Friday, February 27, 2015

Great crow story

I've been feeding a family of crows for over three years. I enjoy their company so much. It's not like we've become friends, exactly. They don't fly to my arm when I call them, or anything like that. But in other ways, they let you know that they like you.

For instance, when I go for a walk they come with me. There's almost always a crow circling overhead. And when they want me to notice them (i.e., when they want me to feed them), they soar through my field of vision, looping this way and that. When they do this, they remind me of kids who want attention. There's something both familiar and childish in their antics.

But...I've never gotten a gift from them (or at least, I never noticed a gift). This girl had a different experience. I loved the story. And hey, the crows really, really like her! (The link leads to Jerry Coyne's web site.)

PS: If you'd like to make friends with a crow, all you need is unsalted peanuts (still in the shell). Toss some out at a regular time of day, and soon you'll have crows as regular visitors.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The miraculous gorilla in the room

There are tens of thousands of religions on this Earth. Each claims to be the only "true" religion.

If any one of these religions possessed the unvarnished truth and thus had access to the one true God, shouldn't we expect to see endless miracles occurring within this group? Shouldn't they be able to raise the dead, and whatnot? And wouldn't that make it stick out like a sore thumb among the "untrue" religions?

I don't see that religion anywhere, do you? I'm just saying.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The cold hasn't stopped, but hope springs eternal

It was minus 10 this morning. I've never seen so many double-digit negative temperatures in NY, and I've been around for a good long time. This is one heck of a winter. (Somehow, "hell" doesn't work with "winter". So "heck" it is.) But, but...are there signs of spring on the horizon?

Well, not quite. But I did see two lonely temps in the 40s in the 10-day forecast for NYC. It won't be that balmy here in upstate NY, but it's a sign. Spring, she is coming.

Providing more proof, there are actual baseball games in the next fourteen days (the furthest out that my TV listings can see). I've scheduled the DVR to record about 10 games. Woot! I miss baseball so much in the off-season. All winter, I try to make believe it's okay, that baseball will truly come back and I'll still be alive to see it -- but it doesn't work. Winter is a lonely, dead thing. And this one, with its fierce temperatures and winds, has been a nightmare.

But the nightmare is almost over. Just think, all us guys will soon be able to wear our shorts, nail polish and bracelets again. Double-woot! I cannot wait.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Those brave, brave American mall shoppers

It's hard to contain one's admiration as one observes Americans everywhere, heading to the malls despite the remote possibility of a terrorist attack. Be still, my heart! The sight of so many brave souls marching as one to the malls...humbles me and brings me to my knees. So much heroism in one place!

Have you ever seen such valor? These fine Americans are braving the incredibly infinitesimal chance that they will be the victims of terrorism (and hopefully end up being interviewed on Fox News). Seriously, have you ever witnessed such bravery in your life? Just look at their full shopping bags! These are true Americans who do the fruited plains justice.

And you know what? One aspect of their bravery has not been noted in media broadcasts or in print, until this very moment. Yes, it's time for more Breaking News on the Worlds Blog. It is this: not one item in any of those shopping bags is needed! No, these Americans literally braved gunfire for stuff they didn't need. Cuz that's the kind of patriots they are!

I insist that the Pentagon issue Medals of Valor to each and every American shopper who shows up at a mall, anytime this year.

Oh, oh -- and there should be a statue, too. Yes, that's a fine idea. A statue of The Valorous American Shopper should be erected immediately at every mall in this country. Preferably, each statue should feature a brave shopper who is carrying four full shopping because he wants to exercise his freedoms.

Truly, the heart thrills at the very thought of these new American Heroes. USA!! USA!!

Meh. And oy, too. (And yeesh.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pope Francis is a monster

Time to cash in your bets, me bloggies. Those of you who had big money on Francis-the-Monster won big-time! There is no longer any doubt. The pope is indeed a monster, worse than the demons that live only in his (and the other pope's) imagination. Why do I say this? Well, the following is from an article about the popey guy's new book:
"Let's think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation."

"With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator," the pope adds.
A bit more from the article:
Pope Francis has appeared to compare trans and genderqueer people to nuclear weapons, saying both do not 'recognize the order of creation'.

The head of the Catholic Church has claimed people who 'manipulate' their bodies are similar to 'Herods' that 'destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation.'
Nice, popey guy. Really nice. To be clear, I mean "nice" like finding a turd in your breakfast dish; that kind of nice. Francis has finally come out as the card-carrying, hate-driven, viciously rightwing lunatic that he's always been. 

Expect much more from the pit of hell that exists inside this pope's heart. The next big chapter in Catholic hatred of GLBTQ people will take place in Philadelphia and New York, when the illustrious new pope celebrates "the family". (Praising "the family" is Catholic code-speak for "I hate all gay and trans people".) Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gay people are supposed to be excited about this? Meh.

The headlines blare: "American gay Catholic group welcomed to Vatican". But then we learn the details:
For the first time ever, a delegation of American gay and lesbian Catholics were in the VIP seats at a public papal audience in the Vatican.
Pope Francis did not mention New Ways Ministry in his remarks Wednesday.

They were identified on the list of attendees only as a “group of lay people accompanied by a Sister of Loreto.”
From now on, when I go anywhere, I won't tell people beforehand that I'm gay. Instead, I'll just say that I'll be "accompanied by a Sister of Loreto". In the new code-speak, this apparently suffices as identification.

And then there's this:
“We didn’t get the shout-out, but we were very, very close,” DeBernardo told The Associated Press.
Uh-huh. And this excited you, eh? As I said above: meh. Anyway, I guess this means that gays are allowed to do Catholic things now -- as long as they remain invisible.

And this is supposed to be progress? I think not.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wildly important word things

Okay, so maybe they aren't that important. And maybe they're not important at all. But if I don't talk about the odd word issue now and then, who will? Let us begin.

I've mentioned on the blog that I fell into HGTV this year, as a tonic to soothe me following the rude conclusion of the baseball season. They use amusing language on the show. Plus, you get to hear the strange comments of buyers. Unscripted television is a delight to me for this very reason. 

The other night I saw a show that featured a young couple looking for a big house. The woman said that when she walked into her dream home, she wanted it to be "grandioso". She used this word over and over, apparently having no clue about the pejorative meaning of the word grandiosity. Adding to the fun, she was accompanied by a husband who had only one thing to say as he was shown various houses: "Where the man room?" Is there anything more appalling than the idea that every man deserves a "man cave"? The chutzpah of such an idea is hard to match -- especially when the "balance" is that the woman gets...a great kitchen. Cuz that's what wimmins wants: kitchens.

The HGTV lexicon (their little language book, in other words) includes some weird terms. For instance, clients often request a "soaker tub". This term reminds me of the equally nonsensical "sniffer dog". Are there really "non-soaking tubs" and dogs that don't sniff? Last night, I heard a new one. A realtor pointed out, helpfully, "and there you have your standing shower". Uh...

Singleton. Simpleton. What's with the -ton? (And Jeepers, I found "doubleton" while looking for singleton. Who knew?) These words are not like the many other words that end in -ton. For instance, wanton or skeleton or mutton. They seem qualitatively different. So what is the meaning of the -ton suffix? 

Random House Dictionary notes that -ton is "a suffix formerly used to form nouns from adjectives: simpleton; singleton." Note the two words they used to illustrate this point. Odd, don't you think? These words seem to be separate from the flock. I don't feel I got a real answer here, so I'll toss it out to you. If you know something more about this suffix and would like to share your information with readers, please comment.

Let us now jump to the peripherally related but wildly entertaining field of movie captions. I found these two gems the other night. (I usually watch movies with captions turned on. There's far too much whispering in movies these days, if you ask me.)

"Unholy grunting" the captions said. How did they know? (Okay, it was a silly demon movie, but still.)
"Eerie music fades up." I thought that was so strange. They kept repeating this, so I noted what the music was doing as the caption appeared. It got louder. How that is "fading up", I don't know.

I now return you to your own lexicon. Use your words wisely, and take the time to enjoy the language that you encounter. But always remember: it's a word jungle out there. Be careful!