After nearly 20 years of putting together a weekly sky/space/history events calendar, I am calling it quits. Why? It takes a huge amount of my time, and keeps me from doing a lot of other things. Even though I believe it to be the most comprehensive astronomy calendar in existence, I am 60 years old now, what I do for a living is more demanding of my time and energy than ever before, and I want to do more reading, more writing, more getting involved in the community. Life is short and you start thinking about all the things left to do when you hit the big 6-0.
Besides, I’m not sure that many people use the calendar on a regular basis. For one thing, many of the event times are for a specific location. Dodgeville is a small town with very few people interested in astronomy (ironic, isn’t it?). These factors alone would discourage a wide readership. Such a location-specific calendar would make more sense in an astronomy-oriented community such as Mirador Astronomy Village which I would love to help develop but will never have the resources to start.
One thing that will not change is the article portion of my weekly column. These will now be separate journal entries, and I will have the flexibility to post as often as time allows rather than on a rigid once-a-week schedule. I expect that the quality of these postings will actually improve since I will be able to devote more time to them. And you, the reader, will have the opportunity to comment, question, and contribute additional information. That is a good thing! Finally, in the past, I dropped my articles off the web after seven weeks. I’d like to think that some of what I write is worth keeping around longer than that.
So, here we go!