Edited – Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon timed to the August 21 eclipse

Edit: Start time changed to 12:15:20 PM.

Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands. I have to admit that when I first heard about the total eclipse of August 21, 2017, The Dark Side of the Moon didn’t immediately pop into my head until just recently. I’m certain it is not a new idea to time TDSotM to the time of totality of the eclipse, but to me, this is something that is right at the top of my bucket list. I know, I’m strange.

The first thing I needed to do was to find out when the totality of the eclipse would occur where I live. Luckily the Eclipse 2017 website has that information readily available. My local time for totality is 12:57:30 PM.

The second thing I needed to do was to find the time to the apex of the song Eclipse on TDSotM. This sounds simple, but can be a little complicated depending on which version of the album you have and how its stored. For me, I have the album on iTunes from the 20th Anniversary Edition, so the time to the apex for me is 42:10. Using this time should get you in the right neighborhood for a pretty good coinciding time for the eclipse.

Finally, subtract the time 42:10 from the time of totality. Again, for me, this is 12:57:30 PM. If all goes right, the time for me to start playing TDSotM is at 12:15:20 PM. Over the next few days, I am going to do some testing to make sure this time works correctly but I think it will.

Good luck to all who plan on trying this.

New Resolutions – Week 3

Last week, I wrote about trying a cold brew coffee by Bizzy Coffee. Maybe I misread where it said that you could drink it cold but, bleh! I did not care for it cold. Since we are in the midst of a devil’s sauna, I did not care for it hot either. Perhaps, coffee will never be for me, if it is, it will be a winter drink, but I think it will always be something I occasionally try.

I’ve still got some of this left that I need to get through so I got myself some French Vanilla flavoring to help me through it. That is not what is new this week, however, just an update to let everyone know that the coffee won’t go to waste.

This week, we move away from caffeinated beverages into the world of snacks, oriental snacks to be precise.

I always enjoy trying foods of other cultures, even if they are Americanized in some manner which I have the feeling this is.

Kame Rice Crackers were calling my name in the small oriental food section of a local grocery store. They looked like something I may like so I picked them up.

 

They look somewhat healthy having only 90mg of sodium, 0g of saturated fat, 0g of sugar, 120 calories and 2g of protein per 16 crackers. They are also certified gluten-free and non-gmo verified, if your into that. I will let you know how it goes.

Thoughts on Removing Confederate Symbols

I used to think that pulling down statues was in some way destroying or rewriting history but then I though, “Huh, You know what we don’t see any? We don’t see swastika statues around; not even the Hindu, Buddhist, Jainist, nor the Native American swastika.” We also don’t see statues or displays of pentagrams around much anymore. We got rid of those for the most part, yet we still know what they were and the weight they carried through news, textbooks, history courses and online resources such as wikipedia.

Good or bad, there is power in symbols even if it is not what the intention of the symbol originally was. People, groups and society in general assign power to objects until they become a battery to charge beliefs. These beliefs can be beliefs that benefit others (good beliefs) or beliefs that hurt others (bad beliefs).

The swastika was originally a religious symbol of many peoples the world over. In some areas of the world, it still is. It remains a sacred symbol of spiritual principles in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. In the Western world, it was historically a symbol of auspiciousness and good luck. It was not until the 1930s when the Nazi regime came to power when its meaning changed.

The pentagram, now widely considered a symbol of ‘evil’ by many religions, including Christianity, was once a sacred Christian symbol that represented the five wounds of Christ. Today it is considered a sacred symbol among the Wiccan religion.

We no longer perform the “Bellamy Salute” when saying the Pledge of Allegiance because of its similarity to the “Sieg Heil” of Nazi Germany. Civilians now remove their head cover and place their hands over hearts or stand with hands at their side when saying the Pledge or during the singing of our National Anthem. Military members perform a military salute during these activities.

I bring up these historic examples because I want to demonstrate how a symbol can change over time and relate it to what is going on now. I do not believe we are erasing our history by removing monuments of generals and leaders who fought to leave the United States to keep their economy, which heavily relied on slavery, the way it was. Yes, they fought bravely and strongly for what they believed, but in the end, they were rebels who wanted to break up the United States and create their own country with a major chunk of the pieces. Today we would call that treason.

Statues and flags of the confederacy have become magnets for people like the white supremacist groups that gathered in Virginia for a white pride rally. These symbols have been growing in strength in the last few years and not in a good way. Perhaps, like the swastika and the pentagram, we should abandon these symbols as well, not through violence or vandalism, but through a legal process where the majority agree on what they symbolize and what should be done with them. They are not serving anyone any good anymore; they are only bringing trouble.

Happy Anniversary to Me


Today is my six year work anniversary with Xpanxion. With the exception of about a year or so when I was sick and then recovering from pancreatitis, it has been a very enjoyable experience. Even when I was recovering from my illness, I was enjoying learning new things that I could apply to my work. Among the things I am most proud of is my continued work on an internal application I developed to handle internal employee reviews. I have learned so much about software development working on that project than you can learn reading textbooks for a class.

Now our company is at a turning point. Not a bad one, mind you, the future looks very bright for Xpanxion. We are building a multi-million dollar rural conference center in my city of Kearney that will be state of the art. Our client list is growing almost weekly, we are in a good place. We grow not because we advertise or buy clients, we grow because our reputation grows. Our quality and work-force both here and overseas is incomparable to any other company like ours.

I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on my time with Xpanxion. I am biased, but I truly believe it is one of the best places to work.