From American History 101.3
The first people in the New World came across a land bridge from Asia. When is unclear, there are few written records since nomadic hunter-gatherer types didn’t use datebooks or keep diaries. Still, they spread across the Americas starting civilizations, cultures and that sort of thing. They domesticated wild llamas into pack animals and tamed wild maize into corn tortillas. These were the Mayans, Aztecs, Incas, Lakotas and others whose names are lost in antiquity or somewhere in the vast wilderness which, being vast, was all over back then.
Later Columbus stopped by and discovered they were Indians, despite thinking he landed at an outpost of Japan which would have been populated by Japanese and not Indians. One supposed he could have asked, but neither he nor the locals spoke Japanese. What can I say, history doesn’t always make sense. This version of history makes less sense than most.
Anyway, this began what later became the United States and ultimately The Great Satan as we now know it. And if you don’t know it, wise up already.
Wheel Deep, Eh?
Sorry for the dearth of new postings of late, but I’ve been sick as a dog, as they say. (Why they say that eludes me as dogs don’t strike me as being all that sickly. Never mind.) As I was saying, I was recently under the weather, laid low by a Covid-12, Coid-32.2 double whammy, with a Corona Cootie or two thrown in to round the thing off. As whammies always make me drowsy and achy, I crawled into bed and pulled the room in over me for the duration.
Luckily, the Vaccs Fairy flew in, through the ductwork I’m guessing, and spanged me on the forehead with her magic syringe and now I’m right as rain. Good thing, too, because it’s raining out there as I write this. Though if you’re in the rain, right or otherwise, you’re under the weather, just maybe not sick. Make sense? Probably not the way I tell it. What can I say, I didn’t come up with any of the expressions used and so can’t really explain them.
The first full day of fall (autumn, with a silent N for no good reason) brings, not falling leaves, but falling water. As in rain. As in all day and night. As in my back yard is flooded. It’s Colon Pond back there. Oh well, at least I don’t have to rake it up and put it in bags. Or mop it up, or whatever the method might be. Sponge? Shovel? Squeegee? Splunge?
And that’s the punchline, you old fans of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Don’t remember? That’s all right, forget it.
End of Something Small?
And Woke Up Dead
Shake It all About
Like a lot of people, I suppose, I don’t actually celebrate labor on Labor Day. No parading for me, thank you very much. I don’t remember if I ever went to a Labor Day parade. Did they have labor themed floats and a Miss Labor 1965 on a big float at the end? Though, perhaps a Mrs. Labor would have been more appropriate. We don’t want to encourage unwed motherhood. Or at least they didn’t back in 1965.
Anyway, Labor Day is pretty much the American version of May Day, the holiday of international communism. Not being an international communist, or a local communist or communist in any way shape or form, I dont hold much truck with Labor Day. For your bending author it’s just another holiday invented by the government so working stiffs can have a day off. Which isn’t anything different for us old retired folks who are stiff without working. Of course, what with how stores never close on holidays or Sundays nowadays, retail working stiffs get stiffed and have to work anyway.
You pretty much have to be an old fart like me to remember when in the misty past practically everything, with the possible exceptions of some restaurants and gas stations, was closed on Sundays and holidays. Yep, Sundays and traditional holidays were considered holy days, which is where the word holiday comes from, after all. Perhaps all these secular holidays invented by government should be called something else. Unholidays? aholidays? holishdays? I could go on, but that would be work and I’m taking the day off. It is Labor Day after all. BCNU.
Now then, the reader may ask what’s with the marching robots? For the answer see etymology online
Rerun Re-week ends, after all it is the current year: 2021
Top Twelve Reasons People Visit terrycolon.com
First filed 2/23/21
Rerun Re-week blah blah blah blah. Today: from 2020
What’s with Xmas? Where’d that come from? Was it semi-literate folks who could spell mas but not Christ? Is it a Christian cross that fell over? Was it slackers who were too lazy to spell out the whole thing? Or was it atheists who wanted a holiday without the holy?
None of the above. Here’s what it’s all about. The X in Xmas is not a Roman X, but a Greek X. See, the New Testament was written in Greek wherein the first letter of Christ is chi, X in the Greek alphabet. (top red box) So X is shorthand for Christ. When Xmas came about is unknown, but by the fifteenth century Xmas for Christmas was widely used. (gold box) Back in the day, X for Christ also gave you Xian for Christian as well as Xianity for Christianity. These latter two usages are not used much any more, if used at all.
Now for some bonus trivia. The first two letters of Christ in Greek are chi (X) and rho (p). These form the chi-rho monogram employed by the Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine, on his banner. (green box) Lastly we have Merry Christmas in Grecian. (purple box) Just don’t ask me to pronounce it. It’s Greek to me. Silly joke, but you had to figure it was coming.
First filed 12/15/20
Rerun Week continues blah blah blah. Today: from 2019
Another gag cartoon from terry colon dot com version one originally filed under “That’s Not Funny, That’s Rude.” Seems I had a thing for bathroom humor back then.
First filed under Gag Cartoon Gallery 4/24/19
Rerun Week continues for another Tuesday to Saturday week. Today: from 2018
This is an update of something we did years ago, only this time webby and interactive. Because we know how to do that sort of thing now. We rewrote some bits, too. Redone and more fun, or rerun and no fun? You decide.
We have mentioned before our favorite national flag is the United Kingdom’s Union Jack. Though maybe it’s our three favorites, because it’s actually three flags in one. First is Saint George’s cross, which is England. (Mouseover tag to see each flag) Next is Saint Andrew’s cross, for Scotland. Finally there’s Saint Patrick’s cross, representing Ireland, or rather Northern Ireland since the rest of Ireland is a separate country. Mash them all up and you get the Union Jack.
You might wonder, what happened to Wales, where’s the Welsh flag in this combination Union Jack. After all, the Prince of Wales becomes the King, right? Wales was considered part of England when the very first Union Jack was devised in 1606 combining only the flags of England and Scotland. Ireland was added in 1801.
The Welsh flag has a dragon and not a saint’s cross for reasons we don’t know. (Mouseover “Wales” tag) Anyway, Saint George (England) slew the dragon, which might be another reason for its absence. Besides, adding the dragon rather makes a mess of the flag in our view. (Mouseover “Welsh Jack” tag)
Many a Scotsman doesn’t care for that dominating England cross, preferring the flag have the Scotland cross foremost. (Mouseover “Scottish Jack” tag) Perhaps if they’d’ve had a better battle record against the English they’d get a little more sympathy for that view. At least they’re on the flag, unlike Wales. While slapping on the dragon is a bit much, an alternative update might be to add the green field from the bottom of the Welsh flag. (Mouseover “Revised Union Jack” tag)
Not sure that works all that well, but inclusiveness, diversity, equality, fraternity and all that. Just a thought.
First filed 3/5/18
Rerun Week continues for another Tuesday to Saturday week. Day late, dollar short yet Again. From 2017
Actual Offerings from Real Restaurant Menus from around the World
Typos, spellcheck gone awry, bad translations or what? We don’t know. Still, we’ll go for the convolutions veal, it sounds like the least unappetizing item on the menu. We have no idea how to convolute food, but it might be tasty. Who can tell?
First filed 9/25/17
Rerun Week Run-on. Seems the week goes from Tuesday to Saturday around here. Day late, dollar short as is typical. From 2016
The most famous American flyer to shoot down an enemy aircraft in WWII was not an ace. He wasn’t even in the military. Not Claire Chenault of the Flying Tigers nor any of his pilots. It was Charles Lindbergh. That’s right, Lucky Lindy.
On a tour of U.S. Army Air Corps bases in southeast Asia in 1944, Lindbergh offered advice on how pilots could decrease fuel usage and increase the range of the gas-guzzling P-38 Lightning. After all, he knew a thing or two about squeezing every last drop of fuel for long distance flying. Air crews were skeptical so Lindbergh offered to accompany sorties flying a P-38 himself using his techniques.
The Lone Eagle flew 50 combat missions and shot down one Japanese plane, a Mitsubishi Ki-51 “Sonia.” When news of this hit the newswires Washington was none too pleased that such a prominent world celebrity, and a civilian, was going in harm’s way and so Lindbergh’s fighting career was ended soon after. By following his methods the P-38’s range was almost doubled which had a greater effect than his combat flying ever could.
First filed 2/15/16
Rerun Week Run-on. And On, Etc, and So On. From 2015
In 1968 John B. Calhoun created what he called Mouse Utopia for four breeding pairs of wild mice. Mouse Utopia had ample food and water; no predators; no disease; comfortable temperature, conditions and space. Here’s what happened:
Stage One: Mice introduced, first litters born.
Stage Two: Population growth, doubling every 55 days.
Stage Three: Population growth slows to doubling in 145 days.
Stage Four: Population stagnates, births and deaths equal.
Terminal Stage: Last conception about day 920, all females become menopausal, the colony ages and all eventually die.
In the latter stages mice exhibited pathological behaviours and a loss of the will to procreate. It’s interesting the colony didn’t return to health with population decline, it died out entirely in less than three years. (There are different speculations as to why, but we’ll not go into that. Instead we’ll just look at some eerie parallels.)
The industrial/agricultural revolution kicked off a sort-of Mouse Utopia for people. Starvation, malnutrition and epidemics became ever rarer. Childhood mortality fell from near 50% to 1%. Everyone survived to reproduce, population exploded. (Stage Two?)
Today in long industrialized countries the birth rate is slipping below replacement levels. (Well into Phase Four?) Childless lifestyles and abortion are commonplace. (Loss of will to procreate?) Family disintegration and illegitimacy soar. The anti-hero, the dark, and the bizarre are celebrated. Morality is reduced to personal feelings. (Pathological behavior?) Is the Terminal Stage waiting in the wings?
The human reproductive cycle is much longer than that of mice, generations are measured in decades instead of months. Any such Human Utopia collapse would take a few centuries instead of years. Is the clock ticking?
Mouse Utopia died out, not from deprivation, but by getting everything without cost. Or so it seemed, the ultimate price paid was very steep. I’m not saying humanity will go the way of Mouse Utopia… Still, I can’t resist closing with, “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley.”
First filed 8/11/15
Rerun Week Run-on. And On, etc. From 2014
A pair of quotes without comment from Bertrand Russell:
“The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.”
First filed 11/4/14
And works better with nobs on in 2021.
Rerun Week Run-on. And On. From 2013
According to unnamed reliable sources the European Union will soon announce the formation of the Ministry of “Quotations” to oversee media citations of all EU announcements and denials of previous announcements. In future, all media citations must fit within strictly defined classifications: unnamed, well-placed, unnamed well-placed, un-quoted, official, unofficial, official unnamed, official un-quoted, official well-placed, reliable, unnamed reliable, well-placed reliable, official unnamed well-placed, and unofficial un-quoted unnamed well-placed reliable.
The Ministry of “Quotations” has set up a website to help the media and the reading public understand what the new classifications mean. A well-placed reliable source said the site will be user-friendly, featuring a cute feline mascot named Miss Information to lead readers through the many details.
An unnamed well-placed source didn’t clarify whether when spoken the new entity should be said as “Ministry of quote Quotations unquote” or simply stated as “Ministry of Quotations” with air quotes given at the appropriate moment. A second well-placed reliable source claimed air quotes should not be used so as not to offend the satirically challenged. When contacted, a third unofficial un-quoted unnamed well-placed reliable source denied everything.
First filed 1/2/13
Though as we all now know, no matter how they couch it, it’s pretty much all a load of horse manure, to be polite.
Rerun Week Run-on. Or Slop-over as the Reader Prefers. From 2012
Some things sound better left untranslated. That really goes for food.
Italian pasta names in English
cannelloni – little tubes
fettuccine – little ribbons
linguine – little tongues
manicotti – pipes
mostaccioli – little mustaches
ravioli – little turnips
rigatoni – little stripes
spaghetti – strings
tortellini – little fritters
vermicelli – little worms
Be honest, do you really want to dig into a heaping plateful of hot strings and meatballs? Or chow down on a steaming serving of little tongues in Alfred’s sauce? Marinara sauce is mariner’s sauce in Italian. Other words for mariner are sailor and seaman. Anyone for some little worms in seaman sauce? Yummy.
Yeah, some things are better left in Italian.
Fist filed 4/13/12
There’s Nothing Like a Rerun Week Look Back at Nostalgia. From 2011
New Year’s is fast approaching. So you can be sure of two things appearing in print and on the web hither, thither and yon: “Best of 2011” lists aplenty and predictions galore.
To do a “Best of 2011” list one had to be paying attention for the last 365 days. Which I haven’t been for most things. Besides rating movies, books, events, and athletes, folks also like to run down the newest new things that appeared in our most recent circuit around the sun. Which would also require one know the latest buzz. I’m afraid I strike out on that, too.
The newest new things I know are not very new. When I think about it, the newest new things I remember do nothing but date me. I remember newest new things anyone under 40 would never think of as ever being a newest new thing. I admit some of these may have begun before my time only to arrive big time later. That’s when they became the newest new thing, so I include them.
At the top of the list is plastic garbage bags. When they first arrived we couldn’t buy them at the store, we got them in 100 count boxes from the fire department. My family got our first color tv in about 1966. Not all shows were in color yet. Ones that were opened with a snippet telling you “The following program is brought to you in living color.” That’s where the NBC peacock came from. As well as the name of the show In Living Color.
While newest new things spring up, old newest new things from before your time die out.
The first item on the list, party lines, might not be familiar to “the youngsters in the audience” as Ed Sullivan used to say. (Dating myself some more.) A party line was when you shared a phone line with another household. If someone called the other person, your phone rang as well. If you were on the phone and they picked up they could listen in on your conversation. If you needed to make a call and they were on the phone, tough luck.
It was a pretty weird deal. Hollywood made a movie based on the trials and tribulations of party lines. Pillow Talk with Doris Day and Rock Hudson. A movie which wouldn’t make sense if you didn’t know about party lines. Anyway, your mother may know. Or your grandmother. Sheesh, I’m getting old.
Filed 12/26/11 Refiled 8/21/21
It’s Friday on Rerun Week; From 2010
The proverbial seven deadly sins are anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, and sloth. People are mostly against these sins. At least in other people. However, if we replace the words with less odious terms to apply to ourselves we can transform from sinners into saints. Or if not saints exactly, sinners lite.
Instead of anger, say outrage.
Instead of envy, say equality.
Instead of gluttony, say gourmandery.
Instead of greed, say self-interest.
Instead of lust, say hot-blooded.
Instead of pride, say self-esteem.
Instead of sloth, say laid-back.
Now then, don’t you feel better about yourself? But don’t get carried away with the feeling or you’re back to pride.
On the other hand there are folks who make a virtue of “acting naturally.” These people will tell you checking your natural inclination in favor of some societal rule of behavior is fake, hypocritical or dishonest. (Is there a Dr. House in the house?)
But ask yourself, how many of the seven deadly sins are natural impulses. If your answer is seven, then the seven sins: anger, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, and sloth; become seven virtues: act naturally, act naturally, act naturally, act naturally, act naturally, act naturally, and act naturally.
An important point of civilization is to get people to act civilized and stop acting naturally. At least where our natural impulses are harmful. To behave according to social convention is not hypocritical if you believe it’s the right thing to do. You might say it’s the victory of the civilized mind over the natural brain, the triumph of reason over impulse.
Filed 1/21/10 Refiled 8/20/21
It’s More Rerun Week; From 2009
Ten Signs You Might be Getting Old
There are signs within the signs that you might be getting old. On number two, that you watch Antiques Roadshow might be a sign. On number ten, that you know this is a play on the phrase “never trust anyone over thirty” popularized by 1960s era hippies might be a sign.
Another sign, when perusing the magazine rack you don’t know who any of the younger celebrities on the covers are. Not only don’t you know if Lady Gaga is a man or a woman, you never even heard of Lady Gaga. Lastly, that you read this bit on signs you’re getting old and could relate could be a sign you might be getting old.
Filed 10/30/09 Refiled 8/19/21
It’s More Rerun Week; From 2008
Ever wonder why is there no channel one on TV? Why it starts at two? For the answer we must go back in the mists of ancient history before cable TV, before color TV, before UHF TV, when everything was analog and TVs were the size of a jukebox and packed with glowing vacuum tubes. In other words before most of us were born.
At first there was a channel one. Then UHF came along and they needed a place on the dial to switch the TV’s receiver to UHF which had its own separate knob. They wedged that into the channel one spot and whatever was there before moved up the VHF dial to another number. In many cases this was NBC going from channel one to four.
On TV sets these days there are no separate dials for UHF and VHF, or dials with fine tuning rings around them at all. With our push-button remotely controlled modern TVs we really don’t know we change from one spectrum to the other past channel 13. On cable there’s no difference at all. And with DTV we can get several signals on the same frequency if the broadcaster compresses the signal. So you can have channels 2.1 and 2.2 and 2.3.
All the same there still won’t be a channel 1, or 1.1 or 1.2…
It’s Rerun Week; From 2007
I imagine many people will think the title of this entry is a joke, but it’s not. Consider, the Third Reich itself called it the Propaganda Ministry. They wouldn’t have called it that if propaganda implied misinformation and lies as it does to many today. Here’s what it really means:
propaganda (prŏ′ pə găn′ dă) noun Speech intended to convince.
Then Goebbels got hold of it and its never been the same. Now folks infer it being something like…
sophistry (sŏf′ əs trē) noun A plausible but misleading or fallacious argument.
By the original definition advertising and political speech is propaganda, and so is a sunday sermon. Honesty and accuracy had nothing to do with it. It’s a shame because now we have two words people use for sophistry and nothing for what propaganda really means.
If only they’d have called it the Sophistry Ministry to begin with. Ironically, the Nazis were more forthright in calling it propaganda rather than the euphemistic terms used today, such as the Information Ministry, public relations, or press secretary.
Update: These days propaganda is simply referred to as The Media.
Believe It or Do
A public service announcement brought to you by terry colon dot com.
More evidence the Internet gets better and better with each passing post. Not the content, which is no better, our ability to speed total nonsense around the globe in seconds. And lucky modern us we get to ignore more and more all the time. If we can find the time to ignore it all. After all, I already spend all day every day ignoring the mainstream fake news.
Then again maybe the juice masters are beaming their subversions directly into our heads. It’s possible. I think. Or at least I think I think, could be subliminal thought beams from the juice masters. Maybe a tin foil hat is not so absurd after all.
Start of Something Big?
Mouseover art for punchline
Somebody-or-other once observed that the only truly modern sensation was speed. After all, before trains, planes, and automobiles the fastest you could ever go was on horseback. Or falling off a cliff, I suppose, but that’s largely an unrepeatable sensation. Actually, one you wouldn’t want the first time. The very thought of which gives me the heebie-jeebies, or in technical terms, the willies.
Though I would add a second truly modern sensation, ear-splitting noise. Not only is modern life faster than in olden times, it’s also a lot noisier. We live in a regime of the constant din of the machine age. Relentless, annoyingly loud clatter, whine and thump. Also called modern music, though I use the term music loosely. Nowadays we are speed and noise addicts, which might explain the popularity of straight-piped Harleys and window rattling boom-cars. Well, popular with the owners of said vehicles not the rest of us who just want peace and quiet.
Over the Humpday is much better than over the hill day. I mean, it’s good to see the light at the end of the work week, not so much the light at the end of… there’s the proverbial bit about being drawn toward the light; that light and that end. Which sure ain’t the ever living end, as beatniks used to say. Never heard that? Before your time, boobala.
It’s also mouseover the hump day. Try it and see.
Then again, maybe it’s all relative
Still Second Banana
Depends on Your Point of View
Why, it’s another doodlemation. Why? Why not?
Head to the Beach, Everybody
Half of 2021 down the drain, another six months to go. They’ll beat this thing into the ground yet.
Like Greased Lightning Maybe?
A Message for Ewe All
More answers to HOW than you can shake a stick at (for all the good stick shaking would have done)
How Planes Can Fly
The Correct Explanation of Lift for Non-Engineers
How to Win Any Argument
Using Paralogic and Surreason
How to Talk Like a Sailor
Common Phrases with Nautical Origins
Suck School of Comic Art
How to Draw Funny
Tail of Two Cities
And Who Do I Owe the Dollar To?
I feel more of a malingerer, more remiss in my self-imposed duties by neglecting updating terrycolon.com (despite its almost total dearth of readership) than in not doing the laundry; you know, a real task and not digital virtual chore. Either I’ve got my priorities mixed up, or because folks across the webbie globe can tell if the site is behind times while no-one will ever know if my boxer briefs are beyond their wash-by date. Besides, I have my waning has-been reputation to uphold.
Then again, maybe I’m just the world's worst procrastinator. Though come to think of it, wouldn’t being the worst procrastinator mean I’d do everything in a timely fashion? Putting things off too long would make me a good procrastinator, right?
More than Forever; Forever and Ever
It’s Hot Out There
Remember, one third of tax revenue pays for interest on the national debt. And guess who pockets all that interest?
Woke Up and Smell the Kool-Aid
Also Known as June First
So, despite the weak imitation (sorry), we celebrate 100 years, or whatever it is, of Wooster and Jeeves stories. So go read a P.G. Wodehouse book. Don’t have one? Buy one. Too cheap to buy one? Borrow one at the local lending library. Or borrow one from a friend. None of your circle of friends have any P.G. Wodehouse books? Get better friends.
Mouseover art for punchline
Mouseover art for punchline
Anything Is Impossible
A Short, Short, Short Story; In Fact a Paragraphic Tale
Edmund had somehow gotten it into his brain, such as it was, that he had become, not unlike like Gregor Sampsa, some kind of shark, not of the noted deep-sea variety, but a rarer fresh-air type, trolling the lawns of the immediate area. The neighbors, giving him a wide berth, stared askance at such a spectacle, all the while harboring deep suspicions about the disappearance of their Pomeranian.
Mouseover art for punchline
Mouseover art for punchline
The Miracle of Democracy
Br-r-r. Where’s Spring Already?
Remember the… uh… hm-m-m
Mouseover art for punchline