It has been a while since I have written in Jim’s AstroLog, but I have been busy. Here’s a brief run down what what I have been up to. Maybe I’ll add more to fill in the blanks as time permits. I should say that I am enjoying writing again, even after these few words.
Work and a long commute consumed just about every minute that I could have otherwise had to pursue my own interests. The last two years with my former agency were among my best, but even that (not to mention myself) was getting old. So I moved on.
Big news – I retired (again) at the end of April, 2017, and I have been busy getting used to that. I kinda like it. I am probably working harder that I’ve ever worked, but with the difference being that I am doing the things that I have always wanted to do, which is especially nice.
I was elected to the Howard Astronomical League as secretary for the Boards’ 2015 term, and served in that capacity again for the 2016 term. I was elected president for the 2017 term, and I am now in my second term in that capacity. Big news for the club during my tenure as president is accepting a Takahashi TOA 150 and an Astro-Physics 1200GTO mount from David Illig, and embarking on a project to upgrade the club’s observatory. This equipment is installed in the observatory and is being readied for the club’s members use. I expect to write more about this.
In the last few days before I was retired, the opportunity to teach and I found each other – I have taught three semesters of astronomy at Howard Community College. I had absolutely no interest in working after retirement, but this has been a dream job that I never thought that I could find. I am really enjoying this gig! The SET department and I have been discussing the addition of an honors section to the course, and I am looking forward to bringing it on line and teaching it. Definitely more to write about here.
Gardening is my other hobby. I enrolled in the Montgomery County Master Gardener Program with the 2018 class of interns. Still serving as an intern for the rest of this year.
With the exception of a trip to the Almost Heaven Star Party in West Virginia in September 2016, and to Kentucky/Tennessee to view the total eclipse in August 2017, I have doing very little of my own astronomy since I last wrote.
I finally cleared the decks and put my own personal astronomy ahead of just about everything else. The impetus was signing up for the Almost Heaven Star Party 2018. Much to write about here, so expect another article.