The Eclipse at 60

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Published on The Doomstead Diner August 31, 2017

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Happy 60th Birthday to ME! :icon_sunny:

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Somewhat incredibly, today I reached my 60th complete year Walking the Earth as a Homo Sap Meat package.  I have considered myself "60" for just about the whole of this last year, but now it is "official", I am 60 years old.  I never figured I would make it so long in this iteration of my immortal soul.  I should have been dead many times over already, and really I have considered all the time since I was 50 as Bonus Time.  I am glad I got this Bonus, because it gave me the opportunity to observe and write about the Collapse of Industrial Civilization I witness around me every day.

In terms of my own life, I already covered most of it in my autobiographical posts, so not a whole heck of a lot to write there anymore other than going into more detail, most of which I don't remember all that well at this point.  My life continues onward though, as sad and decrepit as it is so I still have new shit to write about every day to keep me bizzy.  The most recent action was my Last Great Adventure down to witness the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ in Rexburg, Idaho with some friends. It turned out to be a great Bucket List trip overall, and in this article I will cover the eclipse itself as we experienced it.  If you can manage it, this is something you do not want to miss experiencing in your lifetime.  This was the only one I ever saw, once in a lifetime for me.  There is another one due to occur in the FSoA in 2024. if I am still above ground and can still get into the 70 mile wide Path of Totality for that one, I will be there too.  My hopes are not very high that I will make it that long to see that one, but at least I got to this one and it was incredible.  It is a memory that will go with me into Eternity in the Great Beyond.

The TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ came on Monday, August 21st, 2017 around 11:30AM where we were located in Rexburg, Idaho.  To be ready for it, I determined a wake-up call of 8AM was necessary for all at the campsite.  I was up substantially before that around 6:30AM, and K-Dog was actually up before me probably around 6AM.  Brian got up a little before 8AM.  The Nex Gen Ecliptics though were a bit hard to wake up, I had to yell at their tents and shake them a few times to roust them out of their sleeping bags.  They went well into the night before soaking up the booze and ganja and were not too happy about getting out of bed so early. lol.  I did manage to disturb their Wa enough though to get them moving by around 8:30 to perform their main job of cooking up breakfast, which was another good bacon/egg/hash brown potatoes meal, which once again I did not eat too much of.

By around 11, we were all set up for the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ , and right on schedule it began to occur as we finished breakfast.  If you don't have Eclipse Glasses, at the beginning of the Annular Eclipse when the Moon first begins to cover the SUN, you wouldn't notice it at all.  If you have the Glasses though and know it is coming, you watch for the beginning.  K-Dog was the first to pick it up in our encampment, and perhaps at the whole Rexburg, Idaho site we were at.  The call you make when you detect this is FIRST CONTACT, and you shout it out.

When it first occurs, you have been in anticipation of the event for so long this is very exciting, but visually even through the Eclipse Glasses it's really not that big a show overall.  You're just seeing the Moon slide over the SUN at a relatively slow rate.  Primitive people never got to see this show at all, you can't look up at the SUN even when just a sliver is left still shining through.  I find it hard to imagine how anyone could "damage their eyes" looking at the SUN during this period, without the Eclipse SUN Glasses on I couldn't even look up at it for a second of time.  You definitely can't see jack shit this way, so why would anyone do it?  You don't even realize anything is ongoing until the last couple of minutes of the Annular Phase of the Eclipse. because your eyes adjust to the changing light conditions.  If you are really perceptive, you will notice that there is higher contrast at the edges of objects you look at because the light is coming from a smaller and smaller crescent all the time, but you don't get really perceptible darkness or change in temperature until the last few minutes before TOTALITY sets in.  Primitive people without all the equipment and the knowledge of what was ongoing would have been taken completely by surprise, and it must have been quite the shocker for them.  You also have to remember that the Path of Totality is only around 70 miles wide during any TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼, so few people historically got to see one of them.  They didn't have EZ travel and mobility we have now, certainly no Inuit living up here on the Last Great Frontier could travel by Jet Plane to go see one occur in Idaho.  For most people, such travel remains impossible and out of budget to this day.  Even though I am a relatively poor cripple living on my SSI bennies, relative to global population I am still probably in the Top 1% of the world to be able to afford such an extravagance.

I did get to go though, and I will never regret this trip or feel bad about the fossil fuels I burned to get there.  There is no Bucket List item I can think of that could match this experience.

The TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ lasted only around 2:15 of time, but it transfixes your gaze while it is ongoing.  Time slows down in your perception of it.  I stopped trying to shoot pictures after around 30 seconds because I really was not properly set up for that, and trying to readjust my cameras and the filters I would have been so bizzy I would have missed actually watching the event take place.  Fortunately, my fellow Admin here on the Diner Surly DID get really good pics of the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ in South Carolina which I incorporated into the video along with the audio I recorded during this period in Rexburg.  I compiled all of it into the Video Montage that heads this article.

The aftermath of TOTALITY as I said at the end of the video is sort of a "post-coital" experience.  The first part of the Annular Eclipse is like Foreplay where you have expectations and become stimulated, and the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ is the Orgasm.  Afterward, the Annular Eclipse of the Moon exiting the other side is just a repeat of the incoming phase, just run in reverse.  At the end of that, there is no big sight to see, you just have your normal SUN again.  So for those of us at the Boondocking site in Rexburg, we were all ready to leave pretty much as soon as the TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN☼ was finished.  Actually, Brian was ready to be out of there even before that, while everyone else was enjoying the spectacle Brian bizzied himself packing up stuff and organizing for the trip out in his usual obsessive manner.  Pretty much single handedly he packed up the whole campsite, simply because he wouldn't wait for everyone else to help him. lol.  Like we were rushing to get somewhere?  The plan was to stay at the Bates Motel anyhow, so it made a big difference if we got there at 7PM or 9PM?  Due to Brian's diligence and expert and obsessive packing  and organizing though, we did get there at 7PM and had a really awful meal at a local restaurant! lol.

The trip out did come with some good Traffic though, unlike the trip in.  We ran into a stretch of road shortly after crossing the border into Montana that had been cut down to one lane for maintenance, although there was no maintenance being done for the entire 5 miles or so of this lane restricton visible anywhere along the road.  This backed up traffic for a good 1.5 hours @ around a top speed of 5 mph.  We raced along against two other interesting vehicles, a logging truck that had a full load on its main trailer and then a lonely single log on the auxiliary trailer, it was pulling double.  I cannot fathom why they would throw a single log onto a whole second trailer.

The other rig racing with us belonged to the FSoA Air Force, and appeared to be a Missile Carrier complete with the hydraulics to angle the missile upwards and fire it off.  Probably a Cruise Missile of some type, I don't think this rig was big enough to be carrying an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).  It certainly would have been cool if they actually fired the thing off while we were stuck in traffic, but that did not happen. lol.  It also had out in front of it another rig which obviously was the control rig for this device.  Where they were going with it I have no idea.  I am sure it will protect us from attacks by the North Koreans though.

We made it back to Couer d'Alene in pretty good shape just around noon, and unloading the Toyota went pretty quick.  K-Dog and myself organized our bags to be ready for a pickup from an airport shuttle service at 4PM to save Brian the hassle of driving us to the airport.  K-Dog had his flight to Seattle for the evening that night around 6PM, mine was not until the following day so I copped a hotel room by the airport for the night and did a lot of sleeping and some editing of photos taken during the adventure.

The trip to Seattle was de riguer for a cripple, I got my ass wheeled around the airport, picked up my bags and K-Dog was on time to pick me up, waiting in the smart phone staging lot for me to text him I was ready for pickup.  We had another enjoyable day together shooting the Collapse Shit, with the major excitement for the day being we got ourselves locked out on his porch when the porch door locked itself closed after being slammed shut.  Fortunately, his son was available to rescue us after a 15 minute drive from where he was hanging out in Seattle, so we got out of this one relatively easily.  The following morning prior to my flight back to the Last Great Frontier, we headed over to the airport rental car warehouse and rented him a car for the week while he waits for his Mercedes transmission to be fixed up.  The resolution on that one was to have the Mercedes shipped from the "dealership" in Missoula to the one in Seattle he bought it from for repair.  The Missoula "dealership" really doesn't deserve this title at all, it is basically just a car lot for sales.  They have a one-bay "service" department and one employee to do this task, and it was going to be a good couple of weeks before he even LOOKED at it or threw it on the computer to get the codes to diagnose the problem, which is how the techno-carz work these days.  Hopefully in Seattle they will get to it a bit quicker than this.

My final stop on the Last Great Adventure was a pilgrimmage to the grave of Jimi Hendrix in Seattle, which is a real nice monument with other family members buried under gravestones surrounding it and a big bronze guitar underneath the concrete gazebo which I presume Jimi is buried underneath.  I won't have near so big a monument at my gravesite, but I do intend for it to be quite technically neat so it houses my corporeal remains safely until the SUN goes Red Giant.  My friends and relatives all think I am nuts for this, but I don't care.  I am going to get this piece of shit left of my Meat Suit packaged up right so it lasts a long fucking time.

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