Friday, March 24, 2006

journalistic integrity

I was reading this news story about a teenager who was murdered a few days ago and noticed a miscommunication bewteen the reporting and photo departments.
Next to the photo of the suspect who is named in the caption, is written, "Police said their investigation led to an interview with the 17-year-old suspect, who is a junior, and his subsequent arrest. The boy, whose name has not been released by police because he is a juvenile, was booked at Juvenile Hall in Martinez."

Psst, I think Marlin's in the

clink (klngk)
n. Slang

A prison or a prison cell; a jail: spent the night in the clink.
[After Clink, a district of London famous for its prison.]

But the paper made the

clink·er (klngkr)
1 A mistake; a blunder.
2 Something of inferior quality; a conspicuous failure.


I can't find the Arnold Bakery outlet store. It's somewhere on this road according to Mapquest, but none of the buildings seem to have numbers, and I think I've gone too far. I pull into the lot of a state-owned liquor store and ask a man going in if he knows where the Arnold Bakery place is. He points the way I've come and says, "It's on the right side about a mile

Chiefly Southern and Midland U.S.
That way.
[Alteration of that way.]
REGIONAL NOTE The history of the English language is full of examples of epenthesis, the addition to a word of a vowel or consonant not part of the original word. This process is still active in regional dialects. Two examples now used chiefly in Southern and Midland dialects are thisaway and thataway, which show epenthetic vowels intruding between this way and that way.
"thataway." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 24 Mar. 2006.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dreaming in Math

3 dogs + 2 boys + 1 sandbox + ½ acre...

My mother was a math teacher. In fact, for two years, she was my math teacher. I often find myself thinking in terms of things she taught me.

I seem to use my Dyson non-stop. So much so, in fact, that I recently dreamt I was tasked to Dyson a

Möbius strip
A continuous one-sided surface that can be formed from a rectangular strip by rotating one end 180° and attaching it to the other end.
[After August Ferdinand Möbius (1790–1868), German mathematician.]
"Möbius strip." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 22 Mar. 2006.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Wisconsin Gourmand*

Eggs are not considered a breakfast food in Brazil, apparently. And eating them alone--that is, not IN something--is even more repulsive, we're told. Both Dani & Gabi find both concepts vaguely objectionable.

But we're making progress. Any quiche we make vanishes quickly, though Gabi prefers it still as a lunch or dinner food. And now we've turned him onto one of our favorite breakfast creations. Here's how it goes:

  1. Sauté some fresh, sliced mushrooms. (Onions are also allowed in this pan if inclined.)
  2. In a large skillet, cook a bunch of frozen onion tater-tots in just a little butter. Mash them up as they thaw. Add mushrooms.
  3. Crack a half dozen eggs into a bowl, stir them up and pour them over this mixture. Fold, refold & fold again until eggs are cooked.
  4. Put in a big handful of shredded cheddar (this IS Wisconsin, after all). Continue folding.

That's it. Over the years we've assigned it the clever name

Egg Goop (gūp)
n. Slang.

A sticky wet viscous substance.

[Perhaps alteration of GOO.]

My sister makes a variation of this with sausage in it and calls it, quite appropriately, "Cardiac Eggs." But we prefer the vegetarian version.

Gabi went to the Coldplay concert in Milwaukee the other night and several of his buddies stayed the night here afterward. The next morning, all expressed a bit of skepticism toward the egg goop, but they agreed to sample. And all were rapidly and violently converted!

*The second definition of "gourmand" is 2. A gluttonous eater. I never said anything about haute cuisine!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy day week!

It's Teacher Appreciation Week this week at the oldest's school. Presidents? One day. Veterans? One day. Mothers? One day. Teachers? A week.

I do appreciate my son's teacher. Immensely. And I know how hard teachers work; my mother was a teacher. I have no quibble with the idea of celebrating the profession. I just don't think the fête needs to be

1. Of long duration.
2. Extending tediously beyond a standard duration.
"protracted." Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995. 20 Mar. 2006.

And I also think some things about this week are whacked. Today, for example, we're each to send in a supply the teacher needs from a list she gave the room mother. What kind of a gift is that? If a teacher needs something for the classroom, she ought to be able to just ask whenever the need arises and receive, Bam!, not wait until the right week in March and hope that particular item strikes one of the parents' fancies.