I am about to embark on the biggest road trip of my life!
I'm leaving this week for the Cherry Springs star party in Pennsylvania, which is a mere 17 hour drive. I'll be camping on site in what my family refers to as "Stately Wright Manor", a three room tent. In tow are two Paramounts, with complete imaging systems (the ME II will actually have two aboard). My son, who is interning this summer for Software Bisque is coming along to help and "learn the ropes". Truthfully though, he's not a Star Party noob, and he comes to events like this all the time with me. Now in college at Savannah College of Art and Design, he's studying Industrial design, and yes he _really_ is interning at Software Bisque. I've never been to Cherry Springs, and I've heard great things about the skies there, and the star party sounds like it's on the scale of the Winter Star Party size wise. I suppose it's only fair, so many people drive "forever" to get to the Keys and for me, it's almost in my back yard. The tables are turned this time, and MY imaging weather is non-existent, and I'll have to travel 1,000 miles or more to get to clear skies.
Upon return from Cherry Springs, we have a single day to recuperate and then we are driving to Golden Colorado where he'll be working for a month at the Software Bisque mother ship. He may well assemble your Paramount MX+ ;-) The drive to Golden is so he'll have a car while he's there, and it will take days. We are stopping along the way to see some sights of course. I'm very excited about out planned stop at New Mexico Skies where I have some new and some old friends to see there. I'm also "interested" in this whole remote imaging thing, and it's about time I saw this place in person. Finally, we are taking a bit of a left turn on our way north and will spend July 4th weekend at the Grand Canyon. I've rented a wide and fast lens for some nice landscape and night star scape shots. It's nice when you can combine work and vacation together isn't it?
Once in Golden, I'm actually going to work a whole week on site there. Working remotely has some special challenges, and I pride myself that I'm better at it (discipline wise) than most people I know who've tried it. Never-the-less, being on site is... um.... "Golden" ;-) A few days of having Matt and Daniel on hand will turbo charge the project I'm working on right now, and it's always good to continue to build the camaraderie between teammates.
At the end of that week, Steve and I are heading to the LA area for the OPT Southern California Astronomy Expo (http://www.optscae.com). They are also having an imaging symposium on the Sunday following where I'll be giving a short "infomercial" on the Paramounts, and will attend some imaging presentations from some world class imagers, one or two of which are good friends - another bonus!
Finally, I fly home... but no, there is no rest for the weary. It seems the Southeastern Planetarium Conference this year is being held... in all places.... Lake Mary, FL. Our "Theater Suite" product has been a bit of a low priority, but we have been talking internally about it's revival and the need for some modernization of the code. I haven't been to a planetarium conference in a while now, and that's not really a good idea if we want to continue to sell products there. I'm planning to primarily "catch up" on what's going on, but I'll also be showing off a mount in the exhibit hall, and demonstrating it's utility via WiFi as an outreach instrument, that can double as a serious research vehicle for an institution interested in doing both imaging, and public visual events. The local planetarium is run by an active imager, and there's a lot of synergy to be had. The Paramount MX+ is darned near perfect for this.
A few weeks to rest, and it's a flight back to Golden to retrieve my clone for the Road Trip part II. That's going to be an adventure too... and there will be another guest star for that installment, but I'll save that for another blog.
06-23-2014 5:13 AM