Sunday Morning Open Thread: Instructions for the Upcoming Solar Event

If you haven’t been able to score a proper pair of eclipse glasses, the Washington Post weather page has instructions for making your own personal cardboard projection ‘theater’.

If you’re not going to be able to get outside for the event, the NYTimes has a useful article on How to Watch the Eclipse Online.

If you’re just exasperated / infuriated by all the clueless ombraphiles-come-lately cluttering up the perfect eclipse-watching venue you chose months ago, the NYTimes explains Why Some Say the Eclipse Is Best Experienced in a Crowd.
Apart from preparing, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Meanwhile, the Proper Authorities are issuing warnings both serious…

The Federal Highway Administration is offering a number of tips for drivers who will be on the road during the event:

– Don’t stop along the interstate or park on the shoulder
– Exit the highway to a safe location to view the eclipse
– Don’t take photographs while driving
– Don’t wear eclipse glasses while driving
– Turn your headlights on
– Watch for pedestrians on smaller roads
– Prepare for extra congestion the day before, the day of and the day after in states in the path of the eclipse
– Avoid travel in the area of the main path, if possible

… and tongue-firmly-in-cheek:

In a hilarious Facebook post shared [two weeks ago], the Oconee County Georgia Sheriff’s Office shared a special announcement from Sheriff Scott Berry likening the eclipse to “the end of life on this planet as we know it.”

Sheriff Scott Berry announces that on Monday, August 21, at about the time your kids are riding home from school on the bus that there will be a solar eclipse of the sun as celestial forces no one understands will blot out the sun. It is very likely this is the end of life on this planet as we know it…

Don’t look at the eclipse, unless of course you live in the backwoods of Tennessee. In that case no one will hear you scream as you stumble blindly into a moonshine still or a bear trap. Millions of Americans are blinded every week by staring directly into the sun, eclipse or not. Don’t do it.

Your sunglasses will not protect you from certain death if you look at the sun. However, for a mere $29.99 (plus $9.00 shipping and handling) you can order “stare directly at the sun wearing these” glasses from NASA and the Home Shopping Network…

Leading scientists tell us that post eclipse the only two things they expect to survive are cockroaches and Facebook. Wait, is that one thing or two things????

(Tole Toles via

141 replies
  1. 1
    Viva Bris Vegas says:

    OK, I’ll say this one last time. If you are within driving, riding, walking or crawling distance of the path of the total eclipse, do whatever you have to do to get there.

    Any percentage lower than 100% is not the eclipse experience. Even 99% is no big wow. 100% is the real deal.

    Get to somewhere from where you can see the moon pass completely before the sun. It is like nothing else on Earth.

    I’ve seen two of these and the only thing keeping me away from this one is the Pacific Ocean.

  2. 2
    Amir Khalid says:

    The Girl and I have much work to do. Today, we’re getting the hang of the G Major scale. Also, I’m a southpaw trying to play righty. So I’m working on my right-handed strumming and picking.

    There will be no solar eclipse for me tomorrow. It will be nighttime where I am, and if I understand correctly nighttime solar eclipses are very rare.

  3. 3
    sukabi says:

    Pretty sure the sheriff thinks the locals are a bunch of dumbshits and his humor is his defense against beating his head against his desk and screaming…

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    Or maybe he just has a sense of humour.

  5. 5
    BC in Illinois says:

    Weather forecast for St. Louis area, Monday August 21st, 9AM – 8PM:

    Mostly Cloudy

  6. 6
    sukabi says:

    @Amir Khalid: maybe…although most humor comes from personal pain as a coping mechanism…

  7. 7
    NotMax says:

    Apropos of (almost) nothing, a cute, even pithy, post-war BIll Mauldin cartoon.

  8. 8
    Arclite says:

    Fuck Trump. Fuck him with a rusty nail.

    Also, I’m stuck on an island, so I’ll only get a sliver of the eclipse tomorrow. One of my coworkers flew to KY to see the whole thing.

  9. 9
    ThresherK says:

    @Amir Khalid: Which instrument? I’m a southpaw and play guitar strictly left-handed. And strung left-handed.

    As I anyone who hears me can tell, I’m self-taught.

  10. 10
    TriassicSands says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I’m a southpaw trying to play righty.

    No, Amir, say it isn’t so! What would Jimi say?

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BC in Illinois: Where are you getting that info? NWS has it at:

    A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. Heat index values as high as 100. Calm wind becoming south around 6 mph in the morning.

  12. 12
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😐😐😐

  13. 13
    TriassicSands says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It will be nighttime where I am, and if I understand correctly nighttime solar eclipses are very rare.

    Yes, but you can look at them without protective eyewear!

  14. 14
    Amir Khalid says:

    The Girl is a butterscotch-blond Squier Affinity Telecaster. The amp is a Fender Champion 20. We get along great.

    The Fender distributors charge extra for lefty guitars. Sigh. I doubt Jimi would accuse me of betraying my fellow southpaws. Did you know that Nils Lofgren is a southpaw who plays righty? (I saw him in a documentary about the E Street Band. He wrote left-handed when taking notes at a band meeting.)

  15. 15

    @Amir Khalid: Not true, Amir. Solar eclipses happen all the time at night, you just can’t see them.

  16. 16
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m not sure how it works over there. But on my side of the planet we don’t get nighttime solar eclipses; the sun isn’t out at night. Do you happen to have any photos of a nighttime solar eclipse? I’d be curious to see what one looks like. ;)

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: A flat picking buddy of mine always thought being left handed would have worked to his advantage, figured the fret work sure would have been a lot easier for him. I don’t know, he always sounds good to me.

  18. 18
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    the sun isn’t out at night.

    That’s because it’s light is blocked by the earth! Ergo, an eclipse! Or something or other.

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  20. 20
    raven says:

    What up? They found the Indianapolis, Dick Gregory died and I’m still trying to recover from nearshore fishing!

  21. 21
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: Did you catch anything notable?

  22. 22
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Toles is familiar with Asimov story.

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Saw that,
    Any luck?

  24. 24
    bystander says:

    Some writer for The Hill was assaulted by an Antifa guy in Charlottesville. Something tells me we’re going to be hearing a lot more about how the truly terrible people are the Antifa.

  25. 25

    @Amir Khalid: No nighttime eclipses, but how about a Milky Way pic, hot out of the camera*.

    *Photoshop was used to composite the foreground and background.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    You’re absolutely right! Why didn’t I think of that?

  28. 28
  29. 29
    satby says:

    Good morning/evening all! I’m going to try getting some projects done in the garden and yard that I’ve been putting off before I go to work this morning. I’m completely useless after a nine hour market day, I could never be a farmer. They go home and work another 6 hours picking more produce.

  30. 30
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @bystander: If there’s one thing right-wing media are great at, it’s taking dives and working the refs. And there’s going to be at least one counter-protester who becomes violent in some way at any sufficiently large event. So get used to it. They’re making a stink about some flag-grabbing incident in Boston too.

  31. 31
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning 🌞

  32. 32
    Lapassionara says:

    Good morning. I drove across Tennessee yesterday on I-40, from NC toward Nashville. Signs everywhere about “no parking here during eclipse,” and “solar eclipse Monday, August 21. Plan ahead.” I think TN DOT has had plenty of experience with homo-doofus.

    Stopped for night in Clarksville and heard locals claim it would be the very best viewing locale in US. Will be in St Louis by noon today, if traffic permits. Was planning on viewing from my yard, but may need to rethink.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    frosty says:

    @Lapassionara: We came down I65 frim Kentucky yesterday and saw the same signs. “Plan Ahead” … for the apocalypse?

    Anyhoo, we set up in our campsite where they’re advertising Eclipse in the Park. We got an eclipse goody bag at check in with instructions on where to go, how to watch, a pair of glasses for each of us, and a eclipse coozy for our drinks. We’re set!

    ETA: Been anxiously watching the forecast. It’s gone through various iterations of cloudiness until now the hourly is sunny all day! Except for the 2 hours around totality where it’s Mostly Sunny. Beats raining and socked in anyway.

  35. 35
    Baud says:

    @Matt McIrvin: We need to learn to talk over the media and to support people who are able to do that.

  36. 36
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    This made me laugh:

    Theresa May briefly had my sympathy last week. She was in Portsmouth to celebrate the fact that Britain’s new £3bn floating table had made it all the way round from Scotland without sinking or chipping a bit off Kent or being towed away by the Russians. It was supposed to be a happy event – a lovely huge weapon of war. Of course we all hope it’ll never have to be used to kill people. It works out a lot cheaper if you just use it to threaten to kill them.

    “What on earth am I going to say,” she must have asked herself and her aides, “about what Donald Trump said about the events in Charlottesville? People are going to insist I say something about that. We need to think long and hard to find a form of words that will keep me out of trouble without sounding like they’ve been thought long and hard about to keep me out of trouble.”

    A tricky position, I’m sure you’ll agree. Actually, I’m not sure you’ll agree. You may believe politicians should just say what they think. Enough of the spin, enough of the evasion: out with it. In which case, you may be a fan of Donald Trump, because that’s what he does.

    Apart from a brief interlude on Monday in which he glumly read something out about Nazis being bad, Trump’s response to the violence caused by an extreme rightwing rally has been to share the blame equally between the KKK-sympathising, neo-Nazi, antisemitic-slogan-chanting torch-wielders and those who protested against them. It’s broadly equivalent to making the occupants of the World Trade Center accept half the responsibility for 9/11 on the basis that they got in the way.

    This is difficult stuff to agree with, even for Theresa May, whose mouth spouts so much horseshit you’d think her anus gobbled oats. Obviously she wants to agree with Donald Trump – before she’s heard what he’s said, that must always be what she hopes she’ll be able to do. He’s in charge of the world’s most powerful country, and Britain, having just alienated history’s most powerful continent, needs friends. And, indeed, Theresa May, having just screwed up her party’s political position with a horrendously misjudged and mismanaged election, also needs friends.

    And he’s held her hand, and he’s coming on a state visit, and he says he’ll do us a lovely trade deal, and he’s also a deeply vain, hypersensitive megalomaniac who takes all slights extremely personally. So it would be really good to be able to just agree with him. Then they can be like Thatcher and Reagan – or at least like the people who might play Thatcher and Reagan in a low-budget TV movie. Or actually on the radio.

    But Trump has said something with which nobody reasonable could agree. Literally the only people who agree are white supremacists. So she can’t agree with him and, please excuse a bit of moist-eyed romanticism, I suspect she genuinely doesn’t agree with him. No one would say Theresa May was overburdened with integrity but I do reckon she’s sincerely anti-Nazi. When she went into politics, she probably didn’t expect her anti-Nazi views to place many limits on her political career. How times change.

    So she said she disagreed with him. Sort of. She stood on our one measly aircraftless aircraft carrier and contradicted the horrible man who’s commander-in-chief of at least 10. “I see no equivalence between those who propound fascist views and those who oppose them. I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them,” she said, probably worrying it would mean we’ll now have to sell the carrier. And the first-year depreciation on those things is a killer. You mark my words: one of the UAE will snap it up for a nine-figure sum and it’ll end its days as an enormous swim-up ca$1n0.

    But May didn’t actually slag off Trump. She asserted a contrary view, but she didn’t then say: “…and so President Trump is wrong and bad”. Which gave Jeremy Corbyn the opportunity to complain: “Theresa May cannot remain silent while the US president refuses categorically to denounce white supremacists and neo-Nazi violence.” I don’t blame him – that’s politics and it’s a lovely opportunity. Now, if she doesn’t condemn Trump, she’s “remaining silent” and if she does, she’s bowing to pressure from the opposition.

    So I sympathise with May. Would her having a pop at Trump do any good? By, say, making clear what this country stands for – “The UK: very gradually phasing out racism since the abolition of the slave trade!” – or marginally weakening the position of a bad American president? It’s possible, but it might not. It might have achieved no more than messing up a cushy trade deal.

    Nobody does droll like a Brit.

  37. 37
    Betty Cracker says:

    @raven: Well done!

  38. 38
    Baud says:


    whose mouth spouts so much horseshit you’d think her anus gobbled oats.


  39. 39
    Raven says:

    This article is advice from my 2nd cousin, the astrophotographer.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Amir Khalid: No eclipse for me either. Interesting chatter chatter though.

  42. 42
    satby says:

    @raven: whoa raven! Quite a haul.

  43. 43
    frosty says:

    @rikyrah: Morning, rikyrah. Hope you never get to see me here this early again. Woke up 2 hours ago, can’t get back to sleep. Gonna put the phone down and try again.

  44. 44
    Raven says:

    @satby: it was really fun. The dude has a degree in ecology and grew up on Edisto so he really knew his stuff.

  45. 45
    satby says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I’ll be working. So I may be able to go catch a brief glimpse of the 80% peak by dashing out to the mall parking lot for a minute, but that’ll be all.

  46. 46
    satby says:

    @Raven: I’m not much of a fisherman, but the best fish ever is fresh caught, filleted, and popped right into the frying pan. Only had that maybe twice in my life but boy, SO good!

  47. 47

    We can’t drive to our eclipse site until tomorrow because Mr IOL is at a bridge tournament. I’m worried about traffic.

  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    but the best fish ever is fresh caught, filleted, and popped right into the frying pan.

    Fresh mountain trout, a little salt and pepper in the gut cavity, grilled whole, DON’T FORGET THE CHEEK MEAT… Believe me, there is nothing better than that. As good? Well, the moment of savoring fresh fish no matter how it is cooked is always better than anything else ever made. Until the next time.

  49. 49
    satby says:


    Well, the moment of savoring fresh fish no matter how it is cooked is always better than anything else ever made. Until the next time.

    True dat!

  50. 50
    bystander says:



    Yes, indeedy.

    I heard a commenter remark that Cornel West said that the militant counterprotestors in Charlottesville actually protected him and the group of clergy he was with from being attacked by the neo-Nazis. Not that they deserve to be protected, but still…

  51. 51
    Jeffro says:

    Here’s the seventh of seven by the editorial staff at the LA Times: Enough is Enough

    Republicans and conservatives around the country should be just as concerned as Democrats about Trump’s conflicts of interest, his campaign’s relationship with the Russians and whether he engaged in obstruction of justice. They should call him out when he sows division, when he dog-whistles, when he emboldens bigots. They should stand up for global human rights, for constructive engagement with the rest of the world and for other shared American values that transcend party allegiances.

    Rejecting the president of one’s own party could mean alienating friends, crossing allies, damaging one’s chances of advancement or risking one’s career altogether for a matter of principle. But that’s the very definition of leadership.

    No one can sit on the sidelines now. It’s time for Republicans to show some spine.

    I think September’s the time for a “March for Shame”…from here on out, all of our efforts should be to pressure GOP officials.

  52. 52
    Keith P. says:

    I’m trying to get an Apocalypto-watching party going, but most everyone I know works in offices.

  53. 53
    JPL says:

    The local schools are encouraging parents to keep their children at home. My neighbor is excited about attending school since he won’t have to change classes and they will have activities to view the eclipse safely.

    @Iowa Old Lady: Since there are talks about major traffic jams, it’s possible that folks will leave today. At least that’s what I hope happens. My son is driving 100 miles north for totality, but I’m watching in my backyard. I have a ten o’clock meeting that I can’t miss.

  54. 54
    Nelson says:

    Amanda Hugnkiss‏ @caliluvgirl77 19h19 hours ago

    Judging from the way this country takes warnings, I’m expecting a shit load of blind people on Monday.

  55. 55
    satby says:

    Oh hey, a little bird (ok, it was FB) told me today is O Felix Culpa’s birthday! Happy Birthday to O Felix, and many more! 🎉🎂🎂🎂🎉

  56. 56
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Everyone who is coming to my place arrives today. I suspect the predictions for Jamaggedon are just a little overblown, but why not have a nice leisurely drive on back country roads thru beautiful country and arrive a day early so that one can get down to the serious business of sitting back and enjoying oneself?

  57. 57
    BC in Illinois says:


    Now that I’m up for the day, I see that still is predicting a “mostly cloudy” eclipse period. This is not inconsistent with a NWS prediction of

    A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93

    The eclipse is scheduled for just after 1PM.

    I’m not going to panic until tonight’s forecasts, but I do see a possibility of “scattered eclipse” for tomorrow. Time to put away the drum circle and the magic glasses, and take out the umbrellas and watch the eclipse on my phone.

  58. 58
    Another Scott says:

    Morning everyone.


  59. 59
    Lee says:

    My youngest & I are heading to Kansas City to spend then night tonight (from Dallas). Then getting up at 4amish to for the drive to St Joseph, Missouri.

    Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will see the totality.

  60. 60
    debbie says:


    That sentence stopped me cold! What would Rupert say?!?

  61. 61
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BC in Illinois: A 20% chance of thundershowers after 1 PM doesn’t = mostly cloudy at 1:17 PM (the time of totality here- our weather prediction is the same just a few degrees cooler) In my experience it means “increasing clouds leading to a 20% chance of thunderstorms at some point after 1 PM”.

    I have learned to never let a weather forecast dictate what I do. I’m going to enjoy myself regardless.

    eta a correction of 9 to a 0

  62. 62
    Lee says:

    Oh, my Plan B is to continue driving to Grand Island Nebraska. Which has a slightly (very slightly) better forecast.

    I have a friend going to Boise Idaho. The forecast there is sunny & hot.

  63. 63
    debbie says:


    I’m more interested in finding a grove of trees and checking out the leaf shadows which apparently only happen during an eclipse.

  64. 64
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Lee: I’ve been to Dallas three of the last four weeks. Every time I walk out of the airport I get confused as to whether I landed at DFW or on the surface of the sun.

  65. 65
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @debbie: That’s the only thing about all this that really interests me, except avoiding the crowds.

    Different strokes.

  66. 66
    bystander says:

    @bystander: Found a discussion that verifies West’s comments about the Antifa protecting other counterprotestors. Not that they weren’t looking for a justification to swat nazis but still they served a useful purpose the police failed utterly to do.

  67. 67
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @Steve in the ATL: There’s a difference?

  68. 68
    Lee says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Yeah we’ve had some real hots ones recently. Usually this time of year it is just really hot, but with all the rain we’ve had it is really hot & humid.

  69. 69
    Jeff says:

    @Viva Bris Vegas: The last partial in Philadelphia was several decades ago. It was no big deal. Sort of like a cloud passing over the sun. I expect about the same this time.

  70. 70
    bystander says:

    I forgot to provide a link.

    Slate article.

  71. 71
    bystander says:

    @Jeff: We will be in Pike County, Pa during the eclipse, a couple of hours north of Philadelphia, and we are told almost 75% eclipse. Also, no campers, no traffic jams, and no crowds.

    ETA Heard a report that the last time a total solar eclipse fully visible in North America was 1776. Hope that’s a harbinger of something.

  72. 72
    satby says:

    @debbie: @A Ghost to Most: me too. I remember the last almost total eclipse I was around for was kind of anticlimactic, but then we were watching in grade school with pinhole boxes on our heads.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Ucckkk, Dallas in summer, the very definition of hell.

  75. 75
    Schlemazel says:

    @BC in Illinois:
    Much of the midwest including Nebraska and Missouri may be socked in. MAJOR disappointment potential

    No, I saw a total back in the 80s & others have seen them here also. It ws 90 years ago that the last one to span America happened

  76. 76
    BC in Illinois says:


    I have learned to never let a weather forecast dictate what I do. I’m going to enjoy myself regardless.


    I have looked at forecasts of no rain–while it is raining outside. Forecasts certainly get more accurate as the time approaches. What I see myself doing tomorrow morning is looking at the maps of the cloud cover forecast for the afternoon, and listen to what people say about the traffic. (If I decide to drive out of St Louis County to a better location, hundreds of others will do the same.)

    One daughter is planning on driving south for the day to pick up 20 seconds or so of totality. Another daughter is heading back to Illinois. I really would rather not miss this thing.

  77. 77
    Schlemazel says:

    I’d recommend Bill Mauldin’s biography of the war years. Funny and endearing

  78. 78
    JPL says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Yup! The first year we moved to Dallas, the neighbors mentioned how fortunate it was that they weren’t having a hot summer. lol It was miserable by my standards.

  79. 79
    satby says:

    @Baud: yeah, looks like the one I remember was the 1963 one, it wasn’t total in Chicago anyway.

    But, I cordially invite people to come hang out in my place in South Bend 7 years from now in 2024, where I’ll be just outside the path of the next total eclipse.

  80. 80
    debbie says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Florida in summer is much the same. Walking out of the terminal was like a slap in the face with those old, musty felt car wash scrubber things.

  81. 81
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BC in Illinois: An Arkie buddy of mine who is coming said something to the effect of “You sure you want to invite me? The weather always sucks for me.” I countered with, “Yeah well, the weather Gods always smile on me when it really counts so it balances out and besides, I’d rather miss it with you than see it without you.”

  82. 82
    satby says:


    I’d rather miss it with you than see it without you.

    A good philosophy to have in life about everything.

  83. 83
    HinTN says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: AMEN, brother. We decamp Salt Lake City for Riverton within the hour.

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: My mother grew up in Dallas and as a child we always went down for a week or 2 during the summer. The mere act of walking out the door was akin to entering a blast furnace. As a child my body was able to adjust fairly quickly, but I will never forget that feeling of stepping out into the sun.

  85. 85
    Doug R says:

    @Viva Bris Vegas: We had plans to head south to Oregon, then your country had to select the malignant mango menace. Now we’ll have to settle for 88% coverage in southern BC.

  86. 86
    tybee says:

    forecast for chucktown south carolina is: A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly between 9am and 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 9 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

    glad i’m not trekking north the 50 miles or so to stare at clouds.

  87. 87
    BC in Illinois says:


    I’d rather miss it with you than see it without you.

    A good philosophy to have in life about everything.

    Amen to both. I had a biblically-minded buddy who would say that “Sometimes you have to build the altar here, so that the fire can come down somewhere else.” He taught me [or at least tried to teach me] to appreciate what was really happening, not regret the event that didn’t happen.

  88. 88
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @bystander: The Antifa need to reign themselves in if that story is true.

  89. 89
    tybee says:


    took the seine out to the north end of tybee yesterday: several quarts of good sized shrimp, a couple of 18″ flounder, several dozen 18″ mullet (smoked mullet or fishcakes coming up) and one net full of menhaden – which weigh a ton and aren’t good for dining on.
    no large stingarees which is a good thing.

  90. 90
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @HinTN: May clear blue Wyoming skies follow you wherever you go.

  91. 91
    bystander says:

    @Baud: Killjoy.

    @Patricia Kayden: They need to rein themselves in, I agree. And the physical assault of the Nazi who tried to hold the outdoor press conference was beyond the pale. I can’t remember a time since the Viet Nam protest era when people were so willing to visit violence on each other.

  92. 92
    aimai says:

    @bystander: This is what a failed state looks like: you have to imagine you can rely on someone when the police are corrupt or ineffective. Its how the mafia got their start. I detest “antifa” because, of course, you can’t tell if they are police agitators or nazi/fascist agitators in disguise. I saw some of them in the crowd of 20,000 yesterday in Boston and I wanted to kick the shit out of them myself. I was there–barefaced!–with my daughters and there were lots of people there with elderly relatives, people in wheelchairs, people on crutches. Who the fuck needed antifa? We were there to help each other and we had the courage to do it under our own names with our faces bare to the sun. Those little jerks were either spoiling for a fight or determined to cosplay bravery. Once you saw that there were 20,000 regular marchers they should have taken off their stupid masks and walked with the rest of us.

  93. 93
    aimai says:

    @bystander: You mean when white people were willing to visit violence on white people? Because the open season on POC has been ongoing–with assaults on and off camera–for centuries, unabated.

  94. 94
    delk says:

    I’m having a reclast infusion tomorrow. Should be finishing up right during the eclipse.

  95. 95
    oldgold says:

    Warning: do not look directly at solar eclipse jokes.

    Boy: Dad, can you tell me what an eclipse is?

    Dad: No sun.

  96. 96
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Impeachment would be the bestest birthday present ever! Short of that, Ms. O and I are going to enjoy the mineral springs at Ojo Caliente – free on the date of birth to New Mexico residents – yay!

  97. 97
    Lahke says:

    I’m in Oregon, having done all my planning last year for this (still too late, since Madras was already booked up), but scored a suite of rooms in the Dalles for my family, just 90 miles away). We planned to leave at midnight to make sure to get to our reserved parking space at the Madras Airport, but now everyone is panicked about chaos and bailing out except for one brother and spouse. So there’s a couple of rooms open at the Shilo inn for anyone who acts fast, and a couple of spots at the airport if you can get there. We gave up the rooms already, but maybe one of the front pagers can facilitate transfer of the parking permit.

  98. 98
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @raven: Oooh, nice haul.

  99. 99
    A Ghost to Most says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And likely wind.

  100. 100
    RedDirtGirl says:

    Open thread query re: the video posted earlier about the two “free speechers” who had to be escorted to the rotunda and were protected by counter protesters. I noticed one of them had an Israeli Flag wrapped around his shoulders. I know there is a connection between evangelicals and the state of Israel (having to do with the second coming, I think). But it seemed odd to see that flag at a fascist event where anti-semitic chants are likely to be used. Any theories on what was going on there?

  101. 101
    Another Scott says:

    @oldgold: (chuckle)

    Thanks. :-)


  102. 102
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @RedDirtGirl: I know there is a connection between evangelicals and the state of Israel (having to do with the second coming, I think).

    IIRC, the Last Battle (like the last volume of the Chronicles of Narnia) against the forces of Satan (gee who could that be?) will be fought, and lost, by the Jews in the Holy Land. Only after the earthly triumph of evil will (can?) Jesus come back to judge the living and the dead, etc. Less apocalyptically, Israel is an outpost of white people against the Mahometan terr’rists. Someone posted on twitter a picture of a small rural house in TN, flying a confederate flag at the top of their pole, with a Israeli flag under it, with a WTF caption. Made perfect sense to me.

  103. 103
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Sad news about Freddie de Boer, former front-pager here.

    Shortly I will be headed to the Richmond University Medical Center to pursue intensive treatment for my mental illness. My day-to-day existence has become entirely unmanageable, and I fear for my health and safety. I do not have much of a plan at this point other than to get checked in. When I am back out I will try to decide if this project can continue. If not I will immediately suspend the Patreon, but feel free to stop your payments yourselves too. It is clear that I can never return to my old ways of engaging online, and I must leave semipublic life permanently, among many other changes. All I want is to build a quiet and simple existence where I can live and work privately without hurting myself or others. At present I have a hard time contemplating the future. I just know that my life is fundamentally broken and drastic measures are necessary to fix it.

    My immediate priority is to get healthy, and to try and save my job and the health insurance that is necessary for my immediate survival. I need to try preserve whatever I have left.

    I would give everything I own to be anyone other than who I am. Goodbye and thank you for everything.

  104. 104
    tybee says:


    when does a joke become a Dad joke?

    when the punch line becomes apparent.

  105. 105
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @satby: Thank you!!! (and FB). The day is off to a wonderful start!

  106. 106
    tybee says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    he should have listened to us. we made that diagnosis years ago.

  107. 107
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: My immediate priority is to get healthy, and to try and save my job and the health insurance that is necessary for my immediate survival.

    Howling at clouds and preaching to the choir, but how can this sentence make sense?

  108. 108
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @satby: Felicitations to O Felix!

  109. 109
    debbie says:


    Awfully harsh.

  110. 110
    satby says:

    @oldgold: good one 👍

  111. 111
    Tom Levenson says:

    @bystander: Not even remotely true. See, e.g, the eclipse of 1878 chapter in somebody-or other’s The Hunt for Vulcan.

  112. 112
    satby says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: well, that is sad. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

  113. 113
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: When someone says “I am having serious mental problems and am taking steps to deal with them,” I don’t probe too closely into wording.

    I’ve always thought that Freddie’s writing and political views edged toward strange, but wouldn’t have guessed mental illness. Sounds like he may be suicidal.

    And a reminder: If you are having self-damaging thoughts, get help. We’re all more fragile now, with the Dysfunction-in-Chief causing a new crisis every day.

  114. 114
  115. 115
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What doesn’t make sense about that sentence? I don’t know what Freddie’s paying job is, but he wouldn’t be the be the first one to not have a contract renewed or to be downsized during a serious illness.

    Sick people are drains on the budget/bottom line, and academics are a dime a dozen. There are lots of people who could do what he does (write about current issues) and who would be eager to take his place.

  116. 116
    J R in WV says:


    I saw the crescents under the trees back in 1993 while we were building our house. There was a neighbor in the basement plastering, and when I saw the shadowy crescents, and noticed it was dusky and the birds were twittering for evening, I went down and got him to come out and look. He was interested, but didn’t spend much effort or time, and got back to the plastering.

  117. 117
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Gelfling 545: Thank you!

  118. 118
    Humdog says:

    @RedDirtGirl: I read that the flying of both the confederate flag and the flag of Israel is to show you want to kick out the people of color AND the Jews from your white homeland. I do not think it directly references the apocalyptic Christian crap.
    I take the pair of flags to be a sign of doubled hate and a clear message of “shun me, I am an ass.”

  119. 119
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    We’re all more fragile now, with the Dysfunction-in-Chief causing a new crisis every day.

    Sadly true. I appreciated your post and the comments the other day about what people are doing to keep on keepin’ on in these troubling times.

  120. 120
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: @Ohio Mom: I didn’t mean it didn’t make sense from FdB’s point of view, just the idea that this guy is having a health crisis and he has to worry about managing his job in order to keep his insurance so he can have “access” to the care he needs. I want Paul Ryan to justify that sentence to me.

  121. 121
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @oldgold: Boo!!! LOL.

  122. 122
    oldgold says:

    Yesterday, sitting peacefully on my porch, I noticed the scent of sulfur and that the birds had gone silent. Oh no, there was Deedee Plorable offering me a bag of Killer Kale cookies. Apparently, her live-in special married friend, Phil Anders, had ordered these greenish half-baked tribute to bad taste out of their love nest.

    Some people are hard to offend. I told my neighbor from Hell, “Deedee, take those cookies and put them where the sun don’t shine!”

    “Good idea, Ogee. How did you know we were going to Missouri to see eclipse on Monday?”

  123. 123
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: of course! I was puzzled by your response — seemed awfully out of character. Am now relieved!

  124. 124
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: I think that readers supplied a wonderful set of comments. So many ways to cope. Here it is.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Indeed a question for Paul Ryan.

  125. 125
    Quinerly says:

    Book of Faces told me the very same thing! O. Felix Culpa, happy birthday!

  126. 126
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @satby: Let me know if it was as exciting as it’s being made out to be.

    @Cheryl Rofer: Sad to hear this news. Hope he gets the medical treatment that he so sorely needs and is seeking. Good on him for seeking help.

  127. 127
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ohio Mom: sorry, I was typing in anger– the way we, as a country, treat mental health as a side issue in the whole health care debate, more or less as a luxury, infuriates me

  128. 128
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: Extending my Birthday wishes to you as well.

  129. 129
    debbie says:

    @J R in WV:

    Will that happen throughout the eclipse or just at the peak? Also, I just listened to an excerpt from Annie Dillard’s article about a total eclipse. She talks about a wall of shadow falling over the land and that it moves at 1,800 miles per hour. Does this happen only for those areas with 100% totality?

  130. 130
    Manyakitty says:

    @satby: I’m in Akron. I think we’re getting totality. Come on over and visit!

  131. 131
    raven says:

    @tybee: Nice!

  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Never a fan of Freddie, but this line was heartbreaking:

    I would give everything I own to be anyone other than who I am.

  133. 133
    bystander says:

    @Tom Levenson: Got me. I just go with whatever I last heard, much like our Dear Leader.

  134. 134
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Quinerly: Thank you! Off to Ojo Caliente with Ms. O for a nice relaxing soak. :)

  135. 135
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Thanks! Birthday wishes from friends never get old…even though I do. Get older, that is. :)

  136. 136
    Quinerly says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:
    What a great place for a birthday! Enjoy!

  137. 137
    sharl says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Thanks for the update on Freddie. In his twitter feed he had mentioned on occasion that he was struggling with mental health issues. After years of trying to get a university/college teaching position, he finally took an administrative position at such a school (in NYC, if I recall correctly) in order to get employer-sponsored health insurance. I hope he successfully gets through his current challenges and can settle into a happy, or at least satisfactory life.

  138. 138
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @sharl: I reserve my sadness for people who aren’t abrasive assholes 110% of the time.

  139. 139
    sharl says:

    @FlipYrWhig: LOL, I respect your opinion, and it’s certainly a feeling FdB provoked in many reasonable people. In fact I just came back from a twitter exchange where this very argument about the guy has been going on this morning (though among a younger group of people than most who comment here).

    I’m no shrink, but I do wonder how much of his assholery was some kind of weird defensive mechanism he developed in his teen years to cover his mental illness; a mechanism that doesn’t work for him as an adult. Or maybe there are different regions of the brain for his mental illness and his assholery, in which case he’ll still be an asshole even if/when his mental health issues come under control. I don’t know!

    I’ve seen flashes of considerable intellectual prowess from him, but also seen him run away from arguments with reputable and well-intentioned scholars, often punctuated with him blocking the other person on social media. Intellectual cowardice, mental illness flare-up, or lack of confidence due to his mental state resulting in such a response? I don’t know, but I can still wish him well health-wise, with the hope that he won’t do more damage to himself or others as a healthy, functional asshole, if that’s how things turn out.

  140. 140
    WaterGirl says:

    @sharl: Just like with Trump… how can you tell what is asshole, what is sociopath, what is mental illness, what is dementia, what is rich, entitled, vindictive, power-hungry prick?

    edit: I should have been more clear. I am not saying Freddie is all those things, just that the same principle applies: impossible to know the source of certain behaviors when there are multiple options available.

  141. 141
    sharl says:

    @WaterGirl: I agree with pretty much everything you said, including the comparison with Trump (that hadn’t occurred to me).

Comments are closed.