Pillow Squawk


Are you traveling to see the eclipse? I am! A buddy of mine who lives in Tennessee north of Nashville called me five years ago and asked me, in an excited voice, “What are you doing in August, 2017?!” Well, if someone asks me five years in advance, I’m liable to agree to drinking poison and taking a rocket ship to the furthest comet. Instead, lucky for me, I agreed to come spend a long weekend with friends, smack in the middle of the path of totality. And sure enough: the day is almost here. Not a bad deal!
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57 thoughts on “Pillow Squawk”

  1. I live in TN and plan on a short drive to the Smokies to be in Totality Path. Hopefully the high spot where I plan on being won’t have been thought of by too many others.
    Looking forward to not only viewing the eclipsing sun, but all the environmental observations that go along. 15-20 degree drop on temp, winds picking up, flowers closing up, cows headed to the barn, birds roosting, bats coming out, fireflies, crickets . . .
    When totality happens all the stars come out and you can see Mercury and Venus which are normally mask because they are right next to the sun. (also Mars and Jupiter).

    And all this being blown by THAT STUPID CLOUD ! 🙂

  2. First, my husband has been complaining to you, hasn’t he? I’m sure we’ve had that same “conversation” about pillows several times.

    And second, we will be up near Rabun Gap for the Eclipse, in the path of totality. Yes, we have safe, approved glasses with which to observe the action.

  3. Having spent some time in Oklahoma, I’ve discovered it’s fairly common for the sun to be obscured by daytime severe thunderstorms. Since one definition of eclipse is “any obscuration of light”, it seems that should count as an “eclipse”.

    Thus endth today’s exercise in semi-sophism.

  4. I’ve noticed king-sized beds in hotels now seem to feature a minimum of six large pillows. What, are they expecting the Lernaean Hydra to check in? By my lights, more than two pillows are simply in the way…unless there is some sexual practice involving multiple pillows about which I need to be enlightened. 😉

  5. I HATE hotel pillows. I sleep on a very thin pillow. (Really thin.) If I forget to take my pillow when I travel, I have to take off a pillow case and put a folded towel in it.

  6. Where I am is only a degree or two off totality, and I have my safe, approved glasses. We are ready to see it. What has it been in the U.S.? Since 1918 I think. Talked to a friend the other day on the phone closer to totality and she can’t understand the big fuss over it. Not only that I can’t convince her that a regular pair of sunglasses isn’t enough protection. Maybe my wife’s eye doctor is correct that there will be a huge increase in the number of his patients after the eclipse.

  7. I am right smack dab in the totality line in Tennessee and will be watching as well. I actually got to see a total eclipse in South Carolina in 1970 and it is without a doubt the most amazing astronomical event you will probably ever see.

    Don’t miss it!

  8. oclvroadbikerider: As a beginning amateur astronomer, I also detest clouds block our view of the heavens… but I won’t be overly distraught if I can’t see the inner planets because I’ll still experience, as you said, all the environmental observations that go along with a total eclipse… unless it’s raining!

    The latest cloud cover forecast for the eclipse looks good for where I’ll be in Idaho; yesterday it looked terrible. Tomorrow will have yet another forecast…

  9. Charlotte in NH on 15 Aug 2017 at 5:44 pm #

    I am back from my trip to Ithaca! The drive was perfect, car didn’t act up; family gathering was warm and wonderful. emb, I did think of you while at Cascadilla Gorge. Tell the Village more tomorrow.
    Wondering what is the best way to store mushrooms in the refrigerator. From the supermarket, not picked around here. Do you have a favorite method?

    She accidentally posted in old column.

    Hi Charlotte, glad to hear the trip went well. Welcome back. I reposted in the new section so everybody could see what you had to say.

  10. Mark, you are a dear. I forgot that it wouldn’t be on the new page. Thank you ever so much for fixing it.

    Over the years I’ve seen quite a few eclipses, all from here in Southern NH. Not all total, but close enough to be memorable. First one, when I was a little girl, was exciting; we prepared for viewing by holding pieces of glass over a candle, six or eight inches up, circling carefully to gather soot evenly. When finished it was “smoked glass” and was safe to look at the sun through. Summer of 1942 maybe? There were interesting partial eclipses now and then. Around 1996 there was an annular eclipse that was well publicized. As it neared totality the moon didn’t quite cover the sun, so there was a thin rim of light around the dark circle. I saw it! And under the leafy trees, miniature replicas of the same picture, on the grass and the parking lot. Somehow the little spaces among the leaves acted as lenses to focus the pictures. Very neat!

  11. Management after closing for remodeling.

    New management is extremely pleased with new equipment and says it looks like it came off the USS Enterprise on Startrek.

    Any minions who touch it or the new kitchen equipment will become the monster’s first gulp.

  12. Getting tired of some effects of PD, like falling. I have enough bumps on my head. I’ve decided that PD isn’t going to take over. The gloves are off Rocky is coning out of his corner. I notice a little unrest in the village. Apparently some of us have noticed that there is a real world that we can’t ignore. No, we do not want big , nasty political arguments that will cause some of the few regulars to leave, but I’m hopeful that the intellectual level here would prevent most of the e

  13. Jerry:

    Lately, I have been spending more time in the comments sections of the daily strip.

    So far, things have been unusually civil there, and, perhaps, it will stay that way.

    As soon as it reverts to its past ways, though, I’m outta there.

  14. I saw a fireman fighting a car fire last week on I-696 and wondered where he was getting his water from. Since then, on my daily commute a little further down the road, I noticed a bunch of grass that had brunt and smack in the middle of it was a fire hydrant. When I noticed it this morning, I saw another hydrant a hundred yards beyond and then another. As I got to the walled portion of the highway, I noticed more hydrants spaced periodically in the walls.

    I-696 is mainly a concrete walled highway and in three spots has a park for the Orthodox Jews to use to get to their house of worship. In the winter it is a nice respite during a snowstorm. However the planners of the highway (built in the late 80’s) were very concerned about fire, so that is why the hydrants. Ironically there was a bad accident this spring and a fire broke out. It got so hot that they still had to shutdown the highway for 10 days to replace the concrete in the road.

    When we had a major rainfall (4.75″) on August 11, 2014, the drains on I-696 under I-75 failed and a 15 ft. deep lake formed. It took a couple days to drain. A lot of underpasses fill up when we get a lot of rain in a short period of time.

  15. There are many blogs and forums on the InterWebNet (some might say way too many) devoted to political discourse, both civil and otherwise. A very small number of commenters here seem to feel that A&J is one of those. I do not. And I sincerely believe the vast majority of commenters here also feel that it is not and should not be. Hopefully, that small number can take a hint and restrain themselves.

  16. There has been discussion here of the solar eclipse and how to watch it. The hospital I work for sent a safety message to its employees and I want to post part of it here.

    If you are buying glasses to watch it through, be sure they have the following ISO number: ISO 12312-2. These are the only ones considered safe.

  17. eMb, that worm article was eye-opening; thank you. I would have thought that worms, through their castings, would enhance a forest just as they do for farming acreage. Do you think it is a matter of the trees getting too much nutrition in too short a time [compared to the fairly slow decomposition of leaves]?

  18. Today is National Tell a Joke Day. I can’t top this (slightly edited) one, via @iowahawk.

    What’s the worst thing Willie Nelson can tell you after you make love with him?
    “I’m not Willie Nelson.”

  19. I’m trying to wrap my head around why someone would go to the trouble of counterfeiting solar glasses and somehow getting them into the distribution channels. They’re not high-dollar items. I mean, no one bothers to produce bogus one-dollar bills!

    So, are they just evil? Wanting to blind people?

  20. Considering they are probably manufactured somewhere with a huge population, most likely expecting to make profits from the bulk. US was likely not the main sales target but somebody in buying thought they had a great deal. Hey, they counterfeit UL labels for electronic products and that’s why we get exploding gadgets and chargers.

  21. Trucker, I stopped at a curb store in Deepest Arkansas to refuel recently and noticed one of the cashiers running a detector pen over a number of $1 bills. Like you, I thought no one would bother to counterfeit them and remarked such to the cashier. “Yes, they do,” she said. “We’ve gotten some of them.”

    My only thought is that scanner and printer technology has reached the point where that is feasible. Someone else had told me not long ago that their business had been stuck with a $100 bill that displayed all the “safety” features of a legitimate note.

  22. If it was exactly like a genuine bill, how did they determine that it was counterfeit? The line between getting involved and minding your own business is blurred and moving so fast that no two people can agree on exactly where it is.

  23. No way I know to defeat the thread imprinted with the denomination. I have heard of people getting rid of the print on smaller denomination bills and printing larger ones over that, so the thread is in the correct place. An inattentive person won’t notice the amount on the thread is not the same as on the printed bill.

  24. Early up tomorrow. We have to go to Tulsa to meet with breast surgeon. Will get some idea of way we are headed but still have three major tests before we know how.

    It rained today so Ghost and I had a great dinner, a joint effort of cooking beef stew from scratch with a good roast, onions, celery, new potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and merlot wine. Ghost shopped, I chopped and provided general recipe. He cooked and sauteed, deglazed.

    The end result was divine. It is such a joy to cook with my domestic anti-terrorist. I love a man who cooks, especially well. Armed too.

  25. So here we are awake unwillingly. We had storms last night with warnings. I was awake and the alarms,woke Ghost. Not much sleep.

    Good morning all. Dickens stays home today, too hot.

  26. Trucker Ron: I purposely did not use “100 year storm” as I agree that it is not literally the case. The flooding and damage was worse than anything in the last 100 years, but that is because of the way our roads are built.

    As far as counterfeit sunglasses, I think it might be ignorance, especially if they had access to the type of filter readily available. The old “Oh this should be good enough: excuse. However putting the UV label on it could be either evil or it is possible that they did not properly test the product. In automotive, we get a lot of that and it ends up being a major argument when everything hits the fan.

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