Friday, August 29, 2008

Solstices and Equinoxes

I'm not the only one who pays attention to the path our Sun takes during the year. In her recent post "The Dark Side of the Moon: There goes the sun", Slywy writes,

...the retreat of the sun into the southern sky, imperceptible at first, but now impossible to miss. The angled light is somehow softer—still bright, but not as harsh to the eyes.
The two Equinoxes don't mean as much to me. I'm more of a Solstice kind of guy. In the Winter, the Solstice gives me hope. It's the shortest day of the year. Even though the days are cold, and the sun is weak, and snow hampers our travels, I can count on the Sun getting stronger and stronger each day and setting later and later each evening.

Unfortunately, the Summer Solstice, which usually falls on June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere, has the opposite effect on me. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year. The Sun is high in the sky, and we have plenty of time after supper to enjoy the outdoors. This is as good as it gets. But after June 21, it's all downhill, and I feel sad. The Sun sets a little earlier each day. It moves further away.

As Slywy wrote, it's "imperceptible at first." But by the time the Autumnal Equinox arrives, the amount of light we enjoy during the day diminishes at its fastest rate. Noontime shadows creep northward every day.

I'm thinking now of the Rachel Field poem, "Something Told the Wild Geese".

Something tells me to start looking for a new snow plow service.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Issuing Trackback Pings From Blogspot

Andy Beard explains how to add the ability to issue trackback pings from Blogspot. It involves adding the Firefox add-on Greasemonkey and a script. It's a nicer solution than logging into Haloscan each time you want to issue a ping. But so far I haven't gotten it to work. I wonder if that's because the only trackback URIs I've tried so far have been hosted by Haloscan?

So the main purpose of this post is to test the solution against a non-Haloscan trackback URI, such as the one on

And actually it doesn't work. It doesn't report "Sending trackback ping to..." at all. But maybe that's because I don't use