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Welcome to my astronomical cyberSPACE!

I'm an amateur astronomer.

Like a lot of amateur astronomers (I suppose), I don't get out with my telescope as often as I'd like - Life seems to get in the way... not to mention work, the weather and just about everything else!

I got started in astronomy in the spring of 1987. Despite the temporal coincidence with Halley's Comet, it really had nothing to do with triggering my interest - That was done by just one offhand look though a cheap pair of Sears "quick-focus" 7x50 binoculars one night. I was hooked. A copy of Star Maps for Beginners followed, then volumes 1 & 2 of Burnham's Celestial Handbook (our local library was missing volume 3!). Shortly thereafter, in a copy of Astronomy magazine, I found a special offer: Join the Astronomy Book Club and get all three hardbound BCH volumes for an additional $4 - Probably the best buy I've ever made in astronomy!

Since that time, there's been more paper, glass and Baltic Birch under the bridge, so to speak. I started with a Celestron-imported Cometron CO-114 f8 Newtonian on a standard Polaris GEM. After lots of TLC from me and some optical work by Richard Fagin, it became a very nice little scope. So of course, I sold it... Actually, it was only because I built a 10" Dobsonian. Besides, the Polaris GEM was a great mount for the used Tele Vue Genesis I bought. Follow that with an Orion Short Tube 80, an AstroSystems TeleKit, a Hardin Deep Space Hunter and other stuff... Well, you get the picture!

Me and my TeleKit

Yep - That's me, with my new-at-the-time TeleKit, taken about six years ago(!). I've added a few things (EQ table, etc.) since that time - You can read about that here, as well.

I live in a small town (about 14k) in central Louisiana, USA, immediately adjacent to another, not quite so small town (about 50k), in the middle of a populated area of probably 120k or so. However, this photograph was taken down at my wife's Aunt/Uncle's house about half an hour south of where we live. As you can see, the horizons are pretty good, at least in a couple of directions. Too bad it's not really dark there... lots of dusk-to-dawn lights, including one right on the property. Fortunately, that one is easy enough to turn off, but there are about half a dozen other lights that (particularly in cold, "bare tree" weather) seem to shine like beacons around more than 270° of the horizon.

By day, I'm a Solaris system administrator (backups, primarily) for our regional electric utility, where my astronomical interests are well known. In fact, my co-workers find it amusing that I can predict my vacation schedules a year in advance, since they coincide with several star parties! In the evenings and on weekends, I divide my time between family (wife and daughter), church (Southern Baptist), astronomy, guitar, computers and who knows what else. Other than that, I'm an amateur guitar player, intermediate-level observer, wannabe programmer, erstwhile graphic designer, <your_opinion_here> web designer, former (?) Private Pilot and nothing else too special...

I keep this website up (and usually out of date!) so I can play with (X)HTML / CSS, and also maybe offer something useful, or at least interesting, to other amateur astronomers. Poke around here and see what you can find. There's a menu to the left of each page, as well as at the bottom. There's also contact information in the left-hand menu.

Thanks for looking!