Saturday, January 31, 2009

Those Dam Astronomers

I think last night was the first good friday night since before Christmas at Mansfield Dam. A little chilly, but practically no wind. The sky was pretty steady and transparent, making it a nice time to get out. I worked on some starhopping skills with my old 6" dob before returning it to Barry. Managed to jump right to the Double Cluster and M81/82. The crescent moon never disappoints in that scope either. Got my first look at Saturn this time around--the rings are closing rapidly. I'll start shooting pics as son as it's a little higher earlier.

Didn't shoot any astro pics last night myself, but gave lots of free advice to John--I hope some of it was useful! I did shoot pics of other people shooting pics though--see them here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Brush With Fame

I had the opportunity last night to meet and shake hands with the fourth man to walk on the Moon, Alan Bean. I lucked into a ticket for a panel discussion with him and some other NASA types talking about Return To The Moon, followed by a reception at the LBJ Library.

I feel fortunate that I was able to ask Capt. Bean a question that had been weighing heavily on my mind. "Captain Bean, are you a Turtle?"

He is! =)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pinewood Derby

Congratulations to Ian and the number 95 Rust-eze car for finishing second overall in the Pack 312 Pinewood Derby! True, his involvement was mostly limited to putting on the stickers since I wouldn't let him loose with the jigsaw, belt sander, hammer, graphite, super glue, cordless drill or can of red lacquer spray paint ... Maybe next year I'll let him try out the power tools. I'm still keeping him away from the super glue though.

Pictures here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Visiting the Cedar Park PD

Den 1 paid a visit to the Cedar Park police station last week: