Colonize This…


a Science Channel documentary in which scientists pour 10 tons of cement down a massive anthill, let it harden for a month, then carefully excavate it to demonstrate the internal structure of the colony. It took three days of pumping to fill the colony with cement.

I’m suddenly feeling a strange mix of being inspired for a D&D dungeon and looking back societal analysis through Star Trek.

Etymology On The Go…

As often comes up, my coworkers and I use as odd of language as we can in order to keep ourselves amused. So today the phrase ‘raring to go’ came up. We finished our conversation, then a minute later I pipe up with the question, ‘how do you spell raring?’
Sounds like fodder for a blog post to me!

So when I had a chance, I went a-Googlin’. Actually, first I hit up my handy-dandy dictionary dashboard widget. It took me a few tries to get the spelling right. My natural inclination was something more akin to ‘rearing’ or ‘roaring’, as in the verb ‘to rear’ like raising a child.

It turned out to be ‘raring’, the present participle of the verb ‘to rare’. The definition according to the New Oxford American Dictionary built into my Mac is thus:

raring |?re(?)ri ng |
adjective [with infinitive ] informal
very enthusiastic and eager to do something : she was raring to get back to her work | I’ll be ready and raring to go.
ORIGIN 1920s: present participle of rare, dialect variant of roar or rear.

The definition matched my understanding of the phrase, ‘raring to go’. But the origin was still eluding me. What the heck did someone mean by using a verb form of rare? The origin given in the dictionary definition was leaving me short.

This is where the internet and Google can be argued to make people smarter. With a little bit of searching using the terms ‘etymology’ and ‘raring’, I found a forum discussing this very topic. In parts of Britain and Ireland, ‘rear’ is pronounced the same as ‘rare’, affecting the spelling. Now looking back on the original definition I found, things were making more sense.

So by all reason in American English, one should say ‘rearing to go’. But since the term originated out of a different dialect entirely, its spelling is duly altered.

I have always dug this sort of stuff. Etymology fascinates me, because it is history on the tips of our tongues. And while I know nothing of other languages, really, I find that English is so wonderfully full of idioms and influences and bastardizations and localizations that it is ceaselessly entertaining. It has so many synonyms available and varying definitions, my native language lives up to what I have always deemed it: best suited for law and humor.

Where To Go?

I’m thinking I should apply for a gig in the Obama administration. Any ideas on what position I should try? Agriculture Department blogger? Ambassador to Paraguay? Secretary of Defense? Put your suggestions in the comments!
Addendum: I figured it out! Deputy Secretary of Corporal PUNishment.

A Swift Kick…

Without really noticing it, it’s been a month since I quit drinking caffeine and soda. With it being a rough month of teething for my now eight month old (holy cow!) daughter, it probably was a poor time to do it. But since it started almost by accident, I think it was easier to keep up with.

I do get up easier and don’t get headaches anymore. That’s got to be the best part. I no longer feel like garbage for having not had a Dew by 8:30. This is especially noticeable on weekends when I did not regularly get a caffeine intake to start my days.

Part of me thinks I have this licked and that I can occasionally have a fountain drink with lunch. But I think I prefer the idea of cutting out high-fructose corn syrup in general. And though it is a false association, this article I found via McArdle, got me thinking:

You can observe this sort of thing in lab rats – if you infuse extra glucose into their brains, they stop eating, even under conditions when they otherwise would keep going. A few years ago, an odd result was found when this experiment was tried with fructose: instead of lowering food intake, infusing fructose into the central nervous system made the animals actually eat more. That’s not what you’d expect, since in the end, fructose ends up metabolized to the same thing as glucose does (pyruvate), and used to make ATP.

Now, to be fair, my change in food intake probably has more to do with me being a bit more conscious ofit since cutting out a part of it, than it does to the difference between glucose and fructose. However, I have honestly noticed more when I’m full and am more susceptible to feeling sick after eating too much. More than one plate of food and I’m heading for the strange tasting, generic Tums and an early bedtime.

The only really hard part is keeping myself alert while working at my desk. I do my best to get up and walk (as well as keep my eyes from the screens 100% of the time). But there are still those times when I’m doing my best not to keel over and wind up with a case of keyboard face.

Missed Again…

Sunday night is a bad time to try to blog. I waited and put it off all day, and now I’m headed to bed. At least I got a ton of cleaning done. Well, as much as I could before both my kids lost their minds, simultaneously I might add, this afternoon. Nothing like cracking your knees on concrete while crawling under a stairwell when the lass is screaming bloody murder and the lad is making such a mess of himself that it requires an immediate shower.
To top it off, I didn’t handle it that well. Know what’s worse than salt in a wound? Shame.


I nearly missed blogging today. The lad turned out to have strep throat, so that’s occupied me a bit. Why does it matter?
I’m trying to blog every single day this month. I joined to be a part of National Blog Posting Month, or NaBloPoMo. The entire premise is that a person writes a blog post every day for 30 days. I think it’s a nifty idea, and I figured I might as well give it a go.

Sadly, I have already failed. I forgot about it entirely since the election and wound up not posting on Sunday. Still, I plan to keep on trucking through it and see if I can finish it out.

Too bad today will be short. It’s already late and I’m burnt out. And here’s hoping I do more this weekend. My wife and I are finally going out for our anniversary and I’m really looking forward to it.

Home Sick…

I’m home with my sick boy today. His fever is finally coming down after watching Star Wars (and taking some ibuprofen). Now he’s sitting next to me with a phone book on his lap as a desk to draw maps upon.
It is always a debate as to how much I want to let him see during any movies. With Star Wars, there’s only a few bits I’m not sure a five year old is ready for. Like some burned bodies from a distance, or a severed arm (that looks rather artificial). The kid has seen some gutted birds on our doorstep courtesy of our resident felines. Severe injury is in fact a part of life.

But I guess I see that as simply the aftermath of animal nature. It’s not people deliberately hurting people. Most movies do good work ensuring it’s obviously the bad guys doing those bad things. However, in his mind, that can get blurred. That blurring can also happen between the fiction and reality. I answer a constant stream of questions about what things are ‘in this world’.

I think I may have come to the conclusion that he can see The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I take some consolation in the fact that though he is watching, the comprehension of it isn’t totally there. Plus he probably ought to know the full story from the movie before kids finally explain to him that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.

And don’t even get me started on trying to explain the prequels. I don’t want to have to explain that Anakin becomes Darth Vader or even that the newer movies are set in an older time, but seem to also be far more advanced technologically (though definitely not in content or plot).

Also, I really can’t wait for the Clone Wars merchandizing blitz to be over with. It clouds all of the story up since I never saw it and, given what I’ve read, I don’t really want to. I liked the original Clone Wars miniseries that was on Cartoon Network years ago. I may try to dig that up at some point.


The election is over, you can stop with the nonsense. I find it hard to believe, though not impossible, that this person really thinks that the next President is going to create a gestapo in the US. I suppose that seems entirely possible after what has been done in the past eight years.

But let us take a step back. Do the conditions exist to create a Nazi America with Obama as Der Führer?

First, we need to have lost an entire generation to a war to end all wars. From there, as a large, naturally industrious nation, we need to be plunged into a treaty arrangement stripping us of all we work for. As icing for this cake made of something unmentionable, we then need to be churned through a decade-long depression with not only half the populous out of work, but also inflation where our currency value becomes hyperbolic to zero.

Now that we have our cake, we can eat it too! So we will need a people who have a not-too-distant history of being ruled by a tyrant or monarch. When charisma wins over law and order, then we can wind up with a maniac who will be allowed to dissolve any democratic functions of our government and start finding scapegoats everywhere. And finally, to finish the story, we get to be bullied by fear into thinking the smoke from the chimneys of labor camps full of people from the countries we invaded are really just the foreign visitors enjoying some s’mores.

So there we can see our country is perfectly poised to enjoy a National Socialist party.

You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing [Barack Obama] to Adolf Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential.

At least Broun will have company since my district was loony enough to re-elect a member of the McCarthy Mouse Club, Michele Bachmann.

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