Plain English: Don’t break “potty” lines! Friday, Mar 29 2019 

Plain English.  American, or British?  The accent makes a big difference!

In American, we say “Don’t break party lines.”

In England, they say “Don’t break party lines,” but the phonetics for party sounds out as potty.

I heard the phrase in a news piece last week on the BBC world

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The alternative to waiting one’s turn is to break the potty line?  Scandalous: Only in Parliament!

news as they discussed the Brexit fiasco.  I had to laugh at the British pronunciation!  What a high powered political conversation!  We must be polite!  We must wait our turn to make potty!  Breaking potty lines is rude and childish!

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The Status of “Place”: What’s in a Name? Friday, Mar 22 2019 

“Maple Place Town Homes.”

Wow, Maple Place!  Sounds kinda ritzy, high class, like a swanky neighborhood on the south side of Lafayette or the Broadmoor district in Baton Rouge.

IMG_0308 (1)But Maple Place is named for its address on Maple Avenue, the east-west through-street on the south side of our humble small town.  And there’s nothing high class, much less elegant, along the entirety of Maple Avenue’s 2 or 3 mile stretch across town!

The apartments are brand new, just being leased, and it’s admittedly a handsome little apartment complex right across the avenue from the public walking trail.  Since the Maple Place driveway is right on the corner of the entrance to our sub-division, we will hopefully enjoy a bump in property values in our neighborhood.  Surely, living just two blocks from a  real estate asset with the fashionable name “Maple Place” must produce for our property a boost in status!

Welcome, Vernal Equinox! Wednesday, Mar 20 2019 

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The fire pit makes patio dwelling tolerable on chilly mid-March evenings.

There are four equinoxes every year: summer, autumnal, winter, and vernal.  My favorite is vernal, because spring is the queen of the seasons (in my view, of course).

The weather was seasonably below normal last week—-as in two nights in a row of upper twenties.  But the day weather has warmed gorgeously this week with temps ranging into the nigh-perfect low 70s.  Overnight lows in the 40s are still a little too chilly for my comfort, but the fire pit makes the late-evening chill bearable.  We are definitely on the verge of the season of patio dwelling.

The long range forecast shows consistent moderation in the overnight lows, so we’re getting where we want to be.

Bring on spring!

Dog Stuck: Kids move on, dogs not so much! Tuesday, Mar 19 2019 

IMG_4152In summer 2005, Zach brought home a baby puppy he found in a Port-o-let at one of the city recreational parks.  Ann begged, “Can we keep her?”

The answer: “Of course.”

She became Sadie the Dog, and lives here to this day.

In summer 2008, a pitiful boy dog followed Ann for about 6 miles on her jog and wound up at our house. . . Which soon became his house after he moved in on the holiday morning of July 4 that year.

He became Marley the Dog, and lives here to this day.

Over the ensuing years, Zach and Ann both wandered off to other pursuits, first to college and then on to marriage and careers out-of-state.

Where are the dogs they rescued?  Didn’t they take them with them?

Of course not.  They still live at our house, growing into canine senior citizens along with their growing-into-senior-citizens parents!

We’re gloriously stuck.

And in a measure blessed.  Chere little doggies!

Squirrels of the Academy Thursday, Mar 14 2019 

If mammalian intelligence is measured by the representation of critters that inhabit institutes of higher learning, squirrels must rank among the elites of the erudite.  Every campus with which I’ve developed familiarity over the years seems overrun by populations of tame, tail-twitching squirrels who skitter among the trees and fearlessly approach humans along campus sidewalks.

My undergrad. alma mater, Louisiana College was overrun by sleek, well-nourished Fox Squirrels, known for their lazy, laid-back demeanor.  My current campus, LSU Eunice, is populated mainly by Cat Squirrels, much more nervous and frisky than their Fox Squirrel cousins, but nonetheless entirely comfortable in the presence of humans.

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Northern Colorado University Squirrels consort with graduate students.

And this phenomenon is evidently nation-wide.  My daughter here at University of Northern Colorado poses with a couple of cute little buddies who are known on that campus to comfortably accost pedestrians to beg for edible treats.

Perhaps the presence of squirrels supports the argument of some who believe that people who live and work on college campuses are squirrely?  I’m sure there are some (among the anti-intellectual) who support that view.  I’ll not buy into that suggestion by any stretch, as I’m not willing to self-confess to squirreliness.

Ultimately, squirrels grow populous on college campuses because such public spaces tend to be spacious, well-kept havens where the docile creatures can thrive without having to struggle to survive as do their not-so-fortunate cousins in the wild.

The Grammarians Curse Friday, Mar 8 2019 

I confess that I listen to commentators on the local and national news 28468709_2041757266059531_7545516633563502096_nwith English teacher’s rabbit ears: Do their verbs and subjects agree?  And their pronouns and antecedents?  And can they spell?

Every grammatical error I read burns my professionally-tuned senses!

Am I an agent of the educated power class?  Or should the commentators know better?

I suspect they should know better, because they had teachers like me.

Baton Rouge Travelogue: Rain, rain, go away Sunday, Mar 3 2019 

Today was the first day of a two-day date weekend, planning this afternoon to explore familiar Baton Rouge haunts we visited when Ann was at LSU.  The weather was mightily uncooperative as we arrived in Baton Rouge at the exact same time as a severe thunderstorm for which the Weather Service issued warnings.

Our sense of adventure wasn’t cheated by the blinding rain.

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Brightside at Nicholson, near Ann’s old apartment dwelling: Tough going today!

We defied the weather’s unpleasantries undeterred, creeping through the rain-swept streets to arrive at our ultimate destination for lunch and leisure.

After an hour or so, the severe storm passed and gave way to clouds and wind, but no more rain.  We browsed the streets of Perkins Rowe with leisure, reminiscing of days gone by.