WOW #40

Music Staff

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the most useless Word (Of the Week) in the English language.  It is

SOLMIZATION

Music. The act, process, or system of using certain syllables, especially the sol-fa syllables, to represent the tones of the scale.

Solmization comes from French solmization, a derivative of solmiser “to (sing) sol-fa.” The system of solmization is attributed to Guido of Arezzo (c995-1049), a Benedictine monk from Arezzo, Tuscany, who also invented the staff notation used in Western music. Solmization entered English in the 18th century.

While the system is used thousands of times a day, I have never heard of it being identified or given credit for by this name.  The act, or process, which Good Old Guido developed/invented/applied, occurred exactly once – never previously, and never since.  This is a definition which Jim Wheeler will probably dislike, because it’s a one-off.

Somebody had to go to the trouble to come up with a label for a thing which occurred with the same frequency as those infinite monkeys, banging out Shakespeare on infinite typewriters.  (You’d think that somebody’d give them word-processors and keyboards these days.)  I’m not surprised that it came to English through the surrender-monkey French.  They’ve got lots of time to sit around, eating snails and mouldy cheese, and being pretentious.

I may have to give my Word-program Spellcheck a slap upside the head.  Whenever I type in this word, it insists that it should be ‘solmisation’, even though my dictionary site spells it with a Z for both British and American English.  As noted above, even French spells it my way.

I’m going to spell it ‘lazy weekend‘, but I’ll see you back here Monday, with the next A To Z Challenge letter.  😀

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She Blinded Me With Science

Scalpel

I just hired a guy to stab me in the eye!  😯

It all started so innocently.  I visited my Optometrist for my yearly checkup.  I rather like it when a good-looking woman stares deeply into my eyes…. just not when she uses a quarter of a million dollars worth of equipment that looks like it escaped from a nuclear power station.

I have developed a film over both retinas, like a crinkly sheet of Saran, which blurs my vision a bit.  Worse, it contracts, and lifts the retina, changing the focus depth, especially at the fovea – the most sensitive part.  It’s only going to slowly get worse.

Suddenly, I had a referral to an Optical Surgeon in the Eye Clinic of St. Joseph’s Hospital portion of the University of London (Ontario), a 90 minute drive away.  There is a local surgeon who does this operation here, at St. Mary’s Hospital, but both my Optometrist, and my Ophthalmologist swear that the London facility, and my ‘new guy’, are the best in Canada.

We drove down for an examination and consultation – and I have seen the light – in all intensities, and from all angles.  It is important that I maintain my sight as long as possible.  The wife retains her driver’s licence, just in case, but her vision is worse than mine.  The Optometrist says that she is still a way from having it suspended for vision – and that scares the Hell out of me.  There are people out there, still driving, with vision worse than the wife’s??!  It may explain the plethora of accident-strewn intersections in this town.

An afternoon’s worth of tests revealed that this condition in my left eye is actually worse than the right, but, in the right, there is deterioration of the light receptor cells near the fovea, therefore I would get more benefit from having the right eye operated on first.

Facing having someone cut into your body creates enough mental trauma, even when it’s necessary.  I do have a bionic shoulder, and more recently, a hernia patch support.  Thinking about somebody cutting into your eye takes a bit more getting used to.

My lady pharmacist said that I sounded very matter-of-fact, when I told her how the surgeon would open the side of the eye, carefully remove the optical gel, strip off this befuddling film, and put the little 3D puzzle all back together.

Once the decision has been made, I have to accept it.  It’s not something that I look forward to, but I plan on living another 20 years.  I don’t want to have to spend any portion of it unable to read or blog, or housebound because I can’t drive.

Besides, I’ll be unconscious while it’s all happening…. 😯  And then the surgeon casually remarked that, “It’ll be done under local anesthetic.”  SCREECH!  BANG!  WHAT??!  What if I twitch?  They’ll tape and eye-patch the left eye closed, and inject something to immobilize the optical muscles.  They’re going to use one of those things from the movie, A Clockwork Orange, to hold the eye open.

eyes-2

Simulation only.  I probably won’t look anywhere near this calm.

What if my head moves?  They stick it in a padded vice.  Also, I’ll be given a strong sedative, beforehand.  Ahhh, good.  Me and drugs get along real well.  If this is anything like the time they stuck a periscope up my ass, I’ll probably sleep through it all, peacefully.

This is all tentatively scheduled for some time in the New Year.  I’ll keep the less queasy of you informed, while I can still see to type.  If the first one works out as well as we all hope and expect, they’ll do the other side 6 to 8 weeks later.  You can wish me luck if you’d like, but please don’t pray for me.  😀

Click to hear Thomas Dolby tell how it all happened.

White Cane

Dagwood And…. Whatzername

Blondie

Two blondes are in Heaven….
One blonde says to the other, “How did you die?”  ”I froze to death.” says the second.  ”That’s awful” says the first blonde. “How does it feel to freeze to death?” ”It’s very uncomfortable at first,” says the second blonde. “You get the shakes, and you get pains in all your fingers and toes. But eventually, it’s a very calm way to go. You get numb and you kind of drift off, as if you’re sleeping.”  ”How about you, how did you die?” asked the second blonde.

”I had a heart attack,” says the first blonde. “You see, I knew my husband was cheating on me, so one day I showed up at home unexpectedly. I ran up to the bedroom, and found him alone watching TV. I ran to the basement, but no one was hiding there. I ran to the second floor, but no one was hiding there either. I ran as fast as I could to the attic, and just as I got there, I had a massive heart attack and died.
The second blonde shakes her head. “What a pity … if only you had looked in the freezer, we’d both still be alive.”

***

Two blondes are filling up at a gas station and the first blonde says to the second, “I bet these awful fuel prices are going to go even higher.”

The second blonde replies, “Won’t affect me, I always put in just $10 worth.”
***

The executive was interviewing a young blonde for a position in his company. He wanted to find out something about her personality so he asked, “If you could have a conversation with any person, living or dead, who would that be?”

The blonde quickly responded, “The living one.”

***

There was a competition between a team of blondes and a team of brunettes to see who could catch the most fish ice fishing.

Once the contest started, it was clear that the brunettes were going to win — they kept pulling out fish after fish.

Soon, the blondes got worried and sent over one of their team to see what the brunettes were doing differently.

A few minutes later, the blonde comes running back.

“A hole! You need to put a hole in the ice!”

***

A blonde was at her divorce lawyer’s.  Almost screaming, she was insisting, “He’s not going to get that!  I’m keeping this!  He’s going to have to pay for that!  He’ll have to support me for this!”

Taken aback, the lawyer asks if she has a grudge for her husband.

She responds, “We don’t even have a car-port.”

😯

WOW #39

Dictionary

The Word Of this Week,

KAHOOT

doesn’t exist, even though I found it in an A to Z Challenge.  There’s all too much of this sort of thing going on out there in Bloggerland, even among the better spoken written.

Despite filling the ‘K’ slot in her alphabet challenge, the word should be cahoot.  They’re very sociable little creatures that get lonely quite easily, so you almost always see two or more cahoots together, getting into mischief.

  1. US partnership; league (esp. in the phrases go in cahoots with, go cahoot )
  2. in cahoots in collusion

Word Origin and History for cahoots

1829, American English, of unknown origin; said to be perhaps from French cahute “cabin, hut” (12c.), but U.S. sources credit it to French cohorte (see cohort), a word said to have been in use in the U.S. South and West with a sense of “companions, confederates.”

I met a lady online that I wanted to get in cahoots with, so I sexted her a picture of my privates.  She said it must be a private; it wasn’t big enough to be a Corporal, much less a General.  Oh well, back to looking for odd/interesting words.  😆

That Fills The Bill

SW - 1

SW - 2

My recent host and hostess were not interested in money.

I took along a few foreign bills, and odd coinage, to show them.  There was some vague interest in the mis-cut American $1 bill, the somewhat rare American $2, and some chuckles over the ‘Slick Willy’ Bill Clinton $3 fake bill.  The lack of interest may have been because he’s a soldier who has been posted all over the world, and seen much of these firsthand.

BAF - 1

BAF - 2

The interest ramped up when I showed the collection to her younger son and his girlfriend.  We played a game of, ‘You show me yours, and I’ll show you mine.’  Only partly because his step-father is a soldier, he has amassed a promising collection.  Going through my catalogue, we found a British Armed Forces, £1 occupational scrip which Rants might have been interested in.

india - 1

india - 2

He kindly offered to let me take any of his bills and coins, because he merely keeps them, not mounts and displays, as I do.  He had 16 or more countries’ bills.  I could have asked for all of it, but restrained myself to three countries that he had duplicates of.

sri lanka - 1

sri lanka - 2

As luck would have it, they’re all from the same general area of the world.  The Indian 10 Rupee, and the Sri Lankan 20 Rupee, are both paper, and printed about the year 2000.  The Singaporean $2 is newer, and made of polymer plastic with all kinds of security features that prevented me from taking a photocopy of it.  I did my usual money laundering, and washed and ironed them.  Singapore had a hard fold in the center, which even mild heat wouldn’t flatten completely out.

Singapore - 1

Singapore - 2

Pawing through his coins, suddenly I had British King George V looking up at me from a large coin.  I knew it wasn’t Canadian.  Might it be from England – or Jamaica – or Australia??  Turning it over, I was amazed to find that it was a 1919 Newfoundland Half Dollar.

Newfy 50 TailsNewfy 50 Heads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I explained to him that Newfoundland was the 10th province of Canada, but didn’t join
Confederation until 1949.  Until then, they had their own coins and bills, minted and printed in England.  I have long wanted at least one Newfy coin to add to my collection.  Not produced for almost 70 years, I had long ago given up much hope of finding any.

Since he didn’t even know what it was, and it plainly meant something to me, he insisted that I take it.  A caring mother has obviously raised a kind and generous child.  Before I left, BrainRants gave me a quarter-sized United Arab Emirates 1 Rial coin, which he didn’t obtain while he was serving in the army, but rather, he found it, going to work on the bus, in cosmopolitan Washington DC.

Rial

I have many other foreign bills that I will publish pictures of in a post one day, as soon as I work off the procrastination.  Till then, I am always happy to have you visit.  Come again, y’hear!   😀

’18 A To Z Challenge – Q

Challenge '18
letter-q

 

I recently found that I’m a

QUIDNUNC

Shabby Man

It’s okay.  I’ve been called worse.  A quidnunc is a nosy old man.  And here I thought that I was just an interested observer of the human condition.  I am fascinated by the most mundane of details about the people who I come into contact with – what their name means, and what ethnic background they come from.  Even if I ask you a question which you refuse to answer because you feel that it is too personal, I still learn something about you.

Actually, a quidnunc is:  noun

  1. a person eager to learn news and scandal; gossipmonger
    a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip; a gossip or busybody.

Origin of quidnunc

First recorded in 1700–10, quidnunc is from the Latin word quid nunc – what now?

Up until about a century ago, the upper social crust liked to study Latin and Attic Greek, the Classical Languages, and show off their education by scattering Greek and Latin terms into their conversations.  That is largely gone now.  Rapidly advancing technology leaves very little spare time to learn dead languages.

Quidnunc is now a seldom-used, archaic term.  It originally applied to someone of any age, but matured to indicate only nosy older men.  Aside from this blog-post, you may never run into it again for the rest of your life.  If you do, it will almost certainly be applied to some old dude with suspenders, and his pants hiked up almost to his armpits, probably at Shoney’s at 4:00 PM, for the Early Bird Special.

Please stop back again soon.  I’d like to play a game of Twenty Questions.  😉

Remembrance/Memorial Day

poppy-flower-red-remembrence-day-artificial

Sunday, November 11th is Remembrance Day

Remember the lost!
Remember the cost!

veterans

This year’s Nov. 11 ceremonies will commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, the 10th anniversary of the first National Peacekeepers Day and 100 years since the end of the First World War.

Remember to Remember!

Canadian Flag