On a personal note, I’ve been away from this blog for a while.   I apologize for the lapse, but there are things going on with me health-wise which have kept me from enjoying astronomy.   Here’s the deal… I have degenerative disk disease in my neck, primarily between  vertebrae C5-6 and C6-7.  The disks are ruptured and bulging, which is closing off the openings that the nerves exit the vertebrae through.  In the case of C6-7 the disk is also touching my spinal cord.  This is causing pain and numbness on the back of my head and neck, and extending down my arms.  It’s much worse when I put my head into weird positions (like at the telescope).
So, this year I my not get out and do as much astronomy.  However, I am feeing better.  I’ve recently gotten a home traction unit which I use every night for about 20 minutes, putting between 15 and 20 pounds of traction pressure on my neck to expand the spaces between the vertebrae and let the ruptured disks heal.

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