Just a small comic today. Honestly, I’m just glad that I don’t have anything to rant about.
Of course, this isn’t a very realistic view of me after Thanksgiving. I’d never leave any crumbs.
Saturday, November 29, 2014
Thursday, November 27, 2014
Thanks A Lot
Because it’s a holiday (at least in my country) and I’m probably going to spend Saturday ranting about today, here’s a special stick figure comic.
The holidays: when all the good desserts come out of hiding. By me.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving
Or Thanksgivingocalypse. Because one of my monthly goals is to do another apocalypse post, and honestly, spending time with my family sure seems like an apocalyptic scenario. So I made a list of all the things I could do that would actually make for a Thanksgiving. You know, if anyone would actually do them.
How to Avoid the Thanksgivingocalypse
1. No alcohol. This isn’t a judgment against anyone who drinks. I’ve seen people out there who can handle a glass of wine without turning into a total a$$hole. And except for my mom, none of those people are in my family.
2. Avoid dangerous topics. You know, like politics and religion and who has to do the dishes. They only turn into screaming matches with things getting broken and people getting hurt.
3. If someone tells you to do something, do the exact opposite. For example, if someone tells you to play a tired, not-funny-ever prank on someone else, don’t frigging do it.
4. I can’t believe I have to say this, but no pot. Apparently, it never occurred to some people that it’s not okay to do something illegal in someone else’s house without their permission and while there are children in the next room.
5. Don’t lie to people about who’s coming so they show up only to find out there’s someone they don’t want to spend time with. Then don’t shame them for it.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just my family that turns Thanksgiving—and all holidays—into a total nightmare. What are your tips for surviving the holidays? Or do you actually have fun? If so, I’d sure like to know what you’re doing right…
Saturday, November 22, 2014
How about some Adventures in the Life of a Cat Owner?
She’s the second cat I’ve had that does this. I don’t know what’s so difficult about it. You do a poop, then you bury it. Most cats have this down. Why don’t mine?
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Language of Confusion: Thanks (But No Thanks)
Because a certain holiday is coming up for us Americans. You lucky Canadians already got it over with and everyone else doesn’t have to deal with Forced Family Interaction Day. How I envy you that.
Thank (the verb, not the noun with the s at the end) comes from the Old English þancian, and since the þ is pronounced th, that means the word is thancian. I’m not sure if that c was pronounced hard or soft, but since it comes from the Proto Germanic thankojan, it seems likely.
Now, the word can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European word tong, which means think or feel. And yes, that’s the origin word for think as well. In fact, think has a very similar origin. It comes from the Old English þencan and Proto Germanic thankjan, so think and thank have been only one letter off from each other for what? Five thousand years? As for why a word that means think evolved to mean gratitude, well, that’s a little less clear. It’s just known that by the eleventh century, a word related to þancian, þanc, which first meant thought and eventually started to mean good thoughts. From there, it went to gratitude, and that’s why we have thanks.
Looks like it’s a quick one today. I guess you owe me your thanks : ).
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
I’m computer literate, although I’d hardly call myself an expert. Still, I’m the most tech savvy person in my family, meaning I’m the one everyone calls when something screws up. My life would be much, much simpler if they used some common sense rules.
1. Shut it down and restart it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Laptop, iPad, modem, whatever, it isn’t working right, just shut it down and restart it before calling me.
2. Whatever you download, make sure that you don’t agree to install anymore toolbars. They only make things slower. And you certainly don’t need fifty of them. Seriously, uncheck the box!
3. You don’t need that stupid Weatherbug app. There are a million pages online that tell you what the weather is like outside. Having the app does nothing but spawn popups and eat CPU.
4. If you’re wondering why your browser is so slow, it’s because you’re using Explorer. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, literally anything is better than Explorer. Jumping into the internet Tron-style and battling digital monsters to find the information yourself is faster than Explorer. Not to mention safer.
5. Any program that claims it will make your computer run faster is lying. Ditto anything that claims it’s a free antivirus software. If you want to avoid a virus, don’t click on links that are shortened or unrecognizable.
6. And don’t click on any links in emails, ever, even if it looks real (this one is a special shoutout to my sister, as my mom knows better).
7. It’s not full memory that makes your computer run slow, it’s the crap you download that’s full of malware.
8. Seriously. Just shut it off and turn it back on.
Now, if I could only get my family to pay attention to this list…
Saturday, November 15, 2014
This week, I thought I’d give you a peek at my creative process for writing blog posts.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Language of Confusion: Busted
Today’s post brought to you by me wondering where the word robust comes from.
Bust is weird because there are actually two versions of the word that aren’t related at all. First, there’s a bust like a sculpture (which is also the one that refers to a woman’s chest, for some reason). That bust showed up in the late seventeenth century from the French buste, which of course just means bust. Before that, it was the Italian busto, which means bust but also the upper body. Of course it also comes from Latin, the classical Latin bustum, which means torso as well as the ashes from a funeral pyre (isn’t that cheery : ).
So that’s one particular usage of bust. But what about when you say, “That engine is busted.” or “I’m going to bust that guy’s nose!”? It showed up in the mid eighteenth century meaning frolic or spree, and then morphed into the bust we know it as a century later. And it turns out that bust isn’t related to the other bust at all. In fact, it’s actually the word burst without the r, I’m not even kidding. Have you ever wondered why the British and Australians say arse while Americans say ass? Turns out it’s because our ass just lost the r (and the word for donkey isn’t related to the word for butt…no fooling). And much like ass, burst also lost an r, even though we kept the original word around, too.
We also have the word combust. It showed up in the late fourteenth century, meaning it predates both busts. It comes from the Old French combust and classical Latin combustus, which means char or consume. It comes from the word comburere, burning. It’s a mix of the prefix com-, just an intensive in this case, and burere, which is the word amburere (char) without the am. Even further back, amburere comes from urere, cauterize, a descendent of the Proto Indo European eus, to burn. Did you follow all that? Basically, combust = com + burere, burere = amburere – am, and amburere = amb + burere. Because it’s not linguistics if it isn’t overly complicated. And it’s not related to bust at all.
So what about the word that started me on this whole mess? Well, I bet you’ll be just shocked to hear that robust has nothing to do with any of these words. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century, from the Middle French robuste and classical Latin robustus, strong. It’s a figurative word, meaning “strong as an oak”. See, robustus comes from robur, which can mean strength or oak and ruber, red. Basically, robust means robust because oaks are strong and red.
TL;DR: Robust, combust, and two forms of bust have nothing to do with one another.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Internet Searches that Have Got to Stop
And now, the horrible truth of some bizarre internet searches that are so common that Google brings them up if you type in an innocent sequence of words. I don’t remember what exactly I was searching, just that it started with “Is it possible to never”. Then things got weird.
Do people…really want to know this? Is there someone alive who has not pooped or farted? I just...this gives me a headache.
Another time, I was typing something like “can a cat eat vegetables” (long story, one of my cats keeps trying to eat celery) but I accidentally hit a z instead of the c for cat and I got…
Honestly, it’s less weird than the other one, but it also makes me think that people actually think it could happen and oh that’s depressing for humanity. And what’s with the yahoo? Are they the ones that are going to bring the zombie apocalypse down on us? Google I can see being behind something like that, but not Yahoo. I’m sure they’d try and maybe they’d eventually get it to work, but by then we’d have all moved on to better zombie apocalypses.
And finally, I was looking up something else and the auto fill gave this…
I don’t know what’s the matter with Kansas. Or the meaning of life. Or how a search engine can answer that. Seriously people, it’s a search engine, not god.
Have you ever stumbled across any crazy/disturbing searches?
Saturday, November 8, 2014
White pine trees provide a house with lots of shade, but it also tries to smother you with pine needles.
Places I’ve found Pine Needles
100% true stories, all of them.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Easy to Confuse
Easily confused words this week! Because I’ve been busy and don’t have time to do all the research for the Language of Confusion.
Did someone mention this one to me? If so, I forgot to note it down, sorry :P. Anyway, hoard and horde, which would make good words to etymologize. As far as I know, horde (a crowd) can only be a noun, while hoard (store or stockpile) can be a noun and a verb. Just remember: zombies come in hordes. Both end in e. Well, technically e-s, but that’s only because they’re plural.
I know I saw this one somewhere and it made me want to reach through the internet and shake whoever did it. These ones aren’t even homophones! Lose is the opposite of win, loose is the opposite of tight. Now if I could only get everyone on the internet to read this post.
Okay, this one is just something I do all the time. I always, always write entice with an i, and then it autocorrects to incite, which is an actual word, unlike intice. I have no idea why I do this. I suppose I should be more forgiving of people who screw up lose and loose…
This is another one I see all the time. Both refer to air going in and out of the lungs, but one is a noun, the other is the verb. People forget the e, not knowing how important it is. It’s so magical that it changes the “ea” from sounding like “eh” to sounding like “ee”. I guess it’s linguistomancy.
And finally we have another word that I will mix up if I don’t stop to think about it. Bare is the more narrow word, referring to things that are empty or exposed. Bear can be an animal, or a verb for withstanding/carrying and several other applications. Basically, I usually want bear.
Do you have any words that you mix up or always get wrong? What do you do to keep words straight when you’re writing?
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
September was a total nightmare. October wasn’t, so was I able to get anything done?
Ha ha. No.
1. Work on, and preferably finish, REMEMBER notes. For real. Seriously.
I swear I fully intended to do this. I just wanted to finish my other project first (the one listed right beneath this one). You know when I finished that project? October 31st. I’m so sorry, REMEMBER.
2. Finish my non-writing side project (I don’t usually put these on the list, but I might actually be able to do this one).
I have no idea why this took so freaking long. I thought I’d be done the first week of October. Then the second. Then the third. Every single day, I swore I’d be done “tomorrow”. Every day I realized there was still more to do. I’m not saying I’m great at estimating how long it takes to do something, but I’ve never been this badly off. This was such a huge time eater. But it’s done, and I’ll never have to do it again.
3. More stick figure comics! You guys are weirdly easy to please.
At least I did this one…
All right, here we go. Maybe I’ll get something important done this month…
1. Do the frigging REMEMBER notes, dang it. The italics mean I’m serious.
2. If I finish the notes, then I can get back to work on my other WIP. I should also make notes of the other idea that’s rolling around in my head before I forget it.
3. Maybe try to get another apocalypse post up. Remember those?
Okay, so let’s see if I can actually do something this month. Fingers crossed. So what are you going to be up to? And if you’re doing NaNo, I assume I won’t be seeing you until December 1st : ).
Saturday, November 1, 2014
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