Ups and Downs of WordPress

The way I see it, WordPress has it’s ups and downs. If you just want to blog and get some quick thoughts up, it’s easy, and the way to go.
Oh, but the theme business is a business. When you set up a WordPress site on WordPress.com, you have to choose a “theme.” A theme controls the look and feel of your site, and allows customization. So it’s cool with a click of a mouse you can change the theme of your site and therefore the whole appearance, and to some degree, how it behaves.

Now here’s the rub. All the “good” themes cost money. Big money.

Now here’s the rub. All the “good” themes cost money. Big money. We’re talking in the $60 range, a lot for your little blog. Or you can opt for a premium membership for $10 a month, wherein the themes are free, but in a year you’re paying $120, which is twice what the theme cost in the first place.
So for now, I’m sticking with the crappy little free themes they have. And if you see this site change from time to time, it’s because I probably changed the theme.

Walk in the Park

In the dog park again, listening to the quiet pops of nearby rifles. We’re in Texas and people sure do like to fire their guns. There’s a nearby rifle range. I don’t know how they can afford all of the ammunition, or to what end all that repetitive shooting will accomplish. Surely, they don’t fear the National Guard will take away their guns like people were saying before the election. Maybe they just want to go out and kill some of the local wildlife. Hopefully not me or the dog walking through a field.
Brandi, my dog, just enjoyed a run around in the fenced-in area and now I’ve come out with her on a leash walking around the main part of the park, dictating to my phone as I go. It’s a very warm day for winter. About 80 degrees Fahrenheit. People are out here having barbecues. In a few days it will snow and sleet again.
Back at the car, I get a call from my wife wondering where I am. I did tell her I was going to the dog park didn’t I?
So here I go driving the short distance home, with my head immersed in insane politics and the cosmos. I’m wondering whether I will be killed by an asteroid, a nuclear bomb, a terrorist shooting up my local street, by my neighbors and co-workers for voting for Obama, or just plain old age!
Life is just a walk in the park.

What perturbs the Oort Cloud?

Beyond the Kuiper Belt, wherein lies our friend Pluto, there exists what we now know as the Oort Cloud, named after astronomer Jan Oort who theorized its existence.
The Oort Cloud is thought to be the region from where long-period comets come barreling toward our sun, make a tight U-shaped curve, and then fly way out again, only to return later.
Trillions of chunks of ice float around out there, far far away. But, as pointed out, some of them get perturbed and are flung inward on their spectacular comet slingshot.
So what perturbs the Oort Cloud? Theories abound, including the existence of one or more really large objects too far away to be seen.
The Earth has seen a series of mass extinctions in the course of its 4.5 billion years existence, thought to be caused by uncomfortably large comets smashing onto the surface. Something may be out there throwing stuff at us.
It turns out, looking at our own galaxy, more than half the stars seem to be part of a binary, trinary or quaternary system. Essentially more than one star orbiting each other. A solo star is more of the exception than the norm. Could we have a sister star?
You can’t make this stuff up.
Maybe something big is out there. Maybe it and our sun orbit each other over millions of years. Does the sun have a companion out there somewhere? Could there be a brown dwarf, too dim for us to see, disturbing the Oort Cloud?
These are real questions astronomers are asking themselves. Although you wouldn’t be able to see it in visible light, such a body would still emit enough heat to be detectable in the infrared spectrum.
Alas, no nemesis dwarf star has been found to date.
That leaves us with another planetary size object that could be flinging comets toward us. We still don’t know.
But something does seem to dislodge stuff thought to be floating in the Oort Cloud and send them on a wildly oliptical orbit around the sun.
They have a wild ride.

Partial eclipse of the Snow Moon

Tonight we had a partial eclipse of the Snow Moon. A Snow Moon is a full moon in February. This year (2017) we had a Snow Moon, partial lunar eclipse and a comet  (not pictured) all at the same time.
I took this photo, with a local streetlight in the foreground, tonight shortly after moonrise.

Star Trek and Pluto

It’s round. Big enough that it’s own gravity makes it a sphere rather than a lump of coal or a cube or some other oddly shaped object. If you were on the Star Trek Enterprise, went into orbit around this object and looked outside your view screen, this is what you’d see. You have arrived at the Planet Pluto.
Or have you?
Astronomers who “decided” Pluto wasn’t a planet but a dwarf planet, have not only disappointed generations of mankind, but were wrong.
They were wrong because a dwarf planet is still a planet, as much as a dwarf star is still a star. Indubitably.

Many people don’t know that our sun is a dwarf star. There are two kinds of dwarf stars: yellow dwarfs and the more common red dwarfs. Our sun is a yellow dwarf. Still a star, just a dwarf star. 

So just because our sun is a dwarf star doesn’t mean it’s not a star. Therefore just because Pluto is now labeled a dwarf planet orbiting around in the Kuiper Belt doesn’t mean Pluto no longer exists or that it’s s not a planet.
Another example:
Dwarf people are people. Black, white, Muslim, Hindu, Christian people. They’re all people. The operating word is the noun not the adjective. Dwarf is the adjective. Planet is the operating word. Pluto is a planet.
Proof positive. Q.E.D. Enough said. Point made. De facto verum. Just look outside at the object in the view screen. Gather the away team. We’re beaming down to the planet’s surface.

Unkaputing my Kaput Computer

Suffice it to say you don’t need anything Microsoft to have a perfectly wonderful PC.

My poor computer, running the Linuxmint operating system, cool though it is with it’s huge RAM and 2.5 terabytes of storage, needs servicing.
Oh don’t have me rant about how I seriously dislike having to spend actual money to have virus protection on a Windows machine, or actual money for the operating system itself. Or that Windows is not the operating system on those devices anyway. It’s still MSDOS with an interface layer so you don’t have to use the command prompt directly like it was before Windows came along. But I digress. I’ve been ranting. Suffice it to say you don’t need anything Microsoft to have a perfectly wonderful PC.
My computer was built by us assembling the parts, such as the tower, the motherboard, disk drives, fans, etc. It was a blank machine with no OS, and I installed the easiest and best operating system on it, Linuxmint, built on top of Ubuntu. Still works, but the DVD writer is kaput. And it’s dirty inside.
Time to get it serviced. I’ll pay someone. Too much for me to bother with personally anymore.

Frustrating Weight Loss

My diet plan predicts that I should be losing 3 lbs. per week. But the last week the scale moves not. It’s frustrating! I am working so hard, diligently and dare I say faithfully on keeping to the diet plan. Yet my weight remains fixed.
Oh gravity is so strong!