Ozark Astronomical Society
Bringing amateur astronomy to the Eureka Springs & Branson areas


—Yikes! I am in the middle of a 4 day weekend, and I have accomplished next to nothing towards building my observatory. What have I been doing you say? Spending lots of money on non frivolous things I’m afraid.

—Tuesday I took my car in to be serviced and to repair a flat tire sensor that says I have a flat tire all the time (Remember the old days when you looked at a tire to see if it was flat?). So I spent half the day waiting at Barnes and Noble reading science books while I waited for my car. I did buy a Stephen Hawking book while I was there. It was two books in one… “A Brief History of Time” & “The Universe in a  Nutshell”.  Good reading for those spare moments after bedtime and before the lights go out.

—So after the trip to the service dept (where they didn’t fix my sensor), I drove to Kansas to see my doctor.  Yes I live in Arkansas but still go to a doctor in Kansas. He’s been my doctor since I was 10 and his office visits are 1/3 of what they are in Arkansas. So I had my blood pressure checked and new script given for meds. Then I went to visit my parents for an hour before heading home at 19:00.

—On the way home I saw a great Dane walking down the highway and he didn’t look well. So I stopped to check on him and found the poor dog in a state of total starvation ( I mean totally emaciated). This totally pissed me off because I rescued a dalmatian 5 years ago in a  similar condition. He would not come to me because he was afraid.  Eventually he went to a local farm house and went in the garage. At this point I knew he lived there and was being abused so I turned around and drove back to the previous town for help. Believe it or not, there was a sheriff car at the local gas station, and I stopped the officer and asked for help. He was a dog owner and was very concerned about the welfare of the dog. I told him I was going to buy some dog food and take it back to the dog and he asked that I call him when I got there so he could call the local human society and report the incident. Well I bought the dog food and drove back to the farmhouse, to my surprise, the sheriff pulled in behind me. While I was feeding the dog, he called in the address and requested someone be sent there immediately to help the dog. I totally feel good inside that I was able to help the dog and at the same time get the law involved in a case of animal abuse. I hope the story ends well without my help, I will have to put faith in the system that it will.

—So that brings me to yesterday where I had plans on felling two trees. One over my dog pen that is dead and in danger of falling and hurting my dogs and the other where my observatory will be. My dad drove from Kansas to help fell these trees because they are both HUGE and have the potential of falling on things they shouldn’t.  So what do I get accomplished?  Well I get the one tree over my dog pen down, and it took 4 hours to do it. In the end it did no damage, and did not fall on the fence or the house. After we finished that tree, we were to tired to tackle the second one, so my observatory is no closer to being built. Oh well my dogs are safe and I don’t have to worry about it hitting the house.

—That brings me to today where I am feeling waaaay lazy and have little drive to accomplish anything (yet). I plan on tackling something tomorrow in regards my observatory and will fill you all in on that at a later time. Until then I bid you all a good day…


—Thanks for the help everyone! My godaddy questions have been answered. The domain has been chosen and the hosting plan picked. Since my workweek starts tomorrow morning at 06:00, I think I shall postpone making the purchases until Monday night.

—Things on the agenda for next weekend (Tues-fri)

1: Start digging my trench for the electic lines to my observatory site.

2: Pour a concrete pad in my new observing area near my planned observatory. I need to get some star watching time under the belt soon!

3: Purchase domain and hosting and get started on the new official site for our astronomical society.

Now all I need are some members to share the fun with. Who wants to be first?


—Thanks everyone so much for your input on a permanent name for the club. I have came to a determination as to what to name it and who to get the domain through. However I am now at a en pass  because I am confused about godaddy’s plans. Since I do not want to make a mistake, I may be cautious about committing to this over the short term. There are a few questions I have to know the answers too first before I dive in. I know the way that things go for me that I will end up making a mistake and wasting money.

—For instance on the front page of their hosting page, it shows an economy plan that has 100 mailboxes. However when you actually add the economy plan to your cart, there are no mailboxes included. It appears if you want mailboxes, it’s ala carte and costs extra… this confuses me. Am I reading it wrong? Or is it false advertising? Or am I a hillbilly?

—Next thing is why do they have ‘Web hosting’ and ‘WordPress hosting’. So why is WordPress seperate? Shouldn’t you be able to host WordPress from the same space as any other app?  And when I am ready to move on from WordPress  will I have to change my hosting plan? I plan on moving away from WordPress when I start getting enough members that I need a forum. So why the degradation between the two plans? Makes no sense to me.  At work if I were confronted by this,  I would tell someone to fix their code =]

—This is the last day of my weekend and I hope to get these questions answered today. At the very least I think I should get my domain today, but it I buy it separately, it costs more… sigh. Not liking all this paperwork stuff that is dragging me away from building my observatory and that does not make me a very happy camper.  Stars first, paperwork second…


So I’m not naming a baby here, and this can’t be as hard as rocket science, but it is feeling that way. I have spent the whole night debating what to name this astronomical society. It is important obviously to draw as many of the locals as possible, and to show up on random search queries. Not to mention I can’t proceed until I buy the domain name, and this is a deciding factor in that decision. So let me go through my ideas, and then let you all vote on your favorite, or don’t vote and tell me what’s better.

~ Eureka Springs AS  –  Eureka Springs is the closest town to where I live, and ‘THE’ tourist town in Northern Arkansas .http://tinyurl.com/2us2gvy It is full of tourists 10 months of the year and has a LOT of weekend festivals. It would be very easy to set up events in conjuncture to these weekend festivals It is a bit eclectic however and it is yet to be seen how many locals are astronomers.

~ Eureka Springs & Branson – Whereas Eureka is to my South, Branson is to my North. It too is a tourist town, and you probably have already heard of it. It’s only a 45 min drive from where I live. It is a bigger town, and would obviously have the potential for more members. Attracting tourists won’t help membership, but it will get our name out faster, and may draw some donations.

~ TableRock Lake – Eureka Springs and Holiday Island are on opposite ends of TableRock Lake. The dam is at Branson, and the White River flows into the lake at Eureka. So choosing this option would draw people from around the lake. The lake’s name is probably not as well known to outsiders as the towns are but it is the tie that binds.

~ Ozark Highlands – Another geographical feature in the area are the mountains (and woods). I live in the middle of the Ozarks which extend a lot further away from here than Branson and Eureka Springs are. The Ozarks are known by people worldwide and are searched online a great deal. Living in the Ozarks is a way of life, living by mother natures terms. The mental picture of living in the mountains and astronomy seems like a good fit.

So what do you think? Base it upon town(s), or geographical features? Try to attract the tourists? or the region? So many questions… I need to decide on this so I can buy a domain. Give me your input my fellow Space Tweeps!!


Greetings my astronomical friends! I wanted to make an announcement that I am committed to making the Eureka Springs Astronomical Society work! This corner of Arkansas is in need of a amateur group for local astronomers. Currently the closest group is the better part of 2 hours away, a long way in this economy. Not to mention I want to share my observatory with others when it gets built. This will help me to learn more about amateur astronomy and enable me to help others with questions and needs locally. My plans are in no particular order…

1: Build an observatory and make it open for use to members of ESAS.
2: Register ESAS as a non-profit organization.
3: Register an official domain for ESAS
4: Build a website that allows interactivity amongst it’s members.
5: Get involved in the local community.
6: Attend and plan regional star parties.
7: Recruit members, particularly those with more experience in these fields than I do.

If anyone reading this can help with any of the above plans, I would greatly appreciate any input or advice. If you are interested in joining up (local or not) the door is open. I REALLY want this to succeed and need your help to do this.


—Life has a tendency to gain and lose focus at an alarming rate. I am no different from other fellow humans in that regard. A tragic event happens and one pulls back into shell of privacy, then only to be pushed into the spotlight again when the spotlight of life again shines on you.

—My life has been a roller coaster the last couple of years. Family illnesses, my own personal medical problems, the loss of multiple furry K9 pets. On the good side I got a promotion, I will have worked my way out of 17k of credit card debt by Jan 1st and I’m still breathing.

—I turned 40 this year, it really was a benchmark for me. I suddenly felt like an adult for the fist time in my life. More of my life is now behind me than in front of me, and I have decided that I better start really enjoying the life I have left while I can. That means no more touch phones and online games, they eat up far to much time in an otherwise short life. It also means getting in really good shape so I can get my high blood pressure under control. No more eating anything I want like I did when I was 20. Also it means making my own decisions and not living life according to someone else’s rules. I find myself more and more skeptical as the years pass and that is not a bad thing. I rule my destiny and I will enjoy the trip.

—Some of the things I plan on changing? Well I have plans on the drawing board to build a greenhouse so I can grow some of my own food; build a wind generator so I can provide some of my own electricity and install LED lights throughout my house so I can burn less electricity from the electric company. I want to be more self sustainable and less dependent on a world I feel is falling apart. I want a wood stove for heat in the winter (if for no other reason than it’s the best kind of heat). In other words lots of self sustainability ideas.

—Part of my great plan to enjoy life is to really get my astronomy hobby off the ground. As some of you know I am planning on building an observatory. I have already hit some snags in this process due to the mass quantity of trees in my field of vision. I have to decide if the amount of sky I see is enough to justify building an observatory with a roll off roof and flip down walls http://tinyurl.com/2at6u9x . In addition to my permanent observatory, I am building a portable one made of PVC plastic piping and industrial grade tarps http://tinyurl.com/22mp5bj

—After I build the observatory I will upgrade my scope to one of the new 10″ motorized go to Dobsonians that Orion is building.  It will get me a lot of bang for the aperture buck and allow me to do some amateur planetary photography.  Hopefully I can start a local club that will garner a few members and we can start having star parties. Maybe though I am getting ahead of myself, I step at a time.

—Thanks for taking time to read my first blog post in a while. Please leave a note and tell em what you think of my plans or leave suggestions on how best to implement them.