Ends and Odds, 6

Q.: What do you call a retired hooker?
A.: An emeretrix.

I hope NASA or somebody releases satellite photos of the Moon’s shadow crossing the face of the Earth after Monday’s show is over. That would be cool.

I see that Kellen Moore is getting a lot of playing time in Dallas’ pre-season play. As with starter Dak Prescott I watched him during his college career, and remember how little anyone expected of him in the NFL because of his height. Yet he was a big-winning quarterback for Boise State, and I like what I’m seeing of him this season. Glad he’s recovered from last year’s leg fracture.

Of course, Cooper Rush is no slouch either. He likes to throw to the outside and he’s really, really good at it. Dallas could save some games this year by playing him in the final minutes when they’re a few points behind and short of timeouts.

Well, Roll Me in Powdered Sugar and Call Me Crepe-y

I just stumbled on something that brightened my day. Slightly.

When I bought this Chromebook I didn’t know anything about Google’s offer of a free 100 gigabytes of additional Google Drive storage to go with it. It isn’t bestowed automatically; you have to know about it and go redeem it. Which I just did.  And it’s only good for as long as you keep the Chromebook.

I’d been contemplating upgrading my existing Google Drive storage because, between my files and my mail archives (which I try to keep under control, but…), I’ve been using up what I’m already paying for. This reprieves me for at least a little while, and if I exceed my new allotment by the time this ‘Book craps out I can still upgrade. Assuming I don’t decide to get another Chromebook.

I hate to admit it, but I’m starting to warm up to this thing.

Caveat Viewor

I only took nine weeks of Latin, in seventh grade…

Anyway, if you’re planning to get yourself into the path of this month’s New Moon and gawk at the dark spot where the sun was just a minute ago, you might want to double-check your eye protection. Seems some unscrupulous people are looking to cause an epidemic of eclipse-related blindness.

How can you tell if your “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers are safe? It is no longer sufficient to look for the logo of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and a label indicating that the product meets the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for filters for direct viewing of the Sun’s bright face. Why not? Because it now appears that some companies are printing the ISO logo and certification label on fake eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers made with materials that do not block enough of the Sun’s ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation to make them truly safe. Some sellers are even displaying fake test results on their websites to support their bogus claim of compliance with the ISO safety standard.

The American Astronomical Society offers a list of manufacturers it has verified as complying with the safety standard.

Even if your goggles’ manufacturer isn’t on the list though, they may still be safe.

You shouldn’t be able to see anything through a safe solar filter except the Sun itself or something comparably bright, such as the Sun reflected in a mirror, a sunglint off shiny metal, or the filament of a bare incandescent light bulb. If you can see ordinary household light fixtures through your eclipse glasses or handheld viewer, it’s no good. Safe solar filters produce a view of the Sun that is comfortably bright (like the full Moon), in focus, and surrounded by dark sky. If you glance at the Sun through your solar filter and find it uncomfortably bright, out of focus, and surrounded by a murky haze, it’s no good. You should contact the seller and demand a refund or credit for return of the product, then obtain a replacement from one of the sources listed on the AAS’s reputable-vendors page.

Be safe. The eclipse should be awe-inspiring, not vision-impairing. This is one case where “The goggles do nothing!” isn’t funny.

History in Perspective

How long has it been since I watched a movie in a theater?

Nancy Pelosi was Shrieker of the House. Nobody had any clue what Obamacare was going to look like. The first George W. Bush “Miss me yet?” billboard had yet to appear. Karl Urban was still “that guy in Lord of the RingsElmer or something like that.” Or worse, “that Kiwi country singer who’s married to Nicole Kidman.”

So when Disney threatens to use facial expression software to gauge audience reaction to its movies, I laugh.

Profit Takers Gonna Take Profit

I couldn’t be a day-trader. The learning curve would’ve been a bitch and I’m not sure the subject matter would’ve fascinated me long enough to master it. Besides, I’ve always had the “don’t just do something, stand there” temperament where crowd behavior is concerned. I find what everybody’s not looking at far more interesting than what they are — which is almost always each other’s backs.

The market’s been a bit volatile the last couple of weeks, and I’m not sure what’s causing people to stampede back and forth like that. Maybe there have been reports in the financial papers that are making people lose whatever ephemeral confidence they may have pretended they had in their investment strategies. Maybe they’re panicking because their favorite TV shows are on hiatus.

The ups and downs would be less annoying if there were none of my money in play. I keep telling myself not to look at the closing figures every day, and maybe now’s the time to take my own advice.


Last month I tried and rejected the use of the Google+ comment system here, but today I counted up all the comments posted by persons other than me and decided to go ahead and make the switch after all.

The ordering of comments only matters if there are enough comments to make the order they’re in even noticeable.

I Do This Every So Often, No Need to Panic

The blog you are about to read is true. The name has been changed because I bloody well felt like it.
A cowboy’s tally book was his record of work done, things (livestock, predators, property damage, people passing through, etc.) observed, weather conditions, and so forth. If he needed to report anything to the boss, he wrote it down so he wouldn’t forget it.
I decided this was a better name for the blog than “Ridin’ Fence”, so here we are.
Addendum, July 31, 2017:

A cowboy, if he’s old school
Minds his whiskers and keeps his cool
He may be old but he learned young
How not to get a sunburned tongue
He won’t complain, bitch, moan or gripe
To boast or brag, he ain’t the type
He’s a natural part of the land he rides
Wherever you see him, his mustache abides

They Brought a Gun to a Dog Fight

…and the dog won.

About 10 p.m., one of the young bandits kicked down the baby gate and entered the home waving a handgun and saying, “Give it up, I’m not …. playing,” according to the police report released Monday morning.

That’s when the family pet came to its owners’ protection, according to the report.

While pugs are often described as a small dog friendly to strangers, this particular pug reportedly ran barking toward the home invaders, who turned tail and fled, according to police.

Nothing was stolen and no one was injured, police said.

The mutt let ’em off easy. This time.