Finally got off my lazy butt and set up the telescope. No, I haven't got it balanced, and no, I haven't replaced the bolt in the gimpy tripod leg. Still, we did give it a go tonight, and I guess it went okay. Catherine saw the polar ice cap on Mars, she's happy. Actually, it was a huge pain in the ass because I didn't have the thing balanced, nor do I have a spotting scope mounted, so it took a lot more work than it really needed to. But Catherine's happy, so that's all that matters.
Also, I remembered how bad deep sky telescopes are for planetary observing. It's hard to navigate by sight--you can see three stars with the naked eye, and a thousand stars through the scope, so you can't just jump from star to star. You need a deep space atlas, and they aren't that helpful for planetary observing. Catherine is interested enough in all this that--if I ever get a job--maybe we'll get an 8" cassegrain to add to the viewing collection.
I would just like to point out that it is a full three hours past my bed time.