What’s It Worth?

I was just lounging in a big tub of nostalgia.  (Do I still have any on me?
When I was a kid, a dollar meant something, and there weren’t very many millionaires.

First, the farthing (quarter-penny) disappeared – then the half-pence – now, Canada’s penny is no more.  As inflation lops off the bottom, it piles more on top that we soon get used to.

I recently had the chance to re-watch the old movie, The Girl, The Gold Watch, And Everything.  The hero is accused of absconding with$27,000,000.  At first, I couldn’t understand the fuss that was being made.  Now, twenty-seven million is a nice piece of pocket-change.  As the embezzling Congressman said, “A million here – a million there – pretty soon it starts to add up.”  Pretty soon, mere millionaires are a dime-a-dozen.

The son dug out and lent me the John D. MacDonald book that the movie was based on.  He had the 1980, movie-novelization copy, but the book was originally written in 1962.  An online conversion site showed me that One 1962 Dollar – is worth $9.83 today.  The missing 27 million would be worth over a quarter of a $BILLION in 2021 – now that’s worth getting upset about.

This all reminded me of a television show that aired from 1955 to 1960, titled The Millionaire.  Each week, multi-millionaire John Beresford Tipton, had an agent GIVE a cashier’s cheque for $1,000,000 to someone he had chosen.  Tipton’s socio-psychological curiosity was the reason that the show then followed each recipient, to see what they did with the money.

One man who had lost his wife, was despondent, and convinced that he would never find such a love again.  He took a round-the-world cruise, met a sweet, young, available thing onboard, and it all worked out with soap-opera predictability.  One million, back then, would be the equivalent of $10/12 Million today.  The interest alone would accumulate so fast that they never need get off the ship, except to purchase a Rolls-Royce for each port.

The running gag in this show was that, like Charlie, in Charlie’s Angels, except for a hand passing off the cheque at the beginning of each show…. We never saw Tipton, and yet, when I went to research the show, there was a listing for Peter Frees – as Tipton

I had forgotten that voice actors get credits also.  Peter Frees is the most famous person that you’ve never seen.  He actually did three unseen voices during this series.  He has lent his dulcet tones to dozens of video games and dozens of animated movies.  His list of voice credits is longer than the late, great Mel Blanc – Ehhhhh, what’s up with that, Doc?

’21 A To Z Challenge – A

April’s First Challenge Post – And So It Begins.

Here’s a word that dictionaries insist doesn’t exist – but really should.

ASSHOLERY

There’s something about the X-Y chromosome that fouls many males up.  They don’t know whether they’re coming or going, so it applies mostly to boys (of all ages), although some of the fairer sex qualify.

A nearby 19-year-old was caught doing 221 Kmh in a 100 Kmh zone.  He was late for a Darwin Awards presentation.  Daddy’s Lexus was impounded for a week, and the repair bill for an overstressed engine might be as much as the hefty fines and impound fees.

A local man went downtown, to deal with a department in City Hall.  When he came back out, he could not find his white Mercedes…. with his 4-year-old son in it.  😯  He called the police.  Within minutes – and a short walk – they located…. his wife’s red Jeep, and the child safe.  He has been charged, public intoxication, care and control of a vehicle while impaired, driving over .08 (local alcohol limit), and endangering a child.  His wife is gonna be thrilled!

A man in Toronto duplexed his house.  His upstairs tenant called 9-1-1 because a carbon monoxide detector kept squealing.  Three-tiered response – police, fire and EMT – discovered 100 pounds of carfentanil, 31 pistols and two “rifles”, although one of them was a Tech-9, like the one above.  More an overgrown handgun, than a real rifle.

If guys like this had any real brains, they’d have a real job.  If you’re gonna do something that creates carbon monoxide – stop doing it – ventilate the area – disconnect the detector!  Duh!!  🙄

Donald Trump still insists that he won the 2020 election.  Of course, he also insists that he has more Grammys than Beyoncé.  Women have to own some of this assholery, because far too many of them voted for Trump, and also for Canada’s wunderkind pretty-boy Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.  They’re the answer to Kojak’s question, “Who loves ya, baby?”

WOW #69

I never want new words to be created for the English language by burger-flippers and stoners – but that always seems to be the case.  If they can’t handle the real stuff, they just make it up as they go along.  Bart Simpson has always been an underachiever, and proud of it.  Even he and his motley crew (not Mötley Crüe) of cartoon compadres have spit out a couple of neologisms new words.
Today’s case in point

CROMULENT

WHAT IS THE ORIGIN OF CROMULENT?

Cromulent, “acceptable, legitimate,” was first used in an episode of The Simpsons in 1996. When Edna Krabappel, the fourth-grade teacher, remarks, “’Embiggens’? Hm, I never heard that word before I moved to Springfield,” Elizabeth Hoover, the second-grade teacher, answers, “I don’t know why. It’s a perfectly cromulent word.” Cromulent began as a facetious formation of an arbitrary “root” crom– and the English adjective suffix –ulent (from Latin –ulentus “full of”). Cromulent began as a facetious formation but is now at the brink of “cromulence,” as happened earlier with Lewis Carroll’s chortle, frabjous, and galumph.

While we’re blaming strange words on The Simpsons, there’s that word

EMBIGGEN

Verb (used with or without object) InformalOften Facetious.

to make or become bigger:
You can spot my sister if you
embiggen the photo.

ORIGIN OF EMBIGGEN

First recorded in 1880–85 as an example of a barbarism; made popular in 1996 in an episode of the TV show The Simpsons.

Even when they’re wrong – they’re right.  Who knew??!  Word is, there’ll be some good stuff here on Monday.  It would be perfectly cromulent if you showed up.  I want to embiggen my readership, to keep up with Brat Simpleton.  😀

WOW #65

Alright all you COVID couch potatoes, what is the absolute minimum amount that you may move?
Honey??!  Make me a tuna sandwich wouldya, and change the channel to bowling when you bring it in.

According to a slimmed-down, rear-facing Scotsman, it’s a

THERBLIG

(in time and motion study) any of the basic elements involved in completing a given manual operation or task that can be subjected to analysis.
ORIGIN OF THERBLIG

1930–35, Americanism; anagram of F. B. Gilbreth (1868–1924), American engineer

Along with much of the English language, Mr. Gilbreth’s name has been on a diet, and getting leaner and cleaner over hundreds of years.  Other engineers could honor him by (almost) tuning his name around backwards, to get the term ”therblig,” but the more common spelling is Galbraith. https://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Galbraith   It’s a good thing that most Scots were illiterate when they dreamed this name up.  It would take most of an afternoon, writing it all out.

What is the minimum of motion that I’ve achieved this week??  Well, I failed to move enough brain cells to produce a 100-word Flash Fiction.  I only moved a few computer keys enough to create this little stub of a WOW.  I’ll get a move on and do better next week.   😉  😯

WOW #62

Television

I suffer from tinnitus.  Oh, my wife actually has it, but I must endure the consequences.  She cannot sit quiet in the living room, reading or knitting.  For her, it is never quiet.  To drown out the internal whistles, squeaks and crackling, she has the TV on constantly, as background noise.

Her constant quest to play something inconsequential, leads to this Word Of The Week.

HINTERLAND

Often hinterlands. the remote or less developed parts of a country; back country: The hinterlands are usually much more picturesque than the urban areas.
the land lying behind a coastal region.
an area or sphere of influence in the unoccupied interior claimed by the state possessing the coast.
an inland area supplying goods, especially trade goods, to a port.

Several years ago, before we cut the cable, Canadian TV stations sometimes added a little PSA between one show and the next, called Hinterland Who’s Who.  We would get a little 30-second introduction to loons, ruffed grouse, or brown bears.

I have been involuntarily exposed to subtitled shows from Iceland, which was settled by Norway, and from Sweden.  While trying to do crossword puzzles, or read, myself, I’ve been exposed to 4 seasons of a show titled Bordertown, which I thought might be Detroit, Bellingham, WA, or Laredo, TX..  Turns out that it’s Saint Petersburg, Russia, with half the dialog in Russian, and the other half in Finnish.  It’s hard to figure a 4-letter kitchen appliance in the middle of a United Nations debate – with gunfire.

My reading was distracted by 5 seasons of Shetland, a British police procedural set on an island off the west coast of Scotland, where the sheep outnumber the humans, 500 to 1.  I thought that the most likely illegal offense might be bestiality, but the already meager population was reduced by at least one, in each episode.  The wife drooled over the many gorgeous knit sweaters worn by the plodding hero.

I thought that my life wasn’t particularly interesting or adventurous, but Shetland attracted enough viewers to lead BBC-TV to follow it with Hinterland, an attention-grabber Yawn set on the rocky Scottish peninsula that projects toward the island of Shetland.  Here, the ratio of sheep to people is only 400:1, and folks speak English almost as well as those on Iceland.

The son has acquired a set of Dr. Dre Beats headphones.  I often try to speak to him, only to realize that he is listening to audio for something that he is watching on his tablet.  The muffs disappear into his shaggy hair.  Maybe I could wear them, disconnected, as sound-deadeners.  I’d use the ones that I wear when I mow the lawn, but she would be somehow disturbed and insulted.  Silence is golden – but I get the brassy alternative.

Please quietly return soon, for my next whine and cheesy party.

Flash Fiction #223

Inspiration

PHOTO PROMPT © Jeff Arnold

WHERE’S WALDO?

What’s here? Typewriter? Check. As old as me, but in better shape.
Coffee to rev me up – wine to smooth me out.
Notepad and pencil. Check.
Dictionary? Bah, I know the meaning of every word.
Enough light for old eyes. Cozy work desk!
Something’s missing!

I know! Two things – me…. and Inspiration.
What’s this??! Rochelle wrote two FFs? So, that’s where MY inspiration went. Erato, you traitor! I’m gonna binge watch The Masked Singer till you get back. Sarah Palin says her performance was the craziest thing she’s ever done. She apparently forgets, “I can see Russia from my house.” 😳

***

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

Friday Fictioneers

’19 A To Z Challenge – X

Shrew

Why are women and children evacuated first in an emergency?
So that the men can think.

philosopher

I’m not saying that every wife is a shrew, nor that there are no husbands who need the occasional bit of constructive nagging. I am a case in point. For every testosterone-poisoned dolt who slaps, pushes, or punches his wife, there is a shrill-voiced termagant whose tongue can etch glass. Sometimes they are married couples who deserve each other, and it is the neighbors who suffer. Let me introduce you to

XANTHIPPE

Shrewish wife of Socrates
an ill-tempered woman

While history records her as being a nagging shrew, it is not complete enough to make clear what caused her ill temper. There are records of Socrates helping the widow of a friend, but help seems to be all he did. Perhaps she felt that he was spending too much time down at the Acropolis with the boys, running the country, when he should have been at home, running his estate.

Some while ago, the BBC presented a show titled “Rumpole of the Bailey.” It centered on a 1950s/60s British barrister (lawyer). He was intelligent, educated, and could have been far richer and more famous if he hadn’t been saddled with ethics.

He could often be seen working into the night for a client, or hanging out at a cheap bar down the street. He was asked why he didn’t go home. The running joke was that he had a wife, named Hilda, but she was never seen.

He preferred the long hours and the bad booze, to going home to her. Like Xanthippe, he referenced H. Rider Haggard’s novel, and called her, “She Who Must Be Obeyed”, only, if he didn’t go home, he didn’t have to obey.

This is the end of the fourth year of the A To Z Challenge, and available words for the letters at the end of the alphabet grow scarce. If I accept the challenge again in April, next year, for the letter X, I think I’m down to X-Men, and Xerox machines – and I don’t know which I know less about.

The Whole Fam-Damily

Sara Sidle

The wife has been watching reruns of CSI on YouTube. The son began talking about the character, Sara Sidle. While others came and went, she remained. Son and I soon realized that we knew her entire family.

Jailbird

Her father, ‘Homie’ Sidle, came up from the ghetto and made good, but is in prison because he killed a guy.

Her mother, Sue E. Sidle, was devastated by his crime, and took her own life.

Her older brother, Herbie Sidle, opened his own plant nursery and landscaping company.

Her younger brother, ‘Pesty’ Sidle, the family joker and prankster, finally settled down and got a job with a firm which rents out poisoned traps to warehouses and food companies, to control rats.

Sara’s grandmother, Jenny Sidle, came here from Germany, shortly after WW II, and has learned to keep her political and social opinions to herself.

You can take all these names and occupations, and stick ‘em where the pun don’t shine.   We were a bit rushed because we had to get back to the show after the commercial. Can you think of any more members of the Sidle family that we have missed?? 😕

WOW #52

Dictionary

The United States, and Canada – two counties, separated by a single language.
If you think that’s a problem, compare either country’s speech/writing, with Britain’s. If only they’d all speak the Mother Tongue. Instead, most of them speak in some Motherf**king tongue. It’s like the bloody tower of Babel.

I recently had my ears assaulted from the TV, by the word

MANKY

It was used by the narrator on a (Would you believe it?) BBC archeology show. From context, I knew what he meant – scanty, paltry, mere. It’s a very British, English word. Since I live as near to (almost)French-speaking people, as they do there, I thought that it came from the French word, manqué – lacking, or needing. When I checked, I found
slang:  worthless, rotten, or in bad taste

dirty, filthy, or bad

Word Origin for manky

via Polari from Italian mancare to be lacking

So, I got the lacking, or needing right, but not from French. Polari??! What in Hell is Polari??

A distinctive English argot in use since at least the 18th century among groups of theatrical and circus performers and in certain homosexual communities, derived largely from Italian, directly or through Lingua Franca.

The show I was watching was called Time Team. When the wife first found it, I hoped that it was a paradox-laden Sci-Fi program. Only the Brits could make a series about archeology, interesting. Using actual archeologists to explain what was going on, would be as dull as the dirt they were excavating.

To make it interesting, they added a perky little narrator who runs his own little production company, doing little historical satire films. Suddenly, I understood the homosexual reference.

There is a core group of 10 or 12 experts. They are each the best in their respective fields. Some of them are professors at prestigious universities, with doctorates, and letters after their names. They are not all archeologists. Some are historians, or geophysical investigators, or pottery experts, or a landscape analyst, who knows how the presence of humans alters the scene over centuries, or eons. They all have their regular “day-jobs.” The show began when BBC convinced a bunch of them to rush away from those jobs on long weekends, or what the English call Bank Holidays, and spend three days digging at various sites.

There are only 8 or 9 ‘Bank Holidays’ per year in England, but the series increased to 12 or 13 episodes a year. They did this for 20 years, stopping in 2014, but there have been several ‘Making Of….’ specials produced since. 20 Years??! This show lasted as long as Gunsmoke.

They dug mostly in England and Scotland, with a couple of trips over to Ireland. They did a dig in the Channel Islands, the only portion of Britain that the Nazis invaded and occupied. They did one in France, one in southern Spain, and managed to get all the way to the Caribbean island of Nevis, to investigate 400 years of British sugar plantations.

Check it out! Give it a try. It’s a great idea in the spring, when regular network shows all become reruns – of reruns – of reruns. Caution – you may learn something interesting.

’19 A To Z Challenge – E

 

Letter E

AtoZ2019

 

Canada’s entertainment has (almost) caught up to the USA’s.

First, we dumped cable TV, as content deteriorated, and prices soared. Later we ditched satellite TV, when their charges approached Cable’s. We have YouTube as part of our internet package. The wife signed up for Netflix – considerably cheaper than either of the other two. Later, she enrolled in Amazon Prime, which not only gives us advantages with the increasing number of things that we purchase online, but provides another cheap platform for videos.

I watched episodes of Babylon 5 on TVs in Detroit hotels, five years before it became available on Canadian television. About 3 years ago BrainRants made me aware of an epic series, on SyFy in the US. We couldn’t access it here, but I began reading the 7-book series about The

Leviathan Wakes

Expanse

I have read the first three books, with the 4th on order. Each book becomes a year’s series. So far, the first 3 seasons are available on Amazon Prime. Pleasantly, the wife finds that she likes it. We have watched though the first season, and into the second. They are big, 700-page books. I’d better get reading, to stay ahead of the Canadian video releases.

Are there any other sci-fi fans out there, also watching this series? What do you think of it? Many TV series, including science fiction are consecutive; what happens in this week’s episode occurs after what happened in last week’s, but usually has no direct connection. This series, like many European series, is sequential. There are some flashbacks, but you can’t miss an episode, or you don’t understand what’s happening next.

I am ecstatic that I finally get to watch The Expanse. Thanx Rants! 😀