Floof-si-do (floofinition) – a figure in which a human and animal pass each other foot (human) to shoulder (animal) or head, and circle each other as the pet tries for the human’s attention, and the human tries not to step upon or kick the animal.

In use: “He had a full plate of cheese and crackers in his hand, but that didn’t stop his pet from initiating a little kitchen floof-si-do.”

My New Holiday

I’ve decided that a new holiday is in order. Don’t worry, it’s a personal holiday. It shouldn’t affect you.

(“Then why do I care?” you respond. “Well,” I reply, “maybe you’ll want to adopt my holiday after you read about it. Maybe you’ll want to have your own personal holiday. You can, you know.”)

National holidays are often so impersonal for me any longer. Commercialization, false patriotism, and cynicism have ground them down. Yeah, I get some credit for all that.

I was watching QI on BritBox the other night. As part of the program, Sandi Toksvig told about a Bolivian holiday, the Day of the Sea. A landlocked nation, Bolivia remembers the day they lost access to the sea. Here’s a little history about it from Boliviabella.com.

What initially detonated the conflict was Bolivia’s intention to charge a 10-cent tax per 100-pounds of potassium nitrate (saltpeter) harvested by Chilean companies in the Atacama Desert. The Chilean government did not accept this Bolivian decision and ordered its troops to invade the Bolivian regions of Antofagasta and Calama, where Bolivia had no military presence and most of the population was of Chilean descent.

It is because of the Battle of Calama that today we celebrate the Day of the Sea. With just under a hundred soldiers, Commanders Eduardo Abaroa (Bolivian) and Ladislao Cabrera (Peruvian) faced over 500 Chilean soldiers. Abaroa was obstinately defending a small bridge over the Topáter River, when on the 23rd of March 1879 the Chileans ordered him to surrender. His response was “Me, surrender? Tell your grandmother to surrender!” after which he was promptly shot dead.

I was instantly inspired. No, I wasn’t planning to shot anyone nor get shot or go to war. Let’s put all that to rest.

I love beaches, seas, and oceans. When I lived in California, my wife and I made a habit of visiting a little town, Half Moon Bay, almost every weekend. Situated on the Pacific coast south of San Francisco, it had wonderful beach access. Walking along the beach was permitted, and the town had restaurants, coffee shops, and book stores that we enjoyed. When it came to buy a house, we decided we’d buy one there. Hearing and smelling the ocean every day was wonderful. I’d get home from work and walk down there to check it out. Sometimes my wife would accompany me.

Moving to Ashland in southern Oregon meant giving up easy beach and ocean access. So, last night I decided to celebrate my beach and ocean addiction on a personal holiday once a year. Since I moved to Ashland in July, I decided my holiday will be on July first.

And like the people of Bolivia, I’ll stop doing everything and listen to the sounds of the oceans for ten minutes, and remember.


The Truth

He repeated something that his wife had told him. “I never said that,” she said before anyone else could speak.

Indignation rose. Yes, you did, he began to say, but considered, maybe he’d heard it wrong. Maybe he was mis-remembering. Or maybe she’d said it wrong. Perhaps she didn’t remember saying it, or the people that told her had told her wrong. Or maybe she’d incorrectly remembered what she’d been told and then told him wrong, but didn’t remember it.

The only way to resolve this would be record and index everything so that he could go back and know exactly what was said. 

Yeah, right. Who had time for that?

He smiled. “Sorry. I guess I got it wrong.”

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music is a surprising turn for me. I blame my dreams.

I had a cluster of dreams last night that shared the theme of saving. I saved some people and animals in a few dreams, but I was also saved, most memorably once by a Jack Russell terrior. The dog led me out of what appeared to be a benign situation. After I thanked him, he left.

Keeping with the weirdness of all that, I awoke thinking, “And it said so in my dreams.” I immediately knew that line from “Candida”, a hit song by Tony Orlando and Dawn back in July 1970. I never had one of their albums, but they were immensely popular in the early seventies. That popularity translated to a lot of AM and FM radio play and appearances on television shows — or did the radio play and appearances on television shows lead to immense popularity? Either way, I heard them often. Pop culture tends to be like that.


Floofsage (floofinition) – a housepet’s kneading and rubbing of body surface areas.

In use: “Whenever and wherever he got on his stomach, his dog, who wasn’t small, humped on his back and gave him a floofsage by walking in place on him.”


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