Saturday, November 30, 2019

2019 - Day 334/31 - Saturday...Indigence...

I was out and after it very early this morning. Well, kind of early. I got up and let the dogs out and got on to my big blue chair and took a nap. Jody got up probably 45 minutes later, and I started breakfast. I was out of the house and down the road by 7:45, on my way to the Tractor Supply in Taylor, where a guy sharpens knives every Saturday morning. I was first in line with my 8 kitchen knives. Most of the other people stopping by were having hunting knives and other serious knives sharpened, but, true to form, I was having household tools worked on, not big dangerous manly things sharpened. Whatever. I made it home and my helper made it over about 10 o'clock. We got the front barn straightened around, and started working on cleaning up around the fence line where the county has been screwing stuff up under the guise of working on the road. It will all work out in the end. Chicken coop cleaned, Jody and I went in to Georgetown for lunch, all is well. Here is something for you to think about; tomorrow is the first day of December!

Indigence -- Noun. a level of poverty in which real hardship and deprivation are suffered and comforts of life are wholly lacking. "Mr. and Mrs. Bumble, deprived of their situations, were gradually reduced to great indigence and misery, and finally became paupers." Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, 1838

Did You Know? Is your vocabulary impoverished by a lack of synonyms for poverty? This will help. Poverty, penury, and indigence all describe the state of someone who is lacking in key resources. Poverty covers the range from severe lack of basic necessities to an absence of material comforts ("The refugees lived in extreme poverty"). Penury suggests an oppressive lack of money ("Illness condemned him to years of penury"). Indigence, which descends from a Latin verb meaning "to need," implies seriously straitened circumstances and usually connotes hardship ("She struggled through the indigence of her college years").

Friday, November 29, 2019

2019 - Day 333/32 - Friday...Hegemony...

Black Friday was not such a big deal here in central Texas, because Grey Thursday did not leave and let Black Friday come in. It has been foggy (incredibly foggy) all day long, and grey and chilly. Not cold, just think cool and damp. REALLY damp. Here is something weird that happened: Texas beat Texas Tech. How in the hell did that happen? I just checked the score again to make sure it was not a mistake, kind of like Dewey Defeats Truman. Incredible. What is the world coming to when you can't rely on Texas to lose (yet another) football game. I was all primed for that. Whatever. We did make it over to Michael and Lynda's for lunch this afternoon, and that was very nice. Lynda wanted a picture of me, Jody and their son Josh, so that is the photo in this journal entry. Enjoy! And as long as you're up, will you bring me a towel?

Hegemony -- Noun. 1. dominant influence or authority over others. 2. the social, cultural, idealogical, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group. Consumers welcomed the diversification of the software market as smaller innovators challenged the hegemony of the large companies.

Did You Know? Hegemony comes to English from the Greek hegemonia, a noun formed from the verb hegeisthai ("to lead"), which also gave us the word exegesis ("exposition" or "explanation"). The word was first used in English in the mid-16th century in reference to the control once wielded by the ancient Greek states, and it was reapplied in later centuries as other nations subsequently rose to power. By the 20th century, it had acquired a second sense referring to the social or cultural influence wielded by a dominant member over others of its kind, such as the domination within an industry by a business conglomerate over smaller businesses.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

2019 - Day 332/33 - Thursday...Turducken...

This year, apparently, Black Friday arrives the day after Grey Thursday, also known as Thanksgiving Day. It has been grey and chilly all day, with just little dribbles of rain. Not really rain, but kind of like a heavy fog. Every now and then I would be surprised by a BIG drop of rain, but it was infrequent at best. I did get the lights up and working up by the road. That is our tradition. Lights on the fence from Thanksgiving until New Years Day. We used to do a lot of decorating, but not any more. Jut the lights up by the road. I may try to sneak something in somewhere along the line, who knows. Callie has always enjoyed fires in the stove, and today was no different. She starts out right next to the hearth, and then edges herself a little further away every now and then. We hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving, and that you all have LOTS to be thankful for.

Turducken -- a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey. Terry couldn't decide which bird to cook for Thanksgiving, so he went with a turducken to give his family and guests some options.

Did You Know? You can probably guess the origins of turducken just by looking at the word; it is a portmanteau (a word whose form is derived from a blending of two or more distinct other words) created by combining the words turkey, duck, and chicken, and the dish does indeed incorporate all three varieties of fowl. Turducken was first noted in print in 1982, although it may have been in use before that. The dish is a cousin of ballotine, a less familiar food item consisting of deboned meat, poultry, or fish stuffed with seasoned meats or vegetables, rolled and tied into a bundle shape, and usually braised. (The word ballotine derives from the French word for "bundle.")

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

2019 - Day 331/34 - Wednesday...Intemperate...

I am having a hard time remembering that today is Wednesday. I had an appointment to get my car serviced (the result of a low speed impact [2 miles per hour] on MoPac a couple weeks ago. It caused the radar stuff in the car to go wacky, and a warning light on the dash would NOT QUIT! So, I arranged to have it fixed. It was (all things considered) a cheap fix by the dealer. The worst part of it was taking the time to get it done. I ran a couple errands before dropping the car off, and I had no real expectations that I would get the car back today. My overall errands included three (yes, count them, three) trips to Costco, twice to the office, one listing appointment, one visit to a property to remove signs and lock box, a visit to Upper Crust and I think that is it. When I was headed home, I stopped at the dealer and they said they could 'probably' have my car ready in about an hour if I wanted to wait. Of course I wanted to wait. Bottom line, I got my car back, everything is working, and I don't have to go back and forth with an empty car. I now have regained access to ink pens and the ability to open the garage door without getting out of the car. Life is good.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve...

Intemperate -- Adjective. 1. not moderate of mild. severe. 2. lacking or showing lack of restraint. 3. given to use of alcoholic beverages. After the student's long and intemperate rant, the teacher told the class that any more such disruptions would not be tolerated.

Did You Know? Intemperate means more or less "not well tempered"-and that definition also provides a clue about its origins. The word derives from the Latin intemperatus, formed by combining in- with a form of the verb temperare, meaning "to temper" or "to mix." Both intemperate and its antonym temperate entered the English language in the 14th century. Other temperare words include distemper, temperment, temperature, temperance, and temper itself. Synonyms in intemperate in the sense of "not controlled" include unbounded, unbridled, unrestrained, and unchecked.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

2019 - Day 330/35 - Tuesday...Deipnosophist...

Oops! He got his days mixed up...I do much of these entries in advance...I have them socked away up through December 22nd at the moment. Last night, when I was supposed to be posting Day 329, I posted Day 339 in error. I think it sucks that no one noticed the error. What is worse is that maybe no one is reading! That would probably NOT be the worst thing. It is at about this time of every year that I start questioning as to whether or not I will continue this journal after the end of the year. When I push the 'Publish' button later this evening, it will be the 3,980th post. That is almost 11 years of posting this journal on a daily basis, save for a day or two. I am still undecided, but I am also too compulsive to quit. I have too many quirks to stop, but that is yet to be seen. That was not to be the topic of this post either...I went to look at property to put on the market this morning; a main house, a cabin and a ruin. I was most intrigued by the ruin. It is definitely an open floor plan, and I think it is a really cool place!

Deopnosophist -- Noun. a person skilled in table talk. Mary knew that many of Janine and Frank's friends were deipnosophists, so there would be much jubilant conversation to be had at their upcoming party.

Did You Know? Next time you are at a dinner party, you might want to try working deipnosophist into the conversation (or maybe not) to impress the other guests with your sparkling vocabulary. When they ask where the term comes from, you can explain that it comes from Deipmosphistai, the title of a 15-volume work written by Green grammarian Athenaeus in the 3rd century. The seipnosophists of Athenaeus are learned banquet guests whose table talk, presented as a series of lengthy quotations from about 800 authors, covers subjects from poetry and grammar to food and philosophy. The work's title is the plural of the greek deipnosophistes, itseld a combination of deipnon (meaning 'Meal") and spphistes (meaning "wise man" or "sophist").

Monday, November 25, 2019

2019 - Day 339/26 - Thursday...Cunctation...

Today was not an extraordinary day when compared with winning the lottery, and having an election go in your favor, but it was a good day in much smaller regards. I got a GIANT bull frog out of the pool this morning when I was cleaning the skimmer. The frog though he could out smart me, but it appears that I am smarter than the average bull frog that does not have enough sense NOT to jump in the pool. Mission accomplished. AND, I took 69.6 pounds of coins to the credit union to be cashed in. It took a few trips from the coin machine to the car and back, but it was kind of interesting. It turns out that a pound of coins translates in to about $13. And I got some change back from the deal. I think I had been saving those coins for about two years, so it was fun having some free 'walk-around' money!

Cunctation -- Noun. delay. Henry couldn't attribute the cunctation of his reply to his editor to anything but his natural tendency to procrastinate.

Did You Know? Cunctation isn't the only word we have from the Latin cunctari, which means "to hesitate." There are the adjectives cunctatory, cunctations, and cunctative ("tending to delay") and the noun cunctator ("one who delays"). Without hesitation, we will tell you that although cunctation has been around for over 400 years, all these words are pretty rare-but that's not to say that no one ever uses them now. They do turn up occasionally: "The FAA has a cunctative approach to supervising airline security," wrote Playboy magazine in 2002. So, if you delight in hard words, don't forever put off using one of these vocabulary-boosting terms.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 - Day 328/37 - Sunday...Maieutic...

I have NO IDEA who this guy is. I reprised my role (it's an annual thang) of 'trash-man' for the Austin Empty Bowl Project. Today, I was much more delicate and quiet, and I added 'free-hugs' to my gig. It was interesting who was up for free hugs. It was kind of a peer pressure thing. People were hesitant, but if one person in the group said HELL YEAH, they all came in for a hug. If one member of the group said 'no, I'm good,' then nobody wanted a hug. I am thing 75% to 80% went for the hugs. Many were really appreciative and thanked me, some just wanted a hug. I see the same people year-after-year, and they remember me too, and that is fun. One friend of mine has been married since last year, and I got to meet her husband. All-in-all, it was a really fun day, several folks from the office (and their spouses) came to volunteer, and a good time was had by all!

Maieutic - Adjective. relating to or resembling the Socratic method of eliciting new ideas from another. "I am grateful to him for his maieutic (may-you-tick) inquiry about my own views, which had not crystallized." William F Buckley Jr., Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 27, 1973

Did You Know? Maieutic comes from maieutikos, the Greek word for "of midwifery." In one of Plato's dialogues, Socrates applies maieutikos to his method of bringing forth new ideas by reasoning and dialogue; he thought the technique analogous to those a midwife uses in delivering a baby (Socrates's mother was a midwife). A teacher who uses maieutic methods can be thought of as an intellectual midwife who assists students in bringing forth ideas and conceptions previously latent in their minds.

2019 - Day 327/38 - Saturday...Gamut...

Today was a day of running a few chores, naps, and The Empty Bowl Project Preview Party. It's a toss up for the best part of the day, it's between taking the naps and the Preview Party, but I think the Preview Party comes out ahead. I get in a few naps every weekend, The Empty Bowl Preview Party only happens once a year. Again, the Preview Party was a sell-out, and it is always fun to be there, anticipating the crowds that will be in line for their own very special bowls tomorrow. Th
e food was good, the soups were excellent (so I was told) and the variety of bowl pickin's was excellent as well. So far I have a couple items in mind for bidding during the silent auction, and I will be bidding for others throughout the day as well. Now, it is time to catch a few winks!

Gamut -- Noun. 1. the whole series of recognized musical notes. 2. an entire range or series. "The films offered at Kauai's Hawaii Ocean Film Festival run the gamut from sports to science. Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 16, 2009

Did You Know? To get the lowdown on gamut, we have to dive to the bottom of a musical scale utilized by 11th-century musician and monk Guido of Arezzo. Guido called the first line of his bass staff gamma and the first note in his scale ut (from the hymn Ut queant lasis"), which means that gamma ut was the term for a note written on the first staff line. In time, gamma ut underwent a shortening to gamut but climbed the scale of meaning. It expanded to cover all the notes of Guido's scale, then all the notes in the range of an instrument, and, eventually, an entire range of any sort.

Friday, November 22, 2019

2019 - Day 326/39 - Friday...Kickshaw...

It turned out to be a really pretty day, even though I was not outside enough to really enjoy it. The forecast called for a bit of rain (we didn't get any) and cooler temperatures (we got those). Nothing drastic, just a few degrees cooler. Our high temperature today was recorded at midnight, 74 degrees. Then the temperature fell to the middle fifties, and we ended up with temperatures in the middle 60s. Not too bad for late November. No rain, darn it, but some lovely clouds. I was inside all the day, guiding a couple classes for my colleagues, Legal Updates I and II. The new Legal update classes will begin being presented in January, so these are some of the last folks to take this class. This class was first presented in January of 2018. The classes are updated every two years to coincide with the Legislative changes which also take place every two years. Enough of that, just enjoy the clouds!

Kickshaw -- Noun. 1. a fancy dish. 2. a showy trifle. The TV chef devoted an episode to creating interesting and tasty kickshaws out of Thanksgiving leftovers.

Did You Know? Kickshaw began its career in the late 16th century as a borrowing from the French quelque chose-literally, "something." In Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2, the Justice of Gloucestershire, Robert Shallow, orders a feast: "a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton, and any pretty little tiny kickshaws." In line with the French pronunciation of the day, the "l" in quelque was dropped and the word was anglicized as kickshaws or kickshoes. English speakers soon lost all consciousness of the word's French origin and, by taking kickshaws as plural, created the new singular noun kickshaw.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

2019 - Day 325 - Thursday...Pariah...

I did not realize it at the time, but this photo looks like a winter snow day in the Detroit suburbs where I grew up. Except for the What-A-Burger. And the fact that it is not snow, it is just central Texas, early in the morning, after a light spritz of rain. Really early in the morning, and after a really light spritz of rain. It was 81 degrees in Austin today, compare that to the below freezing temperatures we had last week, it is just kind of crazy. We don't have the air conditioning going in the house, the thermostat is set on 'heat,' but we aren't using that either. We are supposed to have a cold front come through overnight, and lower the temperatures by about five degrees and bring a little bit of rain, but back up in to the 70s over the weekend. I don't know about the rest of you, but I am looking forward to the short work week next week.

Pariah -- Noun. 1. a member of a low caste of southern India. 2. outcast. The senator's critical remarks about the direction of his party have made him somewhat of a pariah in Washington.

Did You Know? Pariah comes from Tamil, which is the language of the Tamil Nadu state of India and of parts of Sri Lanka. The origin of pariah is the Tamil word paraiyan, which literally means "drummer." The word was also the name for a member of a particular low caste in southern India. Members of this caste were sometimes responsible for the tasking of beating drums at festivals. Pariah was originally the English rendering of the name of that specific caste. It eventually was extended to denote a member of any low Hindu caste, and finally was used more broadly, as a synonym of "outcast."

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

2019 - Day 324/41 - Wednesday...Doctrinaire...

I have been being the 'guide-on-the-side' quite a bit lately, and I will try my luck at it a couple more times this week. Guiding colleagues through Continuing Education classes is something that I really enjoy. This particular group gave me three full days of their time in the last two weeks, and it was a pleasure doing my best for them and sharing experiences with them and from them. When I have good groups like this, I try to take them on a tour of their association facilities, and show them that is not just the MLS that they pay their dues for. Our association is a complex, complicated machine, and there are lots of moving parts. This photo was taken by Clarisa in the marketing department, and this is just a part of the group. They have one more day of class, and then they will have completed on course towards obtaining their GRI (Graduate, REALTOR® Institute) designation. Congratulations to them all, and have fun with this crazy profession you are involved with!

Doctrinaire -- Adjective. attempting to put into effect an abstract doctrine or theory with little or no regard for practical difficulties. As a teacher, Jerry tried not to be too doctrinaire in his thinking, choosing rather to adapt to the needs and idiosyncrasies of his students.

Did You Know? Doctrinaire didn't start out as a critical word. In post-revolutionary France, a group who favored a constitutional monarchy called themselves Doctrinaires. Doctrine in French, as in English, is a word for the principles on which a government is based; it is ultimately from the Latin doctrina, meaning "teaching" or "instruction." But both ultraloyalists and revolutionists strongly derided any doctrine of reconciling royalty and representation as utterly impracticable, and they resented the Doctrinaires' influence over Louis XVIII. So when doctrinaire became and adjective, "there adhered to it some indescribable tincture of unpopularity which was totally indelible" (Blanc's History of Ten Years 1830-1840, translated by Walter K Kelly in 1848).

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

2019 - Day 323/42 - Tuesday...Niveous...

I am just about as crazy (anal retentive) as they come. Just in case you were not aware of that fact, I an CDO. In case you do not know what that means, it means I am so OCD that I have to put it in alphabetical order. I even have a card from Beinno and iJm to prove it. I am a list maker. Many of you might have had the high honor of seeing one of my lists, and having the tutorial about what all the colors that I use to declare a task completed mean. There is not anything subtle about my list making. But I digress. Every evening when I return home from work, I have a routine. I check the front electric meter, the water meter, feed the chickens, make sure they have water, collect eggs, and sometimes (depending on how I feel) scoop chicken shit out of the coop. This particular ceremony began when the cattle destroyed a water line going to the back pasture, and before I knew it, we had lost thousands-and-thousands of gallons of water (metered water). So, it started as just checking the water meter to see if there could be a leak somewhere, but now it is an obsession. But I digress. The whole point of this conversation is to say that, as I was going about my compulsions, Barney decided to come and acknowledge my existence. Say hi to Barney, y'all.

Niveous -- Adjective. of or relating to snow. resembling snow (as in whiteness). snowy. "Wind-deposited drifts reshape the landscape. Where there was once a gently slope, there is now a steep niveous wall." Paul G Wiegman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 8, 1994

Did You Know? Niveous is a rarely used word, but the vocabulary virtuosos of the past have found occasion to put it to good use. Take James Hurdis, for example, who in 1800 wrote of "cottage and steeple in the niveous stole of Winter trimly dressed." Today, you are most likely to come across niveous in spelling bees or word games. If, however, you have an inkling to use it, make sure your audience gets the drift (get it?) that the word ultimately traces to the Latin nix, meaning "snow."

Monday, November 18, 2019

2019 - Day 322/43 - Monday...Xeric...

I stopped under this thing this morning on my way in to the office. There is a new high-rise going in where Hooter's used to be on South First Street and Barton Springs Road. Interestingly, this little triangular shaped piece of land was owned at one time by the Estate of Charles Schultz, the guy that did the Peanuts comic strip. It seems he just bought up land here-and-there, and I do not really even know if he ever visited Austin. Interesting things about land speculators, you never know who they are. So, there I was, stopped for a traffic light, under this crane, and it gets you to wondering if I you will be the next headline in someones morning paper. Either that or a mass shooting victim or a drive-by or something. It is kind of weird the things that cross your mind when you have an hour-plus commute each way, every day. The world is going crazy, and I just wonder how many of us can survive.

Xeric -- Adjective. characterized by, relating to, or requiring only a small amount of moisture. "As water restrictions were enacted through the metro area...the three display [plant] beds filled with xeric varieties that don't take much water flourished." Austin Briggs, The Denver Post, August 6, 2015

Did You Know? By the late 1800s, botanists were using the terms xerophyte and xerophytic for plants that were well adapted for survival in dry environments. But some felt the need for a more generic word that included both animals and plants. In 1926, a group proposed using xeric (derived from xeros, the Greek word for "dry") as a more generalized term for either flora or fauna. They further suggested that " entirely abandoned as useless and misleading." Not everyone liked the idea. In fact, the Ecological Society of America stated that xeric was "not desirable," preferring terms such as arid. Others declared that xeric should refer only to habitats, not organisms. Scientists used it anyway, and by the 1940s xeric was well documented in scientific literature.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

2019 - Day 321/44 - Sunday...Flyting...

It was a lovely day today in central Texas; temperature in the middle 70s, sunny and bright. There were several naps in order, and messing around with a few thises and thats. I did get everything that was on the weekend 'to-done' list crossed off, and a few more as well. All the plants are back in their natural habitats (as opposed to under sheets or in the garage). I did have to put water in the pool, and all that is okay. The cattle were not in any particular need of hay, but I took a couple bales out to them this afternoon. They were all laying around in one of the front pastures, but they are a nosey bunch, so they got up and lumbered back to see what the hell I was up to, and as long as they were there, they may as well take advantage of the hay. Nothing wrong with that! I wasn't really dueling with that bull, he is just one of the nosier ones.

Flyting -- Noun. a dispute or exchange of personal abuse in verse form. "The obvious modern-day equivalent of flyting is the rap battle, but it's unclear whether the two forms of verbal combat have common ancestry." Tao Tao Holmes, Atlas Obscura, January 14, 2016

Did You Know? Flyting in 15th and 16th century Scotland was analogous to a modern-day rap competition during which rappers improvise clever disses and put-downs against their opponents. Similarly, the makars (a Scottish word for "poets") engaged in verbal duels in which they voiced extravagant invectives in verse against their rivals. The base of flyting is the ancient verb flyte (also spelled flite), meaning "to contend" or "to quarrel."

Saturday, November 16, 2019

2019 - Day 320/45 - Saturday...Fructify...

Quite often, it is the dumbest things I get accomplished that make me feel accomplished, especially on the weekends. For at least the last two years, maybe three, the thermostat on the den side of the house could not be set at a higher heat temperature than 70 degrees. We have two thermostats. Ons controls the guest bedrooms and the den, and the other controls the master bedroom and bath side of the house. There are vents controlled by both units that heat and cool the public areas of the house, the areas that have the high ceilings like the living, dining and kitchen areas. The master bedroom side worked wonderfully and we could stay toasty warm all the time, the other side would only go up to 70 degrees. This caused the areas with the really high ceilings to be cooler than the other parts of the house. Today, Jody said, 'you know the manual for the thermostat is in the office don't you?' Well, no I didn't, but after consulting the manual, I fixed it in about three minutes. UGH. Plus, I got a lot of this and that done, and worked in two or three naps along the way. Good grief...

Fructify -- Verb. 1. to bear fruit. 2. to make fruitful or productive. "After the war his business interests fructified. He invested in canals...organized to extend the navigability of the Cape Fear River deep into the back country, and kept up his interest in land speculation." Bernard Bailyn, Voyagers to the West, 1986

Did You Know? Fructify derives from the Middle English fructifien and ultimately from the Latin noun fructus, meaning "fruit." When the word was first used in English in the 14th century, it referred to the actions of plants that bore fruit; later it was used transitively to refer to the act of making something fruitful, such as soil. The word expanded to encompass a figurative sense of fruit, and it is now more frequently used to refer to the giving forth of something in profit from something else (such as dividends from an investment). Fructus also gave us usufruct, which is the legal right to enjoy the fruits or profits of something that belongs to someone else.

Friday, November 15, 2019

2019 - Day 319/46 - Friday...Sward...

I am ready for the weekend. It has been a pretty busy couple of weeks, and maybe I can sleep in until about 6 o'clock in the morning. We have dogs, so maybe not. Today I guided a quick class of newly licensed REALTORS® through the NAR Orientation Code of Ethics. Pretty much a full house, and it was fun. I always like presenting information to our colleagues, and today was no exception. Possibility of another light freeze tonight. I did not go out to the pasture tonight when I got home from work, I will do that in the morning, and leave the water on. No more freezing temperatures in the seven-day forecast. I have a bunch of old paint cans and some household cleaning supplies that I am trying to find a place to dispose of. No luck so far. It is all in the back of the pick-up, and it looks like that will be where it stays for a while.

Sward -- Noun. 1. a portion of ground covered with grass. 2. the grassy surface of land. "It was a blind and despairing rush by the collection of men in dusty and tattered blue, over a green sward and under a sapphire sky." Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage, 1895

Did You Know? Sward sprouted from the Old English sweard or swearth, meaning "skin" or "rind." It was originally used as a term for the skin of the body before being extended to another surface-that of the earth. The word's specific "grassy" sense dates back more than 500 years, but it rarely crops up in contemporary writing. The term, however, has been planted in a number of old novels, such as in the quote from Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles: "The sun was so near the ground, and the sward so flat, that the shadows of Clare and Tess would stretch a quarter mile ahead of them."

Thursday, November 14, 2019

2019 - Day 318/47 - Thursday...Widdershins...

It was not nearly as dark driving home this afternoon as it was yesterday afternoon. It was a grey and relatively gloomy day, all things considered, but the clouds broke lat in the afternoon and there was a little trace of sunshine. It is not supposed to freeze tonight, but I still have the water turned off at the chicken coop and out in the pasture. The cattle trough is full and tomorrow when I get home, I will turn the water back on and leave it at that. I do not think there are any freezing temperatures in the seven day forecast. A full day of guiding some fun colleagues through day two of a GRI class. I will guide a new member orientation Ethics class tomorrow, then another day of GRI next week, and that will be it for me this month. I like it a lot.

Widdershins -- Adverb. in a left-handed, wrong. or contrary direction. counterclockwise. "Magic is not science. It is not parlor tricks. It is not dancing widdershins around the cemetery at midnight." Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle, September 24, 2017

Did You Know? English speakers today are most likely to encounter widdershins as a synonym of counterclockwise. But in earliest known uses, found in texts from the early 1500s, widdershins was used more broadly in the sense of "in the wrong way or opposite direction." To say that one's hair "stood widdershins" was, in essence, to say that one was having a bad hair day. By the mid-1500s, English speakers had adopted widdershins to specifically describe movements that went opposite to the apparent clockwise direction (as seen from the northern hemisphere) of the sun traveling across the sky and were therefore considered evil or unlucky. The word originates from the Old High German widar, meaning "back" or "against," and sinnen, meaning "to travel."

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

2019 - Day 317/48 - Wednesday...Roustabout...

Did I mention in an earlier post that Magic Johnson was the keynote speaker at the REALTOR® Conference on Saturday night. He was. Did I mention that we had pretty good seats for the that part of the conference? We did. It was a very entertaining and enlightening hour or so. He is a really smart man, a good business man, and he brought it home that you need to make sure you understand what the people you are trying to sell something to want to buy. Take a chance. Put a business where you would not expect that business to be, make sure the business is selling what the local people want to buy, and more likely than not, that business will be a success. You need to KNOW what the people you are selling to want to buy. Now you know. It is still chilly here, not going to be as cold as last night, but definitely not hot. Maybe a little rain. Maybe not. Warming up a little bit, back to more seasonable temperatures a week from now.

Roustabout -- Noun. 1. a worker in an oil field, on a dock, or on a ship. 2. a worker at a circus or carnival. 3. a person with no permanent home. "There is Tulsa itself, a brash young town full of oil money and oil field roustabouts." Adam Nossiter, The New York Times Book Review, November 11, 2001

Did You Know? Circus roustabouts (who erect and dismantle tents, care for the grounds, and handle animals and equipment) are commonly associated with circus animals, of course, but they also have a connection with game birds, at least in terms of etymology. Roustabout comes from roust, which is an alteration of rouse, a verb from Middle English that originally meant "to shake the feathers" (as in the way a bird might ruffle its feathers or shake its plumage when it is settling down or grooming itself). Rouse, which today is a synonym of awaken, also formerly meant "to cause to break from cover," a sense that may have influenced the modern meaning of roust: "to drive (as from bed) roughly or unceremoniously."

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

2019 - Day 316/49 - Tuesday...Pink...

So, when I got home very early this morning (about 1:30A.M.), it was really cold outside. I had to do a few things with the water service at the chicken coop and out at the cattle water trough. It was really COLD, and as I was walking out to the back pasture, the wind was blowing about a thousand miles an hour, and the grasses were swirling around, and I thought for sure I was going to have an unpleasant encounter with a coyote or a bear or a hyena or something. All I really rustled up was a couple birds nesting in the grasses, and a generous helping of imagination. I finally got into the bed about 2, and I was up at about 6:30. One thing about sub-freezing temperatures in central Texas; civilization comes to a standstill. Schools were on a two-hour delay start, traffic was not terrible. It is supposed to be colder tonight, and it is not nearly as windy, but I do not have to be out in it, and that is a good thing. The chickens have their heat lamp going, so they will be alright, the cattle don't really give a damn one way or the other, and I am going to get a good nights sleep!

Pink -- Verb. 1a. to perforate in an ornamental pattern. b. to cut a saw-toothed edge on. 2a. pierce, stab. b. to wound by irony, criticism, or ridicule. "On the right-hand pages, small rectangles of fabric with pinked edges were glued in rows." Holly Brubach, The New Yorker, January 23, 1989

Did You Know? Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged, includes 13 distinct entries for pink, whereas Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary satisfies itself with the five most common. (Words get distinct entries in dictionaries when they have different etymologies or different parts of speech.) Today's pink, the only verb or the five, is from a Middle English word meaning "to thrust." Of the remaining four, the only pink older than the verb (which dates to 1503) is a 15th-century noun referring to a kind of ship. The next oldest-noun has since 1573 referred to a genus of herbs. The noun referring to the color pink and its related adjective date to 1678 and 1720, respectively. Evidence suggests that a new verb pink-a synonym of the verb pink-slip is also emerging. And now I (kind of) understand why they are called 'pinking' shears.

Monday, November 11, 2019

2019 - Day 315/50 - Monday...Verdant...

Rumor has it it is 16 degrees in Denver. I am sitting in the airport, waiting for my flight from here to Austin. Rumors say it is snowing in Georgetown. Now the weather cast says it is supposed to go down to 29 degrees overnight in Austin, so I guess when I get home at 1:30 in the morning, I will be going out and turning off the water to the cattle trough. I am unsure as to whether or not it will really get cold enough long enough to cause damage, but I won't take any chances. Oh crap. I finished up my last meeting just before noon (SFO time) and headed off to the airport. I waited a couple hours there, and now I am waiting to get on the plane to Austin. This photo is of the BOD meeting this morning. I am NOT a director this year, but I will be next year, so I just wanted to get some procedural experience before I am official.

Verdant -- Adjective. 1a. green in tint or color. b. green with growing plants. 2. unripe in experience or judgment. green. "Her favorite part of the room was the expansive window looking out over a verdant landscape of hills and distant mountains." (San Diego), March 9, 2015

Did You Know? English speakers have been using verdant as a ripe synonym of green since the late 16th century, and as a descriptive term for inexperienced or naive people since the 1820s. (By contrast, the more experienced green has colored our language since well before the 12th century and was first applied to inexperienced people in the 1540s.) Verdant is derived from the Old French word for "green," vert, which in turn is from the Latin virere, meaning "to be green." Today, vert is used in English as a word for green forest vegetation and the heraldic color green. Another descendant of virere is the adjective virescent, meaning "beginning to be green."

2019 - Day 314/51 - Sunday...Meritorious...

Almost done. One more meeting tomorrow, from about 8:30 til 11:30 in the morning, and then I will check out and travel home. If everything goes according to schedule, I will land tomorrow night at almost midnight. I will be glad to get home. The last thing tonight was a concert featuring Pentatonix. Definition of pentatonic. Consisting of five tones specifically. Being or relating to a scale in which the tones are arranged like a major scale with the fourth and seventh tones omitted.Who knew? I didn't. I do not think I was even aware of this group until I was told they would be the performers at the REALTOR® concert. We went, did not stay for the entire concert, and it was good, but not really what I was interested in. Just in case you could not understand the words they were singing, all you had to do was turn around and follow along with the teleprompter!

Meritorious -- Adjective. worthy of reward, gratitude, honor, or esteem. For spearheading the effort to repair and maintain our playgrounds, Mrs. Grant received the town's annual Award for Meritorious Service.

Did You Know? People who demonstrate meritorious behavior certainly "earn" our respect, and you can use that fact to remember that meritorious ultimately traces to the Latin verb merere, which means "to earn." Nowadays, the rewards earned for meritorious acts are likely to be of an immaterial nature; gratitude, admiration, praise, etc. But that wasn't always so. The history of meritorious suggests a reward more concrete in nature; money. The Latin word meritorius, an ancestor of the English meritorious, literally means "bringing in money."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

2019 - Day 313/52 - Saturday...Zeitgeist...

My, my, my...up and at 'em at about 4:40 Pacific time, off to the Oracle Park for some stadium climbing to benefit the REALTOR® Relief Fund. Then a quick video for later distribution, breakfast, MLS Forum, Trade Show (quick visit), Federal Legislative and Political Forum, General Session and ending the day with a Major Investor event at the USS Hornet. I will get to sleep in tomorrow morning (whatever), and it will be a slow day, but a good day for doing some networking and visiting with colleagues.

Zeitgeist -- Noun (often capitalized). the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an ear. The movie, set in the 1990s, does an excellent job of capturing the zeitgeist of the dot-com boom.

Did You Know? Scholars have long maintained that each era has a unique spirit, a nature or climate that sets it apart from all other epochs. In German, such a spirit is known as Zeitgeist, from the German words Zeit, meaning "time," and Geist, meaning "spirit" or "ghost." Some writers and artists assert that the true zeitgeist of an era cannot be known until it is over, and several have declared that only artists or philosophers can adequately explain it. We don't know if that's true, but we do know that zeitgeist has been a useful addition to the English language since at least 1835.

Friday, November 8, 2019

2019 - Day 312/53 - Friday...Vouchsafe...

Another long day, and it is just before 8:30 here in San Francisco, and I am the life of the party. Of course, the party is attended by no one, and I am getting ready to go to sleep. I am just a ball of fire, if indeed the fire is sputtering out, and about to turn in to just a bunch of ashes. My first meeting was at 7:30 this morning, and I finished my last one at about 6 o'clock this evening. PAC meetings, Diversity stuff, Property Management stuff and then a quick reception. Done for the day, but it is going to be another early day in the morning.

Vouchsafe -- Verb. 1a. to grant or furnish often in a gracious or condescending manner. b. to give by way of reply. 2. to grant as a privilege or special favor. When we asked why Benny, our usual mechanic, wasn't around, his coworker at the garage would only vouchsafe that Benny wasn't working there anymore.

Did You Know? Shakespeare fans are well acquainted with vouchsafe. The word was borrowed with its present meaning from Anglo-French in the 14th century, pops up fairly frequently in the Bard's work-60 times, to be exact. "Vouchsafe me your picture for my love," beseeches Proteus of Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona. "Vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food," King Lear begs his daughter Regan. But you needn't turn to Shakespeare to find vouchsafe. Today's writers also find it to be a perfectly useful word for disclosing something (such as information) in confidence or allowing something to pass with reservation.

2019 - Day 311/54 - Thursday...Grisly...

Another long and productive day. This is the part that I put in the obligatory part about the time change and the time zone differences, and that my advanced age causes me to adjust to change more slowly that I remember doing in the past. I got in a couple good walks, finally had dinner (I was feeling food deprived), and attended three or four good forums, committee meetings and council meetings. Not necessarily in chronological order. Between the last meeting and the dinner, we went to the top floor of the hotel to a lounge they call 'The View.' There may well be a view, but it has been kind of foggy all day, so by the time we got there, there wasn't much of one. But I liked the place, I will try and go back tomorrow (or at least before I leave), and try to see the view another time. But, in the mean time, this was an interesting piece of art on the wall on the way to the elevator.

Grisly -- Adjective. 1. inspiring horror or intense fear. 2. inspiring disgust or distaste. The movie's preview contained enough grisly scenes to make me certain I didn't want to see it.

Did You Know? An angry grizzly bear could certainly inspire fear, so grizzly must be a variant of grisly, right? Yes and no. The adjective grisly is indeed sometimes spelled grizzly, but the grizzly in grizzly bear is a different animal altogether. Grisly derives from an old English verb meaning "to fear." Grizzly comes from the Middle English adjective grisel, meaning "gray." Like its close relative grizzled, this grizzly means "sprinkled or streaked with gray." In other words, the grizzly bear got its name because the hairs of its brownish coat usually have silver or pale tips, creating a grizzled effect, not because it causes terror.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

2019 - Day 310/55 - Wednesday...Vinaceous...

I'm in San Francisco. The day was a little bit frantic, but all is good. It's two hours earlier here than Texas, and I am about to (already) call it a night. NAR Annual Conference time. Most everything will not get going until tomorrow, but there were a few things cooking today. The most important to me was the NAR Leadership Academy graduates reception. Out of the 17 graduates in the 2019 class, I consider five of them to be friends. A great group of people and the leadership of our profession for the decades to come. Congratulations to them all, it is not easy to complete this training, and they are deserving of the recognition. Photo: Kim, Ray, me.

Vinaceous -- Adjective. of the color of red wine. "The gardens are home to endangered species such as grey-crowned cranes, red-fronted macaws, vinaceous amazons and Buffon's macaws. Michael Butler, Sandton Chronicle (South Africa), December 13, 2016

Did You Know? The first recorded evidence of vinaceous in English dates fdrom 1688, shortly before the accession of Mary II. If ever the queen used vinaceous, she was probably in the confines of her landscaped garden, perhaps admiring the vinaceous shades of petals or looking at the vinaceous cap of a mushroom; since its beginning, vinaceous has flourished in the early lexicon of horticulture and mycology. It has also taken flight in the ornithological world as a descriptive word for the unique dark-red coloring of some birds, like the vinaceous amazon or vinaceous rosefinch.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

2019 - Day 309/56 - Tuesday...Hermitage...

Let's talk about circadian clocks and dogs. Our girls refused to set their circadian clocks forward an hour last spring, and they have not gone back to standard time. They are still on daylight saving time, and they cannot be convinced that they should just sleep an extra hour in the mornings. They will not have any part of it. I knew it would happen. The little white girl is passive/aggressive (I don't know where she gets it). The grey girl lets the white girl do all the work and reaps the advantages of being the 'good girl.' Nobody gets any extra sleep in this house, but at least they are not afraid of rain or thunder. Not that there is such a thing here in central Texas this time of year. Although I have a variety of wreck pics I could have dazzled you with today, I chose to go with a cloud pic instead. Relax. Look at the clouds. You are getting sleepy...mainly because it is an hour later than you think it is!

Hermitage -- Noun. 1. the habitation or condition of a hermit. 2. a secluded residence or private retreat. also, monastery.

"At a Catholic hermitage near Lac Saint-Jean, the Franciscan Capuchin friar Sylvain Richer told me he grew up saying "Beam me up, Scotty.'" Calvin Woodward, Associated Press, June 29, 2015

Did You Know? Hermitage is of course (of course) related to hermit, a word for one who retreats from society to live in solitude, ofter for religious reasons. The origins of hermitage and hermit are found in Greek. Eremos (meaning "desolate") gave rise to eremia (meaning "desert") and eventually to the noun eremites, which was used for a person living in the desert, or, more broadly, for a recluse. The word journeyed from Greek to Latin to Angle-French to the Middle English, where it eventually transformed into hermit. The related hermitage was borrowed into English from Anglo-French in the 14th century. A hermitage can be the dwelling of a hermit (e.g., a mountain shack or monastery) or simply a secluded home.

Monday, November 4, 2019

2019 - Day 308/57 - Monday...Lanuginous...

Today was a better than average day for image documentation. I have a photo of a class I was in...all day class...train-the-trainer for Legal I & II Updates. The class goes in to effect January 1st. There are several photos of a wreck I came upon at the Walburg exit. There are photos of MORE emergency vehicles arriving to the wreck scene. Today is the annual Bratwurst dinner conducted by one of the group of Lutherans (the breakaway branch) in Walburg. And then there is the photo I am choosing for this journal entry, because I think it is the most interesting of the possibilities. It is of EVEN MORE emergency vehicles arriving on the scene in Walburg, but from the vantage point of my rear view mirror. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the black side view mirror of the truck behind me...but from this angle, it looks like the truck is mostly inside my car. I expect it was a woman driving the truck...women are the ones that ride a few inches from your car while driving down the Interstate at excessively high speeds. Please address your complaints to the Human Resources Department, care of this blog. Be prepared to wait in line, because there are plenty of people filing complaints ahead of you.

Lanuginous -- Adjective. covered with down or fine soft hair. "A large species with the stem and leaves sparsely lanuginous." N B Wyeth & Thomas Nuttall, "Plants of the Rocky Mountains," 1834

Did You Know? You're likely to come across lanuginous in only a few contexts, botany and spelling bees being the best candidates. In other contexts, the more common term is downy. Lanuginous has an unsurprising pedigree. It's from the Latin word lanuginosus, which is in turn from lanugo, the Latin word for "down." (Lanugo is also an English word used especially to refer to the soft wooly hair that covers the fetus of some mammals.) Lanugo itself is from lana, meaning "wool," a root also at work in lanolin, the term for wool grease that's refined for use in ointments and cosmetics.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

2019 - Day 307/58 - Sunday...Sciential...

I looked around and found nothing really interesting to take a picture of. I am giving up on the using the word 'image' for the pictures I include with the journal entries. Too much trouble, I have to consciously think about writing 'image' instead of photo, photograph, or picture. It is difficult to say 'I took this image at...,' so to hell with it. Pictures, photo or photograph it is. My head also hurts sometimes from having to decide about Oxford commas, too. Maybe I will (usually I will), and maybe I won't. You will just have to figure it out for yourselves. But I digress. I found no interesting images to regale you with for this journal entry, so I went back in my camera roll to November 3, 2018, and took advantage of this photo. Me, Melinda and Steve in Boston getting ready to do a REALTOR® Relief Run (walk), in the rain and in the cold. Melinda and I took a short-cut to the finish line, but don't tell anyone!

Sciential -- Adjective. 1. relating to or producing knowledge or science. 2. having efficient knowledge. capable. Of the value of having a library at hand for a liberal education, Coleridge wrote: "There is no way of arriving at any sciential end but by finding it at every step."

Did You Know? You might expect sciential, which derives from the Latin scientia (meaning "knowledge"), to be used mostly in technical writing; however, sciential has long been a favorite of playwrights and poets. It appears in the works of Ben Johnson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and John Keats, among others. Keats made particularly lyrical use of it in his narrative poem "Lamia," which depicts a doomed love affair between the Greek sorceress Lamia and a mortal named Lycius. In the poem, Hermes transforms Lamia from a serpent into a beautiful woman, "not one hour old, yet of sciential brain."

Saturday, November 2, 2019

2019 - Day 306/59 - Saturday...Skosh...

Much of my world is battery driven and wireless. Not all of it, but a lot of it. Today, I vowed to replace all the batteries in everything battery powered in the house. I changed a total of 93 batteries today, and this image documents only the smoke detectors, door chimes, and fire detectors. I also changed the batteries in ALL the clocks (I like clocks), and set the clocks all to standard time. It was dark as pitch at 6 p.m. (standard time), this evening. I also changed all the batteries in the Arlo security cams, but that is nothing, I pretty much do that every weekend with rechargeable batteries. I just realized, I did not change the battery in the carbon monoxide detector in the bedroom. I will do that as soon as I finish this entry.

Skosh -- Noun. a small amount. bit. smidgen. The barista sprinkled a skosh of fresh cinnamon onto the milky surface of the latte.

Did You Know? The word skosh comes from the Japanese word sukoshi, which is pronounced sko-shee, and means "a tiny bit" or "a small amount." The Japanese word was shortened by U.S. servicemen stationed in Japan after World War II. Later, in the Korean War (which technically was not a war and is still in progress), a small soldier was often nicknamed Skosh. In cililian-speak, skosh can be used by itself as a noun (as in "anyone with a skosh of talent") or in the adverbial phrase "a skosh" (an in "just a skosh tired").

Friday, November 1, 2019

2019 - Day 305/60 - Friday...Didactic...

It is kind of disappointing (to me) that I (apparently) do nothing during the day time (lately) that seems to be worthy (to me) of documenting (image wise) for use in this journal (the Seinfeld Blog). So, I have decided (almost as an afterthought) to try my best (I hope you appreciate it) to see how many times (don't start counting yet) I can use parentheses (()) in one (you can count that) paragraph of this journal (the Seinfeld Blog). So far I am up to twelve (I told you no counting), or maybe thirteen (stop it). Crap, now it is fourteen (but who's counting), and I hope you like the image of the night sky (it is kind of dark on the Edge of Nowhere), that does not properly show the moon (it is a crescent moon) to its full advantage. Enjoy (please). You can count now.

Didactic -- Adjective. 1. designed or intended to teach. 2. making moral observations. "In this way, Kames believed the law, meaning not just legal rules but their enforcement as well, served a powerful didactic purpose." Arthur Herman, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, 2001

Did You Know? Didaktikos is a Greek word meaning "apt at teaching." It comes from didaskein, meaning "to teach." Something didactic does just that; teaches or instructs. Didactic conveyed that neutral meaning when it was first borrowed in the 17th century, and still does; a didactic piece of writing is one that is meant to be instructive as well as artistic. Didactic now sometimes has negative connotations, too, however. Something didactic is often overburdened with instruction to the point of being dull. Or it might be pompously instructive or moralistic.