ISS Fly-By

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 19mm, f/2, 10 sec, ISO800
“ISS Fly-By” Cedar Park, 2020

Tonight the International Space Station (ISS) was very bright as it passed over Texas, and I had my camera and tripod set up to capture it. I didn’t really know what kind of settings to use, so I just went with a typical exposure that I normally do. Unfortunately there were a lot of clouds obscuring the view, but I think the photo turned out okay.

I made a series of 10-second exposures, then stacked them in Photoshop to create the composite image above. You might notice that there appear to be double stars. This is because I hid a few layers in the Photoshop stack when the ISS was passing behind the clouds so the overall cloud coverage would be reduced, and this resulted in the star trails having a gap in them.

FYI, this website is a fantastic resource to see when satellites will be flying overhead. It uses Google Street View to show you exactly where to look from your viewpoint! Just make sure that your watch is synchronized to the atomic clock so you know when to look up.

Snapshot While Running

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/2700 sec, ISO101
“Cloud up the Hill” Cedar Park, 2020

This is one of the longer hills near our house but the school bus gave me an extra bit of motivation to power up it today.

When facing a big hill, I usually think of a saying: “Just keep your legs moving and let the top of the hill come to you.” It’s worked every time! 😊

Have a great day!

Triple Exercise

“Evening Stats” Cedar Park, 2020

Wow, what an active day that I had! The weather was fantastic in the morning, so I headed out for a short 2.5 mile run. I often run (and bicycle) to the elementary school that Bay and Koa attended, and it is always a mental pick-me-up as I remember the good times watching them grow up. It seems like just yesterday they were attending Cox Elementary!

As I ran by the front, I took a photo of this sign, which shows the first phase of the re-opening during the pandemic. I hope this the the only time they will have a sign like this on display.

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/1200 sec, ISO100
“Reopening” Cedar Park, 2020

In the evening, I had to go for a bicycle ride around the neighborhood, and that included both Cox Elementary again and the other elementary school on the other side of the neighborhood and the football stadium that is used by the district’s high schools. At that time I was treated to a nice sunset:

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO200
“Sunset” Cedar Park, 2020

On my way home, I received a text message from Koa asking if I wanted to throw the baseball over at the school, so I headed over to Cox for the third time today! We threw the ball until it got dark (and my arm was tired) and then came home to my second shower of the day.

It was a lot of physical activity (running, cycling, baseball) but I feel great! Thankful for my relatively good health as I approach age 52. Whee!

Bicycle Ride With the New Wheel

“Bike Ride” Cedar Park, 2020

My new bicycle rim arrived and I got to work replacing the old one, which entailed transferring the spokes over to the new rim and then truing the wheel to make sure it’s straight. I followed this video’s instructions, which proved invaluable.

I also followed the advice in this video to true the wheel, and got it in good shape. Next, I adjusted the rear brake and it was ready to try it out on the road!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO2500
“New Rim” Cedar Park, 2020

I only intended to ride around the neighborhood to test it, but I wound up hitting the hike and bike trail and riding several miles. It was just so fun! It seemed like I was able to ride faster, accelerate quicker, and cruise at a higher speed with the new wheel. It might just be that I am getting in better shape, but I have heard that the bicycle upgrade that will make the biggest difference it to replace the wheels. Well, I’m not sure if my new $33 Sun Ringle rim is an upgrade or not, but the stock Mavic rims are generally regarded poorly. So I’m leaning towards the opinion that the new rim helps out a lot. 😀

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/1100 sec, ISO200
“At Brushy Creek Lake Park” Cedar Park, 2020

Later in the evening, Mariko mentioned that the sunset was probably pretty nice so I hopped on my Kona again and headed down to the place where I like to take sunset photos. Turned out pretty good:

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5, 1/500 sec, ISO640
“Sunset” Cedar Park, 2020

I’m so happy to have my bicycle back, and working better than ever!


Supermarket Trip

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/20 sec, ISO435
“Japanese-Style Peanuts” Cedar Park, 2020

This afternoon I went to the supermarket to pick up a few things. I think I am the person who always picks the slowest check-out line. In my defense, it’s a little more difficult to choose a good line because of the pandemic.

I try not to get too close to people, which means lots of traffic jams at the check-out area. Therefore, you kind of have to get in the line that is convenient and close by. I thought I got lucky in that my line had one person waiting in front of me. However, I didn’t notice the amount of items in the lady’s cart… it turns out her family just moved into a new house this morning so they were stocking up on food. Her total (yes, I eavesdropped) was about $450!!! So you can imagine how long it took to ring up and bag.

Besides standing there silently cursing myself as I watched the shoppers in the adjacent lines being checked out quickly, I did notice some “Japanese-Style Peanuts”. I thought it was interesting to see the mixing of cultures here. Japanese style, packaged under the Mi Tienda brand of a Texas supermarket. Kind of cool!

But I was an idiot and didn’t buy any. Oh well, it’s just not my day.

I did spot this amazing cloud formation in the parking lot as I left, so that lifted my spirits a bit. 🙂

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/2400 sec, ISO100
“Cloud Shadows” Cedar Park, 2020

I hope you had a nice day!