Phil's blog


Karen and Phil's Ceilidh

Welcome to Karen and Phil's Ceilidh at the Albert Park Yacht Club.

A Ceilidh (sounds like 'kay-li') is a traditional Gaelic social dance originating in Ireland and Scotland. Before discos and nightclubs, there were Ceilidhs in most town and village halls on Friday or Saturday nights and they are still common today. The Australian Bush Dance is derived from the Scottish Ceilidh and traditional dances from other parts of the UK, Ireland and parts of Europe.

Originally, a ceilidh was a social gathering of any sort, and did not necessarily involve dancing. The 'ceilidh' was an evening of literary entertainment where stories and tales, poems and ballads, are rehearsed and recited, and songs are sung, conundrums are put, proverbs are quoted, and many other literary matters are related and discussed. So if you have a song, a story or anything else you'd like to share at our ceilidh we'd love to hear about it!


Phil & Andy on the Launch

It's a good thing Andy (and Toni's camera) came on the launch ride after all:


Stop Blogging

With apologies to The Age and Leunig, but this had to make an appearance online.

Now why not visit The Age or buy a book from (I at least already own one Leunig book)

Through a combination of luck and good fortune, Kaz and I have three different Canon cameras - a venerable 20D DSLR, an ultra compact IXUS 70 and most recently the G9. Phil wants to know how much he sacrifices when he takes the G9 cross country skiing instead of the 20D and Kaz wants to prove that the G9 she chose to keep (after Phil won it) is really better than the IXUS 70.


Life Imitates Art

via Calculated Risk:

Greenspan and The Simpsons (20 seconds):

Greenspan and Casablanca (19 seconds):


Phil Learns to Ski, again (2008)

The last ski of the season and Phil learns to telemark, sort of.

21st September, 2008 on the sunny slopes of Mt McKay (Falls Creek). Here's the mess we made:


The Bill for our Party is now due

There's no easy way to summarise why we are where we are today (other than the word 'greed').

Mike 'Mish' Shedlock has a few thoughts though:

Global Recession Headed Our Way

The world is heading for a global recession and a sure bet is that it will be blamed on a subprime crisis in the US. The reality is the greatest liquidity experiment in history is now crashing to earth.


Cloud Forecast Accuracy

This set of images compares the actual infrared satellite image for midday Saturday 13th September 2008 with forecasts made on the same day and up to 5 days ahead. The forecasts made up to 2-3 days ahead are quite accurate, so that a reasonable estimate of the astronomy prospects for a Saturday night could be made on the Thursday beforehand. While the general trends are still correct in the 5 day forecast, the details for a particular location become much less accurate.


Cloud Forecasts for Victoria, Australia

Edit Oct 2009: Since I originally wrote this article, SkippySky has become available. It uses the same US GFS weather model data so the discussion about accuracy is still relevant, but SkippySky is a much more convenient way to access the cloud forecast data, with great maps for all of Australia among other places.

Check out Cloud Forecasts for Astronomers for the story behind some of this and how to generate your own cloud forecast maps using US GFS model data.

Also see Cloud Forecast Accuracy for comparisons of the forecast charts with actual satellite images.


Explanation Key:


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