looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

Obligatory Comet McNaught post

We've had some stupid weather recently so when the sky cleared up on Saturday I realised at about 4:00pm that this was probably my last chance to see Comet McNaught. About 15 minutes before the Sun went behind the mountains, I drove East with binoculars and camera to get a good view of the Western horizon, and sat in the car listening to KNPR. No sign of the comet. I was getting cold and I was just about to give up when I saw it. Much higher in the sky than I expected, and possibly I could have seen it earlier were I looking in the right place. Quite beautiful, but to me it did not seem much brighter than I remember seeing Hale-Bopp. Part of the problem is the Spring Mountains in the West, which threaten to obscure the comet before the sun has truly set. I tried taking a photo but I lacked skills and a tripod, and a more capable zoom lens would have been nice also. Here's the best result, tweaked for contrast:

There are much nicer pictures out on the web, but this is mine, taken in Las Vegas on 13 January 2007, at about 5:00 pm.