I noticed an article on AP today which was headlined, “Indonesian Muslims Warn Against Evangelism.” It is alleged that there are some Christian groups coming in to help with the humanitarian effort for the victims of the tsunami who have another agenda. What’s up with that? Why does one group think they have the answers to everything and everyone else should believe it? Belief is just what it is. There’s no right or wrong in belief because no one can prove what they “believe” is true. If there is a universal truth, then wouldn’t it be a big kick in the pants if Christian proselytizers ( or for that matter, any other religious proselytizers) found out they were wrong. The Muslim people are just as sure that they are following the correct path as Christians or Jews or Hindus are sure that they’ve got the right answer. Don’t take something as pure and wonderful as helping these victims and turn it into a platform for a point of view. It’s a great way to make enemies.


What is the name for the person who is the mother of your daughter-in-law? Since I don’t know, I will call her my sister-mother-in-law or perhaps, my sister-mother. Anyway, Ryan’s mom, Rose, made a comment on my site suggesting that I look at This is a cool site that will send you a word for the day and has puzzles using previous words for the day. So if you are interested in improving your vocabulary, this is a great site to explore. Today’s word on was lexicon.

My word for the day is –

stentorian (adj.) – very loud; as in “He spoke in a stentorian voice which could be heard in the most distant corners of the hall.”

What’s so interesting about this word is its derivation. Apparently, Stentor was in a shouting competition with Hermes and lost. So why isn’t “very loud,” hermesion? I guess Hermes was already in the lore, so they threw a sop to Stentor. In looking around the word, I found the word, stent, which is a slender thread, rod, or catheter inserted into a tubular structure, such as a blood vessel, to provide support. Same derivation wouldn’t you think? But no, stent is named for Charles R. Stent (1845-1901), an English dentist. Isn’t language interesting?


As you recall, vacation tip #5 exhorted you to not drink alcohol at lunch during your vacation. However, the corollary is all-encompassing. The corollary to “don’t drink at lunch” is, never, never, never have a drink which sports an umbrella. Really, people, think about it. An umbrella drink typically has fruit juices (100+ calories), one or more shots of alcohol (100 per shot), and sugar (about 50 per tablespoon.) So you’ve got a tall drink there that can cost you about 400-500 calories. That’s probably about 1/4 to 1/3 of your daily intake. A glass of wine runs around 100 calories depending on the alcohol content. Beer is also manageable. But unless you are planning on taking the umbrella with you on a 3 or 4 mile run, leave it where it belongs – safely with the bartender.



Last night, in a pique of hubris, I sent out an email telling friends about my blog and asking that they take a look. Sarah tells me what I did is called “pimping your blog.” This is especially prevelant on sites where there are a great many users. One tries to work one’s blog address into a post. So I apologize. I woke up this morning around 4 am thinking about how awful everyone must feel about me. That in itself is another form of hubris. So, please forgive and indulge me in my lapse of decorum. It’s just that having this blog is so much fun!


What was I thinking when I sent out the email suggesting to friends that they might want to read my blog. I think it was an extreme case of hubris.

hubris – very great pride and belief in your own importance. Greek derivation.


This an easy tip. For many people, it is no problem at all. Don’t drink at lunch. By drink, I mean in the alcoholic beverage genre. A glass of wine or a mixed drink adds 100+ calories to your lunch. Really, you need to keep breakfast and lunch at a minimum. (This gives me an idea for a new vacation diet tip!) Then you can go out to dinner and throw caution to the wind. Not really, but if you are following the other tips, caution is already in play. So let’s keep those fun beverages until 5 PM or later.

Tomorrow, an important corollary to Vacation Tip #5!



As I sit here in my little island paradise, I am considering the folly of worrying about the weather. I have been reading about the rains and floods in Utah. Now I am fairly sure that our house there is safe from floods. But with all the rain, I wonder if the roof and windows are tight. I hope our six legged friends (actually foes) have decided not to seek refuge from the weather. But there is nothing I can do about it. So I think I’ll just let the weather worry float away. (no pun intended)


While hunting around the internet for good definitions and derivations for paradise (originally a walled garden) and monsoon (actually the wind that changes the seasonal weather in Asia not the rain), I found something totally different.

neologism – a new word, usage, or expression (

In this website I happened upon,, there were all sorts of interesting new words and other information. I found out that the # sign which we call a pound sign actually refers to weight such as in a 5# bag of potatoes. I always thought it was because you were supposed to hit it hard.


Kretch’s, Marco Island, Florida

This restaurant which sort of looks like a 50’s motel from the outside was a pleasant surprise. Although they have several meat entrees, we were there for the fish. When we got the menu, it was like being in the Monty Python Cheese Shop. There were eight specials but four were crossed out. Our waitress, who called us “kids,” proceeded to tell us what other things they were out of. So, of the fish left there was a Cajun grilled Key’s dolphin and a batter-fried haddock. Since eating deep fried things on vacation violates Vacation Diet Tip #3, we had the dolphin. This came with a choice of caesar salad or tossed salad. John had the caesar and they asked if he wanted anchovies on top. The tossed salad was your basic Eastern salad – mostly iceberg lettuce. We also got a basket of freshly made rye bread which, while odd, was very good. And a container of whipped butter (or margarine.) Why do they do that? Is it cheaper? Give me real butter or olive oil. Anyway, when the fish came, it was a thick piece that was cooked perfectly. Not dry and overcooked. Many kudos for the fish.

So big pluses for the fish, the bread, the anchovies and the inexpensive house wine, and small minuses for the overly exuberant waitress, the lack of ambiance, the whipped butter and the Cheese Shop routine. Also bad name.

I give Kretch’s B+ (John agrees)