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  1. It's funny how that goes... my mother is 70 and has never been summoned. Meanwhile, I've been summoned 3 times but only actually sat on a jury once. I was 18 or 19 the first time I was summoned, but I got out of it because there was stuff going on in my life that would've made it difficult to serve. Another time there was a last minute settlement in a case, so I ended up not being needed.
  2. I can't imagine the burden that the jurors on the Trump case will be feeling, if they aren't already. Regardless of outcome, you know you are part of something that is historic for the nation. Ten years ago, I was a juror on a case involving a 16 year old girl and a male teacher. The trial got some attention in the local papers but that's about it. It only lasted a few days, but I found myself having a hard time shutting my brain off at the end of each day. You know you have someone's fate in your hands, and while I did not know it for sure at the time, common sense suggested that a conviction was going to result in prison time for that guy. We ended up acquitting because there just wasn't enough evidence to overcome the reasonable doubt threshold. Our jury had 6 people (plus 1 alternate) and was pretty diverse... 3 men, 3 women, one was black and one was Hispanic. I know the common reaction to jury duty is like "ugh", but I think all of us took the responsibility very seriously. There were some people weeded out in voir dire who clearly didn't want to be there or were answering questions in a way that made them seem biased, and you just hope that that process worked in the Trump trial. Obviously this one is on a whole different scale though.
  3. Been waiting a while to grade this just in case more snow fell, but at this point it looks very unlikely that Chicago will receive any additional measurable snow. Overall, this outlook was not good. Actual temperature departure for DJF was +6.8 degrees, which is well above my range. 22.2" of snow occurred, which is below my range. There were 3 days below zero, which is right in range and the best aspect of this forecast by far. Overall, all things considered, I'd probably give this like a D+ at best. As said, nailed the number of below zero days, but the things that people tend to care about most are the temperature departures and snowfall amounts, and it was a pretty bad bust in that regard. In seasonal outlooks, there is an argument that being on the right side of a departure deserves some credit, even if the value is off. I agree with that to some extent, but a temp departure of +6.8 is so far above my upper range of +1 that I really just can't give any credit for that. There is a big difference between how a +1 winter feels compared to a +6.8 winter. The snowfall forecast was not quite as bad imo. Although snowfall came in under my values, the overall tenor of the season was reflected fairly well in that it was less snowy than average. As far as what went wrong, I definitely put too much stock into the strong Ninos of the past. Those tended to not be all out torches (except the super Ninos). Also, it seems like we actually may have had too much forcing too far west in the Nino regions. Little quirky thing... if the 22.2" of snow holds, it will only be the second time on record that Chicago's snowfall amount has all of the same numbers. The only other time it happened was when 44.4" fell in 1893-94.
  4. In case anyone is wondering, the next partial solar eclipse in the Plains/Midwest that is even remotely significant isn't until January 14, 2029. Depending where you are, it will have about 50-70% of the sun blocked. There are a couple before then, but we're talking like 1-5% coverage, lol http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/xSE_GoogleMap3.php?Ecl=+20290114&Acc=2&Umb=0&Lmt=1&Mag=1&Max=1
  5. Viewing through binoculars was amazing. Almost felt like you could reach out and touch the eclipse. Overall I was very pleased with the viewing experience. One thing I missed out on again were the shadow bands. They are tough to see unless you have the right background, and I just couldn't find any in 2017 or this time. Did have a much better look at the dramatic darkening of the western sky immediately prior to totality. Didn't pay enough attention to that in 2017 and mostly missed that last minute darkening. Really helps to sort of map this stuff out in your head in advance. There is so much to take in in so little time. Totality is short-lived even in the best of circumstances and I can't understand why anybody would be content with very brief totality (say less than 1 minute) if there's a chance to get to a better spot.
  6. This is quite a shot. Total eclipse over Progressive Field in Cleveland. How cool to take in the eclipse and then a baseball game.
  7. One more thing I would add is that at totality, this eclipse seemed a little darker than the 2017 eclipse (admittedly, memory on the precise level of darkness in 2017 has faded). That would make sense though since the path of totality was wider. In both cases, I was a mile or two north of the center line, the cloud situation (or lack of) was similar, and I was in an area with just a small amount of building lighting, so it made for a good apples to apples comparison. The 2045 eclipse has a path of over 150 miles wide, while the 2024 eclipse was like 115-120. Based on that, and all else being equal, the 2045 eclipse should be darker.
  8. What a day it was yesterday. Definitely had some nerves about much of the model output showing OVC, but was watching visible satellite like a hawk all morning and into early afternoon. Looking at satellite trends a few hours before the eclipse, I was starting to feel good that clouds wouldn't be an issue. Traffic from Indianapolis into the Ellettsville-Bloomington area was very good, and I arrived in that area with plenty of time to spare before the beginning of the eclipse. Spent a while driving back and forth in Bloomington and Ellettsville, looking for a spot that I wanted. We all have our personal preferences, but I didn't want to be in too large of a crowd and didn't want too many lights (which would come on during totality) or things obstructing the view of the horizon, so these factors made it tough to find a great spot in Bloomington. After deciding against Bloomington, it came down to finding a good place in Ellettsville. Even here, there were many spots where the view of the horizon wasn't the most ideal. There's an ice cream place in Ellettsville where the center line went directly through the parking lot. I drove by, and there were a good amount of people there. Thing is, they were charging $50 for parking! Any bragging rights of being directly on the center line wasn't worth $50. Some other businesses were charging for parking (though less) while others did not charge. Would've paid a small amount for parking had a particular spot been an ideal viewing location, but I wasn't finding what I wanted. I got to a church parking lot just north of center line shortly after the partial phase of the eclipse began (ironically I was in a church parking lot for the 2017 eclipse), where there were about 20 other people scattered around. Marked my location on the map below. Excitement was building of course as the minutes ticked down. Some dimming of light was noticeable starting about 30-40 minutes before totality. Around that time or perhaps shortly after, started to feel the temperature dropping. Although the winds were on a general downward trend leading up to totality, there seemed to be some little pulses of wind that accentuated the cooling. The temperature dropped 8 degrees at the Bloomington Airport, with the lowest reading coming a little after totality ended (lag effect.) I can't remember exactly when it occurred, but maybe about 20-30 minutes before totality, I started hearing a loud buzzing sound. At first I thought there was something flying by me, but then realized that it was coming from a ways away. Turned out to be bees, ostensibly freaking out because the daylight was diminishing. This continued almost until totality. A minute or two prior to totality, the darkening sky to the west really became noticeable. Daylight continued to diminish as I was flipping back and forth between looking at the sun, looking at the surroundings, and glancing at the time on my phone. Seconds before totality, the lights on a nearby building kicked on as the darkening accelerated. Then, the magic moment of totality. After taking in the experience of totality for a half minute or so, I got my binoculars, pointed them up to the sky and saw the majesty of the total eclipse... the blackness of the moon, the brilliance of the white corona and the prominence that was happening at about 6 o'clock. Passed my binoculars off to a couple others so they could get that view, and then I went back and forth between looking all around the sky with my own two eyes and taking in the darkness and reactions of the others who were there. Toward the end of totality, I heard some fireworks in the distance. Then, almost as soon as it began, totality was over as the clock was about to strike 3:09 pm. I hung around for a while after to watch the process in reverse, just feeling so fortunate to have had this experience for the second time in less than 7 years. Yet with a touch of sadness, knowing that it will be so long until the next one (at least in the US). Overall, it was a tremendous experience. I would say it hit me just a little less deeply on an emotional/spiritual level than the first time, but there was still some of that. I felt my heart beating fast during totality. Even if someone has seen 25 of these, I don't think you can help but not react in some way. Another thing I noticed is that in the minutes right before, through, and just after totality, there wasn't a single vehicle that drove by on state road 46. It was like everybody knew that you couldn't be driving in your car for those moments... you just couldn't. I'm all in for the eclipses in the 2040s and will try to do whatever it takes to be there.
  9. Just got home. Took longer than usual of course, but the drive home went much better than 2017. Never even attempted to take I-65, and it's a good thing because per traffic maps, that looks like it is still backed up for about 60 miles.
  10. I ended up in a church parking lot on the outskirts of Ellettsville, IN. 4 minutes and 3 seconds of totality and clouds were a complete non-issue. It's unfortunate that the time goes by fast. May add more later, but one thing I observed this time that did not occur in 2017 was swarming bees. They were going nuts in the lead-up to totality.
  11. I'm on the IU campus in Bloomington and there's a good amount of people out and about. Looks like they have their football stadium open for viewing. Still scouting out a final spot.
  12. Thanks Tom. Will be heading toward the Ellettsville/Bloomington area, but monotoring trends closely and may readjust on the fly.
  13. Still not quite sure where I'm headed. Will grab some breakfast and then make a decision. Pretty much know I'm not remaining in Indy (want to get as close to center as possible and avoid the extra traffic that will be occurring in the Indy area).
  14. Currently in Indianapolis (well actually in Avon, IN eating dinner). Drive in was slow at times but fine at other times. Good luck to all tomorrow.
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