12/26/11 Looking Back
New Year's is fast approaching. So you can be sure of two things appearing in print and on the web hither, thither and yon: "Best of 2011" lists aplenty and predictions galore. Perhaps even a list of the best predictions for 2011.
Now, I'm not one for making predictions, but I will predict this: Many people making predictions will cite the Yogi Berra quote, "It's hard to make accurate predictions. Especially about the future."
To do a "Best of 2011" list one had to be paying attention for the last 365 days. Which I haven't been for most things. Besides rating movies, books, events, and athletes, folks also like to run down the newest new things that appeared in our most recent circuit around the sun. And predict the newest new thing for the upcoming year. Which would also require one know the latest buzz. I'm afraid I strike out on that, too.
The newest new things I know are not very new. When I think about it, the newest new things I remember do nothing but date me. I remember newest new things anyone under 40 would never think of as ever being a newest new thing. I admit some of these may have begun before my time only to arrive big time later. That's when they became the newest new thing, so I include them.
At the top of the list is plastic garbage bags. When they first arrived we couldn't buy them at the store, we got them in 100 count boxes from the fire department.
My family got our first color tv in about 1966. Not all shows were in color yet. Ones that were opened with a snippet telling you "The following program is brought to you in living color." That's where the NBC peacock came from. As well as the name of the show "In Living Color".
While newest new things spring up, old newest new things from before your time die out.
The first item on the list, party lines, might not be familiar to "the youngsters in the audience" as Ed Sullivan used to say. (Dating myself some more.) A party line was when you shared a phone line and number with another household. If someone called the other person, your phone rang as well. If you were on the phone and they picked up they could listen in on your conversation. If you needed to make a call and they were on the phone, tough luck.
It was a pretty weird deal. Hollywood made a movie based on the trials and tribulations of party lines. "Pillow Talk" with Doris Day and Rock Hudson. A movie which wouldn't make sense if you didn't know about party lines. Anyway, your mother may know. Or your grandmother. Sheesh, I'm getting old.
12/12/11 Sneaky Joe
A Baker’s Dozen Famous People that Aren’t Necessarily People
Likely you've heard of all these people who aren't all people. The last name on the list has a special meaning to pool players. A Sneaky Pete is a custom pool cue that looks like a standard pool cue. You know the look, blond wood on the thinner end connected with a pointy zig-zag to a red-brown wood at the fat end. A pool hustler doesn't want to tip his hand by wielding an expensive cue so he looks like a shark, he wants to play with a standard-looking cue so he looks like Joe Average. Which takes us back to the top of the list.
Yep, my second bit about billiards in a week. Don't know why, just works out that way sometimes.
10/14/11 Rah, Bah!
Ten Reasons to Love (Hate) Fall
1. Leaves change color (Raking same)
7/28/11 Drip, Drip, Drip...
Another rainy day, another rainy day addition to terrycolon.com.
Ten Rainy Day Activities
1. Read this list.
Of course, you can always stare out the window and watch the rain fall. It's good for the grass. Then when the sun comes out you can watch the grass grow. Exciting. All in all a pretty sorry list of little worthwhile accomplishment. But at least you succeeded in accomplishing number one. Congratulations.
Now, get your thumb out of... just get back to work.
5/12/11 Idiomatic or Idiotic?
Ten Questionable Phrases
1. not unlike
2. maybe yes, maybe no
3. open and shut case
4. awfully good
5. found missing
6. head over heels
7. help yourself
9. alone with you
10. two-handed solitaire
4/8/11 Seven out of Ten is Seven too Many
Ten Useless Inventions that Never Materialized
1. Atom on-a-stick
Your challenge: spot seven useless inventions in the picture above. Hold cursor over the item to get the call-out balloon.
On the other hand there's these ten useless inventions that shouldn't have materialized, but did. Including illuminated tires, the rainy day cigarette holder, and the baby cage.
Then there are useless inventions that made the grade, but are still pointless. Striped toothpaste for instance.
3/28/11 Hear no Evil
10 Things You Don’t Want to Hear Your Boss Say
"We're moving your job offshore. Can you swim?"
"To maximize space, cubicles will now be triangular."
"We wanted to hire a monkey for your job, but the S.P.C.A. stopped us."
"We're not downsizing the operation, just your pay."
"According to your performance evaluation, you owe us money."
"From now on, human resources will be called robot resources. As such..."
"We promote from within. Within the family, that is."
"Don't worry, all our cubicle partitions are bullet-proof."
"We're not laying you off, we just decided to stop paying you."
2/14/11 Quay Words
Ten English spellings/pronunciations to confuse non-English speakers.
Now then, there's plenty of oddly spelled words in English. Partly because it's a mutt language made up of words from lots of other languages, French, Latin, Greek, and German to name a few. Add that pronunciations can change in time and place and lots of oddities creep in. Given all that, the listed words have vowel sounds without the vowel that makes that particular sound.
Long A sound without an A: weight (wate)
Long E sound without an E: suite (sweet), quay (kee)
Ok, suite does have an E but not where the E sound is. Actually a suite is the same thing as a suit, a matching set of something. Like a suit of armor or a suite of furniture. Some folks pronounce suite and suit the same, but a lot don't. Suite said as sweet could be an American thing.
Long O sound without an O: sew (so), lawyer (loiyer), drawer (drore)
Not everybody says lawyer and drawer those ways, but I'd say more than not.
Long U sound without a U: shoe (shu), new (nu)
Of course, a long U is the same as a double O, as in toot, but there ain't no O-O in shoe.
Short U sound without a U: done (duhn), of (uhv)
Granted a short O has lots of sounds. Like gone (aw), got (ah), town (ah-oo), ton (uh). Still, of has only two letters, an O said like a U and an F said like a V. Which makes you wonder why did they ever spell it O-F to begin with?
1/20/11 Newerest Heroes
When economic times are tough we need heroes, or we need to be heroes, or we need heroic efforts or something that segways into the premise of this bit. New characters for the television show Heroes with paranormal powers more suitable to real life.
Les Munny who can make ends meet on half his former income.
Holden Green who can freeze excess spending at will.
Of course not all the characters use their paranormal powers for good. Heroes has its villians.
Dee Flation with the ability to suck the value out of everyone else's assets.
Then there are characters who didn't make the editorial cut. Mostly because I didn't know what their powers might be. These are Hope Ann Change, Nada Dime, Bette DeFarm, T. Bill Bonds, Mark Tomarket, and Will Powers. You are welcome to use your imagination, since mine seems to have run dry.