Writing, whimsy and the world

Writing

Posted by on Dec 8, 2013

I’ve got a new site under construction, which will have lots of information about an imaginary race of creatures called octans. They are inhabitants of the seas of a...

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Personal

Posted by on Dec 27, 2015

Christmastime brings a gentle reflection
Of my life with my dear Lady Anne
It is clear upon any inspection
Thanks to her, I was one lucky man…

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Space science

Comet ISNO

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013

As of this moment (Nov 26h), the title may not be a typo. Comet ISON, still a couple of days from closest approach, may have just disintegrated. (6) Matthews Knight of Lowell...

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Recent Posts

Christmas 2015 and Memories of my Lady Anne

Christmastime brings a gentle reflection
Of my life with my dear Lady Anne
It is clear upon any inspection
Thanks to her, I was one lucky man

We had nearly a third of a century
And were shooting to make it a half
There’s so much that my Lady has meant to me
She was reason to live, love and laugh

Anne was wisdom and gentle reminder
And pure joy in an afternoon’s drive
Philosophical battery-winder
The best reason to keep me alive

We faced triumph and challenge together
We had times of the brightest success
And we stood fast in storm-laden weather
Would I do it again with her? Yes!

Celebrate with your friends and your kin
Turkey, ham, or exotics like pheasants
I know I was the luckiest of men
And was gifted so long with her presence

I imagine her watching me gently
And encouraging me to go on
There are challenges these days in plenty
But she smiles, and I see a new dawn

May you treasure your time with your family
More than precious, the love that you share
For the future has no kind of guarantee
Live each day! The next might not be there

===|==============/ D. Keith Howington

The Lady Anne, July 23 1941 — August 19, 1984 — April 4, 2014

The Lady Anne, July 23 1941 — August 19, 1984 — April 4, 2014

Dec 28, 2014

This year’s ending finds me without my Lady, and it is a somber time. I am going to put up some bits and pieces from our three decades together in memory of her, for family and for friends who are interested. Pictures, poetry, our travels together and the tremendous impact she has had upon me will all be part of this.

And I’ll explain that middle date.

AH_DKH_TopTen
==============/ D. Keith Howington

Memorial Day tribute

Memorial Day tribute

May 26, 2014

Memorial Day we gather and pay homage to our fallen
Who gave themselves completely in response to duty’s callin’
Some joined to see the world, some thought “Adventure! Education!”
And others drawn by kinship with the proud that guard our Nation

But trials and training molded them into a joined precision
That holds our cause in high esteem, and suffers no division
Our military crew stands tall, and ready for the battle
And ready, too, to give their all, impervious to rattle

They serve in combat, serve in peace, and make of one the other
Rebuilding schools to grant a lease of freedom to a brother
The tasks they face are sometimes grim, and few of us would choose them
And each one stands his place, and we are poorer when we lose them

But richer still are we, for still we keep Liberty’s fire
Not just for those at home — those far away know we won’t tire
And countries ‘cross the globe recall when we came to release
Oppressed ones from their bondage, and we brought a well-earned peace

Unlike the conquerors of times before, we keep no soil
Just what we need for plots to lay our soldiers freed from toil
Instead we show by doing that the freedom’s worth the cost
We mourn our dead, then lift our heads, go on without our lost

The brothers and the sisters of our noble fighting forces
Will tolerate no failures, and swift justice runs its courses
When someone fails the Code, and shames his uniform and brothers
There is no choice — deal with him harshly — we owe this to others

But all will bear in mind, for every wretched wreck decried
Ten thousand strong and more will earn our faith, and earn our pride
Indeed, we owe our troops far more than we can ever pay
But thanks to all who served, and fell — on this Memorial Day.

The Octans

I’ve got a new site under construction, which will have lots of information about an imaginary race of creatures called octans. They are inhabitants of the seas of a far-future Earth, and are the descendants of modern-day octopuses. By the time the story begins — the story being a series of books I am writing featuring this race — they have developed a human-like intelligence. Their biology, culture and sciences are very different, however — and the website called TheOctans.com allows interested parties to explore their background … in more depth, so to speak.

I will have a good supply of articles up here by the time the first book, Age of Octans, is published — which will be in the first quarter of 2014.

Comet ISNO

Comet ISNO

Nov 26, 2013

ISON_BreakupAs of this moment (Nov 26h), the title may not be a typo. Comet ISON, still a couple of days from closest approach, may have just disintegrated.

(6) Matthews Knight of Lowell Observatory has reported a drop in magnitude of the comet from magnitude 4.3 on November 22nd to magnitude 4.6 on November 23.96.
(7) Our own results confirm that comet ISON may be in trouble.  We have completed an update of the Secular Visual Light Curve and we are showing it in Figure 1.

The comet is so close to the sun currently that it is difficult to get good instrumental readings or images. But data coming in over the past few days suggests that this already-spectacular comet suddenly changed output — and that the ices that held it together have been reduced to the point where the comet has fallen apart. If so, the glorious December displays everyone was hoping for won’t happen. Images like this one were potentially going to be visible to the naked eye:

Some of the recent imagery and videos have been excellent, including this one showing the tails of two comets (ISON and the smaller Encke that it seems to zoom past) rippling in the solar wind:

The comet will pass well within a million miles from the Sun’s “surface” — less than 1% of the Earth’s distance, and essentially within its atmosphere. Whatever remains of it will be exposed to tremendous heat, only about one-fiftieth of even Mercury’s superheated distance. For an object that was probably only a couple of kilometers across when it started out, and made largely of frozen gases and water, this is a difficult environment to survive. The comet’s only chance is that it is ripping past the Sun at more than 800,000 miles per hour (more than a million kilometers per hour) at the moment of closest approach.

I hope that it survives — though whether or not it graces our December skies, it will not be back again. Whatever is left is bound for deep space. Someday, humans will be able to follow it.

A new beginning

Ah, it is disappointing that the posts here were destroyed. This was one blog that was backed up to an extent, but not so much that a tangle of websites couldn’t overwrite it.

So we start again.  Some business needs to be taken care of, including linking to my father’s “Memories.”  As he put it, he wasn’t important or famous, and so could not have “memoirs.”

Here’s the story:

Memories — the life and times of Robert K. “Pappy” Howington, 1911—2000

Enjoy.

DKH