Just like the old saying, "when it rains, it pours" sometimes the sky opens up and deluges us in other ways. Today was one of those interesting mornings gone mad, turning into a weeks' worth of things to deal with in a single day. Here are the highlights.
7:30AM- Slept in a little after two very long nights at the telescope. Staggered into the kitchen to make coffee, booted up computers in office.
8:00AM- Open up email. 102 messages since yesterday. Doesn't anyone take Sunday off anymore?
8:15- With coffee in hand, plow through observation reports for new outbursts of cataclysmic variables to update the AAVSO CV Section website.
8:20- Discover a report of an unusual/rare outburst of NSV 5285. NSV 5285 does not register in my foggy early morning mind. Must do research and look up references to be sure this is real before posting an announcement to the website. Find references, read articles and available papers, and then post announcement and a link to an image and background information.
8:45- Discover emails regarding an outburst of an old nova, X Serpentis. What outburst? AAVSO is releasing a special notice? The comparison star sequence needs revisions? Now I am fully awake and moving quickly through the paces.
I log into the sequence plot program and variable star comparison database at AAVSO, plot charts with the existing photometry and check email notes regarding sequence issues. I make several revisions to the comparison stars, add some extra comps to the sequence and update the database within an hour or so of the announcement going out.
10:00AM- Doctor's office calls to remind me of my 9AM appointment for a physical! Oops. Completely forgot in all the rush. Re-schedule for Thursday.
10:15- While I have the sequence plotter and comp database open I address several other sequence issues in the current sequence team queue. Some revisions to the sequence for Nova Sgr 2009 #3 based on new photometry, revisions to the Mira W Aql sequence, and review the Chart Error Tracking Tool for new submissions and corrections made.
11:00AM- Call AAVSO to discuss education and outreach proposal with the Director.
11:30AM- Mom calls, while I'm in the middle of three things. Her timing is perfect as always. I tell her I love her and will call her back when I have a minute to breathe.
11:45- I notice my article for this week's Carnival of Space has been left out. I email the host and Fraser Cain at Universe Today.
12:00Noon- After a few emails back and forth, my article is now included in the Carnival and, 'oh by the way', I will be hosting the Carnival of Space this week! Fraser will send me all the material Saturday morning.
12:15- I make all the updates to the CV Section website, send out links to alert notices on Twitter, AAVSO Facebook and my Facebook page. I try to spread as much news about AAVSO and variable star activity over the net as I can every day. Today a lot is happening!
12:30- Lunch time?! What happened to breakfast?
I call Mom and tell her all about the trip to Chicago and New York city last week; and we discuss visitation and funeral arrangements for my nephew Matt Landry. I am also typing madly while talking to her to get my blog post Carnival of Space #116 posted before I have to go back to work.
12:50- While its on mind, I order flowers for the funeral home, make a donation to the memorial fund and make arrangements with Irene and Mom to go to the funeral Wednesday morning together.
1:30PM- Back to work, I send out a message to the southern observers on the AVSON mailing list that revisions have been made to the Nova Sgr sequence.
2:00PM- Call new members and print out thank you letters for donors. Update the mentor program student/teacher list. Scan read blogs for submissions to the Writers Bureau. Scan Portal to the Universe for astronomy and variable star news items.
2:30- Work on articles and format for Inner Sanctum, the AAVSO benefactor newsletter, due out in September.
3:00PM- Call Astronomics technical information to ask about LX90 and LX200 12" telescopes, features, mounts, databases, optics, etc. My Classic 12"LX200 is on its last leg and I need to buy another scope.
3:30- Work on AAVSO Newsletter articles for October 1 issue.
4:00PM- Email Michael Koppelman and Doug Welch to set up a Slacker Astronomy recording session. We settle on Tuesday night. OMG, that's tomorrow!
4:15- Work on reviewing VSX submissions for new variable stars. I send out questions on submission status to VSX moderators to clarify some questions I have.
4:30- Start dinner. Pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, pepper corn. Should be ready around 5:30. Start writing Simostronomy post about this crazy day.
5:00PM- Irene walks in, reminds me I don't have to work 18 hours a day, changes and heads out to water plants.
5:30- Dinner is served. See- planning is everything.
6:15- Call new young observer in CT, who was going to observe DQ Her for the AAVSO campaign with his club's 16" LX200 and CCD. Nobody home. I leave a message and compose an email to find out how he did.
6:45- Simostronomy post goes live. I make my To Do List for tomorrow, which includes all the things I didn't do today because the Universe had other plans.
7:00PM- Make a few more calls to new members on the left coast and southwest. Nobody home; Bummer. One of my favorite parts of this job is talking to the members. Draft emails and send them to be sure they hear from me within a week or two of joining AAVSO. I guess its quitting time for real now. Check the weather forecast. Bleh..
Add a little blurb to Simostronomy post and log off. See you tomorrow.