December 2nd, 2008


o/` Back In the Glasses Again o/`

Back in the dim, dark past (i.e., college), I used to wear reading glasses (as shown in my icon). I inherited farsightedness (both literal and metaphorical, I suspect) from my father, so I can read billboards halfway across town, but anything closer than three feet I have to work to keep in focus. I can see, I just get tired of it quickly. However, sometime in my mid-20s, my eyesight improved to the point where by 1997 or so I pretty much never actually wore them, just carried them around in my briefcase. Until recently.

Sometime over the course of the past year I started noticing eyestrain come back, particularly when I was working on something detailed and close up (like, say, drawing). I bought myself a nifty pair of magnifying goggles for painting miniatures, which has made a huge difference in that arena, but for a long time avoided going to the ophthalmologist for the same reason I would avoid, say, painting the house. But it finally got to the point where I was getting double vision, a sure sign of fatigue, with annoying frequency, so I went to the doc and got my eyes poked, prodded, and flashed with blue light. After about 45 minutes of "Better one, better two?" I came away with the following diagnosis:

"You're farsighted."

Really! I hadn't noticed. ;P

"Your vision is fine, but if looking at things close up bugs you, get a very weak pair of the over-the-counter reading glasses and wear them while you work. Being farsighted, your vision is actually better than average, but will start to deteriorate suddenly and rapidly sometime in the next five to ten years. Come back for another exam in two years."

So now, I have a very weak pair of over-the-counter reading glasses (1.00). And since whenever I post about this kind of thing I get requests for pictures...

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In Other News...

I've been rather dull lately. You know it, I know it. My life has pretty much consisted of work or Lord of the Rings Online, with occasional fits of Call of Cthulhu. My creative output has been virtually nil, and even the much-lauded return of Suburban Jungle has consisted entirely of a single strip.

So, it's time to fix that. No LotRO for the rest of the week until I get some art or writing done; I want to make at least one new item to take to Further Confusion, and I want to get strips moving regularly again. I'm also hoping to get a few more Fictionlets moving.

But now ... the job calls, and I can't keep shunting it off to voicemail. Back to work!

-The Gneech
Party Guy

A Bazillion Belated Birthdays!

Speaking of getting back into the swing of things, I did make a New Year's Resolution last year about keeping up with birthdays, and yet most of this year I've been made of fail on that score. So for all you people who've had a birthday since September 30, Belated Happy Birthday!

This offer extends (but is not limited) to blacktigr, klepsydra, kuddlepup, lukebacca, paulofcthulhu, robin_d_laws, kesh, gamera_spinning, chipuni, zhivagod, rhanlav, ccroft, panthras, emsworth, eddiecanis, _litho_, fferret, michelelight, benbear, wielder13, spikedpunch, balloonpup, ozarque, vik_thor, jbadger, doodlesthegreat, goodluckfox, maxgoof, raka, muskrat_john, silussa, raemonde, and mouser!

Share your Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk) nice, now!


To treat contemptuously; to villify. To bauchle a lass, to jilt a young woman.
—John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

Americanisms as Foreign Words

On this date in 1737, Englishman Francis Moore penned in his diary the first written denouncement of an Americanism — a practice carried on by his countrymen for the next two centuries. The offending word, bluff, had been adapted by Americans from its traditional but now largely forgotten British meaning of a jutting ship's prow, to also describe a somewhat similarly shaped piece of land atop an embankment. Moore described one view of Savannah, Georgia: "It stands upon the flat of a hill; the bank of the river (which they in barbarous English call a bluff) is steep, and about forty-five foot perpendicular." Long afterward, English lexicographer and grammarian Henry Fowler continued the assault on Americans and their patterns of speech in The King's English (1906), writing scornfully, "Everyone knows an Americanism when he sees it," and "Americanisms are foreign words, and should be so treated." For more forgotten Americanisms, visit

As opposed to "bauske," which means to be bouncy, artistic with a short attention span, and to be obsessed with Pac-Man. ;)

-The Gneech