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  1. A yellow and red blob was right on track for me, but it dissipated into an ineffective light shower just when it got here.
  2. Fuck icemakers, water dispensers, and shit like $%#& wi-fi connectivity (jesus wept) for a goddamn fridge. I just want it to keep my shit cold.
  3. There were dark clouds on the horizon, but by the time they got to my house, they barely spat out enough to make my sidewalk damp.
  4. Gawdammit Austin is going to get dry humped by Hanna. No bueno.
  5. FWIW, my uncorrected distance vision is decent, but not 20/20, more like 20/30. For reading newspaper-size text on paper, I need glasses (I think they are x1.5 or 1.75) unless I have good lighting. I still passed the eye test (or so they told me) without too much trouble. Maybe I guessed at a few of the letters or numbers.
  6. The Texas Tribune coronavirus site is showing a big drop in hospitalized cases today (from well over 10,000 to 8858). I don't know if 1500+ patients were discharged since yesterday, or if it's just something glitchy in the reporting for today. Anyone know?
  7. Thinking about Hale-Bopp reminded me of something else--back then, I went up on Mount Bonnell to see it, and even though it's still in the city, just getting above the predominant city lights helped. So if you live near there and don't want to drive far out into the country, that might be an option that's better than the average back yard. But that was 20+ years ago.
  8. I have a smallish (102 mm) GOTO motorized telescope that's been sitting idle for a couple of years and tried to get it going last night, but the electronics and motor drive seem to be dead. How does something made with solid state electronics, that was working when you put it away, just up and die? But that being said, from looking at Hale-Bopp in '97, I found that a telescope (at least a small one) didn't add much over good binocs. It made a small fuzzy ball into a larger fuzzy ball.
  9. Jesus, is your friend the Hubble Space Telescope? Even looking back towards the Austin lights, I managed to see it for about 30 seconds last night (with binocs) before a thin cloud wiped it out. Was about 9:28 pm. Timing is somewhat important because you need to catch it when the light from sunset is mostly gone, but before the comet gets too low in the sky.
  10. No CR but some of our decision makers are making policy fully unencumbered by any consideration of data or otherwise being "fully informed."
  11. I tried to catch this Saturday and Sunday morning, but it was too hazy, then I tried last night and I could not pick it up out of the skyglow just above the horizon. A guy with us had a camera that was sensitive enough to get a faint image, but to the naked eye and binocs it was just too faint. If it was up to me, we'd have draconian laws and punishments to control light pollution.
  12. This thread title needs a slight edit: DT: COVID-19? - NO, POLITICS ALLOWED!
  13. This is more of a rant than a call for help; the IRS is bad at writing instructions in a clear, unambiguous way. The instructions for 1040 Schedule B say that filing Schedule B is required if "You had over $1,500 of taxable interest or ordinary dividends." I tend to interpret this as meaning that Schedule B is not required unless you had over $1500 of interest, or over $1500 in dividends. (i.e., if you had $1000 in interest income and $1000 in dividends, Schedule B is not required--the $1500 threshold applies to each category, not to the combined total.) However, I did some searching online to try and verify my interpretation, and found at least two sources -- one from a major tax software site, and one CPA website, that say it actually is based on the combined total (interest + dividends). I found at least one other online source that supports the first interpretation that it applies to each category individually (interest, dividends) not the combined total. If the IRS meant for this criteria to apply to the combined total, they should say "Schedule B is required if your combined total of taxable interest and dividend income exceeds $1500." If the first interpretation is correct, the instructions should say "Schedule B is required if you had taxable interest over $1500, or ordinary dividends exceeding $1500." It just seems lazy to leave it potentially open to misinterpretation.
  14. One more thing--kids that got Apple or IBM PC computers instead of Commodore 64s.
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