Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Save This For Next Xmas

This Is Exciting

I just love websites like this, packed with exciting photographs. AIRLINERS.NET - Just Like Flying But Without The Peanuts

There are some really wonderful photos herein, including many scary shots. Some really close calls are illustrated with photos from the landings at the old Kai Tak Airport right on the edge of Hong Kong Bay with buildings lining both sides of the tight approach, crosswinds constantly pitching the plane to and fro, and a short 5000 ft. runway. I actually experienced that a few times and remember them well.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Windows ME

Just for laughs, please click on this.
Instapundit.com -

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Down On The Farm

You are going to have to cut and paste this link (My fault. Sorry.) But, it's worth it.


This time, you can graduate. Enjoy!

Racing Around The Internet

You might wish to try this:

I'm a Mazda RX-8!

You're sporty, yet practical, and you have a style of your own. You like to have fun, and you like to bring friends along for the ride, but when it comes time for everyday chores, you're willing to do your part.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Beautiful, But Somewhat Sad

UPDATE: Link to "Fire and Ice"

It's a bit chilly outside, but the weather should be clear for a few days. Thanks for that.

Meantime, I ran across a milblogger who sketches and photographs from Fallujah. These are 7.22mm machine gun rounds. See http://www.mdfay.blogspot.com/

Beautiful picture. Necessary stuff. Sad use.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Stare Decisis!

All last week during the Alito (NOT "Alioto") hearings I was puzzled (I sound like Sen. Biden here) by the pronunciation of "stare decisis." (I have had a bit of Latin in my earlier years.) So I googled it and, ah ha!, I was correct. See All Empires History Forum: How to pronounce Roman names (Latin Pronunciation Guide)

Quoting from therein: Neo-latin terms in Classical Pronunciation
Alumni: Alum-nee
Alumnae: Alum-nigh (i and ae pronunciation swapped between C. Latin and English)
Stare Decisis (law term): Star-reh Dee-kai-sis (English: Stair-ree, Da-cy-sis)
Dies Irae (day of Wrath): Dies Ir-rye (Church Latin: Dies Iray)
Sub Poena (law term): Sub Poe-ena (English: Sub peena)

Neat, huh? I do find these language things interesting.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nice Picture

Just thought that I would add this:

Bulbs Are Growing

It's cold out there; rainy for some, snowy for others, and it's going down to 5F at Truckee tonight, but, fear not! There is new growth underground, just beginning to show. Heck; there's a new birth in Bromsgrove, and that is super! Spring is just around the corner!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

What Has Happened To Our Party?

Some things just have to be acknowledged.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Veni Vidi Vici Vino!

Interesting wines accompanied our authentic, traditional Japanese food at dinner this weekend. Usually I am a fan of California wines, both red and white, for reasons of parochialism, price, and proximity.

However, there are times when overseas offerings have made their presence felt, and this was one of those times, with examples from France and from Italy.

Pouilly-Fume, from the Loire Valley, (that's a castle-in-a-vineyard up above) is a memorable white wine, strong, buttery, and impressively heavy in taste. This was from the Villa Paulus, but I have another version to try soon at another occasion. I look forward to it.

Valpolicella by Villa Bella is a deep, fruity, complex red from the province of Verona, Italy, east of Lake Garda. This bottle was labeled “Classico Superiore” where the label SUPERIORE indicates a 1 percent higher minimum ALCOHOL content and an age of a minimum of 1 year. The best wines are generally those labeled CLASSICO, which indicates that they come from the inner classico zone with its steeply terraced vineyards. See the adjacent photo for a pic of the area.

Similar wines are easily available at better wine shops and upscale supermarket aisles for $15 - $25.
(UPDATE) Just for variety, we ended the evening with a small tumbler each of "Shochu", a distilled(not fermented)rice drink that will knock your socks off, which it did.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Today's Word: metathesis

( Scroll down for update)

(metathesis: Definition and Much More From Answers.com

Metathesis is a sound change that alters the order of phonemes in a word. The most common instance of metathesis is the reversal of the order of two adjacent phonemes.

Many languages have words that show this phenomenon, and some use it as a regular part of their grammar. The process of metathesis has altered the shape of many familiar words in the English language, too.

The use of ax for ask goes back to Old English days, when ascian and axian were both in use. Some other frequently heard pronunciations in English that display metathesis are:

intersting or intresting for interesting
intregal for integral
julary for jewelry
nucular for nuclear
reelator for realtor
revelant for relevant

The process has shaped many English words historically. Bird in English was once bryd, run was once irnan, horse was hros, wasp is also recorded as hasp. The discrepancy between the spelling of iron and the usual pronunciation is the result of metathesis.

So, the next time President Bush says "nu-ku-lar" and you cringe, just remember that, with his graduate degrees from Yale, he's employing metathesis!

Update: Rudy reminds us of the "Great Vowel Shift" and provides a link at:



The following comment from National Review On Line just caught my fancy. If you have a moment, put down your drink, with a clink, and enjoy!

DRUNK IN CHARGE [Andrew Stuttaford]
With the leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrats (the country’s third political party, whose internal contradictions would be enough to drive anyone to drink) in trouble over his problems with the bottle, Ben McIntyre of the London Times gives some helpful background on the role of alcohol in UK politics:
“Booze runs through the very veins of British politics. No democracy has been, over the years, so consistently pickled: William Pitt the Younger marinated himself daily with three bottles of port; Winston Churchill slurped through the war on a tidal wave of champagne and brandy. The very language of drinking has been framed by our elected representatives, such as “Squiffy” Asquith and George Brown, Labour’s famously blotto Foreign Secretary in the 1960s, for whom the phrase “tired and emotional” was coined.”
The whole article is well worth reading, but this is too good not to repeat here:
“I suspect that the most famous George Brown drinking anecdote of all immeasurably improved our diplomatic relations with Peru. At a grand reception in that country in the 1960s, the Labour Foreign Secretary tottered up to a figure resplendent in a fetching purple frock, and slurringly asked her for a dance. She turned him down with the response: “First, you are drunk. Second, this is not a waltz, it is the Peruvian national anthem. And third, I am not a woman, I am the Cardinal Archbishop of Lima.”
And why am I not surprised by this?
“New Labour has brought a strange whiff of Puritanism from the likes of Alastair Campbell (teetotal), Peter Mandelson (who is known to sip hot water at dinner parties) and Tony Blair (just a cup of tea, thanks awfully).”
Time for a drink, I think.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Feeling Important Are We?

You could click here and then scroll down for an explanation.

JPL.NASA.GOV: Mars Exploration Rovers

I think I recognize you up there. Please wave back, will you?

(Rampant almost-plagerism from YARGB, which is a yet another really great blog.)