Thursday, 11 September 2014

Size matters

Last night, I bought a Soviet Russian made, spotting telescope which is hand-held with a magnification of 20X. Why, you might ask?

Ever since I sold the unusably large (for a town flat) 12 inch reflector, there has been a hole in my life which I cannot seem to fill despite the fact it was hardly ever used, and a hole in the living room which is greatly appreciated by H.I. who fills it as much as she can.

I was going to buy a pair of 100mm objective lens binoculars, and I wanted to have a three second lead-up to the hammer coming down, rather the the 8 second one that you get from using free Just Snipe, giving your opponent plenty of time to up their measly bids to eclipse yours.

I had set up the clock on the screen and watched the time pass until I had under a minute to go, then placed a large bid. The eBay clock stops working after you have done this, so you have to rely on your own one before leaving it until three seconds before close to hit the 'Confirm Bid' button.

I looked at the corner of the eBay screen, and and saw that the bidding had gone up, but the numbers were scrambled in the way that computer screens only know how, and then I panicked, so I hit a higher sum that was offered to me by those skunks in eBay. That stopped my live bidding completely, and by the time I had sorted it all out, the thing had been sold to someone else - for less money than I was prepared to spend on it.

H.I. was treated to me cooking her dinner in a very black mood, made blacker by the low sugar-levels - exacerbated by the high adrenalin output caused by the failed bidding process.

I had my eye on the little Russian scope beforehand, and I was actually thinking about buying it as well to make spying on the neighbours a little easier, but in the end I bought it to calm myself down from the evening's disappointment - a consolation prize if you like.

Before I went home last night, I was telling some 'friends' about my ambition to purchase these binoculars, and a couple of them wondered why.

One of them said that he was always walking past a camera and optics shop in Bath which specialises in smallish telescopes and binoculars, and there was usually an elderly man testing them outside on the street by training them up to a church tower, where a stuffed owl has been placed for the purpose.

"It's an old man thing. Old men are obsessed with telescopes and all that bollocks."

He is 12 years younger than me. I had to admit he was probably right, but all I will say in my defence is that there is a good reason why size matters in telescopes.

It's all to do with light-gathering capabilities, and nothing at all to do with what a young women friend of mine calls, "Something lacking in the trouser-department."


  1. There's always Hubble in Google. It's massive. And no need for trouser angst.

  2. Size probably does matter with these things, but I clicked on your picture to enlarge, and the bugger stayed the same size.

  3. I believe you Tom, all though there will be those you blog with who dispute the face (no names no packdrill).

  4. I can scarcely deal with ebay any more, and I am the veteran of thousands in sales. The last thing I bought was the lovely amethyst bottle that also popped up in the search a glass object you had for sale. I made the connection some time later. Sadly, I've never found a cork to fit the bottle so it doesn't fit my original purpose, but it is nice to look at. And that's my ebay allegory.

  5. You need a night vision scope. Lots of fun in the country.

  6. Sounds like a nail biting evening in the apartment. I could feel the tension over here in the east. Phew, thank God for the little Russian job.

  7. Older men and telescopes.......


    1. I've got a lovely wire egg basket for you, but see below.

  8. Let us know when you've spotted something.

  9. Our house has many a pair of binoculars in many a drawer. I tut every time I have to push them aside and every time a new pair appears. You are not alone.

    I find adrenalin suppresses my cell's ability to use insulin and therefore lower my blood sugar by the way....

    Have missed reading you. Glad to be back.

  10. My computer still isn't fixed - we'll talk tomorrow - hopefully.

  11. Right - my machine is fixed now, but I think it's too late to reply to all your comments. All I will say is that John got it right, but for the wrong reasons.