I started this site as a venue to share the things I’m passionate about. In many cases, I write about topics I’ve researched for my personal interest, but found little or no information online.   The opinions expressed within are my own, but I recognize that anyone can be a critic and any “idiot” with a website can have a voice. Below are a few things about me so you can decide if my opinion is worth reading.   That doesn’t mean I’m always right. I have my own preconceived notions and biases, although I will attempt to be as accurate and impartial as I can. I will make mistakes. I am willing to argue my points and correct inaccuracies so please feel free to contact me regarding either.

I’ve been a serious amateur astronomer for 24 years, but I received my first telescope nearly 40 years ago. I served as vice president at a leading telescope manufacturer, and over my 15 years with the company I’ve tested every new optical system, mechanical platform, software and imager it produced. I’ve spent thousands of hours testing and evaluating equipment, enjoying the night sky and sharing my passion with thousands of would-be astronomers around the world. I’ve also had the pleasure of using a number of professional telescopes as large as 2.5 meters.

Evolving out of the love of equipment, optics and observing, I became a birder and photographer. For more than 20 years now, I regularly pursue both, recording several hundred bird species and capturing tens of thousands of images each year.

The breadth of my interests is, in a word, vast.   I’m a curious guy and on some subjects, I have little or no experience and simply toughed out learning the hard way and wish to share some lessons learned. Hopefully, this lessens the learning curve for you.

I’m also a veteran, having served as an Army combat engineer during Operation Desert Storm.

The products I review I buy with my own money.   If I can get a great deal from someone I know, I will certainly try to do so, but I’ve never received so much of a discount that I’d consider it overly influential in my final evaluation. If I didn’t like something, you’ll know it or I won’t write about it. I generally want to share things of which I’m a fan.

The name Local Meridian refers to the imaginary line that runs north to south and passes straight overhead. It’s the best part of the sky to observe an astronomical object. It’s also used in timekeeping and navigation. It’s an astronomical term, but is always relative to your location, which is why I say,  Explore Where You Are.   Be curious and get outside.