Brain Damaged Eclipse

Buster may need some Visine…

It is not often enough that I create posts outside of my weekly features you’ve all grown to know and despise… and it would seem utterly indefensible if I didn’t do one of my fucked up write ups on what is apparently the biggest event in American history since the series premiere of Cop Rock.  Tomorrow, a total solar eclipse will be visible in a narrow path extending from sea to shining sea for the first time since…… well, a long, long time ago.  It will be the first total eclipse visible from anywhere in the continental United States since 1979…

Which was also a long, long time ago…

Since such total eclipses are pretty rare, and are naturally occurring spectacles that are quite a sight to behold (or so I am told), people everywhere are getting pretty geeked up for the event and are practically climbing over each other to get their very own spot in the path of totality… totality that even in the most prime location will last only two minutes and 40 seconds.  Yes, millions of people will be braving traffic jams, huge crowds, surly rural red state folks who don’t take kindly to tourists, and hotel rooms costing upwards of several thousand dollars a night just to witness something that will last for an even shorter period of time than it would take to nuke a TV dinner.

Too late, Elvis. You just missed it…

And I only wish I were joking about that…. it’s gonna be nuts.  One of my overnight managers already got summoned to a Mecca in the totality zone because they’re expecting to do a month’s worth of business in one weekend.  And he has to commute 90 miles back and forth each day because there literally isn’t a hotel room for miles around this weekend.  Having that many sun gawkers who are unfamiliar with each other packed into a 3,000 mile line from coast to coast is a bit unsettling… but at least Donald Trump will finally get his wall built.  A wall made out of humans with sweaty armpits, bottled water and eclipse glasses…

Maybe it would be the right time to try Hands Across America again.

While this will be the best solar eclipse to pass through my neck of the woods, it certainly won’t be the first one.  That would be the annular eclipse that cut through the Southeast part of the country on May 30, 1984.  An eclipse I fondly remember because I was trapped like a prisoner in my third grade classroom by school teachers who did everything within their matronly powers to make sure we curious little hellions stayed the fuck away from the windows so we didn’t burn our little eight year old eyes out staring at the 80% partial eclipse.

You look into that sun again, little Billy, and I will poke your eyes out with this ruler!!!

Then there was the total eclipse that vayaed through Mexico back on July 11, 1991.  While this was probably a pretty spectacular eclipse if you were living in beautiful downtown Oaxaca… many, many miles away in St. Louis we were only getting to see 40% of the sun obscured.  But I still remember this one well since it was the first solar eclipse I actually got to see for myself… and I can thank my Dad for having four loose welder’s lenses lying around the house for some unknown reason.  And since this happened during the middle of summer, no authoritarian teacher was there to warn me I would go blind if I looked at the sun through lenses coated with more tint than a mobster’s windshield.  No, that was my mother’s job instead…

Sniff! I should’ve listened to Mama!

And most recently, there was the solar eclipse of May 10, 1994… which has forever caused me to curse the elliptical fates of apogee and perigee.  This was/is the only solar eclipse in my lifetime where the central path passed directly through my hometown, and the skies were crystal clear that day!  But because the moon was too damned far away from the earth at the time, it was only annular in nature and not total, so the sun just turned into an oversized Cheerio in the sky.  But on the plus side, since I was in my freshman year of college at the time, I was not required by law to be sitting in a classroom listening to a boring lecture while a massive celestial body decided to block out a large portion of the sun…

Can’t watch it on your cellphones either, kids. This is 1994, after all…

After the eyes, the second most important thing that should never stare directly at the sun is your camera…. so the experts say.  Well, fuck the experts with an eclipse projection device that doesn’t work.  I got out those welder’s lenses again, dropped two, and then three of them on top of the camcorder lens, and took some video shots of that 1994 eclipse!  Yes, that link leads to the video of it I recently uploaded to YouTube.  Yes, you can hear my voice (and Dad’s) on it and I sound like I just stepped off the short bus.  Yes, 90% of the video has weird, out of focus blobs that are supposed to be the sun being eclipsed…. but there are enough pretty clear looks at just about every phase of the eclipse to justify your trouble, and seasickness you might get from my shitty videography…

Like this one. An annular eclipse of the heart, everyone…

And now, here I am 23 years later staring down an eclipse I have known the date of since I was a kid.  While I was unaware I would fall just a little north of the totality path, at about 99.5% at my location, this should still knock the penumbra off of what I got to see in 1994!  Assuming I get to see it….

Dafuq!?!?

I’ve watched the weather forecast for the 21st slowly but surely deteriorate all week long…. from crystal clear a week ago to now “Mostly Cloudy.”  The problem is that front that is supposed to come through Tuesday…. it’s gonna make for some beautiful August weather for the remainder of the week, but it’s also likely to fuck up the one day it absolutely needs NOT to!  And since it’s been about a 50/50 coin flip this morning whether I see the sun shining or not when I’ve looked out the window… that “Partly Cloudy” for Sunday seems to be something of a joke as well.  Who in the fuck is in charge of the weather around here!?!?

I should’ve known….

So maybe I’ll get to see an almost total solar eclipse, or maybe I’ll just get to see an even darker overcast day than usual.  One thing’s for sure… the spoiled brats of today won’t have to put up with the torture I had to endure 33 years ago.  After just starting the school year on Wednesday, they’re getting a three day weekend already!  When I was their age, I had to walk to school in 10 feet of snow, both ways, just to get locked in an airtight room during an eclipse!  They get the fucking day off….

Get off of my lawn…. and quit looking at that damned sun!

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Shadow Squirrel

Hey, who turned out the lights?

As the countdown to the big solar eclipse reaches a mere two days, I can’t help but wonder how my backyard critter friends will react to the sudden loss of most of their daylight on Monday.  At the peak of its glory sometime in the 1:00 hour, approximately 99.5% of the sun’s surface will be obscured by the moon over Nest HQ.  It’s not quite gonna get pitch black on the very inner edge of the moon’s penumbra, but it’s definitely gonna be a pretty dark time for the middle of the afternoon.  This is sure to mess up the squirrel’s diurnal nature, especially since exactly 0.0% of the squirrels alive in my neighborhood will have ever experienced this rare astronomical phenomenon before.  This is our first solar eclipse of any stripe since 1994.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this at some point in a previous edition of SS before, but this would be the perfect time to once again educate my readers on the etymology that came together to give us the beautiful word “squirrel.”  From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

squirrel (n.) – early 14c., from Anglo-French esquirel, Old French escurueil “squirrel; squirrel fur” (Modern French écureuil), from Vulgar Latin *scuriolus, diminutive of *scurius “squirrel,” variant of Latin sciurus, from Greek skiouros “a squirrel,” literally “shadow-tailed,” from skia “shadow” (see Ascians) + oura “tail,” from PIE root *ors- “buttocks, backside” (see arse). Perhaps the original notion is “that which makes a shade with its tail.” The Old English word was acweorna, which survived into Middle English as aquerne.

So squirrel comes from “Shadow Tail!”  Or maybe “Shadow Ass”….

Very funny…… now quit stealing my sunshine!!!

Look out for those Saturday Squirrels lurking in the shadows on Monday!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #276 — 8/10/17

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Retro Nest Comic – September 26, 2013

I’m a bit surprised at how few elements that sprouted organically from my comic series have gone on to become irregular parts of the ESN universe given the five years it’s been spewing forth from my inside-joke dominated mind.  Robbie, Nabob and Wiki started here.  Odyssey’s “Skunkbitch” epithet.  Buster’s visits to St. Peter, and his angel and demon.  The mysterious blonde dingo.  And Tufts of Love…

The perfect charitable organization for a world full of furry critters has been featured, for better or for worse, in several strips every year.  This was the comic that first introduced the Hottie-led mange crusaders to The Nest four years ago.  Time for another sixth panel surprise!  This was Comic #74

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U Is For…

It’s time for Maria to take another letter, as Tuesday means The Nest is ready to photobomb you with more letter perfect pictures for my Photography A to Z challenge!  We’re starting to get into those really crazy letters at the end of the alphabet that some ancient sadistic linguist put there intentionally to one day vex those like me who are silly enough to do alphabet challenges like this.  And today, this Bud’s for U.  Also 4 U R these rules…

  • Only photos I took myself will be used.
  • All photos used will have been taken without any thought given to this challenge.

OK, less talking like Prince and more showing off my prints…

UNICORNS!  Yeah, we have a few of those at The Nest…

That glowing red orb over the field there can only be a UFO.  Where are Mulder and Scully when you need them?

My former neighbor showing everyone his UNDERWEAR.  Why was this ever fashionable?

Shadow the UMBREON, who I purchased solely for a Bashful skit last Fall.  I’m not much into the Pokemon thing, but of the thousands of Pokecritters out there, the Umbie is one of my favorites!  He should also be the official mascot of next week’s eclipse…

Wilson the squirrel hanging out UPSIDE DOWN.

Elephant URINATION!  Why?  Because U, that’s why!

An UMBRELLA on a rainy night at the ballgame.  A rather cool leopard print jacket can be seen as well…

The ninety-something year old USHER for my section at the ballgame I saw in Pittsburgh.  And a local legend as I later found out…

UMPIRE Laz Diaz giving a foul ball to a fan at that same game in Pittsburgh…

UNCLE SAM, once a bingo dauber, now yet another pawn in The Nest’s Shelf Critter Theatre.  Let’s give it up for the ol’ USA!

The Minnesota Twins URSINE mascot.  Yeah, I could’ve used another photo of Snuggle Bear here, but you see enough of him as it is…

And if U made it through this post full of useless photos… then you can gaze upon the UGLY side of Mecca’s Mama Possum.  Sorry dear…. you know how much I love possies, but there’s a reason I usually only show you here when you have the possumlet in tow.

Come back next Tuesday when we shall see how victorious I am with the letter V…

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