Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

Numbnuts smoker smoked out observing session

I live in the Oakbrook of Gainesville development, and I’ve had to make some adaptations to observe the night sky.

Because of the trees, I can only observe in a narrow band of sky but have managed to see most of the great deep-sky objects on the Messier and NGC lists, though the galaxies in Leo elude me.

On Thursday night, I set up at around 7:45 p.m. and was having a blast observing, and had even gotten a shot at Saturn through the trees when my nose detected the stench of burning tobacco.

Yes, even though the units are technically nonsmoking, that doesn’t stop people from smoking outside.

Actually, the jerk wasn’t smoking a cigarette. Mostly, he was walking around with a lit cigarette that he very occasionally took a drag from. Still, the smoke had wafted down about four parking spots to where I was, and I had to break down the telescope and carry it upstairs while the doo-doo head continued to spread smoke around the area.

I realize that some people are just jerks, and smokers tend to be in that category. You see them by the hospitals, the office types and the medical types, blocking the sidewalks, littering the street and making walking a pain in the butt.

Many public star parties have no smoking policies because even someone who’s walking around 50 feet away can spread smoke into the area where people are observing. I once angered a neighbor, a smoker, when I told her I would let her look through my telescope if she put out her cigarette. Maybe I’m being a jerk, but I have a right to not breathe cigarette smoke. Most times, I won’t break wind if they come near my telescope.

Otherwise, Thursday night’s observing was a good night. Pity one person had to ruin it.

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April 8, 2011 - Posted by | Living in the modern age, Observations with Vinny | , , , , , , , , ,

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