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I do dance with the Devil in the pale moonlight

I know some of you get twitches in your toes with the weather is changing, or migraines when the storm is approaching. The full moon sets me off. Perhaps there’s a little werewolf in me. As Luna grows large, I am struck with insomnia, passionate energy, and animalism. Tonight promises to be quite sleepless.

This lunar eclipse falls on the date of the northern winter solstice. How rare is that? Total lunar eclipses in northern winter are fairly common. There have been three of them in the past ten years alone. A lunar eclipse smack-dab on the date of the solstice, however, is unusual. Geoff Chester of the US Naval Observatory inspected a list of eclipses going back 2000 years. "Since Year 1, I can only find one previous instance of an eclipse matching the same calendar date as the solstice, and that is 1638 DEC 21," says Chester. "Fortunately we won’t have to wait 372 years for the next one…that will be on 2094 DEC 21." [Source, NASA Science, Solstice Lunar Eclipse]

Blessed be!

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Start the year off with professional development

Is training and professional development something you are going to get around to one day? Why not make it today? Resources abound for honing our career skills. iTunes has free podcasts from iTunes University. A quick Internet search should produce abundant articles and videos useful to whatever your line of work.

I am taking the next 30 minutes for professional development. In my case, I am going to begin learning Eclipse so that I can move away from Notepad++ and CFStudio5. This will be a step toward moving my development environment to a portable hard drive so that I can work on any machine anywhere I go. I know learning to use an editor sounds silly. In my case, shouldn’t "professional development" be about learning about new software testing techniques, algorithms, or another programming language? Not necessarily. Anything that you learn which makes you more efficient in your career or makes you more valuable to your company is professional development. Even if you already know and use Eclipse, watching these videos make teach you something you don’t realize you are overlooking. Retraining on a tool you already use and know can help break bad habits or reveal better ways to use the tool.

Update: See Darren Schall’s discovery on Eclipse workspaces as an example of using a tool for awhile and then discovering its hidden power.