Thanks to a 'heads up' from Mark (Downlinerz2) on some upcoming night sky opportunities, I did manage to see some new and exciting things (to me) this evening. First, Neptune is very close to the bright beacon Venus in the west just after sunset making it an easier find. Sure enough I found it right away. Using a star chart program I saw where Uranus is supposed to be (insert joke here) and it was an easy find too. I thought it was great, two firsts for me. I then swung the back buster around to look up at Jupiter almost straight up and it's 4 closest moons. Only 3 of the nearby moons where visible (at first). I noticed a small black spec on the surface of one of Jupiter's bands. I inserted a higher magnification for a closer look. Another first for me, a moon shadow from the missing moon that I could now see, barely. What an evening and I probably would have missed it if Mark hadn't alerted me.
Thanks Mark! Maybe later I'll get a chance to see some of the other events you mentioned.