Monday, September 27, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 16: Winsome and Handsome

You win some; you hand some over.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 15: Seeking and Directing

"Seek and ye shall find that nobody knows how to give good directions."

Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 14: Sufficient and Tomorrow

Sufficient to the day is the evil of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Friday, September 24, 2021

These Past Few Days . . .

. . . we were spending Chusok in Daegu with my wife's family, and I couldn't get access to my emails, my blog, and my news sources, but I'm back now, ready and raring to go!

Monday, September 20, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 13: Yam and Sweet Potato

"I yam what I eat: a sweet potato treat, sorta."

Sunday, September 19, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 12: Mind and Waste

"I'm of half a mind to waste the other half."

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 11: Comparative and Superlative

 "Truer words were never spoken includes the superlative."

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 10: Fools and Money

"A fool and his money are soon departed."

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Spectator Ad

Here's the ad:

"Get three months for free – this week only" Is this some sort of joke? Yes, but we're the punchline if we go for this classic bait and switch. The Spectator is a weekly, and the ad seems to offer twelve weeks' worth (or thereabouts), but it really offers only one copy, for the ad says "this week only"!

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Norm Macdonald dies: "What is this, some kind of joke?"

Norm Macdonald died today. Apparently, it was urgent for several years.

The Real Quote Nr. 9: Doctors and Apples

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away from apple-growing regions."

(A well-established, empirically based, scientific fact.)

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 8: Asking and Asking

"Ask not what your country can do for you alone, but also for your friends and relatives!"

Monday, September 13, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 7: Shepherd and Knowledge

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want to take another step without knowing where we sheep are ultimately headed."

Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 6: Wisdom and Slippers

"For wisdom is better than Ruby's red slippers . . ."

Saturday, September 11, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 5: Sin and Grammar

The wages of sin is ungrammatical.

Friday, September 10, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 4: Just and Unjust

"Make hay while the sun shines down on the just and the unjust."

Thursday, September 09, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 3: Remembering ID and Password

"For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own sole possession of his ID and Password?"

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 2: China Sleeping

"Let China sleep. For when China wakes, it will probably have a bad hangover."

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

The Real Quote Nr. 1: Burning Books

"Those who burn books will in the end burn wood because they don't have many books, and wood is cheaper, anyhow."

Monday, September 06, 2021

Auto-Da-Fé

We're ridding ourselves of books we'll never again read nor ever again refer to. This inspired a little poem from me:

Act of Faith

The Bookman came to town today,
and all the books are gone;
each disappeared without delay
from a pile upon the lawn.

The Bookman lit the only way
one over such flame should fawn,
for stakes are high, they ever say,
when arise book-sprites anon.

Auto-da-fé,
auto-da-fé,
burn me a way
with an auto-da-fé.

The Bookman had with great care sawn
thin slips of wood strewn thick through hay
that each might serve as lowly pawn
in games unhallowed players play.

The Bookman smiled when broke the dawn,
for his long night-work might he stay,
which drew from him a unique yawn
that from the truest night divulged the day.

Auto-da-fé,
auto-da-fé,
burn me a way
with an auto-da-fé.

We didn't actually burn any books, despite the poem's lyrics.

Sunday, September 05, 2021

The Clearing

Today's blog post title sounds like the title of a short story . . . but it ain't. Rather, it refers to the space opening up as we slough off books we'll never use, anyway, and who knows what might step into that cleared space?

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Till Lindemann as a Bulked Up David Bryne!

I've been watching a lot of Rammstein videos lately because I find that I really like their music, their lyrics, and their showmanship. Till Lindemann is fully as creative as David Bryne (Think: Stop Making Sense). Lindemann is what Bryne would be if Bryne had worked out for the Mr. Universe competition. And won.

Friday, September 03, 2021

Not a Poem

I enjoy at times distorting words and arranging them in ways that almost make sense, such as with these under the label "Customize" below:

Customize

Dis-criminize
those other guys.

De-ciderize
those extra ties.

Dis-gustomize
those fleeting eyes.

De-energize
those scattered lies.

Dis-tenderize
those unknown cries.

De-penderize
those longing thighs.

Dis-plaigerize
those ardent sighs.

De-nialize
those ancient whys.

What does it all mean, this strange arrangement of distorted words? Tell me, please. Also, if you can think of ways to improve it, please do so.

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Worst Abomination: "Blessed"

A euphemism for a vulgar word that one prefers not to express is worse than the vulgar term itself, for if the euphemism is used, it must be explained to the one deemed too innocent to hear the vulgar term, and the explanation must use the vulgar term otherwise avoided. All the more, then, if one uses the euphemism "cussed" for "cursed," does one implicate oneself in every vulgarism possible (save one), for the word "curse" encompasses all vulgarisms. Therefore is the word "bless" the worst of all abominations, for it can be used as a euphemism for "cuss."

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

My Spirit Lingers On . . .

One of the GLEO staff at Ewha sent me an email concerning my ghost and its haunting of my old office:

I am writing to you to ask you about the leftover materials in your office (B124).

We found some books and different papers and letters there.

Would you like to come take the stuff or have us discard it safely?

I still have books and things in my office? The staff want the stuff taken away or discarded safely? I'm sure I cleaned out my office when I notified the administration in June. Yet, the office staff say books, papers, and letters are still there? And the staff say that the stuff needs to be discarded 'safely'? 

I must have had a real presence in the intellectual nourishment that I provided . . .

Actually, I know what's going on with the stuff. It 'belongs' to a woman who intended to teach for a year at Ewha, sharing my office. That was her plan, but she wasn't satisfied with the way she was treated at Ewha. Something about teaching only four courses when five were required, and she felt that the university was blaming her. One day, she was gone.

Her ghost is the one haunting my old office. An 'angry' ghost, no less! No wonder the staff want the stuff discarded 'safely'!

Actually, the staff probably mean "securely," i.e., according to legal procedures, if need be. This doesn't concern me.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Thank-You Note to Get-Together Colleagues

I wrote to my colleagues the following thank-you note for those who came and those who couldn't come to the farewell meeting on Zoom:

I'm finally writing back to thank you and all the rest of the gang for organizing the Zoom-Meeting. I've never before participated in one that worked.

I enjoyed the comradery (hard-to-spell word), too. But I think that some folks didn't show up because they weren't yet back from Elsewhere. Big place, that Elsewhere.

I also want to thank everyone for the small black bag. That's what people were calling it at the meeting: The Small Black Bag. Or The LittIe Black Bag? Is that like "The Little Black Dress"? Many of you expressed concern that the bag might be too small. I don't have a problem with size. Besides, I can always use a new wallet.

The even smaller Kindle is a real handful. I think I've been directed to thank Brian for that. Is that correct? Thanks, Brian.

And not one, not two, but three cards! With not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, not eight, not nine, but ten messages!

I should retire more often!

I hope that the Covid virus leaves soon so that we can enjoy a real farewell get-together. With beer. But I can't have many beers, you know. Too much alcohol is bad for your health. From that, I infer that it's also not good for my health.

When I first received my official diagnosis, I asked my doctor, "How long do I have?"

"Oh, no," he said. "Parkinson's doesn't kill you. It just weakens you until something else kills you."

He didn't tell me what that "something else" is, so I've been avoiding everything.

I was fading, mentally, so I stopped then and there with the hope of other meetings to come.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Baseball Wisdom

That ain't got the chance of a spitball in Hell.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Bumbling Along!

Bumbling along with the bumbling bumblebees . . .

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Partially Christianized

Dude, I'muh do unto others as they do unto me.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Drifting Along with the Tumbling Tumbleweeds

The regular gang over at Dr. Boli's has been discussing the phenomenon "Word Drift," which I learned as "Semantic Drift." They want one word for the phenomenon. My mind drifts a lot, and I was soon musing about driftwood, about how it changes shape over time and exposure to the elements, about how it becomes water-logged, then sun-bleached, then subjected to various other indignities. I then reflected on the two expressions, and I wondered if they meant different things - the one implying that the word is shifting, the other that the meaning is shifting. The thought occurred to me that "Driftword" might be a good word for the phenomen -- because of its pun on driftwood, and another pun on driftward.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Vain Musings 9

What ever happened to Dick Tracey?

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

As far as I can recall . . .

Some tall tales and legends grew up about me during my years at Baylor, and an old Baylor friend recently asked me if any were true. As one might expect, such stories are only partly true.

Somebody claimed I'd been seen reading Nietzsche while doing a one-armed push-up. I've never succeeded in a one-armed push-up, try though I might, but I might have managed reading while doing a two-armed push-up. Maybe I was striving to reach Uebermensch status.

I was asked if I ridden my bicycle from Arkansas to Baylor the fall semester my freshman year. I did indeed ride my bicycle to Baylor, but at the beginning of my Sophomore year, and I began in Talequah, Oklahoma. I traveled about 100 miles per day, adding up to about 500 miles (or fewer).

As for sleeping in my library cubical to save money, I considered that but decided against it. I might have tried it one night, but I think that's my imagination.

Here's one thing that did happen.

I was alone in the gymnasium close to Penland Cafeteria practicing my basketball skills, and for some reason, I was doing really well, shooting three-pointers, catching my rebounds above the goal and slamming down two-handed dunks, jumping up with my back to the goal and turning in midair to shoot from the top of the key. I imagined I was pro material!

I paused a moment to consider my next move.

Before I could decide anything, loud applause broke out from the bleachers at the other end of the gym. I turned to see what was happening. There, standing and applauding loudly and sustained, was the entire Baylor girl's basketball team, cheering me on in my flights of fancy. What could I do but take a bow, say thank-you, and exit, stage right.

Something else happened some other time, too, but I can't remember what . . .