I get a telescope with a longer focal length than the NP-101. And, of course, every single one of these cost significantly more than the entire Celestron kit which combined contains five eyepieces and a bunch of other stuff). At some point I'd like to replace my Celestron C11 Schmidt-Cassegrain, maybe even get a medium-sized Maksutov-Cassegrain for planets and such, but for now, this is what I'm using.

Anyway, the big near-term thing I want to gear up for is the Messier Marathon, usually best done in March or so. (Farther down the road is the annular solar eclipse in May, and the Venus transit in June.) I've done it before with both a 4.5" Newtonian (the first scope I owned in Colorado) and my old 70mm Pronto (the Newtonian was about perfect -- the NP-101 should be as well -- but the Pronto was just a tad on the small side). So, both as a bit of practice and also because it was clear and I wanted to get some observing in, I did a mini-Marathon run today (a Messier 5k?), and I'm sure everyone is still reading and wants to know how it went... And so I'll tell you.

M74 -- the first failure of the night was the very first object, which I just couldn't pull out of the light pollution to the east, even after coming back to it and trying it a few times.
M77 -- no problem.
M31 -- extremely bright, so easy, although all you could really see was the core.
M110 -- the companion galaxies, on the other hand, were a complete bust, couldn't see them at all.
M32 -- see M110.
M33 -- no dice, it can be hard to pick out under dark skies, with this much light pollution it was hopeless.
M34 -- no problem finding this.
M76 -- couldn't find it. It's not a good sign when you can't even pick out the guide stars in the light pollution.
M79 -- couldn't see it. Pretty sure I was looking right at it, too.
M42 -- easy target, even pulled out the OIII filters and spent some time on it.
M43 -- on the other hand, couldn't see this part.
M78 -- no problem -- I was actually surprised I could see this one.
M50 -- I don't think I found this one; it was just too low (trees in the back yard, plus light pollution).
M47 -- I'm pretty sure I found this one when I was looking for M50 (it was almost impossible to see the guide stars).
M46 -- no dice.
M41, M93 -- didn't even bother, down behind a tree.
M52, M103 -- didn't bother, hard to see over the house.
M1 -- found it, was a little surprised I could see this one, too.
M45 -- easy under any conditions, so yes.

...At this point, I decided it was too cold (about 30ºF -- more to the point, the light wind was a tad annoying) and kinda gave up. I'd already seen the next objects anyway (M36, M37, and M38). I did take a look at M44 just because I hadn't through this scope yet (some of the other object above were repeats). So, managed to nab nine objects (out of 110-ish), failed to spot another nine, didn't bother with the rest. I might go back out later and look at some other stuff, but I'll probably just get up in the wee hours and look at Saturn or something instead.
doubt72: (ascensiontech)
So, it's been a couple weeks since I've posted anything here -- I've been kind of worn out by back-to-back conventions (one for fun, one for work) and haven't had a lot of extra energy for working on the game. However, today, I have a new screenshot to show. And so, since last time:

- Finished the ship design tab.

- Redid the scrollbars on the other pages after deciding that the default scrollbars just didn't work. I would have left them alone except for one thing -- I resize my content to fill the remaining available space when the scrollbars appear, and doing that led to various minor rendering issues, but the real deal-breaker was on the ship design page where not only did the scrollbar take up an awful lot of space on the component and hull views -- slightly annoying, but not the actual deal-breaker -- but it got into a nasty infinite expand-contract loop when the squeezed content was small enough not to need a scrollbar but the unsqueezed content needed one. Bleah. So I just finally took the damn thing out and implemented my own.

- Did a bunch of graphics for technologies and modules and such -- still have a few to go, but all the ones I needed for the ship design page (plus a bunch of others for other technologies) are done.

Anyway, your moment of screenshot -- have a big, complicated ship design tab (this just scratches the surface of it):

[Click through for full size.]

And, bonus Ascension Theory technology image:

Onward to the fleet tab, probably.
doubt72: (neutronstar)
Long weekend. So, since last time:

- Added a planetary display (that was pretty quick and easy -- mostly copied the code from the system display on the galaxy tab).

- Redid the buttons. I wasn't happy with the contrast (it was nearly impossible to see if a button was selected or not). Unfortunately, you can't just change the button colors, you need to replace them with a completely different type of button. I'm still not happy with them, really, but creating my own buttons would be a real pain, and they're good enough for now).

- Added the option to play various races on startup.

- Spent a good chunk of the weekend making logos for all the races.

- Added a diplomacy display, which was really what those logos were for in the first place. Also went back and added them to the planetary and galaxy displays (see screenshots for what I did). Again, another page which was largely a copy of a previous page (although this time, copied the layout instead of the content).

- Redid the research page a bit so it better matches the color and layouts used elsewhere.

So, screenshots:



[Click through both for larger images.]


doubt72: (Default)

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December 2015

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