’20 A To Z Challenge – M

I don’t exactly hate poetry, I just hate what sometimes passes for, and pretends to be, poetry.  I have written some poetry, and had some poetry written about me.  I am going to introduce you to the word for the letter M Challenge this year.

Musophobist

A person who regards poetry with suspicious dislike.  From the Greek words meaning “Muse” and “fear.”
A person who doesn’t like poetry and is suspicious of it.

This word was used (and probably coined) by the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), who quite possibly inspired more than a few musophobes, with poetry that was as dark and disturbing as Edgar Allen Poe’s works.

Some of the best contemporary poets are song writers.  If you listen to, or read the lyrics to their songs without the music, you find that they reference social situations, with intricate, repeating, progressing word play.  We’ll ignore Justin Bieber, who actually doesn’t write poetry much better than I do.  Justin Timberlake has some good stuff, and I like Ed Sheeran who, like Billy Joel, writes poetry/lyrics about his life.

I’m stuck in the past, liking writers such as Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, and (another) Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.  THE BOSS, Bruce Springsteen, made a name for himself writing intricately-rhyming songs for other singers, before he began performing them himself.  Sadly, in the song Blinded By The Light which was released by the group Manfred Mann, a young singer with a speech defect turned a 1932 “Deuce” hot-rod into a douche.  😳

On a couple of Moody Blues albums, between some beautiful songs, John Lodge does a spoken-word recitation of poems that didn’t turn into songs.  I’ve published them before, but for those who may have missed them, here they are again.

MOODY BLUE

Breathe deep the gathering gloom.
Watch light fade from every room.
Pensitive people look back and lament,
Another day, uselessly spent.

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one.
Lonely man cries for love, and has none.
Senior citizens wish they had some.
New mother picks up and suckles her son.

Cold-hearted orb, that rules the night.
Removes the colors from our sight.
Red is grey, and yellow, white,
But we decide which is right.

And which, is an illusion….

 

MOODY CONTEMPLATION

Between the eyes and ears there lie
The sounds of color
And the light of a sigh
With thoughts of within
To exclude the without
The ghost of a thought
Will exclude all doubt
And to name this thought
Is important to some
So they gave it a word
And the word is ‘OM’

 

Court Is Back In Session

Usual Suspect

While prosecuting a robbery case, I conducted an interview with the arresting officer. My first question: “Did you see the defendant at the scene?”
“Yes, from a block away,” the officer answered.
“Was the area well lit?”
“No. It was pretty dark.”
“Then how could you identify the defendant?” I asked, concerned.
Looking at me as if I were nuts, he answered, “I’d recognize my cousin anywhere.”

***

Guilty as Charged

In Fort Worth, Texas, I was hauled before the judge for driving with expired license plates. The judge listened attentively while I gave him a long, plausible explanation.

Then he said with great courtesy, “My dear sir, we are not blaming you—we’re just fining you.”

***

No Lawsuits

Sidewalks were treacherous after a heavy snowstorm blanketed the University of Idaho campus. Watching people slip and slide, I gingerly made my way to class.

Suddenly I found myself on a clean, snow-free section of walkway. This is weird, I thought—until I noticed that it was directly in front of the College of Law building.

***

Waiting for the Fine

The judge had not yet put in an appearance in the San Diego traffic court. When the bailiff entered the courtroom, he sensed the nervousness of the traffic offenders awaiting their ordeal.

“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” he said. “Welcome to ‘What’s My Fine?’”

***

Bad Job

As a judge, I was sentencing criminal defendants when I saw a vaguely familiar face. I reviewed his record and found that the man was a career criminal, except for a five-year period in which there were no convictions.

“Milton,” I asked, puzzled, “how is it you were able to stay out of trouble for those five years?”

“I was in prison,” he answered. “You should know that—you were the one who sent me there.”

“That’s not possible,” I said. “I wasn’t even a judge then.”

“No, you weren’t the judge,” the defendant countered, smiling mischievously. “You were my lawyer.”

***

Not So Humble

I was once a legal secretary to a young law clerk who passed the bar exam on his third try. This fledgling attorney worked hard on his initial pleading, which should have read “Attorney at Law” at the top of the first page.

After I submitted the finished document for his review and signature, I was embarrassed when he pointed out a critical typing error. “Must you rub it in?” he asked.

I had typed: “Attorney at Last.”

***

Tough Punishment

I was a brand-new attorney in practice alone, and I had a likewise inexperienced secretary fresh out of high school. The importance of proofreading the results of my dictation was highlighted one day when a reminder to a client’s tenant to pay her rent or suffer eviction was transcribed as follows: “You are hereby notified that if payment is not received within five business days, I will have no choice but to commence execution proceedings.”

 

The Wordless Wonder Of Instrumentals

In my Rise And Fall Of Rock And Roll post, I ignored an important chunk of modern music, because it didn’t fit the Singer/Songwriter motif that I had going.  In the early/mid 1960s, there were a surprising number of songs that did well on the Hit Parade, with no words at all.  It was the tiny little era of the instrumental.

There were the guitar-driven rock-type songs like

Wipeout – The Ventures

Pipeline – The Chantays

Telstar – The Tornadoes

Walk Don’t Run – The Ventures
This was the first record that I ever owned.

Apache – The Shadows

While there were guitars in back-up, this was a percussion tour de force.
Let There be Drums – Sandy Nelson

A sort of cross between folk, and surf-rock.
Miserlou – Dick Dale

Let’s Go Tripping – Dick Dale

Something more in a Country flavor
Rebel Rouser – Duane Eddy

Country/Pop with steel guitars
Sleepwalk – Santo & Johnny

Teardrop – Santo & Johnny

A Country/Rock version of an old folk song
Beatnik Fly – Johnny & the Hurricanes

There were more orchestral, and less-Rock songs
Classical Gas – Mason Williams

Rinky-Dink – Dave baby Cortez

Last Date – Floyd Cramer

Soulful Strut – Young-Holt Unlimited

Stranger on the Shore – Aker Bilk

Peter Gunn Theme – Henry Mancini

Grazing in the Grass – Hugh Masekela

The Lonely Bull – Herb Alpert

Soul Twist – King Curtis

A Taste of Honey – Herb Alpert

Tracey’s Theme – Billy Vaughan

Click on any of the titles for individual YouTube concerts.  These are perhaps most of the good ones.  If you’d like to take a stroll back through the ‘Good Old Days’ of music, click below.

1960’s Instrumental Hits – https://www.google.ca/search?sxsrf=ACYBGNR2ivX8mPkk94pXbkt6B8GG-PAfNg%3A1581038839884&source=hp&ei=97w8Xr_YM8Gk_QbPtIOgCw&q=1960s+instrumental+hits&oq=1960s+instrumen&gs_l=psy-ab.1.0.0l7j0i22i30l3.13150.26396..32723…5.0..0.1241.3882.11j3j5-1j1j1……0….1..gws-wiz…..10..35i362i39j0i131j0i13j0i13i30.BOxbDJax408

’20 A To Z Challenge – L


What else do I need to say??! I’m not usually tongue-tied, although some people have suggested that it should be put in handcuffs…. Tongue-cuffs??…. I’ll check with the ‘Adult Store.’ They may have something really, fucking kinky.

LALOCHEZIA everyone! Shed the stress. 😈 If you make bail on the public profanity charge, stop back in a couple of days.
***

Adventures In Non-Sequitur Land

This is a framed copy of a reproduction of a Saturday Evening Post cover. It, and a mug with his name, –CYRIL – were all I got back from the nursing home, after my Father died. I don’t know where, or when, or how, he obtained it. I never saw it hanging in my parents’ little house.

Those who know me, know that I am Psmith. Dad was always a little distant, and self-centered. It pleases me to believe that the why that he obtained it, was because of me.

A year ago, when I wanted to attach it to my ‘I’ve Never Herd Of Smith’ post, I kept getting a message from WordPress – Error. Unable to upload image. There are two copies of this image, one taken with a camera, and the other with the scanner/printer. WordPress would accept neither. Recently – JUST BECAUSE – I tried again, and it slid smoothly into the Media file.   😳

DON’T TAKE THEIR WORD FOR IT

Dictionary

Pros

The crashed space contraction – was actually a weather balloon contraption.

This Texas joined has many options – Move your joint closer to that dictionary.

She one the homecoming queen title – That’s won title I’m impressed with.

From the prospective of the actor – he should have a bit more perspective.

Facepalm

They wear mink coats made of polar bear fur:facepalm:

I’ll make a help meet for him – A helpmate would have been a better idea.  This isn’t a dating site.

The ugly crowd finally disbursed. – Not unless they were paid to disperse.

The city had a wide away of amenities – Alwight, Elmer Fudd, just look at this array.

She has plead guilty – I plead that you use the word pled.

Companies that engage in development no they have a responsibility – They’re responsible to know the right word.

Overwhelms their soy-dullened senses – I would offer a zingy riposte to that, but I’m busy eating a “Beyond Meat”© burger…. and I just can’t seem to think of one.

His chariot-horses were poisend – Any desire to read his book was poisoned.

Australian writers of a radical bend – I bent over, and found the proper word.

They tried to recoop their expenses – put them back in a cage till tax-time.

The monster was bearing its great fangs – since it was born.  Now it is baring them.

It’s more comfortable without the extra seems – It seems that you should use seams.

He continues to pressure his passion in arts – No pressure, just look up pursue

Camoflauge Chic – Apparently the correct spelling was camouflaged.

New York Times
The President has not been seeing wearing a mask – the writer should be seen at an ESL class.

They weren’t sure what the reporter’s roll was – I believe it was rye, possibly pumpernickel

US racing violence leaves PM without words – I have one – Race!,  %&$#@

Amateurs

In the mean, politicians fixate on getting re-elected. – In the main, that is true.

I dear say that reduces the damage – I dare say that construction is wrong.

Any nation that was invited in time of war – I invite you to look up invaded.

If any descent was voiced – I dissent with that spelling

I had him paged as an anemic redneck – I had you pegged as illiterate.

On sale, Pop-Tards – on a sign printed by Re-Tard

She treated him with distain – getting the lipstick off his collar.  I have disdain for her.

Undo credence is given to tradition – but undue attention is not given to the correct word.

Your boyfriend seen nice – He also seemed to speak English.

People who rock up to you when you’re busy – should just walk away.

When religion grabs the leavers of political power – It’s time to lever it back out, and leave.

Policed said they would canvas the building – Threw a tarp over it so that so that English teachers could canvass it.

This harps back to a time – When we said that it harks back.

Working with medal to produce something – Put the pedal to the metal.

The Universe was created it if nothing – A Universe of confusion was created out of that construction.

A kid nailed a two by floor in a tree – My Dad called it a two by twice.

It was the Law of Unattended Consequences – You should have intended to attend English class.

All I had to do was right them down – All that’s left is to write the right word.

Except the one recanting the tale – Recant that spelling, and go with recounting.

We were weakly church attenders, and I alter-served – But would have done better, at home with a textbook.

Gotta love those threats of eternal tournament – That misusage is a torment to me.

’20 A To Z Challenge – K

Peasant Woman

If only the English, would speak English!  😯

As the developed World continues to advance, we have more information which needs to be communicated in the same amount of time.  The English language continues to adapts to that, and contract.  Already, we have more time to discuss Kardashian perfume or underwear or MENSA-grade husbands, because English is reducing, with @hashtags, 140 character Tweets, and initialisms, like LOL, OMG, YOLO, BTW, IDK, and IMHO.  Soon, we’ll be back to caveman grunts and arm-waving – Ungh, meat good!  Beer cold!

Contrast this with busy, unchanging, polysyllabic languages like Italian or Spanish, which need to add suffixes for gender and number.  Italian ‘spago’ is a string – no matter what that NYC restaurateur says.  Many small strings (of pasta), is spaghetti.  And even finer strings, is spaghettini.

A Spanish girl is a chica.  A small girl, or a loving, linguistic diminutive for one, is a chiquita that you’d go bananas for.  Chiquitita does not usually refer to an even younger child, but is often an affectionate nickname for a full-sized female.  All those syllables!!  😯  To see (or hear) an old Nona at market with her string bag, sounds like a language machine-gun, firing at about 12 syllables a second, wearing out her tongue, and everyone else’s ears.  Of course, her tongue will regenerate overnight – just ask any Italian husband.

Back in a time when English had a lot less to say, and all day to say it, was born the compound-word term

KICKIE-WICKIE

A witty, jocular, or ludicrous term for a wife, especially a critical or disrespectful one
supposedly another Shakespeare nonce-word, invented and first used in ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’.

Apparently he didn’t have time to also invent
Dumpy-frumpy
Slappy-happy
Punchy-wunchy, or
Bitchy-witchy

I had heard that it was a term invented by Scotsmen, while shepherds watched their flocks by night…. or whatever they were doing with/to sheep in the dark.  They just took the term, and made it theirs.

Bagpipes

Blowing his brains out

Why do Scotsmen wear kilts?
So that sheep don’t hear the zippers.  😳

I’d like ewe to stop back again soon, for another group therapy session.  😉

Egging The Dog On

Egg

I was walking past a farm and a sign said: “Duck, eggs!”

I thought: “That’s an unnecessary comma – then it hit me.”

***

Two dogs are trotting down a city street, when they discover a row of parking meters, newly installed on their favorite section of sidewalk.  “Look at that!” one dog says to the other, “Pay toilets!”

I took my dog to a bonfire recently.  I was enjoying myself, but my dog seemed depressed.  Suddenly he started howling and I realized why.  We were burning all his toys.

***

I’m not so sure about an inner child, but I have an inner idiot that surfaces every now and then.

—–

“You call this a musical?” asked Les miserably.

—–

I was born to be wild, but only until around 9 PM or so.

—–

Someone threw a bottle of omega 3 pills at me!! Luckily, my injuries were only super fish oil.

—–

Don’t wear headphones while vacuuming; I’ve just finished the whole house before realizing the vacuum wasn’t plugged in.

—–

I gave all my dead batteries away today … free of charge.

—–

The relationship between Husband and Wife is very psychological; one is Psycho and the other is Logical – and whatever you do, don’t try to figure out Who is Who.

—–

I just ordered a life alert bracelet so that if I ever get a life I’ll be notified immediately

—–

To the guy who invented “zero” … Thanks for nothing.

___

The Disappointment Club is pleased to announce that the Friday meeting is cancelled.

***

Stoner thoughts are highdeas.

***

When telephones were tied with a wire – Humans were free

***

Self-esteem is the feeling which makes us attribute our failures to bad luck, and our successes to good judgment.

***

I was looking for that thingy that peels potatoes and carrots.  I asked the kids if they’d seen it.
Apparently she left me a week ago.

***

A blonde adopted two dogs, and named them Timex and Rolex.
Her friend asked her how she came up with the names.
She replied, “They’re both watch dogs.”

***

Two wind turbines were in a field.
One asks, “What kind of music do you like?”
The other replies, “Well, I’m a big metal fan.”

***

Doctor; I’m afraid your condition is fairly advanced.
Patient; It was in its early stages when I first sat down in your waiting room.

***

How does my doctor expect me to lose weight, when every medication he prescribes says, ‘Take with food.’

***

Me: Doctor, I’ve swallowed a spoon.
Doctor: Sit there and don’t stir.

’20 A To Z Challenge – I

A To Z ChallengeLetter I

 

 

 

 

 

 

have been an inept, indolent idiot, about the A To Z Challenge, for the letter I.  I have not had an iota of inspiration, so I have decided to insert a travelogue.

20 Fun Facts About Estonia

Esto Man

Esto-Man

Careful!  You may end up unintentionally learning something.

You may be wondering why I chose Estonia for this blog.  Since rheumatoid-arthritis prematurely retired Cookie Monster, our Estonian-heritage, ex-chiropractor, he and I and my son have got together about every six months, to sample the various road-house restaurants in the area.  We enjoy deep, socially-significant conversation, lack of female supervision, and delicious, but questionable, menu choices.

Mr. COVID19 has put a kink in our calendar.  We are almost a meeting behind.  I publish this so that he will have something to read in self-isolation.  If it influences him to offer to buy me an extra beer when we are paroled and next visit Montana’s, that’s purely coincidental.  😉  So, here are some non-evaluation related facts you may enjoy about this country in northeastern Europe.

Let’s get started with “tere” which means Hello in Estonian!

Fact 1:
While the official capital of Estonia is Tallinn, the country is unique because it has more than one recognized capital. In fact, it has several capitals that change throughout the year. Tartu is established as the “cultural capital of Estonia”, while Parnu is known as the “summer capital”.

Fact 2:
Estonia was the first country in the world to use online political voting.

Fact 3:
Estonia has two Independence Days. It first achieved independence from the Soviet Union on February 24, 1918 and again on August 20, 1991 after 51 years of occupation. The second date is known as the “Restoration of Independence Day.”

Fact 4:
Estonian is the official language. Russian is also widely spoken.

Fact 5:
The Estonian currency was the Kroon, but they have joined the Euro-zone and Euro is their official currency now.

Fact 6:
Even though Estonia is considered to be a part of the Baltic countries; along with Latvia and Lithuania, there is no real political alliance.

Fact 7:
Estonia is named after the “Ests” who inhabited the region in the 1st Century AD.

Fact 8:
Estonia is the least religious country in the world with only 14% of the population claiming any religious beliefs.

Fact 9:
Almost 50% of Estonia is covered by forest.

Fact 10:
Estonia has a population of 1.3 million and one of the most sparsely populated countries in Europe.

Fact 11:
Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world.

Fact 12:
Estonia is the homeland of Skype, Hotmail and KaZaA.

Fact 13:
All Estonian schools are connected to the Internet.

Fact 14:
Chess Grandmaster Paul Keres was born in Estonia. When he died in 1975, over 100,000 people attended his funeral (10% of the country’s entire population).

Fact 15:
Out of the nearly 200 countries in the world, Estonia ranks in the second place with a literacy rate of 99.8%.

Fact 16:
In 1994, Estonia became the first country to institute the flat income tax.

Fact 17:
They have the biggest collection of folk songs in the world with written records of 133,000 folk songs.

Fact 18:
The Estonians invented Kiiking, which is considered a sport. It involves fastening yourself to an enormous standing steel swing (kiik means swing in Estonian) which has a full 360 degrees of rotation to it. To swing a kiiker, the contestant must pump by squatting and standing up on the swing. The swing gains momentum taking the person in full circle by his skillful pumping.

Fact 19:
Estonia produces quality vodka and boasts Viru Valge and Saaremaa as its most popular brands.

Fact 20:
And, in case you are thinking of relocating, Estonia doesn’t accept dual citizenship.

Hope you enjoyed this. Head aega! (That’s “goodbye” in Estonian.)

 

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.

Why I Am An Old Codger

Cadge

WHY I AM AN OLD CODGER

By Emeritus Archon

Mrs. Upshall, and my fellow Grade Four classmates

What is a codger?  I bet you thought that I knew everything about English language words.  I know I did!

The same extinct British TV show which brought us the word manky, as well as the more recent phrase, ‘Stone the Crows,’ also recently taught me why I am an old codger.  I have accepted (bitched about it – but accepted) that I am old, since I turned 60 – but, codger?

In ancient times – and not-so-ancient times – birds of prey were important to royalty and nobility as a symbol of swift, destructive power.  Eagles, hawks and falcons were common on heraldry and coats of arms.  The bigger the dick lord, the more birds he might own.  A king could have 15 or 20.

Each and every one of them must be exercised every day, by the bird trainer.  They must be taken away from the castle where they roost, to an open patch of ground, so that they can be flown, one at a time, trained to attack prey, and brought back to the trainer, using a bait, swung around and tossed into the air at the end of a stout cord.

That’s the trainer’s job, but whose job was it to get all these birds to and from the castle – and how?  A device called a cadge was invented (See above photo).  It’s like a small end table with no top, and upholstered rails for birds to cling to.  It has shoulder straps to support the weight when a person stands inside it.  10 to 20 birds, at three or four pounds each, can be quite a load.

Strong young men were better employed for other uses.  It was usual for older men to tote this thing around.  Dictionaries are not sure where the name cadge came from.  Some feel that it originally might have been ‘cage.’  Others, (which I agree with) feel that it’s a development of ‘carriage.’  The poor lout who got burdened with it became known as a cadger.  Pronunciation drift eventually changed that to codger.

So, that’s the story of how I came to be what I am – a flighty old man, forced to help support and train a bunch of bird-brains.  I come by my title of Grumpy Old Dude, honestly.  😉