I know it's been a while...


The end of August and the beginning of September have been incredibly busy for me. The result of work and personal overload has been the utter neglect of my blog. I feel pretty guilty about that, but it couldn't be avoided.

After successfully launching the AAVSO Writers Bureau, I've spent about a day per week administrating it and responding to requests for material and access to the bureau. I also spent the better part of three weeks writing a grant to fund the administration of the bureau. That was finally submitted last week, with a giant sigh of relief. I have two more grants on my to do list for the next couple weeks. Its a big part of my job as fundraiser for the AAVSO, and work always takes precedence over personal stuff like this blog.

I've spent way too many hours in the evenings trying to straighten out technical issues I was having with my cataclysmic variable website CVnet. I own and administrate the site, but haven't been able to access the editing features for two weeks. This is a serious problem, since the site needs to be updated in near real time as CV activity pops up. My partner and good friend in the UK, Gary Poyner, has been keeping the site updated recently, but he emailed me to say he was going on holiday for a week and I was gonna be on my own with CVnet for awhile. Well, long story short, my old Windows 98 PC just isn't up to the task any more, so now I have to use the newer PC in my wife's office to edit the site. I'm hoping that when I update my IBM laptop, which I just got back from repair, I'll be able to work from there to update the site.

I'm not really a techy type, or a tinkerer, but when telescope #2 went down I had to swallow hard and get inside the electronics to get her repaired. With much trepidation I disassembled all the electronic guts of my LX200 Classic and shipped them off to be overhauled. This is a much cheaper option than sending the whole telescope cross country. I should have the parts back mid-week and will be anxious to get her back online. Provided it passes the 'smoke test' upon reassembly!

An even larger time sink has been getting the house and observatories ready for the annual StarBeQue here on September 6. I spent the hottest weekend of the year, Labor Day weekend, painting the front porch and doing some major garden maintenance. Its gotten so I don't even like holiday weekends any more. We always seem to have some major project to complete and by Tuesday I can't wait to get back to work, so I can take it easy!

On top of all this craziness, the weather has been pretty good for observing, so I've been burning the candle at both ends many nights per week.

Well, the party is over. It was a great success, the food was excellent and the weather cooperated, so we were able to show everyone the moon, Jupiter and a host of deep sky objects before the clouds rolled in around 1AM.

I'm just about caught up with email and website updates, and the 'honey do list' that usually hangs on the fridge in various stages of completion is actually gone! I even managed to do the wiring in Irene's shop I've been promising to do for five years.

I have a dozen ideas for pieces for this blog in various stages of completion, so now that things have settled down a bit I should be able to post some content here before long.

Thanks for sticking with me. I'll try not to let it fall into inactivity for to long again.

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