Saturday, March 22, 2008

Follow me around the Midwest - figuratively

I'll be away from The Full Circle for the next 2 weeks, as I am off on a purpose-driven road tour of a substantial portion of the Midwest. The purpose? To go to a variety of sporting events, take lots of pictures, ask lots of questions, then come home and write a book.

In the meantime, you can track my progress, along with my 2 sports-crazed college friends, on our trip blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wednesday Wordplay

It's time for a veritable truckload of new words before the Full Circle goes on vacation for 2 weeks. Time to dump a bunch of new verbiage on my loyal (and disloyal) readership:

veritable - adj. being truly so called; real or genuine

Saponaceous - adj. having the nature or quality of soap. such as, um, soap. What else is saponaceous other than soap?

Hey, Joey, stop rubbing up against me, whaddya think, I'm saponaceous or something?

That ought to effectively attenuate my readership...

attenuate - v. to make slender, fine or small. to reduce in force, value, amount, or degree; weaken.

Moving on...I wish I could take credit for this, but last week chose a week's worth of 14 letter words, then defined each word in exactly 14 letters:

circumbendibus - n. circumlocution

Brobdingnagian - adj. Of gigantic size.

tinctumutation - n. Change of colour. (in this case, the rule only works if you're British)

tintinnabulate -v. To ring; to tinkle.

acritochromacy -n. Color blindness. (didn't need the Brits this time)

I can't take credit. But I'll do them one better. Or, that is, one less.

13 letter words! defined in 13 letters, let's do it!

indefatigable - adj. cannot be tired
jurisprudence - n. science of laws
prevarication -n. an intended lie
efflorescence - n. a flowery state
deuteragonist - n. second billing

10 letters!

speciesism - n. humans rule!
nidifugous - adj. fly away now
honorarium - n. service fee
bowdlerize - v. to bleep out
alimentary - adj. nourishing

Alimentary, my dear Watson. Simply delicious.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Story of the Week - March 10-14


Florida: We want to have our primary in January.
DNC: No. You can't.
Florida: But we want to.
DNC: Don't.
Florida: We're doing it. We took a vote.
DNC: If you do it, it won't count. And we won't let you come to our party.
Florida: You're bluffing.
DNC: Are we?
Florida: But we really want to have it in January! Nobody will mind, the weather's great here in January.
DNC: Don't do it.
Florida: We're doing it.

Michigan: We want to be HEARD! EARLY!
DNC: You too?
Michigan: yep!
DNC: No. Iowa first, then New Hampshire. You people stay where you are.
Michigan: But we're a swing state and we have a terrible economy, give us some love!
DNC: No dice.
Michigan: But Florida--
DNC: Don't but Florida us, their delegates aren't going to count. And yours won't either.

Michigan: You’re bluffing.

DNC: Sheesh.

Nobody was bluffing, and these states acted retardedly by insisting on earlier primaries. And today they look even retardeder because the Democratic race has gone on for over a month past the original Florida and Michigan dates.

Yes, I know retardedly is not a valid adverb. And that retardeder isn’t a word.

And I know retarded is offensive to some people. It’s just that it’s too good a word to fall into the un-PC category. As Steve Carrell’s character, Michael Scott, says: “You don’t call a retarded person retarded. You call your friends retarded when they act like retards.” Or in this case, you call 2 states retarded when they act like retards.

Ok, back. It’s bad enough that these 2 important states shirked the Democratic National Committee and pig-headedly held meaningless primaries, but now they want a do-over. And in clamoring for the do-over, they once again display their utter retardation.

This is what the president of the Michigan Association of County Clerks has to say:

“It would be a logistical nightmare. First of all, we have the school board elections coming up in May, and then we have to get ready for the local and state elections in August. How are we going to be able to squeeze a presidential primary in the middle of all of that?”

Seriously? This woman is like the registration lady at the beauty pageant at the end of “little Miss Sunshine.” You know, the one who says Olive can’t register because she already turned off the computer? Turn the damn computer back on!

It’s not a logistical nightmare. Pick a day, set up the voting machines the same way you did when you had your stupid fake primaries, invite everyone who’s registered to come vote, and make a choice: Clinton or Obama. Pretend like the first vote never happened, because it shouldn’t have happened. Then, count the votes. Tada!

Because of what’s at stake here, because of the record turnouts of this election, there is no doubt people in these states will want their voices heard and their votes counted. So keep it simple, Florida and Michigan, ok?

Florida: We want a do-over. We want to do it by mail.
DNC: No. Don’t do that.
Florida: Bad idea?
DNC: Do you like being the butt of election jokes?
Florida: We’ve gotten used to it. At least we have sun.
Michigan: Shut up.
DNC: Retards.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday Wordplay - This week, it's on Thursday!

Due to daylight savings time, Wednesday Wordplay will be held on Thursday this week.

What, that doesn't make any sense? Well, neither does starting Daylight Savings Time at least 3 weeks before anyone else in the world.

No daylight is being saved, it's just reallocated. Ask anyone who has to leave for work before 7. A week ago, we commuted in daylight. Now, half-darkness. Screw you, Daylight Savings Time.

Ok, for real, Wednesday Wordplay: I'm tired of explaining myself on Facebook every time I use the word "QI" or "XU" in scrabulous. The Scrabble Dictionary says these are words and let's me use them, so stop being bitter that I scored 50 points with it. Now, you can too. And you can tell your opponent what they all we go.

Qi - n. The vital force believed in Taoism and other Chinese thought to be inherent in all things. It's also spelled "Chi" and "Ki" (that one's usable, too) Ka is an egyptian spiritual entity, believed to live within the body during life and to survive it after death. Ba is another egyptian spiritual entity, an aspect of the soul represented by a bird with a human head.

Let's go alphabetically now (roughly), so as not to confuse.

Aa is a word, and will get a scrabble player out of plenty of rough spots. Aa is rough itself, it's a rough basaltic lava. Ae is also acceptable, the scottish word for "one". Ai is a three-toed sloth, pronouced ah-ee!

Ab is an abdominal muscle, you knew that. Ad is an advertisement. You knew that, too. Ag is agriculture.

Al - n. an indian mulberry tree.

Am, An, As, At - duh. More duhs: Be, By, Do, Go, He, If, In, Is, It, Me, No, Or, Ox, So, To, Up, Us and We.

Ax - a thing you use to cut stuff.

Ay - the letter "A" Ef is the letter "F". There's also Em, En, Ar, Es, and Ex.

Bi is slang for a bisexual. Bo is slang for pal. Other accepted slang or dialectic words : un (one), na (no), et (ate) ya (you). Za is a slang word for pizza (that I've never heard anyone use, why do you have to abbreviate the word Pizza?).

De is the preposition meaning "from" or "of", just like in french or spanish class.

Do. A deer. A female deer. Ok, not really. it's actually a verb. But - Re, Mi, Fa, La, and Ti are all acceptable, too. Li and Si are semi-tones. Loyal reader Eric can explain.

Ed - short for "education"

Fe - the hebrew letter פ. Put a dot inside and it's Pe.

Id - the opposite of ego

Ah! or ahhhhh

Lo (and behold)
Hi! Ho! Oh,

Oi Oy (vey!)
Ye (an olde-y but a goode-y)

Jo - n. beloved one; darling; sweetheart.

Li - n. a Chinese unit of distance, equivalent to about one-third of a mile

Ma - and her husband Pa.

Mo - short for moment

Mu - is a greek letter, so is nu, pi and xi.

Ne - from the french "nee" meaning born.

Od - n. a hypothetical force formerly held to pervade all nature and to manifest itself in magnetism, mesmerism, chemical action, etc.

Oe is a whirlwind

Om - a mantric word used in meditation.

Op - as in "op-art"

Os - bone

Xu - 1/100th of a Dong

(It's Vietnamese currency, not... get your mind out of the gutter. There's room here for a Lorena Bobbitt joke, but I think I'll steer clear)

Goodnight Everybody!

And that's Wednesday Wordplay, on thursday. Now go win your scrabulous games!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Story of the Week - March 3-7

Farewell, Ron Paul?

Ron Paul is a stunning waste of paper. At least Mike Huckabee won a caucus. But Ron Paul motivated a substantial number of people to yell and scream wherever they could find a camera and then return to putting up posters and papering cars at train stations.

At times, I have to say, I liked Ron Paul. I liked that he spoke from his heart or mind or something, and didn't sound like a politician. But it seems every time he had my attention, he'd run off the rails the same way Huckabee did. Listen to a Huckabee speech and the mind plays out a progression like this: well, that whole "no more income tax" thing sort of makes sense....hey this guy's kind of funny and charming....and he plays bass guitar....wait what was that he just said about Jesus and the Constitution....what does he mean "I'm a miracle guy, not a math guy"?...All right, Mikey, you lost me, and you need to be kept away from sharp objects.

The same with Ron Paul. I was with him, I was ok with him (and Huckabee for that matter) keeping his campaign going until McCain sewed up the nomination. Then Friday his campaign released this statement:

We acknowledge that Ron will not be the nominee and are winding down the campaign.

Take a minute to go over that in your head. And keep in mind he said this on FRIDAY.

Three days after you were mathematically eliminated from the race, and exactly a month since you last won a delegate, you "acknowledge" you won't be the nominee? Just now, you're getting this? Fine, but then he says his campaign isn't over, it's just winding down. He's leading the Ron Paul revolution. He's still running, for what I'm not sure.

But the fact that he has stuck around so long, and picked up over 100,000 votes on Tuesday, speaks to the way Republicans feel about their nominee, John McCain.

I don't know how this guy won. But I'd say that about any of the Republican candidates. John McCain? he's so old, and boring, and old. And he's about as inspiring as a pair of tube socks. He's been a good senator and I felt bad 8 years ago when he got Rove'd by the Bushies in South Carolina, but 8 years ago John McCain was 64 and this country hadn't endured 8 years of George W. Bush. The last thing we need is another Republican with no imagination who wants to keep us in Iraq for 100 years.


I'm sick and tired of Ronald Reagan! I hope every time John McCain touts the glory of the "party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan", the democratic nominee points out that it's also the party of Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and George W Bush. Enough with the Ronald Reagan, ok? You're just reminding people that you're old, don't have a clue about the economy, and are completely out of touch. Without the disarming "aw dad" sense of humor.

I wish they Republicans would nominate Ron Paul, a total crackpot with lots of posters and crazy ideas. This way I wouldn't feel so bad about the ongoing slugfest on the Democrat side. Kiss and make up, Dems, one of you has to go beat the old man.

Which leads me to my last point - this primary process needs fixing in a hurry, before Puerto Rico and a handful of semi-influential congressmen decide the Democratic race. Let's have a national primary. No more caucus crap, no more marathon campaigning, no more 20 debates, no more state-by-state pandering week after week.

Now that Ohio's done with, you won't hear a word about NAFTA until the general election. Texas is over, so no more talk about immigration. It's Mississippi now, so they'll talk about Katrina. Then it's on to Pennsylvania, where they'll talk about, I don't know, Cheesesteak reform? Enough. 1 day, 1 election, for all the marbles.

Take up that cause, Ron Paul, and get me a staple gun, and I'll join your revolution.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wednesday Wordplay

Good thing there's only 1 primary on Tuesday, April 22. We're running out of good titles for Tuesdays with multiple primary elections.

Anyway, this week's Wednesday wordplay isn't about election titles (Super Tuesday 2? Super-Duper Tuesday? Texas Tuesday, and also 3 other states that don't start with T?), but it's similar.

Ok, in 1992, the New York Mets spent a pile of money in the off season, bringing in Pirates' star slugger Bobby Bonilla, along with Pitcher Bret Saberhagen, Future hall-of-famer Eddie Murray, and a new manager, Jeff Torborg. The Mets marketing team went with the slogan "Hardball is Back", which turned out to mean "This time we'll suck for more money." The team finished 72-90, good for 5th place in the NL East. In 1993, their slogan should have been "the worst team money could buy" as they went 59-103.

Fast forward, it's 2005, Mets new GM Omar Minaya signs Carlos Beltran and Pedro Martinez and hires new manager Willie Randolph, generating all kinds of optimism in the marketing department. In '05, they're the "New Mets". In '06, it's "The Team. The Time." All season long, "the team, the time, the ticket", "the team, the time, the t-shirt" on and on and on, and what did it mean?

The Team. The Time. The heartbreaking Game 7 loss in the NLCS.

The Marketers regroup. Mets 2007: "Your Season Has Come." These marketing guys should be forced to turn around and spit or something after they come up with their slogans from now on.
Finally, in 2008, the marketers get a break. No slogan this year, it's the last year of Shea Stadium, the slogan is self-evident. And there's no chance that the slogan won't come true.

For me, it means I can make fun of other teams' stupid slogans because my team doesn't have one. Here they are, along with what they really mean:

Toronto Blue Jays
What they say: It's always game time
What it means: Yeah sure, whenever you can get here, eh?

Atlanta Braves
What they say: Welcome to the bigs.
What it means: In case you didn't notice, we play Major League Baseball here and we won 14 straight division titles, what is wrong with you people? Come to our games!

Chicago Cubs
What they say: NL Central Champs 2007
What it means: Still haven't been to the World Series since 1945, and it's been 100 years since we won it.

Seattle Mariners
What they say: MOJO Risin'
What it means: We're good again!

Florida Marlins
What they say: You gotta be here!

Washington Nationals
What they say: Pledge Your Allegiance
What it means: It's a pun. because, Washington DC is the capital of America, and you say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag...of America, like so then you say it to the team, you pledge allegiance to a team like when you go to games and root for them and wear their hats, so pledge allegiance and Pledge of Allegiance, see? yeah, it's good.

Baltimore Orioles
What they say: This is Birdland
What it means: We got this slogan in a trade we made with the Blue Jays and Peter Angelos is forcing us to use it even though it sucks.

We used to have Cal Ripken, Jr. Our stadium is still really nice.

Texas Rangers
What they say: You could use some baseball
What it means: Meh, it's a baseball team.

Cincinnati Reds
What they say: "C" you there!
What it means: Get it? Cause Cincinnati starts with C!

Colorado Rockies
What they say: 2007 National League Champions
What it means: We finally got something to put next to that "1995 NL Wild Card Winner" banner.

Kansas City Royals
What they say: New. Blue. Tradition
What it means: As opposed to the old blue tradition of winning.

Detroit Tigers
What they say: Who's your tiger?
What it means: We're grrrrrrrrreat!

Minnesota Twins
What they say: This is your state. This is your team.
What it means: Hence - Minnesota. Twins.