Archive - 2017

Total Eclipse of the Heart

In case you’ve been living under a rock, there was a total solar eclipse in North America yesterday. And while I wasn’t passionate enough to get myself into the path of totality, I wasn’t about to miss out on the 80% that I was going to see.

This weekend I used a mineral-based subtance to build a piece of astronomical observation equipment.

(I made an eclipse viewer.)

Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!

The eclipse started at 1:21 pm and ended at 4:01pm. I made sure my laptop was charged up and then moved my “home office” to my backyard lawn chair. The eclipse viewer was pretty effective.

The “pac-man” phase of the eclipse. That’s a scientific term.

But then my next-door neighbor popped her head over the fence with an extra pair of eclipse glasses, and it made a big difference. (I love my neighbors.) They were kid size but who cares?

I’m a knob.

I put the glasses over my iPhone camera and got this lovely shot.

Totality, here in South Jersey. God, this picture is so 2017.

And then this goofball hopped up and demanded attention.

Look at how freaking huge this puppy is. And he’s only 7 months old.

Here are my eclipse observations:

  • As a connoisseur of sunshine, I could definitely tell something was up with the quality/quantity of light as we approached totality.
  • It was cloudy, but that was okay. I think if I were outside in full sun from 1:20-4:01 I would have melted. Plus, it made it easier to look up without the glasses on, if I were stupid enough to have done that.
  • I thought I was prepared for the birds to stop chirping mid-day, but I really wasn’t. That was pretty darn eerie.
  • The sun and moon appeared perfectly round. I find comfort in perceived perfection these days.
  • Our trees weren’t in good position to take the neat crescent-shaped shadows that I saw in others’ pictures.

    A++ would eclipse again. Bring on 2024!

  • Currently

    Watching: SummerSlam. Right now it’s the match for the US Title, aka the Battle of the Boos featuring My Boo AJ Styles (so hot in a “come ride in my pickup truck” way) and My Boo Kevin Owens, who is super-smart and super-funny. This is one of the two matches I am looking forward to the most this PPV. The other is Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal. (edited: AJ won! Yay! Nakamura lost! Boo!)

    We went to the Pennsylvania Ren Faire on Saturday.

    The Royal Rumble is going to be in Philadelphia in January and I have to start saving money because I want to go see NXT Takeover the night before too.

    Drinking: Honey Mead from the Mount Hope Estate and Winery. I drank the entire bottle myself throughout the course of the day. Good thing I work at home tomorrow.

    Playing: Diablo. I give no craps about the story line (I escape through every cut scene.) but I’ll click and kill demons until my fingers fall off. My crusader (of course) Akromah (OF COURSE) is level 58.

    Taping: together a cardboard box to make an eclipse viewer. I work from home tomorrow and I plan on taking my laptop outside and working right through the darkening.

    Hoping: That during the eclipse, the President is bodily assumed back to the alien planet that spawned him.

    Babying: My sore shoulder/back. For the last 4-5 weeks, I’ve had this weird pain in my upper right back area when I move my shoulder. Usually I subscribe to the “solution to pain is movement” school of thought, but even with stretching and yoga it’s not getting any better. After talking with WM about it, we concluded that I might be carrying too much weight in my bag to and from work. Lately I’ve been carrying a hardcover library book to read on the train instead of my much-lighter Nook. Combine that with my hardcover planner, a lunch that contains a salad in a heavy glass jar, plus my laptop a few days a week and I think that solves the shoulder pain mystery. For the next few weeks, I’m going to carry a lighter crossbody bag with less in it. I really don’t want to have to go to the doctor.

    Reading: How Italian Food Conquered the World. Hardcover book from the library. The next book is an ebook. My shoulder will be pleased.

    Mourning: My sourdough plans, which died when my leaven wouldn’t float. I’m going to try the starter again tomorrow.

    Speaking of eclipses, have we as a world finally gotten over Nostradamus? Usually with something as cosmic as an eclipse people would be trying to tie in predictions and stuff. WM said that maybe the lack of a 2012 Apocalypse soured people on prophecies. Or maybe real life in 2017 is weirder than Nostradamus ever could have predicted.

    Friday 5: Homecoming

    Happy Friday!

    Just another day with a puppy.

    Today was my last Summer Friday of the season. (Boooo!) And it rained most of the morning (BOOOO!) so no beach for me. Bah.

    Instead, we went to see The Hitman’s Bodyguard. It was okay. I went in expecting a comedy and got a HEAPING side of violence and genocide. The funny parts were funny, Samuel L. Jackson continues to be a national treasure. and the big recliners offset any disappointment.

    And then we went to the library to return my books, which I forgot at home. (BOOOOOOO!)
    My sourdough starter was a bust. I tried to make a leaven with it last night. The leaven is supposed to be all bubbly and float. No bubbles. No float. (BOOOOOOOOOOO!) It also developed some sour-smelling fermented liquid. I’ll reevaluate my methodology and try again. I already spent $10 on an artisan bread proofing basket – can’t turn back now!


    And now it’s time for the Friday 5 — this week the theme is Homecoming. Let’s get to it!

    1. What’s the crime like in your neighborhood?

    Low, low, low. Once a year a house gets broken into. Sometimes a poltical sign gets yanked from a yard. Literary Lane is a very quiet enclave of beautifully boring suburbia. While I still miss the DeeLuxe Apartment in the Sky, the crime there was rising every year. The last year we lived there, someone in our building — ON OUR FLOOR — was stabbed. And three floors down, someone was murdered.

    2. If you could have attended one of those high schools with a specific academic focus, such as performing arts, studio arts, sustainability, science and technology, international languages and diplomacy, or some option you thought of yourself, which would you have chosen when you were thirteen?

    When I was 13, I wanted to be a lawyer and eventually a Senator, so I would have gone to the international languages & diplomacy school for sure. Even though my jobs now skew STEM-ward, I was never ever a STEM kid.

    3. What was memorable about a party you remember from high school?

    I went to some Sweet Sixteen parties, but they were a far cry from what they are now. Mostly basement parties or occasionally a hall. At one of them, I danced with the boy who would become my first boyfriend. The song was “Always” by Atlantic Starr. (sips Ensure, sits on rocker and reminisces)

    4. Which of your older relatives is (or was) the handsomest or prettiest?

    My super-distant cousin George O’Dowd has always been very distinctively attractive.

    5. What was homecoming like at your high school? How did you feel about it?

    Homecoming was a football game on Thanksgiving weekend against the high school on the other side of town. My disinterest for football combined with my distinct lack of social skills and popularity in high school meant that I gave no craps about homecoming. I think I went once in my 4 years there. My school didn’t even have a homecoming dance until 2008!

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