Who am I?

Myself and the cause of many sleepless nights, Grace!

I never actually had a telescope when I was a kid. A telescope and a chemistry set were two things I always wanted off Santa. I received neither. I think my parents thought I'd blow myself up with a chemistry set. This was a bit ironic as my first career was as Industrial Chemist! As the years past, I got married, went to University and changed careers to Information Technology. In January 1999 I was 34 and happened to be walking down George street in Sydney. We passed a photographic shop that had a 4" reflector in the window. I casually mentioned to Marg (my wife) that a telescope would be great birthday present. This was the start of my undoing! After some research, the 4" reflector turned into an Celestron Celestar 8 SCT when my birthday came around. I spent the next three years learning how to star hop and enjoy the night sky. After three years of star hopping I thought I'd try my hand at astrophotography. I started looking a LX200's as a platform to start astrophotography. I mentioned this to the dealer I purchased my Celestar through and he offered to trade in the Celestar on an Nexstar 11 GPS. It was too good a deal to let go by as I only lost a couple of hundred dollars on the initial purchase price. Next came off axis guiders and CCD cameras. It was about this time that Marg started calling my hobby an 'obsession'.

Away from astronomy, life revolves around my three children Tim11, Chris 9 and Grace 3. Having small children that wake up three of four times a night certainly kills the desire to have observing sessions to 1 am, knowing you will be woken up a couple of times and the other two boys will be up a 6am! As far as other interests go, I have a black belt in Taekwondo and spent a number of years teaching this martial art. My other great loves (besides my family!) are home theatre and windsurfing. On on the coast about two hours north of Sydney, there is a spot called 'Winda Woppa'. As the name implies, offers some outstanding high speed windsurfing. There's nothing like a clear blue sky, white sand and a 25 knot Nor' Easter!

Stephen Macmillan
NSW, Australia