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Posts Made By: Steve Hollenbach

March 1, 2010 08:27 PM Forum: Religion

Disasters in the news

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Most of the signs I've seen over the last 51 years have simply been climatic change. This could be a natural cycle, but there is clear cut evidence of our own mistakes.

I was in Antarctica in 1983 (sailor not scientist)when they were studying upper layer ozone. A few years later when that study was published many people didn't believe it. I think I sat through more lectures back then than when I went to college.

Nobody seems to talk about what they should do if the end were near. As for myself, I have several ex-girlfriends to look up. Or for more family oriented activities, show my young nephews what's up in the sky.

I certainly would not waste time belittling those of other beliefs. Those who make money off such things don't seem to act like it's going to end!

So, we'll compromise and close the toilet seat. Fire up the charcoal grill, put on some dark red steaks. Pile the ice cream on the apple pie. Set out the lawn chairs, and watch the astroid get bigger and bigger!

In the end just laugh as the Dolphins say;"Goodbye and thanks for all the fish!"

(one of my favorite lines)

Have fun!

March 24, 2010 05:17 PM Forum: Maksutovs

Case for IT M809

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

I used a few of their cases on my Celestron stuff. Long gone, but decent and reasonable.

On the Intes 10/10 Maksutov it's way too big for most cases, so I'm modifying the crate; ordinary wood outside, plush blue velvet inside.

Expanding foam is great stuff.
Yep thar's a pun,

April 20, 2010 01:34 PM Forum: Religion

Is This Logical?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

If you're asking if the article is logical, well

If the people of Iran continue to blame promiscuous women who wear tight coats for earthquakes, I'm all for it. They will continue to learn hard lessons in natural selection.

Ignor any modern building code. Pile rocks & broken bricks together from the old buildings that collapsed, and be sure not to break-test that watered down sand they call concrete. Oh, what is re-bar anyway? That's OK, just crowd people together on known major fault lines, and wait till the next "Big One".

On California and Florida:
California has lots of earthquakes, and lots of girls in bikinis. Must be a corralation. Wait, Florida has lots of girls in bikinis but they get huricanes. Hmmm... God must have a different anger with Florida, could be the short shorts.


May 13, 2010 02:47 PM Forum: Religion

Hmm, and I though it was the Religion forum.

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Hi Floyd,
I think we all dive into any topic that has some remote link to our beliefs. Some with dagger witt and others with just daggers. Overall it seems to attract a wide variety of people.

I mentioned to Doug (if he logged in again to read responses) the site is mostly populated by those with a strong "real science" background, who enjoy exploring the hypothetical, but who are not very tollerant of unfounded statements presented as fact.

I've only been on Astromart for two years, but in that time, anyone with at least some logical basis for their topic of discussion was greeted with some kindness, and responses were also based in logic or some real research.

A forum for "Religion" opens up some controversial topics. Some have obviously been more emotionally charged than others. I think that's where the level of respect begins to decay.

Name-calling or bashing of any kind is difficult for some people to ignor. Considering the source of the bashing and the repetative nature of the recipiant, they might have been better off on the "I Complain About Everything" forum.

As to serious discussion... The conquest of one's self may well be the key to finding peace. I'll see what I can do about a more in-depth thread along those lines.

However, not being a beer drinker, it is my profound belief that we had poor seeing in Apache Junction last night. Mars was a mush ball, M4 was just a few stars and I couldn't even find any galaxies. Had to leave for work at 5:00 AM, so week nights are quite limited.

Guess I can't party with the young crowd so much.
grin Hah..

May 17, 2010 01:34 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

Focuser grease

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Alcohol and rags, but look out for getting any on the optics. Have a look at your lithium grease and make sure it has good self-cohesive properties. I've found some that don't. Don't remember the brand name off hand.


May 21, 2010 04:07 PM Forum: Equipment Talk

What's it called?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

If the rotating portion is threaded, I'd call it the lock down screw (wingnut type) However military nomenclature asside. I'd send the photo to TeleVue and just order it that way.

June 6, 2010 08:42 PM Forum: Star Parties

Grand Canyon Star Party

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Linton Rohr said:

Well, it's less than a week now, but I've heard no mention of GCSP.
I'll be splitting my week between the South and North Rims again.
With a couple nights up in Utah afterwards.
Anybody else going?

Hi Linton,
The Grand Canyon Star Party was off to a good start last night. It is a mixted fortune that I have to work all week and miss the next weekend. However, gainful employment is a good thing. It helps me buy stuff.

Speaking of buying stuff, my new-ish 10" Maksutov performed like a champ. We have clear skies and could see dozens of objects not usually seen with the unaided eye. The Yavapai Point was just fine.

Gorgeous views of Saturn with moons in tow, lots of clusters and a few nebulea. The crowd was not huge but very good. Not a fingerprint on anything.

Well, gotta go. I'm here at work on a Sunday afternoon, but you can see what I'm up to!
Have a great one!
Clear Skies,

June 17, 2010 03:55 PM Forum: Home Observatories

Baby Steps

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

OK, more work done last night. The anti-lift strip has been installed. We get some high winds here, and it's essential to have it in place.

The anti-lift strips supplied by Exploradome are a snug fit to the bolts holding down the horizontal wheels. More on that later.

Previous advice (can't remember who, sorry) was to minimize wheel contact to get the easiest rotation. Just enough contact to keep the dome centered and "in-round" seems to be necessary to prevent rubbing.

However, there are still some interesting issues. First, the wheels supplied are excellent and the template is good. They are mounted correctly on a ring that's been measured to within 1/8 inch of a true circle. Trouble is the dome is pretty flexible once the cargo straps are off. That's not a bad thing, but you have to take that into account when "tuning up" the assembled dome.

Long before all this I set the mounting screws and bolts tight but not so tight the brackets could not be moved with a mallet and drift pin.

The first measurement I made was to make sure the mounting ring (the non-rotating one) was "in-round". The second measurement and adjustment I made that helped rotation was; at each vertical (weight bearing) wheel stand I made sure the wheel bracket was as parallel as possible to the rotating ring on the dome. The third adjustment was the horizontal wheels make light contact with the outside rim of the track as mentioned above. This was done mostly to prevent the anti-lift strips from rubbing.

The photo shows it about 2/3 done. Yes that's dirt on the observation hatch.


June 18, 2010 09:55 PM Forum: Religion

In Truth, Is There No Beauty?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

Rod, Doug,
and anyone who may be reading.

I felt poetic and wrote that little story of a thousand years " the life of a grain of sand." It's funny how the two people who responded did respond. Rod with the thought I was saying God directed these things, and Doug saying No, it's not random.

Funny, My point was it's not random, and that it's also not necessarily the God of Abraham saying; "I place you my fine little grain of sand, thusly..."

If we look at how our own brain and body work together to place a grain of sand, we can find some similarities. OK, you're sitting on a beach. Well, just walking out there and sitting down moved several million grains of sand.

Did they move because you wanted them in a specific spot? No, that was what we usually call "Random". From a strictly scientific view it wasn't random, each movement or reaction took energy to accomplish by way of a chain of events in the case of each and every grain of sand displaced.

From an emotional point of view, we didn't care what grains or where they moved, we didn't even think about it but we caused their movement. It was in a sense the biproduct of walking out there and sitting down. Our intent was to sit for a moment and watch a sunset. However lots of other things occured within our control, but outside the scope of our intent. From this perspective we have "Random".

The accomplishment of a larger action often has colateral results. These have cause and affect. We may call them random, but they are caused, and follow the usual laws of physics in arriving in the situation we observe. Given time and other events they will experience changes beyond what we observe at the moment.

If we had the equipment, time, an unlimited budget and desire to do so, the path of every molecule in a pot of boiling water could be plotted. We simplify such things with computer models based on statistics. We spot check by observing a small fraction of all the molecules.

Just an interesting twist on the use of the word Random.
Thanks Guys,

June 29, 2010 03:42 PM Forum: Religion

Are "Tests" Really Necessary?

Posted By Steve Hollenbach

John Agnew said:

Why would an omniscient God need to give us a test of our morals? Difficulties in life or temptations are frequently described by the religious as a test from God. Even if you believe in a truly free will, an omniscient god already knows what you are going to do. What is the point of such a test? Our entire life is considered by many as a test to see if our souls are worthy of an eternity in Heaven, but God already knows what will happen. Why bother with all the suffering and drama?
"We cannot know the mind of God," is not an acceptable answer. I want to hear your assessment of the logic employed here.

In my opinion life is not a test. For lack of a better word, it is for our "enjoyment." However, as pointed out in other threads, a devistating tsunami, the death of a child, massive populations facing starvation and so on are not very enjoyable from our perspective.

These examples are often used by the fundies to site how God is punishing the wicked. That doesn't hold up to scrutiny. I would call them challenges at best.

People sometimes ask; "If there is no test, how are we judged?" We are judged here in this life by those who know us. We're also judged by those we don't know if our actions have an affect on them. I don't think an omnicient God judges us at all.

Life is simply a situation for us to experience; the horrible and wonderful are a package deal.

Since I think I'm a small part of God, I tend not to worry too much about it.