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Stuff Covered in Snow, Part I: Spavined



  1. Lansing Priest says

    Hey! It looks like you got some newer siding on the homestead. And the phone cable spools…what a find! Things are looking up for you.

    • Yeah, we moved them in already – and we finally have a dining room table – well, at least part of one.

      I also found (not pictured) an old ice machine which serves as a great home entertainment center. So every Saturday night we put our pit bulls Bubba and Ray in the machine and then throw a rat in with’ em which we fished out of the Safeway dumpster from the day before and, oh my, it’s all kinds of fun seeing seeing ’em get all rowdied up over that poor rat…


  2. The front door opens from the outside.

    No one gets out unless I say so.

  3. You are all having a good laugh, but my dad DID in fact get those spools for tables once. Of course, he didn’t go to no fancy book learnin’ place like STA.

    Although he did go to Cal.


    You brought back memories. Thanks.

    • Wait. You think I’M kidding?

      Nine kids later and you don’t, you know, go to no frickin’ Ikea, you know what I mean?

      This ain’t nude furniture – it’s furniture that’s done got skinned alive…


  4. The hole in the middle makes a nice ashtray.

  5. The Malaise says

    Tables are now being manufactured which look like cobbler’s benches but are not. – Walker Percy.

  6. Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

    ‘Spavined’! It was Dr Walker Percy’s Dr Thomas More who taught me that bit of vocab, describing a broken-down old car in Love in the Ruins.

    • The Oxford says that it means, “of horses.”

      See Somerville’s The Bald Bachelor, “A mare…Though she be spavin’d, old and blind, With founder’d feet, and broken wind.”

      Hey, I represent that comment.

      • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

        Interesting that Somerville rhymes ‘wind’ (meaning ‘moving air’, not ‘encircling with coils’) with ‘blind’.

        Catholicish dead poet J. Dryden, in his English translation of the Aeneid, rhymes the word ‘wind’ (for ‘moving air’) with each of the following:
        ‘design’d’, and — with seemingly lazy frequency —

        Dryden died around 1700; Somerville flourished until the 1740s, so Wikipedia says. I wonder, idly, whether English-speakers during their lifetimes pronounced ‘wind’ (for ‘moving air’) as a perfect rhyme for ‘blind’, ‘mind’, etc. — and, if they did, when and where they stopped doing so.

        • The Malaise says

          Your thoughts are mighty windy.

          • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

            Thanks. That’s a high compliment indeed, in the context of Biblical symbolism.

            • The venerable Timothy Steele in his book on rhythm and rhyme “All the Fun’s in How You Say a Thing” has the definitives on your point:

              “…the key issue in rhyme is similarity of sound rather than of orthography. Words rhyme if they are pronounced alike, even if they are not spelled alike. Conversely, words that are spelled alike but pronounced differently (eg. bough/trough) are customarily not considered rhymes, or are categorized among he second basic type of rhyme.

              “This second typoe comprises several species of partial rhyme. One of the variant species is…’eye rhyme,’ a kind of rhyme based on visual rahter than audial identity. In some cases (e.g. love/prove) what are currently eye rhymes formerly rhymed for the ear as well. As a kind of license, these rhymes have been conventionally allowed in English versification long after they have ceased to rhyme for the ear. (Other words that were at earlier stages of our language pronounced differently than they are today include “join” and “tea”: in the Augustan Age (Pope/Dryden) these rhymed with “line” and “day” respectively.”

              Now what I find interesting about all this is the fact that Mark Van Doren argues that Pope and Dryden’s use of the heroic couplet are the best representation in English of the “register” of the dactylic hexameter employed by Homer – translated by Pope – and Vergil – translated by Dryden. (The rhythm in each of Homer’s lines in the original Greek ended with the basic “shave and a hair cut” beat (dah dah-dah dah dah dah-dah). I’m not sure about Vergil’s Latin, however). At any rate, these different pronunciations in English that Steele mentions add a further layer – at least in the case of Homer, anyway, to Van Doren’s argument. To the extent that the Greek that Homer wrote in was the Ionic dialect, Aristotle and Plato would no doubt have found the constructions and pronunciations as queer as we find some of Pope’s and Dryden’s in their heroic couplets, that is, if we accept Steele’s account of English rhyme.


  7. Although there is something about a mystical number forming triangles at table.

    Whatever that means.

    And Byron, “Ere the spavin’d dactyls could be spurr’d Into recitative.”

    Truly, that is the quote including the capital I.

  8. That must be why.

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