Friday, October 16, 2009

2624 And another one! Or two.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ted Kennedy, of his friend Barry Goldwater: [He] had one motto. It was "Ready! Shoot! Aim!"


"Staycation".  Yeah, it's cute.  But it makes my jaw clench as much as "cafetorium" does.

"Vacation" comes from "vacate", which means "to cease to occupy".  "Vacation" is the noun.  "Vacate" + "(t)ion", the noun ending, becomes the act of leaving the place you usually occupy.

"Staycation" obviously substitutes "stay" for "vacate", but it does it WRONG!  It's "stay" + "CAtion"  which is the end of "vacate" and the noun-maker "(t)ion".   Or else it's "stayca" + "tion".  Either way it's wrong.

If they do it right, it would be "stay" + "tion", or "station", which is a place to stay or wait.  But that isn't cute.

In Daughter's elementary school, the cafeteria doubled as the auditorium.  The school drove me crazy by referring to the room as "the cafetorium".  These people responsible for the education of my daughter seemed to think that was a combination of the two words.

It's not.  "Cafe" refers to eating.  "Audit" refers to listening.  "(T)eria/(t)orium" means "room", singular and plural forms of the same ending.  So in "combining "cafeteria" and "auditorium" to come up with "cafetorium", all they really did was change the plural ending of  "cafeteria" to singular "cafetorium".  (This is not technically precise, but will do for the sake of argument.)  Cafetorium is still just a room for eating.  No listening involved.

I was not annoyed that they'd changed the ending.  It was convenient and got the idea across.  What annoyed me was that these educators seemed to think that in doing so they had combined the meaning of the two words.  It annoyed me that they didn't know what was wrong with it, and they SHOULD have.


Dinner group in the Albany area tonight.  Giffy's BarBQ.  Yum.

Incidentally, my weight is still 13 pounds down.  Remarkable with all the eating out I've been doing.  If I'm going to lose more I'll have to exercise more, I guess.

2623 Early winter

Friday, October 16, 2009

Follow the man who seeks the truth; avoid the man who thinks he's found it.


It's 37 F outside right now.  We've had freezing temperatures overnight the past few nights, and it's only mid-October.  There've been several inches of snow in the mountains to the west of us.  The few woolly-bear (Pyrrharctia isabella) caterpillars I've seen have very wide rust saddles, just a touch of black on either end, which folklore says means a very long hard winter.  I don't care what the scientists say - in my experience it's a very good predictor!


Dear Internet:  "Invite" is a verb.  The noun is "invitation".  Please stop sending me invites.  I refuse to acknowledge them.


I save the crosswords from the newspaper, and work through them in bed at night.  Yesterday's was from July 1, 2009.   On the other side of the page was the local activities section, which announced the debut of the "Kingston Sculpture Biennial" (a children's art activities program).  Biennial?  Debut?  Biennial is an adjective, not a noun, so there isn't a noun in the name, leaving one to wonder what it is exactly except that it's in Kingston and has something to do with sculpture (in general; if you interpret sculpture as the noun, then it's referring to a specific sculpture), and I don't think something is described as biennial anyway until at least the second occurrence.

In the same article the paper announced that "Neuhas [newspaper error, should be Neuhaus] iceboats will be launched at 4pm" on July 4th.  There are often iceboats on display at the Maritime Museum, where I had volunteered for a while, and occasionally you'll see them on the frozen Hudson River, so I'm familiar with them.  An iceboat is just a spidery wooden or fiberglass frame with runners on long "legs", and a sail.  It tends not to stay upright in water.

Isn't the water a bit too soft for launching iceboats in July?

Sigh.  I don't understand.


Later:  I searched online for the launch of the iceboats in July in Kingston.  They were boats made of ice!  Icy boats!  Not the same thing at all!


But it serves to illustrate and emphasize my complaint about the deterioration of communication.  Did no one proofreading the article notice the confusion it might generate?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2622 Pizza in the middle of nowhere

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The town I'm from is so small, Charles Kuralt has been there twice.


Last night I joined 17 other people from the Orange County Outdoors Singles Meetup group for calamari, pizza, and beer (I drank water) at a restaurant in Vails Gate (or as my GPS knows it, "Huh? Where?").  I found the place entirely by accident.

Getting there involved taking the Thruway to Newburgh.  The state had been working on the Thruway near that exit for months, and I didn't realize that they'd changed where the ramp exited.  The intersections in that area had always confused me anyway, and last night when the Thruway dumped me out onto the highway, I had absolutely no idea where I was.  I recognized nothing.  The man in the GPS had fits, because he thought I was in the middle of a field.  Not that it mattered much what he thought, because he didn't know where I was going.  I knew Vails Gate was south of Newburgh, but I went two wrong directions before I found south.

Someone had commented on the website that the restaurant was "on rte 32 after the second light after Five Corners", which name the GPS also didn't recognize.   I was just bopping along following the road signs that said "Vails Gate thataway -->", hoping I'd find some clue, and happened to look up at the GPS as I was going through a weird intersection, and noticed that the intersection looked like a perfect five-pointed star!  Ta-rah!

And people don't believe me when I say I almost never get seriously lost.

The group seemed like nice folks.  The man across the table from me was about my age and seemed interested, looked at me and caught my eye and smiled a lot, but he's an avid downhill skier.  I said I hate winter, and then the divorcee sitting next to him brightened and spent the next half hour rhapsodizing about skiing.  That's one of the things I dislike about singles' groups - there's a sense of competitiveness.  I'm not interested in competing.

This group has a dog hike on Saturday, followed by dinner at a steak house, followed by a movie at an art house with the producer there for discussion.  I had signed up for it, but it looks like the hike part may be canceled - there's SNOW predicted for Saturday, and nobody's ready for that yet.  Not even the avid skiers.


I did six loads of laundry at the laundromat today.  Now my upper back hurts.  I made sure the bags weren't so heavy this time, but I've about concluded that it's not the weight, it's standing at the folding table with my arms out in front of me that kills my back.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2621 My Montel

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It isn’t how you start that matters, it’s how you finish.


Twenty years ago I had a mad wild crush on Montel Williams.

I don't agree with some of his enthusiasms, like that insufferable woman who sees ghosts "standing behind" people, but he's an otherwise intelligent, compassionate, sensitive, giving, inspirational man.  The gorgeous body doesn't hurt.

I read his book about his struggles getting a correct diagnosis when that gorgeous body did hurt.  I felt so sorry for him when shortly after his MS diagnosis his wife left him.  I don't know her side of the story, but my impression was that she just didn't want that life, didn't want to be bothered.  Disloyal.  I wanted to volunteer to take her place.

His show doesn't seem to be on any of the channels I get, so for the past several years I wondered how he was doing.

He was a guest host on "The Drs" this morning.  He looks great!  I'm so happy for him.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2620 Food Flags

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Anyone who inhabits himself cannot believe in objective thinking."
Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself


This is fun - from the Sydney International food festival, country flags made of the food that country is famous for.  See how many you can figure out from the food used before looking at the answers in the comments.












Maybe ALL flags should be like this!  It would make things so much easier, and pleasant.  And no less full of country (kitchen) pride.

2619 It may as well be a herd of buffalo.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"Next time I will...." "From now on I will...." -
What makes me think I am wiser today than I will be tomorrow?
Hugh Prather, Notes to Myself


Jasper is dismantling the house.

I've had cats almost all my life.  Most were adopted straight from their mothers, a few were found strays who had obviously been pets, but Jasper is my first tamed feral.  Most of my cats showed no interest in mice.  A few considered them toys, and gifts for Mommy once they stopped moving and sort of "fell apart".  Jasper knows mice are food, and he actively hunts.

Now is the time of year when mice, looking for a warmer home, somehow manage to get into the house.  

Jasper must have seen a mouse go behind one of the bookcases in the hall.  He systematically removed all the books from the bottom two shelves of all four while I was out yesterday.  That's 24 board feet of books spread all over the floor.

Today he's convinced a mouse is here in the den, where there are piles of paper, fabric, and computer parts all over the place, making good hiding places.  They are no longer piles.  Now it's all scattered mixed mounds.

I'm happy he's getting some exercise and enjoying himself.  But I wonder if I could rig some kind of little treadmill and laser lure contraption before he takes anything else apart.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2618 No resistance

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Paul Levine, in Night Vision, on "image":   "It may not get the job done,
but it makes it possible to get the job done."


I went to the antiques fair today.  I hadn't intended to look for anything, just look at stuff, but one of the first things I saw was a walnut Eastlake-Inspired/Renaissance Revival marble-topped side table, exactly what I've been searching for for the past seven years.  I see them at auctions, and in antique shops, but they always go for more than $800 (how much more depending on the condition of the marble), which is way more than I am willing to pay.

I almost died when I saw the price tag.  $175.  A that price I figured something had to be very wrong with it, but aside from needing joints tightened, cleaning, finish refreshing, and one tiny chip in the marble near the middle of the top, it's in good condition for close to one hundred years old. 

I'm putting money away for the trip to Morocco, and trying to pay off credit cards, and with new tax rules and new medical insurance costs, my income has taken a hit, so right now I really can't afford it.  But I well know that if I didn't buy it, I'd be kicking myself for the next seven years while I continue to search for its non-existent twin.

It's in the back seat of my car.