Getting Into an Expensive New Hobby

There’s the joke about men turning 35 and having to pick between becoming obsessed with Civil War history or smoking meats.

Growing up in the American South afforded sufficient opportunity to visit Civil War museums and battlefields ad nauseum, and I work in the food service industry. So those are out. But, as I will be 40 in just over 5 weeks, it seems I was overdue for an expensive hobby to carry me through the waning years. Or something to that effect.

Enter amateur astronomy and, should the budget allow, astrophotography. Meaning, if things work out reasonably well, you’ll be seeing annoyingly blurred and grainy photographs of, like, the Moon. Or whatever. Coming soon!

In seriousness: my starting set-up is basic and frustratingly lacking in stability. But, I have managed some excellent views of the Moon. As well as some dismaying views of retail site product pages with large numbers on them.

Last night (pictured above), I built myself a little fire and poured some wine and sat out for about an hour fiddling and twisting and shivering. I managed some distant sightings of Jupiter and Mars, was unable to pinpoint Uranus although it should have been directly overhead, brought out more stars in the sky over our house than are visible with the naked eye, and by chance spotted a couple of satellites whisking overhead. Ooh, tantalizing.

Want to help me afford this absurdity? I do write books, you know: Click on that Shop link up above, or, if you’re viewing this on a mobile, click right here.

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