Sleeping In the Heartland

Thursday, December 19, 2013

D is for . . .deer . . .deerhound

Image and definition 'sampled' from: 
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language; copyright 1989.

Back to the animals . . .a 'two-fer' this time...

deer, n., pl,  deer, (occasionally) deers. 1. any
 of several ruminants of the family Cervidae, most of
 the males of which have solid, deciduous horns or
 antlers. ...


deer-hound, n, one of a Scottish breed of large dogs
 having a shaggy, gray, or brindled coat.

A mention of deer (or "occasionally deers") seems appropriate at this time of year as the species Rangifer tarandus, reindeer, comes easily to mind now.

While deerhound reminds me of an old British mystery tale, featuring the mysterious moors surrounding a medieval castle.

Next up . . .the letter 'E ... e '..!!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

C is for . . .cone.

Image and definition 'sampled' from: 
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language; copyright 1989.

For all you geometry and math fans out there...

cone, n., v. coned, con-ing --1. Geom. a solid whose surface is generated by a line passing through a fixed point and a fixed plane curve not containing the point, consisting of two equal sections joined at s vertex.  2. a plane surface resembling the cross-section of a solid cone. ...

Good gawd . . .the definitions above make me feel like I am back in my high school geometry class.

The definitions continue on ...including mentions of machined mechanical parts, fruits of plants, specialized cells in the eye "sensitive to color and intensity of light", ice cream, and more. More than you would ever want to know about cones..!!

As promised . . .not an animal this time. See you at my next post for the letter 'D'..!!


Monday, October 28, 2013

B is for . . .bighorn.

Image and definition 'sampled' from: 
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language; copyright 1989.

Tonight's random selection and submission for your (and my) edification...

big-horn, n., pl  -horns, (esp. collectively-horn. a wild sheep, Ovis canadensis, of the Rocky Mountains, with large curving horns. Also called Rockey Mountain bighorn, Rocky Mountain sheep.

Lewis and Clark are often credited with the discovery of bighorns. But they had been described before early as 1540 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado. They truly must have been an astonishing sight for transplanted Europeans.

More to come . . .and maybe not an animal next time..!!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

A is for . . .alpaca.

It is easy to let a blog lay fallow. With all the distractions of real life and other online activities ...sometimes a blog post is the last item on a long list of 'things to do'.

This serves as the inspiration for a simple, silly posting activity to perhaps get me back here more often.

I have always been fascinated by the small line drawings or 'pictures' found in ink and paper dictionaries. Strange animals, small maps, unfamiliar objects, odd plants a young reader finding these diminutive icons they were most often a glimpse of something new to me.

This series of posts will share random selections of these small pictures 'sampled' from Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language; copyright 1989. A "$79.95 Value" according to a tag on the inside the dustcover's front flap  ...I picked it up recently for $6.99 plus tax at a local Half Price Books outlet. Boy did I hoodwink (v.t. 1. to deceive or trick.) them..!!

Tonight's random selection and submission for your (and my) edification...

al-pac-a  n. 1. a domesticated, South American animal of the genus Lama, having long, soft, silky hair or wool, related to the camels, resembling a llama, and believed to be a variety of the guanaco.

 I know . . .pretty exciting..!!

Stay tuned for my next entry . . .I hope to at least make it through the alphabet once. We shall see.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

How to write a love letter...

" OK, OK. I confess. This book is not really about 'how to write a love letter'. I am just shamelessly throwing myself at the web search engine spiders.

Perhaps my sticky net caught you also my dear reader. If it did perhaps you are searching for the perfect words to reveal your heart's anguished desire to claim that of another. If you are on such a mission ...I envy you.

I envy you that feeling of your bursting heart that has so muddled your thoughts that you are having trouble embellishing 'I love you..!!' When perhaps that is all your desired one really needs to read ...and to hear.

The above is the intro to a review of Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See I wrote more than five years ago and then published at Epinions dot com.

With some eight hundred-plus reviews and essays published at the site . . .it is perhaps not unthinkable I would have forgotten I had already reviewed this book.

Interestingly ...I found my reaction to the book as I reread it recently almost exactly as I described it way back when. It is reassuring, I suppose, to find my gut reaction essentially unchanged.

Check the review, and the book, out. You may find a few tips and phrases that might serve you well today. He/she need never know you stole them from another's heart..!!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ten plus one ...September 11, 2012

It seems de rigueur on this date to pause to reflect on events long ago.

A dwindling number of elderly Americans can recall first-hand experiences and memories of Pearl Harbor day ...a somewhat larger number can remember the day JFK was assassinated many Americans can remember 'as if yesterday' where they were when the events of September 11, 2001 were unfolding.

The image of representing each life lost on September 11, 2001 with a flag carries a powerful symbolism. Standing tall and rigid. Yet still showing 'life' as each flag billows with the slightest touch of the day's breezes.

Sure, one can imagine the martial jingoism of massed American flags. One can also easily imagine each billowing flag represents the life of one human being killed on American soil that day. One can just as easily imagine any single flag representing one's father or grandmother ...or all one's ancestors.

This memorial event is presented by the city of Des Moines' Park and Recreation Department, a local media company, and the U.S. Air Force. The "Tribute Trail" was placed along the edge of a lake near downtown Des Moines. The "3,213 individual flags, one for each person lost on that day" were an impressive sight indeed.

It will be interesting to see if this particular date in American history has 'legs' similar to other significant American dates and events still remembered and celebrated today. I think the memories, and the public remembrances, will last for many years to come.


Colors of the fruits...

And the sleeping blog in the heartland awakens again...

Had the camera with me ...wifey stopped at the grocery store ...killing some time...

All unedited, 'natural' grocery-store light.

Big fun.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Founding Myths...

Ray Raphael is an unabashed, and unrepentant, child of the Sixties. Describing his college years, he acknowledges his official major was philosophy ...but notes "my real focus was on being an activist."

His activist spirit was fueled by two summers of civil rights work in the American South of the early ‘60s. After completing his undergraduate degree he "became a full-time activist working with 'the Movement' on civil rights and protesting the war in Viet Nam." His 'activist ways' continued as he earned a graduate degree in philosophy at UC Berkeley under the tutelage of "a guy in the department who was an expert in Karl Marx." He later returned to college "...long enough to get a teaching credential" so he could " ...teach high school and resume his work as a radical."

Not exactly the resumé of a writer you might expect to share the "stories that hide our patriotic past" the book Founding Myths is subtitled.

Amazingly . . .he does the Founding Fathers proud ...even as he slices and dices the shiny basket of apples that are 'the stories' we all 'know' about the early days of our nation.


Read the rest of my review of Founding Myths at my review page.

Founding Myths || Stories that hide our patriotic past