Lockdown Day 29: Age 35

I’ve read somewhere that during a pandemic, one must document his/her daily life. Even the most mundane day should be immortalized. With all those grand narratives of how Isaac Newton powered through the Black Plague, discovering some of the most important scientific discoveries known to man, we are made to believe that we have to be productive amidst this pandemic.

Today is day 29 since the lockdown was imposed over Metro Manila, and subsequently over the island of Luzon. It is also my 35th birthday.

Panic buying before the Enhanced Community Quarantine. Photo taken at S&R on March 16.

When the first case of COVID-19 (then called as nCOV) in the Philippines was announced on January 30, 2020, I had already asked Mon to stock on a couple of boxes of masks from Bambang. I had been monitoring the situation for the past weeks. I knew that it’ll only be a matter of time before it blew up, and it won’t hurt to have masks stocked for our families.

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Pets and decisions

When I woke up early today, it took me a while to realize what happened the day before and why it was hanging over my head. Then, after a few blinks and a yawn, I recalled finally deciding on something very life-changing — I have accepted the offer to work in a humanitarian organization.

I’ve weighed the pros and cons and they were numerically near each other . However, considering the emotional weight attributed to the pros made me realize how much I really yearn to gain experience in the field. I have downloaded several books concerning the work to brush up on my knowledge and I was happy to have that “giddy feeling of excitement”.

New pet in the house! Our new kitty, Miso!

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Mon and Moon!

March 17 and I can finally say: HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY MON! =D I was in the rooftop, with Mon, JB and my mother, testing my new telescope when the clock struck 12:00 AM! I had a hard time adjusting with the telescope, though, as the image was expectedly different than the other telescope. Newtonian telescopes produce images that are upside down, so it was difficult for me to deal with it on my first try. Unlike the other refractor, which produces images backwards, this Newtonian is not ideal for terrestrial use. LOL

Almost twelve hours after, I was woken up by JB because we were to eat our lunch. I was originally to help Mon with preparing lunch for today, but he did not bother waking me up at all. We bought a pack of frozen cream dory and other ingredients from Trinoma’s supermarket last night. Mon had fancied another bout of MasterChef moment and made a very nice meal for us. I especially loved the honey and lemon sauce on the cream dory, as well as the lychee in the jelly. He eventually left after lunch because he also had to spend time with his family on his birthday. =D

What the birthday boy cooked for my family - Cream Dory, buttered vegetabes, lychee jelly and the healthiest rice

 

It was difficult to constantly bring the tripod of the telescope up to the rooftop, given the heavy counterweight, so the best solution I came up with was just to leave it in one corner. I would just remove the telescope tube, which wasn’t heavy at all. Thirty minutes before sunset, JB and I prepared our telescopes and cameras, hoping to get at least a momentary view of Comet PANSTARRS, but to no avail. Good thing that the Moon was visible to the northwest, near Jupiter and I was happy to point my telescope to these two celestial objects.

My new telescope - a Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ

Of course, I also tried imaging the Moon with my point and shoot camera and I was delighted with the result. My camera, though, can’t capture the same beautiful thing seen from the telescope as the Moon’s details were more breathtaking as viewed from the eyepiece. I first tried using the 25mm eyepiece (originally from the Meade telescope), then the other 9mm. The picture below was seen through the 25mm one.

First Moon photo from my Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ - 03172013 18h58 PHT

I also looked at Jupiter and it was beyond words! Given the bigger mirror of the Celestron, I was able to see Jupiter’s cloud bands as well as the Great Red Spot! With the Meade 70mm, I can barely discern these details and I usually half-guess whether I was seeing them. But using this 127mm, there was no mistaking the difference in the colors of the bands because of the better contrast. I attempted to image Jupiter but I can no longer push my point-and-shoot’s capabilities. All I got was a white blob with four dots (the Galilean moons). The next thing I might do is just purchase a CCD webcam and modify it for astrophotography because I don’t have enough budget for an SLR. LOL

Before wrapping up (because I had to eat dinner and take photos of things I will be listing on Ebay), I  turned my telescope to Orion and almost cried when I saw the Orion Nebula. Again, unlike my other telescope, I just saw a faint haze of light and cloud, which was the nebula. But with this new telescope, I was able to see a much better detail of the clouds and even distinctly see the ‘trapezium cluster’ of four stars! I’m still amazed of the Orion Nebula but I know I have to soon move to seeing other Messier objects. =)

 

Advanced birthday party in the office

Friday is wash day but I still ended up wearing these pants again instead of jeans. I think it looks good with this leather mailbag and it was as far as I can do to be color-coordinated. It rain when I was already in the shuttle, though, and I was really worried because I was wearing suede shoes! LOL

Blue F&H polo shirt, skinny khaki pants, Yves Saint Laurent multicolor sneakers, J. Peterman countereit mailbag

Mon and his teammate, Joselle, will be both celebrating their birthdays in Sunday. In connection to this, his team decided to throw a mini-kiddie party, complete with a chocolate fountain and hotdogs on a stick most especially. Even if there were already a lot of us inside the pantry, we still ahd a hard time finishing everything. Well, most were girls and they eat relatively less ravenous than the boys so that was slightly expected.

Birthday boy and birthday girl

Chocolate fountain and hotdogs on a stick

Eating some ice cream

Guilty of the food she ate LOL

I stopped eating rice for dinner since Tuesday  and Faye has stopped eating some since… I don’t exactly know when. LOL Most of the people I was with inside the pantry were the “jogging bunch”, diligently getting their cardio fix before the day ends. I also wanted to join them but I am too lazy to bring workout clothes in the office. Excuses, I know. But I do my own share of exercise at home too!