Monday, 28 June 2010


Hopefully the new observatory/shed will arrive on Wednesday afternoon. It means I have to leave work early as I've got to sign for the thing, but as I am doing delivery driving for the summer and can almost work to my own timetable it isn't a problem. I'll be able to dig out a 8 foot by 6 foot hole in the ground and lay the blocks one evening this week and then put the shed up this coming weekend.
I also need to buy some casters for the scope base so I can roll it out onto the grass when I want to observe. I have found some with 4-inch wheels that should do the trick. These are available online and cost about £25 plus postage so I'll send off for them when I have a bit more cash. They will definitely make life easier, as will having the shed, because carrying the scope out of the house every time I want to observe is a pain in the neck, although I put up with it rather than not observe. Something else I need to do is buy a small electric greenhouse heater and attach it to a solar panel, to keep moisture away from the optics.
I'll be posting photos as things progress.

After today, the 28th, the sunsets start to get earlier. In a few weeks the sky will be darker and I can get outside at a more reasonable time. The late hours of darkness, between 0030 and 0300, are as much a pain as the fact it does not get quite properly dark - dark enough for bright objects but not for faint ones.

My old Windows XP laptop, which died not long back, has been resurrected by a friend who is an electrician and a computer repairer. The thing had originally been wrecked by malware but I managed to get rid of it, reformat the drive and restore it, only for the power supply to give out. I bought a Windows 7 desktop and, while it's a good machine, it couldn't run my website creating software and a few other things due to Windows 7's totally crap non-compatability with some older software (another way of screwing money from people, no doubt), meaning I had to go out and buy new, not very good, software which is not as flexible and with an ftp. client which has an irritating habit of uploading the entire site everytime I do an update, instead of just the updated file, despite me selecting the 'upload only modified files' option. Now the XP machine is working again, I am going to rebuild my website.

On an unrelated note, here's a gem I saw on the net following our (England's) dismal, pathetic and gutless exit from the football World Cup after an abject campaign ended in humiliation at the hands of Germany: "The Met Office has issued a weather warning as a shower of shit is heading this way from South Africa". Harsh but fair, I think. Gave me a laugh anyway, which is just as well after yesterday's disappointments! :)

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