Glorious!


Source: APOD

Saw it with my wife in spectacular Painted Hills Oregon at nearly the exact center of the totality band. It was simply put, the most extraordinary thing I have ever witnessed. In a way it’s quite banal, a thing moving in front of another thing, but it feels incredibly sublime to experience it directly.

I stood on top of a high ridge overlooking a spectacular valley with a view of multicolored ridges and valleys stretching for miles in every direction. In the moments before totality I was watching the hills to the west to see the oncoming shadow. The entire scene was getting darker by the moment, similar to the appearance of an oncoming storm, but without noticeable wind. Within seconds it turned surreal. The farthest hills grew dark and stars appeared above the horizon while the sky above was blue and the the tiny sliver of remaining sun still shined upon us, though not with its usual intensity.

Seconds later the shadow of the umbra swept across the landscape in a headlong rush and I quickly turned to look at the sun which was in lightning transition to a shining ring in a dark purple sky, with stars shining all around it. The few score of watchers with me upon the ridge erupted into delirious joy as we were all overwhelmed at the site. I could immediately see how such a phenomenon could stop battles and bring the primitives to their knees in awe.

We could not have picked a more beautiful site for this eclipse and I will remember it to my dying day as a simply amazing site and feeling that is pretty much unreproducible. Until the next one.

Mexico 2024 or bust!

Enough of this shit

Not the Trump nonsense. That will go on and on I’m sure until he’s done enough damage to the world and himself to get booted from power. If he doesn’t end up behind bars where he should be, I have confidence that his reputation and that of the enabling Republican party will be in tatters. Just a matter of hopefully not too much time.

No. What I’m sick of is reality sticking it in my face that I’m getting older. Since learning of my wife’s BC a little over a year or so ago, I’ve had one health scare after another, most of which turned out to be greatly exaggerated and overwrought in my imagination. Once you know cancer intimately it seems every ache and pain must be stage 4 of something. I felt I was on to the pattern when the latest came up – a little odd-looking bump on my nose. My wife commented a couple of times that I should have it checked out and I finally relented and went to the dermatologist for it. As I walked in to the waiting room I felt a little ashamed of making this big of a deal of it. I expected him to say I was fine and healthy and dismiss me to deal with people with real problems.

After a quick look at the harmless little mole or wart or whatever I was quite startled to hear him say, “this appears to be skin cancer so better get this biopsied.” Two days later the confirmation came. Basal skin carcinoma. The best cancer to get, apparently, easily treatable and not a threat to survival in any way. Still, for the next day and a half I felt about a hundred years old and spiraling rapidly down to an early grave. After the past year of way too many doctor’s appointments, minor and not so minor procedures and examinations, and the baseless fears I’d encountered, being told I really had cancer just felt like the last straw. For the rest of the following day – yesterday – I was an emotional mess.

Just woke up from a dream in which I was interviewing for a very cool job with a tech startup and was presenting my qualifications and ambitious plans for the position. I can’t remember anything about the job except that I felt ready to take it on and excel. Apparently there’s a little more fight left in the old subconscious after all. Instead of moping all day and reloading web pages to see if Trump’s been impeached yet maybe I’ll start taking on that web course in React Native I’ve been putting off, then maybe take a long bike ride and work on a few new songs.

This little biological bump on the road isn’t the last straw. There will be many straws to come, and one of them will do me in some day, but there is an awful lot of unfinished business to take on right now. Enough of this shit.