I finally had a very good Christmas compared to last year. =) Exactly a year ago today, I was in a mortal peril and the vivid memory of what transpired that time seemed to have happened only yesterday. But what is past is past, and I was more than happy to pig out on things I never got to eat last year. We were also back to our normal tradition of letting the kids open all of the gifts under our tree. We line them up from smallest to biggest, and allow them to tear the wrappers one by one. I was most particularly excited for Brie to open her gift because Elsa finally got a sibling. But to my astonishment, she seemed more delighted with the books Mon and I gave to her, which is always a good sign. Hopefully, she gets to like books the same way I do until now. The whole Christmas morning until afternoon, I was busy playing with JB’s toys and I even took a couple of ensemble photos of Brie’s Frozen dolls a day after.
Inspired by the lights of Dulcinea from last week, I finally decided to drop by the Pasay Branch of A&S Lamps in Libertad. I had ample time to look around and decide very well what item to purchase because I could not afford to make a mistake. Everything we put inside the apartment should serve a purpose and be as space efficient as possible. Before coming into the store, I have already brought out a piece of paper containing the measurement of the little cabinet near our sofa bed. I did not want to end up with a bulky lamp.
Stepping inside was like a dream, as lamps in varying shapes and sizes (and prices as well!) were plastered in every direction. I have never been inside an A&S Lamps store, even if I constantly see that branch in Aurora Boulevard while riding the LRT2. The latter had a bigger store, I guess, because the Libertad branch had none of those ceiling-to-floor chandeliers.
March 17 and I can finally say: HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY MON! =D I was in the rooftop, with Mon, JB and my mother, testing my new telescope when the clock struck 12:00 AM! I had a hard time adjusting with the telescope, though, as the image was expectedly different than the other telescope. Newtonian telescopes produce images that are upside down, so it was difficult for me to deal with it on my first try. Unlike the other refractor, which produces images backwards, this Newtonian is not ideal for terrestrial use. LOL
Almost twelve hours after, I was woken up by JB because we were to eat our lunch. I was originally to help Mon with preparing lunch for today, but he did not bother waking me up at all. We bought a pack of frozen cream dory and other ingredients from Trinoma’s supermarket last night. Mon had fancied another bout of MasterChef moment and made a very nice meal for us. I especially loved the honey and lemon sauce on the cream dory, as well as the lychee in the jelly. He eventually left after lunch because he also had to spend time with his family on his birthday. =D
It was difficult to constantly bring the tripod of the telescope up to the rooftop, given the heavy counterweight, so the best solution I came up with was just to leave it in one corner. I would just remove the telescope tube, which wasn’t heavy at all. Thirty minutes before sunset, JB and I prepared our telescopes and cameras, hoping to get at least a momentary view of Comet PANSTARRS, but to no avail. Good thing that the Moon was visible to the northwest, near Jupiter and I was happy to point my telescope to these two celestial objects.
Of course, I also tried imaging the Moon with my point and shoot camera and I was delighted with the result. My camera, though, can’t capture the same beautiful thing seen from the telescope as the Moon’s details were more breathtaking as viewed from the eyepiece. I first tried using the 25mm eyepiece (originally from the Meade telescope), then the other 9mm. The picture below was seen through the 25mm one.
I also looked at Jupiter and it was beyond words! Given the bigger mirror of the Celestron, I was able to see Jupiter’s cloud bands as well as the Great Red Spot! With the Meade 70mm, I can barely discern these details and I usually half-guess whether I was seeing them. But using this 127mm, there was no mistaking the difference in the colors of the bands because of the better contrast. I attempted to image Jupiter but I can no longer push my point-and-shoot’s capabilities. All I got was a white blob with four dots (the Galilean moons). The next thing I might do is just purchase a CCD webcam and modify it for astrophotography because I don’t have enough budget for an SLR. LOL
Before wrapping up (because I had to eat dinner and take photos of things I will be listing on Ebay), I turned my telescope to Orion and almost cried when I saw the Orion Nebula. Again, unlike my other telescope, I just saw a faint haze of light and cloud, which was the nebula. But with this new telescope, I was able to see a much better detail of the clouds and even distinctly see the ‘trapezium cluster’ of four stars! I’m still amazed of the Orion Nebula but I know I have to soon move to seeing other Messier objects. =)
Just as I thought that nothing much significant would happen this Saturday, I was very wrong. I’ve been debating for a long time whether to buy a new telescope for msyelf or a sewing machine for my mother, when I finally decided on the latter. When we went to Trinoma a month ago, I passed by Western Appliances and saw their selection of Brother sewing machines. I had my eyes on a particular model (BM-2600) and I knew that that was the exact one I wanted to give to Mama. She has been hinting on this since last year and I have promised her as well to buy one soon. Well, that soon became almost forgotten and Mama did not even bother reminding me but she was still secretly hoping I’d get her one. LOL
I called Western Appliances after lunch to confirm with the person in charge of the sewing machines that I would be passing by earlier this evening to get a unit. I had alraedy saved up for this, so there was no point postponing the purchase again. I just want to get it over with. Out of the three available models, I decided on this one — and then the demonstration of its features happened. It took about 20-30 minutes to show every single function of the sewing machine, from changing the stitch up to the making of buttonholes. My head was kind of heavy with all the information, because I was used to our VERY old and dilapidated Singer sewing machine, which only had a single running stitch function. =D Good thing it included an instructional video in a DVD because I have honestly forgotten more than half of the functions he discussed.
But before we event went to Western Appliances, we had passed by Cutting Edge on a whim to oggle at their selection of telescopes. However, it might have been a wrong call because I can’t stop stressing over the Celestron telescopes on display and I seriously considered buying one, especially as these units do not always show up in their stores. To cut the long story short, I eventually bought a new telescope!
Don’t get me wrong, I love my Meade ETX-70. And eversince I bought one (secondhand) exactly a year ago, it has been serving me well. However, it was really frustrating to look at some of the planets because of the faulty base, making it extremely difficult to focus on an object. Higher magnifications exasperate me so much, but it was really good in viewing asterisms or other wide-angle subjects
When I got inside, Cutting Edge had four types of Celestron telescopes on sale but I instantly got ‘infatuated’ with the Celestron PowerSeeker 127 EQ. It cost Php 1000-more than the 114 EQ so I thought that it was no-brainer to pick the 114 over the 127 at that price. LOL I went to the cost-efficiency route in judging with the added mm in the aperture.
I went home with an emptier pocket, but I was happy. =D Mama was extremely happy and giddy and I immediately said “Belated Merry Christmas! Advanced Happy Mother’s Day! Advanced Happy Birthday!” Hopefully, she’ll give the hinting a rest because I already bought her new sewing machine. As for the telescope, I thought that if I keep on putting off getting one, it will continue until the end of the year and I have no time for that. If I were to empty my pocket, I might as well do it now so that I’ll have time to focus on more important things for the year — and that includes being more serious with Ebay etc!