Here in Kentucky, July is ending on a mild note.  This past week wasn’t as hot as the previous one; no temperatures in the 90s, anyway.  Yesterday was the most comfortable of all:  65 in the morning, 81 in the afternoon.  I can’t remember a day like that from the forty summers I spent in Florida, except maybe when hurricanes blotted out the sun!  As for rain, a few more showers means we’ve gotten an inch more in July than we usually do, so the year to this point has been a little on the wet side.

This week we got our first harvest from Leive’s garden, in the form of four zucchini and three eggplants.  The zucchini in particular are larger than what you’ll find in the grocery store, and because they are fat, they look more like cucumbers.  In the picture above are two “zukes” and one eggplant, each at least a foot long.  I put one of our parrot’s peanuts next to them to give you an idea of the size.  We gave most of them to Gene and Rezia because they donated those particular plants.  However, Leive got the latest zuke for her cooking, and despite the size, it was so good that she wants to grow one even larger, to see how big they get.

Who Says Latin Is No Longer Relevant?

I just received this list of modern Latin phrases.  The next time you’re in Rome, go ahead and give them a try.


1. Non calor sed umor est qui nobis incommodat.
It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.

2. Lex clavatoris designati rescindenda est.
The designated hitter rule has got to go.

3. Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

4. Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris.
If Caesar were alive, you’d be chained to an oar.

5. Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

6. (At a barbeque)
Animadvertistine, ubicumque stes, fumum recta in faciem ferri?
Ever noticed how wherever you stand, the smoke goes right into your face?

7. Sona si Latine loqueris.
Honk if you speak Latin.

8. Si Hoc Legere Scis Nimium Eruditionis Habes.
If you can read this you’re over-educated.

9. Sentio aliquos togatos contra me conspirare.
I think some people in togas are plotting against me.

10. Vidi Vici Veni
I saw, I conquered, I came

11. Vacca foeda
Stupid cow

12. Mihi ignosce. Cum homine de cane debeo congredi.
Excuse me. I’ve got to see a man about a dog.

13. Raptus regaliter
Royally screwed

14. Si hoc signum legere potes, operis boni in rebus Latinus alacribus et fructuosis potiri potes!
If you can read this sign, you can get a good job in the fast-paced, high-paying world of Latin!

15. Gramen artificiosum odi.
I hate Astroturf.

16. Noli me vocare, ego te vocabo.
Don’t call me, I’ll call you.

17. Nullo metro compositum est.
It doesn’t rhyme.

18. Non curo. Si metrum non habet, non est poema.
I don’t care. If it doesn’t rhyme, it isn’t a poem.

19. Fac ut gaudeam.
Make my day.

20. Braccae illae virides cum subucula rosea et tunica Caledonia-quam elenganter concinnatur!
Those green pants go so well with that pink shirt and the plaid jacket!

21. Re vera, potas bene.
Say, you sure are drinking a lot.

22. Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!
May barbarians invade your personal space!

23. Utinam coniurati te in foro interficiant!
May conspirators assassinate you in the mall!

24. Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy!

25. Radix lecti
Couch potato

26. Quo signo nata es?
What’s your sign?

27. O! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui! Hem!
Oh! More! Go on! Yes! Ooh! Ummm!

28. Mellita, domi adsum.
Honey, I’m home.

29. Tarn exanimis quam tunica nehru fio.
I am as dead as the nehru jacket.

30. Ventis secundis, tene cursum.
Go with the flow.

31. Te precor dulcissime supplex!
Pretty please with a cherry on top!

32. Magister Mundi sum!
I am the Master of the Universe!

33. Fac me cocleario vomere!
Gag me with a spoon!

34. Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.
I can’t hear you. I have a banana in my ear.

35. Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem!
Stand aside plebians! I am on imperial business.

36. Fac ut vivas.
Get a life.

37. Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!
Let’s all wear mood rings!

38. Catapuitam habeo. Nisi pecuniam omnem mihi dabis, ad caput tuum saxum immane mittam.
I have a catapult. Give me all the money, or I will fling an enormous rock at your head.

The Un-Obama?

If you’re like me, you’re probably expecting Sarah Palin to be the Republican candidate for president in 2012, because of all the news events over the past two years.  Now after reading this Worldnet Daily article, I’m wondering if Herman Cain would have a better chance of winning.  He will if Barack Obama runs again, anyway.  I have heard Cain on the radio a few times (he fills in for Neal Boortz quite often), and was impressed with the intelligent arguments he makes on economic issues, but I didn’t know about his solid credentials as a business manager and a problem solver.  Click on the link below to check him out:

Is This Man Obama’s Worst Nightmare?

The Shortest Books for 2010

Back around 2000, I received a funny e-mail list of extremely thin books.  Now I have received an updated version of it:


2.  THINGS I LOVE ABOUT MY COUNTRY by Jane Fonda & Cindy Sheehan
Illustrated by Michael Moore
Forward by George Soros

3.  MY CHRISTIAN ACCOMPLISHMENTS by Rev. Jesse Jackson & Rev. Al Sharpton

4.  THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL by Hillary Clinton

5. Sequel to #4: THINGS I LOVE ABOUT HILLARY by Bill Clinton



8.  THINGS WE KNOW TO BE TRUE by Al Gore & John Kerry

9.  GUIDE TO THE PACIFIC by Amelia Earhart

10.  HOW TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by Dr. Jack Kevorkian

11.  TO ALL THE MEN WE HAVE LOVED BEFORE by Ellen Degeneres & Rosie O’Donnell




15.  HOW TO DRINK & DRIVE SAFELY by Ted Kennedy

16.  MY BOOK OF MORALS by Bill Clinton
with introduction by the Rev. Jesse Jackson

And, just added:

17.  My Complete Knowledge of Military Strategy by Nancy Pelosi

Unquote: You may want to run to Barnes and Noble or Amazon and get these before they disappear!  I could kick myself for missing “My Life On Land” by Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Too Hot to Trot

We’re having another heat wave.  It got up to 94 degrees today, and the weatherman is warning the same for tomorrow; in fact, a heat advisory has been issued for both days.  But again, it could be worse.  On Thursday I checked on Florida, and where we used to live, it was 104, with a heat index of 109!  Then I called my Dad to make sure he’s all right, and indoors.

In our backyard, the Chinese cabbage has been attacked by some kind of black fly.  The damage was so bad that Leive pulled up the whole crop yesterday, declaring it unfit for human consumption, and threw it away (hopefully with most of the flies in the same bags).  We’re astonished, because we expected bugs to do that in Florida, but not in Kentucky!  They’re starting to get at the broccoli and eggplants, too, so we may have to spray after all.  Leive has also decided to plant kale in place of the cabbage, because she didn’t have a problem with pests eating kale in Florida, but we’ll have to wait until next month because that veggie likes it cold.

The good news is that the other plants are doing well.  Three eggplants so far, with the first one harvested on Wednesday; that was given to Gene & Rezia, because it came from one of their plants.  Today I saw the first zucchini, and the sweet potato vines are getting as aggressive as they were in Florida.  In a week we may have some tomatoes and peppers, too.

Really Scattered Showers

Leive has not needed to water her garden since last Friday, because we have been getting short and heavy rainstorms, before the ground has enough time to dry out.  They sound fierce when they strike, but because they don’t last more than an hour or two, we haven’t had the problem of water getting in the basement that I mentioned in previous messages.  Leive told me that in the Philippines this is known as a “boy rain”; by contrast, a “girl rain” is light but can last all day.

The first one came at sundown on Saturday.  It didn’t hurt us badly here in Lexington, but it’s the one getting the most news, because at the eastern end on the state, in Pike County, it caused the worst flooding seen there in years; two people were drowned.

Another storm came in at the same time on Monday.   I was attending a Pre-Paid Legal meeting at the time, and heard just a bit of noise.  I didn’t give it a second thought, because it sounded like somebody in the next room was moving tables.  Then when I left the hotel I saw the puddles and rain clouds, which were still flashing lightning, and realized what I had missed.  On Tuesday I heard that on the other side of town, the Monday night storm knocked town tents at a fair, injuring some folks (one had to be sent to the hospital).

The storms struck again yesterday evening, and we’re getting still another this morning as I write this.  Is Kentucky weather finally showing a pattern here?

Tisha B’Av, 5770

Tonight marks the beginning of the 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av in Hebrew), the saddest day on the whole Jewish calendar.  A lot of Jews will fast on this day, like they will for Yom Kippur, two months from now.  This is not an official Jewish holiday in the sense that Yom Kippur and Passover are; it commemorates mainly Talmudic traditions, not something that God commanded His people to remember.

On this day in 587 or 586 B.C.,  the First Temple was destroyed.  Then on this day in 70 A.D., the Second Temple was destroyed.  Those events by themselves are bad enough, but an impressive number of other calamities reportedly happened on the 9th of Av, too.  Here is what I found on Wikipedia about that:

  • About 1446 B.C.:  The twelve spies sent by Moses into Canaan returned.  Ten of the spies delivered a bad report about giants in the land, making the Israelites too fearful to go in.  God ordered the Israelites to wander in the wilderness for forty years, until everyone who was an adult at that time had died, except for Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who delivered a positive report.
  • 135 A.D.:  Simeon Bar Kokhba’s revolt against Rome failed, and he was killed in the battle of Betar.
  • 1290:  Jews were expelled from England.
  • 1492:  The Alhambra Decree, which expelled the Jews from Spain, took effect on the 7th of Av, just two days before Tisha B’Av.
  • 1914:  In this year Tisha B’Av fell on August 1, the day when Germany declared war on Russia.  Before this date, it looked like World War I would be a small war, confined to the Balkans.  Instead, the next 41 years would be the most destructive time in European history.
  • 1942:  The mass deportation of Polish Jews began, from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka.

To end this message on a positive note, I will repost a paragraph from Chapter 14 of my Middle Eastern history, which covers a prophecy made on this day that came true:

There is a story told of Napoleon Bonaparte passing a crowded synagogue on the 9th of Av, the anniversary of when both the first and second Jewish temples were destroyed. Asking what was the meaning of the weeping and sorrow he heard, he was told that the Jews were mourning the loss of their country and sanctuary some 1800 years before. Deeply moved, Napoleon observed that “a people which weeps and mourns for the loss of its homeland 1800 years ago and does not forget–such a people will never be destroyed. Such a people can rest assured that its homeland will be returned to it.”