Well, considering there hasn’t been much good weather up in Washington, I took a drive. A long drive. 1200 miles, to be exact — down to the Los Angeles area. Of course, the objective wasn’t really to find clear skies, but rather taking some of the kids to Disneyland. But, the thought of “What should I bring with?” popped into my head.

I could have certainly stuffed the Televue NP101is into the car and the CGEM – with plenty of room to spare. Yet I prefer to image with the whole computer and laptop and remote power woulud have become an issue. Besides, which kids are going to be happy with their dad staying up all hours of the night – sleeping in past check out time? No, bad idea. Besides, I don’t have the whole “solar power to charge my battery” system together yet, so that’d be another issue.

On top of all tat, it’d be best to stop at some random place instead of a hotel which would be destined to be lit up like a Christmas tree. So I did what any amateur would do: I packed some binoculars. The Celestron Skymaster 15×70′s.

Number of times used so far: zero. Night skies at Disneyland are so light polluted, I can’t see much of anything. Oh the depression.

However, it is worth talking about binoculars a bit. The two numbers used to confuse me, until I found out from some very nice fellow that the first number is the amount of magnification, while the second is the ‘light gathering’ aperture. So, for these binoculars, we get a 15x magnification and there are two 70mm scopes. Generally speaking, 15x is much too much to hold steady with your hand. A tripod is key, or you can be clever, lay down on your back and prop them up against your leg. Or your face even. Or a car roof. Or anything that you can use to stabilize them.

The 8x range is probably as high as you would want to go for handheld binos. However, the truly adventurous might find redemption in the Canon “Image Stabilizing” binos. Nonetheless, I dont have them — and apparently won’t be using them. Well, maybe on the way back home. It’s still cloudy there anyway.

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