Mission Of This Blog

The overall mission statement of this blog is to share many unique topics of this blogger's interest. Topics include (but are not limited to): Southern Cultural Heritage, Local History of the South Carolina Upstate, Confederate Heritage Preservation & Awareness, Americana, Nature & Wildlife Preservation, Science & Science Fiction, Astronomy & Night Sky Photography, Literacy & Writing, Travel & Photojournalism, Local Places Of Interest, Southern Cuisine, Popular Culture & Philosophy, Classic Animation Nostalgia, Fandom ....as well as various other topics explained from the blogger's point of view. The following website contains the UNCENSORED thoughts and opinions of a Southern-born country writer from upstate South Carolina - the living, beating heart of the great American Southland!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Planetary Photography -- 01-18/19-2018 -- The Young Moon

Greetings fellow stargazers!

The Young Moon made her appearance in the western sky about 30 minutes after sunset on Thursday the 18th and Friday the 19th of January. The Young Moon refers to the phase of the moon following the New Moon when Luna is positioned more or less between the Earth and the sun during her monthly orbit. New Moon is of course when Luna officially transitions from the morning sky over to the evening sky from our perspective.

Over the course of two days I captured some pretty good shots of the Young Moon, including one really awesome shot of a plane's running lights flying in front of the Young Moon's path. You can see the difference between the thumbnail of Luna in Earth's shadow from the evening before to the next evening as the moon moves towards the next quarterly phase. In the third and forth photos taken on the 19th, you can also see some of the larger craters in the close-up shots, including Tycho near the bottom right.

Well folks, let me know if you liked these photos in the comment section and be sure to check back later this month for more planetary photography. Till then, keep your eyes to the skies, y'all!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Planetary Photography -- 01-07-2018 -- Mars & Jupiter Conjunction With Jovian Moons

Greetings fellow stargazers! 

Well folks, for my first planetary photography of 2018, I have a real treat for y'all. 

In the morning hour before sunrise I woke to clear skies and a perfect view of the Jupiter and Mars conjunction in the southeastern sky. Here is the best photo I managed to get of the two wanderers at their closest proximity.

Mars is approximately 0.25 degrees south of Jupiter (equivalent to half of the moon's diameter), and you can just barely make out the red coppery coloring. The two appear to join though in reality they are just over 342 million miles apart. Jupiter appears brighter to the naked eye, approximately 20 times brighter than Mars at the moment due to the relative positions of the planets. 

This will change by summer of 2018 when Mars once again reach its closest approach to Earth and grow larger in the night sky. By the end of the first week of July 2018, Mars will finally catch up with Jupiter in brightness. Then on July 31st, Mars reaches its closest proximity to the Earth and will shine the most brilliantly in Earth’s sky since 2003, actually outshine Jupiter by some 1.8 times in late July and early August. The Red Planet will reign as the fourth-brightest celestial body (or third brightest in the nighttime sky, after the moon and Venus) will last two months from about July 7 to September 7. 

It's also good that I managed to capture the conjunction of these two wanderers and blessed that the skies were clear of cloud cover. The next conjunction between Jupiter and Mars will not occur until Friday, March 20, 2020. 

Now folks for the unexpected, but pleasant bonus: when I checked my close-up photo of the conjunction, I discovered that my 35X optical lens managed to capture all four of the visible Jovian Moons: Io, Europa, Castillo, and Ganymede

These four moons are also known as the Galilean Moons in honor of famed Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei who discovered them in January 1610 using an improved telescope with a 20X magnification lens. 

These four are the largest of Jupiter's 69 known moons. Three of them: Io, Castillo, and Ganymede are just slightly bigger than our own beautiful Luna. Io is the closest at around 218,000 miles from Jupiter's clouds and Castillo is the most distant at a whooping 1,168,180 miles from Jupiter, giving y'all an idea of the scale and distance of the largest planet in our solar system as seen from Earth's sky. 

Well folks that is all for now, but this won't be the last time we see Jupiter and Mars this month. The two will stay pretty close together throughout the month of January and will meet up with the waning crescent moon on the morning of Thursday, January 11th. 

Thank y'all for checking out this blog post, be sure to leave a review, and as always keep looking to the night skies, y'all hear?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018 And Expanded Content Update

Greetings and Salutations, Y'all!

This year begins the 4th official year of Southern Fried Common Sense & Stuff. 

Folks, when I began this blog in December of 2014, I did so largely to have a platform for this blogger to share his opinions about various topics, not the least of which was countering the misconceptions and outright lies promoted about Southern heritage as a whole and Confederate historical heritage in particular. 

I also like to travel to many local places of interest and wanted to share those with you, the reader. I am very proud of upstate South Carolina where I was born. I am proud of it's various history and of the multicultural heritage of the area. Sharing them with you and telling the local history of many of these events from the perspective of a simple small-town country writer has been and continues to be a pleasure for me.

Last year this blog reached a number of milestones, not the least of which was crossing the hundred-thousand views mark. I could not be more pleased to know that folks around the world on every continent enjoys my various posts. It is this blogger's hope to cross the next major milestone and achieve another hundred-thousand views by the end of 2018 -- or at the very least halfway there.  

As I promised y'all near the end of last year, this blog will be branching out a bit more on it's mission statement and bring y'all more expanded content. 

Certainly I am going to continue countering the regressive narratives seeking to demonize and denigrate Southern identity, Confederate historical heritage, and free-thinking individuality as a whole. If anything I intend to double-down on those and counter the anti-Southern stereotypes. However instead of just Responding To Regressives posts, I will go into more specific details about what Southern heritage as a whole is, and what Confederate heritage in particular actually means to those Southerners and Americans like me who continue to do those eyebrow raising things like place flags on graves and wear hot wooly uniforms honoring ancestors who lost an ugly and terrible war.

This blogger will also continue to bring you more stories about local history and the cultural impact it has had on American identity as a whole. My Travel & Photojournalism posts will also continue, as will my Planetary Photography posts. 

Among other things, this blog's new expanded content will include details about the personal likes and history of yours truly, Carl W. Roden (esq). This isn't to stroke my own ego, but rather to give you the reader a better understanding of who this weird pseudo-adult whom many in the Southern heritage community call The Man Deniers Fear The Most really is as a free-thinking individual rather than someone's build-up stereotype.

These details will be included into a new segment on this blog which I will call the Tales of My Existence. These tales will detail true slice of life stories about growing up in upstate South Carolina and my dealings with various situations in my life till present. Some of this personal stories and experiences will also be included into some of my social commentary on other causes I sympathize with, such as how I deal with my autism and how it impacts me on a daily basis.  

Some of these stories are quite humorous -- including several mishaps during my childhood and adolescence, which are a bit embarrassing -- while others are a bit painful to talk about on a personal level, a couple of which I have never even told my own family about. None the less, I hope that by sharing some of them with y'all, maybe they may help someone else who went through similar experiences in the past or present day.

In addition to this expanded content will be Southern Fried Fandom & Reviews. This will include personal reviews of movies and television shows that this blogger enjoyed growing up and how they affected and influenced me as I grew to maturity (sic). These reviews will include everything from cult classic science fiction and fantasy stories to cartoons, anime and animated series that I loved from my youth in the 80s and 90s to present day. This will also include top 20 lists of my favorite shows and series episodes, and how said shows had an impact on my life in general. 

Finally, the expanded content will include reviews of graphic novels and webcomics that this blogger enjoys, or finds relevant to various topics on this blog. As a former librarian and someone who loves books having practically grown up in a library, I enjoy reading and have found it fun to look through and collect graphic novels for my reading collection. Many of these are really good reads, and have really important lessons that young people need to learn today -- for instance how to handle bullies the right way, or learning to empathize with those who are often overlooked and neglected. Some are just fun action and adventure stories told by really talented authors and artists. I am looking forward to sharing my two cents about these great literary works -- and yes, graphic novels may not be Shakespeare (expect or course for his works written in graphic novel form), but I would put a good many of them right up there with much of the modern young adult stories and even a few serious adult writers as well. How one tells a story is just as important, if not more so, than the manner in which it is put to pen.

Many of these subjects will overlap in a few cases, like the upcoming story about how one old cult classic sci-fi film largely helped influence my love for science, space exploration, and ultimately my support for Martian Colonization efforts promoted by far-thinking people like Elon Musk and Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society, a group I happen to be a supporting member of.    

Since this blogger doesn't set a particular timeline for what content I post to this blog, you the reader will just have to keep checking in to see what's coming up next here at Southern Fried Common Sense & Stuff. Will it be more local history? More photojournalism? Movie or animation reviews? Book or graphic novel reviews? More Southern heritage and Americana? More planetary photography? Or will be the upcoming true story about how this blogger once stowed away on a class field trip he was not supposed to go on in 3rd grade? 

To quote actor Johnny Depp in the okay, but somewhat unnecessary remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by director Tim Burton: "The best kind of prize is a sur-prise."  

Find out next time, but until then: Have A Wonderful Dixie Day, Y'all! 

Monday, December 25, 2017

For Unto You A Child Is Born -- Merry Christmas Y'all

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth. 
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph of the house of David and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her and said hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee; blessed art though among women. 
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou has found favour with God.  
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name, Jesus. 
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man. 
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 
And behold thy cousin Elisabeth she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
For with God nothing shall be impossible. 
And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

And Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into the city of Judah. 
And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass that, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. 
And she spake out with a loud voice and said blessed art though among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 
And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me.
For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ear, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 
And blessed is she that believed. For there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. 
And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord. 
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my saviour. 
For he that is might hath done to me great things, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 
He hath put down the mighty from their seats and exalted them of  low degree. 
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away....

And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 
And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (Because he was of the house and lineage of David.)
To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. 
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she would be delivered. 
And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. 
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone around about them: and they were sore afraid.    
And the angel said unto them, fear not; for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 
For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign upon you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 

And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 
And it came to pass as the angels were gone away from them unto heaven the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which has come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 
And when they had seen it they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 

                                                                                                                ~ Luke 1:26-53; Luke 2: 1-19 KJV

To all of my friends, fellow travelers and brothers and sisters in Christ, I wish each and every one of y'all a very Merry Christmas this holiday season.