Pronunciation Test: Escape or Es-ca-pay?

There is a hill behind the cabin and at the very top is a huge pasture. We often see horses up there, yet we never see them down in our valley. I don’t really understand why they don’t escape from their confines – the fence is down in many places.


I suppose, to the horses, the grass is simply not greener on the other side of the fence. They do not want to ‘es-ca-pay’!

Dory: [Reading a sign on a door] Hey, look. “Es-ca-pay”! Hey, it’s spelled just like escape.
– Dory the Blue Tang fish in the movie ‘Finding Nemo’ –

I always thought that Ford Motors should have used Dory’s mispronunciation of ‘Escape’ to promote their Ford Escape.  ‘Es-ca-pay’ sounds so much more daring than plain old ‘escape’.

When we were living in the Middle East, I drove a bright red Jeep Cherokee. One day a British women approached me (and my Jeep) and said, “Oh, I just love your Chur-o-key!” It took me a few seconds to realize that she was referring to my car. (Cherokee, to me, starts with a ‘chair’ sound, to her it starts with a ‘chur’ as in church sound.)

The lesson I learned from my years overseas is that there is more than one way to pronounce a great many words, and the sooner you accept that, the more fun language becomes.

I can ‘es-ca-pay in my chur-o-key’ – what words are you willing to liberate?

Other Photos for this Challenge: Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape

Contemplating Sardines

The Curmudgeon at Large is compiling a Cookbook and one of his first selections is a menu that incorporates the nine food items that will help you to prevent a heart attack. He says that one of the foods is the Sardine.

I can’t remember the last time I bought a tin of Sardines, but the thought of oily fish packed tightly in a tin made me curious about the current status of sardines in the world of the gourmet. Taking that one step further, what would be a sardine-wine pairing?  (Wine is also on the Curmudgeon’s list of heart healthy  foods) . The first web site that addressed this question was on a Chowhound discussion forum – What to drink with four year old sardines?  Apart from the suggestion that it might not be good to eat a tin of sardines of that age, the pairings included Maalox, Pepto-bismol, beer, sherry, and several white and red wines.

From there, I clicked on the link to The Society for the Appreciation of the Lowly Tinned Sardine.  This site artfully combines serious dedication to the fish with not so serious delivery of information.

Some of the great Chefs appear to be fond enough of the sardine to have figured out how to put it into a recipe. Jamie Oliver posts recipes for pizza, spaghetti and potato salad, while also paying tribute to the British favourite, sardines on toast.  Alton Brown kicks it up a notch (though not the way Emeril would)  in  a recipe for  Sherried Sardine Toast.

That is about all I can dredge up on the sardine. If there is anything else to be said about the sardine, I’m sure you will tell me!

It is much better to eat little fish like sardines directly from the ocean, rather than after they have been filtered through a larger predator.
– Deep Sea News –

Fire in the Hole! Oven Element Burns Up

Did I ever tell you about The Car Guy’s To Do List? It contains things that I put on it (see Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs for an explanation of what kinds of tasks I put on his list) and things that he adds. He often adds items after he has done them, and then he immediately crosses them off.  He likes his list to look like it is close to completion.

The original lists were probably carved in stone and represented longer periods of time. They contained things like ‘Get More Clay. Make Better Oven.
– David Viscott –

This week he added Order a new oven bake element from

oven element

We’ve never had an oven element self destruct before. It is pretty dramatic. It started in one spot with a spark like you see when someone is welding. This white hot spot slowly inched along the element, even after The Car Guy turned the oven off. It stopped as soon as he closed the electrical breaker.

This seemed infinitely more sensible than the recommendation from some guy on the internet who said he tried to put the same kind of fire out by dousing it with water.

Life Is Many Things – What is it to You?

How old where you when you thought you were grown up? How old were you when you started to think about what Life Is?

The QuipperyDid you think it was possible to explain what ‘Life Is’ in just one sentence?

Age lets you be the person you would have been, if you hadn’t been so busy being the person you were earlier in life.
– Margie –

Life is short… ask directions.
– Unknown –

The rest of the quotations about Life are at Life and What it is.

Testing – A Post About Nothing


The test is to recognize the mistake, admit it and correct it. To have tried to do something and failed is vastly better than to have tried to do nothing and succeeded.
– Dale E. Turner –

Nothing else to say, really.  I didn’t mean to publish this post. I was just testing something. Before I could get it fixed, three of you had left comments. So, who knows – maybe a post about nothing will get more comments than anything else I’ve posted here…

Updating Past Stories – October 2012

 Spelling Lesson

Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not.
– Unknown –

Canada and US Revisited – Back Story: Politics in Action.

Here in Canada, national political campaigns are brief: We begin by pretty much ignoring the whole thing for a few weeks – then there’s a debate, a little yelling, maybe some pointing, every leader buys a bunch of Timbits and, boom, suddenly it’s election day.
But in the United States, presidential campaigns last longer than all pregnancies and most wars.
– Scott Feschuk, MACLEAN’S Magazine, September 3, 2012 –

The United States currently has only two federal political parties with significant representation – the Democrats and the Republicans. In Canada, we have 4 ideologies to dislike – the Conservatives, the New Democrats, the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois. Of course, both countries have many minor parties, though I think Canada has some of the most interesting ones: the Marijuana Party, the Pirate Party and my favourite, the Rhinoceros Party. If you were going to form your own party, what would you call it?

Disgusting Flavoured Jelly Beans – Back Story: Weekly Photo Challenge: Mine is Blue

I told you about Jelly Beans with horrible flavours – one of the comments I got suggested another one – school paste. This made me wonder if every occupation has a flavour that would be similarly revolting. Can you think of any that would fit your job?

Canadian Culture- Back Story: Fifty Shades of Grey.

Scott Feschuk, a sometimes very funny writer for Canada’s MACLEAN’S magazine, wrote a single chapter of a book he called Fifty Shades of Eh. Here is an excerpt:

I gaze upon him with my intrepid eyes. My mouth, which is also intrepid, curls into a sly smile. ”
Did you remember the clamps?” I ask.

“Canadian Tire was closed. But I found a bunch of clothespins in the garage.”

I swoon. My breathing quickens. My heart beats a frantic tattoo as I surrender myself to the anticipation of languid erotic pleasures and several hours of splinter removal.

Maybe you would have to be conversant in Canadian culture to think this is as funny as I do. If you don’t shop at Canadian Tire, and you don’t know you can buy wood clothespins… well, sometimes context is everything. Here are a couple quotations with more worldly references:

On a scale of Voldemort to Pinocchio, how Nosy are you? – Unknown

On a scale of One to Osama Bin Laden how good was my hiding spot? – Unknown

When we first moved to England, much of what we read in the newspapers went right over our heads.  We knew the words were English, but we hadn’t been there long enough to understand the cultural references. So, if you don’t know who Voldemort  or Osama Bin Laden is, these two quotations will go right over your head too. Put on your thinking cap – can you come up with an “On a scale of” comparison?

Signage – Back Story: Stores and Signage

Here in the land of six months of ice and snow, many of us wouldn’t think of stepping off the tattered rug at the front door without removing our boots or shoes first. I don’t know if this is a Canadian thing or not.

Parking Ticket Machine Scores Again – Back Story: Give Me the Good Old Parking Meter, Please

Another trip to the city, another encounter with a parking ticket machine. We inserted our ticket, and the machine said we owed $7. The Car Guy inserted his credit card. The Card was refused. He tried another card. It was refused too. A parking attendant was standing nearby, and he said we would have to start again and use cash because the machine was refusing credit cards today. So we inserted the parking ticket again. This time the machine said we owed $8.75. (It costs $1.75 per half hour to park there, and we had stood there long enough trying to pay to move into the next half hour segment.) There is something essentially wrong when a parking attendant has to be posted next to a parking ticket machine…

Strange Things Happening

This post started life as a page called Addendum– which a few of you have already read. I decided to move it to the Post Section, and had to migrate the comments made by Al and Suzanne before I deleted that page. Unfortunately,  Al and Suzaane’s  comments now don’t display their gravatar. My gravatar has stayed attached to their comments, even though I have used their email address and blog link. Maybe WordPress will correct this after Halloween, but I expect not. WordPress does not have a tool that lets you easily move a comment from one place to another.

Happy Halloween, by the way!

Reflecting on Raindrops and Bird Poop

Before the frost made the last of my fall flowers fold up their leaves and admit the growing season was over, we had a snowy-rain day. The hollyhocks, still with buds that hadn’t opened,  held little ponds of water in every nook and cranny – perfect little worlds to photograph.


Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.
– John Ruskin –

What do you see in this mirror like raindrop? Doesn’t it remind you of one of those snow globes?

This drop contains part of my house, complete with a folded umbrella on the deck. Of course, the reflection is upside down and reversed left to right, because that is what raindrops do.

I wish I could tell you that I took this photo after reading these directions for taking raindrop photos: Capturing reflections in raindrop macros. But no, I didn’t even know I had captured my house until I looked at the photo on my computer. Then I was curious about what was going on, and some quick research told me that the raindrop acts like a wide angle concave lens with a field of view of about 165 degrees – sort of like a fish eye lens.

With a good part of my house appearing to be inside a single raindrop, I wondered what would happen if a single raindrop the size of my yard fell onto my house. This line of questioning led me to a website called What If? which proceeded to explain a similar, but far more devastating scenario What if a rainstorm dropped all of its water in a single giant drop?

You just have to go to this website – it also answers the age old question – If you went outside and lay down on your back with your mouth open, how long would you have to wait until a bird pooped in it?

It has taken me most of the morning to write this post, what with contemplating how many things I miss seeing when they are right before my eyes (you probably remember the wolf I didn’t see in the  jigsaw puzzle: Looking but not Seeing; and how many things mankind has invented after observing nature at work; and how disgusting it is when a bird poops in your full glass of wine, or on the back of your shirt when you are working in the garden.

What about you – can you stay on task and turn out a post in less time than it takes me to decide what the title is going to be, or do you find yourself mentally wandering off to the store for a new box of crayons so that you can colour every thought in your post differently?

This week’s Photo Challenge is: Mirror

Some Blue Things at my House

The WordPress Photo Challenge this week is titled Mine. I don’t have any photos of land mines, or strip mines or mine shafts, so I took a photo of something that I think of as Mine.

This blue glass is mine.

I have two others just like it. The fourth one got broke. It is my water glass, and I use it every time I want a glass of water. It makes the water look very blue, and I like that. I used it once for milk, but blue milk is wrong.

There is no known navy-blue food. If there is navy-blue food in the refrigerator, it signifies death.
– Erma Bombeck –

Blue food – there aren’t many things I would eat that are bluish in colour, so when I looked in the fridge recently and saw that the Pickled Garlic had turned blue, I was ready to throw it out. But it wasn’t Mine to throw out, because The Car Guy was the one who pickled it.

I checked on the internet to see if there was any possible way blue garlic could be safe. According to LifeTips, this isn’t an uncommon event and blue garlic is safe to eat as long as it doesn’t exhibit any signs of spoilage.

Raw garlic contains an enzyme that if not inactivated by heat reacts with sulphur and copper, to form copper sulphate. The amount of copper needed for this reaction is very small and is frequently found in normal water supplies, and in some utensils.

Moving from odd colours to odd flavours: I read a post today by a blogger who describes her experience with vomit flavoured Jelly Beans. That reminded me that we have a few small boxes of similarly disgusting Jelly Belly beans.

Notice how there are two different flavours for each coloured Jelly Bean. Pick a black one, and it could be licorice, or it could be skunk spray. A red one could be strawberry jam, or it could be centipede. A brown bean could be chocolate pudding or canned dog food. (I think canned dog food would be a relatively easy flavour to develop, but exactly how did they determine what flavour skunk spray or centipede is, I wonder.)

Back to blue things, the blue jelly beans could either be berry blue or toothpaste and I’m not sure that toothpaste would be all that bad.

If you want to try these Jelly Beans, they are made by Jelly Belly, and they are called ‘Bean Boozled’.