January 08, 2013

Next on the List...

So at my request for blog topics Kim R. spoke up and gave me these motivators...

Clouds  Bubbles  Rainbows  Stars


Clouds are beautiful and wondrous.  Its amazing how many different kinds of clouds there are and then how many shapes each cloud takes within its classification.  I loved when we learned about clouds and how they are formed in science class but rather than try to relay that info here I went to this site

And copy and pasted this information

 Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance (texture) from the ground. 
 The following cloud roots and translations summarize the components of this classification system: 
 1) Cirro-: curl of hair, high.             3) Strato-: layer.                                   5) Cumulo-: heap.
 2) Alto-: mid.                                      4) Nimbo-: rain, precipitation.                                         


It was also one of the prettiest charts that I found while looking around.  

But also check out this site for some amazing pictures of lots of different cloud types, some you have probably never seen or even knew existed!

It may sound weird to say that I like some clouds more than others but it's true.  The ones that impress me the least are probably the mid-level clouds.  Clouds with Alto- or Strato- attached to them in some way.  Not that they aren't neat, because I've seen some pretty crazy clouds with these attachments.  It's just that there are other clouds that grab my attention more often.  Cirrus clouds are nice but they are so wispy, sometimes there isn't much to look at and I usually want Cotton Candy after I see them.  Who knew a cloud could be bad for your waist line.  

Attach Cumulo- to these clouds and they become a whole lot more interesting to me.  Cumulus clouds are the fun fluffy white ones that people usually see shapes in while laying on their back in a field of wild flowers wearing a shin length cotton dress...

no? just me?...

My favorite clouds though are the Cumulonimbus.  First off it's just fun to say.  Try it, go ahead, I'll wait...


It's this fun crazy word that rolls around but is so smooth it doesn't get stuck or trip you up anywhere.  Great word.  Sometimes they are referred to as Storm Heads.  Second look at the picture, those things are enormous!  It's this crazy big cloud that seems to defy gravity in so many ways.  They are awesome to watch as they billow up, growing higher and higher, all white and fluffy.  Yet, the bottom is flat like it's sitting on a glass table and an ominous dark grey.  

Sometimes more than one are lined up forming a Squall Line.  Watching one of these roll in, especially over the ocean is magnificent.  You know you should run for cover but it's so breathtaking your feet are momentarily stuck to the ground.  It also always brings a little bit of '80s' pop culture to the front of my brain.  It's, 'The Nothing'.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, shame on you, you are missing out on a great movie.  "Bastian, say my name!"

Bubbles - I don't have as much to say about bubbles.  The kids loves them, heck even Kirby loves them.  Kirby tries to catch them, with his mouth of course since he's a dog.  So AJ started catching them with his mouth when he was little after he saw Kirby do it.  Now Ryan does it too.  So I have a dog, a 5 year old and a 3 year old all trying to catch bubbles in their mouths, it's very amusing.  About 10 years ago I found lasting bubbles at a craft store.  They had some sort of glue or something in them that kept them from popping.  They would stick to the walls and stay in your hair.  You could pop them but it was like popping a bubble gum bubble, there was this little bubble skin that stuck to your finger.  They were so cool.  I haven't been able to find them in years.  

Rainbows still amaze me everytime I see them.  I look to see how big they are, it's still neat to see one that stretches all the way across the sky.  It's not very often but I've seen two in the sky at one time, in completely different areas.  Not a double but two separate rainbows.  Double rainbows are also still exciting to me, but the kids always get frustrated, they can never see the second one.  I tell them it's right above or below the first one but they shift their eyes too much and are expecting to see another one thats just as dark.  Now I usually don't mention the double and we just ooh and aah over the first.  I went to Ireland in 2004 around my birthday.  For a few days while there I took a bus tour around the South of the country hitting places like Blarney, Killarney and Galway.  It was cold and rainy, I loved it!  On the bus one day we saw a Full Double Rainbow, it was so bright and crisp.  Amazing.  Even the guide/driver, a native, was enthralled with it.  I never found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but that could have been largely due to that fact that I wasn't particularly stealthy while in Ireland since there was Guiness pumping through my veins and a heavy Irish brogue singing loudly from my lips.  (I kissed the Blarney stone while there and Guiness really does taste better in Ireland) 

Stars are another favorite of mine.  Outer Space in general.  I would jump at the chance to go into space, Jasey thinks I'm crazy.  Clouds, stars, I love to fly on airplanes, I would like to skydive.   I never realized how many things I like that involve being in the air above the Earth.  I'm an Aquarius and a bit out there so it shouldn't surprise me.  I swear I'm a hippie at heart and was totally born in the wrong decade.  I don't follow start charts and will only occasionally read my horoscope but I don't think that it is a silly waste of time either.  I believe there is truth or at least possibility in anything.  

I have an Atlas of the stars that Jasey got me years ago.  It's a huge spiral bound book that has everything in it.  It has a map of the hemispheres and information on our Galaxy, Lightyears, Supergiants and Black Holes.  The major constellations each have their own page and plastic overlay that connects the stars giving the name of each star and showing the shape of the constellation.
I also downloaded an app on my phone called Skyview.  I love it!  You can hold it up to any star or constellation in the sky and find out all about it.  It will show you where things are that you can't even see, like the International Space Station.  It will also show you where all the planets are and if you tap the planet it will show you it's orbit.  You can use the app night or day and even in doors if you wanted to..  You can point it towards the ground at night and see where the Sun is at that time or you can point it to the sky during the day and see what stars are above you.  It connects the stars of a constellation and shows a faint picture of what that constellation is supposed to be so you can see Orions Belt at his waist  and which way he kneels.

I'm not sure why but my favorite constellation is Cassiopeia.  It's the one that looks like an 'M' with a wacky leg that sticks out farther than the other.  (I guess you could say it looks like a 'W' also).  I think I just like saying Cassiopeia.  On that same note I always liked Copernicus, another fun thing to say, and  which also happens to be the first guy to ever say "Um, hey, guys, I don't think that everything actually revolves around us." Smart guy.

Between clouds, rainbows and stars I could lay on the ground outside day and night and be happy.  If a few bubbles float by I wouldn't be upset.  

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