True north

September 2, 2006 at 1:06 am (Uncategorized)

ext.jpgSo, Flamette bought me this bitching new telescope and I’ve been giddy ever since. It’s go the Autostar and the “go to” feature, meaning I can tell it what I’m looking for and the scope will take me there. Planets, galaxies, artificial satellites, star clusters, extraterrestrial titty bars… you name it. I’ve been confident I’ll discover an asteroid or two and they will be named after me. Hell, I might find an extrasolar planet and lead cosmologists to the life I’ve been raving about for years. Quite literally, the sky is the limit with this baby.

The very first night I took it out, I aligned the sucker, instructed it to find Vega, and pressed the enter button. There was whirring. There was buzzing. The scope moved impressively across the sky. When it was done, it beeped to let me know it had found the target. Which was a scientific shock, since the telescope was aiming roughly at my bedroom window.


I was up until dawn trying to get that beast properly aligned. Do I not know true north? Did I fail somehow to achieve the correct alt/azimuth position, like some washout Zen student totally screwing up his Lotus? Did I enter incorrect data so that the Meade believes it is sitting in Buenos Aires? Do I completely suck?

As I often do when frustration cripples me (see above story on sexual inadequacy), I lapsed into a daydream. In particular, I hearkened back to my very first telescope when I was a kid. That sucker showed me the craters of the moon. It showed me the vague outline of Saturn’s ring. It showed me, after the ten minutes I spent marveling over the wonders of space, my classmate Karen, who lived in a house down the road. It was then that I discovered the true beauty of the heavenly body through the use of cosmological apparatus. Karen was the very first girl to bloom in my class, and she was wearing bra before I had hair one between my legs.

So I guess my question in all this is, when were you stricken with puberty and how did that work out for you? I look forward to your input.


  1. Gil said,

    Shouldn’t proctologists be called Ass-tronauts?
    And would that make hemorrhoids, ass-teroids?
    Give me a break, it’s 2 in the morning.

  2. Gil said,

    When all else fails, read the instructions

  3. Gil said,

  4. LaFlamme said,

    Hey, that’s a link I haven’t seen before. But as one wit said: “Meade makes a great telescope but a lousy instruction manual.”

  5. Linda said,

    Mark that was a surprisingly … non-linear blog entry, even for you!

    As I recall, I didn’t give a shit about the stars at the time of puberty: everything interesting was within six feet of ground level. Adults must be forgetting that when they give kids telescopes.

  6. brenda said,

    When I was hitting puberty I thought astrology was very interesting, I painted a star chart in Jr Hi, and started a science fiction story in which a 13 year old girl would travel time & space in a cube that changes size….
    I guess if puberty means: interest in the opposite sex & physical changes, it would be the day I went on a school feild trip to the Griffiths Observatory- a month after my 12th birthday- I sat on the bus beside a boy I’d had a crush on since sixth grade, but the problem was, I was so embarrassed & uncomfortable- my very first period had started that morning and so I was on a pad the first time in my life & didn’t realise how to hook it it onto the elastic belt they had to use in those days, and also I didn’t realise one pad won’t get you through a whole day.

  7. Gil said,

    Then of course there were the “trips” to the planetarium for the Pink Floyd laser light show. Many, many brain cells lost during those days. But only the weak ones.

  8. "The Weasel" said,

    Pervert, you wanted it to look into your neighbors windows!!!!!!!


  9. "The Weasel" said,

    Great I can just hear you yelling to Flammette “Look, I see uranus.” Than laughing lik

  10. "The Weasel" said,

    Great I can just hear you yelling to Flammette “Look, I see uranus.” Than laughing like th echild you are. LOOOOOOSER.

  11. LaFlamme said,

    You have to admit: Uranus is just damn fun on many levels.
    “Wow! Uranus is huuuuge!”
    “There seem to be several strange bodies circling Uranus.”
    “Wow! We should have all the neighbors over for a look at Uranus.”

  12. Linda said,

    Aren’t we glad Uranus didn’t get demoted from planetary status. Pluto just isn’t half so funny.

  13. AO said,

    I thought that Becky was the first girl to bloom in your class.

  14. Linda said,

    Ha! Good one, AO, you have a memory like flypaper, don’t you?

  15. brenda said,

    My seven year old thinks “Uranus” is hilarious- either he’s precocious or we’ve regressed in our sense of humor even beyond puberty?

    One day my son kept telling me to say “Uranus” so I said “My anus” and he kept getting mad, and repeating it………

    that’s ok, it’s still funny – but why did they name a planet Uranus? Does it mean something in some language? Greek? Latin?

  16. Anonymous said,

    wow, that’s a totally cool present! I would love to
    play with your telescope & see the stars! you are
    lucky to have a wife who gives you something like

  17. LaFlamme said,

    “I would love to play with your telescope & see the stars!”
    I heard that a lot when I was a single man, Anon.

  18. Linda said,

    No stars showing in Wilton tonight.

  19. "The Weasel" said,


    Doesn’t the light from the Central Fire Station hinder your viewing of Uranus.


    Is it true when you’re not gazing at celestial sights, that your engaging in your other favorite gazing activity of bird watching? I bet you’ve seen a “cockortwo”.

  20. Gil said,

    Weasel, the cokatoo joke was done last month (and much better if I may say so). You really need to keep the flock up.

  21. LaFlamme said,

    Oh, yeah? Well, I bet on Neptune… Ah, I got nuthin.

  22. Linda said,

    Cripes, first AO and now you. What do you guys do, commit this stuff to memory? Good party trick! can you recite, say, the Denver phone directory, or the complete works of Shakespeare? Just say yes or no, you don’t have to prove it — once when my son David was about 5, on a long car trip he said, want to hear me count to a thousand? the “aren’t you clever, but not right now” was deafening.

    Just kidding, who could forget the hooker-and-cockatoo post?

  23. AO said,

    Linda, Sadly, I can’t recite ANY Shakespeare, he really did bore me! Well, except for Twelfth Night. Ha. Eeshh..I’ve been dealing with a sick kid all night. IF she would have wanted me to hear her count to a thousand well..I don’t know what I would have done! HA…IF you DID happen to listen to’re one strong woman!

    Gil, I think Weasel was referring to a “cockORtwo” not a “cockAtoo”. ūüôā

  24. "The Weasel" said,

    Thank you AO ūüėČ

  25. Linda said,

    No, AO, but I AM a resourceful woman: I bought him a tape recorder and invited him to count into it, in his room.

  26. Linda said,

    And he did it, too, and sent the tape to his grandparents. They loved it, probably listened to the whole thing

  27. Gil said,

    I’m glad you pointed that out AO (smell that, it’s sarcasm), however, re-read the post and you will see that I made the cockatoo (cock-or-two) reference twice.
    Sorry Weasel, too late. I win!! Iwin! In your Face!!!
    Oh wait, I don’t really win anything do I?
    (sits back down, shuts the fuck up)

  28. Linda said,

    I can’t quite picture that, Gil.

  29. Gil said,

    On a somewhat related topic
    Jeopardy had Uranus as a category a while back and I giggled like a 5th grader everytime they said Uranus.
    “Uranus for $400 Alex”
    You could tell Alex was trying to get the contestants to follow his lead and pronounce it in the PC way of Urine-us. They weren’t following, and I was about to pee by the time the category was closed.

  30. brenda said,

    yes weasel, the lights shine here all night & I don’t even need nightlights in here to see where I’m going. I guess you know who I am & where I am, but I don’t know you——?

    I can quote a little Shakespeare:
    I think it was Puck. Or was it some other fairy? He said :
    “Where the bee sucks, there sucks I.”
    I couldn’t believe it when I first read it!
    Didn’t you love that contemporary Romeo & Juliet musical movie a few years ago? All the words were there!

  31. anonymouse said,

    cockatoo / cockortwo ? Sounds the same in Maine….

  32. LaFlamme said,

    Uranus and a cock or two. We’ve really regressed, haven’t we. Hey, someone’s gotta do it.

  33. Linda said,

    Brenda that was Ariel in The Tempest, I believe, sitting in a cowslip. Whatever that is. And I only mention it for the sake of variety — you know, potty humour and Shakespeare in the same blog. Keep the Googlers guessing. Kind of a “stealth” maneuver.

  34. brenda said,

    Thanks Linda, I was thinking it wasn’t Puck, but couldn’t remember the name Ariel- I actually wanted to use that name for one of my kids, but after reading that line, I just couldn’t name a kid “Ariel” !

  35. jarheaddoc said,

    I have a t-shirt that shows an astronaut on a planet that’s populated by asses with legs. The caption is ‘Welcome to Uranus”

  36. LaFlamme said,

    I have a postcard picturing a man waving from the top of a mountain and yelling “take me! take me!” to a UFO flying overhead. The response from the UFO: “No. You’re ugly.”

  37. K2 said,

    No comment about the Starship Enterprise circling Uranus, searching for Klingons?

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