Word Challenge


For Christmas a couple of years ago I got a set of Scrabble tiles with magnets on the back (thanks Bro!). At the time we did not have a refrigerator with a magnetic face. Ours was the one that came with our house when we bought it–it had wood face to match the cabinets. When we had to replace the refrigerator we had magnet capability. So up went the letters.

We keep shifting them around, spelling new words, or sometimes arranging them in ways that make “words” if you know what I mean (Thwand?). Lately I have been trying my hand at my own challenge.

First, know that there is only one tile for each letter–26 tiles for 26 letters. The challenge is to use all the letters in words with none left over. It can be any number of words and the words have to be common usage words. It is not a difficult challenge to understand, mind you, but accomplishing it has proved a struggle.

The photo above is a pretty good attempt; only two letters are left over. That Q, with its typical U pairing, isn’t making it easy. I was pretty proud of Blintz as it uses three consonants in a row. That is a win.

If you can do this better, let me know. I want to know if it is possible. And if so, what words. I’ll keep trying, of course. Those letters aren’t going anywhere for a while.

War Words

I have been following the events in Ukraine these days, wondering a lot about what is happening and what will happen. Could work out fine. Could be tragic. Let’s hope for the former.

I heard this on the radio today: “Russia is threatening the peace in the region.” It occurred to me that this a phrase where its opposite means the same.

To threaten peace means to put in danger the calm that currently exists.

To threaten war is to suggest that the current peace may soon end through aggressive action.

Either way, the situation isn’t a good one.

Back in the Saddle

So today I hurried back to the grind of working a job after a couple weeks of holiday vacation.  It was, as they say in the taciturn parts of this state, not a bad thing to be off for so long.  While it wasn’t bad to get started again, I hopped into the saddle with some trepidation.

I don’t mean trepidation as in “It’s been so long I am a little scared I won’t know what to do or where to go.”  I mean it more in the “Dang it is awfully nice not to have to work for someone else or really to have to work at all and boy wouldn’t it be great if I could keep all this material greatness and quit the day job?” sense.  That is the kind of trepidation I mean.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to fit one long, uncommonly uttered word into just a few sentences of something more than one person will read at least three times.  Check that off my list.  If we can jump to the meta-cognition level here, when except over the holidays, when I can sleep in until 7:30 (7:30!) for three days straight, would I ever have the idea encompassed in the previous sentence?  See what I mean?  Not working means thinking deep thoughts, thoughts that can only come when one truly relaxes.

Alas, I was back to the work thing today.  I did watch it snow from the warm side of the window.  That was, and I’m not afraid of being called effeminate or even (heavens!) a pansy if I use the word, lovely.  Then I drove home on the icy and slippery asphalt, hands clenched on the wheel, sweating in the down jacket I both didn’t need and forgot to take off in my haste to get to the post office, slowly.

The saddle in which I returned my physical self was metaphorical, of course.  I’m no wrangler.  I’m no jockey.  I can’t even really call myself a desk jockey anymore, although I did spend way too much time sitting today.  My saddle was a chair in this case.  At the end of the day I rode off into the screen saver sunset, bouncing along peacefully on the pneumatic riser of the padded office seat.  It was a lovely way to end the day.  And a lovely way to start the week.