Sunday, November 18, 2007


Another weekend is just about to end, and we've been busy little bees here at Steingruebl World Enterprises.

1. Found a preschool. After lots of drama and looking at too many of these places, it turns out finding the "right" preschool is a lot like identifying obscenity. I know it when I see it. This place is about a 7 minute drive from our house, and is also right by a train station. It's clean, sunny, secure, and the staff all seem engaged and happy. My special favorite was the number of science projects sitting out and obviously in progress in the classroom Elise would attend. We're signing up tomorrow. Big thanks to all who have helped me with this-your help and encouragement have seen me through this confusion.

2. I have a new telescope. Today was the annual SJAA swap meet, and I scored a little refractor at a great price. Now, I just have to find a mount. My goal with this is to have something that is truly grab and go so that we can get out on clear nights without lugging the behemoth to the end of the alley. With this little scope, I can take advantage of the fact that the lights at the neighborhood park are malfunctioning and I should be able to enjoy some nicer views for less work. Yes, I'm lazy. The icing on the cake is that it's cheaper to get a good solar filter for this one than my 8", so I'm looking forward to observing my favorite star sometime soon!

The best part is that this is very portable, so I can travel with it. (Yes, NZ relatives and friends, I'm thinking of you specifically.) Of course, I met a guy at the swap meet who was selling his 8" Portaball (which has been his travel scope) so that he can afford an ingenious little 10" made by my friend Eric. It's a good move for him, and if I were similarly inclined I'd skip the Portaball and commission one of Eric's beauties as well. But given that $1700 would dwarf all of my astronomical purchases to date, I'm awfully happy with what I've got.

My actual favorite purchase of the swap meet will begin my foray into the world of amateur telescope making. One club member put together a lovely package of lenses and instructions for making your own telescope just like Galileo's. Tomorrow, Elise and I will go for a walk to purchase a 2" mailing tube and some (more) glitter glue so that we can put this puppy together. (The glitter glue is for decoration, I should specify.) I am amazed by what Galileo did with his telescope. I'll let you know how my project turns out, and if you like it I'll get you hooked up too.

3. Flapjack is driving me nuts. We have been trying new kinds of litter to see if we can limit the odor surrounding the box. As it turns out, our cat likes perfume as much as I do. However, I have never climbed up on a counter to write my protest in a box that once contained oranges. Suffice it to say we got the hint and have switched to (yet another) kind of litter which has only baking soda for stink control.

Another surprise was the fact that she must have climbed up on the kitchen table to barf on my jacket which was sitting on a chair. When did this cat decide that counters and tables are no longer off limits? I should just figure that her, "Oh yeah?! You and what army?" look means trouble and expect to be horrified.

On the plus side, she's been chasing down the bugs that we brought inside with Elise's new leaf collection. And she's been very cuddly. As I write this, she is curled up happily in Elise's little chair in the living room. Cats.

4. We've got a cool new babysitter. Mary is awesome. Firm, fun, reliable, and available when we need her! Well, mostly. Her schedule is packed, but we've managed to squeeze in and I love coming home to find the place tidy and my child happy. It's been nice to get out.

5. I've read the first two chapters of Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. It's a great read so far. Who's out there joining me in reading this? Discussion group whenever you're ready!

6. I am very tired and should be in bed by now.

Happy start of the week, everyone!


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you have a preschool for Elise; and a sitter too!

Are you getting to be a gear junkie?

SWE said...

Heh. I don't consider myself a gear junkie, but I think that's only in comparison to some of the people I know. I've got fantastic optics that are more affordable than at any time in history. My little Galileo scope project reminds me of that. I think once I find a decent tripod for this new little scope and a solar filter, I'm set for a good long while. Honest. And you can point Andy to this if I ever look like I'm wavering. :)