June 4th, 2008

Party Guy

Happy Happy Birthday Birthday!

Happy birthday to usdutchkitty and unclekage! Don't fight over your Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk) now, share nice!

graveolent


Having a strong or unpleasant smell.
—Rev. John Boag's Imperial Lexicon, c. 1850


No Pleasure Cruise


On this date in 1840, a French diplomat known as the Chevalier de Bacourt left England for America. He described his ship's steerage section in a letter: "The engine and 'menagerie' occupy the centre [near] the cabins of the domestics, those of the crew, and the kitchens. … God help the nervous invalids who live there. In this space are packed together eighty-five passengers — men, women, and children — and ninety-two of the crew … justly celebrated for their disagreeable odor. Then there are two cows, twelve pigs, ten sheep, twenty-five chickens, and as many ducks, geese, and turkeys. … Imagine all these drinking, eating, sleeping, crying, singing, bellowing, bleating, and add to this the noise of the engine and the orders for the management of the vessel. Imagine yourself shut up in a stateroom seven feet long, seven feet wide, and seven feet high, and you will have a correct idea of the pleasure of the voyage. … If the sea is rough half of these people are sick, and so are the animals; then it becomes an infernal abode."

On the other hand, you get free cable and pay-per-view.

-The Gneech
No Drama Zone

Sounding Off -- Okay Here

There was some pretty scary stuff, with window glass bowing in and out, trees coming down, that kind of thing. There are reports that a tornado did touch down in Falls Church (something like 5-10 miles east of where we were), and we saw three largish trees completely decimated — one in the parking lot at work, one a block over from our house. So yeah, it was a heck of a storm. One person was killed when a tree fell on the car they were riding in.

However, other than the lingering and inevitable traffic snarl, it passed very quickly. The storm was moving at something like 50 MPH and lasted something like 45 minutes from start to finish from our POV at work.

This was followed up by dinner with the family, and I'm not sure which was scarier. ¬.¬

-The Gneech