All posts by Fred

Almost 60 now! Beautiful wife of 30+ years and two beautiful daughters. One Australian Blue Heeler. Star Gazer since I was big enough to look up. Make a living as an engineer. Driver to the malls and payer of the bills. Unabashed optimist. If in doubt - go Hawaiian, and always keep looking for the pony. Please read Romans 1:20 and ask yourself if all this is really just one big accident....

10 things Ancient Pirates and Modern Amateur Astonomers (AAs) have in common.

  1. Pirates and AAs are both associated with telescopes and eyepatches.

  2. Pirates used the stars and charts to navigate the dangers of the open seas.

    AAs use the stars and charts to navigate the dangers of a mundane existance.

  3. Pirates dressed funny, had a unique vocabulary, and odd customs.

    Been to a star party lately?

  4. Wherever pirates roamed they struck fear into the hearts of everyone they encountered.

    OK, other than scaring an occasional game warden, deputy, or deer who happens to wander up on a bunch of folks having a great time freezing their telrads off in the dark, we’re not exactly feared.

  5. Each group has a unique code of conduct associated with it. The pirates lived by such tenets as: take no prisoners, show no quarter, stab them in the back if the opportunity permits.

    AAs have: “hey, you’re in my spot”, no white lights, and “woe to the person who accidentally taps their brakes while warming up in the car.”

  6. Each has a unique diet: Pirates had salted pork, hard tack, fish, and rum.

    AAs have Vienna Sausages, crackers, sardines, and chewy coffee.

  7. Pirates pillaged, robbed, and burned down entire coastal towns just for the fun of it.

    Have you read some of those equipment reviews and Astronomy blogs lately?

  8. Pirates scoured the oceans looking for booty to be snatched up for the taking.

    AAs have Astromart.

  9. Pirates amassed huge caches of treasure and buried them at secret locations.

    AAs have the same thing but its found in their basements, garages, and, in some cases, their living rooms.

  10. Pirates banded together in like-minded groups, called crews, that were led by a blood thirsty and particularly ill-tempered individual, called a captain, who would order them about.

    AAs call them club presidents.

Let us know if you come up with others!

Greatest Telescope in the World!


One of the things we will be doing with this blog is to discuss specific telescopes from time to time. We’re still learning to blog, so please bear with us.

The scope above is the original ETX 90 – The RA or M model.

This scope represents one of the greatest values in used scopes on the market today. You should know that the scope does have its detractors. Some will harp on about its plastic construction, its jerky manual movements and its useless straight through finder. All of these are true! However, if you stick with it; it will provide you with hours of education as well as fun.

I have had the opportunity to use many telescopes in the past. From humble Orion XTs to the splendid Obsessions, from modest apertures to those of 20 inches and up, from manually operated to those wonderful robo-scopes. Without exception, the ETX 90RA is the greatest telescope ever constructed!

I still own one of the original ETX 90RAs and it remains the most used telescope of the equipment I have at my disposal – and this includes one of the 20inch Obsessions with all the trimmings.  I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on this over the next few weeks on our page dedicated to the ETX 90RA and would welcome any comments!