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  • Sad Summer On March 25 2014, Charles "Chuck" Crumley, my best friend for nearly a decade, passed away suddenly. Here is a link to the funeral home memorial page: Book of Memories ...
    Posted Aug 11, 2014, 6:48 AM by Eric Abbott
  • Been a while...   It has indeed been a while since I posted anything. Some time back I had to uninstall Google chrome because it kept losing configuration data and became a hassle. A ...
    Posted Feb 19, 2014, 1:34 PM by Eric Abbott
  • Winter is here and observing done for the season.   I have added observing reports with pictures and I am starting to build a solar themed page. Links are on my home page. Getting set for a long cold winter ...
    Posted Nov 23, 2012, 12:38 PM by Eric Abbott
  • June 5th Transit of Venus This a big event for us astronomy folk. This will be the last time Venus will cross in front of the sun (as visible from Earth) until 2117. Watch, it ...
    Posted Jun 2, 2012, 5:38 AM by Eric Abbott
  • Pictures and stuff posted from last weekend's observing. New For 2012: I have decided that instead of having to subscribe every year to a new page of observing reports that it would be easier to make general announcements ...
    Posted May 27, 2012, 2:33 PM by Eric Abbott
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Sad Summer

posted Aug 11, 2014, 6:48 AM by Eric Abbott

On March 25 2014, Charles "Chuck" Crumley, my best friend for nearly a decade, passed away suddenly. Here is a link to the funeral home memorial page: Book of Memories. It all happened so fast; in hindsight. It seemed like yesterday that we first met and from the time of his death to bearing his casket to the grave site was less than a week. It was a shock to many of us and it was a shock too hard to bear alone. Quite a few of us have become closer because of the void left in our lives. Almost out of necessity or a sense of responsibility to Chuck's spirit this had to be done. As the way he lived and embraced those around him, made his way into your life and challenged you to be more; this was the requisite outcome. My life is forever changed by having known him and I will always feel this loss.

Been a while...

posted Feb 19, 2014, 1:34 PM by Eric Abbott

  It has indeed been a while since I posted anything. Some time back I had to uninstall Google chrome because it kept losing configuration data and became a hassle. A lot of what Google is doing has became a hassle. Had to create  Google Plus account just to use my YouTube site. I do not want social media accounts and to have this forced on us is uncool. I just recently found out that I have to use Google Chrome as my website editor here. I will only use it in that capacity; all else is disabled and I will use Firefox or internet explorer for everything else. When IE is the lesser of two evils, it is getting pretty bad.
  Can't find a good job. Getting to old for employers who want young, gullible recruits that work for cheap. The temp companies have kept me going in the past though the only issue there, besides low wages and unsteady work flow, is being surrounded by idiots and jerks, as well as the occasional mental case. 
  Last two days have been above freezing, in the 40's!, for the first time in months. Been a bad winter here. Had to repair the furnace once and the pipes tried to freeze. Snow total this year is somewhere near 6-1/2 feet. Took the opportunity to repair the garage door opener. Had to replace the main drive gear, it was stripped. Not bad for a plastic gear made in 1993 I suppose. 
  Might join the Fox Valley Astronomy Club this year. They have a couple of sites they use and one of the members also helps run the Bootleg Astronomy Party, which is really awesome. 
  That's it for now I guess. 

Winter is here and observing done for the season.

posted Nov 23, 2012, 12:38 PM by Eric Abbott

  I have added observing reports with pictures and I am starting to build a solar themed page. Links are on my home page. Getting set for a long cold winter here in the frozen north, land of ice and sickles. Thanksgiving has come and gone with a bit of trepidation and then solitude making itself known. I have good friends here and having a few phone calls was quite nice. It is easy to feel down, especially this time of year, but I know that with people that care about me, whether near or far, has made an impact. Our yearly trip to the Adler Planetarium was real fun. Since it has been the weekend of my birthday for the last few years I secretly consider it a party for me. I think about "y'all" a lot. I hope to at least send cards this year, happy holidays and stay warm and safe.

June 5th Transit of Venus

posted Jun 2, 2012, 5:38 AM by Eric Abbott

This a big event for us astronomy folk. This will be the last time Venus will cross in front of the sun (as visible from Earth) until 2117. Watch, it will be cloudy, but the optimist in me has scheduled a day off from work just in case. I have rewritten the media room so that you can go direct to the NASA channel. The lead story now is about Venus transits. I hope to get a good movie and or pictures to share. This is, for me anyway, a once in a lifetime event. Wish me luck.

Pictures and stuff posted from last weekend's observing.

posted May 27, 2012, 9:23 AM by Eric Abbott   [ updated May 27, 2012, 2:33 PM ]

New For 2012: I have decided that instead of having to subscribe every year to a new page of observing reports that it would be easier to make general announcements in the Blog directing the reader to the topic or page at hand. So, do stay subscribed to my Blog and enjoy.

You can go to my home page and follow the links or click here.


Green River State Park

posted May 21, 2012, 4:00 PM by Eric Abbott   [ updated May 21, 2012, 4:03 PM ]

  I went to the Bootleg Astronomy party this weekend. 2 hours into the heart of Illinois farm country. When we got there, my friend Chuck and I drove separatly and arrived at the gate at the same time from different sides of town. We were greeted with a press kit and paid our walk in fees. Most of the group had been there since friday. We arrived Saturday. I only had one night to spare because of work. Once the campsite was set up I wandered about to look at some of the other scopes. this time I did not have apperture envy as I brought my new 14" dobsonian truss tube reflector. Brought my solar scope too and set it up with the other four there. I was not used to the bright and windy conditions because I usualy set up inside of the garage or out the living room window. Much better that way. It was cloudy a bit and not as good observing as the night before but my new dob perfomed excellently. I found things I have not seen before and in remarkable detail. The sombrero galaxy, the leo triplet galaxies and many obscure numbered things. John brought his 18" but rather used mine thatn set his up that night. That was just OK with me because he had quite a few interesting objects to show us. Quite a few people were impressed with the views and I was simply blown away. I will be taking this out to our dark site as soon as I can.
  Went into the tent around 1 am after eating a hearty and hot bowl of Dave,s chili. A bit of a tradition. Lots of fun in a short time as I found myself on the road headed back for home. Accessory cases are still on the dining room table but I will get to them later. Washed my gear yesterday and the car today (bugs), Just need to rest now. Thinking of y'all and hope to share some time with all soon.

The Adler Planetarium

posted Nov 20, 2011, 7:53 AM by Eric Abbott   [ updated Nov 20, 2011, 7:53 AM ]

  Hello all, I know it has been a while, as usual. I had to work on my birthday, as usual, but made up for it with a very nice outing the next day. Our SWAOG Adler Planetarium visit fell on the day after my day. We usually meet at the cafe for a coffe or nosh. Before I left the house I went to their website and realized that I should join as a member. The discounts are substantial. My first visit paid for itself. I added a link in my links page. We will post the group photo from the visit on the SWAOG home page as well. The view of the skyline from the planetarium is amazing. Only better from ship. All things considered this trip has made me realize that I can still have some affection for this city. Something I have not felt for a long time. After we realized that we were all that were going to show up we split up to see our shows we had picked. After lunch (oh, and the food is really good at the Adler's cafe) I happened to see Jeff again and we planned our next shows together. He was their with a nephew and niece so I tagged along for the conversation and company. We stayed till nearly closing time. Chuck and his date left about an hour before us. A very nice time and very windy outside. A good day to be in Chicago inside the Planetarium. I plan to take Mom there when she visits next. The membership gets us both in free and all the shows are free. I look forward to it greatly as a lot of new exhibits and shows are there to be explored.

Summer days

posted Jul 31, 2011, 4:32 PM by Eric Abbott

It has been hot here like many places in this great country of ours. The weird thing is we set records not for heat but rain amounts, go figure.

I have been working up to 70 hours a week and the hard part has certainly been when I was occasionally outside or in the shop. It is 6:30 PM now and 88 degrees outside. Good thing that I had my AC inspected and repaired early this spring. Did some observing last night (see observing report) and have paid the price by being quite sleepy. Nodded a few times with the tube (not a tube anymore) on but that is OK. Slow cooked the rack of short ribs for 4 hours. Came out delicious but while cooking so to speak I unloaded the gear from the car. I will inspect, clean and sort it out tomorrow. Got most of what I need for work this coming week already done. Got to sort bills tomorrow so I have the month paid in advance. This would all be mundane but it has been a long time since I could lay claim to "routine" of my own.  Got to get a few more pieces of furniture for the guest room this month and that will do it. The yard is getting a little on the wild side but I will deal with that once the temps drop a little more in the evenings. Hope to see y'all soon. Maybe a visit could be planned sometime soon.

A bit of an issue with google.

posted Jun 27, 2011, 3:46 PM by Eric Abbott

I have been trying to log into my webpage to edit and update things for everybody but Google changed something. A lot of people have been affected. I read in some forums that you needed to enter your administrator log in & password. That was just wrong. I never changed any of that. What I found when I went into my password logs was that they had changed the location of the link to log in. I copied and pasted the old link into my browser and got the familiar log in screen and I was in!

So that being said, it is summer here now but the astronomy  has been clouded and rained out every weekend. Been doing lots of home maintenance, gutters, lawn & tuning the thermostat in the attic to run the fan automatically. It was set so low it ran constantly unless you killed the power to it. Works real fine now.

The radio club meeting is tonight but I will not be going. Just too tired tonight. I wanted to get this Google mess cleaned up one way or another.

Oh, just a reminder. If you see a "subscribe" button, please click on it and it will prompt you for a way to connect. That way when I post something you will know.

Radio club meeting

posted May 22, 2011, 9:20 AM by Eric Abbott

   My second meeting that I will be attending, as a member, of the Dupage Amateur Radio Club will be this Monday 5/23. This would not really be note worthy except that members of the SWAOG have been asked to give a presentation. Since DARC is kind enough to let us host our weekly radio program, some of us volunteered. I have had an idea about what I wanted to speak about for some time now.
   The voyage that people and telescopes have taken together and how the telescopes role has changed. While still essentially a tube with some glass in it, the telescope has changed people in astounding ways. Religious and geopolitical upheaval are only a few examples of the power a telescope has. We, as a species, used to know what was in the sky. It was vital to our survival, crops, navigation etc. People created mythologies about the night sky to help them remember what those things were. Once you know what that is and when it is, you can determine where you are on the planet. What, when and where; a very important formula. Now, we as a species, could not tell which star is Deneb and which is Altair, for the vast majority anyway. But our companion the telescope can. With technology that can tell it when and where it is in time and space; the telescope can now tell us what that object is in the sky. Just to be clear, the telescope is by no means relegated to doing parlor tricks for the bored or mildly curious. The telescope still plays a vital role in science and exploration of our ever growing "what when and where".
   That is briefly what I had planned to talk about. I was requested to do a presentation with my computer on the Stellarium program. I will incorporate that into the end of my "what when where" bit as a segue into the technology part. Something like that I hope.

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