Where did I go?

Pull up a stump and settle in, its story time.
Hot dogs and marshmallows are optional.

This house is been in the wife's life for 57 years.
Her parents were the original owners,
the wife grew up here, her kids grew up here.
The wife has only lived in two other places and that was for a short time.
So this house has some history and special meaning to her.

So I am sitting outside talking with a neighbor and a local news van pulls up.
The guy jumps and asked "Did we get the notice?"
Now of course we didn't get it the letter or notice.

I make the rounds of the neighbors to find a copy of this notice.
Our city Council and the Board of Public Works must've hired some sort of ninja because nobody saw any one put the notices on the door.
It basically says that our Board of Public Works has decided that they need to put a power plant in our neighborhood and are buying 22 houses and 15 businesses.

What a cowardly way to go about kicking people out of their house.
They said they've looked at nine other places and decided that our neighborhood was the best place for this powerplant.
No explanation as to why our neighborhood was better than anybody else's.
There was no open forum, no contact or open hearings everything was done behind closed doors.

At this point in the story our house was in the BLUE ZONE, meaning they were not going to buy our house but we could sell it to them.
Over the next couple days we talk to all the neighbors in the neighborhood.
And found out we had had to call to set up an appointment to have our house appraise.
Talking with the wife we decided what the hey let's find out what they had to offer.
So week later the appraiser comes and does a sidewalk appraisal.

One more phone call to the point of contact we found out that we'll get the appraisal back in 10 days to two weeks.
Over the course of the next two weeks the rumor mill will was in full swing.
Families saying they were going to fight this to the bitter end.
Wild guesstimates to how they were going to come up with the price of the house.
One of the crazier one was they were going to take the square footage of your house and multiplied by some abstract number.

The two weeks were up we started calling the number, "sorry nothing yet".
The wife is not handling any of this very well, many nights in tears.

So every week we keep calling and keep getting the same answer "nothing yet".
Four or five of the neighbors decided to band together and they're going to march down on City Hall and fight this.
And of course that fell apart and nothing came of it, the City Hall just kind of said yeah go talk to him.
One Friday we got told by the rumor mill that our house was now in the RED ZONE, meaning that they were going to buy our house.
Our Monday phone call was "well we're not sure what zone you're in".
Now the wife is having fits, it was okay when we had a choice but it wasn't so good when they were going to forced out.

The appraisal started showing up.
The pay structure was like this:
appraised value + (25% appraised value) + (15% signing bonus) + (3000 moving bonus).

Two months after this first started we finally got our appraisal.
When this first started the wife and I talked we came up with a number we would have been happy with.
After paying off a small mortgage and a few bills will have about $50,000 to put down on a piece of property.
we came out a lot better than a lot of the other neighbors some their mortgages are really underwater.
In the end we were more than happy with the results.

You know that feeling you get when the Cyclone Roller Coaster finally comes to an end.
You HAVE that queasy feeling in your stomach, your eyes are still blurry and you're madly looking around for the exit and
still try to remember to grab your hat and sunglasses off the ramp.
That's how we feel.

It's not a ride would ever want to do again were just very glad about how it turned out.
Now the really scary thing about all of this.
Out of the 22 families this is happened to 3 of them before.
That's kind of scary percentage.

And just when we thought it was over.
We found out were on a new ride the REAL ESTATE MARKET.

But that's another story.

I am a bit heart broken about the loss of the Astro Hut!

There is a Lunar Eclipses coming our way in a couple of days, the night of 14-15 April.
Most of the US will be able to see it!

Friends Site

Here’s a link to a very dear friend of mine.
While this is not related to astronomy she does have some very fine jewelry and it is coming up to Christmas time.
Maybe it’s time to reward that the wife for all the cool Astro here you gotten over last year.
Anyway take a look at it.
Gold & Silver Jewelry

Lagoon Nebula-2

Last night was one of them night that it all came together.
The CG5 was tracking great.
The slews were dead on.
The software (AstroPlaner) had no problems.

I took at look at the Lagoon Nebula with my OIII and was just amazed with it again!

Here is a drawing I did.ngc6523w


Writing a Better Observing Report


I am a huge fan of keeping track of what I have observed.
I try and keep a log of some sort of what I have seen.
But I am at the point I NEED to make better reports.
and other such is just not good enough anymore.
Below are some of the items that I have come up with in writing a better report.


I usually use a scale of:
But, I am learning to figure out the magnitude but comparing to nearby objects

  • Very Dim,
  • Dim,
  • Slightly bright,
  • Moderately bright,
  • Bright,
  • Very bright

This is just something that I use. You can come up with something of your own.

Open Star Clusters

  • What is the size of the cluster?
  • Can you estimate the number of stars?
  • Are the stars of equal brightness?
  • Or are most of them dim with a sprinkle of brighter stars etc.
  • Is there a pattern?
  • Are there any doubles or triples?
  • Is it loosely scattered or densely packed?
  • Are there any colorful stars?

Globular Clusters

  • Size?
  • Bight or dim?
  • Symmetrical (round) other features?
  • How close to the core can stars be resolved?
  • Dense core?
  • Dust or dark lanes?
  • Gradual brightening to core or a distinct core with halo of faint stars?

Planetary Nebula

  • Size?
  • Shape?
  • Color?
  • Features? (ringed, bi-polar, central star)


  • Size
  • Shape, N-S-E-W orientation if elongated?
  • The three main features of a galaxy are generally referred to as
  • nucleus, a core and a disk
  • Magnitude, is it bright or dim?
  • The three main features of a galaxy are generally referred to as nucleus, a core and a disk, How do they relate to each other?