Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Aug 17 2022 - Walk in the Park


Just up the street from me is the Niagara Escarpment and it is home to the Bruce Trail.  While the Bruce Trail is listed as one of the ten top trails to walk, it is not a walk in the park.   That's something that's easy to do.  There are some famous walks in the park.  On my list are two:

Central Park, New York
I consider this one the most recognizable as a great urban park.  Frederick Law Olmsted is associated with it, and his landscape creations are all wonderful.  It takes about three hours to take the self-guided walking tour.  

Hyde Park, London
The English know how to regard their historic places.  They give them classifications and Hyde Park is a Grade 1-listed major park in Central London.  There are four Royal Parks that go from the entrance of Kensington Palace through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, via Hyde Park Corner and Green Park past the main entrance to Buckingham Palace. The park is divided by the Serpentine and the Long Water lakes.  The walk around Hyde Park varies given it has so many parts to it, but an outer circular walk is considered an average of 1 hour and a half. 

How many parks have the name Hyde Park?  There are 25 places listed as Hyde Park.  How many Central Parks are there? The same website lists 7 places in the world named Central Park.  But that's a fabrication rather than a count as there are two Central Parks near Grimsby alone.

What is Central Park's value considered to be?  Over 39 trillion US dollars.  What is the value of Hyde Park?  It is considered to be almost 19 billion pounds.  It looks like two different calculation methods here.

As to the real estate with the grassy view of parks?  You can imagine that a property with a view of London's Hyde Park would be considered a "trophy asset."  That's the case for Central Park, of course. At 111 West 57th Street, NY, residents live perfected centred overlooking Central Park.  

A walk in the park?  So we can take a few hours each for two great urban parks of the world.  For the Bruce Trail at 550 miles or 890 kilometres, it will take 30 days (or several years, depending on how you approach it).

Here's the Bruce Trail ntrance on 21st Street in Vineland.  Look at those Fall Maples! The signs at the left are markers for the park.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Aug 16 2022 - Words Starting with Trump


There are lots of words that start with Trump, as in capital T.  Donald Trump gave rise to a very creative press.    

Would the first one be Trumpism?  And along with it Trumpist and Trumpian?  These are terms used to refer to those exhibiting characteristics of Trumpism.  Supporters of Trump are known as Trumpers.  While Trumpism is a well-known phrase, it is considered complex and contentious by wikipedia.  

"Trumpism is a term for the political ideologies, social emotions, style of governance, political movement, and set of mechanisms for acquiring and keeping control of power associated with Donald Trump and his political base."

Alternately Trumpism describes Donald Trump's made-up words.  This gives rise to articles on how to talk like Trump.

The big one for me is the Trumpometer.  This is a seemingly never-ending scrolling list of Donald Trump's lies.  However, it isn't being tracked much anymore.   

Next is Trumpocracy - this one is the title of a book written by David From on the corruption the American Republic.

From there we have Trumponomics.  This is a high-frequency headline  that reviews Trumps 7 biggest failures.   

Trumpocalypse - this is another book by David From.  This time it is about restoring American Democracy and how to rebuild the nation after Trump. 

Have I found all the Trump words today?  One would go on to the signature words of Donald Trump.  Perhaps another time.

This is Port Dalhousie's beach on Lake Ontario. 

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Monday, August 15, 2022

Aug 15 2022 - Shortcomings


Is there really an opposite for the word shortcoming, particularly shortcomings.   It seems that the English language has many negative words without a positive counterpart.  

If the prefix or suffix is negative, such as 'dis-' or -'less', the word can be called an orphaned negative. There's a long list of them in wikipedia HERE.

What about underwhelm and overwhelm - what would it be to be whelmed?   That sounds hilarious, doesn't it?  What a dress she was wearing - I was whelmed by it. On the other hand, there are quite a few "whelmed" headlines on google.  

How about nonchalant vs chalant - he carried himself in a most chalant way.

Even better are these pairings:  irritate vs ritate and innocuous vs nocuous.  One that I regularly enjoy is inert vs ert. 

In Scottish English you might say feckless and feckful.  That's because they both come from the Scottish word 'feck'.  It can mean part, majority or value, worth.  If somebody has feck then they are feckful – efficient, energetic, and powerful.  Equally if they are feckless then they are lacking all those attributes and pretty useless as a result.

There are many bloggers who write about the English language.  I quote this one on the topic of words without counterparts:

"I could write a story here about a macculate and peccable guy who tried to radiate a sense of ertia and eptitude by being chalant and plussed despite the fact that he was neither kempt nor couth."

Here's one of our prettiest Painted Lady houses in Grimsby Beach. 

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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Aug 14 2022 - Happy Endings


What about those happy endings in novels and stories?   The people involved are happy or all the problems are solved.  Full resolution. 

Why are they important? Google tells us: "Because happy endings provide hope, instilling the belief that obstacles can be overcome, love can last, fences can be mended, and good can triumph. " 

And what classic novels have happy endings?  I started to realize that happy endings are few and far between - they seem to occur in comedies to me.  Like Midsummer's Nights Dream and not All's Well that Ends Well.  (That one is strange.)

Finding lists of classic fiction with happy endings is a treasure hunt with surprises all along the way. 

The list includes all kinds of fiction that I wouldn't consider having happy endings.  My rationale is that comedies can have happy endings, but tragedies not so easy. 

Can the Lord of the Rings tragic world be turned happy in the final conclusion of The Return of the King? "Not only has the War of the Ring come to an end, after Saruman is slain in the Shire, but Aragorn returns to his rightful throne, and Sam marries Rosie Cotton, who he's long had eyes for."

And listed is A Tale of Two Cities.  How can this be happy?  The rationale is that the novel ends with warmly positive words, as thought by Carton shortly before his execution, and gives us one of the most famous lines in Western literature: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."

Even Candide is said to have a happy ending: Seeking happiness throughout the novel, it seems that because he has learned to make his own happiness that the ending is a happy ending.  Candide tells his mentor that they must "cultivate their garden." The book concludes with him working on a small farm, "free of three great evils: boredom, vice and necessity." 

The critic Northrop Frye has written: “Happy endings do not impress us as true, but as desirable, and they are brought about by manipulations. the watcher of death and tragedy has nothing to do but sit and wait for the inevitable end; but something gets born at the end of comedy, and the watcher is a member of a busy society.”

I found this picture of the Good Earth Restaurant and Winery.  It is from 2012 or so.  This section now is fully covered in wisteria so completely shaded.  It is a patio with tables - no more gravel on the ground.  Mind you, this is a pleasant setting.  Definitely would be the place for a comedy with a happy ending.

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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Aug 13 2022 - The Burger


How many variations of the burger are there?  Isn't it like pizza?  It is endless how many variations there are.  But most readers are interested in the weird and crazy and not the creative and innovative.  In a way we are.  There are lots of headlines on the best 22, 24, 35, and 60 burger recipes that "can't be beat".  The screaming headlines, though, are about weird and wacky about burgers.  

 "Le Burger Extravagant" was named the world's most expensive hamburger in 2012.  Guinness World Records has it on the books:  
New York City restaurant Seredipity 3 unveiled the world's most expensive hamburger, Le Burger Extravagant, this week.  Le Burger Extravagant sells for $295.00 (£186.52). Made from white truffle butter-infused Japanese Wagyu beef, the burger is topped with James Montgomery cheddar cheese, black truffles and a fried quail egg. It is served on a gold-dusted campagna roll spread with white truffle butter, and the roll is topped with a blini, creme fraiche and caviar. Serendipity 3 is a popular Manhattan restaurant, and has been featured in several films, including 2001's romantic comedy Serendipity.

But wait!  That's not nearly expensive enough.  The most expensive hamburger sells for $5,000 (£3,115.87) and is prepared by Juicys Foods and Ovations Foodservices for Juicys Outlaw Grill, based in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, as of 2 July 2011. The hamburger weighs 352.44 kg (777 lb) and is available for ordering with 48 hours notice for preparation time.   But then it is the size of my dining room, so what to make of that record, who knows.

Next in line, time-wise is Chef Diego Buik " from the Netherlands he developed a passion for hamburgers during his two-year stint at the SoHo House in London. After which he returned to Rotterdam and decided to design his own burgers. His passion paid off and in 2015 his creation won the best burger in Rotterdam. But this was not enough for him, for the “International Burger day’ he wanted to create some international headlines so he decided to create the world’s most expensive hamburger. With a $2300 price tag, the ingredients include Japanese dry-aged Wagyu beef, Oosterschelde lobster (infused with Dutch Hermit gin), Foie gras, white truffle, Remeker cheese, Japanese fruit tomatoes and caviar on a brioche bun made with saffron and covered in gold leaf."

Taking us into 2021, Dutch diner De Dalton has the title with a a $5,964 burger.  It is named "The Golden Boy" and takes nine hours to prepare.  It too is coated with gold leaf. This is a charity fundraiser.  The Golden Boy burger is presented on a platter of whiskey-infused smoke and loaded with premium ingredients including A5 Wagyu beef, king crab, beluga caviar, vintage Iberico Jamon, smoked duck egg mayo, white truffle, Kopi Luwak coffee BBQ sauce, pickled tiger tomato in Japanese matcha tea, and Dom Perignon infused gold-coated buns. “The ingredients complement each other very well and the flavors are intense. Even though this burger is extremely costly, you should still use your hands because that’s the only way to eat a burger. Since the bun is covered in gold leaf, your fingers will be golden by the time you finish,” said Robert.  Diners must order two weeks in advance and pay a deposit of $855 US.  Here is its portrait.

And in comparison, the simple petunia.  

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