My last blog was February 9th, 2019. My intention of writing was to at least post a monthly blog entry of what’s in the sky how best to view them. I still have this grandeur plan to really start blogging about what I am looking at in the sky and what equipment I am using and to eventually work up to having a YouTube channel and an official Central Wyoming Astronomical Society vlog. But it seems month after month, I find myself exceedingly busy with life and I just never got the time to take my telescope out.
Since my last blog, I had a few life changing moments and some that were more of a distraction then life changing. Shortly after my first blog, I took the family to Italy and stopped in Iceland and France on the way. Iceland was incredible! Iceland easily goes into my top 3 favorite places on the planet. We were even there during a good chance to see the Northern Lights – although we only saw them for about 30 seconds because it was overcast the entire time. We did go to the Perlan Museum though which is a natural science museum and has a very cool planetarium inside. The only downside to Iceland is how expensive day to day provisions are. It’s cheap to get there but expensive to be there… they have to import everything.
After spending three days in Iceland, we headed to France which sadly is on my list of least favorite places. At least Paris is anyway. Maybe the rest of France is much different. Perhaps I am just not accustomed to such a large population, but it seems to me that the residents of Paris are the French equivalent of Americans, i.e., “we will not press one for French”. If you can’t speak perfect French, you get treated like the minority that you are. At least that was my impression. Disneyland however was really fun. And very entertaining to hear Mickey Mouse speak French.
We spent three days in Florence, four days in Rome, and one day in Tivoli. Florence was outstanding. There are so many highlights of my time in Florence but the one thing I had to see was the Museo di Galileo. It is a science museum with all sorts of exhibits from history’s scientists including Galileo’s equipment. I got to see the very same telescope Galileo used to make his discovery with Jupiter! Rome was also very awesome. I am glad I had the opportunity to go there, but Rome has far too many people for my comfort. Although being a civil engineer, I was determined to see the aqueducts and I got that chance. Romans didn’t invent hydraulic engineering but they certainly perfected it. The method of transporting water via open channels developed by Romans 2000 years ago are still used today.
In April, it was business as usual. Work, kids homework, family time, bedtime, repeat. I was hoping by May I would be setting my telescope up just about every weekend. But as it turned out the spring months through June were all very wet. It was either raining or cloudy and on the days that were clear, I had to work early the next morning. Then just as the weather was starting to look promising and the roads to my favorite dark sky spots dried up and got groomed, I ended up in the hospital with appendicitis. My wife and 2 children were in Nebraska visiting family and I was busy at work so I stayed behind… with the intention of doing some camping over the weekend. As it turns out, appendicitis forced the cancellation of that plan. Recovery more or less took the month of July. August would have been a great month but work was insanely busy. After August, the kids go back to school and strict bed times are put into place, which of course has really nothing to do with my own bed time but unless I leave from work and immediately set up my gear upon arrival to my home which is almost always impractical and eating dinner and helping clean up then spending time with the family before putting kids to bed… it’s well past 10pm before I could even start setting up my equipment. In short, life got in the way during September and October. Now we are into November and it finally gets dark enough early enough to allow at least weekend observations. I WILL take my telescope out at least once this year. My photography and processing skills have improved over last year so if all goes well, I should get better results with my favorite winter sky objects.
In October we found out we are having a third child. This will be our third and “probably” final one. Although if you ask my wife, she would have a definitive statement…. this WILL be our final one. I am very excited to be a third time father but the due date is June 2020… so basically I won’t be taking my telescope out next summer either. Perhaps in the meantime, I can think of ways of rebuilding the membership of the Central Wyoming Astronomical Society.
I know this blog entry has nothing to do with astronomy but I figured I would update the whole 5 followers that follow this blog… that is if they didn’t get bored and moved on. Well… until next time. Hopefully it won’t be another 9 months before I post again.