Sunday, July 29, 2007

streinj langwij

Do you realize how hard it is to pronounce English words based on the spelling? It is an awful language for non-native speakers to learn (and more than a few native speakers have problems with spelling). For example, how do you describe the pronunciation of "ough" in light of: tough, though, through, trough, thought, and drought? It's a nightmare! The only logical thing to do is to use a phonetic alphabet, one in which every letter maintains a consistent sound, there are no digraphs (combination of two or more letters to produce one sound, e.g., "ph") and both vowels of a dipthong (one letter representing a blend of two sounds) are written. Well, that's a challenge if you want to stick with the letters in the present alphabet.

I decided to try my hand at it keeping with characters available on the standard keyboard. Tell me what you think. (Oh, that hibiscus is a recent addition to our porch. So far it has been pretty hardy. We'll see what happens in winter.)

Scroll way down. For some reason, Blogger does not care for table code.

afatnnow, dinner
qfather, hotopoke, okay
bbag, jabppoke, sap, supper
ccheese, hatchrrake, arrest, car
ddeedssand, face, asset, science
ebet, edgettreat, better
ffix, phone, effectubug, apple, president, anonymous
gguard, dogvvein, heavy
hhadwwent, queen
iit, youxshoot, sugar, addition
jjug, wage, giantyshoot, tuna
=azurezeasy, zip, buzzed
llit, allow\then
mmix, summer^fee, beat, gene, receipt
qieye, aisle, five, buyaohouse, how
eimake, vein, payquought, taut
iyfew, musicyushould, wood

hir iz u post wic wil rikwqir sum dusqifur^ng. it iz nqt ^z^ ty rqit u funetik alfubet for ^nglix iyz^ng onl^ #u k^z qn u k^bord wi\aot dqigrafs. #u vaowul saondz rikwqir men^ dif#qngz. qi \^nk #is wyud teik sum praktis az qlmost evr^ wurd wyud b^
r^speld. and wqt xyud b^ dun ubaot \^ngz lqik "etc."? qi ges #ei wyud hav ty b^ speld aot: "etseturu."

hao wyud wun ukaont fqr r^junul aksents? fqr egzampul "would" mqit b^ speld ^#ur "wyud" or "wud." wqt if evr^wun speld wurdz #u wei #ei saond ty #em (or #im)? qi no wun gqi hy pronaonsez "us" as "uz."

wqt ubaot kapitul leturs? kyud #ei b^ yzd just for neimz? but wqt ubaot neimz #at stqrt wi\ "#" and "\"? meib^ iy wyud hav ty kapitulqiz #u hol wurd: \^UDOR ("Theodore"). kuntracxuns wyud b^ streinj; "it iz" kuntracts ty "its" (or xyud it b^ "it's"?). if iy hav red #is fqr, iy mei b^ az loko az qi am.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Feeling better, thanks.

Well, let's just say that I feel less sick. And the first week of the transition is OVER! Of course, there will still be times when I will need to go back over to the other office to help out, but all day Friday I got to stay in my new office relatively uninterrupted. It was wonderful!

The lawn is starting to look like a jungle. Perhaps I can muster up the stamina to do the edging today. Cat's sister CS was here over the weekend and kept promising to mow the lawn. But that didn't happen. Oh, and Aileen, one of our friends from Hawaii, spent last week here in Fake Cow Town visiting the various offices. We wound up the week going to see the musical TEXAS in Palo Duro Canyon. The show was good (we sat three rows from the front of the stage!) and the person who got the award for visiting from furthest away was a Kenyan. I went and talked with him during the intermission. His sister-in-law, who was present, had taught Swahili at Brackenhurst, the Baptist conference center where Cat and I have stayed on our Kenya trips. Small world, eh? Anyway, Aileen seems to have enjoyed herself and will go back with memories of an incredibly flat landscape (the drive between here and the canyon). [Note to Aileen: I have opened the pineapple-papaya jam and guava jelly so far. Ummmmmm! Yummy!]

Aloha, y'all.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Over at Carolanne's site I ran across a link to a personality test online. Here's the report from my quiz (run your cursor over the blocks to see the individual components):

The inventory was interesting. I admired its construction and, at least in my case, it seems to be fairly accurate. Of courses, I am the introspective sort, so I have already considered a number of the issues that it raised. If you would like to take the inventory yourself, click on PersonalDNA. There is no signup necessary to take the inventory.

In other news, I am pretty tired today. I hope that this means that the antibiotic I am taking for my pneumonia is taking effect. Tomorrow starts a big week for me: new staff members at work, a visiting colleague to fetch from the airport, training several people at once, providing dessert for an office lunch. And that's just Monday and Tuesday!

Cat and I went impulse shopping yesterday. We bought a clothes dryer and a vacuum cleaner. Well, we have needed replacements of those two for quite some time and, by golly, let's just do it, I heard myself say. From my brief and recent experience, I can tell you that Dyson's really work.

Inspired by SpookyRach's yearbook photo, I decided to post a yearbook photo myself. It is not from my yearbook. It is from the first year that our son Greg was in college. He made quite an impression, apparently. Yep, that's my boy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


That's right--this posting is just stew. No particular subject. Who knows? I might post a photo. We'll see.

When I came back from Ruidoso, I came down with a cold on Monday. That was two and a half weeks ago. Mostly it's gone now, but I still have this hacking cough and a really sore throat. Yeah, yeah, I am going to see the doctor tomorrow. Taking a book, because the receptionist had to "squeeze me in" to the schedule, so you know I will spend most of the afternoon in the waiting room. But maybe something useful will happen.

It's weird at work. I have been an administrator at my university for the last four years. Then an opportunity came up for me to be the university's first full-time online religion professor. So I jumped at the chance. The job started July 1. In theory. The reality is that since my replacement is not on campus yet and the other new employees have to be trained and there's no computer yet in my new office, I'm hanging around the old office. And then I wander over to the new office. Two sets of keys. Two phone numbers. Two desks. It's weird.

Our Sunday school class has been studying the sermons of Jesus as recorded in Matthew's gospel. In preparation for last Sunday's lesson ("take no thought what you should wear . . ."), I counted the clothes in my closet. If you take all the short-sleeved shirts (with a collar--no T shirts) and multiply that by the number of pants, I could wear a different combination of clothes every day for 555 days! OK, so I wouldn't match at least half of those days, but think how many people in the world have two or even just one set of clothes! That's it. I'm not buying any more clothes. Well, maybe socks and undies.

I went looking for a photo and decided to give you an etymological lesson on the word zenith. It actually came from an Arabic word samt ("road") which got transcribed as cemt in medieval Europe. But because Gothic letters consist of mostly vertical strokes, cemt was mistranscribed as cenit. Because this was a scholarly word, most Europeans encountered it in books and had no idea about its original pronunciation. Eventually it became pronounced zenith. And now you know. (See how lazy I am--this appeared in a previous posting!)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Must be summer

Well, it must be summer here because we are having big ol' whopping thunderstorms. It stays hot all day and the clouds, teenage punks hanging around outside the smoke shop, keep threatening to do something. Finally it cuts loose and when the rain falls hard, the lightening takes off. Some of the strikes were no more than a quarter mile from our house. We just sat on the porch and watched the show. I was lucky enough to catch this strike, although it went behind a tree, so you don't get the full effect. And what a BOOM when a bolt hits nearby! Went on for about twenty minutes and then it just settled down to sprinkling. It's all my fault--I watered the backyard last night.

Oh yeah, I have a guess as to the mysterious chalkwriter. About a week ago, an adolescent girl riding her bike down the street fell over right in front of our house. Cat rushed out the door to see if she was OK. The girl professed to be just fine and said not to worry about her. Waving off Cat's "Are you sure?" she pedaled on down the street. I'm thinking it might have been her.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A couple of oddities

Friday when we came home from work, we found that someone had left a chalk message on our driveway. This is quite confusing because the only person on our block with whom we regularly exchange favors is a bit old to be down on her knees writing with chalk. Was it the people across the street? We hardly ever talk to them--mostly friendly waves and "Are the 'skeeters eating you up?"

Maybe some children were playing on our driveway and one wrote the message for the others. After all, there is a small "Thanks" scrawled to the side. Could that been a playmate's response? But it seems to be in the same handwriting.

Perhaps friends who do not live nearby did this. I am intrigued that the word "y'all" was correctly spelled (not "ya'll" as one often sees) while "R" was substitutetd for "are." Maybe I am over-analyzing this. Maybe space aliens did this. (Rachel is out of town or I would suspect her.)

Another oddity is this flower growing in our backyard. Like Jonah's vine, it just sprung up all of a sudden. When it was about a yard tall, we thought it was a sunflower. But once it started flowering, the flowers look like brown-eyed Susans. The thing looks rather gangly with the thick stalk and leaves that are many times larger than the flowers. What do you think it is? And who planted THAT in our yard? We are going to have to keep a closer eye on our house!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mountains of New Mexico

As you may recall, Cat came up to Ruidoso with some friends so we were able to spend a couple of nights together (Cat and me, not our friends). Anyway, we were wondering what to do on Saturday before the play rehearsal and saw a lookout spot on the Chamber of Commerce map. Hey, if it's on the visitors' map, I figure we can go see it, right? So we turn off the highway at the appropriate exit and then depart from the asphalt to take the gravel road uphill. Did I mention that we are in the PWT Saturn? As we grind on up the hill, the rocks and the potholes get progressively larger. Every time I think that we are almost to the top, there's another turn and a long climb.

Finally we make it to the top and people are there. I mean lots of people, some of them camping two yards from the parking lot. Families of people. People with dogs. This is anything but secluded. Well, it was on the Chamber of Commerce map, after all. So Cat and I hike up to the steps that lead up the tower to the lookout.

Wow, what a view! We can't go all the way to the very top, because that's where a forest ranger is sitting behind a locked door, scanning the horizon for forest fires. Or maybe watching TV, I'm not sure. But the view is incredible. Of course, photos do not do it justice. But here's the view from atop Monjeau Tower. Be sure to click on the photo to see it better.