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Hmmmm! Seems like it has been a week since I last sent something to the
list. Rob has redone his code, and it looks like it will work OK. Now I
just have to work on the code to generate all the things to put in the fits
header. It is a question of getting things right like time and Julian
Date, and other such things that I do not know how to do. But I am getting
help. I hope to have everything working by the time the moon gets out of
the way. Hmmmm! I think I will just use whatever comes to mind to write
the fits header. If I get, for example, the Julian date computation wrong,
then one of you with a camera can fix it. I will just do a subroutine for
each fits line in the QBasic code. Then anyone can fix the bad ones.
Dan is here today, and has just put the drive together for MIKE. Next he
will do the drive for GLENN. The new side plates are here for GLENN so
that is the next project. I think I am on schedule for "Spring" for MIKE
and GLENN. Hello out there?? Are Mike and Glenn still with us? For that
matter CHRIS is also partly assembled. We have new side plates (1/4"
thick) for CHRIS which are set up for NOFS. The plan is to build a box
that will hold CHRIS and ship it to NOFS assembled. Then if necessary I
can fly out and repair the shipping damage. But I hope to get it there in
one piece and working.
I don't seem to be hearing much from the field. Possibly this is all a bad
idea and you all are bored with it. A pity, since I am just about to get a
bunch of units out where they could be used. ;^) But I hope not. I know
it is hard to keep up interest, but this is a long term project, and it is
making progress. Just not as fast as I could have done at 40. But at 40 I
did not have the money or the time to do it.
Speaking of money, my accountant says I did the best in the market of all
his clients this year. I am having to pay a terrible amount of taxes. You
all may recall that I bought some Microsoft 60 puts a while back. I also
hold or held puts on Siebel Systems (at 110), JDS Uniphase, Amazon.com,
eBay, and a few others that are well in the money now. I also held puts on
EMC and a couple of others that expired before the bubble burst. So I did
not win on every count. Just because you can see a bubble developing does
not insure that you can make money on it. I did more or less double the
money at risk. Sigh! The bubble of the century and that was all I could
do. OK, I know the world hates a "Short Seller" as they somehow blame them
for the crash. But we did not cause it. It was foolish valuations. I
note the market reporters say things like "Microsoft has lost half it's
value". No, it has lost half it's one time cost. Cost is different from
value. I notice that some stocks are still selling at 100s of times
earnings. It does not take very sophisticated math to show you can never
make money holding such stocks. So you must find a greater fool. Lots of
luck. So when you wonder how I can afford to do this, much of it has been
paid for through a contrarian view of the stock market.
Seriously, I hope that none of you lose your jobs over this. At the opera
last night (Tosca a great performance) there was a couple behind us with
their soon to be college graduate daughter. I could not help but overhear
the conversation as she was excitedly reporting her progress to her
parents. She and one of her friends had job offers from Amazon.com. I
felt like turning around and saying "Congratulations for booking a
stateroom on the Titanic." But I did not. She also had a brokerage
account and a Palm pilot, and ... It is amazing to consider the things I
did not grow up with. I recall that I could only afford to buy a single 78
record until I had been in graduate school for a year and joined the
Navy. I still have it. "Love Is Where You Find It" by Katheren Grayson.
On the more optimistic side, the lawyer called today, and it looks
promising that we will get tax exempt status. This will allow me to move
income to TASS and have Uncle Sam help sponsor us. I sure hope so. I
have some short term capital gain this year that could just move over to
TASS. On the other hand, if the tax cut goes through, then the US will
only pay 33 instead of 39% of the cost. But so far they are paying nothing.
All this to encourage all of you. We are coming down the home
stretch. Soon we will have a bunch of camera systems that can
operate. Remember, I am having my fun, as I like to build stuff. While
not absolutely necessary, it will be more fun for me if you all run the
systems and take great data.