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Monday, August 21, 2017



As I sit at my computer awaiting the 75 percent eclipse that is expected in New Jersey I am in awe.

Am I in awe of the moon blocking out the sun?  Not really, as a matter of fact I am staying inside afraid to watch the spectacle as I have been bombarded with warnings about going blind from watching the eclipse. 

Yes, I could get those special glasses which were sold out a week ago, but there have also been warnings about how safe some glasses are.  Some have been certified falsely…which ones?  I don’t want to find out.

I could watch it through a box with a pinhole or something, but isn’t that just a shadow?  I don’t know, to me it is not worth the chance of hurting my eyes.  I vaguely remember a partial eclipse many years ago where there was none of this buildup.  It was interesting, but it was not a big deal.  The news, the internet, whatever is responsible for the hoopla, I still think the excitement has been overdone and is quite frankly a little silly.

So why am I in awe?

I get the moon blocking the sun thing; cool, but I understand the principle. 

I am in awe of the mathematicians that can take the size of the moon, the size of the sun, the distance of both from the earth at any particular phase of orbit, then use the speed of the moon circling the earth and the earth circling the sun plus the earths spin on its axis, and then predict to the second when and where there will be a total eclipse.

They have been able to do this for many years, even many years before computers, and they are even telling us when and where it will happen next in the US, several years from now.

The eclipse; very cool for sure.

The mathematics that predicts the exact track and time of the total eclipse…UNBELIEVABLE!!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

RIP-OFF…maybe not

RIP-OFF…maybe not
 Last year I bought three solar accent lights for my backyard.  I have several small lights in the front.  The front ones are small and were pretty cheap, maybe $6 per light.  The ones I bought for the back were much bigger and brighter, and cost about $15 each.
Of the three lights in the back, only one worked.  Two did nothing from day one.  I was a bit pissed about this and was determined to take them back.  Of course, I kept putting it off as I hate returning stuff, and with being away several weeks in the summer it also slipped my mind.
Mrs. C had to ask a question which tested my intelligence. 
“Did you pull the tab?” 
These lights have a tab that blocks the battery from the contacts.
“Yes, of course I pulled the tabs, how do you think the one works?  That is the first thing I did.”
Anyway, today I was planning on taking the lights back to Lowes where I bought them, and was ready to do battle because I don’t have any receipts.  Before leaving though, I thought maybe the batteries were just no good, so I decided to first test them with batteries from lights that worked.
I took out several working batteries and changed out the batteries in the non-working lights.  It was then I noticed a little switch by the battery contacts that was set to OFF.  I’m guessing the switch should be set to ON in order to work.  Why anyone would want to switch off solar accent lights that only go on in the dark I’ll never understand.
My dilemma now is, do I tell Mrs. C that the batteries just needed changing, tell her I exchanged the lights at the store, or fess up that I’m an idiot?
I think I need to make a fake visit to Lowes tomorrow.  Don’t tell Mrs. C.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Gol Dang Corn-Shuckers

Gol Dang Corn-Shuckers
I run into these Corn-shuckers every summer and they really are the fingernails on my blackboard (GIY).  No, that is not a euphemism for a different type of despicable person, I am talking about actual Corn-shuckers…shuckers of corn.

OK, I guess I have to explain, and lest I offend a Corn-shucker who is not aware of this indiscretion, if you are a Corn-shucker, you are forgiven for now, but just stop it!
When I go to the supermarket for some fresh corn on the cob, there is a large table full of ears.  If you get to the table late, ¾ of the ears have been partially shucked by…that’s tight, CORN-SHUCKERS.
These are people who are so special they have to shuck each ear until they find the perfect ear of corn.  No shriveled kernels, no icky corn worms and whatever else, I don’t know. 
Well listen up Corn-shuckers:
The tops of most ears have shriveled kernels and most people break off the top inch anyway.
Those icky worms almost never exist anymore, probably thanks to GMO corn and they only are in the top that gets broken off.
When you put back that shucked imperfect ear, it dries out.  No one wants a dried out ear.
The moment corn is shucked the natural sugars that make corn so good start to convert to starch.  Early shucking makes dried out starchy crappy tasting corn!
As a result of all this corn shucking by these perfect-ear-seeking Corn-shuckers the only remaining un-shucked ears are the obviously smaller thinner less desirable ears.

I don’t want the dried-out ears that you Corn-shuckers shucked.  I don’t want ears that have been touched by your grubby Corn-shucking hands.  I  want my corn to taste sweet, not starchy.  
No one takes the shucked corn.  Everyone sees it and thinks,
“If this ear was not good enough for the Corn-shucker, then it is not good enough for me.” 
Those shucked ears go to waste and as a result the price of an ear of corn goes way up.
Please people, stop shucking the corn in the store.  Take a chance at an imperfect ear, live dangerously.  Buy an extra ear in case you get a bad one, these days very few bad ears make it to the market.
Help keep the price of corn down, be respectful of corn buyers to follow.
No one likes a Corn-shucker!