Transit of Venus 2012

Last night Venus crossed in front of the sun, so we got a mini (very mini) solar eclipse.  It won’t happen again for 105 years, so this was our last chance to see it (unless some of you are planning on living longer than I am).  This Venus crossing only happens about once every 100 years, and then it comes twice, the occurrences happening eight years apart.  So, we had a Venus solar eclipse in 2004, and now eight years later we have the second occurrence.  And now it won’t happen again for another 105 years.

Why is this interesting?  Good question.  I find astronomy really interesting.  I feel like it transcends so much about our little day-to-day lives… and even transcends much of human lifetimes and, in some cases, even the lifetimes of entire civilizations.  I feel like that might be a big reason why God gave us a universe full of planets and astronomical events in which to live… it gives us perspective.  Venus won’t cross in front of the earth again for another 105 years.  It doesn’t matter if the richest, most powerful person in the world wants it to happen sooner.  Too bad.  There really are some things money won’t buy (but Apple doesn’t make any of them).  Likewise, when you see the timeframe for celestial events (many times in the hundreds of years range) your own daily struggles start to seem less and less important in comparison to the vastness of that timeline.

You can also get this same perspective by hiking at Red Rock in Las Vegas, but for those of you not located in Las Vegas looking at the sky is an easier option.

Now that I’ve said all that and made a big deal about astronomy, I feel obligated to tell you that it was pouring rain all day yesterday in Seattle, so I didn’t even see the sun at all… let alone see Venus crossing in front of it.  Ah, Seattle.  Not the place to live if you’re an astronomer.  However, there are some great pictures of the event captured in less cloudy places located at Transit of Venus 2012.

Although Seattle is a terrible place to live if you want to view the sun, moon, stars, or other celestial bodies on a regular basis, it is an excellent place to live if you want to eat lunch at a food truck.  Random tangent, I know, but Seattle and Portland both have a large number of food trucks.  Around lunch time in South Lake Union, there are anywhere between 5 and 10 food trucks within a 3 block radius, ready to serve you everything from Mexican (the Taco Truck), to Thai, to Creole, to ice cream sandwiches.  Food trucks seem to be a very integral part of the culture out here.  🙂

Monday night I went to a boot camp class at my gym, and it was a lot of fun.  We used cones, ladders, weights, and other fun pieces of fitness equipment.  A new instructor was teaching it, and he definitely got out heart rates up!  It definitely had the feel of a miltary-style boot camp, and I loved it!  I love that “drop and give me 20” kind of motivation.  If someone’s yelling at me, I probably won’t stop moving.  🙂

Afterwards Mike and I watched the latest episode of Mad Men that aired Sunday night.  Is anyone else watching that show?  Crazy things are happening this season!

Mike and I cooked over the weekend.  As it turns out, pre-cooked sausage links are WAY different than raw sausage links.  Who knew?  Pre-cooked sausage links stay in one piece, so you can slice them into rounds and fry them up with peppers, onions, and cajun seasoning (yes, this is what Mike and I wanted to  do).  Unfortunately, Mike took the hardcore route and got sausage from the butcher counter at Whole Foods.  As it turns out, this sausage is raw, and if you try to cut it into rounds, it collapses into something resembling greyish-pink ground beef.  My first thought was to cook it to turn it into the pre-cooked variety prior to slicing it.  I tried to accomplish this by essentially frying it in a pan.  That didn’t work at all because the outside browned and the inside remained raw.  I sliced them as best I could and then conferred with Mike.  Apparently boiling would have been a better option.  Too late.  I was now busy stir-frying sausage rounds that were fairly misshapen and were cooked on the outside and raw on the inside.  *Sigh*

However, this story has a happy ending.  They cooked up ok, even though they didn’t look as nice and even as the ones that are already pre-cooked.  I cut up peppers and onions, and Mike said he really liked the end result and that you could tell that the meat was fresh.  How nice.  🙂

I meant to cook myself some African sweet potato soup, but I was pretty rattled from figuring out the whole pre-cooked/raw sausage thing, so I opted out of trying a new recipe.  It’s rainy and cold today, though, so maybe I’ll make the soup up tonight.

Over the weekend, Seattle held their international dance festival.  There were formal performances in some halls  downtown, and there were also small informal performances in various parks throughout the city.  Mike and I walked around downtown and watched some of the informal performances.  I was impressed, but Mike was pretty disinterested and wrinkled his nose at the dancers performing on the staircase next to Whole Foods.

I washed my sheets and bedspread today because Piper coughed up a disgusting hairball on my bed.  Fun, fun.  Washing my sheets and bedspread is a big deal because Piper loves jumping up on my mattress when it has no sheets or bedspread on it.  Who knows why?  Probably because she knows I don’t like her to.  Anyway, I have to be home when I wash those to make sure she doesn’t get cat hair all over my mattress.  So last night I sat at home, worked, and surfed on my Kindle Fire while washing my sheets and bedspread and making sure Piper didn’t get cat hair all over my mattress.  Mike got home late yesterday, so he’ll probably be too tired to do much tonight.  We’ll see.

Also, last thing!  Today, June 6th, is National Running Day!  Yay!  I may or may not run because I went to body pump class this morning and I’m feeling a little sore, but for those of you who love running, today is the day to celebrate by getting out there and running!  🙂

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Filed under Cooking, Life in Seattle, Random Thoughts, The Arts in Seattle

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