Sunhenge Moment

sunlightWhoops! I was delighted yesterday when I saw the sun was once again shining into my living room. During the depth of winter it’s too low in the sky for the rays to get past the (rather deep) skylight well in the ceiling.

Seeing it yesterday required three things I’ve been waiting for: The sun to get high enough in the sky (obviously); for it to be not cloudy, which has been a problem recently; and for the snow and (weirdly) the grime to melt off the skylight itself. The snow cover isn’t unusual, but I’ve never seen grime before!

Anyway, hooray, yesterday it happened. And then I woke this morning to winter again!



We’ve had a few days of warm weather (meaning above freezing), so I was excited to share this picture of melting. (Considering the -21 stuff, the melting feels like spring!) It required nearly a full minute of effort to capture this picture, and now it’s all wasted. (Oh well, at least I can re-cycle the electrons.)

The re-blast of winter kind of put me back in  hibernating mode, so I’m puttering around with some projects, catching up on TV and doing some reading. I’m feeling out of the posting mood for the moment, which is a pity when I’m really trying to clear my stack.

One way to remove an item from your ToDo list is to decide not To Do it. I had a note about a post of “spelling tricks” designed to help you remember tricky words.

Don’t know what I was thinking.  Firstly, spelling is a weakness of mine, not a strength. I care about it (and you should, too), but I’m not great at it. I will probably continue having to look up “turquoise” and “fluorescent” until the day I die!

a rat eating ice cream

While writing this, I thought, “What are the odds of finding an image of a rat eating ice cream on the interweb?”
Pretty good, as it turns out.

Secondly, the only one I actually remember (given to me by my mom at an early age (I mean I was at an early age (but my mom was younger, too, of course))), is that “separate” contains “a rat.” It’s helpful; you do see “seperate” (wrong!) a lot.

Come to that, I guess I do know another one that’s helpful for a word people often get wrong. For some weird reason, it’s hard to remember if the “e” or the “i” comes first in “weird” (it’s the “e”).  I remember it easily, because the “w” and “e” are right next to each other on the keyboard.

There’s also A Rat In The House May Eat The Ice Cream for “arithmetic,” which is helpful if the word “math” makes you think there’s a second “a” somewhere.

In other news: I need a new battery.  Monday for the third time in seven months the battery was dead when I tried to drive somewhere. I don’t drive as much since I retired, but the battery should certainly hold the charge for a week!



About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

15 responses to “Sunhenge Moment

  • dianasschwenk

    I used to be an excellent speller but computers and their spell check and autocorrect have made me lazy, I think. The two words that I always struggle to remember how to spell are: occasion and hilarious. Sometimes I use one c and two s’s in the former and typically two l’s in the latter.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Ah, yes, “occasion” and “occurred” are both words I’ll miss for the same reason (well, two ‘r’s in the latter case)! I was a poor speller in school; it was definitely a subject teachers pushed me to study more. I did get better with practice, but there are still words where I keep trying different spellings until the jagged red underline goes away! (And some I never can seem to guess right on and end up having to look up.)

      • Wyrd Smythe

        It would have been pretty funny if you’d written, “I here you on that!” 😀

        I can’t find it right now, but somewhere I have a poem someone wrote that would show no problems to a spell-checker, but in which almost every word is the wrong spelling!

      • dianasschwenk

        I have no doubt that can occur! That’s why spell checking and editing are important. 🙂

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Indeed! You do have to make the decision that getting the spelling right is important in the first place… many seem to have decided it isn’t. You sometimes hear the argument, “Why does it matter? You understood me anyway didn’t you?!”

        Truth is, most of the time, that’s a pretty good argument. Think about communicating with someone who doesn’t speak English. It’s totally possible, and if they do speak English and the gap is just a few misspelled words… pretty trivial, right? (Right!)

        My counter-argument is that sometimes, absolute precision and clarity are going to be important to you (maybe you need to explain very carefully to those cops why you’re holding that bloody axe). When those times come, it’s a good idea to be in practice and in the habit, so to speak.

        There is also that, still today there remain those of us who do consider it important, and to us being willfully casual about something important like human communication is just stamping “I’m An Idiot!” on your forehead.

        I’ve read more than one person comment, with regard to dating, that they like how email helps them screen out people too lame to write a decent email to someone they’d like to attract. Saves on those uncomfortable first dates!

      • dianasschwenk

        Some people just don’t communicate well with email but end up being very interesting and bright in person! Having said that, when I’ve been on dating sites, I automatically eliminate chronic bad spellers!

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I there’s a great deal of truth there on both counts!

        To be clear, it’s those that don’t care and wouldn’t take an opportunity to improve if offered that bug me. Absolutely there are great people who don’t communicate well in whatever way. I think you can tell there’s something there, though… heart. Kind of like some of those little independent shoe-string films… the film may be all kinds of awful looked at as a film, but you can see there’s something magical there nevertheless. People can be like that.

  • reocochran

    I think you are either born a speller or you aren’t and if people around you care about you, they ignore the problems. I have one out of three children who is hopeless in spelling but the best of the three in math! I think being my Dad’s book editor at age 15 was a ‘gift’ and I appreciated his letting me see his proofs and thoughts! My mother was an English teacher but got frustrated with his phrasings, I did not bemoan them, I just corrected them! Anyway, glad you saw the sun! did you like the Beatles’ reunion and tribute show last night? I just loved it! All the new ‘blood’ were fine and dandy, but seeing Ringo and Paul bring down the house and really get everyone out to sing with them, Yoko Ono dancing in the aisles… Not sure if you would have watched, but just thought I would ask… Take care, Robin

    • Wyrd Smythe

      I clearly was not a born speller, but constant effort did make me better over time. There are words that drive me crazy, though. I find myself trying various alternate spellings trying to make the jaggy red line go away, and sometimes I just can’t seem to find the right spelling!

      You touch on one of the things that makes me kind of a freak: I am not, and never really was, a Beatles fan. I respect what they did, and I have nothing bad to say about them, but they just never “lit my fire.”

      I had a song book of their tunes, and used to play many of them, but I never really connected with them (and I really can’t explain why… when I do hear a Beatles tune, I always enjoy it).

      Heck, my Gravitar text even references Nowhere Man, but… [shrug] Like I said, freakish. Just plain freakish, that’s me!

      • reocochran

        Well, hope you noticed I didn’t ‘pick on’ those who couldn’t spell, nor those who didn’t ‘get’ the Beatles! I think you enjoyed them, but you preferred others. I understand that!
        I really have an eclectic taste in music, somewhat due to parental and friendly influences! I mean I like ELO, REO Speedwagon, The Eagles, Tschaicovsky, (and no, I don’t have time, at the library to figure out how that is correctly spelled!), theater musicals and Musorgsky! (Night on Bald Mountain.) I also, weirdly enough like AC/DC and other wilder musicians… Smiles and hope we can stay in touch. I miss my youngest daughter, who moved out in October and her laptop, while she would be busy doing things, I would be blogging. I go to the library and have some time restraints, along with whenever there has been a Level 2 Snow Emergency, they have closed!
        I guess I like freaky and nerdy people, have been one, all my life!
        Take care! Robin

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Well, of course I noticed! You’re one of those awesome people whose true inner nature is wall-to-wall love, acceptance and positive outlook. I wish I was like that, but my true inner nature is much (much!) darker and cynical and unaccepting. C’est la vie, I am what I yam (Popeye! 😀 ).

        We do have in common liking a broad range of music, though! I most favor rock, but I also love jazz and country and classical. I can enjoy a musical or an opera, although I don’t tend to seek them out. My folks were mostly into classical and church music; at Christmas my pastor dad used to invite anyone in the church who was interested to our house to sing the (entire) Messiah (by Handel), and I still kind of miss hearing it every year. Such a stirring work; the “Hallelujah” chorus will always be a favorite of mine.

        So your blogging has to be done at the library? That sucks!!

      • reocochran

        The only good thing about the library is that I just get up and walk away! I do think we have musical taste overlaps. I like the Hallelujah chorus. Does Leonard Cohen also have a song with lyrics?
        Guess what? You may be the last person I blog with tonight. The time limit is flashing by! Home to supper… long day! Robin

      • Wyrd Smythe

        So he does (I thought I was not familiar with it, so I looked it up). There’s a good YouTube version featuring the man himself:

        And what I totally did not realize (until just this moment) is that k.d.lang has a version of it that’s one of my all-time favorite cuts (so I am familiar with it after all!):

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Heh! The Wiki article about Cohen’s Hallelujah mentions the k.d. lang cover, and says how her performance at the Canadian Juno Awards 2005 (the YouTube I shared above) earned her a two minute standing ovation.

        Rightfully so. Rightfully so.

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