Friday, December 13, 2019

Beginning ~ with dictionaries and words

Kohei Araki had devoted his entire life — his entire working life — to dictionaries.  Words fascinated him, always had.

The Great Passage ~ by Shion Miura, 2011, fiction (Japan)
Kohei Araki believes that a dictionary is a boat to carry us across the sea of words.  But after thirty-seven years of creating dictionaries, it’s time for him to retire and find his replacement.  He discovers a kindred spirit in Mitsuya Majime — a young, disheveled square peg with a penchant for collecting antiquarian books and a background in linguistics — whom he swipes from his company’s sales department.  Along with an energetic, if reluctant, new recruit and an elder linguistics scholar, Majime is tasked with a career-defining accomplishment:  completing The Great Passage, a comprehensive 2,900-page tome of the Japanese language.  On his journey, Majime discovers friendship, romance, and an incredible dedication to his work, inspired by the words that connect us all.
In early 2018, I got nine free books for my Kindle that were set in nine different countries:
Today, I started on this novel about Japan.  I'm looking forward to it because I'm a word person.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.
Click this link for more book beginnings.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

12:12 on 12/12 — continued

Melvin, Bonnie, Dre, Karen, and Donna
Lunch at noon in the Café meant we could take group photos around the table at 12:12 pm on 12/12 to go with the full moon shot I posted twelve hours earlier.  So Karen and I pulled out our cellphone cameras.  Hers was better than mine, so thanks for letting me use it, Karen.

Full moon at 12:12 a.m. on 12/12 (Dec. 12)

Tonight's full moon is at its very fullest at exactly 12:12 a.m.  That's 12:12 on 12/12.  I'm not the only one that finds that fascinating.  Here's what the Farmers' Almanac said about it:
"December’s Cold Moon turns 100% full on December 12th (12/12) at 12:12 a.m. Eastern Time."
I had read that a day or so ago along with this picture with all the 12s.  So I made plans and waited until just after midnight to zip down on the elevator and out the door to take that photo above.  Hmmm, it took me a minute to find where the moon was in the sky.  I had to move out into the parking lot, away from our tall buildings, to see it almost directly over the Crown Center.  There's a single light visible on the eighth floor of the other building, so you can see a bit of the Crown Center in the dark.  I went in smiling and shared the "12/12 at 12:12" photo with the staff support fellow on the desk tonight and came home to post this on my blog.

First, I looked up Farmers' Almanac for a quote.  Oops!  I failed to notice "Eastern Time" in what I had read, so I snapped that shot an hour late.  Actually, an hour and one minute late, since the cell phone says it was 12:13 when I took it.  Oh, well, I challenge you to see a difference in brilliance in MY full moon picture, which is kind of blurry, anyway.  It's still 12:12 to me.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


This is a photograph of Chattanooga, my hometown.  That mountain over yonder is Lookout Mountain, and that's how far away yonder is.   At least in this example.  Yonder means "over there," so distance varies.  "Way down yonder in the land of cotton" is not necessarily within sight of the singer.  Flying "into the wild blue yonder" is a rather amorphous place — how high is the sky?

I've only used "yonder" once before on book blog, though I wrote about the word in 2010 on my word blog:  How far is yonder?  That's the blog where I write about words.  At the top, I say that Joyful Noiseletter is "an exuberant newsletter to myself about joyful things, like words, which I enjoy."

Friday, December 6, 2019

Melting cat

This melting cat is what I chose to leave at the top of my page when I stepped away from Facebook, from seeing pictures of traumatized children caged at our borders and one teen dying of the flu while caged, reading ad nauseam about a leader who cannot lead but has become a laughing stock mocked around the world, hearing about angry people, shootings, frustration, and lack of compassion and understanding.

My cat Clawdia in 2015
I'll spend time with my cat, looking out windows or brushing her or going for a walk, maybe even outside if it isn't too cold.

I'll leave you with this photo.  Laughing is good.  Can you see the cat?  Clawdia is black, but she seems to realize I cannot always see her.  She may not know she blends in like a shadow, but she somehow knows she's in danger on the floor and says "Mewp" when I walk in her direction.

Beginning ~ with perplexing thoughts

Opening Lines
"We spend a lot of time thinking about why people are bad.  Just as perplexing, maybe more perplexing, is why they are good."
Rambam's Ladder: A Meditation on Generosity and Why It Is Necessary to Give ~ by Julie Salamon, 2003, philosophy
Nearly a thousand years ago the great philosopher and physician Maimonides, known to Hebrew scholars as Rambam, pondered the question of righteousness.  Out of it came the Ladder of Charity.  In eight chapters, one for each rung, the book helps us navigate the world of giving.  How much to give?  How do we know if our gifts are being used wisely?  Is it better to give anony-mously?  The book reminds us on every page we are measured not by what we have, but by what we give.
I bought this book a couple of years ago, at a book sale, but I'm just now getting around to reading it.  I find it fascinating that the page opposite the first page of the Introduction, which has the sentences I quoted at the top of this post, has "The Ladder of Charity" with a list of the eight rungs with 1/Reluctance at the bottom of the page, like the first rung of a ladder.  Each chapter goes up a rung, as if the reader is climbing up the ladder to 8/Responsibility.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.
Click this link for more book beginnings.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Bokeh ~ a new word for me

Photo ©2019 by Nancy Horner, the Bookfool
Nancy, the Bookfool, posted this photo of her cat on Facebook, saying, "Second annual Cat with Christmas Tree Bokeh shot."  It isn't often I stumble upon a word new to me.  After 79 years of reading and being read to, I've run across a lot of words, after all.  So I looked it up.
In photography, bokeh (/ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə or /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay; Japanese:  [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens.  Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light."
"BOKEH" ... I like it ... and the great shot Nancy took of Fiona.  Thanks for letting me use it, Nancy.