A Waterfall of Light, Magic By NIPSCO, Dead Twinkies, Stargazers Dumping On Me, King & Queen Of The Night Sky, North Stars Trading Places, 18,000 Years & Alabama Rising, Mayan Twinkies

Greeting to all and welcome to new friends to the EastWing.

A thousand points of light right here in the EastWing. No, it’s not that 1st President Bush thousand points of light thing, It’s a Christmas light thing. Actually got more than a thousand points of light. Four strings of 300 icicle lights are installed on the EastWing glass walls, with a “waterfall of light” in the southeast corner of the EastWing which can be seen from the road out there by the mailbox at the flag pole on 800 South.

By the flagpole, where the little ceramic boy and girl set holding the lighting bugs in the jars. And every day the rays of the sun assure the lighting bugs one more night of jar-life. Which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “Life goes on”. Jar-life, now that’s a rather interesting phrase. How would ya like to live in a jar? Maybe we do, just don’t know ‘bout it. After all, we do survive on this planet due to the rays of the sun…….. Jar-life, just wondering…

It matters not where ya put ‘em or how ya show ‘em off. There’s no such thing as ugly Christmas Lights. I think it says that somewhere in the Bible, ‘bout no ugly Christmas Lights allowed in Bethlehem. Now with that being said, I’m for sure going to hear from my friends out there in Kansas who remind me, from time to time, how easy it is to go to hell for making fun of Jesus and the Bible.

One time I told those folks I wasn’t making fun of Jesus or the Bible, just thought that God had a sense of humor. The guy emailed back “It’s words like that that will get you into the middle of hell”. I thought about telling the ole boy, “Just reading your emails tells me God has a sense of humor”. But I don’t want to make him mad, after all, he’s a friend of mine. Anybody who lives in the Land of Dorothy, they’re for sure, friends of mine. I’ve never asked that feller if he knows Toto. I do.

Now my “Waterfall of Light” is just a big cluster of those icicle lights hanging down from close to the ceiling all the way to the floor in the southeast corner of the EastWing. It looks like carp during the day time. Then when the timer clicks at 4:05 in the afternoon, a “Waterfall of Light”. Magic happens in a twinkling, I’m telling ya, it’s a “Waterfall of Light”. Every single day, at 4:05 PM, it’s magic brought to the EastWing by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company. Here at the EastWing, we just call ‘em NIPSCO, and they sell us electric.

One of the things that amazes me, is the amount of national news given to the demise of the company that baked Twinkies, Dingdongs, Zingers, Ho Ho’s etc. Do you eat Twinkies? I don’t. And I don’t know anybody that now eat Twinkies. But I used to when I was a kid. But the Twinkies went the way of many other things. They cheapened up the end product.

When I was a kid, Twinkies were truly “A Golden Sponge Cake With A Creamy Filling”. By the time the Twinkies died, ya had to be a chemist to appreciate the complex manipulation of those ingredients molded into the final product being passed off as “Golden Sponge Cakes”. It ended up closer to Golden Crap. And I didn’t even start to talk ‘bout Wonder Bread going away also. I don’t care, I never did like Wonder Bread anyways. My Mama always bought and fed me Wonder Bread ‘cause it “Helps build strong bones 12 ways”. Maybe that’s why I’ve never had a broken bone. Thanks Mama, for the Wonder Bread.

Now Moon Pies on the other hand, all I can say for that is “Thank God of Moon Pies and RC Cola”. Did ya know that in the minds of many, RC Cola is considered the “Champaign of The Mountains”. If ya want to have a truly exquisite dining experience, Just try Hillbilly Surf & Turf, (A Big Mac & Filet-O-Fish Sandwich) and a cold bottle of the “Champaign of the Mountains”. I don’t’ care who ya are, it don’t get better than that.

One of the things I most always get in the email ever week is “Why don’t you talk more about stargazing?” Knowing that most people don’t stargaze, I’m still trying to figure out if a large segment of those who visit the EastWing are stargazers, or is it a small group of stargazers trying to mess up my head by continuing to jump on me for not talking about stargazing? Oh well, just in case, here goes a little bit of December stargazing stuff for this year 2012.

Hope you saw the Geminid Meteor Showers last Thursday night. WOW ! Such a show, At the EastWing in the 9 O’clock hour that night, I counted 103 falling stars, and that was only the ones I saw. But that’s old history by now. Here in the EastWing, we forever look forward. So in case ya want to do something in the stargazing world, and have a little free time after dark some night between Christmas and New Years, go out into the cold and look into the sky

On that cold, clear, crisp December night, look into the north sky and you’ll see the Celestial King and Queen of the nighttime. If you stay outside all night, you can watch them circle the North Star. King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia reign supreme over the northern night sky. They’re visible every night of the year, the King and Queen of the night sky. Of the royal couple Cassiopeia is by far the brighter of the two and easier to spot. She has a distinctive W shape. But at this time of year, it’s kinda an upside down W, so look more for the M shape, and once ya see it, it’ll always be easy to remember. What’s kinda cool is to watch the shape of Queen Cassiopeia change from the W to the M and back toward the W as the year goes by. The stars of King Cepheus are somewhat fainter, and you’ll have to be in a dark location, then, you’ll be able to see a lopsided “house” shape of the King. It’s up there close to the Queen, kinda on the other side of the rope.

Because of their location near Polaris, the North Star, King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia are circumpolar.(that circumpolar word, well, that’s a little stargazer talk I just threw in there to keep thing flowing on the up and up) It means that for observers in the mid-northern latitudes (again that mid-northern latitude is a little stargazer talk that, used here, just means the good old U S of A), these constellations never set. They’re always in the sky. They move around Polaris night after night, always visible in the northern sky. It’s kinda like if you’re looking down on the top of a spinning globe, You see the top and a part of the globe that always visible as it spins while you look down. Except we’re not up there looking down, we’re inside looking up. Ya see the same thing, inside looking up, or outside looking down.

Another interesting point about the North Star. Polaris has not always been the North Star. At any given time in history, the North Star is simply whichever bright star happens to be closest to the North Celestial Pole, which is the point in the sky directly above the Earth’s North Pole. However, like the spinning glob I talked about, the Earth wobbles on its axis, and over many hundreds of years, the axis of the Earth slowly changes its orientation with respect to the stars. In a period of 25,700 years or so, the North Celestial Pole traces a huge circular path through the sky. Starting in 3942 BC and lasting for more than 2,100 years, the bright star closest to the North Celestial Pole was Thuban, in the constellation Draco, the Dragon. Thuban was therefore the North Star for more than two thousand years. And about 18,000 years from now, Thuban will become our North Star once again.

For most stargazers, that’s about as close as one can estimate on the change of the North Star from Polaris to Thuban. But there’s a smartass in Alabama who’s said to have worked out the exact year, day and time when the two stars will swop places. You might’ve heard of this guy, he’s the same feller that’s been working on decoding that Mayan calendar thing for later on this week.

In case that Alabama guy’s right about that Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world, oh well, guess these are the last words from the EastWing. In case he’s wrong, We’ll visit again come next Sunday Evening, right here in the EastWing.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell ya my personal thoughts on why the Mayan calendar ended in 2012. No more Twinkies. Those ole Mayans, they just loved that, “Golden Sponge Cake With A Creamy Filling”, back in the day.

As always, you company has been such a pleasure. Thank you for spending some of your valuable time in my world, my playground, my beautiful, Christmas decorated, EastWing.

Stay safe in Afghanistan.

From the EastWing, A Waterfall of Light, Magic By NIPSCO, Dead Twinkies, Stargazers Dumping On Me, King & Queen Of The Night Sky, North Stars Trading Places, 18,000 Years & Alabama Rising, Mayan Twinkies

I Wish You Well,