Posted By James Adams
Posted by Michael on 9/9/2002 10:47:13 AM
I thought I'd introduce a serious topic for this forum for a change ;-)
I'd also like to suggest this is probably not a good discussion for newbies. I'd like to speak to folks who have looked through dozens, if not hundreds of scopes and have given serious thought as to what instrument will bring them to that next level of proficiency and enjoyment. From that observatory-challenging light-bucket, to the pristine APO, to the technical sophistication of a GOTO Cat, you know, given your lifestyle and your passion, what it is that will reward you for this next phase of your life.
But you are also intelligent, responsible folks. Plunking down $3K - $10K is no casual affair. You wouldn't deprive your loved ones of basic necessities. So how do you finance this passion and still keep a balance with the rest of your life?
Let me throw out one yardstick. My other hobby is woodworking, (I'm pretty sure many of you also have that one). I attended a open house at one of the top-of-the-line handtool suppliers some time back and the speaker suggested (as a justification for their prices) that tradesmen are willing to spend a month's wages on a quality tool that will enhance their work and last them a lifetime. We all know you get what you pay for, quality doesn't come cheap. But a month's worth is serious money.
Now I'll hazard a guess that no one on this list is a professional astronomer, so the comparison isn't perfect. But it's a starting point.
What "formula" do you all use? Personally, I'm going the savings route. After meeting all my monthly obligations I save whatever extra I can set aside. After one year of saving, what I have in savings is what I can afford. I'm in it about 6 months now and I'm on track for my goal, (but Christmas is right around the corner, ouch).
Anyway, I'd be curious to hear other strategies.
As a professional woodworker, camera nut, and amateur astronomer I'm well aware of the Gottahavits Syndrome, as well as the IfIonlyhadthatpieceofequipmentIcould...Syndrome.
Both are about keeping the focus off doing and on having/getting.
Personally, though, don't you think the expensive obsessions are the most satisfying to pursue? Don't we live to have some of the things we want? So you spent the mortgage payment on two eyepieces and a Barlow. So you lose the job because you were up 'til 5:30 AM startesting your latest acquisition and didn't make it in.[LOL]
Seriously, I've had to rein myself in so hard on tool/scope purchases I no longer buy anything unless I can absolutely justify it, which means that it either will clearly make me money NOW [woodworking tools] or it will advance my observing ability substantially.
And, John, there any more like her at home?