Thursday, May 14, 2009

my truck

This is the Chevy pick-up truck that I owned when I lived out west. It was one of two vehicles (both pick-up trucks) in my life brand new right off the show-room floor. It served me well taking me on numerous back-roads up into the mountains and out into the desert as in this picture. This picture was taken in Tierra del Sol which I believe means “land of the sun”. That may be appropriate because it could get pretty hot there. The Mexican border was only about three miles to the left of the truck. Tierra del Sol was located about 50 miles east of San Diego. It was an observing site for members of our astronomy club to set up their telescopes. Being 50 miles from the lights of San Diego, the skies were dark there which made for good astronomical viewing. The site consisted of 10 acres of land which was generously paid for and donated to our club by a very generous benefactor. The land was developed for the club members by having electric lines brought to the site, a water well drilled on the property, large cement pads poured for setting up telescopes on, and a modern restroom. Some of the club members actually built their own observatory buildings on the site. It became quite elaborate. The club held monthly star parties at the site which is when the public is invited to come and look through the members telescopes. Some of the members have large expensive telescopes and the views are quite spectacular. I always preferred short focus telescopes because of their rich-field view which gives a nice crisp black background to the image. I was very active in amateur astronomy in San Diego and was on the board of directors for the club. The club met monthly at the Reuben H. Fleet science center in Balboa Park in San Diego. The club also made telescope mirrors in the basement of the museum every Saturday morning and along with others I made my own telescope mirror which I still have by hand grinding and polishing the glass. It was a lot of tedious work and was definitely not cost-effective. It would have been much easier to have just bought a telescope mirror but I did it just for the experience of doing it and the pride in being able to do it. However, I must admit that I did have a turned-down edge on the mirror which is a minor problem and a common problem when grinding and polishing a telescope mirror for the first time. San Diego is a great place to live because of its cool dry Mediterranean type of climate. Remember the song “It never rains in Southern California”? Well, it is true. Just lots of perfect days with clear blue skies. Have a good day. Lew

1 comment:

seaside said...

Sounds like lots of fun. Do you still star gaze at home? Are you keeping up with the astronauts adventure of fixing the hubble telescope?