Astronomy is a life-long passion of mine, a passion born long ago – looking across a wheat field to see the northern lights filling an inky black sky in rural southwestern Michigan. I started using my first telescope at age 8, built my first telescope when I was 15, and eventually found myself living, of all places, in Baltimore, Maryland, working on the Hubble Space Telescope project as a senior science data analyst. After working there for 20 years I was laid off in 2002, but my passion continues unabated. Located under woefully polluted skies just four miles north of downtown Baltimore I maintain a pair of domed observatories in my back yard where I conduct photometric and spectroscopic studies of variable stars, particularly of the cataclysmic sort. This blog is a diary of my adventures and observations in amateur astronomy.