Posts

I saw a Starlink satellite train!

Last night after sundown I happened to be outside looking up at the waxing gibbous moon when I saw a satellite zipping near it in low earth orbit. And not far behind it another. And another – all spaced roughly 15 seconds (travel time, north to south) apart on the same orbit. They kept coming in what appeared to be an unbroken chain, and I could clearly see six to seven of them at a time. That’s an astonishingly dense satellite network, so it made me wonder if it was part of the astonishingly large LEO satellite network being built by Starlink.

Today I tried to confirm what satellites I could have been seeing, and it looks like there was indeed a Starlink train passing overhead at that time. The reason they were so close together is that Starlink satellites are launched 60 at a time in “trains” that gradually spread to the network’s operational altitude and separation. I must have spotted this one near the beginning of its transit of my location.

So that was very exciting, but I didn’t have equipment adequate to record it. Instead, here is a photo of a full moon I captured with a Nikon 7200 DX and 300mm lens last November:

Full moon photo by David Bookstaber

Thanks for the COVID-19 reassurance

I’d like to thank every organization with which I have ever had contact for emailing me in recent days with your Updates and Important Messages about the COVID-19 pandemic. I am glad that you made time to reach out to me while you are busy “closely monitoring developments with respect to COVID-19.

I am inspired by the businesses that have “implemented plans to ensure that we can continue to serve our customers.” To list just a few:

  • A hotel I stayed at last year.
  • The mail-order company I ordered a pipe fitting from 3 years ago.
  • The law firm that I consulted while creating an LLC five years ago, but haven’t contacted since.
  • The company that represents said LLC in Delaware, whose only job is to forward me a tax bill once a year.
  • The self-storage facility I haven’t visited in six months.

Stores. Restaurants. Clubs, forums, online newsletters. Really, every organization – regardless of whether I have ever had any contact with you or even know what you do.

I can’t tell you how reassuring it is to read, over and over, that:

Our focus is always on the safety and well-being of our customers, employees, and suppliers. We will continue to share guidance and information as it becomes pertinent.

For those that have modified their functions, let me say that I could care less whether some of your employees are working from home. I am invariably rapt reading about the sanitation protocols you have implemented. Surely I am sleeping more soundly knowing how the college I attended twenty years ago has modified its services to current students; or knowing how a medical practice I haven’t visited in three years is handling scheduling of current patients.

Cookie Currency

Cookies and Tea
Keep Calm – David Will Fix It

These chocolate chip cookies are a so good that I honor them as payment for home repairs.

Yum … delicious, grey-market barter. Not dependent on fiat currencies, and beyond the reach of all but the most tyrannical governments. You can even have the recipe for free:

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies (High Altitude Recipe)

  • 1 C. + 2 T.  unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 T. butter, melted
  • 1/2 C. brown sugar
  • 1/4 C. minus 1 T. white sugar
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 C. chocolate chips
  • 1/3 C. coconut
  • 1/3 C. chopped, toasted pecans (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cool the melted butter slightly.  Beat melted butter and sugars together.
  3. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla.  Beat until blended.
  4. Add salt and baking soda, beat or mix well.
  5. Stir in flour by hand until just incorporated.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans until just incorporated.  Do not overmix.
  7. Form into balls 2 tablespoons each.
  8. Bake 12-15 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn golden.
  9. Let cool on baking sheets for about 10 minutes before removing.