The picture was taken last year during my 50th High School Class Reunion. Time flies when you’re doing whatever it is you’re doing, doesn’t it? I didn’t know it at the time, but I was receiving an education superior to the norm. But I still doubt that this teacher could map genes while I wait. I’m not that patient.
Anyway, this may be the first time you’ve been able to read one of my posts in a long time. A few people have, somehow, but I’m not sure how they got in here. It seems that somehow I deleted the index.php file in the root directory of this site. A rather dumb thing to do, as it simply results in a “forbidden” message when you try to connect. Even if you’re me, as it turns out. I’ve been having to log in before getting here. Took me months to figure that out. There are several web sites in the same root directory, so instead of the start page for a web site, index.php is a script that sends a request to the appropriate subdirectory. I actually wrote that script, and it even works, so there’s a rare thing for you right there.
Anyhow, feel free to go back through the posts to catch up. You can search “writing” if you want to see my Wednesday posts, or just scroll back through time like a stoner stuck in reverse. Your choice. Then, from this point on, you will be able to keep up with my posts by simply visiting this site once again (it’s the default landing point at stevefey.com.) Or, subscribe, if you wish. Who knows? You might like it!
So, yeah, there’s keeping bees. Since I collected that sweet stuff, it’s gotten too hot to even open a hive to look in on my workers. They’re flying out and back again, laden with nectar and pollen, so I’m not worried. In about six weeks I’ll take another look. If I’m right, I’ll get about double that from two of my three hives. (#3 is new this year, so they get a bye.) That’s one thing.
Another thing has been “supervising” the guys installing our new flooring, which looks mahvelous, by the way. There were two of them, and they worked long hours for four days in a row to level our awful floors and install some waterproof laminate that wood’s own mom wouldn’t know wasn’t wood. That killed last week.
The week before that, well, see my previous post. Not the one from OddGodfrey, you silly, mine.
Today I drove 200 miles to our place outside Ash Fork Arizona to collect rent from tenants living in our old place outside of Ash Fork Arizona, and to check on the damage from a recent awful storm. For the tenants, the score is storm 2, them zip, as it took out their mini fridge and water heater. So, I’m shopping for a new water heater for my tenants, if you have one extra lying about. For our own place, we have some serious erosion problems, and three of my security cameras now have bad power supplies. Swell. And, when I got there, I discovered that I’d left the water on to the swamp cooler, which drained our cistern, so I had no water. Double swell.
And, besides that, I’m in the middle of revising my YA, and drafting my new Middle Grader, which, yes, I have been doing daily since returning from Denver. Phew. No real point this week, just wanted to vent a bit. Thank you for reading it.
When I was about seven, I think, my sister came up one day and said “uno y uno son dos.” She was studying Spanish, and decided, rightly so I imagine, that teaching somebody else was a great way to learn. I’ve been able to stumble badly in Spanish for years. Lately I’ve even been able to have some rudimentary conversations about normal topics (no “Norte America es un continente” for me bro!) Looking at the Portuguese carved into the Cabo da Roca monument, you’d think that it was a lot like Spanish. Well, you’d be wrong.
They’re both Romance languages. And some words are the same as they are in Spanish. Some look the same but aren’t, and some aren’t even close. Take chicken, for instance. The cooked kind. It’s “carne do frago.” What the heck is a frago? In old Iberian Celtic, it’s a chicken. Try asking for “carne do frago,” heck call it “de frago” in Spanish and all you’ll get is a blank look. ‘Cause, yeah, what the heck is a frago?
Pronunciation is very different as well. Take the word “banana.” in Spanish it’s “una banana” or “un banano.” Yes, banano. Dunno why. And “banana” is all long ah sounds, too. In Portuguese, it is “uma banana.” Go ahead and say that, just like you think it would sound if you saw that phrase lying around. You said “banana” like it was English, didn’t you? You know you did. And, here’s the thing, you were correct! Since almost forever, Portugal and Britain (first England) have been allies through thick and thin. After all, their chief rivals back in the days of good old imperialistic expansion were Spain and France. Oooo, they hated those guys! And I think that a lot of English habits rubbed off on the Portuguese. (I know that tea, as enjoyed traditionally in England, came from Portugal, so why not things going the other way?) Not only bananas, but other habits of pronunciation occur in both English and Portuguese. For example, Portuguese has a lot of susurration in it (look it up) and they leave off the sound of many final syllables. Here’s an example of a word that illustrates several of my points. I refer to the word, “pronto.”
Hey, you know that word! It means quickly, right? Uh, sure, in Spanish, and all you have to do is make both of those ‘o’s sound long and you’ve got it. We use it in English, at least in America, where we pronounce it like it was English, sort of like “prahnto.” Get it? Two things about that word in Portuguese. It doesn’t mean “quickly,” and it’s pronounced like the American version, less the final syllable. You know our word font? Sure, so you can pronounce pront, which is how a Portuguese pronounces the word “pronto,” which means “ready.” “Tens pronto?” Means “are you ready?” Tens, the word for “you are” if “you” is a friend, is pronounced, oh, heck, how do you think? You got all this? Tens pronto? Good.
Portuguese isn’t a difficult language, despite what people say. The verbs follow mostly Spanish conventions and the nouns mostly follow the French way of syntax. It is it’s own language, and that’s all. It seems to me that Portugal gets short shrift when Americans think of Europe. It’s really a very nice country. The least foreign feeling foreign country I’ve ever visited, and I include Canada. That may be good or bad, but it’s the case either way.
Okay, then, I think it’s time to get back to our travelogue, don’t you?
Yo, Bob Katt here. I’m the latest addition to the household. Don’t be mistaken: I ain’t no Big Pussy. Nobody’s ever gonna dump me off of a boat and you can take that to the bank. If you want to see a bigger picture of my face, just click that little picture up top of the page. Be prepared to be awed by my visage. You been warned, human! [This no longer works.]
I’m not alone around here, unfortunately. There’s entirely too much competition for those food gathering oafs’ attention so far as I can see. Maybe I’ll do something about that some day. It ain’t like I gotta do anything alone: I got an enforcer name of Jabba the Hairball. Hey, you never heard of Paulie Walnuts? And you’re talkin’ like Jabba the Hairball can’t be much of name for an enforcer, aren’t you? Well, let me tell you, before I came along there was another cat here, still is here in fact, name of Elvira. She got hurt by some neighborhood stray and almost died. Jabba the Hairball it was which went after that stray and gave him a lesson he’ll never forget. Dead cats don’t forget nothin’, right? As soon as I can get one of these lazy humans around here off it’s fat butt I’ll get you a picture of my man Jabba. He’s got at least twenty-four toes, does Jabba. No kiddin’.
So anyway that dumb pink slob forgot and left his computer unlocked so I’m puttin’ up my own web page. I’m gonna slip this onto his blog too. That’ll teach him to be late with the food in the morning!
PS — I may post more stuff here and on his blog. Check back once in a while. Hey, you never know, right?
The purported author of that post died yesterday in the presence of his loving humans. He’d already lost a leg to cancer, causing me to call him “my favorite tripod.” Suddenly he couldn’t breathe without difficulty, so we took him to the vet. He had a huge tumor pressing on his lungs, and was looking forward to nothing but a short, miserable life. Damn but I hate this stuff! In any event, I, who he thought of as his mother, was scratching his ears and he was purring when the sedative was administered. Shortly after, he was relieved of all suffering. I’ll miss that cat, and that’s the truth!
On the day this post is released, I’m on my way to Dublin. Thence on to Lisbon for five days, then back to Dubllin. Which is by way of saying that there will be no post at all next week. And maybe not much of one this week, but you be the judge.
We held a successful garage sale over the weekend. Made well over $300. $400 if the guy shows up to buy the pool table who said he’d do that. This is the beginning of phase one of unburdening ourselves of stuff, so that we might retire to a far away land (in Europe) in five to ten years. The nice thing about being a writer is that you can do that activity from virtually anywhere. (People have published books from prison.) Our trip to Portugal is primarily to investigate whether we’d like to move there when the time comes. In preparation, I have learned at least six or seven words of Portuguese. Know something odd? Portuguese has, apparently, interacted with English at some point in history. Want to say ‘banana’ in that language. The article is uma (’cause banana is feminine) but the word ‘banana’ is pronounced just like any hick American would pronounce it. As a student of language, I find this fascinating. Also, the most commonly used article meaning “of,” de, is pronounced dee or just d(schwa). Odd stuff, language, and those Lusitanians are apparently just crazy about theirs.
So, anyway, don’t look for a post next week, although if the opportunity arises I’ll post something. But do check my Facebook feed, if you follow it, because I’m sure I’ll find some pictures to put out there.
The picture above was taken in the Spring. That’s how it goes back where I grew up. Here in the desert, no so much, I think it hit ninety degrees yesterday. Hot stuff!
A short post just to say that I’m thinking of trying to write a picture book. My wife, of course, thinks that because I’m good with doggerel it would be easy. Actually, it’s just shy of being actual poetry. Sort of a novel in haiku if you will. But, it should be interesting. As a start, I’m going to read a mess of picture books to see what’s hot these days. Heck, if Pence’s pet rabbit can get a book (two if you count the parody from John Oliver) maybe there’s hope.
Stuff the advice this week. It’s Christmas! Okay, I know that not everybody celebrates that particular holiday. And that “War on Christmas” stuff is just one more way that Fox News is crazy making. But, we do have a secular holiday by that name in this country, and next Monday is it for 2017. So, We Wish You A Merry Christmas for sure! And,
Good Mithra’s Day,
And A Happy and Prosperous New Year!
And, one more for those War on Christmas weirdos: HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
Inspired by my friend Mercedes Yardley, (you can read her newsletter here) I am posting a realistic Holiday Letter, not to be confused with the mocking one I posted a few weeks, or days, whatever, ago. All-in-all, I think we had a decent year, considering that it was 2017 and all.
The picture above comes from the LA premiere of the latest season of Mystery Science Theater 3000. We always enjoyed the old ones, and when we saw the Kickstarter campaign, we contributed enough to the successful effort to be invited to watch Episode One, Reptilicus, from the VIP section. Reptilicus is possibly the worst movie ever, but of course it is in competition with some pretty awful stuff. If you haven’t already done so, you should check out MST 3000, The Return, on Netflix. Season 14 is coming along, but you still have time to be caught up before it is released.
Tami has been working a lot at her law firm. She has participated in some famous cases, as well as some nobody ever heard of. Recently she was involved with the Wynn v Wynn settlement, and nary a news report about it was seen. Not sure why not.
Steve started driving for Lyft in July. He also keeps plugging away at writing fiction, and coordinating the Las Vegas Writers’ Group. He’s also on the board of Writers of Southern Nevada. He writes a bit. Oh, and he passed the Jeopardy audition, but hasn’t heard from them yet.
We have one animal casualty to report. Bob Katt has bone cancer in his right leg, and the prognosis is not good. He’s a very fine cat, soft as a bunny, and will be sorely missed.
In other animal news, Beauregard Katt grew up and the other cats quit letting him eat first. He was confused, but acquiesced. Georgia had a blood tumor removed from her tummy. Emmy grew into a furry pig after Beau grew up and quit chasing her around. Kitty the Forest Cat managed to avoid being shaved for this year. And Sonny, fka Mister Sunshine, continues to be just about the nicest cat I’ve ever known.
We also visited London in May, wearing ourselves to frazzles in an eight-day trip. We heartily recommend Virgin Atlantic for flying to England. The return trip, especially, was positively enjoyable.
There you go. Why not publish a realistic newsletter of your own? Won’t cost you nuthin’!