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 and observational essays and poems, stories about military and veterans, and tips about writers and writing. It has evolved into an online journal. I also include select re-blogs to admire or inspire.
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.
I used to see him sitting alone on a bench in the society garden, with his eyes inviting passers-by to sit beside him for a while and talk to him…
He might also have talked nonsense to his sweetheart for the umpteenth time in his younger days, but now in the sunset years, there is nobody to talk to him either sense or nonsense…
He still sits there, but now he has purchased four plastic chairs to keep in front of that bench so that people coming to him doesn’t feel uncomfortable while sitting on the iron bench in this winter season…
And what does this octogenarian want in return? Time, yours and mine, nothing else, he has enough time, while others don’t have any…
Time plays truant, it doesn’t behave in a manner we like, time has its own timings to time all of us, but time always beckons…
Over on the ‘treaty cruiser’ USS New Orleans (CA-32)……. Lt.(jg) Howell Forgy, the Chaplin never got the service going that morning ….. (Dec 7, 1941) the ship was at berth 1010 in the Shipyard for major repairs on the ships engines …. soon they lost shore power ….
The crew manned their 5″ guns but the ammo hoists were down …. so other sailors formed a human chain…. and soon were passing 85 lbs shells – hand-to-hand – from the magazines up through the ship and out to the 5″ mounts ….. it was stressful work, and some were tiring … all Morphy could do was encourage them …. and out of no where he called out ….. “Praise the Lord… and pass the ammunition” .….. it soon became the title of a popular wartime song ….
The last two times we went to feed the donkeys, we have only seen Emmett and his father, Buddy. My unconfirmed guess is now that Holly is within a couple of months of delivering the next foal, she is being kept in the back pasture, which was where she was in November 2020 when we began feeding donkeys and goats.
She and Emmett were still constant companions when we last saw them together in early November. I am not sure how David, the owner, got the two of them separated since when he had tried earlier in the fall, he wondered why Holly kept hanging by the fence to the rear pasture where Emmett was supposed to be quartered. He relented and the two continued to share a close bond.
We had noticed that when we were feeding Holly, Emmett, and Buddy, all three donkeys did not hesitate to shove each other’s noses out of the way. When that became tedious, both Holly and Emmett would chase Buddy at least six feet away.
Now that Holly is no longer part of the daily equation, Emmett has continued to chase his father away. The past two times we were there, he has even kicked out with his hind quarters like Buddy used to do to warn the goats to stay out of the way. I have not been able to capture a picture of that because he does he kicks quickly enough and infrequently enough to make it difficult.
Maybe it is time for David to sell Emmett since he is turning into a real jack ass.
December full moon is commonly known in the Northern Hemisphere as the Full Long Nights Moon. It takes its name from the winter solstice, which has the longest night in the year. The Full Long Nights Moon cuts a soaring trajectory through the wintery skies, in direct opposition to the low-hanging sun. According to Pagan tradition, on years that the Full Moon falls before the winter solstice, it is referred to as the Mourning Moon. For our early Pagan ancestors this was a time of cleansing by stopping bad habits to make one stronger to service the cold winter ahead. The Algonquins called this full moon the Cold Moon, in reference to the cold light it casts upon long winter nights. Strangely enough, in certain other cultures, December’s full moon can actually be associated with warmth.
As night draws
a dark curtain
across the sky
and coldness knocks
on doors and windows,
time turns inward and
reviews what has past
and what is to be.
creating an image
of warmth and light
enough to share
with a world
in desperate need
St Nicholas Day – St. Nicholas derived from Nicholas of Myra and was a bishop in 4th century Greece. He was known for selling off his own items and then giving the money to the poor. He would commonly leave coins in people’s shoes and dedicated his entire life to serving people who were sick and suffering. This is how he gained his saint status, and is what inspired St. Nicholas Day (also commonly known as Feast Day or the Feast of St. Nicholas).
It is celebrated on 6 December in Western Christian countries, and on 19 December in Eastern Christian countries using the old church Calendar, it falls within the season of Advent. It is celebrated as a Christian festival with particular regard to Saint Nicholas’ reputation as a bringer of gifts, as well as through the attendance of church services.
In the European countries of Germany and Poland, boys have traditionally dressed as bishops and begged alms for the poor. In Poland and Ukraine children wait for St. Nicholas to come and to put a present under their pillows provided that the children were good during the year. Children who behaved badly may expect to find a twig or a piece of coal under their pillows. In the Netherlands and Belgium children put out a shoe filled with hay and a carrot for Saint Nicholas’ horse. On Saint Nicholas Day, gifts are tagged with personal humorous rhymes written by the sender. In the United States, one custom associated with Saint Nicholas Day is children leaving their shoes in the foyer on Saint Nicholas Eve in hope that Saint Nicholas will place some coins on the soles.
The American Santa Claus, as well as the British Father Christmas, derive from Saint Nicholas. “Santa Claus” is itself derived in part from the Dutch Sinterklaas, the saint’s name in that language. However, the gift giving associated with these descendant figures is associated with Christmas Day rather than Saint Nicholas Day itself
Jolly old St. Nicholas
lean your ear this way
you needn't tell a single soul
what I'm going to say
It's already out on twitter
and maybe on Tik Tok too
No one has any secrets left
what are we supposed to do?
Christmas Eve is coming soon
and so you dear old man
help us stop the evilness
and mischief if you can.
“If you want to know how old a woman is, ask her sister-in-law.” – Edgar Howe
“Old age comes at a bad time.” – San Banducci
“Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.” – Jennifer Yane
“Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you are aboard, there is nothing you can do about it.” – Golda Meir
“The older I get, the more clearly I remember things that never happened. – Mark Twain “I’m at that age where my back goes out more than I do.” – Phyllis Diller
“Nice to be here? At my age, it’s nice to be anywhere.” – George Burns
“First you forget names, then you forget faces, then you forget to pull your zipper up, then you forget to pull your zipper down.” – Leo Rosenberg “You spend 90 percent of your adult life hoping for a long rest and the last 10 percent trying to convince the Lord that you’re actually not that tired.” – Robert Brault
“Old people shouldn’t eat health foods. They need all the preservatives they can get.” – Robert Orben
“At my age, flowers scare me.” – George Burns
“It’s like you trade the virility of the body for the agility of the spirit.” – Elizabeth Lesser
“The years between 50 and 70 are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.” – T.S. Elliot
“At age 20, we worry about what others think of us… at age 40, we don’t care what they think of us… at age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.” – Ann Landers
“When I was young, I was called a rugged individualist. When I was in my fifties, I was considered eccentric. Here I am doing and saying the same things I did then, and I’m labeled senile.” – GB
“The important thing to remember is that I’m probably going to forget.” – Unknown “We don’t grow older, we grow riper.” – Pablo Picasso
“It’s paradoxical that the idea of living a long life appeals to everyone, but the idea of getting old doesn’t appeal to anyone.” – Andy Rooney
“The older I get, the better I used to be.” – Lee Trevino
“I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a lot more as they get older, and then it dawned on me — they’re cramming for their final exam.”- George Carlin
“Everything slows down with age, except the time it takes cake and ice cream to reach your hips.” – John Wagnerf
“Grandchildren don’t make a man feel old, it’s the knowledge that he’s married to a grandmother that does.” – J. Norman Collie
“When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.” – Mark Twain
“You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.” – Joel Plaskett
“There’s one advantage to being 102, there’s no peer pressure.” – Dennis Wolfberg
“There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus, he does not believe in Santa Claus, he is Santa Claus.” – Bob Phillips
“Looking fifty is great — if you’re sixty.” – Joan Rivers
“At my age ‘getting lucky’ means walking into a room and remembering what I came in for.” – Unknown “Old age is when it annoys you that the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated because there are fewer articles to read.” – George Burns ”
“Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.” – Anonymous
The Midway (CV-41) was built in 17 months and missed World War II by one week when she was commissioned on September 10, 1945 in Newport News, Virginia. She was the lead ship of the Midway Class Aircraft Carriers. Deemed too valuable because of the possibility of nuclear warfare, she did not serve during the Korean Conflict. Instead she was stationed on the East Coast and did several Med tours in the 1940s and 1950s.
In 1955, a round-the-world cruise took Midway to the west coast where she was temporarily decommissioned and rebuilt with an angled deck to improve jet operations.
The day after Thanksgiving was a flash back to early October/late September with the temperature hitting 70. Bob had cooked sweet potatoes to feed the donkeys. He hee-hawed twice before going into Wyant’s store to get cookies. While he was in there, I hee-hawed also. When he came out he brayed once more. No body came, so we gave the sweet potatoes to something else.
On other days, Buddy is the first to appear or Holly and Emmett are the first to arrive. Whoever get there first, usually gets a plastic dish of sweet potato to himself or themselves. Sometimes the latecomer gets nothing but cookies.
Holly and Emmett are still close, although they push each other’s noses out of the way. Emmett has also learned to push his father away as quickly as Holly does. Bob reports that Dave Wyant has plans to sell Emmett since two male jacks in the pasture is one jack to many. Holly is supposedly due in February.
Sometime the family remains close enough to be fed at the same time, with lots of nose pushing aside.
Other times, Buddy is exiled away from mother and son.
To our friends and shipmates who sacrificed it all…….
A little history most people will never know.
Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall:
There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.
The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.
The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.
There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.
39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.
8,283 were just 19 years old.
The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old. 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.
5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.
One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.
997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam ..
1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam ..
31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.
Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.
54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many from one school.
8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.
244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.
A mother from Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.
West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.
The Marines of Morenci – They led some of the scrappiest high school football an d basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest. And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci’s mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.
The Buddies of Midvale – LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam. In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.
The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 – 2,415 casualties were incurred.
For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.
Over the river and past the woods
Still stuck on the Interstate
The turkey grows colder
as we sit and grow older
It's been over an hour wait
Oh over the river and past the woods
the traffic has not budged
We had food to bring
Til we ate every thing
Hope we are not begrudged.