President's Letter: Star-B-Que Oct 14, 2017

Original article appears in GuideStar October, 2017.

by Rene Gedaly

Annals of the Deep Sky by Jeff Kanipe and Dennis WebbI love this time of year. Coffee cup in hand, I open the blinds to the backyard and see the sun making a lower angle with the sky. Prime observing season starts soon, at least for me. Summer is way too hot, and while autumn skies are a little disappointing, if I stay up late enough I can catch winter's jewels in comfort.

Or maybe I just need to amp up my game. Do you have the Annals of the Deep Sky series yet? Andromeda, Aquarius, Aquila, and Aries, to name a few, are autumn constellations covered in depth in the first two volumes. This season I've come to deeply appreciate Kanipe & Webb's work. I had been focusing my visual efforts on popular observing lists. Consequently, I’d come to the wrongheaded notion that all that was worth seeing had already been sliced, diced, and listed. Not so. I enjoy this series so much, especially the "contemplative observing" notes.

Annual Picnic, aka Star-B-Que, Oct 14

It's time for a party, don't you agree? One of our best is the Annual Picnic at the Dark Site.


Stephen Jones will run one of his popular caravans to the Dark Site. Someone please video record this procession—what a sight! Then we'll start at 4:30 pm with a Halloween Costume Parade for kids of all ages. Applaud for your favorites and toss them a bag of candy. Then Dinner. Mike Edstrom and Don Selle will reprise their barbecue brisket, sausage and beans. Attention Vegetarians! Sherry Irby, Debbie Moran and crew haven't forgotten you this year—you'll have your own dinner line. After a bit of clean up, we’ll convene at the new bunkhouse for the official Ribbon Cutting. If you hammered a nail or toted a pail, you have a place around the deck—you’ll see. While it’s still light enough, Allen Wilkerson and Joe Khalaf will conduct a Novice Loaner Scope session and Bram Weisman will have table top scopes set up for the Kids SIG (parents required). Then comes Observing. As one of my last actions as president, I am decreeing clear skies. However, in case pride comes before a fall (read that “in case it’s cloudy”), we will have our first Movie Night: an astronomy-themed movie followed by a cheesy, public domain horror flick. A cake befitting the occasion will be served and the Coffee Bar will be open. Get your RSVPs in to [email protected] by Oct 10 or bring your own picnic dinner. But don’t stay home. We’re going all out to give a send off to a very special person.

Annual Meeting Nov 3 at UH. Prizes!

If you've read the website or Facebook group posts or even your HAS email, you know we have some bylaws changes to vote on at the Annual Meeting. We also need to vote on the 2018 leadership team. Remember, I will also take nominations from the floor so think about it. As of today, we need 61 members to physically show up at the meeting to make a quorum. Bring your associate members and double your chances at winning a fabulous grand prize: TheSkyX Professional Edition software by Software Bisque.

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