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...this is an open thread. Nothing is off topic.

Have you ever spent any time looking through a telescope?

There are a few things that I do that I really like. I am really an outdoors person and like to be physically active. When I think of fun I think of biking, hiking, swimming in rivers and going to the gym. I don't gravitate towards activities that aren't physical in nature.

One thing I love however that is not physical is to look at the heavens through telescopes. I was always fascinated by the heavens as a kid...as much as I was fascinated by dinosaurs and insects. In 1984 I bought the telescope I have to this day. It took me a years' time to eventually get it because I paid for it on layaway.

My big reason for getting it then was not only because I'd always wanted a "real telescope," but I would also be able to get a great view of Halley's Comet two years in the future in 1986.

halleys-comet-1986

Finally I made my last payment and got my telescope. It was a blast except it didn't have any motors to move it along with the night sky. The lack of motors was a real problem because planets, nebulae, globular clusters, open clusters and binary stars would just whoosh by in the field of view. So I saved up and bought a set of motors that could be added externally to my telescope.

I attended Star Parties every month for a few years in Santa Cruz that were held on Saturday's each month nearest the new moon so the sky was as dark as possible. I got into astrophotography as well and developed my own black and white l-o-n-g exposure shots. I'd always take photos for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours of exposure time.

My motors finally crapped out on me a few years back. I haven't looked through my telescope since then. WELL, last summer I found a new tripod with internal motors for my telescope. The amazing thing is this new tripod was being sold for 1/2 price (I dunno why). I've never seen it sold for that low price before or since. So I got it even though I couldn't use it last year because of time spent doing other things (har!).

This year I am exited! Here are a few pics of my 29 year old telescope with it's new motorized, computerized tripod. One thing I just stumbled across at Lowe's this past week was a huge container that I can put all parts of the telescope in. It comes with wheels and was only $56 bucks.

Here is my 29 year telescope ready for new service

telescope_01

The perfect storage container

telescope_00

It's so simple to set up...as was the original set up I got way back. So you just set up the tripod first...attach the mount...add the counterweight third...and finally the telescope itself

telescope_00F
telescope_00G
telescope_00H
telescope_02

So do you want to attend a Star Party? It can be anywhere. Can you find the constellations and major stars? Do you know where the planets are currently?

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Latest Updates on Kossack Regional Meet-Up News Below the New Day sunrise cloud

:: COMMUNITY BUILDING UPDATES ::
Let's build communities!

Every region needs a meatspace community like SFKossacks.
We take care of each other in real life.
I urge YOU to take the lead and organize one in your region.
Please tell us about it if you do and we're here for advice.


THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY

Click >>>HERE to see a list of all the regional Kossack groups that have organized for social and activism events. There are handy links to contact each organizer to join.

>>>Instructions on HOW TO FORM A NEW DAILY KOS GROUP

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:: Events Currently on the Books for ALL Kossacks ::
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Thursday, May 16th

Chicago Kossacks Celebrate the 101st Anniversary of Studs Terkel's Birth

TIME: 6:00 PM (drinks & apps) 7:00 PM (dinner, optional)
LOCATION: Pegasus Restaurant
130 South Halsted St. • Chicago (Greek Town!)

figbash will be dressing like Studs and others can do the same. There will be SWAG for all attendees. Plus door prizes!

ORGANIZER: Send figbash a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. figbash
2. broths
3. Mr. broths
4. NormAl1792
5. winifred
6. Empower Ink
7. BobboSphere
8. Marzook
9. ipmurphy
10. MillieNeon
11. Tim Delaney
12. Marzook
13. Hotsie Horsie (figgy's pal)
Maybees:
freshwater dan
bsmechanic
Railfan
Latest diary: Chicago Kossacks Say...Winter's Over. Let's get together.
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Saturday, May 18th

LAKossacks Meet-up

TIME: 12:30 PM
LOCATION: PitFire Pizza
5211 Lankershim Blvd. • North Hollywood

ORGANIZER: Send Dave in Northridge a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Dave in Northridge
2. poopdogcomedy
3. Zack from the SFV
4. susans
5. otoelbc
6. jaysunb
7. Gay CA Democrat
8. gmats
9. SanFernandoValleyMom
10. Lisa
11. Mr. Lisa (not a Kossack yet)
12. joemarkowitz
Maybees:
A Proud Progressive
Brecht
gmats's friend
Latest diary: LA Kossacks - May 18 Meetup, PitFire Pizza, NoHo Arts District
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Houston Area Kossacks banner
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Saturday, May 18th

Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-Up

TIME: 5:00 PM
LOCATION: Mai's Restaurant
3403 Milam Street • Houston

ORGANIZER: Send Chrislove a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Chrislove
2. nomandates
3. suesue
4. Mr. suesue
5. cosette
6. krwheaton
2.
3.
Maybees:
Latest diary: Houston Area Kossacks: Meet-Up Scheduled for Saturday, May 18!
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KOSCADIA banner
Saturday, May 25th

Koscadia Kossacks Meet-up for Ojibwa

TIME: Noon
LOCATION: Sara R's house
Address to be given to RSVP'ers • Portland, OR

ORGANIZER: Send Sara R a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Ojibwa
2. state of confusion
3. Sara R
4. winglion
5. Horace Boothroyd III
6. llbear
7. loggersbrat
8. Liz
9. also mom of 5
10. watercarrier4diogenes
11.
12.
Maybees:
Blue Jessamine
Lute
Mortifyd
Latest diary: Portland, OR Meetup - Sat. May 25
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Saturday, June 1st

Baja Arizona Kossacks 3rd Annual Picnic

TIME: 4:00 PM
LOCATION: ItsaMathJoke's home
out in the desert near Vail • Vail, AZ

ORGANIZER: Send Azazello a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Azazello
2. Azazello's Spousal Unit
3. ItsaMathJoke
4. rasbobbo
5. cosmic debris
6. DaNang65
7. drnatrl
8. sneakers563 et fam.
Maybees:
tytalus
ramara
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Peach State Kossacks regional banner for meet-ups in Georgia
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Saturday, June 1st

Atlanta Area Kossacks Kick-off Meet-up

TIME: 2:30 PM
LOCATION: Manuel's Tavern
602 N Highland Avenue Northeast • Atlanta

ORGANIZER: Send racheltracks a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. One Pissed Off Liberal
2. racheltracks
3. annrose
4. nawlinscate
5. Burned
6. treesrock
7. Grapes
8. jobird
9. prose and thorn
10.
Maybees:
pragmaticidealist
xxdr zombiexx
eeff
Ashaman
lam2b2g
foresterbob
Lily O Lady
Latest diary: Atlanta Meet-Up
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New York Hudson Valley Kossacks

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boran2
DATE TBD

NY Hudson Valley Kossacks' First Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: Hudson House
2 Main Street • Cold Spring, NY

ORGANIZER: Send boran2 a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. boran2
2. thankgodforairamerica
3. betson08 (if event is in April)
Maybees:
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Netroots Nation Header
June 20th - 23rd  •  REGISTER HERE  •  BOOK YOUR HOTEL!



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These tables have been organized for our groups to connect during NN13 in the plenary sessions. This is where the opening and closing keynotes take place along with many noon-time-speaking events. Box lunches are sometimes provided and it's great to have a place reserved with familiar faces. If you're attending you're invited to start a table or sit at any of the established ones. Just let me know in the comments or send me a Kosmail. Please note: This is not assigned seating. You may sit at any of the reserved tables at any time. I plan to move around and mingle. There will be over 2500 people there so being able to find each other is nice.

Netroots Nation 2013 in San Jose: Plenary Session Table Reservations

SFKossacks:
1. side pocket √
2. mrs. side pocket √
3. kimoconnor √
4. citisven
5. lineatus √
6. Cali Scribe
7. Glen the Plumber √
8. remembrance √
9. jotter √
10. aha aha √
SFKossacks:
1. Lusty √
2. RainyDay √
3. norm √
4. catilinus √
5. Lorikeet √
6. madhaus
7. boatsie
8. maggiejean √
9. paradise50 √
10. smileycreek √
SFKossacks:
1. Kamakhya
2. dharmasyd √
3. Ebby
4. Bustergirl
5. BeninSC (Honorary)
6. sfbaytransplant
7. Senor Unoball
8. paradox
9. slouching √
10. shanikka
SFKossacks:
1. edrie √
2. Jeff in CA
3. Mrs. Jeff in CA
4. mber √
5. Susie Raye √
6. vcmvo2 (Honorary)
7. N in Seattle (Honorary) √
8. dangoch √
9. timethief
10. ceebee7 √
SFKossacks:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Central Valley Kossacks:
1. tgypsy
2. Kestrel √
3. Caddis Fly √
4. Sychotic1
5. peregrine kate (honorary)
6. ProvokingMeaning (honorary)
7. mrsgoo √ (mrgoo √)
8. ToKnowWhy √
9. MaKettle √
10.
Texas Kossacks:
1. nomandates √
2. texasmom √
3. texasdad √
4. doraphasia
5. krwheaton
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Los Angeles Kossacks:
1. Shockwave
2. jakedog42 √
3. susans √
4. murphy
5. gmats
6. Susan
7.
8.
9.
10.
NYC and beyond:
1. sidnora √
2. belinda ridgewood √
3. hayden
4. Todd Beeton
5. theroaringgirl
6. thankgodforairamerica √
7. devtob √
8. LuLu √
9. chicklet √
10.
Community Quilt Project:
1. Sara R
2. winglion
3. loggersbrat √
4. ramara (Arizona) √
5. Horace Boothroyd III
6. linkage √
7.
8.
9.
10.
Military Community Members:
1. DaNang65
2. drnatrl
3. angelajean (Maybe)
4. exlrrp (Maybe)
5. ccasas
6. llbear (Maybe)
7.
8.
9.
10.
Cheers & Jeers Readers:
1. vicki √
2. Sharoney √
3. Spousal Unit √
4. brillig √
5. mik √
6. K1 √
7. cskendrick
8. Arenosa √
9.
10.

Gay Men of ANY Certain Age:
1. gizmo59
2. gizmo59's partner?
3. Dave in Northridge √
4. Steveningen
5. scaboni?
6. cooper888 √
7. gotmooned √
8. FogCityJohn √
9. slksfca
10. sfbob √
Native American Netroots:
1. navajo √
2. Meteor Blades
3. 4Freedom √ (maybe)
4. no way lack of brain
5. translatorpro √
6. Kitsap River √
7. Charles Curtis Stanley √
8. TheFatLadySings
9. TFLS's guest
10. TFLS's guest
raines √


Those with the √ have RSVP'd for the dinner below, you can join us also.
Just say in the comments or Kosmail me.

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Wednesday, June 19th

Cheers & Jeers - * New Day * Dinner

TIME: 5:30 PM
LOCATION: The Brit (Britannia Arms)
173 W. Santa Clara St. (walking distance from Conv. Center) • Downtown San Jose

Every year since 2007, Common Sense Mainer has organized a dinner for the readers of Cheers & Jeers who attend Netroots Nation. It has grown every year. Last year we had over 100 Kossacks attend. CSM always chooses a restaurant willing to handle a large crowd WITH SEPARATE CHECKS. (!?!) Yes, I know, hard to believe but it's worked the last several years. This year CSM has negotiated with The Brit for a special menu and separate checks are secured. If you'd like to join us please leave a comment in this diary and you'll be put on the RSVP list below. This year * New Day * and SFKossacks are co-hosting. All regional groups are invited to attend in addition to the loyal C&J following that Bill and Michael have.

ORGANIZER: Send navajo a kosmail to attend or leave a comment.

And the above event is followed by the official opening event featuring Howard Dean:

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Wednesday, June 19th

Liquid Courage party to open NN13

Our friends at the Courage Campaign have announced that they’re throwing a party to open Netroots Nation 2013. Gov. Howard Dean will be there!

TIME: 7:30 - 9:30 PM
LOCATION: The Tech Museum

201 South Market St. (walking distance from Conv. Center) • Downtown San Jose
Arrive early on Wednesday to pick up your credentials at the Convention Center which will get you into the Liquid Courage event.

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Do You Need a Power Scooter or Chair at NN13?


TheFatLadySings is working with Eric at Netroots Nation to try to assemble a fleet of power scooters and power chairs that can be reserved and rented by those who need them at a discount. We need to assess how many people will make use of this service. Please Kosmail TheFatLadySings with your needs for NN13.
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Community Quilt Project

Community Quilt Project NN13 Flash Mob Photo


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smileycreek is organizing and asking all Community Quilt recipients to bring their quilts to NN13. We'll assemble at a pre-designated location and time for a group photo with one of the NN13 professional photographers. It will be a group hug celebrating one of the most beloved community building projects we have here at Daily Kos with Sara R and winglion at the center of it. navajo and Glen the Plumber are going to scout out and select a location in advance for all to meet with their quilts for a memorable photo opportunity. Stay tuned.
Date: TBD Time: TBD
1. paradise50
2. Dave in Northridge
3. remembrance
4. BeninSC
5. mimi
6. cskendrick
7. DaNang65
8. llbear (not attending, quilt only)
9. Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse (may not attend)
10. Smoh (not attending, quilt only)
11. slksfca
12. belinda ridgewood
13. Ebby
14. Bustergirl
15. Kitsap River
16. Charles Curtis Stanley
17. Dr. Lori (not attending, quilt only)
18. MsSpentYouth
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Sunday, June 23rd

Post NN13 Birding Event

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
TBD • TBD

ORGANIZER: Send lineatus a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. lineatus
2. Senor Unoball
3. peregrine kate
Maybees:
Latest diary: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Okay, let's plan to wander around Sunday after the convention is over.  This can be the official wandering.  We will meet up at the convention center and have a nice half-day trip in the area.  Out-of-area birders will probably get to see a few new things; I'll figure out someplace that will be of interest to non-birders or casual birders as well (i.e., someplace cool to wander around in general).

Additionally, I'm probably going to do some short trip (for my own happiness) early morning or at lunch, just to take advantage of being in the South Bay with all of its wonderful spots nearby.   Anyone who wants to join in, kosmail me.  What I might do is send emails or texts to say where to meet up for an impromptu short trip.


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Glacier National Park
June 27- June 30th

Glacier National Park Kossack EPIC Meetup!

TIME: 24/7
LOCATION: Glacier National Park
402 9th St W • Columbia Falls, Montana

ORGANIZER: Send arizonablue a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. BlueJessamine
2. arizonablue
3. Mr.arizonablue
4. Truman
5. Ojibwa - arriving for the weekend
6. MTmofo
7. figbash!
8. spottedbear
9. jakedog42
10. Oke
11. cooltraveler
12. Mr.cooltraveler
13. state of confusion
14. Lute the Norwegian
15. Josh Blue
16. Thinking Fella
17. Blu Gal in DE
18. NormAl1792
19. winifred3

Maybees:
Joan McCarter
slksfca
Ed in Montana
BoiseBlue
BoiseBlue GF
Dave in Northridge
Timmethy

Latest diary: Glacier National Park Check In! Glacier National Park Meetup - Part II w/ lodging and campground info!
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Dkos Asheville
Saturday, July 20th

Dkos Asheville, North Carolina Kossacks Meet-up

TIME: TBD
LOCATION: TBD
[Address] • [City]

ORGANIZER: Send randallt a kosmail to attend.

RSVPs:
1. Randallt
2. Otteray Scribe
3. davehouck
4. Joieau
5. SteelerGrrl
6. SteelerGuy
7. Captain Sham
8. Smiley7
9. Burns Lass
10. DawnN
Maybees:
eeff
Audri
gulfgal98
Latest diary: [Waiting for linked diary]
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Send navajo a kosmail if you post a diary about an event so we can update our round-up.
Okay. Floor's open.
Tell us what you are doing on this NEW DAY?

Originally posted to Connect! Unite! Act! on Thu May 16, 2013 at 07:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by SFKossacks.

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