Monday, October 14, 2019

Hasenpfeffer Incorporated

This post serves as a sort of filler to keep you occupied while I am trying to think of what to blog about next.

For your edification and reading enjoyment, here is your very own link to a fascinating article from the website mentalfloss.com entitled "Thirty-Eight Wonderful Words With No Equivalent In English".

If you watched Laverne and Shirley in decades past, you will understand the title of this post when you finish reading the article.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

I thought of a fifth adjective

...to go with terrifying, horrifying, shocking, and devastating (my personal list of turn-off “click bait” in internet headlines).

That word is -- drum roll, please -- heartbreaking.

Moving right along, Mrs. RWP received a mystery bouquet this week. It wasn't from me. Here are sides A, B, and C:


























So now you know that in addition to every argument having two sides, every bouquet has three. That's not really true. I just wanted you to see the flowers from different angles to get the full effect.

The bouquet contained some wonderfully fragrant lavender flowers that I didn't recognize, so I called the florist's shop to find out what they were. "Stock," the woman who answered the phone said, after checking with the floral designer. I had never heard of stock before, but I have led a sheltered life.

I suppose that statement alone makes this post truly shocking!

It turned out that the vase of beautiful flowers was sent by our son-in-law in Alabama, just because he was thinking about Mrs. RWP. His timing could not have been more perfect to lift her spirits. The bouquet arrived the day before the anniversary of the burial of our niece, Mrs. RWP's brother's daughter, who died suddenly of heart failure last year at 53 in North Carolina. Our Alabama son-in-law had no way of knowing that, so it made his thoughtfulness extra special.

Here is a photo of our daughter and her husband at last Saturday's football game at their alma mater, Jacksonville State University, where this year both of their sons play in the marching band show at half-time.


After 26 years of marriage, our daughter and son-in-law are still apparently very happy. If they are not, they are hiding it very well.

My daughter looks so much like my mother that it is almost scary. It is not terrifying, horrifying, shocking, devastating, or heartbreaking, but it is definitely scary.

Until next time, I remain
Yr faithful correspondent,
rhymeswithplague

P.S. -- Because it rained last Saturday, the band marched without their plumed hats. My two grandsons are plainly visible in the two photos below, one in each photo.



Friday, October 4, 2019

And another thing....

I get really tired of seeing what are supposed to be news articles on the internet that include the words terrifying, horrifying, shocking, or devastating in the headline. Just report the facts and eliminate the click-bait. We, the readers, will decide whether we are terrified, horrified, shocked, or devastated.

This is my 1,777th post, the second post in my thirteenth year of blogging. I hope to have many more posts and many more years of blogging. It would also please me no end to have more readers.

But even if that never happens, I am completely satisfied with us -- we few, we happy few, we band of brothers and sisters. Shakespeare didn't say "and sisters" but Shakespeare was stuck back there in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and I am an enlightened 21st-century person.

Besides, and I haven't told you this previously, my middle name is Henry, so I have no compunction whatever about mangling some lines from Henry V.

As my mother used to say, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread."

She was always saying things like that. She was a regular Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

She would say, "Faint heart ne'er won fair maid."

She would say, "Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds."

She would say, "A soft answer turneth away wrath."

She would say, "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride."

It was very educational and even inspirational growing up around my mother.

My dad, on the other hand, would say, "Wish in one hand and spit in the other, and see what you get the most of." Sometimes he didn't say "spit" but the word he used rhymed with "spit".

How did I get on this subject? Oh, yes, thinking about how nice it would be to have more readers.

Today is also the 62nd anniversary of my mother's death, which probably explains why I am thinking about her.

I shall now bring this post to a close and hope that you won't be terrified, horrified, shocked, or devastated by it, although you may choose to be if you so desire.

See you next time, which will be my 1,778th post, the third post in my thirteenth year of blogging.

Until then, spread the word. If you spread it, they will come.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

This post is revolutionary.

I mentioned at the end of my last post that my next post would be revolutionary, and it is. It says so right there in the title. To learn why, continue reading.

What I am about to tell you is not what makes this post revolutionary, though. What I am about to tell you merely documents a recently-acquired pet peeve of mine to go along with all the other pet peeves I already have.

I don't know if it happens in England or Australia, but more and more Americans are confusing the words where and were in their writing. I roll my eyes, I clench my teeth, my jaws tighten every time I encounter it, but to date my actions have had absolutely no effect on my fellow countrymen (and women).

It shouldn’t be that difficult, people.

As every speaker of English should know, “were” is the past tense of the verb "to be". Surely you remember conjugating verbs:

I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you are, they are show the present tense of the verb "to be" in first person singular, second person singular, third person singular, first person plural, second person plural, and third person plural, respectively.

I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, you were, they were show the past tense.

I shall be, you will be, he/she/it will be, we shall be, you will be, they will be show the future tense.

Some people no longer differentiate between shall and will, but we oldtimers who were taught well still do.

I could also speak, if time permitted, of the present perfect (I have been, you have been, etc.) and the past perfect (I had been, you had been, etc.) and even the future perfect (I shall have been, you will have been, etc.), but it does not.

Time is precious.

As I was saying, more and more Americans write sentences like “We where late to the festivities” and “I don’t know were I left my car keys.“ I see sentences like these quite frequently.

I’m not kidding.

There are two reasons, in my opinion. First of all, in old western movies, people with frontier accents were always saying things like “Whur did y’all git them there horses?” A lot of people in America still talk like that, except today they say things like “Whur did y’all git that there iPhone 10?”

So the word where has been mispronounced on this side of the pond for a very long time.

And second of all, people also drop the H sound from the WH combination so that the words where and were have become American homonyms (words that sound alike but are spelled differently) when they are not. For the record, I was taught back in antediluvian times to pronounce WH words as though they were spelled HW (hwat, hwere, hwich, hwen, hwy, hwether, and so forth) because they originally began with “hw” in Old English, also known as Anglo-Saxon.

I use the HW sound in all the words mentioned previously, but I have never used it in who, whom, or whose. I don’t know why. I just don’t. I say hoo, hoom, and hooz. I don’t spell them that way but I do say them that way. It’s quite inconsistent of me, I know. But I have heard a woman on television say “to hwom” on more than one occasion. I could tell you her name but I won’t.

As I said at the beginning, absolutely none of any of that makes this post revolutionary.

Here’s what makes this post revolutionary.

It’s my 1776th post.

What could be more revolutionary than that?

(Declaration of Independence, a 12-by-18-foot (3.7 by 5.5 m) oil-on-canvas painting created by John Trumbull in 1819, hangs in the U.S. Capitol rotunda and depicts activities that occurred in Philadelphia in July 1776.)

Saturday, September 28, 2019

A short post is still a post

Here's my find of the day and perhaps of the month.

The three hardest things to say:
1. I’m sorry
2. I need help
3. Worcestershire Sauce

P.S. -- Happy 12th blogging anniversary to me.

P.P.S. -- My next post will be revolutionary.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Let's clear the air (spoiler: this post is about impeachment)

...and let's begin by saying, "No, Virginia, there is probably not a Hyman F. Suddfluffel, PhD."

If you're scratching your head and muttering "Huh?" under your breath, read on.

The following appeared on my Facebook page today. I had not encountered it before.

LET THEM GO AHEAD AND IMPEACH TRUMP.... HERE'S WHAT HAPPENS THEN......
By: Hyram F. Suddfluffel, PhD, (Political Science)

I have a degree in Political Science, and I am a card-carrying Libertarian. I've been studying politics and political history for the past 30 years. My specialty is U.S. Presidents. That said, I hope that the House of Representatives impeaches Trump. Let me tell you what will happen next!

1. The House can pass articles of impeachment over the objections of the Republicans, and refer to the Senate for trial.

2. The Senate will conduct a trial. There will be a vote, and the Republicans will vote unanimously, along with a small number of Democrats, to not convict the President. Legally, it will all be over at that point.

3. However, during the trial, and this is what no one is thinking about right now, the President's attorneys will have the right to subpoena and question ANYONE THEY WANT.. That is different than the special counsel investigation, which was very one-sided. So, during the impeachment trial, we will be hearing testimony from James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Glenn Simpson, Donna Brazile, Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch, Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, and a whole host of other participants in this whole sordid affair and the ensuing cover up activities. A lot of dirt will be dug up; a lot of truth will be unveiled. Finger pointing will occur. Deals will start being made, and suddenly, a lot of democrats will start being charged and going to prison. All this, because, remember, the President's team will now, for the first time, have the RIGHT to question all of these people under oath – and they will turn on each other. That is already starting.

4. Lastly, one more thing will happen, the Senate will not convict the President. Nothing will happen to Trump. Most Americans are clueless about political processes, the law, and the Constitution. Most Americans believe that being impeached results in removal from office. They don't understand that phase 2 is a trial in and by the Senate, where he has zero chance of conviction. Remember, the Senate is controlled by Republicans; they will determine what testimony is allowed -- and **everything** will be allowed, including: DNC collusion with the Clinton campaign to fix the election in favor of Hillary, the creation of the Trump dossier, the cover up and destruction of emails that very likely included incriminating information. They will incriminate each other for lying to the FISA court, for spying and wiretapping the Trump campaign, and for colluding with foreign political actors, especially George Soros. After the Senate declines to convict the President, we will have an election, and Trump will win. It will be a backlash against democrat petulance, temper tantrums, hypocrisy and dishonesty. Even minorities will vote for Trump, because, for the first time, they will see that democrats have spent 2+ years focused on maintaining their own power, and not doing anything at all about black murders in Chicago, homelessness, opioids, and other important issues that are actually killing people. And, we will spend the following four years listening to politicians and pundits claim that the whole impeachment was rigged.

So let's move on to impeachment.

Hyram F. Suddfluffel, PhD


I immediately did a DuckDuckGo search (I no longer use Google) on the name Hyram F. Suddfluffel, as it sounded made up, like Jubilation T. Cornpone.

Lots of hits came up, the most interesting of which is a long article at heavy.com called "Hyram F. Suddfluffel: The Origin & What’s True about the Viral Impeachment Post". I recommend that you read it before continuing.

There are several most important things to remember.

The most important thing to remember is that it is not important whether Hyman F. Suddfluffel exists. Come on, people. Noms de plume have been all the rage in writing circles for a very long time. I mean, Mark Twain was not his real name, you know. George Eliot (remember Silas Marner?) was really Mary Anne Evans. George Orwell was really Eric Arthur Blair. I could go on, but you get my point.

The most important thing to remember is whether the information in what heavy.com calls "the Viral Impeachment Post" is true.

Some of it is, and some of it isn't.

The most important thing to remember is that impeachment in the House of Representatives does not mean removal from office. A conviction in the Senate would mean that.

The most important thing to remember is that removal from office would not mean that Hillary Clinton becomes president. Vice-president Mike Pence would become president.

And the last most important thing to remember is this:

Take a deep breath and keep breathing.

But perhaps the most important most important thing to remember: Switch from Google to DuckDuckGo.

Monday, September 23, 2019

As the world turns, these are the days of our lives

...but we are definitely not the young and the restless. This week, a few days before the autumnal equinox, our firstborn turned 55.

We are old.

But you knew that.

A couple of days later one of our smoke alarms started chirping. I hauled our five-foot ladder out of its comfy place in the garage and brought it into the front hallway. I knew the smoke alarm needed a new 9-volt battery and I thought I had one in the kitchen drawer where we keep miscellaneous things. Rummaging through the drawer, I found a cheese grater, clear plastic salad tongs (the tongs are clear plastic, not the salads), wooden skewers for cooking, two screwdrivers, a hammer, a yellow plastic funnel, a package of Disposable Latex Gloves, and (voila!) some batteries -- AA batteries, AAA batteries, C batteries, D batteries, and finally a 9-volt battery. I returned to the front hall with my prize.

After ascending the ladder -- Mrs. RWP was afraid I would fall off -- and removing the contraption from its ceiling bracket, I realized that I had no idea what to do next. It was still attached by wires to the ceiling and I didn't know how to disengage the wires. I also couldn't see from my angle how to open the contraption and replace the battery. I decided to call my second child who lives about 20 minutes away.

He said he would come over and take care of it, and he did. I tried to watch closely enough to be able to do it myself in the future. He had bought a 9-volt battery on the way over, which was a good thing because the one I had found in the miscellaneous drawer was a tad out of date.































More than a tad, actually.































I am not, repeat, not a hoarder. If I were a hoarder, we would have drawers and drawers full of miscellaneous stuff instead of just one, and the rooms would be impassable for all the clutter, and the sink would be piled high with dirty dishes. I have watched television. I know.

So life goes on and the world keeps turning.

Thanks be to God.

In five more days this blog will be 12 years old. Next year we might have a bar mitzvah.