Saturday, August 31, 2019

2019 - Day 243/122 - Saturday...Chorography...

These things are like peel-em and eat-em shrimp. I like the eat-em part, but I am not too keen on the peel-em part. I am craving chocolate, and this is all I can find. It seems I have already eaten all the other chocolate I have had stashed here and there in the house, so I am reduced to eating chocolate kisses. Of this I expect I will survive, and I will re-stock the pantry tomorrow or the next day. Other than taking voluminous amounts of naps today, the only other things I really accomplished werefeeding the cat and driving in to Georgetown for lunch. I did go give the girls fresh water and gather eggs (6 now), and that pretty much tells you what I did on this first day of the three-day weekend.

Chorography -- Noun. 1. the art of describing or mapping a region or district.2. a description or map of a region. The video game's realism is enhanced by the detailed chorography of the landscape.

Did You Know? The word chorography was borrowed from the Latin chorographia, which in turn comes from the Greek chorographia, a combination of choros ("place") and grahia ("writing"). It was distinguished from geography in that the former was concerned with smaller regions and specific locations and the latter with larger regions or with the world in general. The art of mapping that once was the field of chorography has since passed into the spheres of geography and topography. As with the art it names, the word chorography is now primarily encountered in historical discussions of geography and cartography.

Friday, August 30, 2019

2019 - Day 242/123 - Friday...Scurrilous...

I was in Marble Falls on Tuesday (as noted in that entry), and before I went inside to the event, I walked around their River Walk for a few minutes. It is hot as hell in Texas right now, and I only stayed outside for a few minutes, but it was long enough to enjoy the river for a little bit, and document this image of the evening. Right now, sitting in the home office, I am plotting and planning on the watering schedule for the three day weekend. I have a whole extra day to get it done, so I might just take it slowly. Probably not. I do want to go in to Taylor tomorrow morning and get some molasses buckets and salt blocks for the cattle. And some gas in the gas cans. And I have a sudden craving for a moisture meter, so I may need to make a stop at Harbor Freight. Then take some hay to the cattle, then clean the chicken coop. Then a little bit of this and a little bit of that, with a generously proportioned nap worked in to the mix as well. It looks like there is a hurricane headed to Florida and other parts of the southeast. Mikey had a trip planned to visit friends in Louisville, so he is out of harms way, but I expect he is feeling kind of helpless and not in charge. I cannot stand that feeling.

Scurrilous -- Adjective. 1a. using or given to coarse language. b. vulgar and evil. 2. containing obscenities, abuse, or slander. The op-ed article generated a number of scurrilous comments on the newspaper's website that had to be deleted by a moderator.

Did You Know? Scurrilous (and its much rarer relation scurrile, which has the same meaning) comes from the Middle French scurrile. The Middle French word, in turn, comes from the Latin scurrilis, from scurra, which means "buffoon" or "jester." Fittingly, 18th-century lexicographer Samuel Johnson defined scurrilous as "using such language as only the license [sic] of a buffoon could warrant." Qualities traditionally associated with buffoonery-vulgarity, irreverence, and indecorousness-are qualities often invoked by the word scurrilous. Unlike the words of a jester, however, "scurrilous" language of the present day more often intends to seriously harm or slander than to produce a few laughs.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

2019 - Day 241/124 - Thursday...Assiduous...

It doesn't take a lot to make me feel superior; Passing up the free food at Costco is always a really easy one. Letting other drivers merge in front of me on MoPac. NOT letting others merge in front of me on MoPac. And this is one of my favorites, going faster on MoPac than the folks in the toll lane are going, or better yet, going PERIOD when the folks in the toll lane are at a dead stop! I had the pleasure of experiencing both of those today on my drive home. I did not leave the office until after 4, and I had one stop to make, so I did not hit MoPac until about 4:45. Traffic was typical, but I had opportunities to feel superior to those in the toll lanes on two occasions, so that made it all worthwhile. Overall, I had a really good day today. I got in to the office at a reasonable time, did a few power real estate things, took off to guide my Service Animal (Puppy Love) class for a great bunch of colleagues, made a stop at SteinMart, went back to the office, more power real estate, phone calls, this-and-that, and then it was home. One more day and then it is a three-day-weekend. I told Jody he needs to go out with me to the chicken coop over the weekend, and listen to me and the chickens see who can screech the loudest. I am pretty sure we can be heard all the way to Bell County.

Assiduous -- Adjective. marked by careful unremitting attention or persistent application. Larry was fortunate to have an assiduous tutor who believed in him and strove to help him overcome his learning disability.

Did You Know? Judges presiding over assizes (former periodic sessions of the superior courts in English counties) had to be assiduous in assessing how to best address their cases. Not only were their efforts invaluable, but the also served as a fine demonstration of the etymologies of assiduous, assess, and assize. All three words derive from the Latin verb assidere, which is variously translated as "to sit beside," "to take care of," or "to assist in the office of a judge."Assidere, in turn, is a composite of the prefix ad- (in this case, meaning "near" or "adjacent to") and sedere, meaning "to sit." I like words and definitions with a lot of "ass!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

2019 - Day 240/125 - Wednesday...Douceur...

So, here is an image that not enough people get to see everyday, a really pretty sunrise viewed from the Edge of Nowhere. I got a bit of a late start this morning, and there is plenty of evidence that school has started back in central Texas. The University of Texas has a population of about 60 thousand, and there are four or five other institutions of higher learning. That, plus all the other schools starting back is pretty much like adding another large city to our traffic congestion. I have never understood why UT starts classes, has three days of classes, and then takes Labor Day off. It seems like it would make better sense if they just waited until after Labor Day to start. But, what do I know? Well, I know an image when I see one, what about you?

Douceur -- Noun. a conciliatory gift. The restaurant offered a douceur to the company to entice them to rent the banquet room for their annual party.

Did You Know? In French, douceur means "pleasantness," and it is often used in phrases such as douceur de vivre ("the pleasure of life"). The word derives from the Latin adjective dulcis, meaning "sweet." A douceur is a gift or payment-sometimes, but not necessarily, considered a bribe-provided by someone to enhance or "sweeten" a deal. In the United Kingdom, douceur specifically refers to a tax benefit given to someone who sells a historical artifact to a public collection. Other sweet treats that dulcis has given to our language include dulcet (having a "sweet: sound that is pleasing to the ear) and dulcimer (a kind of stringed instrument that provides "sweet" music).

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

2019 - Day 239/126 - Tuesday...Bardolater...

Lots of opinions were shared, and lots of definitions were offered, but the winner is...(drum roll)...IMAGE! Yes, no longer will I refer to documentations as photos or pictures, IMAGE is the way to go forward. The vote was not even close, since I was the sole vote caster and deciding vote. It is my journal, so I get to call the shots. IMAGE it is. And, with that newfound clarity, I hope you like the IMAGE that I am offering with this entry. I went to the Highland Lakes Association of REALTORS® this evening, to attend their Election Social and TREPAC fundraising auction. Honest to goodness, I had a blast, and I am pretty sure everyone there had a great time. Oh the stories he could tell... But that is for another time. The day started early with breakfast with one of our local Congressmen, Lloyd Doggett. Then it was on to the office, where I managed to dig a hole (accidentally, I swear) even deeper for myself (see yesterday's entry), then off to a meeting at ABoR and then off to Highland Lakes. It is way past my bedtime, so I will sign off for now. And it is only Tuesday...I am ready for the three-day Holiday Weekend. I wonder what I will be able to screw up?

Bardolater -- Noun. a person who idolizes Shakespeare. As a bardolater, Jonathan had entire scenes from Hamlet, King Lear, and Twelfth Night committed to memory.

Did You Know? George Bernard Shaw once described a Shakespeare play as "stagy trash." Another time, Shaw said he's like to dig Shakespeare from the grave and throw stones at him. Shaw could be equally scathing toward Shakespeare's adoring fans. He called them "foolish Bardolaters," wrote of "Bardolatrous" ignoramuses, and called blind Shakespeare worship "Bardolatry." Oddly enough, Shaw didn't despise Shakespeare or his work (on the contrary, he was, by his own admission, an admirer), but he disdained those who placed the man beyond reproach. The word bardolater, which Shaw coined by blending Shakespeare's epithet-"the Bard"-with an affix that calls to mind idolater, has stuck with us to this day, though it has lost some of its original critical sting.

Monday, August 26, 2019

2019 - Day 238/127 - Monday...Kludge...

Let;s talk about wrecks. The literal kind (as seen in the picture), and the other kind. The kind that you could describe your day as. As in 'my day was a wreck.' It wasn't all a wreck, just the parts that I really paid attention to. None of us are all things to all people, and on occasion, I don't want to be anything to a few people. Isn't it interesting that it only takes one unhappy incident to mess up your whole day? It happens to many of us, more than we (probably) care to admit. I am pretty sure that I am too sensitive about a lot of things, and I should just let the crap go, 'like water on a ducks back,' but I don't and it makes for cratering an otherwise lovely day. Not that it started out that well (refer once again to the picture presented with this journal entry.

Let me ask you all a question...I have been referring to the 'pictures' that I am including with my journal entries as 'pictures' as opposed to 'photographs.' Are the documents I capture on my cell phone actually 'photographs?' Because I think a photograph is not something you can do with a cell phone. Feel free to chime in with your opinions.

Kludge -- Noun. a system (such as a computer system) made up of poorly matched components. "The program itself was an executive action of the Obama administration and something of a kludge in the absence of action from Congress." Whet Moser, Chicago Magazine, September 6, 2017

Did You Know? The first recorded use of the word kludge is attributed to Jackson W. Granholm, who defined the word in a 1962 issue of the magazine Datamation as "an ill-assorted collection of poorly-matching parts, forming a distressing whole." He further explained that it was derived from the German word klug, meaning "smart" or "witty." Why Granholm included a "d" in his spelling is not known. What we do know is that speakers of American English have agreed to keep it silent, making the vowel pronunciation of kludge reflect the pronunciation of German klug (\'kluk\). Whew! We can also tell you that not everyone agrees with Granholm on the "d" matter: the spelling of kluge is also popularly used.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019 - Day 237/128 - Sunday...Phlegmatic...

We have had nothing but a trace of rain in August, and August is usually our hottest month. We have had 20 (out of 25) days over 100 degrees, and we really are dry. If you cannot wrap your head around how dry it is here, reference the picture included with this entry. It is dry. I have watered the beds all weekend, and gone through close to 6,000 gallons of water. We really need the rain. On the bright side, the second weekend of October will be here before we know it, and that will make everything better. When people ask me when it will get cooler in Texas, my 'go-to' answer is always the second weekend in October. That has been my experience in the 34 years that I have lived here. The second weekend in October. Hopefully we will be able to survive until then. Oh, and we got FIVE eggs today, which means there are five of the 12 girls lying. Close to fifty percent. Not too bad!

Phlegmatic -- Adjective. 1. resembling, consisting of, or producing the humor phlegm. 2. having or showing a slow and stolid temperament. "Their sister, Mellie (Riley Keough), a hairdresser with a lighter spirit than her two phlegmatic brothers, takes the curse theory in stride." Dana Stevens, Slate, August 17, 2017

Did You Know? According to the ancient Greeks, human personalities were controlled by four bodily fluids or semifluids called humors: blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm. Each humor was associated with one of the four basic elements: air, earth, fire, and water. Phlegm was paired with water-the cold, moist element-and it was believed to impart the cool, calm, unemotional personality we now call the "phlegmatic type." That's a bit odd, given that the term derives from the Greek phlegma, which literally means "flame," perhaps a reflection of the inflammation that colds and the flu often bring.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

2019 - Day 236/129 - Saturday...Holus-Bolus...

Thunder, but no rain. Okay, there were a few drops, not really more than I could count, but they were actual drops. We went in to Georgetown for lunch, and there might have been more drops on the windshield than I could count, but not likely even 1/10" if that much. There were some showers around us, and we might still get lucky later this evening, but after than, nothing on the horizon.We can always hope for a non-damaging rain event from a tropical depression in the Gulf, but those are iffy at the best. Today was full of naps, and laziness. We are pretty regularly getting four eggs a day now; two brown, one white, one green. So, pretty soon we will most likely not be buying eggs at the store anymore, but honestly, eggs at the store are really cheap compared to eggs from the chicken coop!

Holus-Bolus -- Adverb. all at once. "Grasses area a conundrum. ...Lazy landscapers shove them in holus-bolus because they will survive just about anything." Marjorie Harris, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), May 30, 2017

Did You Know? Holus-bolus originated in English dialect in the mid-19th century and is believed to be a waggish reduplication of the word bolus. Bolus is from the Greek word bolos, meaning "lump," and has retained that Greek meaning. In English, bolus has additionally come to mean "a large pill," "a mass of chewed food," or "a dose of a drug given intravenously." Considering this "lumpish" history, it's not hard to see how holus-bolus, a word meaning "all at once" or "all in a lump," cane about. Personally, I have never heard the expression!

Friday, August 23, 2019

2019 - Day 235/130 - Friday...Global Village...

Traffic congestion has been all over the news channels lately, so let's take this opportunity to look at some clouds instead of car wrecks. Or wrecks in general. It seems everything is a wreck these days, not just vehicular wrecks, but you name it, it is a wreck. But there is something you cannot make up. Lovely, beautiful, voluminous clouds. We have experienced 0.04" of rain this month, not really enough to brag about, and it was really just a tease. No rain on the horizon for at least a few weeks, according to the forecasts. There is a 20% chance of rain a day or two in the seven day forecast, but in Texas, that means it is not going to rain. We are all shriveling up and turning into a dust bowl. And it does not help with the work they are doing on the roads out here. Or I could more accurately say the 'lack' of work they are doing on the roads. Okay, I am tired of complaining, so just take a look at the picture accompanying this post, and think about things that make you happy.

Global Village -- Noun. the world viewed as a community in which distance and isolation have been dramatically reduced by electronic media (such as television and the Internet). Thanks to crowdfunding and the generous response of the global village, the couple received enough donations to pay their sick daughter's medical bills.

Did You Know? The term global village is closely associated with Herbert Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian communications theorist and literature professor hailed by many as a prophet for the 20th century. McLuhan's mantra, "the medium is the message," summarized his view of the influence of television, computers, and other electronic information sources in shaping society and modern life. By 1960, he had delineated his concept of the global village, and by 1970, the public had embraced the term and recognized the idea as both exhilarating and frightening. As a 1970 Saturday Review article noted, "There are no boundaries in a global village. All problems will become so intimate as to be one's own." I frequently use the term "Marshall McLuhan, what are you doin?" I quote from a segment on Laugh In I watched, back in the day.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

2019 - Day 234/131 - Thursday...Ripsnorter...

Thursday. This is the day that we are supposed to post photos from the past. guys are getting a two-fer today. This is both the past and the present. Sandy's Hamburgers has been on the corner of Barton Springs Road and South First Street MUCH longer than I have lived here. They have really good soft-serve ice cream (not frozen custard, just soft serve) and really good hamburgers and all that stuff. It is the stuff of legends, not because it is really good or anything like that, but just because they have been here so long and everybody has a story about going there after this or before that. So, they have specials on Thursday and Saturdays, and we took the bait. Three cheeseburger combos, and instead of the medium Dr Pepper's (there is no period after the r in Dr), we got lemonade, a choclolate shake and a root beer shake. You can use your best intuitive skills to try and figure out what mine was.

Ripsnorter -- Noun. something extraordinary: humdinger. The weekend music festival is expected to be a ripsnorter, with up-and-coming artists of different genres packing the stage for three days.

Did You Know? English speakers of the mid-19th century already had the term snorter at their disposal if they wanted a colorful term for something extraordinary, but that didn't stop speakers in the United States from throwing the very rip onto the front of the word to create ripsnorter. And they didn't stop there: By the time the 20th century had reached its quarter mark, U.S. speakers had added hummer, humdinger (probably an alteration of hummer), pip (from pippin, a kind of crisp, tart apple and a term for a highly admirable person or thing), and doozy (thought to be an alteration of daisy) to the catalog of words for the striking or extraordinary.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

2019 - Day 233/132 - Wednesday...Cabal...

Again, not a bad day. Not as good (or as much fun) as yesterday, but a good day. I had a couple meetings in the office this morning, got some good news about a couple agreements we had been working on, got the car washed (kind of an exercise in futility, but whatev...), went to a 3:30 appointment that had been rescheduled weeks ago. I had made note of the new date, but I had failed to remove the first scheduled date. I do that occasionally; I show up for a meeting and there is nobody there. What if they gave a meeting and nobody came? I know the answer. SO...since I had some time, I stopped by the Tesla Service Center to follow up on some service issues that I have been waiting on getting scheduled...and I was successful. That makes a minimum of three successes I enjoyed today, and I will take it. Interestingly, the Tesla Service Center here has a 'fast lane' and a 'ludicrous lane' for service. It will be interesting to see which one I get put into.

Cabal -- Noun. 1. the artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); also: a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues. 2. club, group. "A 'cabal' of wealthy conservatives has begun using New York State's campaign finance laws to sway local elections." Michael Gormley, Newsday (New York), August 24, 2016

Did You Know? In A Child's History of England, Charles Dickens associates the word cabal with a group of five ministers in the government of England's King Charles II. The initial letters of the names or titles of those men (Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley and Lauderdale) spell cabal, and Dickens dubbed them the "Cabal Ministry." These five men were widely regarded as invidious, secretive plotters and their activities may have encouraged English speakers to associate cabal with high-level government intrigue. But their names are not the source of the word cabal, which was in use decades before Charles II ascended the throne. The term can be traced back through French to cabbala, the Medieval Latin name for the Kabbalah, a traditional system of esoteric Jewish mysticism.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

2019 - Day 232/133 - Tuesday...Copacetic...

On the way home this afternoon, I did a couple errands, and one of them was to get my drivers license renewed. It does not expire for another four months, but I don't want to wait until the last minute. Plus, I figured there would not be too many people in line at that time of the afternoon. And who knew there is a DPS office on Westinghouse Road in Georgetown? Not this guy, that's for sure. Anyway, I got there, got checked in (I was number 3058), filled out the form, and waited my turn. Less that ten minutes later, my number was called, and I explained to the guy processing the paper work that today was his lucky day. And...we only had to retake the picture once. And...I told him that I thought my vision had improved, and that I no longer needed that restriction on my license. And...I passed the eye test, no restrictions anymore on my license. I have kept my glasses in the car for the last couple years, but I have not been wearing them, and I have not been taking them along with my when I go out of town. My opinion is, if there is something on the power point that I really need to see, they can e-mail me a copy. And...I went and had my eyes examined a couple weeks ago, and they confirmed that my vision had actually improved according to the prescription in my most recent pair of glasses. I have a license valid through December of 2025. Oh my heavens...

Copacetic -- Adjective. very satisfactory. "In terms of living standards we're now back to where we started which while not making us entirely copacetic is at least better than not having recovered as yet." Tim Worstall, Forbes, August 8, s

Did You Know? Theories about the origin of copacetic abound, but the facts about the word's history are scant: It appears to have arisen in African American slang in the southern United States, possibly as early as the 1880s. Beyond that, we have only speculation. One theory is that the term is descended from the Hebrew kol be sedher (or kol b'seder or chol b'seder), meaning "everything is in order." Other theories trace copacetic to the Creole coupestique ("able to be coped with"), Italian cappo sotto (literally "head under," figuratively "okay"), or Chinook jargon copacete ("everything's all right"). Another theory attributes the word to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who used copacetic frequently and believed himself to be the coiner, but anecdotal recollections of the word's use predate his lifetime.

Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 - Day 231/134 - Monday...Periphrasis...

As far as Mondays go, this one was NOT one of the worst. Probably not even in the top ten. I expect I will regret having written this, but traffic was not too terrible this morning. I made it in to the office in about an hour-and-a-half, which is not bad at all. A good day, office wise, got a lot of paperwork done, had a lunch appointment with an old friend (I am older than Bryan is), and then rand an errand or two on the way home. The road work goes on and on-I expect it will be done by Christmas, and in the meantime, getting the car washed is just an exercise in stupidity. Granted, I was never the smartest guy in the room, but even I know getting the car washed is just a waste of time, but I am going to keep doing it, just so I can keep complaining. Barney the cat has gotten a little bit more tolerant of me, particularly in the evenings when the sun goes down and I am out watering pots or putting the girls to bed. Our paths cross and we are about six feet away from each other, and he does not panic or even seem to care that I am in his space. And, as usual, he waits for either Jody or me to bring him his dinner to the bed of the Polaris. We all have our routines, and his is to climb up on the axle of the truck while we talk with him and put his food out. Then we walk away, looking back at him to say goodbye, as he walks over to the Polaris and jumps into the bed to eat. This picture shows him licking his lips in anticipation of dinner. We guess he is kind of a Pavlov's cat...

Periphrasis -- Noun. 1. use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression. 2. an instance of periphrasis. Mark used periphrasis when he complained of "an acute pang of gastrointestinal discomfort" instead of just saying he had a stomachache.

Did You Know: It is easy enough to point out the origins of periphrasis: The word was borrowed into English in the early 16th century via Latin from the Greek periphrazein, which in turn comes from the prefix peri-, meaning "all around," and the verb phrazein, "to point out." Two common descendants of phrazein in English are phrase and paraphrase, the latter of which combines phrazein with the prefix para-, meaning "closely resembling." Another phrazein descendant is the less familiar word holophrasis, meaning "the expression of a complex of ideas in a single word or in a fixed phrase." The prefix holo- can mean "completely."

Sunday, August 18, 2019

2019 - Day 230/135 - Sunday...Impertinent...

Well, we now have at least three girls laying. We have a good variety of eggs working. White, green and brown. It is always interesting to see the different colors. Personally, if I were buying eggs at the store, I would always go for the big brown eggs. Not sure why, just a preference. I got all the watering done by noon today, so that was good. At one time I had six sprinklers running. Right now I am watering the trees in the back. Thirty minutes a piece, and no rain in sight according to the prognosticators. Every day next week is expected to be over 100 degrees, averaging about 102. It was a pretty nice, temperate and rainy spring, but we are paying for it now.

Impertinent -- Adjective. 1. irrelevant. 2a. not restrained within due or proper bounds especially of propriety or good taste. b. insolent, rude. The councilor apologized for the impertinent remarks he had made during the last meeting.

Did You Know? English speakers adopted both impertinent and pertinent from Anglo-French in the 14th century. Both words derive from the present participle of the Latin verb pertinere, meaning "to pertain." Initially, impertinent was used for things that are simply not relevant (as in "impertinent to the issue at hand"). Over time, it came to be used for things that are not only irrelevant but rudely or inappropriately so, and later for people who are just straight-out rude.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

2019 - Day 229/136 - Saturday...Shell Game...

Ugh...this is my second attempt to get this entry published. I have absolutely NO IDEA what happened the first time, but apparently this is the best I can do for tonight. They have been working on the roads around the house for a couple months, and we go from a mudslide to a dustbowl, depending on the weather. I think we are in dust bowl mode for the near term. Last week they came out and 'oiled' the roads. Not oil like they used on the roads when I was a kid, not the black oil stuff, but a clear kind of oil that is in a perpetual state of 'wet', but it is not really wet. It just looks wet. I is almost like a shellac, like it has just put a layer of clear polyurethane on top of the dirt. Whatever it is, they tried to also camouflage the mailbox. The mailbox ended up about three feet from the newly elevated road bed, and all catty-wampus, and there was so much dirt on it you could hardly see it. Jody suggested I try to get it back into a proper position, so that was a pretty good challenge for me. These are the before and after pictures, so I don't think I did too badly. I have five sprinklers running right now, and I hope to make some good progress before bedtime. I did a little bit of watering this morning, but it was too hot to keep going, so I will see what kind of progress I can make.

Shell Game -- Noun. fraud; especially a swindle involving the substitution of something of little or no value for a valuable item. "He had tried to cover the risk of an adjustable-rate loan through a shell game of refinancing that finally caught up with him." Paul Reyes, Harper's, October, 2008

Did You Know? The shell game, a swindling trick in which a small ball or pea is quickly shifted from under on to another of three walnut shells or cups to fool the spectator guessing its location, is a version of one of the oldest and most widespread forms of sleight of hand. Conjurers have performed this trick, which is also called thimblerig, throughout the world for centuries. The version that became popular in the United States in the late 19th century used walnut shells and peas. Shell game thus became the popular term for the trick, and the trick itself became so well known that the term is now used figuratively to describe dishonest actions that are done to deceive people.

Friday, August 16, 2019

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

Generally I look forward to Thursday evenings, because that means Dr. Pimple Popper. Last night was two hours of repeats, so that took care of that. However, I was retrieved from the monotony of pimple repeats buy a package that was delivered (via Amazon) from our friends Joe Mac and Carolyn. My very own, Dr. Pimple Popper herself endorsed "Pimple Pete!" I have not yet extracted (get it?) the contents of the package, so I am not 100% sure if this is to be considered a party game or a threat to young children everywhere. I am lead to believe, and I quote, this is considered "The Pressure-packed Pimple Popping Game, so I guess that answers that question. The package enticements are delivered in both English and French, how about that? The guidelines state that this is an appropriate distraction for people five years and older, and some adult assembly is required. Think about that for just a minute. Included in the box are 1 Pimple Pete Head, 1 Spinner Base, 18 (count 'em) Pimples, a Mega-Zit Plunger and directions. I could go on-and-on, but I think that is enough for this entry.

Tranche -- Noun. a division or portion of a pool or whole. "It appears that he received a tranche of hacked material sometime between May 25th...and June 12th." Raffi Khatchaddourian, The New Yorker, August 21, 2017

Did You Know? In French, tranche means "slice." Cutting deeper into the word's etymology, we find the Old French word trancer, meaning "to cut." Tranche emerged in the English language in the late 19th century to describe financial appropriations. Today, it can be used specifically for an issue of bonds that is differentiated from other issues by such factors as maturity or rate of return. Another use of the French word tranche is in the French phrase une tranche de vie, meaning "a cross section of life." That phrase was coined by the dramatist Jean Jullien (1854-1919), who advocated naturalism in the theater.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

2019 - Day 227/138 - Thursday...Blench...

I am back from Chicago. It was a really good meeting, and worth the time. I got back in to Austin about 1:30 this afternoon, and headed straight to the office. I got a few things accomplished during my 'power real estate' time, and then took off for home. I had four stops to make before I could really begin my commute, and I am glad that I got all those chores accomplished. There are at least two girls laying now. There were no eggs collected while I was gone, and I picked up three this afternoon, one of them being from one of the new Ameraucanas. They lay green eggs, so I know there are at least two girls laying. The eggs are still small, but they should start getting bigger, and I know some of the breeds we have out there lay bigger eggs.

Blench -- Verb. to draw back or turn aside from lack of courage. flinch. "Alternatively, opt for an all-inclusive hotel so that you won't spend your holiday blenching at the cost of meals." Harriet O'Brien, The Independent (UK), November 5, 2011

Did You Know? If a stranger approaches you in a dark alley, do you flinch or turn white? Actually, you could do both, and both would be considered blenching because there are two separate verbs spelled blench in English. The blench that means "flinch" derives from blencan, an Old English word meaning "to deceive." The blench meaning "turn white" is an alteration of blanch, from the French adjective blanc ("white"). Clues to which meaning is intended can often be found in context. The 'flinch" use, for example, is strictly intransitive and often followed by from or at ("blenched from the sight of blood"; "didn't blench at the sound of thunder"). The "whiten" use, meanwhile, can be intransitive ("his skin blenched with terror") or transitive ("the cold blenched her lips").

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

2019 - Day 226/139 - Wednesday...Commensal...

Oh my. Today was full speed ahead. Breakfast at 7:30 then non-stop until 4ish. NAR Committee Leadership Camp is a full blown learning experience to make the next year a successful one, and to benefit all our 1.3M REALTOR® members, without them really even knowing it. When successes look easy, it is usually because of all the hard work that went into the planning and execution of the plan. SO, that is what the volunteer servants have been doing in Chicago for the past week. In my case, it was a quick trip with one full day of learning. Goal setting, facilitating, creativity, and organization. All these things are going to be put into use not only nationally, but also at our local and state levels. SO...can you tell I am a little bit pumped up? Enough of that. I love being in Chicago, even though it brings back conflicting emotions. Having grown up in Detroit, much of my fathers family relocated here from the DEEP south, looking for better lives and economic opportunities. For some of the family it worked, but for most of it, it didn't, and that is a discussion for another journal entry. Suffice it to say, I can appreciate this wonderful city for what it is, and I hope you enjoy this picture, taken from inside one of the meeting spaces I was in today. A bit of the old looking out onto some of the new. Oh yeah, and there was a lot of food. Food, food, food...

Commensal -- Adjective. 1. of or relating to those who habitually eat together. 2. of or relating to a relationship in which one organism obtains food or benefits from another without harm. Probiotics are a kind of commensal bacteria that live in the digestive tract of humans and aid in digestion.

Did You Know? Commensal types, be they human or beast, often "break bread" together. When they do, they are reflecting the etymology of commensal, which derives from the Latin prefix com-, meaning "with, together, jointly," and the Latin adjective mensalis, meaning "of the table." In its earliest English uses, commensal referred to people who ate together, but around 1870, biologists started using it for organisms that have no use for a four-piece table setting. Since then, the scientific sense has almost completely displaced the dining one.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

2019 - Day 225/140 - Tuesday...Estival...

It just goes to show you, if you really want to see clouds, you can see them. Really, all you have to do is stop for a couple minutes, and look for them. Guaranteed you will find them. Granted, they were ever changing, and I took several photos, but this is the one that I liked the best. Looking out the window right now, from the 21st floor of the hotel I am staying in in Chicago, the clouds are unremarkable. Nothing really to comment on, although I do feel kind of bad for demeaning a cloud. Clouds do not have an easy life, to the best of my knowledge. There was I time when I pondered 'how many elephants does a cloud weigh?' Clouds are full of moisture, so there is a lot of weight in a cloud. If you can think of cloud mass as elephants, it just gives you something else to wonder about.

Estival -- Noun. of or relating to the summer. The children were reveling in their remaining weeks of summer vacation, filling their school free estival afternoons with swimming and playing.

Did You Know? Estival and festival look so much alike that you might think they're closely related, but that isn't the case. Estival traces back to aestas, which is the Latin word for "summer" (and which also gave us estivate, a verb for spending the summer in a torpid state-a sort of hot-weathered equivalent of hibernation). Festival also comes from Latin, but it has a different and unrelated root. It derives from festivus, a term that means "festive" or "merry." Festivus is also the ancestor of festive and festivity as well as the much rarer festivous (which also means "festive") and infestive, meaning "not merry, mirthless."

Monday, August 12, 2019

2019 - Day 224/141 - Monday...Pescatarian...

Today was the hottest day of the far...and luckily, I have not had too much of any need to be outside. Okay, I was outside for a while this morning in the dark, watering pots and stuff that has been recently planted. BUT, after the sun came up, I have probably only beed outside a total of 15 minutes. Otherwise, I have stayed in the air conditioned comfort of offices and automobiles, and that is just fine with me. There was a news report on the radio that, a road crew was putting asphalt on one of the county roads, and it was too hot for the asphalt to set, and it was sticking to the cars as they drove over it, so they had to close the road. Suffice it to say, it is hot here in central Texas. My 'work' day started by guiding a broadcast class on emotional support animals and service animals. Then it was off to the office for some power real estate, then a couple errands on the way home. Nothing fancy. BUT...just FYI, on this date six years ago (August 12, 2103) Jody and I were married by a Republican Justice of the Peace in Glastonbury, Connecticut. I think it was a Tuesday, but it turned out to be one of the best days of my life. The picture in this post is of the moon over that farm, and if you look closely, you can see Saturn at about 'five o'clock' below the moon.

Pescatarian -- Noun. one whose diet includes fish but no meat. The cafe menu included fish tacos and salt cod po'boys, so Fiona's friends, both pescatarians, would have options when they joined her for lunch.

Did You Know? The word vegetarian sprouted up (get it?) in 1839. Fruitarian ("a person who lives on fruit') ripened (get it?) by 1893. In 1944, vegetarians who consume no animal or dairy products began calling themselves vegans. Then, in 1993, those who eat fish but no other meat chose pesce, the Italian word for "fish,' to create the designation pescatarian. In that same year, meatatarian was served up (get it?) as a word for those whose diet includes mainly meat; that word is rare (get it?), however, and is usually used in informal and humorous ways. Another fairly recent dietary word is flexitatian, a person who follows a mostly vegetarian diet but occasionally eats meat or fish.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

2019 - Day 223/142 - Sunday...Rantipole...

Before I end this day, I will have completed everything that was on my list. There was not that much on my list, but when you are moving sprinklers around every twenty minutes, it kind of gets in the way of other things. Yesterday, the grass between the house in back just past the fruit trees got cut, and the grass in the front of the house up to the bamboo break got cut. I might have had a thought of cutting more grass today, but that did not happen. I got the chicken coop cleaned out (one more egg in a different nest, but I still think there is just one girl laying right now). Did a lot of this and thats. Jody and I did take the girls for a ride this morning, but otherwise, we have not moved from the house all day. Early lupper, and I have about another hour or so (maybe an hour and a half) of watering to do, and then it will be tomorrow! They have been harvesting the corn across the road from us, Hubert and Pauline's property. All around they are clearing corn off the fields. The cotton is looking pretty good, blooming and getting ready to make. We had our tenth or twelfth day in a row of 100 plus degree days, that makes about twenty this year, which is not as bad as it could be. We will take it!

Rantipole -- Adjective. characterized by a wild unruly manner or attitude: rakish. Jerome's rantipole cousin was always getting them both into trouble with his itch for causing mischief and mayhem.

Did You Know? "O, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to totters, to very rags." Thus, Prince Hamlet let it be known that he didn't like ranting, and he advised the players who were about to present his special drama to the king to "avoid it." Around 1700, someone else who apparently found ranting ridiculous dealt with it in a different way-by combining the word rant (or maybe the British dialect word ranty, which means "excited" or "riotous") with poll, meaning "head." The result was the whimsical rantipole, a term that quickly found use as a noun for a reckless person, and adjective for wild behavior, and a verb for being rude.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

2019 - Day 222/143 - Saturday...Tantivy...

No eggs today, but it is Melody's Birthday, so that is something worth celebrating! Jody and I gave her a call while we were on the way home from lupper. She and Bruce were on the way to visit the girls, and there was talk of a bon fire. It seems in Connecticut it is cool enough for a bon fire. Interesting. We had an egg pile for breakfast, which included the two fresh eggs we collected over the last few days. I little darker yellow, and certainly smaller than the store bought eggs. But, happy to have them and excited to be having fresh eggs again soon. I am not sure of the logic of this, when you can get eggs at HEB for $1.39 for 18 eggs. There must be something wrong with my business plan.

Tantivy -- Adverb. at a gallop. "Thus it came about that Denby and his man, riding tantivy to the rescue, met the raiders two miles down the trail." Francis Lynde, The Helpers, 1899

Did You Know? Tantivy is an adverb as well as a noun that refers to a rapid gallop. Although its precise origin isn't known, one theory has it that tantivy represents the sound of galloping horse's hooves. The noun does double duty as a word meaning "the blare of a trumpet or horn." This is probably due to confusion with tantara, a word for the sound of a trumpet that came about as an imitation of that sound. Both tantivy and tantara have been used in the context of fox hunts; in the heat of the chase, people may have jumbled the two.

Friday, August 9, 2019

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

Tape city. The phlebotomist at the clinic this morning apparently owns stock in the company that produces the tape used to secure the gauze to the puncture so you don't bleed out after the do the draw. Not only did she use a half a roll of the tape, but she instructed me not to remove said tape for fifteen minutes. I would have been happy to comply, except that the circulation to my fingers was cut off and they were turning a garish shade of blue-gray. I am more in to the jewel tones, so that color was not a good match for me, and I unwound the tape as I was driving down IH-35. I can neither confirm nor deny as to whether or not the emergency room doctor had to amputate, but suffice it to say, I still have all ten digits. NUMERO DOS: yep, we got another egg this afternoon. Same nest, same small white egg, so I suspect it is the same girl that is doing the laying. Maybe the others will begin to mimic her in short order.

Haruspex -- Noun. a diviner in ancient Rome basing predictions on inspection of the entrails of sacrificed animals. "The coroner-cum-haruspex will divine the mystery of her death, read the entrails of the bird that flew too far and too fast." Violet LeVoit, Baltimore City Paper, August 17, 2011.=

Did You Know? Haruspex was formed in Latin by the combination of haru- (which is akin to chorde, the Greek word for "gut") and -spex (from the verb specere, meaning "to look"). Appropriately, haruspex can be roughly defined as "one who looks at guts." The ancient Romans had a number of ways of determining whether the gods approved of a particular course of action. Such divination was called augury, and a haruspex was a type of augur, an official diviner of ancient Rome. (Other augurs divined the will of the gods through slightly less gruesome means, such as observing the behavior of birds or tracking celestial phenomena.) Haruspex, like augur, has developed a general sense of "one who prophesies," but this use is somewhat rare.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

2019 - Day 220/145 - Thursday...Foray...

Last weekend while I was cleaning the chicken coop, I decided to put some pine shavings in the nesting boxes. I had been thinking about it for a week or two, that the girls might be getting close to laying age. They are just about 19 weeks old now, close to five months, and rule of thumb is they will start laying at about six months. When we got them, they were between 2 days and a week old. Yesterday when I was out there after work, I looked in and there was evidence that all the nests had been checked out; all the nests had depressions where the pine shavings had been 'nested.' This afternoon, I took a peek again, and lo-and-behold, there was our first egg from this clutch of the girls. We got 12 chicks, they all survived, and they all seem to be thriving. Obviously, one of them is an overachiever, even if it is a teeny-tiny egg, even compared to the nest egg. And so it begins.

Foray -- Noun. 1. a sudden or irregular invasion or attack for war or spoils: raid. 2. a brief excursion or attempt especially outside one's accustomed sphere. Eloise is normally a figurative painter; her latest series is her first foray into abstraction.

Did You Know? Foray comes from the Middle English forrayen and probably traces back to an Anglo-French word that meant "raider" or "forager." It's related to the word forage, which usually means "to wander in search of food or forage." A foray, in its earliest sense, was a raid for plunder. Relatively recently, foray began to take on a broader meaning. In a sense, a foray is still a trip into a foreign territory. These days, though, looting and plundering needn't be involved. When you take a foray, you dabble in an area or occupation that's new to you.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

2019 - Day 219/146 - Wednesday...Connive...

In the spirit of equal time allotted to any and all with differing opinions and/or values, tonight's picture is of Callie, sister (kind of) and co-habitation canine of the Estate on the Edge of Nowhere. Neither of these two dogs care for having their pictures taken, but Lexie (the piglet) is definitely the more amenable and more photogenic of the two. When you take a picture of Callie, there is sometimes a challenge determining which end you are actually capturing for posterity; the front end or the back end. Callie, however, is the much more calm and patient (tolerant) of the two. I was wakened this morning at about 3 a.m., because the piglet had to go outside. When I let them back in, I camped out on the couch, and never really did make it back to sleep. So, I am a little cranky right now and am looking forward to bedtime. But night time chores first.

Connive -- Verb. 1. to pretend ignorance of or fail to take action against something. 2a. to be indulgent or in secret sympathy. b. to cooperate secretly or engage in secret scheming: conspire. "Moreover, the government was only too happy, for propaganda purposes, to connive at such large-scale fraud." Anthony Daniels, USA Today Magazine, September, 2014

Did You Know? Connive may not seem list a troublesome term, but it was to Wilson Follett, a usage critic who lamented that the word "was undone during the Second World War, when restless spirits felt the need of a new synonym for plotting, bribing, spying, conspiring, engineering a coup, preparing a secret attack." Follett thought connive should only mean "to wink at" or "to pretend ignorance." Those senses are closer to the Latin ancestor of the word (connive comes from the Latin connivere, which means "to close the eyes" and is descended from -nivere, a form akin to the Latin verb nictare, meaning "to wink"). But many English speakers disagreed, and the "conspire" sense is now the word's most widely used meaning.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

2019 - Day 218/147 - Tuesday...Supercilious...

So...this guy showed up at the house the other day; Fat David. He seems to be happily ensconced out on his little pedestal out beyond the pool. This is what happens to you when a lithe and handsome guy from Italy gets a green card to the US, and discovers McDonald's. Just a testament to the society in which we live and the helplessness of the fast food generation we have become. Other than that, it was not a terrible day. It started early for me, I left the house just before 6:30 to make sure I had plenty of time to get to an 8:30 meeting. Then it was off to the office, then to another meeting, and then home. I am tired of talking about traffic issues, so I am taking a vow NOT to talk about it at least until the first of September. I don't think the odds are particularly in my favor to accomplish that task, so if anyone is taking bets, I would bet against the house.

Supercilious -- Adjective. coolly and patronizingly haughty. The supercilious critic clearly wasn't expecting to be impressed by the new restaurant, but in the end he gave it and its staff a glowing review.

Did You Know? Arrogant and disdainful types tend to raise an eyebrow at anything they consider beneath them. The original supercilious crowd must have shown that raised-eyebrow look often, because the adjective supercilious derives from supercilium, Latin for "eyebrow." (We plucked our adjective and its meaning from the Latin adjective superciliousus.) Supercilious has been used to describe the censoriously overbearing since the late 1600s, but there was a time in the 1700s when it was used as a synonym of another supercilium descendant, superciliary ("of, relating to, or adjoining the eyebrow"). Although the eyebrow sense of supercilious is now obsolete, it does help explain what ornithologist John Latham meant in 1782 when he described a "Supercilious K[ingfisher]" with a narrow orange stripe over its eyes.

Monday, August 5, 2019

2019 - Day 217/148 - Monday...Soi-Disant...

As you can see, the morning sunrise from the rear view mirror showed great promise, but I am totally fatigued by the incessant news (not really news) of the tragedies sustained yet again in our country by persons obviously unhappy with the current state-of affairs. Or should it be states-of-affairs? Not sure, but there is no sense in quibbling about the details. SO, this journal entry will be brief so you can all spend less time on this, and more time telling those you care about that you care about them.

Soi-Disant -- Adjective. self proclaimed, so called. The mechanic was a soi-disant "expert" on European cars, but he still couldn't figure out why my Swedish sedan was leaking oil.

Did You Know? Soi-disant, which in French literally means "saying oneself," is one of hundreds of French terms that entered English in the 18th century, during the period known as the Enlightenment. Even as political antipathies between France and England were being played out on battlefields in Europe and America, English speakers were peppering their speech and writing with French. Soi-disant first began appearing in English texts in the mid-18th century as a disparaging term for someone who styles or fancies himself or herself in some role. Crepe, vis-a-vis, etiquette, and sang-froid are a few of the other French terms that became naturalized in English at that time.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

2019 - Day 216/149 - Sunday...Arduous...

Try as we might, we were not able to get any extra sleep today. I dreamed that a plane crashed into the (good) neighbors field next door. Not really a crash, in my dream there was a pop (or a snap) and the plane turned into just a flat disc. Think frisbee, only really flat, imagine those giant car crushers in the junk yard. Kind of like that. There was a lot of activity after the plane crash, and Joel was in charge of calling the (good) neighbor. I woke up and realized it was just a dream, and decided thought, okay, I will just go back to sleep. That is when it started; either a smoke alarm or a carbon monoxide detector, somewhere in the house, was beeping. You know the beep, the 'I need a new battery!' beep. The beeps that only happen in the middle of the night. In this case, it was 5:48 a.m., kind of a regular time for rising, except this was a Sunday morning, and I really did not need to get up. And the rest is history. SO, after reading a little bit of the paper, I started watering, and doing some finesse to both the HVAC units. A little of this and a little of that, and just about the time I finished watering, it started raining. But I kept watering, not trusting that we would get anything significant, and I was right. 0.04" of an inch of rain, just enough to make everything really humid when the sun finally came out about 2 o'clock this afternoon. I did get an interesting picture (I think) of one of the blooms on the sweet potato vine. And the chicken coop got cleaned out, and, w
ell, never mind.

Arduous -- Adjective. 1a. hard to accomplish or achieve. b. marked by great labor or effort. 2. steep. The rescue crew embarked on what would be a long and arduous trek up the mountain in search of the missing hikers.

Did You Know? "To forgive is the most arduous pitch human nature can arrive at." When Richard Steele published that line in The Guardian in 1713, he was using arduous in what was apparently a fairly new way for writers in his day: to imply that something was steep or lofty as well as difficult. Steele's use is one of the earliest documented in English for that meaning, but he didn't commit it to paper until almost 200 years after the first uses of the word in its "hard to accomplish" sense. Although the sense is very true to the word's origins; arduous derives from the Latin arduus, which means "high" or "steep."

Saturday, August 3, 2019

2019 - Day 215/150 - Saturday...Sparge...

It was a great day for watering stuff. Cloudy, overcast, not too hot. There were a couple spritzes of rain, nothing more than a trace, not even enough to get the patio or the decks really wet, just indications of the drops. So, I got a lot of the beds watered, and I can finish up tomorrow. A little bit in the morning, and a little bit later in the evening. Otherwise, the day was pretty quiet. Napping was impossible; I was on a 15 minute timer schedule with the watering, and we were waiting for the VAC guy to arrive. Nothing terribly complicated, and I am pretty sure we are in business again. I need to go up in the attic over the garage tomorrow and make sure everything is okay with that unit, and do a little bit of preventive maintenance. Jody and I went in to Georgetown for lunch, and got home in time for the news. The piglet got her face washed after the news, so we can try to keep that under control. It is going to be an early night, I believe!

Sparge -- Verb. 1. sprinkle, bespatter; especially: spray. 2. to agitate (a liquid) by means of compressed air or gas entering through a pipe. "The first batch of red IPA was mashed, sparged, and transferred to the kettle.", March 16, 2010

Did You Know? Etymologists think that sparge likely came to English by way of the Middle French word espargier, itself from the Latin spargere, meaning "to scatter." (Spargere is also the source of disperse, intersperse, and sparse, among others.) Although sparge has been a synonym for "sprinkle" since the late 16th century, you're now most likely to come across this word in one of two contexts. The first is a process called "air sparging," in which air is injected into groundwater to help remediate contamination. The second is the process of beer making, during which mash is sparged-that is, sprayed with hot water to extract the wort.

Friday, August 2, 2019

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

Well, I have to admit, this is NOT something you will see on a regular basis; Evans in the attic pretending to be an HVAC service tech. Last weekend, I noticed there was some water staining on the ceiling in the den, and I went up into the attic to see if there was an active leak. I could not find anything, so I decided it had been something that happened a while back and corrected itself. We did have some strong rain earlier in the year, and I assumed that was the problem. However, while I was up there, I just about knocked myself out on an unfortunately place 2x12 (2x16? who knows...), and if you have seen me this week, that was the cause of the six inch scab across my forehead...but I digress... This evening when I got home, I noticed that it looked like the staining was getting worse. I got the step stool out, and the spot was indeed wet. So, back up in the attic I went. I found the origin of the leak, and called out HVAC guy, who will be out tomorrow to make it all better. In the meantime, after dinner, I wondered if I should turn off the AC in that part of the house (the answer is 'of course you should'), but instead, I went back up into the attic (it is effing hot up there, too), and put a tupperware tray under the spot to see if that will keep it from causing any more damage. It can't hurt, and as long as I was going back into unchartered territory, I might as well take the opportunity to document the happening for this journal entry. Ta-da! The other alternative was a picture of a wreck on the Interstate, and I already bore you with plenty of those.

Sobriquet -- Noun. a descriptive name of epithet: nickname. "There was none more powerful a performer than Harvey Phillips, a man whose love for the instrument earned him the sobriquet Mr. Tuba." John Tolley, Big Ten Network, September 2, 2017

Did You Know? This synonym of nickname has the same meaning in Modern French as it does in English. In Middle French, however, its earlier incarnation soubriquet referred to both a nickname and a tap under the chin. Centuries later, the connection between these two meanings isn't clear, but what is clear is that the "nickname" meaning of sobriquet was well established in French by the time English speakers borrowed the term in the mid-17th century-and it was the only meaning that was adopted. In current english, the spelling sobriquet is most common, but soubriquet is an accepted variant.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

2019 - Day 213/152 - Thursday...Abulia...

Tell me what it is that concerns you the most about this picture: 1). Cars to the left of me, cars to the right. B). I have travelled 4.8 miles in 28 minutes. 3). It is 109 degrees on the car thermometer. D). It is 4:38 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon. Statistically, Thursday afternoon in central Texas is the worst traffic day. If that is the case, I would like to know (statistically speaking), what is the best traffic afternoon in central Texas, and weekends do not count. I have said it before and I will say it again, central Texas (and Austin specifically), is on the brink of becoming inconvenient. We may has tipped over the edge while I was sleeping, but I am not really ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Here is an extra paragraph, being quoted from yesterdays edition of the Bartlett Tribune Progress (Serving Central Texas since 1866). This quote is attributed to The Bartlett Philosopher, who shares his knowledge with us in every (weekly) edition. "I WOULD LIKE to ask those persons opening a new business to please stay in business long enough for me to mention it in the paper. It is somewhat embarrassing to say something nice about a new business in the paper and have the business close before the paper comes out. Also, it is always helpful for businesses to put up a sign so people will know you are running a business and not just squatting in a vacant building". I can't argue with that.

Abulia -- Noun. abnormal lack of ability to act or to make decisions. "Abulia is a motivational deficit that is associated with apathy, loss of will, and lack of intimidating behaviors." Handbook of the Neuroscience of Language, 2008

Did You Know? "I must have a prodigious quantity of mind," Mark Twain once wrote. "It takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up." The indecision Twain laments is fairly common; only when the inability to make decisions reaches an abnormal level does it have an uncommon name; Abulia. The English term we use today comes from a New Latin word that combines the prefix a-, meaning "without," with the Greek word boute, meaning "will." Abulia can refer to the kind of generalized indecision that makes it impossible to choose what flavor ice cream you want, though it was created to name a severe psychological disorder that can render a person nearly inert.