A few people have asked, quite surprisingly to me, what kind of observatory I was “letting go” from my long-term goals. Most plebes think an observatory is simply a place to put your scope and observe the sky, and while they are not completely wrong, it is much more complicated than a simple “location-based” definition.
So, let’s start with what I have as a scope:
That set-up is made up of nine things:
A physical site:
A location to do the viewing, preferably with dark skies (this picture is taken at the inlaws’ cottage in front of a lake and big open skies to the west);
A flat platform for the equipment all to rest upon, along with vibration suppression pads under the tripod legs; and,
Some sort of limited area around the space;
An optical tube — the orange part, which is a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope (SCT) design;
A mount — the small black base with a computer in it and an arm that rises up from just below the tube to attach at the far side of the scope; and,
A tripod — the silver part, with the three legs fully extended;
An eyepiece (black with green banding at the top back of the scope);
A power source, which is a portable power tank (this model is very similar to a car battery); and,
A place to hold accessories, which is a flat area just below the black mount, very hard to see in the photo although there is also a table out of range of the camera;
I have the song, “I saw the sign”, by Ace of Base, going through my head (and it’s probably going through yours now too, sorry about that!). If I was being honest with this post, it should be titled “I missed the sign” because I did. I missed a sign that was staring me in the face for over a week because I was focused on the day-to-day detritus of daily life, not the broader world. Let me explain.
I posted earlier this year that I was facing depression and had to choose amongst three options (My seven ways to respond to depression // Choosing between three depressions // Deciding on my way forward). I ended up opting for a very aggressive “F*** the Universe” approach, which was not about saying “screw everyone”, although at least one person thought that’s what it meant. No, I meant that the universe seemed to be sending me signals about certain things, and rather than listening to them, I chose to give the universe the middle finger and pretend everything was a raging success. » Read the rest
I completed a previous MOOC on video game analysis (#50by50 #32 – Complete a MOOC – Understanding Video Games) from the University of Alberta and I started one on Metaliteracy some time ago from the State University of New York (SUNY). But I’ve found the Metaliteracy course a bit challenging for its design.
There are ten weeks, with each week having a mix of videos and readings to consume, and then a couple of online assignments to fill out about what you learned. The previous one had an option for just auditing with little interaction, this one needs that interaction to really work. Which is generally fine, no problem.
Except each week’s “submission” then has to be graded by your peers. Which would work fine if you had any other peers doing the course at the same time, but it has continual intake. People can start and stop anytime, the deadlines can be reset with a click of a button, etc. » Read the rest
As I outlined previously (Deciding on my way forward), I need a short-term 30-day solution where I ignore any messages coming from the universe that’s stopping me from doing stuff I want to do. Astronomy is on the list, and I’ll come back to that in subsequent posts, but for now, I need something small and symbolic for myself.
I have done some memes several times over the last few years in concentrated bursts. I share comics on FB, sure, but I’m talking more about my “own” creations — quotes, jokes, lunch notes for kids. I loved the idea of having my own little brand that gets shared around. So when I did them, I focused a lot on the design, aka branding, but never really got anywhere:
For quotes, I tried out a few designs on people and ended up with a vertical design that looked like a coil bound notepad, used a italicized font like it was handwritten/printed (not cursive), added a picture of a pencil with someone hugging it, and of course, included my frog logo;
The jokes/humour design was simple enough…vertical design, a solid background, a picture of a jester, and my frog logo;
For lunch notes, I put a banner across the top that said Lunch Notes, kept the background white and horizontal, added a pic of a kid talking to a frog standing on a lunchbox, and again, included my frog logo;
I did about 50 of each type and while I got a few likes, they were rarely shared, i.e. » Read the rest
I’ve been working my way through what I call Functional Depression for a couple of weeks now. Some high days, some low days, nothing new. And mostly it was a delaying tactic from moving into my standard “hide and heal” approach. But there was also a small niggling part of me that was wondering about trying something new. What I was calling “F*** the universe”. Ratcheting up my energy, pedal to the metal, no retreat, no surrender, get ‘er done, just do it, no quit, whatever other metaphor/slogan a sports team can come up with, blah blah blah.
Except the first part of that is the challenge. Finding the energy to do it. Most likely by tapping into my inner core of reserve plus some anger at the universe. Getting “mad” to augment my fire. Yet also worried that I would tap out at some point and have nothing left.