Wednesday, September 27, 2017


"It's very hard to dispel ignorance if you retain arrogance."
Sam Wilson, Episode #4, The Vietnam War (PBS)

We are all familiar with  a Herd of cows, ​A Flock of chickens, a School of fish​ ​and a Gaggle of geese.​

​However, less widely​ known is​ ​A Pride of lions,​ ​A Murder of​​ crows​,​ ​R​ooks, or ​ravens,​ An Exaltation of larks or doves​ ​and, presumably because they look so ​wise, ​A Parliament of owls.
Now consider a group of Baboons.

​Baboons are the loudest, most dangerous, most​ ​obnoxious, most viciously aggressive and least​ ​intelligent of all primates.

And what is the proper collective noun for a
​ group of baboons?​

Believe it or not...
​........​ A Congress!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Too good not to share

Trivia - on expressions

In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a "shot" of whiskey.

American fighter planes in WW2 had machine guns that were fed by a belt of cartridges. The average plane held belts that were 27 feet (9 yards) long. If the pilot used up all his ammo he was said to have given it the whole nine yards.

This is synonymous with dying. During WW1 soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm so if you died you "bought the farm" for your survivors.


This came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

Most men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck knife company. When playing poker it as common to place one of these Buck knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was. When it was time for a new dealer the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer If this person didn't want to deal he would "pass the buck" to the next player. If that player accepted then "the buck stopped there".


The Mississippi River was the main way of traveling from north to south. Riverboats carried passengers and freight but they were expensive so most people used rafts. Everything had the right of way over rafts which were considered cheap. The steering oar on the rafts was called a "riff" and this transposed into riff-raff, meaning low class.


The Old English word for "spider" was "cob".


Traveling by steamboat was considered the height of comfort. Passenger cabins on the boats were not numbered. Instead they were named after states. To this day cabins on ships are called staterooms.
Early beds were made with a wooden frame. Ropes were tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mattress was then put on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night's sleep.


These were floating theaters built on a barge that was pushed by a steamboat. These played small town along the Mississippi River.  Unlike the boat shown in the movie "Showboat" these did not have an engine. They were gaudy and attention grabbing which is why we say someone who is being the life of the party is "showboating".

In the days before CPR a downing victim would be  placed face down over a barrel and the barrel would be rolled back and forth in a effort to empty the lungs of water. It was rarely effective. If you are over a barrel you are in deep trouble.

Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they "barged in".


Steamboats carried both people and animals. Since pigs smelled so bad they would be washed before being put on board. The mud and other filth that was washed off was considered useless "hog wash".


The word "curfew" comes from the French phrase "couvre-feu", which means  "cover the fire". It was used to describe the time of blowing out all lamps and candles. It was later adopted into Middle English as "curfeu",  which later became the modern "curfew". In the early American colonies homes had no real fireplaces so a fire was built in the center of the room. In order to make sure a fire did not get out of control during the night it was required that, by an agreed upon time, all fires would be covered with a clay pot called a "curfew".

When the first oil wells were drilled they had made no provision for storing the liquid so they used water barrels. That is why, to this day, we speak of barrels of oil rather than gallons.

As the paper goes through the rotary printing press friction causes it to heat up. Therefore, if you grab the paper right off the press it is hot The expression means to get immediate information.

no wonder English is hard to understand as a second language.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Addendum from Flo Jean



The days are shorter.
But the temps are near ninety.
Summer slow to leave.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017


I saw the orthopedist this morning - all looks okay on x-rays of the new knee.  Exercise more and lose weight - usual stuff.  Except - he's going to retire at the end of October. He made some recommendations for a new doc, gave me all my x-rays, and will send copies of his office notes if requested.  I still see a rheumatologist, so I guess I'll hold off on starting with a new orthopedist for a while. We'll see how that works out.

Monday, September 18, 2017

End of summer life

It's been really quiet around here.  We had a birthday party after swimming for one our group.  She's just turned 90! And she is very faithful about coming to class.  We all sort of wish she weren't still driving, but she's a role model in any case.  I finally got back to duplicate this evening.  My partner and I tied for second - Wow!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Have you ever??

1. Have you ever had chicken pox? Yes, I was 6 weeks old.
2. Have you ever shopped in Home Depot?
Yes, but I prefer Lowe's.
3. Have you ever spied on your neighbors?
Seen what was going on in the neighborhood, but not what I'd call "spying".
4. Have you ever ridden in a limo?
Yes, Randy got us one to take us back to the car after our trip on the St. Lawrence River.
5. Have you ever had a pet fish?
The girls had the giant goldfish, Cinderella.
6. Have you ever lied about your age?
7. Have you ever fired a gun?
Only a BB gun.
8. Have you ever been ice skating?
Yes, I think, only one time.
9. Have you ever played golf?
Yes, I was never good at it.
10. Have you ever hidden on Halloween because you had no candy for trick or treaters?
11. Have you ever made a prank call?
12. Have you ever gotten a tattoo?
Only as markers for my radiation treatment for breast cancer.
13. Have you ever had a massage?
Oh, yes! and I do miss having them regularly.
14. Have you ever locked your keys in the car?
Unfortunately, yes.
15. Have you ever ridden a horse?
Yes.  I think the last time was in 1969.
16. Have you ever been to the circus?
Yes, but it's been many, many years.
17. Have you ever been to Europe?

18. Have you ever built a fire?
Yes, probably when I was a Girl Scout.
19. Have you ever been skydiving?
Not bloody likely!
20. Have you ever bought something at a garage sale?
I don't think I've ever been to one.
21. Have you ever walked in on someone having sex?
22. Have you ever faked an injury to get out of something?
23. Have you ever been to a nude beach?
24. Have you ever received a speeding ticket? Yes.
25. Have you ever run a marathon?
Again, not bloody likely!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Something new

We actually saw sunshine today - first since Monday.  And, I did something I never expected to do - I bought a piece of furniture.  The girls had suggested I might think about replacing the loveseat in my living room with a loveseat-sized sofa bed.  I guess I should have thought of that myself.  Anyway, my dear friend, Vicki, shopped for one for me ( you know how I would have hated to do that myself) and picked one out today.  I've given them my information, and it's to be delivered in about three weeks.  Painless, except when the credit card bill comes.  LOL

Monday, September 11, 2017

Remnants of Irma

After agonizing with the disaster that was Harvey in Houston last month, and worrying about Anne & Nick flooding out there, we were not expecting to have to deal with this again.  (Fortunately, my only real problem here is the "worrying".)  And then here comes Irma.

Along with many others, I spent the weekend glued to the TV watching as Irma powered through the Caribbean, and then finally decided to come up the Florida Gulf Coast.  It's amazing to see the awesome power of Mother Nature and what She can do to us mere mortals.

After doing her best to wreak havoc throughout the entire Florida peninsula, Irma has spread into the Southeast.  Chattanooga is just getting the fringes of this monster.  As of dark, we'd had an inch of rain, with squalls and wind gusts.  But they'll continue overnight and through tomorrow, so we won't know the full rain total until then.  Sarah & Carson on the SC coast are still at Sue & Randy's in the Upstate (where they have lost power), but their house is okay.  Paul & Katherine in Charleston are staying home with their house pilings in a foot of water.  Their "house" is basically one story elevated, so no problem there, and their cars are safely in a nearby parking garage.  Matt & Claire are fine in the Atlanta area - only getting rain.  I'm hoping all is well with the folks in Middle Tennessee and Kentucky.

Now if Jose will just head back out into the Atlantic and bother the fish.

My heart goes out to those folks who have lost so much.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Sunday Stealing

1. What is your middle name?
I didn't have a "given" middle name.  After getting married, I used my maiden name for my middle name.
2. What is your favorite color?
Mostly the spectrum of pink/red/purple/blue/turquoise.
3. What’s your lucky number?
Don't have one.
4. Do you have any pets?
Haven't had one in years.
5. Where are you from?
Born in St. Louis, grew up in Houston, 24 years near Nashville, and  31 years so far in Chattanooga.
6. How tall are you?
Used to be 5'7 1/2", now about 5'5".
7. What shoe size are you?
8. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Don't know, but only three that I regularly wear.
9. What was your last dream about?
I never remember my dreams.
10. What talents do you have?
I knit, and have been a painter.
11. Are you psychic in any way?
No, but I have friends who are.
12. Favorite song?
No favorites.
13. Favorite movie?
Too many to name.
14. Are you religious?
15. Have you ever been to the hospital?
Not since last year.
16. Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Just a couple of traffic tickets.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

September Thursday

It's looking now like Irma will be heading up the US East Coast.  Sarah (granddaughter in Bluffton, SC) has already headed to her parents' house in the NE corner of South Carolina.  Paul (grandson in Charleston) works in the same building with the Emergency Response Center, so has access to all the latest updates.  He says he has plywood for their windows, and is prepared to head for the Upstate when/if the situation warrants. Our 7-day forecast just up on the Weather Channel shows us getting wind and rain on Tuesday with just rain on Wednesday.  So I guess that'll be when the edge of Irma is predicted to get here.

Jean came in yesterday for a couple of days.  She took me downtown this morning to the glass-making place.  I've been wanting to take the last of John's ashes there to get some small pieces of glass made with them.  Parking there is all-but-nonexistent, so I needed somebody to let me off and drive around or find a place to park.  She managed to find a parking place, so was able to help a lot.  We also got to go to the Sculpture Fields to check on John's two trees.  Both seem to be doing well.  She'll head back home tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The weather and Dr. Phil (no connection)

A storm line blew through here about 4:30.  Lots of wind, lightning, and thunder.  It came up so fast, I didn't have time to crank down my umbrella, and it blew over (not damaged, though).  In about 30 minutes, we got nearly an inch of rain.  Plus, I later found out it must have blown the local NBC affiliate station off the air (my usual source for local news).  We're still due to get another band in about an hour or so.

But then there was Harvey. And the fires out West. And there is Irma heading our way.  Wow!
Next Wednesday (13 September), if you can, please watch Dr. Phil.  I've never seen the program before, but his program on that date features family of our dearest friends from Hendersonville (and still).  Their daughter/granddaughter committed suicide last year, brought on by an abusive relationship.  They're still being harassed by the abuser, and this is to be their story.  They're doing it in the hope that it will prevent this happening to some other young woman.

Monday, September 04, 2017

A lovely day

All in all, today was a lovely day.

I went to WalMart (really, into the store) for the first time in ages.  I went as soon as I got up - to beat any possibly holiday rush.

Then I sat out on the deck in the lovely cool morning to read the paper and drink my coffee.  I didn't disturb the hummingbirds at all - they came right in and sipped at the feeders.  Even the wrens hopped up and down the railing right next to me.

Lunch was nice and then I computered and knitted for the afternoon.  I was planning to spend the evening doing that, too.  But one of the other duplicate players called and asked me to play, so I finished up the day with some bridge.  And we came in second!

Yes, a lovely day!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Sunday Stealing

Back to School

1.  What kind of school did you attend (Big? Small? Public? Private? Specialty? One-room schoolhouse?) I went to a large public high school.
2. What did you wear to school (uniform? dress code? Whatever you wanted?)
This was before the days when girls could wear anything but dresses to school.  Other than that, we could wear anything we wanted.
3.  How did you get to school?
I first rode a city bus, then got a ride with a friend.
4.  Who was your favorite teacher?  Why?
I liked my French teacher - we just got along well.
5.  What was your favorite subject?  Why?
I liked French and math.
6.  What was your least favorite subject?  Why?
I didn't particularly dislike any of them, maybe the science classes.
7.  Did you belong to any clubs?
I belonged to one of the social clubs, maybe the French club.
8.  Were you a picky reader?
Nope, I'd read anything.
9.  What did you do in your free time?
I don't remember anything special.
10.  Did you get good grades?
Yes, I was in the Nat'l Honor Society and the top 10% of my large graduating class.
11.  Did you like/participate in sports?
No and no.
12.  Did you have a boyfriend/girlfriend in high school?
I did the last part of my sophomore year and my junior year.  We remained friends after that.
13.  When did you get your driver’s license?
On my 16th birthday.
14.  What kind of kid were you?  (Popular? Class clown? Shy?  A nerd?  Teacher’s pet?)
Probably pretty nerdy, maybe teacher's pet for some teachers.
15.  Who were your heroes?
I don't remember having any.
16.  Were you ever bullied?
Not that made an impression.
17.  Did you learn how to touch type?
Yes, on those old big manual typewriters, with the letters covered.  I was very good, and worked as a medical transcriptionist until I retired.
18.  Who was your best friend?  (Are you still friends today?)
Anne and I are still friends 65 years later and get together once or twice a year.  She and Nick (John's high school friend) got flooded out in Houston, and are working their way up from the disaster.
19.  What is one thing you regret about high school?
No regrets.
20.  What were you most proud about?
Getting good grades and being admitted to the (then) Rice Institute.