(IAAC) Self-introduction

Lew Gramer wrote:
> Well, I imagine my "welcome!" messages on the list are
> getting old by now, but I had to congratulate you on a
> fascinating first post, Mark! Are you the lucky <snip>
> who owns the 30", or do you observe with a friend? :)
Thanks for the welcome Lew.  I've been monitoring the list for the past several 
weeks.  I would have posted some observations sooner but the only clear skies 
we have had recently in Missouri have coincided with the full moon.
The scope is owned by the Eastern Missouri Dark Sky Observers.
The club has been in existence in its current incarnation for about 6 or 7 
years.  So when the scope was noticed in Starry Messenger for only $5500 we 
quickly raised the money and bought it.  It has turned out to be a pretty good 
scope.  Andy Saulietis and Chuck Shaw are in the process of building an 
astrographic quality mount for us that we hope will be done by the end of July 
or early August.  It is housed in a 24' X 24' roll off roof observatory that 
was completed last summer.
This list is a great resource and a lot of fun.  I myself have little interest 
in astrophotography or CCD imaging.  I like to put my eye up to the eyepiece 
and personally absorb the photons arriving at the end of a journey of millions 
of light years through intergalactic space from a distant galaxy.  The eye sees 
things differently, and sometimes better than, the ccd or film of a camera.
For this reason I value the observations of other observers regarding specific 
objects more than the appearance of these objects in long exposure photos.  So 
thanks to all who have submitted observations and keep 'em coming!
Mark Birkmann
PS: How do I subscribe to the discussions list?