Tuesday, November 29, 2011

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

This past Sunday evening, the first Sunday in Advent, Mrs. RWP and I sat down with ten other families in our church’s fellowship hall and made Advent wreaths. The one we made looks not unlike the one in the photograph above if you take away everything red or gold. Then each family lit one purple candle and our pastor led in several prayers to which we responded, “Lord, have mercy” and we sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and after our pastor spoke for a little while we all repeated the Lord’s Prayer together. It was a sweet time.

We were encouraged to take our Advent wreaths home with us and on succeeding Sunday evenings during Advent to light two candles, then three (the third one, pink, represents joy), and so forth, until the evening the Christ Child is born.

“Ho hum,” you may be saying. “Same old same old. So what?”

So what is that it is not same old same old for us. This is the first time in both of our 70+ years that either of us has ever observed Advent. We both have been Christians for most of those years, but we attended churches that considered observance of Advent unnecessary, superfluous, meaningless, an empty tradition.

We have discovered that we disagree. We find it beautiful and inspiring, with the emphasis in exactly the right place -- anticipating with hope and joy the coming of the Redeemer.

Here is an essay (it happens to have been written by a Roman Catholic writer) called “The End of Advent” that is worth reading. It first appeared in 2007.

This year, let’s not be so eager for the Christmas goodies (I can almost hear the seagulls in Finding Nemo crying, “Mine! Mine!” as they dive for fish) that we miss Advent.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us (in more ways than one)

...we have a whole month of stuff like this (3:44) to look forward to.

I dislike “The Little Drummer Boy” (advocates salvation by works) and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (doesn't mention Bethlehem in 6 B.C. even once) and the barking dogs version of “Jingle Bells” (links general non-religious midwinter activities with University of Georgia football fans everywhere), but I especially abhor renditions of “O Holy Night” by the untalented. This one, however, is a definite put-on and had me laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my face. But it could have been real. That is the really scary part. Only later did it occur to me that enjoying it so much might be sacrilegious.

In case you too are wondering, I have installed lightning rods over my little portion of Blogland.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Who are you thanking?

Listen. Watch. The Lincoln Minster School Choir makes it clear (2:26).

The song “Now Thank We All Our God” (a translation from the German “Nun danket alle Gott”) is a Christian hymn that was written circa 1636 by Lutheran pastor Martin Rinkart (1586–1649) in Eilenberg, Saxony, Germany. It was translated into English in the 19th Century by Catherine Winkworth.

Martin Rinkart came to Eilenburg, Saxony at the beginning of the Thirty Years War. The walled city became the refuge for political and military fugitives, but the result was overcrowding, and deadly pestilence and famine. Armies overran it three times. The Rinkart home was a refuge for victims, even though he was often hard-pressed to provide for his own family. During the height of a severe plague in 1637, Rinkart was the only surviving pastor of four who had served Eilenberg, and he conducted as many as 50 funerals in a day. He performed more than 4000 funerals in that year, including that of his wife.

Still he could write:

Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

In tough economic times, in times of political unrest and terroristic threats, in war, famine, pestilence, and even the face of death, can we do less?

[Editor's note. Just for the record, I wrote this post a day or two before this presidential faux pas occurred. President Obama should have been reading my blog. -- RWP, Nov. 26, 2011]

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A penny for your thoughts

Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor by William Halsall (1882)

Wikipedia has this to say about the Mayflower:

“The Mayflower was the ship that transported the English Separatists, better known as the Pilgrims, from a site near the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts, (which would become the capital of Plymouth Colony), in 1620. There were 102 passengers and a crew of 25–30.

“The vessel left England on September 6, 1620 (Old Style)/ September 16 (New Style), and after a grueling 66-day journey marked by disease, which claimed two lives, the ship dropped anchor inside the hook tip of Cape Cod (Provincetown Harbor) on November 11/November 21. The Mayflower was originally destined for the mouth of the Hudson River, near present-day New York City, at the northern edge of England’s Virginia colony, which itself was established with the 1607 Jamestown Settlement. However, the Mayflower went off course as the winter approached, and remained in Cape Cod Bay. On March 21/31, 1621, all surviving passengers, who had inhabited the ship during the winter, moved ashore at Plymouth, and on April 5/15, the Mayflower, a privately commissioned vessel, returned to England. In 1623, a year after the death of captain Christopher Jones, the Mayflower was most likely dismantled for scrap timber in Rotherhithe, London.

“The Mayflower has a famous place in American history as a symbol of early European colonization of the future United States. According to popular history, English Dissenters called Pilgrims undertook the voyage to escape religious persecution in England. The story of the Mayflower as symbol of religious freedom is a staple of any American history textbook.”

I’ve saved the best for last.

Here is a list of the passengers.

Now here’s that penny...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Old songs are good

...but sometimes new ones are even better.

Here’s a new Christmas carol by a man named Donald Moore. He wrote it in 2010.

“Carol of the Star” (2:39)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Here are our old friends, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

...singing another of my favorite Christmas carols. This one is from Poland, and it is called “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.” (4:10)

Listen closely to the words, as they apply all year ’round, not just at the Christmas season...

They even apply on Thanksgiving Day when you’re stuffing yourself with turkey.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I know I’m rushing the season

...but I think every day should be Christmas.

I love the poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rossetti (1830 - 1894).

I love the tune called CRANHAM.

I love that CRANHAM was composed by Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934) during the time he lived in Cranham, a village in Gloucestershire, England, in a house now known as Midwinter.

I love that Rossetti’s poem has been set to Holst’s tune.

I love the sound made by the choir and congregation of Gloucester Cathedral (3:29).

I love that even though Israel is a land of warmth and palm trees and that the three wise men or magi or kings or whatever they were are always pictured as riding on camels across arid deserts, Christians in northern climes have managed to project their winter weather patterns into the Christmas story.

I love that Jesus was probably born in March or April, since spring -- the time lambs are usually born -- was the only time of year that shepherds stayed in the fields all night to assist the ewes rather than herding the flocks into the sheepfolds, and that early Christians chose to observe the birth of the Savior in December because they were less likely to be detected while the Roman Empire was celebrating Saturnalia.

If you love any of these things, even though it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet, click anywhere on this post.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Riddles science has not been able to solve

Why Putz types with his fists and elbows instead of his fingers.

Why there is (are?) both chocolate and vanilla.

Why the San Francisco Forty-niners coaches moved rookie Bruce Miller from defensive lineman, the position he played during his entire collegiate career at the University of Central Florida, to offensive back.

Why Kim Kardashian married that basketball dude and then divorced him after only 72 days of wedded bliss.

The effect of wellch Welsh poetry on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.

How The Learning Channel gets away with broadcasting programs like Sister Wives and Hoarders and American Muslims and Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss.

Whether the person who put the tribbles in the quadritriticale was related to the person who put the overalls in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder.

Why Frances Garrood, English writer, isn’t richer and even more famous.

Monday, November 14, 2011


...and I mean vERY fEW read this blog.

Another quarter has been heard from, and when I say another quarter I mean Putz. The Putz. Mr. David H. Barlow of Ephraim/ Manti/Tooele (pick one), Utah.

His blog, I would say, is an acquired taste. Much like mine. Much like yours, probably.

On October 31st, Putz entered the following qwertygram (and it was quite good) into our little contest:

........quiz wizz erneszt rutgerts totally yaps under icky
........octopusses putting albatrosses summerially destroyed
........forever, joking karl laughs zealously creating vibes
........BADLY near manchester

but then, strangely and for no good reason that I could discern, he became embarrassed and decided to withdraw from Blogworld altogether because an English writer named Frances Garrood had also submitted a qwertygram. Putz left another comment on my blog:

........oh oh oh no i have just embarassed myself by publishing
........a comment below someone as famous as frances, the most
........well know author in all of england{at least to me she is}
........how will i ever live this down with all my miss spelling ........grammatical fopahs and mouth wide open with my foot
........in it<><><>that does it, i am through talking through
........posts blogs and comments<><>goodby world

and he returned to his own blog and posted the following:

Oct 31, 2011
goodby world, see ryhymes with bob for reason

which I’m pretty sure regular readers of his blog but not of mine probably found very puzzling. He has posted nothing since, except to join Carolina and Jinksy in voting “yes” to the question of whether I should start my pole dancing career as soon as possible and post photos of my pole dancing actions.

Until now.

Yesterday, in a comment on his own post, Putz said:

when i say goodbtworld see bob for a reason, it might very well be his train of thought lately.,,.,.this wellch poetry seems to appeal to very few normal people><<>.,vERY fEW nORMALA peopLPLEPLE


I must confess that this has left me perplexed. On the one hand, Putz accuses you, my readers, of not being nORMALA peopLPLEPLE [sic] but on the other hand he turns around and says he is intrigued with some of my newest commentors, many of whom, I hasten to point out, actually seemed to enjoy my wellch [sic] poetry post.

Honestly, there is just no pleasing some peopLPLEPLE people.

But I say let bygones be bygones. Let’s all hie ourselves over to Putz’s blog and leave comments encouraging him to return to our cold (I do not say cruel) corner of Blogworld, because he is sorely missed.

And if you should find Putz’s blogging style difficult to follow at times, keep plugging away at it. It has a way of growing on you. Eventually it will even make sense.

P.S. -- I have decided that what Putz meant is that ALL of you are perfectly normal, but that TOO FEW of you, only 84 at present, follow my blog. Also, I would point out that miss spellings and grammatical fopahs do not make a person either normal or abnormal, just intriguing.

If I am wrong, I do not wish to be corrected.

And if you ask me, the only one around here who isn’t normal is quiz wizz erneszt rutgerts.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Your feet sure do show it ’cause they’re Longfellows*

Lots of bloggers are blogging today about Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in the U.K. and I thought I would do something different, something to get your mind off yesterday’s post, something a little more suited for the parlors of ladies and gentlemen everywhere -- poetry!

Not just any poetry, mind you. Esoteric forms of Welsh poetry.

Yes, you read that correctly. Esoteric forms of Welsh poetry.

[Editor’s note. That asterisk at the end of the title of this post is there to remind me to tell you that when I was young we had a little ditty reserved for those special moments when someone would be talking and inadvertently make a little rhyme. We would chant: “You’re a poet and don’t know it, but your feet sure do show it ’cause they're Longfellows” and then we would laugh and laugh. --RWP]

I discovered a blog the other day called Imaginary Garden With Real Toads and on it a post called I Gymryd Anadl. It introduced me to the toddaid, a type of Welsh poem. In case you didn’t know it, there are many types of Welsh poems.

Poking around in Wikipedia, I also found an entry called Traditional Welsh Poetic Meters where I learned that the traditional Welsh poetic meters consist of twenty-four different types of poetic meter, called Y Pedwar Mesur ar Hugain. They are all written in cynghanedd of varying degrees of complexity.

Say what?

Although called “traditional,” they were compiled -- and later redefined at least once -- in the Late Middle Ages and omit some of the older forms such as the englyn milwr. Only a few of them were widely used by the professional poets (Beirdd yr Uchelwyr), and the use of some of the more complicated ones is confined to occasional poems of technical virtuosity dating to the end of the Middle Ages.

I know you miss the englyn milwr as much as I do, and also the Beirdd yr Uchelwyr.

As I was saying, there are twenty-four traditional Welsh poetic meters. You just know I am now going to tell you what they are:

1. Awdl-gywydd
2. Byr-a-thoddaid
3. Cadwynfyr
4. Clogyrnach
5. Cyhydedd Fer
6. Cyhydedd Hir
7. Cyhydedd Naw Ban
8. Cyrch-a-chwta
9. Cywydd Deuair Fyrion
10. Cywydd Deuair Hirion
11. Cywydd Llosgyrnog
12. Englyn Proest Cyfnewidiog
13. Englyn Proest Cadwynog
14. Englyn Unodl Crwca
15. Englyn Unodl Union
16. Gorchest Beirdd
17. Gwawdodyn Byr
18. Gwawdodyn Hir
19. Hir-a-thoddaid
20. Rhupunt Byr
21. Rhupunt Hir
22. Rhupunt Hwyaf
23. Tawddgyrch Cadwynog
24. Toddaid

See how erudite we are becoming?

We will ignore the first 23 of the traditional Welsh poetic meters, however, and examine only the last one, number 24, the Toddaid.

Thanks be to God.

A toddaid is a couplet (two lines) of uneven length, often written in quatrain (four-line) form. In each couplet, line one contains ten syllables and line two contains nine syllables. The rhyme is internal (occurring at a place other than at the end of the line). Specifically, the fifth syllable of the first line must rhyme with the fourth syllable of the second line in each couplet. When the toddaid is extended into quatrain form (two couplets), there must also be an end rhyme in the final syllables of lines two and four.

Isn’t that simple?

Let’s review.

Here is the pattern for the couplet, where each character represents a syllable and the capital letters represent the syllables that rhyme:


Here is the pattern for the quatrain form:


Got that?

By now, following the pattern, anyone (even you) should be able to write a toddaid.

Therefore, give it the old college try and then show your fellow victims readers the result in the comments section.

Oh, one other thing. Since I am a caring and compassionate person, I hereby suspend the requirement that the toddaid be created in the Welsh language. For this little exercise, we will use English. Teacher’s pet Carolina in Nederland is the sole exception. She may write her toddaid in Dutch if she likes, but she must then translate it into English, making sure to maintain the required number of syllables and the rhyme scheme.

Here’s a toddaid of my own:

[Editor’s note 2. Are you kidding? I ain’t got no time to come up with no fool toddaid. As for the example of one that appeared on that I Gymryd Anadl post:

For we must not hide from the coming day,
locked away, far from the living earth;
The whole of humanity must be joined,
and each value the coin of rebirth.

it has the correct number of syllables in each line as well as the required end-rhymes of the second and fourth lines, but it does
NOT contain either of the required internal rhymes in the couplets (well, it does, but not in the syllables indicated), so it is technically not a toddaid, I don’t care what I Gymryd Anadl says. --RWP]

[Editor’s note 3. If this post doesn’t drive away those dadblamed devotees of pole dancing (notice the alliteration, class), nothing will. --RWP]

[Editor’s note 4. Do not grumble and complain about today’s writing assignment. Just remember, I could have asked you to write cynghanedd of varying degrees of complexity. --RWP]

[Editor’s note 5. Writing a toddaid is an act done on purpose. No one has ever inadvertently written a toddaid, not even people with big feet. --RWP]

[Editor’s note 6. I believe I have set a new personal record for editor’s notes in a single post. --RWP]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The voters have spoken

(Photo by Elislike, used under the terms of GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)

Note. My personal code prevents me from doing anything illegal, immoral, or fattening. This squeaked in under the wire.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vote early and often

Yesterday I was a poll worker (and not, as my daughter-in-law’s mother thought, a pole dancer) here in Cherokee County once again. Although I served at the Macedonia precinct last November, this time I was assigned to the Dixie precinct, which is called that not out of some lingering allegiance to the old Confederacy but because a dirt track called Dixie Speedway where stock cars race is nearby. Altogether, Cherokee County is divided into 44 precincts for its 214,346 residents.

The turnout was light and there were only two items on the ballot:

1. Should Cherokee County allow alcohol sales on Sunday?
2. Should the existing one-cent Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax designated to be used for maintaining existing schools and building new ones (E-SPLOST for short, as in Education Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax) be extended for ten more years?

I’ll tell you how I voted.

I voted NO on the Sunday alcohol sales, not because I am a teetotaling prude who isn’t willing to let other people have a little fun and the freedom to do what they please but because, well, here’s the way I see it: If our local drinking/drunk population is either so financially strapped or so perennially looped that they can neither afford nor stay upright long enough to hie themselves over to their local neighborhood package store on a Saturday and purchase enough demon rum hard stuff libations of the bubbly sort to last them until Monday, things are far worse in this country than any of us thought. Besides, package store owners are an overworked bunch and deserve at least one day off each week like everybody else.

I voted YES on the E-SPLOST because, well, just because. When my children were in school they were the beneficiaries of the foresight of previous voters, and I would like to do my part to help provide the best possible education for future generations of Cherokee County schoolchildren.

Next year we will have at least three and possibly even five elections (if runoffs are necessary), including a presidential preference primary in March, a Republican and Democratic primary to choose the respective parties’ candidates in July, and the general election for President, Senators, Congressional Representatives, and I don’t know what all, in November.

I promise you this, my fellow citizens. Unless I am in a hospital, a jail, a cemetery, or otherwise unavoidably detained, I promise you that I will continue to be a pole dancer poll worker to the best of my ability each and every time the opportunity arises.

May God bless the United States of America.

[Editor's note. This just in. With 100% of the precincts reporting, Sunday alcohol sales were approved by a two-to-one margin (66 per cent to 34 per cent), and the School Sales Tax was also approved by almost the same margin (63 per cent to 37 perent). The sad part is that only about 6,000 people went to the polls in Cherokee County yesterday (I’m including the cities of Canton and Woodstock), compared to more than 40,000 who participated in the November 2010 election and more than 93,000 who participated in the 2008 election when we were selecting a new President. I guess the rest of the populace didn’t care one way or the other whether liquor was sold or taxes were continued or children were educated. --RWP]

Monday, November 7, 2011


What’s that thing called that, when you pour hot liquids into it they stay hot and when you pour cold liquids into it it they stay cold?

Oh, yes, that’s right. I remember now.

A vacuum flask.

Not a Thermos.

Thermos is a trademark. More about Thermos later.

There are lots of brand names that have become genericized (is that a word?) to the point that we call the general item by a particular manufacturer’s appellation.

We say Kleenex™ when we want a tissue.

We say Saran Wrap™ when we mean clear plastic stuff that sticks more to itself than to the things it’s supposed to be covering.

We say Scotch tape™ when any old adhesive thingy would do (except maybe Saran Wrap™).

We say Pringles™ when we mean potato chips.

We Hoover™ the floor even if we’re using an Electro-Lux™.

Here in the southern U.S., the word “Coke™” is used by many to mean any carbonated cola drink, not just the ones produced by the Coca-Cola™ company, which is headquartered in Atlanta because its product was invented here. In Georgia, it’s an article of faith that only Coca-Cola™ is acceptable and that only Yankees drink Pepsi™. I worked with a fellow who once walked out of a restaurant in Pennsylvania when he couldn’t get a Coca-Cola™.

There are lots of examples of the misuse of trademarks, but let’s get back to Thermos.

You’ll notice I didn’t say Thermos™ (with the little trademark indicator).

There’s a reason for that. It’s because the general public won. Keep reading.

According to Wikipedia, the vacuum flask was invented by Scottish physicist and chemist Sir James Dewar in 1892 and is sometimes referred to as a Dewar flask, or Dewar bottle, after its inventor. The first vacuum flasks for commercial use were made in 1904 when a German company, Thermos GmbH, was formed. Thermos, their trademark for their flasks, remains a registered trademark in some countries but was declared a genericized trademark in the U.S. in 1963 as it is colloquially synonymous with vacuum flasks in general. (emphasis mine).

I’m looking forward to the day when I become colloquially synonymous with blogs in general.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The tipping point

Today, people in the northern hemisphere find themselves at the midway point between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice (you people in the southern hemisphere find yourself somewhere else). With fall half gone and winter not quite here yet, last week’s big snowstorms in the northeastern part of the U.S. notwithstanding, some of us don’t know whether we’re coming or going, weatherwise. We’re between Scylla and Charybdis, between the devil and the deep blue sea, between a rock and a hard place, climatalogically speaking.

It’s a delicate balance. One is never sure how to dress, for example. Today's high temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit but tonight’s low is expected to be in the 20s. Our sasanqua camellias and encore azaleas are still blooming their guts out profusely today but they could all be dead by tomorrow.

For that matter, so could we. We could lay our heads on our pillows tonight and just not wake up in the morning.

No one likes to think about death and dying, but it happens to us all. One day you’re here and the next day you’re not, just like the contestants on Project Runway. At some point in every person’s life cycle, there comes a time when it’s all downhill from there. Or uphill, depending on whether you're a glass-half-empty or a glass-half-full sort of person. That time, that place from which there is no recovery, is called the tipping point. [Editor’s note. Okay, so maybe it’s not, but work with me, people, I’m trying to sound profound here. --RWP]

I’m sure you younger people don’t waste a minute thinking about your eventual demise and just want to get on with the partying, but for us old codgers the thought of it (our eventual demise, not yours) occupies more and more of our waking hours.

I want to see my grandchildren grow up, get married, and have children of their own. If it were possible, I’d like to see my great-grandchildren grow up, get married, and have children of their own as well. But it’s just not possible, unless the scientists make some really great advances quickly.

I am hoping to be around for the U.S.’s semi-quincentennial celebration in 2026. I’ll be 85 then. By the year of our country’s tercentennial in 2076, though, the likelihood of my being here to help celebrate is slim to none since I would be 135 years old.

Some of you reading this may make it. Take Punk Chopsticks, for example. She’s a 17-year-old girl who once lived in Brooklyn but now lives in Malaysia who reads this blog. In 2076 she’ll be, let’s see, divide by 7, carry the 4, a mere 82 years old.

I’m 70 now and grateful to have lived this long. I hope to be around for quite a few more years. My grandfather lived to be nearly 96 and I want to beat his record.

But I could go to sleep tonight and not wake up tomorrow, and so could you.

I’m not trying to be morbid, just realistic.

Each and every last one of us has a tipping point.

The earth gets to go around its orbit over and over and over. You and I get to go around ours just once.

Make it count.

And Punky, if you’re still here in 2076, raise a glass for me. You’ll recognize my glass. It’ll be the one that’s half-full.

[Editor’s note. Reader Elizabeth S. from England expanded my words “make it count” in her comment and said just what I was trying to convey: “Make it count. Shout it from the rooftops. Live every moment with abundance,never fail to tell people how much you care about them, to appreciate this beautiful, amazing world and the astounding people within it, each with significant, special, individual stories to tell, to build meaningful memories in the hearts of both yourself and those who will be left behind and to celebrate every precious, valuable second as though it was your last. Make it count.” Thank you, Elizabeth. --RWP]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, er, write a qwerty

In a comment added to his own blogpost that started all the activity in my preceding post (over 30 comments at this point, some of which are -- full disclosure -- my own), Dr. FTSE suggested a new game. Specifically, he wrote:

“Now then folks, for your next homework...a 26-line poem where the first word of each line starts with the QWERTY letters...in reverse order if you like.”

First of all, may I suggest that that is two games, or three, or four, as we now have the following options staring us in the face:

1. A qwertygram (a 26-word passage using the familiar QWERTY...VBNM pattern.
2. A reverse qwertygram (a 26-word passage starting at the other end of the familiar QWERTY pattern and working backward; that is MNBV...YTREWQ.
3. A qwertoem (a 26-line poem in which the first letter of each line starts with the QWERTY letters).
4. A reverse qwertoem (I think you have enough information by now to figure out what this is by yourself).

Class, if any of you need need to leave the room for a few minutes to clear your head, do it now. We will wait for you.

While they’re gone, the rest of us will listen to this (2:27).

There now, wasn’t that fun? You there, in the back, stop rolling your eyes.

Some seem to be taking longer to clear their heads than others. While we’re waiting for the stragglers, let’s listen to that song again, sung this time in a more laid-back style by Perry Como with backup singers that could be the Lennon Sisters. It is guaranteed to remove all tension from your body for the rest of the day.

Okay, now that everyone has returned, we will continue.

We have a fifth option!

“Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute,” you may be saying. “I’ve had quite enough of QWERTY.” Maybe you are sick unto death of QWERTY. Maybe you wish you had never heard the word QWERTY. Maybe you wish never to hear the word QWERTY again. Be careful what you wish for! Remember Philip Nolan!

Anyway, as I was saying, we have a fifth option, and it is DVORAK!

Not Dvořák the Czech composer. I’m talking about Dvorak the computer keyboard. Here is the layout:

Yes! That’s right! QWERTY ain’t the only keyboard in town!

So let’s review.

We have eight options in all, four with a QWERTY keyboard and four with a DVORAK keyboard.

The pattern for a qwertygram or qwertyoem is QWERTYUIOPASDFGHJKLZXCVBNM.

The pattern for a reverse qwertygram or reverse qwertyoem is MNBVCXZLKJHGFDSAPOIUYTREWQ.

The pattern for a dvorakgram or dvorakoem is PYFGCRLAOEUIDHTNSQJKXBMWVZ.

The pattern for a reverse dvorakgram or reverse dvorakoem is ZVWMBXKJQSNTHDIUEOALRCGFYP.

Knock yourselves out. Just identify in your comment what it is that you have created, a qwertygram, a reverse qwertygram, a qwertoem, a reverse qwertoem, a dvorakgram, a reverse dvorakgram, a dvorakoem, or a reverse dvorakoem.

In case anyone is counting, I have coined four words in the past two days: qwertygram, qwertoem, dvorakgram, and dvorakoem.

There are padded rooms in mental institutions for people like me.

<b>As Robin once said to his BFF...</b>

"Holy place names, Batman!" Here's a list of holy-sounding place names that I threw together. Can you identify the ones ...