Jul 24

History Wednesday: That Sinking Feeling

Believe it or not, there was a time when using the terms “Sweden” and “aggressive military power” in the same sentence didn’t sound inherently silly.


The Swedes having long since embraced more civilized ways to irritate the rest of the world.
Image credit: RetroLand U.S.A.

For most of the 17th Century Sweden was one of Europe’s major players. They pulled it off with inspired leadership and military might. They also did it in spite of one of the truly epic fails in all of maritime history.

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Jul 06

Anticlimax on Benjamin

Nine days until 15 July. That’s all I have left until I turn 40. As if that wasn’t weighing on me heavily enough, by sheer coincidence my driver’s license was set to expire that day as well. Like many people, I’ve come to look forward to a trip to the DMV in the much the same way I look forward to a Drano colonic. The midlife crisis element made it just that much worse.


As the late, great Leslie Nielsen might have said, it left me hollow.
Image credit: Alan Light

Nevertheless, yesterday I ventured out to the Ada County offices on Benjamin Lane to keep myself legal and stuff. Hell, at least it gave me good material to write about over the weekend.

Or so I thought anyway ….

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Mar 02

A Strange Sobriquet

I’m a bit rushed this morning. My daughter is in town and we’re fired up to go to breakfast. However, I want to make sure to take care of my loyal readers before the day gets too crazy. You’re welcome.

As you’ve probably noticed by now, I refer to my daughter a lot here. Indeed, it’s getting to the point where constantly referring to her as “my daughter” is becoming cumbersome. For a variety of reasons I don’t want to refer to her by her real name on a silly-ass WordPress site. I also don’t want to refer to her by the nickname I gave her when she was a baby. The former for obvious reasons, and the latter because she doesn’t want that disclosed to the general public. It’s nothing bad, she’s just kind of sensitive about that. Consider it our personal shibboleth.

So, the time has come to update the glossary and bestow a pithy pseudonym for her. So being my adorable eight-year-old daughter, naturally she wants to be named after her favorite cartoon character:


What? You were expecting My Little Pony or something?

Now, since the whole point of this exercise is to agree on something less awkward than “my daughter,” replacing that with “Dr. Weird” really doesn’t accomplish the goal. Left with this quandary I was forced to get creative. With that I turned to my old friend Google Translate.


Now with 30 percent less stagnation!

I ran the word “weird” through its various translations. The best one came from everyone’s favorite language isolate, Basque. This fits pretty well. I have a Basque uncle. Idaho in general has a pretty strong Basque influence. So the Basque word for “weird” it is.


NOTE: Not a Union Jack for the colorblind.

Oh yeah, according to Google Translate the Basque word for “weird” is “bitxi.” So from this point forward on SB she’s Bitxi. Hopefully that doesn’t have some horrific double meaning or something. If it does please let me know.

Anyway, bacon is a-calling. Agur oraingoz, y’all.