Monday, September 26, 2011

Words And Other Things


While walking this morning I crossed a side street and noticed that its name was Button Willow Road. Since I had my handy-dandy digital voice recorder in my pocket, I whipped it out and spoke the name into the microphone. I did not want to forget it because it struck me as being a fascinating and thought provoking street name and I might want to use it in a story one of these days.

In the weekly compendium of AWAD (A Word A Day) I read the following comment from a reader, Carol Forbess:

I visualize words as like fruit in a basket. Sometimes the easiest to use are the tasteless ones close by, but I love to hear someone speak or read from a writer who reaches for the kiwi or mangoes from the back or goes to the trouble of cutting open the pomegranate to get to the arils. Some words can take you from the black and white to the color in Oz.

Now isn't that a delicious way to picture words?


It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Can't say that I agree with that, but I've found that a picture can say a lot...


“Language is a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.”
(Madame Bovary)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Small Time Lottery Winner


I won $2 in the Arizona Mega Millions drawing last Wednesday.

Whoo Hoo!


A speech by Elizabeth Warren was a subject of Rush Limbaugh's ire on his show today. He describes it as being a prime example of liberal thinking in today's world.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Is Evil The Opposite Of Good?


What I most enjoy about listening to the Rush Limbaugh show, along with Rush's witty asides, is the unintentional humor that's sometimes presented by the dimwitted radical liberal callers, the know-nothing conservative ditto heads, and the Christian, parent-indoctrinated mush-brained hero-worshipers. One 17 year-old a few days ago said (paraphrased), "It gets me when Obama supporters proclamate..."

'Proclamate?' Well, who knows... maybe that's a perfectly good word.

But I doubt it.

Not worth researching.


Recently I read an article titled Evildoers And Us and one statement in the article stood out from all the rest.

Political evil refers to the willful, malevolent, and gratuitous death, destruction, and suffering inflicted upon innocent people by the leaders of movements and states in their strategic efforts to achieve realizable objectives.

Evil? In my opinion evil is a word that should be removed from the dictionary -- cut out and cast away. There is no all-inclusive correct definition for it. Every definition I have encountered can be easily and intelligently refuted by someone. The concept of evil is as difficult to grasp as is its (supposed) opposite... good.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Don't Have A Good Title

When I recently read the term ahead of the curve it made me think about educational institutions grading on the curve and it made me question why that process should be used. Does 'fairness' have something to do with it?

Hm... What exactly is fairness? I'll have to do some research on that.

SF Novelists has a free sampler consisting of first chapters of the novels of 25 member writers. I downloaded it in pdf format and you can download it at

I have recently encountered an archaic word, its use now probably discontinued; it is growlery and is defined as a place to growl, as in, a private room, or den. Now that strikes me as a perfectly good word and one that should be revived and used often. It reminds me of the kind of word Cormac McCarthy might use.

Although I am not sufficiently educated in cosmology, astrophysics, or advanced mathematics to offer suggestions to NASA (or any other agency as a matter of fact) I nevertheless occasionally come up with ideas for the advancement of knowledge in space exploration. Here is one of those ideas:Why does NASA not prepare a plan and encourage both governments and private businesses to manufacture spacecrafts with the capability to travel outside the solar system carrying instruments to record conditions in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri.

That's Science Fiction and too far-fetched, you say? Hm. I wonder.

The effort might, if nothing else, provide sources for new industrial jobs... right?

A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a cartoon claiming that science and religion are fundamentally incompatible. It's basic premise seemed to arise from the following two sentences:

Science encourages rational thought. observation of the natural works, and using evidence to draw conclusions.

And . . .

Religion encourages accepting ideas on faith, and actively discourages attempting to prove claims with evidence.

While I do not usually pay attention to cartoons, I sometimes think that perhaps I should do so.


"The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it."
--Terry Pratchett

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Was That A Nip In The Air?


What is seasoning? What does it mean to season food? I guess I will have to do some research, starting with definitions of seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, etc.

Is enhancing food flavor a good thing? Or is it one of the factors in the problem of obesity in human beings? If one enjoys the taste of the food being consumed so much that it becomes an obsession, especially to those who are cursed with an addictive personality, is this a good thing or a bad thing? If a meal is prepared and tastes great, the person eating it will doubtlessly want to eat more than if the food were presented with no more than its natural flavors?

Would one not grow accustomed to plain unseasoned food if somehow weaned away from those delicious, yummy, lip-smacking treats and highly seasoned gourmet items with greatly enhanced flavors?

I wonder . . .

If I can make myself do it, I might stop eating flavor enhanced foods for a while and see how it works out. Might be material for a best selling self-help health and diet book.

Could be . . .

Ir appears that the monsoon season is finally ending here in Tucson. The rain storms are lessening and for the first time in quite a while the temperature is forecast to be below 100 degrees for the whole of this week. This means that I do not have to go for my daily walk before 7:30 A.M. to avoid the (dangerous) heat of the day. Yesterday I was able to walk two miles in the afternoon. And this morning I walked from 9 A.M. until 10:30.

Things are looking up around here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Evolution? Good God!


I was asked recently what I most regret doing in my life and I thought about it for a while and then decided that the thing I most regret ever doing was turning down the corner of the page of the innocent and inoffensive book I was reading just before I got up out of my chair and went out to the kitchen and fixed myself a bowl of Ramen Noodles... I had turned down the corner so I would be able to more easily find my place when I got back to the reading of that book. I could have used a nearby paper scrap as a page marker but I didn't.

I was just that lazy. Always have been. Probably should regret that, too. Not that I would or could ever do anything about it... being lazy.

There is a point when human progress will stop... will be unable to continue on its current course...and the change might well be a transformation from Homo Sapiens to the inevitable next step in biological mans' ongoing evolution.

And if you think in your vanity that such a change is impossible and if with incredible ignorance you still avow that mankind is the creation of an all-knowing and all-powerful God and that man is therefore the pinnacle of biological life, then I can only remind you of the plight of the Neanderthal.

Think about it.

There is a novelist who poses the idea that there is a place which is no country for old men and I believe that the location of this place is the very plot on which you yourself stand at each and every instant, and that all men are old men... because men are not eternal and what will follow will be something new... and the new will not be merely men... nor women.


“I was dead for millions of years before I was born and it never inconvenienced me a bit.”
--Mark Twain