Archive for May, 2014

Dissociating from Disassociation

Ran into ” parenchymal disassociation” on a medical research webpage, and googled it because I wasn’t  sure what parenchymal meant.  Lo and behold, the only exact matches for the phrase (5 or 6 of them) came from the same webpage. Proceeded next to “parenchymal”, and got the definition, then tried “parenchymal dissociation”. Result: hundreds of exact matches. So on and so forth ended with OED reference:

“dissociate” is from the Latin dissociare (to separate from fellowship). “Disassociate” was modeled after the 16th-century French verb désassocier.

Both words are recognized, and they mean the same thing.  Dissociate saves a syllable and some hissing, so there seems little reason to follow the French. Today’s international news bolsters my skepticism:

France, having recently purchased $20.5 billion worth of new trains, now realizes that the trains will not fit into many regional stations. More hundreds of millions will be spent modifying station platforms. Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier blamed an “absurd rail system” for the problems. “When you separate the rail operator from the train company,” he said, “this is what happens.”



Proofing in the cooler









Those not bedeviled with a keen eye might gladly pick up a six-pack of the beer featured above, waltz to the register (the very first place where the price would be apparent) and then home, unburdened with the conundrum so clearly on display. Had  The Ithaca Brewing Co. been able to keep up with my demand for Flower Power IPA  my gaze would not have strayed, again, to the upper reaches of the craft-brew shelf, and I would not have been compelled to sort out why the shelf tag failed, by a letter, to match the product label. My guess was a printer’s error, followed by heated argument, the assertion that “Few, if any, will notice.”, and  some contract bargaining.  Of course one of the few needed to know if there were indeed a couple others who’d noticed, and so got right home, opened one, (yes, the bottle label says Hop Nosh too)









and Googled:  “hop notch” “hop nosh”

Instant satisfaction. The Notch Brewing Co. in Mass. “asked”, (using a “cease and desist” document), that their trademark on the word “notch”, (as related to “beer and breweries”) be honored by Uinta of Utah, the makers of Hop Notch. Representatives say the agreement was amicable, per the link below:

hoppy agreement

Still not sure why the shelf label is unrevised. Maybe the store manager is using last year’s tag. If Notch sues, I want a share of the finder’s fee.


Little Sleep,

..Unplug me from this blur of false portent;
I want dreams, real dreams to strike and bruise and flee,
not waking hopes that wish and linger.
Freed from the cant and won’t that props the walking
feed me dollops from your starry bowl.
Don’t let me think.




I’m a nudge too.

My blograde at TONE DEAF has been memorializing his late friend Joe by posting scraps of verse. Poetry taken at random from an anthology, set forth for consideration and dissection. Robbie is a tremendous writer and a generous friend, and I want to cite a poem that seems brilliant enough to honer the writer’s writer. Truth is for the reader to decide.


Rose Foster (age 8)


A balloon once lived for a month
and a little bit more
until Daddy accidentally murdered him.
But he is still in our hearts.
He was brave to be pushed in the air.
I remember when he made
a little girl laugh so hard
that she screamed.
And this is true.
He traveled with me upstairs
and downstairs. His final trip was upstairs.
I wish I could tell you all the adventures
but the last adventure
you can see
ends here in this chilly sandbox
with sandwiches.
You may eat them.

from 2014 Rattle Young Poets Anthology

No segue

“Office set up in the diner now, Sonny?”

Sonny stared skeptically through squarish metal framed glasses, his conversation with Jim interrupted. Both men were bearded, wiry and older… past prime. Past retirement age.

“I figured it looked better than doin’ it down at the Riverside.”

They were vets, unlucky enough to have been a few years older in ’69.  VFW members who hit the Riverside as often as the home post .  Mike had bumped into the middle of a some talk about cubic yards and dump trucks – the paper shared- but hell, it was a six person table, and in the next moment Spike walked in to make it four. Sonny focused on Spike.

“I got that tree cut up for ya”.

“Yeah? Did you split it?”

“You lazy bastard.”

“I was gonna bring my chainsaw down.”

“Well now you don’t have to. In a hurry to help you out I wrecked a new saw chain. Didn’t want to bend over so I put the forks on the backhoe and lifted a log right up to the porch. Cut that whole son of a bitch up except for one little limb, then sure as shit…PING!”

Spike smirked. Another vet, he’d passed the last thirty years as a timber and lumber broker. Knew the cost of hedgerow trees, nails in timber, magnetic detectors at the mill, the price of shutting down to replace a sixty foot bandsaw blade.

Mike mulled a piece of split firewood he’d handled a couple times over the fall and winter, the last look he’d had as it went into the stove. There’d been a galvanized roofing nail, perfectly preserved, deep in the inner rings of the tree.

“Who sharpens them now, anybody?”

“Beaner’s still doin’ ’em I think.”

Jim spilt some hillbilly, all nose and throat. A musical blur of wrong  tenses, Mandarin sounding.

“He come back un at spell dinny? Cuppa year go.”

Sonny nodded, continuing:

“Jesus, I’ve got about a hundred of ’em. The old man would go through three or four in an afternoon. Run ’em right down into the dirt.”

Eager with his story, Mike jumped in:

“So…you hit a nail…?”

Sonny studied him with a practiced look of incredulity.


“No. I hit the god-damned fork.”