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This Day in My History

 Things I can't say
2003:  Getting By with a Little Help from my Friends
2004:  Crazy Mum



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....and hours. And hours.  And hours. And hours. And hours.

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25 February 2005

Here are some snippets of things that I've been thinking about....

* * *

If we have to move forward to deal with the nuclear threat of Iran, couldn't those guys have waited until we had someone in the White House who could pronounce it?  I swear, the weapons themselves are nothing compared to making us listen to 4 more years of "nucular."  But then maybe that was the point--not to destroy us by bombs, but from inside, by driving us slowly insane.

It's working.

* * *

I think I finally figured out one of my problems with the speeches of the man in the White House, other than the perpetual self-satisfied smirk that makes me unable to look at him.  Have you noticed that when he's reading a prepared speech, he pronounces the word "a" like Fonzie's "ay" rather than the conversational "uh"?  So it would be something like "we are going to drop ay bomb" rather than "we are going to drop uh bomb."  It makes him sound like a little kid reading giving a speech he's memorized.

Or is the analogy too apt?

* * *

What do you do when you disagree with the acknowledged expert in a certain field?  I am currently reading "Eats Shoots and Leaves," which Walt got me for my birthday.  Fabulous book.  It's kind of like Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue," one of my favorite books.  Who could think that Bryson could make a dry subject like etymology not only interesting, but downright delightful?

What Bryson did for the development of the English language, Lynne Truss has done for punctuation.  And she makes it interesting and downright delicious, as well as instructive (I'll bet you don't know the history of the semicolon, if you haven't read the book, do you?)

The problem with Truss' otherwise delightful book is that the author is from England and you know how those Brits have their own little twists on English.  You know, they add all those extra "u's" in words and change "z" to "s" and stuff like that.   (The Aussies do it too, silly people, but then what can you expect from people who drive on the wrong side of the road?)

Well, apparently the Brits also believe that it is proper grammar that the comma and the period go on the outside of quotes.  I consider myself pretty good with punctuation rules.  You might even put me in that "stickler" class that Truss heads.  But, I'm sorry, the comma and the period always go inside the quotes; it's the exclamation point and the question mark that go outside. (I'm not sure about the semicolon, but I think that's on the "outside" list as well.)  Truss' book is riddled with misplaced commas and periods and it's driving me nuts.

(To her credit, she does acknowledge the the yanks do it differently, but I really think she should have put out an American version of her book, don't you?)

* * *

I don't want to wish ill on anyone, least of all the head of the Roman Catholic Church, but what in the world do you do with someone who feels that " Gay marriage is part of 'a new ideology of evil' that is insidiously threatening society"?  This is a quote from his newly published  book, "Memory and Identity," in which he also takes another swipe at gay marriage when he refers to, "'pressures' on the European Parliament to allow them from a force 'perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man.'"

Excuse me, but isn't this the guy who's been hiding pedophiles for decades, putting thousands of children in jeopardy?  OK, not him personally, but you know what I mean.  (Or as my friend Michael says, "Well, isn't THAT the pot calling the kettle beige!?")

Ideology of evilI will admit that I know some bitchy queens, but I wouldn't go so far as to call them "evil."

* * *

I found a site the other night that had a whole bunch of supposedly humorous film clips.  I was able, for example, to download a movie of "The Play," the famous end of the 1982 Cal-Stanford game, when Cal won because the Stanford band had jumped the gun and had run onto the field before the game ended, thus allowing the Cal guy to make a touchdown.

There were a lot of interesting, funny films, many of which I downloaded.   Some of them were "America's Funniest Home Videos" quality--you get kind of bored with those after awhile, but they weren't all like that.

So I was prepared to smile as I clicked on a movie about a man and a lion.   I'm still furious as I think back on it.  It's a lion hunt.  I guess it's supposed to be funny because after the lion is shot, he rushes the guy with the gun and has to be shot many times again, all while the camera rolls.  The magnificent beast didn't stand a chance.  He was a sitting duck and the whole thing was disgusting.   I do not understand sport hunting.  I understand culling a herd because it threatens the ecosystem.  I understand going out and getting dinner to feed your family.  I don't understand killing an animal for the sport of it.

* * *

And finally, while I'm in a cruelty to animals mood, I was alerted to the plight of captive elephants by the Moon Rattled journal.  "L's" frequent entries about attempts to save elephants languishing in cruel conditions and moved to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee have given me an entirely new perspective on these magnificent animals.  The photos tell the story...elephants smile when they're happy.  I encourage you to check it out and educate yourself too.

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