Monday, October 29, 2018

Oddz 'N Endz

After the "monumental" (for us) amount of work we did cleaning out the back yard, the rest of the leaves fell, covering the yard again.

Even little Pebbles was wondering where the h3ll all this stuff came from. "But Dad....didn't you and Mom have this all cleaned up?"..... wife used her new BFF APP,, and found a couple who are cleaning the back yard, AND the front yard, for us.

They raked and blew the leaves into piles, bagged them, hauled the bags out, and even mowed for us.

Front AND back yards, very nicely cleaned, mowed, and raked, and about twenty five bags hauled away.

All for $100.

Probably would have been more, but his mower mulches as it mows, so the volume of stuff collected is less than I expected.

Considering the trash service we use charges $3.50 per bag, we would have paid $87.50 for just the 25 bags, so $100 for the whole enchilada is money quite well-spent.

"Big Eyes"

I've had these large binoculars for about 8 years, and finally got around to setting them up and using them.

They're "100 x 22", which means they have 100mm (~4") objective lenses, and they have a magnification of 22 times.

I bought these from Big Binoculars, which is now Oberwerk, the name brand of these. This particular model is no longer listed, being replaced with a 100 x 25 model.

They're made in China (duh....), supposedly in the same factory that makes the military optics for the ChiCom military.

They're of "good" optical quality, but not particularly user-friendly.  I set them up to look at the Moon, and even with my tripod legs fully extended, and the center post of the tripod fully raised, I still had to bend down to look into the eye pieces, which made getting them adjusted properly a chore. 

With this tripod, they'd be great for terrestrial use, but I'd need to shorten the tripod and use a chair for astronomical use.

So, they went back in their box for future use.


  1. Astronomical binocs will always force you to be lower than the eyepieces just by geometry. Two alternatives: first is to lie in a lawn chair with the binocs over your face. Second is to get a taller tripod. Both of those probably translate to buying a new tripod (or building one).

    Astronomical binoculars usually have eyepieces at 45 degrees to horizontal. Or even 90 degrees.

    1. Yep, they sell those, and spotting scopes, too.

      I've seen very fancy tripods that swing the binocs out on an arm, and allow you position them for comfortable viewing from a chair.

      But I can't see spending $700 on a tripod for a $300 pair of binoculars!

      I bought these for terrestrial viewing like whale watching and stuff, so I figured they'd be a little cumbersome for astro work.

    2. Lotta whale watching in Colorado these days? Thought they were healthy over there?

      Kidding! 😉

    3. HAH! Took me a few seconds to get it....

  2. I don't know that it's a bad idea to mulch the leaves and leave them on the lawn through winter, then scoop the mulch up in spring (when it's dense and easier to bag up and has released minerals back into the soil).

    1. I tend to agree with you, LL. They actually taught us the rudiments of farming in grade school back in Ye Olde Illinoise, including stuff about crop rotation, letting the land lay fallow, etc.

      In a Catholic grade school, no less!

      But, my sweet little wife, ever the city gal, insists on keeping things tidy, so the majority of the leaves are gone.

      Looking at the yard, though, I can see quite a bit of "new" mulch down there, mostly busted up leaves and such, so they did leave a bunch behind.

  3. I was afraid we were heading for a "....not easy to use. I set them up to look at the moon, but they focused on the lady across the way's bedroom window." joke. ;)

    1. HAH!

      Good one. I must be getting old. The Moon has more appeal to me these days.

  4. When you mow the leaves and mow the leaves and let the pieces stay on the ground, you get very small pieces of leaves that are still there on the ground next fall.

    If you vacuum up, blow or rake up most of the pieces and properly compost them, you will get a decent amount of good mulch.

    But for $100 to get rid of almost all and not have to bother with anything is a very good deal.

    1. Yep, it was worth it. I made a joke about starting a compost heap last week, and she looked at me and said "I do NOT garden!", so I chuckled and let it pass.


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Saturday Night Music

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