A collection of distilled sarcastic wisdom, numerous photographs, discussions of books and stuff to learn and more stuff to think about from a retired economics professor turned blogger and photographer.
If you aspire to become a renowned cross-word puzzle maker genius, here are a few clues about vocabulary and other stuff you should study to be successful:
Think carefully about the word ambiguous. Try to write clues that have multiple, and I mean multiple and not just two or three, meanings.
Try to make sure that you have clues that have many alternative possible answers in crossword dictionaries so you will not be able to look up the clue and find an answer until you fill in a bunch of other blanks.
And for that matter, try to make sure a high percentage of your clues have no answers whatsoever in dictionaries, thesauri, almanacs, and reference books and that Google has never heard of it, let alone listed 250,163 pages you could check.
Make your clues totally obscure. Like who was the first woman to scale Mt. Rushmore, or who was the Albanian ambassador to Lower Slobbovia (thank you Al Capp) in 1922, or who was Charles Lindbergh's first grade teacher. Stuff like that.
Invent nasty little tricks that obtuse crossword puzzlers like me won't catch on to until they have spent three days wrestling with your wicked little creation. Such as: leaving two or three letters off the end of answers to selected clues, which after you catch on to this little gem, you can answer a whole bunch of stuff.
Really confuse your puzzle doers with stuff like: How 39 down reacts to 42 up when 72 across completes a record 15 down. No further clues. All solved by inference.
When it's late at night and you need to get your puzzle off to the editor, stick in a bunch of funny spellings by inserting the term (Var.), which stands for variation in use or spelling, in parentheses, so even if you are smart and know the answer, you won't have a clue about how to spell it.
Put in a lot of old stuff like who was the leading Decca Records songstress in 1932 which geezers can answer but which anyone under the age or 30 or 40 will miss.
Stick in a whole lot of new stuff like names of hip-hoppers, rock genres, names of leading acid rock crud, and such which anyone over 65 would just gag at, thus alienating your elderly crossword puzzle afficionados who will swear they will never try one of your stupid crosswords again. Until tomorrow, maybe.
Have an entire crossword puzzle with blanks. No black spaces whatsoever. That would be as diabolical as you could get, and it would serve those arrogant braggarts right who claim they can do the NYT Saturday puzzle in less than 20 minutes.
Put in as many clues as you can about people no one has ever heard (of).
Get an advanced physics text and stick in a couple of whoppers that Einstein would have to take a couple of minutes to answer.
Try to stump Rex Parker and that English dude who is always bragging about how fast he knocks off the NYT puzzle.
I'm sure other nefarious and mind-boggling tricks are up the sleeves of those who have chosen to drop out of the work force and generate Gross Domestic Product by selling their crossword puzzle skills so that geezers who have nothing else to do will waste their time for however long it takes to solve a ridiculous puzzle. I have been known to shout and scream after solving the last clue after spending several hours a day for days trying to solve the Saturday NYT puzzle, which some refer to as the Crossword Puzzle from Hell.
Meanwhile, puzzle solvers, don't let them (the puzzle makers) get the upper hand. Acquire a large reference library of almanacs, directories, dictionaries, reference books, and such, and keep them up to date. Don't be afraid to ask Google in a pinch, a low-class method which, I have been required to use less and less. But when those sneaky crossword puzzle makers want to start a war, one has to answer with whatever means, foul or fair, will produce an answer.
As you can plainly see, the Always store (Always what? Those in the know are aware that Always means Always Low Prices) has two signs over the entrance-exit doors. Actually, Always could be classified as an incomplete sentence, a word hanging out there in space, which Miss Harkins, my 12th grade English teacher would heartily disapprove (of), to dangle at the end of the sentence rather than write it over. The door on the right says Enter over the door, the door on the left says Exit, but only on the inside. It is no wonder that people are always entering the Exit door since there is no sign at all on the outside over that door, so how would one know that it is the Exit door? Target, for instance, paints Exit and Enter in big red letters right on the face of the door so even a college graduate can quickly tell what is what. Stronger yet are the words "Do Not Enter", an imperial commandment that will keep the customers in shape. Haven't any of the flock of multibillionaires who sit around Benton AK collecting their annual take off the top of WalMart revenues caught on to this, or are they so rich they don't even care? Even my sister Judy has opined she will carefully watch which door she enters and exits after this in case she runs into someone as sensitive to this issue as is the Curmudgeonly Professor. Such is the power of my blog to induce such behavioral modification. Are the Pearly Gates just as confusing as to exit and entrance? Has anyone been there who can report back and tell us? And if you enter, take a little questionnaire and review your sinful life and then get unceremoniously kicked out, is there an Exit door clearly marked? And are there directions about where to go? As you can tell, this is a slow news day, full of dangling prepositions and indefinite antecedents. But what the heck, this is my blog and I can do whatever I want to since there is no guarantee anyone will read it anyway. Maybe someone will write a complaint.
Near the end of November three years ago I began this blog. Some days, I don't know why I don't buy a how-to-do-it manual and learn how to fix up stuff around the house instead. With 2900 posts to date, I should easily run over 3000 posts by my three year anniversary. A total of 1,261 comments have been posted, with my sisters winning the frequency contest in this category. They pounce on anything I write, but have blessedly ceased correcting my grammar, spelling, syntax, and other matters. A total of 74,573 page views have been registered since the beginning. I know that is a piddly amount compared to many successful bloggers. I keep getting dozens of announcements of methods and techniques for increasing my blog readership, but I never get around to reading them. I prefer to blunder along, finding more flowers and other interesting things to photograph, visit Walmart and Costco once in awhile, and provide informed and unbiased commentary on important issues of the day. Thank you again to all of my faithful blog followers. We need only wait five minutes to think up some other topic or take another photo and send forth our words and pictures into the blogosphere where, theoretically, they are enshrined forever into the eternities. Yesterday was my all-time page view record with 224 page views. While again that count is tiny compared with those who are used to thousands of eager viewers eagerly consuming their words of wisdom, that is 224 more people than would read anything I wrote or look at any photo I took if I didn't have a blog. Whether it matters a whit is another matter. Meanwhile, be thankful for pink roses, take the trash out on trash day, think kind thoughts, and do good deeds. I may become a hermit and go back to Penrose Wyoming after the November election, dumping my TV and my computers so I no longer have to keep track daily of what is happening in the world. Of course, some people die to avoid seeing what some idiot will do tomorrow, but I would prefer not to take that drastic step as of yet. Have a nice day.
I love this view of the mountains on the east of the South Salt Lake Valley. You can shoot this view a dozen times a day and get a different photo every time as the light changes and the weather changes. Is photography just a way of recording how our eyes see the world?
Don't you love it when so many businesses and local governments and people everywhere plant and maintain flower gardens? Since Mother Nature will soon end the summer blaze of glory, photos provide a way to remember them.