The Eclipse!

A sunset on Mars… or is that Earth during an eclipse?! (Just kidding, it is Mars. Source.)

I know that everyone, everywhere in America is talking about the solar eclipse tomorrow, but I’m getting pretty excited about it, so I figured I’d add to the fray.

I’ve never seen a solar eclipse and originally I thought that if you weren’t located directly in the its path, you wouldn’t see much. Well, that’s wrong, based on what I read. In fact, Business Insider has this cool map to show the darkness in different areas as compared to other planets in the solar system. If that sounds confusing, just click on the link, as the article explains it. I do wish I were in the path that would have darkness equivalent to Neptune because I wrote a novel that takes place partly on Neptune. (It’s science fiction.) And that would be pretty cool to experience how light it is on Neptune.

I also found a different map on the NASA website that says I’ll be in the path of 90% totality, which I assume means it’ll be pretty dark where I live. I’m pretty sure everyone in the US will see something due to the eclipse. The degree of how much you’ll see depends on how far you are from the path.

I’m working tomorrow, but I’m planning on going outside to see what it looks like out there. And no, I do not plan on looking up at the sun. I don’t have special eclipse glasses and I think I’d be too scared to look anyway!

How about you, readers? Are you doing anything fun for the eclipse?


July 2017 Writing Report

Obligatory writing instrument.

July was a pretty good month for me, writing-wise. I wrote a total of 23,621 words, which is an average of 761 words per day. My novel is coming together pretty well, though I think the first act is going to be too long, which means I’ll have to cut chapters or move some stuff around (or both).

Anyway, my July word count is even better when you consider that only wrote for fifteen days in the month. What helped push it higher were some really high word counts. The highest number of words I wrote in one day was 4,049, which is a lot for me. I hope I can get some high word counts this month, too. I didn’t write during my vacation, so I’ve got some catching up to do! 🙂

I’m Back!

Dear readers, I’m back! I took a vacation during the first week in August—my mom came to visit me and we shopped, went to to the movies, ate, and took pictures of flowers (see below for floral evidence). I went back to work last week, which wasn’t as hard as I expected, but still difficult, and I didn’t know what to blog about.

Black-eyed Susans at a house near where I live.

Anyway, another thing I did during my vacation was set up my mom’s new computer. Her old one—and it was quite old in technology years—decided to fail. I rescued the data before a catastrophic loss could occur and put the data on her new computer. (I couldn’t use Migration Assistant from the old computer because I could not load any applications after logging in to her account. I ended up extracting everything via Recovery Mode. Thank goodness I have a ton of little USB flash drives sitting around.)

Anyway, the new computer is a MacBook Pro, 13-inch, no Touch Bar, with an i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM. It is a thing of beauty, my friends. I was tempted to kidnap (Mac-nap?) it. Unfortunately for me, that definitely wasn’t going to happen! As annoyed as I am that I’ll have to buy a bazillion dongles to connect all of my stuff to my next computer, I couldn’t help but admire the new ones. They’re just so fast. Maybe if you upgrade more frequently, the speed increases are less drastic. My mom’s old computer was a late 2008 MacBook Pro and I’m still rocking a mid-2010 MacBook Pro.

And before you laugh at me, consider this: my current computer cost about $2,000. Since I’ve been using it for this amount of time, that means I’ve paid about $285 a year to use it. Windows computers may be cheaper, but I’d like to see one that actually functions after that amount of time. My Mac spins up its fans like a jet engine any time I try to watch a video online, but it works better after seven years than the average Windows laptop does after two or three. 😉

Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly On The Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’

A Dreamliner on its first flight back in 2009. Source.

I remember the first time I heard of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. “Did you hear they’re making a new plane?” my mom said to me. “It’s made out of plastic.” At the time, I thought the idea was absurd and I wondered if my mom had either misread the article or if the article was inaccurate. Surely, I thought to myself, no one would actually make a plane out of plastic, right?

Well, I was wrong. The plane is indeed made out of plastic. Or, to be more precise, it’s made out of “composite materials,” which, in this case, means a carbon fiber reinforced polymer. To be exact, it’s the first plane to have a composite fuselage, composite wings, and composites in most of its airframe components. All this composite material makes it a lot lighter than it would be if it were made out of metal like a normal plane, which means that it’s more fuel efficient.

No doubt there are some people who go into paroxysms of joy at that last sentence. Fuel efficient! How delightful! Believe me, I’m all about saving money on fuel—one of the many reasons I refuse to drive a massive car is I don’t want to have to pay to fuel it up all the time—but there’s got to be a limit to this fuel efficiency obsession. In the case of the Boeing 787, it seems they’ve sacrificed safety at the expense of fuel efficiency. How, you may ask? Read on for my decidedly non-aerospace engineer opinion. In no particular order, I present you both actual and potential problems associated with this jet.
Continue reading “Friends Don’t Let Friends Fly On The Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’”

Discombobulated, Again

Remember how I forgot to blog a little while ago? Well, I didn’t forget to blog last week—I just got all thrown off a little (okay, a lot) due to an unpleasant and unexpected event.

Last Monday a vicious storm sprung up out of nowhere and pounded the area I live in. At work, we got a little thunder and lightning and not much rain, but at home, there was wind galore. That meant downed trees and power lines, which obviously means no electricity. We’ve had a few power outages this year. The prior two were annoying, but the power came back on within four hours. This latest one was different. It took a good seven hours for it to come back on, so that meant the demise of the delicious homemade soup I’d made the night before (and had only eaten once). Basically, that threw me off all of last week. I don’t think anyone was expecting that.

So, rest assured, I am here and planning to schedule some posts. I don’t want to have yet another week without much blogging! This evening I’ll be working on writing of different kinds, which will include blog posts and fiction writing.

Also of note is the fact that I played my violin today. Hallelujah! I haven’t played in a while and it was good to play again. Unfortunately, my fingers became weak and uncalloused, so right now they’re a bit sensitive. 🎻

99 Years / 99 лет

The tsar with his family / Царь с семьей

Dear readers! 99 years ago today, Nicholas II, Emperor of all the Russias, along with his family and faithful servants, was cruelly murdered by the Bolsheviks. Let us take a moment to remember the last tsar.

Дорогие читатели! В этот день 99 лет назад, жестко убили императора Всероссийского Николая II с семьей и верными слугами большевиками. Давайте запомним последнего царя.

Вечная память.

I forgot to blog.

Yes, dear readers, it’s true. For the past nine days, I completely forgot to write blog posts! I’ve been busy with stuff at work and recovering data from a computer hard drive at home. Moral of the story: you can never, ever, ever make too many backups of your data. My theory is this: if it doesn’t exist in at least three places, it doesn’t exist at all. 🙂

This week is going to be busy, too. I have a lot of stuff to do at work and I’ve been working hard on my novel after work. So far I’ve maintained a daily average of over a thousand words, which is the most I’ve ever done! (Except when I did NaNoWriMo, because to win that you have to average 1,667 words per day.) But hopefully I will not forget to blog this week.

Also, can we just ban Mondays? I really think Monday should be an extension of the weekend and we should work four days a week. Who decided to work five days a week anyway?!