And by cool kids, I mean my buddy Coach Stupid. Be nice to him--he's had a hard day.
Meanwhile, it's the first day of school. The boy has delayed speech development, so it's off to Special Ed for him. This is a good thing. For one thing, we get a break on day care. He wasn't too sure about getting strapped into a seat on the bus, but seems no worse for the wear tonight.
Oh yeah, we were gonna blog astronomy. Two weeks ago was the Central Texas Star Party, or more accurately, the Central Texas Cloud and Humidity Party. Friday night was OK, but poor transparency and low clouds to the south made the session unremarkable. I met a couple of new folks, and was able to sneak a few peeks through a couple of 18"+ dobs. Turnout was lower than expected--we speculated that heavy rains in the area scared a lot of people away. Got my pin for finishing the small scope list. Couldn't have done it without goto, since you couldn't see half the stuff in the south to hop from.
Friday last was regular Dam Astronomers night and the Perseids. We actually had good seeing and transparency at the dam--a rarity these days. Saw several meteors, and a lot of smoke trails. I mistook the first one for a contrail, not having seen one before. A pretty fair turnout from the public, although one woman was a little upset that she wouldn't be able to see Mars for another 4 hours, and no, it wasn't going to be "as big as the moon."
But, speaking of the moon, I'm pretty sure I finally saw the rille in Alpine Valley. It could be another case of averted imagination, but I did see something. I'm still hoping for good seeing and solar angle to coincide. The hard part may be that angle thing, since the better time to view seems to be third-quarter. Every time I've looked out the window at 3:00 a.m. this summer, it's been wall-to-wall cloudy.
Saturday was Austin Under the Stars, and another exercise in frustration, as the evening started cloudy and never got better. Ian had a good time running all over the soccer field, stopping only to climb any stepladder he came to. He looked through an unattended small refractor, but seemed unimpressed. I didn't even bother to take a scope out.