Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Can't Win

It seems I just can't win, when it comes to some things.

It looks like it's going to be clear the whole weekend, so I reserved last night at the observatory so I could just go out, relax, and do some observing. Even take a few photos. But I was wrong.

I get out there to find one of the members opening one of the telescopes. He tells me he's there to help with a group tour. "What group tour," I say. Mostly because for one thing, I know I had the night reserved, and also because when groups make appointments to visit the observatory, I'm the one who sets it up. Well, apparently someone - who doesn't have the authority to do so - decided to let a group come out. This person didn't bother to check the observing calendar to see if anyone had reserved the place; they just decided it was okay to let a group come up.

So I grumble and complain under my breath while I'm getting my tripod and camera set up, and another club member comes up to help with the group, and he parks right in my way! I yell at him to move his car, and he looks at me like I'm insane. I tell him he's going to ruin my photograph with his car there, and he wants to know why. Why? Because your fracking car is in the way, you imbecile!! He reluctantly moves the car.

So I figure out where I need to set the camera, and now just wait until the time when the space station (ISS) flies over. While I'm waiting, another club member - but one I invited up - arrives. The imbecile member asks him why I'm so angry. Sheesh.

Well, to finish this rant, the station flies over, I get the picture, and then I go into the building and up into the dome to begin observing. I don't care about the others out there - they are interfering with my peace of mind; damaging my calm. And I came out there to be calm.

No wonder I resigned my positions in the club. Who wants to be the leader of a bunch of morons?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today - But in the Past

I was picking up some of my DVDs that had scattered around, and one title made be think back to a spring day twelve years ago. On this day, in 1996, I was sitting in a theater watching what I consider the "Best Comedy Film of the Year."

The movie? Twister.

I can't actually remember who I saw it with, but I remember going into the theater and trying to get a discount on my ticket because I was a storm chaser. I had my card from the NWS (National Weather Service) out to show the people, but they didn't care. So I got a ticket, walked into the theater, and waited for the film to start.

Which it did. And it was funny right from the first few minutes.

There were so many errors, in time, technology, and other areas the film was a laugh-riot. For supposedly having "experts" assist with the filming, the director and producers obviously didn't listen to them (which is typical for Hollywood, of course). In fact, some of the guys I knew who were the technical advisers publicly trashed the film, and distanced themselves from it.

Sure, the normal, uninformed public might not notice all the mistakes, but anyone with a small interest in tornadoes, weather, storm chasing, etc. would point out these inaccuracies in a second: which I did. Throughout basically the whole film. In fact, we were laughing so hard that we were told by the theater people to keep it quiet or leave, because other people were being bothered by us. Sure, because they believed everything in the film.

So I plan on watching this DVD today, and getting more laughs out of it.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Changes Have Happened

Well, after nearly two years (and possibly more) of concern, and the threats of this previous January, I finally completed the decision I made last year May.

I resigned (nearly) all of my positions in my astronomy club.

Officially I was the President/CEO, but over the years I had accrued other "duties" that people were not willing to do, but had to be done. I was wearing so many hats, my head threatened to cave in. Here is a list (possibly not complete) of what I was doing for my astronomy club:

Officially - President, and webmaster (I designed the website years ago, so it's "mine.")

Unofficially - setting up monthly meetings (and sending out monthly postcard reminders of the meetings), doing publicity, maintaining and updating the membership database (and sending out renewal notices, welcome letters, etc), setting up public events, editor of the newsletter, sending out communications to the members for everything. I also had to listen to people bitch, and whine, and moan with others - who had the responsibility - didn't do what they promised they would.

There are supposed to be individuals who take care of all of these things. The club's Vice-President is also the chairman of the Programs Committee, and he's supposed to set up meetings, get speakers, do publicity for them, send out reminders, etc. The club's Treasurer is supposed to take care of all membership stuff, including the database and all mailings to members (where their membership is concerned). There is a Publicity Committee, but no one on it. The committee to take care of public events at the observatory has a chairman who doesn't do what he promises. The committee that oversees the observatory has a chairman who doesn't do what he promises. There is supposed to be an editor for the newsletter. There is supposed to be a Membership committee.

But none of this gets done, except by me. Well, not anymore. I've had it. It is now up to the people running the club to get these things done; I'm out. I will continue my membership, use the observatory, maintain the website. But that's it. Don't call me, I'll call you. I plan on not coming to meetings (if we have them - there aren't any scheduled), not coming to public nights at the observatory (or other places). I am going to be like 99.999999% of the membership in our club - I'm not doing to do a damn thing.

The board of directors - and the membership to a lesser extent - brought this on themselves. There's only so much you can expect someone to do before they burn out and need to get away. And now I've gotten away.

There are many reasons why I did this. Perhaps someday I will write about it.