St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Morning Ramble

A person has to test themselves a little each day--to see if they are gaining on us (Don't look back, they might be gaining on you said Satchel Page).  
Venus and the moon were bright at 6:30 am --not a cloud in the sky.  It would have been a good morning to have the telescope out, other than the -25 degrees

This morning, with no wind, the mid-minus 20s F, it seemed like a good day to test myself outside.  So, strapping on my cross-country skis I did my morning hour tour.  Shortly into the run I warmed up and other than frozen fingers, toes, cheeks and a badly frozen lung, things went fine.  (Actually the ski trip was very very very much shorter as the reality of -25 penetrated my skull in only 3 minutes)

Venus and the moon are out brightly in the crisp morning dusk.  I have been an amateur sky watcher since my youth (I built my own 6-inch reflecting telescope by my early teens) and had planned to go on to graduate school in astronomy until Uncle Sam declared me a winner in the Vietnam draft lottery for 1970.  I spent 3 years out of circulation (not in the military, but in government mandated alternate service as I refused to shoot people for any reason at all--not acceptable to becoming a soldier).  

 After that, I did go back to school, but it wasn't the same anymore--lost my enthusiasm for professors telling me what to do. So I am still an amateur.  I try to keep up a little with what is in the sky, but whether had things been different, I would have continued with this or not is hard to say. 

It was still quite dark out when these were taken but my camera held the shutter open for 1/4 second to get enough light as I tried to keep from shivering to hold it steady. 

A few days ago when the wind was gusting to 40 mph

Pete Seeger, the singer whose purpose in life was to bring fairness and decent pay and conditions to the working man passed away at 94 years old.  Margo, Scott and I went to see him at a concert or two in the 80s when he came to the Twin Cities with Arlo Guthrie and Ronny Gilbert and others.  He was quite controversial and hated by most conservatives because of his stands, politics and so on.  What you can say about him is that he never wavered from his belief that working together people can make things better.  I particularly like his maple syrup song--he was a fellow syruper.