Monday, June 30, 2014


We were watching the news and the announcement was aired that Pope Francis is going to excommunicate the Mafia members.

Les said, drily, "I hope he doesn't have a horse."

We are devoted fans of The Godfather, and it ranks Number 2 on my list of the All-Time Best Movies.

Oh, I so vividly remember THAT scene from The Godfather. Who could forget the yellow satin sheets, the Oscar on the bedside table, and still able to see the throbbing of the horse?

During the recent excitement about the possibility of a Triple Crown winner, Les said, "But we know that there could never be another horse as good as KHARTOUM!" (Khartoum was the horse's name in The Godfather)

Below is a bit of our trivia exchange:

"How much did Woltz pay for Khartoum?"


"Wow, I wonder what that would translate into today's dollars?"

"A whole manure-load!"

"Who put it in the bed?"

"Luca Brasi!"

"Khartoum had a white blaze on his forehead; it was missing in the bed."

"OMG! I have to watch it again!"

"Besides, it was NOT Khartoum because that head had cataracts on its eyes!"

"WTH? I never noticed that!"

"I just watched it again recently!"

"Oh, here's something you might not know: Charles, Lord Gordon, the Commander at the Battle of Khartoum, was BEHEADED!"

"You are SICK!"


Sunday, June 29, 2014


In talking to my brother about WLAC, the radio station we listened to as teenagers, we, of course, had to recite the vintage (sorry, but I absolutely could not resist THAT pun!) Thunderbird Wine jingle:


To this day, asking "What's the word?" to people (mostly men, but obviously some women also as I remember the ads) of my generation will elicit a response imitative of the low, suggestive voices of the radio disc jockeys from the 1950s, and "satisfaction" is always said with the addition of several A's: "saaatisfaaction".

The history of Thunderbird Wine is interesting. After Prohibition the Gallo Brothers wanted to corner the market of young wine consumers. Ernest Gallo began selling Thunderbird in ghettos around the country and it is reported that he would place empty Thunderbird bottles in gutters as advertisement and also began advertising on the radio with the "What's the word?" jingle. Thunderbird Wine is known as "The American Classic" and as a Bum Wine. The original price was 60 cents ("thirty twice") and the cost today is $4.50.

I read that the yellow, fortified wine is known to turn the lips and mouth black and that the taste is disgusting.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Les and I like the actress Chloe Sevigny and we decided to have a "CHLOE FILM FESTIVAL" to watch all of her movies we hadn't seen. We have enjoyed her performances in Boys Don't Cry, Shattered Glass, and Zodiac; she was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for her role in Boys Don't Cry. She won a Golden Globe for her television performance in Big Love. She is currently the lead in her own series Those Who Kill.

When Les saw Brown Bunny at the top of our Netflix queue, he asked, "Are you sure you want to see that? Roger Ebert said it was the worst movie he'd ever seen at Cannes."

Les watched the movie first and when I asked him about it, he said that he'd prayed that an asteroid would crash through the roof and kill him so that he wouldn't have to watch another frame! Later on, he said, "You know how you can tell that a movie is really bad? There are no previews of other movies with it; no other filmmaker would want to be associated with it."

I watched the movie, and Sevigny's performance was good, but, without a doubt, Roger Ebert was right.

Vincent Gallo was listed as the Writer, Director, Producer, Editor, and Co-Cameraman of Brown Bunny. Although I had seen Gallo in other movies, I hadn't been impressed with him. I am so glad, because I just read that he is a reprehensible person who uses despicable, anti-Semitic comments and other derogatory ethic slurs. I certainly don't need another Mel Gibson-type in my viewing life.

Sevigny was known as "The Queen of Indie Movies", but I wonder why she was willing to even be in the presence of such a vile person as Gallo.

The paramount reason to detest Vincent Gallo: when Gallo learned that Roger Ebert had panned his movie, he said that he hoped Ebert died of colon cancer. Two years later Ebert did die from cancer.

Friday, June 27, 2014


After publishing the BLOG posting SACRED COWS, a reader who just happens to be the subject of the article, challenged my writing "I feel bad..." and asked the question, "Shouldn't you have written I feel badly?"

NO! NO! NO! I welcome corrections and this person is a careful reader who has pointed out errors in the past, which I have appreciated, but of course, she is wrong about "I feel badly" versus "I feel bad".

BAD is an ADJECTIVE; BADLY is an ADVERB! Adjectives describe nouns or pronouns, thus "I", the pronoun, feel BAD! Adverbs modify verbs: e.g.: "He was BADLY injured." Didn't people learn about adjectives and adverbs in school or do they just think that "badly" sounds better?

I have referenced this in several other BLOG articles because the use of "I feel badly" in Number 2 on my RANKLE LIST, right after the use of "have went", rather than "have gone"! CLICK HERE to see the BLOG article WHY DO I CARE?

Do people say or write I FEEL MADLY , I FEEL SADLY, I FEEL GLADLY, or I FEEL HAPPILY? Of course not; then why "I feel badly"?

I recall Miss Digman, my high school teacher of English, grabbing the hand of a classmate who had uttered the unpardonable phrase "I feel badly", and said, "You feel BAD unless your fingers aren't working properly!"

A friend who likes Celebrity Apprentice told me about that boorish Trump attempting to correct Cyndi Lauper when she said, "I feel bad." and he said, "You feel badly."; unfortunately, she let him get by with that bullying attempt at correcting Lauper. I can't imagine anyone being able to tolerate Trump long enough to watch that show, but "de gustibus non est disputandum". (That's my favorite Latin quote: "There's no disputing about tastes.")

I don't feel a bit BAD about disliking Trump!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


When I was a teenager, Mr. Rudolph, the Physical Education teacher, overheard my quoting to another girl something that Jack Paar had said the previous night. He said, "You shouldn't be staying up that late." I asked, "Why not?" He telephoned my mother at home and told her that he thought it wasn't a good idea for me to be staying up late watching television. Of course, she told him it wasn't any of his business and asked why would he think that kids needed ten hours of sleep.

All that my mother cared about was whether we had our homework done; we could stay up as late as we wanted. Fortunately, our mother didn't care what music we listened to either.

My brother Norman and I listened to 1510--WLAC, a 50,000 watt radio station from Nashville, Tennessee. Norman had strung a wire up our television antenna to be able to get reception. After all, this was when television stations quit broadcasting after the Tonight Show.

Listening to WLAC in the late 1950s was how Norman formed his lifelong appreciation of Ray Charles. There we were, listening to Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley while other kids were listening to Pat Boone. Whatever it was which struck a chord (can't resist a pun, can I?) with us two kids from rural Ohio, it kept us enjoying that music and fueled our rebellious spirits. Letting others know that we listened to this music was something we shared only with closest friends.

Of course, I also loved Elvis, but we all know he was only white because of his birth, as he brought black music to popularity while Pat Boone did pedestrian "covers" of the songs of Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Ivory Joe Hunter. The "50,000 Watt Quartet" of disc jockeys at WLAC were: Gene Nobles, John Richbourg, Bill "Hossman" Allen, and Herman Grizzard (see picture). They were the "Pied Pipers of Rhythm and Blues". Imagine my shock when I just learned today that John R was WHITE!

Listen below to an interview with John R.

We would hear the advertisements for Randy's Record Mart, in Gallatin, Tennessee, which was, according to the advertisement, "The World's Largest Mail Order Phonograph Record Shop". I was disappointed to learn that the owner of Randy's Record Mart, Randy Wood, was the founder of DOT Records, which was the label of Pat Boone and others who did "covers" of songs by black performers and songwriters. It pissed us off that "they" were singing "our" songs which we had already heard performed by the "true artists". I don't know if DOT was among the unscrupulous record companies which cheated black songwriters of their royalties, which was a prevalent problem.

I was saddened to learn that WLAC now has a talk-radio format.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I had responded to a Facebook request from a friend to name a movie I'd seen more than three times. When I supplied several names of movies, the person posting wrote that she "couldn't believe" that I didn't mention The Sound Of Music. I responded that it was a ridiculous movie which I had endured watching one time. One would have thought that I had committed blasphemy. She actually telephoned me because she was upset. I asked, "How could he have been a NAVY Captain in Austria?"

That remark unleashed a barrage of emotion from her. "Why do you always make fun of the things I love?", she asked. I thought, but did not say, "Surely you don't think that schmaltz is historically accurate, do you?" but instead I merely said, "Surely you know that Austria is a land-locked country so how could Captain Trapp have been in a navy?"

She said that I was mean. I said, "Oh, Hell, you'll probably be telling me next that you think Gone With The Wind was historically accurate!"

She can't seem to comprehend that because I dislike something she likes that it is not an attack on her personally or a judgment of her character; I cannot understand such great sensitivity. Why on earth would she care that I don't like a movie which I consider treacly?

She and I agree on nearly everything which I consider important, but I am not exaggerating when I reveal that there have been dozens of incidents with her having hurt feelings because I disliked something she liked. One time she didn't speak to me for a week because I hadn't been sympathetic to a demise of a television program she cherished.

She is not the only one I know with this peculiar behavior. I don't know why people are emotionally invested in people and things which have no relevance to our lives. She's the one who challenged me because of the silly movie (yes, and just because it won the Academy Award doesn't mean it's a great movie; I'll just mention The English Patient, Braveheart and Gladiator for ridiculous Oscar winners.) If she didn't want my opinion, why broach the subject? She knows I'm opinionated. I think that she's also opinionated which is a reason I like her.

I know that movie makers must have dramatic license (CLICK HERE to see "The Sound Of Music Debunked")but there are just too many errors in the movie to be acceptable. For example: Captain von Trapp is portrayed as a cruel father, which numerous accounts, including Maria's, have disputed. There were 10 children, not 7, and Maria was hired to be the governess of one child. The Captain and Maria married in 1927, not shortly before they left Austria, as portrayed in the movie, and they certainly didn't climb any mountains to escape Nazis; in fact, they left on a train in 1938, which was two years after winning the famous competition in Salzburg.

However, in researching for this, I was embarrassed to find that I was wrong because I learned that Captain von Trapp had indeed been a Navy submarine Captain in World War I for the Austro-Hungarian Navy.

To show how bad I feel about being wrong about Captain von Trapp , I actually gave her an AUTOGRAPHED, first-edition copy of Maria von Trapp's autobiography. I know you are going to ask why I have a copy of a book which I have obviously little interest in; it was a gift from someone who knows I like first editions, but I must have failed to let that person know that I like first editions of authors I like, not every first edition. I have kept the book for more than 20 years and it will now be with someone who will appreciate it.

Although I was wrong about Captain von Trapp being a captain, it's STILL a ridiculous movie!

Additional note: A new article was just published in the Huffington Post entitled "The 7 Biggest Buts in History," which you can read here. Pay particular attention to item 1 at the top of the article.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


A friend sent a grammar quiz from the Huffington Post. CLICK HERE to take the test.

There are eighteen questions in the test, and according to the results, I scored seventeen correct answers, although it should have been eighteen correct answers.

Arianna Huffington, et. al.: I don't care how many dictionaries were checked, the words LITERALLY and FIGURITIVELY do NOT have the same meaning.

Oh, haven't I already written about that very irritant? Of course I have; CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING--LITERALLY here.

I just clasped my precious OED to my chest and exclaimed, "You'll never disappoint me, will you?" Question: Did I do that LITERALLY or FIGURATIVELY?

Monday, June 23, 2014


I have a Facebook friend who is a "FREEGAN". Freegan is a portmanteau word combing "free" and "vegan". While all Freegans are not Vegans, I gather that most are.

From FREEGAN.INFO: Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living, based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans believe in community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed."

Well, of course I believe in nearly all of that, don't I? I was glad it didn't have that one must be a Vegan.

My "Freegan friend" asked me what I do with my "leftovers" and I told her that my husband is good about eating leftovers but I am not. She said that she would like to come to my home to pick up leftovers. I asked her if she was going to do that daily or weekly and would using gasoline be a violation of the "minimal consumption of resources". She said she would use her bicycle!

How could I resist that? I told her that I had leftover green beans and red potatoes, but I used bacon for flavoring. I told her that I had some salad left over also. She came right away and brought me an unopened package of edamame for bartering. I also gave her an opened bottle of salad dressing which none of us here liked.

CLICK HERE to see an article about Freegans: The Refined Art Of Dumpster Diving. My "Freegan friend" said that it is more difficult for Freegans in rural areas to find resources as compared to cities and that most stories only survey city Freegans.

I was glad to give up my pre-conceived notions about Freegans. I was pleasantly surprised that she is a young, attractive, wife and mother who works full-time. She said that her family and kids are embarrassed by her activities. I had a microwave on the corner for someone to pick up and she asked if she could have it. I told her that it's clean and works but it's 20 years old and had been in the garage since I'd gotten a stove with an attached microwave years ago. I told her that my husband had used it for heating cat food. I asked, "How are you going to carry it?" She said, "I'll send over my husband; he hasn't had his required exercise today." I asked her what she was going to do with it and she said she was going to put it in her "barter bin".

BARTER BIN? I need that!

Sunday, June 22, 2014


A reader mentioned yesterday that I had not featured "CRINGE, FAYETTE COUNTY TALK" for awhile.

A young friend told me that he was recently reading something and the word "spigot" was in the article. He said he had to look it up because he did not know the word. He was shocked that what he'd heard--and said--all of his life was not "SPICKIT", but should've been SPIGOT!

I've heard "I'm good" rather than "No thanks" ever since I can remember. I see from the Grammarphobia article below that it is not just "Fayette County Talk".

When “I’m good” is “no, thanks”

Q: I frequently hear the expression “I’m good” in the South when a server offers a refill on coffee, iced tea, water, etc. Is this use of “I’m good” to mean “No, thank you” a regionalism or is it common now?
A: You hear the expression in the South, we hear it in New England, and we’ve seen comments about it online from people in other parts of the US as well as in the UK and Australia.
It’s definitely out there, but we wouldn’t say it’s common. The usage isn’t in the Oxford English Dictionary or the standard dictionaries we usually check. And we couldn’t find comments about it, pro or con, in usage guides.
The use of “I’m good” to mean “no, thanks” or “no more” is relatively new. As far as we can tell, it first showed up in the mid-1950s among poker players.
The earliest example we’ve found is from a game of five-card draw played in “The Reforming of Parlor Davis,” a short story by Peerce Platt in the May 13, 1955, issue of Collier’s magazine:
“ ‘I’m good,’ Parlor said.
“ ‘I’ll take one,’ Ed said. He took the card, put it with his other four, and shuffled them nervously. ‘Three hundred,’ Ed said, pushing in the remainder of his chips.
“ ‘I raise you one thousand dollars,’ Parlor said.”
The next example we’ve found, from Slaughter Island, a 1991 novel by Herb Fisher, uses the expression in the drinking sense:
“ ‘Nah, I’m good, Terry,’ said Manny, waving the bottle of beer as the houseboy moved toward him along the deck of the pool.”
In this more recent example, from Close Knit Killer, a 2013 mystery by Maggie Sefton, the phrase “I’m good” is used in the restaurant sense you’ve asked about:
“ ‘I bet you want a refill,’ Julie said, walking up to Hal. ‘You need any more, Kelly?’
“ ‘No, thanks, I’m good.’ Kelly held up her hand.”
Is this colloquial use of “I’m good” legit? We see nothing wrong with it in casual speech or informal writing.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Fifty years ago--June 21, 1964--was the day that three civil rights workers--Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney--were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi. (CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article IN MEMORY OF ANDY GOODMAN)

I just finished reading My Mantelpiece A Memoir Of Survival And Social Justice by Dr. Carolyn Goodman, the mother of Andy Goodman. The book is a wrenching story of dealing with the murder of her son and the continuing fight for social justice. I still grieve for "what might have been".

After the death of Andy, Dr. Goodman and Andy's father Robert Goodman, created The Andrew Goodman Foundation. To quote from the book: "the Foundation was created to carry on the spirit and purpose of Andy's life, with the vision that every person will take action to create a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. The Foundation empowers the next generation to initiate and sustain social action, enabling leaders and their communities to flourish by operating and investing in programs that advance civic engagement and intergenerational coalitions."

For more information, please visit

Friday, June 20, 2014



After having attended City Council meetings since January, 2014, I was indeed pleased to hear some cogent questions asked--FINALLY--at the last City Council meeting! The questions were asked by the two newest Council members who were elected for the first time in November. The topic which elicited the questions was regarding re-appointments to Boards and Commissions.

It was apparent that the two newest Council members did not understand the procedure by which appointees are selected to serve on Boards and Commissions and neither do I. I was surprised as I assumed that the new members would be provided some kind of training or would have information imparted to them before meetings, rather than having it thrown at them in public meetings. I was also surprised that the two newest members had not sought out the information in the months of November and December, following their election victories.

After seeing the peevish behavior and the supercilious and condescending behavior of the City Manager and other Council members, I was no longer surprised. How dare the new members ask QUESTIONS!

It did not make any sense to me that the "resolution confirming the re-appointments" had already been made and the two new members of Council obviously knew nothing about it! Those two members voted against (not all) of the re-appointments.

Although those two members asked some relevant questions, I believe that there are other pertinent questions to be asked. I believe in a representative form of government and I have forwarded to my elected representative the following, what I consider to be, germane questions and comments.

Per The Charter Of The City Of Washington Court House (7.7): The Planning and Zoning Commission shall consist of five (5) electors of the City Of Washington Court House, the City Manager (ex-officio), and the Chairperson of City Council. (7.8) The Board Of Zoning Appeals shall consist of 5 electors of the City of Washington Court House.


1. The Zoning Board of Appeals does not have ex-officio members spelled out in the Charter language. Do the City Manager and the Chairperson of the Council also serve as ex officio members of that Board? If not, who has the oversight of that Board?

2. As the Charter states that the City Manager and Chairperson of Council are ex-officio members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, why would they not also be the ones to address the issues regarding the Zoning Board Of Appeals raised by City Council members, rather than by a Building/Zoning Inspector who is, in my opinion, obviously not an appropriate person to be discussing personnel issues?

3. Specifically, on May 28, 2014, why was the person whose title is Building/Zoning Inspector the one allowed to speak about the qualifications of an "elector" to the Zoning Appeals Board? Is he not just an employee? How is it considered appropriate for a Building/Zoning Inspector to be discussing--in a public forum--the qualifications of a candidate for the Zoning Board Of Appeals? Surely that should be the sole discretion of Council, or at least a Committee of Council members.

4. Why would the Building/Zoning Inspector have any input whatsoever in the appointments and re-appointments of "electors" to the Zoning Board Of Appeals?

5. Isn't it an obvious conflict of interest--or at least a question of impropriety--for the Building/Zoning Inspector to participate in the selection of "electors" to the Zoning Board Of Appeals--as he would be guaranteeing the selection of "electors" who would be in agreement with him? (Rather like the fox in the henhouse!)

6. Is there a Committee to review the qualifications of "electors" for the Zoning Board Of Appeals? If so, why wasn't the Chairperson of that Committee--or the City Manager--the one speaking about the "elector" nominated for the Zoning Board Of Appeals, rather than a Building/zoning Inspector?

7. Are there Standing Committees of City Council members who select members to be appointed and re-appointed to serve on the "other" Boards and Commissions not listed in the City Charter? What other Boards and Commissions are there?

8. Why are the "resolutions confirming" appointments and re-appointments already decided when they are placed on the Agenda? Why does City Council even vote as a group when they've already been confirmed?

9. Why does Council wait until the terms are "expired" prior to making resolutions?

10. How are appointees recruited? (Since the Court View Restaurant is closed, where do the people responsible for selecting appointees meet prospective appointees and make offers?)

11. We learned at the June 11, 2014, City Council meeting that the City has a website. Why haven't notices of vacancies been published there?

12. Why aren't notices of vacancies published in the newspaper? Certainly, would not the newspaper publish all notices for free, as a community service; especially since you as a Council member, now have a family connection there?

13. Are the job descriptions detailing expected qualifications/requirements of prospective Board and Commission members contained in The Directive? If not, where are they maintained?

14. Why wasn't the Building/Zoning Inspector present at the June 11, 2014, meeting? Who notifies him; or should the Code Enforcement Officer have been present to address the issue of the house at 924 Lakeview Avenue as it seems to be a Code violation, rather than a Zoning issue?

15. Why aren't the people who are called to speak at meetings identified? I had no idea what the positions were, nor the names of the Building/Zoning Inspector and the Finance Director (AKA "Chief Financial Officer" in the Charter). Why would the Council President obviously assume that the "local residents and taxpayers" know all these people? I am glad that all the Council members, City Manager, and Law Director (AKA as "City Attorney" in the Charter) have name plates which identify them.

16. Are Boards and Commissions supposed to be non-partisan or are there supposed to be an equal number of Republicans and Democrats appointed? Since there are only 5 members of the Boards and Commissions, how would that be handled?

Thursday, June 19, 2014


June 19, 2014, is the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Johnson signed it into law on July 2, 1964.

President Kennedy had called for the passage of a Civil Rights Bill on June 11, 1963 in his Civil Rights Speech which I consider to be his greatest speech. He said: "We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the Scriptures and is as clear as the American Constitution."

After the death of President Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson made the passage of the bill his mission. Despite a 54-day filibuster led by Richard Russell and Strom Thurmond, a substitute bill was introduced and it was marked by Robert Byrd's 14 hour filibuster speech. Howard W. Smith introduced an Amendment to Title VII which included "sex" as one of the classes. The Senate passed the bill with a vote of 73-27 and in the House the vote was 289-126.

Title VII dramatically changed the lives of women and girls.

I frequently say, "I get down on my knees and thank Lyndon Johnson and the Congress for Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Medicare!"

Recently a person was praising Hospice care a relative had received and I remarked, "Yes, I thank Lyndon Johnson for that!" The person, who just happens to be a Republican, asked, with a great deal of incredulity in her voice, "WHY would you say that?" I answered, "If Johnson hadn't created Medicare, Hospice couldn't have been made a part Medicare." The woman did not know that Hospice Care was covered under Medicare. She actually thought that Hospice was a charity and was funded by donations.

Do you remember the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? (Read article HERE)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Like our City Finance Director, who praised his hardworking "girls" at a City Council meeting, the newest reporter for the Washington Court House Record-Herald also must love "hard working" folks. In her debut, with two front-page articles, she praised the County Commissioners as being "hard at work" and the high-school graduates as having worked hard.

I met the reporter at a recent City Council meeting and I told her that there is NO way that I believe that any of the PART-TIME County Commissioners "work hard" and I know that not ALL graduating seniors "worked hard".

The reporter actually responded that she would be able to get the Commissioners to work hard. Although I assumed that she was joking, I responded that she would have to catch them first as every time I'd called for a County Commissioner, none were ever there!

I hope that the reporter gains some healthy skepticism and eschews generalizations in the future.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


When my sister-in-law Kap Hui (known as Carol to us), who is Korean, would explain a cultural difference, she would say that it was a "custom" in her country. (CLICK HERE to see articles here about Korean customs differing from ours.)

When we bought our first home, my mother made her home with us. After we had moved in, Carol and three of her friends, who are also Korean, came to see our new home. Mother was sitting at the kitchen table. The three friends began opening the drawers and cabinet doors in the kitchen. I saw Mother fuming but I gave her the sign (zipper to lip) not to say anything.

When we moved into our current home in 1984, Carol once again brought her friends (four this time) and once again Mother was sitting at the kitchen table when the visitors began opening drawers and cabinets. Mother practically screamed, "What the Hell are you doing?" Carol said, "It custom." Mother said, "You've been here since 1968 and you should know it's not our damned custom!"

CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article BOOTY HANGERS which relates to the fact that Carol was shocked by my showing cleavage and I was shocked by her wearing short shorts. It is the custom in Korea not to show any cleavage, but short shorts are very acceptable.

Koreans also believe that it is bad luck to whistle after dark and that you will die if you fall asleep in a room with a fan running.

Koreans do not have breakfast food as we do; they eat rice and usually kimchee at all meals.

The strangest difference to me is that when Korean children are born, they are considered one year old on the day of their birth, rather than one day old. My brother Les, ever the wit, said, "That's because they're THOROUGHBREDS!" Of course, he was referring to the fact that all thoroughbreds have the birth date of January 1, no matter what day of the year they are born.

Monday, June 16, 2014


I've written before about my having "verbal shorthand" with my brother and my husband oftentimes doesn't understand our conversation.

John Mellencamp's Small Town was playing on the radio and I said, "FAX."

Les chuckled because he knew my reference and Gerald asked what I meant. I asked, "Don't you remember when John Mellencamp performed in Chillicothe?" He said, "Oh, yeah, what's that got to do with FAX?"

On December 16, 1987, John Mellencamp appeared in Chillicothe because there had been a petition to ask him to appear at THAT small town because of his song. Mellencamp accepted; he was still known as John Cougar Mellencamp at that time.

Because he put on two performances, Mellencamp and his entourage stayed overnight at a motel in Chillicothe. I heard Mellencamp tell this story on television: one of his guys went to the front desk and asked if he could use the FAX machine and the clerk answered, "We don't have one of them, but there's a Coke machine down the hall."

Yes, Mellencamp realized that he was definitely in a small town!

Sunday, June 15, 2014


When I wrote the article LOVER'S QUARREL, I was also reminded of some very fond memories of my 46+-year relationship with the one who assaulted the woman and the Corvette. Les said, "Admit it; you only felt sorry for the Vette!"

Most people who know me now would not believe how shy I was in those days, but she was instrumental in "bringing me out of my shell". She gave me some of the best advice I have ever had: "Find out everything you can about people because it comes in handy." She would frequently say, "So-and-So knows that/has that/does that/wants that." She had that uncanny ability to recall important--and useable --traits about people. When I mention about the importance of "knowing and using resources", I always remember where I learned it. For example, her daughter needed a "fancy dress" for a school function. She could not afford to buy one but she knew that one of our co-workers was also a seamstress. She bartered with her: she did house cleaning for her and the woman made the dress. She would trade clothes from her kids with other mothers. I told her that she was the "Wizard Of Bartering".

She worked a second job as a bartender on Friday and Saturday nights and she would barter for babysitting ("You take care of my kids; I'll do something for you.") People liked to barter for her cakes, as she was an accomplished baker.

She was routinely coming up with ways "to make a little extra money". I rode to work with her, and every morning, before picking me up, she would have already stopped at Atkinson's Bakery to pick up a selection of doughnuts and pastries. She paid 25-cents apiece for the goodies and she would sell them at work for 30-cents each. I reminded her that "time is money", but she said, "It takes 15 minutes to get the doughnuts and I would be stopping there anyway and then at work, it takes maybe 15 minutes more to collect the money." Very rarely she didn't sell all the doughnuts; she recurrently made a profit of $1.20 per day selling doughnuts. She said that the doughnut sales paid for her gas. She drove a big old station wagon which was no doubt a gas guzzler, but with four kids she needed a big car and she was "Mom's taxi", taking her kids, and kids from the neighborhood, places. Of course, she bartered when chauffeuring the neighbors' kids.

She was an "earth mother" and a "mother lion"; she scared teachers and sports coaches and anyone else who dared impugn her children. She definitely did the best she could.

When she and I would go to flea markets and yard sales, she would haggle with sellers which I was too embarrassed to do, but I would not hesitate to let her "do it" for me! I was successful in getting her to use the term "haggle" rather than a derogatory ethic term she had used. She said, "I didn't know it was bad!" She would buy stuff at flea markets and take the items to work to sell because she was constantly "selling something"!

She came to my first yard sale and changed sticker prices because she said that my prices were "too cheap"! I had 10 paring knives marked at 10-cents each and I hadn't sold a single one; she put $1.00 on them and I sold all of them.

She also ran the "dollar drawing" at work on payday. In case you do not know what a "dollar drawing" is: each person who participates writes his/her name on a dollar bill and puts it in the pot; whichever name is drawn is the winner of the pot. She had to stop that "gambling" when a disgruntled player told the Company about it; the person was upset because she didn't receive 100% of the pot because my friend kept 10% of the pot as the "fee for processing". Undaunted, she told the usual bettors, "Meet me up at Jessie's after work to play." (That was Jessie's Truck Stop) The owner of Jessie's didn't "cotton to" that activity and she said, "Meet me at the bar!"

She was our "Hell-on-wheels" Steward. When writing a grievance, she would say, "Give me a good word." When she was off work for a carpal-tunnel operation, I was her replacement Steward. When several co-workers became upset with me, she defended me, but lectured, "You got to stop being such a smart-ass!" I asked, "Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?" She insisted on 50/50 drawings at Union meetings. Whenever there was a death in the family of workers or when people were off work for an extended period, she took up collections of money and food.

One year at Christmas, our hours had been cut at work and she and I were so poor that at our gift exchange, I gave her one pillow and she gave me a 1923 silver dollar which I still have in my jewelry box. Nowadays, when she and I get together to exchange gifts, we always hearken back to that time. We now have everything we need; we don't need presents, but it is always a celebration because we are grateful that we can give each other nice presents.

Last year, before Christmas, she said, "Hey, I need pillows!" Laughing, I said, "You only get ONE!" She did not get an economical (I won't say "cheap"!) one from K-Mart, but luxurious down ones from Elder Beerman.

My husband has said to me on numerous occasions that he cannot believe that we're friends as we are "totally different". I said, "She loves me with all my faults." Of my friends, she is the only one of my friends my mother ever liked. My mother would oftentimes say that she was her friend too because she would come to visit my mother without my being there: "just for the heck of it"; she told me that she wished that my mother was her mother. She always remembered my mother's birthday; and even after all these years, she always calls me on the anniversary of my mother's death to see how I'm doing.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


My brother has a "YOU MIGHT BE A REDNECK IF...." calendar. He brought the page which states: "You might be a redneck if you've ever lost a cell phone in your cleavage."

Because of the warnings about cancer (see here) I have been trying to stop from using my bra as a storage place. It is very convenient and I have never actually lost my cell phone there, but I have lost--and misplaced--my phone when putting it in my pocket or carrying it.

My brother suggested that having a Smart Phone would be the ideal solution because it would be too large--EVEN for my bra!

Friday, June 13, 2014


Yesterday, while at a furniture store, I saw a friend of mine and she was there with a friend of hers. We were all chatting and sitting on comfy chairs when a woman walked in and the store owner called out the customer's name. I commented that it was an uncommon name but that I had a fifty-year-old friend with that same name. I was about to say that I had only heard the name with older women, but the woman chimed in happily, "I'm 65!" My friend and I exchanged glances because we both instinctively knew that she was expecting a gushing, "Oh, you don't look that old!" but it was not forthcoming from us three old biddies sitting there. None of us took that fishing-for-a-compliment line.

Thinking that she was old enough to have a child the age of my friend; I assumed she was near 70. I should be ashamed, but I always look at the necks and teeth of women to gauge ages. I love Nora Ephron's book I Feel Bad About My Neck; in it she makes fun of the prevalence of scarves in the wardrobes of older women.

The woman from yesterday had shoulder-length, straight, bleached-blonde hair; she was wearing extremely tight jeans with dedazzled hip pockets, carrying a pumpkin-colored, fabric purse, with wooden handles, and wearing sandals; her makeup was pale, but very shiny, and she had a magenta-colored slash of lipstick.

She should have been wearing a scarf! My brother Les says I act like I'm looking at a horse when sizing-up people.

When I saw her, she reminded me of a neighbor of mine who dressed that flamboyantly at age 80. I always appreciated that about her. Today, I should have complimented the ridiculous, age-inappropriately-clad person trying so hard to look young. I paused to reflect why I always complimented the neighbor, but couldn't bring myself to compliment the woman today. When I came home, I told Les about it and he said, "That's an easy one; you don't think people YOUR age should look ridiculous; but give her a break, she was just "raging against the dying of the light!"

Can I say right now how much I appreciate a person paraphrasing the third line of the villanelle by Dylan Thomas Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night?

"Rage, rage, against the dying of the light."

Listen below to hear Thomas read his poem.

A villanelle is a 19-line poem with two repeating rhymes and two refrains.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


A former Facebook friend posted a quote by Billy Graham and I responded that MR. Graham is an anti-Semite and that she should listen to the tapes from the Nixon Oval Office with MR. Graham denigrating the Jews.

See the Facebook thread. My name, along with my comments, is visible, but I have redacted the names of the other posters.

I cannot fathom the depth (oh, I can't resist a pun: fathom/depth) of anti-Semitism in my small community. These people have probably never even met a Jew. How can these so-called "Christians" be so ignorant not to know that Jesus' first followers were His family and friends? The New Testament reveals them! How can they not know that Jesus was an observant Jew? Jesus NEVER denigrated His family; how do they not even know who Saint Anne and Saint Joachim were?

Several people who are her fellow Facebook friends were outraged because I posted the truth about MR. Graham. Why don't people want to accept the truth? When people posted untrue statements, I corrected them. For some strange reason, this caused anger and more misinformation spewed from the posters.

Rather than staying on the subject, the posters began making personal, derogatory remarks about me and making assumptions and accusations not based on fact.

One wrote that I was trying to force my beliefs on them; I had not shared any of my beliefs; I merely corrected their misconceptions. I have seen this kind of behavior repeatedly: once I tell people about an error, they immediately think that I am stating that as my belief. Just as the woman in my article RELIGIOUSLY CORRECT (see here) immediately assumed that I was a Roman Catholic because I explained the Roman Catholic doctrine to her. She didn't believe that Catholics are "Christians"

Les says, "Just swear off religion!" (You gotta like someone who will advise one to "swear off" religion!)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


In yesterday's newspaper there was a headline story entitled "Lover's quarrel" results in three-vehicle accident (see here). A fifty-six-year-old woman had rammed her ex-husband's vehicle.

Les asked, "Do you believe this?" I said, "Let me tell you about a lover's quarrel!"

In 1968, after I began dating Gerald, a sister of my sister-in-law began dating a guy with whom she worked. My sister-in-law was really thrilled that her sister was dating "such a nice guy" from a "well-to-do family"; his mother was a teacher and his father was a "big farmer" and he had a Corvette and he dressed very well.

Gerald came from a poor family; he was driving a 1959 Chrysler; he had just gotten out of the Navy and he had returned to work at Pennington Bread where he'd worked before the Navy; and I was making more money than he.

I had gone to school with the sister of my sister-in-law and my mother was irritated every time my sister-in-law would start to "brag" about her sister's new boyfriend, because my mother felt my sister-in-law was comparing Gerald unfavorably to the "dreamboat" her sister was dating.

During this time, I rode to work with a woman who was a single mother with four children. I'd known her quite awhile before I began dating Gerald and every morning she would have some story of tribulation to relate about her long-time boyfriend. He was a "mama's boy"; he was a "spoiled brat"; he "drank like a fish"; he "lived at home with Mommy and Daddy"; he kept "putting off getting married"; he worked "half the time"; the only reason he worked was "to have insurance"; he "couldn't afford" to take her places, but he drove a Corvette.

It was obvious to me that he just used her for sex and no intention of any serious relationship and I would ask her why she tolerated his behavior. She said, "I'm going to marry him because his family has money and I don't want to be working like this forever." At least she was honest. I told her the old saying, "If you marry for money, you'll earn every penny", but that didn't deter her.

One morning she told me, "I know he's cheating on me and it's with some girl from work and I'm going to catch him!" I asked, "How are you going to do that?" She told me that she knew where she lived and she was going to follow him. I asked, "Won't he recognize your car?" She said, "He doesn't pay any attention; he's too busy having a beer." I couldn't believe he drove while drinking.

The next morning she picked me up and she was driving a different vehicle. I asked, "Where's your car?" She said that she'd followed her boyfriend and that she had rammed her vehicle into his Corvette. I screamed, "Oh my God, was he in it?" She answered, "No, he and that bitch were just walking out of her house." I asked, "Didn't they call the cops?" She said, "No, I got out of the car and beat her up and she didn't land a punch!" I was incredulous, but I asked again, "They didn't call the cops?" She said, "No, her sister even gave him a ride back home!"

Of course, my friend forgave him and resumed her relationship with him. (Why did I write "of course"? I filed that story under the title "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH WOMEN?") He quit his job because he didn't have the courage to face the "other" woman.

When my sister-in-law began to relate a story about what had happened to her sister and her relationship with the formerly perfect boyfriend, it was the first time that I realized that the lying, cheating, lazy, Corvette-driving cheapskate who was my friend's boyfriend, was the very same guy my sister-in-law had been telling about as her sister's boyfriend.

To this day, it is difficult to believe the story, but both accounts are a near-match. I had to tell my friend that she had assaulted the sister of my sister-in-law. I can't believe there were no charges pressed, but as my sister-in-law said, "She's too embarrassed."

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I told Les we need to revive the DEAD POOL (see BLOG article here). He asked, "Isn't revive a kind of oxymoron there?" Patty and Mike were the "founders" of the DEAD POOL when we worked together.

I asked Les, "What can we call Patty; a fancy name for FOUNDER?" He said, "Just like Jack Hanna--Director Emeritus".

Patty and Mike must be DIRECTORS EMERITUS! Mike is a Facebook friend (I'll get in contact with him to see if he's still as SICK as he used to be!)

Wagering when old people are going to die (which does NOT include us, as we are only celebrities in our own minds) is SICK, but, of course, we all admit to being sick!

Here are the names we've chosen for the "revived" DEAD POOL:


Gerald suggested Betty White, but Les and I screamed, "No, NOT Betty White!" NO, NO, NO! There isn't anyone BELOVED on the list!


1. Membership dues: $10 which is $1.00 for each celebrity listed.
2. Each member predicts a date when the celebrity will die.
3. The one who predicts the date closest to the death gets the POT!
4. I shall maintain the list of predictions.


Monday, June 9, 2014


After writing the article about a city official saying "the girls" when referring to the women who reported to him, I was reminded about "The Gargoyles". Patty (who was the Secretary for the Production Department) and I disliked two women at work and we ungraciously referred to them as "The Gargoyles". When the Receptionist took her breaks, these two women (who worked in Human Resources) were supposed to take turns relieving the Receptionist, but for some unaccounted for reason, the two women would sit together at the desk, perched like Gargoyles atop a building. I found it difficult to believe that it took two of them to replace the Receptionist for two fifteen minute breaks and 30-minute lunch breaks. I said to Patty, "They just waste an hour a day; I bet I could find something for one of them to do while the other was taking the Receptionist's place." What was totally infuriating was that they took their own breaks and lunch breaks together after relieving the Receptionist.

As we were a Deming-style company, the rules were supposed to be the same for everybody. One of my female workers had come to work wearing a tank top. I told her that it was against the Dress Code and she asked, "Then why is it OK for all those women up front who go around with their boobs showing? and it's air conditioned in there; it's hot out here!" Of course, she was right but I knew that confronting the issue would cause a lot of animosity. I am not usually passive aggressive, but I put the complaint in the Suggestion Box, because I knew the Vice President held the key to the Suggestion Box and he took the entries there very seriously. I put the complaint in the "Suggestion Box". The Vice President issued a memo which stated that all employees must adhere to the Dress Code and no "sleeveless" clothes would be allowed. I remember that his Secretary was wearing a "sundress" that day she had to type the memo. Of course, all those women knew that the complaint had originated from Production.

Oftentimes, there would be some kind of kerfuffle when "the Gargoyles" were taking the Receptionist's place. When those kind of issues occurred, Patty and I would check the time, sigh, and exclaim, "The Gargoyles are there!" They were obviously incompetent and Patty and I could not help wondering how they retained their jobs. One of my Team Leaders said that I should put a Time Study on them.

Although Patty was not the Secretary to the Vice President and General Manager, he wanted Patty to take minutes at all the meetings where he presided. Although Patty wondered why, she had never asked him why she was selected to take minutes. Since it seemed logical that he would have his own Secretary take the minutes, I asked him why he'd asked "our" Patty to take the minutes. He said that his Secretary had taken the minutes in the past, but when she was absent one day, Patty was asked to "step in" and he said that his Secretary couldn't "do shorthand" and there were always errors "unless Patty did the minutes"! I guess I would have probably replaced THAT Secretary but I wouldn't make that suggestion as we might have lost Patty. Patty had told me about a Director from another discipline who had asked her if she would like to join his department.

Once, during a staff meeting, all of the direct reports of the Vice President were there. I was there to represent Production as our Director was absent and Patty was there, as usual, to take minutes. The Director Of Human Resources presented a report which he said had been prepared by the two women Patty and I referred to as "The Gargoyles". The HR Director passed out the reports and he began praising what "the girls" had prepared. In the first paragraph I noticed two errors and I circled them. As the HR Director continued with the report, and again lavished more praise on the work by his "girls", I could not believe that he was presenting such an inferior product to the Vice-President who was HIS superior! When he finished, he asked if there were any questions. I asked, "Since this is a rough draft, when will we receive the final report?"

Of course, I knew it was NOT a rough draft because he had it bound in the usual blue covers with the name of the report printed (not typed) on the cover.

I saw the blood rushing from his neck to his face and I thought, "I bet he's thinking, "How DARE a lowly Manager question ME?" Instead, he asked, "WHAT is that supposed to mean?" While flipping through the report and pretending to count the errors I had circled, I answered, "Just from a cursory reading, I see at least thirty errors in the report; I assume you would want to have the mistakes corrected before distributing the report." Of course, I knew from the binding that it was ready to be sent to "Corporate". Oh, how I wished that I'd had a RED pen with me!

You could have heard a pin THUD to the floor.

The Vice-President didn't wait for the Director to respond, but asked, very quietly, "Sue, would you have time to help with this report?" I answered, "Yes, sir." He continued, "John, I'd like Sue to approve the final draft." That was the coup de grace: a Production person to overrule the lofty HR Director.

I'd had several "run-ins" in the past with the HR Director and members of his staff. As I felt quite certain that "they" (the HR Director AND his "girls") did not want my help, I handed my copy to the Director with the numerous corrections. I said, "When THOSE WOMEN make these corrections, just give it to Patty; I'm sure she'll find more mistakes; obviously you see that the Vice President trusts Patty above all others."

He said tersely, "I'll do as I was ordered and return it to you; you can use YOUR Secretary any way you want!"

Oh, yeah, I'll admit that when the report was handed to me for the "Final Draft", Patty and I had the "fine tooth comb" out and, of course, we found more errors. There was even a mistake which I had corrected in the "rough draft". That took some chutzpah for "the Gargoyles" to re-insert an item which I had corrected!

My disagreements with the HR Director (and also with what I called the "Trickle Down Condescension" of the members of his Department) were over matters of policy and their overweening behavior in dealing with members of Production.

Sunday, June 8, 2014


I've learned from attending City Council meetings that it is obvious that the City Council members expect the "citizens and taxpayers" (as the Chairperson calls the attendees) to know the names of the speakers and people giving "reports", although the speakers are not introduced. It's easy to recognize the Police Chief and Fire Chief because they wear uniforms designating their occupations.

It's good that the City Council members, the City Manager, and the Law Director have name plaques to identify them, but at the last meeting, the person giving the Financial Report and the person answering questions about the Zoning Board were not identified. I did not know either person.

Sometimes, the Chairperson will ask, "Is he out there?" and a person will stick his head around the Chamber door and say that he doesn't have a report. That is hardly professional!

The person providing the Financial Report lauded the "girls" in the Income Tax Department for all their "hard work" and then he found it necessary to praise them again. I wondered to myself, "Is he referring to the women who work there as "girls"? How big do they grow women from where that guy comes? If those "girls" get paid, why are they praised so lavishly for JUST doing their jobs? Are they volunteering?" I guess one could legitimately ask, "What do they do the rest of the year after the taxes have been collected?"

After the meeting I asked a knowledgeable person who those mystery men are!

I was tired of being accused of being overly critical, and I said, "At least the meetings start promptly at 7:30." My brother answered, drily, "Yeah, and Mussolini had the trains run on time." Oh, how I love historical references!

Saturday, June 7, 2014


Gerald and I have been taking fish oil for years because Dr. Oz recommended it.

I like the Wise Geek and find some interesting items from the site, some of which I refer to on my BLOG. I notice that the article below does not provide the name of the research it quotes.

See quotes from Dr. Oz below the article from the Wise Geek. After careful consideration, I will continue with Dr. Oz's recommendation regarding the fish oil but the article from the Wise Geek compelled me to re-examine, which is always good.


Taking fish oil might increase health problems and speed up aging, research shows.

Taking fish oil might be harmful to your health, as eating fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel or taking a fish oil supplement has been linked with an increase in health problems and faster aging, even though it was previously thought to improve health. One study found that consuming fish oil increased the likelihood of men developing prostate cancer by about 43%. Fish oil also might speed up aging, as animals that consumed fish oil had their life expectancy decrease by 14%. The potentially harmful effects of fish oil are thought to be caused by an unknown occurrence in how the body breaks down the molecules in the omega-3 fatty acids found in the oil.


"Omega-3 fatty acids are the superstar fats that boost your brain, protect your heart and arteries, fight wrinkles, lubricate your joints and more. There are 3 types of omega-3 fatty acids:

ALA (alpha-linelenic acid) which is found in walnuts, flaxseeds and olive oil.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which is found primarily in fish oils.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which is also found in fish oils.

Not all omega-3 or fish oil supplements are alike. The important thing to remember when buying fish oil is to look for one that contains 600 MG of DHA. DHA is the fatty acid that comprises a large portion of brain tissue. Not only does DHA support brain functions, but it also improves how the brain stores and uses energy. It has also been shown to be a good depression fighter. Take DHA at breakfast time. To keep fish oil lasting longer, store in the refrigerator."

Friday, June 6, 2014


At a recent City Council meeting, it was announced that 50% of the applicants who took the test for the opening for a police patrol person FAILED the test! Two of the current City Council members are retired "educators" (as they seem to like to call themselves) and one member is currently employed in the school system.

All of them must be extremely proud of what the school system has produced.

There was a marvelous, unintended gaffe: in a presentation made by a Council member which was about a group which has been formed to combat the heroin problem in our county, she stated that "they need to dig up the pot." She obviously meant "to get to the bottom of the problem". I was very proud of myself that I didn't burst out in laughter. I asked the newspaper reporter if he were going to publish the comment and I told him he was a coward for not doing it.

Another Council member said "crick" but corrected himself by saying "creek". I gathered that he had been corrected in the past for that faux pas, as the accompanying giggling by other Council members would suggest.

I gather that the minutes showed one of the male members as "Mrs." because for the second time, the Council member mentioned that his wife didn't vote. Perhaps the person taking the minutes will have it correct at the next meeting.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


In the past, I would read these kinds of articles on Facebook and not make any comments, but now I will share every one typical of this one because it might influence at least one person not to have weapons where children have access to them.

The article's headline is: "Florida 6-year-old kills grandfather with AK-47". The father of the child was quoted as saying: "The family is not trying to point the finger at anyone." No, Dad, you need to point the finger right at yourself rather than letting a child POINT a weapon! (CLICK HERE)

Guns, alcohol, and cocaine at a "family picnic"; what could possibly go wrong?

What the Hell is wrong with people?

We own guns; they are safely away from any visitors to our home because of a lesson I learned in the 1970s. My mother had a 6.35 MM (25 caliber in the U.S.), Italian-made Sata pistola which had been a gift to her in the 1950s from one of my brothers. She thought she had the gun safely hidden in her lingerie drawer. One of my nephews was staying overnight at our home and he had slept in his grandmother's bedroom. Fortunately, the bedroom door was ajar when my brother walked by and saw the fifteen-year-old holding the gun in his hands. My brother wisely stood away from any chance of direct gunfire and said, calmly, "Put down the gun; it's loaded." My brother went into the room, took the gun, and brought it to me, and I had Gerald put it in the safe.

Obvious questions:

1. Why was the kid nosing in his grandmother's lingerie drawer? Answer: just as parents don't have anything in their houses that their kids don't know about; it's just the same with some nosy overnight visitors.
2. Why was the kid in his grandmother's room and not on a couch? Answer: his parents slept in the guest room and since he liked to sleep late, my mother allowed him to use her room, and she slept on the couch.
3. What was his punishment? Answer: My mother left that to his parents but, not surprisingly, after that incident, kids were relegated to a sleeper sofa in the family room or to a couch in the living room.

We have guns; I still have my mother's gun; I know how to use a gun; I know that I could use a gun to defend myself and family. My grandfather and my brothers were hunters; we ate what they killed.

We have never had a loaded weapon at a family gathering.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


A friend died recently and I went to pay respect.

As I came in the door, a man approached me and said, "Sue, it's so good to see you." I said, "I haven't seen you since 2002."

I asked how he knew the deceased woman and he told me that she was his son's grandmother. I said, "Oh, that makes me feel old!" He said, "Let me go find my son; I'd like for you to meet him." When he introduced me he said, "This is the best boss I ever had!" I said, "Thank you; that means so much to me!" He told his son, "I was about your age when I started to work for Sue." I said, "I swear I have NEVER seen a son look as much like his father!" He laughed and said, "Mini-me!"

He told his son, "She even got anti-fatigue mats for all of us and it pissed off the guys on day shift." I said, "Oh, yeah, my counterpart on first shift even went over my head and complained to the Superintendent because I told him I wouldn't make you guys share!" He laughed and said, "Yeah, every night we would roll 'em up and put them in our lockers!"

Back then, the first shift counterpart confronted me by saying, "You have the most pampered piece workers in the Company." I told him I didn't know what he meant. He said he couldn't believe that I had spent "all that money" on anti-fatigue mats. I asked, "How's my productivity?" He didn't answer because he knew mine was better than his. I continued, "How's my quality? How's the attendance? How's the grievance rate? How's ..." I didn't complete my thought because he put up his hand to gesture for me to stop talking.

He said, "Your guys are going to have to share." I said, "In the interest of harmonious relations, I think it would be better if you supplied separate ones to your guys." He said that he didn't have the budget to buy them. I told him that I was under-budget. He said, in a smart aleck tone, "Well, lah, di, dah!, then you should pay for mine!" I said, with equal sarcasm, "Turn in an employee suggestion--mention health and safety--and you can quote how much better our statistics are as reasons for needing them!" He said that would take too long, because the guys were bitching "NOW!" and we needed to share.

I told him that there would be constant fighting about the mats. I asked, "What if one of your guys is absent--you have a higher absentee rate than I do." He countered with, "They can turn them in to the Crib at the end of the shift." I answered, "So, you're going to make the Crib attendants responsible?" He said, "No, the guys will be responsible for turning in the mats." I answered, "But that won't work--you know that your Crib attendant leaves a half hour earlier--because he has to be here a half-hour early, just as my Crib guy is here a half-hour early and leaves a half hour early; they do that to accommodate the workers."

Since I refused to share, he complained to our boss, the Superintendent. The Superintendent called me to come in early for a conference. When he asked me why we were "hiding" the mats, I gave him the same reasons that I had given to my counterpart. I ended by saying, "It's not my fault that he doesn't have budget remaining."

The Superintendent decided that my counterpart needed to find a way to get mats for his people. I never asked how, but the first shift people had mats shortly thereafter and they guarded theirs with the same tenacity that my guys did theirs.

I was glad that my former employee had remembered that incident. I told him about being at Big Lots several years ago and I saw black, brown, and red anti-fatigue mats for sale and I'd chuckled to myself recalling the great "FATIGUE MAT FOOFARAW".

The anti-fatigue mats at Big Lots were called "Chef's Mats". When I saw the price of $14.99, I was taken aback because I remembered that I had spent more than that amount 20 years ago on the ones for my department.

I bought two RED ones to use in our kitchen. Les and I can be "pampered kitchen workers"!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


See the Grammarphobia article below where a correspondent dislikes the use of "Thank you so much." I don't mind "Thank you so much" and I admit that I do say, "Thank you very much," for added emphasis, but I can't tolerate the "Thank you SOOOO much," which I frequently hear in stores and restaurants.

For years, Les and I have been ridiculing the over-inflated use of "Thank you SOOOOO much". (CLICK HERE to see BLOG article NO, THANK YOUUU).

Thank you so much

Q: Have you noticed the use of the inflated “thank you so much”? To me, it has the opposite effect of a simple “thank you.” It sounds condescending. And what’s worse, it has insinuated itself into my speech! Please let me know that I’m not the only one bothered by this.
A: You’re not the only one bothered by “thank you so much,” though most of the botherees seem to think the expression isn’t quite as legit as “thank you very much.”
As it turns out, grateful people have been thanking one another “so much” since the 1800s and “very much” since the 1600s, while plain old “thank you” has been around since the 1400s.
The two of us generally use “thank you” or “thanks,” but we sometimes add “so much” or “very much” or “a lot” or “a heap” or “a million” or “a bunch.”
We don’t think it’s condescending to add a couple of grace notes to our thanking. It may be a bit wordy, but we don’t see anything wrong with going the extra word or two.
And we don’t see any particular difference in meaning between “thank you so much” and “thank you very much.”
The use of “thank you very much” has risen pretty steadily over the last century, according to a search using Google’s Ngram Viewer.
The use of “thank you so much” rose steadily until World War II, then fell during the postwar years. But it’s been rising again over the last four decades, and you’re probably noticing the expression because of its recent increase in popularity.
The earliest example of “thank you very much” that we’ve been able to find is from a 1650 letter by James Usher, the Archbishop of Armagh: “I thank you very much for your large Narrative of the proceedings in the Controversy touching Grace and Free-will.”
(The cleric’s name is sometimes spelled Ussher—he referred to himself in Latin as Jacobus Usserius.)
The earliest example we’ve found for “thank you so much” is from My Daughter Elinor, an 1869 novel by Frank Lee Benedict: “I thank you so much. I am sorry to distress you.”
We’ve written several posts about “thank you,” including one in 2013 that discusses the history of the phrase.
As we said then, “thank you” itself showed up in Middle English as a short form of the expression “I thank you.”

Monday, June 2, 2014


Recently, a Facebook friend shared an "Open Letter" she had received from one of her Facebook friends. The letter was written by a person who blazoned herself to be an "international bestselling author". As I had not read or heard anything previously about a local "international bestselling author", I suddenly had images in my mind of a Salingeresque-type writer, cloistered in an historic mansion, clattering on an antique Underwood typewriter.

I was excited to learn that a person in our community is an "international bestselling author". I asked my brother, rhetorically, "I wonder why I've never heard of her? Did I miss an article in the Record-Herald?" I had seen coverage in the newspaper of other Fayette County natives who are published authors, but I had never seen any refer to herself or himself as an "international bestselling author". I thought, "I hope that her self-aggrandizement and lack of humility will be surpassed by superior writing skill."

After reading the "Open Letter", I thought that I should get in contact with the "international bestselling author" to alert her that someone was using her name without her knowledge, because it was obvious to me that no "international bestselling author" could have written such ignorance. However, after a punctilious investigation, I determined that the person whose name is attached to the "Open Letter" is indeed the same person who claims to be the "international bestselling author".

Although I will quote from the "Open Letter", I shall not be sharing it here because the scurrilous document is just a deplorable attempt by the self-proclaimed "international bestselling author" to degrade another local "author".

In the reprehensible "letter", there are more than twelve examples of clichés, hackneyed or trite expressions (e.g.: "left in droves", "long winded", "sounding board", "reap what we sow", "stick your nose in", "bottom line", "up in arms", "sprung up overnight", "can't hack it", "red hot angry", and "how come"); she even resorts to hyperbole ("atrocious" and "plague"). Surely no "international bestselling author" would allow such amateurish mistakes to be associated with her name.

The "letter" also contains numerous examples of syntax errors, incorrect grammar, poor punctuation, and nonsensical phrases (e.g.: "someone of numerous someones"). She obviously does not know when to differentiate between "that", "which", and "who". When she wrote that journalism is a "notable profession", perhaps she actually meant "noble profession". The "international bestselling author" is also guilty of excessive capitalization (e.g.: 'MANY", "NOT", "ANY", "YOU", and "EVERY"); I advised her that capitalizing inappropriately is a NO-NO (one can LOL but I am so old I still use TEE-HEE) for anyone claiming the mantel of "international bestselling author".

Of all the examples in her benighted invective, the most glaring and pitiable one is her use of "back peddle" rather than "backpedal". I hope this "international bestselling author" is not a product of Fayette County's school systems.

While all of those examples are merely unacceptable, there is one insurmountable, egregious error which should cause any person who attended elementary school, to wince: the "international bestselling author" used a singular ("anybody") and followed it with a plural ("themselves"). A poseur such as she should, at least, employ a proofreader, if not an editor.

I would hope that no reputable book editor would allow such inferior writing to be published. I envisioned Maxwell Perkins jumping up from his crypt, wagging a skeletal finger in dismay, and exclaiming to this "international bestselling author" not to use clichés such as "turning over in his grave"; but, I realized that she probably wouldn't know who Perkins was and would not grasp the humor. I sometimes use clichés for effect, but I doubt if any reader would fail to recognize my usage as self-deprecatory and amusing.

One would think that an "international bestselling author" would use some of her vast royalties to acquire much-needed tools such as a dictionary, a thesaurus, and a style guide.

I checked Amazon, and I learned that books by this "international bestselling author" were printed by a vanity press (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform) and that she was selling her "books" on Amazon, and perhaps on other sites or out of a box from the trunk of her vehicle. How pitiful for an "international bestselling author" to be reduced to such unseemly circumstances.

This "international bestselling author" reminds me of another local "author" who used a vanity press to publish his "book" (CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article WRITER MANQUE). I bet that if he sold one of his "books" to a person in a foreign country (in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, e.g.), he could also claim to be an "international bestselling author".

Whenever anyone questions my usage, I always respond, "WWEBWD?" which stands for "What would E. B. White do?" because Elements Of Style by William Strunk and E. B. White is still the premier reference work for any serious author and the guide is still available on Amazon. Although I am a "serious" person, I am not doltish enough to believe I am an "author", although the self-labeled "international bestselling author" is most certainly silly enough to believe that she is a legitimate "author".

Please notice in the title of this article that I have "BEST-SELLING" hyphenated, but in the text of the article, I do not, because when referring to the self-declared "international bestselling author", as she did not hyphenate "bestselling", I used her incorrect punctuation as an example throughout the text. She made "bestselling" one word.

My final note to the "international bestselling author": for her edification and delectation, all leading Style Guides show "bestselling" hyphenated: best-selling!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


My Facebook friend Amanda posted the article "90% OF PEOPLE CAN'T PRONOUNCE THIS WHOLE POEM" (see below).

I was doing well until I noticed that I did not know one word: FOEFFER. I continued to read and saw that it was supposed to rhyme with heifer and zephyr. I screaked, "Oh, it's FEOFFER! It's misspelled!" I'm rather sure this article originated in the U.K., because of the place names Islington and Isle Of Wight and the words with "u" which are not normally spelled that way in the U.S.; e.g.: mould, succour, clangour.

The article states: "If you can pronounce every word correctly in this poem, you will by speaking the English language better than 90% of the native English language speakers in the world." [I oftentimes wonder who does the surveys to assess the percentages.] After reading this, my question is: HOW DOES ANYONE EVER LEARN ENGLISH? (CLICK HERE to see my BLOG article A SPELLER'S DILEMMER where "ghoti' is pronounced as "fish".)

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse,
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse,
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy,
Tear in eye, your dress will tear,
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord, and word,
Sword and sward, retain, and Britain,
(Mind the latter, how it's written),
Now I surely will not plague you,
With such words as plaque and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak,
Cloven, oven, how, and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe,
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,
Gertrude, German, wind, and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, and mankind,
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, or chalet,
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would,
Viscous, viscount, loud, and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,
And your pronunciation's OK,
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve , and sieve,
Friend, and fiend, alive, and live,
Ivy, privy, famous, clamor,
And enamor rhyme with hammer,
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home,
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour,
Souls, but fouls, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does, now say finger,
And then singer, ginger, and linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge, and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age,
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury,
Dost, lost, post, and dust, cloth, loth,
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath,
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual but victual,
Refer does not rhyme with deafer,
FEOFFER does with zephyr and heifer,
Mint, pint, senate, and sedate,
Dull, bull, and George ate late,
Scenic, Arabic,, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific,
Liberty, library, heave, and heaven,
Rachel, ache, mustache, eleven,
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed,
Mark the differences, but moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover,
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police, and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label,
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Tour but our, and succour, and four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas,
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria,
Youth, south, southern, cleanse, and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine,
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion,
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key,
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein deceiver,
Heron, granary, canary,
Crevice and device, and aerie,
Face but preface, not efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass,
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, and scourging,
Ear but earn and wear and tear,
Do not rhyme with here but ere,
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen and Uncle Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp and cork and work,
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Wait, it makes you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict, and indict,
Finally, which rhymes with enough?
Though, through, plow, dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup,
My advice is to give up!