The Lighter Side of JzB

Here you will find photos, poetry, and possibly some light-hearted foolishness. For the Heavier Side
of JzB
see my other blog,
Retirement Blues. (There be dragons!)

I claim copyright and reserve all rights for my original material of every type and genre.

Every day visits*
From Moose, Goose, and Orb Weaver
All seized by Haiku

"Why moose and goose?" you may ask. Back on 2/04/13 Pirate wrote a haiku with an elk in it, and I responded with
one with a moose and then included him every day. A few days later in comments Mystic asked "Where's the goose?"
So I started including her with this post on 2/07. A week later on the 14th, Mark Readfern
asked for and received a spider. The rest is history.

*Well, most days, anyway. Grant me a bit of poetic license.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014 Gail Grabowski and Bruce Venzke

Theme: PO BOX.  The theme answers are all two word entries beginning with the letter P and ending with the letter O, so that the P and O BOX in the other letters - a type of book end theme.

18 A. System with a Porte de Versailles station : PARIS METRO.   The rapid transit system of Paris, France, with 16 lines consisting of 133 miles of rail and 303 stations.

25 A. Instrument using rolls : PLAYER PIANO.   A mechanically driven piano whose playing is controlled by perforated paper rolls.  Sales peaked in 1924, then fell off as phonograph record and radio broadcast music became more common.

47 A. In the U.S., it has more than 950 stations : PUBLIC RADIO.  Radio broadcasting whose primary mission is public service.  Funding sources include license fees, individual contributions, public financing and commercial financing.

63 A. Pasta sauce ingredient : PLUM TOMATO.  A type of oval tomato well suited for sauce making because it is denser and has fewer seed compartments than other tomatoes. Roma is a well known variety. 

And the unifier - 55 D. Many a bus. address, and a literal hint to 18-, 25-, 47- and 63-Across : P. O. BOX.  A Post Office BOX is a locked box with a unique address located at a post office.  Many countries do not have door to door delivery, and this is the only way residents can receive mail.

 All the theme answers are straight forward, in-the-language phrases with easily recognizable meanings.  No humor or twists this time.

Hi gang, and rabbit rabbit.  JzB here.  Let's see what the rest of this posting has for us.


1. Lollobrigida of film : GINA. An Italian film star of the 50's, perhaps best known for her ample bosom, who went on to become a photographer and journalist.

5. Just for laughs : IN FUN.  For kicks and giggles.

10. Stand watch for, say : ABET.  Assist in a criminal activity

14. Kosher food carrier : EL AL.  Israeli airline.

15. Half a classic comedy team : MEARA. Anne, along with husband Jerry Stiller.  They are also the parents of actors Ben Stiller and Amy Stiller.

16. Sound from an Abyssinian : PURR.  Cat stuff.

17. Twice-monthly tide : NEAP.  This tide occurs when the moon is in first or third quarter, and the the gravitational forces of sun and moon are operating at right angles, and thus oppose each other.  This is the time when the difference between high and low tides is the least.

20. Not pure : UNCHASTE.  CHASTE refers either to sexual abstinence or being austere and unadorned. UNCHASTE is the opposite.   But some of the most UNCHASTE are the most chased.  Go figure.

22. Respectful bow : CURTSY.  Specifically a type of bow performed by a female in which the knee is bent [in a gesture of submission] while the head is bowed, distinct from the male bow at the waste.

23. Flower part : SEPAL. Anatomy of a bud.

24. River blocker : DAM.

33. Acapulco dough : PESO.  Mexican money.

37. Six-Day War statesman : EBAN.  Originally Aubrey Solomon, born in So. Africa, Feb 2, 1915, died in Tel Aviv, Nov 17, 2002.

38. Ending for bobby : SOXER.  A teen age girl or young woman following the fashion fad of the 40's and 50's that included rolled down white socks with saddle shoes, loafers or oxfords.  The poodle skirt was an optional accessory.

39. Tech support caller : USER. Of computer hardware and software.

40. Long Island airport town : ISLIP.  Near the middle of the south shore.

42. "What __ you thinking?" : WERE.  Well, sometimes I have these brain fades . . .

43. NFLer until 1994 : L A RAM.  The Rams were in Cleveland from 1937 to 1945.  They moved to L.A. in 1946, and thence to St. Louis in 1994.  I guess I'd rather see NFLer in the clue than the fill.

46. Fusses : ADOS

50. Defective firecracker : DUD.  Actually, anything that fails to work properly, and is unsatisfactory or useless.

51. Defeat decisively : WHOMP.

56. Most joyful : GAYEST.  In an earlier, simpler time.

60. Vegas hotel known for its fountains : BELLAGIO.

65. Bacon buy : SLAB.  Rasher doesn't fit.

66. Longfellow's "The Bell of __" : ATRI.  Too long to quote in full and too run-on to excerpt.  You can read it here.

67. Knighted golf analyst : FALDO.  Sir Nicholas Alexander Faldo (born 18 July 1957) has 40 professional wins to his credit, including 30 on the European tour, three British opens, and three Masters.  In 2006 he became the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports.

68. Fictional submariner : NEMO.  From Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Beneath the Sea.

69. Nursery supply : SOIL.  It's a dirty job.

70. Impose unjustifiably : FOIST.

71. Cereal "for kids" : TRIX.


1. Biological group : GENUS.  A principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family.

2. Graff of "Mr. Belvedere" : ILENE. She played Marsha Owens, the wife of Bob Uecker's character, George.

3. Anti-discrimination org. : NAACP. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  

4. Dominant, among animals : ALPHA.  The leader of the pack.

5. Rascals : IMPS. Little devils

6. In order : NEAT. On this blog, it means without ice.

7. Cab __ : FARE.  The price of transportation.

8. Ocean State coll. : URI. University of Rhode Island.

9. Daytona 500 org. : NASCARNational Association for Stock Car Auto Racing.  What's a little redundancy when you're going 195 miles per?

10. One making impressions : APER.  Impressions being the actions of mimicking someone. Thus, an APER is a copy cat. 

11. Intrude, with "in" : BUTT.  To push into a conversation, frex, when not invited, from the head butting actions of  [not necessarily the L. A.]  rams.

12. Blunders : ERRS.  Goofs, drops the ball.

13. "Iliad" setting : TROY. Ancient city in northwest Anatolia [modern Turkey] south of the western end of The Dardenelles.

19. Childhood ailment, typically : MUMPS.  A viral disease characterized by painful swelling of the salivary glands.  Usually it's not serious, but some uncommon complications can be.

21. Wildspitze, for one : ALP. European mountain.

24. Didn't allow : DENIED.

26. Aromatic garland : LEI.  Does everyone who goes to Hawaii get LEIed?

27. Ridiculous : ABSURD.

28. 1945 conference city : YALTA.  Feb 4 - 11.   Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, And Joseph Stalin met to discuss Europe's post WW II reorganization.

29. Home to Cedar Falls and Cedar Rapids : IOWA.

30. Chopped down : AXED.

31. "I, Claudius" role : NERO.  Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December 37 – 9 June 68) was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

32. Unrefined finds : ORES.

33. Juicer refuse : PULP.  The stringy content of the fruit’s endocarp, from which the juice is removed.

34. Son of Isaac : ESAU.  He sold his birthright to his twin brother for a bowl of red pottage.  Nothing good came of this.

35. Belgrade native : SERB.  Belgrade is the capital and largest city in Serbia.

36. Like some presentations : ORAL.   Spoken

41. Letters on tires : PSI.  Pressure, in Pounds per Square Inch.

44. Center : MIDST.   Like this

48. Discontinued : CUTOFF.

49. Nocturnal bird of prey : OWL.

52. Lacks : HASN'T.

53. Obvious flirt : OGLER.  To OGLE is to stare in a lecherous manner.  Not sure this is quite the same thing as flirting.

54. Biscayne Bay city : MIAMI.  Florida.

56. Data in coll. transcripts : GPAsGrade Point Averages.

57. Middle harmony choral part : ALTO.   From the bottom up bass, tenor, ALTO, soprano.

58. Doctor Zhivago : YURI.  His given name

59. Jannings of "The Blue Angel" : EMIL. He received the first Oscar ever presented, for Best Actor in 1929.

60. Indonesian resort island : BALI

61. LAX data : ETDsEstimated Time of Departure.  Or arrival.  Always need perp help.

62. Burglar's haul : LOOT

64. "Little Red Book" writer : MAO.  Zedong or Tse-tung, depending on how the Chinese is anglicized  (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976.)  He fonuded the Paople's Repubilic of China in 1949, which he ruled until his death.  He was either a great leader who modernized China or a brutal dictator, depending on one's point of view.

Thus ends this missive.  Hope you all enjoyed it.

Cool regards!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Trolling The Cosmos for Breadcrumbs........

Heteromost presents a scenario where we are put in a position to ask an allegedly unlikely wise savant, "What is the universal truth."

Our task is to fabricate his answer.

Certainly, this can not be given in any straightforward manner.  It must be as enigmatic as an ancient prophecy whose meaning can only be teased out with deep and inspired thought.

Such a task is beyond me, of course.  But why let a detail like that get in the way?

So, from the mouth of our sage, these words:

yes life is precious
but alas not all of it
what does your heart say

Imaginary Garden With Real Toads

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Carpe Diem #569, Corn

an insect buzzes
up against the corn stalk
on the cob a web

Carpe Diem #569, Corn

Carpe Diem "Little Creatures" #6, Lizard

Today's challenge is to write a haiku in 5-7-5 form about a lizard.

I like working in the structured format.  Here's version 1.

patient orb weaver
waits for the next fat insect
then comes the lizard

Best laid plans of mice and spiders.   But the last line too closely echoes my apple haiku, and I don't want to get into a rut. Plus, "fat" is superfluous - it's just in there to hit the syllable count.

Then I remembered first-third line interchangeability, so I wanted to bring that into it.

spider's epiphany
as then next insect arrives
the lizard is pleased

Lizard might be pleased, but I'm not.  Spider's epiphany is a reach too far, and somehow this just doesn't sit right.

trapped insect panics
in orb weaver's silken threads
lizard licks his lips

Well, that's better, I think.  Not good, perhaps, but better.

Carpe Diem "Little Creatures" #6, Lizard

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Carpe Diem #568, Apples

I just read Kristjan's JUST READ post, then read the prompt for this post.  Help me if I've got this wrong, but I think Jane Reichold's apple haiku are way off the mark.  Are they stark and detached observations, or do they depend on sentimentality?  Only the first of the three can possibly be viewed as a brief moment in time.  Like the other two, it is a vivid image, but I see no deeper meaning there, or even a particularly sparkling insight.  The second one strikes me as being both twee and trite - very unlike the CROW haiku of Basho.  The third is the best.  It might have a deeper meaning [though I can't tease it out] and a touch of irony, but it seems to have two caesura when there should only be one.  Am I too harsh, or flat out wrong?  Let me know in comments.

one apple hangs where
leaves have abandoned the branch
now comes the squirrel

Carpe Diem #568, Apples 



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #26,

In this episode, Jen of Blog It Or Lose It tells us -

Rather than elaborate upon the poem, I’d like to know what the poem means to *you*.  

Can you envision the stars, the brown grass at the trees' feet, the liberation of being "leafless"? 

What thoughts come to mind when *you* read the poem? 

           By Sarah Teasdale

ONE by one, like leaves from a tree,
All my faiths have forsaken me;
But the stars above my head
Burn in white and delicate red,
And beneath my feet the earth
Brings the sturdy grass to birth.
I who was content to be
But a silken-singing tree,
But a rustle of delight
In the wistful heart of night,
I have lost the leaves that knew
Touch of rain and weight of dew.
Blinded by a leafy crown
I looked neither up nor down -
But the little leaves that die
Have left me room to see the sky;
Now for the first time I know
Stars above and earth below.


Instead of literal stars and grass, what I see in this poem is someone coming to an epiphany - shedding ideas and concepts that are comfortable, sheltering and familiar, but blind one to the actual realities of life.

This could be getting over a love-is-blind fascination and seeing the object of one's affection as a real person with perhaps some stellar attributes, but also feet of clay.  Or it could be the death of love.

It could be the escape from a religious cult.

It could be zen enlightenment.

It could be loosing the blinders of hide-bound political ideology to see the consequences of bad policy.

In any event, what this poem means to me is coming to a new realization about some aspect of life in the real world that results from shedding whatever was binding and blinding one.

in that stark moment
of pain loss and confusion
suddenly I saw 

Carpe Diem Ghost Writer #26


Monday, September 22, 2014

Carpe Diem "Analyze that haiku" #2, "seeking for relief"

seeking for relief
aching of a broken heart -
love isn 't forever

© Chèvrefeuille

Analyze the haiku, try to tell the story behind the haiku ... let the given haiku come to life ... see it in front of your eyes ... feel it with all your senses ... be part of the haiku ... maybe it helps to read the haiku aloud more than twice ... try to come in touch with the haiku. Share your thoughts, your analysis with us all ... and try to write/compose a new haiku with the story you analyzed from the haiku.

I could make this very personal.

Instead, though, I'll talk about a scene from the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love. [You can see my review of it here]  Emily Watson [Julianne Moore] is driving slowly down a residential street with her husband Cal [Steve Carell] in the passenger seat, when she confesses to him that she is having an affair with David Lindhagen [Kevin Bacon], and now wants a divorce.  Cal's response is to open the car door and spill out into the street.

The rest of the convoluted plot weaves a web of relationships and proto-relationships involving Cal and Emily's family members.  One of the major sub-plots is Cal's attempt to find relief through an extended series of brief and meaningless affairs.

Through it all, though, he never gets over his love for Emily - at least not within the scope of the movie's time line.  Her feelings are not so clear.  So - though love isn't necessarily forever - it could be.  Then again, maybe not.

though that thing happened
I can't pinpoint the moment
I fell out of love

Carpe Diem "Analyze that haiku" #2, "seeking for relief"