What’s in a name?
That which we call macadam
By any other name would be as strong.
OK, the Bard I ain’t, but it *was* a heigh-ho moment when I read about macadam in the afore-mentioned book by Simon Winchester (he covers a lot of ground, no pun intended). In his chapter on American roads he devotes a few paragraphs to one John McAdam, a Scot I had never heard of.
Or had I?
I have a pair of needlework scissors that were my grandmother’s. They need to be sharpened but I’ve been using them to cut knitting yarn.
After 45 years in my house, the other day they finally winked at me. I just caught it out of the corner of my eye: two small bumps looking like slightly bulging eyes (I’m thinking of crustacean eyestalks, I guess) and a screw serving as a rosebud mouth or a button nose. And the handles? Antlers, I guess. Yeah, that’s it: Antlers above the eyestalks.
As is often the case with these encounters, the closer and more directly I look, the weaker the resemblance. It’s a thing best seen in passing.
It seems like only last week that they were babies and now they’re out on their own.
Wait a minute. It *was* last week.
With my camera set up on a tripod in our front hall and me sitting where the door frame blocked their view of me, I took photos of the nest from first glimpse to last farewell. We saw evidence of hatching on June 5 and what seemed to be feeding activity on June 8, but our first view of the young ‘uns was on June 14.
I have a history of sorts with centres of sorts.
In 2014, on a trip to the Galapagos Islands, the Big Guy and I visited a monument close to the equator. Not exactly at the equator, you understand, but close.
In 2016, on a trip through South Dakota, the Big Guy and I set out to visit the Geographic Center of the United States, with less than stellar results. We got close to it, you understand, but not exactly there. Or maybe we did get there. No one really knows.
So it was with some mixture of dread and empathy that I recently clicked on an article about visiting the Geographic Center of North America, widely agreed to be in North Dakota. There is less agreement over exactly where in North Dakota. Plus ça change . . .
Somewhen, I forget when, my Firefox browser started offering me articles from “Pocket: part of the Firefox family.” I believe they mean “Pocket: a company owned by Firefox” but let’s let that go, shall we? Not every hill can be one to die for.
Anyway. In curating THE MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING ARTICLES, per their website, Pocket recommends ARTICLES on a curiously wide range of THOUGHTS. In my most-recent assortment . . .
Could Bruce Lee Win a Real Fight?
A mysterious stranger
joins forces with a notorious desperado
to protect a beautiful widow
from a ruthless assassin working for . . .
I neglected to note the movie for which this was the description, only because I had no intention of watching it. But the description caught my eye as an obnoxious example of the type.
“What type?” you ask enquiringly.
“The writing-with-unnecessary-modifiers type,” I explain explanatively. “And the writing-inconsistently type,” I add under my breath.
As in . . .
You can’t step into the same river twice.
This week sees a change in the format/layout of my blog. I was working on some technical issues with the previous theme (jargon for a blog layout package) and parked the blog here until I had them resolved.
That, at least, was the plan. But I’d be interested in your opinions (better, worse, meh) on the new look to help me decide whether it should be a fill-in solution or a longer-term solution. I can’t promise to go with what the majority prefer, because pesky technical problems do arise, but I’d still be interested.
If you can’t remember what it used to look like, you can get an approximate view of that by checking out my proposal blog. Different colours but same-old layout.
It all comes in a mad rush. We seemed to wait For Ever for the tulips and irises to bloom, and then the flowering crabapple tree came and went in about 24 hours, the Korean lilacs and magnolia blossoms hung around for maybe three days, and now the poppies and clematis are having their (quick) turn.