Monthly Archives: April 2021

NYT Spelling Bee 4-22-21 final

Some cool news is that Calah has been featured on the American Nurses Association\California (the backslash is their stylistic choice) twitter account and website. How awesome is that!


Meatier Misses

ABBACY: The office or period of office of an abbot or abbess.
BACILLI: Every damn time!

Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis)

BICYCLIC: Chemistry Having two rings of atoms in its molecule.
LIMBIC: of, relating to, or being the limbic system of the brain

Today’s summary

Final score: 34 words for 135 points.
Genius minimum: 134 points.
First word: POTBELLY.
Pangram: POTBELLY.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-21-21 final

Wednesday night means another episode of The Prisoner. But tonight we did two episodes. Now, we’d started this Wednesday night show with episodes of Twin Peaks, and once that ended, we tried other things and ended up here. It’s feeling like The Prisoner will leave us in a similar place. I’ve proposed following this show up with The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. Thoughts?

Yesterday I missed ABRACADABRA, BRAD, and RADAR.

Meatier Misses

DRAY: A truck or cart for delivering beer barrels or other heavy loads, especially a low one without sides. I’ve missed this one before, and the pictures are great.

Modern Dray? Marvin Drey? Muffin Tray? A tax man?

DRYAD: (in folklore and Greek mythology) a nymph inhabiting a forest or a tree, especially an oak tree. This is different from a NAIAD, which I have gotten more recently!

Today’s summary

Final score: 25 words for 120 points.
Genius minimum: 120 points.
First word: CYMBAL.
Pangram: AMICABLY.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-20-21 final

Guilty. Appropriate.


Meatier Misses

ELEGY: A poem of serious reflection, typically a lament for the dead.
LAYETTE: A set of clothing, linens, and sometimes toiletries for a newborn child.

With these, who can even remember the rest of the set?

TATTY: informalĀ Worn and shabby; in poor condition.
YEGG: A burglar or safecracker.

From etymonline:

yegg (n.)

also yegg-man, 1901, a word popular in the first decade of the 20th century and meaning vaguely “hobo burglar; safe-breaker; criminal beggar.”

The great majority [of the Chicago criminal population] are what certain detectives call “Yegg-men,” which is a term, by the way, that the detectives would do well to define. As far as I can discover it means tramp-thieves, but the average tramp seldom uses the word. Hoboes that break safes in country post-offices come under the Yegg-men classification. [McClure’s Magazine, February 1901]

Popularized by the Pinkerton agency detectives. The 1900 “Proceedings of the 26th annual convention of the American Bankers’ Association,” whose members were protected by the Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, reported a letter dated Nov. 23 or 24, 1899, returning $540, taken earlier that year, to the Scandinavian-American Bank of St. Paul, Minn., noting that the thieves had been so hounded by detectives that they gave up the gains and advised the bank to advertise that it was a member of the American Bankers Association, because “the American Bankers Association is too tough for poor ‘grafters.'” The letter supposedly was signed “John Yegg,” but this was said to be a pseudonym and the report identified the man arrested later in the case as William Barrett.

Today’s summary

Final score: 20 words for 68 points.
Genius minimum: 64 points.
First word: BACKYARD.
Pangram: BACKYARD.

Woodworking: First-ever cushions project (Part 4)

I had struggled to get a clean, chamfered edge with sandpaper. I learned that I really should have been using a plane all along.

I found some planes specifically for chamfering on Amazon. YOU PROBABLY DO NOT NEED THIS PLANE.

Buying the plane wasn’t necessarily a bad decision because it taught me why I should not have bought this plane. It also reinforced the idea that if there are a bunch of products that look identical and have the same spelling errors in the descriptions, go for the absolute cheapest one because there won’t be a different.

It was $9.99 when I bought it. Now it’s up to $17.99.

It’s not that the plane itself is bad or that the concept is bad, it’s that the plane itself is bad and the execution is bad.

It’s not nearly sharp enough, the bubble level feature is beyond useless because it accomplishes nothing and makes you wonder why it’s there. And since it won’t break easily, it gives no immediate reason throw it away.

What attracted me to it is that it’s got a consistent 45 degree angle for chamfering. No attention has to be paid to make sure you’ve got a consistent angle, and you can take off material consistently along the edge because the blade encroaches on the corner at a fixed depth relative to the corner guides.

The problem is that the edge guides rub against the rest of the wood. That both leaves a mark and creates resistance that is annoying.

This plane was a better purchase. The blade is sharper (and easier to sharpen when that becomes necessary), and it’s substantially more comfortable to hold.

I started off with what I’d managed to get out of the chamfer-specific plane.

I then took more material off pretty quickly.

And then more. Rotating it as I went to get all the sides.

I’m very happy with the small plane for this kind of work.

The rounded edges made me feel comfortable that I could wrap fabric around without causing tears.

But which fabric?

More next week.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-19-21 final

So the jury literally is out on the Chauvin case. Lots of activity in the sky tonight in LA. Helicopters are very loud. And now people are testing out drones. Were you aware that Beverly Hills has an Office of Emergency Management? I had not been.

I got to genius level today, but as has been the case with benadryl, last night’s sleep happened, and my symptoms were addressed, but it was not restful sleep.


Meatier Misses

APIARIAN: related to a place where bees are kept/beehives. I saw a tree at Temescal Canyon Park this past weekend that was all abuzz. I decided not to continue down that trail.
PARADOR.A hotel in Spain owned and administered by the Spanish government.

Wow. It’s like a hotel–but in SPAIN!

RIPARIAN: Relating to or situated on the banks of a river.

Today’s summary

Final score: 22 words for 115 points.
Genius minimum: 113 points.
First word: GIGGLY.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-18-21 final

Today in LA it was about 90. Yesterday Google said that it would be that today–an increase of 17 degrees. So today it was hot and windy and dry, and now I’m sneezing and feel like I’m drowning. To make matters worse, today’s Spelling Bee was absurd. You’ll have to pardon me for the lack of creativity in this post. My head is throbbing, and I’m going to take a benadryl. Benefits of benedryl for me: I can fall asleep, and my allergies can clear up overnight. Downside is that the sleep I get is not restful. So I take it only when absolutely necessary. Sooooo, exceedingly rarely.

Yesterday I missed JUJU, LUAU, LULU, LUNA, ULNA, and ULNAR.

Meatier Misses

ANNULAR: Ring-shaped.
JOURNO: informal A journalist.
LUNULA: The white area at the base of a fingernail.

Today’s summary

Final score: 29 words for 126 points.

UPDATE: 30 words for 131 points. Head throbbing.

Genius minimum: 132 points.
First word: PARANOID.

King of the Hill joke!

NYT Spelling Bee 4-17-21 final

Calah and I have been watching seasons of The Amazing Race. Now we’re on in Season 7, and there’s an episode in Argentina where they have to ride horses. They keep saying, “Horsing around,” and all I can think about is:

BoJack Horseman

Yesterday I missed DOWNWIND. I had a high school teacher who repeatedly made the joke: “What did Louis XVI say when he was told he peasants are revolting? ‘Stand upwind, and you won’t notice!'” French Revolution jokes can be funny the first time, they get funny again at the 135th time. If you are questioning me about that, try it! The people around you will make you believe.

Meatier Misses

HOODOO: A religion practiced in parts of the Caribbean and the southern US and characterized by sorcery and spirit possession; voodoo.
WIDOWHOOD: The state or period of being a widow or widower.

Today’s summary

Final score: 14 words for 68 points.
Genius minimum: 68 points.
First word: RURAL.
Pangram: JOURNAL.

Saturday baseball series 4-17-21

Last week I said I should start a series about baseball. Baseball and series seem to go together naturally. So why not?

This series will cover things like the rules of baseball over time, my experiences playing baseball, my experiences broadcasting baseball, and my experiencing broadcasting overall.

When I went to UCSB, I took the opportunity to broadcast sports. The origin story will be in some future post, but this one, I’ll limit to to broadcasting baseball.

When I the KCSB-FM Sports Staff, I was very interested in broadcasting baseball. I had played baseball as a child, in high school, Senior Little League, an LA municipal league. I grew up watching the Dodgers and listening to Vin Scully. I was born shortly before the Dodgers won the World Series in 1988, and until recently, it was easy to recite how long it had been since the boys in blue had been able to hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Unfortunately for me, there was a lot of competition on KCSB Sports staff for baseball games.

Fortunately for the listeners of KCSB, though, there was a lot of competition on KCSB Sports staff for baseball games, and I had no seniority.

I got to cover games for the Gaucho Sports Spot, which was awesome. I sat near the guys who were calling the games for the radio station. Regularly, they were John Greely and Matt Connolly and I think Marco Alfandary. I could be wrong. But I think it was those three.

That’s not to say that these guys were selfish. They weren’t. KCSB Sports was known for being welcoming and inclusive. But with more time comes more experience that makes you better, so priority makes sense–especially for the big games.

They’d have their headphones on and talk about the game. They’d reference other games and statistics and they’d compare what was going on in front of all of us to something that had happened in a prior year.

Now, I knew that to broadcast sports properly, research was extremely important.

You don’t know what you’ll be faced with, so you have to overprepare. And then use a miniscule amount of what you found because it doesn’t enhance a listener’s experience to talk about something unrelated to the game solely because it’s the result of research.

I knew that the written play-by-play of each game is generally easily available on a college team’s website, but who can remember every single play from reading that and put it into context in real time?

After one game, I asked them how they did it.

“Huh? Research those stories? No, we were there. We saw those things happen. Dude how could we have known to look that up?”

Later I got to do the same.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-16-21 final

I’ve started to stream Rocket League on Twitch. I set up my computer to capture my PS4 controller in addition to my screen. When it works, it adds to the fun of watching me play the game. I’ve had up to two spectators at one time, I think. Pretty good for someone new to streaming on twitch! I think I’d probably have more viewers if I talked during the games, but I don’t have my mic on, so that’s how it goes.


Meatier Misses


Doxxing is like a personal major earthquake.

If you’re unfamiliar with doxxing, it’s when someone maliciously posts information about a person that can help people who aren’t that person’s friends to identify any combination of that person, that person’s family, and that person’s friends. It’s a very unkind thing to do.

Just like how small earthquakes happen frequently in general, so do mean comments/replies.

The difference between The Big One and doxxing is that the latter doesn’t have to happen.

Today’s summary

Final score: 19 words for 66 points
Genius minimum: 62 points.
First word: LOWDOWN.
Pangram: DOWNHILL.

NYT Spelling Bee 4-15-21 final

Netflix’s The Circle is back! Calah and I have watched the first installment of four episodes, and it’s not the same as the first season. I think it was smart of Netflix to avoid trying to replicate the magic of Joey and Shooby. It would have fallen flat. I don’t know how they lucked into having those two on the first season. But this second season is different. It’s good in its own right. Worth watching.

Yesterday I–wow! I missed the pangram and didn’t even know it. Hmm. Well, the pangram was NONALCOHOLIC. No wonder I missed it? I also missed AIOLI (again), CALLALAOO, CANONICAL, CILIA, LANOLIN, LOIN, NONCLINICAL, NONILLION, and NONLOCAL.

Meatier Misses

COLCANNON: An Irish and Scottish dish of cabbage and potatoes boiled and pounded. Just sounds Old World to me.

OK, maybe it doesn’t look Old World. Also seems interesting. But probably for other people and not for me.

LOACH: A small elongated bottom-dwelling freshwater fish with several barbels near the mouth, found in Eurasia and northwestern Africa.

For just $10, it’s cheap! Or expensive. I don’t know how much they cost elsewhere.

Today’s summary

Final score: 23 words for 138 points.
Genius minimum: 136 points.
First word: ZONING.
Final word: NOGGIN.