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This weekend, Mom and I (and Audrey and July) traveled north to Copperhill, TN, where we watched the Great American Eclipse of 2017 from the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church.

We had intended to watch from McCaysville, GA, where my grandfather once considered buying a grocery store. The GA/TN state line bisects the town into McCaysville and Copperhill. Both were in the path of totality, and since the sun didn't care which side we were on, we didn't either.

If you didn't see the eclipse in totality, know that the first thing that happens as the sun disappears is that the temperature of the light gets wrong, like a failing fluorescent light. Gradually it gets darker (and cooler), until it looks (and feels) like twilight. Then the sun disappears, and you can take off your sun glasses and see some of the brighter stars.

Here are some pics I took of the process about 5 minutes apart. The final pic is during the blackout. (Note that Mom is looking at me, not the sun. The steeple shadow will give you an idea where in the sky the sun was.)

August 21, 2017, 2:24:10

August 21, 2017, 2:31:57

August 21, 2017, 2:35:01

(Also note that the light on the right side of the building in the third pic came from the two streetlights which switched on just before totality. Mom's not in that last pic because she had moved over here.)

I do not have a picture of eclipse itself. My camera wasn't up to the task. You can see plenty of better pics elsewhere. It's not like true night. Despite what you see in photographs, the sky never really goes black. It turns a beautiful shade of royal blue, and the sun's corona is clearly visible as a white halo.

Some call it "unbelievable" or "miraculous." I wouldn't use either word. But it is pretty cool looking. And it's certainly worth a look in person if you get a chance.

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The easiest comic I've ever made

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Halloween in August? Boo!

I bitch a lot about how Christmas season in America lasts for two months, which is two months too long. But it's still 3 months until Halloween, and Kroger has already rolled out Halloween decorations before the kids were even back in school.

You might interpret my criticism to say that I'm anti-Halloween, and you'd be right. I'm no fan. However, there's always been plenty of time for me to dislike Halloween during the month of October. There's no reason for it to take up a quarter of the year. There's got to be time for me to hate other things.

I don't know what this sprinting from one commercialized holiday to the next without any regard for the time in between says about American society in the 21st century, but I do know that it can't say anything good.

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What a great price for artificial flavors

Note that there aren't two shades of white

Of course its the white one that thinks it's so good

Happy Birthday, 'Murica.

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The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

— Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776 (masshist.org)

Happy Great Anniversary Festival, everybody!

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On May 16, House Bill 135 was reported to the Ohio House of Representatives State and Local Government Committee. House Bill 135 seeks to amend section 5.49 of the state's Revised Code to read:

Sec. 5.49. The twelfth day of June is designated as "Superman Day" to recognize the Ohio birthplace of one of the creators of the superhero who stood for "truth, justice, and the American way." For on this day, let it be known that Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird. It's a plane. It's Superman!

Now that's good government!

Sadly, as of this date, the bill remains only a House Bill, having not yet passed the House much less the state Senate, where it hasn't even been introduced yet. Therefore, it doesn't look like Superman Day will be June 12, 2017. Fortunately, there are plenty of other dates on the calendar for the Man of Tomorrow.

Way back in 2013, DC Comics declared June 12 "Man of Steel" Day in advance of the movie of the same title, and some people have celebrated the day ever since. (Americans love their stupid, corporate-manufactured holidays.) I'm not sure why June 12 was selected. The movie opened on June 14. To be fair, Action Comics was cover-dated June, 1938, though it was actually most likely released April 18.

Since this bill specifically references Superman's creators, it's worth noting that the birthday of Cleveland-born Jerry Siegel, Superman's co-creator, is in October — 10/17/1914, to be specific. Comparatively, Siegel's partner, Joe Shuster, was born in Canada in July. And, of course, Superman's birthday has (almost) always been February 29. (At least since 1976.)

So June 12 is as good a date as anything, I guess.

In any event, I'll be perfectly willing to celebrate Superman Day whenever Ohio gets around to approving it. Just don't wait too long, guys. Superman might not age, but we're not all so lucky.

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Mother's Day means more Renaissance Festival. We went last year and had a good time. The weather was nice, so we went again this year. It's a tradition now. I suspect Christmas started much the same way.

Not much has changed. Just the important things.

Coca-Cola really is in trouble
See what this sign looked like last year here.

You could still see the imprint of the word "Coke" underneath the new vinyl letters. Was the festival no longer serving Coca-Cola products? What did they drink now? Pepsi? That's not the Renaissance. That's hell!

I shouldn't have worried. They still sell Coke. It is the Georgia Renaissance Festival, after all. What else are they going to sell? Dasani?

Maybe we'll find out next year. We have a tradition to keep now.

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Feast-er your eyes on this vintage Coca-Cola advertisement from 1958:

Every religious holy day goes better with Coke

I learned from Alice in Wonderland not to trust any grinning white rabbits.

But I'd still drink his Coke.

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CAESAR
(gloating to soothsayer)
The ides of March are come.

SOOTHSAYER
(speaking truth to power)
Ay, Caesar; but not gone.

CAESAR
Well, I'm Caesar, and I say they are. Effective immediately, we're seasonally adjusting all the sundials forward one hour! Goodbye, Ides of March. Hello, Seventeenth Kalends of March!

BRUTUS
What a huge improvement you've made, boss! Now I can enjoy an extra hour of gladiator fights at the Circus Maximus after work. You're not such a terrible tyrant after all! (sheaths his knife) Hooray!

SOOTHSAYER
This play sucks.

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The World's Greatest Detective has found your heart

Batman was computer dating in 1966. Take that, Match.com!

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