Black Moon

Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow.” ― Carrie Fisher

The above is a quote I came across while trying to figure out what I wanted to rant and rave about during this week’s post. I have been coming up empty regarding ideas to write about as I usually have a boatload of comical items to write about. But, with the negative news we continually read about and all the crap our country is going through, it is hard to get, let alone stay, in a comical mood. Enter the above quote which got me to thinking – something I am constantly doing – “hey, go through the wild and crazy news articles you read about each morning and find something wild and crazy to write about and just go for it.” As Carrie Fisher says above: “Stay afraid, but do it anyway.”

With that thought in mind, I decided to look at some of the news articles being discussed today and lo and behold, I came across an article on Black Moon.  

Black Moon – Use your imagination!

With that I decided to venture into another world and write a different type of post. Here goes:

One of the top news stories today is the fact that today, July 31, 2019 we will experience what is known as a Black Moon. So what is a Black Moon? Well we have heard of blood moon, full moon, quarter moon, maybe even a blue moon but how many of us have heard about a black moon?

According to what I have read, this phenomenon known as a “Black Moon” will be occurring again this evening in North America. The last time anyone recalled a “Black Moon” was in 2016. Now this phenomenon will only be seen in North America this evening. Sorry other parts of the world, you will have to wait until August 30 to catch your glimpse of a Black Moon.

But, here’s the thing, what does this even mean to us lowly humans. Is it important? First thing we need to learn is – “what in the world is a black moon?”

Supposedly a black moon is – are you ready for this – the second new moon of the month – yes, I said second new moon of the month, a rarity in and of itself. Let me provide a few more details but believe me when I say, I am definitely not an expert in this field. A black moon is similar to a Leap Year. As we know, a lunar cycle takes about 29 days to complete. Easy – right? Not true! Our months as we know are slightly longer with some being 30 days and others being 31. How does that old saying go when we wanted to remember which ones had 30 days and which had 31 days:

30 days has September, April, June, and November

All the rest have 31 except February which has 28

 So, using the theory mentioned above, sometimes, about every 32 months, we experience two full moons or as they have been referred to: New Moons. Taking it one step further, the second full moon in a month is called a blue moon while the second new moon is called a black moon.

Now remember my little diddy about remembering which months had 30 days versus those that had 31 days. Well,  guess which month has no new moons? If you guessed February, you would be correct because there are no new moons in February because of its few days (remember there are only 28 days in February except for the Leap Year which has 29 days). Supposedly this is less common than the other type of black moon and only occurs about once a decade.

Now before you set your alarm clock to go out tonight and see the black moon, let me burst your bubble ahead of time. Chances are that you will not see anything because, well, a black moon is nothing other than a new moon. So, what’s the big fuss about – well it is the second new moon of the month. This new moon will probably blend in with the sky so well, you may not even see the moon. And that is a shame too because it is also supposed to be a supermoon which means that the moon will appear bigger than usual. Why, because it is closer to the Earth but again I mention, seeing that it’s a new moon, you still won’t be able to really see it. 

And therein lies your science lesson for today or consider it a lesson in Selenology (in Greek, our moon is named “Selene,” as is the moon goddess of ancient Greek mythology. The English word “selenology,” or the study of the moon’s geology, derives from it). Hopefully I will be able to come up with something more comical to write about next week.

But, at least it wasn’t all bad news. Not comical, but not tragic either.

Until next time!

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The Good Old Days!

59 Pontiac

Did you ever dread the day when someone would stop and ask what life was like back in our day – you know the time frame I am referring to but they don’t actually come out and say it – “back in the Dark Ages of your childhood!”  One would think that we didn’t have air, dirt, and water back then and that we had to fend off dinosaurs and pterodactyls – you know those prehistoric flying animals. In reality some might say that pterodactyls never actually existed. But that is not the subject of my rambling today.

Some might think that being individuals born in the 40s, we should all be gone by now, and seeing that we are not, we should be marveling at some of our modern wonders – you know what I am talking about – driverless cars, machines that clean our houses for us without our even asking it to (just by programming it ahead of time), and being able to see and talk to people with our watch – anyone remember the imaginary policeman’s fictional gizmo, the two-way wrist radio in 1946 worn by none other than Dick Tracy.

Is it any wonder why we might refer to those younger than us as young whippersnappers because they cannot remember much of the things that happened in our day!  You know the days I am talking about.

I am talking about when I used to wear high-top sneakers and doing so was not considered cool. Especially when one had to wear them to the school dance with a suit that I would not want to even be buried in today. Talk about embarrassing moments!

Back in the day, we could get a whole handful of candy for five-cents – you know, Mary Janes, Tootsie rolls (back then we only had one flavor tootsie rolls), and Root Beer barrels. Girls wore saddle shoes. Ask a girl what they are today and they will probably say: “Are they worn when one goes horseback riding?” Both our shoes and our clothing lasted a long time and believe it or not, should any of the clothing have holes in it, it was due to wear and tear over the years the item was worn. Our parents would not even think of buying clothing that already had holes in them

As a family, we were expected to eat all three meals together and breakfast usually consisted of runny oatmeal. We did not sit at the breakfast table eating breakfast while reading about athletes or missing children on a box of cereal. Or like today’s children do – noses in some high-tech gadget.

The rule was you ate what was being served to you and if you didn’t like it – well, you would have to wait until lunch to eat again and hopefully it would be something you liked because that same rule held for all three meals. If it was put in front of you – you ate it or you went hungry until the next mealtime. There was no luxury of eating chips, crackers, candy, or soda because such things were not kept in the house. And coming from a family of eight children, one learned real quick – you had better eat whatever was being served because (1) it would be hours before your next meal and (2) chances were that there would be no leftovers.

Both my parents loved coffee and I can remember when I asked if I could have a cup with my dinner one night. The response was: ‘No, you’ll stunt your growth.’ Seeing that I only grew to 5 feet 3 inches, I guess two things must have happened – one – I managed to drink some coffee when they were not looking and two – their comments must have been true.

Several rules applied at the dinner table or whenever we were all together eating – one was that tipping one’s chair back on the back two legs was a no-no, another was that no elbows were allowed on the table, and third – we had to eat all our vegetables or we didn’t get dessert. Hmmm, what was I thinking when I wrote this third rule – what is dessert? Ah, the good old days!

What’s in a Name?

Now that I am heading towards becoming an octogenarian (a person who is from 80 to 89 years old), the thought crossed my mind as to whether or not I will be considered a codger, geezer, or coot.

Have you ever noticed how we apply titles or names to ourselves as we age?  If you look at the names associated with the respective generations of times gone by we have the following titles:

Title             Age Group

Millennials:   18 – 34

Gen X:           35 – 50

Boomer:         51 – 69

Silent:             70 – 87

Greatest:         87 – 100+

True we could just give in and using myself as an example – should someone ask what I am? – respond by saying: “Oh, I am part of the Silent generation. But where is the fun in that?

No, I myself prefer to use a different expression hence the title of this article: Codger – Geezer – Coot!

What is a codger? Well, that depends on which source one might use to determine what a codger is. If you refer to Merriam-Webster, their dictionary says a codger is “an often mildly eccentric and usually elderly fellow.” Oxford goes one step further and includes the fact that a codger is: “a person, especially an old or strange one.” American Heritage says a codger is a somewhat eccentric man, especially an old one.” And not to forget New World, they agree with all the above and adds that “codger” is a term used in good humor.

So much for “codger”.

What about “geezer”? Lexicographers (those individuals that write, compiles, or edits dictionaries) agree that a geezer is an old person, odd, eccentric, and always a male.

Moving on to the word “coot.”  A “coot” is a rather small water bird that is a member of the rail family, Rallidae. They constitute the genus Eulica, the name being the Latin for “coot”. So, not only is a coot a waterfowl, but it is also “a foolish, eccentric or senile person (American Heritage). Or looking at other definitions:

Merriam-Webster refers to a coot as: “a harmless simple person”

Oxford defines coot as: “a simple person”

New World uses the terminology: “an amusing old fellow”

Encarta goes into more detail by defining coot as: “an unconventional or unreasonably stubborn person”

As evidenced from all that has been written above, the commonality of all three terms is that they are all old males.

What about the female of the species – what are they called?

Well, some that come to mind would be: Biddy, Crone, Hag, Battle-Axe, and Dowager. I’m sure with a bit more researching, I could come up with some better ones but for now let’s just keep these.

Biddy: a woman, especially an elderly one, regarded as annoying or interfering.

Crone: The crone is a character in folklore and fairy tales, an old woman. In some stories, she is disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. The Crone is also an archetypal figure, a Wise Woman.

Hag: A hag is a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess having the appearance of such a woman, often found in folklore and children’s tales such as Hansel and Gretel.

Battle-Axe: A battle-axe is a term, generally considered pejorative, for an aggressive, domineering and forceful woman.

Dowager: the noun dowager may refer to any elderly widow, especially one of both wealth and dignity.

What one can surmise from all this valuable information is that in either case, male or female, whichever definition we are utilizing, we are talking about someone that is old!  Which begs the question: Is it redundant to speak of an old codger, old geezer, or old coot? One could ask the same question when speaking of a biddy, a crone, or a hag.

Seeing that each of these terms represent someone that is old, one could answer that question by saying “Yes and No!” So, it would be redundant to speak of an old codger, old geezer, old coot, old biddy, an old crone, or an old hag. As a matter of information let me remind all what the word redundant means: the word redundant applies to things that are unnecessary or could be left out. So, calling an old man a codger or an old woman a biddy has us asking ourselves: “But are the terms redundant? Should we just refer to them as old or should we include the titles some have created for them as in old codger or old biddy?

Codger and Biddy

Knowing how sensitive some people are to the age question, I would tread carefully whichever way I decided to go.

Until next time!

Chicken Soup or Is it Broth?

Cold Chicken Broth

Have you ever spent an evening with a relative that you haven’t seen for a long time because you happened to be in the neighborhood and were just too tired to drive fifty more miles to get to your own apartment?  Besides, you thought to yourself, “This will be great, it’s been quite a few years since you seen her and the two of you could catch up on what has been happening in each of your lives. You could drive home in the morning fully rested.

Okie dokie. The evening went well, Aunt Priscilla was glad to see you and the two of you caught up with the latest happenings before heading to bed. When you wake in the morning, you notice that Aunt Priscilla is still sleeping (being a widow and getting on in years – she is not an early riser). You do your best not to make any noise as you make your way to the kitchen.

Daily habits can be a curse and being in someone else’s house does not make it any easier to follow one’s routine. Now I must admit, while I am not on a diet, I do try my best to be careful about what I eat. Having said that, I would like to continue this story by saying that after locating the loaf of bread kept in her cute “Bread Wrapper” shaped bread box, that I ate dry toast with a cup of black, decaffeinated coffee. Notice I said, I would like to say that ……. but that wasn’t the case.

Besides what happened next made it that I definitely had to find something to eat but I am getting ahead of myself. At home, one of the first things I have upon awakening is a small glass of orange juice and so before I even think about toast and coffee, I must have my orange juice. Now some people do not like to keep their store-bought orange juice in the cardboard box it comes in from the store and so they pour same in a Tupperware pitcher, glass pitcher, or what have you as soon as they get home. Me, I leave it in the box, plastic bottle, or whatever it comes in direct from the store. Back to my story.

Having found a Tupperware pitcher in the refrigerator, I noticed that the amount of liquid showing through the plastic was rather low, which to me was a sign that there was not much in the container. Now some of us need our coffee in the morning and some of us need something else. Me, I need both but for the moment let’s just concern ourselves with the orange juice. What to do – what to do? Oh well, perhaps, if I just take a sip or two direct from the pitcher, that will accomplish two things (I know – not too sanitary, but go with me for the moment as it adds to the story):  (1) I will get my orange juice fix and (2) Aunt Priscilla will be none the wiser, plus I will be sure to only take a sip or two so that she has some when she wakes up.

What is it with senior citizens when they get older? Do they lose their marbles or just become senile? Why would I even think about doing such a thing? What happened next just about sent me heading for the sink or bathroom. I opened the pitcher and took my sip, thankfully a small sip. Never, never in my wildest dreams, did I expect what was to flow over my lips and into my mouth! Yuk! Cold chicken broth!!!!! 

Guess that will learn me! ……… Truth or Fiction? You be the judge!

Until next time!