Building an ugly but portable observing stool

After putting up with a step stool as my observing chair for the first few months after re-entering the world of astronomy I decided that I needed something more height adjustable and portable. It always seemed that neither of the two steps was ever at the right height to make for comfortable observing and it always seemed that the stool was more of hindrance, overall.

There are loads of designs on the net for building your own observing chair and lots of suppliers that will sell you one but most of them either were designed such that they would be difficult to fit into my Mini Cooper or cost more than I was willing to pay. With a few I even had concerns about the chair portion staying where it was put.

Then I ran across the Home Built Astronomy Projects website and an observing stool design by Rod Nabholz at that looked like it would work perfectly.

Continue reading Building an ugly but portable observing stool

Crunchy Mini

Last Friday was apparently a pretty good day for Michael, he got lots of good work done and was driving me back home and planning on heading out to help Susan with a dance workshop that night. In a good mood, ready for the weekend.

Things went a bit pear-shaped on the way home though.

Unfortunately we ended up in a minor fender-bender and I got my right-rear wheel and trim messed up. It looks cosmetic and I hope the shop doesn’t find any hidden damage.


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Slow down!

So I’m on my way to meet my sister for lunch. It’s my birthday and I’m headed down the freeway access road at about 60.

I see a motorcycle cop just as I’m passing some other cars and as he hits me with his radar.

Yeah, I broke my own rule. Ok, it’s more of a guideline. The guideline states that “thou shalt go no faster than the herd. Unless you think you can get away with it.” I hadn’t even been thinking of that at the time.

So he pulls out behind me and like a good street citizen I pull off onto a side street.

Right behind another motocycle cop that had bagged another car. It seems I drove right into an actual speed trap.

The cop takes my license and insurance card and goes away for a bit. While I’m waiting, I notice that the tail light on the other car looks familiar (the car is mostly blocked by the cop-cycle). Hey, it’s another Mini. What is this, Bag a Mini Day?

I do wish I’d had my camera with me. Would have made a funny picture.

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