Ask Dr. Babooner

We are ALL Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I was excited to hear there would be a solar eclipse to watch yesterday, until I discovered it wasn’t happening anywhere near me.

Not only that, by the time I worked out the location issue, the eclipse had already occurred, and other people were busy complaining that it was a letdown.

One person said on Twitter that he was “… mad at space.”

But that’s nothing compared to my disappointment, because I learned that all I could have to look forward to in terms of celestial events yesterday was a supermoon, and the vernal equinox, which is great but it’s like a band that comes to town every year – you kind of hope they’ll do something new.

And besides, the Supermoon is invisible right now, so it doesn’t even count.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a fan of the seasons and the circle of life and all that stuff. But if there’s going to be an amazing solar eclipse, why can’t I be one of those people who flies on a private jet to see it from a luxuriously appointed yurt set up specifically for that purpose on a remote, cloudless hillside in the Faroe Islands?

Not only would it be fantastic to witness such a thing, I could use social media to brag to people that I had done it in the most expensive and extravagant way possible, which would make them feel the kind of intense envy that Facebook was invented to promote.

I know I’m special but I feel like my life is slipping by and I am only allowed to have ordinary experiences!

What’s with that?


I told Bummed that he is indeed special, but so is everyone else, which ultimately makes him ordinary.  He could go out of his way to collect extraordinary experiences, but it would have the odd effect of making exotic and unusual things quite common in his life. People who use their wealth to do this eventually come around to the feeling that they are missing out by not having mundane lives. So enjoy your dull opportunities! More zealous and financially able adventurers have to spend a lot of money to wind up in the very same place!

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

65 thoughts on “Ask Dr. Babooner”

  1. Dear Bummed,

    There are 2 things you can do to solve your “problem”:

    1) you can become a better planner. Solar eclipses are highly predictable-look a reasonably close one up and plan your vacation accordingly . We have friends who are thinking a roadtrip to Missouri in August of 2017 would be fun and easily doable.

    2) but they realize even so, it might be cloudy there that day, so they aren’t pinning all their expectations of enjoying the trip on seeing the eclipse. With the right attitude, it will be a great trip no matter what.

    Boringly true: if you expect great things to happen and keep your eyes open, you will most likely “discover” something wonderful every day.

    Drippy and sanctimonious, but true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i was in chicago during an eclipse doing interviews with people i was wanting to hire 10 years ago and the eclipse was coming, coming coming. i was in my hotel room looking out walking out talking to them and wandering out to the parking lot looking up and amazed. it was eerie dark green black in the sky and the whole thing felt surreal. it was gritty like a david lynch film not at all like a yert on a hillside. there was a 7 11 across the street and traffic and the scene didnt fit. i was making sure to take part in a moment to be filed away but what to do with the files…. ok got it…. next…. sitting in contemplative oneness while the sky goes odd is a marker but not a transformational moment. but if you have a 7 11 htere i guess you could do it with a slushy. i like raspberry.

    the guy i hired didnt work out very well either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to save that post forever, tim. It is perfect, a small stream of consciousness poem that represents everything I treasure in you. I assume you are going to leave your brain to science. I would love to be present when guys in white lab coats peer into your brain and howl, “Holy crap! We’ve never seen this before!” A yert on a hillside. A raspberry slushy. David Lynch. It couldn’t be more perfect.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Speaking about pure poetry. A friend of mine recently visited the United Arab Emirates where her daughter is attending the university. While there they did some sightseeing and were driven around by a local taxi-cab owner. Somehow that taxi-cab owner sent me a friend request on Facebook, and I decided why the heck not.

        Well, Nabil posts daily, mostly photos of tourists he’s squiring around and showing the local sights, but also a fair amount of writing in Arabic. Of course, I know no Arabic, so I use the translation feature to try to decipher what he’s is writing. Here’s one sample of today’s post:

        تخيلوآ وﺂنتو قآعدين وطفشانين ‹☹›
        وفجأهہ الباب دق
        وتروحون تفتحون الباب بدون نفس
        و طلعت انــــاا ‹☻›
        يا حظكم قسم بالله وناسسهه

        which translates to:

        Imagine the way you a mining and divulge zouan ‘☹’
        and honesty the door ecfi
        and go you open the door without the same
        and went out to aah ‘☻’
        your lucky, swear to god and establish huh ☺

        In some strange way, I think I understand.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. We have several world music discs of Arabic music (Putamayo), and Son was so curious about the degree of unrequited love that the songs spoke of. Arabic poetry is very romantic.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I have received Facebook postings of two people from Eastern Europe posted in their native languages. I used the google translator to read a few of their messages. They were not good translations. I’m sure that the google translator would not be good at translating poems as seems to be the case for that poem translated from Arabic. Maybe that translator created a new kind of poetry that makes sense but is not at all the same as it would be if translated more accurately.


        1. Cb, it’s one of those things, either you get it or you don’t, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who’d agree with you that that’s not poetry.


    2. This is too much fun! Here’s a translation of tim’s “poem” in Arabic:

      كنت في شيكاغو أثناء كسوف أجري مقابلات مع الناس وأنا كان يريد أن يوظف قبل 10 عاما، والكسوف كانت قادمة، قادمة المقبلة. كنت في غرفتي في الفندق تطل خرجت التحدث معهم وتجول إلى موقف للسيارات ويبحث حتى عن دهشتها. كان غريب أسود خضراء داكنة في السماء والامر كله شعر سريالية. كان شجاع مثل ديفيد لينش الفيلم لا على الإطلاق مثل yert على التلال. كان هناك 7 11 عبر الشارع وحركة المرور والمشهد ديدنت مناسبا. أنا كان التأكد من أن يشارك في لحظة لأن يودع بعيدا ولكن ماذا تفعل مع الملفات …. طيب حصلت عليه …. التالى …. يجلس في حدانية التأملية في حين السماء يذهب الغريب هو علامة ولكن ليس لحظة التحويلية. ولكن إذا كان لديك htere 7 11 أعتقد أنك يمكن أن تفعل ذلك مع ذائب. أنا أحب التوت.

      Obviously, I don’t guarantee the accuracy, but it’s apparent that the translator had a little trouble with some typos.


  3. i think one of the magic revelations of life is that you need to enjoy the moment. being in the wrong spot or not being in the spot you wish you were in is part of the deal but to be able to sync with the universe and realize that this is it….. i am here now and i am going to take a second and say……be here now…. file it away…. is huge.

    the sunrise, the breeze, the smell, smile, the vibe., remember the air on that particular morning…… the background noises as you sit in the yard on the spring morning 2015.


    lunar eclipse, solar eclipse, clock tick as the millenium switched, my dog waited for me to get home to say good bye before she died peacefully on her own terms.

    life really is simple

    anticipation can lead to disappointment

    attention to the moment can lead to delight

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Good morning. I don’t understand why anyone wants to be the person with unlimited funds which they spend on excessive luxuries such a a special very costly trip to see a solar eclipse. What are these people thinking? This includes you, Bummed. I am not opposed to spending some extra money for a special treat such as a good meal at a high quality restaurant. However, I don’t see how anyone would be comfortable spending massive amounts of money on luxuries. I think your desire to do that, Bummed, is extremely rude and indicates you are excessively self centered and extraordinarily selfish.


      1. Speaking of trips, I believe Edith is already on her way to the West Coast. This trip will be a grand adventure for her. She gets to Portland in a few days. Molly and I will show her some of the sights. You have probably picked up on her passion for books. We’ll get her to Powell’s Books, which I think is the largest bookstore in the world.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Yup, I get on the train in Kansas City late tonight. I’ve spent the weekend with oldest daughter & her family (includes granddaughter & grandson). So far only one kid has gotten sick; I’m hoping I don’t catch it because I don’t want to be puking on the tray.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I wonder what people from Fiji or some other exotic and desirable locale thinks a out their lives in paradise. Do they say to themselves “We couldn’t ask for anything better than this”? Do they long for other, more exotic sights, like Fargo in the winter? I sometimes watch the HGTV shows about people buying property in exotic places, usually people from Canada who get tired of cold weather. Do they start to miss life in Edmonton or Toronto. I think they secretly do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. i spent christmas in la one year and it was wrong…. a tee shirt and shorts on a 70 degree day on the patio is not correct. their idea of lots of stuff is wrong. its nice to get a way from winter but home is always behind the moment and belonging is a state of mind rather than a current situation an location.
      i spent the hoilidays in pheonix palm springs florida vegas but when you leave for a week its different than being living in la. i disliked it enough i left and kept going until i got back to comfort. nothing secret about my happy place

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A man with whom l was delusionally in love with several years ago lives full time in Kauai. I secretly follow him on Face Book and drool at the unending images of the paradise in which he resides. I’ve never seen a more exotic, beautiful place in my life. Too bad we broke up before I got to visit.


    1. why dont you go? ill bet selling the cottage would provide retirement funds. they have dancing on hawaii too but its in grass skirts… can you do that?


        1. you want to talk about it sometime i know the valus of your place is substantial and the cost of a townhouse in the sun for the next 10 or 15 years. if you pick a different island ill bet you wouldnt see much of him


  7. OT: Instead of seeing a solar eclipse here yesterday, we saw a red-tailed hawk (if I’m reading Peterson’s book correctly). He stayed out by the back garden for a half hour or so. Then today I find little tufts of rabbit fur outside the back door, and a little cotton-ball tail. Waaahhhh! I know there are plenty of bunnies, but… I don’t want to think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just so you know . . . it is a good guess that you saw a red-tailed hawk. They are common. They are also a “plastic” species that display variation in appearance. If the bird you saw didn’t exactly match the red-tail in you book, it still might be one.


        1. Our favorite hawks are the Swainson’s Hawks who are fairly common out here. They are larger than Red Tails, with dark tops and very white undersides. They stay in town and are fascinating to watch.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. At my suggestion, husband named his private practice Red Tail Psychology Services. The American Indians he works with really like the name. We love Red Tail Hawks, despite their aggressive ways.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. 2 things.

    1)I valiantly tried to use Translate to turn tim’s post into Arabic, just to see how it would look, but vampire like, I cannot get the copy of it to paste.

    2) The ESA (European Space Agency- near and dear to my heart for landing on a comet) had an image on facebook that some students had taken of the shadow of the eclipse in progress as viewed through a colander. This is not the image I saw there, but also a cool one.

    Inspired idea and I think it needs to be a quiltblock.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There is a “quilter’s blessing”- when you die and get to heaven, may you be presented with all the quilts you intended to make.

        This image has given me the idea that a quilt of “space” images would be a fine thing for Astrophysics Boy, but I fear like so many other good ideas, it may be eternally celestial

        Liked by 5 people

    1. if my post in islamic is as far off as the islamic post translated into english appears to be i fear i may have them after me like they were after soloman rushde. what do you mean allah is a cake eater and his mother is a person in the ahhhhs ???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m afraid your fears may be justified, tim. Here’s the latest post from Nabil, posted just 2 minutes ago. First in Arabic:

        صْبَـــــــــآُحُ آُلَخِيــــــــــر
        يحُفَظُكًمُ آُلَرحُمُنِ بَكًلَ مُكًآُنِ و زًمُآُنِ
        ،، و يجٍعًلَ يومُكًمُ هًذّآُ خِير و أمُآُنِ
        ،، سٌبَحُآُنِ مُنِ أيقًظُ آُلَعًيونِ بَعًدَ آُلَمُنِآُمُ
        ،، و سٌبَحُآُنِ مُنِ أنِآُر هًذّآُ آُلَكًونِ بَعًدَ آُلَظُلَآُمُ
        ،، آُلَلَهًمُ نِسٌألَكً صْبَآُحُآًُ مُسٌتُبَشَرآًُ
        و هًمُآًُ رآُحُلَآًُ و قًلَبَآًُ مُطُمُئنِآُ
        صْبَآُحُـكًمُ ” ثًِقًهً ” بَأنِ مُآُ مُضى
        خِير و صْبَآُحُكًمُ ” تُفَآُؤلَ ” بَأنِ آُلَآتُي أجٍمُلَ
        صْبَآُحُ آُلَخِير

        And, here’s the translation:

        P. b good
        ٦٣(, which is how to explain to you to you and g amen
        ,, and make a day you it out and or now
        ,, will b right now be awake to eyes he has to.
        ,, and now to change. for you and submit it to the anymore
        ,, Oh, who asked you in what will b there
        the other to and heart are with creditors.
        in your ‘ trust ‘ to someone else’s
        Good and you in your ‘ now benibana ‘ should i try to be the most
        You in to.


  9. Dear Bummed:
    You are not eating enough Jelly Bellys. There are currently 50 flavors. I suggest increasing your daily intake of these treats in all the possible combinations. I am not a Doctor of Mathematics, so I cannot with accuracy tell you how many groupings there may be, but rest assured it’s a lot. For example: (1) one root beer/one coconut. (2) two root beer/one coconut. (3) three root beer/one coconut. Pace yourself by consuming one combination per day. Keep a diary of what each permutation tastes like and rate them on a scale of 1-100. Being a bean counter may well have the added benefit of employment experience. Of course, when you come to eating 50 at a time, do so in the privacy of your home. No one wishes to observe gluttony.

    Enjoy the little things in life.

    PS: Now that I think about it you may wish to limit the combinations to the number can that fit in your mouth at one time. 50 to the 50th power is probably overdoing things.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aw heck, since we’ve already got poetry going on the trail today, here’s a poem by Billy Collins. It’s his birthday today, so in celebration, this is a poem he wrote:


    by Billy Collins

    The whole idea of it makes me feel
    like I’m coming down with something,
    something worse than any stomach ache
    or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
    a kind of measles of the spirit,
    a mumps of the psyche,
    a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

    You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
    but that is because you have forgotten
    the perfect simplicity of being one
    and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
    But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
    At four I was an Arabian wizard.
    I could make myself invisible
    by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
    At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

    But now I am mostly at the window
    watching the late afternoon light.
    Back then it never fell so solemnly
    against the side of my tree house,
    and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
    as it does today,
    all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

    This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
    as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
    It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
    time to turn the first big number.

    It seems only yesterday I used to believe
    there was nothing under my skin but light.
    If you cut me I could shine.
    But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
    I skin my knees. I bleed.

    Liked by 3 people

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