Out Of This World News


Sun through sunroof, on my way to capture the eclipse.

On this past Monday, the day of the much anticipated solar eclipse, the sun shone brightly from the time it rose until about one-half hour before the celestial event was scheduled to begin in Philadelphia.

Only a partial was going to appear in this region. That’s when the clouds rolled in.

As seen to the left, the sky began to become increasingly overcast while on my way to Pennypack Park on the Delaware River, the spot at which I had practiced shooting the sun on the day before.

Of course not a cloud was seen on Sunday for most of the day.


Setup at Pennypack Park on the Delaware River in Philly

The photography setup took some time to prepare. A 4″ x 4″ solar filter, made of a black-polymer film, needed to be secured to the front end of the 500mm lens attached to a Nikon D5200 camera.

The filter has a shiny, silver surface on one side: the outer portion that faces the sun; the inner side is black.

Masking tape worked perfectly and was easy to remove. The Cooper is looking good these days, eh? Not bad for going on 14 years old. The chair has survived well too, considering it’s 4 years old; and my posterior isn’t getting any smaller or lighter.

The Eagles, by the way, are looking good also, as witnessed in their preseason games so far. I’m waiting until the end of the baseball season before turning in my Phillies’ cap for the Eagles’ chapeau.


Start of the eclipse

At 1 P. M., the sky looked mighty ominous, as shown on the left.

Little hope prevailed for my getting any decent photographs of the main event, which was due to start in 15 minutes.

A cable-television series claims, “It’s always sunny in Philadelphia.” Let me take that a step further by adding the disclaimer: except for when there’s a solar eclipse.

Fortunately, the sun popped through the clouds occasionally, allowing for enough photos to make a composite picture of the entire partial eclipse, plus an animated GIF, and a video too:

Partial Solar Eclipse-thumbnails 08-21-17-ss

Thumbnail collage of the partial eclipse

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Animated GIF of the Partial Eclipse

Naturally, after the end of the eclipse, the sky cleared entirely; and the sun blazed uninterruptedly for the rest of the afternoon, straight through until sunset. Go figure!

In other news, I ordered a new cup holder myself from Amazon for the Cooper. As noted in a prior entry, the mechanic who state-inspected the car broke it accidentally; and he ordered a new one to replace it, which turned out to be the wrong model and wouldn’t interchange without his drilling into the car’s console for a Rube Goldberg fix.

The correct device arrived and I installed it in a flash. I feel bad for expecting the auto technician at the inspection station to pay for it.  Albeit he broke it,  but the guy is the owner of a one-man operation and seems to work a lot of hours to make ends meet. The cup holder cost more than the inspection did.

I’m going to let it slide for now. When next year rolls around, and I take the Cooper there for the inspection renewal, I’ll barter with him then.

Elsewhere in the news, the refund from Amazon for my steampunk glasses, as featured in the previous tirade, landed in my account at the Internet superstore. The amount showed up in a gift card, which I redeemed today on an order for a new landline phone. Yes, I still have one of those, but got tired of using a rotary dial.

Not! Only kidding, but I did upgrade to one with caller ID. Talk about being behind the times. It took the last telemarketer who called this afternoon to prompt my decision for buying one with that convenient feature, so I can report them.

Both my home and cellphone numbers are included on the FTC’s National Do Not Call List. I checked on their Web site to verify. Pennsylvania has one as well, come to find out, onto which both phone numbers are now registered.

As haters will always hate, telemarketers will always be telemarketing regardless of how many do-not-call lists there are. A simple cure for them is to just hang up the phone when one of their calls comes through. They never call back.

Lastly, sweltering heat waves and above-average temperatures have plagued us again this summer in the Philadelphia area, inspiring me to cover an old rock-and-roll chestnut by the Lovin’ Spoonful. Allow me to share it with you:

The weather has broken finally. Cooler temperatures are a welcoming change. Leaving the windows open and using a blanket makes for sound sleeping like that of a hibernating bear. I love it!

The next musical cover on here will feature a duet with the lovely and multi-talented Rie Waits, which we’re presently putting together. I’m looking forward to the end result.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by and for your continued support.

About Mike Slickster

As an early retiree with an honorary doctorate degree from the proverbial "School of Hard Knocks," this upcoming author with a lot of free time on his hands utilizes his expansive repertoire for humorous yet tragic, wildly creative writing that contains years of imaginative fantasy, pure nonsense, classic slapstick, extreme happiness and searing heartbreak; gathered by a wealth of personal experiences throughout his thrilling—sometimes mundane or unusually horrid—free-spirited, rock-'n'-roller-coaster ride around our beloved Planet Earth. Mike Slickster's illustrious quest continues, living now in Act Three of his present incarnation, quite a bit on the cutting edge of profundity and philosophical merriment as seen through his colorful characters, most notably evident in the amusing Thirty Days Across the Big Pond series, all of which can be found at Lulu.com.
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3 Responses to Out Of This World News

  1. Jack Maher says:

    I finally get to see the eclipse. Very overcast in Culpeper Va.also. Thanks for the great photos. Mike

  2. Hi, Jack. Thanks for stopping in and making your kind comment. I had thought about you when the eclipse was happening, wondering how much closer to the total eclipse was your view from down in Virginia. Too bad about the weather. That’s always the way it seems to go.

  3. Funny, I had a dream overnight that a telemarketer called. After I hung up on him, he called back, dagnabbit 🙂

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