’19 A To Z Challenge – G

AtoZ2019

Letter GWhere did it all start to go wrong??! I blame it on reading Mad Magazine as an impressionable youngster. Mad satirized society, politics, entertainment, and much more. While it was full of silliness, it was still thinking man’s humor. When it achieved commercial success, it was quickly imitated by the likes of Cracked, and Eh magazines. Full of Adam Sandler-like fart jokes, they didn’t last long, and folded. Mad is still publishing after almost 70 years.

One of the ongoing humor bits, was the “translation” of foreign words and phrases.

Gott mit uns – I found my winter gloves
Deutschland uber alles – Alice got run over by a Volkswagen
Mare nostrum – Mary can’t play the guitar
Ad hoc – I had to pawn some of my stuff
Honi soit qui mal y pense – Honey, why did you spank Malcolm?
Sic transit gloria mundi – Gloria threw up on the bus, early this week

This brings us to the translation of this week’s foreign word – actually, a German name, which many local people carry

Gottschalk

Gottschalk – an elementary-school teacher 😉

I ran into this name in a book about people’s delusions. He was a medieval priest who helped raise an army of 100,000 men in Germany, to go on a crusade. Through poor preparation and planning, as well as internal strife, only a handful lived to even get as far as Constantinople, leaving a trail of death and destruction through several countries, including Hungary, with at least that many ‘civilians’ dead behind them.

Always interested in name values, I plugged it into Google Translate. I regret the fact that Dictionary.com can no longer afford to maintain their translation service. It was the best translator I’ve found. When I just enter ‘Google translate’ into the computer toolbar, I always get Bing Translate at the top of the page – terrible site – couldn’t translate a wish into an action.

For those of you who have never used Google Translate – I assume, most of you – when you begin typing text in, it immediately begins translation. I knew that ‘Gott’ equals ‘God,’ so I wasn’t surprised to see that quickly pop up. I thought that the compound word was possessive – Gotts chalk = God’s ?????, but the word ‘schalk’ has a meaning of its own.

As I continued to type in the S, C, H, A, L, suddenly the translation was God scarf, showing how the Anglo-Saxon word ‘schal’ became the English word ‘shawl.’ I typed in the final K, and got knave, rogue, instigator, troublemaker. For a busybody Christian, whose religious fervor was instrumental in causing the deaths of almost a quarter million people for no benefit, I find the name’s word value of ‘God’s little shit-disturber,’ painfully appropriate.

Don’t wait to stop back, Hoss, but if you do, I’ll have something for the letter H in two weeks. 😀

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’18 A To Z Challenge – O

 

Challenge '18letter-o

 

 

 

 

 

OBSESSION

When is a door not a door??  When it’s ajar.  When is an obsession not an obsession??  Are we obsessed if we always do the same things the same way, or is it that, through observation and practice, we have found the best way??  I’m not stubborn.  My way is just right.

Obsession is a matter of degree.  If you check that the doors are locked before retiring for the night, you’re careful and cautious.  If you check that the doors are locked before retiring for the night – 15 or 20 times – you may be a bit obsessive.

Even if we don’t have to seek professional help, most of us have a thing or few that we’re a bit obsessive about.  My father was obsessive about putting butter on bread: actually, about NOT putting butter on bread.  Somehow it disturbed him to have a bit of unused butter on his knife when his bread was covered.  He hated to have to scrape the excess off against the edge of the butter dish.  It could take him 3 or 4 tiny little diminishing dabs, to complete his task.

Since the wife’s life centers around food and cooking, so do her obsessions.  We own 3 butter knives, another household item not common in our social/financial neighborhood.  She uses one to add dabs of margarine to a casserole of scalloped potatoes, as she assembles it, or to spread pâté on rolls or crackers….  because, apparently, a kitchen knife won’t do it.

As a teen, an older sister impressed upon her that, All dishes have to be washed in a sinkful of hot, soapy water.”  Not a bad idea on its own, but – we own 4 or 5 sets of measuring spoons.  If a recipe calls for a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, and a half-teaspoon of cinnamon, she measures out the tablespoon of sugar.  Sugar doesn’t stick to slick, stainless steel spoons.  If it did, I would wipe off an offending grain or two with a dishcloth.  The other size spoons aren’t used but, she throws the entire set into the sink, to be washed.

Then she gets out another set, measures the salt….and throws that set in the sink.  Then, she gets out yet another set, measures the cinnamon….and throws it in the sink too.  It’s a good thing that there are two dishwashers in our home.  General Electric built one….I am the other.

I remember the first time she caught observed me cleaning out a saucepan of reheated chilli and eating with a spatula.  We don’t do that at our house.

She ‘translated’ cooking instructions for a rice maker, from Imperial, to Metric, and came up with the weight of rice at 389 grams.  I obsess about that ’messy’ looking number, and use a nice, round, 390 grams without ever telling her.  It’s almost as bad as the swishy little women’s section editor in our paper, who published instructions to chill something down to the freezing mark, 0 degrees Celsius….or 33 degrees Fahrenheit.  I obsessively called him and asked how in Hell he’d got 33 degrees.  He just figured it out with his calculator.

My obsessions center around the English language, and word usage.  If you’ve read any of my word posts, like last year’s rant, you know how I like to poke fun at lazy, stupid, unthinking misusages, especially by professionals.  Things like the headline, “Pope considers taking “leave.”  Taking “leave,” is a Lieutenant-Colonel with 30-days of R&R – a temporary absence.  What they meant to punctuate was, “Pope considers “taking leave,” as in, a resignation, a retirement, a permanent giving up of the post of Pope, the way that Benny The Dick wisely did.

The headline writer took leave of his education and training.  I don’t want you to take leave of this site.  See you back here soon??  Please!  🙂

Smitty’s Loose Change #7

Smitty's Loose Change

I bought some Salvador Dali bagels today. I got them from the Chernobyl Unicorn bakery.

Bagel 1

Bagel 2

They’re created from multi-colored dough with food dye in it. The son tells me that he heard that rainbow bagels will be an upcoming fad among Millennials, but I’ve not seen them, or any mention of them, since.  These were made of a bread dough, rather than a bagel dough, and didn’t toast worth a shit.

***

In reading what others had to write about the blog-tag, ‘Truth,’ I was not surprised to find that 2 out of every 3 blog-posts was about God, or Jesus, or Christianity, or Church.  Those ‘Good Christians’ are sure full of something.  They call it faith.  I have a different name for it.

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When they discover the center of the Universe….A lot of people are going to be surprised that it’s not them.

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I wrote a post where I mentioned ‘double’ names like Todd Craig, Bradley Joe and Mark Terry, where either could be a given name or a family name, This happened because some male first names became family names.  I’ve thought that it only applied to male names, but recently I’ve been introduced to Stephanie Virginia ELLEN, Edna RHODA, Susan MARGARET, Barbara HILARY and Ann BEVERLY.

In my home-town, in the 1940s and ‘50s, boys were commonly given names like Beverly, Shirley, and Lynn. I knew that ‘Lynne’ was a girls’ name, but didn’t know that ‘Lynn’ was also considered only a girls’ name until the wife commented about it.

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Photo0048

Photo0049

Photo0047

The son went to our Osteopath recently, and got some shots of the ride of another customer who had not made it to the ‘Cruise Night’, downtown. It’s a rebuilt, 1934 Buick, according to the custom licence plate.  Love that vibrant color!

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I knew that I was really stressed, when I started getting on my own nerves.

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I recently hit a blog-site where the English Nazi nit-picker must have been a Colonel, not a mere private like me. He ranted about those who use ‘lie’ when it should be ‘lay’, and vice-versa.  Okay so far.  Then he attacked a nursery rhyme, and insisted that, “Now I lay me down to sleep.” was incorrect.  It should be ‘lie’.  Better men (or women) than him wrote that verse.  I ‘lay’ my book down, and ‘lay’ my child down to sleep.  I ‘lay’ my pillow down, and then, correctly using a reflexive verb, I ‘lay’ ME down to sleep.

I was reading a post about ‘Eggcorns’. Like Mondegreens, they’re those things that you don’t hear right, and then don’t repeat right, like “curl up in a feeble position,” “fire excape,” and “hone in on.”  The name Eggcorns itself comes from someone who didn’t even know about ‘acorns.’  The writer was doing fine until he started ranting about ‘conversating.’  “There’s no such word!  You’re not ‘conversating’, you’re conversing.”  It’s been an accepted, idiomatic word since 1965; even WordPress’s SpellCheck accepts it.

I recently used the Latin phrase, Caveat Emptor, and noted that it translates into English as Buyer beware.  GrammarCheck insists that it should be ‘Buyer bewares’.  (There, see?  It just did it again.)

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In my You Don’t Say post, I wrote of timid linguists who won’t say or write things they regard as “swear words.” Like Amsterdam, ‘I don’t give a tinker’s dam’ was a perfect replacement for the word damn, it being a small rivet-like stopper to repair a hole in old, non-stainless steel pots, without the damning N that could keep you out of Heaven.  Twice in a week I ran into, “I don’t give a tinker’s curse.” as a euphemism for a euphemism.  I need to (re)find the word which describes errors like this caused by advancing technology.

***

 

2017 A To Z Challenge – F

Challenge2017

I’ve been caught – found out – laid bare. It gives me no solace to know that I am but one member of a large enough group who are also exposed, that there is a word to describe and identify them.  For the letter

Letter F

I am skipping the WOW, and using the A To Z Challenge to present the latest, and most applicable word, Forgettery

Definitions for forgettery

a faculty or facility for forgetting; faulty memory:
a witness with a very convenient forgettery.

Origin of forgettery

1860-1865

Forgettery is a humorous formation based on forget and (the pronunciation of) memory. The phenomenon is very common in ordinary life, such as that panicky moment when you cannot recall the name of your dinner partner or where you parked the car in the mall parking lot. It is a little surprising that such a useful term entered English only in the 19th century.

My life has been one long series of Forget-Me-Nots. One of my ways of ensuring that I remember something is to repeat, repeat, repeat!  One scientific study said, 35 times – and it’s mine.  It’s a good thing that I like to read.  I scanned school texts over and over….and over.  I understood the concepts, but you only get marks if you remember to write them down.

I describe my situation as ‘Trigger-Memory.’ It’s a long trail of the equivalent of a string tied around the finger.  My days are full of reminders.  A sour cream tub lid, wedged into the top of my boot on the shoe rack means there’s a plate of leftovers to be taken to the daughter.  An empty pill bottle sends me to the pharmacy.  An empty cat-food tin on the end of the counter has me bringing more up when I go downstairs for some Pepsi.

Out of sight, out of mind – or, as the Chinese translate, ‘When you’re blind, you’re also crazy.” If I don’t see it, I forget it. My office desk was always a bit of a mess, because I dared not put anything away until I’d successfully dealt with it.  Lists, notes, memos, reminders – thank (insert the name of your favorite real or imaginary deity here) for electronics.  Now it’s all on the computer….if I can just remember where I cached that file.

Have you ever walked into a room, and wondered why you did? I’ve walked into rooms, and had to look around to remember which room I’d walked into.  Use it, or lose it. As much as for my Asperger-type inability to make and hold friends, my lack may be because I forget people as soon as they walk out the door, and people get upset if you do that.

Once upon a time, I forgot to pick something up, probably food for a special meal. I got from the wife, that expression that every marriage gets at least once.  “If you loved me….you would have remembered.”  I pointed out that the forgetting had impacted me even worse than her.  If I can’t remember for myself, I sure won’t remember for her, no matter how much I love her.

Would she say, ‘If you loved me, you’d be an Optical Surgeon, and make lots of money?’ With the tremor in my hands, somebody would lose an eye.

If I forget to read your posts for a week, (or a month) or forget to leave a comment, please forgive me. I’ll remember eventually, probably triggering my memory when I’m looking up another odd word, like syzygy….now what does that mean, again?   😳

Minutia III

Another self-guided tour through my convoluted thought processes and observations.  Please wipe your feet before entering.  You wouldn’t want to be responsible for me having a dirty mind.

Because of the *let-us-help-one-another* Mennonite mindset, this area has been the birthplace of several, large, well-known insurance companies.  In keeping with my mission of being older than everything except the local rocks, I received a renewal notice for my home insurance.  My provider included a note which bragged that they have been in business for 175 years.

I have Googled myself.  Oh, the Ego of it all. (But it felt good.)  The only person with the same name and middle initial who comes up, is a retired US Air Force colonel, who went on to become a motivational speaker.  He’s appeared locally a couple of times, a few years ago, though I didn’t know it.

Recently, I thought of a friend I had for a couple of years during my teens.  While he was a couple of years younger than me, we were both over-average nerdy, and loners, therefore, we hung out and fit together nicely.  Named for his uncle Elmer, his first name was actually Delmer (D’Elmer).  There not being a lot of Delmers in the world, I tried to look him up, and was sadly surprised to find that he had died two years ago.

He was one of the guys who helped me *adopt* the naïve young tourist in my Unreasonable Expectations  post.  He was 50 pounds heavier than skinny me, and the cool kids razzed him about being fat, but most of it was muscle.  He would dive from as high as I would, and sneak into the water like a greased seal, raising less of a splash than anyone else.

Also dead, from that same crew, was an Indian from the res.  While he was a year older than me, these two both died two years ago.  Not as surprising, but still disappointing, was a notice of the recent death of the wife of the couple who owned and ran the beach bowling alley from my Bowling For Summer  post.  She was the one who served us crisp, golden French fries when we were done swimming.  In her thirties when I was a teen, she must have been like my mother, into her nineties when she passed.  Tempus fugit!

John Wayne made a hockey movie….Whaa??  Never east of the Mississippi until 1930, he was the lead in a 1937 sixty-minute flick about the non-existent, New York Panthers, called Idol of the Crowds, two years before his break-out role in Stagecoach.  He valiantly laced up, and could skate fairly well in a straight line, but any *hockey moves* had to come from camera angles.  Usually clean-spoken, he was quoted as saying he spent two days in a hospital, probably with a sprained ankle, because, “I’m from California.  I’ve never been on (expletive) skates before!”

If time is money, does that make ATMs time machines??

I exercised my franchise and voted in the recent Provincial election.  Despite having let them waste $4/5 billion dollars, the mindless, entitled yobs in the big city voted the same rogues’-gallery back into power.  Please, Nanny-State, we’re too stupid and lazy, waste another billion or two – but take care of us.  My grandson was going to have to pay off the already existing debt.  Now I just hope that he never has kids.

Since the road which runs behind my house was the electoral boundary line, on my side were election signs for four or five different parties, while on the other side of the road were the same parties, but with different candidates.  Always interested in the word-value of names, I looked a couple up.

A candidate on my side was named Weiler.  Her name, in German, has the nice meaning of hamlet, or small village.  Her compatriot across the line was Wettlaufer.  I don’t imagine he discusses it much.  It translates to *bookie*, one who bets on races.

I took the wife and daughter to a plant nursery recently.  Patiently wandering around, waiting, (yeah, right) I ran into the Bidens.  They are small, pretty flowers with two little rabbit-ears on top.  The person/people who discovered and named them felt these little protrusions looked like teeth.  Biden = bi-den = two-toothed.  So Joe Biden is related to plants, although I suspect he was adopted.  He’s not as good-looking, and nowhere near as smart.

There’s a small hotel in the neighboring city.  It began as the manor house of the local brewing family.  It has a strip bar in it, which….I might have gone into – once – just to ask for directions.  It has become the House of God on Sundays. Some time between last call Saturday night, and two-for-one lap dances Sunday evening, a team of volunteers cover the nudie posters, and $4-a-beer signs, and turn the bar into a church.

For a few hours on Sunday afternoons, the gentlemen’s club becomes a Holy place, a social place, and a place where people in need can find safety, and trust, and food.  They may also find God, but that’s not the main goal. This is a place of Christ-like support and acceptance for strippers and druggies and drunks who, too often, find themselves excluded and unwanted in mainstream churches.  Good on ya all!

Walking past the coin-counting machine at the grocery store recently, I spotted and grabbed four discontinued pennies from the overflow tray.  When I got them home, I found that three of them were 25 Ore coins from Denmark.  I have several Danish coins, but not that denomination, so I added the newest, cleanest one to my collection.

Winter Vacation – Finale

When we checked into the motel on the Friday, one of the first things the son did, was try to open the top dresser drawer.  Perhaps he had a sudden urge to read the Gideons’ Bible.  The front of the drawer just came right off in his hand.

With sleep schedules now totally confounded, the son was asleep shortly after 11 PM Saturday night, while I was still lurking around outside, reading newspapers and doing crossword puzzles in the vending room, and gabbing with the security guard.

Son was up at 7:30, and went over to the office to get yet another tea, while I “slept in” till 8 AM.  Just as he quietly eased the door open at 7:45, the maintenance man fired up the snow blower, right outside the unit.

The son’s OCD shows differently from mine.  Now that we were both awake (Speak for yourself, son and heir.), things should “be done”, we should pack immediately and vacate the premises.  I made toast juice and pills, washing dishes and final packing, last till almost 9.  We visited the office, finalized all paperwork, and offered many thanks to Connie, to be spread among all the nice desk clerks.

The car is loaded; we’re ready to go, and it’s just 9:10.  Finally, the son asks the question he should have thought about before.  What time is this County-Line Trade Center open?  I had hoped that it was at 9 AM, like the Gibraltar Trade Center.  The reason we stayed up here, was to try something new.  I had used the Google Maps overhead view to find that it was an ell-shaped building, about half as big as Gibraltar.

We drove a mile in five minutes and pulled into the parking lot.  There was one snowed-in car, and a half-ton with a plow blade clearing the lot. One wing of the ell is a furniture resale store and a dental office.  The Trade Center is only half as big as I’d hoped and imagined.  The sign on the door says opening is at 10.  We drove back down to last night’s McDonalds, and parked at the back, trying not to get plowed in by the guy clearing their lot.

Finally we drove back up, and the plow jockey unlocked the door, and let a couple of vendors enter.  With no booths open, I got into a conversation with one, about socialized medicine, Obamacare, and a second international bridge, while the son prowled this tiny little microcosm.  One unopen booth shows Saturday hours of noon to 5, and Sunday from 1 till five.  On a Superbowl Sunday, after a significant snowfall, this is not going to get much better.

The Gibraltar center is full of kitsch, “As seen on TV.”  This County-Line place also has lots of stuff seen on TV – if you used to watch Sanford and Son.  The food service area looks like where Sly Stallone got rat burgers in Demolition Man.  There are signs on the doors which say, “All hoods must be removed before entering.” and, “We will provide security escort to your vehicle, but we will not carry merchandise.”

Eleven o’clock – we can’t go home yet.  What do we do??  The son’s paying for the gas; let’s drive 25 miles and go to Gibraltar.  We stopped at a nearby Meijer’s gas bar to fill up.  “Let’s go into the store.”  The son found and bought two big bags of Chili-Cheese potato chips the Meijer’s on the other side of town didn’t carry, and I located and bought two large bottles of McIllhenny’s Chipotle Tabasco Sauce the other store also didn’t have, for the daughter.

Right across the street was a small health food store.  Between it and its larger parent two miles down the road, I found most of the items the big GNC stores didn’t carry, for the niece.  Touchdown, Yay!

The kid and I spent several hours touring Gibraltar, its yummy food court and the gun and knife show they had on the display side.  While I got to caress a Beretta 92 pistol, similar to Rants’ military version, the son found that he likes shotguns.

I got rid of another small pocketful of change to an old veteran, collecting to support other vets, down on their luck.  I saw at least two “girly” guns, one a little .22 caliber varmint plinker for a 12 to 18 year old, the other, a more serious, semi-military style .308, shoot-a-moose, or a trespasser, rifle.  Both were done in camouflage finish – if you were hiding behind Sailor Moon, the darlingest pink and black daubs and lines.

About 3, we decided to head home.  Plows and volume of traffic finally had the roads down to bare and damp.  Since we’d driven south, we decided to cross back, over the bridge.  The same factors which kept people out of the Trade Center, kept them off the bridge.  I again was able to get into a Customs line with only one car ahead of me.

When I was allowed to roll forward, the window of the booth slid open, and I was greeted by a female customs officer.  Not unheard of, but not common on the Canadian side of the Windsor/Detroit crossings.  She smiled at me and said, “Hello/Bonjour.”  “Bonjour,” I replied, “now I know I’m truly back in Canada.”

“Pardon me; could you please pass me a serviette?  I appear to have spilled my poutine.”  Every Canadian knows exactly what that sentence means, but I may have to translate it for my American readers.

A couple of questions for me, and a couple for the son, and we were soon on our way home.  I coulda brought that beautiful Beretta back, and no-one but me would have been any the wiser.  The son called the wife, now that Canadian cell phone towers would carry my Canadian cell phone plan.  We told her we were on our way, and three hours later, we were ordering pizza, after covering 870 Km./555 Mi. over a very enjoyable three-day weekend.  Thanx for reading along with us.    😀