As the front page states, every thing changes! I was fortunate to have owned some very nice amateur astronomy equipment, maybe even some professional equipment also. I had a blast with it as you could probably tell by reading the news section of the old website. Actually, I think I had more fun that an adult should be allowed to have!
I got to search for and discover asteroids, image the heavens and travel around with a huge 24Ē Dobsonian in the James Bond equivalent astronomy trailer. I built a very cool roll-off observatory with the help of friends, built out the inside of the cargo trailer to have all the modern amenities. I volunteered and helped a local club with its asteroid program, refurbed a lot of computers and built out networks and believe I helped pave the way for a few people to also do some great things. Oh yes, and I built a lot of websites, and had more than a few heated discussions with people about astronomy clubs which led me to form a new one. It actually pushed me to learn a few new skills in life.
With a lot of money and luck I think I learned the expensive way what it is that I like and do not like about this great hobby. I sold most of that gear and started over. Donít get me wrong, I loved most of it, but there is a difference between what one really needs and what they want. All those things were great, but they were more than I needed to enjoy this great hobby. I think itís a sign that the marketing people out there in the Astronomy world do a great job of making you desire all the latest greatest stuff.
So today I am down to a couple of scopes, only really one I am using, the other we are building into a Telekit for Gina which we both keep swearing weíll finish some day! I find that I like my new Celestron CGE scope, the views are fabulous and the scope offers the flexibility to do all those things I love with a few add-ons. I find that the investment is comfortable if its not used all the time so the value doesnít push me to do more observing than I want out of guilt.
I do miss my trailer, especially last night when it was 18 degrees out and I had to retreat to my truck instead of a warm ready room, but even there, the truck was fine. The large scopes was awesome, and walking out to the back yard and rolling off the roof was an experience to be remembered. That said though, I have taken the proceeds and expanded my interests into a few other areas, both which fit nicely with Astronomy. We purchased a nice Colemans folding trailer and I have some wonderful new Camera gear and am enjoying Photography as tremendously. Itís a lot more balanced, and now I have fun morning noon and night and am able to travel to a lot of nice places with greater ease and comfort.
As for Astronomy, I have found a wonderful dark site near by, thus making travel time a mere 20 minutes rather than an hour. I might observe a little less often, but I really enjoy it when I do and in the end, I am back to having a blast
Iíll be working over the next few months to reshape this site and some of my others which you can find links to at http://markabraham.org.
Thanks for reading this!