Tuesday, December 28, 2004

we had to tunnel our way out

so i know i'm the lamest for posting twice in a row, but fellow teamsters are busy updating their own, personal blogs, and i have not my own blog, so i'm adopting this one. hope that's cool, yo.

anyway, today, post blizzard, having not left the house yesterday for nary a snowflake upon the tongue, michael and i bundle up (5 layers each) for a trek in the early morning sunshine to chez catano. treading cautiously down our freezing, cavernous staircase and rounding the slight corner we find that the 1" gap between our front door and the jamb yeilds a pile of snow blown in from the blizzard, not yet a puddle of freezing water, and mocking us from the floor of our tiny foyer. opening the door after exclamations of shock we find that there is a snowdune of about a foot and a half stuck to the door. i proceed first into the dusty snow and promptly sink into it up to about my knees. neither our front steps nor our sidewalk have been shovelled. luckily there is a pathway beaten down by previous promenaders. during our walk i'm taken by the snow's pristine whiteness which all the sandy beaches in california cannot match and i even take pictures. i'm a nerd. michael practically books through the snow and i'm grabbing at anything within reach so i don't slip. when we get to chez catano i shovel snow! i clear a path! i help unearth the car! then my stylish-but-completely-useless boots create frostbite on my poor piggies and i wimp out. luckily michael, wearing a red sweatshirt and a red vest, creates a stunning picture whilst shovelling the driveway so my watching from the warm house wasn't for naught. afterwards we mistakenly think a trip to the mall for errands is a good idea. by the time we get home i'm thinking our landlord would have made it over to dig our house out. he has not. our next door neighbors have, however, shovelled the entire driveway and our backyard, thereby excavating our 2-week old bags of garbage. at least, i think it was them. i'm going over tomorrow to find out for sure. with baked goods.

if anyone wants to see the picture of me standing next to a snowbank that's taller than me, let me know.

Monday, December 20, 2004

cue charlie brown christmas music

it's officially begun, the holiday season: team willow has a real,live christmas tree! it's stinking up our living room as we speak. now we as a family have to acquire ornaments. or at least lights.

my first nova scotian christmas tree! from nova scotia! yehaw!

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes.

Team Willow is starting a rock band: Lightning Bolts Indicating Awesomeness.

Watch the eff out.

m.

Friday, December 03, 2004

etymology is not about bugs, guys.

team willow is proud of its grammatical aces. we value punctuation and verb tense. we all mind our p's and q's, and i decided that i would get to the root of the issue, as it were.

Mind Your P's & Q's
The phrase dates to the late 18th century--at least 1779. The exact origin is unknown, but several competing hypotheses seem to be the most likely.

The first is that it derives from the phrase p and q which was an abbreviation for prime quality. This English dialectical term dates to the 17th century. So to mind your p's and q's would mean to be exacting in detail and ensure high quality.

The second is that it refers to difficulty children had in learning to distinguish between the letters p and q, being mirror images of one another. To learn one's p's and q's is a phrase meaning to learn one's letters is first recorded around 1830--somewhat later but not impossible as the origin. Often this explanation is identified with printers and distinguish between a p and a q in type, but the early use exclusively deals with children, not printing.

The third, first suggested by Farmer and Henley at the turn of the 20th century, is that the phrase comes from the practice of maintaining a tally in pubs and taverns. Marks under column P, for pint, or Q, for quart, would be made on a blackboard. To tell a bartender to mind his Ps and Qs would be to tell him to mind his own business and get back to work.

Another commonly suggested explanation is that it is a variation on mind your pleases and thank yous, a plea for gentility and manners. There is no evidence to support this, nor does the please and thank you phrase appear anywhere except in explanations of the Ps and Qs origin.

The last is from the world of printing. Typesetters had to be skilled in reading letters backward, as the blocks of type would have mirror images of the letters. The lower-case letters p and q were particularly difficult to distinguish because they are mirrors of one another and located in bins next to one another. Typesetters had to be particularly careful not to confuse the two.
Which is the correct one is anybody's guess (except the fourth which is certainly false). I favor the second explanation, but that is just a personal preference.

now that we all know whence p's and q's came, we will be that much more dilligent in minding them. i thought p's and q's had to do with truth tables from logic. i guess i was wrong.