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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

The Perseids shower and other stuff
I normally will be updating in my wife livejournal http://shimmertje.livejournal.com/.

However, if the entry is long, I found it better to write that here.

Last night, after unsuccessfully attempting to see the Perseids in the past 8-9 years, I finally managed to do so. For the last few days, I was not even certain which quadrant of the sky to watch and I went out on two exploratory trips into the desert to try to locate constellations to guide me by. The sky was hazy and with the moon out, the results had been discouraging. No one can tell a constellation by a couple of stars in the sky.

Yesterday was not promising either. The sky was greyish blue indicating very high cloud haze. Then I read a BBC article giving the direction to be North East at about 10 pm. I then could place the time for Riyadh to be about midnight. On the drive back after work, I saw that sector of the sky to be more blue than grey giving me a slight chance. I had an early dinner and went to sleep at 9pm with alarm set at 11pm. I then drove Eastwards trying to put as many kilometers between me and Riyadh lights. After 40 km, I turned off the highway into a road to avoid cars on highway from dazzling me. In time, my eyes adjusted. As the moon was bright, I positioned the car pointing it to the moon so the roof of the car can block that light and settled to wait. The sky was clearer, but not clear enough to make out constellations. I hoped enough shooting stars will appear to make those constellations redundant. It was about midnight.

I waited. I guessed I was outside a farm. Cocks were crowing that time. When my night vision got better, I could make out horses in paddocks. Actually, their sounds of galloping alerted me that they were horses. Occasional flights of plane from Dubai gave me another fix as to the direction. Stars of magnitude 3 and brighter can be seen through the high filmy clouds. I looked and looked in the general direction of NNE. Maybe it was wishful thinking that I thought I saw streaks of light now and then. I was there already for 45 minutes. I thought back to the attempts I made to see the Perseids over last 8 years with my wife in even worse conditions. One such occasion was in Hongkong where tens of thousands of people were trooping to our little village of Saikong to try to see the Perseids. As if the clouds that time was not bad enough, all of them brought powerful torches shining into each other eyes.

Then a streak of light appeared for a flash. That was completely different from those that I thought I saw. That must be a big fireball for that to appear through the moonglow on the high filmy cloud. From that direction, I finally figured that Cassopeia constellation and part of Perseus and that radiant point. It was easier after that when I got the fix. Then other streaks of light were definately seen. I saw that big streak and 4 smaller and 6 that might or might not be.

At 1am, I decided it was time to get back. I tried to sleep. But the two kitties thought it must be day and jumped about on me playing king of the mountain. After an hour, I got mad enough to catch that female to chuck her into the kitchen and slammed that door on her to get my sleep. I thought that was a smart idea on my part as the male kitty was then quiet and after kneading me, went to sleep.

In the morning, I got up and went to the kitchen to prepare my breakfast. To my horror, a black kitty came out. That horrid girl tore the charcoal bags and strewn that all over the floor covering that with charcoal dust. Those charcoal was used by me in smoking the shishaa or hubbly bubbly water pipe that I bought.

I gave her a shampoo and locked him in the bathroom as a wet kitty in kitchen full of charcoal can led to more incredible mess. Only after I made my breakfast and locked the kitchen did I released the kitties from the bathroom.

That horrid girl was very contrite or maybe she was again maliciously trying to trip me by circling around my ankles.

I managed to upload more photos into flickr this afternoon. These shots were taken in Old Dirayah, the ancient capital of Saudi Arabia. This is located on the western outskirt of Riyadh. The Saudis there were all intrigued with a Chinese wearing their dress and happily gave me advice as to how to arrange my headgear.


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