After being off a couple of days late in the week (scheduled and "sick") I had recovered enough from my recent head cold and was able to put in my scheduled hours at the office on Saturday. Then, due to our change in operations to a summer schedule, I was off on the Sunday when I would have worked in previous months. Then I was also off today (Monday) due to observance of Memorial Day. It's no wonder I wake up these days wondering just what day of the week it actually is!
She and I made an effort Sunday to spend some time together. We wanted something low-key since I was not yet feeling back at full health so we headed to the zoo for a nice, quiet walkaround. As we approached the parking lot we could see that droves of people of every description were descending upon the entrance. I circled the Insight around and through the lot and we headed back home for lunch and to regroup. She proposed we check out a park we had not yet visited… Wellington Reservation of the Lorain County Metropark System. We were very impressed by the facility and She was excited by the prospect of using one of the park's pontoon paddle boats… "some day, not right now." We set out on one of the trails and discovered they are interconnecting loops. After following the outer line of the combined loop system we returned to the start having hiked 3.8 sweaty miles. She was pretty well tuckered out and I feared a relapse of my illness (which fortunately did not happen). Showers and a nice dinner at home put things right.
We both had plans for Monday (the holiday). She needed to help her mother and I needed to go to the Observatory to take advantage of an unusual opportunity. During our April 4, 2009 public night, the dome's shutter began acting up. (The shutter is a sliding door that covers a slit opening in the dome used to give the telescope access to the sky.) It was difficult to open for the night and was nearly impossible to close! College carpenters built up a scaffold inside the dome early in May and determined that the rollers that carry the shutter had derailed — nominally the rollers move along an iron bar at the top of the opening easing operation. The craftsmen lifted the shutter back on to its track and lubricated the wheels. With the scaffold in place the telescope could not be moved so all use of the Observatory was suspended during the balance of April and through May. Today, while the scaffolding was still in place, I replaced the pull ropes that are used to manually open and close the shutter; there was no telling how much longer the scaffold will be available. I have no idea how old the cotton rope was; I replaced it with a tough poly braided rope. The shutter works better now than it has in years though close examination of the condition of its wooden components left me with worries. She finished her duties in decent time. My job took longer than expected. We both opted to spend the balance of the afternoon and evening at home resting up. Interesting weekend, that!