How I watched the August 2008 Solar Eclipse
Here's a sad story. Too lazy to go to Russia. Too lazy to go to China. Too lazy to drive to Exploratorium to view the marvelous 3 satellite bounce China live-cast, only 40 minute away, plenty of parking, too lazy to get out of bed, go down to my computer to watch it on the net, so brought laptop into bed, set alarm for 3:50 AM because too lazy to watch the whole partial phase, then the ULTIMATE laziness, too lazy to TURN ON the alarm. So, too lazy to sit up in bed until 8:30, opened up laptop to watch replay, and finally, fast-forward because too lazy to watch through partial- oh- mentioned that one before.
The pay-off? I was transported by the images. So was my family with whom I've seen 3 of my 8 eclipses. We were all jumping up and down in front of the monitor, and I even instinctively tried to use my mouse cursor to brush away the clouds that preceeded totality. Surprise! It worked.
Hours before, had telescope in backyard and looked at Jupiter. We were having a big party for my daughter and all her artistic and talented right-brained friends and, as usual, blew them all away. Proves my contention that amateur astronomy is indeed an intellectual, even more than a scientific, pursuit.
It is left to the student to explain why I set my alarm to watch a solar eclipse at night.