Thursday, July 27, 2017

An Exercise in Murphy's Law Survival?

I've got to be at least a week behind on blog reading/commenting. I promise, I'll get caught up in the next day or so. Fortunately, only three blogs I follow post every day!

It's been one of those weeks. Two of those weeks, actually.  Last week, we had a power outage during one of the hottest days in the past month. It was 103 degrees, with a heat index of something like 110. Fortunately, the power went out in the evening, around 5:30--and our AC had just run for a long period. Our ceiling fans had been running as well. The windows and blinds were closed. We left them that way for the duration of the outage, unlike our neighbors, who all went outside as soon as the lights went out. Our apartment was cool, and as long as we kept everything closed, it would remain so for several hours. We had a portable battery powered TV, a pocket radio and power banks to charge our phones. We also had an abundance of snacks that weren't messy and could be eaten in the dark. And toward the end, when my face started to feel warm, I had this cute little fan.

We used our phones to check the electric company's website for updates. First, they posted that power was expected to be restored by 8:45pm. Then, it was 11:00pm. By 11:00, it had been changed to 5:00. It looked to be a long night. I recalled a power outage I'd been through fifty years ago. (Fifty? Did I really just say fifty? I really am old!) I was a kid back then. There were no battery powered TVs, no smartphones...but we did have flashlights. Mom, Dad and I sat in our living room with Dad's big flashlight on the coffee table, pointed up at the ceiling. A bug got on the flashlight and spent hours running around in the light. That was our entertainment for the duration of the outage--watching that bug run around, looking much bigger than it actually was.

It took so little to entertain us back then.

But getting back to the immediate past, the lights came back on just after midnight--whereupon we checked everything electric to make sure there had been no damage from power surges. reset clocks, and promptly went to bed.

I've had a nasty cold. My nose is sore from blowing it so often. My lips are so chapped they look plumper than usual and much redder. I've bought so many boxes of tissues we should own stock in the company that makes Kleenex. Thankfully, it's almost gone now.

Now, we're preparing for the Big Event of the Century here in the Midwest. On August 21st, we'll be in the path of totality for the solar eclipse. It will pass through twelve states, including Missouri. The last total solar eclipse to come our way was on June 8, 1918, almost one hundred years ago. It was sixty-one years before Collin was born, thirty-five years before I was born and eleven years before my mother was born. My father was only four years old.

It's a big deal, especially to amateur astronomers like myself.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What Looks Good on Paper Might Not Look Good on the Jumbo Screen....

Those of you who have been regular visitors to this blog know that I've been a wrestling fan since childhood. As early as age five, I have memories of Mom, Dad and me watching Wrestling at the Chase every Saturday night--in black and white back then. Dad was a big fan. Mom was, too--until she found out it was staged (fake, scripted, whatever).

These days, Collin and I watch events from all over the world via the WWE Network on our big screen TV. There are four regular shows--Raw, SmackDown, NXT and 205 Live and so many pay-per-view events, I've lost count (they're actually only pay-per-view for the fans who don't subscribe and have to get them through cable or satellite providers, which is a lot more expensive). There are many new events, and some of the old ones have been rebranded. Most of the new brand names work well, while others, well....

Last Sunday's event is an example of a rebranding that just might have gone wrong. The new title is Great Balls of Fire. Great song title, but I'm not sure how it connects to wrestling. At any rate, it caused a few unfortunate images to pop up online....

I wonder how these played with the parents of some of wrestling's younger fans?

Looks like a throwback to the WWE's Attitude Era, before the raunchiness was replaced with a PG version cleaned up for the younger audience.

This guy's ring name is Big Cass. If he weren't seven feet tall, the C might have not been blocked out like the sun during an eclipse. But it's oddly appropriate here, since Big Cass had just turned heel and was on his way to the ring to pulverize his former partner/buddy, Enzo Amore. As a team, they looked like Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo--if Boo-Boo were a hyperactive chatterbox!

Note to WWE Creative: It's one thing for your guys' promos to sound as immature and illiterate as a Donald Trump speech, but maybe this one needs a new title?