Monthly Archives: February 2013

‘Everyone on your list’

“If you’re against child abuse, forward this message to everyone on your email list.”

All right. Done!

Actually not. I needed to think about the message, which appeared on my Facebook page, and presumably on the page of all my Facebook “friends.”

Let’s see: This morning I awoke early, and with a bit of difficulty dragged my almost-74-year-old body out of bed and got ready to face the day. Whoever said, “Now that you’re retired, you’ll have lots of time to rest up, to take it easy” had obviously never been retired.

And with age comes an increasing necessity to write things down. And too often I’ve found myself returning to the house from the driveway to recover something I’d forgotten, and then forgotten what I went to retrieve. Sound familiar? Continue reading

‘Psilence’ is golden

To use the students’ expression, they were “freaked out” at hearing the way I pronounced “knight.”

Well now everyone knows the word belongs to that group of English words that’s fraught with silent letters. There are only three sounds in the word: n, a long i, and a t.

The gasping took place back in 1967, when I taught English literature to advanced placement students in Cuba, N.M. We were studying the Canterbury Tales, by the 14th century author Geoffrey Chaucer, and we’d already covered the prologue; I had them memorize the first 18 lines of the long poem: “Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote / The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote …” Continue reading

Why not just converse?

The guy is either contemplating his navel (isn’t that the expression people used decades ago, for doing something pointless?) or he’s texting while driving. His head bobs to check the color of the traffic light, and sometimes he relies on a honk from the car behind him to decide when to proceed.

That’s become a common occurrence. Some state organizations have even created a public service ad that urges people to sign a pledge in which they promise to W8-2text.

Well, one reader only recently told me explanations are in order. “Not everybody understands what texting is,” she said. Ooh, that made me feel guilty; it shows I’ve used the term texting and merely assumed readers would understand.

Texting is a relatively recent innovation, and people my age aren’t as likely to comprehend the ramifications of this neo-nascent electronic phenomenon. I still can’t generate a text message on my cell phone, although I can reply to my wife’s messages, like a pro. Continue reading

Double axels, double features

Two things that generate a lot of nostalgia have been in the news lately: The prospect of bringing back the skating pond at Montezuma and the possibility of Las Vegas’ soon being without a drive-in theater.

First the skating pond. It’s hard to pinpoint the year people stopped using the rink, located next to a steep cliff just beyond the community of Montezuma.

My family and I checked out the area last week, even before articles about the pond began appearing in the news. Because of the height of the mountain immediately to the west, the pond remains shaded and frozen for long periods.

Even though never the expert and not even a skater of any sort, I applaud efforts like those of Councilman Joey Herrera, who is talking up the idea of restoring that wonderful place where many people gathered. Continue reading