RTMC 1998
(Click on small images to see larger versions)

Riverside was very nice this year. I remembered my sunscreen and cold weather gear this time, so I neither roasted nor froze. The moon was new and the sky clear. The seeing was incredible... better than any RTMC in memory according to several people. My little 8" was showing me things I usually only see in friends' big dobs. The best event was the two Iridium flares on Saturday evening. The second one was so bright it hurt my eyes (Mag. -6?) and was followed immediately by a long-lasting meteor just shy of a fireball. The nicest view was late on Saturday night when most folks were asleep and the entire constellation of Scorpio was up with its curled tail perched on the very top of a nearby hill. It looked like a painting and took my breath away. All in all, a very nice time. I apologize for the lack of names of the creators of the scopes below, but I lost my notes. If you recognize yourself or your work, drop me a note.
Campsite Grind with a rock? Randy 5-star Mobile observing
 The Berfield Homestead... next time, I'm bringing TWO sleeping bags. It got VERY cold!  If you look closely, you'll see that the tool he is using is a chunk of quartz rock.  Randy did a great job getting people to realize glass pushing can be fun.  The ultimate portable observatory. It was pretty nice inside, but he needs to isolate the pier from the RV floor when parked for observing.
18th century style... Canister eyepieces The business end Thin-member truss scope

This was the most amazing home-built refractor I have ever seen. It is in the style of the 18th century and the woodwork was perfection. It is approximately f50! The instrument is close to 20 feet long. The altitude is adjusted with a small hand crank that repositions the eypiece end. Azimuth adjustment is done by sliding the entire observing frame left and right. The large canisters in the center photo are the eyepieces. The optics weren't bad. 
 This is a very interesting open framework all-metal scope by Bruce Sayre. It's very rigid and light, and sets up quickly. You can see the details here.
Mini-rover on "Mars" Split ring Howitzer or scope? Richard Berry gets the prize
 The Planetary Society showed this little Quickcam enabled rover that allows kids to pilot a rover over a "Martian" landscape while seeing what it sees on the PC monitor.  A gorgeous split ring (16"?) with all brass fittings.  Can you imagine this coming down the highway behind you?  Richard Berry received the top honors this year... about time in my opinion.
  A greedy crowd More greedy people  
   The crowd for door prizes Saturday night was over 1000 strong. I didn't win anything.  They didn't win either.