Friday, December 30, 2005


OK, it looks like the Annie/Frizzy story has been abandoned. You want to make any more comments, or shall I finish it off? But thanks for the great participation in the Tales of Blogland site. Has anyone but me used Google Earth to find Barueri, Brazil? There's lots of swimming pools although it is set in the foothills outside Sao Paulo. Ni-i-i-i-ice.
Today I officiated at a funeral: the mother of one of my friends from college days. We had to drive south for two and a half hours to get there. Weather was clear and dry, but breezy and cold. She was a generous, kind-hearted woman, and the little chapel was standing room only. She had told her kids, "Don't worry. I am at peace." After the service, my friend told me her mom would have loved the eulogy. It gave everyone a chance to laugh and to cry, to feel powerless and to feel confident. But I am not so good at speaking at funerals. I tend to weep when I think about the mercies of God.
Weekend words Q
"What happened to P?" you might ask. Forget P, I want to talk about Q. Oh all right, then, have it your way. Let's just get it over with. The P-word is panoply. When I wrote an email to my Sunday school class describing our splendid Christmas party, I mentioned the panoply of delicious vegetables and salads. A member of the class replied to all, "From Merriam Webster Online Dictionary: Panoply- a magnificent or impressive array." I couldn't have said it better myself. Now on to Q! Here's a word you may never use, but then again, it can be the right word when all else fails. The word is QUIDDITY. Isn't that wonderful to say? It means "thatness." The dictionary would say something like "the quality that makes something what it is." So what's the quiddity of your latest project? What's your quiddity, for that matter? "Really, sir, this job has many rewarding aspects, but I just cannot continue to deal with the quiddity of it."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to all

Well, what do you know--it's Christmas! Since neither of our boys were coming to West Texas for Christmas, Cat and I did not really put a huge effort into decorating. We did set up the artificial tree we bought on sale last year. It looks very nice and supports the ornaments well. Normally over the fireplace we display montage of an old wooden house that I made decades ago. Cat decided it would be fun to decorate the picture of the old house. Here's what it turned out like.

I particularly like the crêche scene in the window (poor beleaguered Mary has lost her head so don't look too closely). The lights around the door are a necklace Cat forgot to wear.

Well, there is no weekend word yet. It is supposed to start with "O" so I suppose that I could just say, "Oh, well." It's been a little busy here. I made a new gate, built an organizer for a kitchen drawer, and cleaned up the flower beds. Then there is a meal to prepare for tomorrow. The dough for the rolls is in the refrigerator, eggs are boiled for the giblet gravy, cranberry sauce is made, and the table is set. Maybe if it slows down Sunday evening I can post something. Until then, have a merry Christmas (or "Happy Christmas" as they say in merry old England).

Friday, December 23, 2005

A dedicated site for multi-authored stories

It seems to me that this story-telling game deserves a blogsite all its own. So I have set up "Tales of Blogland" at specifically for this exercise. Go check it out, add a comment, and I will add your name to the list of Frequent Bloglanders. Tomorrow I will post a weekend word (here). Oh, BTW, I am changing my signature from "M. Hibou" to "little david" as that seems to be best.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Another story

OK, so some of you enjoyed that story-telling experience. Let's tweak the rules a bit (I love tweaking rules--kind of like Calvinball) to allow more than two sentences per comment. You now get up to five sentences and four comments each. No socks, no sax, no sects. The photo is an illustration to get you started. This time the story will be about Annie, a maiden who lives on the edge of a forest near Talkeetna, Alaska.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Weekend words N (running late)

Hasn't it been hectic at your house? We have stayed busy here. There was Christmas on Columbia (the photo is the final look of the tomb once we set it up), which went quite well despite bitter cold. We know of two women who made a profession of faith in Jesus during a discussion with a friend which followed their ride through the nativity scenes. Our Sunday school class went shopping Friday night for gifts to deliver to seven children whose fathers are in prison. I will be delivering some of those tomorrow. The handbell choir of which I am a member has played four times in the last five days. And tonight we are driving to a town 50 miles away for two Christmas parties. Whew!
OK, the N word is not anything unusual, I just wanted to talk about it. The word is NOEL which is nearly synonymous with Christmas. You will not be surprised that it comes from French (Noël) and ultimately from Latin (natalis) and refers to birth. The form Noël was recorded as early as 1175; it was used to describe the first Christmas trees about 500 years later. These appeared in Strassbourg, France, and were decorated with candies (not candles). So while Christianity has been in practice for a couple of millennia, the "arbre de Noël" (Christmas tree) has only been around for the last four hundred years. OK, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2005

A new game

Here's a game that I have played F2F and I think it will translate well in this medium. The idea is to write a story as a group. Each participant may make no more than two comments limited to two sentences each. Only one character is permitted to be killed off in the story (no miraculous resuscitations later in order to kill off someone else). The story ends when the original blogger posts his or her second comment.

This week's story will feature Albert, a retired sock factory worker who lives in Nice, France.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The fishing vest

Patti, this is just for you. Hope it brings back nothing but pleasant memories. (See comments on "A pic and a grin" post below for further details.)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Weekend words M

Here's a word I learned just today: MONOPSONY [muh-NOP-suh-nee]. It only came into American vocabulary in the early twentieth century. And it came into my office earlier this morning via an economics professor who dropped by to tell me all about his favorite coffee. You are familiar with a monopoly, right? That's when there is only one seller of a particular item (like the city water company). Monopolizers can price their product pretty much as they please, because you can't get it anywhere else. A monopsony is a situation in which there is only one buyer for a particular product. Take for example, Wal-Mart--they have made deals with some small businesses to buy all of the products that business can produce. Sounds alluring, doesn't it? But what happens if WM decides they want to pay you a lower price? If you balk, they may move all their vast business to some other schmuck, so you agree, because there's no one else that can buy all that stuff you're producing. And besides, WM is going to price the product so low, you can't make a profit selling it to anyone else. There are laws regulating monopolies, but not monopsonies. So that's our economics lesson for the day, boys and girls.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

A pic and a grin

While we were in New Mexico it snowed several inches. The kids were delighted. Several of them from San Francisco had never seen snowflakes and they were thrilled. One of the boys is named for me. He made this snow angel. Very nice, my diminutive eponymous angel!

Now for fun, here is an exercise passed on to me by SpookyRach. Please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL MEMORY OF YOU AND ME. It can be anything you want--good or bad--BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE. When you're finished, post this paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Santa Fe photo

The Thanksgiving week in Glorieta NM was wonderful. Several days we went into Santa Fe to eat and shop and be tourists. We saw the Georgia O'Keefe museum and bought jewelry on the plaza. At one point the light was just right on a church and I got this shot. Lucky me, huh?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Tomb progress

The tomb without paint

Once the skin was on, this is what the tomb looked like. On the right, I think you can see the "stone" that would roll in front of the opening. The tomb is light enough that I can tilt the whole thing on its back and lift it upright by myself. We just hope the wind isn't blowing to hard this weekend. As it is the temperature expectations are now mid-twenties with 20% chance of snow and 25-mile-per-hour winds on Wednesday. Hmmmm.

With paint on the skin, it kind of looks like a strange Disneyland attraction. But from a distance, at night, perhaps it will look sufficiently stony. Thanks to Rachel who helped with painting. And I have seen the faceless Santa in front of her office building. I have to say that the decorations on that side of the street look pretty bedraggled. Did Rachel and Mindy offend some city worker?

Tomb with some paint

Monday, December 05, 2005

I'm back but besieged

Thanks to those who have asked about my whereabouts. As soon as I got back from Thanksgiving week, I started working on all those things left undone while I was away. That primarily included fininshing off the tomb I am building for our church's Christmas presentation. And I was bummed to realize that I lost the cable which connects my camera to the computer, so I had to purchase a device on Saturday to transfer photos. I will try to post a picture or two in the next couple of days (maybe even tonight). BTW, I was able to get SpookyRach to help with the painting of the tomb. She's pretty good. It may all be for naught seeing as the weather for our outdoor presentation is forecast to be windy and very cold (highs in the twenties). Who is going to ride around on the back of an open wagon at night in weather like that? We really can't expect actors to stand outside for two hours with the north wind blowing. More later.