Partial Lunar Eclipse – Nov 19, 2021

Friday, November 19, 2021, 3:15 AM CST

Partial Lunar Eclipse

Longest Lunar Eclipse in 580 Years!

#nightsky #observation

39°F and I’m standing out here on my back patio in shorts, a hoodie and house slippers, equipped only with a pair of binoculars. Was humbling experience seeing the clear night sky with the nearly full lunar eclipse in all its glory, at about 265° West, looking up at about a 45° angle. The full Moon, which had hours earlier, lit up the night, was now muted and tinted in red hues.

Pics from a mobile device can’t do this observation justice… but, thankfully Ray’s Astrophotography YT Channel was running a live stream of the event, and my handy dandy Sky Guide app is useful for some AR screenshots and labeling of the visible objects:

Branding SharePoint: The New Normal

Very helpful blog post discussing branding options for modern SharePoint Online sites. Thanks!

Bob German's Vantage Point

Modern SharePoint is catching on, and sites are looking better than ever right out of the box. With mobile-ready pages and easier editing, customers and partners are starting to ask for it. And as SharePoint 2019 brings the modern experience on premises, the demand is likely to grow even more.

Yet even as sites look better than ever “out of the box”, there are constraints on how they can be customized. Partners and customers who want to completely change the look sometimes run into these boundaries and get frustrated.

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Interpreting Chevelle’s “Piistol Star (Gravity Heals)”

The timing of Chevelle releasing their new album, NIRATIAS, on March 5, 2021 and then hearing this song, reminding me of the importance of gravity, was an immeasurable and invaluable coincidence. Texas had just survived a very stressful February, with rolling power blackouts, extended periods of no power, frozen pipes, no running water in our homes and then the associated cleanup efforts. We needed healing. “Piistol Star (Gravity Heals)” reminded me what could bring the healing and as a result, is easily my most favorite track from NIRATIAS!

A major theme I took away from the book “12 Rules for Life” was in order to lead a meaningful life, one should assume as much responsibility as one can possibly handle. Personal responsibility. Financial responsibility. Social responsibility. Community responsibility. Work responsibility. All of these responsibilities are Gravity. As Chevelle points out in this new track, Gravity Heals. Gravity brings meaning. Gravity brings purpose. Gravity grounds you to the earth beneath your feet.

We humans have not yet evolved the necessary features to fly. That’s why Icarus used wax and feathers to fashion a pair of wings. We humans of the late 20th and 21st centuries have learned how to build machines capable of space flight though. With this new technology and ambition, we must also maintain balance. The yin & yang kind of balance. We must remain ever vigilant of the limitation of our wings. Too close to the sun and the wax melts. Then, whether you want to or not, Gravity takes hold and promptly returns you.

I’ll never learn though! Looked right into the sun. Once again. Melted my wings and blinded my eyes. I’ve been cooped up in this house for over a year and wanted to feel the warmth of the sun. I’ll never learn… (as the lyrics go). Well, not with that attitude! I have to keep trying though. Iterate and improve each day. I have to keep taking on more and more responsibilities, increasing the gravity, because it keeps me occupied. It keeps me distracted. It keeps me from looking right into the sun. The gravity keeps my wings intact and my eyes open so I can see the world around me. Gravity keeps me from wanting to escape and losing site of the dangers above and below.

[Verse 1]
Steal these sins and maybe guilty wins
One more cat life left lazy tryst
Keep shaking loose these walls
I found a life in them
Embracing these unknowns
How much we got to lose

I'll never learn
Looked right into the sun

[Verse 2]
Life ain't easy for you faceless mess
Turn those lights out crazy
Clear the mind of negative ills
Jumping in so fast I confess
Steal that one thing still left to risk

Gravity, gravity heals
Gravity, gravity heals

Keep shaking my own walls
Divide the vitamins
We're facing these unknowns
Now face the things ignored
Not like I sold the world
Not like I stole your best

I'll never learn
Look right into the sun
I'll never learn
Look right into the sun

Gravity, gravity heals
Gravity, gravity heals

I'll never learn
Look right into the sun
I'll never learn
Look right into the sun
I'll never learn
Gravity, gravity heals
Gravity, gravity heals
I'll never learn
Gravity, gravity heals
Gravity, gravity heals
I'll never learn
Gravity, gravity heals
Gravity, gravity heals

Why do you think Chevelle named the track “Piistol Star” with two “i”, considering the Pistol Star is spelled with one? I’ve been researching the answer and still haven’t found one yet. Let me know your thoughts!

Persisting Petrichor and a Millipede

Wednesday night, I did not go to bed; had to work on an email migration project that could not be postponed. Of course, we encountered an issue, resulting in the need for me to spend many, many hours doing manual configuration. I was finally able to take a nap around 10am Thursday morning for about 4 hours. Needless to say, my circadian rhythm was severly interrrupted. Thursday night’s sleep was still affected, not being able to fall asleep until 2 or 3am Friday morning. As a result, I had trouble falling asleep Friday night, as well.

I laid in bed, thinking about all the projects I wanted to complete. I’d been wanting to research a millipede we discovered a couple weekends ago in Broken Bow, OK. While reading the Wikipedia article about the millipede having an aposematic colouring to warn that they are toxic, I eventually stumbled upon an article about the word that describes the scent of rain, petrichor. This had absolutely nothing to do with what I had originally wanted to research, but that’s where I found myself. I needed some music to help me fall asleep. Naturally, I took to Spotify to search the word to see if anyone else was clever enough to use it in a song or playlist. Turns out, there were over 10 artists using the name, over 20 albums using the name, and multitudes of playlists using “petrichor”.

I needed to create a unique playlist name. It was also the last day of April, which is a commonly rainy month in North America. I’ve been on an electronic music kick lately, so my new Spotify playlist was born: Persisting Petrichor. Thought it would be a nice alliteration and play on words, considering I ended up using multiple songs and artists of the same name with different songs and electronic music is often repetitive and persisting. The “petrichor” was persisting. The scent of the rain was persisting, as it had been raining for a few days in a row. Aptly named, even if I do say so myself.

Without further ado, Persisting Petrichor:

Create your own custom Spotify playlist covers using Coverify!

We enter my Persisting Petrichor playlist with Petrichor, the smell of rain on his eponymous album Petrichor, the smell of rain with the track “Descent“. This track feels like a good opener, featuring some experimental lingering or persisting sound of that initially-plugged-into-a-guitar-amp feedback, as in the sound that’s hear at the beginning of a session, much how petrichor describes the scent at the beginning of a rain session. It’s just ethereal enough to prep you for the remaining tracks of the list, but doesn’t linger past two minutes. We leave Descent with some fierce, high-pitched strums of the guitar strings, in an almost percussive bell ringing sort of way.

We’re seamlessly cross-faded into a collab featuring QUIET BISON on Tek Genesis‘s album Temp in the track “Petrichor“. Those early Asian monestary bells are the calm before that melodic intro synth preps foreshadows that juicy bass drop, full of experimentation and layers of effects until you beg for a break at the middle of the song.

Here’s the Xystodesmidae millipede we discovered that I was originally researching. Photo taken at the Broken Bow Lake Spillway Overlook in Oklahoma, USA on 4/17/2021.

Introducing custom registration pages for Microsoft Teams meetings

This should streamline the registration/sign-up process for meeting organizers. Currently, our team publishes a Microsoft Form to gather interest and then separately sends a meeting invitation to those interested.

Ganesh Sanap Blogs

Tech giant Microsoft is introducing yet another feature to the Microsoft Teams that will allow meeting organizers to create a custom registration page for any meeting (although the feature is designed for webinars). This feature will be available for meeting organizers using Microsoft Teams desktop applications (Windows/Mac) as well as Teams on the web.

Adding a custom attendee registration page to any meeting will help to manage attendance before and after any meeting. After registration, attendees will receive an email confirmation with calendar invite.

How this will affect your organization

By default, this new meeting registration feature will be available to all users in tenant.

The meeting organizer can set up a custom registration page from the Meeting scheduling form. The organizer will then customize and save the registration page in a pop up window.

When a meeting organizer uses the custom registration option, those who are invited will receive…

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Road-trippin’ for Thanksgiving

Autumn has fallen. The signature color scheme for this season is but only a memory. As we trek across the Midwest to be with our family for Thanksgiving, I can’t help but notice very few leaves still cling to their trees. Those that do remain are shades of brown. Their once vibrant reds, oranges and yellows, now fully depleted. The white bark of the sycamore trees and the evergreen needles of the pines are the last remaining splashes of color to catch your eyes.

Here at the eastern edge of the US Central Time Zone, the sun seemingly sets earlier than Dallas. Granted, we’ve had cloud cover the entire day, but it’s only 4:35 PM and nearly dark outside. Oh how I long for the winter solstice to arrive. The upside is that once we cross the Indiana state line, time jumps ahead one hour, a step closer to normal.

American Sycamore,

Mid-November Hickory Creek Hike

Such a great day for a hike! Today, Saturday, November 14, 2020, temp was 84° F with wind gusts up to 20 MPH. We saw big beautiful clouds and the latter part of the annual color change of the foliage.

The Hickory Creek Trail has several convenient trail heads. We chose the parking lot just south of the bridge on FM 2499 that crosses Hickory Creek and the northwest fork of Lake Lewisville. This trail is frequently used by equestrian folk, so just stay alert and keep your dogs close and/or on a leash. Also, keep your head up and pay attention to the tree roots and multiple rock outcroppings, as these pose tripping hazards.

From the trail head, heading west, you walk through a tunnel under FM 2499. The trail winds slowly through the forest edge, following the winding Hickory Creek. There are a couple places where the trail is close to the water’s edge, including an interesting, scenic panoramic perch where you can watch a few small water craft drifting along, fishing.

Highly recommended trail, close to Denton, Corinth, Highland Village, and Flower Mound. Have you walked this trail before? What were your favorite memories? If not, tell me about a memorable trail you’ve recently hiked. 😎