Tell Me If You’ve Heard This One

Love English

Words! Words! Words!

Round and round and round they goes. Where they comes from, nobody knows.

Then they impinge on my consciousness, sometimes from what I read, sometimes just from the depths of my own mind.

Looking for a word or two to spice up a novel, an essay, a report, or just a blog-post?? Here are a few that have run across in front of my attention span, like startled squirrels.

Battledore – noun

Also called battledore and shuttlecock. a game from which badminton was developed, played since ancient times in India and other Asian countries.
a light racket for striking the shuttlecock in this game.
a 17th- and 18th-century hornbook of wood or cardboard, used as a child’s primer.
verb (used with or without object), bat·tle·dored, bat·tle·dor·ing.
to toss or fly back and forth:

Bivouac – a military encampment made with tents or improvised shelters, usually without shelter or protection from enemy fire.
The place used for such an encampment.
To rest or assemble in such an area; encamp.

Broch (brock)- a circular stone tower built around the beginning of the Christian era, having an inner and an outer wall, found on the Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands, the Hebrides, and the mainland of Scotland.
A variant spelling of burgh, or borough – German-influenced Scottish for “independent town”

Calumet – a long-stemmed, ornamented tobacco pipe used by North American Indians on ceremonial occasions, especially in token of peace. – A peace pipe

There used to be a Calumet baking powder, but another of my childhood memories has disappeared under an avalanche of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Chary – cautious or careful; wary, shy, timid, fastidious, choosy, sparing (often followed by of):
cognate with Old Saxon karag, Old High German karag (German karg scanty, paltry)

Coxcomb – a conceited, foolish dandy; pretentious fop. – the cap, resembling a cockscomb, formerly worn by professional fools.

Dragoon – Noun – (especially formerly) a European cavalryman of a heavily armed troop.
Verb – to force by oppressive measures; coerce

Dumbledore – (for the Harry Potter fans) a bumblebee

Grok – to understand thoroughly and intuitively, to communicate sympathetically. Coined by Robert A. Heinlein in the science-fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

Plagal – (of a cadence) progressing from the subdominant to the tonic chord, as in the Amen of a hymn
(of a mode) commencing upon the dominant of an authentic mode, but sharing the same final as the authentic mode. Plagal modes are designated by the prefix Hypo- before the name of their authentic counterparts the Hypodorian mode

Pseud (sood) – A person of fatuously earnest intellectual, artistic, or social pretensions

Scalawag, (scallawag,scallywag )– a scamp, a rascal, a minor rogue

Stolid – not easily stirred or moved mentally; unemotional; impassive.

Thewless – weak, meek, timid (first recorded 1300-50)– from thews, muscle, sinew, physical strength
He was a quiet, thewless, conforming man, who caused no-one any trouble.

Tommyrot – nonsense, utter foolishness

Truculent – fierce; cruel; savagely brutal.
brutally harsh; vitriolic; scathing:
aggressively hostile; belligerent.

 

Offerings To Propitiate The Gods

Gods Our genial host, just back from an anger management class

Not that the lovely couple who we went to visit were actual Gods, but they had long since achieved that status with me.  Hell, anyone who doesn’t complain about my presence is nice.  Those who have the occasional kind word for or about me are saints.  And those who invite me into their home for an extended visit, are surely Gods.  Since we had to drive 500 miles of paved highways to meet them, they truly are The Gods Of Asphalt.

SDC10018A FEW of the son’s collection of skulls

3-D printers have become affordable for the average geek.  A son-in-law of the daughter’s friend acquired one, and started fooling around learning its secrets.  First, my son was given the larger, softball-sized skull.  It’s thermo-optic.  If sufficiently warmed, it changes from grey to white.  Later, the golf ball-sized, darker grey one was added.  They are all low-density plastic, and float like corks.

SDC10015

SDC10014

The son’s two skulls at the back – the two Voodoo, “Impeach Trump” skulls, going to DC, in front

My limited etiquette knowledge only told me that a Hostess gift was good manners – and one for the host might also be a good idea.  Our handsome host instructed me not to spend much money, and assured me that it was our presence that they valued, not presents.  Still…. a few gewgaws to demonstrate Canadian my twisted culture.

One of the pair collects skulls, like my son does.  I obtained another couple of the smaller ones.  I leave it to you to guess which one is the blood-thirsty spouse.

SDC10010

SDC10011Amethyst is supposed to foster peace and tranquility.  After adding skulls to the home of a skull-collector, and an ex-tank-driver, I felt that we needed all the tranquility we could get.  Since our host is Plus-sized, and his diminutive bride has trouble seeing over a garden hose, I brought a large chunk, and a smaller piece.

The best, darkest, amethyst now comes from Brazil, because most of the good stuff has been removed from mines just north of Lake Superior, in Ontario.  The daughter visited an online friend up there, a couple of winters ago.  She had just returned from a saved-for summer trip before we set out.  It is possible to walk the shores and occasionally find a good piece that a retreating glacier dug up, so these pieces were from both us, and from her.

SDC10007In return for throwing me a fabulous online birthday party, I once promised our hostess a 55-gallon drum of fresh, pure, Canadian maple syrup.  Of course, like most promises that men make to women, I wasn’t able to delivery anything that big.  Still, since our hosts had been so sweet to us, I felt compelled to bring along 2 liters (half a gallon for the non-metric Americans) of freshly-squeezed, Mennonite Maple Juice for them.  If you hear of an IHOP or Denny’s in the DC area going bankrupt, it’s because they aren’t going out for Sunday brunch till this is gone.

Actually, years of residence in New Hampshire has made her a bit of a syrup snob.  Like Florida has laws that translate, “Don’t f**k with the citrus, especially oranges.” Vermont also has strict rules against messing with the maples.  She would have requested some Maple syrup; but felt that it might be illegal to export.  Nobody asked me about maple syrup at the border, and she was thrilled to get the real stuff, cooking everyone blueberry pancakes the first morning.

SDC10650I told this little old guy that it was really important to me, and go out and squeeze his Maplest tree for my kind hosts.  He said that he would be happy to….  or maybe it was, ‘crazy English’…. something like that.  Coming up soon, a post about all the great stuff we brought back – aside from treasured memories, and happy hearts.

spacehounds-of-ipc

Since I have re-read them all over the last two years, and because our host is a great classic Sci-Fi fan, I offered him copies of every E.E. (Doc) Smith book that I possess, 24 out of the 25 that he wrote. Always a fan of Robert A. Heinlein’s works, I felt that he might appreciate obtaining copies of the seminal Space-Opera novels written by Heinlein’s mentor.

While I regard them as inexpensive paperbacks, many printed before he was born, he recognised their rarity, difficulty of obtaining, and the fact that they were collector’s items.  I usually don’t mind being kissed, just not by him.  Their value to me is that someone who really appreciates them, now possesses them. He said that he didn’t even know what order to read them in….and then found that I had obsessively boxed them up in chronological order.

Our deepest, sincere thanks to BrainRants and H E Ellis, two of the Titans of the blogosphere.

Flash Fiction #165

Nostalgia

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

Perhaps the loss and blurring of memories from old age isn’t entirely a bad thing.  We can look back on our lives through the filter of contentment for a life well lived.

We can remember the happy birthdays, the important anniversaries, the great grandkids, and forget the nosy, incompetent co-workers, the uncaring, slave-driver bosses, the crazy neighbors, and the arrogant politicians.

They say that ignorance is bliss, and it can be – in a way.  Just remember that living well is the best revenge.  Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative.  Don’t worry.  Be happy!

***

Click above to hear the great Ella Fitzgerald tell you how to do it.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story

Eating And Drinking Well

Leftovers

There was a guy who just got out of a really bad
divorce with his wife. One day, he found a
genie’s lamp. The genie came out and said, “Hello
master. I will grant you three wishes but,
whatever you wish for your wife gets double.”

The guy didn’t like that part but he made a wish
anyway. For his first wish, he said, “Genie, I
want a house in Hawaii.” POOF!!! He got one
house, his wife got two. This didn’t make him
happy but, he made his second wish. “Genie, I want
2 billion dollars.” POOF! He got two billion, his
wife four billion. By now, this guy isn’t very
happy. The genie says, “You have one wish left. I
have to remind you, whatever you wish for your
wife gets double.”

The guy says, “Yeah, yeah. I know.”

So the guy thinks real hard and says “I’ve got it!
Genie, beat me half to death!!”

***

Into the neighborhood bar one evening, stomps a strange character. He faces the crowd and yells out, “I’m Big Bill Johnson. I’m new to the area.” He then pounds on the bar, and says, “Barkeep, a Jack and Coke for me, and set up a round for the house. WHEN BIG BILL DRINKS, EVERYBODY DRINKS!”

Well, people are ordering brandy and cognac and champagne. When the fuss dies down, Big Bill knocks back the rest of his glass. He slaps a $5-dollar bill on the bar and shouts, “That there is for my drink. WHEN BIG BILL PAYS, EVERYBODY PAYS.”

***

A cannibal invited a cannibal friend over for
supper one evening. While enjoying the soup, the
friend said, “Your wife sure makes a great soup!”.
The host replied, “Yes, and I’m really going
to miss her.”

***

Two cannibals capture and boil a missionary. After he’s cooked, they pull him out of the big pot and try to decide how to share him. One cannibal says, “Why don’t you start at the bottom, and I’ll start at the top.”

Some time later the ‘head’ cannibal looks down at his friend and asks, “How ya doing?”

His friend replies, “Oh I’m havin’ a ball.”

“You’re eating too fast! Slow down.”

***

With all the new technology regarding fertility recently, a 65-year-old friend of mine was able to give birth. When she was discharged from the hospital and went home, I went to visit.

‘May I see the new baby?’ I asked.
‘Not yet,’ she said. ‘I’ll make coffee and we can talk for a while first.’
Thirty minutes had passed, and I asked, ‘May I see the new baby now?’
‘No, not yet,’ she said.
After another few minutes had elapsed, I asked again, ‘May I see the baby now?’
‘No, not yet,’ replied my friend.
Growing very impatient, I asked, ‘Well, when can I see the baby?’
WHEN HE CRIES!’ she told me.  ‘
When he Cries??’ I demanded. ‘Why do I have to wait until he CRIES?’
BECAUSE I FORGOT WHERE I PUT HIM, OK?!

***

TEENAGERS

Tired of being harassed by your parents?
Act Now!
________________________

Move out! Get a job!
Pay your own damned bills!

Do it soon, while you still know everything.

 

A To Z Challenge – R

april-challenge

U R here.  U R lost, but U R here.  U R outstanding in your field, and that’s where you should be – out standing in a field.  In case you hadn’t guessed, in this post, I’m gonna talk about Pirates – aRRRgh….no I’m not, just about the letter

letter-r

REMEMBRANCE, REFLECTION, REMINISCING

During my work career, there were several times when I was not employed. Because of my learning disabilities and restricted education, when I was employed, it often could not be charitably described as ‘gainfully.’

With careful financial planning and saving however, we have been able to see and do some interesting and enjoyable things. Did you know that you can spend an entire week at a Red Roof Inn, or Microtel mini-suite for the cost of one day at a posh hotel, if you don’t need to be fawned over?

We can’t afford to fly, and rent a car when we arrive. All trips have been by car, including three Le Mans trips to Florida with my brother.  2400 kilometers (1500 miles) in 24 hours.  I have swum in, and enjoyed the magnificence of the Atlantic Ocean, and the beauty of the beaches, at Clearwater Florida, just after a storm, down at the tip, at Key West, on a warm, sunny day, Daytona Beach, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach, S.C., where I found some singing sand.

When the wife and I were stronger and more mobile, we walked much of historically preserved Old Charleston, and visited Fort Sumter, seeing frolicking dolphins and fishing pelicans. We have driven the Great Smoky Mountains, the Appalachians, and the Shenandoahs, where we took a hundred-mile trip along the Top Of The World on the Skyline Drive, seeing Stony Man Mountain.

We’ve gone down into the Skyline Caverns, and later, the Luray Caverns.  We stopped to tour the awesome Lewis Ginter Gardens.  We even trekked into the Middle Of Nowhere, Ohio, to find the only slightly lost John Erickson, and we did it all on a shoestring budget.

Of course we took photos, at first, the old, printed type. Later we used a digital camera, and ignored the pix on the computer.  Lately, as both the bodies and the wallet grow weaker, we have the memories of better days to keep us warm and happy, with our REMEMBRANCE, REFLECTION, REMINISCING.   😀

A to Z Challenge – M

april-challenge

IN THE MOOD

I’m in the mood to write about things that relate to

letter-m

I may be in the mood, but I’m mired in uncertainty.  I’m like a method actor. What is my motivation?  I should play some inspirational music.  What shall I play?

one-half

Jethro Tull can be quite minstrel.  AC/DC is mayhem and chaos.  I know; I’ll put on some Moody Blues.  They bring back some nice memories.  Their tunes are just a creative metaphor.

one-half

I think I’m often influenced by the moon.  I know I’ve been called a lunatic more than once.  I’m in a miasma of misgivings here.  This will be the least meaty of my A to Z compositions.  (I desperately hope.)

one-half-decimal

If you’ve been muddling along, trying to figure the meaning of the images I’ve inserted, it’s easy. M is the 13th of the 26 letters.  The end of this post is the middle.  Ain’t that marvelous?  See you next month.  😀

Piano Man

Piano

When I was a boy, with the best of intentions, my parent tried to make me musical. Fail!  Dad was a part-time entertainer.  He couldn’t play an instrument.  He only sang and told stories and jokes.  Perhaps sensing my loner tendencies, my Mother decided that I needed to learn how to play the piano, to be sociable.  Elton John had barely been born, and Billy Joel hadn’t.  Everybody played guitar.

Dad bought an upright piano, and I was sent for weekly piano lessons for three years. I learned a bit of the construction of music.  Later-in-life realizations about my lack of fine motor control and short-term memory deficiencies explained why I got nowhere with the piano.  I convinced my Mother that it was a lost cause.

Dad put it up for sale. When summer tourist season arrived, the ad caught the attention of four young men.  All musically inclined, they had pooled their money and purchased a good-sized cottage.  They wanted the piano for parties there.

They came to the house of a Saturday morning to inspect and sample the piano. It was pronounced solid and well-kept, but they wanted to try it, to hear how it sounded.  Each in turn sat and played it. They each had their specialty, but all played a wide range of music, jazz, dance, big band, pop, boogie-woogie, musical theater.

Mom and Dad were treated to more than an hour of great music. One guy even unfolded a section of newspaper and threaded it between the strings and the sounding board, producing an odd, buzzy tone.  Finally, everyone happy, the deal was done, money changed hands, and it was theirs to get to their cottage – but how??, in their car??

One of them asked if Dad had any suggestions for transporting it. Dad knew a guy….  A strange sort of duck, 40 and unmarried, with a half-ton pickup in a town full of sedans, but no social life.  He might be free, and interested in a bit of extra spending money.  After a phone call, he soon appeared.

He backed across the front lawn to our raised front veranda. A couple of stout planks were produced, and the piano was eased out the front door, and carefully down into the truck bed.  He slammed the tailgate shut, and headed for the cab.

One of the buyers asked, “Aren’t you going to tie it down??” “Nah, no need, she’s in there solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.”  He eased back across the lawn, out the driveway to the side street, paused at the stop sign and swung onto the main street….and the Rock of Gibraltar did a 270° off the side of the truck and smashed into 10,000 pieces in the middle of the intersection.

Four guys almost cried. They got back their haulage charge, and he wrote them a cheque for the price of the instrument, but they had searched for months for this piano.  They thought they would have to buy a new one in the big city, and pay to have it shipped 100 miles north.  There was no joy, or honky-tonk piano, in Mudville that night.   😳