Eclipse 2017

We decided not to make the trek to the swath of totality north of us today. I’ve never experienced a total eclipse but I remember another time when we experienced a near-total eclipse here in Huntsville back in the early eighties. I don’t think it was nearly as complete as the 97% totality that we saw today.

Back then, we made a pin hole camera and watched the eclipse on the back of a cardboard box. My oldest daughter was about five and we gave her a pot and a wooden spoon and we made noise and told the dragon to give the sun back. It was fun in a hippy, neopagan sort of way.

Today, on the other hand, was a bit different. First the only children involved were our two Maltipoos. They are our fur children after all. They were more interested in smelling the grass than the eclipse. It got way darker than I’ve seen before. I had never used the ISO darkened glasses before. I must have over done it a little bit. My eyes are sunburned. I’ve done that before without looking directly at the sun.

We took the colander out and looked at all the tiny crescents projected on the piece of white packing foam that we put on the ground for an ad-hoc screen. We came back in shortly after the peak eclipse. We were hot and and ready for a cool drink of water.

I spent the rest of the afternoon scanning in business cards that I had collected at the Southern Writers Expo last Saturday. I also took the opportunity to learn how to use the photo editing tools in iPhoto. My plans for the scans is to use them as part of a Writer Contact database that I am creating with an application called Airtable (

Airtable is the easiest database to set up and use that I know of. It makes something that used to take an experienced database developer to set up easy enough that someone that knows nothing about databases can do it. They have a number of examples, templates for popular uses, and tutorials as well. If you have ever used a database, you probably won’t need to do much more than glance at the examples and read the getting started document.

A particularly nice feature is that you can drag and drop documents, like pdfs or pictures, into an attachment field in your table. I am using it to make an inventory of valuables. If you thought you needed a database and a programmer, have a look at Airtable and see if it won’t do the job for you.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.