Monkey scratching his head
Say What?

How do you have a battle of wits with an unarmed person?

Can you influenza public opinion?

A mask–is it more effective at masking the man behind it or unmasking the man not wearing it?

What is the difference between a lie, a statistic, and an alt-fact?

What is the difference between a trumpet and a strumpet?  A trumpet is a brass instrument usually tuned to B flat.  A strumpet is a brassy woman who is instrumental in not having things B flat.

We now spring forward in winter but still fall back in autumn.

Did you hear about a yachtsman who crossed the ocean twice without taking a shower?  He was a dirty double-crosser.

If the accomplished, evil stepmother was from Massachusetts would she be wicked good?

A castrated male sheep is called a wether, whether ewes believe it or not.



Deadlines, Suspenses, and Dates Due

crime silhouette

From Rolig Loon:  “My 1889 Century Dictionary has only one definition for DEADLINE: “A line drawn around the inside or outside of a military prison, which no prisoner can cross without incurring the immediate penalty of being shot down. Used during the American Civil War with reference to open-air enclosures or stockades.” I remember learning the word, and that definition, as a child from my grandmother, whose own father had been imprisoned at Andersonville during the Civil War.”

How did a line drawn on the ground meaning that if you crossed it you’d be shot immediately, become much less lethal term meaning that something was due?  Merriam Webster traces the “Bloody History of Deadlines.”

For many years, I worked for the U.S.  Army as a librarian.   Deadlines were called suspenses and usually appeared at the top of a document highlighted in red or yellow.

S:  3 November 2020, at 2000

The term “Suspense Date” is one I heard frequently while I was in the Army. Any time someone wanted something to be DONE no later than a specific DAY and TIME, they would simply issue the order with a Suspense date.

In libraries,date dues are when your materials are due or need to be returned to the library.overdue-images

Rebog: Merriam-Webster Quiz: Where did that Word Come from?

Sometimes, if you stare at a word with your eyes squinted just enough, and spend a long time thinking about it, you can figure out where that word might have come from. Other times there is really no way to tell. The words in this quiz are a combination.

This one is difficult.  See how well you do.

Merriam Webster Word Origina Quiz
This was my results.  How well did you do?

Fun with 404 Errors

Have you ever had the dreaded 404 error:  Page can not be found.

The HTTP 404, 404 Not Found, 404, Page Not Found, or Server Not Found error message is a Hypertext Transfer Protocol standard response code, in computer network communications, to indicate that the browser was able to communicate with a given server, but the server could not find what was requested–from Wikipedia

Merriam Webster, the dictionary people, have put their wordsmithing talents to create one of the more delightful 404 errors.

Fun with 404 errors


Have you ever found a fun 404 page?

5 Things I Learned from Watching My PowerPoint in Zoom

A week ago Friday, I  prepared a 20-minute Powerpoint for the weekly Zoomzoom logo meeting of USS Midway (CV-41) Library volunteers.  The group established the weekly Zoom meetings as a way to remain in touch while the Midway is closed because of the Coronavirus.

My topic was copying deck logs for the USS Midway from the National Archives in College Park MD.  In a ‘normal’ year I usually go up once a month and copy one or more months of deck logs to a thumb drive.  When I get home I upload the deck logs to an external hard drive.

USS Midway September 1945 deck log

Other volunteers on the Midway transcribe the deck logs.  It is a good source of what happened on the ship each day and the names of the crew assigned to the Midway.

By looking at the recording of that presentation, I learned:

Deck Log presentation first page

  1. I talk way too fast.  In an effort to get through the presentation, I talked too fast  and stumbled over my own thoughts and words.
  2. I use um too often.   This was something I never suspected until I heard myself repeatedly use it.
  3. Zoom messes up how PowerPoint advances.  I saw two previous Zoom lectures where PowerPoint functioned normally.  I’m still uncertain why the presentation advanced when I was not touching the keyboard or the mouse.
  4. Quirks are magnified.  Whether you are the presenter or in the audience, the viewers can see you twitch, smirk, glance around, eat or drink, nod off, etc.
  5. Directions are reversed on Zoom. When you are looking for something, if you use Zoom as your point of reference, it’s not on the side you think it is.

What are your Zoom experiences?

Worthless or Priceless

  • Worthless — having no real value or use
  • Priceless —  so precious that it’s value can not be determined

scale of justice

Is Donald Trump worthless or priceless as president?  Do you think his personality adds value to the office or  politics?  Is he iconoclastic or bombastic?

How about the news?

  • Fox–worthless or priceless
  • NBC–worthless or priceless

Republicans ?

  • with Trump–worthless or priceless
  • without  Trump–worthless or priceless


  • with Biden–worthless or priceless
  • without  Biden–worthless or priceless

If you do comment, please keep it  civil.



Reblog: Lexophile

“Lexophile” describes those who have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, and “To write with a broken pencil is pointless.” An annual competition is held by the New York Times. 
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore.
I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off?  He’s all right now.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.  That’s the point of it.
I didn’t like my beard at first.  Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
When chemists die, they barium.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
I’m reading a book about anti-gravity.  I just can’t put it down.

On the Run

running spoonWhen someone runs off at the mouth, do you feel like time has stopped while you wish you could just run away?

Has time run away from you while you are having a good time and maybe running up your credit card?

Do you check to see if your Fitbit is running while you are on your morning run?

From The Most Complex Word in the World:  If asked to pick the most complex word in the English language, what comes to mind? Maybe something long and intricate like “antidisestablishmentarianism” or “honorificabilitudinitatibus.” Maybe it’s a medical word, or one with silent letters like “pneumonia.”

Chances are you wouldn’t automatically pick out a three-letter word that you use in everyday conversation. But that’s just it — the richest word in English is “run.”

Poem 23: Shakespeare’s Birthday

William Shakespeare (believed to be born on 23 April 1564 – 23 April 1616


Happy Birthday to the Bard

We really can’t send you a birthday card

Your rhymes are better and more renowned

Than the rhymes, I’ve read on the cards I’ve found.

Why do rhymes today sound so trite?

Is it the modern way that we write?

Our vocabulary may have gone astray

by using emojis to mean what we say.

Is an emoji worth a thousand words?

The very thought seems so absurd.

We couldn’t use an emoji to write a sonnet

even if we stumbled upon it.

Is April the Cruelest Month: 5 Points for No and 5 Points for Yes

“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”  by T.S. Elliot

Many of us have entered our second month of social isolation. The early euphoria that we are all in this together and we’ll get through this has long waned.  It has become Ground Hog Day where we need visual cues like what’s on television to help us remember what day of the week it is.  Weekdays and weekends have blurred for most of us.

April is NOT the cruelest month:

1. In many states, we are flattening the coronavirus curve by successfully maintaining social distancing.

John Hopkins Map 20200417

2. For most of us, the weather is getting better and we have the time to observe Spring’s progress.

3.  We have time to spend with our families.

key west chicken family

4.  We have time to read, write or pursue hobbies

reading book tree

5. We can get to those chores we have been putting off.

Corona Virus--Cleaning Lady

April IS the Cruelest Month: 

1.  Unemployment is at an all time high.

unemployement rate 2020

2.  The weather is getting better and we can not go anywhere.

Harbor Seals laying on Children's Beach in La Jolla, CA

3.  Unless we get on the computer,  there are no new conversations to be had.

sparky realized

4.  You are bored, bored, bored.

Sleeping dog and cat

5.  I’m reduced to making this a blog post

woman in brown and gray t shirt sitting on brown wooden table
Photo by Godisable Jacob on



Poem 10: Who Do You Blame?

“As Karl Marx once noted: ‘Hegel remarks somewhere that all great, world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.’  Michael Schermer.


Monkey scratching his head

Who do you blame?

Who do you not?

Who speaks the truth

and who tommyrot?

Is it conspiracy

or is it a fact

Is it for real

or is it an act?

Science or hunch

The two are opposed

One or the other

Has been supposed.



Coronavirus Light–Humor to Lighten the Load

From my friend and fellow retired NDU Librarian, Alta Linthicum

I hate when a couple argues in public, and I missed the beginning and don’t know whose side I’m on.

When someone asks what I did over the weekend, I squint and ask, “Why, what did you hear?”

I don’t remember much from last night, but the fact that I needed sunglasses to open the fridge this morning tells me it was awesome.

When you do squats, are your knees supposed to sound like a goat chewing on an aluminum can stuffed with celery?

I don’t mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited.

When I ask for directions, please don’t use words like “east.”

It’s the start of a brand new day, and I’m off like a herd of turtles.

Don’t bother walking a mile in my shoes. That would be boring. Spend 30 seconds in my head. That’ll freak you right out.

That moment when you walk into a spider web suddenly turns you into a karate master.

Sometimes, someone unexpected comes into your life outta nowhere, makes your heart race, and changes you forever. We call those people cops.

The older I get, the earlier it gets late.

My luck is like a bald guy who just won a comb.

When I say, “The other day,” I could be referring to any time between yesterday and 15 years ago.

Interviewer: “So, tell me about yourself.”    Me: “I’d rather not. I kinda want this job.”

Cop: “Please step out of the car.” Me: “I’m too drunk. You get in.”

I remember being able to get up without making sound effects.

I had my patience tested. I’m negative.

Remember, if you lose a sock in the dryer, it comes back as a Tupperware lid that doesn’t fit any of your containers.

If you’re sitting in public and a stranger takes the seat next to you, just stare straight ahead and say “Did you bring the money?”

When you ask me what I am doing today, and I say “nothing,” it does not mean I am free. It means I am doing nothing.

Age 60 might be the new 40, but 9:00 is new midnight.

I finally got eight hours of sleep. It took me three days, but whatever.

I run like the winded.