Friday, May 31, 2019

2019 - Day 151/214 - Friday...Expatriate...

There is no rhyme or reason (used for emphasizing that there is no reason or explanation for something) about what is going on out here with the cat(s). The grey cat (
Joel has decided on the name Smokey) has been AWOL for about five days, and we expected it had been cast out by Barney. Barney has been in evidence for the last several days, but today there is no sign of him. But Smokey is back, looking like (s)he owns the place. (S)he is actually much more friendly than Barney, but I still don't get what the hell is going on.

Expatriate -- Noun. a person who lives in a foreign country. also, a person who has renounced his or her native country. This high-rise apartment building houses a large number of expatriates who currently work here in the capital.

Did You Know? Patria, the Latin work for 'native country,' is derived from pater, meaning "father." (Patria is occasionally used for "native country" in English, too.) Speakers of Medieval Latin combined patria with the prefix ex- ("out of") to form the verb expatriare, meaning "to leave one's native country," which led our verb expatriate in the 18th century and the adjective and noun expatriate in the 19th century. We also have repatriate (from Late Latin repatriare), which is a verb meaning "to return to one's native country" and a noun meaning "one who is repatriated."

Thursday, May 30, 2019

2019 - Day 150/215 - Thursday...Gorgonize...

Robots are taking over the jobs that were once held by people. There is (apparently) no further need for highway workers to stand on the side of the road with signs saying "stop" or "slow." They have been replaced by these tempa-signals, a phenomenon that I had not been aware of until just about a month ago. We live in Williamson County, Texas, where they are incapable of fixing a road right on the first try. It generally takes them to the third or fourth try before they actually have the roads corrected the right way, so we may be subject to these temporary traffic signals for years to come. And, I expect that once they assume they are finished, it will time for them to start all over again.

It is eerily calm at the Edge of Nowhere right now. No wind, grey skies, clouds, and the threat of severe storms. We got a little bit of rain last night (0.19"), more expected tonight and through the weekend.

Gorgonize -- Verb. to have a paralyzing or mesmerizing effect on. stupefy, petrify. "Instantly the door opened and there stood Mrs. Kannon, clutching her sacque together at the throat and gorgonizing him with her opaque, yellow eyes." O. Henry, "An unfinished Christmas Story," 1912

Did You Know? In Greek mythology, the Gorgons (from the Greek adjective gorgos, meaning "terrifying") were commonly depicted as three female monsters who had snakes for hair and the ability to turn anyone who looked at them into stone. The most notorious of the three was Medusa; when she was slain by the hero Perseus, her severed head retained the power of turning anyone who looked on it to stone. In modern parlance, to gorgonize someone is to make him or her feel (metaphorically) petrified, usually through an intimidating glance or gaze.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

2019 - Day 149/216 - Wednesday...Habeas Corpus...

Last year when Joe and Carolyn were visiting, Carolyn gave me the idea of growing tomatoes in the empty molasses buckets we have around the farm. If you don't know, molasses buckets are big black plastic buckets that hold 250 pounds of molasses that the cattle think is something sent from heaven. In fact it is, since I am the one that delivers this stuff, they also think I am God. I am the cow God at the Estate on the Edge of Nowhere. But I digress. We tried that last year, but I think we were too late in the season for anything to prove successful. SO...this year, I asked Jody to buy three tomato plants one time when he was making his grocery list for HEB. Shortly thereafter, he came home with the three tomato plants, and soon thereafter, I transplanted them into a molasses bucket, the very same bucket I had conducted this experiment with last year. During the transplanting phase, it was determined that there were in fact TWO tomato plants and one pepper plant. We are an equal opportunity household, so the three non-related plants were all put into the molasses bucket. We actually have tomatoes that we will harvesting in the next few days, assuming that squirrels, raccoons or some other specie of vermin do not get them first. We are VERY EXCITED!

Habeas Corpus -- Noun. 1. a writ issued to bring a party before a court. 2. the right to obtain such a writ as protection against illegal imprisonment. His lawyers claim he is being unlawfully detained and have filed a habeas corpus petition with the court.

Did You Know? "You should have the body." That's the literal meaning of the Latin habeas corpus, but to anyone wrongfully imprisoned, it can mean a chance to correct a violation of personal liberty. In simplest terms, a writ of habeas corpus is an order commanding one who holds a person in custody to bring that individual before the court for some specific reason. The most common is habeas corpus ad subjiciendum, also known as the Great Writ, by which an imprisoned person can challenge the legality of his or her custody before the court. Such orders were part of British legal systems at least as long ago as the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509), and the right to habeas corpus was considered so fundamental that it was written into Article I of the United States Constitution.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

2019 - Day 148/217 - Tuesday...Compendious...

Let's just get right to the meat of the problem, and ask the question that is on everyone's lips: What the hell day is it? I kept up with the fact that today was Tuesday for most of the day, but I was just sitting out in the dog yard with Jody, and for about 30 seconds I thought today was Wednesday. It will be Wednesday soon enough, but it is not here yet. It was not a terribly bad day. As I recall, traffic on the way in to the city was nothing particularly good or bad, and neither was traffic on the way home. I was in the office all day, and got some things accomplished. Enough to call it a day. has been grey all day long, and it has been a pretty grey year, all things considered. The sun shone through for about fifteen minutes around
6:30, but that is hardly worth the trouble. Rain is back in the forecast for the next three days, but considering all the weather related horrors going on north and east of us, I think I should just shut the front door.

Compendious -- Adjective. marked by brief expression of a comprehensive matter. concise and comprehensive. also, comprehensive. This compendious handbook of grammar is a useful reference to have nearby.

Did you Know? In current use, compendious is most often applied to things that are full in scope and concise in treatment. But the work also shares a sense of "brief in statement or expression" with synonyms concise, terse, succinct, pithy, laconic, and summary. Concise simply suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative ("a concise description"). Terse implies pointed conciseness ("a terse reply"). Succinct implies the greatest possible compression ("a succinct letter of resignation"). Pithy adds the implication of richness of meaning or substance ("pithy one-liners"). Laconic implies brevity to the point of seeming rude or indifferent ("a stranger's laconic reply"). Summary suggests the stating of main points with no elaboration ("a summary listing of the year's main events"). FYI: Pithy is my favorite.

Monday, May 27, 2019

2019 - Day 147/218 - Monday...Chirography...

We hope you had a great observance of Memorial Day! Overall, it was a much better day on the Edge of Nowhere. I am feeling better, not great yet, but better. Barney has reappeared, so that is comforting. I managed to get a few chores done today; patio, porch and deck swept. Dug up a sickly gardenia and put it in a nice big pot so I can take better care of it. It was one of the first plants I bought when we moved here eleven years ago, so I am not giving up on it. I cleaned the chicken coop, and jumped (jump is somewhat of an exaggeration) in
the pool for a few minutes. It had been a couple days since I paid attention to the meter readings, so I did that and sat out in the chick pen for a while and communed with the chicks. They all seem to be doing well, I shredded some carrots for them earlier and gave them those. They are a little over eight weeks old now, and so far so good.

Chirography -- Noun. 1. handwriting, penmanship. 2. calligraphy. "How, then, with me, writing of this Leviathan? Unconsciously my chirography expands into placard capitals." Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 1851

Did You Know? Though some might argue that handwriting is a dying are in the age of electronic communication, this fancy word for it persists. The root graph means "writing" and appears in many common English words such as autograph and graphite. The lesser-known root chir, or chiro-, comes from a Greek word meaning "hand" and occurs in words such as chiromancy ("the art of palm reading") and enchiridion ("a handbook or manual"), as well as chiropractic. Chirography first appeared in English in the 17th century and probably derived from chirograph, a now rare word referring to any of various legal documents.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

2019 - Day 146/219 - Sunday...Eponymous...

Okay, so today there have been NO cat sightings at all. Barney has been missing for too long, and the grey cat has not been seen. On a positive note, something has been eating at the food that I put out, and it is being eaten like a cat would be eating. Not sure how I could better describe that for you, but I know how cats eat as opposed to opossums and raccoons. Opossums and raccoons do not leave any food at all, and cats are very delicate about their eating habits, particularly if they are comfortable that the food supply is not a precarious one. So, we will just have to wait and see. I did very little of anything today, except take naps and driving in to Georgetown to have lunch. That was the extent of my adventure. To
morrow I believe I will broaden my horizons a little bit, we are planning lunch at the Lucky Duck in Taylor, and I really should do some work around the house. I have some things that need to be transplanted, porches, patios and decks that need to be swept...stuff like that there. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of some roses in the back of the house. Good night!

Eponymous -- Adjective. of, relating to, or being one for whom or which something is or is believed to be named. The band will soon be releasing a remastered version of their eponymous debut album.

Did You Know? Eponymous has to do with naming - it comes to us from the Greek adjective eponymos, which is itself from onyma, meaning "name." An eponymous person or thing (i.e., an eponym) might be a mythical ancestor or totem believed to be the source of a clan's name. Today, however, eponymous more typically refers to such individuals as the front man of "Theo's Trio" or the owner of "Sally's Restaurant" (Theo and Sally, respectively). The things that are named for such name-providers are also eponymous. For example, we can speak of "the eponymous Oprah Winfrey Show" as well as "the eponymous Oprah Winfrey."

Saturday, May 25, 2019

2019 - Day 145/220 - Saturday...Inselberg...

We haven't seen Barney in maybe four or five days, and we are a little bit worried about him. He has been known to go off and come back, and it is always comforting to see him now and then. This morning at the breakfast table, Joel say a grey cat walking down one of the paths. Later this afternoon (jody and I were heading off to a wedding in Dripping Springs), I was taking food out to Barney, and there was the grey cat...not terribly stand-offish, and looking like he was happy to see someone. It is always kind of puzzling to me that cats just seem to come and go out here on the Edge of Nowhere. Barney has been the most consistent of the barn cats, and we hope he is still around somewhere. AND, I kind of think that, if there were any 'bad blood' between the grey cat and Barney, Barney would definitely be the victor. I do not get the sense from the grey cat that he/she is very wise to the world of being left on its own, but who am I to make that decision. We will keep a look out for Barney, and maybe we will also be feeding a grey cat from now on, too!

Inselberg -- Noun. an isolated mountain. "Oke-Idanre hill consists of high plain with spectacular valleys interspersed with inselbergs of about 3,000 feet above sea level. Africa News, August 4, 2012

Did You Know? Inselberg comes from the German words Insel, meaning "island," and Berg, meaning "mountain," apparently because German explorers thought isolated mountains rising from the plains of southern Africa looked like islands in the midst of the ocean. An inselberg is a rock formation that has resisted wind and weather and remained strong and tall as the land around it eroded away. Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (Olga Rocks) in central Australia are two spectacular examples of inselbergs. The word monadnock, from the name of Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, is a synonym of inselberg.

Friday, May 24, 2019

2019 - Day 144/221 - Friday...Grimalkin...

This was part of the entertainment yesterday on my way to Abilene. I had no idea there were wind farms this close to Austin. I think these were in Goldthwaite, but I am not sure. I think they are interesting to look at, and if I had not been on a 'mission' I could have probably spent a good half-hour just watching them. And on the way home they were interesting too. You could not actually see the turbines, but they have red flashing lights on top of them, and it was fun to see the lights on the tops of the ridges. Interesting.

Today was mostly a day in the office, and I did get a chance to show a couple houses in the late afternoon. I have one appointment tomorrow, and then there is a wedding to go to tomorrow evening. I am planning on some rest between now and then!

Grimalkin -- Noun. a domestic cat, especially an old female cat. "It is no accident that the contemplative Egyptians, together with such later poetic spirits as Poe, Gautier, Baudelaire, and Swinburne, were all sincere worshippers of the supple grimalkin." H.P. Lovecraft, "Cats and Dogs," 1926

Did You Know? In the opening scene of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, one of the three witches planning to meet with Macbeth suddenly announces, "I come, Graymalkin." The witch is responding to the summons of her familiar, or guardian spirit, which is embodied in the form of a cat. Shakespeare's graymalkin literally means "gray cat." The gray is of the color; the malkin was a nickname for Matilda or Maud that came to be used in dialect as a general name for a cat - and sometimes a hare - and for an untidy woman as well. By the 1630s, graymalkin had been altered to the modern spelling grimalkin.

2019 - Day 143/222 - Thursday...Glaucous...

Oh my. It's tomorrow already, and I just got home. I did not go in to the office today, I did some work from home, got some chores done, and headed off to Abilene. I left about 12:15 yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, and just a little over thirteen hours, I am back. It was really a fun and interesting ride on the way TO was just a dark drive home FROM Abilene. Lots of wonderful people at the Abilene board, and there were some major investors that 'upped' their investments, and that is always a welcome decision on their parts. Dinner was good, and there was a man that, after the speakers, performed a John Wayne one-man-show. Very interesting, and lots of John Wayne trivia presented in a fun way. A big thank you to the Abilene staff and board for inviting me and Deborah (my trainer in residence), and a very Happy Anniversary to Deborah and Ron!

Glaucous -- Adjective. 1a. of a pale yellow-green color. b. of a light bluish-gray or bluish-white color. 2. having a powdery or waxy coating that gives a frosted appearance and tends to rub off. "Her eyes, a clear, glaucous gray, express unambiguous yearning.: Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, May 26, 2016

Did You Know? Glaucous came to English - by way of the Latin glaucus - from the Greek glaukos, meaning "gleaming" or "gray," and it has been used to describe a range of pale colors from a yellow-green to a bluish-gray. The word is often found in horticultural writing describing the pale color of the leaves of various plants as well as the powdery bloom that can be found on some fruits and leaves. The stem glauc - appears in some other English words, the most familiar of which is glaucoma, referring to a disease of the eye that can result in gradual loss of vision. Glauc - also appears in the not-so-familiar glaucope, a word used to describe someone with fair hair and blue eyes (and a companion to cyanope, the term for someone with fair hair and brown eyes).

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

2019 - Day 142/223 - Wednesday...Sycophant...

I am pretty darned sure that the REALTORS® I was presenting the class to this morning were more entertained than I was. It sounded like I was regressing to puberty. My throat hurts, my head hurts, my sinus cavity aches, and overall, I am just a mess. A hot mess at least, but a mess none the less. A 67 year old man with the voice of a 13 year old. There has to be some law or another that I have violated because of that. Whatever. I thought I would delight you with this picture of the sun going down behind some clouds. I know you can tell I did not put a lot of effort into this
photo documentation, but it is what it is,,,

Sycophant -- Noun. a servile self-seeking flatterer. The new CEO has no use for sycophants - he prefers to surround himself with executives who won't hesitate to tell him what he needs to hear.

Did You Know? In the language of ancient Greece, sykophantes meant "slandered." The word derives from two other Greek words, sykon (meaning "fig") and phainen (meaning "to show or reveal"). How did fig revealers become slanderers? One theory has to do with the taxes Greek farmers were required to pay on the figs they brought to market. Apparently, the farmers would sometimes try to avoid making the payments, but squealers - fig revealers - would fink on them, and they would be forced to pay. Another possible source is a sense of the word fig meaning "a gesture or sign of contempt (such as thrusting a thumb between two fingers)." In any case, Latin retained the "slanderer" sense when it borrowed a version of sykophantes, but by the time English speakers in the 16th century borrowed it as sychophant, the squealers had become flatterers.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

2019 - Day 141/224 - Tuesday...Motley...

I am not sure if I am coming down with something (that is what I suspect), or if I am just having a surge of allergies. I am kind of losing my voice, I don't really feel too bad, just the challenge of the post-nasal drip and the threat of getting a sore throat. My voice kind of comes-and-goes, and I presented a class this morning, and another four-hour presentation tomorrow morning. Gladly, I can present the class and ask the attendees to do most of the talking, but if you know me AT ALL, you will know that I cannot shut up, so we will see what happens. I stopped at the new CVS in Georgetown on the way home this afternoon, to pick up some Airborne or Emergen-C (or
whatever those things are called), and was diverted from my mission by the fact that CVS is selling M&Ms BY THE POUND. They don't sell cigarettes, but they have no shame about the candy. I was strong, and did not succumb to the temptation. I know where they are though, and I am not sure how long I will be able to avoid them.

Motley -- Adjective. 1. variegated in color. 2. made up of many different people or things. The wooden chest contains a motley assortment of costumes for the children to play with.

Did You Know? Motley made its debut as an English adjective in the 14th century, but etymologists aren't completely sure where it came from. Many think it probably derived from the Middle English mot, meaning "mote" or "speck." Motley is also used as a noun identifying a multicolored fabric, a garment made from such a fabric, or the fool who often wore such outfits in the European courts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Monday, May 20, 2019

2019 - Day 140/225 - Monday...Ineffable...

This particular soda machine on the 8th floor of the Marriott Wardman Park was pretty much the bane of my existence while I was in DC last week. $3 for a bottle of diet pepsi, cash, coin or credit card accepted. It had a receiver for dollar bills (and possibly bills of other denominations), but that little bastard would not take my dollar bills. Out of desperation, I charged a three dollar diet pepsi with my credit card, and got NO receipt. I wonder if I will get reimbursed for that? Business travel is not nearly as glamorous was we want people to think it is. It's just not. There is some fun involved, but not a lot. Mostly it is wandering around lost, wondering what room you are supposed to be tonight, and why won't the wifi work. It never works until you have spent 30 minutes holding your mouth a certain way until you hit the perfect combination or smirks and tears. And don't even ask me about the length of time you spend trying to buy a diet pepsi with three dollar bills. I can't add up that high!

Ineffable -- Adjective. 1a. incapable of being expressed in words: indescribable. b. unspeakable. 2. not to be uttered. taboo. These descriptions, even as evocative and detailed as they are, still fail to capture the ineffable grandeur of the mountainous landscape.

Did You Know? "Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirit, and filled me with ineffable sadness," wrote Frederick Douglass in his autobiography. Reading Douglass's words, it's easy to see that ineffable means "indescribable" or "unspeakable." And when we break down the word to its Latin roots, it is easy to see how these meanings came about. Ineffable comes from ineffabilis, which joins the prefix in-, meaning "not," with the adjective effabilis, meaning "capable of being expressed." Effabilis comes from effari ("to speak out"), which in turn comes from ex- and fari ("to speak").

Sunday, May 19, 2019

2019 - Day 139/226 - Sunday...Comminute...

Today was kind of like a Saturday/Sunday hybrid. Some things we did today were normal Sunday things. Breakfast, newspaper, naptime to watch CBS Sunday Morning. Then there was putzing to be done around the house, and I got quite a bit done, surprisingly. The Saturday things came in the sense that we went in to Georgetown for lunch at Schlotzsky's, made a run to the pool store ($129) and to the HEB for some turkey wieners to take to the office. Then a quick trip through the drive through at Dairy Queen (to get Jody a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard), and then back home. We watched a movie (Crazy Rich Asians), and then Joe Mac called. He and Carolyn are planning a trip at the end of June, and that will be fun! Always happy to have them come for a visit! After it was pretty well dark, I went out to the chicken coop to put the chicks on the roost. A couple of them had been roosting, but most of them just huddled up on the floor. I am going to try and get them used to roosting, and I am thinking it may just take a little patience; not like potty training a kid or anything, but patience none the less. This picture looks much worse than the coop really is, but remember, it is a chicken coop, and chickens have no real issues with pooping anywhere they damn well please!

Comminute -- Verb. to reduce to minute particles. pulverize. "Food is incised and comminuted when the mandible is returned to the centric position by contraction of the muscles of mastication." A.Bryan Wade, Basic Peridontology, 2nd Ed,. 1965

Did You Know? What do comminute, pulverize, and triturate all have in common? All three words are derived from Latin and share meaning "to reduce to small particles." Comminute can be traced back to the prefix com- and the verb minuere, meaning "to lessen." Pulverize descends from a combination of pulver-, meaning "dust" or "powder," with the suffix -izare, which can mean "to cause to be." Triturate is borrowed from the past participle of the Latin triturare, which means "to thresh." Triturate refers to the use of rubbing or grinding to achieve pulverization.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

2019 - Day 138/227 - Saturday...Lido...

So, after listening to the Donald yesterday afternoon, I was invited to a reception that had portraits of various former leaders, and this was one of them. Accompanying the portraits was a simulation of the various signatures. I thought this one was particularly appealing, and thought I would share it with you. I made it back to the Edge of Nowhere, where there has been a little bit of rain, and we are under a tornado watch for a couple more hours. I am going to go out and look at the chicks, and then I am going to bed.

Lido -- Noun. a fashionable beach resort. "The lido on the Promenade at Grange-over-Sands has been abandoned since it closed in 1993, although there is now a campaign for it to be reopened." Griff Witte,, August 13, 2014

Did You Know? The original Lido is a beach resort near Venice, Italy. The town's name comes from the Italian word lido, which means "shore" or "bank." (The Italian root derives from litus, the Latin word for "shore.") By the mid-19th century, Lido's reputation as a chic vacation destination for the well-to-do made it the envy of seaside resorts everywhere. English-speaking social climbers generalized the town's name and started using it for any fashionably Lido-esque beach.

Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 - Day 137/228 - Friday...Intransigent...

So, let's just be honest. My beliefs and my values are most likely NOT similar to those of many of my friends and colleagues, and that is okay. You may recall (I have said this many times), that I am a Renaissance man. I will do things that may surprise many, and many others are not surprised by anything that I do or say. Today was a really interesting day, and there were at least a couple 'firsts' for me. To begin, I went to the Library of Congress where I met with a few of my colleagues, and participated with those colleagues in a short video for TREPAC. Advocacy. Representing our colleagues and property owners to our elected officials in issues that are important to REALTORS® and members of the public. Lobbying. That is just a few of the things we do, and what better place to make a quick video than in our nations Capitol. After that, I went to witness my friend Candy presenting the commencement speech for new graduates of the REALTOR® University. Then, I went and witnessed a speech by Donald Trump to many of our colleagues. So, there are three firsts for me in one day. I have strong opinions and strong ethics and strong personal beliefs, but I also do my best not to surround myself with only those friends of mine that share my same opinions and beliefs. I hope I am not kidding myself when I profess to be a well-rounded person. So, if you are offended by the photo in this entry of MY journal, I invite you to begin with a criticism of yourself, and not one of me. And just to be clear, I care about and love each of you. Good night.

Intransigent -- Adjective. characterized by refusal to compromise or to abandon an often extreme position or attitude. uncompromising. Several board members remained intransigent and the meeting ended without a compromise proposal being drafter.

Did You Know? English speakers borrowed intransigent in the 19th century from the Spanish intransigente ("uncompromising"), itself a combination of the familiar prefix in- ("not") and transigente ("willing to compromise"). Transigente comes from the Spanish transigir ("to compromise"), which in turn comes from the Latin transigere ("to come to an agreement"). The French have a similar verb, transiger, which also means "to compromise." The word transigent has seen occasional use in English, but it is not well established. There is, however, one other common English word that traces from the Latin transigere: transact, meaning "to conduct (business)."

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2019 - Day 136/229 - Thursday...Pace...

We are on the downside of this NAR meeting, and many of us are becoming fatigued. Five or six days of back-to-back meetings, presentations, learning, networking, eating, showing-up, listening, investing and enjoying. All that can be exhausting. Today started out a little bit later, and I was able to sit in my room for an extra hour and catch up on some work. The end of the day (okay, not exactly the end) was spent at the National Building Museum, where a reception was held for RPAC investors. A relatively plain looking building (from what I could see) on the outside, but a lovely building (from what I could see) on the inside. Lovely. There were LOTS of people there, plenty of food, and plenty of drink. Then there was the band and the dancing. And a good time was had by all.

Pace -- Preposition. contrary to the opinion of - usually used as an expression of deference to someone's contrary opinion. Pace everyone with a smartphone, I think e-mail is best written and read - and the wilds of the Internet best explored - in the privacy of one's own domicile.

Did You Know? Though used in English for nearly 150 years, the preposition pace has yet to shed its Latin mantle, and for that reason it's most at home in formal writing or in contexts in which one is playing at formality. The Latin word pace is a form of pax, meaning "peace" or "permission," and when used sincerely the word does indeed suggest a desire for both. This Latin borrowing is unrelated to the more common noun pace (as in "keeping pace") and its related verb ("pacing the room"); these also come from Latin, but from the word pandere, meaning "to spread."

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

2019 - Day 135/230 - Wednesday...Rathskeller...

I find it pretty interesting that many people can recognize my ass while viewing it in a totally out of context kind of offering. But I am putting the horse before the cart here. Yesterday, our speaker at our opening session was a very talented artist and inspirer, Phil Hansen, known as "the artist for the people." I am not going to bore you with his background, but I can guarantee you that it is not boring, and if you look him up, he has a really interesting story. Very cool. Bottom line, the National Association of REALTORS® commissioned him to produce a work of art. What you see here is kind of like a work of pointillism, but instead of dots (part of his story), the details are done with words or stories. In this case, the work is done with the names of ten thousand Major Investors in RPAC, the REALTOR® Political Action Committee. Very cool. Which brings us full circle to people recognizing my ass for my asses sake alone. That's me in the picture, looking for my name in the poster, and yes, I found it. You're welcome!

Rathskeller -- Noun. a usually basement tavern or restaurant. "Troy's Germania Hall remains open. The club serves dinner every Friday night in its rathskeller." Jeff Wilkin, The Daily Gazette (Schenectady, New York), August 10, 2014

Did You Know? Rathskeller is a product of Germany, deriving from two German nouns: Rat (also spelled Rath in early Modern German), which means "council," and Keller, which means "cellar". (Nouns in German are always capitalized.) The eytmology reflects the fact that many early rathskellers were located in the basement of "council houses," which were equivalent to town halls. (The oldest rathskeller found in Germany today is said to date from the first half of the 13th century.) The earliest known use of rathskeller in English dates from 1766, but the word wasn't commonly used until the 1900s. Although the German word is now spelled Ratsleller, English writers have always preferred the spelling with the h - most likely to avoid any association with the word rat.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

2019 - Day 143/231 - Tuesday...Precatory...

There have been a series of meetings today, and lots of networking with my colleagues. Tomorrow and Thursday will be the busiest days of this trip, meeting with our elected officials and attending governance meetings. I am a totally happy guy to be here, to be learning, to be listening, and to be taking the message of REALTOR® and property owner concerns to the folks that are making and enforcing the governance of all of us. Happy to do it! And then there is the down time. It is precious, and it has to be taken when you can get it. So, for lunch, Melinda and Steve and I had lunch at a DC landmark, Ben's Chili Bowl. This was, to quote Steve, the first time I have ever stood in line out close to the street, for a chili cheese dog. But it was good, the place was interesting, and the clientele was diverse. A true American institution!

Precatory -- Adjective. expressing a wish. "As a so-called precatory proposal, it is not legally binding on the company." Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times, March 2, 2014

Did You Know? Nowadays, you're most likely to see precatory used in legal contexts to distinguish statements that merely express a wish from those that create a legal obligation. For example, if you add a provision to your will asking someone to take care of your pet if you die, that provision is merely precatory. Outside of jurisprudence, you might see references to such things as "precatory dress codes" or "precatory stockholder proposals," all of which are non-binding. Precatory traces to the Latin precari ("to pray"), and it has always referred to something in the nature of an entreaty or supplication. For example, while a laudatory hymn is one that gives praise, a precatory hymn is one that beseeches - as in "from sin and sorrow set us free."

Monday, May 13, 2019

2019 - Day 133/232 - Monday...Burgeon...

So, I had honestly expected to have something more interesting to depict on my journal today. After all, I have (once again) been awake way too long, but I am currently in our Nations Capital for the annual visits to our elected officials. Always a worthwhile event, and although the commute was nothing terribly difficult, I am tired. Much about this city is overwhelming, much about this city is awe inspiring, much about this city is frustrating, and much about this city is over-rated. BUT, it is just one of four or five opportunities on an annual basis to meet-up and network with my friends and colleagues from across the country, those loyal and dedicated persons that make my profession the one that it is. But I digress. If you can figure out the significance on the picture that accompanies this journal entry, it will go a long way in explaining everything to you.

Burgeon -- Verb. 1a. to send forth new growth (such as buds or branches). sprout. 1b. bloom. 2. to grow and expand rapidly. flourish. The trout population in the stream is burgeoning now that the water is clean.

Did You Know? Burgeon comes from the Middle English word burjonen, which is from the Anglo-French burguner; both mean "to bud or sprout." Burgeon is often used figuratively, as when P.G.Wodehouse used it in Joy in the Morning: "I weighed this. It sounded promising. Hope began to burgeon." Usage commentators have objected to the use of burgeon to mean "to flourish" or "to grow rapidly," insisting that any figurative use should stay true to the word's earliest literal meaning and distinguish budding or sprouting from subsequent growing. But the sense of burgeon that indicates growing or expanding and prospering (as in "the burgeoning music scene" or "the burgeoning international market") has been in established use for decades and is, in fact, the most common use of burgeon today.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

2019 - Day 132/233 - Sunday...Suborn...

And the sun did come out, and it was Mother's Day, and it was good. I hope everyone had a lovely day. I know some did not, but another day will follow this one, so maybe that will be a better day. As for me (us), we had a nice day. Started as usual, coffee, paper, breakfast, nap. I rousted myself and got a bit of home office work done, thank I headed in to Austin for an 11 o'clock appointment. A quick stop at the office, then back north where I did a couple errands, and when I got home, I started cutting 'at' the grass. The riding mower would not start, so I put the charger on it, and used the walk behind to do a couple hours worth of cutting. After dinner, the riding mower started, so I cut some more, cleaned the chicken coop, and took the garbage to the road. All-in-all, a lovely day, and there is some talk of sunshine for the following week, and a high chance of rain next weekend. So far this month, we have had 7.1" of rain, and I am pretty sure that is more rain than we are supposed to have in May. May-be not. Get it?

Suborn -- Verb. 1. to induce secretly to do an awful thing. 2. to induce to commit perjury. also, to obtain (perjured testimony) from a witness. "He even suspected that certain aldermen might possibly be suborned to desert him, though all professed loyalty." Theodore Dreiser, The Titan, 1914

Did You Know? The Latin word that gave us suborn in the early part of the 16th century is subornare, which translates literally as "to secretly furnish or equip." The sub- that brings the "secretly" meaning to subornare more commonly means "under" or "below," but it has its stealthy denotation in the etymologies of several other English words, including surrepitious (from sub- and rapere, meaning "to seize") and the verb suspect (from sub- or sus- and specere, meaning "to look at"). The ornare of subornare is also at work in the words ornate, adorn, and ornament.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

2019 - Day 131/234 - Saturday...Whilom...

Every now and then, we will go a couple days (maybe even four) without seeing Barney (the Barn Cat). We kind of have a ritual, because even the cat has schedules that must be adhered to. Generally, when I get home from work, I will go and feed the cat. Usually, he is either on the seat of the tractor, on the seat of the Polaris, or on the hood of the truck. I make my presence known to him (no sneaking up on him), and I usually see him go under the truck. Then, I fill his bowl with food and walk back to the garage. As I walk back to the garage, I speak to him, and usually I can see him go from under the truck to the bed of the Polaris, where his food bowl stays. Recently, we have a new routine, in which he peeks out at my from the tail pipe of the truck, and we have a little conversation. Yesterday, he let me take this picture of him, and I think it is a great picture. We have no real idea how old he is, he just appeared one day, and we guesstimate that was about six or seven years ago, maybe not that long, but he has survived well (for an outside cat on the Edge of Nowhere), and we like knowing he trusts us enough to hang around.

Whilom -- Adjective. former. I was pleased to find an interview with the whilom president of my alma mater in the local paper.

Did You Know? Whilom shares an ancestor with the word while. Both trace back to the Old English word hwil, meaning "time" or "while." In Old English hwilum was an adverb meaning "at times." This use passed into Middle English (with a variety of spellings, one of which was whilom), and in the 12th century the word acquired the meaning "formerly." The adverb's usage dwindled toward the end of the 19th century, and it has since been labeled archaic. The adjective first appeared on the scene in the 15th century, with the now-obsolete meaning "deceased," and by the 19th century it was being used with the meaning "former."

Friday, May 10, 2019

2019 - Day 130/235 - Friday...Recalcitrant...

Meeting our colleagues in South Texas was an absolute treat for me. I have never been to the valley, and even though the trip was really quick and really jam packed, it was a great trip, I learned a lot, and I hope I was able to share some good information with the colleagues I met there. Deborah and I worked really well together (or maybe she was just trying to make me feel good), but I thought we did pretty good jobs with our presentations, and the groups we presented to seemed to really appreciate that we were there with them. And, you just never know what to expect sometimes. At the end of the presentation this morning, we got to have our picture taken with the mascot of one of the groups. And a good time was had by all. The flights back were no real problem, a few delays here and there, waits, false starts, just stuff like that. Pretty much all weather related, but I made it back, and looking forward to a good nights sleep tonight.

Recalcitrant -- Adjective. 1. obstinately defiant of authority or restraint. 2a. difficult to manage or operate. 2b. resistant. "A wily and recalcitrant defendant could...use the slowness of the system to hold onto land unjustly for up to eighteen months." Norman F. Cantor, Imagining the Law, 1997

Did You Know? Long before any human was dubbed recalcitrant in English (that first occurred, as best we know, in one of William Thackeray's works in 1843), there were stubborn mules and horses kicking back their heels. The ancient Romans noted as much (Pliny the Elder among them), and they had a word for it-recalcitrare, which literally means "to kick back." (Its root calc-, meaning "heel," is also the root of calcaneus, the large bone of the heel in humans.) Certainly Roman citizens in Pliny's time were sometimes willful and hardheaded-as attested by various Latin words meaning "stubborn"-but it wasn't until later that writers of Late Latin applied recalcitrare and its derivative adjective to humans who were as stubborn as mules.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

2019 - Day 129/236 - Thursday...Tocsin...

Here is something I know for sure. I is VERY HOT in McAllen, and the humidity is right up there, too. Another thing I am sure of: I have been up since three o'clock in the morning, and for most of the day I have not had a clue where I was. I have been in five cities, and it has been busy. I also know that Deborah and I made TREPAC presentations twice today (once in Brownsville and once in McAllen), and the hospitality has been overwhelming! Very kind and welcoming colleagues! It is thundering outside right now, and it is expected to be a serious rain event later this evening. Early morning, another presentation, and then a flight home tomorrow afternoon. Fingers crossed that we will be able to make it home and there will be no extreme weather en route!

Tocsin -- Noun. 1. an alarm bell or the ringing of it. 2. a warning signal. "That may sound alarmist, but the tocsin is being rung by some pretty sober people." Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2016

Did You Know? Although it has occasionally been spelled like its homonym toxin, tocsin has nothing to do with poison. Rather, it is delivered from the Middle French toquassen, which in turn comes from the Old Occitan tocasenh, and ultimately from the assumed Vulgar Latin verb toccare ("to ring a bell") and the Latin signum ("mark, sign"), which have given us, respectively, the English words touch and signal. Tocsin long referred to the ringing of church bells to signal events of importance to local villagers, including dangerous events such as attacks. Its use was eventually broadened to cover anything that signals danger or trouble.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 - Day 128/237 - Wednesday...Foolscap...

As you may or may not be aware, I have never proclaimed to be an expert in the world of meteorological expertise. That means (I think) that I could never be a weather prognosticator, since I have issues with being rejected. I cannot think of a profession where people would have more opinions about what one does, and what odds are given as to whether they should plan on a pic-nic or not on any given day. For example, the forecast is for heavy rain this Sunday, which also happens to be Mother's Day, much to the dismay of fathers and pre-pubescent children from here to yonder. Another thing I am pretty sure of is, it was not 102 degrees outside when this picture was documented for the ages. Lower 70s maybe, but certainly not 102, even if it were directly in the sun. An hour or so after the picture was taken, it is registering 92 degrees, so maybe it was in direct sun, and the register was accurate. Not sure. What I am sure of it, it rained today. A lot! Nothing too much over night on the Edge of Nowhere, but like crazy in Austin, and over an inch at the Edge of Nowhere. I am flying to McAllen tomorrow, so it looks like things will be clear, so I am really not expecting the flight to be cancelled. Time will tell!

Foolscap -- Noun. 1. a cap or hood usually with bells worn by jesters. 2. a conical cap for slow or lazy students. 3. a size of paper formerly standard in Great Britain. The exhibit includes a number of early legal documents written on foolscap with quill and ink.

Did You Know? These days, we are most likely to encounter foolscap as a reference to a sheet of paper or, more especially, to a sheet of paper that is similar in size to a sheet of legal paper. In the mid-1600s, however, when the use of foolscap was first attested to in English, it referred to an actual fool's cap -- the cap, often with bells, worn as a part of a jester's motley. How did we get from this colorful cap to a sheet of paper? The connection is attributable to the former use of a watermark depicting a fool's cap that was used on long sheets of writing or printing paper. There are various explanations for the introduction of this watermark -- including the claim that a 1648 British parliamentary group substituted it for the royal arms during exceptionally turbulent times -- but such explanations remain unsupported by historical facts.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

2019 - Day 127/238 - Tuesday...Hypermnesia...

Well, you just never know. We have been under severe weather advisories (that spelling does not look right, is it?) all day, but it just began sprinkling a little bit here on the Edge of Nowhere within the last hour, and we have received about 0.13" of rain. The weather forecast, between now and Friday is calling for 11 inches of rain. ELEVEN INCHES OF RAIN between now and Friday. When we first moved out to the Edge of Nowhere, we got eleven inches of rain one day, and you would not even have known it, but right now, there is still standing water here and there, and it is squishy when I walk out to the front barn to check on the girls. SO, I am not sure what another ELEVEN INCHES OF RAIN would do out here, but hopefully not too much. I guess we will just have to wait and see. I have a 5:45 A.M. flight out of Austin Thursday morning, and not sure what the odds are going to be that that will actually happen. Connecting through Hobby to Harlingen. Bonnie? Anybody got any ideas or thoughts? Feel free to let me know.

Hypermnesia -- Noun. abnormally vivid or complete memory or recall of the past. "Hypermnesia is characterized by both the intensity and the rapidity of memories." Michael S. Roth, Memory, Trauma, and History, 2012

Did You Know? Perhaps the most famous individual to exhibit hypermnesia was a Russian man known as "S," whose amazing photographic memory was studied for 30 years by a psychologist in the early part of the 20th century. Hypermnesia sometimes refers to cases like that of "S," but it can also refer to specific instances of heightened memory (such as those brought on by trauma or hypnosis) experienced by people whose memory abilities are unremarkable under ordinary circumstances. The word hypermnesia, which has been with us since at least 1882, was created in New Latin as the combination of hyper (meaning "beyond" or "super") and -mnesia (patterned after amnesia). It ultimately derives from the Greek work mnasthai, meaning "to remember."

Monday, May 6, 2019

2019 - Day 126/239 - Monday...Denigrate...

As I reported last night, the chick survived her brush with death (wedged between a couple tow by fours. The same cannot be said for the squirrel that (I believe) chewed through an electric line providing power to the outside lights in the front barn. I am not particularly interested in scooping said squirrel out from between the walls, but perhaps one day when I have nothing better to do, or I just get on a kick of cleaning the attics in the barn, the corpse may be removed and put in the trash. Such is the cycle out in the country!

No rain today, but we are expecting it. Another cloudy day, and the forecasts are getting worse and worse for massive quantities of rain, and potentially more flooding. From the maps on the national news, we are just on the very bottom edge of the risk areas, but we are totally saturated, so it will nto take too much to put us over the edge.

Denigrate -- Verb. 1. to attack the reputation of, defame. 2. to deny the importance or validity or, belittle. She is teaching her students how to argue against positions with which they disagree without denigrating the people who hold those positions.

Did You Know? If you denigrate someone, you attempt to blacken that person's reputation. It makes sense, therefore, that denigrate can be traced back to the Latin verb denigrare, meaning "to blacken." When denigrate was first used in English in the 16th century, it meant to cast aspersions on someone's character or reputation. Eventually, it developed a second sense of "to make black" ("factory smoke denigrated the sky"), but this sense is now rare. These days, denigrate can also refer to belittling the worth or importance of someone or something.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

2019 - Day 125/240 - Sunday...Palindrome...

The chick survived its trauma, and all is well in chick-world. They are really pretty resilient, and it really takes some doing for them to get hurt. That said, I have also seen chickens just fall over dead for no good reason. You just can't tell about chickens these days. Today was another beautiful day, almost two whole days with no rain, but it is supposed to start up again tomorrow, and the forecast is for seven days of rain, another three to five inches all together during the next week. I managed to get some stuff done around the house; i got the shelves in the garage straightened out a little bit and got the garage swept. I swept the patio and the pool deck, cleaned the chicken coop and re-set the mouse traps out in the front barn. I am not a raving success story in the mouse killing department, but I think they are becoming less and less, maybe Barney has something to do with that, I'm not sure. Oh, and I went in the pool for the first time this year. And, like the captain of the Titanic replied when asked if the water was going to be cold, it was "definitely not hot!"

Palindrome -- Noun. a word, verse, or sentence (as "Able was I ere I saw Elba") or a number (as 1881) that reads the same backward and forward. Hannah was amused when Otto pointed out that their first names were both palindromes.

Did You Know? Palindromic wordplay is nothing new. Palindromes have been around since at least the days of ancient Greece, and our name for them comes from two Greek words: palin, meaning "back" or "again," and dramein, meaning "to run." Nowadays, we can all appreciate a clever palindrome (such as "Drab as a fool, aloof as a bard" or "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama"), or even a simple one like "race car," but in the past palindromes were more than just smart wordplay. Until well into the 19th century some folks thought palindromes were actually magical, and they carved them on walls or amulets to protect people or property from harm.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

2019 - Day 124/241 - Saturday...Homily...

This could have been (and still could be) the first dead chick of the new group of chicks. As of today, all the chicks are at least five weeks old, some of them are closer to six weeks old. We have had them all for five weeks. One of the chicks (see picture) was somehow wedged between two two by fours in the coop. When I saw it, I did not know it was wedged in, I thought it was dead. When I went to gather it up, it decided to squawk, and when I tried to un-stick it, I couldn't. I ended up getting a pry bar and got enough leverage on the 2x4s that I was able to pull it out. She was weak and unsteady, but I got her to drink some water, and when I left the pen, she was eating. Chickens are really pretty good at bouncing back from adversity. We had a dog chase one and pretty well pluck it, and when we found her, we brought her back and she made a pretty good recovery. I really expect this chick will recover, and I just hope she does not try getting between those 2x4s again. The rains stopped overnight, and we got a total of 5.4" in the last three days. Today was really pretty, and tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same, and the rains are supposed to start up again on Monday.

Homily -- Noun. 1. a usually short sermon. 2. a lecture or discourse on a moral theme. 3. an inspirational catchphrase. also: platitude. The pastor was renowned for his ability to deliver stirring, insightful homilies.

Did You Know? Gather around for the history of homily. The story starts with the ancient Greek homilos, meaning "crowd" or "assembly." Greeks used homilos to create the verb homilein ("to consort with" or "to address"), as well as the noun homilia ("conversation"). Latin speakers borrowed homilia, then passed it on to the Anglo-French. By the time it crossed into Middle English, the spelling had shifted to omelie, but by the mid-16th century the term had regained its h and the y of the modern spelling was added.

Friday, May 3, 2019

2019 - Day 123/242 - Friday...Gordian Knot...

I had the choice of confused cows or another pic of a car wreck on IH-35, so I am going with the confused cows. We got over three inches of rain in the last 24 hours, over four inches in the last 48 hours and it is raining again right now. This is supposed to be over in the next 12 hours or so, but is also supposed to start back up in the middle of next week. Here are my thoughts on this: once the flooding is over, it is going to be one hell of a drought. That's my opinion and I am sticking with it. This picture is of a normally dry creek that was roiling this morning as I was heading to Waco for a Texas REALTORS® meeting with Regions 8 and 15. It was a good meeting, lots of good information shared and lots of smart people there. Now, back to the cows; usually they traverse the dry creek bed to get under the bridge to the other side of the road. BUT, they were faklempt about how exactly they should respond, so they chose to just stand and stare. Not really a bad decision, and it seems the cattle are smarter than many central Texas motorists that just throw caution to the wind, drive through overflowing low-water crossings, and end up dead.

Gordian Knot -- Noun. an intricate problem; especially: a problem insoluble in its own terms. "You're presented with a Gordian Knot of problems that must be resolved, be they technical, marketing, sales, whatever." Sean McDonald, Pittsburgh Business Times, June 21, 2017

Did You Know? According to Greco-Roman mythology, when the peasant Gordius became king of Gordium in Phrygia, he dedicated his wagon to Jupiter and fastened its yoke to a beam with a very complex knot. Centuries later, when Alexander the Great arrived on the scene, he was told that he couldn't conquer and rule Asia unless he proved himself worthy by untying the knot. Alexander quickly solved his problem-and gained a new kingdom-by slicing the knot in half with his sword. Since then, Gordian Knot has become a term for a difficult problem, and the phrase "cut the Gordian Knot" has become a popular way to describe a neat solution for an apparently insurmountable difficulty.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

2019 - Day 122/243 - Thursday...Quixotic...

This particular hen (not one of ours) spotted around Davila (on the way back from Bryan/College Station) was in no apparent hurry to cross the road. When questioned about the age old motive of crossing the road, the hen turned around, looked at me with a stern look, and replied "Go cluck yourself," or something to that affect. I need to brush up on my chicken translation capabilities, but that is pretty much the response Alexa gave me when I asked for the translation. Of course, I am paraphrasing, but this is, after all, a family friendly journal.

In the last 24 hours, we have received 1.65" of rain, and more has fallen since my last measure. The rain was cooperative enough that it waited until I got home before letting loose, so my drive to and from the Land of Aggies was very pleasant. I even stopped on the way home at a little farm stand and bought some tomatoes (allegedly vine ripened) and a cantaloupe. Very good. The group of colleagues that I spoke with this afternoon were very fun and friendly, and a good time was had by all, particularly the one colleague whose skill surpassed all others in the contest.

Quixotic -- Adjective. 1. foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals. 2 capricious, unpredictable. Pauline characterized her decorating plans for the party as ambitious, but she secretly feared that "quixotic" was a more apt descriptor.

Did You Know? If you guessed that quixotic has something to do with Don Quixote, you are absolutely right. The hero of Miguel de Cervante's 17th-century Spanish novel El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha didn't change the world by tilting at windmills, but he did leave a linguistic legacy in English. The adjective quixotic is based on his name and has been used to describe unrealistic idealists since at least the early 18th century. The novel has given English other words as well. Dulcinea, the name of Quixote's beloved, has come to mean "mistress" or "sweetheart," and rosinante, which is sometimes used to refer to a old, broken-down horse, comes from the name of the hero's less-than-gallant steed, Rocinante.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

2019 - Day 121/244 - Wednesday...Disingenuous...

No snakes were harmed in the commission of this picture. Jody and I sat out on the front porch with the dogs for a while this evening after dinner. When we came back inside, Jody casually commented "There's a snake on the window ledge." I just happened to have a pair of gloves in my brief case from the move yesterday, so I got them and then got the snake. I asked Jody to take my right hand glove off so I could document the catch (the release came later). Harmless snake, the dogs did not see it so there was no rabble from them, and that was a good thing. Not sure how the snake got in to the house, but I can guarantee you one thing; a snake on the window sill is very different from finding a snake in the bed. I have never experienced the latter (and hope never to), but I can also guarantee you, that, if I ever do, you will not have to wait for a journal post accompanied by a selfie...that girly scream you will hear is just me acknowledging the fact that I found a snake in the bed.

Welcome to May, y'all!

Disingenuous -- Adjective. lacking in candor; also. giving a false appearance of simple frankness. calculating. Be aware that their expressions of concern may in truth be disingenuous and self-serving.

Did You Know? Today's word has its roots in the slave-holding society of ancient Rome. Its ancestor ingenuus is a Latin adjective meaning "native" or "freeborn" (itself from gignere, meaning "to beget"). Ingenuus begot the English adjective ingenuous. That adjective originally meant "freeborn" (as in ingenuous Roman subjects") or "noble and honorable," but it eventually came to mean "showing childlike innocence" or "lacking guile." In the mid-17th century, English speakers combined the negative prefix dis- with ingenuous to create disingenuous, meaning "guileful" or "deceitful."