Wednesday, September 29, 2010

10 in 1 night

Had a bit of a marathon sky watching session this evening. It has been cloudy cloudy for the past few days and when I saw the moon 'up' at noon today, I knew it was gonna be an awesome night for viewing since the moon would not be up. I was out from 8:30pm to 10:00pm and saw 10 little moving objects. I was armed with some new 'equipment' this evening. I had my handy dandy 'red' flashlight from the other night. I went out yesterday and bought a little watch which has a backlight (so no more running over to the window to look at the clock on the stove). I also started printing out the lists with a black background and bold white letters which beats trying to hand write the darn things. I pretty much manually grab it from one of my websites and then cram it into Excel where I can make it pretty. One cool thing that I saw TWICE this evening were tumbling Iridium satellites. I didn't even have these on my list. This happens every now and then. I'll see something that is quite clearly a satellite of some sort, so I'll write down the time, direction and elevation and then try to figure out what it is later. Sometimes I figure it out, sometimes I don't, but I lucked out this evening and 3 of the 4 unknowns I was able to figure out what they were.

Here's the timeline of this evening:

8:36pm - Meteor 1-31 Rocket (1981-065B) - 3.3 magnitude
I've spotted this one before. It's a Vostok 8A92M (Vostok-2) rocket body.

8:43pm - Nimiq 4 Tnk (2008-044B) 3.5 mag.
First first sighting of the evening. This one appeared to be strobing - It is a Russian Breeze (Briz-M) upper stage rocket tank of the Proton-M rocket. This rocket launched a telecom sat for Bell TV and EchoStar (Dish Network) - Nimiq is Inuit for 'force that binds things together'

8:49pm - SJ 12 LM Rocket (2010-027B) - 3.8 mag.
This one was a CZ-2D (Long March 2D) rocket body; launched Shijian 12 Chinese research satellite. Shijian means "practice" in Chinese. It should be noted that this rocket launched on June 15th 2010, which makes this the newest object I have seen having only been in orbit for 106 days (3 months, 14 days). This is my first sighting of this object.

8:51pm - Cosmos 1937 Rocket (1988-029B) - 3.4 mag.
This is my first sighting of this Kosmos-3M rocket body used to launch the Cosmos 1937 Russian military and gov't communications satellite

8:55pm - Okean 3 (1991-039A) - 4.2 mag.
This is my first sighting of Okean 3 which is an earth science sat from Russia which monitored sea-ice conditions in the Arctic Seas. According to one site, it stopped working in January of 1994 after only 3 years of service.

9:00pm - Iridium 911tum (originally named Iridium 11 but renamed after it began tumbling)(1997-030G) - 6.0 mag.
This is a tumbling iridium satellite (i.e. it's out of control and is space junk) - strobing at 6 sec intervals. This is my first sighting of this satellite.

9:04pm - Cosmos 1455 Rocket (1983-037B) - 3.1 mag.
This is my first sighting of this Tsyklon-3 rocket body used to launch the Cosmos 1455 Russian electronic intelligence satellite.

9:15pm - shooting star

9:24pm - Iridium 16 tum (1997-030F) - 7.5 mag
This is another tumbling iridium satellite - irregular pattern - 15 seconds. It's also another first sighting.

9:36pm - Cosmos 2428 (2007-029A) - 2.6 mag.
First sighting! Cosmos 2428 is a Russian ELINT satellite

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cool! Air Force launches new satellite to track space debris

On Saturday evening, September 25 2010, ththe Air Force launched a new satellite to help track the nearly 500,000 pieces of space junk and debris floating around the earth.

This is I believe the first in a series of satellites which will be known as Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS).

Read more about it here

Also of note, the satellite was launched on a Minotaur 4 rocket, which is basically a modified Peacekeeper ICBM. The first three stages are esentially kept the same. Then a fourth stage is added which helps to get the payload into LEO (low earth orbit).

Sorry for all the space geek-i-tude coming from me as of late. The satellite observation thing just catches my fancy at the moment. Anyone who knows me well knows that if something catches my attention and I become interested in it, I tend to immerse myself in it. Go all out. Unfortunately, in most cases, I burn out... but usually it comes about the time I find something new. Recent 'hobbies' include songwriting, record collecting (hoarding), circuit bending, completing a discography of the Colortone and Spin-o-rama labels to name a few in the past few years, and purchasing those horrible horrible 50 Movie packs from Mill Creek Entertainment. :P

So, bear with me... the topic will change soon I'm sure. Or not. Space has always held and interest for me. I've always enjoyed looking at the sky, even if I had no idea what I was looking at.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fun day / Five Objs

Lil A and I got to spend all day together when the Mrs and lil N went up to Cinci. Me n lil A basically played around the house all day. We even walked to the McDs way down the street and ate some lunch. Of course, we also watched the Buckeyes put on a decent (not great IMO due to certain lapses in defense) game with Eastern Michigan, who, I have to admit have a pretty good QB.

Later in the evening after lil A had gone to bed, the Mrs and lil N finally returned. Shortly thereafter, lil N (whining and crying) went upstairs to go to bed.

Since I had my list already worked out, I quickly grabbed my pre-made list and headed outside. However, I forgot one thing. I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and short socks. And it was windy and it was pretty cool outside.

But anyways, since my last session was kerflugled due to a certain satellite not showing up when I thought it should, I was a little anxious since I didn't know where to look when. I decided that I would just keep my eyes peeled in the general direction that I should be looking, even though the first thing on my list was 10 minutes away. So I waited and waited ... and waited. After about ten minutes I was convinced I wasn't going to see anything and then WOOSH! There was a bright flare across the sky. It was either a shooting start or an iridium flare. None of the sites I look at mentioned any possible sightings in my area, but they are a bit tricky to predict and, until recently when software was developed to help more accurately when they would occur, it was pretty much a crap shoot. Here is a cool story about Iridium flares.

About 30 seconds later, Cosmos 1400 showed up, exactly where it should have been at exactly the time it was supposed to be there (8:57pm). My anxiety was not helped due to this being marked as a fairly dim object (3.3 to 4.0 magnitude) but I saw it just fine. This helped to assure me that indeed the clock on the stove was correct. The int'l code for Cosmos 1400 is 1982-079A (thus is was launched in 1982). Just for fun, the launch vehicle for the Cosmos 1400 was a modified R-7 Semyorka which according to Wikipedia was the world's first true intercontinental ballistic missile.

Oh, lest I forget, before going outside I also grabbed my handy dandy $1.99 9-LED pocket flashlight. I took a couple post-it notes, cut them into little squares and taped them over the lens to deaden the light a little bit. This worked great! Later on, I took an orange sharpie and colored over the post-it notes and then added another layer, essentially giving me a very dim and red light... which is perfect since red light doesn't kill night vision (just ask any armed forces veteran).

Next was the Cosmos 2322 rocket booster at 9:09pm. Again, right on schedule. This particular rocket body is that of a Zenit-2. The int'l code for the Cosmos 2322 rocket booster is 1995-058B.

It was getting a bit colder, so I ran inside while there was a brief break and put on a sweatshirt.

Up next was the Cosmos 2428 rocket booster which showed up around 9:19pm. This particular rocket booster is a Zenit-2M. I'm not sure the difference between the Zenit-2 and the Zenit-2M. The 2M is newer, but carries slightly less than the regular 2 to LEO (low earth orbit) and it can't even get into SSO (sun synchronous orbit). It even weighs more. Maybe it's a reliability thing. *shrug* The int'l code for the Cosmos 2428 rocket booster is 2009-029B.

Next was the Cosmos 1833 rocket booster (yeah, there's alot of Cosmos satellites and rocket boosters that put them up there) at 9:21pm. This is also a regular Zenit-2 rocket booster whose int'l code is 1987-027B.

All of the Cosmos satellites or rocket boosters that I saw this evening were for Soviet electronic intelligence (ELINT).

My legs were starting to get a bit chilly, so I went in and put on some jeans and wool socks.

I went back outside since I still had another 7 or so on my list. There were some fairly bright ones that I should have been able to see, however... I didn't spot one. The only thing I spotted was a very brief satellite 9:53pm heading NNW at 50 degrees. It wasn't on my list and checking my satellite sites didn't turn up anything. So, maybe I was just catching the tail end of a departing aircraft (I had been fooled a mere 10 minutes previously by one coming out of the NW and it wasn't until it was in the W that the familiar blinking red and blue lights were noticeable.)

I had about 3 more on my list at that point, but I came inside because I was cold, some low clouds were coming in and obstructing the sky, and I had missed 3 or 4 others since 9:30 and some were very bright... so my game was officially off.

Updated June 21 2011 to put the sightings in my standard template format

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 25-Sep-2010 Saturday

8:57 PM - Name: shooting star - Magnitude: 2.0
Int'l Designator: none

8:57 PM - Name: Cosmos 1400 - Magnitude: 3.3
Int'l Designator: 1982-079-A

9:09 PM - Name: Cosmos 2322 Rocket - Magnitude: 2.2
Int'l Designator: Int'l Designator: 1995-058-B

9:19 PM - Name: Cosmos 2428 Rocket aka SL-16 R/B - Magnitude: 2.5
Int'l Designator: 2007-029-B

9:21 PM - Name: Cosmos 1833 Rocket - Magnitude: 3.0
Int'l Designator: 1987-027-B

9:52 PM - Name: JB-3 - Magnitude: 5.3
Int'l Designator: 2004-044-A

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A couple more

The kiddo went to bed just before 8:30pm, so I quickly went down stairs and jotted down about 10 satellites that were occurring in the next hour. One never knows how long the Mrs will be up there. I got about a half hour in and saw 2 of 5 that I had noted. Part of the problem was that many were in the east, which is blocked from my house.

But being in the east didn't stop me from seeing the first on the list. This sighting was a Vostok-2 rocket (this particular model is the Vostok 8A92M) which launched the Meteor 1-31 Russian land resource satellite on July 10 1981. Int'l code for this object is 1981-065B.

I missed a couple more including a bright Resurs 1-4 Rocket (Int'l Code 1998-043G) which I believe I spotted before. Not sure how that occurred since, while the sky had a couple of clouds, for the most part the sky was clear.

The next one I am going to have to guess on. I saw it passing N to S, nearly directly overhead. It was 8:45pm. It was around the time of Cosmos 1703 which was on my list. However, Cosmos 1703 wasn't supposed to even be in the north until 8:49pm. There was one which I didn't have listed (and was only listed on one site), which was Cosmos 1818 which was much closer to that time (though the suggested magnitude would have seemingly made it very hard to see, but this seemed fairly bright. Anyhoo, since I trust the time more than the magnitude, I'll say this one was Cosmos 1818 which is a Russian radar ocean reconnaissance satellite (RORSAT) launched on February 1 1987 aboard a Tsyklon-2 rocket. It contains a nuclear reactor. Cool! Oddly, according to Wikipedia, this particular satellite fragmented into 30 pieces on July 4, 2008. So maybe I did see Cosmos 1703. *shrug* The Int'l code for Cosmos 1818 is 1987-011A.

Of course, since I believe I was seeing Cosmos 1703, my time table was all messed up so I was probably looking in the wrong place at the wrong time. Luckily, my wife returned and we went in to watch some TV which spared me from further insanity.

I've been trying to come up with my lists the day before, which seems to actually work out quite well. Typically I like to go out the minute lil N goes upstairs, so instead of spending a half hour writing down a list for the next hour, I can just grab my list (which I typically write up for 8:30 - 10:00pm) and go.

I need to get me a cheap-o dollar watch with a light on it so I can 1) sync my watch with the int'l atomic clock (which is what i believe the other sat obs site use) and 2) I can use the little light to help see my paper that I write all my notes on. Even when writing it on white paper with a big fat sharpie, it is still kinda hard to read so I usually end up going to the sliding door where there is usually a crack in the blinds that I can see with.

Updated June 21 2011 to put the sightings in my standard template format

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 24-Sep-2010 Friday

8:39 PM - Name: Meteor 1-31 Rocket - Magnitude: 3.2
Int'l Designator: 1981-065-B

8:43 PM - Name: Cosmos 1818 - Magnitude: 4.4
Int'l Designator: 1987-011-A

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Morse Code vs. Texting

This is freaking awesome.

Too cloudy :-(

I had a few satellites lined up for viewing (written with a big black sharpy on a while piece of paper which makes it much more visible at night... though, if I were REALLY trying to protect my eyesight, i'd do the opposite - black paper with white letters)... anyhoo...
I had a few satellites lined up for viewing, however I went outside and it was mostly a big blanket of clouds. I could see a couple of stars, but for the most part there were no big openings in the clouds... so nothing was observed last night.

So why post about that?

Well, I was kind excited about one of the candidates that I had:

It was a rocket booster for Cosmos 44. You might say "Well, so? You saw Cosmos 1674 the other day. And?" Well, need I remind you that most rockets and whatnot pretty much number their things numerically. So 1643 was launched before 2043... and so on. And you might say "So?" Well, I'll remind you that Cosmos 1643 was launched in 1985. The one I was excited about was Cosmos 44. FORTY FOUR!

Cosmos 44 was launched on August 28 1964!

And the rocket which launched this satellite is still up there (and so is the satellite itself). Going round and round and round the earth. If I were a complete math geek, I'd go find out how often it orbits the earth per day and then calc out how many times since August 28 1964 (and whatever time it was) it has gone around the earth.

But I'm not that big of a math geek. But I truly understand now all the hub-bub in the space community about space trash / Space debris. It just sits up there. And occasionally things get REALLY close to each other or just plain smack into each other. And possibly more often than people know since we only know about it when active satellites get hit. What about when two expended rocket boosters bump into each other and then possibly split or obliterate each other and create more debris?

Here's a quick 30 second clip which shows the satellites deployed and debris created (much of which is still in orbit) between the years 1957 and 2000. (Note: this is only to 2000, not 2010).

Note: The int'l code for the Cosmos 44 R/B is 1964-053B

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cartoons and Satellites

When I got home, the wife informed me a package had come in for me. It was my Giant 600 Cartoon Collection that I got for a steal on eBay. 12 dual-layer DVDs and over 60 hours of cartoons baby!



It was about 8:30pm and I thought I heard the kiddo go to bed, so I went to a couple of my satellite tracking sites and quickly came up with a list of four sats that I was going to try to see.

First up up at 8:45pm was a Zenit-2 rocket body. This rocket was launched on July 10, 1998 from the Russian Baikonur Cosmodrome. It deployed the RESURS-01 4 which was a satellite for the Russian military which observed and monitored natural Earth resources. Then either the same rocket, or the Resurs 01-4 satellite itself in turn launched the TMSAT-1 (that's Thai-Microsatellite-OSCAR). Both satellites have been decommissioned, but the rocket body still hovers around out there, 12 years later. This is why we have all that space junk out there. By the way, just so you know, Resurs is french for 'resource'. :) This was a 2.9 magnitude object, so it wasn't too hard to spot in the sky. The Int'l Designator for this rocket body is 1998-043G.

Up next was a selection (PRC 15 Rocket) that I chose merely because at 8:51pm it was going to be in the sky shortly after the Zenit-2 rocket body went past. It was going to be very dim (4.2 magnitude), low (25 degrees) and it was heading SW to SE. If you're in my backyard, that means it's towards Marysville and the Scott's plant, both of which give off lots of light and kills seeing anything in the horizon to the south. It was more of an exercise of how low and how dim I could see with the naked eye, with lots of light pollution. Needless to say, I failed. Some research after the fact showed I was looking for a Chinese CZ-3 or Long March 3 rocket body which had launched on April 8th 1984. It was carrying a domestic communications satellite known as Dongfanghong DFH-2. The Int'l Designator for this rocket body is 1984-035B.

Quite honestly, the third on the list I picked because of it's long name, Shijian6-3Aptr. It was going to be 87 degrees in the ENE sky at 9:05pm. This was another experiment to see the bounds of what I could see from my backyard looking east (which is towards the road that leads to my house which is lined with like 20 murcury streetlamps. The since I'm in my backyard, however, the house blocks the very bright lights and for the most part, if it's straight up, the sky is still faily black. Anyways, this was another failure, probably due to it's 4.1 magnitude. A little background: This particular item launched on Oct 28 2008. According to the NORAD ID and Int'l Code it's a piece of 'Satellite Debris'. I have no idea what that means, honestly. But whatever it is, it was launched from a Long March 4B Chinese rocket and carried two satellites (SJ-6E and SJ-6F) which were designed to study the harsh environment of space. The Int'l Designator for this rocket body is 2008-053D.

The fourth on the list was Cosmos 1674 (or Kosmos 1674), which was supposed to be going from N to S heading directly overhead at 87 degrees W at 9:08pm. However, I'm not sure I saw that one, exactly. I saw something head over at around 87 degrees in the E and it was more like 9:05pm. I looked at all the sites I have and that's pretty much the only thing during that time span going N to S and being directly overhead, so I'm chalking that one up. It was a 3.5 magnitude satellite. Kosmos 1674 is a Russian spy satellite for ELINT (electronic intelligence) network called Tselina-D and launched on August 8, 1985 but for some reason was end-of-life'd on November of 1985. The Int'l Designator for this satellite is 1985-069A.

So, two out of four (of which two were probably impossible to see from my area). I can't complain about that.

Updated June 21 2011 to put the sightings in my standard template format

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 20-Sep-2010 Monday

8:45 PM - Name: Resurs 1-4 Rocket - Magnitude: 2.1
Int'l Designator: 1998-043-G

9:08 PM - Name: Cosmos 1674 - Magnitude: 2.8
Int'l Designator: 1985-069-A

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lacrosse 4 - sighted

I finally nabbed a glimpse of the Lacrosse 4 reconnaissance satellite this evening at 8:51pm. I only caught the last 15 seconds of it since it seemed a little early (but then again, 1) who's to say the clock on our oven is correct -and- 2) the sites have 'projections' of when they will be at their peak magnitude and their position in the sky.

I had a few more on my list, but my neighbors a few houses down who had their backyard lights on (which wasn't a problem really since I could block those with a postit note while blocking the BRIGHT moon with the outdoor umbrella), decided to get out their 1 million watt halogen light, which I heard they got for $5 at a garage sale (acoustics at night are amazing as well). Oh, and they shined it directly in my direction. They possibly even made a comment that they were amazed to be able to see me. I used my post-it briefly to block that madness, but after 3 minutes, I realized it was for naught. My little square postit (and the rest of the backyard) were no match for 1 million candles. I finished my High Life Light and came back inside. Most of the others I had planned were peaking in the east anyways so it would have been difficult to see them from my backyard which faces west. If I went to the front of my house, I would be dealing with no less than 15 orange streetlamps which would ensure that I my eyes would never adjust enough to see jack squat.

Oh well, I saw the L4, and that was the goal of the evening. Check!

Maybe I'll try again later this evening if the neighbors down the street decide to call it (and their 1M candle watt lamp) an evening.

(Note: the International Designation Code for the Lacrosse 4 satellite is 2000-047A)

Updated June 21 2011 to put the sightings in my standard template format

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 17-Sep-2010 Friday

8:51 PM - Name: Lacrosse 4 - Magnitude: 2.0
Int'l Designator: 2000-047-A

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Take that, X-37B

At 8:30pm, I finally managed to nab a glimpse of the X-37B last night. Probably got to watch it for a good 2 minutes. The Int'l Designator for the X-37B is 2010-015A.

Yeah, watched that lil' white dot go straight overhead.

I don't know why I find spotting these little things so much. Probably because it's like a treasure hunt. You have to search the sky for them; looking at all those stars until you finally see something moving.

Up next, maybe I'll try to get a glimpse of one of the Lacrosse satellites. I should have seen Lacrosse4 the other night, but somehow missed it. Maybe the National Reconnaissance Office did something to cloak it!!! It is one of their little children after all. And, if you read up on Lacrosse 4's brother - Lacrosse 5 - this particular satellite actually has a 'disappearing trick'. Hmmmmmmm.

Updated June 21 2011 to put the sightings in my standard template format

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 15-Sep-2010 Wednesday

8:29 PM - Name: X-37B OTV-1 (aka USA 212) - Magnitude: 2.3
Int'l Designator: 2010-015-A

Monday, September 13, 2010

W00t! Three SATs in one

Just got done seeing three satellites in one sitting. Armed with a list of 6 satellites / objects, I went outside around 8:12pm

I first went out looking for the X37-B Experimental 'Top Secret' Aircraft, but at 8:14pm, it was still rather bright outside and it's a fairly dim object (and my aim is still subject in the backyard, meaning, I'm not exactly sure where N/S/E/W are.

Next up was the International Space Station (ISS) at 8:36pm. I got to see the full 3 minute pass of the ISS and attempted to take a few pics since it was so bright. It was around a -2.9 magnitude... remember lower number = brighter. The moon is something like -11 magnitude. Anyway, I was hoping for some time lapse, but I have no idea how to work my camera (yet) so I only have two stills where you can see the object moving. But that's better than no photos. (I'll attach those later in the post). The Int'l Designator for the IIS is 1998-067A.

Next I saw "Unknown object B" (that's what the database called it) at 8:40. I wasn't sure I would be able to see it with only a magnitude of 3.0, but I saw it. Since my eyes had really adjusted by that point, it seemed as bright as the ISS earlier. I probably saw most of the 8 minute pass for this one. The Int'l Designator for Unknown Obj B is 2004-012C. Based on the n2y0 site, this is a rocket booster for CZ-2C rocket body. On April 18 2004 in China, this rocket launched two satellites: Tansuo 1 (Shiyan 1) which is for stereographic land resource mapping and Naxing 1 which was China's first nano-satellite which did 'high tech experiments' and weighed only 25 kg.

There was supposedly a pass of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) at 8:43, but I missed that because I had no idea how dim it was (5.2 magnitude... REALLY dim). The Int'l Designator for IRAS is 1983-004A.

Next, at 8:56pm, was the launch vehicle (read: rocket body) for the Lacrosse 4 National Reconnaissance Office terrestrial radar imaging reconnaissance satellite. Yeah.. big words. Anyways, that one heading N to S. I probably saw most of the 6 minute pass for that one. Based on Wikipedia, this would be the body of a Titan IV rocket. The Int'l Desginator for this Lacrosse 4 R/B is 2000-047B.

The last one on the list was the actual Lacrosse 4 satellite. I went out and starting looking for it. I called out the wife (who was finally downstairs) and called her out. However, that turned out to be a plane. I should have known that it wasn't it since it was heading the wrong direction. At first it was just a bright light, but by the time the Mrs got outside, it was closer to being overhead and the blinky-blinkies were visible. Never did see that one. The Int'l Desginator for the Lacrosse 4 satellite is 2000-047A.

Oh well, 3 out of 6 on my first real attempt isn't too bad I don't think.

And now, the blurry (and heavily adjusted) photos. I've put a red square around the same part of the picture so you can see the 'motion' of the ISS. Enjoy (or not). You'll have to click on the to make them bigger to have any chance of seeing the red box, btw. Not sure how it'll come out on them fancy-shmancy LCD monitors either. Good luck!

Updated June 21 2011 to put the sightings in my standard template format

Here's the time-line of this evening:
Date: 13-Sep-2010 Monday

8:38 PM - Name: ISS - Magnitude: -3.6
Int'l Designator: 1998-067-A

8:44 PM - Name: Tansuo 1 LM2r - Magnitude: 3.0
Int'l Designator: 2004-012-C

9:00 PM - Name: Lacrosse 4 Rocket - Magnitude: 1.3
Int'l Designator: 2000-047-B

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Can you say TASTY?!!?!?!

This just looks awesome. I'd eat it for sure. Too bad I think they only have it in Japan.

The girl in the video is known as Gal Sone. She's awesome. She is one of the more well known competitive eaters in Japan. She can put away food like crazy. I've seen the video where she eats 6 kg of curry (Japanese curry, not Indian curry) in 23 minutes. BTW, 6 kg is 13.2 lbs. Oh, and she weighs something like 100 lbs. I've also seen her woof down 100 pieces of sushi like it wasn't anything.

Here's an old article from 2007 about her. The youtube video link is toast since several of the Japanese TV channels cleared out nearly all of the videos she was in.

Here's her blog if you want to see posing with people you don't know and pictures of food that you have no idea what it is.

Two words

Not awesome

Mike Portnoy has left Dream Theater.

Like most, I am a bit stunned... but quite honestly not surprised either. As Mike stated, after doing shows with Hail, Transatlantic and Avenged Sevenfold, he realized that he was having more fun with those things that he was with Dream Theater. And I have to second that. In recent years I have enjoyed his side-project stuff much more than the DT stuff. They kept it up for 25 years, so it's not like they didn't have the chance to explore the world both physically and musically. It'll be interesting to see what sound Dream Theater will have without Mike (as DT is still planning on recording a new album in Jan 2011).

One disappointment is that there will not likely be a completion of the DT-project Mike was working on which involved writing a song for each step of the AA 12-step program. All of the songs were created so that, someday, the whole 12 song suite would be able to be played seamlessly together. The last album had part 9 and 10 on it, I believe. So the upcoming album would have likely completed this suite.

However, another disappointment was avoided. I'm glad that I got to see Dream Theater live (at one of the best concerts I've been to, too). It could have ended like it did with the Grateful Dead where I had the chance to go to a concert and said 'I'll catch them the next time around' and then Jerry died. So, no regrets on my part for the past few DT concerts I've missed. I saw them once (with Fates Warning and Queensryche, no less) and it was awesome.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

One word


Can't wait for the new Ben Folds album to come out! Sadly, this song will not be among them. It's a iTunes only track. Stupid iTunes.

BTW, the rest of the stuff from Pamplamoose (whose name is a play on the French word for grapefruit) and Nataly Dawn is incredible. Listen to it. Listen to it all (especially Nataly's take on 'Book of Love' by Magnetic Fields)