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General Astronomy >> Beginners Forum

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FrankJ
super member


Reged: 03/06/13

Loc: Ohio
Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life.
      #5833100 - 04/30/13 07:54 PM

Some thoughts from an older newbie: Since I'm new at this and have a lot to lean, I can't be of much help to the veterans of this forum, but I have a few words I would like to say to the others who are just starting; and that's about enjoying your hobby. I live in Ohio and the weather is just starting to get nice. We have a flat roof on the second story of our house that is easily accessible from a room on the second floor. Last night I put a comfortable chair out there and brought out my 10x50 binoculars. The sky was fairly clear and I sat there gazing at the sky. I wasn't sure what I was looking at, but at this point I really didn't care. I just enjoyed sitting and looking. It was so calming to the mind and body. What I'm saying is this: If you're just starting out, don't worry if there is much that you don't know about. Just enjoy the moment. I am not suggesting that you don't try to learn more--not at all--that will come with time. But, if you can't enjoy even the little that you have thus far accomplished, what's the point. In my 82 years on this earth, if there is one thing that I have learned it is to relax and not take life so seriously. Learn to laugh at your own mistakes and you will have less stress in your life--you'll live longer. So get your scope or your binocs and go outside and relax. If someone asks what you looked at in the sky and you don't know, just say, "Geez, I don't know, but it sure was enjoyable and relaxing."

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UBHSTRY
member


Reged: 03/19/13

Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833119 - 04/30/13 08:07 PM

Well said.

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MikeBOKC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 05/10/10

Loc: Oklahoma City, OK
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833140 - 04/30/13 08:15 PM

Now and then some of us (me included) get wrapped up in big aperture, fancy eyepieces, the latest collimation gizmos and techniques and all the many facets of this hobby. And then we (or at least I) get out on a club observing night with all that fancy stuff and glance over at the next pad where someone may be just lounging in a chair absorbing the sky through binoculars or panning around with a scope that might have half or even a third of our battle-won aperture with a "simple" plossl in the diagonal . . . and they are having just as much fun (and maybe even more) that we are. The most important thing to bring to astronomy is the grey matter between your ears, where all of us have basically the same aperture, and hopefully a similar sense of awe and wonder. Well said, sir.

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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833159 - 04/30/13 08:29 PM

Quote:

don't worry if there is much that you don't know about. Just enjoy the moment.




Amen!


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Gert K A
sage


Reged: 07/16/12

Loc: Copenhagen, Denmark
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833260 - 04/30/13 09:36 PM

Right on the money.. thank you Frank

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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833264 - 04/30/13 09:38 PM



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TexasRed
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/17/11

Loc: East Texas
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5833273 - 04/30/13 09:43 PM

+1!

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Isdaako
member


Reged: 03/24/13

Loc: Devils Tower, Wyoming
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: TexasRed]
      #5833322 - 04/30/13 10:12 PM

Well said. Thanks!

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Starman81
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/06/08

Loc: Metro Detroit, MI, USA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Isdaako]
      #5833427 - 04/30/13 11:05 PM

I wish I could relax and just observe, but I can't. I have to record the transparency/seeing/temperature and how each fluctuated roughly throughout the evening. Then at some point, take out the SQM (even if I'm not at a dark site) and take the reading just for the record. Then I have to remember to save the image of the Clear Sky Chart for the location that I observing at that night. Those are all for the observing report that I write after my session, whether the session was 30 minutes or 3 hours. Then during the session I have to remember all objects viewed (not too hard) and also all eyepiece/magnifications that object was viewed at (a little harder) and which view was best (ok, now that can be a bit much). To help with this, I sometimes use a voice recorder on my phone. In order to earn my AL stripes, I use my scopes but without goto or push-to, so I better have my smartphone out with the SkySafari or my iPad so I can map out each star hop. If I wanted to do some eyepiece comparisons I have to fit those in as well and be sure to record my observations. And the list goes on...

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YetAnotherHobby
sage
*****

Reged: 09/02/09

Loc: Central CT
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833438 - 04/30/13 11:17 PM

Thanks for reminding me why I bought a scope in the first place. Tonight I spent 2 hours looking at 3 objects. Just stood there, trying different viewing angles, different magnifications.....just looked. Nothing I haven't seen before - the Leo triplet and Saturn. If I didn't have work in the morning I'd still be out there.

clear skies to you

Geoff


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Maverick199
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/27/11

Loc: India
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833658 - 05/01/13 04:23 AM

That's a thoughtful post. Sometimes we tend to take this hobby a bit too seriously rather than just relax and enjoy. Even better to share this happiness.

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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833728 - 05/01/13 06:44 AM

Frank,
I believe you have captured the essence of why we all go outside at night and look with wonder. May you have many good years to relax and enjoy the wonders of the universe.

Clear Skies
Ken


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woolbrig
sage


Reged: 02/01/13

Loc: Bethalto, Illinois
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5833788 - 05/01/13 07:55 AM

Great post! As a newbe myself, I couldn't agree more.

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festa_freak
member


Reged: 12/22/11

Loc: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: woolbrig]
      #5833797 - 05/01/13 08:05 AM

First 82 year old I've seen online. I think that's awesome! Thanks for the simple thoughts regarding this massive hobby. Just take bite-size pieces.

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RussL
Music Maker
*****

Reged: 03/18/08

Loc: Cayce and Lancaster, SC
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: kenrenard]
      #5833800 - 05/01/13 08:06 AM

Thanks for that post, Frank. I have found myself coming full circle after 53 years of observing. And I must say that living in a red zone has had an effect. Since it is hard to see many dim objects from one of my houses I have come to just enjoy what I actually CAN see more. Also, with some health issues I have been going out with smaller, lighter equipment, many times with just binos. And best of all, I got into richfield observing a few years ago. Now I don't worry about if I can see a faint fuzzy or not, but rather enjoy open clusters and other bright objects. Thing is, I'm enjoying the hobby more now than ever before. I think I spend as much time just taking in the frsh air and listening to the night sounds, or counting fireflies, as much as I'm in the eyepiece. All with astronomy mixed in. There is more to observing than just what I see in any of my equipment. Everything about the night, the sounds, smells, weather, you name it, are a part of the experience. I especially love observing after I've cut the grass that day. It reminds me of being ten years old back home on such a night in 1960. How much I know or how many objects I see is irrelevant. Just being out there with the sky above me is enough.

Nothing is wrong in the world when I'm out observing.


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Momerath
sage


Reged: 05/31/11

Loc: Upstate SC,
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: RussL]
      #5833828 - 05/01/13 08:31 AM

There is wisdom in these words.

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ben2112
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 07/12/12

Loc: North Charleston SC
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: RussL]
      #5833838 - 05/01/13 08:42 AM

AMEN!! Like others, just being outside and away from computers, TVs, etc. is awesome. I look forward to clear nights and just seeing what I can see. And sometimes the neighbors come over to see what I am looking at. I am starting to get into AP, but there are nights that I just throw in my 25mm eyepiece and just look around. I can't see much being in a red zone, but what I can see is still fascinating.

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newtoskies
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 07/15/12

Loc: SE Ma.
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: ben2112]
      #5833924 - 05/01/13 09:29 AM

A+++++ Couldn't agree more, and did the same last night. Even with very clear skies I chose to just relax and use my binos and naked eye viewing. This just let me be so relaxed and I enjoyed learning what stars are what/where and to take it all in. I ended up sleeping REALLY good last night.

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Madratter
Post Laureate


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: newtoskies]
      #5833943 - 05/01/13 09:40 AM

I came to a realization years ago that I need to control my hobbies, I can't let my hobbies control me. They are for my relaxation and edification, not the other way around. In other words, they aren't a job and I should not let them become a job with all the attendant stress and expectations.

And for those of us who have had life threatening illnesses (in my case cancer), you have driven home that you don't necessarily have a tomorrow.

Edited by Madratter (05/01/13 11:13 AM)


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5833953 - 05/01/13 09:45 AM

Excellent post!!

Some of the most enjoyable times I've had in my observatory is when I've simply sat down, leaned back & just gazed up at the beautiful night sky. Not looking for anything in particular, simply enjoying the marvelous sight.


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FrankJ
super member


Reged: 03/06/13

Loc: Ohio
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Madratter]
      #5833977 - 05/01/13 10:02 AM

Quote:

I came to a realization years ago that I need to control my hobbies, I can't let my hobbies control me. They are for my relaxation and edification, not the other way around. In other words, they aren't a job and I should let them become a job with all the attendant stress and expectations.

And for those of us who have had life threatening illnesses (in my case cancer), you have driven home that you don't necessarily have a tomorrow.



On the other hand, there could very well be many more tomorrows. In 1959 I had surgery and part of one lung removed for TB. In those days TB was much more serious than it is now. So far I have had 54 years of tomorrows. I'm still counting!


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Paco_Grande
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 07/14/12

Loc: Banana Republic of California
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5834199 - 05/01/13 11:55 AM

We hold three things in our hands:

    1. Memories of the past
    2. This current moment
    3. Hope for the future

As humans, we can't escape those, although most people spend most of their time on 1 and 3 and rarely at 2.

This moment is what's really important... And yet, it's not important at all.


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Wordslinger
member


Reged: 03/25/13

Loc: NJ
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Paco_Grande]
      #5834290 - 05/01/13 12:38 PM

When I look at the night sky, I find it fascinating to think I'm observing objects that have existed long before I was born, and will continue to exist long after I'm gone...but eventually their time will also come. We're fortunate to be here to experience them.

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Daniel Guzas
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 11/20/10

Loc: Bethlehem NH/ Boston MA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5834358 - 05/01/13 01:04 PM

Frank,

I couldn't have said it better myself. It's the pure awe between you and this huge endless space above us that let's our busy minds finally let go and just absorb. I often feel the only other object that brings calm and peace to my mind is gazing out at a vast empty ocean.

However living in a city or at my weekend place in the mountains, that vast ocean is the universe. Accessible to all.

Awesome thread!


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JerryOrr
member


Reged: 03/08/13

Loc: Oracle, Arizona
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5834402 - 05/01/13 01:26 PM

Excellent advice! It took me nearly 30 years to learn this lesson. For most of that time I was caught up in aperture and checking off objects on lists, but then it finally dawned on me that some of my most enjoyable observing expierences were unplanned and involved nothing more complex than my 10x50 Binos. Now I make a point of going out on some nights with no plan, no charts and just my binoculars. I just cruise around letting the sky reveal what it will, making my own personal discoveries. These nights help to keep me connected to the "ahh" in astronomy.

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desertlens
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 12/06/10

Loc: 36N 105W
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5834412 - 05/01/13 01:31 PM

Thanks Frank. A little reality check is always good. Scope time is among the best ways to experience the moment... be here now, as they say.

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WesC
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/06/13

Loc: La Crescenta, CA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: desertlens]
      #5834426 - 05/01/13 01:36 PM

Great post, Frank, and a good reminder. I try very hard to live by this, but its difficult. Its so easy to get caught up in everything and forget WHY you do it in the first place.

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Classic8
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/12/06

Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5834427 - 05/01/13 01:36 PM

I often find my eyes drawn toward the sky when I walk outside at night, even if I'm unable to do any observing that night (even if it's cloudy - hoping....). Just something majestic about the night sky.

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audioaficionado
professor emeritus


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Classic8]
      #5834580 - 05/01/13 02:51 PM

Great thread!

I just picked this hobby back up last year after a 50 year hiatus. I don't know much when it comes to the star names. I can only find Polaris and a few other objects at this time LOL. I can hardly wait until I get up into the local mountains camping with my telescope.


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FrankJ
super member


Reged: 03/06/13

Loc: Ohio
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Starman81]
      #5834735 - 05/01/13 04:24 PM

Quote:

I wish I could relax and just observe, but I can't. I have to record the transparency/seeing/temperature and how each fluctuated roughly throughout the evening. Then at some point, take out the SQM (even if I'm not at a dark site) and take the reading just for the record. Then I have to remember to save the image of the Clear Sky Chart for the location that I observing at that night. Those are all for the observing report that I write after my session, whether the session was 30 minutes or 3 hours. Then during the session I have to remember all objects viewed (not too hard) and also all eyepiece/magnifications that object was viewed at (a little harder) and which view was best (ok, now that can be a bit much). To help with this, I sometimes use a voice recorder on my phone. In order to earn my AL stripes, I use my scopes but without goto or push-to, so I better have my smartphone out with the SkySafari or my iPad so I can map out each star hop. If I wanted to do some eyepiece comparisons I have to fit those in as well and be sure to record my observations. And the list goes on...



I can certainly understand where you're coming from. It would take some of the enjoyment from it. Some years ago I used to raise African violets in our basement under lights. Using lights under the right conditions, they do very well. I really enjoyed it and had dozens of different varieties and hundreds of plants. As I said, I enjoyed it. That is until it got to the point where I had too many and I had to spend too much time to take care of them. It was then work and not relaxation and enjoyment. I thought to myself, that if I can't enjoy what I do, there is no point. I then gave most of them away and cut way back on how many I had to take care of. I then started to enjoy it again.. Is there a way you could cut back on some of the things that you do so that you would have some time to just sit, pick up your binoculars and enjoy? I don't want to sound like a know-it-all because I'm not and I don't know your circumstances. But it's just a thought.


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novalad
member


Reged: 04/15/07

Loc: Uxbridge,Ontario--Canada
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5834851 - 05/01/13 05:25 PM

Food for thought!
Many times I have been faced with not great seeing conditions and became frustrated over not seeing a lot of detail on the planets or other objects at higher magnifications but then I have reminded myself of some of the finest moments I enjoyed stargazing were moments of using low power mag and wide field views to just enjoy the majesty of the cosmos:)


--------------------------------------
Skywatcher ED Pro 120 f/7.5
Astrotech 66ED
Set of Brandon Eyepieces
Meade 2X 140 APO Barlow
Antares Variable Polarizer 1.25"


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Classic8
professor emeritus


Reged: 04/12/06

Loc: Naperville, IL, USA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: novalad]
      #5834874 - 05/01/13 05:40 PM

If you put your telescope in a car seat and buckle it in facing backwards.....you might be into astronomy.

If you think a Big Mac is a telescope....you might be into astronomy.


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geekgroupie
sage


Reged: 01/07/12

Loc: Puebo, CO
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5834926 - 05/01/13 06:07 PM

20 years ago if someone would have told me I'd become a physics/cosmology junkie, I'd have laughed. Indeed, I have exceedingly and abundantly beyond all I could have asked or imagined.

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Mxplx2
sage


Reged: 09/12/12

Loc: NE PA USA
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: geekgroupie]
      #5835098 - 05/01/13 07:44 PM

I thought I heard the Eagles song "Take it Easy" in the background when I read your post, Frank.

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FrankJ
super member


Reged: 03/06/13

Loc: Ohio
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Mxplx2]
      #5835215 - 05/01/13 08:55 PM

Quote:

I thought I heard the Eagles song "Take it Easy" in the background when I read your post, Frank.



Would you believe--I don't remember hearing that song nor have I heard of the band. The music I grew up with was in the late 40s and early 50s. So just for the heck of it, I got on Google and listened to the song. I really liked it and I like the group. I just might get a CD. If I do it will sure surprise my grandchildren.


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RussL
Music Maker
*****

Reged: 03/18/08

Loc: Cayce and Lancaster, SC
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: FrankJ]
      #5835776 - 05/02/13 08:16 AM

Quote:

Quote:

I thought I heard the Eagles song "Take it Easy" in the background when I read your post, Frank.



Would you believe--I don't remember hearing that song nor have I heard of the band. The music I grew up with was in the late 40s and early 50s. So just for the heck of it, I got on Google and listened to the song. I really liked it and I like the group. I just might get a CD. If I do it will sure surprise my grandchildren.




It was written by Jackson Brown. Ya might like his version, too. I'm a musician, and Take It Easy has been a longtime standard for bands to play over the years. I love the Eagles. They're what we call "California country music," lol. I also love 40's and 50's music and have played lots of "big band" music. Try picking up the Eagles Greatest Hits. You might like a lot of their other songs, too.


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Starman81]
      #5835881 - 05/02/13 09:40 AM

Quote:

I wish I could relax and just observe, but I can't. I have to record the transparency/seeing/temperature and how each fluctuated roughly throughout the evening. Then at some point, take out the SQM (even if I'm not at a dark site) and take the reading just for the record. Then I have to remember to save the image of the Clear Sky Chart for the location that I observing at that night. Those are all for the observing report that I write after my session, whether the session was 30 minutes or 3 hours. Then during the session I have to remember all objects viewed (not too hard) and also all eyepiece/magnifications that object was viewed at (a little harder) and which view was best (ok, now that can be a bit much). To help with this, I sometimes use a voice recorder on my phone. In order to earn my AL stripes, I use my scopes but without goto or push-to, so I better have my smartphone out with the SkySafari or my iPad so I can map out each star hop. If I wanted to do some eyepiece comparisons I have to fit those in as well and be sure to record my observations. And the list goes on...




Thanks for reminding me why I enjoy so much a simple scope on an alt-az mount, no setting circles, no planisphere, and insufficient knowledge of what exactly is up there so I can just set up and look around.

I love summer evenings when I will just wander around Sagittarius, Scorpio, and Ophiuchus 'finding' cool stuff to look at. Those things have names and designations? Who knew?


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Binojunky
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 12/25/10

Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Thomas Karpf]
      #5836117 - 05/02/13 11:45 AM

Same thing here,, 15hr work days, commutes, living on junk food and coffee. Then I found my sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels were in the stratosphere,also glaucoma.
Packed the job in,decided to retire two years early, smartest move ever, give me a pair of binos,a drop of scotch, lifes good, amen to that.DA


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jhirsch
sage
*****

Reged: 10/06/10

Loc: Ohio
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: Binojunky]
      #5836198 - 05/02/13 12:34 PM

Very inspirational post Frank. Advice I'm sure all of us at some time or another need to heed. Here's to may more years of learning and simply enjoying all the night sky has to offer.

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lamplight
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 09/18/12

Loc: western MA, U.S.
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: jhirsch]
      #5838596 - 05/03/13 03:17 PM

What they said.

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keyth
member


Reged: 03/07/13

Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: UBHSTRY]
      #5846423 - 05/07/13 07:25 PM

thanks for that inspiring post. I am 58yrs old and have worked for 39yrs straight
thinking of retiring soon and will try to train myself to take life the way you see it . The best things in life are free and many times we forget that
thanks again Keyth


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FrankJ
super member


Reged: 03/06/13

Loc: Ohio
Re: Enjoy your hobby--enjoy your life. new [Re: keyth]
      #5846476 - 05/07/13 07:54 PM

Quote:

thanks for that inspiring post. I am 58yrs old and have worked for 39yrs straight
thinking of retiring soon and will try to train myself to take life the way you see it . The best things in life are free and many times we forget that
thanks again Keyth



Keyth--I'm glad that my post came across to you the way that it did. You are my oldest son's age. He is looking forward to retirement in a few years so that he can enjoy his family as I and my wife are. Good luck to your retirement; I hope you enjoy it as I am.
~Frank


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