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Posts Made By: Lee Spain

February 18, 2006 04:10 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

Eyepiece Care & Cases

Posted By Lee Spain

I finally got a nice case with die-cut foam for each eyepiece. I think it will really help me avoid an eyepiece disaster in the future.

So, here are the goofy question of the night:

How do you store the eyepieces in the case? Is it o.k. to store the eyepieces in the case without their dust caps over each end? Is it o.k. to ditch the little plastic canisters that some of them come with?

I have fairly inexpensive eyepieces, but would hate to store them improperly and find out that I'm scratching them or getting them dusty in some unknown manner. Thanks! wink

February 21, 2006 08:10 PM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

What do you look for in an observing site?

Posted By Lee Spain

Living in an urban setting, I don't have a backyard to use for observing. Instead, I use an unlighted tennis court. I chose it because it is inside our communities gates and does not have a direct line of sight into anyone's home. The site itself is quite light polluted. In the summer, I can use foliage to screen myself from some nearby street lights. However, in the winter, when the leaves are down there are lots of nearby streetlights.

If you don't observe in your own backyard, what kind of characteristics do you look for in an observing site?

February 25, 2006 05:15 PM Forum: Religion

What kind of god....?

Posted By Lee Spain

What kind of God taunts me with sunshine on Friday afternoon when I'm stuck at work and then lets it cloud up Friday night and rain ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT on Saturday? sad

Isn't Jesus supposed to be up there putting in a good word for us? Can't he say, "Hey Dad, lighten up...Don't you think you are acting a little Old Testament tonight people down there have astronomy to do?" wink

Otherwise, they are likely to stir stuff up on both the Politics and the Religion board. shocked

"Forgive me for I have trolled...." wink

March 3, 2006 05:38 AM Forum: Politics

No liberals in here

Posted By Lee Spain

There are no liberals in here. Watch:

Should the government take all telescopes above 6-inches in diameter from private individuals and give them to public schools and youth groups? This would certainly jumpstart interest in and access to astronomy...

It's time to start thinking about the needs of the many... wink

March 5, 2006 10:10 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

A Streetlight Named #$*@*$@&(*^%#!

Posted By Lee Spain

I have a love hate relationship with the streetlights in my complex. On the one hand, they really do help on the security front. But, on the other hand, they can really wreak havoc on observing. Last night, I tried to observe a bright moon with some fully coated binoculars off my 2nd story balcony with a streetlight in my periphery. It was too much for the inexpensive 7x35 binoculars to handle. I experienced a ton of reflections and quickly put them away.

My Question: Would I have a better experience with multi-coated or fully multicoated binoculars? Would fully coated binoculars with a nebula filter built in work better than multi-coated? Or should I just jump in my car and drive until I hear the banjos playing? wink

March 17, 2006 09:20 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Re: Jason 60mm

Posted By Lee Spain

Now, this is a fun topic!

First, I'd replace the finder scope with a red-dot sight.

Second, I'd try to improve the mount. If I were crafty, I'd try something like this http://hometown.aol.com/davetrott/page15.htm . If I were spendy, I'd get a Universal Astronomics or Vixen alt-az mount.

Third EPs, you could either get a hybrid diagonal and use 1.25 inch eyepieces or you could go to the SurplusShed and try some of their .965 eyepieces.

March 23, 2006 06:35 PM Forum: Politics

For the record...

Posted By Lee Spain

...as of 9 p.m. tonight, the Christian Peacemaker Teams have finally added an addendum to their press release this morning and thanked the soldiers who rescued their compatriots in Baghdad (http://www.cpt.org/). They got mad at the Atlanta radio reporter who called them this morning about their press release. Initially, they made no reference to their having been a rescue operation. smile

March 25, 2006 07:05 AM Forum: Beginning Astronomy?

What are my chances of seeing M104 ...

Posted By Lee Spain

...from a light polluted urban location with a 70mm F/10 refractor? Last night, I panned around for about an hour where it was supposed to be and had no luck. Any tips on what I would see with a scope of this size, what I should look for, and what magnification I should attempt would be most helpful. Thanks!

March 26, 2006 05:52 AM Forum: DVDs and Music and Books That You Recommend

"Hustle" TV show on AMC

Posted By Lee Spain

American Movie Classics is running an excellent British TV-series about a gang of con artists called "Hustle." The only recognizable name in the cast is Robert Vaugh (from The Man from UNCLE). Anyway, every week they swindle a deserving mark in a most entertaining way. If you like movies like Oceans 11, House of Games, and the Italian Job, you'd probably like this show, too.

Only one problem, it's on Saturday night at 10 and conflicts with astronomy. shocked But, if you've got a Tivo or a cloudy night, it's definitely worth catching! 8)

March 26, 2006 07:25 AM Forum: Politics

Re: immigration march, "Oh no"

Posted By Lee Spain

It's a myth that no one wants the jobs illegal intruders are doing. There are plenty of Americans who want to do those jobs and there are plenty of Americans who are feeling the pressure from cheap illegal labor.

In the past few years, I have moved several times. At times, I have heard the movers bitching that their employers are using the availability of cheap illegals to keep the movers wages and benefits at a low level.

I also have blue-collar relatives who are diligently pursuing vocational training in everything related to cement and concrete. In their relatively illegal-free environment, they can make a pretty good living. But, in areas with more illegal labor, they would be hard-pressed.

15+ years ago, I spent a couple of months doing residential construction in Northern Virginia. People were commuting from as far as Pennsylvania and West Virginia to do those jobs. They too wanted those jobs.

In addition, under Clinton we enacted welfare reform in order to get people into entry level jobs. This policy is being undercut by business people and politicians working together to illegally expand the labor supply.

We don't want to shock the system by kicking them all out at once. But, demographics is destiny and we need to make sure that our borders are controlled and that we take in immigrants at rates that we can absorb.