Been researching Ceres (dwarf planet in the asteroid belt) and the NASA Dawn mission for my presentation in early October. It’s all more fascinating than I already thought!

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Eclipse Viewing Party 2017 – The Long Version

1) Here in Ann Arbor, 82% of Sun coverage, attendance was estimated by the library to be between 2,500 and 3,000 based on door count and that people walked away after glasses were handed out.

I was still able to do the yard stick eclipse demo a few times, when there weren’t people lined up to borrow my glasses for a moment or to ask questions.

2) The best part, for me, was watching the faces of people light up and listening to their reactions when I gave them my eclipse glasses to look at the Sun for a moment. From young to old, the reaction was almost always the same. Amazement, exclamations (of varying strengths), and joy. :D I especially remember one elderly woman, just so moved by the experience. And later one teen-aged boy with that face of disdain at being dragged around by his Mom to something he didn’t care about. After his Mom looked through my glasses, she made him take them. The way his face morphed from teenage contempt, to shock and awe, and then to a smile – he even laughed! – was just so wonderful to witness.

3) Seeing the glowing gold eclipsed Sun with my own eyes… priceless.

4) Lots of people has questions for me – from Eclipse related to how can they learn more to where I was from, worked, or went to school – which I answered to the best of my ability. I twice told people about the applying for the SSA program in September. One man was so elated to meet an event host who knew what he was talking about when he mentioned the EM drive, so we discussed that for a short while. One parent told me her child only wanted to come because someone from NASA was going to be here. Three people asked for pictures with me, which I happily did. Two people wanted handouts to take back to their classes. I gave away hundreds of the left over Cassini photo of Saturn eclipsing the Sun stickers I had left over from my June event. One man did not speak English as a first language, he tried very hard to understand my answers to his technical questions, then he would repeat back to me in his own words. Only once did I have to correct him and explain a different way. Once he got done with all his questions, he took one of my yard stick eclipse demos and did the demo for me to make sure he understood it. Then he asked if he could do the demo for the children coming up wanting to see it. I said yes, and thank you! It freed me up to be able to monitor the glasses use and answer questions! I did get two of “those guys”, those who just won’t stop talking. One eventually left after I started debunking his stories about eclipses not being significant to science. The other (who was the one who brought up the EM drive) stayed until the end, literally the library staff took the table out from between the two of us and then told him I had to leave to get my kids. He was nice enough, he did not complain when I would break the conversation and let others ask questions, but I couldn’t find a nice way to ask him to go.

5) The worst part for me was the heat and dehydration. Thankfully the library staff member assigned to help me found a handful of water bottles for me!

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Blood Journey

I just got a notification from the Red Cross Blood Donor app that my blood has been sent to Cleveland Clinic. This is so cool!

If you make an appointment to donate through the Blood Donor app, it will track your donation through it’s “Blood Journey”. You don’t find out who (all) gets your blood, but apparently you do find out where it goes once it’s needed!

It says in storage for up to a certain amount of time depending on what you donated (whole blood can be separated into it’s components if needed):
- 42 days for red blood cells
- 5 days for platelets
- 1 year for plasma

I donated whole blood on 7/29. It went into storage around 7/31 – 8/1 (I don’t remember exactly, and the app isn’t telling me anymore). So about 21 days in storage for this donation.

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Solar Eclipse Viewing Party 2017

Rough estimates put attendance at 3,000+. We were expecting maybe a little over 1,000… So, our plans for this event were shot away. Enough people had shown up far enough in advance the library couldn’t even set up two of the demonstrations we had planned, nor could they put out most of the children’s craft activities. But we managed to get through it!

After a lot of people grabbed glasses and bailed – despite knowing there were not enough and we were asking people to share – there Were a handful of attendees that shared eclipse glasses with all the others who didn’t get any. I saw one person who brought their own pair sharing. Good people. And, I’m happy to say, despite all the glasses hunting, we had a very peaceful acting crowd in whole. No issues there at least!

The best part, for me, was watching the faces of people light up and listening to their reactions when I gave them my eclipse glasses to look at the Sun for a moment. From young to old, the reaction was almost always the same. Amazement, exclamations (of varying strengths), and joy. :D

I have, however, officially experienced warnings signs of dehydration. Not. Fun.

Seeing the glowing gold eclipsed Sun with my own eyes… priceless.

Thanks to my Dad for the pictures.

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Near Perfect Rain

Spent a little time outside today in the nice warm-ish rain. :) Mmmm

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That was AWESOME!

I just got home from giving a talk on eclipses for Ann Arbor’s Nerd Nite! It was fantastic! I had so much fun! Even with the slide show changing the slides on me on an inaccurate timer. LOVED presenting! Thank you so much Nerd Nite Ann Arbor for asking me to fill in tonight! #nna2

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Motel 6

Stayed at a motel 6 last night. Not sure it was better than the camp ground.

Just finished washing it off the girls and I.

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Missed Free Book

I have a free book from Shutterfly, the code for which ends today at midnight PDT. I TRIED *SO* hard, but I can’t get it done in time. I picked out the book theme, and went and found a bunch of backgrounds to make it better for the subject I want: Big Sister book. It took days, but I’ve finally pulled together all the pictures of Aurora from various sources (except my newest cell phone, which is 1.5 years old), and gotten through all the pictures of the girls together (including pics from my newest cell phone) and have been narrowing the set down for the book. I just 15 minutes ago finished categorizing them into possible page groups. But now it’s my bedtime. Even if I stayed up ’til midnight, I don’t know if I could get it done, and I’d pay for staying up that late. I’ve made that bad decision enough in the last few weeks to know I don’t want to. (I’m trying to break myself of the bad-decision-to-stay-up-too-late-because-I’m-so-tired habit I’ve been in.) Maybe, _maybe_ if I ran up until the code expires at 3am… assuming that would be a good decision in order to get a free book from Shutterfly instead of another bad decision… and trying to fight my future tired and thus brain inept self to remember that I won’t be able to make everything perfect, ever color, every picture placement, every word… but then I’d be useless tomorrow. Highly likely unable to do more than minimal at work, and would have to go to bed right after the kids, which means losing a night’s worth of effort towards being ready for our trip this weekend.

*sigh* :( I guess I’ve already decided, it’s not worth the $20-some the free book costs. Though I do want to stay up to make it. But I don’t want to sabotage myself so close to having to drive alone with a 2 year old and a(n almost) seven year old to Massachusetts. Well, I’ve done a lot of the work. Here’s hoping somehow somewhere another free book code comes my way before either Amber’s birthday or in time for Christmas.

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I loathe Summer

Summer is awful. I despise Summer. I loathe Summer.

I’m glad so many of you are out there enjoying it. I truly am. Someone should, so it’s not just a waste of a season. But, I’m not one of you.

It’s too HOT. UGH. So yucky. Even when not sticky or unbreathably, oppressively humid. My body stops functioning at 85 degrees, it starts to shut down. I move so much slower, and all my body wants to do is sleep. SUCKY.

It’s too BRIGHT for TOO LONG. The freaking Sun is up 2 hours before I am, and I get up around 7am, and it stays up WAAAY to late at night. Last light around 10pm!? How does anyone get any decent length of sleep? Can’t even be up much for looking at the night sky, or feeling the cool-ish air on the not crappy nights.

It’s not just me, you know. Plants, even animals, suffer in Summer too. Grass goes brown and dormant. Flowers wilt, garden crops droop, even leaves turn brown and crisp. It gets ugly outside, as in literal ugliness to look at.

And on top of all that horribleness, everyone goes away in Summer. And I’m still here… Isolated… abandoned. It does make me want to cry sometimes.

It’s all just so draining. I loathe Summer. One long trudgery from the beauty and contentment of Spring to the glory and welcomed release of Autumn.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, Summer is my seasonal depression time. If I haven’t been reaching out to you to hang out or chat or keeping up in my normal way, it’s NOT because I’m too busy. It’s because I don’t have the strength to try. Or because the daily struggle has temporarily removed you from my functional memory. Which only makes it all worse, because social interaction is one of the few things that truly re-energizes me.

And it’s only the middle of July. The worst of it is still to come. :(

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Not me…

Saw U of M tours being given today, and I was sad. Sad because it won’t be me (taking a tour of the University). :( At least, not this year, it seems.

Oddly enough, last night I had one of those at-college-but-still-working-my-job dreams. Only this time, for the first time in my waking life, the college stress dream was actually about college – well Grad school to be specific. Which I have started saying, but haven’t fully accepted as fact because I’m currently avoiding the whole issue: I think I’ve decided that I’m not applying for Med School this year for entrance in 2018. Which completely sucks, because it means I have to wait another two years, instead of just one. But, I can’t honestly expect to get into either of my Med Schools of choice with the bad MCAT overall score I got, nor can I realistically expect to be able to self-learn biochem and organic-chem in the evenings in 5 weeks, or even 8.

Anyway, the dream’s flavor was just arrived for the start of the school year (and not late after classes have already started, and not I can’t find every where I need to be / go, and not move in to where I’d be living fails for some reason). Surprisingly the stress dream part doesn’t start there. After three days -ish I realized finally that I probably should be leaving the dorm house at some point, and thus I figured both that I should call in to the school administration for my class schedule, and that I should tell my job that I was going to school. Here the stress dream part starts, but don’t remember hardly any of it now as of writing, and I think I woke up soon after anyway.

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