Sunday, August 30, 2020

volunteered at CAO

Completed my tour of duty at the Carr Astronomical Observatory. Last official stint for the season.

I was very stressed coming into the weekend. That was mitigated by some clarifying words from the president.

Retrieved some missing computer hardware. Supplied helpful panel breaker information for the members given circuits will be overloaded. Flushed out more cluster flies. Verified the function of the dew heater system for the SLO—now that all the pieces were finally in place. Verified GIMP was installed on the dining room computer—a Linux machine. Verified kstars was installed on the same machine. Could not figure out why the Launcher icon is screwed up. Provided some remote support for users on a forum subgroup. Cut the lawns. Thanks to Rhonda this time was greatly reduced. Transferred an appliance to the alternate kitchen area. Frequently tested the internet performance for the A/V team (PINGs by wifi and hardline, speedtests, WLAN scans) as they were desperate for this information and previous requests had gone unanswered. I even connected a MallinCam Universe camera to the GSO 16 to provide test results for the full screen capture. Assisted a paying customer with a status update of their property on the grounds. Assisted remotely during the DDO speaker's night. Noticed the ride-on mowers were in disrepair and improperly configured. Found that fellows are still not doing their expected duties and chores. It's unfair and discouraging. We're all in this together. Noticed the generator monitoring systems were not functioning. Discussed some IT matters with two keen volunteers. Noticed the damaged west siding was repaired—wow, I only complained about that for four or five years. 

Many things are still unclear for supervisors as to how to receive members and how to proper clean and disinfect the facilities. It is startling to me how members do not follow government recommended protocols during the pandemic crisis—meanwhile there's a push to allow more people on site. That is very disturbing. I sure hope the CAO does not contribute to COVID infection rates. 

I don't envy the current crew on the CAO committee. But there are so many gaps and mistakes and confusing things for the member and for the supervisor that it is... well, mind-boggling. I remain unclear about the solutions to use for cleaning and disinfecting when I think simplified labels could make things obvious and clear for members and supervisors. I'm sure it is taxing but there is much to do to help simplify and clarify things. Personally, I got caught in the middle of document revisions which made for a duplication of effort. Maybe some don't care about that but I find it frustrating especially when it could have been avoided. These are challenging times. And I know that volunteers are working hard. However the lack of communication is... stunning.

Experienced rain and cloud on Friday and Saturday nights. Looked like perfect skies for Sunday evening. Of course, we had to leave. This was the second occasion going up that I was met with bad weather. Being a supervisor is a lot of hard work, very rarely recognised, and some perks are meant to offset that but so far, this year, it's been a burden. It is disheartening and demotivating. The environs are a bit oppressive and the leadership is wanting and seems out-of-touch or unawares. Shame, when we all need a bit of shoring up.

Hopefully things will improve. I know there are some good people involved.

That said, it was good to get out of these four walls... Good eats. Good laughs. Fresh air. And quiet. No loud cars, noisy neighbours, insane out of control barking dogs, fighting neighbours, screaming neighbours, neighbours so self-centred it makes you sick. Peaceful and quiet.

Oh. And my beautiful vines are alive and well!

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