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Thread: Gah!

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    Default Gah!



    Effing freaking consarned coyotes!
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    Bryan
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    Default Re: Gah!

    ?? ??
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    ~Frankie~ My mind: Always on...Slightly off.
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    Default Re: Gah!

    Hopefully they did not sneak up on you?
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    Default Re: Gah!

    again?
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    Default Re: Gah!

    Ya know, I'm just over wrought and stressed out. Yesterday I got to work at 0800 hrs and finally got done at 2306 hrs. That was a long day.

    And then I got woken up at 0400 hours with another issue this morning. Spent most of the morning raking up that mess, then the afternoon playing catch up then the last hour determining some key performance indicators for my department to be used as showcase examples for the rest of the division.

    All that to say I'm tired, man, and I'm stressed out. I feel like that chewed rubber band you find flapping around in a cat turd half buried in the litter box.

    All is not lost, however, as the sky was fine and clear when I got home at 1800 hrs. That's awesome! Some nice quality and quiet scope time.

    And did I choose a manual mount and a long refractor for some wonderful zen star hopping? Nope, I surely did not. I chose the AVX, my SV102T APO, and my ASI174MC astro cam. Gonna do me a little imaging. Nab me some lunar frames first, and then move over to Thor's Helmet, maybe M51. And while that was all going on, gonna lay back in my zero g chair with my trusty 10x50's and see how many Messier objects I can bag. That ought to do the trick.

    Pitched all that mess out in the yard before twilight, got it all set up to acclimate, went and fetched some nasty fast food for the family. I gnawed around on a wrinkled up old hot dog on a half stale bun. Not sure what the person at the Dairy Queen was thinking when they boxed that rascal up for me and cheerfully handed it over and bid me have a nice day. Surely the hard end of the stale bun would have clued them in with "now just wait a darn minute, something ain't right here." Nope, not a sharp enough clue, I reckon.

    End of nautical twilight, out at the scope to start things off. I did a close and careful manual polar alignment. I was feeling confident as I'd done a tolerable job last Saturday evening. Satisfied with that effort, I fired up the mount and commenced my 2+4 alignment.

    And every dang star I "went-to" was way out of the field of view. I patiently centered, entered, centered, aligned my way through five stars. When the sixth one turned up out of the FOV, I got mad and cycled power on the mount, made sure my date and time were correct, DST (curses!) selected, and started in again.

    Same dadgum thing. After two stars, I cycled power again and then did a factory reset.

    Firing back up, I careful input my latitude and longitude, and then it asked for my time zone.

    Keep in mind it has been several months since I've done a factory reset...

    The HC was sitting on Universal Time. I started scrolling and all I could see was Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 5 1/2, Zone 6 3/4, etc. or the negative equivalent in the other direction.

    Well, what the heck zone am I in?

    Rushed back inside (time just ticking tocking away), dug out my AVX manual, and noted that the time zone map would be in the appendices. Flipping to the back, no time zone map. Flipping through the whole manual yielded nothing either. Bah!

    Back outside at the scope, I popped open my laptop for a bit of googling. "Nexstar+ time zone map". That got me some blurring scanned PDFs.

    Leaning in close to try to read what it was telling me, I am completely blinded to the dark surrounding me.

    And here it comes, galloping madly across the yard right toward me and I can't see a damn thing. Sounded like it was dragging a logging chain along with it. Holy freakin' cow.

    I leaped up out of my observing chair and rushed right toward the stupid coyote hissing, clapping, and stomping my feet. From the sound of it, it made a 90° cut to the east and ran behind my shed and stopped.

    Heart pounding, I turned back toward my laptop when suddenly the stupid coyote freaked and came at me again, this time rushing westward along the privacy fence 10 feet to my south. That hair-raised me again and I charged once more into the breach, hissing and stomping. It back-flipped and ran to the east and cut south around the corner of the fence. I could hear the drifted dried leaves swooshing with its passage.

    My freakin' hat was probably sitting about 6 inches above my noggin at this point as every hair on my head was standing straight up. Screw this, I decided, I'm going back inside.

    So I did that, paced around the kitchen for minute and decided I was being a big baby, so back out I went and resume my googling on the laptop. I finally lit on a Cloudy Nights post that told me "dummy, keep scrolling and you'll see the regular time zones", so I did that, found Central Time, and finished all that up. This time, my goto alignment was dead-nuts centered every time. Holy freakin' cow.

    I sat for a minute and breathed deeply of the night air. Got the cam hooked up and ran off a few lunar captures.

    After that, I popped on the Bahtinov mask, slewed over to Sirius, and tightened up my focus as best I could. Slewing up to Thor's Helmet, I kicked up my exposure to 15 seconds to see if I could get a whiff of the nebula. Nope, but my stars were starting to elongate. Kicking up to 30 then 45 seconds, still no sign of the nebula, but my stars were quite long at that point.

    Pretty darn trashy polar alignment. Like the worst one I've ever done. Hands down. Top tier bad.

    And that's when I had enough of the whole affair and noped out of it. I packed up my toys and came inside.

    Working on my lunar captures now.

    Stupid freakin' coyote. I know it was just trying to cross the yard, but sheesh! This outhouse is occupied, billy, go somewhere else!
    Bryan
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  6. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to bladekeeper For This Useful Post:

    burris (03-16-2019),ic_1101 (03-18-2019),Juno16 (03-16-2019),sketrip (03-16-2019),terrynak (03-17-2019)

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    Default Re: Gah!

    Did we have to change?
    I've got them in spades @ my darker place.
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    Default Re: Gah!

    You need to buy a road runner to take care of the coyote. Maybe Acme sells 'em.
    Tom Campbell (astro.tomandjul.com)

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    Default Re: Gah!

    Bryan - sorry for the short response - I hit post and your 2nd post came up.
    They can be sneaky critters - glad I have astro mutt (who is 12 years old today, hooray asto mutt!)
    But at my darker place there are packs of them - shot gun is close at hand as recommended by the property owner. For my part I just hope make noise & scare 'em off
    if they start to get close.

    The settings are a joy, aren't they - the joy of using the laptop to control the mount is I don't need to keep track of that anymore.
    Can't wait to see what shots you got of luna & hang in there, this will pass. Got my first photons since Jan 5th tonight.

    All the best my friend.
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    Default Re: Gah!

    Yikes! Good story; well-told, Bryan, but no denying I'd have been pretty scared. When I used to stay in Michigan in the winter, one evening I had Lily out for a walk down at the park. A car came around the curve over on the main road. The headlights shone out over the snowy field, and silhouetted a pack of six or seven of them crossing the field between me and the road, probably about two or three hundred yards away. My blood ran cold. I hustled Lily home, and never went back down there after dark in winter again. Luckily they stay far deeper in the swamp in summer, or so it appears based on how distant their awful howls and yips are then.
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    Default Re: Gah!

    Persistent devil, that one. Since the Hounds of the Baskervilles were installed, no coyotes here. Given how aggressive the neighbor Doberman pack is, not an improvement. Soon that trouble will be far away and there will be new trouble.
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