Saturday, August 19, 2017

From Here To Totality

Let the record show we were on to it first. First, I say, and everyone else should get in line. By "we," of course, I mean my friend Linda, who notified me well over two years ago that there was going to be a total eclipse of the sun right handy-by, and that she was going to come out and watch it with us.

Not a lot gets by Linda, so it's good to travel in her wake. If there is a beetle in the natural world with a roof rack, pop-out cabinets and a convertible dinette, Linda has already read about it. If there is a sea creature with expandable tentacles for parachute capability that lures minnows by secreting vanilla pudding out its blow-hole, Linda will find it and send me a link. Linda can detect minor asteroids with her aura.

So this eclipse has been on our calendar a long time. "Great!" I said. "We'll do a little hiking, cook up a few nice meals, and the morning of the eclipse we'll pop down south a ways and soak it right up. Totality is only forty minutes away." Plans were later refined to get a slight jump by going to our cabin the night before, from which Eastern Oregon, with its more reliable sunshine, is but an hour's drive. We'll wander out to Madras, lean up against the fender, and have us a time. This was Linda's eclipse as far as I was concerned.

And then this eclipse got internet all over it.

Suddenly we are on the cusp of All Hell, and it's fixin' to break loose. One million people are slated to travel to Oregon just to see this sucker. Off the coast, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, leery of being upstaged, is sensing an opportunity to drown 300,000 tourists all at once. Inland forests and grasslands are expected to burst into flame from sheer anxiety. We are solemnly informed that allowing five hours to drive fifty miles is far too optimistic, and that if we really want to be in the path of totality, we should leave just before dawn four days ago. We should pack a cooler of water and sandwiches and a Bug-Out Kit with supplies to last three weeks including green-bean bake, freeze-dried protein pucks, astronaut poop bags, prescription medicine for ailments we don't have yet but which run in the family, a Glock, and a selection of luncheon meats. We should run through the list of personal friends that own helicopters and favorite them in our phones.

Meanwhile, astrologers have been working overtime to produce Content. Because this, that, and the other thing were mysteriously lined up when Donald Trump was born, we are warned that degrees were activated and are likely to be reactivated during the eclipse. A careful study of nearby celestial bodies, some of which have malevolent intent, reveals that something perfectly awful involving the president might happen soon, so watch out.

[Forewarned is still forescrewed, though.]

People who can't even get their Chevy to pass a National Guard water truck naturally ascribe great power to the moon passing in front of the sun. One fellow has advertised for a woman to conceive a baby with during totality. Such a child would be born to two parents who believe the universe is playing billiards with its matter-bits and who possibly shouldn't be trusted with a ballot; but confidence can get you a long way. For instance, this guy is pretty dang sure he can hook up with a random ovulating stranger and get the job done in a couple minutes, and I think he can, too.

Linda and I and our buddies Max and Peter are going for it. We're all in. If you don't hear from me by Wednesday, send someone out to paw through the charred-out remains of a mid-size rental car near Madras. It might smell like green-bean bake.

36 comments:

  1. Meh.... I'll just watch it on YouTube.

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    1. And this is what is wrong with children today.

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  2. I saw a complete eclipse in Asia a few decades ago and it was a bit of disappointment. Really. Sorry. Anyway, no glasses this year, so guess I will have to punt.

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    1. I've seen two and I can't remember how I felt about the moment of totality, so that's not a recommendation either. But (as noted earlier many times) I'm famously forgetful.

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  3. Same thing here; we are about an hour and a half away from the path of totality, but that's in normal traffic and there won't be "normal" on Monday.

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    1. Monday might not even end up being Monday. It might get Tuesday all over it.

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  4. in the old movies the white Bwana always used the eclipse to scare the natives into releasing the beautiful white princess in the sarong that they were about to sacrifice.

    Trump will probably take credit for the eclipse.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. "You betcha!" ~ She who must not be named.

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    2. I saw a delightful meme which has the man in question tweeting that 'the moon is to blame too'. I suspect the next one talks about permits.

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  5. [Forewarned is still forescrewed, though.]

    This is my new mantra. Thanks Murr!

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  6. After I recovered from thinking I read Linda can "detect minor asteroids with her bra" I thoroughly enjoyed being reminded of how over-promoted the eclipse is ... It's just a trick of light and shadow, people, come on ...

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    1. Her AURA. Her AURA. Not her BRA.

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    2. (Neither Linda nor I can even point at an asteroid with our bras anymore.)

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    3. I figured it out after my double-take ...

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  7. Wasn't it in 79 when there was an eclipse in Portland? I remember going down the hill below the VA in my scrubs and watching the cloud covered sky get darker, etc.

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    1. 'Twas. I went to Goldendale. There was almost no traffic. What a difference the internet makes!

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  8. Did you know you can cause a total eclipse any time just be shutting your eyes really tight?

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  9. I hope you've got the word 'syzygy' on standby. I try to sneak it into the conversation every 28 days or so. It's my term of the month.

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    1. I keep thinking that has something to do with beer. It doesn't?

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    2. It so very could be something to do with beer. And would defo cover most of my utterances after one pint. Aligning three celestial bodies would be more difficult.

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    3. I just read a definition from some numbskull that said "Apart from being a wonderful word to use in the game of Scrabble, this astronomical term is an event in which one astronomical object is lined-up with another." Obviously a rare event!

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  10. LOVE forewarned is forescrewed (though it does sound a bit like military copulation).

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  11. I am hoping the six-thousand-year-old planet believers will see it as a sign to dump the Cheeto in the White House. Or maybe he'll look up and be gone in a puff of smoke. Yes, I'm a dreamer.

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  12. Was hoping to avoid it altogether here in the great state of TX, but turns out I have to fly into PDX this Monday and try to get to Albany via car from there. HUT isn't running because of the predicted traffic! Wish me luck....

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    1. Well, at least you'll be going the right direction.

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  13. I don't see the point. I used to live farther north, where the sun disappeared from October to February 2nd; what's a few minutes here or there?

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  14. I had a good giggle at the emergency supplies to pack. Green bean bake? I suppose you could parcel that out to those who forgot to bring a plate.
    Your friend Linda has pretty hair.

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    1. Yes she does. When I first met her, it was about four feet long, too. WITHOUT being stretched out.

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  15. So jealous! Wanted to head to South Carolina, but good weather was elusive and a 10 hour drive to see maybe nothing just wasn't in the cards. One less car on the road.

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    1. You've got one coming up in 2024 that you might not even have to leave for, Beth.

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