The George Rowan project


boggle5When I was in college, looking for a pseudonym, just in case, I mixed up the letters in Roger Owen Green. It came out as George R.N. Roween. George was obvious. When I was in high school, two of the guys I hung out with were named George. A young woman in our group started calling ME George, much to my irritation.

But linguistically, it sort of made sense. George and Roger both have R, O, G, and E. George Roween, though, sounded weird, so I changed it to George Rowan. There was a black syndicated columnist named Carl Rowan (1925-2000) who I used to watch on the news panel program Agronsky and Company.

Anyway, for my half birthday, plus a day, I decided to find all the words in Roger Owen Green, and define the ones I don’t know, generated by some website.  The only 8-letter word is greegree, which is an African amulet

7 letters:
engorge greener regreen reneger renewer regorge regrown
wronger – One who wrongs someone. But NOT the comparative term for wrong

The six-letter words

erenow, which my spellcheck does not like. (archaic, literary) before this time; heretofore
gorger – yes, it is one who gorges. But it’s also the Romani term for non-Romani
nonego – anything not considered to be the ego or conscious self; a thing external to the mind.
orgone – a substance postulated by Wilhelm Reich, who thought it was present everywhere and needed to be incorporated in people for sexual activity and mental health

orogen – an extensive belt of rocks deformed by orogeny, associated in places with plutonic and metamorphic rocks.
regrew regrow renege renown
wonner  – an inhabitant, an occupant (in British English, archaic); no wonder my spellcheck didn’t like it

The five-letter words

These will be good for playing Boggle
egger – one that collects the eggs of wild birds especially for gain.
error genre
genro – the elder statesmen of Japan who formerly advised the emperor
goner gorge green
grego – a coarse warm jacket or coat with a hood formerly worn by seamen
grown newer
ngwee – a monetary subunit of the kwacha (Zambia)

noone – Nonstandard spelling of no one. “Noone is formed in parallel to the formation of nobody, anyone, and everyone, but it is not preferred because of the doubled vowels creating a temptation to read and pronounce it as “noon”  Noone reminds me of Peter Noone, the lead of Herman’s Hermits s.
owner renew reorg rewon roger
rowen – a second growth of grass or hay in one season
rower wooer wrong

The four-letter words

eger -from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English. (noun) An impetuous flood; a bore. (adjective) obsolete Sharp; bitter; acid; sour. My spellcheck hates this word.
enow – enough
erne – sea eagle
ewer – a pitcher with a wide spout; I used to know that one

gene goer
gogo – a discotheque, nightclub, etc., with go-go music and dancing. I always spelled it with a hyphen or as two words
gorg – species of amphibian which were eaten alive by members of the Hutt species. They were available for seven wupiupi in the markets of Mos Espa on the planet Tatooine. (No wonder my spellcheck loathed this.) The Urban Dictionary: short for the word gorgeous

gree – mastery, superiority (Scotland); agree
grog gone goon gown gong grew grow
neer – an unpunctuated version of ne’er, for never. But it’s not in the Scrabble dictionary.
nene – the Hawaiian goose, branta sandvicensis, which was designated the state bird of Hawaii in 1957. (Which was before it was a state, but whatever…)

nero – it’s black in Italian, and capitalized, it’s the fifth emperor of Rome
nogg – a shave for shaping dowels and handles.
nong – a foolish, incompetent person (Australian and New Zealand Informal); a Scrabble word.

ogee – a molding with an S-shaped profile; a pointed arch having on each side a reversed curve near the apex
oner – something unique or extraordinary (British). Is it acceptable in Scrabble? Depends
ooer – (Britain) said to acknowledge a double entendre or something that sounds rude. NOT a Scrabble word
rone  – (British English/Scottish) – a drainpipe or gutter for carrying rainwater from a roof. Most Scrabble sources say yes.

ween – (archaic) to hold as an opinion
weer  – comparative of wee; 2 syllables
were wore worn wren

The three-letter words

egg ego
eng – the symbol, ŋ, that, in the International Phonetic Alphabet and in the pronunciation alphabets of some dictionaries, represents the voiced velar nasal consonant indicated in English spelling by (ng), as in the pronunciations of cling [kling] and clink [klingk].
eon ere
erg -the centimeter-gram-second unit of work or energy, equal to the work done by a force of one dyne when its point of application moves through a distance of one centimeter in the direction of the force; 10−7 joule. I actually DID remember this word from HS physics but I couldn’t remember the definition.
ern – alternative spelling of erne (see above)
err ewe gee gen geo goo

gor – interjection British Dialect. (used as a mild oath.) (used as an exclamation of surprise or disbelief.) Think OMG. Scrabbleworthy.
nee new nog non nor now oer one
ono – adj. Hawaii. Delicious; tasty.
ore owe own
ree  – (agriculture, Scottish archaic) a walled enclosure for sheep, cattle, and pigs. OK for Scrabble

reo – a language in New Zealand?
roo – a kangaroo
row wee
wen – an abnormal growth or a cyst protruding from a surface especially of the skin
woe won woo

And finally

ee – an eye. Valid Scrabble word
en er ew go ne no
oe – a whirlwind near the Faeroe Islands
oo  (obsolete) The Greek letter omega; any of four Hawaiian birds of the genus Moho, formerly classed with the honeyeaters and now believed to be extinct.
or ow re we
wo – falconer‘ s call to a hawk;  A call to cause a horse to slow down or stopwhoa;  Archaic Variant of woe.

July rambling: Sp Bad at Typign


NO, the OTHER one From

Inside Exxon’s playbook: How America’s biggest oil company continues to oppose action on climate change and climate change is here and This is
Why We Should Stop Calling it Climate Change

#Film4Climate 1st Prize Short Film Winner – Three Seconds 

New American Manifesto

Erik Prince, the failson face of privatized war

“Good Guy with a Gun” killed by the cops he was trying to save

Lincoln was the best. Buchanan was the worst. What about the others?
C-SPAN rounds up historians to rank the Presidents. Trump is 41st

How Woodrow Wilson betrayed China and helped give rise to the Chinese Communist Party

Oops: The Trump Organization Kept Literal Spreadsheets of Its Crimes

Inside William Barr’s Breakup With Trump

“I’d rather die living”

COVID Data Tracker

Boston Globe: The United States has yet to fully abolish slavery

The IRS is holding millions of tax returns, delaying refunds, including, it appears, ours 

Over 42,000 Americans died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020, up 8% from 2019.

Upstate New York faces a plague of caterpillars

Words and things

From Wordsmith: The shorter the word, the more meanings it has. The Oxford English Dictionary lists more than 500 senses of the 3-letter word set. The 45-letter long pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, on the other hand, has one meaning and will forever have that one meaning.

Zaila Avant-garde breezes to National Spelling Bee win

horse race 

Mapping global happiness levels.

I just found out the guy who invented auto-correct died. His funnel is tomato…

The Internet Is Rotting. Too much has been lost already. The glue that holds humanity’s knowledge together is coming undone.

Geography: Seasons of a Finger Lakes Winery

‘They said I don’t exist. But I am here’ – one woman’s battle to prove she
isn’t dead 

Richard Donner, 1930-2021

This Year’s Bill Finger Awards for comic book writing, posthumous

Midnight on Olin chair
Midnight, sitting in the antique Olin chair almost as soon as it entered the premises

Pine Hills Review: F*ck 2020 

Why Am I Sp Bad At  Typign?

‘Give Black people credit’: Black TikTok stars strike, demand credit for their work

2021 fireworks 

Now I Know: The Balloon Shields and The Problem With Jam and The Secret of the Swiss Cheese and Getting the Horse’s Goat and Pigging Out on Video Games and The Pink Gun Surprise

This Wedding RSVP Card Is Going Viral

My Life as a Meme: ‘I Can’t Believe You’ve Done This’ Revisited

tortoise eating a strawberry


Kaintuck by William Grant Still

Min Kwon: America/Beautiful 

Central Park in the Dark by Charles Ives

Coverville 1362: The Killers Cover Story and
1363: Summer Covers and 1364: Mini-Album Covers for Escape, Heavy Metal and 4


Home from The Wiz, vocalist is Landi Oshinowo

Beautiful Girl Montage from Singin’ in the Rain.

The Most COMPLEX Pop Song of All Time

Death Cafe and talking to strangers

“how not to be real”

Death CafeBack in 2018, I wrote about a concept called the Death Cafe. Here’s the website

“At a Death Cafe people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. Our aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives”

Although I only attended a single event in person, I’ve been to about a half dozen sessions remotely. I’ve even facilitated a couple of breakout sessions since one wants no more than 4-6 people in a given virtual room.

The last session organized by the Albany group in may had people from New York City and central Europe. It is one of those rare events that, arguably, might be enhanced by Zoom.

One relays stories, largely to strangers, which is oddly therapeutic. I might tell of some specific disappointment about an absence at a recent funeral. It might be easier to share the story there than in this blog.


I could talk about the tons of food that were brought to my parents’ house after my father died in August 2000. I specifically remember that someone came by at 10:30 pm, my mother looking exhausted from the day.

Conversely, almost no food was brought to my MIL’s house in April 2020 after my FIL died. It wasn’t just different norms between North Carolina and upstate New York, plus the passage of time. There was a pandemic, so the extended family wasn’t at her home. On the other hand, a pair of my wife’s friends brought us some food, delivered appropriately in a socially distanced manner.

Back in 2012, Jaquandor reviewed Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Pie by Beth Howard. It’s a lovely reflection, which you should read.

Ken Levine on the sudden death of his friend Arlen Peters: “Order the pie.  You never know.”

My  May 31 post has a few more examples.


One of those food narratives was linked from Arthur’s blog, He’s been writing a LOT about death, bravely and quite insightfully. For instance, he wrote about people being very good actors. “We learn what to say, how not to say things, and how to present ourselves in a way that the people in our lives expect. We learn, in other words, how not to be real.”

Or finding the right words. “I’ve seen many people dealing with profound grief who say that they stop talking about their grief journey because they sense that the people they talk to don’t want to hear about it, or else they’re visibly uncomfortable. In such cases, the grieving person will, essentially, adopt what they see as the socially expected behavior: Silence.”

And there are others.

My point in linking to these is that talking about issues surrounding death doesn’t glorify death. It contextualizes death in this world rather than making it a verboten topic.

If you’re so inclined, check out a Death Cafe. There will be an in-person one (finally) in Albany County very soon.

Death Cafe Flyer June. 30 2021

January rambling: Bad Wolves

Sedition seems to be a running theme.

Permanent link to this comic:

Love has everywhere to go.

If you claim to value education, vaccinate teachers.

Penn Station’s Beautiful New Moynihan Train Hall Is Now Open.

‘They just sort of showed up’: The Amish find a home in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

How the Muppets Helped Me Contemplate My Mortality This Christmas (ht to fillyjonk -also for the Bowie, below).

The 100 Sequences That Shaped Animation

In Conversation: Francis Ford Coppola

The Hidden Depths of Alex Trebek’s Banter with “Jeopardy!” Contestants.

Good Advice About Bad Advice – as someone who was on JEOPARDY, I relate to this a LOT.

RIP Tommy Lasorda, who had one of the most memorable performances ever seen on a Capital Region baseball diamond.

RIP Bill Lambdin, a fixture in Capital Region news for decades.

1970 episode of the game show To Tell the Truth that featured William M. Gaines, the publisher of MAD.

RIP Dawn Wells.

Pet peeve – people who are always late.

A family of 12 siblings now holds the Guinness World Record for highest combined age.  

“Show me the receipts” and other modern idioms.

12 Amazing U.S. Company Towns You Can Still Visit.

Now I Know: The Life-Saving Power of Television and The Rain Storm That Bugged Out and How Postage May Have Saved the Panama Canal and But Can a Ghost Be President?

Arthur’s dreams and Not missing American products.  

Polly ticks

The Dark Reality of Betting Against QAnon

Psychology Today, 2016 (and still true): The Psychology Behind Trump’s Unwavering Support.

Facing Legal and Political Peril, Trump Is Turning On Even His Most Devoted Allies.

Weekly Sift: Sedition and Free Speech and The Capitol Invasion is Both an End and a Beginning.

They’ve Showed Us Who They Are.

The Daily Social Distancing Show- Fox Your Feelings: Then and Now. 

Democracy is a threat to white supremacy—and that is the cause of America’s crisis.

It’s Time For The Republican Party To Split.


The Yearly Sift: Themes of the Year.

Politico: The Worst Predictions.

Record Year for Far-Right Violence in the US.

Google’s Year in Search

20 things that went strangely, wonderfully right

Words of the Year, including anti-masker, asymptomatic, asynchronous, coronavirus pandemic, doomscrolling, fraud, mostly peaceful, mute, QAnon, remote, social distancing, superspreader event, the Great Equalizer, unprecedented, well, Zoom.

The Streaming Wars Could Finally End in 2021.

100 best movies on AMAZON PRIME (DECEMBER 2020).


Bad Wolves – Rebecca Jade  featuring Jason Mraz, Miki Vale and Veronica May.

Sedition – Randy Rainbow.

Their music will not ‘be forgot’: RIP 2020

Coverville 1339 and 1340: The 2020 Coverville Countdown Part 1 and Part 2

Coverville 1341: Gerry and The Pacemakers Tribute.

Movin’ Right Along – Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear.

Changes by David Bowie piano cover/lesson.


Symphony No. 7 in A Major, op. 92.

Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor.

Choral Fantasy

Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos, in G major and E-flat Major, respectively.

Moonlight Sonata; also Symphony No. 1 and the Triple Concerto.

The Symphony No. 9 in D minor.

Get orbisculate into the dictionary

To orbisculate. Meaning, “to accidentally squirt juice and/or pulp into one’s eye, as from a grapefruit when using a spoon to scoop out a section for eating.”

orbisculate“Is ‘orbisculate’ a word? The late Neil Krieger’s children want it to be.” That’s the title of a recent Boston Globe article.

“Hilary Krieger, now 43 and an editor for NBC News’s THINK, was 24 when she used it with a friend… ‘We were eating fruit – I believe it was oranges – and I said, it ‘orbisculated on you.’ [The friend] was like, ‘That’s not a word. … My first feeling was pity. Like, this is going to be embarrassing when he finds out that this is a word.'”

Except that it wasn’t. It was a creation of her father. “Neil Krieger was a scientist and entrepreneur. After 20 years teaching neuroscience…, he founded West Rock Associates, a biotech grant recruitment firm. He was committed to civil rights activism and was involved with the Boston chapter of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality).

“Krieger died of complications from COVID-19 on April 29. He was 78.

“Now his adult children are on a mission. They want ‘orbisculate’ added to the dictionary, to honor their father. (Also, it’s a perfectly useful intransitive verb, they say.) They’ve launched a website with a petition to dictionary editors.”

The blog

And on the website is the post How to Break into a Dictionary.

“The way a word qualifies for inclusion is when it’s being used by a lot of people. Dictionaries employ scores of editors to scour the English language for new words and check whether they’re being used often and widely. And like many things, the best way to get a word used widely is by word of mouth…

“But there was, of course, a catch. Dictionary editors only count certain types of uses of the word: When it’s used in context. That means that references to the word as a word, rather than employing it for what it means, don’t get added to their count.”

OK. “I hold the Friskies cat food can away from me when I open it, lest it orbisculate on me.” BTW, this is true.

The Krieger family is “also selling T-shirts with the word on them; all proceeds benefit Carson’s Village, an organization that helps families with resources right after a loss (the group does everything from helping to coordinate burials to setting up obituaries, for free).”


I am sympathetic because I’m a big fan of the word lunaversary. It’s made it into the Urban Dictionary, but its example is terrible. “Our 4-month lunaversary is on Saturday.” NO! “Our fourth lunaversary is on Saturday.” Yes!

The Merriam-Webster people are looking at the ‘-iversary’ word part. “Monthiversary (with its variant monthaversary) to be the strongest contender for full establishment in the language.” [SHUDDER!]  Mensiversary would be OK, I guess, but one loses the sense of the insanity of new love.