Monday, March 28, 2011

What’s your sign?

Not your astrological sign, silly! That stuff is pure hokum! I’m talking about your “Southern” sign. Everybody has one, and it doesn’t necessarily correspond with your birthday.

I found the following list in an old folder and decided to share it with you. I have no idea who came up with it, but everyone deserves to be enlightened with the truth. You folks from the United Kingdom probably won’t understand, though. I recommend that you console yourselves with a generous helping of Bubble and Squeak.

Southern Signs

OKRA (Dec 22 - Jan 20): Although you appear crude, you are actually very slick on the inside. Okras have tremendous influence. An older Okra can look back over his life and see the seeds of his influence everywhere. Stay away from Moon Pies.

CHITLIN (Jan 21 - Feb 19): Chitlins come from humble backgrounds. A chitlin, however, can make something of himself if he’s motivated and has lots of seasoning. In dealing with Chitlins, be careful. They can erupt like Vesuvius. Chitlins are best with Catfish and Okra.

[Editor’s note. I confess to being a lazy editor today. If this were my list, I would have said “his or her life” and “his or her influence” and “can make something of himself or herself” and “if he or she is motivated” in the last two paragraphs even though it would drive some of you crazy. But I’m letting it stay the way I received it. Fortunately (both for me and for you), the writer changed to second person starting with the next paragraph. --RWP]

BOLL WEEVIL (Feb 20 - Mar 20): You have an overwhelming curiosity. You’re unsatisfied with the surface of things, and you feel the need to bore deep into the interior of everything. Needless to say, you are very intense and driven as if you had some inner hunger. Nobody in their right mind is going to marry you, so don’t worry about it.

[Editor’s note. You can tell I didn’t write this; I do know that a pronoun should agree with its antecedent in person and number. I would never say “nobody in their right mind.” I would say, well, you know. --RWP]

MOON PIE (Mar 21 - April 20): You’re the type that spends a lot of time on the front porch. It’s a cinch to recognize the physical appearance of Moon Pies. Big and round are the key words here. You should marry anybody who you can get remotely interested in the idea. It’s not going to be easy. This might be the year to think about aerobics. Maybe not.

POSSUM (Apr 21 - May 21): When confronted with life’s difficulties, possums have a marked tendency to withdraw and develop a don’t-bother-me-about-it attitude. Sometimes you become so withdrawn, people actually think you're dead. This strategy is probably not psychologically healthy, but seems to work for you. One day, however, it won’t work and you may find your problems actually running you over.

CRAWFISH (May 22 - June 21): Crawfish is a water sign. If you work in an office, you’re always hanging around the water cooler. Crawfish prefer the beach to the mountains, the pool to the golf course, the bathtub to the living room. You tend to be not particularly attractive physically, but you have very, very good heads.

COLLARDS (June 22 - July 23): Collards have a genius for communication. They love to get in the “melting pot” of life and share their essence with the essence of those around them. Collards make good social workers, psychologists, and baseball managers. As far as your personal life goes, if you are Collards, stay away from Moon Pies. It just won’t work. Save yourself a lot of heartache.

CATFISH (July 24 - Aug 23): Catfish are traditionalists in matters of the heart, although one’s whiskers may cause problems for loved ones. You catfish are never easy people to understand. You prefer the muddy bottoms to the clear surface of life.

GRITS (Aug 24 - Sept 23): Your highest aim is to be with others like yourself. You like to huddle together with a big crowd of other Grits. You love to travel though, so maybe you should think about joining a club. Where do you like to go? Anywhere they have cheese or gravy or bacon or butter or eggs. If you can go somewhere where they have all these things, that serves you well.

BOILED PEANUTS (Sept 24 - Oct 23): You have a passionate desire to help your fellow man. Unfortunately, those who know you best -- your friends and loved ones -- may find that your personality is much too salty, and their criticism will probably affect you deeply because you are really much softer than you appear. You should go right ahead and marry anybody you want to because in a certain way, yours is a charmed life. On the road of life, you can be sure that people will always pull over and stop for you.

BUTTER BEAN (Oct 24 - Nov 22): Always invite a Butter Bean because Butter Beans get along well with everybody. You, as a Butter Bean, should be proud. You’ve grown on the vine of life and you feel at home no matter what the setting. You can sit next to anybody. However, you shouldn’t have anything to do with Moon Pies.

ARMADILLO (Nov 23 - Dec 21): You have a tendency to develop a tough exterior, but you are actually quite gentle. A good evening for you? Old friends, a fire, some roots, fruit, worms and insects. You are a throwback. You’re not concerned with today’s fashions and trends. You’re not concerned with anything about today. You’re really almost prehistoric in your interests and behavior patterns. You probably want to marry another Armadillo, but Possum is another mating possibility.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dr. Seuss, Elizabeth Taylor, and Gerard Manley Hopkins

What do those three have in common? What links them together? What makes them share space in the title of this post?

The answer to all three questions, friends, is simple:


The real Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born on March 2, 1904 -- belated happy birthday greetings -- and died on September 24, 1991, at the age of 87.

Elizabeth Taylor, who was often called The Most Beautiful Woman In The World, was born on February 27, 1932, and died this week, on March 23, 2011, at the age of 79.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, an English poet of the nineteenth century, was not so long-lived. He was born on July 28, 1844, and died on June 8, 1889, at the age of 44.

You may be thinking Sic transit gloria mundi. Then again, you may not.

Here comes the tie-in.

Yesterday, the day of Elizabeth Rosamund Taylor Hilton Wilding Todd Fisher Burton Burton Warner Fortensky’s funeral at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California, Mrs. Rhymeswithplague and I saw a live performance of Seussical, the musical, in Kennesaw, Georgia. If you ever have an opportunity to see Seussical, I highly recommend that you do. It is delightful.

The last time Mrs. Rhymeswithplague and I attended the theater was several years ago at Theater on the Square in Marietta, Georgia, where we saw You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown. I think I detect some sort of pattern here, but that is irrelevant.

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a noted convert to Roman Catholicism. Ms. Taylor, an acknowledged beauty, was a noted convert to Judaism. Yesterday at the funeral of The Most Beautiful Woman In The World her friend, actor Colin Ferrell, read “The Leaden Echo and The Golden Echo” by Gerard Manley Hopkins. Actually, they are two related poems that are usually read together as one. Here they are:

The Leaden Echo

How to keep — is there any any, is there none such, nowhere known some, bow or brooch or braid or brace, lace, latch or catch or key to keep
Back beauty, keep it, beauty, beauty, . . . from vanishing away?
O is there no frowning of these wrinkles, ranked wrinkles deep,
Down? no waving off of these most mournful messengers, still messengers, sad and stealing messengers of grey?
No there’s none, there’s none, O no there’s none,
Nor can you long be, what you now are, called fair,
Do what you may do, what, do what you may,
And wisdom is early to despair:
Be beginning; since, no, nothing can be done
To keep at bay
Age and age’s evils, hoar hair,
Ruck and wrinkle, drooping, dying, death’s worst, winding sheets, tombs and worms and tumbling to decay;
So be beginning, be beginning to despair.
O there’s none; no no no there’s none:
Be beginning to despair, to despair,
Despair, despair, despair, despair.

The Golden Echo

There is one, yes I have one (Hush there!);
Only not within seeing of the sun,
Not within the singeing of the strong sun,
Tall sun’s tingeing, or treacherous the tainting of the earth’s air,
Somewhere elsewhere there is ah well where! one,
One. Yes I can tell such a key, I do know such a place,
Where whatever’s prized and passes of us, everything that’s fresh and fast flying of us, seems to us sweet of us and swiftly away with, done away with, undone,
Undone, done with, soon done with, and yet dearly and dangerously sweet
Of us, the wimpled-water-dimpled, not-by-morning-matched face,
The flower of beauty, fleece of beauty, too too apt to, ah! to fleet,
Never fleets more, fastened with the tenderest truth
To its own best being and its loveliness of youth: it is an everlastingness of, O it is an all youth!
Come then, your ways and airs and looks, locks, maiden gear, gallantry and gaiety and grace,
Winning ways, airs innocent, maiden manners, sweet looks, loose locks, long locks, lovelocks, gaygear, going gallant, girlgrace —
Resign them, sign them, seal them, send them, motion them with breath,
And with sighs soaring, soaring sighs deliver
Them; beauty-in-the-ghost, deliver it, early now, long before death
Give beauty back, beauty, beauty, beauty, back to God, beauty’s self and beauty’s giver.
See; not a hair is, not an eyelash, not the least lash lost; every hair
Is, hair of the head, numbered.
Nay, what we had lighthanded left in surly the mere mould
Will have waked and have waxed and have walked with the wind what while we slept,
This side, that side hurling a heavyheaded hundredfold
What while we, while we slumbered.
O then, weary then whý should we tread? O why are we so haggard at the heart, so care-coiled, care-killed, so fagged, so fashed, so cogged, so cumbered,
When the thing we freely forfeit is kept with fonder a care,
Fonder a care kept than we could have kept it, kept
Far with fonder a care (and we, we should have lost it) finer, fonder
A care kept. — Where kept? Do but tell us where kept, where. —
Yonder. — What high as that! We follow, now we follow. — Yonder, yes yonder, yonder,

--Gerard Manley Hopkins

(AP Photo)

Now might be a good time to say it: Sic transit gloria mundi.

It might also be a good time to quote Horton the Elephant:

“A persons’s a person, no matter how small.”

To complete today’s daily devotional trifecta, let us read Proverbs 31:30 in the New International Version: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”

I’m no longer talking about Elizabeth Taylor, friends. I’m talking about Mrs. Rhymeswithplague.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Science was never my best subject.

I have made a major mistake. A big boo-boo. A faux pas (supply your own adjective). Not only do I apologize profusely, but I also repent in sackcloth and ashes.

In my previous post, I suggested that you would have to turn either your head or your computer 90 degrees to the right to see my birthday cake properly.


Well, I was wrong. A thousand pardons. Actually, I was half wrong. Make that 500 pardons.

You do have to turn your head 90 degrees to the right, but you have to turn your computer 90 degrees to the left.

Wait, is that right?

The problem is that you are facing your computer and your computer is facing you. It would have been just as accurate to tell you to turn the computer 90 degrees to its right, which would be to your left, actually.

I hesitate to use the terms clockwise and counter-clockwise in this discussion because it all depends on your point of reference. If you are a clock, facing me, then clockwise actually means counter-clockwise.

I trust that you are not a clock.

In the end, though, the most important thing to remember is this:

All’s well that ends well.

William Shakespeare said that. Or maybe it was Christopher Marlowe.

Literature was not my best subject either.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

As Snow White said when she mailed her film to Rochester* to be developed,...

“Some day my prints will come.”

That joke is so old that it has died a natural death and the younger folk have no idea what I’m even talking about. And, yes, I just split another infinitive.

Anyhoo, below are three photographs taken at my 70th birthday bash, which was held at my older son’s home last Sunday afternoon, a couple of days into my 71st year so that the crowd from Alabamistan could attend.

To see the second photograph properly, you will have to turn either your head or your computer 90 degrees to the right, but it simply can’t be helped. If you have a desktop instead of a laptop, my sincerest apologies. My cake had 14 candles (one for every five years?) and I blew them all out in one breath. This aerial view of my cake is reminiscent of what the crew of the Enola Gay must have experienced as they flew over Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945. I’m not quite old enough to remember that, but almost, plus my sense of humor is definitely warped. The younger crowd, the ones who don’t know about photographic film or the Enola Gay, will probably think of Google Earth instead.

The third photo, the pièce de résistance in my opinion, shows why I want to live to be at least 100. (Hint: So I can have a photograph made with my wife and great-grandchildren.)

*Rochester, New York, is the headquarters of Eastman Kodak.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quote of the day

“The calla lilies are in bloom again. Such a strange flower, suitable to any occasion. I carried them on my wedding day, and now I place them here in memory of something that has died...Have you gathered here to mourn, or are you here to bring me comfort?...I’ve learned something about love that I never knew before. That I never knew before. You speak of love when it’s too late. Help should come to people when they need it. Why are we always so helpful to each other when it’s no longer any use?...This is my home. This is where I belong. Love was in this house once, and for me it will always be here, nowhere else...One should always listen closely when people say goodbye because sometimes they’re, they’re really saying farewell.”
..................-- Katherine Hepburn in Stage Door Canteen (1943)

(Click anywhere on the quotation for the full treatment.)

People around my age may spot Adolphe Menjou in the wings and Ginger Rogers in the audience.

Okay, so maybe it isn’t “Fourscore and seven years ago” or “Veni, vidi, vici” but it ranks right up there with “I am not a crook”....

It’s just my opinion, but that was one president who should have said farewell a little sooner.

A final thought: Katherine Hepburn’s emotion, though quite effective, was obviously artificial, but Mrs. Nixon’s was very real.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A is for apoplectic, E is for extraterrestrial, M is for Münchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSbP)

Today is the 70th anniversary of my first glimpse of planet Earth and vice versa. If I have amassed threescore and ten big ones, can fourscore and seven be far behind? Abraham Lincoln, eat your heart out. Perhaps, like my cousin who used to live there, I will have a Gettysburg address of my own one day.

It’s my party, and I’ll cry if post what I want to. It doesn’t have to make sense. You can’t make me make sense.

Here are some bits of flotsam and jetsam, comments actually, that I left scattered around the blogosphere recently as my birthday approached:

“It has become practically an article of faith among certain people in the U.S.A. that while whites are undoubtedly racist concerning blacks, it is impossible for blacks to be racist concerning whites. The reason given is that racism is by definition the suppression of, oppression of, or denial of rights to persons of a minority group by persons of the majority group. Therefore, members of the minority group cannot possibly be racist in their views, speech, or behavior. This seems to me to be a very inadequate and flawed definition of racism, which clearly operates in both directions.” (United Kingdom)

[Note. Why can’t we just make beautiful music together the way Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder did in this video? --RWP]

“I hope one day to be as wealthy as you Brits and be able to afford my very own creative writing tutor. Until then, I will muck along with the help of a few active verbs and a handful of eager adjectives. (United Kingdom)

[Note. And an online copy of Strunk’s The Elements of Style. --RWP]

“Did I ever mention that I watched Biff Pocoroba up close and personal in his rookie-year spring training in West Palm Beach in 1975? The fact that in later years, in order to get to the church we attended after we moved to Atlanta, we had to drive past Dale Murphy's house every week never dimmed the luster of that 1975 spring training!” (California)

“When I was a boy we had a little flock of White Leghorns, Black Dominicks, speckled Dominicks, and a Rhode Island Red or two. My dad placed a white porcelain doorknob in each nest to encourage the hens (I started to say ‘give them something to shoot at’ but I thought better of it.)” (The Netherlands)

(Photo courtesy of Tony Northrup at

“I know I’m thinking of calla lilies and not your canna lilies, but Katherine Hepburn comes to mind (‘The calla lilies are in bloom again...’ from Stage Door Canteen). Our area finally has a few jonquils here and there, and we spotted some forsythia, a couple of tulip trees in full splendor, and even some cherry blossoms hereabouts. I do hope the winter is over.” (Arkansas)

[Note. If you simply cannot get enough of listening to Katherine Hepburn talk about herself, then this (9:05) and this (9:56) and this (9:40) and this (9:52) are definitely for you. There are two more segments, but you get the idea. If a single photograph of Katherine will do, look in the dictionary under “self-absorbed.” --RWP]

“I have no idea who Michael Schumacher is, but there’s something obviously wrong with a country where the Queen Mother’s teeth should have been in a sports figure’s head, and the sports figure’s teeth should have been in the Queen Mother’s head.” (United Kingdom)

[Note. On second thought, we should all live to be nearly 102, regardless of the condition of our teeth. --RWP]

“Just once I would like to encounter a schoolroom where the alphabet chart says A is for anachronism, B is for bituminous, C is for charlatan, D is for demonic, E is for effervescent, and so forth....” (United Kingdom)

I feel so much better now.

I’m really not crazy, just giddy at having reached this milestone.

Let’s have some cake.

(Copyrighted Photo by Christophe Verdier)

What, leaving so soon?

Perhaps a better question is: How did that white cake turn into a chocolate one?

Monday, March 14, 2011

You know what they say about idle hands.

Got six minutes to spare? You can learn to knit.

Begin now (6:05).

As an added bonus (a redundancy if I ever saw one), you will also learn how to bore yourself silly.

According to a woman in New Zealand, though, your new skill will help reverse global warming climate change and dramatically decrease seismic activity.

If you don’t believe me, take it up with her.

Whatever you do, though, once you've started, don’t stop knitting.

The planet is counting on you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My neighbor Rube came through again.

The following are Universal Laws that everybody knows, and if they don’t [know them], they should:

[Note: Please do not write to say that a pronoun must agree with its antecedent in person and number. My readers have more important stuff on their minds, such as remembering that a preposition is a word you should never end a sentence with. --RWP]

Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you’ll suddenly have to pee.

Law of Gravity: Any tool, nut, bolt, or screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability: The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers: If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

Variation Law: If you change lines or traffic lanes, the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

Law of the Bath: When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the Theater and Sporting Arena At any event, the people whose seats are farthest from the aisle always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or game. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance or game. The aisle people also are very surly folk.

The Coffee Law: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something that will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy’s Law of Lockers: If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance: If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

Oliver’s Law of Public Speaking: Some people are born with a silver foot in their mouth, and some people open their mouths only to exchange feet. A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy: As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Doctors’ Law: If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor; by the time you get there you’ll feel better. If you don’t make an appointment, you’ll stay sick.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You gotta see this...

Blogland doesn’t get much better than this!

Too bad Sam doesn’t post more often....

Quote of the day (x 4)

“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
....................................................................-- Edward R. Murrow

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.”
....................................................................-- Thomas Jefferson

“Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.”
....................................................................-- Ronald Reagan

“It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless
minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”
....................................................................-- Samuel Adams

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Pluto, Pluto, wherefore art thou, Pluto?

The eight planets of our solar system, this week at least, in no particular order, are:

1. Jupiter, (n.), the planet fifth in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 88,729 mi. (142,796 km), a mean distance from the sun of 483.6 million mi. (778.3 million km), a period of revolution of 11.86 years, and at least 14 moons. It is the largest planet.

2. Mercury, (n.), the planet nearest the sun, having a diameter of 3031 mi. (4878 km), a mean distance from the sun of 36 million mi. (57.9 million km), and a period of revolution of 87.96 days, and having no satellites: the smallest planet in the solar system.

3. Neptune, (n.), the planet eighth in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 30,200 mi. (48,600 km), a mean distance from the sun of 2794.4 million mi. (4497.1 million km), a period of revolution of 164.81 years, and two moons.

4. Saturn, (n.), the planet sixth in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 74,600 mi. (120,000 km), a mean distance from the sun of 886.7 million mi. (1427 million km), a period of revolution of 29.46 years, and 21 known moons. It is the second largest planet.

5. Uranus, (n.), the planet seventh in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 32,600 miles (56,460 km), a mean distance from the sun of 1,784 million miles (2,871 million km), a period of revolution of 84.07 years, and 15 moons.

6. Venus, (n.), the planet second in order from the sun, having an equatorial diameter of 7521 miles (12,104 km), a mean distance from the sun of 67.2 million miles (108.2 million km), a period of revolution of 224.68 days, and no moons. It is the most brilliant planet.

7. Mars, (n.), the planet fourth in order from the sun, having a diameter of 4222 miles (6794 km), a mean distance from the sun of 141.6 million miles (227.9 million km), a period of revolution of 686.95 days, and two moons.

8. Earth, (n.), our home, the third planet from the sun.

What happened to poor old Pluto shouldn’t happen to a dog (7:55).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The budding meteorologists were obviously Too Busy Looking Out The Window at clouds to pay Attention the day capitalization was Covered In Grammar Class.

The following showed up in my e-mail this morning and I felt transported back Into The Eighteenth Century:

The National Weather Service in peachtree city has issued a Flood watch for portions of north central Georgia, Northeast Georgia and northwest Georgia. From Wednesday morning through Thursday afternoon Showers and a few thunderstorms with moderate to heavy rainfall are expected too move into northwest Georgia early Wednesday morning in association with a strong upper-level system. Moderate to heavy rain will then spread across the remainder of north Georgia during the day Wednesday. Rainfall totals will average 2 to 3 inches across north Georgia, With Locally Higher amounts possible.

The soil across north Georgia is saturated from recent rainfall. The additional expected rainfall will result in considerable runoff into area rivers, Creeks, And Streams. Several creeks, Especially In Northwest Georgia, Are Already At bankfull or in minor flood. Many of these same creeks and streams, As Well As additional ones, Will Likely Reach or exceed flood stage Wednesday through early Thursday.

Precautionary/preparedness actions, A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecast. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Ye All have been Duly Warned. I remain

Yr obdt svt,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I can't help it; I was raised in Texas.

One hundred seventy-five years ago today, this place became hallowed ground:

(Copyrighted photo by Daniel Schwen)

You can read all about it -- probably more than you care to -- here.

And if you do, you will know who this woman is:

Friday, March 4, 2011

E-mail of the month and perhaps of the year

I tried very hard not to forward the following e-mail, but because it helped my perspective and made me feel much better I thought perhaps it would do as much for you. It’s tough, but we all need to do our part.


The President recently ordered his cabinet to cut the $3.5 trillion federal budget by a whopping one hundred million dollars.

I was so impressed by this sacrifice that I decided to do the same thing with my personal budget. I spend about $4,000 a month on housing, groceries, medicine, utility bills, clothing, entertainment, and so forth, and now it’s time to get out my own budget cutting axe, go line by line through my expenses, and get to work.

I decided to cut my spending at exactly the same ratio the President did, a whole 1/35,000th of my total budget. After doing the math, it looks like instead of spending $4,000 a month, I’m going to have to move that number downward by eleven cents!

Yes, I know that’s a lot. Somehow I must get by with only $3,999.89, but that is what sacrifice is all about.

The President has requested that we get some of our own “skin in the game” with everyone else. So we’ll just have to do without some things that, quite frankly, are luxuries those eleven cents normally buy us.

From now on, I will be putting a little less lemon in my iced tea!

I hope this helps brighten your day and gives you a little better understanding of just how serious our President really is.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My swimming horse needs a paraffin ski lamp.

That’s what reader Yorkshire Pudding, late of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, and currently teaching school in Thailand, thinks the title of my last post (aByde SnOik huvEo tpot voXuw) might mean in Latvian.

Pat, a reader in Arkansas, said it reminded her a bit of the code used in Dr. Hudson’s Secret Journal by Lloyd C. Douglas.

Both guesses are imaginative and, as luck would have it, both are 100% wrong.

It can now be revealed -- cue the trumpets for ruffles and flourishes, please -- that aByde SnOik huvEo tpot voXuw is the closest you can come to duplicating the beautiful dips and swirls of the lowercase letters of the Greek alphabet using only your computer’s regular QWERTY keyboard.

Here’s proof:

Didn’t I tell you it would be obvious?

In other news, CCCP refers to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), as an English-letter imitation of the Cyrillic Russian initialism СССР [SSSR], which stands for Союз Советских Социалистических Республик [Soyuz Sovyetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik].

The very sharp-eyed and retentive among you (I do not say anal) will now be able to determine correctly that Soyuz, the name Russians have given to many of their spacecraft, means Union.

No matter how thin you slice it, though, it’s all Greek to me.

I believe that is what is called a mixed metaphor.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot that not be enough trivia for you for one day, keep reading.

Duncan Renaldo was the actor who played the Cisco Kid many moons ago in several western movies and an American television series called, oddly enough, The Cisco Kid. Duncan Renaldo was only his stage name. His real name was (wait for it) Renaldo Duncan. The part of Pancho was played by Leo Carillo, who was seven-eighths carillon.

On a closing note (pardon the pun), if you can listen to all nine minutes and four seconds of this carillon recital without your eyes rolling back in your head, both you and your swimming horse will definitely need a paraffin ski lamp.

Oh, Cisco! Oh, Pancho!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

aByde SnOik huvEo tpot voXuw

Anybody care to hazard a guess what this post’s title is all about?

Hint: It is not a coded message from my follower bARE-eYED-sUN, nor is it a meaningless collection of orthographical flotsam and jetsam. It is quite uncharitable of you even to suggest it.

When I tell you (in my next post), it will seem so obvious.

P.S. - This, my 700th post, is fairly representative, I think. All of my previous posts are at least as lucid, relevant, and enlightening as this one, not to mention entertaining as all get out.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where did everybody go?

I’m disappointed that no one chose to play my little game. Me, I thought it was fascinating. Here are the actual names of the 29 towns:

1. Ball Ground*
2. Blue Ridge*
3. Cave Spring*
4. Locust Grove*
5. Sunny Side
6. College Park*
7. Dock Junction
8. Druid Hills*
9. Five Forks
10. Flowery Branch*
11. Lookout Mountain*
12. Mineral Bluff*
13. Powder Springs*
14. Pine Mountain*
15. Rocky Face*
16. Radium Springs
17. Sandy Springs*
18. Sea Island
19. Social Circle
20. Stone Mountain*
21. Sugar Hill*
22. Sugar Valley
23. Tallulah Falls*
24. The Rock
25. Tunnel Hill*
26. Twin Lakes*
27. Ty Ty
28. Villa Rica*
29. Young Harris*

And if you visit every last one of them, there’s still Fairplay and Hopeful* and Constitution and Hephzibah and Beulah and Talking Rock* and Between* and Washington and Jefferson and Monticello and Climax* and Needmore and even Stillmore left to visit.

I have placed an asterisk next to places I have visited.

<b> Mundane is also a word</b>

My blogger friend Rachel Phillips is currently in the midst of a series of posts (three so far) about a trip she took with her friends Liz...