Archive for July, 2004


Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

Sometimes I read about featherless bipeds and such on a Chinese news site called xinhuanet, or China View, or Xinhua Online.

I tried pronouncing “Xinhua” with my best Chinese accent and it sounded like a Frenchman saying “Chinois”. Is this a coincidence, or an etymology? Does anyone know?

Liver Pills

Wednesday, July 21st, 2004

I read today that West Virginia believes in “God Almighty, Sears Roebuck, Carter’s Little Liver Pills and Robert C. Byrd”

This clears up an old mystery, which I haven’t thought of in years. My mother’s mother used to use a phrase, “He has more [x] than Carter had liver pills”. An example: my gramma had more old-time phrases in her vocabulary than Carter had liver pills.

I was always kinda like, “Huh! Who knew Jimmy Carter had liver problems! Old people sure do know some stuff!” But over the years I heard no other reference to this malady of his.

Today I’ve found out that the pills were actually a sort of patent medicine. They were sold from before her birth until, apparently, the 1960s.

She lived in different times. I miss her.

A Parable

Tuesday, July 20th, 2004

A man left his bicycle locked to a post on the sidewalk, and his helmet clipped to the handlebars.

He carefully put up a sign: “Please do not spit in this helmet.”

Returning, he found the helmet all bespitten.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Hodge Podge

Friday, July 9th, 2004

More Johnsonian O’Brian:

‘My dear sir, I believe you have been led astray by the words master and master and commander — illogical terms, I must confess. The first is subordinate to the second. You must allow me to explain our naval ranks some time. But in any case you will never be flogged — no, no; you shall not be flogged,’ he added gazing with pure affection, and with something like awe, at so magnificent a prodigy, at an ignorance so very far beyond anything that even his wide-ranging mind had yet conceived.

(Master & Commander, p. 122)