Christopher Columbus

The wife gets up one morning last week and while taking her shower muses on the word colony. Since Christopher Columbus was also known as, among other things, Cristóbal Colón, she wondered if his name might be the root of the word.

Interesting premise, but apparently not so. According to the dictionary, the etymology of the word colony is from the Middle English colonie, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, from Latin colonia, from colonus farmer, colonist, from colere to cultivate.
Confidential to FGH: all meals in Columbus, OH are $14.92 or a multiple of same; it’s a municipal mandate. Also true in Columbia, SC.
Went to the wedding of Susan Brynofson, a member of my church choir, and Robert Gierthy yesterday. Congratulations to them and their families.
There’s a new 1.25 mile pedestrian walkway over the Hudson River between Highland and Poughkeepsie, near my old college town of New Paltz, the refurbishing of an old railroad bridge long abandoned. I need to walk this sometime.
I had indicated my fear from making my first appearance on radio since I used to read news copy for my college radio station XX years ago. It’s now available for dissection. I’ll tell you what was very weird about it, which was told to me beforehand: I never talked with the host before or after the show. Also I really thought I finally was rolling when it ended. More info, including the links here.
Free Gospel Concert: A Tribute to Mahalia Jackson today (Monday, October 12)
Huxley Theater, New York State Museum
A pre-concert movie at 3PM – Mahalia Jackson: the Power and the Glory
In concert: Sharon Fullard, Constance Graves, Marjorie Rush
Merline Smith – Concert Master
Visit Through the Eyes of Others on exhibition in West Gallery


Treppenwitz: I Should Have Thought of That Sooner

I learned a new word last year, treppenwitz. OK, “learned” might be overstating it, because it subsequently slipped my mind.

It’s of German origin, as you might surmise. It’s that phenomenon that takes place when someone angers or frustrates you; the moment passes, and then 15 minutes later, you come up with that perfect rejoinder that would have turned your antagonist into a puddle of despair. Or so you would believe.

That smackdown to the rude driver you eviscerate, instead of saying, “You…you…”
Putting racist/sexist/homophobic commenters in their place with a such rapier-like wit that they are slackjawed.

I listen to the political talk shows or the Jerry Springer-type shows – in some ways, they’re pretty much the same – and I know that if I were on one of them, I would suffer mightily, not because I don’t have my facts or a sense of my own convictions, but because I’d likely get caught up trying to match snark with snark.

Ultimately, I think I’ll stick with the written word thing. This is not to say that, someday, I wouldn’t want to do a podcast. But it’d be MY podcast, or on a civil and friendly podcast of someone else’s.
Speaking of words, I seriously had no idea of the primary meaning of the word ‘teabagging’ until this week, though someone said it was mentioned by a character in The 40-Year Old Virgin, which I saw. I think the tea party notion is silly; it may have been Arthur of AmeriNZ who said, “Taxation without reprsentation? I thought they were from the District of Columbia!” which DOES suffer from that political malady.
Because I like it: Susan Boyle.


Do You Believe In Thaumaturgy?

My friend, the Hoffinator, wrote: “The headline I read included the phrase, ‘the thaumaturgic abilities of professors…’ I was curious, so I looked it up. Thaumaturgy is the performance of miracles. See if you can work it into a conversation…..”
thaumaturgy [THAW-muh-tuhr-jee]-noun
The performance of miracles or magi.
thaumaturgic [thaw-muh-TUR-jik]–adjective
1. pertaining to a thaumaturge or to thaumaturgy.
2. having the powers of a thaumaturge.
thaumaturge [THAW-muh-turj]–noun
a worker of wonders or miracles; magician.
Also, thaumaturgist.
Interesting word. But it got me thinking that if pop songs replaced the word magic and its variants with thaumaturgy and ITS variants, it would make for some terrible scansion:

Black Thaumaturgic Woman by Santana

Thaumaturgic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf

Do You Believe In Thaumaturgy by the Lovin’ Spoonful

My Baby Must Be a Thaumaturge by the Marvelettes -hmm, actually that work, scansion-wise

Emotionally intelligent signage
The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community.
-Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895
DIY Dryer Sheets
Mix one part liquid softener to four parts water and place in an old spray bottle. Spray some on a dedicated washcloth and toss in the dryer along with the clothes. One bottle of liquid fabric softener lasts a very long time.
Here’s the website that has a lot of other good tips.
Mark Evanier linked to the opening of a mid-1960s TV show called Branded, starring Chuck Connors (“The Rifleman”). My sisters and I used to play “Branded”. We’d sing the theme together and take turns being the commander breaking the “sword” over our knees. (Usually it was a stick, but we also used to rip this piece of thin cardboard that used to be on the hangers when they came back from the dry cleaners.) And yes, I still know the song by heart.
Cool pics of the universe


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