25 March 2011 (Friday) - Astro Club

Before work I had a look at the pond – it’s now clearing rather impressively. It’s got a little way to go, but it must be clear as the fish can see me and are asking for food. But I think it’s still a little bit too cold for them to be eating yet. Even if “My Boy TMhas been feeding them dog biscuits. He thinks I don’t know – but leaving the packet of dog biscuits by the pond was rather a giveaway.

Work was better than usual. Yesterday I had a student assessed: today I had another done. And again he was successful. We were both pleased. That’s now twenty students I’ve taken from starting as a trainee to becoming state registered.

And so to the astro club. As always I was early at astro club and got the chairs set out. I put out enough seating for seventy people, and it wasn’t enough. I think we had about eighty to ninety people along tonight. Hopefully I didn’t put anyone off this evening, but I’ve taken a more grasping approach to the money as I greet people when they first arrive at the hall. It would seem that there’s been some abuse of my good-naturedly allowing people to come to a couple of meetings for free.
From now on everyone pays up: either the annual membership fee or a couple of quid for the evening. And from next month I’ll be asking to see membership cards too (!) I told everyone this as they came in: no one commented adversely and a dozen people joined or renewed their membership, so I can’t have upset too many people.

Talking of money, the club has spent money on a sexy webcam. Personally  I have reservations about the thing as I’m not sure that it runs on any Windows system more recent than XP, but I’m probably still sulking over my own recent webcam-related problems.

We’ll also (hopefully) be taking part in International Observe the Moon Night in October. I was instructed to come up with the details, and I failed miserably: I’ll present something next month, once we’ve got a definite hall booking confirmed.
I’ve been pushing for the club to have T-shirts, hoodies and fleeces bearing the club logo. The only problem is that the current logo doesn’t lend itself to sewn designs, so tonight we launched a logo competition. Needless to say, I’ve got one in mind, but seeing how I came up with it, I might be biased. But once we have our design I know of a kiting friend who can produce clothing at a reasonable rate.

Tonight’s talk was “killer asteroids” – one such wiped out the dinosaurs sixty five million years ago. What would happen if something similar were to happen again? Tonight’s talk was brilliant: the kids were all involved in making craters with plasticine and Martian cocoa, the video clips and special effects were mild-blowing, and the whole thing was informative and fun. I did my usual thing with the raffle, raking in a respectable profit for the club.

Tonight marked the club’s fourth anniversary, and saw our one hundredth member. We must be doing something right…

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