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.

Thanks for joining me in the blogosphere.






Guest Poem: No Cows Today by Rolig Loon

In honor of  Poetry Month, I have invited a few friends to contribute poems, with a brief biography and a picture. Rolig is the first to respond.

 She draws the curtain
Peers through the pane and
With her magical eye
Wonders if the sky would rather be cerulean

And if the ancient oak should be instead
A farmyard elm, ringed by daisies
And maybe a cow.

That would be nice.
Cows are nice.

Everyone likes cows.

But she has done cows, and having done them,
Should move on.
She chuckles softly …. Moooves on.
No cow.

So much choice,
So many possibilities.
She frames the day and fills them in.
Line upon line,
Color into form,
Shadow and light.
One at a time. 

No cow. 

It is her window, after all,
Until she opens it.

Rolig Loon is a friend of mine from Second Life. I only know her through her avatar, named Rolig Loon.

Rolig’s Biography: I have been a parent, an educator, a writer, a chemist, a homeowner, an administrator, and a scripter/programmer, among other things and in no particular order. On line, I have no real presence. I am not a real person, after all. Or, more correctly, I am no more real than you are. I have my own impression of myself as a worldly, witty, yet calm person. Hence, my avatar name, Rolig. In Swedish, “rolig” means “funny,” as in a funny story. In Danish, the same word means “calm”. For me, both reflect the aspiration that is the inner me. What anyone else sees is beyond me but I suspect falls well short of what I hope for. But then, as they say,that’s life.

Rolig’s photo : “photo” that shows two sides of me but is a fiction because it’s an AI reconstruction of the RL me, working backwards from my SL avatar. (I ought to get points for double obfuscation.)


When Life throws you a curve ball
How do you respond?
Do you try to retaliate
Or rise above and beyond?

Despite what you think
You do have a choice.
Show by your actions
and the use your voice.

When I was working, I had a good friend who often elected to laugh rather than get upset when something went wrong. I was amazed at her ability to not get angry under circumstances that had me going. Although she could have a red-headed temper if provoked, she elected not to respond that way on many occasions. Often we can choose how we will respond to provocation.

I once was ambushed by another employee who accused me of things of that were more a figment of his imagination than things that actually happened. Since I was dumbfounded by what was going on, I let him rant and ramble without comment. The longer his outburst lasted the less plausible it sounded. By my saying nothing, he did himself more harm than if I had stopped his monologue by trying to defend myself.

For me, both of these were learning experiences that we can choose how we respond and some responses produce better results than others.

How will you choose?

A Newsworthy English Language Peculiarity

Today’s US headlines offer an real time lesson in the peculiarity of the English language.

Former President Donald Trump was indicted for alleged financial fraud, becoming the first current or former US President to be charged.

Many people love Donald Trump. He is loved.

Many people want Donald Trump to be president. He is wanted (as a once and future president.)

Many people do not want Donald Trump to be president again. For these people he is both unwanted (as president for another term) and wanted (because he wanted by the law.)

Can you think of other examples in English where one a word in one tense has a different meaning in another tense?

When Did Your Family Tree Last Branch?

sitting at the carwash
watching the inbreds
waiting in lines
trying to decide if
it's better to wait a while longer
 ditch a packed line of
stopped vehicles.

how many generations ago
did your
family tree
branch out?

waiting for over an hour
watching people arrive
after we did
and leave before our interior
was touched.

Who is the inbred now?
Which of these is your family tree?


Kaushal has eloquently expressed what many of us may have thought in passing. His beautiful photographs enhance the words.

Kaushal Kishore

People add mathematics,
physics, chemistry, biology,
history, civics and geography
to simple life to make it complicated, confusing and incomprehensible…

People lose
their precious moments of life
in the maze of useless machinations,
thus losing the smile somewhere
along the way
to be strangers among the loved ones…

But there are strangers
who made me their own,
our constitution says,
we are one in some respects,
but we are not in many respects…

It’s okay
if someone doesn’t respond
to my nice gestures and wishes,
their behavior may be
their own problem, not mine…

Why should I waste my precious time
trying to figure out
where all the dirt has gone,
it’s more satisfying
that I have got all the dirt off…

I don’t know
what kind of day a day makes for me,
I don’t consult a sage or zodiac sign
about myself,
but I do close my eyes…

View original post 131 more words

Day of Swine and Rose’s

We decided to visit Cardinal Point Winery on a beautiful 75 degree day. We stopped to feed Buddy enroute. When we got to the winery, we saw two gorgeous pigs grazing on the grass across from the winery tasting room.

Bob went up to the tasting room to order us a bottle of Rose’ with crackers and a plastic tub of pimento and smoked Gouda cheese. I went over to meet the divine swine.

As I was crossing the driveway, a black dog dashed towards me, simultaneously baring his teeth and growling while assuming a cowering posture. The six people that were sitting under an awning and drinking some wine, assured me that he was friendly while yelling at the dog to come back. Fortunately the dog listened to them, and I approached.

“Do you mind if I take a picture of the two pigs? They are adorable.”

The owner of the pigs got up and introduced me to Samantha, the light colored pig, and Magnolia, the black colored pig. “These are my babies. They like to travel in the car, but only for short distances. They don’t do well on longer trips.”

“I brought them over here because they have already eaten all of the clover in their own field,” she said as we watched the two pigs happily graze on the thick carpet of new grass.

I think that Samantha is an American pot-bellied pig and I do not remember what type of pig that Magnolia is. Magnolia does have maple scented pheromones that come out her tear ducts. “Some pigs have a pheromone that smells just like maple syrup. There isn’t any research on what causes this phenomenon, but in our experience, less than 3% of pigs have it. The smell is emitted from the tear ducts, and doesn’t seem to be prevalent in one particular breed.” –Hog Heaven Farm on Facebook.

Both pigs had coarse bristles when I petted them. Magnolia has split bristles which gave her bristles a flayed whitish appearance at the end of each bristle. Her owner told me that she was about ready to shed her bristles and the new bristles would be a rich black.

Reblog: A Powerful Visualization

Crystal Byers is dealing with cancer and is using a variety of techniques to beat this awful illness. This is her most recent blog post on the topic.

From her blog

It was 1:30 in the morning. With eyes wide open, I had a dreadful sense of foreboding stuck in my chest, right in my heart.

I searched YouTube for binaural beats and found one called “Get Rid of All Bad Energy, Tibetan Healing Sounds, Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Meditation.” I clicked the link.

To read more click on https://crystalbyers.com/2023/03/27/a-powerful-visualization/

You might also want to read the preceding blog. https://crystalbyers.com/2023/03/15/brain-fog-and-a-string-of-pearls/

Buddy Had More Important Things on His Mind than Food

On a beautiful warm Sunday, enroute to a local winery, we made a detour past Wyant’s Store which is closed on Sundays. We were pleasantly surprised to see Buddy standing midfield with his back towards us.

Bob hee-hawed and Buddy ambled up to the fence without braying back. He followed Bob along the fence line to eat the left over cooked (now cold) sweet potatoes that we were not able to feed him a few days earlier because he had been exiled to the back pasture.

He ate them without his usual enthusiasm, which was still an improvement over spitting them out like he did the raw sweet potatoes. Once or twice, he even turned his back on us to look towards the back pasture.

As soon as the sweet potatoes were finished, so was his interest in being fed by us. I don’t know if he realized that the store was closed so there would be no dessert, or if his interest in the back pasture was stronger.

As soon as he was finished eating, he began galloping and braying toward the back pasture fence. My guess he that he was lovesick (aka horny) for Holly.

Brain Test

From a forwarded email. It may be harder for non-native English speakers to decipher.

7H15                    M3554G3

53RV35          7O      PR0V3

H0W        0UR      M1ND5      C4N

D0        4M4Z1NG      7H1NG5!

1MPR3551V3            7H1NG5!

1N        7H3      B3G1NN1NG

17        WA5      H4RD      BU7

N0W,      0N    7H15      LIN3

Y0UR        M1ND      1S

R34D1NG 17        4U70M471C4LLY

W17H0U7            3V3N

7H1NK1NG      4B0U7    17,

B3      PROUD!        0NLY

C3R741N          P30PL3    C4N

R3AD          7H15!

PL3453        F0RW4RD    1F

U      C4N      R34D      7H15.

To my ‘selected’ strange-minded friends: If you can read the following paragraph, forward it on to your friends with ‘yes’ in the subject line. Only great minds can read this. This is weird, but interesting!

If you can raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid, too.

Can you raed this? Only 55 people out of 100 can.

I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg.  The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a word are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae.  The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it whotuit a pboerlm.  This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the word as a wlohe.  Azanmig huh? 

Finally, a WordPress “Improvement” I Like

Many of us have had mixed experiences with WordPress improvements. Today, I found one that I like.

WordPress Spam Filter is mostly a good thing. Irregularly it puts a the wrong comment in the spam filter or misses an obvious one, but overall, it does a decent job. My complaint was only being able to delete 20 at a time using bulk edit. I never found a way to increase the limit. Today when I went to delete my 94 spam comments, I found a new button.

The red Empty Spam button was now available next to bulk edit. I clicked on the Empty Spam button and got

Although it was slow to empty to the 94 spam messages, when I tried with just a single spam message it emptied immediately.

Now that is one improvement I can live with!

Holly and Buddy Proudly Introduce You to Vroman

On a cloudy March Friday morning , we made the trek out to Wyant’s Store. Bob had cooked a sweet potato and we wanted to see if that suited Buddy’s delicate palate better than the raw ones he spat out last week. Bob gave several of his best hee-haws; when there was not sign of Buddy, he went into the store for news.

While he was in there, one of the ladies who works in the store, got out her car. She told me that Buddy was banished to the back pasture after he tried to bust through a fence to get to Holly and and the new foal. Buddy was horny for Holly.

As if Buddy knew we were talking about him, we heard his raspy bray from the back pasture.

Shortly after she went into the store, Bob came out with news and fresh cookies. Renee Wyant who was working in the store had told him that what we had heard was a filly was actually a colt named Vroman or Broman (guessing on the spelling and pronunciation). Renee also sent him two pictures of the Holly and Vroman/Broman, which are featured below.

We ate two of the cookies, since there was no donkey to feed,

Hopefully on a future visit, we can get pictures of the entire Donkey family.

Arpeggios of Pain

They ripple along my leg
Treble notes of rubbed skin
that whisper around the ankle
with throbbing base notes
near the inside of my knee
Occasionally they consolidate
into  Beethovenesque
chords thundering from
hip to toe.
pounding every nerve
Arpeggios or chords
often music of the night
when there is nowhere
left to hide
and sleep keeps
receding into the future.

March 24 is National Cocktail Day

Can you imagine Sex in the City without the four ladies enjoying their Cosmopolitans or Bond, James Bond,without his vodka martini “Shaken not stirred”?

National Cocktail Day was created by holidaymaker Jace Shoemaker-Galloway as a fun day to celebrate a fun drink.

Cocktails were traditionally a mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters, and some mixed drinks today still conform to this, such as the Old Fashioned Whiskey cocktail, the Sazerac cocktail, and the Manhattan cocktail.

Many people believe that cocktails originated in the U.S. While this is partly true, cocktails were actually inspired by British punches from the 18th century. British punches were big bowls of spirits mixed with fruit juice, spice, and other flavors.

No one is exactly sure who first created cocktails, but the world is more than grateful to them. What is known is that by the 1860s, it started gaining popularity. Cocktails became especially popular after alcohol was prohibited in the United States from 1920 to 1933 ironically.

Speakeasies began to sell inferior liquor because it was easier to produce illicitly. Then they started adding honey, fruit juice, and other flavorings to mask the foul taste of this liquor, enabling customers to drink faster, which was very important in case of a raid.

The Industrial Age made a major contribution to the evolution of cocktails with the production of ice. Before the Industrial Age, there was no effective way to make ice blocks and keep them from melting.
In the 90s, a group of bartenders at New York’s famous Rainbow Room brought back classic cocktail culture and followed strict quality standards. Today, there is a substantive cocktail culture in the art of mixology, which draws on traditional cocktails, but uses novel ingredients and complex flavors.

If you like your cocktails with a literary twist then you might like the classic Tequila Mockingbird. The book includes “sixty-five delicious drink recipes paired with wry commentary on history’s most beloved novels, Tequila Mockingbird also includes bar bites, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations throughout.” For example Tequila Mockingbird is a punderful take on To Kill a Mocking Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

On the rocks or with a twist
Cocktail hour can't be missed
Have a drink or maybe two
Please know the limit that works for you.

From the not so good recent old days:

Harp Music in the Cove

The gentle melodic plucking
Of the skilled harpist's fingers
Lifted my spirit and imagination
Soaring beyond the wooden rafters
Up over the eternal Blue Ridge Mountains
And into the fairy world of bliss
Where I sipped nectar
Nibbled on delicacies
And conversed with the Spirits
A portal was opened in this world
And the next where transport
Is a melody away.

Today is World Poetry Day – March 21

The theme for World Poetry Day 2023 is “Always be a poet, even in prose.” This famous line of verse by French poet Charles Baudelaire emphasizes the importance of creativity and beauty in all forms of writing, not just poetry.

On World Poetry Day, people all around the world celebrate poetry through various events, such as poetry readings and performances.

There are many ways to get involved, including sharing your favorite poems – whether your own poetry or the work of others – or attending poetry events. Check out local listings for open mic nights or recitals.

We are poets
and we know it
Invite others to join
so we can grow it.

Test your knowledge of better known world poets and poetry by taking this simple quiz.

One simple way to celebrate World Poetry Day is to read the poems of some of your favorite poet bloggers. Drop them a line and let them know if one of their poems particularly speaks to you.

Buddy Has a Daughter

On a bright, chilly Saturday morning our ride through the country side included a stop at Wyant’s Store. We had not seen Buddy in over two weeks. He was standing alone in the front pasture, waiting for anyone to admire him (and feed him if he were lucky.)

Bob hee-hawed and Buddy immediately trotted over to the fence, braying his raspy hee-haw. He followed Bob along the fence line to where I could take a picture of him being fed. Buddy ate the first two uncooked sweet potato cubes before he decided they were not to his liking.

Bob went into Wyant’s Store in search of news about Holly and Buddy’s new foal and to find something that Buddy might like better.

While Bob was in the store, Buddy split his time between being petted by me and hoping that somebody getting in or out of a vehicle might come over to the fence with better food than uncooked sweet potatoes.

“You know the drill, Buddy. We’ll reopen the chow line as soon as Bob returns with dessert.”

“I want attention now. Food is better than a pet but a lonely donkey will have to make do with whatever is available. I’m a huge media star and I do have expectations.”

Bob returned with news and two type of cookies. “Holly has had a girl, but the lady inside did not know her name.”

“Do we want to give Buddy the sugar cookies or the chocolate chips?”

“He can have the sugar cookies today.”

We each tasted a small bite of a sugar cookie to make sure they were good enough for Buddy. They were. He gobbled both of them, eyeballing the second cookie before he swallowed the first one.

We’ve Waited Three Months for the Return of Winter

Mother Nature has been messing with us
She gave us a right jab of winter
when the Polar Vortex visited
over Christmas weekend
then she withheld another blow
through most of January and February
as the daylight lengthened
and temperatures continued
to average 10-20 degrees 
above normal

Finally when the optimists 
thought Winter may have missed us
and trees, flowers, and bushes
bloomed earlier than ever,
a scant sprinkling of measurable snow fell,
as did the temperatures for more than a week.
Fruit crops are in danger for the next two nights.

Despite what the calendar and equinox say,
Spring will officially arrive today where  that night
may be the death knell for many a tender peach blossom.

Child’s Peach Orchard, Crozet, VA on 18 March 2023, I have heard that the blossoms may be protected from frost if they are encased in ice before they freeze.
Judas or Red Bud trees from a previous year