Sunday, June 30, 2019

2019 - Day 181/184 - Sunday...Monger...

It rained overnight, just about a half inch, which let me slack off on cutting grass until later in the afternoon. I have one more section of grass to cut tomorrow night when I get home from work, and that will be it, all the grass will have been cut. It is an every-two-week thing, and that is not terrible. If I wanted to go non-stop, I could get it all done in one day, probably five hours of solid grass cutting, but breaking it down into sections seems to be working just fine as well. It is cloudy outside right now, and there are mentions of more rain overnight, not a lot, just enough to be annoying. I did manage to get a couple naps in today, and we took the girls for a ride. Other than that, I did a whole lot of nothing much. The coming week will be good, busy and short. Then, watch out for the next week. This is a picture of the back of the house I took yesterday after I cut the back grass. Some of it, anyway.

Monger -- Noun. 1. broker, dealer - usually used in combination. 2. one who spreads discreditable information - usually used in combination. According to reports, the singer and actress were a couple, but the rumormongers had it wrong - the two were just good friends.

Did You Know? Peddlers (especially fish merchants) have been called mongers for more than 1,000 years. Initially, it was an honorable term, but every profession has its bad apples, and the snake-oil salesman of the bunch gave monger a bad reputation. By the middle of the 16th century, the term often implied that a merchant was dishonorable or contemptible. Monger is typically appended to another word to identify a trader of a particular type. Some combinations (such as fishmonger) suggest respectable commerce, whereas others (such as rumormonger) imply that a person is spreading information in a deceptive manner.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

2019 - Day 180/185 - Saturday...Countenance...

We may live on a farm, but that does not necessarily translate that we are farmers. Case in point. When are peaches ripe on the tree? The look ripe, but they don't feel ripe. I'm afraid to cut one open because it may not be ripe, therefore it won't taste ripe, because it isn't ripe. They are hard as rocks. Are they supposed to be a little bit mushy before you pick them? And if so, how do peach farmers afford to pay someone to go around squishing peaches all day long to see if they are ripe? I really need someone to research this for me; we have LOTS of peaches out in the back on the two trees, the best performance since we have lived here, but I need to know when the peaches are ripe. Aside from spending lots of time pondering the peaches, I did have a couple naps today and cut grass in the back and the front. Tomorrow I will finish the far front and the side, as long as it does not rain. Perhaps the rain can hold off until tomorrow afternoon. Next week will be a short week, and we are expecting Joe Mac and Carolyn from Mississippi to share the Holiday with us, that will be extra fun!

Countenance -- Noun. 1. the human face. 2. favor, approval. "As he said this, Maddon's countenance was a bit less chipper than usual. He probably was just tired." Steve Greenberg, Chicago Sun-Times, August 28, 2017

Did You Know? Countenance is one of several English descendants of the Latin continere, a verb meaning "to hold together," "to hold in," or "to contain." There is documented evidence of countenance being used in English as far back as the 13th century, when it was adopted from the Anglo-French contenance, which in turn derived from the Latin continentia, meaning "restraint." A now obsolete sense of the word meant "bearing" or "demeanor"; that meaning shifted to "facial expression" and then to "an expression that offers approval." Other descendants of continere in English include contain, content, and continuous.

Friday, June 28, 2019

2019 - Day 179/186 - Friday...Nebbish...

These girls are about 13 weeks old now, and all of them survived. I expected a couple of them to croak, but they all made it without too much trouble. Not bad for a bunch of chicks that were between 1 and seven days old when we got them. One of them did try to commit suicide (I have no idea how she wedged herself into that space), but even she recovered with no ill effects. They all seem happy a clams (or chickens) in their pen, and I guess they are happy. I think the other girls were happy too, but the learning curve for free-range chickens has to be fast and furious. On a selfish note, the young plantings are much healthier with no chickens pecking them, and the porches and patios are much cleaner without having a bunch of free-ranging chickens pooping all over everything. We should start getting some egg production around September/October. We will let you know.

Nebbish -- Noun. a timid, meek, or ineffectual person. "The Tick tries to prod Arthur to work with him, even providing the nebbish with a bulletproof moth-like costume." Matthew Gilbert, The Boston Globe, August 24, 2017

Did You Know? "From what I looks like Pa isn't anything like the nebbish Ma is always making him out to be." Sounds like poor Pa got a bum rap, at least according to Gilbert Millstein in his 1951 New York Times review of Arthur Kober's book of stories, Bella, Bella Kissed a Fella. Nebbish derives from the Yiddish nebekh, meaning "poor" or "unfortunate." As you might expect for a timid word like nebbish, the journey from Yiddish to English wasn't accomplished in a single bold leap of spelling and meaning. In its earliest English uses in the 1840s, it was spelled nebbich and used interjectionally as an expression of dismay.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

2019 - Day 178/187 - Thursday...Piebald...

It was a lovely start to the day; leisurely, calm, not harried...lovely. No speeding, just taking everything as it came. I see these guys working on various railroad tracks around the area, but never got to see one up close and obstructing the forward motion of the vehicle in which I was riding. I even made it to Costco and the dentist (cleaning time) without a tremendous amount of angst. But then these is the cook top. We have been trying to get it repaired since the beginning (or maybe the middle) of April. Every time they fix one thing, they break another thing and have to order more parts. Today, they broke the glass of the cook top. And they did not turn the gas service back on. But, none of it was their fault...according to them. This time, it was caused by crumbs getting down in to the bowels of the cook top. Just to be clear, we cannot remember the last time we cooked crumbs, so I can neither confirm or deny the credibility of the repair people.

Piebald -- Adjective. 1. composed of incongruous parts. 2. of different colors, especially. spotted or blotched with black and white. "What they did find, though, were some surprise photos of a piebald deer, something few people ever get to see in the woods." Brenda Carpenter, New Hampshire Sunday News, January 3, 2016

Did You Know? To many people, the noisy black and white birds that go by the scientific name Pica pica - better known as magpies - are nothing but pests. But the Latin root that was adopted for their name isn't a linguistic nuisance. It played an important role in the development of piebald. The pie of piebald (pie is another name for magpie) derives from pica, which is Latin for "magpie." The other part of piebald comes from the word bald, which can mean "marked with white"; it can also be found in skewbald, an adjective used to describe animals marked with patches of white and any other color but black.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

2019 - Day 177/188 - Wednesday...Catbird Seat...

We've got various flora blooming around the house right now. This has been a really off year for the plantings around the house. We had a really late HARD freeze, and it was after much of the plantings had already starting putting up greenery. That was really pretty disastrous, and it has been a long, slow process of recovery. Every now and then we see something that we thought we had lost, and we are happy that something survived here an there. The lilies seem to take most of the bad weather in their stride. These are blooming by the storm shelter, and there are more all around the property. The blooms do not last very long, usually a day or two, but they are prolific in their blooming. We have seen three Pride of Barbados (my faves, also known as New Mexico Birds of Paradise)) that survived, but no blooms yet. I still have some seed I saved from last year, so I may go ahead and pot some of those and see if they will come up.

Catbird Seat -- Noun. a position of great prominence or advantage. Nelson found himself sitting in the catbird seat with lucrative offers from three potential employers in front of him.

Did You Know? "In the catbird seat" was among the numerous folksy expressions that legendary baseball broadcaster Red Barber used to delight listeners. Some say that he invented the expression; others say that he dug it up from his Southern origins. But the truth may be far stranger than those rumors. In a 1942 short story titled "The Catbird Seat", James Thurber featured a character, Mrs. Barrows, who liked to use the phrase. Another character, Joey Hart, explained that Mrs. Barrows must have picked up the expression from Red Barber. To Red, according to Joey, "sitting in the catbird seat "meant "'sitting pretty,' like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him." But, according to Barber's daughter, it was only after Barber read Thurber's story that he started using "in the catbird seat" himself.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

2019 - Day 176/189 - Tuesday...Breadbasket...

...and it's only Tuesday. We had a little more rain overnight, but the dogs slept through it with no issues. It started out kind of cloudy today, but it has turned out to be a pretty day. Unseasonably cool for almost July, but we have the recent rains to thank for that. My car said it was 79 degrees when I was on my way home this afternoon. We only got a teensy bit of rain on the Edge of Nowhere, but there was rain all around, as is evidenced by the picture attached to this journal entry. Today was basically a day spent in the office, except for the parts where I went to a directors meeting, during which time I participated on a conference call with another committee, and then went to a TREPAC function on the way home. I love what I do, I hope it shows!

Breadbasket -- Noun. 1. slang: stomach. 2. a major cereal-producing region. Richard grew up right in the middle of the Midwestern breadbasket, so many of his family members got their first jobs in cereal mills.

Did You Know? Breadbasket has been used as slang in English since at least the mid-1700s. (It has been used even longer to mean literally a basket for holding bread.) It can refer to the stomach as an actual digestive organ ("his breadbasket rumbled with hunger"), but these days it's more commonly applied to the general stomach area ("rested her hands on her breadbasket"). No one is quite sure of the exact origins of the use, but it's likely that there's some connection between the basket used to hold bread and the "basket" where the bread ends us after a person eats it. Breadbasket has also come to refer to an area that supplies an important amount of grain ("the breadbasket of the country").

Monday, June 24, 2019

2019 - Day 175/190 - Monday...Epithet...

Complaint Department, this is Bill, how may I help you? It's dark outside and the sun is coming out. Is it hot enough for you? I was on hold for 47 minutes. It's not morning, it's afternoon. It's not the heat, it's the stupidity. Does this dress make my butt look big? I know you close in five minutes, but I'll get there in about 30 minutes, can you wait for me? It really was not a terrible ay, it was just raining and thundering and lightning all day. Until just the last fifteen minutes. The sun is out and it is a lovely evening. In the last twenty-four hours we've had a little over 2.25" of rain, and there is supposed to be more overnight. It's totally okay with me. The girls are not particularly afraid of thunder and lightning, but they were curious. I at least hope they were curious, because since it was raining outside, there was no way in hell they would step foot off the back porch. So, we went from the bedroom to the couch. Callie was perfectly happy to sleep on the couch, the white girl was anxious, so she kept coming and going. I am hoping for a little more sleep tonight.

Epithet -- Noun. 1a. a characterizing word or phrase used in place of a name. 2a. a disparaging or abusive word or phrase. "The United States, Henry Kissinger once observed, is 'probably the only country in which the term "realist" can be used as a perjorative epithet.'" Jacob Heilbrunn, Politico, September/October 2017

Did You Know? Nowadays, epithet is usually used negatively, with the meaning "a derogatory word or phrase," but it wasn't always that way. Epithet comes to us via Latin from the Greek noun epitheton and ultimately derives from epitithenai, meaning "to put on" or "to add." In the oldest sense, an epithet is simply a descriptive word or phrase, especially one joined by fixed association to the name of someone or something (as in "Peter the Great" or the stock Homeric phrases "gray-eyed Athena" and "wine-dark sea"). Alternatively, epithets may be used in place of a name (as in "the Peacemaker" or "the Eternal"). These neutral meanings of epithet are still in use, but today the word is more often used in its negative "term of disparagement" sense.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

2019 - Day 174/191 - Sunday...Inroad...

While sitting at the table enjoying our 'lupper' this afternoon, I saw a house finch on the patio. I have never seen one out here. Tiny little thing, mostly brown with a red crown, breast and rump. That is pretty much a quote from the bird identifier thing we've got. It was not easy, but I did even less today than I did yesterday. It was a great day, indeed! I searched for the wasp nest that caused me to be stung yesterday, did not find it, but I will be vigilant. I did do a few measly things, but mostly I took naps. And had some chocolate. Okay, mostly I had some chocolate. When the sun came out this afternoon, I did lay out in the sun for about an hour. It was very nice. This picture is of the dirtiest fountain EVER on the Edge of Nowhere, but I like the colors it has developed. It reminds me of the Chinese glazes on the ancient ceramics. We own a couple copies, and we have seen the real thing, and this fountain is really nothing like those (either ones) but I like the look.

Inroad -- Noun. 1. a sudden hostile incursion. raid. 2. an advance or penetration at the expense of another - usually used in plural. "That growth by its rivals put United on the defensive as they made inroads into its Middle America hubs.", January 29, 2018

Did You Know? Inroad is a combination of in and road (well, duh), both of which are pretty mundane, as far as words go. But the first-and oldest-meaning of inroad hints at a meaning of road other than the "way for traveling" one. Beginning back in the days of Old English, road referred to an armed hostile incursion made on horseback. (Raid comes from this use of road and also formerly specified incursions on horseback.) Road has lost all of its former violent connotations, and inroad is shedding these as well. While inroads are often made at the expense or someone or something, they are at times simply advances, as when an artist is said to be making inroads into a community.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

2019 - Day 173/192 - Saturday...Sui Generis...

There's not enough here to make a decent pair of boots, but I did run across this snake skin on one of the paths today while I was watering plants. I expect it is just a rat snake skin; we have never seen or heard a rattler since we have been here, although the folks we bought the house from, and all the neighbors agree that rattle snakes are all around this area. The only snake I/we have seen are/were rat snakes. Generally speaking, I just relocate them. That really means that I just throw them over the fence. Other than that, I did not accomplish very much of anything today. There were several naps, and Jody and I did go in to Georgetown for a little bit of shopping and lunch. While we were in Georgetown, there were a couple calls from clients, and although next week looks like a pretty calm week, it could all change quickly.

Sui Generis -- Adjective. constituting a class alone. unique, peculiar. "So let us celebrate the glory that was Elaine Stritch in her prime. For among modern entertainers, she is sui generis." Stephen Holden, The New York Times, April 4, 2013

Did You Know? English contains many terms that ultimately trace back to the Latin forms gener- or genus (translated as "birth," "race," "kind," and "class"). Sui generis - literally "one of its own kind" - is truly a one-of-a-kind gener- descendant that English speakers have used since the late 1600s. Its earliest uses were in scientific contexts, where it identified substances, principles, diseases, and even rocks that were the only representative of their class or group. By the early 1900s, however, sui generis had expanded beyond solely scientific contexts, and it is now used more generally for anything that stands alone.

Friday, June 21, 2019

2019 - Day 172/193 - Friday...Flotsam...

I used to smoke cigarettes. Benson & Hedges DeLuxe Menthol 100s. In the gold box. I would store other things in the boxes as well, necessities for an evening of social adventures. I loved smoking. I was really good at it. I haven't smoked a cigarette in about 25 years. That was the last time I quit smoking. There were several times before that. There was also a time that I had a jumbo slurpee every day. I loved slurpees. Cola flavored. I had a slurpee today for the first time in I have no idea how many years. It was probably a four ounce slurpee. It cost $1.50. It was awful. I was really disappointed. Occasionally, I dream about smoking a cigarette, and in my dreams, I am disappointed that I hated having smoked a cigarette after such a long time. In my dream, the cigarette after such a long time was not nearly as fulfilling as I remembered. The slurpee was much the same as a dream cigarette. Truly disappointing. Such a shame.

Flotsam -- Noun. 1. floating wreckage of a ship or its cargo. broadly. floating debris. 2a. miscellaneous or unimportant material. 2b. debris, remains. The young couple's apartment was adorned with the flotsam and jetsam of thrift stores and yard sales.

Did You Know? English speakers started using flotsam, jetsam, and lagan as legal terms in the 16th and 17th centuries. (The earliest evidence of flotsam dates from around 1607.) The three words were used to establish claims of ownership to the three types of sea-borne, vessel-originated goods they named. Flotsam was anything from a shipwreck. (The word comes from the Old French floter, meaning "to float.") Jetsam and lagan were items thrown overboard to lighten a ship. Lagan was distinguished from jetsam by having a buoy attached to the goods could later be recovered. In the 19th century, when flotsam and jetsam took on extended meanings, they became synonyms, but they are still very often paired.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

2019 - Day 171/194 - Thursday...Nexus...

It's Hot as Hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore. Or something like that. It has been a relatively nice, mild, wet, cloudy spring. Tomorrow is the first official (not full) day of summer, and today we are being beaten down by oppressive heat. Temperatures in the middle 90s, but the humidity is really high, the heat-index for Georgetown on the evening news was reported to be 111 degrees. Not as bad as Bastrop, where it feels like 118 degrees. It's Hot as Hell. Otherwise, we are all happy to have air conditioning, and we totally expect the set records this year for energy (particularly electric) consumption. There are lots of people moving to Austin and to Texas, so there is increasing demand on those resources. But, I also expect we will all do what we need to do, we just kind of hope we can avoid the rolling blackouts. On a positive note, you should set your recorders for Dr. Pimple Popper, tonight at 9 (CDST).

Nexus -- Noun. 1. a connecting point or link. also a casual link. 2. a connected group or series. 3. center, focus. "Newfield's research grows out of his ongoing work at the nexus of the humanities and public policy." Jim Logan, The Current (University of California-Santa Barbara), August 31, 2017

Did You Know? Nexus is all about connections. The word comes from nectere, a Latin verb meaning "to bind." A number of other words are related to nectere. The most obvious is connect, but annex (meaning "to attach as an addition," or more specifically "to incorporate into a political domain") is related as well. When nexus came into English in the 17th century, it meant "connection." Eventually, it took on the additional meaning of "connected series" (as in "a nexus of relationships"). In the past few decades it has taken a third meaning: "center" (as in "the trade nexus of the region"), perhaps from the notion that a point in the center of an arrangement serves to join together the objects that surround it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

2019 - Day 170/195 - Wednesday...Faineant...

Needless to say, this crap will take the zoom-zoom out of your zoom-zoom. I couldn't go twenty minutes today (going or coming) without encountering a wreck. Wrecks to the left of me, wrecks to the right... Whatever. I did make it to the office before 8 o'clock, and I had the whole place to myself for a while and that is always a nice thing. Quiet, no distractions, clear the desk kind of time. I had two appointments today, and they were both fun and productive. A good time was had by all. Tomorrow I will present another class at the Austin Board, and on Friday I will present a short class, and then back in to the office for some power real estate. AND THEN it will be the weekend, and I expect to be a slug. Well, you know how that goes...

Faineant -- Adjective. idle and ineffectual. indolent. The humid late afternoon left Sam feeling faineant and wanting nothing more than to sit by the pool and sip iced tea.

Did You Know? You've probably guessed that faineant was borrowed from French; it derives from fait-nient, which literally means "does nothing," and ultimately traces back to the verb faindre, or feindre, meaning "to feign." (The English word feign is also descended from this verb, as are faint and feint.) Faineant first appeared in print in the early 17th century as a noun meaning "an irresponsible idler," and by the mid-19th century it was also being used as an adjective. As its foreignness suggests, faineant tends to be used when the context calls for a fancier or more elegant word that inactive or sluggish.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

2019 - Day 169/196 - Tuesday...Quiddity...

This is NOT the photo I had intended to use for this journal entry. My intention was to have a photo of the last day of the Property Management class I presented last week and this week, but as we all know, the best laid plans... On a more positive note, the class is over, there were no casualties over the four days of training, and everyone in the class passed the test. And, I am pretty damned sure everyone that was in attendance learned something, and I am POSITIVE that I learned something. So, I hope you enjoy this picture of the sunrise, and, oh yes, today is the finish of Jody and my 27 years as a couple. Tomorrow will start our 28th year. We weren't allowed to be legally married until 2013, but we made the best of the years between 1992 and 2013. Enjoy your evening!

Quiddity -- Noun. 1. whatever makes something the type that it is. essence. 2a. a trifling point. quibble. b. an unusual opinion or habit. "The elegant, punky, petroleum-like smokiness that imbues every good meszcal, and which is its quiddity, comes from the burning of the agave heart." Roy Harvey, Coloradoan, May 19, 2016

Did You Know? When it comes to synonyms of quiddity, the Q's have it. Consider quintessence, a synonym of the "essence of a thing" sense of quiddity (this oldest sense of quiddity dates from the 14th century). Quibble is a synonym of the "trifling point" sense; that meaning of quiddity arose from the subtler points of 16th-century academic arguments. And quirk, like quiddity, can refer to a person's eccentricities. Of course, quiddity also derives from a "Q" word, the Latin pronoun quis, which is one of two Latin words for "who" (the other is qui). Quid, the neuter form of quis, gave rise to the Medieval Latin quidditas, which means "essence," a term that was essential to the development of the English quiddity. Got that?

Monday, June 17, 2019

2019 - Day 168/197 - Monday...Rarified...

Overnight we received 1.13" of rain. Ordinarily, the girl dogs are not concerned with rain, thunder or lightning. Last night seemed to be the exception. Jody got up once during the night and let them outside. I got up once and let them outside, and got up with them again and slept with them on the futon in the study. I woke up a little bit later, and the storm was over and all three of us went back to sleep in our respective beds. There was not another peep out of them until it was time to get up this morning, and they would hav
e preferred to stay in their bed. This is a picture of one of the plumeria (definitely an over-achiever) that Mike stuck in a pot of dirt earlier this year when he visited us from Florida for Jody's birthday. I am not that lucky with Plumerias, but I love them, and have a proclivity of killing them. BUT, this one is beautiful, and I love the perfume them give off. It reminds me of buttered popcorn.

Rarified -- Adjective. 1. being less dense. 2. of, relating to, or interesting to a select group. esoteric. 3. very high. "He was known for photographing the most rarified parties and galas but never partaking of even an hors d'oeuvre." Robin Givhan, The Washington Post, June 27, 2016

Did You Know? Rarified was formed from the verb rarefy, which derives from a combination of the Latin rarus ("thin" or "rare") with facere ("to make") and has meant "to make thin" since the 14th century. In its original use back in the 1500s, the adjective rarified was on the lean side, too; it meant "made less dense" (as in "the fog lifted and we could breathe more easily in the rarified air"). By the 17th century, rarefy had gained the sense "to refine or purify," and over time rarified followed suit.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

2019 - Day 167/198 - Sunday...Troglodyte...

Today was a MOST excellent day. After coffee, paper and breakfast, I went in to the office and cleared my desk. And cleared my inbox. And cleared my e-mails. Nothing. I am caught up, and I expect that status to last at least until about eight o'clock tomorrow morning. I ran some errands on the way home from the office, and when I got home, I swept out the garage and the front porch, cut the grass in the dog yard, sent a few more e-mails, and took a nap. Later on I tried out my idea for a gutter from the chicken coop to the chicken didn't work with the stuff I have available, but in theory the idea should still work. More on that in a future post. I am really happy that there are peaches on our two peach trees, there are apples on both of our apple trees, but there are no plums on the plum tree. I will check the pear tree another time.

Troglodyte -- Noun. 1. one who lived or was reputed to live in a cave (as in antiquity). 2. a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded attitude. "I am not on any social media. ...Guess that makes me a troglodyte." Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star, November 23, 2012

Did You Know? Peer into the etymological cave of troglodyte and you'll find a trogle. But don't be afraid. Trogle may sound like a scary cave-dwelling ogre, but it's actually just a Greek root that means "hole" or "cave." Troglodyte and its related adjective troglodytic (meaning "of, related to, or being a troglodyte") are the only trogle offspring that are widely used in general English contexts, but another trogle progeny, the prefix troglo-, meaning cave-dwelling," is used in scientific contexts to form words like troglobiont ("an animal living in or restricted to caves").

Saturday, June 15, 2019

2019 - Day 166/199 - Saturday...Epigone...

From one extreme to the other. Jody and I have seen this old car on the side of the road for the last two weekends, with a for sale sign on the back end of it. I stopped and looked last weekend, and took a closer look at it today. We think it is about a 1939 Ford Opera Coupe. Jody had one of those at one time in his life, and I think it is the car that he and his friend LeRoy travelled through Mexico in, that was in the late '40s or maybe the really early '50s. He has talked often about that car. Otherwise, I did very little of anything today, although I was able to squeeze in a few naps here and there. I will have to go in to the office tomorrow for a couple hours, but that will be A-OK.

Epigone -- Noun. follower, disciple. also; an inferior imitator. "A Terrence Malick epigone, Lowery also relies too heavily on that elder filmmaker's fondness for crepuscular light." Melissa Anderson, Miami New York Times, July 25, 2017

Did You Know? English borrowed epigone from German in the 19th century. The Germans themselves had taken the word from the Latin epigonus, which means "successor." The Latin term followed the Greek epigonos, which was often used in plural to designate the sons of seven legendary Greek leaders who were defeated at Thebes. Epigonos in turn came from the Greek verb epigignesthai, meaning "to be born after." Epi- can mean "after," and gignesthai means "to be born."

Friday, June 14, 2019

2019 - Day 165/200 - Friday...Winnow...

Friday! Yippee-Skippee! Weekend. No plans. There is a hot-pink float in the back yard with my name on it, and I hope to take full advantage. Not that it has been a terribly hard week or anything like that, it just seems like last weekend was a year or two ago. Next week will be busy, too, but not AS busy, which will be very welcome. ROT (Republic of Texas) Rally started today, and there are motorcycles everywhere. It is really not as bad at Austin City Limits or South by Southwest. Most of these attendees (100,000) are not RIGHT downtown, they are more spread out. Most of them are bankers and lawyers who just happen to ride motorcycles. Tonight they will be all up and down Congress Avenue, and that is a good 50 miles from us. Over the weekend however, they find the country roads to be particularly inviting. Can't say that I blame them, there are just lots of curves and blind spots. Be safe everybody!

Winnow -- Verb. 1. to remove (something, such as chaff) by a current of air. 2. to remove, separate, or select as if by winnowing. 3. to narrow or reduce. 4. to blow on or fan. The judges have winnowed the list of essay entries down to five finalists.

 Did You Know? Beginning as windwian in Old English, winnow first referred to the removal of chaff from grain by a current of air. This use was soon extended to describe the removal of anything undesirable or unwanted (a current example of this sense would be "winnowing out outdated information"). People then began using the word for the selection of the most desirable elements (as in "winnowing out the true statements from the lies"). The association of winnow with the movement or air led to the meaning "to beat with or as if with wings," but that use is rare. The word's last meaning ("to blow on or fan," as in "a breeze winnowed her hair") blew in at the turn of the 19th century.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

2019 - Day 164/201 - Thursday...Numinous...

Today was kind of a 'normal' day, if anyone knows what the definition of 'normal' is anymore. Property visits, office stuff, meeting with clients, phone calls, getting yelled at, you know, just the normal kind of things. I did get to sleep a little bit later this morning, and I did not have to rush around to get out of the house and in to the office. Tomorrow will be a different story altogether. Start prepping for a broadcast class at about 8:15 or 8:30, and the class goes from 9 til 1. I'm getting more and more comfortable with the broadcast class stuff, but I am still at the top of my game when I an in the classroom WITH people. I am not sure my presentation style comes across 'at a distance.' But, what is the worst that can happen? By 1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, it will just be history, and I will be off to something else! Perfect! Can you sense the insecurity there? Me too! Oh, and there was a closing today, too! Congratulations to Tosalyn and Jack, soon to be proud homeowners. The other side closes tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Numinous -- Adjective. 1. supernatural, mysterious. 2. filled with a sense of the presence of divinity. 3. appealing to the aesthetic sense. "The book is fervently, strangely alive, and, like many peculiar, numinous things, 'The Peregrine' has its circle of admirers." Cynthia Zarin, The New Yorker, April 17, 2017

Did You Know? Numinous is from the Latin word numen, meaning "divine will" or "nod" (it suggests a figurative nodding, of assent or of command, of the diving head). English speakers have been using numen for centuries with the meaning "a spiritual force or influence." We began using numinous in the mid-1600s, subsequently endowing it with several senses: "supernatural" or "mysterious" (as in "possessed of a numinous energy force"), "holy" (as in "the numinous atmosphere of the catacombs"), and "appealing to the aesthetic sense" (as in "the numinous nuances of her art"). We also created the nouns numinousness and numinosity, although these are rare.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

2019 - Day 163/202 - Wednesday...Mimesis...

What day is it? I know, it's hump-day...but really, what the hell day is it? I am tired, it is after 10 o'clock, and I just got home. It has been a crazy couple of weeks, but if I can make it through next Tuesday, there will be some time for rest. Another full day of guiding folks through a class at the Austin Board of REALTORS®, two more full days next week, and a four hour presentation on Friday. I really, REALLY love what I am doing, particularly the part that gets my ugly mug in front of my colleagues, no matter what the subject, although I suspect many of you know the subject material. After the class this afternoon, I took off to the Highland Lakes Association to present at their first Major Investor event, and it was a really great success. Many of the members 'upped' their TREPAC investments, and there were three or four (I lost count) new Major Investors. Not at all shabby for their first event. This is a picture of me and Sonya, a Highland Lakes member and a TREPAC Trustee for Region 8.

Mimesis -- Noun. imitation, mimicry. "To hear her now resort to weird mimesis, echoing hollow, boring expressions of lust...feels like a collapse of imagination, and of honesty." Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, September 5, 2017

Did You Know? Mimesis is a term with an undeniably classical pedigree. Originally a Greek word, it has been used in aesthetic or artistic theory since Plato and Aristotle to refer to the attempt to imitate or reproduce reality. Mimesis is derived from the Greek verb mimeisthai, which means "to imitate" and which itself comes from mimos, meaning "mime." The English word mime also descends from mimos, as do mimic and mimicry. And what about mimeograph, the name of a duplicating machine that preceded the photocopier? We can't be absolutely certain what the folks at the A.B. Dick Company had in mind when they came up with the Mimeograph (a trademark name that has since expired), but influence from mimos and its descendants certainly seems probable.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

2019 - Day 162/203 - Tuesday...Inkling...

So, these are the clouds that greeted me this morning as I was going out to let the girls out of the coop, into their run. Lovely. Once I got going, there were a few drops of rain, nothing really worth noting. When I left Austin this afternoon on the way home, it was raining. I had been inside all day (guiding a class) and I had no idea it was raining. I got home, nothing. No rain. Nothing. Did I mention there was nothing? I find it interesting that the rain bands can be so specific. On Sunday, we have a few drops of rain, Austin had a deluge. When we moved out her to the edge of nowhere, we believed it rained more here than in Austin, and we attributed that to the 'heat island' affect. We made that up, but the theory was, there was so much heat in Austin that the rain in the atmosphere would go around Austin, because of the 'heat island.' Now I don't have a clue what is going on. BUT, otherwise, today was a good day, there were 29 or so attendees in the class I presented, and tomorrow is another day!

Inkling -- Noun. 1. a slight indication or suggestion: hint, clue. 2. a slight knowledge or vague notion. Nobody had an inkling that Devon was searching for a new job, so we were all stunned when he announced that he was leaving the company.

Did You Know? Originating in English in the early 16th century, inkling derives from the Middle English yngkiling, meaning "whisper or mention," and, beyond that, perhaps from the verb inclen, meaning "to hint at." It also shares a distant relationship with the Old English noun inca, meaning "suspicion." An early sense of the word meant "a faint perceptible sound or undertone" or "rumor," but now people usually use the word to refer to a tiny bit of knowledge or information that a person receives about something. One related word you might not have heard of it the verb inkle, a back-formation of inkling that occurs in some British English dialects and means "to have an idea or notion of."

Monday, June 10, 2019

2019 - Day 161/204 - Monday...Polemic...

Everything I do is exotic and glamorous. Said nobody ever. True, I do enjoy the volunteering I do on many fronts, as a representative of my local, state and national trade associations, but also as a volunteer for a couple other local and state organizations. But before all the outreach and networking we get accomplished, all those things have to be planned and researched and tested. SO, that is what we did for most of the day. I had a meeting at 8 o'clock this morning, and it was a planning session for our TREPAC Leadership. Then committee meetings, then a quick (and very fun) video session, then a working lunch, then committee presentations til we adjourned just before 4 o'clock this afternoon. Now is the time to put all our plans the work into action.

Polemic -- Noun. 1a. an aggressive attack on or refutation of the opinions or principles of another. b. the art or practice of disputation. 2. disputant. The author resorts to polemic rather than using data to refute existing research.

Did You Know? When polemic was borrowed into English from the French polemique in the mid-17th century, it referred (as it still can) to a type of hostile attack on someone's ideas. The word traces back to the Greek polemikos, which means "warlike" or "hostile" and in turn comes from the Greek noun polemos, meaning "war." Other, considerably less common descendants of polemos in English include polemarch ("a chieftain or military commander in ancient Greece"), polemoscope (a kind of binoculars with an oblique mirror), and polemology ("the study of war").

Sunday, June 9, 2019

2019 - Day 160/205 - Sunday...Sternutation...

So, the question of the day is, how many donut holes is too many donut holes. Apparently, 1,100 donut holes is just the right number for a TREPAC Fundraising event at the Central Texas Olive Ranch. Eleven hundred donut holes and twenty-five dozen cookies, and not a singly one was left over. I am not saying that they were all eaten, but there were no left at the Olive Ranch when I I departed. Not sure, but some of them might make it into staff break rooms or fraternity kitchens later on; I can neither confirm nor deny.

The fundraiser was great, and we were threatened with some severe weather following it. We lucked out, it went south and east of us. We (so far) have had about 0.05" of rain, although it was pretty windy for a while. This will be a pretty busy week, but it will all turn out just fine...

Sternutation -- Noun. the act, fact, or noise of sneezing. "Secondly, her achoo! was the tiniest and cutest iteration of a sternutation I've ever seen." Vanessa Golembewski, Refinery29, June 8, 2016

Did You Know? Sternutation comes from Latin and is a descendant of the verb sternuere, meaning "to sneeze." One of the earliest known English uses occurred in a 16th-century edition of a book on midwifery, in a passage about infants suffering from frequent "sternutation and sneesynge." The term has been long used in serious medical contexts, but also on occasion for humorous effect. In 1850 , for example, author Grace Greenwood observed that U.S. senators opposing political parties would often come together to share snuff: "And all three forget their sectional differences in a delightful concert of sternutation."

Saturday, June 8, 2019

2019 - Day 159/206 - Saturday...Duress...

The white dog is a little bit (okay, correction, A LOT) weary of the duck in the pool. She is the one that watches television and barks at the dogs in commercials. She is fearless. She was barking at the duck, and the duck turned its back on her. She did not care for that at all. The duck turned back around, and that was all it took for a little bit of a miniature war to break out. The quack heard 'round the world! Otherwise, a pretty good day today. I did a few things around the house, nothing major, changed the AC filters, had the AC serviced late this morning, did some (a bunch) of phone calls, and then tried (unsuccessfully) to take a nap. Jody and I went in to Georgetown for lunch this afternoon, and I took care of a couple errands. Watered the plants outside, jumped in the pool, and now it is almost time to go to bed.

Duress -- Noun. 1. forcible restraint or restriction. 2. compulsion by threat; specifically: unlawful constraint. "You did, however, sign this contract (possibly under mild duress, but not against your will)." Chuck Klosterman, The New York Times, June 30, 2013

Did You Know? Duress is a word of hardy stock. It has been a part of the English language since the 14th century and has a number of long-lived relatives. Duress itself came into Middle English through the Anglo-French duresce (meaning "hardness" or "severity"), which stems from the Latin durus, meaning "hard." Some obvious relatives of this robust root are durable, endure, and obdurate (meaning "unyeilding" or "hardened in feelings"). Others include dour (meaning "harsh," "unyeidling," or "gloomy") and during.

2019 - Day 158/207 - Friday...Levigate...

Well, sorry this entry is late, but... On the trip home from South Padre Island, I sat in a window seat on the plane. I cannot remember the last time I sat by the window on a plane. In my old age, I have chosen the aisle seats, just for the opportunity of having a little bit more room, and not having to crawl over people to get to and from. There are admittedly benefits to the window seat; you can lean your head against the side of the plane while napping. You are not inconvenienced when your row mates need to pee. But the thing I had forgotten was, on occasion, looking out the window of a plane affords you views that you very seldom see. This is a picture of the storm we 'went around' on the way home last night. Very interesting. Here is something else that very rarely happens; we left early and arrived early. Amazing!

Levigate -- Verb. 1. polish, smooth. 2a. to grind to a fine smooth powder while in a moist condition. b. to separate (fine powder) from coarser material by suspending in a liquid. The painter levigated zinc oxide and calcium carbonate with linseed oil.

Did You Know? Levigate comes from the Latin levigatus, the past participle of the verb levigare ("to make smooth"). Levigare is derived in part from levis, the Latin word for "smooth." Alleviate and levity can also be traced back to a Latin levis, and the levi- root in both words might suggest a close relationship with levigate. This is not the case, however. The Latin levis that gives us alleviate and levity means not "smooth" but "light" (in the sense of having little weight). One possible relative of levigate in English is oblivion, which comes from the Latin oblivisci ("to forget"), a word that may be a combination  of ob- ("in the way") and the levis that means "smooth."

Thursday, June 6, 2019

2019 - Day 157/208 - Thursday...Infix...

It was a pretty long day, but a really fun day at the same time. I left the house early so I could make a stop in the office, and then it was off to the airport that ended in Harlingen. Then off to South Padre Island, another part of Texas that I have never visited. I have only lived in Texas for 34 years, so there is still a lot of Texas that I have not yet visited, but I expect there is still time. Interesting dinner meeting with our Region 11 colleagues, then we were invited to the home of one of our colleagues, then back to the hotel where I ran in to Candy, Mike, John, Adrian, Shari and several others.

8:30 in the morning will be here before we know it, and back to Austin late tomorrow afternoon.

Infix -- Noun. a derivational or inflectional affix appearing in the body of a word. Jerome had a habit of using "ma" as an infix, as in sophistimacated."

Did You Know? Like phrases and suffixes, infixes are part of the general class of affixes ("sounds or letters attached to or inserted within a word to produce a derivative word or an inflectional form"). Infixes are relatively rare in English but you can find them in the plural forms of some words. For example, cupful, spoonful, and passerby can be pluralized as cupsful, spoonsful, and passersby, using s as an infix. Another example is the insertion of an (often offensive) intensifier into a word, as in "fan-freakin'-tastic." Such whole-word insertions are sometimes called infixes, though this phenomenon is more traditionally know as tmesis.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

2019 - Day 156/209 - Wednesday...Bruit...

The prognosis for today was rain, and I had full comprehension of that. I had a 9 o'clock breakfast appointment, and I was early. There was a car wash right there, and I am not an fan of car washing...we live on a dirt road. BUT, the exterior of the car was filthy, and there was a car wash right there. I did the drive-thru deal, which was fun, the inside was nothing that I could not overcome, and the outside has most of the dirt washed off of it. It did not rain considerably, and the car still look like you can tell what color it is. All-in-all, I think it was a win-win! Plus, I got to use four hyphens! A great day! This is my experience at the car wash, from the inside.

BUT...I am exhausted. I finished reading (listening to) the Mueller Report. Fascinating. Informing. Exhausting. Detailed. Interesting. Not a bodice ripper or anything like that, but there is a lot of information in that report, and I believe I can now speak to (or at least I believe I can validate any opinion I want to share) after having read (listened to) it. I am officially a snob, so if you have not read it, do not berate me with your feelings. Feelings don't count.

Bruit -- Verb. report, rumor - usually used with about. Word was bruited about that the company might be moving to a bigger office downtown.

Did You Know? Back in the days of Middle English, the Anglo-French noun bruit, meaning "clamor" or "noise," rattled into English. Soon English speakers were also using it to mean "report" or "rumor" (it applied especially to favorable reports). We also began using bruit as a verb the way we used (and still occasionally do use) the verb noise, with the meaning "to spread by rumor or report" (as in "the scandal was quickly noised about"). The English noun bruit (meaning "noise" or "rumor") is now considered archaic, but the verb lives on.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

2019 - Day 155/210 - Tuesday...Sanctimonious...

I had a pretty good picture of one of the wrecks I encountered on the way to work this morning, all cropped and ready, but then I decided it was one of those things that, 'you had to be there'. Wrecks on the interstate are such a common occurrence that they are just worthy of little attention. It is always something, and there is just no getting around them. Literally. This morning, a three lane section of the interstate was reduced to one lane, and it is never at a convenience spot. SO, I decided to use this picture of the morning sunrise, full of promise and false hope that the day would be a lovely one. Alas, it was not meant to be. It was not an awful day by any means, just not a wonderful as the sunrise promised.

Sanctimonious -- Adjective. hypocritically pious or devout. "But none of us should be so sanctimonious as to think that we aren't captive creatures of the prevailing views of our time, just as those before us were." William F.B. O'Reilly, Newsday, September 1, 2017

Did You Know? There's nothing sacred about sanctimonious - at least not any more. But in the early 1600's, the English adjective was still sometimes used to describe someone truly holy or pious (a sense that recalls the meaning of the word's Latin parent, sanctimonia). Shakespeare used both the "holy" and "holier-than-thou" senses in his work, referring in The Tempest to the "sanctimonious" (that is, "holy") ceremonies of marriage and in Measure for Measure, to "the sanctimonious pirate that went to sea with Ten Commandments but scraped one out of the table." (Apparently, the pirate found the restriction on stealing a bit too inconvenient.)

Monday, June 3, 2019

2019 - Day 154/211 - Monday...Valedictory...

It seems we are now a two-cat-family. I never cease to be amazed at where these animals come from out here on the Edge of Nowhere. I know people dump animals (it was pretty common when we first moved out here), but we have not suspected that in a few years. Cats come and go, and I just wish I knew what the back stories were to these animals. The grey cat (referred to as Smokey by Jody) is really not wild...this morning (for the first time), shortly after this picture was taken (we're talking seconds), she/he was rubbing against me, and I was scratching his/her head. Apparently, it was someones cat, but now it seems like it is our cat. We will keep the food coming, and that is our part. We hope their part is to keep the rodent population in check. We do not require much of our animals!

Valedictory -- Adjective. of or relating to an act of bidding farewell. expressing or containing a farewell. Hayley's valedictory speech stressed the importance of taking risks and not shying away from unfamiliar challenges.

Did You Know? Valedictory addresses delivered by earnest young valedictorians at high school and college graduations are as much a sign of spring in the United States as baseball games and cookouts. Though we don't know where the first valedictory address was given, we do know that the word was an institution at some colleges in the United States by the mid-1700s. English speakers and writers have also used valedictory in nonacademic settings since the mid-1600s. Since a valedictory speech is given at the end of an academic career, it is perfectly in keeping with the meaning of its Latin ancestor, valedicere, which means "to say farewell."

Sunday, June 2, 2019

2019 - Day 153/212 - Sunday...Nonage...

I should have stuck with the catfish, but I was kind of burger hungry. I was wholly disappointed with what I got, so from now on, I will just go with what I know they do well. Jody and I went in to Taylor for lunch this afternoon (at Lucky Duck)
, and we did a few errands on the way home. A quick stop at Tractor Supply (I am channelling my inner Minnie Pearl), then HEB and then gas for tanks and truck. I have a particular sense of accomplishment today; I finished cutting ALL the grass, and nothing else. No naps, but I did get in the pool twice. Now it is about time to go to bed, but I still have to close the chicks up. Only saw the grey cat today, it was hanging around and letting me know the food was very appreciated.

Nonage -- Noun. 1. the state of being a legal minor. 2a. a period of youth. b. lack of maturity. "Berle was an amazing person. He entered Harvard College in his nonage, being only fourteen years old." Keith Paul Bishop, The National Law Review, October 9, 2014

Did You Know? Minority, majority; infancy, adulthood; nonage, full age - here you have the three contrasting pairs that constitute the vocabulary of legal age, Minority, infancy and nonage are synonyms that mean "the state or time of being under legal age." Majority, adulthood, and full age mean "the state or time of being of legal age." (All of these words, particularly infancy and adulthood, have other meanings as well.) Nonage from an Anglo-French union of non- and age, which combine to mean "not of age."

Saturday, June 1, 2019

2019 - Day 152/213 - Saturday...Circumlocution...

Both cats were in evidence today. Smokey was laying by the front wheel of the tractor (that seems to be the place of choice), and Barney was seen high-tailing it into the cannas when I was headed his way with the walk-behind mower. As I sit writing this journal entry, Barney was just seen sashaying across the front path. Today was a pretty good day for getting chores done around the house. I did (of course) have a good nap after breakfast, and then I started demo on the lattice that (formerly) covered the walkway from the house to the gazebo. I had intended (I'm still thinking about it) to replace the wood lattice with some fiberglass lattice they have at Home Depot. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. For right now, I won't. We took the girls to the vet for a check-up (I am sworn to secrecy), and all is fine with them. I got the grass cut in the back of the house, so that is good. I also got the pool filter cartridge cleaned. Call me crazy, but I like cleaning the pool filter cartridge. This is a picture of the sunset from last night, I hope you enjoy.

Circumlocution -- Noun. 1. the use of an unnecessarily large number of words to express an idea. 2. evasion in speech. When pressed by the reporter, the senator resorted to circumlocution rather than admit that his office was involved in the scandal.

Did You Know? Grammarian H.W. Fowler advised, "Prefer the single work to the circumlocution." Alas, that good advice was not followed by the framers of circumlocution. They actually used two terms in forming that word. But their choices were apt; circumlocution derives from the Latin circum-, meaning "around," and locutio, meaning "speech" - so it literally means "roundabout speech." Charles Dickens used it to satirize political runarounds when he created the fictional Circumlocution Office, a government department that delayed the dissemination of information.