Tongue in Cheek and a few other Quotes
Yip, ek’s ‘n Christen en totaal en al skynheilig!! – want dit is mos hoe die Vader my sien deur die “bril” van Jesus – my Verlosser: “ek skyn heilig” – want Hy het vir my die prys betaal – eens en vir altyd aan die kruis – vir AL my sondes – van die verlede, hede en toekoms – ek is skoon gewas deur Sy bloed! I’m not perfect, just forgiven… “Innocence lost but purity regained”…Salvation is FREE, but NOT CHEAP…it cost Him His LIFE! You just need to accept HIS free gift…
Forget what lies behind, keep pressing towards the goal, keep on pressing forward and upward… (Phil 3:13 – 14)
An Amateur Astronomer’s Astro Ailments and Addictions: An African Assessment. (AAAAAaA:AAA)
Astronomy has been kind to me – affording hours upon hours of exploring creation and enjoying its glory. Although the view through an eyepiece is part of my daily life, I honestly prefer the eyepiece to be on my telescope, rather than on a microscope! Numerous “challenges” cross our paths as amateur astronomers… taxing our “addiction avoidance” capabilities, but alas, many are the afflictions, ailments and addictions bestowed onto us!
“Bino benevolence”. Starting off, a pair of 10 x 50 binoculars were THE tool… initially, but it wasn’t long before the BIG binos (25 x 100) were on board, accompanied by their unfortunate “alignment attitude”. Currently the 15 x 50 image stabilizers are doing duty… still faithful in helping me find my way around our galaxy (and beyond).
Aperture fever (or rather, Mirror Madness). Now THIS condition is NO stranger to many of us. My first love, an 8” Orion (Newtonian), unfortunately just HAD to go! But thankfully I am being thoroughly consoled by an 18” Obsession (Dobs of course). NO contest here. Gone are the days of the Newtonian dance and its accompanying back spasms! The views lead to an uncontrollable retinal riot, with rods and cones alike joining in to keep the old occipital lobes occupied! The addition of a “floater banisher”, aka a binoviewer, was the last straw – my “Big Dobs Dependence” is complete! (PS. The 8” DID find a caring, appreciative AND faithful owner.)
Red light dyslexia – as if my childhood challenge to correctly orientate my “p’s” vs. “9’s”, or my “d’s” vs. “b’s” etc. wasn’t enough, the little LED headlamps just HAVE to have a dual switch – Left “red” and right “white”, or is it…? Anyway! Needless to report that accidental dark adapted vision destruction still occasionally afflicts me…
Refractitis: Now what can I say. Popping a Lunt solar filter onto a 127mm refractor yielded a respectable solar scope. However, the psychedelic colours around solar system targets in this bottom of the line specimen just weren’t “acceptable”! A remedy was urgently called for to rid me of these “symptoms”… and now I am awaiting the 85mm Televue TV-85… APO off course! Will just have to wait and see how THIS condition develops. Spontaneous resolution is hopefully on the charts, including some “Solar Scope Solace”.
Pixel palpitations, fortunately this seems to be just a transient ailment… Up to now I have managed to withstand the lure of astrophotography, but obviously can’t guarantee lasting immunity against this complex syndrome, and my resistance may well be duly challenged in future!
“To Go” or not “To Go”. Adding digital setting circles (Argo Navis) and go to drive system (ServoCAT) to the Dobs was probably one of my wiser decisions in life! Although my trusted star charts are always at hand, I enjoy spending time looking “at”, rather than “for” targets. My mental stability however, had to endure/ is enduring numerous “insults”- but all in good spirits though! Some of my “purist” colleagues – those by me highly revered and respected non-technically challenged, mirror grinding, tube assembling, “non-laser collimating” star hoppers – just can’t resist humorous slurs aimed at the “Go-To Tracker”! Fortunately, at over 50, I am pretty secure in who I am and why I’m here – and sanity prevails!
Star Chart Indecision. What a quest this has been – trying to find charts that suit MY needs! Many versions, but none really making the cut! Targeted therapy was called for, and the final product: customized, laminated and duct taped … at last THIS itch has been scratched. Now I can check on the Go To’s performance!
Laser pointer lunacy: Oh, what a blessing, for public and educational events, that is. No longer the need for frustrating, often ineffective verbal directions to elusive targets! The “lunacy” is on the part of those unscrupulous individuals who sell uncontrolled, “weaponized” versions of this tool to the uniformed public! No need to elaborate on this scourge. We can just hope and pray that authorities won’t misdiagnose the condition and force a knee jerk blanket ban as a therapeutic intervention! This would really be a blow those of us law-, rule abiding astronomers with our registered lasers, proudly sporting DoH stickers…
“Monetary Muteness”. This may quite possibly be an advantageous anamnestic affliction. To quote a cyclist’s prayer: “…please don’t let my wife sell my gear for the price I said I paid for it…” No comment … let’s move on…!
Eyepiece Addiction: SO many choices, SO little time! Be sure not to suffer from vertigo or double vision when trying to negotiate this maze! Panoptic…? Ethos…? Delos…? Nagler…? Plössl…? “Space-Walk” experience or “tunnel” vision – you decide! A challenging but rewarding trial with few tribulations. But alas no remedy in sight yet!
Filter Flirtations. These relationships have been somewhat of a let-down and rather short-lived, admittedly due to ignorance and non-commitment on my side. The oxygen III version did however proofed useful as a glorified light pollution filter – complimenting the views of planetaries from my artificial light challenged skies.
Ladder leisure. Now, with my “Big Dobs Dependence” an established, chronic condition, attaining a relaxed ambiance at the eyepiece became a priority. Eventually, assaulting a bar chair with an angle grinder, and combining with a sturdy, wide stepped ladder, proofed to be just what the doctor ordered! Sorted – no more musculoskeletal straining.
Finally, may the photon screens (aka clouds) at your location be up for short intervals, may stray and artificial light sources be scarce and may your astronomy afflictions and addictions be conducive to your general health, and to our Non-African colleagues: Greetings and blessings from the south-eastern quadrant of Sol’s third rock.