Anti-Anti-Gun Post

It felt like a very bad time to be firing a gun.

Not long after the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, and an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, a local gun store invited the media to drop by on Saturday, June 4th, to shoot at some targets, as a part of National Range Day.

A newspaper reporter accepted the offer.  After getting a safety talk, he entered the range and fired nine rounds from a 9mm handgun.  His hands were shaky, and his aim was poor.  The manager made it perfectly clear that the gun culture and laws in the United States are completely different in Canada.  He told a personal story to illustrate the point.

Years ago, when he wasn’t in the gun business, he and some of his clients went to a Florida restaurant with a no-gun rule.  “So, just like your coat-checks up here, they had a gun-check at the restaurant.  My clients opened up their jackets, got their guns out, got their little chit for the gun-check, and the lady said to me, “Sir, you need to check your gun in.”

I said, “I’m not carrying” and she looked at me and said, “Come on sir, you need to check your gun.”  I said, “Honestly, I’m not carrying.”  She looked around and said, “You’re not carrying?”  I opened my jacket and said, “I’m from Canada.  We don’t do this up there”  And she couldn’t believe it!

Friends in Michigan have told him they can’t understand why he doesn’t carry a gun.  I said, ‘Here’s the difference.  Where I come from, we had six homicides last year.  They were all targeted, either gang-related, or domestic.”  They said, “That happened in Detroit yesterday.”  That’s the big difference.

In some states, almost everyone can buy a gun immediately.  This is not the case in Canada.  You’ll have to wait six to eight months.  You must take a 16 hour safety course, provide references, and be vetted by the RCMP.  It involves answering some intrusive and serious questions.  Have you been on medication in the last five years for depression?  Have you had a job loss, or a divorce?

Any red flag means No Gun!  If you do get one, it can only be used for hunting or target shooting.  Automated background checks are run on gun owners once a day.  We have to recognize that we are a different country than the United States.  We have a different gun culture and different processes.

He said, “Mass shootings in the US have nothing to do with Canada.  I refuse to be blamed for the actions of a madman.  It’s that simple.  There is no connection.

The Saturday event celebrated the lawful ownership of guns in Canada.  About 2.3 million Canadians are licensed to own a gun.  At the start of the COVID pandemic, the store was stampeded by people looking for guns.  “They felt like things were going to go bad – lockdowns were going to cause people to go crazy.”

Many were surprised they needed a licence and had to take a safety course, and pass a background check.  They said that they needed a gun immediately.  He told them, “If you are panicking, and the only thing that is driving you to buy a gun is panic – we need to have a longer conversation.  You don’t buy a gun out of panic, and you don’t buy a gun for self-defense.”

Many Canadian gun-control laws miss the mark.  Most guns used in crimes are smuggled across the border.  There is a serious problem at the border that needs to be solved.  Targeting businesses like his and their livelihood, and law-abiding customers, is not going to solve the problem of violent crime.

It was pleasant to see such a well-researched and thought-out article for a change, instead of the typical Chicken Little, The Sky Is Falling, Big Brother Save Us rants.

’22 A To Z Challenge – F

 

Poor overworked English-language words!

Like, I don’t mean words like, like.  I mean words like the poor word, run.  The dictionary definition for that one runs to a page and a half.  Its somewhat less stressed and overburdened country cousin is

FLAG

Seems simple enough – a colored, often patterned piece of cloth, representing countries, provinces, states, corporations, etc.  A visit to my American friend revealed that, of 14 houses on his cul-de-sac, 8 of them proudly, patriotically displayed the Stars and Stripes.  But….

To my gardener wife, a flag is an iris, or similar, broad-leafed plants

To a landscaper or paver, a flag is a thin flat stone, used to create walkways or driveways.

To a hawk or falcon, a flag is a tuft of feathers on the leg.

To a hunter, a flag is the tail of a deer, or of his hunting dog.

To a journalist, a flag is the nameplate of his newspaper or magazine.

As a verb, flag can mean to affix a flag(s), as on a ship or building.

Flag can mean to signal or warn – as to flag a taxi or a bus.
My Father used to describe scantily clad females as, “Not wearing enough clothes to flag a handcar.”
The meaning of the term handcar will be provided upon request, at no additional cost.  I have ridden on a handcar several times, sometimes assisting to propel them.  Their gasoline-powered replacements came to be known as jiggers.

Flag can mean to mark a file, or other, for attention.
I’m going to flag his tax return for an audit.

Lastly, flag can mean to diminish in strength, energy or interest.
My enthusiasm for this project is beginning to flag.
I am going to wave the white flag for now, but I’ll be back on Wednesday.

Parents Of Kids Say The Darnedest Things

Pros

Don’t cast aspirations on her femininity – Cast aspersions, instead.

It continues to reside in the attack. – I had to go up to the attic, to research this.

He spoke a sort of pigeon Galician – This pigeon thinks it should read pidgin.

So, needlessly to say – It was needless to use an adverb instead of an adjective.

He built the viaduct that brought the water – Then it would be an aqueduct.

Mary had a little lamb.  Her cheeks were white as snow – And the lamb’s fleece was white as snow.

The horseflies left whelps with their bites – The young whelps had welts on them.

The squad debauched from the fort – This debauched author meant debouched.

The pilot waggled the plane’s wings for an instance – an instance where it should read, instant.

The company was marketing Santinism. – They weren’t marketing the correct spelling of Satanism.

Phone gets stuck in base guitar – It’s fishy that there’s no bass.

Businessman revels how he got rich – If I were rich, I’d revel, but I wouldn’t reveal how I did it.

He sniffed his depreciation of the idea. – I’d appreciate him using deprecation

The family fortune was dilapidated – and my patience with this usage was depleted.

Amateurs

The idea has gained some exposer recently – Police arrested the exposer for indecent exposure.

Believe it or not – I found a Belief It Or Not Christian video – not wrong…. just wrong!

They were forced to be reckoned with. – I was forced to write, “A force to be reckoned with.”

An elderly none came in – but the nun would have none of that spelling.

She was dancing in the isleI’ll tell you that it should be aisle.

Vacuums don’t cause autism – Neither do vaccines.

I pulled up the parking brake leaver – Well, leave ‘er parked, and look up lever.

Darwin advocated ‘Survival of the Fitness’ – The fittest of us know that’s not true.

It could justify killing or torchering – That spelling is torturing me.

One only has to take a looksy – to know that it should be a look-see.

I was going to lambest him for saying that – I’s like to lambaste you for using lambest.

I’m into essential oils and incest. – Does your daughter know about this?

‘The Office’ is a meaty okra show. – About as mediocre as that spelling.

She said she got a Bachelorette Degree – Blondie meant a baccalaureate!!

I have only lent in my pocket – because you gave up your dictionary for lent.

A term that attempts to draft on an air of coolness – I drank some cool draft while I looked up graft.

This woman had the gull to insult him – A little bird told me she had gall.

He’s got the saddle soars to prove it – Lets waft on over to where they are sores.

***

Now that I’ve had something to say about some things that other people say, it’s back to business as usual.  What??!  Ranting IS my usual?  I dare you to read this post and say that.   😉

Speaking English Like An Arab

Over centuries, dozens of Arabic words have entered the English language, through science, philosophy, mathematics, food, fabrics, trade and travel.

Most were introduced by inland and maritime trade along the Silk Route, while others came through the Islamic conquests of southern Europe. Not all of these words are of Arabic origin – some came from India, Persia and ancient Greece – but Arab merchants helped export them to the West.

Finally, the discovery of medieval Islamic scientists and astronomers during the Renaissance brought new words and concepts to Europe.  I have picked the top 15 most surprising words with Arabic origins.

Admiral: amir أمير

The word for this high-ranking naval commander evolved from amir, the Arabic word for a prince or ruler. The word was first documented on the island of Sicily in the 11th century, where the Arabs had ruled for 300 years.

Alchemy: al kimiya الكيمياء

The ancient branch of philosophy known as alchemy involved the study of substances and materials. Medieval alchemists believed that some liquids could be turned to gold, or a potion that would make its drinker immortal. The original Arabic word stems from the Greek term “khemeia, though some scholars also trace its roots back to ancient Egypt.

Cotton: qutun قطن

Though cotton was known to the ancient Romans, the word and the fabric were imported by Arab merchants to Europe in the late Middle Ages.

Elixir: al-iksir الإكسير

Today, an elixir is a liquid remedy with healing powers. In Arabic, it originally referred to a dry powder for treating wounds. It was later adopted by alchemists who referred to an elixir as the elusive mineral powder that would turn metals into gold.

Jumper: jubba جبّة

The Arabic word for overcoat originally entered European languages as “juppa“, valuable silk clothing, in southern Italy in the 11th century.

Macrame: miqrama مقرمة

This type of knotted textile used in craft and high fashion originates from the hand-loomed fabrics of Arabic weavers. In Arabic, miqrama refers to an embroidered tapestry or bedspread.

Mohair: al-mokhayyar المخيّر

In Arabic, al-mokhayyar was a high-quality cloth made of fine goat hair. Various forms of it were imported to the West for centuries, the most famous being the wool made from Angora goats of Turkey.

Monsoon: mawsim موسم

Early Arab sea merchants on the Indian Ocean rim used the word “mawsim” or “seasons” to refer to the seasonal sailing winds. Later, the word was adopted by Portuguese, Dutch and English sailors as they navigated extreme weather conditions off the coasts of India, South-East Asia and China.

Muslin: musuliyin موصلي

Muslin, a cotton-based fabric, is said to have derived its name from the traders of the city of Mosul, or the musuliyin, who imported it from South Asia to Europe.

Nadir: nazir نظير

In English, a nadir refers to the worst moment, or the point at which something is of the least value. But in Arabic, the word means a counterpart, and was used in medieval Islamic astronomy to refer to the diametrically opposing points of a celestial sphere.

Orange: naranj نارنج

Though both the fruit and the word came from India, Arabs introduced oranges to the Mediterranean region. For many southern European countries today, they are considered a staple fruit.

Serendipity: serendib سرنديب

The ancient fairy tale place of Serendib, which appears in One Thousand and One Nights and other ancient oral traditions, was also the old Arabic name for the island of Sri Lanka. The English word serendipity, meaning a fortunate discovery, was coined by the English author Horace Walpole in 1754.

Safari: safar سفر

The English adopted the Swahili word for journey – safari – in the 19th century for their hunting expeditions in East Africa. Though a safari today involves an organized trip to spot wild animals, its origins are from the Arabic “safar”, or journey, a reminder of the crucial presence of Arab sea merchants on the East African coast.

Sugar: sukkar سكّر

Another word to have travelled the Silk Road is sugar, which was originally produced in India. By the sixth century, sugar cane cultivation reached Persia, and was brought into the Mediterranean by the Arabs, who produced it extensively.

Tariff: ta’riff تعريف

A tariff in Medieval Arabic means a notification. It was introduced to western languages around the 14th century through commerce on the Mediterranean Sea, where it referred to the bill of lading on a merchant ship, or the statement of products and prices for sale.

’22 A To Z Challenge – E

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody loves a good fart joke.  Well, there are some prudes who stick their noses in the air, and claim that they don’t, but if someone farts, having your nose up in the air is a good thing.

What would a cow’s fart smell like?  Dairy air.

This week’s word to ponder is

EFFLUVIUM

a slight or invisible exhalation or vapor, especially one that is disagreeable or noxious.
an unpleasant smell or exhalation, as of gaseous waste or decaying matter

The discussion forum, Quora, asked, “When was the most inappropriate time that you farted?”  A young female clerk had to enter the vault of a Fortune 500 company to get some forms.  Shortly after she entered, Mother Nature insisted that she vent some gas.  This wasn’t a lady-like little toot.  She didn’t remember eating anything that would cause it, but it was a blast that almost blew the gusset out of her pantyhose, and smelled like she’d eaten a dead skunk.

She thought, ‘At least I’m here alone.  There’ll be time for it to dissipate before anyone else comes in.’  The thought was still rattling around in her head, when the Vice-President entered.  She didn’t say a word, just put her head down, and walked out, hoping that the stress would prevent him from recognizing or identifying her.

A female comic once claimed that, “Women don’t sweat, and we don’t fart.  Hell!  If we didn’t bitch, we’d explode!”

Social convention says that, when a fart sneaks up on you and you’re with someone, or a group, you’re supposed to admit to it, and apologize.  If you feel one coming on, you are expected to move to a location with a lower population density.

One day, I rolled out of bed and immediately left the bedroom, down the hall, and back into the bathroom.  There, I did what lots of husbands do.  I ripped a BIG one – about three yards of sail canvas – F-f-f-f-a-a-a-a-r-r-r-t-t-t.  From 30 feet, a hallway, and a different room, away, I heard –Archon??!

Yes, Dear?
Well, you could apologize.
There is no-one here to smell it, that I might apologize to.
Well, you could go somewhere else to do that.
I am in the bathroom, with the exhaust fan on.  Where else would you suggest that I go??

Now she’s angry because I just proved that I need not do either one of two things that she feels are imperative.  It’s not like we have an HOA, or even a Neighborhood Decorum Committee which can assess fines.

A comedian once discussed farting and flying.  The average person farts about every half-hour – nothing major, just little toots.  By the end of an eight-hour flight, 250 passengers will have produced a total of 4000 farts.  It’s no wonder that the baby was crying.

An award was given to Ben Wilson of the University of British Columbia for his thesis on, “Sounds  Produced by Herring Bubble Release.”  Apparently, herring communicate by farting.

The average person’s output is about two cubic feet of gas per day.  Very early, NASA had to learn to develop filtration and compression systems for every space vehicle. With enough astronauts, and enough time, the pressure can rise high enough to cause a catastrophic blowout.

I am under no pressure to do anything but leave you with a wee chuckle.

WOW #75

Yankee Doodle went to town
Riding on a pony.
Stuck a feather in his hat,
And called it Macaroni

MACARONI

How did he get to be a Yankee??  And what did it have to do with macaroni??!

Yanke Surname Definition: (Dutch) Descendant of little Jan (gracious gift of Jehovah); one who came from Holland; a name sometimes applied to a stranger.

The Online Etymology Dictionary gives Yankee its origin as around 1683, attributing it to English colonists insultingly referring to Dutch colonists (especially freebooters). Linguist Jan de Vries notes that there was mention of a pirate named Dutch Yanky in the 17th century.

From the mid-1750s – even still today – it was the custom of the upper British crust to ‘Do The Continent’ when they came of age.  Starting in Spain or France, they would party their way though Germany and Poland, and end up in Italy.  Italy was considered the epicenter of society and fashion.

Young English men became enamored of anything Italian – better than what was back in frumpy old Britain.  Costume balls were common, and clothing became more and more gaudy and ostentatious.  Of course, “everything Italian” did not usually extend to actually learning the language.

After they returned home, they would wax eloquent about Italian food and wine, the flamboyant clothing, the buildings, and the parties.  It became common to refer to “everything Italian” in verbal shorthand as simply Macaroni.

Some English in the New World (Remember, there were no ‘Americans’ yet) with less wealth and far less chance to party in Italy – were Yankees.  If they had servants and slaves, and were ‘idle,’ – they were a Doodle.  They displayed their wealth by being able to ride a fine horse – pony.  If they wanted to emulate their British cousins, they would adorn and ornament their clothes.  They would stick a jaunty feather in an otherwise simple, basic hat, and pretend that it was as glitzy as any of that Italian Macaroni.

So, this nonsense little poem has nothing to do with college survival food.  Instead, it is a reminder of how the early American common folk viewed those who claimed to be their betters.  I’d better make some mac-and-cheese for lunch.   😉   😆

Somebody Kicked His Imaginary Puppy

Even when I Have Nothing To Say About Christianity, some of them get all butt-hurt about it.  Yay me!  I’d take a victory lap – if it was a real accomplishment.

One fundamental reality that those who call themselves atheists don’t realize is this; there is an extraordinarily cunning being who is elated that they refuse to believe in God and will do what it takes to keep them in that state of delusion.

I mean, he even offered God in the flesh incentives to deny Himself.

Awwww.  Did someone kick your imaginary puppy??!  I’ll pray that Jesus comes to stroke your fevered brow, and make everything all better…. while you’re busy refuting these memes.  That Iceland one might be a problem.  You could claim that God-appointed, Donald Trump was prevented from buying it, and folding it into the Holy Christian American Empire.

So few words – so many misconceptions.

The most cunning trick that the Mother Church ever pulled, was to convince the faithful that Satan exists – and They (and only They) can protect you, if you just give up…. 10% of your income, your autonomy, your ability to think – critically.

The language usage is devious, and questionable, being used to prop up shaky assumptions and claims.  The existence of God, or the Devil, is not a fundamental reality, unless and until proof or at least sufficiently convincing evidence is presented.  Your blind belief, no matter how strong, does not ensure that it is the truth.

those who call themselves atheists  Atheist do not “call themselves Atheists,” like it was some trendy term they just pulled out of their ass, any more than Christians just call themselves Theists.  These are linguistic definitions, based on individuals’ belief, or lack thereof.  Some people’s gullibility level is just higher (or lower) than others’.

Atheism is generally, just not believing in the existence of God – or gods.  It is having not been presented with sufficiently convincing evidence.  There are some Atheists who would refuse to believe in the Christian God.  Most Atheists I know, myself included, would quickly and rationally believe – just as soon as that evidence is provided.  To even suggest otherwise is foolish.  I mean, c’mon, salvation, eternal life, Heaven…. and especially Hell, if they were clearly shown to exist.  It is the religious who most often reject any position which does not agree with their presuppositions.

Especially for the believers in the tripartite God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – there are some convincing refutations.  If Jesus is God, who did He pray to in the Garden of Gethsemane?  While he was on the cross, He said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”  If Jesus was God, why did He have to report this?  Was the Internet down that day??!

Bobby Butthurt has unintentionally provided me with yet another contradiction – an arguing point that I had not previously considered.  I mean, he even offered God-in-the-flesh incentives to deny Himself.  If Jesus is God incarnate, creator and owner of infinity, and all that is – what could Satan possibly offer him as incentives??!  What do you get a deity Who already has everything?  😕

Book Review #27

Through no fault of my own, I managed to read another book which is older than me.  It is over four decades older, though to categorize it as a book, is perhaps generous.  It was only 68 pages, a couple of them being photos from a trip.  It is said to be the first English-language book produced in this German-speaking town.  I did not acquire it just to tick off a reading challenge sector.

The book:  A Canadian’s Travels In Egypt

The author:  Ward H. Bowlby K.C.

The review:  If you Googled ‘Vanity Press,’ there would be a picture of this ego trip about an Egyptian trip.  A local historian publishes a weekly newspaper column.  He mentioned that he had a pdf file of a carefully-scanned 1902 original.  He would forward a copy to anyone who asked – so I asked.

Ward Bowlby was a big noise here in then-Berlin, Ontario, at the end of the 19th century.  He had attended Ontario Law College in Toronto, being first in his class each year.  He came from a well-to-do family.  Besides generous fees, paid by other local captains of industry, he owned a large timber/lumber company during a significant period of city growth.

In the winter of 1898/99, he felt that he had earned a little vacation.  This was not your average on-the-cheap tourist-class jaunt.  Ward, and 8 of his family and friends, took a four month getaway from a cold, Canadian winter, including two months on a Nile houseboat.

They went by train from Berlin to New York City, and boarded a steamer.  Over 11 days, they visited Gibraltar, Pompeii, and Naples.  Then they transferred to an Italian steamer for a trip to Alexandria.  After eight days in Cairo, which included a visit by the two men in the party to an ‘Arab music hall,’ where they were suitably scandalized by half-naked belly-dancers, they chartered a Nile tour-boat.

They got as far upstream as Aswan (Assouan), and then returned, visiting village markets, Luxor tombs, the Sphinx, and the Great Pyramids.  Bowlby kept a daily diary of the Egyptian portion, later turning it into a published travelogue.  After Egypt, the party spent 10 days in ‘The Holy Land’ – Palestine, long before the (re)creation of Israel.  Sadly, Bowlby kept no notes about that segment of the trip.

He had 56 copies printed, and bound with leather with gilt lettering.  He autographed each copy, and gave them to people he wanted to impress.  I don’t know how common these travelogues were at that time.  This one has the feel of the quiet bombast of, This is something that I could afford to do, and you can’t.  The K. C. behind his name, above, indicates, not merely a lawyer, but King’s Counsel.  He suffixed each autograph with ‘Esq.’

The manuscript itself was as tedious as the year-end newsletter you might receive from any bragging almost-friend.  The basic story though, was like watching the Hercule Poirot movie, Death On The Nile, an interesting historical glimpse into the period actions of some monied Canadians.

’22 A To Z Challenge – D

 

A number of word-nerds often wish that some older, arcane and archaic words were still in common use, if only to provide insults for the office prankster, the Karen supervisor, and the sneak-thief who steals lunches from the break-room refrigerator.

Then there are terms that even word historians wonder how and why they came into existence, and no-one misses when they’re gone.  Such a one is

DELIVERLY

When I first ran into it, I thought it was just a misspelling.  Even when I checked it on a dictionary site, there was the red underlining, but it admitted that it was real, and meant
adverb Archaic. quickly, deftly.
A Middle English word dating back to 1300–50

If we had quickly and deftly, why did we need deliverly??  It is related to the old command to, “Stand and deliver!”  This was not about a parcel, or a speech.  It referred to a quick, deft, armed response to the challenge.

Everything old is being used for something new.  People are not shopping at bricks and mortar stores anymore.  Instead, they buy online, and have things delivered to them.  I occasionally see FedEx, or Purolator, or DHL, or even Canpar (Canadian Parcel Service) trucks in the neighborhood, but there’s not a day when I don’t see a local, Intense Delivery Service, Mercedes Sprinter van, delivering up and down the street.

Sad to admit, it has stopped at our place more than a few times.  The wife will say, “I wonder if that knitting pattern book that I ordered, will be delivered today.” – and her tablet will chime, with a photo of the package on the porch.  So, if you want your delivery deliverly delivered, use an Intense courier company.  😉

How was my delivery of this post?  Please be quick and deft with your responses.  😀

It’s Not Funny – Until It Is

Twice Upon A Time, I had 51 completed, composed blog-posts in a word file.  Then I accepted a challenge to Blog Every Day in April.  Even before the first of the month, my stash had dwindled to about 40.  I threatened to include a humor/joke post or two, to pad out the month, perhaps even a whole week of comedy, but I did not do that.

Instead, I plucked d one from here, and one from there on the list.  At the end of April I still had 26 posts in my list.  Still lots, right??!  Then I realized what they were.  There was a Fibbing Friday post for each month, until December.  That’s 9!  Likewise, I had an Atheism vs. Religion post for every month till December.  That’s another 9 – total 18!

I had 2 Book Review posts.  I could compose another one, but I’m sure my followers don’t want to always read about what I’m reading about.  I have a couple of Word Origin/Usage posts, but all word and no play, makes Jack (and Jacquie) unhappy readers.

Until the next load of bullshit is delivered, and splashed onto some pages, I need to keep my fans in good humor.  Here’s an extra dollop of funny for this week, and probably another next month.  Read ‘em and leap…. to the conclusion that Hump Day is as amusing as Mondays.

Late, Great, One-Liners

Procrastination is the art of….
….keeping up with yesterday.

Don’t be so open-minded….
….that your brains fall out.

He who farts in church….
….sits in his own pew.

God didn’t create anything without a purpose….
….but mosquitoes come close.

Dogs prepare you for babies….
….Cats prepare you for teenagers

I don’t want to brag, but….
….I finished my 14-day diet in three hours.

I have a pen that writes underwater….
….It can write other words, too.

Any salad is a Caesar salad….
….if you stab it enough.

There’s no snooze button on….
….a cat that wants breakfast.

Anyone who doesn’t know what shampoo tastes like….
….has never washed a dog.

If one door closes, and another opens….
….you house may be haunted.

Mix a four-leaf clover with poison ivy….
….and you’ll have a rash of good luck.

The five-second rule does not apply….
….when you have a two-second dog.

There’s a time and place for decaf coffee….
….Never, and in the trash.

Adulting is soup….
….and I am a fork.

Waffles are just pancakes….
….with abs.

Espresso may not be the answer….
….but it’s worth a shot.

What do you call dental x-rays?….
….Tooth pics.

I was trying to make a pun about quicksand….
….but I’m stuck.

Cats have 32 muscles in each ear….
….all to help them to ignore you.

Autocorrect can go straight to he’ll.

Autocorrect has become its own worst enema.

Rhinos are just….
….fat unicorns.

Pigs are magical animals….
….They turn vegetables into bacon.

A lion wouldn’t drive drunk….
….but a Tiger Wood.