I Read the News Today. Oh Boy!

News that caught my eye March 14, 2018


These are a few of the headlines that interested me this morning.

From our “You Are What (or How Much) You Eat” bureau:

2018’s Fattest Cities in America

by Adam McCann, Financial Writer – WalletHub – March 14, 2018

We’re number one! We’re number one! We’re number one! USA! USA! USA! This just in from the fattest country on the planet (in the universe, perhaps), the fattest cities in the fattest country. The author(s) used data from multiple sources to calculate the fattest city in the U.S. Our congratulations to Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Arkansas, this year’s Fattest City in America! Pass the potato salad, will ya?

More from our “You Are What (or How Much) You Eat” bureau:

Celebrate Pi Day today with $3.14 pizza, free pie and more

by Kelly Tyko – USA Today Network – March 13, 2018

Happy π Day, everyone! No, old rudyblues is not selling out to the man! Remember, marketing, like rust, never sleeps. So what better way to sell more food than to tie it to a mathematical celebration! All the places you can go in the U.S. to eat round things at $3.14 each. No need to come up with a price, it’s already “baked” in to the celebration. And you can get married, too! This especially goes out to all the folks in Little Rock!

From our “We Could All Use More of This” bureau:

Perhaps tired of winning, the United States falls in World Happiness rankings — again

by Alex Horton – Washington Post – March 14, 2018

I mean, is it any wonder? Social institutions being questioned, rampant income inequality, the 1% chopping away at the safety net, hate radio fomenting violence against the “others” as the cause of your every problem, “Are ya happy yet?” And we’re the fattest, and everyone knows fat and happy can’t get together without dumb. So we’ll start to climb back up the happy scale as soon as Betsy DeVos sells our public education to the highest bidder. Damn right I’m happy!

I am definitely gonna stop reading the news!


Words We Should Use More Often – March 13, 2018

Resurrecting the English language – one post at a time

I like words. Granted, I don’t have a solid grasp on them, but I still like them just the same. So given my fondness for unusual words, when I come across one I particularly like, I naturally research its meanings and etymology. Yeah, I know, some life, right?

I like words that are fun to say. Some words are just fun. The word macaroni is fun to say, but it could be because every time I say it I’m reminded of Gene Wilder in the movie Silver Streak. “I’m a macaroni.” Well, I guess you had to be there. Stream it sometime.

I especially like words that aren’t in the common vernacular (ooh, now there’s a good one, vernacular, you don’t hear that every day). There’s an old meaning for the word macaroni that fits this category, too. Maybe they’ve fallen out of favor, or they’re no longer fashionable, or perhaps their meaning has changed over time, and they’re not used in polite company anymore. Not that anyone has ever mistaken me for polite. Or company, for that matter.

So given my proclivity for words, and the abundance of them scribbled on scraps of paper all around me, and considering the paucity of other material I have that the world would want to consume with relish (no, not eat with the condiment), I thought I’d start sharing some of these words with you, my Gentle Reader(s). And I thought I’d make it a recurring post subject. I can tell you’re thrilled. Settle down. We’ll begin when you stop happy dancing. What’s that? Oh, it’s down the hall, on the left. Jiggle the handle.

cods·wal·lop   /ˈkädzˌwäləp/

noun British informal: codswallop

1. nonsense


1960s: sometimes said to be named after Hiram Codd, who invented a bottle for carbonated beverages (1875); the derivation remains unconfirmed.

Courtesy of Google Dictionary

This is one of those words that’s just fun to say. Codswallop, codswallop, codswallop. Just imagine, you’re at some family dinner arguing with your crazy old uncle rudyblues, and he’s blathering on about something, and you stand up in the middle of his bloviating,  slam your fist down onto the table, and yell “Codswallop!” Fun, right? The Brits have some wonderful words.

trea·cle    /ˈtrēk(ə)l/

noun: treacle plural noun: treacles

  1. British word for molasses
  2. cloying sentimentality or flattery
    “Enough of this treacle – let’s get to work”


Middle English (originally denoting an antidote against venom): from Old French triacle, via Latin from Greek thēriakē ‘antidote against venom,’ feminine of thēriakos (adjective), from thērion ‘wild beast.’ The sense ‘molasses’ dates from the late 17th century; ‘sentimentality’ arose in the late 18th century.

Courtesy of Google Dictionary

Treacle is fun to say and an amazing example of how the English language has changed over the centuries. Again, treacle, treacle, treacle, like a childhood taunt, like nana nana boo boo! And how can we move from an antidote for venom, through molasses and obsequiousness, to a venomous way to insult someone’s writing? That rudyblues writes such treacle!

Well, now that wasn’t so bad, was it? I could go on if you’d like, I’ve lots more where those came from. Come on, let’s give it a go, shall we? Not so much, eh? OK, have it your way then. Be sure to tune in next week for more “Words We Should Use More Often.”

P.S. Google, if you’re listening, if I haven’t attributed you properly, please accept my apologies and all these dandy scraps of paper.  -rb

The Week that Was: March 5, 2018 – March 11, 2018

Chipping away at the intertubes, one week at a time

A review of the past week’s mayhem from Rudy’s Ruminations.

Another week down, gentle reader(s)! And it’s time for another “The Week that Was.” I usually do these on Sunday night, but I took the day off yesterday. Here’s more of those nifty stats thingies for this week. And the week’s least egregious posts, as determined by you lovely reader(s). Go reader(s)! Go reader(s)!


And a spotlight for one of my NEW beloved follower(s) who joined this week. I’m very humbled. We really need to visit them. Like, right now. Skip down to the link and click it. It’s not that hard. Try it, you’ll like it. What else do you have to do right now? You’re reading this, aren’t you? I rest my case.

So let’s get started. Remember, the sooner we start the sooner we finish. I’m pretty sure that’s what we all want. So, follow me below the fold, for gosh sakes!

Read more ruminating

And Suddenly, It’s Saturday

Saturday sneaks up again

I swear, sometimes I do not know where the time goes. This week (like last week?) I had every intention, all of them good mind you, of getting all those things on my to-do list checked off and out of my way before today. And then, suddenly, here it is, Saturday already, and that list is still intact, gloating about having defeated me once again.

I know that envy is one of the seven deadly sins, but I can’t help it, I’m envious of those highly organized people. I try, but I just can’t seem to join that club. I’ve read those seven habits of highly organized people posts, and vowed to try to develop those habits.ToDoList

But there must be some kind of limit on simultaneous human habits, because my old habits still win the day. Hmm, seven deadly sins, seven habits of highly organized people. Is that just a coincidence? Maybe.

So here it is, Saturday, and I’ve still got all those things on my list, and less than 24 hours to go before they become next week’s to-do list. Maybe I should categorize them, or break them into more than one list.

So on my “to-do” list would be things like breathe, eat, sleep, feed the cat, shower, go to work, come home from work. You know, easy things that I could check off with little or no effort. For a sense of accomplishment. Baby steps.

Then I could have a “wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if” list, with things like mop and wax the garage floor, polish the balusters on the stairs, scrub the grout between the tiles in the shower, alphabetize the storage shelves, rotate the air in the car tires. These are things that most humans have on their regular to-do list, but that often end up on my “lick-and-a-promise” list. Walking through the house while holding a dust rag is dusting where I come from.

Finally, I’d have a “no-chance-in-you-know-where” list, with things like paint the guest bedroom, fix the crack in the pantry ceiling, steam clean all the carpets, learn to speak Italian. I’ll bet highly organized people tick things like these off of their to-do list on a regular basis. Not me. And don’t ask me why Italian, it’s just on the list.

At the rate I’m going, my bucket list and my to-do list will soon be the same list. Won’t that be convenient? I’ll bet highly organized people don’t have that going for them.

Some Things That Make Me Wonder

These are the days of miracle and wonder

My life seems to be full of things that make me wonder. Maybe it’s because I’m a curious person. I like to know why. Maybe I just need a life. Here’s some things that make me wonder.

I wonder why we need 25/8/366 news these days? I know there’s a lot more people on the earth these days, but was there less news 50 or 100 years ago? Is there more stuff going on now than there was then? Or does it just seem like there’s more stuff going on because there are more people trying to tell us what’s going on? I guess if we didn’t have so much news I wouldn’t have so many things to make me wonder.

I wonder what this guy was thinking? “Man, I gotta get to court on that stolen car rap. How am I gonna get there? Hey, I know, I’ll steal a car! Brilliant!” How’d that turn out for you? Well, at least you went viral. You got that going for you.

I wonder why there are so many prescription drug commercials on U.S. television? Oh, wait, yeah, I remember now. Because the U.S. and New Zealand are the only places where it’s legal to advertise pharmaceuticals direct to patients through popular media. And there’s only 4.7 million people in New Zealand. Nothing improves your ROI on that new scrip drug like a flashy U.S. television add campaign that panders to people’s fears and vanity. I wonder what would happen to the U.S. advertising industry if pharma adds and political adds were banned? Hmm.

I wonder why this is even allowed to happen. A public University health system says “We want you to have the best health care you’re willing to pay for. And if you can pay for our concierge plan, you’ll get yours first!” This should be illegal. Health is a basic human right. Like air. I wonder when someone will start selling that?

I wonder who thought we needed this ranking? North Dakota is the “Drunkest State in the U.S.” The population of North Dakota was 755,393 in 2017. I wonder if they’re all drunk?

I wonder why this post turned into Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. “Get off my lawn!”

You Can’t Compromise with the Uncompromising!

No! I won’t settle for less!

How strange! Today’s Daily Prompt is uncompromising. February 19th’s Daily Prompt was compromise. Here’s my bit from that day.

I still won’t compromise on my opinion on compromise! Which probably makes me uncompromising.

We should be uncompromising with ourselves. You should always passionately do your very best. Never settle for anything but your best. Never say to yourself “Oh, I suppose that will do.”

With all others, we should compromise. It’s how the world goes round. If you can’t compromise, you can’t live with others. And you have to live with others. There’s no other choice.

Throwback Thursday – March 8, 2018

All the content with half the work!

Greetings, esteemed reader(s). It’s rudyblues here. Time again for another edition of  everyone’s some people’s rudyblues’ favorite feature, Throwback Thursday! Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane (hopefully avoiding Alzheimer’s Alley) and check out a chestnut from the past.

ThrowbackThursdayAs some of you know (unwillingly, perhaps), Throwback Thursday is a recurring feature here at Rudy’s Ruminations. The intent is to reacquaint my gentle reader(s) with some of my earlier, unknown work. That and I’m looking for ways to keep slacking off.

Here’s how this Throwback Thursday thing works. I take this nifty boilerplate post I’ve created, add the date, a link to a previous post, and a short paragraph extolling the virtues of the previously unrecognized gem you have the opportunity to read. The Throwback Thursday post shows up in your reader stream, you click the link to the previous post, and you enjoy the (not so) great literary stylings of rudyblues. I get views, clicks, and possibly visits. You get . . .  well, I’m not exactly clear on what you get, I was hoping to come up with something more for you, perhaps later. So here we go.

What better subject matter for a retrospective feature than childhood memories. This is one I wrote back in 2015 as an exercise in using imagery to evoke a sense of place. I hope you enjoy it.

Grandma’s house