25 October 2013 (Friday) - Astro Club

Over brekkie I watched the next instalment of "Earth 2". Today's episode featured Tim Curry (of "Rocky Horror" fame) as the arch-baddie; a part he played very well. I'm quite "getting into" this show; so far it's rather good really. I know I've seen it before, but I don't remember much about it. I can vaguely remember brrowing it on video cassettes recorded from the telly many years ago.

And then before leaving for work I checked social media. There is a major meet-up of geocachers planned for next May - a "Mega Meet". From what I can work out a "Mega Meet" is not entirely dissimilar to a village fete. Along the lines of Challock Goose Fair, or the fun days at Gilwell we used to take cubs to.
There were postings on the Geocaching in Kent Facebook group suggesting that people might like to offer help and assistance in running this event. I fought the urge to say anything.
A few weeks ago I looked at offering the services of the astro club for this. We could have staged solar observing for the punters during the daytime and stargazing at night for those camping out at the Mega. We could have put on planetarium shows for anyone and everyone. It's the sort of thing that the astro club does; and does well, and does without asking for anything in return.
I made the offer, and was asked for fifty pounds for my suggestion to be considered, so I abandoned the idea. On reflection I can't help but feel that whoever is organising this Mega-Event has totally misunderstood what I was offering. I also wonder how many other offers of help they are turning away like this.

This morning's drive to work was rather depressing. Heavy rain and pitch darkness. As I drove through Chartham there was a near accident. I very nearly flattened a cyclist. The idiot was cycling along the busy A28 at 6.45am. It was still night; there were no street lights, and this fool was dressed entirely in black with no lights on his bike at all.

The news gave me cause for a wry smile. Apparently American secret agents have been monitoring the private communications of European governments including personal phone calls made by the German Chancellor. Am I the only one who doesn't find these revelations surprising? I was under the impression that every government spied on every other government.
There was an ex-First Sea Lord interviewed on the radio who said quite candidly that from his personal experience he assumed his every movement was under the surveillance of various international organisations.

I stopped off in Morrisons to get some lunch, and some tea for later. I got what I wanted and took it to the self service tills where I was met by a rather grouchy old biddie (in Morrisons uniform) who announced that all the tills in the shop were closed and I would have to try somewhere else. I was about to ask her whether she would recommend Asda or Tesco when she grudgingly conceded that they had just opened till number twelve. I went there and was met by someone pretending to be happy in their work. They asked me if I needed help in packing my items. "All five of them?" I asked. My sarcasm went unnoticed, which was probably for the best.

I did my bit at work, and came home. I left a little earlier than usual because tonight was astro club. I could have listened to the news as I drove. Usually I do, but tonight I didn't fancy it. Instead I put on a CD of "Ivor Biggun" and sang along to rude songs.
And so to astro club. Not a bad turn out. It might have been better, but it was half-term week. I gave a talk (rant) on comets which seemed to be well received, and in a novel break with tradition we had clear skies so we got the teleescopes out and stargazed.
I don't do that anywhere near enough...

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