I’m Feeling Very Odd

No, seriously, I’m feeling very odd, and not even sure what is going on.  I woke up feeling either very tired, terminally relaxed or depressed, and I can’t tell which.  I know this is bizarre, and it’s possible what it actually is is “coming down with a cold” or something like that.  I just know nothing matters very much and I want to sleep a lot.  I hope it’s not a cold, as it would be very hard in terms of traveling on Wednesday.

The other side of this is that I’ve been doing some work with professional guidance.  No, not exactly seeing a psychiatrist, but a friend is a psychiatrist and we’ve been talking.  Believe it or not, I’m writing a novel to work through my problems.  This is the same world I hid in when I was very unhappy growing up.  So, the terminally relaxed makes some sense.  But it’s weird.  If I shed my neurosis, what have I got?

Anyway, I have no intention of just sleeping, because I want to leave the house some semblance of clean, or at least not the mess it is right now, and I also have some clothes to take in/let out before we go.

I realized yesterday that I forgot to give you the program for oh, from tomorrow through the 10th of September.

I am running a lot of guest posts/blasts from the past.  I might write a post if something of note happens and if we have connectivity (we will, at least at times) I’ll drop into the comments and hang out as usual, but pardon me for doing this, okay?  I need some time off.  Not a lot, and not off-off.  I’ll be working on Guardian for one (was just telling the boss when to expect manuscript) and other stuff, if I finish earlier than expected, but…

Every morning I wake up with the consciousness I owe a blog.  I’d like two weeks without it.  After that, I’m going to try to do more of a write all posts one day and then schedule them too, because just the anxiety of figuring what to write for you every morning often stops me writing fiction and that’s not good.

BUT the blog will go on, and I arranged some great guest posts for you, from the polemic to the informative (Stephanie will have a series on the New Madrid fault.)  I hope you’ll enjoy it and only miss me a little.  (You have to miss me a little, otherwise what’s the point of coming back.)

Once school is in full swing, and we know his schedule, I’ll try to rope younger spawn in to a post a week, and maybe I can get Dan to do something once a week too.  Perhaps “adventures in tech” since I SWEAR he’s always figuring out something new to do with his computers.

Meanwhile, please keep this country in one piece and the ports open so I can come back.  I don’t want to have to devise a way to walk back from Europe.  I’d be very pissed by the time I get back.  You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Oh, yeah, as to the eclipse, a few things:

In the Dark of the Sun

Officials In South Carolina Are Warning Citizens Of Possible Lizard Man Sightings During The Eclipse


Eclipse tips: Prepare for werewolves and the Moon Serpent

145 thoughts on “I’m Feeling Very Odd

  1. pardon me for doing this, okay?

    No, we no pardon you for doing what you need to do. Pardon us for so much in the way of third order ending pressure. The justification of this blog had been to help promote your wrk, not suck up all energy to think of tales to sell us.

  2. Enjoy your trip.

    There’s been enough weird stuff going on these past couple of weeks to make anyone feel odd. I’m rather hoping, that rather like Occupy, things will dissipate once winter hits.

    1. You mean like Voltaire, St. Thomas More*, and Freaking Donald Trump ending up on the same side against like 90% of the media and popular culture?!?

      Any two of those, I wouldn’t have claimed to expect on the same side, but apparently “no, it’s not OK to violently assault those who publicly claim to support even the most horrific of things in a non-violent, went-through-all-the-hoops way while they are arguing against something entirely different” is radical.

      So much for “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Now it’s “I disagree with something else you said, so defending your right to talk without being assaulted is evil.”

      *Dramatized in the “cut down all the laws of England to get at the devil” scene, but one of the reasons that is so praised is that it catches the essence in a way that gets across in less than three hours.

  3. Will indeed miss you. Enjoy your time off!

    As far as the eclipse goes, my first thought was that I was a little worried about getting into work today due to the massive traffic headed into Wyoming. My second thought was that “massive traffic headed into Wyoming” was a phrase I wouldn’t have thought the English language had any use for…

  4. I’m glad its not just me. I’m getting that odd, twitchy feeling that I ought to be doing something… not prepping-preparing, but getting ready for an event or opportunity. It could also be that the days have been getting shorter, and we’ve been so overcast this month that it feels more like late September than mid-August. And I’ve been tired at night, more-so than I think I should be.*

    *Which could well be due to the fact that the last time I did the 0500 wake-up and exercise for an hour, then go, go, go, 1) I went to bed around 2000 instead of 2130 and 2) I was 10 years younger.

  5. So basically, you’re away, don’t wreck the place this time. got it.

    I’ll have to tell Fluffy that the wrestling matches with mechs are out.

        1. The sea serpent in the minion pool would put her foot down on that. (Yes, she has no feet. No, you don’t want to know how she did it anyway.) Eggs are vulnerable.

          1. I believe a crew is scheduled during the interval to come in and refinish the floor in the arena. That granite don’t polish itself, you know.

            1. I TOLD you all not to be cheapskates! Go for it, I urged you. It will pay for itself.

              But no, you had to go for the non-self-polishing granite to save a few credits. I hope you’re wiser now.

  6. > Every morning I wake up with the consciousness
    > I owe a blog. I’d like two weeks without it.

    I’ve come to look forward to each day’s blog entry, but if you’re finding it pressing… why not just put up “ON VACATION BACK 09/07” on the front page and take off for a while?

    As long as everyone knows when you’ll be back, it’s not like you’re abandoning the blog.

    1. Heck, I think that’d be nice for days when it is just a pain, too– because she’s built up a culture, here, and if there’s a constant “send in guest posts” and she’s basically “rant when I have something to say, post guest posts, otherwise talk in the comments and moderate” that is still keeping things going very nicely.

  7. You keep using words like OWE. You do not owe a blog. Not unless a mob of people PRE_PAY you for a blog. If you choose to blog it is at your PLEASURE or a gift to undeserving humanity. You may owe me a cover in your own mind, but you may decide to terminate our relationship with no penalty or hazard and tell me to go to the Devil. I have not given you an advance after all. Baen may be a little stickier legally. I assume you have Words On Paper, with wet ink signatures. There are very few people you owe. Most owe you a debt of gratitude for all you have given them to enrich their lives. Mostly on the cheap may I add. You are a BARGAIN. Just don’t get adjusted to ‘normal’, please. Normal is boring and the world has more than enough of it.

    1. That’s right, that’s what I was thinking when I read that. Sarah is too hard on herself and needs to realize that blogs are not a requirement. 🙂

    2. “Owe” is a strong word, but that doesn’t mean the blog is unimportant. When I first came to the blog, I’d never heard of this “Sarah Hoyt” person. I read the entry I’d been linked to and found it interesting. Then I realized she was a sci-fi writer, and so I went to look for her stuff. Then I read some of the promos, and realized she was also a mystery writer…At this point, obviously I’m not going to jump ship because Sarah takes a few weeks (or even months) off, but during that hiatus, she may be losing the opportunity to pull in others the way I was pulled in.

      So while our gracious hostess most certainly does not owe blog posts to us, she may owe them to herself and her career.

      1. Yet – the feeling continues, once one has established the habit of blogging – that one must go on providing free intellectual ice cream.
        I’m in a slump myself, trying to finish one YA book, start another, do work for the Teeny Publishing Bidness, and ramp up for the fall marketing season for my daughter and myself.
        At least, from this last, one may deduce that I believe there WILL be a fall/Christmas marketing season, come what may.

        1. Heck, I am “neglecting” my Conspiracies and Catholicism once-every-three-weeks blog series for the “tiny” reasons of a new baby, home-schooling the oldest three, socializing the 4th, and moving entirely across the country six months after my husband. Then setting the house up and trying to rebuild our school network when there’s one cousin family in three hours, and the next relative is two states away….

          And even then, I’ve got a ton of partial blogs that just need more research.

          Not sure if it’s an addiction, but it’s the only way you keep it going.

  8. I was actually upbeat this morning, anticipating the eclipse. Then, when I got to work, I found the bookcase we had for years in the hall gone. I assumed the books in it went somewhere.

    They did: The dumpster.

    Not being all that proud, I got a ladder and step stool, and into the dumpster I went. The books – a huge dictionary; a medical dictionary; and works of fiction we had for anyone to read, have now been given to good homes.

    And now, I’m waiting for the eclipse and someone tomorrow to ask me where I was when it was happening. Can’t wait to say “In the dark.”

    1. I had a military ID until I turned 18, and a card for the base library. I spent many happy hours there; it had a technology and engineering section about 3x larger than the university library.

      So, one day I go to the library – usually a couple of times a week – and the whole engineering section is… GONE. They’d come in over the weekend, tossed all the engineering books into the dumpster along with some of the shelves, fluffed everything out, and they were still in the processof unpacking and shelving boxes of fluff books – travelogues, cookbooks, that sort of thing. Waste of shelf space, every one.

      The head librarian wittered something about being “responsive to patron needs” (for a MILITARY library?!) and told me I’d just missed the dumpster pickup.

      That’s when I realized no reference material was safe unless it was *mine*, on my own shelves.

    1. I’ve been feeling a bit crummy myself today. Eat and drink. Dehydration is no fun. Major psychological work can affect the way you physically feel.

  9. Holidays are nice, breaks are even better. Enjoy your trip no matter what and we will try to keep up on the breakaged while you’re gone.

  10. OT: It was a nice clear morning. Was. Guess when the clouds started rolling in? Yep. Granted, not in the path of totality and the dimming is noticeable, but still, it fits the Astronomer’s Complaint: Interesting astronomical event translates to “expect overcast/storms.” And yes, the weather was forecast, but it was a tease of clarity just a bit earlier. Overcast all morning would be disappointing, but perhaps less… irksome.

    1. We’re right smack in the middle of the path of totality, here. My workmates and I expect to go outside around 2:30 (the time of totality around here), look up at the sun and say, “Heh, it’s dark. Cool.”

      1. its peak here. The reduced solar output (by 60% or so) is noticeable, but the shadows are still sharp, not diffuse like if it was overcast.

        1. To me, more like when we have a major forest fire up in the mountains and there’s a lot of smoke up high. Not diffuse, no – but noticeably dimmer than 11 AM with a clear blue sky normally is down here.

          1. The weather locally (expected to achieve somewhere near 99% obstruction) was supposed to be sunny and clear. Currently we are heavily overcast, with a thunderstorm. I think today may have had as much as 20% probability of rain; end of last week we were looking at 80% rain probability and received a quarter inch one or two days.

            It is almost as if the weather forecasters don’t actually know what is going to happen.

            1. That’s why they use probabilities, Res – hey, you just “won the lottery” (okay, probably one of those scratch-off tickets, not the big one).

              I’ll give them this – when I’ve seen a 100% forecast, I’ve had rain every time (a tropical storm has to come up the Gulf of California for that, so it’s rather rare). Never had a thunderstorm when they’ve given a 0% chance.

              1. Yep — probability is just what it claims. I’ve learned that the probability of rain and amount are very different things, as I’ve seen 90% probability drop less in the rain gauge than we get on a 10% day. But there is a certain amusement of the day’s dimming owing to storm clouding rather than moon shadow.

                It is almost as if Mankind is being reminded of the problems of hubris. Plan for sunny and moonish, get thunderstorms and 3/4 inches in 3/4 hours.

                1. Well, the probability of precipitation doesn’t mean quite what most people think it means. From the National Weather Service:

                  The “Probability of Precipitation” (PoP) describes the chance of precipitation occurring at any point you select in the area.

                  How do forecasters arrive at this value?

                  Mathematically, PoP is defined as follows:
                  PoP = C x A where “C” = the confidence that precipitation will occur somewhere in the forecast area, and where “A” = the percent of the area that will receive measurable precipitation, if it occurs at all.

                  So… in the case of the forecast above (PoP of 40%), if the forecaster knows precipitation is sure to occur ( confidence is 100% ), he/she is expressing how much of the area will receive measurable rain. ( PoP = “C” x “A” or “1” times “.4” which equals .4 or 40%.)

                  But, most of the time, the forecaster is expressing a combination of degree of confidence and areal coverage. If the forecaster is only 50% sure that precipitation will occur, and expects that, if it does occur, it will produce measurable rain over about 80 percent of the area, the PoP (chance of rain) is 40%. ( PoP = .5 x .8 which equals .4 or 40%. )

                  In either event, the correct way to interpret the forecast is: there is a 40 percent chance that rain will occur at any given point in the area.
                  [Doug again] It should be noted that “area” can encompass a fairly large geographical area. Note also that the POP measure is meaningless unless it is associated with a period of time. NWS forecasts commonly use POP defined over 12-hour periods (POP12), though 6-hour periods (POP6) and other measures are also published. A “daytime” POP12 means from 6 am to 6 pm.

                  1. This is why I long ago concluded that it didn’t matter what “The Market” did* but rather, what my particular stocks did. Nor does it matter what national polls say, but what the individual state polls indicate.

                    *Unless you are invested in Index Funds.

                  2. oww! that made my brain hurt. It’s been way too long since I took stats. I guess the army meteorologists have to be more careful. Would want to have been the guy telling Ike that there was going to be wall to wall rain on Jun 6, 1944.

                    1. On 4 June, there were near-gale force winds in the Channel and heavy rain. Much of the invasion fleet was at sea, and had to return to port. But at 9 PM on 4 June, RAF Group Captain Stagg told Eisenhower that the rain would stop and the winds would drop within a few hours, and that the weather would be clear on 6 June and for several days afterward.

                      Eisenhower gave the order to go. Stagg was right, and the rest is history.

          2. It is interesting how much of the sun can be obscured without it much changing the light level. We were at 95%, and while it was dimmer, it was “sun went behind a cloud” dimmer rather than “night” or even “twilight” dimmer.

              1. We were at 100% and we did notice that the light got somewhat strange but still nothing like darkness till totality, when it got as dark as deep twilight for at most a couple of minutes. Then a sliver of sun started showing through again and we went back to strange light.

                1. I had some fun discussing with workmates the similarity to the light we were seeing and what you might expect on a habitable planet circling a red dwarf star.

                  Of course, I had to go ruin it and explain that a planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf star would very likely be tidally locked, and that the heavy UV radiation and frequent solar flares would probably have blown the atmosphere away long ago…

              2. Here, at 92%, it was an awful lot like the light quality you get looking through a tinted window – everything had a grayish cast to it. Definitely different from your normal twilights.

                It was actually kind of disorienting.

                And all of the streetlights came on, which was amusing.

                1. Makes me remember the only partial solar eclipse I’ve ever seen in my life. It was amazing. 85-95% totality. The sky was this odd, very alien steel gray color. I watched it with the children, outside our house in Townsville. We were the ONLY PEOPLE OUTSIDE in the neighborhood. Okay maybe the rest of ’em were in their back yards.

                  Was rather awesome, and I hope to be able to experience another some day.

            1. I think you would only notice a big difference with a light meter in hand. I don’t remember the number, but our eyes normally block out the majority of the sunlight. (Except right after an eye exam. I hate those…)

            2. It gave me a new appreciation for how little light gets through on overcast days. We had a partial eclipse, and at that point a pinhole viewer barely showed the sliver of the sun, but otherwise it didn’t seem dark. Thought it would be like one I witnessed as a kid.

              At various times I used a solar filter; two index cards with a pinhole in one; and, at the spur of the moment, rigged up a projector out of a pair of binoculars. Meanwhile, at the local school, they were keeping the children huddled inside.

              I stopped for a soft drink and a snack on the way home from work, and a teacher was in front of me. The cashier started a conversation about the eclipse, and she lamented she had to stay inside with the children. After biting my tongue several times, I finally said. “Why did you keep them inside and not use this as a teaching experience?”

              “Yeah,” said the cashier.

              We didn’t get a good answer. At that point I had to bite my tongue some more. This, on top of the book incident, has me ready to vent about the illiterati.

              1. My cousin did a make-shift pinhole projector with her hands after hearing about the leaves of trees making natural ones at the right angle.

            3. We had a clear blue sky, though– which was freaking CREEPY.

              The light wouldn’t have been that odd if there had been, oh, heavy cloud cover….it would’ve been “huh, funny, the clouds made it look like it’s an hour before dark. Cool.”

              But it was a clear blue sky, and without the glasses you couldn’t SEE anything. But it was colder, like at least three or four months colder for that time of day.

              The only big difference was that animals acted like it was evening, not cloudy. And even that was more of a “uh…. ok, this is strange” amount of time before they stopped and went back to normal, maybe ten minutes. (We were 80% percent.)

              Awesome, because we knew what was happening, but oh my gosh if we hadn’t known……

              1. Yeah, that was the other thing we did notice – it got cooler during that partial eclipse I saw with the kids. Mind, the ground was still warm so it wasn’t as noticeable. And the sky was perfectly clear, and STEEL GRAY.

                The curlues started making night-time noises (screeching as if they were about to be murdered) then … eerie silence.

        2. Yeah. The light is just less, not more flat.

          Here it was overcast. Except at peak (about 60%) it was hard to tell it was not just overcast. If you didn’t use the glasses or whatnot.

      2. We’re light overcast and about five minutes from peak (80%). One of the local weather guys is up in Scotts Bluff, NE and was going into raptures about totality. He’s just a wee bit of an astronomy nut. 🙂

        1. We’re just past peak now (91%), and only partly cloudy. One of the other sin the office brought in glasses and left them on the window ledge so we could all get a chance to take a look. Very neat. Some outside were watching through their own glasses or with welding faceshields.

        2. We had maybe 95% or so. Rain clouds were moving in, which gave an interesting effect. The temperature dropped due to the eclipse, and the sudden cloud cover prevented it from recovering. We went from the upper 90s down to the 80s, and it never got into the 90s again.

          Oh: we also had evening insects singing. That was interesting, because it was brighter than twilight.

      3. Lucky you! I took a look at the NASA feed, and it is 99% “climate change,” and about 1% “eclipse.” Sigh, that swamp is deep.

        I’m observing the partial here, though, and found I didn’t have to do anything – the tarp I put up every summer to block the direct morning sun into my office has worn enough that it is full of pinholes, so I’m wandering out there every so often (looks like about maximum for me right now).

        Let me chime in here on the main topic, in agreement – Sarah, you don’t owe any person on this blog one damned thing. (Unless you have a signed contract with one of us reprobates. I could see that you maybe have one with Res, guaranteeing a regular supply of carp, but anyone else…)

        You’re not the only one who’s been out of sorts lately, either. Weather? The idiots running around, either in their funny hats or with the masks? That dreaded thing called age? That time of life when the chicks leave the nest (both too quickly and too slowly – at the same time!)? Who knows. Vacate. Recharge. We WILL keep this place and its attached country open for business while you are doing so.

        1. At lunch, I went to a local dollar store and bought some index cards. The cashier mentioned the eclipse and I explained what the cards were for, and she said “At least I’ll be safe inside.” That aspect was so bad locally that on the news there were people concerned about the animals going blind during the eclipse.

          1. Inside, locked room with no windows, lights off, blanket over my head, perched tactically on my operator stool in case a SWAT team breaks down the door with a flashlight.

        2. I can’t believe NASA is still pushing the climate change BS. I thought Trump told them to knock it off and get back to SPACE like they are SUPPOSED to be working on??

      1. I don’t know if John or William Herschel actually had anything to do with it, but a good many years ago there was an article (Sky & Telescope?) about a weather forecast chart allegedly from one of them. It could be summed up: New moon and good dark sky? Bet on cloudy. There was a certain.. resonance.

  11. As a minion serving several mistresses (voluntary and platonic you filthy lot) I was delighted to facilitate and coordinate the series of seven articles developed out of the New Madrid presentation that Stephanie did at Libertycon. Turns out the timing was perfect to fill a need stemming from Sarah’s upcoming vacation. I just love it when a plan comes together.
    Don’t know what the posting schedule will be, but I’m confident that Steph will be available to answer any questions that come up. And too, the pitch, articles, and a good deal of additional research have been gathered into an e-book appropriately titled Rock and Roll: The New Madrid Fault System.

      1. That link will be included in each of the articles.
        Have a bit of patience.
        If you must have spoilers: Buildings were destroyed, people died, and the Mississippi river halted in its flow to the gulf.

        1. For those unfamiliar with the New Madrid earthquakes, these happened in 1811-1812, from what is now northeastern Arkansas through the Missouri bootheel to New Madrid, Missouri. Of course, this area was all part of the Louisiana Purchase at that time.

          1. Interesting note, I’ve heard that the first steamboat on the Mississippi was traveling the Mississippi during one of quakes.

            It was seen by some Indians on the Mississippi just before the quake happened.

            After the quake, they saw it again and shot at it apparently believing that the steamboat caused the quake. 😉

          2. Hmm … just ran down a rabbit trail about St. Charles. I was going to ask about damage there, given the style of some of the oldest buildings are decidedly French, then realized they probably were built after the quake. That means there was at least a persistent French architectural style after the Louisiana Purchase.

            1. Blinks. That actually wasn’t on my mind. It’s when, during an earthquake, sand erupts out of the ground like a geyser. You can still find them in places around the New Madrid fault.

    1. We barely had a crescent visible through my welding shield, but the total drop in perceived light was less than that of some clouds going over. Without the shield, it wouldn’t even have been noticeable.

      Theoretically this is the darkest eclipse I’ve experienced, but I remember the others as *much* darker. Now I need to hit some astronomy sites and see if I can figure out which ones they were.

    2. Sky dimmed quite noticeably for half an hour beforehand. Was able to glimpse the disc with a borrowed viewer.

  12. The eclipse was amazing to see, even though we only got 87.44% totality. I got some cool photos! Apparently it left little shining crescents everywhere in the shadow, it was too neat!

      1. Radio news was reporting that some economist with too much time on their hands calculated the lost productivity of all the employees stopping work across the US to watch.

        Ah, found it’s root press release: https://www.challengergray.com/press/press-releases/total-eclipse-could-cost-us-employers-694m

        Funny, I never hear that lost-productivity-in-dollars calculation every year for all the “are you kidding me?” holidays that gummint empoyees get that nobody in private industry gets.

        1. Give me a few moments and I can make up some figures on lost productivity from people taking off for the beginning of deer season and three-day football or NASCAR weekends…

          1. Or just measure it against time spent in company team-building exercises, corporate [blank] awareness training or just about any company-mandated meetings.

  13. Sometimes you need a good sanity break, and now probably more so than normal with how weird things have been getting culturally/politically/ect.

    1. Even the Blogfather takes regular leave. You don’t think you’re better than the Blogfather, do you?

      Pretty soon folks’ll be calling you Sarah “Too Good For Vacation” Hoyt.

  14. The time you spend on this blog is a gift that we deeply appreciate. Should the time come when you can no longer make us this gift, we understand completely.

    Have a good time, relax to whatever degree you can, come home safe. Blog when you want to blog, not otherwise. Please. Take care of yourself. Your friends value you.

  15. Europe better watch out, Sarah’s coming! 😀

    In all seriousness, have fun. Stay safe.

  16. Now if you could walk from Europe to Colorado, that would be after some serious apocalyptic goings-on… Have a safe trip, have fun.

  17. You ARE very odd. So is every human being on this planet. I understand that normal people have horns and 4 hooves and have bovines in their ancestry.

    And no, putting on a horned Viking helmet won’t make you normal. 😉

  18. I hope you have a great time!
    We’ll do our best to be here when you come back.
    (Sighs. Puts recipe for bathtub napalm back in it’s folder.)

  19. If you shed your neuroses, what have you got? A more grounded, well-rested, down-to-earth you, with a fair amount of wry humour as you watch other people grapple with those same neuroses.

    You are not the sum total of your neuroses, no more than I was. When they’re gone, you’ll still recognize the woman in the mirror. And trust me, life will STILL find plenty of curveballs to throw at you. But without the drama between the ears, the constant petty and major trials of life are a lot less exhausting.

  20. I took my daughters close enough to Columbia, SC to see the full eclipse (VERY cool) but I saw nothing supernatural – though I admit some of the truckers parked in the same place may have been a trifle questionable.

  21. Enjoy your tine away, and try of to think of the blog. We shall be here when you return.
    We were in the 70-ish percent for the eclipse, and many of us left the office to enjoy the event.

  22. Enjoy your trip and time away. It’s usually needed.

    Speaking of feeling odd, working through things, and wondering what the creative drive will be like when all is said and done, I’ve been there for the past year and some. Difference is, my particular set of demons kept me from ever producing more than a trickle here and there. So it’s not like I’d be losing much if banishing them stole some of the stories n’ things from the back of my head. But still, it’s a worry, and hard not to realize that some of the internal mechanisms pushing us to be creative are those very demons, in a way.

    Sorry for coming off so strongly in the other blog post, by the by. Had some things that needed to get out.

  23. Somebody‘s been busy! Funding their escape to a foreign empire …?

    Freedom, Ah Freedom, That’s Just Some People Talking
    By Sarah Hoyt
    A friend posted this article in a private Facebook group and I was vaguely amused at the idea that only men try to hide their feelings or can lack a support network. Vaguely amused because it seemed to me that the woman writing this got her idea of women from sitcoms.

    I was vaguely amused also by the idea that the world we live in was built for men and that we only remember men’s achievements. More on that later.

    But it was this that brought me to a standstill before I lowered my head and pinched the bridge of my nose in what a friend of mine has nicknamed “the sinal salute.”

    Men have inherited more freedom than women. This is not a personal opinion. It is not up for debate.

    First of all, there is the “this is not a personal opinion and it is not up for debate” thing. Pro tip from someone who has a graduate degree in the liberal arts, and who is a veteran of political argument. Whenever you see those words, the matter in question is very much up for debate and it is very much a personal opinion. The writer is just trying to sell you something she knows you won’t want to buy, and is hoping you’ll let her roll you.

    In the next sentence she explains what she means by “freedom” and yep, it is exactly what I expected:


    1. > it seemed to me that the woman writing
      > this got her idea of women from sitcoms.

      For a large number of people, yes. Sitcoms and soap operas.

      Two working parents and the Electronic Pacifier running 24/7, what else are they going to use as role models?

    2. “You know, she is absolutely right. All those women in Islamic countries, whipped by the morality police if a little bit of ankle shows. All the women who can be divorced by saying “I divorce you” three times, and have their kids pulled away from them. All the women who can’t control their own money or even drive a car because it’s haram for them to do so.”

      That’s not oppression. That’s DIVERSITY!

  24. FWIW I traveled north (and slightly east) into Tennessee and got pretty much on the center line of the eclipse.

    If anybody would like me to gin up an article on the eclipse from a science perspective, let me know. Sarah would have to post it after she got back, but I’ll be happy to do it.

    1. Well, if won’t no one else ain’t gonna say nothing, I am always interested in articles from a science perspective, even eclipsial articles.

    2. I would look forward to an article about the eclipse from you. I just got back this morning from a trip to Oregon, where I had an excellent view, though a bit off the center of the track. We had just under a minute of totality and were at a clear location where most of the minor phenomena were observable.

      I hope Sarah enjoys her vacation and I look forward to her return.

      1. If you don’t mind the opsec violation, where abouts?

        Had family going through John Day and they were putting it in a lower ring of hell…

        1. No opsec violation. There won’t be another eclipse there and it is public land. The place is called High Rock, Oregon. My nephew had just stumbled upon it the day before as he was scouting locations out that way. It has a nice view of Mount Hood and would be worth checking out even without a special event like the eclipse. There is a parking area where some people camped overnight and a moderate trail up to a peak with panoramic views. We left the hotel in Vancouver, Washington about three AM and got there at first light. One of the people there called it his secret spot and said he had never seen so many people there before. With a good camera and lens, one could get picture postcard quality pictures of Mount Hood.

  25. A friend of mine is an experienced cognitive behavioral therapist; we were talking about nutrition (a big part of my work) and mental health. She told me:

    • When her clients who are anxious and/or depressed have blood sugar problems (major fluctuations or elevated blood sugar) and they successfully deal with this, their anxiety/depression usually improve, sometimes dramatically.

    • People who are anxious often use their anxiety for energy and motivation, and when the anxiety improves, they often feel emotionally flat; they often tell her that they feel depressed. If the anxiety really is better (and there’s not a true underlying/accompanying depression which is why she uses validated questionnaires for her clients,) they’re not depressed, they’re experiencing “normal” for the first time in years, or maybe even their lives.

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