My Fiery Little Vixen

Underground spring

“Do you remember how we met?” Sarah asked Matt.

“Oh boy, do I,” Matt said, a wry smile on his face. “You were so angry at me for what you called my ‘flagrant foul’ during that flag football game on the campus quad.”

Sarah started laughing and Matt joined her in her laughter. “Yes,” Sarah said, “and one of the characteristics I love about you is your ability to indulge my occasionally explosive temper.”

“And that, my fiery little vixen,” Matt said, “is why I take you to serene and peaceful places like this, where the air is calm and where it’s so quiet that the only sounds we hear are the beating of our two hearts.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? prompt. Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (flagrant), Word of the Day Challenge (quad), The Daily Spur (laughter), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (indulge), Daily Addictions (air), and Your Daily Word Prompt (quiet). Image credit: Pinterest.

Share Your World — Truth and Joy

Share Your WorldIt’s Monday and Melanie is once again asking us to Share Our World with each other. She has posed some intriguing questions for us this week, so let’s just hop to it.

What is truth?

Now this is a question I wish I would have thought of to ask on my weekly provocative question prompt. Technically speaking, truth is something that conforms with facts and reality. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we have “alternative facts” when the actual facts are in conflict with what someone chooses to believe. And we have “fake news” when the real news (i.e., reality) is not consistent with what someone chooses to accept as actual reality. Furthering the blurring of truth, we have Photoshopped images and deepfake videos that effectively “alter” facts and reality. Bottom line, we are living in a post-truth age and I’m not sure that the notion of truth even exists anymore. Any that’s the truth.

What’s one thing people would never know about you just by looking at you?

That I’m a stable genius. Oh wait. That’s the one thing people would never think about Donald Trump.

Do loud noises bother you?

Unfortunately, with my left ear being totally blocked, every noise I hear gets trapped inside my head and bothers me. Hopefully, after my surgery at the end of this month, that will be corrected.

If you were guaranteed the correct answer to just one question, what would you ask?

Seriously? You asked in the first question, “What is truth?” and my answer was that we live in a post-truth age. So is there really such a thing as a “correct answer” anymore? I guess that would depend upon who you ask.

What fills YOUR heart with joy?

Right now, not much. But seeing Trump impeached (likely) and removed from office (unlikely) would fill my heart with unbridled joy.

The Monday Peeve — Chomping at the Bit

Every Monday, Paula Light publishes her “The Monday Peeve” prompt in which she gives us “the chance to blow off a little steam at the beginning of the week, so then we can go merrily on our way once again.”

I’m going to do a lot of blowing off today. Are you ready for my rant?

This may sound petty, but as I admitted in my provocative question post last Wednesday, I’m a peeveblogger. And one thing that peeves me off is when people use the expressing “chomping at the bit.” Why does that peeve me off? Simple. It’s not the correct idiom, which is “champing at the bit.” Yes, it’s “champing” not “chomping.”

50D55F6F-302E-43CD-A9EA-D01121F93BCFThe idiom comes from horse racing. A bit is part of the apparatus that goes in the horse’s mouth and connects to the bridle and reins so the horse can be controlled and directed by the jockey on its back. The bit fits into a toothless ridge of the horse’s mouth, so the horse never really bites the bit. But it can grind his teeth or jaw against the bit, and if it does, it means that the horse is either nervous, or really excited about racing. That’s how the phrase “champing at the bit” entered everyday communications: to indicate extreme eagerness.

Most people use the phrase today to indicate when someone is eager or anxious to do something. They are said to be champing at the bit, not chomping at the bit, nor chomping on the bit. So what am I supposed to do when someone says or writes “chomping at the bit”? Am I supposed to just sit back, swallow hard, and let whoever said or wrote it mangle and abuse the English language? Probably some, or maybe most, of you think I should.

While I’m on a roll, it also drives me crazy when people say “flush out” when what they really mean is “flesh out.” As I’m sure you know, to flesh out an idea is to give it substance, whereas to flush out something is to reveal a thing previously concealed. Flesh out and flush out are not synonymous or interchangeable.

Or how about those who say that they could care less, when what they really mean is that they couldn’t care less? “I couldn’t care less” means that it’s not possible for me to care any less about the subject at hand than I already do. On the other hand, “I could care less” literally means “I care more than I might seem to.” If you could care less, you’re saying that you care a little and it’s possible that you could care even less, which is the opposite of not caring at all.

And, finally, if you don’t know the difference between the Latin abbreviations “e.g.” and “i.e.,” don’t use them. Use, instead, “for example” or “that is.”

Okay, I’m done.TMP

Blogging Insights — Looking Back

Blogging insights Dr. Tanya, at Salted Caramel, published another one of her Blogging Insights posts in which she poses one or more questions about blogging. In this case, she asked four questions about what she calls “retrospective introspection.”

Here are her four questions:

How old is your current blog/website?

I started this blog in May of 2017. This is actually my fifth blog, thus “” (as in 5.0). My first two blogs were on Blogger, then my third blog was on a platform called TypePad. And before this, I had a different blog on WordPress.

Do you ever look back at your site (i.e., read through your old posts)?

Every Friday I publish Fandango’s Friday Flashback, where I go back and repost a post I posted on the same date in a previous year. I sometimes go back to old posts from before my current blog, so, since I started my first blog in 2005, I’ve got almost 14 years of posts to choose from. It’s amazing to me that, more often than not, I don’t even remember writing those old posts. It’s as if I am reading them for the first time.

How long ago did you update your About Page?

I haven’t updated it since I first composed it in May 2017. I haven’t changed much in two-and-a-half years, so why bother updating my about page?

If you were to start a new blog today, what would you do differently?

Not a damn thing! I like my blog just the way it is. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There’s the Sunshine

F8E3889A-538A-4A7C-BAF0-BAA3C0400043Beckie, over at Beckie’s Mental Mess, was nominated for the coveted Sunshine Blogger Award and nominated eleven other bloggers, including me. I think she nominated me because it’s sunny out today where I live for the first time in over a week!

Mine is an award-free blog, but not a question-free blog. So I’m going to congratulate and thank Beckie and answer her questions.

1. Do you search for difficult words in your writing like I do? I have to search for meaning.

I don’t go out of my way to find “difficult” words to use in my posts. I try to use words that are in most people’s everyday vocabulary so that readers don’t need to look them up to understand what I’m talking about.

2. What do you prefer tea or coffee? For any specific flavor, please mention the same.

I’m a coffee man and I don’t like flavored coffee. I take mine black with one packet of Splenda.

3. Most of the time, I am found writing while walking to and fro in my room, on my phone’s notepad. Do you like writing on phones or tablets or laptops?

I blog almost exclusively on my iPhone.

4. Where would you like to live, if not the current country?

New Zealand I think. I’ve never been there but it looks beautiful.

5. How many books do you have in your own library?

I have around 100 books on my Kindle library stored on my iPhone. I took all of my old, physical books — at least a few hundred — and donated them to the library when we moved across country and downsized a decade ago.

6. Have you participated in any protests for any social cause? Which one and why?

Many. When I was a young man, many of the protests I participated in were about the Vietnam War or about civil rights. Once I got married and had kids, I thought my protesting days were over. Then Trump somehow became president and I’ve been participating in at least four or five protests a year since he was sworn in.E7E1149A-DEAA-4146-8801-CCF3AEBF380F

7. A motivating line of your own, if this was an award given to you on stage.

If you’re still looking for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.

8. What genre do you prefer in movies?

Comedies, mysteries, or thrillers.

9. Are you a bathroom singer?

No, I’m a bathroom stinker.

10. How do you spend your Sunday?

I’m retired. I spend Sunday the same way I spend Monday through Saturday.

11. Do you like watching TV? What do you prefer watching?

Yes, I enjoy watching TV. We watch a lot of HGTV, cable news, and a few TV dramas. I also like watching some sports when my wife lets me.

Image credit at the top of this post: kristiangallagher.