So my current depressive episode was finally triggered by an astronomy setback when a bunch of my eyepieces were stolen. And there are two ways to look at that event if I was searching for meaning. First, I could wallow, and take it as the latest in a string of negative experiences the universe had thrown my way to discourage me from sticking with the hobby (which I did for a while). Or, second, do a more micro examination for a time that it happened just after my best seeing ever (AstroLog 2019.002.1 Best. Viewing. Night. Ever.) and therefore I had a huge “high” just before to help me get through the low. Neither are particularly insightful views of the events — frequently shit just happens — but it did put astronomy in my cross-hairs for review during my depression. I have already outlined some of that history previously, so I won’t repeat it here. » Read the rest
I joined the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – Ottawa Centre a little over 5 years ago. I had a telescope when I was a kid, one of the cheap handheld ones, and predictably, I saw almost nothing with it. Fast-forward 30 years, and I bought a Celestron NexStar 8SE telescope with some inheritance money. During those five years, I had no end of alignment challenges that I couldn’t quite figure out, so my enthusiasm for all things astronomical, including Ottawa Centre, waxed and waned like the moon — when things went well, it was great! When things didn’t go well, I felt like an idiot.
Finally, in 2015, I eliminated one huge problem with the help of a member at a monthly star party; in 2017, with the help of another member for a special one-hour “problem-solving” aka “see if Paul is just an idiot” session, we found a hard-to-diagnose problem with the controller setup; and Bob’s your uncle, we solved the intermittent alignment problems. » Read the rest
So I’ve put together a draft observing log, curious if people have any other suggestions. I feel like I’ve gone way overboard on the data and details, not enough room for the notes. And I’m not sure I’ll ever get into drawing, but it’s there for now.