August 05, 2009

Over The Hump Day Brain Dump - Random Crap I Think About

My brain is full, so I thought I'd download some random thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head, some of it for decades.

The Mother of Invention

  1. Did you know that gelatin USED TO be made from animal parts? We're talkin' boiling bones, folks. Yuck. With that icky thought in mind, how did the fellow who first marketed Jell-O sell it to anyone? Ever eager to educate the masses, you can find out here.
  2. Speaking of quality control (like that segue?), who tested parachutes? Nowadays (that makes me sound so old), they'd use computer modeling and analysis to determine the amount of stress the fabric and stitching could handle - but back before the computer? How did they do that? We can assume it wasn't the inventor making the maiden jump - the invention might never have gotten off the ground, so to speak.

Dinner is Served

I'm assuming you've heard that, in days of yore, Kings were very worried about being poisoned by nefarious ne'er-do-wells.


Some of the King's food was first thrown outside, so that it could be eaten by dogs and crows. These animals became the food tasters. If they didn't die, then the King got his meal.

Think about it. Crows feast on rotting carcasses in the middle of the road. Dogs eat their own crap. Were they really in a position to judge the quality of the food?

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Did any of you notice how the price of canned biscuits has gone up? $2.19 for a can of Grands - and the store brands are about the same. But now, you can get the little bitty can of biscuits for $1.00. You end up with 10 small, anorexic-looking clumps of fatty goodness. Well, I won't fall for their ploy!

I'm going to learn how to make my own biscuits. Does anyone have a good recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits? I'll be scouring my favorite food haunts online to find one. Expect the Cleaver Compound Test Kitchen to be humming with activity!

Yes, I Sometimes Read the Dictionary for Fun

The other night, The Mister and I were sparring verbally about the word EGOMANIAC. He thought it meant someone who was arrogant; I thought it meant someone who, no matter what the conversation, turns the talk back to himself. The consummate "It's all about ME" person. I looked up the definition, I was RIGHT. Don't worry, I marked the calendar.

We also started talking about The Boy. Eventually, we got around to talking about the word AUTISM. I told him I thought the word was coined in the 50s, and that it meant "into oneself" - since an autistic person can be thought of being in his/her own little world. I also said it meant that someone had repetitive behaviors, poor social skills (they don't recognize social cues in conversation, body language, or facial expression) and used "stimming behaviors" as a calming device. Again, we went to my Webster's dictionary for our definition - what a shock I got there!

I must say that my Webster's New World Dictionary is an old one, it was published in 1979. Here's what it says AUTISM means:

A state of mind characterized by daydreaming, hallucinations, and disregard of external reality.

Heck, maybe I'm autistic too, then!

That definition did not satisfy me. It made it sound like The Boy could CHOOSE not to daydream; that autistic children and adults could quit being so damned selfish and embrace reality, dammit!

Back to merriam-webster.com.

Date: 1948
a variable developmental disorder that appears by age three and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns.

See how close I was on the date? Rest assured, gloating took place.
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Have you ever noticed that some things that plague women have the word MEN in their names? MENses. MENarche. MENstruation. MENorrhagia. MENopause. MENtal illness. Coincidence?

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The word AWFUL. A perfectly lovely word. Oh, how its meaning has changed over the years!


Here's what merriam-webster.com says about it:

1: inspiring awe2: filled with awe: as a:obsolete : afraid, terrified b: deeply respectful or reverential 3: extremely disagreeable or objectionable <awful food>4: exceedingly great —used as an intensive awful lot of money>

Read the definitions carefully. How can one word mean both something so POSITIVE and NEGATIVE in a single entry? And when it is used as an adverb (AWFULLY), it can swing either way. "I had an awfully good time", and then, "I behaved awfully". Wait, I think I CAN do both of those at the same time! Never mind.

Nowadays (getting older every minute), AWESOME has replaced awful as the positive choice. I hate that word. It's so NOT awful. Sometimes, just to be a pill, when someone asks me how I felt about a movie, I respond "I felt it was positively awful! Did you enjoy it too?"

Well, that's all for now. Thanks for letting me dump all this stuff - I feel positively awful!

4 comments:

  1. I buy the sad little 4 pack of store brand biscuits. It's true. But you know what I do with them? Heat some oil, seperate them and poke holes in the middle. Drop them in to fry (takes about 10 seconds each side to plump and turn golden) and then smother them in cinnamon and sugar. Best QUICK homemade doughnuts all from those sad little biscuits.

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  2. See those sad little biscuits can be turned into wonderful balls of YUM!
    Speaking of gelatin, if you think that is bad you should read about what kind of animal parts are in yogurt!
    And I would try the back of the bisquick box for a good recipe on good easy biscuits!

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  3. Here in Maine, we use the word "wicked" to mean exceptional - ie That biscuit is wicked good! Not sure why.

    I look forward to hearing about your biscuit adventures!

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  4. True point about the parachutes! We're a military family, and I took my girls this past weekend to see my husband work with the Special Forces as they did their quarterly jump. I wrote a post on my blog with pictures of the jump - and I'm sure those guys are grateful for whatever parachute quality control is out there! LOL!

    ~ Jennifer
    http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com/

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Thanks for stopping by. I love your comments...I get all warm inside just reading them!