Thursday, June 30, 2011

What are we really bringing home with us?

In this “For Better or For Worse” comic by Lynn Johnston updated: 09/27/2010, Lynn has young Michael, snuffling and sniffing in the first Panel. Then in the second Panel, Lynn has his younger sister, hacking, coughing, sneezing & wheezing. While in the third panel, his mother is also honking her nose, coughing and sneezing. Then in the final panel, Mike’s father, sitting comfortably in his chair reading the paper, turns to his son and says, “Hi Mike! – Bring anything home from School lately?”
It is interesting, isn’t it; how often, we bring home things that we had no intention of bringing home in the first instance? I remember once bringing home some water weeds from an Aquarian and not long after wondering where this invasion of little snails came from! Fortunately I found that my Goldfish loved them, so putting a goldfish in my Tropical tank solved that problem for me. Unfortunately some problems are not that easy to fix are they? And some, like influenza and Colds, just have to go their course, which is why we should all be careful of not only what we bring home with us, but also with what we also take out with us too! Whether to school or work!
As it is wintertime here where I write, it is a good lesson to remember isn’t it? Whilst we all like to get back to work as quick as we can, or even not miss any more pay days than we have to, we should also be sensitive to the wellbeing of others too, and not go back to work or school, until we are also well enough not to pass it onto others! Again we don’t like it when others pass their illnesses on to us, so let’s also not be guilty of the same thing too! What say you?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thirty Page Rule For Book Reading?

This “Rabbits Against Magic” Cartoon Strip by Jonathan Lemon from July 18, 2009 has a rabbit sitting under a tree reading a book, when approached by another rabbit who asks, “Trixie, do you finish every book you start?’
To which Trixie replies, “I have a 30 page rule. When I get that far I make the decision to go to the end or not.”
To which the first rabbit sadly mumbles to itself as it shuffles away, “I’ve never read a book with more than 30 pages.”
What about you and your book reading? Do you have any sort of Plan when reading Books? Or are you like me, and have a lot of books with Book-marks in, showing where, once, I had got reading in it, before putting it down for whatever reason, and never or rarely ever, getting back to it.
True, there are a few books that I have started to read that I have literally given up on because they were so bad. But mostly I have given up because I have had too many others to choose from and chosen to start a new one, while still believing I could finish the previous one(s) too! But sadly rarely actually achieving that.
So I am now going to have to come up with a similar 30 page rule like Trixie too! Either that, or sadly become like the other rabbit and only read very short books instead! What about you now? What’s your reading plan and can you stick to it?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Seven P’s of Life.

I took the following off of a Face book site of a friend, a little while back where he wrote: “Discipline makes things easier....plan, prioritise, execute!”
To which another friend of his replied with: "True that, I live my life by the seven P's: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Pitiful Poor Performance”
Now, apart from being very clever at composing a meaningful sentence with only P words, there is a lot of truth in this last statement isn’t there? Yes prior and Proper Planning nearly always prevents pitiful and poor performances and /or products.
We have seen too many pitiful performances recently in both Victoria and Australia where the Governing Powers came up with ideas, which seem good on the surface, but which turn out horribly wrong and expensively so. Not because they were inherently wrong (although some were) but mostly, simply because they were rushed into being without proper planning and preparation, and now we, the Tax-Payers, are footing the Bill for one White Elephant after another, when with forethought and proper planning, most of these ideas, could have been not only working long before now, but also working properly, instead of the liabilities that they now are.
Of course the Government is not the only ones to make mistakes like this, are they? No! Sadly we too, as individuals, are also prone to making costly mistakes, all because we too didn’t follow the seven P's: Prior Proper Planning Prevents Pitiful Poor Performance.
So let’s make all that yesterday’s happenings; and starting right now, let’s all adopt and use the seven P's: Yes starting now, let all of us live by the motto of: “Prior Proper Planning Prevents Pitiful Poor Performance”. Over to you now.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Suffering Sesquipedalianism

It has sometimes, okay, oft times, been said that I suffer from sesquipedalianism. And sadly I have to admit that I do have a propensity to and adoration of being sesquipedalianism at times.
Yes! I admit it. I am “Given to using long words”, and/or, using “large words when smaller ones will do.” Which is exactly what Sesquipedalianism, the Word of the Day for Sunday, May 2, 2010, means:
1. Given to using long words.
2. (Of a word) containing many syllables.
Now sesquipedalianism first appears in Horace's Ars Poetica, where he originated the word as meaning "words a foot-and-a-half long," and meant it as an ironic criticism! Which is very interesting, but I just wish he had not used such a sesquipedalianism word himself, don’t You?
Now I don’t believe my use of sesquipedalianism is that bad, and I would even argue that sometimes using long words is good as it stretches the mind and by using longer words, for shorter ones, it sometimes breaks up the repetition of using the same word over and over, when a similar one will break that monotony of repetition.
However, I will admit that the overuse of sesquipedalianisms can be overbearing and too much at times. I once remember having to read 6 pages of a theological book at Theological College, but gave up after a page and a half, as I had already had the dictionary out a half dozen times for the writers sesquipedalianisms. But that said, there is a rather simple cure for it apparently.
Yes, in the Christian Examiner, Volume 72, it says this: “It is very true that when the experiment of dictating is first tried, the luxury of the ease it gives is apt to be so great, that it tends to looseness and verbosity of style; for there is no better check on sesquipedalianism than the necessity of writing down one's sesquipedalian words for one's self.”
And if you doubt this advice, try writing Sesquipedalianism down even once unaided! Even after having written in half a dozen times, I still can’t remember how to spell it without looking at the original.
Well in closing, apart from sesquipedalianism itself, what other unnecessary long words do you know, even if not used regularly? And can you write them down unaided?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who really is the negative one?

This is another blog inspired by the Comic strip, “Dark Side of the Horse by Samson” and taken from the internet on October 8, 2010. Here we see the black horse Horace walking along and complaining to a little bird in a tree that: “I hate all this Negativity… All I hear is NO, NO, NO!”
To which the little bird replies: “Oh no!” Then adds: “I think you’re asking the wrong questions.” To which Horace replies: “OH?” Then the little bird continues, “What if you tried asking people, “Would you like some money?’ or, “Do you want me to refrain from kicking your teeth in.” All of which Horace quickly rebuffs with a haughty, “No!” before rushing off!
Now I know that this is only a comic but how true this also is in real life too! Many go around accusing others of their negativity, but when the facts are investigated, it is often, if not always found, that the negativity begins with them and becomes self-feeding and self-perpetuating!
So if you are not happy with all the negativity around you like Horace, please stop being like Horace and start changing your own negative attitudes and behaviour and see what happens. What do you say? Will you give it a go? I hope so! After all, you have nothing to lose except your negativity! So please, give it ago starting right now. Again, what say you?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What School Did You Go To?

Ever been asked a simple question, and realised that the answer is not so simple? For instance recently I was asked, “Where did your kids go to School”? Like, which kid and which year?
For me the answer is simple. Not only did I not go to Kindergarten, but I only ever went to two schools in my whole life. Three if you count Bible Collage! {They were Kangaroo Ground Primary School, and Watsonia Technical School. (&Bible Collage of Victoria @ Lilydale)}
However for our/my Children it is very different as they went to quite a few different schools in two different states of Australia and even overseas too.
The ones I remember are listed below, with whichever child attended them listed as 1, 2, or 3, standing for First-born, second-Born and last-Born respectively. Schools:
1 & 2. Diamond Creek East Kindergarten.
1. Diamond Creek East Primary School.
1 & 2. Lilydale West Primary School.
1 & 2. Wagga South Primary School
3. Wagga Ashmont Pre-School
1, 2 & 3.Kew East Primary School
1. Kew East High School
Then in South Africa:
1, 2 &3 Umtata High School in its original 3 subdivisions.
Then after it separated into its 3 separate main branches
2 & 3.Transkei Primary School
1, 2 & 3. Umtata High School.
Also: 2. Port Elizabeth Technikon.
Then back in Oz:
3. Belgrave South Primary School
1 & 2. Upwey High School
3. Lilydale High school
1 & 3. Swinburne University Lilydale Campus.
Enough of me and mine. How about you? Was your schooling as complicated as that? Or even worse? If so, please share it with us.
And also what are some other simple questions that are not so simple for you to answer? Your contributions welcomed, please?

Friday, June 24, 2011

What does WHARF mean?

I’m assuming that we all know what a WHARF is now, but do you know what it originally was and how the word came into being? Originally it wasn’t even a proper word, simply an acronym. Now I’m also pretty sure that you know that an acronym is a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words.
And such is WHARF! Which stands for: W..Whare, H..House, A.. At, R..River F..Front. So originally a wharf was not the place but a building or buildings at the one place on the river front. So what unusual acronyms do you know? And their meanings please?
One we had trouble with in South Africa many years ago when we arrived just before Christmas, was the Newspaper heading stating that SANTA workers were out on strike! No, not Santa’s helpers, but workers of the South African National Tuberculosis Association.
Another that used to crack me up was the SAPS. That is the South African Police Services.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Postage cost verses cost of original item?

Since our return to Australia late 2002, I have been in the habit of sending some cheap but colourful Australian calendars to a few of our close overseas friends. One year I wanted to send an even better one to a particular friend, and finally choosing a really nice one, paid, $12.50 for it, then was shocked and horrified to find that the only way I could supposedly send it to them was by airmail and had to Pay $19.50 to do so.
Fortunately for them, I valued their friendship enough to send it, even if just that one time, and went back to the cheaper ones the following year! Cheaper ones, which still cost more to post than purchase, but at least was reasonably affordable. Particularly if you want to send a half dozen or more!
So as I close for now, what are some other items that you have found that cost more to Post than to buy? Over to you now for your comments.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Moved on some, since 1910

I received this e-mail last year and it compared life then (2010) with life one hundred years earlier. It has plenty for us to ponder on at the progress made since 1910 and thus I thought it worth some reflection time of our own too! Maybe not to 100 years ago, but perhaps to our own childhoods, and to what has changed in just our own Life time. Anyway here it is for your reflection:
The year is 1910 .One hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes! Here are some statistics for the Year 1910: (By the way, these are American Statistics, in case you wondered.)
************ ********* ************
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!
The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year...
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.
Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard.'
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke
The American flag had 45 stars ....The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write and only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school...
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,
regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health' (Shocking? DUH! )
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or domestic help....
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A.!
That was then: Now I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD - all in a matter of seconds! Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years. IT STAGGERS THE MIND.”
And as I have nothing to add to the above now, I will close here. Bye for now.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Remember ...

A while back I received an email that talked about how different things were when the writer was a Kid. Being someone who was born smack dab in the middle of the last century, many of those things listed in her memory, although now unheard and often forgotten, were common for me and my siblings then too.
Yes although living little more than 25 Miles from Melbourne, the second biggest city in Melbourne we were still largely isolated from it through lack of transport and facilities. I remember when, not only did we not have a TV, but also had no Electricity to run one. Kerosene Lamps and even a Kerosene Fridge was the norm for us then. My, how things have changed since then! Mind, although in many ways they truly were Good Old Days, I have no desire to return to them without my now accustomed modern comforts either. Great to return occasionally in my memory, but not to want to live through them again!
Anyway the above mentioned e-mail that started this reminiscing, ended with a list of things, now mostly forgotten, which I will include here. I will also add to that list my own personal memories of these items, if I knew them then.
“MEMORIES from a friend: How many do you remember?
1. Cho Cho bar: They were just one of many lollies (Sweets) around then but not now. Can’t say they were my favourites though. Much preferred “White Knights”.
2. Drive Ins: Actually don’t think they were even around yet when I was a ‘little un”. Although they certainly were when I got my Licence and I went to a few in my younger days.
3. Candy cigarettes: “Fags” were a favourite of mine because they were nice. Now they are banned because of their negative connection to real cigarettes and the now negative meaning of their name!
4. Soft drink machines that dispensed glass bottles: Were definitely around but we never had much access to them due to our isolation from city life.
5. Coffee shops or milk bars with tableside juke boxes: Again something only experienced late in my teens due to lack of close public transport due to our isolation from the “Big Smoke”, ( even if only a few miles from it.)
6. Home milk delivery in glass bottles with foil stoppers: Was definitely around but we never got them. We got our milk straight from our own Cow, which I guess now that I think of it, was in fact home delivered, even if only by the cow!
7. Party lines: Never had one, but when we did finally get the phone on, we had to go through the local exchange.
8. Newsreels before the movie: Again due to our isolations, movies and Newsreels were not a part of our early lives, until we got our Licences, and by then Drive Ins were all the rage!
9. Packards: Not too many American cars around here in those days. Mostly English. Our Fist car was a vanguard.
10. Blue flashbulb: I do remember them and how hot they got when they went off! Yes, I had a few burnt fingers before finally getting the message that they were very hot!
11. Telephone numbers with 2 letters and 4 numbers: Ours actually had three: Panton Hill 336
12. Peashooters: Again around but I was more into Spud Guns than Pea shooters.
13. Wash tub wringer: Oh yes had my arm in it up to the elbow more than once.
14. 78 RPM records: Indeed and also the wind up Phonogram to play them on.
15. Metal ice trays with lever: Yes I also remember those Aluminium contraptions.
16. Studebakers: Again not many American cars around our way, but plenty of Austins, Morrises and Humbers.
17. Cracker night: And the Big Bonfire over in the swamp area and going around the next morning picking up all the unexploded ones and having another go.
18. Using hand signals for cars without turn signals: Yes, but by the time I got my Licence indicators had become compulsory.
19. Bread delivered by horse and cart: Horses were out when I was young but we had our bread delivered once a week by Van.
20. Head lights dimmer switches on the floor. Yep. Took a little while not to hit the floor feeling for it, when they changed over to Column shift.
21. Ignition switches on the dashboard: Usually in the middle, as often was the key, although separate then.
22. Heaters mounted on the inside of the wall: Yeah, but they didn’t last long as they were totally inefficient up so high.
23. Real ice boxes; No. never had ice out our way. But we did have a Kerosene Fridge.
24. Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards: Yep, very necessary on bikes then. Otherwise you often came a cropper when the chain chewed up your pants leg. Not to mention that mum would also chew us up about our now modified trouser leg!
25. Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner: Gas burner? Who had gas burners then? We had to use the open fire or wood stove.
26. Clotheslines held up by cloths props: Another necessity otherwise one tended to run the risk of losing your head to a low hanging wire. Thank goodness for the Hills Hoist when it came in!
27. Mum making me dolls out of the big wooden clothes pegs: Not applicable there.
28. Getting into trouble for cutting the crust off the bread, spreading it with butter & whatever and eating it: Not sure about that, but we did get into trouble for breaking the loaf in half and eating the middle out on the way from the Bread box on the road, down to the house.
29. Having a bath in the laundry on washing day using the water from the copper boiler. No soap powder: Actually our bath regime was on Sunday night, before the school week, and in the laundry away from the house in an old sheet galvanised bath with sharp edges. Thus I also remember a few cut fingers too!
30. Mum shaving the sunlight soap for the copper boiler: Yes, and the copper was also in the corner of the laundry and used for heating water for both the washing and our baths. And for cooking the Christmas Puddings! Loved Mum’s Christmas Pudds!!!!!!!!!!
31. Good old Sunlight soap in the little wire cage, shaken up for the washing up: Mum used it for many years in the kitchen sink.
32. Wrapping the ice in newspaper for the Ice chest so it would last longer: Nope! No ice Chest, but we used to save the newspapers for the Butcher to wrap his meat in, before that too became unhygienic.
33. Plugging the iron into the light socket: No. Mum had a flat iron she had to heat on top of the wood stove.
34. The Thunder box at my grandmothers. Never had a grandmother that I can remember, but we had our own thunder box at home. And Mum and Dad had it for many years after I moved out too! (Had one Grandfather who died when I as 6 and a half. The other Grands died before I was born.)
Well that was just a few reminisces from me. How many of the above revived a memory, whether pleasant or unpleasant, to you? Again, not all my memories of the above things were pleasant. Having a bath outside, and the outside toilet, chief among the less enjoyable ones, especially on cold or wet nights! Over to you now for your reminisces.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Are you a cater-cousin?

At first hearing/glance, a cater-cousin doesn’t sound all that nice does it? Especially if you think of other words like Caterwaul, which is a long wailing cry or utterance, or similar sound, such as a howl or screech like cats fighting.

Anyway back to cater-cousins which was the word of the Day for Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Now like many words, cater-cousin can be used in both a good or bad sense.

Cater-cousin, combines the common English cousin, with Cater-, an archaic prefix meaning "to buy, or serve." At its base meaning, it simply means an intimate friend.

In the word of the day, it gives two examples that show how it can be used in both a good or bad sense, and thus seen as either a good or bad thing, depending on it or your association.

The 1st example is from, Thomas Ingolds in his: The Ingolds legends; or, Mirth and marvels: Where he wrote: “The world talks loudly of your learning, your skill, and cunning in arts the most abstruse ; nay, sooth to say, some look coldly on you therefore, and stickle not to aver that you are cater-cousin with Beelzebub himself.”
The 2nd Example is from, Charles Richard Tuttle & Ames Castle Pennock’s: The centennial Northwest: an illustrated history of the Northwest. This quote says: “A discovery already operated upon elsewhere has given to vessels of glass the toughness of metal, and in consequence the delicate Venetian ware which was said to be so finely tempered that it would break in the hand of its owner should poison be offered him therein will become cater-cousin to substantial cooking utensils, which will endure the very highest temperature and the hardest blows incidental to "high life below stairs."
So as the above shows, being a cater-cousin itself is not a bad thing and if one is a cater cousin of someone or something Good, then it is a very good thing. But being a cater–cousin of someone bad, let alone the devil, is not a good thing is it?

So todays question is, not are you a cater-cousin, but rather, “who are you a cater-cousin to”? A good thing or person? Or bad ones? Again, it is over to you now for your reflection and possibly action...

Same Pants, Wrong Leg.

In this “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston from 2009, she has the mother paying for her Groceries at the Supermarket check-out, when she suddenly notices that her young daughter is not with her, and frantically yells out, “LIZZIE? LIZZIE, where are you?”
Next, you see Lizzie holding on happily to a pair of legs in Blue Jeans, next to another set of legs in Blue jeans! Just then Lizzie looks up to find that those legs she is holding, doesn’t belong to mum at all, but to a strange man. So she lets out a “Shriek” of her own. At which point, the man picks her up and hands her to her mother saying, “Same Jeans … wrong leg!”
Ever had that happen to you or one of your loved ones? I have. When our oldest was about four we went on a ferry ride to French Island, and then on a Bus tour around the Island, and once while stopping at an old disused Chicory Kiln, had a similar experience where she cottoned onto the same colour jeans but the wrong leg, with the same shrieking result.
So you see, it is easy enough to do with people, but what about now with your life? Yes, how are you going now with your life? Are you really holding on to the right leg? Or do you find yourself holding a similar looking one, but just not the right one?
Some have this problem with God and their spiritual lives too! They think they are holding onto the right one true God, because what they are holding onto, looks like God at a distance, but when they really look up, they find it is not God at all, but someone or something else.
So as we close today, are you really holding on to the one true God today or just something that at a distance at least looks like God?
If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me. Thanks.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How adaptable are you really?

Went for a walk up the street to get a paper and took the dogs with me. Of course they had to stop along the way to “Cock their leg.” As they did so, my mind went back to another dog and another time, and even another country. Here, it appears both our current dogs are ambidextrous when it comes to lifting their hind legs, when they need to go. But over there, our Doyle boy, obviously wasn’t.
I say obviously wasn’t, because when I, ah… umm…. Accidently ran over him one day when out for a run beside the vehicle and bruised his leg bad enough that he couldn’t support his weight on it for quite some time, he had trouble when he wanted to Cock his leg! For it seems he was either unable or unwilling to use his left rear leg instead of his normal right.
However not to be undone, he soon worked out a solution: He simply stood on his two front legs with his rear in the air and then using his nose to steady himself, was soon able to relieve himself of his dilemma.
All of this made me think how much easier, and safer it would have been if he had of just switched legs, but he seemed unable to do that and so found a much more difficult and even dangerous way to do so! (Whilst learning to stand like this, I saw him topple over completely backwards in the trying, a couple of times!)
All this made me ponder and wonder how often we do the same thing when changes are forced upon us? That is we refuse, for whatever reason, to do the logical thing and instead choose a more difficult and often more dangerous option, just because we can or because we refuse to conform to the obvious and safer option.
So as we close now, are you really adaptable enough to make the necessary changes when necessary? Or do you still, even then, refuse to conform to the better, easier, safer way? Again over to you now.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Who will give in first?

The first independent item that I ever wrote that received a lot of positive reaction among my family, (as opposed to my letters to them) and which was the inspiration for both these blogs and this Blog site*, was about Our First Born’s Dog, George and his persistence at getting to the other side of any obstacle put in his way to stop him! And there have been as least one more since then, and this is another, or even two more.
When we moved into this place, there was a pool but no pool fence, so we had to put one in which effectively cut the backyard in two and for a while that caused no problems; until George decided, for some reason still only known to him, that he wanted unimpeded access to the other side. Access that he not only achieved but the source of which, eluded me in discovering for some time. Eventually we discovered that although he looked too big to Squeeze through the bars, he not only could but did. And apart from putting netting all along it, which I don’t want to do, there is little to stop him. And as he can’t get into too much harm there, I’m not bothering. (No He won’t go near the water! The other dog did and had to be fished out once, but as he doesn’t also get through, it is not a real danger.)
Under our house, is a small dug out and concreted section that was made into a walk-in storage and work shop area, while the rest slopes away to about 18 inches at the lowest point.
At first the dogs used to sleep under the whole under- house area, but as most of this is dirt or sand, and as they both have woolly hair/fur, they got a lot of dry dirt and soil on them; which they later transferred to the carpet inside the house. So another scheme for their night sleeping arrangements had to be made. At first that was into the Garage, which worked fine; til we had a great storm one night and the garage, being at the bottom of a concrete drive, ended up with 3 or 4“ of water in it and one dog getting sick from the related chill!
So back under the house they went, but supposedly confined to the concrete half with a temporary 7 or 8 metre long barrier of whatever material was on hand that I could find, including some pool fence, Garden trellis, Old screen door, Tarps, a fold up Table and a couple of old trestle tables, a bit of plaster board, etc., whatever.
Well, nothing really worked. He got through the pool fence; He climbed up and over the trellis. He clawed through the plaster board twice: Once when it was the only thing stopping him so he chewed his way through under the bottom. Then when I put a piece of wood about 2 foot high in front of the plaster board, he simply stood on his hind legs and chewed his way through the plaster board above where the wooden board stopped protecting it!
Anyway, for the last few nights I have won the battle there, but that hasn’t stopped old George still trying. As I may soon be losing the trestle tables, and unprepared to go to the expense of a more solid and permanent barrier, as we will not be remaining here for ever, I still may end up giving in to Him! Or they will end up back in the Garage again, as we have largely resolved the Flooding problem: we Hope!?!?.
As seen above often the end result of our giving in is not lack of will, but lack of real impedes to spend the time and or money required to win. What about you today? Are you like George and prepared to never give up, no matter what the obstacle, and keep going? Failing in one spot yes, but then moving along and finding a weakness elsewhere? Or like me, are you only prepared to go as far as finances and potential danger warrants?
As hinted above, had it been the other dog, getting through the pool fence, with his love for water, we would have long ago had some form of additional protection for the fence. Likewise, if George was getting out onto the road, again we would do what it takes, not to just keep him in, but to keep him from danger.
So in closing; is that obstacle that you are currently facing, really worth the effort it takes to fight it? If so, keep fighting on and do whatever it takes to win. But if it is not worth the effort now, give up now and channel your money time and effort into to a more beneficial and winnable fight? Over to you now.
*But not posted on blog site till January 2007.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who is the real insensitive one?

In this 2010 Comic strip, “Dark Side of the Horse by Samson” and taken from the internet on September 29, 2010 Samson has his anti –hero Horace the Black horse, outside with ear muffs on complaining bitterly: “Monday Morning, 6am. My neighbour is already blowing his air horn. What an idiot”. And then we see in the next panel why Horace has really got his ear muffs on. For there, he is outside with His leaf blower on and going full bore.
So here Horace is complaining about the noise that his neighbour is making in response to Horace’s own insensitivity!
Sadly we so often see this in real life too: and many of the people complaining about the other person’s supposed insensitivity, is oblivious to their own. Even when it is their/our own insensitivity to others that has caused all the problems in the first place.
So today, and every day, before you accuse or blame anyone else for their insensitivity, please check out and correct your own insensitivity first! Please?
It may not always be true, but often it is our insensitivity that is the real problem and not theirs. Either way, please do be sure where the true blame lies before making any accusations.

How well do you know someone before you judge them?

In this 2010 Comic strip, “Dark Side of the Horse by Samson” and taken from the internet on September 29, 2010 Samson has his anti –hero Horace the Black horse, outside walking along and complaining bitterly about his neighbour, saying: “I used to dislike my neighbor.” Then, in the next frame, he adds: “Then I decided to get to know him better!” Then finally in the final frame, Horace concludes with: “Now I hate him with venom!”
Sadly there may be a few people like that still around, but not all are like that, and in fact often when we follow Horace’s first example of actually trying to get to know them better, before judging them , we find that they are not so bad after all.
And often more importantly, they find that you too are not as bad as they first thought!
So today and every day, before you rush to judgement of those around you, please get too know them first.
True. Like Horace, you may well find your first judgment right! But often it is the opposite too.
So please give it ago and try and get to know people better before you make a final judgment! Your thoughts please?

Are you a neighbour like this?

In this 2010 Comic strip, “Dark Side of the Horse by Samson” and taken from the internet on September 29, 2010 Samson has his anti –hero Horace the Black horse outside walking and complaining bitterly about his neighbour, saying: “I will never forget the first time I met my neighbour.” -------- “No matter how hard I try!”
I guess we have all met someone like that, even if not quite had one for a next door neighbour. But enough of them! What about ourselves now? True, there may be some, or even many others we know like that, but how many others feel the same way about us too? As my late mother used to say: “It takes two to Tango!”
So today, forget about how your neighbour treats you and focus on how you treat them! And if there is no difference between the two, then just maybe you have found the real cause of your problems with your neighbour? Again this will not always be true. Some people just are impossible to get along with. But if we never try, we will never really know where the real problem lies will we? Over to you now!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Is it gossip or Human Interest stories that you share?

In this “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, from May 2009, she has two ladies sitting at the table chatting over a cup of Coffee. One, Anne says, “So, how’s Connie these days? Still depressed? Still manhunting? “Her friend Ely replies sharply, “Well, Anne – Connie is a close friend and I could never talk about her behind her back. I hate gossip! I refuse to be a Gossip! Then concludes chirpily, “But if you call it human interest, I’ll tell you everything!”
Now there are some things in the name of human interest that one can and sometimes even should, share with the appropriate people. Yes, Human interest is one thing, but gossip is another and none of us, whether Christian or non-Christian, should be involved in spreading Gossip let alone making it up.
So today’s reflection for you, is for you to ask and answer the question of how much of what you say is really Human Interest, as opposed to gossip of any form, shape or size, no matter what you now call it? Again over to you for your reflection please.

Is that the message you really want to send?

In this “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, from January 2010, Lynn has two men, Ted and John, walking in the snow, chatting. Ted says, “Got anything for the wife yet John?” To which John replies, “No’’’ But I have some ideas.” To which Ted queries, “Diamonds? Pearls?” To which he is rebuffed with, “Nah. Elly’s far too practical for that stuff, Ted.” Then adds, “I’m thinking Food Sealer. You know, one of those wrapping gadgets that cover leftovers with plastic.” To which Ted says quietly, “Right…’ Before sharply adding, “And every time she looks at vegetables, she’ll think of you.”
Can’t say I always agree with Ted but on this one he is pretty close to the mark. That said, apart from an engagement ring, I can’t say I have ever bought her Diamonds or pearls, some Opals, but no pearls! Although I did offer to buy her Tahitian Pearls, when we were there a couple of years back, to which she refused saying she would never wear them.
Anyway, what this cartoon and I are saying is that when you buy something for your spouse or loved ones, put some real thought into it and give something that will induce positive and happy memories whenever they use it! Again, while it can sometimes be something practical, it also needs to be something that when they use it, they will think favourably of you.
Sometimes it may be something rather impractical like Diamonds, and at other time’s it may be something practical, like a home appliance. The secret is knowing when either is appropriate and when it isn’t?
So as we close now, what message are you sending out in the gifts you give? Is it all about the recipient of the gift? Or is it more about you, as the giver? Over to you for your thoughts now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New breeds of dogs?

On July first 2010, I took this off the Web under the heading of; “Master the 3 new “official” dog breeds: What Cane Corso means.”
It then went on to say: “Today the AKC (American Kennel Club), the main organization for dog breeders in the United States, recognized three new dog breeds: the Icelandic Sheepdog, the Leonberger, and the Cane Corso. This means that breeders of these three types of canine gain access to the reputation, licensing and support of the powerful AKC. For us it’s an opportunity to explore the evocative words associated with each unusual example of man’s best friend.
The Icelandic sheepdog travelled with the Vikings and is a member of the Spitz family of canines, which means Chow Chows and Pomeranians are relatives.
A Leonberger is a massive dog (up to 170 pounds) with a thick coat and a sweet disposition. They are named after the German city of Leonberg and were supposedly bred to look like the lions on the town crest. Originally, the breed was supposedly a cross between a Newfoundland and a St. Bernard.
The rarest of the three new breeds is the Cane Corso, an Italian type of mastiff lacking the comical folds of skin the Neopolitan Mastiff (from Naples) carries around. Cane is Italian for dog, and Corso relates to the Latin cohors, “guardian.” Cane Corsos were so rare that they faced extinction until the breed was revived by enthusiasts in 1980s.”
In reply to that someone else replied: “…The Cane Corso and Leonberg aren’t new dog species, they’ve existed for quite some time now. It’s not because the Americans just recognized them that they weren’t official before. And the Cane Corso isn’t rare, you can buy it pretty much anywhere in Europe. Me and my dad thought about getting one for a while a few years back.”
All this is just another reminder that as the Bible says, there is nothing new under the sun! All it means, is that someone has taken some authority unto themselves and now, finally decided and accepted that something that has existed for a long time, now “officially exists” to them. Something that will add or do little for the dogs themselves, but probably make their owners and breeders very rich, as people now seek to be among the first to want to get these “New Breeds”! New breeds that have been literally around for years and even hundreds of years sometimes!
So what is your reaction to all things supposedly new? Do you want them, because you really like and need them, and thus will keep and care for them? Or do you just want them because they are supposedly new and rare? A status symbol maybe? And just something else to discard or throw away later when the next new and rare thing hits the market? Over to you now for your thoughts on the subject.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rooibos Tea: Red and Green!

Having spent many years in South Africa, we had become very familiar with Rooibos, or as the Xhosa people call it, “Bush Tea”.
Despite that, most of what follows, comes from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Rooibos is pronounced “ROY-bos, and is Afrikaans for "red bush". Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, European travellers and botanists visiting the Cedarburg region in South Africa commented on the profusion of "good plants" for curative purposes. In 1772, Swedish botanist Carl Thunberg noted that "the country people made tea" from a plant related to rooibos or redbush.
Traditionally the local people would climb the mountains and cut the fine needle-like leaves from wild rooibos plants. They then rolled the bunches of leaves into hessian bags and brought them down the steep slopes on the backs of donkeys. The leaves were then chopped with axes and bruised with hammers, before being left to dry in the sun.
The Dutch settlers to the Cape developed rooibos as an alternative to black tea, an expensive commodity for the settlers who relied on supply ships from Europe.
In 1904, Benjamin Ginsberg, a Russian/Jewish settler to the Cape, riding in the remote mountains, became fascinated with this wild tea. He ran a wide variety of experiments at Rondegat Farm, finally perfecting the curing of rooibos. He simulated the traditional Chinese method of making very fine Keemun, by fermenting the tea in barrels, covered in wet, hessian sacking that replicates the effects of bamboo baskets.
In the 1930s, Ginsberg persuaded local doctor and Rhodes scholar Dr. le Fras Nortier to experiment with cultivation of the plant. Le Fras Nortier cultivated the first cultivated plants at Clanwilliam on the Klein Kliphuis farm.
Its scientific name is Aspalathus linearis) and it is a broom-like member of the legume family of plants growing in South Africa's fynbos. The generic name comes from the plant Calicotome villosa, aspalathos in Greek. This plant has very similar growth and flowers to the redbush. The specific name linearis comes from the plant's linear growing structure and needle-like leaves.
Rooibos is grown only in a small area in the region of the Western Cape Province. Generally, the leaves are oxidized, a process often, and inaccurately, referred to as fermentation by analogy with tea-processing terminology. This process produces the distinctive reddish-brown colour of rooibos and enhances the flavour.
Unoxidized "green" rooibos is also produced, but the more demanding production process for green rooibos (similar to the method by which green tea is produced) makes it more expensive than traditional rooibos. It carries a malty and slightly grassy flavour somewhat different from its red counterpart.
As said above, the plant is used to make a herbal tea called rooibos tea, bush tea (esp. Southern Africa), redbush tea (esp. UK), South African red tea, or red tea. The product has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. It is sometimes spelled rooibosch in accordance with the old Dutch etymology, but this does not change the pronunciation.
It is said that in South Africa it is common to drink rooibos tea without milk, but instead with a slice of lemon and sugar or honey to sweeten. (*However I have never had it without milk and sugar Xhosa style. i.e. Heaps of both Long life Milk and sugar.)
The flavour of rooibos tea is often described as being naturally sweet (without sugar added) and slightly nutty. Rooibos can be prepared in the same manner as black tea, and this is the most common method.
Several coffee shops in South Africa have recently begun to sell "red espresso", which is concentrated rooibos served and presented in the style of ordinary espresso. This has given rise to rooibos-based variations of coffee drinks such as red lattes and red cappuccinos. Iced tea made from rooibos has recently been introduced in South Africa, Australia, and in the United States.
Rooibos is becoming more popular in Western countries particularly among health-conscious consumers, due to its high level of antioxidants such as aspalathin and nothofagin, its lack of caffeine, and its low tannin levels compared to fully oxidized black tea or unoxidized green tea leaves. Rooibos also contains a number of phenolic compounds, including flavanols, flavones, flavanones, and dihydrochalcones.
Rooibos is also purported to assist with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.
Traditional medicinal uses of rooibos in South Africa include alleviating infantile colic, allergies, asthma and dermatological problems.
Although human studies of rooibos are scarce in the scientific literature, animal studies suggest it has potent antioxidant, immune-modulating and chemopreventive effects. In addition, rooibos tea has not been found to have any adverse effects.
It is often claimed that "Green" rooibos (see above) has a higher antioxidant capacity than fully oxidized rooibos. However, one study, using two different ways of measuring antioxidant activity, found conflicting data, with green rooibos showing more activity under one measure, and less activity using the other. The study also found conflicting data when comparing both forms of rooibos to black, green, and oolong tea**, although it consistently found both forms to have less activity than green tea.
In 2010, eleven poison dart frogs were raised at WWT Slimbridge by amphibian keepers in pint glasses of water, topped up with shop-bought Rooibos tea. Rooibos was used because it contains antioxidants with anti-fungal properties. This successfully protected the frogs against infection by chytridiomycosis.
In another recent study performed by Japanese scientists, it also suggests that Rooibos tea is beneficial in the treatment of acne. This is due to levels of alpha hydroxy acid, zinc and superoxide dismutase present in the herb.
A couple of things jumped out at me from the above information. The first being that although living in the eastern Cape region of South Africa for many years and having drunk Rooibos many times I didn’t really know its history or uniqueness to the Cape region. Just showing that because we have known and used something for many years it doesn’t mean we know all there is to know about something does it?
Secondly, I was surprised to find that there even was a Green type of Red tea! Nor did I know about the Coffee type drink either. Again showing that often we just don’t know as much as we think we do, do we?
And thirdly and finally, even now knowing all the above good qualities of Rooibos tea, it still doesn’t make me like it any better than I did before. To me it is an acquired taste, and a taste that I never really acquired.
So as we close now, are you really as knowledgeable about the things you claim to know a lot about, and especially for those things from your own area? Again just a little for you to think on later, perhaps?
*My own personal comments.
**See an earlier blog of mine on the various types of camellia teas.

Monday, June 13, 2011

That’s why I’m here.

Was listening to a CD of James Taylor’s greatest hits, when I was struck by the words of one of his lesser known songs, “That’s why I’m here.” Whilst the full lyrics don’t always make sense, to me at least, I was struck by the chorus.
Below is the first stanza & Chorus.
“Person to person and man to man
I'm back in touch with my long lost friend
listen to reason and understand
and think of me from way back when
he said me and Melissa well we fell out of love
we ran out of luck seems like lightning struck
I've been thinking of leaving but I can't raise a buck
James I’m wondering could I borrow your truck
I said that's why I’m here
got no other reason
that's why I’m standing before you
that's why I’m here.”
Here is another verse, also relevant to my point today:
“Fortune and fame's such a curious game
perfect strangers can call you by name
pay good money to hear fire and rain
again and again and again
some are like summer coming back every year
got your baby got your blanket got your bucket of beer
I break into a grin from ear to ear
and suddenly it's perfectly clear
that's why I'm here.”
As I thought on these words and James’* reaction, even to doing the same old thing, over and over again, year after year, I couldn’t help but wonder how many of us, myself included, have that same attitude of helping others in need when asked? Or whether, even if we do help them out, only do so begrudgingly?
So today’s thought is, have you really thought of why you are really here? Is it really just to be helped and waited on by others? Or is to help in return where and when you can? That’s why I’m here, but what about you?
*By the way did you catch the name of James’ Hit song? It is not difficult even if it is true he has had a few, including a couple of covers, here in Oz! Here are five for you: “Yes, sweet baby James will tell you, that even if you have to go through fire and rain, you have a friend. Even if it is only the handyman up on the roof!”

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Vertiginous by my own Hand.

The Word of the Day for Saturday, May 28, 2011was vertiginous which has four basic meanings:
1. Affected with vertigo; giddy; dizzy.
2. Causing or tending to cause dizziness.
3. Turning round; whirling; revolving.
4. Inclined to change quickly or frequently; inconstant.
Recently I had some sudden and frightening vertiginous attacks which came under the first 2 categories. At first I was quite concerned and somewhat frightened at these dizzy spells when I moved suddenly or bent down quickly. But on closer reflection, I also noted that these attacks also only occurred after I took some fibre supplements.
A while back, my doctor said my Cholesterol level was too high and needed to be brought down and that I should get more fibre in my diet. So I had been taking the recommended dosage for some while also to help me be more regular, and it didn’t seem to be working that well, so I basically doubled my daily intake, which didn’t altogether help my regularity that much, but apparently brought my Cholesterol level down. In fact too far down and it was my now, too low Cholesterol levels, that was causing these vertiginous experiences, and once I returned to the recommended dosage of Fibre supplement, my vertiginous bouts disappeared.
This experience just reminded me of two things: Firstly the danger of self-medication, and how we should really leave it to the experts and then follow fully their advice.
And secondly, that there is in most things in life, a delicate balance between having too much of something and not having enough of it. This is perhaps best illustrated with the current obesity crisis. True, our bodies need some fatty foods to be healthy, but too much of any one thing, including fatty foods or Fibre supplements, destroy the natural balance and leads to health problems.
So what is it that is causing your vertiginous moments, whether literal or metaphorical, and what do you need to cut back on now, and what do you need to increase on now for a happy and healthy life?
One word of warning though if you need help get it from the experts and follow their instructions fully and don’t try and self- medicate. It ain’t worth it. Really it isn’t! Over to you now for your own reflection and action.

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Did It All By Myself.

In this 2009, “For Better or For Worse” comic Strip by Lynn Johnston, we have three panels with no dialogue. Simply a young boy of 5 or 6, coming out of his house door; with his mother peeping through a window. Then he is walking blithely down the street; with his mother’s head peeping out from behind a tree. Then we have him walking up to another house happily; with yet again his mother peeping from behind a bush. Then in the final panel, we have this dialogue to his young friend: “Guess what Lawrence… My mum let me walk all the way here by myself." And there, right at the bottom of the panel, is mum collapsed in a heap from worry and just glad he got there safe.
Ever felt like you had to do similar? I did and have. Many moons ago, back in the day when we had an afternoon paper, I was in the habit after work of going down to the local Milk Bar, about 400 metres, actually yards in those days, which would also be little shorter than 400 metres!
Regardless, I used to walk a short distance to the local milk bar with the Dog and my two oldest children. But this day we were expecting a visitor for tea and I was concluding that I didn’t really have time to go get a paper then, when my son, about 5 then, volunteered to go down the street and get it himself and even take the dog with him, as he knew what to do as he always accompanied me when I went.
Not too happy about that, but not wanting to dampen his enthusiasm, I let him go and so off happily he went with good old Daisy to get my paper for me by himself. However I was also like the mother in this cartoon and followed him behind. Actually our visitor arrived just then, so both of us followed behind out of sight, while he bought the newspaper without much trouble.
In fact what trouble he did have, was caused by me just when he came out of the shop and was untying the dog, and she caught either sight or smell of me, and wanted to come to me, so I had to beat a hasty retreat while he regained control of her and returned happily home, proud that he had done it all by himself.
Funnily enough after having done it the once, he never volunteered to do it again for quite some time for which I was also very happy then. But now wonder why I can’t get him to go down the street and get a paper for me some quarter of a century later!
Anyway, the point of today’s ramblings is, that sometimes we have to let our children and even our colleges, have a go at things, even if we don’t think they are quite ready, so as not to dampen their enthusiasm . Of course, as in the two above examples, that doesn’t mean we should always leave them completely unsupervised, but that we should supervise them in such a way that they can both do it all by themselves, but also have help on hand if needed!
So as we close now, is their anyone you need to allow the space and opportunity to allow them to find out whether they really can do it all by themselves yet? Again over to you now.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


You may not know this, but many English speaking people, including this scribe, know that Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (short form Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, also spelled Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll and commonly known as Llanfair PG or Llanfairpwll), is a village in Wales, and that the long form of the name is the longest officially recognised place name in the United Kingdom and one of the longest in the world, being 58 letters in length (51 letters in the Welsh alphabet, where "ch" and "ll" count as single letters). The name is Welsh, naturally, and means "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpool and the church of St Tysilio of the red cave".
I knew that it was a village in Wales and had the longest name in the UK, although I didn’t know what the name meant! Also what I didn’t know, was that the community is on the island of Anglesey in Wales, situated on the Menai Strait next to the Britannia Bridge and across the strait from Bangor. And according to the 2001 census, the population of the community was 3,040, and is the fifth largest settlement on the island by population. It has other attractions to tourists, such as the nearby Marquess of Anglesey's Column, which at a height of 27 metres offers views over Anglesey and the Menai Strait. This column was designed by Thomas Harrison, and the monument celebrates the heroism of Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey at the Battle of Waterloo.
However its main claim to fame is the length of its name and visitors stop at the railway station to be photographed next to the station sign, or visit the nearby Visitors' Centre, or even better, to have 'passports' stamped at a local shop.
Now you may have known that in the long form of the name, it is the longest officially recognised place name in the United Kingdom and one of the longest in the world, being 58 letters in length. But did you know that they cheated? Yes! The village's long name cannot be considered an authentic Welsh-language toponym. It was artificially contrived in the 1860s to bestow upon the station the honour of having the longest name of any railway station in the United Kingdom: an early example of a publicity stunt. The village's own web site credits the name to a cobbler from the local village of Menai Bridge. According to Sir John Morris-Jones the name was created by a local tailor, whose name he did not confide, letting the secret die with him.
The village was originally known as 'Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll' "St Mary's church in the hollow of the white hazel." As an aside, the name was also used in the movie Barbarella as the password for the headquarters of Dildano, the comical revolutionary.
What I found fascinating about this article was that even in the Mid 19th century people were thinking up Gimmicks to attract the tourists and their money, even then. Just goes to show that the Bible is correct when it says that there is nothing new under the sun.
Well bye for now, but before I go, just in case you were wondering, the approximate pronunciation in English orthography is given at the station as: Llan-vire-pooll-guin-gill-go-ger-u-queern-drob-ooll-llandus-ilio-gogo-goch. Happy Tongue twisting to you!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Is Your Life a Rubric?

The Word of the Day for Monday, September 6, 2010 was rubric. Now’ Rubric's’ origin relates to its colour and has as its source, the Latin ‘rubrica’ which is, "red ochre."
However, whatever and despite its original source, what it means to us now, is any of the following, but most commonly the first:
1. A title, heading, or the like, written or printed in red or otherwise distinguished from the rest of the text.
2. A direction for the conduct of divine service.
3. Any established mode of conduct or procedure.
Not sure how to relate the third meaning to us now, but looking at the first two meanings, I couldn’t help but relate them to our lives and thus wonder whether we /I am firstly otherwise distinguished from the rest of Humanity, like we sometimes think? Or whether there is absolutely nothing different about me that distinguishes me from most if not all others are, instead of how God made us /me to be?
Then secondly, I couldn’t help also wondering whether I really give direction for others like God called me too? Or whether I simply follow others because it is easier?
So today’s question was, "Is your life a rubric?" That is, is your life a rubric for others, in that it stands out and gives direction and points the way? I would like to to think mine is, but am not sure! What about you? And who around you, can you now be a rubric to and for? Again, over to you for serious reflection now.

Do you know a Pangram?

The Word of the Day for Sunday, June 5, 2011, is “Pangram”. Do you know what a pangram is? If you are like me, you also may not have known what a Pangram was, but like me and most people too I believe, you would have both known of, and have heard of, at least one!
For instance, have you ever heard the sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog?"Well that is a Pangram: A sentence, verse, etc., which includes all the letters of the alphabet.
Now the ideal pangram contains each letter only once, but it is difficult to compose a meaningful sentence of this kind, and even the famous sentence above, fails that test.
Anyway, now that you know what a pangram is, your task is to come up with some more please. So again, over to you now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What are you trying to Foist off?

The Word of the Day for Saturday, June 4, 2011, is foist and very well known to me. Now, “Foist, comes from a phrase in the Dutch dialect, ‘vuisten’, itself derived from ‘vuist’, "fist," in reference to concealing dice in one's hand during some game.”
Thus it is no surprise to find that in English it means:
1. To force upon or impose fraudulently or unjustifiably.
2. To bring, put, or introduce surreptitiously or fraudulently.
I guess that while many of us wouldn’t openly try and cheat others, yet often we try and foist our responsibilities on to others when it is not really their business or concern. Yet we still do, or try to do it don’t we? Which we know deep down is not quite right, don’t we?
So remember the next time that you try and foist something on to others, whether family, friend, work mates or complete strangers, that this action of yours, by its very nature, is, even if not illegal, is certainly fraudulent and unjustified, and thus morally wrong anyway. So, as you would not like anyone foisting something off onto you, please don’t do the same unto others either, please. And thereth endeth today’s lesson.

Is this hugger-mugger too?

The Word of the Day for Thursday, April 1, 2010 was hugger-mugger. Apparently not only is hugger-mugger, a real word, but it has two different meanings too! Although the origin of hugger-mugger, is unknown; it is thought to perhaps have come from the Anglo-Irish cuggermugger, "a whispering, a low-voiced gossiping," from Irish 'cogair'!, to "whisper!"
Thus it is defined in this original article as:
Noun: 1. A disorderly jumble; muddle; confusion. 2. Secrecy; concealment.
Adjective: 1. Confused; muddled; disorderly. 2. Secret.
Adverb: 1. In a muddle or confusion. 2. Secretly.
Transitive verb: 1. To keep secret.
Intransitive verb: 1. To act in a secretive manner.
Now I could ask if you are a hugger-mugger who is either disorderly/ confused; or one who acts in secret?
However, the purpose of this blog today is to see if you feel that these blogs of mine are hugger-muggers. Whilst I don’t think there is anything secret in them, the message may be concealed or just confused! So if you have found, or do find any that way, please let me know ASAP and I will see if I can’t sort the problem out. Either that or maybe I will just confuse you more! Who knows? Either way please let me know. Thanks.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Working Bees have no connection to Bees that are working.

Did you know that “Working Bees” have no connection to the concept of active Bees all working together? Although the saying , “As busy as a Bee,” does!
According to “The Hot Word” Blog for June 2, 2011, The Word Bee, (as in “Working Bees”, “Spelling Bees", etc.), is derived “from the Old English bēn meaning “a prayer, a favor.” By the late 18th century, bee had become commonly associated with the British dialect form, been or bean, referring to the joining of neighbors to work on a single activity to help a neighbor in need: sewing bee, quilting bee, etc . . . This derivation counters a long held belief that “bee” refers to the buzzing insect and the social nature of a beehive.”
So now you know, even if like me, you didn’t before! However, as interesting as it is to know where the concept came from, I feel it more important to see where it is currently going now from a personal aspect. Don’t You? Yes who are joining with now in a singular activity to help others in need? Right now plenty of people are banding together with strangers to help people recover from the floods earlier in the year, in cleaning up, replacing fences etc.
Of course there are many other opportunities for you to come together with other to help them on a specific occasion or occasions. I will shortly be joining a few others to help a single lady and her 2 girls move home; but enough of me, what about you? Who can you help now?
Great question I think! So today’s thought stretcher is, where and how can you personally but with others come together and help someone in need? Again over to you now.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Are you really up for this now?

Now as you may have guessed long before now, I am attracted to unusual words and their usual implications on our lives. So in that vein I am passing on something that is not original to me, but thought taking in its own way nonetheless. However that said, this word is far from an uncommon word, but in fact finds its attraction to me anyway, in the many, many different ways it can be used up. And all that and in a simple two letter word too. So if you are up for it, here it is:
“This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is 'UP.' It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], [n] or [v].
It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, and why are the
officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.
At other times this little word has real special meaning... People stir UP trouble,
line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.
And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. In fact, we seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look UP the word UP in the dictionary... In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more…
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for a while, things dry UP. One could go on & on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now time is UP! more thing:
What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U P!
Did that one crack you UP? Now don't screw UP. Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book. Or's UP to you. Don't forget when you’re angry at someone it's Up Yours!!!!! Now I'll shut UP.”
Now the above is obviously meant to be a bit of fun, while at the same time making us all aware of the many different ways any single word, even a simple two letter word like up, can be used. So as I close up here, let me ask, how are using up today? Are you using it up to build up people or just to bring them up short and then to beat them up with it? Over to you now if you are up for it, for it is truly up to you know as to what you do.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Was watching the show “Who do you think you are” the other night and it featured the English TV personality, Bruce Joseph Forsyth Johnson, CBE. The show focused very strongly on his great grandfather Joseph Forsyth Johnson (1840–1906) who was a landscape architect of some esteem, who worked in Russia, Ireland and the United States. However as well as noting his many horticultural achievements, most of the program focused on the fact that he had and left two families. One in England and One in America.
Not knowing much about Bruce Forsythe in the first place, my daughter checked him out on the Net, as I did myself later. Imagine my surprise, when upon checking out Bruce on Wikipedia, I found out that as important as Bruce’s great grandfather was, he was nowhere as important to the Horticultural world and gardeners the world over, as Bruce’s great-great-great-great grandfather William Forsyth (1737–1804) was. This Forsythe Johnson, was a founder of the Royal Horticultural Society and the namesake of the plant genus Forsythia*. A long popular and pretty garden plant still very common today.
Needless to say, as a wannabe gardener, I was a bit disappointed that this program spent so much time on the scandalous side of his family, and none on the others and the more important, even if less salubrious side, of Bruce’s ancestry.
Which I guess is true of life in general too! Yes how much time do each of us spend focusing on the important things, as opposed to time spent focusing on the salubrious and scandalous? Again over to you for reflection now.
*For those who don’t know, Forsythias are fast-growing shrubs between one, to one and a half metres high with an upright and arching form that flower in early spring. These early bloomers sport vibrant yellow flowers that precede their leaves.
I don’t currently have a forsythia, but have had a few in the past and they are both lovely and interesting with the flowers coming on bare stems first, then followed by the leaves. The flowering branches can also be used as Cut flowers too. In fact that is how I first came to be attracted to them. It was back in the days of the old Queen Vic Market, when it was still a wholesale fruit and Veg market.
I was working with my dad at the time on his fruit and Veg round and selling a few plants on the side. Anyway while picking up my plants from the Plant section of the old Market one day, I spied and picked up this discarded yellow flowering branch, as much to discover its identity as anything else. After taking it home and putting it in water, later it also started to grow roots, and so, that was how I got my first forsythia.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ten neglected words and maybe why they are neglected.

Was reading on a blog site that Wayne State University’s Word Warriors, have released their top ten words to try and revive in 2011. Apparently, since starting in 2009, the Wayne State Word Warriors (what an unnecessary mouth full that is!) have highlighted obscure English words that they believe should be brought back into common usage again. Citing the vast vocabulary available in English – the biggest in the world, in fact — the Word Warriors contend that the depth and elasticity of the language is to often discarded for the quick, easy and accessible word or words. They say: “Too often we limit ourselves to words that are momentarily popular or broadly applicable, and so rob ourselves of English’s inherent beauty and agility.”
Now I say, while there is nothing wrong with using a wide variety of words where appropriate, and I think I do, there are still some words, such as most of the ten they, list that have rightly fallen in to non-regular usage.
That said, 3or 4 of the words they list, are not that uncommon to me so, maybe they all haven’t fallen into complete disuse. (Most of the others are known to me but not used by me usually, if at all!, which adds weight to their argument, I guess!)
Anyhow, the complete list, with a brief Dictionary meaning, is below; so please check out and comment on whichever ones you still use where appropriate. For me, I don’t find Draconian, Hornswoggle, Ossify or Skulduggery that uncommon. Again what about you now?
Concupiscence: A strong desire, especially sexual desire; lust.
Draconian: An adjective meaning great severity, that derives from Draco, an Athenian law scribe under whom small offences had heavy punishments (Draconian laws).
Evanescent: Soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.
Hornswoggle: verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way.
Ossify: 1. To change into bone; become bony. 2. To become set in a rigidly conventional pattern:
Paroxysm: 1. A sudden attack or violent expression of a particular emotion or activity.
2. A sudden recurrence or attack of a disease; a sudden worsening of symptoms.
Penurious: 1. Extremely poor; poverty-stricken.
2. Characterized by poverty or need.
Schadenfreude : Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This German word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages
Sibilance: The Manner of the sound offricative and affricate consonants, made by directing a stream of air with the tongue towards the sharp edge of the teeth, which are held close together. Examples of sibilants are the consonants at the beginning of the English words sip, zip, ship, chip, and Jeep, and the "zh" consonant in the middle of vision.
Skulduggery: verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What’s n a Name?

At my previous job selling Newspapers etc. in a kiosk at a Railway Station, I got to meet many people, even if only very briefly every morning. One of them was a young man who seemed to respond to my special sense of humour and so one day I decided to ask him his name, seeing that we ”Chat” every morning. When he told me his name, I had trouble believing him, as I had a mental stereotype in my head of people called Andréa.
Firstly, if not French, they would obviously be foreigners, and certainly tall and dark and if not handsome certainly Sauvé and sophisticated. Well my new friend was none of those things, and covered from the neck down as far as I could see, with tattoos. So the next day when I spoke to him again, I told him that I had trouble believing that his name was Andréa and he stunned me when he said, “And I can’t believe my parents called me Andréa in the first place.”
This led me to thinking, not just about the names we give our children, but also of the other quirks and habits that we pass on to our children and others, either intentionally or unintentionally.
I am not talking about the good things that we wish to pass onto them and others but am talking about the not so good things that we say and do. Remembering that some of the things we do, like the naming of our children, last all their lives. Thus I can’t help but wonder how much real care do we really take with what we are passing on to others?
I am still thinking through this, so what are your thoughts on the matter please?