Wednesday, May 21, 2014

roof, camera, keys, and a broken mount

Another day with lots of RASC content.

Asked Phil for a report on Stargrazer. It worked OK on the weekend. Good. But there's some sort of cover missing.

Asked Tony if Ian should be looped into the discussion with Zbig and the people invited Friday night to the CAO. He thought so. Said he'd do it.

Asked Lora and Phil about help in the kitchen during the work party. They were glad I brought it up.

Asked Allard to set up Phil as a web site editor. He did it quickly. Thanks.

Further refined the job jar list.

Tony asked if I could sell 50-50 tickets for the CAO roof fund raising at the RASC RAN meeting as he was double-booked. Wondered where the tickets were. Told him I had them. He had called me on the road but had to run. Immediately, I had questions. Do the members know the context? How much as the tickets? Should I make a preamble slide? I phoned Charles in the meantime to review the status. He reminded me that in his President's Message in the last SCOPE he had briefly discussed the roof's age, the estimated expense to repair, etc. But that was the only "notice" so far. Nothing from the CAO committee in SCOPE, nothing on the web, nothing to the Yahoo!Group. Tony called back a short while later. When he wondered when the next meeting was, I saw an opportunity. I suggested, now that Markov had bumped me up to June for my "visit the CAO" presentation, that he could dovetail a note about the roof. It would be good timing. He agreed that we could push to June.

But then I said, the time was nigh to get something into the next newsletter! He agreed. I offered to write an article from the CAO committee briefly reviewing the CAO donation, our 40 year obligation, how most of the work and materials and furniture were donated, and that the roof had served us well, but it was due to be replaced. I drafted that quickly and sent it to the committee for review. Let Eric know it was coming.

Some packing. I was after my inflatable lounger chair. Yes! For meteor observing. I also wanted a regular lawn chair. It occurred to me to take one up to the CAO and leave it there. I have 3 at home... Stumbled across my tent and sleeping bag. Ah ha! I'd need those soon enough. Couldn't find my air mattress. Or at least the "primary." I found the extra. More importantly I could not find the inflator... Hmmm. Tomorrow's to-do list.

Then I headed to AA Electronics. I was after a 960 H high TVL camera with good IR throw and long focal length. The exact one I wanted they didn't have. But a similar choice was the 23-3557-10. Then sales guy said, "Oops, I told you the wrong price, it's $20 more." OK. It was still around what Tony and I had agreed on. He pointed out there was no power supply included so we grabbed one of those. At the register, he apologised about the pricing mix-up and said he'd knock the price down. Sweet!

Next, it was into the city. And immediately after entering the highway, it came to a stop! Crikey! I phoned Charles and suggested he avoid the 401. Seemed like there was a crash on the 409 but it was clogging the collectors. Finally made the 427 and it was fine. Gardiner was fine too. Until the Humber where it was reduced to two lanes. Construction. Didn't open up until Spadina and I was destined for the next exit. Arrived my favourite locksmith, forgot to feed the meter, handed him a previously cut key, which helped him immediately find the blank, and then he quickly made two new copies for me. Awesome. I really want to get a key to Katrina on the weekend.

Realised I was very close to the embassy. But quickly discovered I had never entered Sharmin's new number into the Psion. Duh! Oh well, press on. My mood was topsy-turvy anyway.

After plodding along in my traffic, I made it to Don Mills Road. Picked up some toiletries for the weekend. And realised that I might rendezvous with Charles. Rang him up. He was stuck in traffic on the 407! A crash ahead of him. So strange. Perfectly fine weather and sky conditions. Just more bad driving... No worries. Gave me some time to collect my thoughts. Verified I had all the contact info for all the CAO supervisors in my 20 year old palmtop.

We finished our appetisers and headed to the Ontario Science Centre. Some big shindig going on. I helped Charles set up a sign board and banner. Retrieved Sharmin's correct phone numbers. I even had her work number wrong! Asked Tom if he had any experience with double stars: nope.

Thought I might read my book. No way. Chatted with Craig about PixInsight and my post-processing mental block. Discussed Friday briefly with Dietmar. Met Christine—later Phil punked me. Said hello to Sue and Erich. Chatted with Jacek. Gave Peter my Powermate and t-ring. Showed him how it worked. Spotted Nikki as she arrived—sans Celestron; we agreed to meet in the parking lot after the meeting. Took a photo of Bill looking at a photo of Bill looking at the screen. Gave Ralph his CAO passport. Asked Phil if he liked looking at double stars. He said no. Spotted Guy but didn't get a chance to talk to him.

Chris did a quick bit on the meteor shower prediction and the site above Pickering where some RASCals might meet-up. Jason gave a lively presentation and showed his progress in astroimaging. Paul reminded us of good techniques and methods at public outreach events. No TLAs or FLAs! A new member asked him what DDO meant! Jim showed us his latest hack, a DSLR converted to sensitive black and white for less than $300. And lately Charles updated us on upcoming events. No TSTM this time... boo!

Nicole gave me her mount in its robust Pelican case. Included the cables and controller. Wow. It made sense that I'd take the tripod too.

Home... Another intense day. Wired. So I might have a look at Nicole's mount...

No comments: