WOW #17


My son just handed me a great little word. I’ve been doing it for years without getting caught at it.  The word is;


a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.

(in literature) a piece created from diverse resources.

(in art) a piece of makeshift handiwork.

the use of multiple, diverse research methods.

Origin of bricolage: Middle French/Old French

1960-65; < French, literally “do-it-yourself,” from bricoler “to do odd jobs, small chores” from Middle French bricoler “to zigzag, bounce off,” from Old French bricole “a trifle, bricole ” + -age -age

So, this explains all those ‘Seinfelds, and Shotguns, and Trivianas, and now, Smitty’s Loose Change.’ I thought that I was gathering wide-spread, interesting trivia for my readers.  It turns out that I was just doing unfocused, French odd-jobs.  I am underwhelmed and disappointed.

I was going to make myself a Dagwood sandwich, as a snack.  It seemed to fit definition number one.  Now that I know that I’ve been infected with Froggy Lazy Fair, I’ll probably hop out to the kitchen, and feel compelled to prepare myself some snails, with mouldy cheese.

I’ll be zigzagging and bouncing off the walls for a couple of days, probably fighting the impulse to smoke Galois cigarettes like it’s mandatory. I’ll put on my dress kilt and eat some haggis to get back in grumpy character, and present you soon with something a little grittier. Vous revenez ensuite, n’est-ce pas? Y’all will come back then, won’tcha??   😕

2017 A To Z Challenge – I


When I was young, I had all the patience in the world, because I had all the time in the world, to have patience. Drip – drip – drip – drip!  As I grow older, and have less time – and less time to waste – the countless idiot things that countless idiots do, has eroded away much of my goodwill and patience.  For the letter

Letter I

I’m going to put on my super-powered Iron Man Grumpy Old Dude suit, and tell you what blows the breeze up my kilt, and causes me


Back in April, I was merrily gamboling and frolicking through the sunlit meadows of the Blogosphere. With carefree abandon, I gathered bright, pretty flowers and thought-provoking word-prompts for the A to Z Challenge.  While I was trying to do this, WordPress had a construction crew in, tearing down and rebuilding their site.

It was bad enough that my computer needed a good cleaning – both physically, and electronically. When I finally took it in, the techs knitted two kittens from all the hair and dust in the tower.  They flushed out cookies, and Trojans, and malware, and bots – and defragged the hard drive.  Works faster – Right??!

Everywhere except WordPress! There, it could take a minute – or two minutes – or three….once it took almost five minutes just to shift from one page to another.  All the while with that irritating little ‘wheel’ spinning uselessly in front of my nose, like a couple of my teenage girlfriends – promising something, but never delivering.

Eventually, I’d get impatient, and left-click, just to see if I could prod something into happening. WordPress is not responding because of a long-running script and a button that said, Click to stop script.  I only made that mistake once.  It stopped the script, all right….and the connection to WordPress – and my Word program – and my Internet Outlook browser – and my PC!  No ‘Blue Screen of Death,’ just a black screen of Duh -Where Did Everybody Go?

(Push the ‘On’ button. Your last session ended unexpectedly. No Shit! Did you wish to recover the session? The sooner, the gooder!)

So, I’d wait – and wait….and wait. Eventually, I’d get impatient, and left-click again.  This time the notice read WordPress is not responding. Click to recover page.  😯  Nice of you to warn me.  Looking over my shoulder, the Grim Reaper said, “I’d click that, if I were you.”  So, I’d wait – and wait….and wait.  Drip – drip – drip – drip.

Eventually, WordPress got the walls painted and the new drapes hung in the Stats page. Things run a bit quicker and smoother there, now.  I can reserve my impatience for the idiots on the roads, and in the supermarkets, and on-line.  (Not you lovely people though.  You have great intelligence and show exquisite taste.  You’re here, aren’t you?)  😎


Confusion, Profusion, Collusion

The old man stared bemusedly out his windows, at the expanse of his lawns and gardens, vainly trying to remember just what all happened.  It looked like a massacre out there, the aftermath of The Battle of Agincourt.  Bodies and clothing were strewn everywhere.  There were food platters, and drink containers.  (sniff)  And was there still a whiff of that delightful herbal muscle relaxant in the air?

He vaguely recalled singing and dancing.  Well, he hadn’t sung and danced, he was far too regal and restrained to do that, but his guests had.  The revellers had revelled, and the troubadours had troubed, making sweet music.  Was that a lute on his lawn?  And over there, proud in its Stewart tartan, but looking bedraggled as only an unused one can, was a deflated set of bagpipes, the skirl of which still rang in his ears and in his soul.  It was lying beside a guy in a plaid skirt, with skinny white legs and knobby knees.  Had they let Erickson across the border?

He had sat on a raised dais, beatifically nodding his head and doing that foppish hand-wave thing that Queen Lizzy the Twoth had taught him.  Presents were presented to him.  Epic poems of his purity and honor were declaimed.  High praises of him were sung out far and wide, and a good time was had by all!  He had certainly had a good time, and he hoped – thought all his honored guests had too.

Some careless partiers had kicked away a few of the supports of his grumpy old curmudgeon facade, but he could quickly fix that, by putting up a couple of ranty posts.  All in all, his many talented friends had combined to give him a most pleasant and enjoyable day. Hell, if he thought he could swing another party like that next year, he might even agree to turn 70.




A heartfelt thank you to one and all, for making yesterday a wonderful and memorable celebration.   😀

I. Q. Optional

Answers = $1.00
Answers which require thought = $2.00
Correct answers = $5.00
Dumb looks are still free!

You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.  Think!  Damn it. Think!

The Kindly Hermudgeon had a post recently about the asshattery that she went through trying to get an item at the correct price from Toys R Expensive Us.  It took three clerks, in two stores, but, I had an afternoon which almost matched hers.

The thing which most irritated me was not that there was an error.  It was not even that they didn’t see what the error was, and kept compounding it.  What really blew the wind up my kilt was the lack of concern for a customer’s problem and needs.  Ain’t the customer always right?  For at least one of these clerks, the customer didn’t even exist.

The wife and I went out to do a bit of shopping.  A couple of the things we wanted were on sale at two stores in a nearby plaza.  Being Canadian, we first went to Canadian Tire.  For Americans, these are like an Ace Hardware or a Target store.  They started years ago with automotive parts, and now sell everything from sporting goods to groceries.  We needed toilet paper, so that you can’t claim I’m full of s**t.  They had 24-packs of Charmin, Extra-soft, in blue packs or Extra-strong, in red packs, for $8.88.  There were none on the shelves but, as we gained the center aisle, there was a display of Charmin.  I grabbed a red pack and threw it into the cart with the other Items.  The wife noticed that these packs were 16s, and selling for $9.88.  Not as good as 24 for $8.88, but still a decent price.  If these were in a separate display, perhaps the 24s were too, so I went to customer service to ask where I might find them.  She paged someone and asked if there was a display.  After about five minutes she got a reply back that there were none on the shelf.  That’s Not What We Asked!!

The wife and I went to check out.  As the TP was scanned, the wife noticed that we were charged $10.99, rather than the shown price of $9.88.  She told the clerk that she wanted it priced at the displayed amount.  Little Miss Snippy-Nose informed us that, “Sometimes people just put the wrong stuff with the sales items.”  I told her that this was a store display, with at least twenty of each type in the big pile.  She paged someone to go check.  As we waited for a reply, the wife reminded her that it was in the center aisle.  She told whoever answered that we wanted to know if the red packs in the center aisle were displayed at $9.88.  Three minutes later, we got the reply that there were none on the shelf.  Again she asked the other clerk if the red packs in the center aisle display were priced at $9.88.  Two minutes later, the clerk showed up with a blue pack in her hand.  I asked her why she had brought it.  “Well, she said you wanted the one that was $9.88.  That’s what this one came up.”  THAT’S NOT WHAT SHE ASKED!!

I took the blue pack from her hand and told her to follow me.  We went to the display, and I pointed to the big price sign and said, “Does that say that all these packs are for sale at $9.88??”  She whipped out her radar gun and zapped a blue pack.  “It says that these come up $9.88.”  “What about the red ones??”  She zapped one of those.  “These come up $9.99.”  “$9.99??  Then why does the checkout want to charge me $10.99?”  “Oh, sometimes there’s a computer error.”  “That’s what I’ve been saying all along.  I want to buy my package for the $9.88 that’s shown here.”  “Well, what do you want ME to do?” (whine, whine)  “I want you to go to the checkout and tell the clerk that they are shown at $9.88, and tell her to do whatever is necessary with the till, to accomplish that!”

When I left, there were three or four potential customers behind us.  When I got back, I was not surprised to find the line empty.  Perhaps that was what had caught the attention of the mature, female, check-out manager.  She looked at the clerk that I had led by the nose.  “Are they displayed at $9.88?”  “Yes, ma’am.”  She looked at the checkout clerk.  “Highlight the item. Void it. Punch in the product code.  Push Over-ride and enter the correct amount.”  See how easy it was?  From start to finish, I wasted half an hour for $1.11.  Paid at less than two and a quarter an hour.  I’m 67.  I don’t have that many half-hours to waste any more.

We finally took our correctly priced merchandise, placed it in the trunk of our car and drove across the parking lot to the Shoppers Drug Mart on the other side.   Local politicians, eager to appear eco-friendly, have passed laws allowing stores to charge five cents for plastic bags.  Many stores sell their own shopping bags.  My wife is a bit compulsive.  Usually we can’t go into a Wal-Mart with a Staples bag, but this time we took in two Canadian Tire bags, to hold some chips that were on sale.

I put the two shopping bags down first, so that she wouldn’t pack in plastic. Then I put a couple of bags of chips on the counter, and turned and leaned into the cart to get more, when the clerk asked me a question.  I just received two, brand-new, electronic hearing-aids.  I heard what she said, but the question was so stupid that I must have misunderstood.  I asked her to repeat it, and she said, “Are these new, or are they yours?”  She had her hand on my shopping bags, and had pushed them down the counter until they were touching the display of Shoppers Drug Mart bags.

“They are not new, and they are mine.”  “Oh I just wondered if you wanted to buy them.”  I pointed to the display she was touching.  “Mine are cloth.  They are black, and they have a Canadian Tire logo on them.  Yours are plastic.  They are green.  They are three-quarters the size of mine and they have Shoppers Drug Mart logos on them.”  “Oh. I didn’t look.”

Despite the fact that my Neurologist told me that I don’t have one, as Jeff Foxworthy says, “What does an aneurism feel like?”  After an afternoon of service (?) like that, I’m pretty sure I could work one up.