Sunday, September 20, 2009

Looking on the Bright Side of Life

In spite of the fact that 25% of the Angeles National Forest is in ruins, life goes on. Some of the positive things in my life are:

1. I did not know that Mt. Wilson had a TowerCam until the fire occurred. Not only do I like to look at it, several others do as well. So, I have placed a link on the right side of my blog under "Links". It will be there as long as either the TowerCam exists or as long as I have this blog.

2. Having a few posts about the fire has increased the readership of my blog and that makes me happy.

3. I made and acted upon the decision to reduce my work hours. I was working 40 hrs a week and it was too much. It left me with very little time to study for my finals. So I have reduced my hours to 32 hrs per week with the agreement and support of my supervisors. I was apprehensive about telling them that I needed to work less, but I did it and the outcome was positive.

4. I am moving toward the finish line of my doctoral program.

5. I gave my final seminar last week and it was very well received. It was a relief to get it done.

6. I have started studying now for my three remaining finals: two written and one oral. This is a positive because I haven't had time to study until now and that was causing me a lot of anxiety. So the anxiety has diminished and I am studying.

Life consists of both negative and positive things. It's up to us to choose what we are going to focus on.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Angeles Crest Highway After the Station Fire

This is a video of the drive that Hal McAlister, Director of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, and his wife Susan, took to reach Mt. Wilson after the fire. Words that are being used to describe the Angeles National Forest along the Angeles Crest Highway are: utter desolation, a moonscape, and a landscape in an ashen gray winter.

I have gone skiing, hiking, and camping in this forest and now it's all gone. It will take decades for it to regenerate back to the way it looked the last time I was there. That will not happen in my lifetime.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Mt. Wilson Solar TowerCam

The Mt. Wilson TowerCam is working again. I'm not sure what direction it is oriented; it looks like it might be facing towards the northeast. There is still some smoke, but there is also some blue sky. Best of all, the threat to Mt. Wilson is much less than in my previous post. Enjoy the view!