Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Holidays and 3 Satellites

A happy holiday was had by all. I got some very cool stuff. Lots o CDs, DVDs n Books. The kiddos got sweet stuff as well. I took the week between Christmas and New Years off this year, so it's even sweeter.

The clouds finally cleared this evening so I was able to spot a few satellites. Yay! It was cold and I swear that my watch is off by a few minutes, but I sync'd up my computer using Tardis and the watch shows that it is within 20 seconds or so. So I dunno.

Here's the time-line for the evening of:
Date: 27-Dec-2010 Monday


7:03 PM - Cosmo-SKYMED 1 - 2.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-023-A
This is my eighth sighting of SkyMed 1, the Italian earth observation satellite.

7:06 PM - Cosmos 1603 - 3.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1984-106-A
This is my first sighting of Kosmos 1603, a Russian Tselina-2 ELINT satellite. This was the first Tselina-2 satellite to be put into orbit. It was put into orbit using a three stage Proton-K rocket with a Blok-DM-2 upper stage.

7:22 PM - Cosmos 1536 Rocket - 3.8 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1984-013-B
This is my first sighting of this Tsyklon-3 rocket which was used to put the Russian Cosmos 1536 Tselina-D ELINT satellite into orbit.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Family Fun and 1 sat

Tom and Amy came over with their wonderful kids. We all got to run and jump and play. We also had tasty pizza. Papa Murphy's really is da bomb (though this one seemed a bit greasier than usual.

After they left the Mrs gave our kids a bath. I put lil A to bed.

I went outside, armed with a list of 10 satellites to look for, around 7:10pm. It was probably in the teens. Luckily, I managed to find a scarf that I've had since I was 10 (it was way too big then, but fits pretty good now). It is a good scarf and it kept my face warm. However, there were some spotty clouds, the moon was fairly bright and the sky was a bit whitewashed, so I only saw one satellite this evening. Glad I saw one 'cause I would have been a bit preturbed to stand outside for a half hour to see nothing.

Here's the time-line for the evening of:
Date: 18-Dec-2010 Saturday


7:35 PM - Cosmos 1125 Rocket - 4.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1979-078-B
This is my first sighting of this Kosmos-3M rocket, which was used to launched the Russian Stela-2M military communications satellite. Of note, the Kosmos-3M rocket has been involved in a few accidents. In 1973 a Kosmos-3M rocket exploded and killed 9 people. In 1976, another Kosmos-3M exploded killing another 9 people. Overall, however, the Kosmos-3M is fairly reliable with 424 successful launches and only 20 failures (a 4.5% failure rate). The first flight of a Kosmos-3M occurred in 1967. The most recent flight of a Kosmos-3M occurred in April 2010.

=-=-=-=-

Also, I just read that Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet) passed away due to multiple sclerosis. RIP.

Friday, December 17, 2010

1979!

Got to go out for about 10 minutes (which was plenty 'cause it was COLD outside, probably around 20 F. Brrrrrr. My goal was simply to see as specific object which was launched in 1979. And I got it. Take that space junk! Only 10 more years to go!

Here's the time-line for the morning of:
Date: 17-Dec-2010 Friday


7:09 PM - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 2.1 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
Ahhh, another sighting of ye olde bright and faithful. This is sighting number 23 of this Zenit-2 rocket.

7:12 PM - Meteor 2-5 Rocket - 4.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1979-095-B
This is my first sighting of this Vostok-2M rocket, which was used to launched the Russian Meteor 2-5 meteorological satellite into orbit. Some Vostok-2M trivia for ya: 1) The first Vostok-2M launch occurred in 1964 to launch Kosmos 44 (one of the original 'old' satellites I was trying to see) 2) In 1980, a Vostok-2M scheduled to launch Kosmos 1169 exploded on the launch pad during fueling, killing 48 people.

7:12 PM - IRAS - 4.8 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1983-004-A
This is my second sighting of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS).



I still need to see satellites from the following years: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, and 1979.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Geminids!!!

The Geminids (a December meteor storm whose focal point is the constellation of Gemini) peaked on the morning of December 14th. I had kinda planned on trying to see a couple on my way out to the car to go to work. However, around 5:30am the Mrs came in and told me to get up with lil N who had been up since 4am (ugh!). At first, this was a big drag. However, it was a blessing in disguise. I went into the kitchen which faces west and looked out the window. And that's when I saw my first Geminid meteor. Looking through the window was a bit difficult at first since the lamp in the other room was in the wrong spot and was reflecting regardless of where I was. I finally went in and switched which lamp was on. Eventually lil N inquired what I was doing. I said "I'm looking for shooting stars". And she said enthusiastically "Reeeeallly?" And I said, "Yes. Do you want to sit with me and watch some?" She said "YeahhhhhH!". So I turned off the TV and all the lights, opened up the blinds on the sliding door which faces west, put two chairs right in front of the windows, sat her down and pointed towards Gemini (just above Orion) and said "Watch right up there". I no more than sat down and "woooooosh!", a bright white shooting star streaked to the west, leaving a smoke trail (which quickly went away) in its path. Lil N exclaimed "I saw it, I saw it!". I was so happy that she got to see one. And it was the best one of the morning. Yay! After about 5 more minutes, lil N started freaking out a bit. Turns out she was a little scared of the dark. So, I turned back on the TV and watched for a another half hour. Also of note, this was the first time I spotted satellites from inside as well, one of which happened to be my 300th object. Good stuff!

Here's the time-line for the morning of:
Date: 14-Dec-2010 Tuesday


5:30 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading SW

5:37 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading WSW

5:37 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading WSW

5:44 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading SW

5:44 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading W

5:45 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading SW

5:53 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading W
This was one that lil N and I saw together; the bright one that left a smoke trail

5:56 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading W

6:11 AM - Yaogan 1 - 2.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2006-015-A
This is my first sighting of Yaogan 1. This is a Chinese remote sensing satellite. While China stated that this was for "scientific experiments, land survey, crop yield" and etc, most speculate that this is actually a reconnaissance satellite named JB-5 1 and utilizes SAR. Also of note, supposedly Yaogan 1 broke up back in February 2010. This satellite was 'twinkling' so maybe that was the reason for this. Other satellite observers believe that something internal when wrong because if it was hit by another satellite it would be in many more pieces that it is.

6:17 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading NW

6:22 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading S

6:22 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading W

6:11 AM - Cosmos 1937 Rocket - 4.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1988-029-B
This is my second sighting of this Kosmos-3M rocket. This particular rocket launched Cosmos 1937, a Russian Strela-2M communications satellite.

6:24 AM - Geminid meteor - Heading NW

Monday, December 13, 2010

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, it's cold!

I got to do my first shoveling of the year. I think we had about 3 inches in the driveway. While shoveling I managed to see one satellite. Yay!

Then I drove to work and the car turned over 100k. And somehow, with only .7 miles to go from when I had last looked at it, I missed that magical moment. I had to do the clover leaf at 33 and needed to pay attention to the yay-hoos who were driving REALLY slow. I didn't realize it until I got to about Sr 42 and I looked down and it was at 100004.something. I was so excited about it too. I thought MAYBE that it would roll over on my drive out of the neighborhood. But nope. Oh well. Sometimes life goes like that. You miss something that you think will be the greatest thing and then a day or two later you realize it wasn't that big of a deal in the first place.

It was clear this evening so I got to go out and shiver me timbers off outside. I only spotted 3 this evening. I should have had 5 but just at two satellites were going to cross in the sky, looking straight up, as little patch of dense clouds came through 5 minutes before they satellites would have been overhead and stayed there until 2 minutes after my window had past. By that point my cheeks were frozen since I wasn't smart enough to put on a scarf, so despite having another 1/2 hour worth of things to check out, I went in. I was cold.

But even seeing those 4 today was more than I've seen probably in the past 3 weeks.


Here's the time-line for:
Date: 13-Dec-2010 Monday


6:45 AM - Lacrosse 2 - 1.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1991-017-A
This is my third sighting of Lacrosse 2, the NRO recon satellite.

6:22 PM - Zi Yuan-2B (or JB-3) - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2002-049-A
This is my 6th sighting of Zi Yuan 2B, the earth imaging satellite from China.

6:33 PM - Spot 1 r DebY (or SPOT 1 Rocket Y) - 2.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1986-019-Y
This is my first sighting of this object. This is a piece of rocket debris from either an Ariane 1 rocket which launched two satellites: SPOT 1 and Viking. First, about the rocket. The Ariane 1 was ESA's (European Space Agency) first rocket. It was designed to put two satellites into orbit at a time. This particular launch was the last for the Ariane 1, which gave way to the more powerful Ariane 2 and Ariane 3. The Ariane 1 was a four stage rocket. I'm not sure if debris Y is one of those stages or what. There were quite a few pieces of debris associated with this particular rocket launch. Dunno. And now a little bit about the two satellites: SPOT 1 was the first of five French remote sensing satellites. SPOT 1 had imaging capabilities and had a resolution of 10 to 20 meters. The other payload was Viking, Sweden first satellite. According to Wikipedia, "Viking was used to explore plasma processes in the magnetosphere and the ionosphere." Yeah, I really don't know what that means. Read up on it because learning about how a satellite "could measure the electric field of the earth in all three dimensions" sounds kinda cool to me.

6:34 PM - Cosmos 2428 Rocket - 4.9 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-029-B
This is my third sighting of this Zenit-2M rocket body which launched a Russian Tselina-2 ELINT satellite.


Just out of curiosity, I still need to see satellites from the following years: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1973, and 1979. I figure out of those 11 years, probably 7 of those years have satellites or rocket bodies that are visible with the naked eye. The others will probably require binoculars or maybe even a telescope to see. It could be that the winter months will provide me force me to be more selective and if I have a something specific to see (such as something from the years I haven't seen yet), that will help me make a more 'educated' decisions... unlike tonight when I had an hour and a half's worth of satellites to see when it was 20 degrees with a wind chill of something like 10 degrees.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

SpaceX rocks and 1 sat

SpaceX

Well, the launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the Dragon capsule attached went of nearly without a hitch on Wednesday. They had to stop the countdown on the first attempt, but the second countdown went off without a hitch. Both stages of the rocket performed nominally (i.e. within parameters), the Dragon capsule detacted successfully and then the Dragon capsule performed 2 orbits 180 miles above the earth, re-entered the atmosphere, deployed the 3 main chutes and splashed down in the Pacific ocean 500 miles off of Southern California. Only 6 countries have ever sent up an object and successfully returned it to earth. This marks the first time that a non-country organization has done this. Awesome.

It was also determined that the Dragon carried two payloads. One was a military nanosatellite for the Army. The other what a big wheel of cheese as an homage to a Monty Python skit.

Despite the Monty Python reference :P, it could be that the next stop for the next SpaceX launch could be the International Space Station. That would be HUGE!

=-=-=-=
Sat

Went out to go to work this morning and it was crystal clear, unlike the non-stop cloudy skies we've had for the past week. So I stared at the sky for a few minutes and managed to catch one going from N to S through the W. I also went out this evening around 7"15pm as there were at least some breaks in the clouds, but it was just too late and there were still quite a few clouds. The moon and mostly clouds were in the W and that's where the satellites are likely to be that late in the evening. Didn't see anything in the E. And since I was constantly facing one direction, it started to get cold... though I truly believed it was going to be much colder than it actually was.


Here's the time-line for morning of:
Date: 09-Dec-2010 Thursday


6:20 AM - Cosmos 2428 Rocket - 2.7 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-029-B

This is my second sighting of this Zenit-2M rocket body. This is a slightly different rocket than the Zenit-2, though I honestly can't tell you what the difference is. Wikipedia says that there are some modification and upgrades. As far as I can tell from both Wikipedia and Gunter's Space Page, there has only been one launch of a Zenit-2M, though it's odd that they show two separate pictures of the rocket and note that two different companies can launch the Zenit-2M. It looks like maybe they've never launched a true Zenit-2SLB and went straight to the Zenit-3SLB. *shrug* I dunno.

Anyways, this rocket launched Cosmos 2428, a Tselina-2 Russian ELINT satellite.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

random crap

JOB

Well... I still haven't found a job yet. Which is okay for now since I still have the one I'm at. The market doesn't seem to be bad, though I was hoping a bit more from some of the agencies around here. With the market being the way it is, I was hoping for at least 3 referrals by now. Alas, that is not the case. Most others won't return my calls when they find I'm only looking at FTE positions. Eventually I'll have to open up to Contract-to-Hire, but not just yet.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Venus
So, 6 months ago JAXA (Japan's NASA) sent a spacecraft in the direction to Venus. The mission was to put the spacecraft into orbit around Venus so they could study Venus' clouds, weather and atmosphere. As close as it is, scientists don't know as much about it as you would think. Anyways, the craft finally arrived on Monday and there was a burn (a boost from the rockets) either Monday or Tuesday to put it into orbit. There was a scheduled communications blackout right about that time as well (similar to when the Apollo missions would go to the backside of the moon). It was supposed to last 20 minutes. Unfortunately it lasted an hour and a half. Seems that the burn did NOT put the spacecraft into orbit. In other words, they missed. :( They have re-established communications with the spacecraft, however they will have to wait another 7 years for the spacecraft to try again (if they even get the opportunity.

I feel bad for the JAXA scientists. They have had some stellar missions lately with sending spacecraft to go into Moon orbit and other pretty cool achievements. It guess it was time for them to have a miss. Still, I was pretty excited about the JAXA Venus mission since (as far as I know) it's been a while since anyone has sent something up there, and with the recent discoveries of water on the moon and ice on Mars, I was hoping they'd find something really cool... like volcanoes or liquid sulfer lakes or space chicks or something. Oh well, maybe the craft can be directed towards Mercury or somehow back to the Moon or something. I'm sure they'll use the craft for something but I guess for what is up in the air now.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
SpaceX

In other news, SpaceX is scheduled to launch their Falcon 9 rocket with the new Dragon capsule at the top today (Wednesday Dec 8th 2010). SpaceX is a private corporation specializing in space transport. With the Space Shuttle being ground for good sometime next year and the current U.S. space programs not really going in any particular direction, the U.S. doesn't really have a way to put peeps into space other than catching a ride with the Russians. The Dragon capsule is SpaceX's attempt to fix this problem. While it is flying empty today, it is being designed to carry as many as seven people. It's pretty close, not in look, but in concept to the current Russian Soyuz spacecraft or the Apollo command module in that it's just a capsule that returns, not a whole spaceship like the Shuttle.

I believe they were planning on launching on Monday, but they found a crack in one of the thruster nozzles. So, here's hoping that there aren't any other issues (like the poor Discovery Shuttle (STS-133) which was supposed to launching in November, but due to various problems including several cracks in the large external fuel tank is grounded I believe until February which might end up pushing out the final flights of the other shuttles.

=-=-=-=-=

I don't think I have any other updates other than my wife is cool and I love her very much for being supportive and at the same time continuing to put up with my shit during this period of uncertainty.

Friday, December 03, 2010

1 sat I saw a couple days ago

While heading off to work Monday morning, the sky was fairly clear. So I went out between the houses and stared up into the sky for a minute or two. And I caught sight of a faint satellite going S to N almost straight overhead.

Here's the time-line for morning of:
Date: 29-Nov-2010 Monday

6:31 AM - IRAS - 4.9 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1983-004-A
This is my first sighting of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (aka IRAS). IRAS was the first-ever space-based observatory to perform a survey of the entire sky at infrared wavelengths. That's a big honking deal in case you didn't know it. :) Due to the infrared sensors, the satellite had to be kept at a temperature of 2 Kelvin. IRAS was in service for 10 months until the superfluid helium ran out and the telescope warmed up too much for it to be able to provide useful information. It found over a quarter of a million sources of infrared light. Nearly 20 years later, many of these sources still need to be identified. Using other data it gathered, it also discovered 3 asteroids, including one asteroid which is the parent of the Geminid meteor shower. It also discovered 6 comets. The satellite was put into orbit using a Delta 3910.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Go Bucks!!! and 12 sats

Watched the OSU vs Michigan game today. A 37-7 win for the Buckeyes!!! Wasn't too sure how things were gonna pan out after that 1st quarter, but once they found their rhythm, it was all over. Great job by both the D and the O. It also helps when the team you're playing literally is tied for the worst field goal percentage and therefore ALWAYS went for it on fourth and whatever when they were in the red zone.

While the kids were getting a bath, I took a peak outside and notice it was crystal. After the baths were done, I asked the Mrs if I could go outside for a bit and she was kind enough to say yes even though I know that after a day of shopping she was probably pretty tired. This evening's session was totally ad-libbed. I just went out with a blank piece of paper and my wool hat and just scanned the sky. I pretty much would look to the E and scan that entire area. Then look to the N, then the W then the S. Repeat. I generally would spend longer in the E because I know the sky over there and I can pick them out fairly easily. Plus, most of the sats are over there anyways due to the position of the sun and all that scientific crap. In all, I ended up seeing 12 objects. Not too bad for a 45 minute session. And there were many objects being sighted by me for the first as well. That makes it even that much more exciting.

Here's the time-line for evening of:
Date: 27-Nov-2010 Saturday



6:22 PM - Zi Yuan-2B or JB-3 - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2002-049-A
This is my fifth sighting JB-3, a Chinese earth imaging satellite that is rumored to be one of the first high-resolution military imaging satellites.

6:26 PM - Cosmos 2084 Rocket - 4.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1990-055-D
This is my first sighting of this Molniya-M rocket body. It was used to launch Kosmos 2084, a Russian satellite that is part of the Oko missile launch defense system. Unfortunately, according to NASA the launch of this rocket actually failed to put the satellite in the correct orbit and no communication ever occurred with the satellite itself (though no other sites mention this failure). This system was also known as the US-KS. I got side-tracked... I should be talking about the rocket. Molniya means "lightning" and the Molniya-M is derived from the R-7 ICBM. The final flight for this type of rocket was on Sept 30 2010.

6:29 PM - NOSS 6 (D) - 5.9 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1984-012-D
This is my first sighting of this NOSS 6 (or possibly NOSS 7) satellite, also known as JD2. Regardless, this is one of the NOSS satellites. This system, also known as PARCAE had three satellites for the system and also a MSD (multiple satellite dispenser). I believe that this object is one of the satellites. The satellites were launched from an Atlas H rocket. There seems to be some confusion on if this is NOSS 6 or NOSS 7. The NASA page, the satellite page I use and one other page in Wiki lists this as NOSS 6. However another trusted satellite site and a different Wiki page lists it as NOSS 7. *shrug* That's the government for ya. It was 1984 and they were probably launching recon satellites every other week. It's easy to get confused at that point. :P

6:30 PM - Cosmos 1346 - 4.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1982-027-A
This is my first sighting of Cosmos 1346. This object is a Russian Tselina-D ELINT satellite. It was launched into orbit using a Vostok-2M rocket in 1982.

6:34 PM - Cosmo-SkyMed 3 - 3.5 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2008-054-A
This is my fourth sighting of SkyMed 3, an Italian earth observation satellite.

6:42 PM - XM 5 Tnk - 4.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2010-053-C
This is my first sighting of this object. This is the Briz-M upper stage of a Proton-M rocket. This rocket was used to launch the XM-5 satellite for the XM Satellite Radio. According to the specs, this satellite is the bee's knees.

6:46 PM - Cosmos 1005 Rocket - 3.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1978-045-B
This is my first sighting of this Vostok-2M rocket. This rocket launched Cosmos 1005, a Russian Tselina-D ELINT satellite into orbit in 1978.

6:52 PM - Meteor 1-19 Rocket - 4.1 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1974-083-B
This is my first sighting of this Vostok-2M rocket. It launched Meteor 1-19, the 19th Meteor 1 Russian weather satellite into orbit in 1974.

6:52 PM - Cosmo-SkyMed 2 - 3.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-059-A
This is my fifth sighting of SkyMed 2, an Italian earth observation satellite.

6:53 PM - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 2.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
This is my twenty-second sighting of this Ol' Faithful Zenit-2 rocket body.

6:56 PM - Cosmos 2227 Rocket - 2.7 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1992-093-B
This is my second sighting of this Zenit-2 rocket body used to launch Cosmos 2227, a Russian Tselina-2 (not Tselina-D) ELINT satellite, in 1992.

7:02 PM - Iridium 69 tum - 5.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-026-A
This is my first sighting of this tumbling Iridium satellite, Iridium 69. This Iridium satellite was launched using a Long March 2C-III SD rocket. The SD model is designed to be able to launch 2 satellites (this particular rocket launched Iridium 69 (the object sighted this evening) and Iridium 71.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A couple talks and 1 sat

Well, in case you didn't know already, my company is canning our office. See ya later. My date of departure is something like end of March. yay. (note the lack of capitals and exclamation points) No one likes dealing with this. But, on the uppity side, I did have a couple talks with a recruiter and a local business who has some openings. The first few are always hard. One doesn't have their speech down pat yet. One hasn't truly discovered or learned to articulate what skills they have gained at their current position quite yet. It's always that way for me and I get all down n crap and whatever. I've had a couple other calls come in on my cell phone with the dead battery so I will have even more opportunity to get my confidence up and my spiel down.

When I got home from my one after work, I got out of the car, looked outside and saw a satellite plain as day. It was kind of comforting for some strange reason. Then my wife got me (us) an early Christmas gift in the form of the super duper deluxe version of While Christmas with Bing and Danny and Vera-Ellen and Rosemary. We watch it every year (along with A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown, Grinch, and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians). Occasionally we'll watch Christmas Vacation. I feel maybe like I'm missing one... but that covers it for the most part. The other tradition is listening to the Tejano Country Christmas on CD. The most awesome Christmas CD ever. And usually the Beach Boys Christmas.... and then the Christmas album that I had when I was a kid that Todd found a few years back and I ripped (and cleaned up) and put on CD. And usually the Bobby Sherman Christmas CD that I got at Big Lots and is a mishmash of songs from his two Christmas LPs which have been mixed in interesting ways (some of the songs sound like they are coming out of a Folgers can).

Anyhoo... I'll stop gibber jabberin' and give you the satellite session (all 1 satellite).

Here's the time-line for evening of:
Date: 23-Nov-2010 Tuesday


6:51 PM - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 2.5 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
This is my 21st sighting of this old faithful Zenit-2 rocket which put a Russian Resurs-O1 earth observation satellite and 5 others into space in 1998.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Six tonight

I haven't really went outside to look for satellites since Nov 14th. Tonight was tough as it was windy and with the wind came the clouds. Luckily it wasn't a giant sheet, but lots of wispy clouds that moved across the sky quickly, which has its disadvantages in itself. It plays tricks on the mind and make one think that the stars are moving when it is actually the clouds that are moving. So, one has to be prepared to observe the surrounding stars to see if that object is moving relative to other nearby stars. Since I'm starting to hit alot of repeats, I'm going to try to remember to highlight those that are being seen for the first time.

Here's the time-line for evening of:
Date: 22-Nov-2010 Monday


6:39 PM - Lacrosse 5 Rocket - 2.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2005-016-B
This is only my second sighting of Titan IV-B rocket which launched Lacrosse 5, an NRO recon satellite. My first sighting was on Oct 4 2010.

6:43 PM - Lacrosse 4 - 2.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2000-047-A
This is only my second sighting of Lacrosse 4. My first sighting was on Sept 17 2010 and was the 7th object I had seen to that date. Tonight, it was the 264th.

6:58 PM - COSMO-SkyMed 2 - 3.4 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 2007-059-A
This is my 4th sighting of COSMO-SkyMed 2, the Italian earth observation satellite.

7:02 PM - Cosmos 2242 Rocket - 3.6 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1993-024-B
This is my first sighting of this Tsyklon-3 rocket which was used to launch Kosmos 2242, a Russian Tselina-R ELINT satellite. The Tselina-R model is an updated version of the Tselina-D satellite that I see quite frequenly. There are currently only four Tselina-R satellites in orbit.

7:09 PM - Cosmos 1500 - 3.2 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1983-099-A
This is my first sighting of Kosmos 1500 which was launched in 1983. This satellite is a Russian oceanography (Okean means ocean in Russian) satellite from the Okean-OE series. Only two satellites of this particular model were ever put into orbit. The other was Kosmos 1602 launched in 1984. Both were launched into space using a Tsyklon-3 rocket.

7:14 PM - Resurs 1-4 Rocket - 2.0 Magnitude
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G
This is my 20th sighting of this old faithful Zenit-2 rocket which put a Russian Resurs-O1 earth observation satellite and 5 others into space in 1998.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stupid Movies

(updated July 30 2017 - added THREE more collections: Cult Classics 20, Drive-In Cult Classics 32, Night Screams 50 movie pack)
(updated June 30 2017 - added THREE more collections: John Wayne Tribute Collection, 15 Martial Arts Movies, The Best Of Chaplin)
(updated June 11 2017 - added FIVE more collections: Iron Fist Frenzy, Samurai Warrior Collection, Crime Classics, Billy the Kid, and Frontier Justice)
(updated May 12 2017 - added EIGHT more collections: Combat Classics, Timeless Family Classics, The Legend Of Rin Tin Tin, Cowboy Legends, Gunslinger Classics, Gore House Greats Collection, Under Fire, and Kickin' It Shaolin Style)
(updated Apr 22 2017 - added THREE more collections: Musicals - 20 Movie Collection, Classic Sci-Fi TV, and The Best Of Spaghetti Westerns)
(updated Dec 10 2015 - added TWO more collections: The Swingin' Seventies, and Cowboys and Bandits)
(updated Jan 17 2015 - added THREE more collections: The Sensational Sixties, Alfred Hitchcock - A Legacy of Suspense (20 movies), and 1001 Commercials.)
(updated Jun 21 2014 - added EIGHT more collections: Sci-Fi Invasion, Decrepit Crypt of Nightmares, The Excellent Eighties, Dark Crimes, Martial Arts, Family Classics, Comedy Kings, and Pure Terror).  The madness really needs to stop.  Seriously.  At the very least I can say I've watched at least one from each of the sets.  I guess that's something.
(updated Jun 5 2012 - added five collections: Burnt Rubber, Hollywood Legends, Prime Time Crime, Warriors, and Spaghetti Westerns)
(updated May 13 2012 - added Ultimate TV Westerns)
(updated Mar 27 2012 - added two collections: The Way West and Mystery)
(updated Mar 24 2011 - added two collections: Legends of Horror and Western Legends)

I'm a fan of really bad movies. I don't know why... but I am. Honestly, it probably stems from the fact that my wife likes good movies. I didn't really watch many movies until I met my wife. And those that I did watch before I met her were suspect... like "The Stuff", "Pump Up the Volume", "Turk 182", "Looker" and "Son of the Blob".

At some point when I was a drummer in Devilcake, I purchased these two 10 movie collections for I think $10 each. 'Legends of Kung Fu' and 'Fists of Fire - Swords of Death'. I remember watching one of these horrible kung fu movies when M called me when we were dating. I started telling her what was happening on the screen in a MST3K style. The only thing I remember for certain is that one of the main characters was some female kung fu expert. I kept calling her the 'Hong Kong Hottie'. I was amusing myself and figured that this made me 'charming' somehow. I'm sure my future wife thought I was being a big dork.

I know where my 'passion' for bad movies really amped up. I had been let go from my first job of nearly 8 years. I had been looking for a month or so already, 8 - 10 hours a day and was starting to go a little stir crazy. I don't remember where I saw it... Amazon or eBay maybe... maybe in a online movie review? Maybe I was looking for more kung-fu movies. I don't know. But I saw it somewhere. The Sci-Fi Classics 50 Movie Pack. I told M about it and she said, 'Go ahead and get it. You'll drive yourself crazy if you look for jobs all day. You need to give yourself a break, even if it's for a few hours. You might as well have something to watch. So I found out that Best Buy was selling them, went down there and plunked down $30 bucks. I figured at less than a dollar a movie, it was freaking awesome. And I started watching them one by one. I even got the Mrs. to start watching them with me. It was fun to me to sit there and just cut up on them non-stop. Occasionally you'd even run into a good one that you just wanted to watch.

Then I found out that there were other sets: Action, Mystery, Comedy and Horror. The next one I was contemplating was the Horror box set. I happened to be at Odd Lots with Todd and happened to mention it to him, that I had seen other ones there but not the Horror one. And he looking in the bin thing and says 'you mean this one?'. Todd is the master of finding shit that you swear you'll never find. (You can read more about that evening at my old Live Journal blog here.)

Anyhoo... somehow... I think when I was working at AOL, I started looking for them for cheap on eBay. Then when MicroCenter started getting rid of their DVDs, I started buying them REALLY cheap.

Now I many, many sets of these things (actually, it's 1416 since the Action 100 pack is just the Action 50 and Suspense 50 sets put together. They didn't even bother making new sleeves. They just plunked the 50 Suspense sleeves in the big box.

The sad thing is, I still want the Martial Arts and Dark Crimes sets (edit 6-21-2014 - Finally got both!) and I don't even have time to watch the ones I have now. The Mrs. has kinda lost interest in watching them. She barely has time to see the movies she wants to see, so why would she want to waste an hour and a half to watch something she has no interest in and which probably sucks badly?

So... This is my admission of this is all of the sets I have and that I have an issue. All sets are either put out by a company called TreeLine or Mill Creek, who bought out TreeLine. I'll try to list them in the order I got them. The list is as follows:

Sci-Fi Classics (TreeLine, 50 movies, Run Time: 3912 minutes) Note: I paid full retail ($25 or $30) at Best Buy for this one.


Horror Classics (TreeLine, 50 movies, 3743 minutes) Note: I paid $20 (I believe) at Odd Lots for this collection. Right after mentioning that I was looking for this, my friend Todd pulled this out of the shelf and said 'This one?'


Chilling Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4423 minutes) Note: I paid $17.50 for this on eBay.


Drive-in Movie Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4399 minutes) Note: I got this one for $6 at Half Price Books. I was originally gonna pay $19.95 for it until as I thought it was new. However, when they pulled them out to put them into the sleeves, I could see that they were obviously scratched badly, so he said 'How about $6'. This is the set that broken the camel's back for my wife. We watched a movie called 'Black Hooker'. It was horrible and pointless and a bit disturbing with some black guy who was a church pastor who had a daughter who was a hooker but then he went and had sex with some young girl who was part of the church. Gross!


Classic Musicals (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3965 minutes) Note: I got this one for $8 at MicroCenter.  I was excited for this one because one of my co-workers had given me a special coupon for 20% off any item and I was refusing to pay $9.99 for this collection.



All-Stars Collection (TreeLine, 50 movies, 4140 minutes) Note: I got this one for $4 at MicroCenter. I also got the War Classics and 100 TV Episodes at the same time for super cheap as well).


War Classics (TreeLine, 50 movies, 3594 minutes) Note: I got this one for $4 at MicroCenter.


TV Favorites MegaPack (TreeLine, 100 TV episodes, 2910 minutes) Note: I got this for $2 at MicroCenter


Action Classics (Mill Creek, _100_ movies, 8626 minutes) Note: I got this collection for $15 incl. shipping from eBay). This collection is actually the Action 50 and Suspense 50 movie packs put into one box.


Nightmare Worlds (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4135 minutes) Note: I got this for $12 on eBay.


Western Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3597 minutes) Note: I got this collection used for $5 from Half Price Books.


Comedy Classics (TreeLine / Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3900 minutes) Note: I paid $10 for this at Half Price Books, new. This one is interesting in that the box itself is TreeLine however they placed a slipcover over it which is from Mill Creek.
Treeline box 

Mill Creek slip cover 


Giant 600 Cartoon Collection (Mill Creek, _600_ cartoons, 3720 minutes) Note: I got this on eBay for $5 incl. shipping. I actually purchased the 100 Cartoon Collection from MicroCenter for $.99 first, but then I found out about the 600 cartoon collection and knew I just had to have it!


Legends of Horror (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3604 minutes) Note: Borders went out of sale and they had all DVDs at 40% + 10% off. They had the 50 movie packs already priced at a some-what decent price of $14.95, however after the 40% + 10% off, they were about $8.50. I blame Dan Martin (a co-worker of mine) for purchasing these because he was going to take me out to lunch, however he didn't tell me and I had an interview to go to and I saw Borders and thought I would stop in. If I had known about the possibility of free food, I would have skipped going to Borders.


Western Legends (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3042 minutes) Note: Another Borders going-out-of-business purchase. Again, cost after 40% + 10% was $8.50.


The Way West (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 2830 minutes) Note: I picked this up at Half Price Books for $6.39 along with the Suspense 50 Movie Pack which I actually already had (see Action 100 Movie Pack).


Mystery Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3768 minutes) Note: When I returned the Suspense movie pack to Half Price Books, I picked up the Mystery movie pack, new and still shrink-wrapped for $6.39.


Ultimate TV Westerns (Mill Creek, 150 episodes, 4117 minutes) Note: I picked this up at a Half Price Books in Cincinnati for $5.35, still sealed, originally priced at $19.99 from Best Buy.


Burnt Rubber (Mill Creek, 20 movies, 1509 minutes) Note: I picked this up at Half Price Books in Beavercreek, OH (at Fairfield Commons) for $4.99.


Hollywood Legends (Tree Line, I believe, 50 movies, 4424 minutes) Note: I picked this up at the Beavercreek Half Price Books for $7.99.


Warriors (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4464 minutes) Note: I picked this up at Half Price Books in Hamilton, OH.  I had spied this a couple of times but they had it priced at $9.99, however this particular day they had recently marked it down to $7.99.  I had seen one of the Herc movies on the Sci Fi set, but wasn't thrilled with it, but the wife convinced me to pick it up.


Spaghetti Westerns (Mill Creek, 44 movies, 4168 minutes) Note: Another one I picked up at the Hamilton Half Price Books for a cool $5 from the discount bin (probably due to the busted plastic case)


Prime Time Crime - The Stephen J. Cannell Collection (Mill Creek, 54 episodes, 2595 minutes) Note: Yet another one picked up at the Hamilton Half Price Books.  Being a movie pack connoisseur, I was amazed when I saw this one since I love most of Cannell's stuff and I had NEVER heard of this one (probably because I was always looking up 'movie pack').  At $7.99, this was a steal and should be awesome.


Comedy Kings (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3555 minutes) Note: I got this one on eBay for $6 a mere 6 days after I posted about my 5 movie packs in a weekend post.  So sad.


Decrepit Crypt of Nightmares (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4053 minutes) Note: I picked this one up from the Bethel Rd Half Price books for $2 in 2012 sometime.  It smells slightly of stale smoke. Most of the movies look like they were shot on a camcorder.


Dark Crimes (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3714 minutes)  Note: I got this one from my wife for either my birthday or our anniversary.  I think it was 2012.  I know at the time Wal-Mart had this collection for $10 so I'm going with that price.


Sci-Fi Invasion (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4179 minutes)  Note:  I have no idea where I got this one, when I got this one, or how much I paid for it or if it was a gift.  I think it was Christmas of 2012 from the wife.  I'll call the price on this one $15 since I really have no idea.


Martial Arts (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4223 minutes) Note: I picked this one up online at Amazon for $14.50 in February of 2013.  This really should have been the last set I picked up.   As you will see, it was not.


The Excellent Eighties (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4842 minutes) Note: I picked this up at the Marysville Kmart in 2013 for $9.99.  Now there is yet another series of movie packs that I want to get (Swinging 70s and Sensational 60s, not to mention the Nifty 50s and Fabulous 40s).


Pure Terror (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4252 minutes) Note: I picked this one up sometime in 2013 from (I believe) the Half Price Books on Bethel for $8.


Family Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3396 minutes) Note: I picked this one up at the Ollie's on Cleveland Ave for $6 in June of 2014.  I had been eyeing this collection for a while since historically it had been one of the cheeper sets whether it was new or used. I think it has to do with the short running time.


Alfred Hitchcock - A Legacy Of Suspense (Mill Creek, 20 movies, 1631 minutes) Note: I picked this one up sometime in the fall of 2014 from Half Price Books, though I'm not sure which one. Don't recall how much I paid for this, but we'll say $7.00.


1001 Commercials (Mill Creek, 1001 commercials, 972 minutes) Note: I picked this one up from Half Price Books on Bethel.  I remember I had picked up... something... and was literally walking out the door when I spotted it in the clearance rack (which I had looked at earlier but must have overlooked it).  I picked it up for $3.00.


The Sensational Sixties (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4427 minutes). Note: I got this one as a Christmas present in 2014 from my mother.  Yay Mom!  Did some research to see how much overlap there was and I think it worked out to be about 20% (10 films) which isn't too bad honestly considering the sheer number of these things I have.  I'll stick a $15 price on this one since at the time that is what Amazon was selling it for.


The Swingin' Seventies (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4543 minutes) Note: I got this at Ollies in Westerville for $6.99 in Oct of 2015.  I had seen the Sixies box set there previously, but this was the first time I saw the Seventies collection there.  Yay!


Cowboys and Bandits (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3128 minutes) Note: I got this at Half Price Books on Rt 23 for $7.99 in Oct of 2015.  A little bit on the expenseive side, but I knew that this one didn't have much overlap with the other western box sets that I already had.


Musicals - 20 Movie Collection (Mill Creek, 20 movies, 1706 minutes) Note: I got this in April 2017 from Walmart for $12.18 using a Walmart eGift Card purchased from My Coke Rewards.  All movies are from Columbia Pictures and some are even Oscar nominated.  Sweet!


Classic Sci-Fi TV (Mill Creek, 150 episodes, 3886 minutes)  Note: I got this in April 2017 from Ollie's in Sidney, OH for $5.99.  I had been wanting to get this one for a while, but was refusing to pay $19.99 for it.  Score!


The Best Of Spaghetti Westerns (In the Tradition of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly) (Timeless Media Group, 20 movies, 1801 minutes) Note: I got this in April 2017 from Ollie's in Sidney, OH for $2.16.  Awesome price and nice quality on the prints of the movies!


Combat Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4296 minutes) Note: Picked this up on eBay late April 2017 for $6.00.  I wasn't quite sure what the overlap was going to be, but figured that it would be around 30%.  After further analysis, it turned out to be 50%.  Not my best bargain.


Timeless Family Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3708 minutes) Note: Purchased from eBay on the same day as Combat Classics (late April).  It had a price tag of  $3.09 including shipping.  It was too little for me to pass up.  I was hoping for a 60 to 70% overlap.  Alas, checking my collections there were 11 which I didn't already have.  D'oh!


Cowboy Legends (old version) (Mill Creek, 50 Movies, 2941 minutes) Note: Purchased from eBay on the same day as Combat Classics and Timeless Family Classics... and purchased with Rin Tin Tin.  Cost was $8.75 (with shipping) after getting to take 20% off for ordering another item (ie, Rin Tin Tin).  I knew that there was very little overlap.  Also knew that Mill Creek had just released a 2017 box set with the same name which had over 50% overlap with my collection, so I knew I needed to pick this one up quickly before the waters got muddy. 


The Legend of Rin Tin Tin (Mill Creek, 4 serials [48 total episodes], 881 minutes) Note: Purchased from eBay for $3.50 along with Cowboy Legends in order to earn 20% off my order.  This set is four serials with each serial having 12 episodes for a total of 48 episodes.  Most of the episode run between 15 and 20 minutes each.  Contains serials from both the original Rin Tin Tin as well as Rin Tin Tin Jr.


Gunslinger Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3909 minutes) Note: Purchased from eBay on May 9th 2017 for $5.50 with shipping.  This was the first time I had used the Best Offer option on eBay.  The seller had it listed for 3.99 and 3.00 for shipping.  I put in a best offer bid for $2.50 and it was accepted.  By the time I purchased this, I had done a extreme checkup on my collection and knew that this collection had 40 movies that I didn't have yet.  Glad I got this one for such a good price.


Gorehouse Greats (Mill Creek, 12 movies, 1030 minutes) Note: Purchased at the Half Price Book Clearance (Warehouse) Sale at the Sharonville Convention Center.  Picked up for 2 bucks.  Nine of the films were unique to my collection.  Not bad, even though gore films really aren't my thing. 


Under Fire (Mill Creek, 12 movies, 1145 min) Note: Purchased at the Half Price Book Clearance (Warehouse) Sale at the Sharonville Convention Center.  Picked up for 1 dollar.  I was hoping that since this was one of the new collections that the overlap wouldn't be too bad.  Alas, only 5 of the movies were unique, but considering I only paid a dollar, I'm okay with that.  It's better than the Timeless Family Classics error. 


Kickin' It Shaolin Style (Mill Creek, 12 movies, 1060 minutes) Note: Purchased at the Half Price Book Clearance (Warehouse) Sale at the Sharonville Convention Center.  Picked up for 2 bucks. I wasn't sure if this was 12 movies off of the Martial Arts 50 pack (which I have) or from the Iron Fist Frenzy 50 pack (which I don't have).  I took the gamble for 8 quarters.  And I was correct, it was from the Iron Fist Frenzy.  Good news is that all 12 were unique to my collection.  Bad news is that all 12 are from the Iron Fist Frenzy which prior to me purch'ing Kickin' It had zero overlap with my current collection and would likely have been my next purchase Gifted to my friend Todd since I picked up Iron Fist Frenzy.

Iron Fist Frenzy (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 4226 minutes) Note: Purchased from eBay in May 2017 for $18 after figuring out it was going to cost me about that much just to get the other martial arts '12 movie' sets (like Kickin' It Shaolin Style) that make up Iron Fist Frenzy and still wouldn't have the 'bonus' 2 movies found on Iron Fist Frenzy.


Samurai Warriors Collection (TGG Direct, 12 movies, 1152 minutes) Note: Wife purchased this from Half Price Books in Hamilton for $6.  Packaging is literally a folded piece of cardboard with slits for the DVDs to sit in.  Needless to say, I put them in better sleeves so they don't get scratched before I watch them. Double Note: The Amazon link points to a 4 disc, 10 movie version of this collection.  The one I have is a 5 disc, 12 movie collection containing two more movies ('The Body Guard' and 'Dragon Princess'.)


Crime Classics (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3415 minutes) Note: I picked this up in May 2017 on eBay for $9.50.  Appears to be a sister set to the Dark Crimes 50 movie pack and possibly came first as it never got a plastic case release.


Billy The Kid (Mill Creek, 20 movies, 1111 minutes) Note: Picked this up in May 2017 on eBay for $4 including shipping.  Lots of Buster Crabbe and Bob Steele as Billy the Kid and, I believe, every movie has Al St. John as his sidekick Fuzzy.


Frontier Justice (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3049 minutes) Note: Picked this up in June 2017 on eBay for $9.50.  This one took a bit of effort to get after the seller sent the wrong item.  But ultimately the correct item was shipped.


John Wayne - The Tribute Collection (Mill Creek, 26 movies, 1919 minutes) Note: Picked this up one Father's Day June 2017 from Half Price Books in Hamilton for $5.


15 Martial Arts Movies (TGG Direct, 15 movies, 1352 minutes) Note: Picked this up one Father's Day June 2017 from Half Price Books in Hamilton also for $5. Amusingly enough, the discs are labeled Samurai Warriors with a pic of Jackie Chan, different from the other TGG collection which was named Samurai Collection.


The Best of Chaplin (Echo Bridge, 28 movies, 693 minutes) Note: Picked this up one Father's Day June 2017 from Half Price Books in Hamilton for $3.


Cult Classics (Mill Creek, 20 movies, 1397 minutes) Note: Picked this up from eBay at the end of July 2017 for $6 shipping included.  This one contains what I consider to be some of the original cult classics: Reefer Madness, Cocaine Fiends, Sex Madness, Test Tube Babies, etc. 


Drive-In Cult Classics (Mill Creek, 32 movies, 2763 minutes) Note: Picked this up from eBay at the end of July 2017 for $8.15 shipping included.  I love the artwork on this collection.  They also released this in 8 movie packs, each with awesome cover art.


Night Screams (Mill Creek, 50 movies, 3540 minutes) Note: Picked this up on eBay at the end of July 2017 for $9.50 shipping included.  Based on the artwork, I thought this was going to be in a cardboard case, but amazingly it was in one of the sturdy plastic cases.




Total number of movies: 600 700 800 970 1370 1440 1540 1580 1820 1990 2058 2160
Total number of TV episodes: 700 850 904 1905 2055 (100 250 304 454 TV shows, 600 cartoons, 1001 commercials)
Total spent of these silly things: ~$150 ~$170 ~$185 ~$190 ~$225 $296 $321 $334 $355 $366 $412 $425 $449!!!egads!!!
Total viewing time: 55064 minutes / ~918 hours / 38.25 days
Total viewing time: 61710 minutes / ~1028 hours / 42.85 days
Total viewing time: 68308 minutes / 1139 hours / 47.45 days
Total viewing time: 72425 minutes / 1207 hours / 50.30 days 
Total viewing time: 89585 minutes / 1493 hours / 62.21 days 
Total viewing time: 121799 minutes / 2030 hours / 84.58 days
Total viewing time: 128829 minutes / 2147 hours /89.46 days 
Total viewing time: 136500 minutes / 2275 hours /94.79 days 
Total viewing time: 143893 minutes = 2398 hours = 99.93 days straight 
Total viewing time: 162863 minutes = 2715 hours = 113.1 days straight
Total viewing time: 171,707 minutes = 2913 hours = 121.4 days straight
Total viewing time: 175,671 minutes = 2928 hours = 121.99 days straight
Total viewing time: 183,371 minutes = 3056 hours = 127.34 days straight
(or until the cows come home, or a little after)

How stupid is all this?  I'm glad I did this 'exercise' as it proves that I am basically stupid and a 'collector' with unreasonable wants. I would have to watch 1 movie and one TV episode EVERY DAY for over FOUR FIVE years in order to watch all this shit. Holy crap! What is wrong with me??? No, seriously, what is wrong with me???????  Cheese Louise!!! Help me, plz!