Sunday, June 16, 2013


The word of the day for June 16, 2013 is:  ambulatory


adjective \ˈam-byə-lə-ˌtȯr-ē\

1:  of, relating to, or adapted to walking; also : occurring during a walk

2:  moving from place to place : itinerant

3:  capable of being altered [a will is ambulatory until the testator's death]

4a:  able to walk about and not bedridden [ambulatory patients]
  b:  performed on or involving an ambulatory patient or an outpatient [ambulatory medical care] [an ambulatory electrocardiogram]
[ambulatory theatrical companies that brought live theater to small towns across America]

First Known Use:  1598

16th Green and 17th Tee & Green, Painted Hills Golf Course
Painted Hills Golf Course is open now.  I have been spending the afternoon watching the members pursuing the sport.  As I can see the course best from my Wii and they are mostly using carts, I believe I have been getting more exercise than the golfers.

One group, two men and a boy of about seven, rolled up to the tee area closest to my window in two carts fairly early.  Each of them teed-up two balls.  The adults’ shots both reach the green; the boy’s shots barely reached the “ladies” tee area.  Since I am only able to see three holes (the rest being on the other side of the rise to me) I am wondering if they are going to allow the boy any putting practice.

He reached another of those ambulatory bundles and examined it. It was a cripple with only one leg and one arm, but so legless and so armless that the complicated system of crutches and wooden legs on which he was supported gave him all the appearance of a scaffolding in motion. Grainier, who dearly loved noble and classical similes, compared him in his own mind to the living tripod of Vulcan.


Saturday, June 15, 2013


The word of the day for June 15, 2013 is:  opulent


adjective \-lənt\

:  exhibiting or characterized by wealth, affluence : abundance, profusion :  as (a) : having a large estate or property :  wealthy [hoping to marry an opulent widow] (b) :  amply or plentifully provided or fashioned often to the point of ostentation [living in opulent comfort]

[an opulent upper crust that liked to show off its possessions]
[an opulent mansion filled with priceless art and antiques]

From:  Latin opulentus, from ops power, help; akin to Latin opus work

First Known Use:  1523

The Great Gatsby (2013) Poster
The cinematography of this year’s remake of The Great Gatsby, based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel, is certainly evocative of the Jazz Age as the United States of America sees itself.  The image contrast of the wealthy and the poor is quite striking.  Both Vicki and I were a bit disconcerted by the occasional use of contemporary music, although it did seem to point out the similarities of the 1920s with the 2010s.

**Spoiler Alert**  I must have read Gatsby in High School, but I’ve slept since then.  The story seemed familiar and new at the same time.  Several of the characters needed—as my mother would put it—to be put in a sack and shaken.  I did remember that the story ended badly for everyone, including the narrator.

It’s nice to see Leonardo di Caprio as an adult.  In my opinion, he’s beginning to look a bit like Orson Welles and Marlon Brando as they matured:  still handsome yet without the wet-behind-the-ears look of extreme youth.

Lear—  To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
No less in space, validity, and pleasure,
Than that conferr’d on Goneril. Now, our joy,
Although our last and least, to whose young
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interess’d, what can you say to draw

A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.


Thursday, June 13, 2013


The word of the day for June 13, 2013 is:  visitation


 noun \ˌvi-zə-ˈtā-shən\

1:  an instance of visiting: as  a :  an official visit (as for inspection)  b :  wake  c :  temporary custody of a child granted to a noncustodial parent [visitation rights]

2  a :  a special dispensation of divine favor or wrath  b :  a severe trial : affliction

3  capitalized : the visit of the Virgin Mary to Elizabeth recounted in Luke and celebrated July 2 by a Christian feast

He has visitation rights on the weekends.
the visitation of a diocese by a bishop
Visitation is from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m.

First Known Use of VISITATION:  14th century

Vicki's Backyard from the Patio 

Tonight I am staying with Vicki, because I am closing on my Wichita house tomorrow.  She apologized in advance for her house being “messy” because she has pictures sitting against the walls.  Not that I mind clutter.  (She hasn’t seen my apartment.  There are pictures stacked against the walls there—for the same reason, we both moved recently.)

We are planning on going to The Great Gatsby tomorrow evening.  Expect a review on Saturday.  Sunday I will be back in KC with the full intention of vegging out for at least—well, Tuesday I’m signed up for the Shamrock Club bus trip to the bakery and then Wednesday, I’m hosting Caitlin and Jenny for lunch, so—36 hours.

Our quote for the day is from The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).  Volume XIII. The Victorian Age, “Part One.  XIII. Lesser Novelists,  14. Mrs. Oliphant”:

Another region which Mrs. Oliphant’s art explored was the unseen world. In A Beleaguered City (1880), with eerie imaginative power she depicted the city of Semur in the department of the Haute Bourgogne, “emptied of its folk” by a visitation of the spirits of the dead, who move about in the streets with a disconcerting purposefulness not to be fathomed by the grosser intellects of men.