Quip–a witty remark. E-Quips (think e-book or email) is hopefully a witty blog – dedicated to word play such as parodies, puns, and word parallels and stories about libraries that you may not have heard before. It has also expanded to include a few book reviews, nature essays, stories about military and veterans, and tips about writers and writing. It has evolved into a sort of online journal
Hope you enjoy the ride and the fun.
Please let me know if there is word that deserves a riff or a library that has a story to share.
DMV is the Department of Motor Vehicles for the few of you who may not be familiar with the aconym. It is probably the best place to see Democracy in action. All of us (no matter what age, race, ethnicity, dress, income level, with children, friends or alone, with or without cellphone in hand) stand in the same snaking line that seems to inch forward s-l-o-w-ly.
9:20–Arrive at the DMV but can only get through the outerdoors. (The line snakes in front of the innerdoors.)
9:22–Finally able to actually get into the DMV. Can immediately tell that the aging man in front of me with the grizzled thin ponytail straggling down the back of his work jacket is a heavy smoker. Wonder what the chances of suffering from the second (or would that be third) hand smoke scent that rises off his jacket.
9:35-The woman in back of me recognizes the ringtone on her phone and answers it. From the conversation that is impossible to ignore, I deduce that she is a very concerned caregiver for autistic individuals. One child is suddenly afraid to walk outside alone and she wonders what may have changed. Another individual on a group outing needed someone to escourt him to the men’s room (no family room being available, otherwise she would have taken him in there herself. ) The only male employee with the group was reluctant to take the individual to the men’s room and seemed to have taken an inordinate amount of time when he finally escourted the individual to the bathroom. She wonders why and was he dissing her with his attitude?
9:40–A man on the opposite side of the snaking line lays his license plate down on the floor adjacent to every pole that supports the plastic line dividers that mark our faltering path to the information desk. Every few minutes, he reaches down to pick up the single rusted, dented license plate, retrieves it, shuffles a few steps and lays it back down at the base of the next pole.
9:44- The line inches ahead but the three ladies of a certain age are chatting so enthusiastically that they fail to notice that the line has moved. No one says anything and eventually they shuffle forward
9:47-The couple, a few people in back of me, softly talk in Spanish about the license plate they need to get for a car.
9:50- A middle aged man in a UVA sweatshirt walks through the door (which has had nobody standing in front of it since I got to the end of the slowly advancing line). He sees the line (which is now actually shorter than it has been since I got there a half hour earlier) and says to no on in particular, “This line is too line. I’ll come back tomorrow.” I think that line will probably be longer then.
9:53-The two teenaged girls near the end of the line strike up a conversation, ignoring the man standing in between them. “I like your hair,” the second girl says to the blue haired girl standing in front of her. “Thanks,” say blue haired girl. “I keep the color by only washing my hair once a month.” I wonder if the pimples on her face are a by-product of the monthly hair wash (or is that just an old wives’s tale?) She tells the other girl that she gets it done at a salon near the Downtown Pedestrian Mall. The other girl says she will have to visit the salon.
9:55-The two young women pushing a remarkably well behaved little girl in a stroller, finally reach the front the line. I’m not sure which one is the girl’s mother, they seem to care for her equally. Although the little girl seems to favor the thinner one more than the one with the beautiful thick blonde hair and the thick sturdy thighs straining her black pants.
9:58-My legs and hips are starting to hurt. I wonder how the man standing on his prothetic leg is doing and hope it is comfortably padded.
10:00–The man with the smoking work jacket finally gets to the head of the line and is summoned to the information desk.
10:02-After two deliciously smoke free minutes, it’s my turn to go talk to the lady at the information desk. No one has taken any pictures, no one has gotten irate, no one has broken line, although a few people had their places held by neighbor as they left to use the bathroom or duck outside to make/take a phone call.
What is that purple thing in the rhododendron bush? It looks like a rhodendron, but they are supposed to bloom in the spring.
This is a picture of a rhodendron bush from last March. The buds are swollen and will pop open in late April or early May.
This is the rhodendron from November 10, 2018. You can see the small buds that should provide flowers next spring. Did someone fail to give this particular bud the word? If I were a politician, I would blame the opposing political party. Is it global warning? What other freaks of nature will we see this fall (besides the politicians?)
I took a second picture of the rhododendron to show some of the more fall like aspects of the neighborhood so you can tell this is really is an out of season blossom.
Talented blogger and British ex-pat now living in Belgium, Denzil Walton, has written two more excellent blog posts about the affect of Word War I on Belgium. These are must-reads today on the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.
Denzil from Discovering Belgium, has written a beautiful history on why the Poppies suddenly started blooming on Flanders Field during the 1st World War. Prior to the war, the soil was too thin to support poppies. What was the secret? Read the blog post to find out.
I just read a wonderful blog post by Darius Foroux on Why A Daily Writing Habit Improves Your Life. I ripped the headline from a quote in his blog. It pithly summarizes why most of us write. (As we already collectively know, being a writer is not the equivalent of being published.)
I have wanted to be a writer since I wrote a story in fourth grade about a girl in Gettysburg during the Civil War. It was based roughly on the story of Emmeline by Elsie Singmaster. I always enjoyed highschool and college writing courses. Termpapers were not a moment of dread and I mastered the art of writing a term paper in the 24 hours before it was due. (I usually got an A on research and a C on typing, if the instructor divided the grades out. My research skills were always much stronger than my typing ability. For those of us old enough to remember actually typing a termpaper, it was much harder before wordprocessing, but at least the errors were ours and not autocorrect’s.)
When I ran a post library, my writing skills were further tested by writing letters in response to the base ‘tell us how we are doing’ campaign. The formula was to thank the person for taking the time to write, address the issue, and apologize for any possible inconvenience that might have ensued.
This blog ensures that I write something most days. It gives me the immediate gratification of hitting the publish button. It also provides a gateway to read many other wonderful, creative, thoughtful blogs. (If there are three words that are overused in the early 21st century, they are awesome, amazing, and epic.)
Govloop.com provides many resources for government workers, veterans, and retirees.
From their about page:
GovLoop’s mission is simple: connect government to improve government. We aim to inspire public sector professionals to better service by acting as the knowledge network for government.
GovLoop serves a community of more than 280,000 government leaders by helping them to foster collaboration, learn from each other, solve problems and advance in their government careers.
We do this through a variety of mechanisms, including:
In-depth editorial reporting and research about topics at the intersection of management and technology
News coverage of issues and events that are pertinent to the government community
Weekly online trainings and self-paced courses
Leadership programs, and more
GovLoop also works with top industry partners, such as ESRI, HP, Microsoft and IBM, to provide resources and tools, such as infographics, market trend reports and educational events for public-sector professionals.
They also offer quizzes (such as how many state flags do you know), free online classes, articles, periodic invitations to become a featured blogger, a section on jobs which includes job openings, a perdiem calculator and salary calculator, career advice, and many IT resources. It’s free and definitely worth taking a look at.
Years ago when I took a children’s writing class in San Diego, the instructor said we needed to start with three positives and then form the negatives in the form of a question. What was your purpose for doing this or that? Why is the dialog taking this tone? Cynthia Reyes somes up feedback in a lovely, straightforward manner.