He had been trying to get me out of bed, for about an hour before Rocky finally had his way at 4:30. He is a hard task-master when it comes to any possibility of sleeping in.

And nowadays “sleeping in” means I make it to the 6 am alarm.

I am not even sure why I bother to set the alarm, I think it has been at least 3 or 4 years since it woke me.

In any event, it was pitch black outside and after I had fed the upstairs four, the downstairs 7 looked at me, when I opened the office door before five, as if to say “WTF man! Do you know what time it is?”

BY 5:15, breakfasts given and my own coffee made, I checked the weather app on the phone and it proudly announced that that if I could see, it would be clear skies above me in Lakeland.

Encouraged by this and the earliness of my moment, I decided to go shooting stars with the 11 mm lens. If I lived in a desert, I would head far away from town to escape all the light pollution but the darkest place around me is that boat launch on Lake Parker. So, once again, that’s where I headed.

If there is ever a terrorist attack on Lake Parker, I am going to be one of the first suspects because anyone who goes there as much as I do, must be up to no good. “And officer, he doesn’t even have a boat!”

To my eyes, all was still darkness and it really took the first picture to show me that the app had lied. Damn clouds everywhere! And because of the wind they were moving quite a bit, so doing long-exposure of the sky was really not even come close to giving me what I wanted.

I attach three images, the first one is the vertical upshot and if you are viewing it on a phone, you will have to zoom in to see any stars. Anyway, enjoy.

Frustration isn’t the word and I think I was gone from there within 20 minutes as it became clear that not only were the skies consumed in fast moving cloud, but they were also gathering on the horizon in a thick mass, determined to snuff out any colors that twilight might consider bringing.

And as I left, I checked the app again and it casually reported that it was mostly cloudy.

I mean, seriously, you had to wait until I got there before you could fess up and tell me the truth?

I don’t expect a lot from weather forecasting. Growing up in Ireland, a little island in the North Atlantic, I appreciate the uncertainties of trying to estimate what might happen tomorrow.

But is it too much to expect you to be able to tell me what it is like presently? I mean, seriously, look out the fucking window, even.

Or if you don’t know, then say you don’t know. Don’t make up shit and pass it off as a factual statement. Clear, my ass.

It got me thinking about how we rely on certain things or people and assume that they tell us the truth, so that we can base our understanding upon what they tell us.

For example, if the police tell us they have a serial killer in custody, we don’t expect him to show up at our door. Or if the wife says all the kids are gone to school, let’s make whoopie, you don’t expect to see little Tommy standing at the foot of the bed crying because you are “hurting Mommy”.

My point is, we shouldn’t have to double-check everything when things should be known.

Oftentimes, lies are deliberate or they are a spin in order to create a certain narrative. Presidents and governments lie in order to justify actions against other countries or in order to get themselves re-elected.

But we know that, so when we hear about certain folks having weapons of mass destruction and how we are under imminent threat, we should look deeper than the headline and ask questions. They lie for a reason and we should know that.

But when the wife says the kids are all gone to school, we shouldn’t have to search all the bedrooms and under the sofa. There should be no reason for that lie, unless she has some deep-seated exhibitionist tendencies that you have never seen before.

So, knowing the source of the information that we rely on, and what their motivations might be, is important. When someone tells you he is the most honest person you will ever meet, or the network uses a tagline of fair and balanced, then it behooves you to raise a brow on what follows next.

“Know your source” is a key measure on our road to wisdom. Not everyone travels that road, but if you are not a republican, then we expect you to learn as you get older.

If you are still falling for the same lie five years on, then the problem is with you, not the liar. We each have the responsibility to be aware of what information we believe. Aware of where it came from, why it might be suspect, and ultimately whether it is reliable.

Otherwise you find yourself writing another blog a few years from now about how you found yourself trying to take pictures of stars through a cloudy sky because some app said it was “clear”.

In the words of the most intelligent republican president of recent years: ” There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on… shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again. “

… just a thought.