Archive - Nov 2005

November 16th

Nine degrees Fahrenheit

It didn't take long for winter to set in just as if it had been here for months. I always take the first storm as a personal insult. The comforts of the indoors don't do me any good. I get agitated and want to get out.

Last night, I was searching online for furnished apartments in Arizona. They all seemed too expensive. If this weather goes on long enough, they will look cheaper.

November 15th

Alberta clipper

I was planning a trip to Grand Forks, but turned around when I saw the visibility. Frozen slush covers the roads. It is far from ideal outside right now.

This weeping willow adds some color to the bleak landscape.

Nine yards, again

The sum total of emailed responses indicates that the preferred explanation for the term "whole nine yards" is that nine yards was the length of an ammo belt in World War II. Shoot off all your ammo, you gave 'em the whole nine yards.

Aunt Beth emailed a clip from the New York Times in which a grandma talked about her young grandson playing football "with pads and the whole nine yards." The phrase is still alive and well in the modern vernacular.

Major victory

After much shuffling of junk, the pickup entered the garage for the first time today, a mere five months after I moved into the house. It never once occurred to me to build a garage big enough to fit both junk and vehicle, so I had to move the junk to the guest bedroom, which is now useless for its intended purpose.

So, after 170,000 miles, the Ranger finally will be stored in warm garage.

Old man winter

The swamp is a slush pot this morning as the falling snow gathers faster than the water can melt it.

A little red twig provides some color relief in the otherwise drab landscape.

I was looking through a copy of Arizona Highways magazine this morning. As always, the magazine carries incredible pictures, pictures which start getting one to think about a winter escape.

November 14th


That's the only way to describe today's weather. Cold, sleet, wet. I guess it is an Alberta clipper that is coming through. Nothing to do but stay inside and putz around.

So, I dug through some boxes in the garage, hoping to sort out some of the accumulated stuff. Got stuck reading old journals from my college years in the mid-1980s. Boy, I wouldn't go through that time of life again.

November 12th

Nine yards, cont.

No clear consensus has emerged in the debate over the origin of the phrase "the whole nine yards." The cement truck explanation is in a tie with the ammo belt explanation in responses from readers, several of whom have researched the matter.

I often wonder why some of these phrases stick and develop a meaning which is generally agreed upon. We all know how to use the phrase "the whole nine yards," but we can't agree on what it originally meant.

The new Newt

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, has reappeared as chair of an organization called the Center for Health Transformation. This is a bit odd, given Gingrich's past reputation as a flame-throwing free marketer, for this organization is committed to providing health insurance for all citizens, a patently socialist notion.

November 11th

The whole nine yards

Weblog reader and historian Allan writes wondering if I know the origin of the phrase "the whole nine yards." I do not, so I looked on the internet and there are several possibilities.

--It could be a reference to football. Nine yards is just short of the ten required for a first down. The "whole nine yards," somebody postulated, is an subtly ironic reference to falling just short. I doubt this. Somehow "subtle irony" and "football" don't seem to belong in the same sentence.

Any idiot

A few years ago, Dad was extolling the virtues of PVC pipe to a local plumber. The man spat back, "Yeah, now any idiot can be a plumber."

I suspect more than a few photographers who have spent years dealing with film and film development are a little chagrined at how easy photography has become with digital technology.

I took the photos below, loaded them onto the computer, adjusted their coloring, cropped them, reduced their quality so they don't take so long to download onto the web, and loaded them on the website--all within thirty minutes.