Thursday, December 6, 2018

Kludging or

Something I’m very good at!

Languages are always evolving with new additions every year depending upon technical improvements, life-style changes and the like.
My main languages are English, French and German and it’s fun to see how they evolve differently. I admire the Germans in particular as if they need a new word to describe something they simply string a few old words together and presto – a new word that means exactly the right thing. In English and in French we tend to evolve words from more basic elements, ie slang, street talk and the like.

The above word showed up in 1962. According to A.Word.A.Day (one of my all-time favorite sites: it has to be labeled origin unknown as although it appeared in an article by Jackson W. Granholm in Datamation magazine: “How to Design a Kludge”, various origins for his use of it have been suggested: German, Scots, military jargon, from the name of a paper feeder,” according to A.Word.A.Day.
noun: An inelegant, improvised solution to a problem.
verb tr.: To improvise a haphazard solution to a problem.

Latest example of my own kludging – hanging the lights on the Christmas tree.

N.B. I could also think of “klutz” for klu words but was amazed to find that it wasn’t in my hard copy of the Miriam Webster dictionary – 1966. Things change fast.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Communicating or ….

White Boards

N°15 has long been known for its’ haphazard communications.
Whilst bringing up the family (two sons) with my husband it was one female to three males so things were quite often either mixed or totally misunderstood in between the lone female and the males. I realized later that one of the reasons we sister’s-in-law got on so well on both sides of the Atlantic was for the fact that at least with a sister-in-law around one had another female voice!

Then there were all the visitors: how to let them know either the rules of the kitchen, house, sleeping quarters, shower schedule, laundry use, etc. Again in the early days fairly easy as usually we were here at the same time.

Then I had my first, long-term housemate and we needed to be able to leave notes as we came and went. Thus started the white boards.

On that was electric-static in the downstairs’ toilet worked very well. We left messages, drawings and fun communications.

Then I found a small white board which was great for just the “hi, bye” type of communication but totally inadequate for what we developed. Enter the larger whiteboard laying on the entry-way table. They have all been fun, they are all hard to clean and they are at this very moment awaiting the next lot of messages. A synopsis of our busy lives, of those who come and go – as anyone entering the toilet feels driven to leave a message – in short a great way of communicating.

lg. entryway board - daily with current housemate

In the toilet - sayings, celebrations, thanks, visitor's additions

Monday, December 3, 2018

It’s the thought that counts or…

Perpetuating traditions.

It was only once my two sons were young adults that I realized that the only things they got from their parents for birthdays and Christmases were socks and underwear: any of the “good” presents that I had purchased were labeled as coming from the Godmother, the various Aunts and Uncles or the Grand Parents.

This became a tradition that I continued – ‘til this day, although as they are now young men I restrain myself to socks. They both have large feet and go through socks at an astonishing rate so it is fitting.

However, I hadn’t realized that the tables would be turned: I am the proud owner of a pair of socks from my last birthday.

Not only socks, but thanks to the colorblindness of the gift giver they are not the blue and green that he thought he had purchased, but rather a very flashy bright pink with a bit of yellow and lavender.

I wear them with PRIDE and GRATEFULNESS – it’s truly the thought that counts