M Is for...

... Meaning, which I tend to use in some form or another to title a list of word-verification definitions, but also mourning and a myriad of other things that have kept me from posting, as well as mulling over how to publish the content currently in the pipeline for this blog.

actato — n. [ak tay toh] Spud that doth trod the boards.

CountOG — [kownt oh jee] The rarely seen "original gangsta" version of Sesame Street's Count von Count.

eouns — pl. n. [ee ahnz] Variant British spelling of eons: "That is my favourite colour in eouns."

eurth — n. [yurth] Ground bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, Asia, and the Arctic Circle.

Flutrina™ — [floo tree nuh] Nutritional supplement formulated for wind-instrument players.

Leon Saner 1914-2011

Leon Saner died on Saturday.

I can't begin to describe how much that fact has impacted my life. He was my mother's father — and so much more than those words might suggest.

The number of stories that have come to mind and been told by family in the week
since we took up a vigil at Grandpop's bedside could fill a book; perhaps one day they will. For now, I'll just share the eulogy that I managed to read at the service held in his honor:

my grandparents sitting side by side, sipping the same milkshake from separate straws, adorably
Stella & Leon Saner, in their mid 80s, in the mid '90s.



The Slog Deferred

I was hoping to follow up last year's State of the Blog post with another today for
my second anniversary here, but serious real-world stuff has taken precedence. And I'll share it eventually; for now, though, finishing up an essay on bloggery existentialism is the last thing on my mind. While I'm not putting up the Campbell's soup can or the Devil Tylenol from Hell bottle just yet, as they feel too flippant, posts will be light to nonexistent for the indefinite future.

Scrap Medal

Old tin sign reading 'Honest Scrap' with a muscular forearm holding a carpenter's hammer

Just about a year ago, I had The Honest Scrap Award bestowed upon me by my
blog buddy Ashlie. You're supposed to reveal ten embarrassing things about yourself, Ashlie said, backed up by various links in the chain, and then pass the award on to a
few other folks in turn.

I did not do that.

My keyboard was acting up at the time and other priorities got in the way. Also, to
be honest, which is rather the point of the award, I'm not big on either receiving or imposing those kinds of forced prompts, although I certainly appreciate the sentiment behind a badge celebrating bloggers who write fearlessly. Friends with blogs who sprang to mind as meriting the award but who hadn't already received it, well, they're even less likely to respond to it than I am. Lastly, after reading about the award elsewhere online as I looked around to grab a nice image of the Honest Scrap icon for when/if this post did get published, I discovered that in its most prevalent usage the award is to be acknowledged not by posting ten embarrassing things but merely ten honest things.


A website called BoxOfficeQuant put together an intriguing graph last month. The Sequel Map charts Rotten Tomatoes' average scores for various sequels against the films from whence they sprang. Forget Alien vs. Predator; this is Alien vs. Aliens.

Graph titled 'The Sequel Map: Are Sequels Truly Better or Worse than Their Originals' with one axis each for original films' and sequels' Rotten Tomatoes scores
The Sequel Map © 2011 Edmund Helmer.

You'll find a clickable version of the graph in BOQ's post. Hit it and you're taken to a larger image; hit that image and it zooms in wherever your cursor is to the extent that you can actually read the movie names amidst the circles. If, as happened with me, the graph doesn't quite register with you at first, all you have to do is realize that it's been shifted 45° to make the dotted line horizontal — just cock your head to the right.