Wednesday, July 31, 2019

2019 - Day 212/153 - Wednesday...Precocial...

I am trying to remember that Walburg holds a Farmer's Market on Wednesday afternoons, starting at 5 o'clock. I missed the first few, because I was out of the habit (I had visited several times last year), but I am trying to get back into the swing of things. Lots of tomatoes, peaches, figs and stuff that we have already (tomatoes thanks to Hubert and Pauline). We are peached out, and I am taking figs in to the office and they are not a big winner in the 'I want some' category. BUT, the baked goods at two different stands look delicious. I bought four small loaves of various breads last week, and four loaves this week. I also bought six kolaches (a warm, slightly sweet pastry, traditionally filled with sausage, cheese, or fruit), that look wonderfully good. In my case, I got raspberry, peach and something else. I say all the breads and kolaches LOOK really good, because I have not had any of them. I can buy, but I'm not eating.

Precocial -- Adjective. capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth. "Hares are like deer, horses and cattle in the sense that their offspring are precocial." Bill Danielson, The Recorder (Greenfield, MA), June 26, 2014

Did You Know? Precocial and its partner alltricial are really for the birds (ugh!). Well, at least they are often used to describe the young of our feathered friends. The chicks of precocial birds can see as soon as they hatch and generally have strong legs and a body covered with fine down. Those are attributes you would expect in birds described by the word precocial, which traces to the Latin precox, a term that means "precocious" or "early ripening" (yes, that root also gave us the word precocious). Ducks, geese, ostriches, pheasants, and quail ore among birds that hatch precocial offspring. Altricial chicks, on the other hand, are basically featherless and helpless at birth and require days or weeks of parental care before becoming independent.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

2019 - Day 211/154 - Tuesday...Demagogue...

The girls have been watching too many Indiana Jones movies, and I am threatening to cut off their Netflix subscription, but then they would want to talk with me and spend 'quality' time with them. So, I will just see how it goes. They have taken to referring to themselves as 'Chickiana Jones,' and they are very proud of what they uncovered. They think they are regular archeologists...I don't know exactly (and not even close) what this is, but when I was out in the chicken run this afternoon, I could just see the gear teeth on the edges of this thing. I pulled it up and the girls were going 'see, we told you, that'll show you,' but I doubt that it is an ancient Mayan clay sculpture, so it will just be added to the ever-growing pile of crap that appears after a rain, or in this case, a dig by a bunch of chickens.

Demagogue -- Noun. a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power. The nation's voters ousted their incumbent president for a demagogue who persuasively capitalized on fears of another recession.

Did You Know? When the ancient Greeks uses demagogos (from demos, meaning "people," and agein, "to lead"), they meant someone good-a leader who used outstanding oratorical skills to further the interests of the common people. Mid-17th century writers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Dryden- and, later, Jonathan Swift-employed the English word that way, But, around the same time, the word took a negative turn, coming to suggest one who uses powers of persuasion to sway and mislead. "A plausible, insignificant word, in the mouth of an expert demagogue, is a dangerous and a dreadful weapon," declared Robert South, known for his sermons, in 1694.

Monday, July 29, 2019

2019 - Day 210/155 - Monday...Indefeasible...

This is what happens when you empty bags and bags of trade show schwag onto the table in the conference room and announce that it is all up for grabs. First come, first served. Come and take it. And then the sad but true realization that nobody wants any of it. So, in desperation, you BEG the office folks to take some of it, take it home to the kids, the grandkids, the chihuahua. Do you have a cat? Take it home to the cat. You take it (three bags of it) to a TREPAC function, and try to get rid of it at $1 in TREPAC money for one grab. And you still bring home two-and-a-half bags full. Since that time, I have found three more bags secreted away in my car. So...if you want some of it, I beg you: COME AND TAKE IT!

Indefeasible -- Adjective. not capable of being annulled or voided or undone. The state's constitution recognizes the citizenry's "unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government."

Did You Know? We acquired indefeasible in the mid-16th century by combining the English prefix in- ("not") with defeasible, a word borrowed a century earlier from Anglo-French. Defeasible itself can be traced to an Old French verb meaning "to undo" or "to destroy." It's no surprise (?), then, that something indefeasible is essentially un-undoable or indestructible. Another member of this family of words is feasible, meaning "capable of being done or carried out." Ultimately, all three-indefeasible, defeasible, and feasible- can be traced back to the Latin verb facere, meaning "to do." The word facere has come up at least once earlier in this journal. See if you can find it.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

2019 - Day 209/156 - Sunday...Ad Hoc...

By the end of this day, evening, night, whatever...I will have gotten everything watered. Just a few more areas, then the iris beds around the storm shelter to go. I am of the opinion that you should not water things during the heat of the day, unless those areas are in the shade. SO...I either have to start really early (which would interfere with my morning naps), or in the late afternoon into the evenings. BUT, it will all be done by this evening (9:30 or so by my best estimate), and then much of it will start over again on Tuesday or Wednesday. I am please though, that this is the first that we have had to water this season. Last year, the watering was much more intense, but I kind of think I am back in to the swing of it, and I have the tempo and the sprinkler series figured out once again. Today was another day of planting and transplanting. I am pretty proud of all that, and I will remain proud of that until the first threat of frost later this year, when I am schlepping plants all over creation, trying to keep them from freezing. Whatever... This is a quick pic of a fresh orchid Jody picked up at Home Depot yesterday. Jody is pretty lucky with orchids, so we will see if this one continues to bloom for him.

Ad Hoc -- Adjective. 1. concerned with or formed for a particular purpose. 2. improvised. The city council appointed an ad hoc committee to evaluate the need for traffic lights at the intersection.

Did You Know? In Latin, ad hoc literally means "for this." That historical meaning is clearly reflected in contemporary English used of ad hoc-anything that is ad hoc can be thought of as existing "for this purpose only." For example, an "ad hoc committee" is generally of limited scope, authorized to look into a single matter. Ad hoc can also be used as an adverb meaning "for the case at hand apart from other applications," as in "a commission created ad hoc." The adverb has been used in English since the mid-17th century. The adjective has been used since 1879.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

2019 - Day 208/157 - Saturday...King's Ransom...

As is the norm on a Saturday, I spent most of the day napping. Well, two or three hours to be more clear. Afterwards, I got a bunch of plants re-potted (they were terribly root-bound), and Jody and I went in to Georgetown for a teeny bit of shopping and then lunch. At the moment, I am on a 15 minute rotation watering the beds around the house. I expect I will get the front and the dog yard done this evening, and I will get the garage side and the back stuff done tomorrow. This is the first time this year we have had to water the beds, and there is not a chance of rain in the seven-day forecast. I expect I will be watering the beds twice a week now for a while. It could be worse. The girls went to the beautiful parlor on Wednesday, and they look much better. The little piglet girl is like a little kid with a new dress; she just cannot wait to do something that gets her all dirty.

King's Ransom -- Noun. a very large sum of money. James has always wanted a car of that particular year and model, but the current owner is asking a king's ransom for it.

Did You Know? During the Middle Ages, kings were worth their weight in gold-and more. If a king was captured in battle or was kidnapped, the people holding him would demand a ransom. After the Third Crusade in the 12th century, Richard the Lionhearted was held hostage by the Duke of Austria. In Richard's case, the ransom exacted by Duke Leopold V nearly bankrupted England, and the extraordinary taxes levied by Richard's younger brother Prince John in order to pay the ransom are legendary.

Friday, July 26, 2019

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

I decided that editing and adding a photo to yesterday's journal entry was really not worth the bother, so I didn't. So there! I got to sleep a little bit longer this morning, but it really did not make up for getting to sleep so much later last night. In to the office, the a quick visit to Texas REALTORS®, a visit to the eye doctor (everything is fine), a quick trip to the ABoR north office, and then I got my hairs cut. On the way home, I stopped at the Firebowl close to where I get my hair cut, and brought home dinner. I think that will be a new deal, when I get my hair cut, I will bring home dinner from Firebowl. It will be a pretty good weekend as far as I can tell, and that means several naps along the way.

Affable -- Adjective. 1. being pleasant and at ease in talking to others. 2. characterized by ease and friendliness. Michelle looked forward to sharing her coffee breaks with Joe, one of her more affable coworkers.

Did You Know? Affable is one of several English words that evolved from the Latin verb fari, which means "to speak." The adjective comes from the Latin affabilis, which comes from the fari relative affari ("to speak to"), plus -abilis, meaning "capable of." Some other fari derivatives are infant, fable, and fate. Infant comes from Latin infans, which means "incapable of speech" and combines in- and fans, the present participle of fari. Fable comes from the Latin fabula, a fari offspring that means "conversation." Fate comes from the Latin word fatum, meaning "what has been spoken" and deriving from fatus, the past participle of fari. Very fab!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

2019 - Day 206/159 - Thursday...Trichologist...

I admit it, today was a pretty long day, comparatively speaking. Up earlier than usual to make sure I could get in to Austin in time for a 9 a.m. class. Then back to the office. A couple hours of power real estate, then a drive to New Braunfels for the Four Rivers Association of REALTORS Celebrity Waiter TREPAC Fundraiser. And yes, I know I failed to put the registration mark next to the copyrighted word in the previous sentence. I know that, shut up! Then back to Austin, where I am staying tonight. And of course, Austin is a synonym for 'traffic.' I could have made it to my overnight destination, but this happened. Of course it did. And...I cannot upload the pic file right now. I will try and edit this tomorrow with another computer. Good night.

Trichologist -- Noun. a person who specializes in hair and scalp care; broadly. a person whose occupation is the dressing of hair; hairdresser. "A trichologist...gave him the once-over to determine that his mane is indeed that healthy, lush--and real." Maria Sciullo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 1, 2010

Did You Know? Although you can accurately call the person who cuts your hair your trichologist if you want to, the term is usually applied, as it is in the example sentence, to someone who studies and treats hear and scalp ailments. The trich- in trichologist is from the Greek stem of thrix, which means "hair." This root makes an appearance in a number of other similarly technical-sounding words, such as trichiasis ("a turning inward of the eyelashes ofter causing irritation of the eyball"), trichome ("an epidermal hair structure on a plant"), and trichotillomania ("an abnormal desire to pull out one's hair").

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

2019 - Day 205/160 - Wednesday...Lookism...

Better living through chemistry (the tag line for DuPont) was my mantra for several years, beginning in '69 and going on for a couple decades. Interesting that this pharmaceutical journal advertisement was making the rounds on Facebook today. I was in desperate need of being able to 'sleep through the night,' (wink, wink), and I did on several occasions. I became a charter member of my college fraternity in either 1971 or 1972, and my initiation (the hazing part) included a lost week of sensory deprivation. We were way ahead of our time; the other folks were busy drinking beer and mixing trash cans full of Hawaiian Punch and Everclear, but we were the advanced frat on campus. We were WAY ahead of our time, and it was a blast. I am somewhat surprised that I can remember any of it. but I can, and I hope I never forget it. It is what fun was1

Lookism -- Noun. prejudice or discrimination based on physical appearance and especially physical appearance believed to fall short of societal notions of beauty. As a teacher, Kim's response to recent studies showing that attractive students receive better grades was to try to be vigilant against her own possible lookism.

Did You Know? There are a lot of -isms in the English language but most people overlook lookism. It refers to the prejudice or discrimination people have toward others because of their appearances. People first used the word in the last 1970s in reference to how people were viewing others who were heavier set. Today the panorama of lookism extends from the overly beautiful actor or actress to the homely child. Economists, sociologists, and psychologists alike pay close attention to the lookism that occurs in everyday life and examine how it affects people and society as a whole. I didn't know this was a thing, but I guess it is.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

2019 - Day 204/161 - Tuesday...Logomachy...

So, my brief string of MOST EXCELLENT days has come to an end. There was nothing particularly wrong with today, it was just not most excellent. It was okay. Not even excellent, just okay. It was excellent in a few ways, but overall, not most excellent, just okay. I feel bad for Mondays, because I doubt that they are ever considered most excellent, so perhaps yesterday was most excellent because I was not expecting it to be so. Maybe other days are most excellent, but we kind of take Thursdays and Fridays as better than average because they are so close to the weekend, and we don't expect to have most excellent days on Monday, so if a typical Thursday or Friday day happens on a Monday, we are surprised, and we consider it to be most excellent. It could happen. Today was not a particularly excellent day for journal photos either, but I do have this picture of RACKED CORN for your viewing pleasure, and for the delight of the chickens, once I rack it open for them.

Logomachy -- Noun. 1. a dispute over or about words. 2. a controversy marked by verbiage. "The aforementioned logomachy should tell you that Gold's study is for those interested in language and in the subtleties and small triumphs of translation." Joshua Cohen, The Forward, September 12, 2008

Did You Know? It doesn't take much to start people arguing about words, but there is no quarrel about the origin of logomachy. It comes from the Greek roots logos, meaning "word" or "speech," and machesthai, meaning "to fight," and it entered English in the mid-1500s. If you are a word enthusiast, you probably know that logos is the root of many English words (monologue, neologism, logic, and most words ending in -logy, for example), but what about other derivatives of machesthai? Actually, this is a tough one even for word whizzes. Only a few very rare English words come from machesthai. Here are two of them: heresimach ("an active opponent of heresy and heretics") and naumachia ("an ancient Roman spectacle representing a naval battle"). None of this makes any sense to me, and why would anyone care?

Monday, July 22, 2019

2019 - Day203/162 - Monday...Copious...

There is no doubt about who the Top Cat is around here: It's Barney. However, last night, after dark, I went out through the garage to do something anal retentive (hell yeah!), and the grey cat was out there and wanted to talk. It is really interesting to me that we NEVER see the grey cat AT ALL during the day, but every now and then, we will see it after the sun goes down or in the dark of night. We do not wish it any harm, and I think the cat wants to be friendly, but there is just a hesitation there that we have not yet been able to overcome. Today was another excellent day, so that makes two in a row. I doubt I will be able to extend the streak much longer, but it has been a great two days. We have had 8 days over 100 degrees so far this year, which is a walk in the park for us, and seven of those have been in that last seven days. A cold front is supposed to come through overnight and bring a possibility of rain. I will let you know how that works out.

Copious -- Adjective. 1a. yielding something abundantly. b. plentiful in number. 2. full of thought, information, or matter. 3. lavish, abundant. After an unusually dry year, the late summer rains dropped a copious amount of water on the region.

Did You Know? Copious derives from the Latin copia ("abundance"), which in turn combines the prefix co- and ops ("wealth" or "power"). Copious and opulent (also from ops), along with ample, plentiful, and abundant, all mean "more than sufficient." Ample implies a generous sufficiency to satisfy a particular requirement ("ample proof"). Copious puts emphasis upon largeness of supply more than on fullness or richness ("copious toasts to the bride and groom"). Plentiful implies a rich, and usually more than sufficient, supply ("a plentiful supply of textbooks"). Abundant suggests a greater or richer supply than plentiful does ("moved by the abundant offers to help"). But use opulent when the supply is both abundant and infused with a richness that allows an extra measure of gratification ("the opulent blossoms of the cherry trees").

Sunday, July 21, 2019

2019 - Day 202/163 - Sunday...Scumble...

Today was a really good day. It combined spending money and doing chores, and getting some stuff done that I
had been wanting to do for a long time. I have gone to at least five different places looking for some big flower pots to put out at the pool. I had convinced myself that I wanted the Mexican import terra cotta flower pots that are really colorful. I stopped at an import place several weeks ago on my way home from Bastrop, and I saw some that would have worked, but I was not prepared to pay the price they were asking, and there was no one around to bargain with. On to the fifth or sixth place today, and I finally settled on these pots from Home Depot. They are plastic, but I don't really think they look plastic. I got potting soil, some plants and got them planted, and I think they look really nice, and I am really happy with them. Combine that with the other things that I got accomplished today, and it turned out to be a really excellent day!

Scumble -- Verb. 1. to make a painting less brilliant with a thin coat of color. 2. to soften the lines or colors of (a drawing) by rubbing lightly. "She would stride to the easel and...scumble over half the picture with a neutral color." Marcia Burtt, The Santa Barbara Independent, February 23, 2012

Did You Know? The history of scumble is blurry, but the word is thought to be related to the verb scum, an obsolete form of skim (meaning "to pass lightly over"). Scumbling, as first perfected by artists such as Titian, involves passing dry, opaque coats of oil paint over a tinted background to create subtle tones and shadows. Although the painting technique dates to the 16th century, use of word scumble is only known to have begun in the late 18th century. The more generalized "smudge" or "smear" sense appeared even later, in the mid-1800s.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

2019 - Day 201/164 - Saturday...Arbiter...

Yesterday it was meal worms, today it was whatever in the hell these things are. Whatever they are, the chickens enjoyed them, and they all survived, so that means everybody was happy. These things were pretty well contained in a big green tool box out by the front barn that I keep a variety of things in, including a flock block that has been in there since the old chickens were still free ranging. These grubs (maybe?) got inside the toolbox somehow and were slowly devouring the block, but I cleaned out the box today, and all the volunteer block eradicators have gone on to that big flock block in the sky. I did a few other things today, but nothing of real note, so I will leave you with, just this.

Arbiter -- Noun. 1. a person with power to decide a dispute. judge. 2. a person or agency whose judgment or opinion is considered authoritative. Over her long career, she wrote columns on fashion, film, language, and etiquette and was generally acknowledged as an arbiter of taste.

Did You Know? There is no disputing it - arbiter and arbitrator are synonyms. But judging by usage, arbitrator has been appointed the preferred term for legal situations and is the one more likely to be used in the sense "a person chosen by two parties to decide their differences." Arbiter is the more literary of the two and is identical to the Latin arbiter (meaning "judge"), the grandparent of both terms. Arbitrator and arbiter each came to us via Anglo-French, and in case you were wondering--yes, the Latin arbiter is also an ancestor of arbitrary and arbitrate.

Friday, July 19, 2019

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

This is what it looks like in the chicken pen when somebody starts the rumor that God has just put meal worms in the treat tray. Yes, I do believe the chickens refer to me as God. I am the one that makes sure there is water and food (sometimes corn, shredded carrots, and meal worms). They don't really need to do anything, but I can tell from their 'coop art' (refer to prehistoric cave-art for other references) that they hold me in high esteem. And, you can tell by the looks on their little chicken faces that they both worship and fear me. It is just totally apparent, and I have accepted the high mantel of responsibility. Sometimes, I can even hear them clucking 'The door will open up, tomorrow', kind of like a Broadway production, only with better costumes.

Ready or not, today is the 200th day of the year. We are on the downhill side to 2020.

Adjure -- Verb. 1. to command solemnly under or as if under oath or penalty of a curse. 2. to urge or advise earnestly. "Byron fled the country, adjuring Annabella to 'be kind' to his beloved sister." Merle Rubin, Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2002

Did You Know? Adjure and its synonyms entreat, importune, and implore all mean "to ask earnestly." Adjure implies advising as well as pleading and is often accompanied by the invocation of something sacred ("in God's name, I adjure you to cease"). Entreat implies an effort to persuade or overcome resistance ("he gently entreated her to stay"). Importune goes further, adding a sense of annoying persistence in trying to break down resistance to a request ("importuning viewers for contributions"). Implore, on the other hand, suggests a great urgency or anguished appeal on the part of the speaker ("she implored the king to have mercy").

Thursday, July 18, 2019

2019 - Day 199/166 - Thursday...Evince...

It cannot be said that 'no snakes were harmed' for the photographic archiving and documentation of this event. We have lived out here for ten years, and we have never seen (or heard) a rattle snake. The people we bought the property from said they 'very often' saw rattle snakes around the property. I have been startled (and screamed like a girl) over rat snakes, but aside from the surprise factor, I have gotten used to them, and take a certain amount of pride posting selfies of 'me and the snake', just prior to the snakes re-homing in the neighbors pasture. This particular snake may qualify for a circus sideshow, since it seems to be a 'headless' rattler. I can neither confirm nor deny that, perhaps, the snake came to some mortal harm when confronted with the box blade of the neighbors tractor. Let me be clear, I can neither confirm nor deny, but I do wonder what happened to the rattle.

Evince -- Verb. 1. to constitute outward evidence of. 2. to display clearly. reveal. "The librarian said nothing...Without a word, with the utmost economy, he evinced a denial." Ursula K. LeGuin, "The Phoenix," 1982

Did You Know? Let us conquer any uncertainty you may have about the history of evince. It derives from Latin evincere, meaning "to vanquish" or "to win a point," and can be further traced to vincere, Latin for "to conquer." In the early 1600s, evince was sometimes used in the senses "to subdue" or "to convict of error," meanings evincing the influence of its Latin ancestors. It was also sometimes used as a synonym of its cousin convince, but that sense is not obsolete. One early meaning, "to constitute evidence of," has hung on, however, and in the 1800s it was joined by another sense, "to reveal."

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

2019 - Day 198/167 - Wednesday...Cabotage...

Just to be clear...I want everyone to know that I DID NOT download the FaceApp app. I doubt that it would have really made any difference anyway, because I am pretty sure that I lead such an interesting life that the Russians have been tracking my every movement for a couple decades. I know the FBI has a file on me, as do General Motors, American Express and the Universal Life Church, where just today I was told I could buy a custom made hassock to go with my other credentials as a bought and paid for, card-carrying preacher. Yes, it is true, I CAN indeed marry 'em and bury 'em. SO...if suddenly your electronic assistant starts talking to you in a foreign dialect,
look somewhere else, because it is NOT my fault. If your GPS directs you to take a left at the Bering Straits instead of heading you to the All-You-Can-Eat Chinese Buffet, it is not my fault. This is what I will claim responsibility for: posting this photo that FaceApp says I will look like in forty or fifty years. They got the bags under the eyes right, and I apologize in advance if this turns out to be something you cannot 'un-see', and does in fact keep you awake at night. My advice: Go take a pill.

Cabotage--Noun. 1. trade or transport in coastal waters or airspace or between two points within a country. 2. the right to engage in coastal trade or transport. "U.S. cabotage law forbids foreign carriers from transporting passengers and cargo between two U.S. airports." Gaynot Dumat-ol Daleno, Pacific Daily News (Hagenta, Guam), May 12, 2015

Did You Know? Coastlines were once so important to the French that they came up with a verb to name the act of sailing along a coast: caboter. That verb gave rise to the French noun cabotage, which named trade or transport along a coast. In the 16th century, the French legally limited their lucrative coastal trade, declaring that only French ships could trade in French ports. They called the right to conduct such trading cabotage too. Other nations soon embraced both the concept of trade restrictions and the French name for trading rights, and expanded the idea to inland trade as well.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

2019 - Day 197/168 - Tuesday...Dudgeon...

Okay, be honest. Who DOESN'T want to see a picture of me with a big wiener. So...for your viewing pleasure, I give you...a picture of me with a big wiener. You're welcome! I saw this in a hotel parking lot this morning, but I was already too far past to get a picture. Then, laster in the morning, I needed to go and do a property drive-by and paid better attention. Why in the hell do you think this thing was STILL in the parking lot at almost noon? That does not seem (to me) to be the highest and best use of this giant wienermobile. And why is it in the parking lot of a hotel in the first place? Just look at the size of it. This has to be, not only a wienermobile, but more likely than not, a wienerrv...a wiener recreational vehicle. Am I wrong?

Dudgeon--Noun. a fit or state of indignation--often used in the phrase in high dudgeon. "Hollywood's critics are in high dudgeon. The motion-picture industry has sunk into a moral morass, the say." Sonny Bunch, Commentary, March 1, 2013

Did You Know? Dudgeon is today used most often in the phrase "in high dudgeon" (which in turn sometimes gives rise to playful variations such as "middling dudgeon," "intermediate dudgeon," "towering dudgeon," "lofty dudgeon," and so on). The word has been a part of the English language since at least 1573, but its earlier history is a mystery. Conjectures as to a connection to a Welsh word, dygen, meaning "malice," have no basis. Also, there does not appear to be any connection whatever to the very old dudgeon--a now obsolete term once used for a dagger or a kind of wood out of which dagger handles were made. Just between us, I still don't know what the hell it means...

Monday, July 15, 2019

2019 - Day 196/169 - Monday...Circuitous...

There was a 20% chance of rain today, which translated into a zero percent chance of rain on the Edge of Nowhere. However, in Austin, there was a nice little rain shower, pretty heavy for about 10 minutes. It reminded me of the every afternoon showers that happened when I was living in New Orleans. I took this picture during my drive home, and I like it A LOT! Otherwise, except for the fact that today was a Monday, it was nothing particularly memorable!

Circuitous -- Adjective. 1. having a circular or winding course. 2. not being forthright or direct in language or action. Preferring to avoid the freeway, Mark took a circuitous route to the stadium and ended up arriving late to the game.

Did You Know? If you guessed that circuitous is related to circuit, you would be right--both words come from the Latin circuitus, the past participle of the verb circumire, meaning "to go around." Circumire is derived in turn from the Latin circum, meaning "around," plus ire, which means "to go." Other circum descendants making the rounds in English include circumference ("the perimeter of a circle"), circumvent (one meaning of which is "to make a circuit around"), circumlocution ("the act of 'talking around' a subject"), and curcumnavigate ("to go around"). There's also the prefix circum-, which means "around" or "about," and the familiar word circumstance, which describes a condition or event that "stands around" another.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

2019 - Day 195/170 - Sunday...Occiput...

This is a picture of the wasp nest that was overlooked by Joe Mac last week when he and Carolyn were visiting. I found it this afternoon when I was cutting the grass in the dogs yard. They are all peaceful out there right now, but the end is near for them. Between now and the next time I cut the grass, this particular nest will be history. These stings are crazy, is like the go right in to the muscle, and they make my whole arm ache. Carolyn suggested that ammonia would help relieve that, so I just put some ammonia on it, maybe it is all psychological, but it really feels like there is already some relief. I got everything done today, everything on the list has been checked off, and I even got a few other things taken care of. Yesterday got off to a slow start, but today finished with quite a bang!

Occiput -- Noun. the back part of the hear or skull. "As he headed for the front door each morning, he'd hook the cap over his occiput and pull the bill low over his forehead." Ed Cullen, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), March 4, 2012

Did You Know? Occiput came to English from Latin, where it was created from ob-, meaning "against," and caput, meaning "head." its adjectival form, occipital, meaning "of, relating to, or located within or near the occiput," abounds in medical texts but is found in literary ones too, as in George Eliot's description of the coiffure of the "young ladies who frizzled their hair, and gathered it all into large barricades in front of their heads, leaving their occipital region exposed without ornament," in Scenes of Clerical Life. Another caput derivation is sinciput, a word used to refer to either the forehead or the upper half of the skull.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

2019 - Day 194/171 - Saturday...Echelon...

I imagine that, in the past couple of weeks, I have eaten my own weight in peaches, and I have been passing them on to anyone and everyone that would take them. We probably are down to our last three or four dozen, and it looks like we will begin the count down to pears and apples. This has been a great year for the fruit trees out here on the Edge of Nowhere, and that has been great. I am not that crazy about pears, but I will eat them since we grew them. I can remember as a kid climbing a big pear tree in the school yard and eating one or two. Our grapes are doing okay too, they are just REALLY bitter, and leave a terrible chalky taste in your mouth. I am certain that it is my fault, so I will just go one with the satisfaction that this has been a great peach year. I participated in a great number of naps today, but I did get a little bit motivated to do a few things. I got some grass cut, and tomorrow I will cut some more (maybe get everything finished), and some of it is going to be cut with the shredder. The big open areas. I also need to clean the front fountain; even though I like the way it looks, it really needs a good cleaning. Let me think on all that for a little bit.

Echelon -- Noun. 1. a steplike arrangement. 2a. one of a series of levels or grades in an organization or field of activity. b. a group of individuals at such a level. "Ellen Bennett was a line cook in the upper echelon of Los Angeles' food scene..." Kara Stiles,, January 19, 2018

Did You Know? Echelon is a useful word for anyone who is climbing the ladder of success. It traces back to scala, a Late Latin word meaning "ladder" that was the ancestor of the Old French eschelon, meaning "rung of a ladder." Over time, the French word (which is echelon in Modern French) came to mean "step," "grade," or "level." When it was first borrowed into English in the 18th century, echelon referred specifically to a steplike arrangement of troops, but it now usually refers to a level or category within an organization or group of people.

Friday, July 12, 2019

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

AND IT'S FOR SALE! It is readily obvious to me that, the owner of this particular vehicle, has been diagnosed with a condition that, in order not to confuse you, I will refer to as "no balls!" The seller, I predict, has also been incapable of interpreting the phrase "grow a pair," and the whole ugly series of events can, without a doubt, be blamed on the public education system that we are all saddled with. Work with me here; who in the hell needs a two-story POS pick-up truck? After you visit the 7-11 and you  (unfortunately) drop the pack of condoms out of your pocket, there is no way in hell that you are going to risk a broken limb (or two) to get back on to terra firma (dry land; the ground as distinct from the sea or air, for you Aggies in the crowd) to retrieve the condoms. Which, in turn, means the probability of pro-creation (with or without testes) of this fine upstanding specimen of homo sapiens has just increased ten-fold. But I digress...

July 12th, 51 years ago, at just about this time of the evening (it was eastern time though) my dad was in an ambulance on his was to Seaway (I think) hospital in suburban Detroit. By this time, he may have already died, but I did not find out about it for another hour or two. And, as luck would have it (read in to this whatever you like), I had given him a call on my lunch break at 6-ish, to tell him I had gotten paid and went to Thom McCann and bought a pair of black wing-tips. Many of you have heard this tale (ad nauseum), so I won't bore you with more details, but it was on this date, 51 years ago, at about this time, that my dad died.

Turbid -- Adjective. 1. cloudy or discolored by suspended particles. 2. confused, muddled. The speed of the water flowing over the dam becomes obvious only when one observes the turbid water roiling below.

Did You Know? Turbid and turgid (which means "swollen or distended" or "overblown, pompous, or bombastic") are frequently mistaken for one another, and it's no wonder. Not only do the two words differ by only a single letter, they are often used in contexts where either word could fit. For example, a flooded stream can be simultaneously cloudy and swollen, and badly written prose might be both unclear and grandiloquent. Nevertheless, the distinction between these two words, however fine, is an important one for conveying exact shades of meaning, so it's a good idea to keep them straight.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

2019 - Day 192/173 - Thursday...Denizen...

This is just another classic example of the failure on the part of Domino's Pizza to make their delivery within their thirty-minute guarantee. The people that placed the order were obviously so distressed with the inadequate servicing on the part of Domino's, that they were quoted as saying "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore!" At which point they hitched up the truck and decided that, if they can't bring the pizza to the house, they would take the house to the pizza. And as long as they were at it, they might as well see just how many people they could mess with during rush-hour traffic in central Texas. Overall, several points were made, and everything turned out just fine...said nobody, ever...

Denizen -- Noun. 1. inhabitant. 2. a person admitted to residence in a foreign country, especially an alien admitted to rights of citizenship. 3. one that frequents a place. The denizens of the small town were excited about the news that a film crew would be shooting a movie right in their own backyard.

Did You Know? English speakers have used denizen in the sense of "inhabitant" since the 15th century. The word comes from the Anglo-French denzein, which means "inhabitant," "inner part," or "inner." If you trace the lineage back even further, you'll find that denzein is sometimes used for naturalized citizens or for frequent visitors as well as inhabitants. Despite the similarity between denizen and citizen, the two words do not share any etymological roots. However, one ancestor of citizen is the Anglo-French citezein, whose spelling was altered from citeien (from cite, meaning "city"). The presence of denzein in Anglo-French may have influenced this change in spelling, as the two words were often considered equivalent terms in that language.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

2019 - Day 191/174 - Wednesday...Septentrional...

Coitus Monarchus Interruptus. Or as Vera would say, "Well, STARE!" I swear that as I was walking to put the girls to bed last night, this was one butterfly lighting on one of the shepherd's hooks. As I waited (and stared with my photo finger at the ready), it/they became a). a set of conjoined butterflies or a copulating pair. Personally, I am going with the copulating pair theory. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. You just never know what amazing things you might run up on out on the Edge of Nowhere.

Septentrional -- Adjective. northern. "The septentrional regions have always been regarded by Europeans of more southerly latitudes as cold and forbidding." David Kirby, Northern Europe in the Early Modern Period, 1990

Did You Know? Look to the northern night skies for the origin of septentorional. The Latin Septentriones (or Septemtriones) refers to the seven stars in Ursa Major that make up the Big Dipper, or sometimes to the seven stars in Ursa Minor that comprise the Little Dipper. Because of the reliable northerly presence of these stars, Septentriones was extended to mean "northern quarter of the sky," or simply "the north"-hence, our borrowed adjective septentrional, meaning "northern." The noun septentrion also appears in works in Middle and Early Modern English to designate "northern regions" or "the north." In Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 3, for example, the Duke of York rebukes Queen Margaret, saying: "Thou are as opposite to every the South to the Septentrion."

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

2019 - Day 190/175 - Tuesday...Fulcrum...

I'm losing track of grey cats out here on the Edge of Nowhere. Barney I can recognize, but this grey cat, last seen last Wednesday or Thursday, is either the same one that hangs out sporadically or a different one. That's the best I can do. Also, when last seen, it was wanting desperately to be loved and petted, but it was just a little teeny bit stand-offish. I never did quite get permission to pet it, but we did have a good conversation, and I have been looking for it nightly ever since. I will keep the vigil going, and report back if there are any other sightings.

Fulcrum -- Noun. 1a. the support about which a lever turns. b. one that supplies capability for action. 2. a part of an animal that serves as a hinge or support. "Adding an adjustable fulcrum to a traditional seesaw, for instance, can teach children about leverage." Kate Sullivan, Press & Sun-Bulletin (Binghampton, New York), August 25, 2017

Did You Know? Fulcrum, a word that means "bedpost" in Latin, derives from the verb fulcire, which means "to prop." When the word first appeared in English in the middle of the 17th century, fulcrum referred to the point on which a lever or similar device (such as the oar of a boat) is supported. It did not take long for the word to develop a figurative sense, referring to something used as a spur or justification to support a certain action. In zoology, fulcrum can also refer to a part of an animal that serves as a hinge or support, such as the joint supporting a bird's wing.

Monday, July 8, 2019

2019 - Day 189/176 - Monday...Despot...

Never doubt the sage. Wherever we went yesterday, I would see sage blooming. Sage blooming means it is going to rain. The prognosticators were saying it was not supposed to rain for several days, but late in the day, they changed that to a 10% to 20% chance. It rained CRAZY on my way home this afternoon. We got 0.94" in the gauge, and there may be a little more before morning. I was just about to start complaining that there was no rain (we all love to complain about something), but then it rained. The road in front of our house is totally F'd (they are [allegedly] working on it) and it is lovely unless it rains. When it rains, the fact that it is nothing but dirt now, becomes slip-slidingly evident. BUT, we did get some rain, and for that we are all happy. Oh, and I got a new 12v battery for the car today, AND it was under warranty! SWEET!

Despot -- Noun. 1. a ruler with absolute power and authority. 2. a person exercising power tyrannically. "Her spoilt younger sister, Phoebe, is a lip-glossed despot, able to command...attention with a flick of her pretty head." Lisa Allardice, The Daily Telegraph (London), March 22, 2003

Did You Know? In his 1775 dictionary, Samuel Johnson said of despot, "The word is not in use, except as applied to some Dacian prince; as the despot of Servia." Indeed, at that time, the word was mainly used to identify some very specific rulers or religious officials, and the title was an honorable one (it comes from a Greek word meaning "lord" or "master" and was originally applied to deities). That situation changed toward the end of the 18th century, perhaps because French Revolutionists, who were said to have been "very liberal in conferring this title," considered all sovereigns to be tyrannical. When democracy became all the rage, despot came to be used most often for any ruler who wielded absolute and often contemptuous and oppressive power.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

2019 - Day 188/177 - Sunday...Saltation...

Today was a really great day. No tragedies, no disasters, but I did get a basket full of chores done, too many to bore you with here in this journal. One of the more interesting things Iwe have done in a good while, was to go and look for churches that are for sale in Bartlett. Anybody want to buy a church? I can help you with that. the first one we looked at has been (almost) redone, and it was really disappointing. The bones are good, but the renovations are really bland, bland, bland! Not good. The other one (pictured) has NOT even been started, although the listing says the foundation has been worked on and the roof has been repaired. It is totally cool, BUT, it is small, just about 1,400 square feet, but did I mention that it is really COOL? It is. It needs about $100K of work, but I think you would have something even cooler when you finished. Somebody will do something with is, I just hope it does not succumb to the wrecking ball.

Saltation -- Noun. 1a. the action or process of leaping or jumping. b. dance. 2. the origin of a new species or a higher taxon in essentially a single evolutionary step. "Jerboas are specialised for saltation, or leaping...[and] can cover about 3 m[eters] in a single leap. Darren Naish, Scientific American, October 3, 2017

Did You Know? Saltation comes from Latin, deriving ultimately from the verb salire, meaning "to leap." Etymologists think it meant "leap" or "jump" when it was first used in English, too, but documented evidence of early use in that sense is scarce. Instead, the oldest manuscripts containing the word show it used as a synonym of dancing. One of the first recorded incidences of the "leaping" sense occurred when British physician and author Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) used it in an entomological context: "Locusts...being ordained for saltation, their hinder legs doe (not a spelling error) far exceed the other." The word made the leap to evolutionary theory in the late 19th century.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

2019 - Day 187/178 - Saturday...Accoutrement...

I was somewhat constructive today, and then there was the part that was somewhat destructive. Let's start with the constructive part. Joe Mac and I went out and took two bales of hay to the cattle. The cattle really do not need the hay, there is plenty of grass out there, but we have plenty of hay, too, so what the hell... After we took the hay, we went in to Taylor and got two molasses buckets and four salt blocks, and came home and distributed them. This is where the destructive part comes in. We were gathering up empty molasses barrels, and ran over some of the wire from what had been the electric fence, along with an insulator. Let me tell you, fence wire and an insulator can make a hell of a racket when it is winding itself around the drive shaft of the truck. There was really nothing to do but to drive the truck back under the shed, and Joe Mac took to trying to remove the wire from the drive shaft. Mostly successful, but not exactly. Monday or Tuesday, we will have the truck towed (we paid extra for extra towing the last time we renewed our AAA roadside service) to a repair place in Georgetown. long as it is there, there are a couple other things I have been putting off with the truck, so I will have them take a look at that stuff as well. OMG! But now, take a look at these two crepe myrtles...they are really outdoing themselves this year. It looks like just one big canopy, but in reality it is two trees. I don't think they have ever bloomed like that before...

Accoutrement -- Noun. 1. an accessory item of clothing or equipment - usually used in plural. 2. an identifying and often characteristic or device - usually used in plural. The closet was cluttered with belts and scarves and other accoutrements of a fashion conscious teenager.

Did You Know? Accoutrement and its relative accoutre, a verb meaning "to provide with equipment or furnishings" or "to outfit," have been appearing in English texts since the 16th century. Today both words have variant spellings-accouterment and accouter. Their French ancestor, accoutrer, descends from an Old French word meaning "seam" and ultimately traces to the Latin work consuere, meaning "to sew together." You probably won't be too surprised to learn that consuere, a word referring to the business of making fashionable clothes, as well as to the clothes themselves.

Friday, July 5, 2019

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

I did make it in to the office this morning. Joe and Carolyn went with me, it had been a pretty good while since they had been to downtown Austin, and it has mightily changed since their last visit. I got a couple of things done in the office and then it was back home and nap time. I did absolutely nothing around the house today, try as I might, I really cannot think of a single productive thing I did. I did wash the breakfast dishes, that is about the extent of it. Another nap and a little bit of floating in the pool. We headed in to Walburg for dinner tonight, at the German Restaurant. I am totally miserable after having eaten way, WAY too much. But it was good! Jody and Carolyn had the salmon; I have never seen such a large piece of salmon before, and it looked delicious. Joe Mac and I had the buffet. Yum. Tomorrow it might be a trip in to the feed store in Taylor, then a couple things around the house. Wish me luck.

Haggard -- Adjective. 1. of a hawk. not tamed. 2a. wild in appearance. b. having a worn or emaciated appearance. gaunt. The Depression-era photograph captures a group of migrant workers, their faces drawn and haggard.

Did You Know? Haggard comes from falconry, the sport of hunting with a trained bird of prey. The birds used in falconry were not bred in captivity until very recently. Traditionally, falconers trained wild birds that were either taken from the nest when quite young or trapped as adults. A bird trapped as an adult is termed a haggard, from the Middle French hagard. Such a bird is notoriously wild and difficult to train, and it wasn't long before haggard was being applied in an extended way to a wild and intractable person. Next, the word came to express the way the human face looks when a person is exhausted, anxious, or terrified. Today, the most common meaning of haggard is "gaunt" or "worn."

Thursday, July 4, 2019

2019 - Day 185/180 - Thursday...Chaussure...

Happy Fourth of July everyone! Let's talk about peaches, shall we? Without a doubt, this is the best year we have ever had with our peaches. It has been a long time coming, but the peaches this year are delicious. I can not think of EVER having a better peach in my entire life, and that takes a lot of years in to account. These particular peaches were not quite ripe when I picked them, so I put them in a paper bag to ripen up. Somewhere along the line, I heard (or maybe made it up) that is you put fruit in a bag, the gasses (?) from the ripening process helps the fruit ripen, and whether it works or not, these peaches were absolutely wonderful. I cannot say enough about these freakin' peaches, but I think that will pretty much wrap it up for this entry. Too bad you weren't here. We have lots more on the trees, so plan a quick visit if you want.

Chaussure -- Noun. 1. footgear. 2. plural. shoes. "These bags by Fragonard are embroidered to pack and tote lingerie, souvenirs and chaussures." Jenni Simcoe, The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA), December 11, 2004

Did You Know? What could shoes possibly have in common with a food item made of pizza dough stuffed with cheese and other fillings? Etymologically, quite a bit. Retrace the footprints of both chaussure and calzone (a word that, like the tasty turnover itself, comes from Italy) and you'll arrive at the Latin word calceus, meaning "shoe." In Italian, calzone is the singular of calzoni, which means "pants" (someone must have seen a similarity between the food and clothing item). Calzoni in turn comes from calza, which means "stocking" and descends ultimately from the Latin calceus. Chaussure made its was to English via Anglo-French rather than Italian (and goes back to an Old French verb meaning "to put on footwear"), but it too can be traced to calceus.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

2019 - Day 184/181 - Wednesday...Marmoreal...

Corpus Mothus. This dead moth lay on the floor of the garage for three or four days, undisturbed by not only our comings and goings, but also by the comings and goings of the girl dogs when they go out for their rides. But...alas, it is no longer. Not because of any ordinary thing, but because I picked it up and deposited it in one of the flower beds...ashes to ashes and all that stuff. We are observing the cusp of the Fourth of July, and tomorrow is a day off for many of us. I intend to do as much of nothing as possible, and maybe take a couple bales of hay out to the cattle. There is some pool time calling me, but otherwise, I intend to use the time off as it was intended. Doing nothing.

Marmoreal -- Adjective. of, relating to, or suggestive of marble or a marble statue especially in coldness or aloofness. "Not to speak of our Taj Mahal, whose marmoreal splendour has moved many poets to wax eloquent about its beauty." Soumitra Das, The Telegraph (India), June 1, 2014

Did You Know? Most marble-related words in English were chiseled from the Latin noun marmor, meaning "marble." Marmor gave our language the word marble itself in the 12th century. It is also the parent of marmoreal, which has been used in English since the mid-1600s. Marbelize, another marmor descendant, came later, making its print debut around 1854. The obscure adjective marmorate, meaning "veined like marble," dates to the 16th century and hasn't seen much use since.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2019 - Day 183/182 - Tuesday...Spilth...

It rained again this afternoon, just about a tenth of an inch. Just enough to make the roads that they are working on even more treacherous, if that is even a thing. On the way home (and on the way in this morning), there were a smorgasbord of wrecks all around, something for everyone. This picture i
s the result of one of the afternoon wrecks, guaranteed to put the loco in your motion. Candy and I went out to Spicewood this afternoon, to take a look at another friends property, just to see what we thought. Very interesting, very interesting. It would be an interesting property to market, to any number of potential buyers. Beautifully done. Our friends Joe and Carolyn came in for a visit this afternoon, and we went in to Schwertner for dinner at the Crossroads Cafe. Another of our neighbors, Jim and Patsy showed up as well, so that was fun. It is a crazy part of the month, and we are all trying to cram six days of work in to three days.

Spilth -- Noun. 1. the act or an instance of spilling. 2a. something spilled. b. refuse, rubbish. "Like a spilth of spume on the crest of the bore/When the coming tides make in for the shore, ..." Bliss Carman, "The Kelpie Riders," 1897.

Did You Know? Spilth is formed from the verb spill and the noun suffix -th. This suffix comes to us from Old English and is used to indicate an act or process (as in spilth or the more familiar growth) or a state or condition (as in breadth or length). The earliest known use of spilth is in Shakespeare's Timon of Athens (c. 1607-1608): "When our vaults have wept/With drunken spilth of wine..." For an act of spilling or something spilled, English speakers today are much more likely to use the noun spill or sometimes spillage, a word that, like spilth, combines the verb with a suffix (-age, this time borrowed from Old French) that can indicate an act or process.

Monday, July 1, 2019

2019 - Day 182/183 - Monday...Luculent...

Cat lovemaking sessions are not all that pleasant to overhear, particularly if you are sitting out on the front porch with two little yappy dogs. Luckily, they did not really know what to make of all the ruckus, and I managed to get them both back in to the house before all hell broke loose. This grey cat came acourtin' last night...we think it is a different grey cat than was hanging out here several weeks ago. It seems cats come and go, and Barney is the only one that has hung out for any length of time. We saw Barney this afternoon, but no sign of the grey cat, and no real indication that, if they were not courting, there was any damage done to Barney. No blood or scabs evident. I did get the rest of the great lawn cut this afternoon after I got home from work, so that will net need to be done again (I hope) for another couple weeks. Rain remains in the forecast, but not as likely as it was the last couple days.

Luculent -- Adjective. clear in thought or expression. lucid. The professor gave a luculent introduction to quantum mechanics.

Did You Know? To shed light on the meaning of luculent, you need only to look at its root - the Latin noun lux, meaning "light." The English word first appeared in the 15th century with the meaning "brilliant" or "shining," as in "a lucent flame." By the mid-16th century, the "clear in thought or expression" sense had begun to shine, and by that century's end another sense was flickering with the meaning "illustrious" or "resplendent," as in Ben Johnson's 1599 description of a "most debonair and luculent lady." Both the "illustrious" and the "emitting light" senses have fallen out of use, and even the "clear" sense is now rare. Today's writers seem to prefer to use another lux descendent with a similar meaning: lucid.