A Little Bit Nuts

Cockamamie

That word means exactly what it sounds like, and yet, is not an onomatopoeia*.

Though, now that I’m over-thinking, cockamamie (which I originally spelled cockamamy, also acceptable, thank you) it sounds really terrible and painful. That poor chicken.

Cockamamy, just as much ridiculousness as you’d think.


*Onomatopoeia, however, does not spell how one would think it would. By one, I mean me. And by how one would think, that one must be erudite.

Actually, erudite isn’t the right word for that sentence. Except for the fact that my intuition believes that erudite and onomatopoeia start with the letter a.

How cockamamie is that?

Dastard

Dastard.

I think we’re more familiar with the term dastardly. I assume in conjunction with other descriptions of Snidely Whiplash. After all, I’m certain that everyone else has the same points of reference in life as I.

[If what I just said had no spark of recognition for you, I shall ask you to leave the room. And don’t let the doorknob fracture your fairytale on the way out.]

My bigger point: there is also the root word dastard. And it is quite what you would think. It is a goofy spelling of bastard, generally the d coming from dullard or dotty. There are other definitions of sneaking and cowardice attached. Perhaps as a smashing of devious bastard would be a way to look at it?

But I think dastard would do well to come back into our standard spoken lexicon. Bastard has its normal connotations of being a child born out of wedlock, and while that’s not really a worthwhile term in the modern age, it’s also considered something of a curse. Even though it generally means stupid jerk or asshole, I think we’re better off moving beyond it. Time for the revenge of the dastard!

There is another, slightly more esoteric use of the word, I suppose you could say. That of a bastard item or idea as an adulterated or mutated form of an original thing. This berry beer is like a bastard ale. Or, Reese’s Pieces are the bastard child of a peanut butter cup and M&Ms. Or, if you can stand the Dungeons and Dragons reference: a bastard sword (a longsword with an extended handle to use one- or two-handed.

In fact, it turns out dastard is a bastard word.

Who’d’ve thunk?

Muddle

Muddle.

muddle |ˈmədl|
noun [ usu. in sing. ]
an untidy and disorganized state or collection

New Oxford American Dictionary

I can appreciate this one. My mind’s been a muddle since… well I have to be nearing a year now, right?

It actually does stem from the word ‘mud’ from ages ago. And yet, perfectly apropos.

And it ends in that wonderful -ddle. Muddle, puddle, paddle, addle, fiddle, riddle, paradiddle, befuddle.

Brings to mind an old countryside world. Where a young man’s a muddle, the old man’s addled, and the kids are mucking about.

To Them

Happy 31st Anniversary to my parents!
I think they’ve both passed the Most Marker now.

What is the Most Marker you ask? You didn’t. Probably best you didn’t, since that would involve talking to your computer. You know it can’t hear you, right?

The Most Marker is the point in your life when you’ve spent more time being one way or doing something than not. Such as turning 32 and you’ll have spent more of your life knowing how to drive than not. Or turning 12 and you’ll have spent more of your life without training wheels than with.

My most important Most Marker already happened. About two months after my son turned 6. At that point I had been his dad longer than not. And I’m coming up on 5 years with my wife, so I’m on my way to that wonderful Most Marker, though quite a ways to go yet.

I love you, Mom and Dad. Happy Anniversary.

The Adventure

To the Adventure, my friend!

I immediately thought these words were a perfect toast. The Adventure can be a simple euphemism for living one’s life. Life is an adventure, enjoy exploring it. Daily living can be frightfully dull at times, often for great stretches. So, “To the Adventure” reminds us to look at the new-to-us parts of life that let us know we are on a personal journey.

It can also be an epitaph. The Adventure is life’s journey, and toasting to it is to celebrate it. Here’s to the Adventure you underwent, and that we could journey together will make me happy the rest of my days.

But, as any little boy can tell you, the Adventure is everywhere. Imagination fueled by Star Trek and Indiana Jones, whole worlds of danger and knowledge stretching out to be found. “To the Adventure” is the rallying cry of the epic. And with the Adventure, the journey is the purpose. Though there may be an end goal (even if nothing beyond wondering what’s there), the point is to get there by wit and will.

So, Gentlemen, raise your glasses, steins, flagons, canteens: To the Adventure!

Getting My Clubs and Some Tees…

… because I’m hitting the links!

I’m thinking of doing a links page. I don’t have a format ready yet, nor a schedule. They’re mainly things I don’t have a full post for, but are worth sharing.

At least I think they are. Your opinions don’t really matter anyway. Get your own blog!

Wow, that was a bit defensive. I blame eating a lot of leftover enchiladas.

The Links…

  • The letterhead used by Jay Ward in 1962.

  • App” is the word of the year for 2010. I think this is rather amazing because before 2007, nobody outside the cult of Apple computer users knew what an application was.

    What was the standard? A program. Seriously, this language switch happened fast. And I’m okay with it. “App Store” sounds a lot better than “Prog Store”, which sounds like a really bad Ukranian Ikea knockoff.

  • Scott Adams writes on a topic that hits close to home: Marital Deafness. M and I had a few laughs reading it, because it’s true. Particularly for me, I cannot shift my concentration to fully hear any of my family members without due notification. I’m not ignoring, I just can’t listen without someone coming up to me.

    Frankly, it’s a problem I like. It counters a long-standing pet peeve in the family I was raised in: shouting across the house. I’ve seen other families attempt to use this communication method and it falls well short of success. To put it mildly.

Get Me Off This Roller Coaster!

I get up in the morning and while shaving I start contemplating the tax code. I know I’ve mused on this before, but what would we base our government’s income on if we started fresh in 2011 rather than based on accumulation through the centuries?
Yes, this is how I start my day. This is the basis for a blog post. I wake up wanting to write this sort of nonsense.

Then my day goes on and the freedom of thought I woke up with has seized. It’s the natural way of getting through the day.

So then I looked up a primer on a Value-Added Tax (VAT) tonight, just to jump-start the process.

My brain popped. Now I’m going to go eat some leftover pie.

My Pie.

Mmm… pie…

Keeping Up With The Joneses

I’m trying out a few different pieces of software for keeping up with RSS feeds and Twitter. The newly released beta version of Reeder for Mac has already won my heart for RSS reading, even though some functionalities haven’t been added yet. I miss my highlight and post to MarsEdit in particular. The only thing has been learning a new set of keyboard shortcuts, which isn’t too bad, but skipping arrow keys for navigation is a tough habit to break.

For Twitter, last week (I think; time has been very elusive to me this year) I downloaded the newly updated Kiwi 2.0. For ages I had used Tweetie and despite trying other programs, Tweetie still was the simplest, smoothest way to get around Twitter. Kiwi changed that almost immediately. I picked out a simplistic theme that felt Tweetie-ish and dove right in. There is a lot of control and intuitive interactions with keyboard shortcuts being not too difficult to adapt.

However today I downloaded the beta of Weet. I like the smaller interface so far, and again it’s early beta so it’s quite incomplete in features. Like keyboard shortcuts (no underlying theme to this blog post, no siree) being almost absent. And it’s a little odd that navigating up and down is only by mouse right now. You don’t actually select a tweet and press up to the next one. Or a shortcut to start a new tweet. That’s a big deal, something I lived off of in Tweetie and now Kiwi.

Still, take all this with a grain of salt. Two of these programs have only been in public existence for a week and Kiwi just came out with its version update a week ago too. I’ll keep playing with all of them and if anyone cares, or if anyone doesn’t, ’cause it’s my blog anyway, I will write them up again once they’re closer to release.

What Goes Around

Without fail, the beginning of the school year means I get to catch a rough little cold overnight.

At least being half laid-up gives me an excuse to catch up with my niece in reading Harry Potter. I’m halfway through The Half-Blood Prince and have to say again that if you haven’t read these books, you should. These books will undoubtedly stand the test of time and become treasured literature for another century.

Back to drinking buckets of tea and watching the mercury fall.