Top Ten Things I Didn't Get For Christmas (That I Really, Really Want)

The Top Ten Things I Didn't Get For Christmas (That I Really, Really Want)

#10- Bluetooth headset for hands free phone calls in the car- I drive back and forth to Boston several times a year and have been driving a lot of 6-16 hour trips. Talking on the phone is actually a good use of my time when I'm stuck in the car. I can catch up with friends, family, and associates as the odometer spins and I blow past the state police.

#9- iPad or an Android tablet- I'd be happy with ether one, I think. An iPad would give me access to some of the cool Apple apps I don't have, but to be honest, I love my Droid phone so the ASUS Transformer Prime tablet would be fine.

#8- A new car- Hey, why not? So I can talk on the phone in comfort, right? I'm thinking maybe an mid-sized SUV like the Acura MDX or something with better mileage in a two wheel drive. It has to be sporty and fast. The S in SUV stands for sport. I won't give up my need for speed for the cargo room. My fall back position is to get a sexy red convertible that will advertise my full blown mid-life crisis.

#7- 15 x 70 binoculars- If I had a larger pair of binos and a stand I might just take them to the next star party, instead of lugging all that gear for a change. Then I could go around looking through everyone else's scopes at deep sky objects.

Wait... nah, that doesn't sound like me. No, I'd spend the night observing bright variables with the binoculars. Who am I trying to kid?

#6- Paramount MX- Advertised as slightly smaller than a Paramount with a 90 pound capacity, this mount is now about as much mount as you can buy without spending 6 figures.

#5- Celestron 14" SCT- It doesn't have to be one of the new EdgeHD optical tubes (although that would be nice, since I already have the CGE Pro mount). I'd settle for one of the older carbon fiber tubes or even an old orange beast. Just something slightly bigger to go on my new Paramount MX.

#4- Software- (TheSky, Maxim DL, ACP) This is the software suite I would need to make my system run unattended all night while I observe visually. Pretty sure I will never get there without a serious investment in software.

#3- Telelvue 10mm Ethos eyepiece (6mm and 17mm too!)- I tried one of these out at the Texas Star Party in 2011 and it blows away any eyepiece I have ever seen, used, tested or dreamed of. 10mm gives a high enough magnification that the sky background is truly nice and dark, enhancing contrast and making it easier to see faint stars and objects. The field is remarkably flat and the anti-reflective coatings so superior to even my best Nagler eyepieces that I was sold after about two minutes of a head to head comparison.

I think if I had the 17mm and 6mm Ethos I would never need any other eyepieces, so throw those in my Christmas stocking as stuffers too, please.

#2- More clear weather at home- My supporting evidence may be anecdotal and unscientific, but I swear winter has sucked twice as bad as ever the last five years. December has always been a crappy month for cloud cover, but January used to be one of my best months, and I was never completely skunked from October to March like the last few years. El Nino or whatever, please come back and clear up these long winter nights for me. I miss the winter sky!

#1- More time- More than anything else, what I really need is more time. There is so much I want to do. More time with my wife, son and grandkids. More time to futz around the garden and my house. More time to read and write research papers. More time to write blogs and podcasts. More time to visit with friends. More time to get all the things I want to do at work done and still have time to do anything else! My rough calculation is that I need about 42 hours in a day and 8 days in a week. I guess what I really need is to live long enough for us to discover and colonize a planet around another star with that rotational period.

Yup, more time. That's what I really need.


Belle said...

More time would be nice. My husband has a Bluetooth headset and loves it for driving. Hope you can get one soon. I want a claymation software package so I can make little movies. It is $60 and I'm going to save up for it.

Gustav Holmberg said...

I got me a 15x70 in November: it is great! I can see quite a lot with them, and they're faster for the brighter variables than my 8" dobsonian.