Sunday, August 27, 2017


The moon eclipsing the sun last week was another refreshing respite for me, considering the continuing betrayal of our nation’s values by the emperor-like actions of our leader. 

This eclipse was also an event demonstrating the validity of scientific explanations of what was happening in our universe that no one denied -- unlike climate warming being denied despite the weather changes being experienced around our earth.    

Though Southern California experienced only a 60% eclipse I finally decided a week before the actual event that I wanted to view it after all since the sun would be easily visible from my own yard.    Contacting my local library for a free pair of safe viewing glasses, I learned they had dispensed them all two weeks earlier.  Internet web sites revealed the reputable safe brands were all sold out.   Los Angeles area TV news reported a couple stores had a few glasses left selling for ten dollars.  Family in another state learning my plight surprised me by sending glasses so I didn’t have to pursue some alternative viewing options.  
That morning our sky was overcast but finally cleared shortly before the eclipse time was to begin.   I sat down outdoors in my lawn chair, affixed my glasses, gazed directly at the sun as a portion slowly began to disappear from view ….. not from the side as I had anticipated, but from the sun’s curved top.    I confess to catching my breath ….. feeling a spark of emotional wonder on seeing the moon make its beginning intrusion over the sun’s edge.

After a few minutes I decided to retrieve a cup of coffee from indoors.  Once I stepped inside I was struck by how long my vision was taking adjusting to indoor darkness from the outdoor lighting.    Giving me pause, this caused me to alter my plan of sitting outside steadily gazing at the sun, preferring brief glances only periodically for the next however long – hour or so.  That was a wise choice I’ve subsequently learned.

So, I alternately viewed the live event outdoors with indoor viewing of television set network coverage, and NASA’S streaming video from the Internet on my laptop as the eclipse action sequentially moved across our continent.  The most dramatic totality view I observed was in Jackson Hole, Wyoming with the Grand Tetons backdrop.  This isn't that particular view but a short time lapse one in the area.

During the event Instant Messages were exchanged with friends here nearer the Pacific Coast, family in the Midwest who also saw only a partial eclipse, plus another who had traveled from her east coast home to visit friends in South Carolina where they experienced the awe-inspiring full eclipse with accompanying darkness.

I will always be enchanted by the wonders of nature and the universe.  Next time, if I’m still around in 2024, I might just make an effort – with advance planning – to travel where I might see a full eclipse with that total daytime enveloping darkness. 
Such experienced totality this year was just over 2 minutes, but will have 4 ½ minute peaks in 2024. 

April 8, 2024 the path to view a total eclipse in the U.S. extends from Texas to Maine summarized in a CNN article link noting: 

“Cities like Austin, Texas, Dallas; Little Rock, Arkansas; Indianapolis; Toledo, Cleveland and Akron, Ohio; Buffalo and Rochester, New York; Montpelier, Vermont and Montreal will be directly in the path of totality.”

If you’re wondering whether you can safely use your 2017 eclipse glasses in 2024, the short answer is that it’s probably best to get a new pair, according to this article at Live Science.  They offer some excellent references with links providing additional information about safe further use of these glasses, also cautions including that even with the eclipse glasses, looking directly at the sun should never be for more than a few seconds which I had never heard mentioned before.        

“After the 2024 event, the next closest rounds of total solar eclipses over the U.S. will occur on March 30, 2033, Aug. 23, 2044, Aug. 12, 2045 and March 30, 2052”.

Thought I’d best include those future dates in case anyone wanted to view a total eclipse but might be inclined to delay.  I’m not sure how many of those dates, if any, I’ll still be around to experience – but can we ever be sure of anything?  

Sunday, August 20, 2017



Self-attention has absorbed much of my focus the past couple of weeks -- nothing quite like a dental root canal to cause me to think about myself.   Having had one years ago -- that ultimately exhausted me with having to keep my mouth pried wide open for so long that I thought I’d crawl out of my skin before the Dr. finished -- I had this current root canal scheduled for two shorter sessions a week apart.  That earlier root canal had been more tolerable in retrospect because both of the roots were dead. 

I thought all teeth just had two roots, but I was surprised to learn this tooth had three roots.  In fact, some have four or five the endodontist said.   Should I have known this?  Did we learn this in grade school or higher grade science or health classes?   Had I forgotten this dentition knowledge?
This tooth’s third root nerve was alive, but numbing minimized or prevented most of the discomfort. 

When feeling returned after the first session, I finally reached the point I sought pain relief, but then the throbbing abruptly stopped so I didn’t take medication after all.   There was a dull ache, but I was not kept from sleeping that night.    The next week, expecting a possible initial similar reaction I was prepared, but unnecessarily so.   I experienced only a slight ache which interfered in no way with my night’s sleep, then that was gone when I awoke in the morning.  

Gotta finish up with this root-canalled tooth since, if all is well, then my dentist must crown it later.  I’m eating lots of soup, soft foods with minimal chewing on the opposite side of my mouth, but have discovered a sensitivity there.   Oh, well!


Another day -- off I went on an errand necessitating I lower my driver’s side car window – click, click ….. gr-r-r- um, gr-r-r-um – the window doesn’t move back up.  So, on the way home I stopped by my trusty auto mechanic shop.   They agreed to keep the car there, trouble shoot the problem, give me a ride home and see if they could fix whatever was needed -- but cautioned they might not be able to do so until after the weekend.   Turns out they were able to install a new motor correcting the problem the next day, but the cost was double what I had paid for a similar problem several years ago when a warranty had applied absorbing half of the expense.  Oh, well!    

For the first time since I’ve used these mechanics, there was a flaw in the door control panel when the car was returned to me.  The fact that this occurred concerns me, but they will fix it free when I take the auto to them again.  Oh, well!


This past week viewing television, surfing internet news accounts I’m appalled by events with hate-mongers crawling out from under their rocks to spread their venom in cities across our nation.    How anyone can excuse or defend their ideology of superiority is beyond rational moral comprehension.  

Marching in our streets to demonstrate power with threats describing their beliefs in documented conversations are reminiscent of what their counterparts did in Europe prior to WWII.   

U.S. Patriots peacefully counter-demonstrating in Virginia reaped the consequences of the hate-mongers spittle that corrupts weak minds, coupled with possible other trouble-makers deliberately inciting violence, resulted in a life lost and other decent persons being injured.  

The leader of our country is thought by some citizens to have betrayed our nation’s values once again.  He did so by not immediately unequivocally condemning those groups with whom the individual reportedly responsible for the death and injuries identified himself.

Providing/promoting equality, demonstrating moral, ethical values with the ideals on which our nation was founded to preserve our constitutional democratic republic is what our government’s leadership should be about.  We need to question whether or not our President is doing so based on his words and actions to date.


I learned we will see about 60% of the sun eclipse here in Southern California.   Fortunately, I was the recipient of the appropriately safe glasses to be able to directly view the moon and sun dance.  Their dance will begin around 9 a.m. here, reaching peak for us about 10:20 a.m., then ending about 11 a.m. I have only to hope we won’t have cloud cover interfering with my observing the event.  Oh, well!

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Music for my summer afternoons  . . . .  .  

"Summertime" -- Norah Jones with a svelte voice accompanied by suave pianist, Marian McPartland  at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival August 30, 2003

“Take Five” with Dave Brubeck’s classic . . . . .

"Estate (Summer)" with Shirley Horn's melancholy vocal . . . . .

"Lazy Afternoon" with Shirley Horn’s sensual rendition . . . .  .

"A Time For Love" with Shirley Horn's refined elegance . . . . .

"Dindi" with Shirley Horn Trio . . . . . 

"Gentle Rain" with Shirley Horn Trio instrumental . . . . . 

"Stardust" with Shirley Horn accompanied by Bill Charlap (piano), Peter Washington (bass), and Kenny Washington (drums). . . . .

"Smile" with Steven Tyler singing, featuring Chris Botti on trumpet . . . . .

"Here's To Life" as only Shirley Horn  can mesmerize . . . . .

Sunday, August 06, 2017



“Under the weather” – what a curious saying – is one way to describe how I felt beginning early this past week.   I was annoyed at first when I finally contacted my doctor that he didn’t see me, instead sending me to Urgent Care.  In retrospect, that was probably wise, since UC being directly associated with my hospital can expedite some necessary laboratory tests, if needed, providing results more quickly.

The UC doctor noted a summer flu was going around which was probably what I had, so no need for special medication.  She said just follow the old standard standby BRAT diet – bananas, rice, applesauce, toast.  I had previously resorted to such soft bland foods, having already weathered several days of illness.  

Fortunately, even at its worst this flu was mild – the first I’ve experienced in decades, so never imagined that’s what I had.  In fact, within a few days after I went to UC I am already on the way to being healthy again.    I might never have gone to UC – just toughed it out, as I've done much of my life, when I knew there were others in my home to act on my behalf if I became unable to do so.  Knowing when to seek help, not waiting too long until I’m unable to help myself,  is one consideration that is important when living alone.

As for “under the weather”, I made a brief search for the origins.   One such suggests weather changes sometimes affect how we feel -- not always for the better -- since some describe rainy days cause them to have increased aches and pains, for example.  The saying seems to have come about long ago when stormy weather's roiling seas rocking the ship sickened some sailors.   The seasick Gobs would go down under the deck to recuperate.  

“Gobs” you say?   Yes, that’s a slang term for sailor that H. L. Mencken described as American language war slang.    

“Gob … had been in use in the navy for a long while, though the common civilian designation for a sailor had been jackie. The origin of the terms is much disputed. Gob is variously explained as a derivative from the Chinese (?) word gobshite, and as the old word gob, signifying a large, irregular mass, applied to a new use. The original meaning of gobshite I don’t know. One correspondent suggests that gob was first used to designate sailors because of their somewhat voracious and noisy habits of feeding. He tells a story of an old master-at-arms who happened into a land aĆ«ro-station and found a party of sailors solemnly at table. “My Gawd,” he exclaimed, “lookit the gobs, usin’ forks an’ all!”


Why have I felt like we’ve been seeing a White House version of an old TV show called “The Apprentice” in which the host gained fame and fortune for saying “You’re fired!”?

Does our leader judge all civilian leaders as being like himself -- capable only of creating chaos – inept of skills to competently lead and direct otherwise?

Why do we need so many military leaders in cabinet and administrative positions to exercise required chain-of-command leadership for order?  

Does our Prez judge everybody by his own behavior, not recognizing most successful leaders do not follow his unsuccessful chaotic management style in govt. or business?

Or, if he ever revealed his income taxes would we learn he's not as successful as he portrays himself -- and has serious conflicts of interest – possibly involving foreign governments?    

How can any patriot not see another nation's intervention in our elections as an extremely dangerous situation, yet our Prez has not been enthusiastic about the need for an investigation?

Wouldn’t ensuring foreign nations are prevented from interfering in our elections be critical to protecting our country?


Once again, my trusty little netbook’s screen suddenly went to black.   I hadn’t noticed that the battery was not recharging, instead, the energy was just slowly draining away.   Interventions to rejuvenate the device have so far been totally unsuccessful.   Unfortunately, blog notes I had for future posts are on my netbook, so you see what I’ve come up with today.  I'm using my ancient sluggish laptop.  Will I finally have to get a new computer?   Who knows what the future will bring!