August 23rd, 2006

Shaoran WTF

Happy Birthday, tahamaki

For your present, here's today's Forgotten English!

Full, plump; usually spoken of corn or fruit, in opposition to fantome, anything fat or distended.

Late Summer Diet
In the month of September, and likewise in the latter part of August, according as you shall find the season to alter, begin to withdraw your custome of drinking, converting the same to a mediocrity, and be moderate in all things, especially in the use of autumnall fruits, which breed putrid humours, and carefull in eschewing the morning and evening cold. ... Although the autumnal fruits doe in this season gloriously shew themselves, yet often and much use of them is hurtfull because an ill juyce, concurring with the distemperature of the aire, doth suddenly corrupt the whole body. For all green fruits, especially those that quickly perish and rot, as plums, peaches, apricocks, &c. do abundantly engender wind, make the bloud waterish and subject to putrefaction, especially in them that have impure stomacks. Therefore, the use of them is to the phlegmatick and melancholick.
--Tobias Venner's Via Recta: The Right Way of Living, 1650

You know, there's archaic use, and then there's just makin' shit up. Old Tobias appears to have been a pioneer of L33T. Ill juyce???

-The Gneech
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Mad Red


"Well, well, my dear old harpy, welcome home!" Greg chirped as Brigid elbowed her way through the door. "Here, let me take some of that," he added, taking a few of the cardboard boxes weighing her down and scampering off into the apartment with them.

"Why are you so obnoxiously bouyant?" Brigid asked. "As if you need a reason."

"I have a reason, and a good one!" he answered, stacking the boxes on the table next to her pile of papers that had grown from a small stack to a precarious tower in the past four days. "Funny Looks is burned onto the CD and plunked into the mailbox and winging its way to New York even as we speak. Two weeks ahead of schedule, no less! As they say in the donut business, slam dunk!"

"Well at least one of us was productive today," muttered Brigid. "I've been in about sixty meetings since 8:30 this morning, and this damn proposal is supposed to be downtown no later than 11:00 tomorrow. One of these days I'm going to be given a proposal due in two weeks instead of two days, and I'll probably keel over dead from the shock."

"Well, that sucks. But Doctor Greg has the cure. Pack up your proposal in an old kit bag for an hour or two and I'll take you out for a celebratory dinner, and then over to the coffee shop to get you caffienated up for your imminent all-nighter."

Brigid narrowed her eyes at him. "You know, I'm sometimes wonder if Yvonne isn't on to something about you."

"Don't get mushy on me now," said Greg. "Or I'll rescind the offer!"

-The Gneech

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On Pipes and Pap

laurie_robey and I had dinner with my parents this evening, and since I was still thinking about this post from the other day, I started grilling my dad about my grandfather (who my parents always refer to as "Pap"), and in turn his father (my great-grandfather), Early Robey.

It turns out I had some of my facts wrong; while both Granddaddy and Granddaddy Early were farmers on the side, neither of them did that as their primary profession. Granddaddy Early was a huckster -- in the true, original sense of the term, not the way it's used these days. Back in those days, the role of a huckster was to go around from farm to farm and pick up vegetables, wares, and whatnot and take the goods into town to sell -- basically a distributor.

My grandfather was primarily a machinist and a mechanic. He worked on the rails, he made artillery during WWII, but mostly he worked on the D.C. transit company (i.e., Metro) buses, working his way up to the regional shop foreman position before his retirement.

Granddaddy and me, Christmas '73 or soAnyway, since we were talking on the subject, my parents gave me a print of the photo you see here, of me sitting on my grandfather's lap, many long years ago. My best guess puts this at Christmas 1972, when I would have been three years old; it might have been 1973, but it was definitely no later. Notice the pipe! You can see what I mean here about him being distinguished, I presume. Of all the pictures I have (or have seen) of my grandfather, this is the only one that actually looks like him, at least as I remember him, and this one has always been my favorite.

My father in uniform, WWIIWhile they were at it, my parents also gave me this photo of my dad in uniform, during his service in WWII. How this pointy-chinned, clean-cut kid turned into my scraggly ol' clown of a father, I'll never know! You can just barely make out any resemblance around the eyes -- and for that you have to squint.

-The Gneech
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