18.263k days or .5c yrs


Me (late 1964)

Good morning!

And Happy Birthday to myself.  I’ve crossed over.  I’ve reached another dreaded milestone.  Today is the first day of my fifth decade.

To make myself feel better about this dubious event, I’ve reverted to two of my favorite past times:  math and astronomy.

I decided to calculate how many days I’ve been breathing air on Earth.  For that I had to find a date calculator.  Plugging in the relevant date (today in 1964 and 2014), the following results popped up:

From and including: Friday, October 2, 1964
To and including: Thursday, October 2, 2014
Result: 18,263 days

It is 18,263 days from the start date to the end date, end date included

Or 50 years, 1 day including the end date

Alternative time units 18,263 days can be converted to one of these units:

1,577,923,200 seconds
26,298,720 minutes
438,312 hours
18,263 days
2609 weeks

In addition, the Earth is travelling through space, via the Milky Way, at the incredible speed of 3,728.23 mps.  Roughly, the Earth has moved 5.88286061194e+12 miles since I was born, give or take a few.  That equates to approximately 63,256.57 astronomical units.  A rolling stone gathers no moss . . .

And the .5c I included in the title of this post?  No, I’m not travelling at half the speed of  light (except in my dreams).  I’m merely reflecting upon reaching my half century mark.

I decided to make a four day weekend out of this auspicious occasion so I’m relaxing at home, reading and doing other none stressful activities.  No parties (that I know of) and no surprises.  Just Terry, me and the dogs hanging out.

Just another day in the neighborhood.  Eighteen thousand two hundred sixty-three and counting.

Posted in Astronomy, Autumn, Constellations, Mathematics, Musings, Seasons | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Canning: Apple Chutney (2014)

Two years ago, I made Apple Chutney from the fresh apples I picked off my own apple tree.  My daughter loved it and just recently used the last can from that year.

This year, I modified the recipe slightly (see below):

Apple Chutney Recipe

2 quarts (64 ounces) apples (peeled, cored, chopped)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 lbs. golden raisins
4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 1/2 tablespoons mustard seed
2 tablespoons ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons table salt
4 cups (32 ounces) white vinegar

In my stock pot, I poured in the vinegar and added the brown sugar.  I turned on the burner to a simmer setting.  I chopped up the vegetables and added them to the stock pot.  I crushed the garlic and grated the ginger and added that to the stock pot.  I stirred it up.  Then I started adding the spices.  I got to the last one (curry) and got carried away, adding an extra teaspoon (twice as much as the recipe called for) so I added a half teaspoon more of allspice to counterbalance.  I stirred it up again and got to work peeling, coring and chopping apples.


A few dozen apples from our apple tree this season, ready to be preserved.

I picked out seven medium to large sized apples and washed them. Then I peeled, cored and chopped them. I added them to the stockpot and stirred it all up. Then I picked 4-5 of the small apples and washed them. Rinse, repeat.


Apple chutney simmering in my stockopt.

Now I need to prep my brand new 16-quart pressure canner.  This required taking the seal out of the lid and washing the lid, pan and seal in hot soapy water.  It’s almost too big to fit in my sink!  Once I got it rinsed and dried, I returned the seal to the lid and poured in a couple of gallons of distilled water.  Then I turned the burner on medium-high to start the long process of heating up the pan and the water.  Finally, I placed the clean empty lidless jars in the water so they would gradually rise in temperature and become sanitized.  I started a smaller pan with a half-gallon of distilled water on medium-low heat and placed the lids and bands in it.


New pressure canner

The canner can process a dozen of the Ball Quilted Crystal Jelly jars (half pint capacity), which is what I use to preserve the apple chutney. My daughter, for whom all this effort is expended, prefers that size to use when cooking for two.  I processed through most of the simmering apple chutney and sealed up the canner.  I cranked up my largest burner to its highest setting and set 20 minutes on the timer.


First batch finished – Apple Chutney (Autumn 2014)

I had enough apple chutney after the first batch to fill four more half-pint jars. The canner has a roiling boil on for those last four lonely jars.

So the above recipe produces sixteen half-pint jars. Or 128 ounces. Or one gallon of chutney.


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A 5-Year-Old Worries Voyager Will Get Lonely, Receives Best Answer Ever


All together now on three …

1 … 2 … 3 …


Dialing back the cuteness entered now. 


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The 12 Weirdest Reasons For Banning Science Fiction and Fantasy Books


The Wizard of Oz? Really?  I’m shocked … not.  Some of the other ones listed are equally silly.  I’ve read most of these  and I turned out just fine.  ;)

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

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Article: Academic Bureaucracy

Academic Bureaucracy


… has little or nothing to do with excellence in teaching or improving learning for the student.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

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Trench Warfare in World War I Was a Smarter Strategy Than You Realize


And this article ties in nicely with my Great War Great Read reading project.

Posted from WordPress for Android via my Samsung smartphone. Please excuse any misspellings. Ciao, Jon

Posted in History, Musings, Non-Fiction | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Picturing The Hobbit | Tor.com


Happy birthday to Bilbo and Frodo!

I’ll link in a few of my favorite art pieces from the above article later this evening.

Justin Gerard (http://www.justingerard.com/), who said about painting The Hobbit, “I like drawing monsters that are just a little bit human, and who have personalities that you might recognize in people you’ve encountered in your own adventures, and The Hobbit has the very best of these.”

Continue reading

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