Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

I’d start buying again, if …

Every so often, I take out my telescope, a Celestron C8 I bought in early 1986, and wonder if it’s time to buy a new mount.

The telescope itself is fine and has much more great service to give me, but fiddling with the Super Polaris mount and the balky clock drive has me wondering if it’s time for a change.

Back when the telescope first arrived, the idea of a computer pointing your telescope was something for the huge observatories. Today, you can get a mount that’s set up to use an easy-to-configure handheld system with the positions of stars, planets and deep-sky objects in memory.

On a recent night, someone I met at a public astronomy event came to the house and I helped him with his system, and learned a lot myself. And yet again, I wondered if maybe it was time for me to get a new mount so I could join the modern amateur astronomy world.

The trouble is, without a job I am rightly reluctant to spend any money right now on things that aren’t totally essential to life.

Sure, I have some freelance writing and a temporary job coming up in April at the Census Bureau, but I am worried about my economic future. That’s what being unemployed in a declining economy will do to you.

I suppose that makes me part of the problem since many other Americans have stopped spending out of fear that they’ll be next to get that call into the HR office for a meeting. I can’t say banks are totally to blame for the credit freeze since many people are deciding not to borrow right now, fearing they won’t be able to pay their debts and will see their credit destroyed.

It’s a vicious cycle as people avoid buying new cars and other items.

There are signs of hope, though. The unemployment check increase doesn’t sound like much, but it’s extra money, and there’s another extension to benefits that I am grateful for. In Florida, the Republican governor, Charlie Crist, has decided that President Barack Obama is on the right track and is supporting the latter’s plans, which will help many people in Florida. Things will get better over time, and maybe in a few months I’ll feel secure enough to buy that new mount for my telescope.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep on looking for a job.


February 24, 2009 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, The jobless chronicles | , , , , , , , ,

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