As I drove up the winding road to Mount Tamalpais, I idly mused upon the current implications of my life's work as I contemplated the ominous thunderheads on the horizon. When I arrived at the parking lot, it was filled with friends eager for a night's observing. I counted at least 56 telescopes set up.
I started my night's observing with one of my favorite objects, M 58 in Pisces Austrinus. It was even more difficult than lumpy darkness. Then, for a real challenge, I looked for and suspected IC 2475 in Canes Venatici. It was not quite as bright as cotton on velvet.
After a short break to find a bush to pee on, I glimpsed Abell 43 in Scorpius. It was easy, just like a far-away cloud. With that checked off my list, I hunted NGC 6375. It took me back to the first time I saw Krylon Ultra-Flat Black. After I'd spent a few minutes looking at that, I hunted B 637 in Sculptor. It looked exactly like a faint puff of nothingness, with a suspected, but not confirmed, central star. After that, I slewed to B 322 in Triangulum. It seemed almost a spider. After that, I helped a beginner find Abell 33 in Lynx. It appeared as the exhaust from a diesel Suburban. With that checked off my list, I found IC 808. It appeared at low power like that graph in An Unpleasant Truth. Next, attacking my personal nemesis, I jumped to Abell 45. It appeared to be a smoke ring.
Finally, it was time to pack up and leave. As I drove home, I contemplated the events of the night, and realized that any night out under the sky with good friends is better than a poke in the eye with a frozen dishrag.