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Friday, August 18, 2017


John McCain: “It’s like a game of Whack-a-Mole.” That was a long time ago, when GW was still in charge of the war in Iraq. The metaphor never goes away. This started out to be a not too serious piece, about disappearing statues. I was going to toss in the stock market and Durham, North Carolina, although the last could be more serious than an impromptu dance party. I tabbed over to Google news to check up on Durham, and the headliner is Steve Bannon, shown the door. Talk about Whack-A-Mole.

Back at home, we have our own clear and hold strategy under question. I went to lunch today, a perk of being old and unemployed, and willing to confront the vagaries of the stock market. We went to another branch of the same chain as yesterday, and I was momentarily puzzled by the same menu as yesterday in what was a different city. Strange pictures pass through a traumatic bran injury.

Deb got iced coffee, with milk. When the waiter set it on the table, I was fascinated by the color of white milk descending through black coffee. “Don’t touch that,” I admonished her while I reached for my camera. But she did, and the colors muddied a little. Never mind; it’s still pretty.

Then I learned the eclipse glasses we turned up, after diligent searching, have been recalled. It was in the local newspaper, and already emailed to all Acme card holders. I bought four pair at a buck ninety nine each, so it will behoove me to fish the receipt from the unbalanced receipt glass and go to Acme this weekend.  That’s like another lunch with someone I like.

The eclipse itself has been recalled in part of the Hudson School District. I realized Laura would be in school on a historic day, and suggested she ask if they would be allowed to go look, with approved glasses. Yesterday she reported No, the students would not be permitted to view any part of the eclipse during school hours. However, the middle and elementary grades would be permitted, she reported. Considering we no longer have authentic glasses, I suppose I can wait out the truth of this information with careless confidence.

On the way home I saw the scene below, except with the workman’s boots extended from the back of the van. It was a wonderful scene, and I wanted it captured for my repertoire. Being in federal offense country, I opted to turn around in the Boy Scout property and come back for the picture. When I pulled in, the poor fellow flew out of the truck and dropped his cigarette. “I wish you were still sitting in the back of the van with only your boots sticking out.”

“No, m’am.  I could be in trouble for that.”

This is a helluva mess some misguided voters got us into. Go to the polls in November!


  1. The schools are all closing for the eclipse here. I'm too lazy to get glasses, will just watch it on tv. I did vote, but we live in a sea of stupidity down here, and d### it the Democrats could give us some better alternatives. I voted for her, it I had to hold my nose to do it. My husband voted for no one for president.

  2. Hari OM
    A lovely mixed bag of daily process here Joanne... enough to take the edge of the greater mess which is far less pretty than that coffe... YAM xx

  3. I need to get some glasses. Last one long ago, it made the hair stand up on your neck. Shadowed sunshine my brain was thinking. Was really a strange thing to see.

  4. Too bad she can't get out to see the eclipse....I know I'm bad, but if it was me, I'd skip school that day.

  5. Doesn't the name come from the Mexican avocado dip, 'Guacamole', or am I just being too stupidly obvious? Sorry if I am, but I am English.

  6. Aaron Fechter invented the original Whac-A-Mole game in 1971. Well...he took the idea from "some Japanese guys" who had created a creature-whacking game first, but Fechter made the mechanism work reliably by inventing an air cylinder system to power the moles and an audio-tape-driven pattern that governed the moles' timing. Also, Fechter's game used only moles, rather than a variety of animals in the Japanese game. In the video below, Fechter (who went on to create the Rock-afire Explosion animatronic band for Showbiz Pizza) discusses how he created the Whac-A-Mole and how it was then reverse engineered and mass produced by Bob Cassata. Fechter ended up buying hundreds of the games from Cassata for his Showbiz Pizza parlors.

    The lesson here? Trademark your names, patent your games. I wonder what happened to those Japanese guys.

    From a 2010 piece by a gaming guy.
    You make a fine Englishman.

  7. Whack a Mole indeed.
    Like OSC I think I would be taking the day off school to see the eclipse.

  8. Too bad Laura can't see the eclipse. I guess liability of the school district is a factor but why can the younger kids watch? Curious!

  9. I was reading that astronomers and other scientific types have lots of approved glasses to giveout free. Do you know anyone? I hope you don't have to miss it.

  10. why wouldn't the same restaurant in a different city have the same menu? or did you think you weren't where you were. anyway, whac-a-mole indeed. and I must be missing something, what's up with Durham?

  11. I'm so totally out of it; I know there's an eclipse coming up soon and I know its supposed to be awesome, but that's about all I know. I do remember my mom waking us one time long ago in the middle of the night for a moon eclipse. No special glasses needed then.


  12. I would have liked to see boots sticking out of the van too :)
    It's a shame Laura won't get to see the eclipse. They can't claim to be protecting eyesight if the younger kids are being allowed to watch. I suppose they have their reasons.

  13. I heard that many schools are closing. One of the reasons being given is liability if kids having damage to their eyes. We got our glasses at Lowes for a dollar. I will need to check them out to see if they are Ok.

    This country is bleeding and first aide is not working. Brannon's leaving probably won't make a difference.

  14. We have something here called Health and Safety - sometimes the things we are not allowed to do are ridiculous.

  15. I can't believe they aren't going to allow the students to see the eclipse. But I suppose there could be some trouble if they didn't have the proper glasses. Harley's school ordered enough glasses for all the students. Sure hope they are the proper ones. I don't have a pair but I might just sneek a tiny peek anyway!

  16. It's a good thing you found out the glasses were recalled. If you can find some appropriate glasses or make a viewer out of a cereal box, I suppose you can keep Laura out of school that day. Some things don't come along very often.


  17. I seem to be in the minority here but I really can't see the attraction of the eclipse. What am I missing? It's a shadow on the earth. We get them all the time from clouds. I'll be at work when it's happening and will be glad when all the hullabaloo is over!

    *crawls back into a dark hole with the other non-astronomy people* :)

  18. I can beat not being allowed to watch the eclipse. I was at school when the first moon landing happened. Every pupil was allowed to go to the hall and watch it on a big tv.....except my class because we had a crazy teacher who was sacked a couple of weeks later for various reasons. Who says I hold a grudge??!!

    1. Wow. Cannot believe some higher authority didn't step in.

  19. My friends of the Netherlands are just in the USA, and posted many pictures of "Eclipse glasses all sold out!" etc.


  20. I love your artwork and follow you pots this very minute!