Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Day 3506

We're going to McDonald Observatory. I finally became confident enough about the weather to make a reservation to spend the night on the top of Mt. Locke looking through one of the observatory's big research telescopes. Only very small groups are allowed on these special viewing nights, so you have to plan well in advance. This is where weather becomes a problem. Luckily, I discovered a website called that specializes in providing long range forecasts for construction, agriculture, wedding planners, and anyone else who needs to know when the weather is going to be nice. You have to pay for this service, but for someone as obsessed with weather as I am, the subscription price seemed like a bargain. I know there is no way to absolutely guarantee clear skies months in advance, but I feel better now. This company's track record for predicting the weather is pretty impressive.

This will be the first road trip we've taken in quite a while. I was thinking about taking the train since Amtrak has a stop in Alpine, Texas. The devil is in the details though. Although Amtrak has daily service to Alpine on the westbound run, the train only runs three days a week returning to Dallas. The worst thing about the return trip was that the return train arrives in Alpine at night and only stays at the station for a few minutes. That's bad enough, but the train has a history of being up to three hours late as well. Riding Amtrak isn't cheap anymore either. When you add up the price of two round trip tickets and a rental car in Alpine, the 500 mile drive starts looking better and better.

I spent quite a while travel planning today, but there was still time to punish myself in the sun. It's really hot on my walks these days. I'm basically walking five miles a day and a little more on Sunday's. My effort to stay fit must be working because I've noticed that my average resting heart rate is gradually getting lower. I'm not really adding a lot of muscle, but my legs do feel firmer. I wonder how the runners who pass me on the trails every day do it. I can barely walk in this weather. I wouldn't even consider running.

I've finally run out of the Cadence Kitchen meals I was eating while Janet was away. These meals were delicious and very easy to fix, but they contain too much salt. What now? Maybe I'll try Nature's Plate again. Their kitchen is right in the neighborhood. I used to like these heat and serve vegan meals a lot until their chef became fascinated with sweet potatoes. I'm fine with lentils and chickpeas, but I was never fond of sweet potatoes. I'm not fond of faux meat either. Don't try to trick me with tofu barbecue. If you crave the taste of meat, just eat meat.

I wonder if Sky and Telescope would be interested in an article about my trip to the observatory? Maybe I'll write them tomorrow and see. I'm not going to let my Spaceflight Magazine article go to my head, but I do like writing. I should be writing more. The nice thing about being retired is that I don't have to worry about being rejected. Getting accepted is just a bonus.

Shelby is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day