2017-02-05

Solar Eclipse

Update
It's Sunday morning and I'm about 75% done with my editing pass of Peacekeeper Pathogen. I will get back to editing as soon as I finish putting out this post.

My place of business does an annual auction for Harvest for Hunger. This year, I donated two complete signed sets of all my books. While this will most likely not result in any sales, it sure feels good to know that I've contributed to a good cause.

Launch Pad
For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know I'm a huge supporter of the Launch Pad Workshop. If you are involved in the generation of science-related material that can be viewed by the public (such as science-fiction writers, script writers, movie producers, editors, etc.) and you have a desire to expand your knowledge with a group of like-minded individuals, then please apply to Launch Pad. If you are selected to attend you will enjoy an experience that will shape your life and give you pleasant memories for the rest of your days. If you have a few spare dollars in a savings account or you are getting back a little from your income taxes, please consider donating. I've made it easy by setting up a GoFundMe account.

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Preparations
On August 21st, the first total solar eclipse of the sun to be viewed in the United States in 40 years will occur. Where will you be? If you haven't made your travel plans yet, good luck at finding a place to stay. Based on the reports I've been hearing, every hotel, motel, campground, bed & breakfast, and even rooms to rent all across the path of totality are now sold out. I made my hotel reservations 7 months ago at a hotel 400 miles outside the path and two days before the eclipse. At the time I made the reservation, I was told there were two rooms available. I'm sure they're booked up now.

That hotel is not my final destination. It's just a waypoint on my trip from Ohio to South Carolina. I will be comfortably reclining on my dad's porch when the eclipse starts. His house sits just over 1,000 meters from the exact centerline of the path of totality. What luck!

There are some precautions you must take to properly observe an eclipse. Even if the sun is covered in clouds, even during totality, NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN! You might think you're safe because you're eyes aren't burning, but you're staring into a naked fusion reactor that's emitting huge amounts of dangerous radiation. Don't do it. I've already purchased my eclipse glasses so I and the others with me can safely observe the event. If you don't want to spend the few dollars to buy a pair or eclipse glasses (or forget to do so) you can always resort to the ancient technique of using a pinhole viewer. Instructions for this simple device can be found online.

If you miss the one this year, you will have another change in 2024. This one takes a different track across the nation and just happens to pass over my house. Making plans to see that one will be easy for me.

Planning Ahead
The 2017 solar eclipse is a great example of an event you need to be prepared for. If you have waited until now to make your plans, you will most likely be disappointed in the type of arrangements you end up with. There are many other life events a person needs to be planning for--some of them have to be planned many years in advance. Retirement is the one most people think about, but there are others. Unexpected car repairs and other expenses, sickness, taxes, and bad weather. It's okay to live in the moment, but you must also plan for the future. Even driving provides an example of how important it is to plan ahead, even if only by a few seconds. If you are only watching the tail of the car in front of you, you might not have enough time to avoid the accident that happens two cars in front of you. Read the road ahead - far ahead. Plan your life and look into the future as best you can. If you don't, your life will be a lot bumpier than you like.

Time to get back to editing.