Thursday, September 07, 2023

Enjoy a moment of kitties and peanut butter…

 Odin and Idun get regular afternoon treats... usually a spoon dipped in peanut butter.

They seem to have a strong preference for the unadulterated organic stuff from Aldi.

 I can't blame them. Stupid "organic" label or not, it's pretty good peanut butter. But then, most of what we get from Aldi is darned tasty.

(in case something goes wonky with the video, here's a direct link to it)

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Words, Words, Words…

following up on my last post about what you can't play in the PCH Word Find game, I have collected a further few verboten terms. Again, I'm assuming that most of these are excluded because whoever created the game didn't have a full-sized dictionary on hand, and so only allowed "common use" terms. Yeh, I know some of my choices are downright Shakespearean in their age, but they're still included in ye olde Merriam-Webster (I didn't bother do dredge up my OED Unabridged for the purpose. Not yet, anyway). Also, in most cases, they haven't been overly particular about whether one uses King's English or American English spelling for most. Except for one example.

That, and they won't permit anything which might make someone think of a double entendre.

So, in addition to the previous list, here are a few more words which are not recognized as… well, you know… actual words:


I'm going to keep hunting for more no-nos, because it's actually more fun to learn what you're not supposed to say than it is to accumulate points.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

You Can't Play That!

 For a few weeks, now, I've opted to waste my time playing an online word-finding game comparable to Boggle™. The general idea was to keep my vocabulary working for me, even when I was mostly vegging out at the end of hard work in a hot garden.

Well, that was the idea, anyway. It feels more like I'm making my vocabulary work against me. This game app (at the PCH website) doesn't recognize a lot of words that are not only used regularly by me, but can be found in any basic dictionary. I mean, sure, I'll dig out the Oxford Unabridged for some crossword puzzles, but for a 60-second word search, the simpler the better. So imagine my surprise to discover that words like "dirty" and "pawn" were rejected. Indeed, so many simple words weren't cleared for score that, after a week or so, I started writing down as many failures as I could recall, at the end of each game.

So far, aside from the above terribly dirty words I mentioned above, my list includes these: LOIN, BLACK TART, HOE, DAW, WAD, RIANT, GOD, HELL, ERECT, DIKE (yes, the thing that holds back water, not the pejorative for a "masculine lesbian"), OUSEL, AIT, WEED, HAJ, TED, RAJ, GAY, DARN (my socks resent this rejection), BONG, SPLINE, THUG, POT, HOLT, WOMB, CROFT, ZEN, KILL, BOOB, LINCH, COCK, TOOTS, VAIL, CRACK, MAGE, GAM, FANNY, NARD, WYE, GASH, NINNY, QUEER, RAREE, NAKED, PANSY, SHAG, RUMP, HUMP, BARM, EFT, REFT, RACY, SPADE, SLAG, SHAKO, PROD, NONCE, NENE, FAVA, CHAW, PRAT, STOA, GEST, SLUB, TURD (okay it's gross, but it's still a word), BONK, SIMP, CAVY, TWEE, ROTA, COIR, SCUT, SCUD, SNEW, CRABS (but the singular is accepted), KERN, GOLEM

I acknowledge that some of these words might be viewed as somewhat archaic, and a few are – technically – variants of more commonly accepted spellings. Nonetheless… seriously? I can't refer to the apple tart I ate after I used the weed eater to clear a crack in the sidewalk? Or the crabs I chased across the shag rug when they cut their way through a coir-lined container, that then I caught and cooked in the big stock pot?

If I had a proper desk, I'd be beating my head against it right now.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Causing a Stir in the Garden: Plant Markers on a Budget

 (Cross-posted from our family blog, Sketch Stitch Stretch)

Stick with me, kid.

A week or so ago, my cousin posted a set of photos on her social media page, showing off her brilliant work on a packet of plant markers for a friend. She took paint stirring sticks, wrote on them with a wood burner, and then trimmed them with some nice beads and twine:
My cousin is a LOT more artistically
detail-oriented than I am. And her hand
is steadier.

Naturally, I felt the need to steal her idea (albeit with my own variations, to meet my peculiar preferences). It took me a few tries before I settled on the format I liked, and now I'm better than halfway through the list of the perennial plants requiring identification.

Ours is a big garden.

At any rate, some paint stores will give away a stirring stick or two, so if you shop around, you can do this on the SUPER cheap, but I ordered a packet of 100 from one of those giant online retailers who shall remain nameless, and the sticks cost an average of 25¢.

It also helps to already have a wood-burning tool on hand, but if you don't have one, and you think you might take the craft up as a hobby, these are not particularly expensive gadgets, and you don't need a lot of added doodads to make it a costly addiction... unless you decide you need to start working on specialty wood, or suddenly "need" a laser cutter/burner.

A pencil and eraser, also, are useful for marking guide lines and text. Don't bankrupt yourself on high-end toys. Just grab what you have on hand and have some fun.

Color enhanced for clarity.
Really. It's just pencil markings.

I admit it. I'm a nerd. I need to include basic Linnaean taxonomy.
And I did this on both sides of each stick.

For the record, my wood burning tool is a multi-tool, for soldering, stencil-cutting, and wood-burning. I bought it several years ago at my all-time favorite place to shop, and this is the first time I've applied it to wood. It's a learning process for me, too.

And I may also dig out an old can of spar varnish from the basement & give these puppies a coat of it, for durability out there in the elements. We'll see.

Thursday, February 09, 2023

A Higher Purpose

 I know, it's a long quote to be stuck in as though it's a meme, but it's a topic I've discussed with others more than a few times, over the past few years (including just yesterday, with me muddah).

I'm an outsider to religion in general, having been raised agnostic. Still, over the years, I've begun to recognize there are logical benefits which come of those religions in widespread practice today. 

This is what I've gleaned, so far: most modern religions have been built on the idea that man can and must rise above his animal nature, and the structures of those faiths provide guidelines for doing this. A successful religion persuades entire societies to become forward-thinking and civilized (what Shapiro and others will call "Godly"), creating advantage for both the individual and the collective – be it family, church, community, tribe, or nation. 

The most powerful message in all of these religions is "control your impulses." Acting without thinking can have dire consequences – whether it's the toddler grasping for something on a hot stove, or the man who seduces his friend's wife. The child risks deadly burns, and the man – at best – ends up with a woman he knows can not be trusted, and loses his friend in the process. At worst… we've all seen the headlines. 

Codes of conduct such as the Ten Commandments benefit individuals even more than they do the group, eliminating "blowback" or cascading risks for the person who chooses to live by the code, greasing the gears of society. But more importantly, they provide a means for learning to respect oneself. They are goalposts, exercises in self-improvement (toward enlightenment or godliness); with each goal met, strength deepens and confidence grows.

Spiritually strong individuals make strong societies. Persons who live beyond the moment are able – and often eager – to lift up others who are less capable, who, in turn, help the weaker still and (as has often been said), a rising tide lifts all boats.

Any set of beliefs which fails to encourage thoughtfulness and restraint must therefore fail human civilization, and deserves to be relegated to the ash heap of history, lest humanity end up there instead.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Cat Poetry Corner

She walks in poopy, late at night,
Then down the hall and 'cross the bed
O'er all the linens clean and bright,
To settle down upon my head;
Then acts offended at the sight
As I scrub out the reeking tread.

Wednesday, January 04, 2023

Earworm of the Day: 'Concrete And Clay'

Let your day be a little less crumbly. Unit 4+2 has your back… or at least your ear, for a while.

Monday, July 04, 2022

The Sky Is Always Falling for Some People

 I was having a romp on one of the popular-with-idiots-and-journalists (but I repeat myself) social media sites, last evening, and ended up going on a bit of a rant. It went like this:

After presenting a few basic facts on a guy's thread refuting his claim that restricting abortions means women will die from untreated ectopic pregnancies, I've just been told "You're obviously a dude with no empathy so bugger off".

Since my “dude” vagina and I are no longer welcome to clarify, there, re: why I’m not in a panic over the Roe “trigger” laws, I thought I’d put a few of my points here. I’ll start with the biggie: what does the MO law (the one everyone keeps citing as most restrictive & therefore “dangerous”) actually say? 

Missouri bars abortion after 15 weeks; still allows for removal of dead unborn child lost to miscarriage, and permits chemical abortifacient treatments for medical emergency, (e.g. ectopic pregnancy) *in doctor’s office, under doctor’s supervision*, and gives the doctors power of decision, using “reasonable medical judgment”. 

Response: “concerns mount”  

If a hospital lawyer decides staff must wait until medical emergency becomes life-threatening crisis before treatment, and the doctors follow lawyer’s advice instead of protecting the health & life of the patient, the hospital should be in for a MASSIVE malpractice lawsuit.

Of course, the immediate response I got was “It’s happening already! There were nurses posting on their social media about it!” My reply: “It must be true because I saw it on social media! (eyeroll emoji)”, which was deemed, by them, a copout. But I’ve fallen for a few fairy tales on here, due to confirmation bias. I’m not saying it never happened…

but unless someone actually follows up with, say, multiple witnesses, some documentation, & maybe, a lawsuit or two, I’m inclined to have my doubts. It’s too easy for someone to hide behind credentials to push an agenda. Granted, that goes both ways, but (and here’s what started the shift of my own opinion on the issue a couple of decades ago), the pro-abort crowd has a longer history of lying.

First, they swore that all they wanted was simple legalization, to stop back-alley abortions & save women’s lives. Remember “safe, legal, and rare”? But, once legalized, the pro-aborts turned a blind eye to Kermit Gosnell’s charnel house for DECADES.

Next, it was “we’re pro-choice, not anti-abortion”.

“It’s not a human being.” “It’s just a parasitic clump of cells.” “It’s not alive until it takes its first breath.” 

Under the new ruling, with trigger laws, “some states have NO exceptions.” 

“It’s a private matter between a woman and her doctor only.” Baby makes three.

Anti-abortionists only care about making sure the baby is born. They don’t care about its life afterward.”

“You want the fetus to have more rights than the mother.” No, we want the baby to have the *same* right to life his or her mother has.

And here's where I answer the "no empathy" part: I've been through an unexpected pregnancy or two. One was ectopic, and I almost died before I got treatment. That was because I was *ignorant* of my condition and the laws.

When you deliberately lie in order to make people afraid to (a) seek help and/or (b) give lawful aid, you endanger lives just as surely as though the laws actually read they way you claim they do.

That's all I have, for now.


I could probably have found a few dozen more to share, but I got tired. These people & their shamelessness exhaust me.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Seasonal Volatility

I'm a bit agitated, lately, but Mother Nature seems to have arranged a good workout for me, this holiday weekend.

Yesterday started off pretty nicely. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the geranium was just beginning to bloom again after being transferred from the dining room to the front yard.

And then the sky darkened, the city emergency sirens started howling…

Fun stuff coming up from the south

strong winds tore through, flash floods and 

I wonder if I find a way to make the
sidewalk look like this all the time?
Safety questions aside, that is
big-ass hailstones poured down from above.

tiny, translucent turtles!

Heirloom twig?

We're crossing our fingers that we won't
have to replace the tomato plants

or the hostas

If hostas were palatable, I'd have a lovely
chopped salad… maybe with some tomatoes

or my geranium.

blooming tragedy

Pop took out the electric chainsaw between rain showers…

Maybe now we can persuade the neighbor to take down that weed tree, though. Neighbor guy seems somewhat more amenable, since he is currently the one with the chainsaw chores, now that Pop's gone on vacation.

It would be nice if his girlfriend agreed to our removing that thing.

Meanwhile, I'll be out there figuring out how to make portable, pop-up protection for my precious plants. Before we get more of that kind of weather, man.