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, September 23, 2015

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednseday, September 23, 2015, Jerry Wildenberg

Theme: Vowel progression.  The theme words have A, E, I, O, U, and even Y as their respective second letters, in each case surrounded by the letters L and N.

18. Aggressive property seizure : LAND GRAB.  Usually on a large scale, by a government, rich developer or trans-national corporation.

23. Red Square shrine : LENIN'S TOMB.  His embalmed body has been on display there since shortly after his death in 1924.

32. Pet hair picker-upper : LINT ROLLER.  A spindle-mounted roll of one-side adhesive paper used to pick up fibrous materials.

42. Green Hornet's great-uncle, with "The" : LONE RANGER.  Britt Reid, aka the Green Hornet, is the son of the LONE RANGER's orphaned nephew Dan Reid.  He's a newspaper publisher by day, and an incognito crime fighter by night.  Both characters originated at Detroit radio station WXYZ during the 30's.

52. Stretch between new moons : LUNAR MONTH.   Equal to 29.53059 days.

61. Sharp-sighted : LYNX EYED.  Similar to eagle-eyed or hawk eyed.  I was not at all familiar with this phrase, but it is legit.

Hi gang, It Jazzbumpa, your progressive host for today's linguistic excursion.  This simple theme is elegantly executed.  Let's see what else we can find.


1. Radiated joy : BEAMED.  With a smile that brightens your whole day.

7. "Hi and Lois" pooch : DAWG.

11. Fair grade : CEE.   Assuming the teacher grades fairly.

14. Smithy fixtures : ANVILS.  An ANVIL is a flat topped iron or steel block upon which metal objects can be hammered and formed.

15. Literary pen name : ELIA.   Charles Lamb first used this pseudonym for an essay on the South Sea House, where he had once worked.  He borrowed the name from an Italian coworker.

16. Half of a steep price? : ARM.   The other half is a leg.

17. Refused : SAID NO.

20. Video game pioneer : ATARI.

21. Unit to plow : ACRE.  Down on the farm.

22. Church section near the altar : APSE.   Oh-oh: religion. 

25. Suffix with church : GOER.   I thought it was two words, but the clue is correct.

26. Disdainful chorus : BOOS.  Sometimes accompanied by hisses.

27. Golden Fleece ship : ARGO.   Mythical ship named for it's builder, Argus.  In it, Jason and his crew, known as the Argonauts, sailed from Iolcos in search of the golden fleece. 

29. Campaign funding org. : PAC.  Political Action Committee.  Of which we may not speak.

37. Cope with change : ADAPT.  Don't get left behind.

40. Long-jawed fish : GAR.   Several species inhabit the waters of eastern North America, Central America and the Caribbean Islands.

41. Farm machinery giant : DEERE.  Nothing runs like a Deere.

45. Hit hard : RAM.

46. First-year law student : ONE L.   Also a novel about one at the Harvard Law School.

47. Word on some doors : PUSH.

50. Ship leader: Abbr. : CAPT.   I wanted CAP'N!

58. Away from port : ASEA.   Sailing, like Jason and the Argonauts.

59. Lots : A TON.   After the LAND GRAB, the developer was able to sell A TON of lots.

60. "Gone With the Wind" family name : O'HARA.  Gerald and Ellen and their daughters Katie Scarlett, Susan Elinor [Suellen,] Caroline Irene [Carreen] and three younger brothers who died as infants.

63. '80s-'90s Mets pitcher nicknamed "Dr. K" : GOODEN.   Dwight Eugene Gooden also played for the Yankees, then Cleveland, Houston and Tampa. The nickname comes from analogy to basketball's Dr. J. - Julius Irving, and the letter K, the standard baseball symbol for a strike out.   He led the National League in K's in as a rookie in 1984 and again in1985.  His later career was marred by drug and legal problems. He retired before the 2001 season with a record of 194-112.

64. Stan of Marvel Comics : LEE.   Stanley Martin Lieber [b Dec. 28, 1922] is an American writer and publisher of comic books, actor and television host.  He co-created Spiderman, The Hulk, and many other characters. 

65. Only : MERE.

66. Ancient Chinese divination text : I CHING.   Read all about it.

67. Violinists' sect. : STR.   Strings.

68. Binding vows : I DO's.    Marriage.

69. Summer wear : SHORTS.  Short pants.

1. __ reader: grade school text : BASAL.   Highly organized texts containing short stories, excerpts and original material, designed to improve reading skills.   The metabolism series only uses a minimal amount of energy.  [Full disclosure: I just made that up.]

2. Related maternally : ENATE.  A Latin-derived word.  Paternally related is AGNATE.

3. Birdlike : AVIAN.   Also from the Latin.  Any bird-brained relative is AVIATE.

4. Central vein of a leaf : MID RIB.  AKA primary venation.

5. Weather-affecting phenomenon : EL NINO.   This year's looks to be pretty large.  Expect warmer and drier winter conditions in the northern U.S. as far east as the Great Lakes basin; and cooler, wetter conditions for most of the South and up the East Coast almost to New England.

6. Brit. military decoration : DSO.   Distinguished Service Order, awarded for meritorious service, especially during combat.

7. Big name in auto parts : DELCO.  Originally Dayton Electrical Engineering Laboratories Co., founded by Charles Kettering and Edward Deeds in 1909.

8. Apprehension : ALARM.   The dreads.

9. Place to get a Cab : WINE BAR.   Cabernet Sauvignon. And after an evening there, take a taxi home.

10. Wander (about) : GAD.  Traveling in search of pleasure rather than a destination.

11. One sharing a ride : CAR POOLER.  Usually to and from school or work.

12. Rub off : ERASE.

13. Dying fire bit : EMBER.  Only you can prevent forest fires.

19. Honkers on the ground : GAGGLE.   A flock of five or more geese, not in flight.  In the air, they are a skein.

21. Punctuation in email addresses : AT SIGN.  This thing: @.  Technically, it is called "the commercial at."  It also has several nicknames, including snail and whirlpool.

24. Costa del __ : SOL.  The sun coast, comprising the towns and communities along the southern Spanish coast in the province of Malaga.

28. "The Twilight Zone" creator Serling : ROD.

29. Buddy : PAL.

30. Brouhaha : ADO.  It can be about nothing.

31. Kitchen gadget with a magnet : CAN OPENER.

33. Pester : NAG.

34. Rock-boring drill : TREPAN.  Used for sinking a shaft into the ground.  The term also refers to drilling holes in the cranium for medical purposes - a practice that goes back to neolithic times.

35. Historical period : ERA.  The ERA of TREPANATION continues.

36. Dream letters : REM.   Rapid Eye Movement.

38. Binoculars brand : PENTAX.

39. Otto minus cinque : TRE.   Italian numbers.  Also, 8, 5 and 3 are Fibonacci numbers.  Fibonacci was Italian.  Coincidence?  I think not!

43. Ameliorated : ALLAYED.  Improved something that is bad, as compared to relieved suspicion, fear or worry.  Near miss on the correspondence. 

44. Play about robots : RUR.   By the Czech writer Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti (Rossum’s Universal Robots).  The play premiered in 1921, and introduced the word robot to the world.   Rossum's robots were artificial people made from synthetic organic material, capable of independent thought.  In the end, they revolt and destroy humanity.  I doubt that the phrase "I'll be back" was spoken.

48. Kiss : SMOOCH.

49. Sounds of seasonal joy : HO-HO-HO.   Santa calling.

50. Phones : CALLS.   Santa doesn't usually do it this way.

51. Up to this moment : AS YET.

53. Unborn, after "in" : UTERO.   Within the uterus.

54. Points of connection : NODES.

55. Apex antonym : NADIR.   High and low points, respectively.

56. Lott from Mississippi : TRENT.  Career politician from 1968 through 2007; since then a professional lobbyist, and a near-clecho with 59A.   This month, I am plagued by politics.

57. Puts on a hook : HANGS.

62. Brit. recording giant : EMI.

63. Enlistees, briefly : GI's.   Initialism for Government Issue, referring to army soldiers and air force airmen, and occasionally marines and sailors when the yare not ASEA.  Originally, the reference was to Galvanized Iron in the military inventory and supply records for such metal equipment as trash cans.

Well, that wraps it up.  We were able to progress all the way to the end.  Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Cool Regards!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

L.A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, September 9, 2015, Pawel Fludzinski and Amy E. Hamilton

Theme: It's another Wednesday, By Cracky!   We are presented with beautifully common two-word phrases, beginning coincidentally with B and C.  Is this a bold concept?  

20 A. *Competition won by a knockout? : BEAUTY CONTEST.  I have to admit I love this brilliant clue.  In one sense, a knockout is physically incapacitating one's opponent in a combat sport.  in another it's lady of beguiling charm.

36 A. *Certain cutlet : BONELESS CHICKEN.  As the name suggests, this is a cut of chicken with the bones removed.

53 A. *Nonviolent revolution : BLOODLESS COUP.   A Coup [d'état] is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually by a group of insiders.  It's bloodless if done by non-violent means.

4 D. *Dressing with Buffalo wings : BLUE CHEESE.  Blessedly cool to balance/contrast the heat of buffalo chicken.

31 D. *Arm-strengthening reps : BICEP CURLS.  The barbell is curled upward from waist level to the chest.

Big contraction

And the unifier -- 66 A. Recently retired NCAA football ranking system, and, as a plural, a hint to the answers to starred clues : BCS.    Acronym Finder lists 106 various things, from Bar Code Scanner to Bangladesh Civil Service that might be indicated by the abbreviation BCS.    But, with the beginning of football season we have the somewhat more topical BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES. This was a system in place from 1998 through 2013 that used 5 Bowl games involving 10 of the top rated college football teams in a vain attempt to define a national champion.   Whether this was worth doing is a topic I'll let remain undiscussed.

Hi Gang, JazzBumpa here - though with symphony season back in session perhaps I should be Classical Bumpa, at least for today.  [Wait - that's backwards.  Oh, well.] At any rate, we have five long horizontal and vertical two-word theme answers, one a grid spanner, with the initials B and C.  We needn't go back to Old Testament times, nor will our excursion take us to British Columbia, Boston College, nor Baja California.   Let's see if we can blithely conquer this puzzle, before conceding.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

L. A. Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Are we having fun yet?  Here we have in-the-language phrases that otherwise have nothing in common reimagined as descriptions of showing disrespect to a variety of otherwise innocent objects. For some reason, being made fun of is never fun.  Go figure.

17. Make fun of boxing gear? : KID GLOVES.  These are GLOVES made from the soft, supple skin of young goats.   Handling something with KID GLOVES means giving it very gentle treatment.  To KID can mean a variety of things from mock and tease playfully to deceive. Be careful if you do that to boxing GLOVES.

25. Make fun of Harleys? : RIDE BIKES.  Harleys are popular American-made motorcycles with many riders.  To RIDE is to ridicule or harass with carping criticism, a bit harsh for "make fun of."

38. Make fun of sweater styles? : MOCK TURTLE NECKS.  These are articles of clothing made with a collar folded over to form a tube, with both edges of the tube fastened to the garment at the neck line.  One can make fun of real TURTLE NECKS, where the tube is twice as long, folded over, and only fastened at one end of the tube.

50. Make fun of tunes? : PUT ON AIRS.  This phrase means to act in a haughty manner, pretending to be superior.  In a different sense, AIRS are songs, and one could make fun of them.  But to "put on" means to deceive or mislead, for amusement or to make someone or something look better than it is.

62. Make fun of Porky and Petunia? : ROAST PIGS.   To roast someone is to hold an event with that person is guest of honor; and a series of speakers subject him or her to [ostensibly] good natured ridicule.  To ROAST a PIG is to cook the entire animals over an open fire

Hi gang, JazzBumpa reporting for duty.   This is a fun-making theme, but a bit loosey-goosey in terms of exact correspondence to the verb in the clue.   Well, I'm not going to make fun of it.  Let's see what other fun is in store.


1. Moments, briefly : SECS.  Not brief moments of DF, though those can be fun, but SECondS, briefly.

5. God with a bow : AMOR.  AKA Eros, AKA Cupid.  Could inspire a brief moment of DF.

9. Like some elephants : ASIAN.   They are smaller, less wrinkled, and more hump-backed than their African counterparts, with different anatomical features in the head and face.

14. Jai __ : ALAI.   Popular X-word puzzle game, played in a closed space using a ball and large, curved wicker baskets.

15. "Game over," to Kasparov : MATE.  The end of a chess game, when the losing king cannot escape.   Garry Kasparov (b 1963) is a Russian former world chess champion and political activist.

16. Forrest's shrimp-loving friend : BUBBA.   From the movie Forrest Gump.

19. Lusitania sinker : U-BOAT.  The Lusitania, launched in 1906, was the world's largest passenger ship.  It was torpedoed and sunk on May 7, 1915, six days out of New York, bound for Liverpool, killing 1198 passengers.  It was 11 miles off the coast of Ireland in a German-declared war zone, and sunk in 18 minutes.  This event was influential [a straw, if you will.  Vide infra - see 61 A.] in bringing the U.S into the war two years later.

20. StyleBistro and Slate : E-ZINES.  Electronic magaZINES.

21. "Into the Woods" (2014) director Marshall : ROB.   He is a stage and screen director and choreographer, who won several awards for directing "Chicago" in 2002.  "Into the Woods" involves an original story of the baker and his wife, which is used to tie together several otherwise unrelated fairy tales.  Also last Wednesday's theme clip.  Am I in a rut?

23. Schlep : TOTE.   v.  To haul or carry a burdensome load.  That's no fun at all.

24. Arles article : LES.  "The" in French

27. "Gigi" novelist : COLETTE.   Also French.   Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (28 January 1873 – 3 August 1954) was a novelist, journalist, actress and mime.

30. Barcelona-born muralist : SERT.   Josep Maria Sert i Badia (21 December 1874 – 27 November 1945)

31. org. : A D A.   American Dental Association.

32. Line from the sun : RAY.  Beam doesn't fit.

34. Ristorante desserts : GELATI.   Italian ice creams.

42. Came afterward : ENSUED.

43. Roller in Vegas : DIE.  Spotted cubic gambling device.

44. Low digit : TOE.  I wanted "TWO."

45. Lively dance : REEL.  For real!

47. Adopt, as a cause : ESPOUSE.   Does anyone here ESPOUSE polygamy?

54. Ga. neighbor : ALAbama.  

55. Numbered musical piece : OPUS.

or perhaps

56. Colorado native : UTE.  Native American.

57. Human rights advocate Sakharov : ANDREI.  (May 21, 1921 – December 14, 1989)  Russian nuclear physicist, and later dissident and human rights activist, earning him state persecution and a Nobel peace Prize.   The Sakharov prize, awarded annually by the European Union for dedication to human rights and freedom is named in his honor.

60. "¿Cómo __?" : ESTAS.   Spanish "How are [you?]"

64. Requests for Friskies, maybe : MEOWS.   Cat food brand.

65. Half of zwei : EINS.   From 2 to 1 - a German division.

66. Rules, to GIs : REGS.  REGulations.

67. Proverbial reason for a break? : STRAW.   Only if it's the last one on the camel's back.

68. Schedule opening : SLOT.   An open space between occupied spaces, figuratively or literally, from Old French esclot, the space between the breasts.

69. Bone, in Rome : OSSO.   Modern Rome, not ancient, but derived from the Latin ossum.  Also Monday's 39 D.   Is it time to bone up on my Italian?


1. Benefit : SAKE.   Often for Pete, though I don't know why.

2. 16th/17th-century Eng. queen : ELIZ.  ELIZabeth.   Looks like an odd Abrv.

3. Eldorados, e.g. : CADILLACS.  Automobiles.

4. One of the Declaration of Independence's 56 : SIGNEE.   One who signs on, not someone who gets signed on. 

5. "Famous" cookie guy : AMOS.   Wally AMOS learned cookie baking from his aunt.  Later in life, as a talent agent with the William Morris agency, he would often send cookies to celebrities he wanted to woo.  In 1975 he left it all behind and became a cookie entrepreneur.

6. Big D cager : MAV.   Dallas MAVerick professional basketball player.

7. "SNL" alumna Cheri : OTERI.   (b 1962) This frequent crossword gal was on SNL from 1995 to 2000.

8. Patches, as a lawn : RESODS.  I wanted RESEEDS, but that has to many letters.

9. __ Dhabi : ABU.  Middle East country.

10. Foreign film feature : SUB-TITLE.   English translation of foreign-language dialog. printed near the bottom of the screen  Not sure what it has to do with titles.

11. Discontinued Apple laptop : I-BOOK.  Sold from 1999 to 2006.

12. Let up : ABATE.

13. Archibald and Thurmond of the NBA : NATES.  Archibald played on several teams from 1970 to 1984.  Thurmond played with 3 teams from 1963 to 1977

18. For fear that : LEST.  This word comes to us from Old English, via Middle English. I have no idea how LEST - which literally means "The less that" got transmogrified into "For fear that" - but that is commonly how it is defined.  We don't do A, lest B happen.  It is a preventive, and fear has nothing to do with it.  /rant.

From   "before 1000; Middle English leste, contraction of the lesse the, thi les the; late Old English the lǣste, earlier thȳ lǣs the, literally, whereby less that ( thȳ instrumental case of the demonstrative and relative pronoun, lǣs less, the relative particle.)

22. "Saturday Night Fever" group : BEE GEES.

25. Raise : REAR.  Take care of and support until mature.  Also, a horse REARS by raising up on its hind legs, but I can't find a connection between these meanings.

26. Machine gun partly named for the Czech city in which it was designed : BREN.  First designed and manufactured in Brno, Moravia, this gun was popular with the British armed forces from the 30's through 1992.

27. Showed up : CAME.  Arrived at an event.

28. Take too much of, for short : O.D. ON.  Over-dose, figuratively, as on chips, in yesterdays 39 A.  

29. "Doonesbury" creator : TRUDEAU.  Gary, purveyor of a classic politically oriented newspaper cartoon.

33. Pay stub abbr. : YTD.  Year To Date.

35. Insurance risk assessors : ACTUARIES.   They use mathematics, statistics and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programs.

36. Ring stats : TKOS.  Technical Knock Outs.  These occur in boxing matches when it is determined that the match can not safely continue.

37. "Understood" : I SEE.   Got it.

39. "Rashomon" director : KUROSAWA.  Akira KUROSAWA (1910-1998) was a highly influential film maker who directed 30 films over his 57 year career.  Rashomon is a 1950 Japanese movie which uses the plot device of having several characters provide contradictory versions of the same incident.  It won several awards and is considered on of the greatest films of all time.

40. Many a "Divergent" reader : TEEN.  "Divergent" is a trilogy of dystopian young adult novels set in post-apocalyptic Chicago.

41. "It's all false!" : LIES.  Accusation of mendacity.

46. Petrol measures : LITRES.  British spelling of metric units for automobile fuel.

48. Huff and puff : PANT.  Should be huff OR puff.  Together, they are a pair of pants.

49. One who knows the ropes : OLD PRO.  Way back when I was young, an OLD PRO told me that youth and skill were no match for old age and treachery.

50. Sonnets, say : POEMS.   A literary form using meter, rhyme, imagery and other devices to evoke meaning beyond what is in the mere words.

51. Unexpected victory : UPSET.  So called because the favored team is toppled, thus UPSETing the natural order of things, or alternatively because of the way they feel about it.

52. Sylvan Learning employee : TUTOR.   Franchised and corporate supplemental learning centers that provide personalized learning programs for primary and secondary education students.

53. Work on, as a stubborn squeak : RE-OIL.   When one OILing simply isn't enough.

57. No. 2 : ASST.  ASSistanT.  

58. Frittata ingredients : EGGS.  An Italian dish similar to an omelet or crustless quiche, incorprating a variety of other ingredients such as meat and cheese.

59. "That __ last week!" : IS SO.  This awkward partial belongs in an assessment that something ephemeral has become quickly outdated.  

61. Sacramento-to-San Jose dir. : SSW. South-SouthWest

This is so 1968

63. 365 días : ANO.  Years in Spain, sadly lacking the tilde.

Well, we had some retro music, an eggy treat, and I got to carp a little bit.  That's about as much fun as I can handle in one day.  Hope you don't MOCK me for it.

Cool regards!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Carpe Diem Modern Times Haiku #3 Jerry Kilbride (1930-2005)

Of the four Jerry Kilbride examples, the potato one seems abstract and mysterious.  In the other three there is a deeply touching moment with a unique person - so something very concrete.   This appeals to me.

This has been a difficult summer.  Early in June my mother had a stroke.  She was fairly stable for a few days, then went rapidly down hill.  She spent her last few days at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, a beautiful location, where she received quality care.  Sadly, she was not aware in any obvious way of us or her surroundings.

That period was physically and mentally exhausting.  I really haven't fully recovered.  So I'm in the right frame of mind to be inspired by Jerry Kilbride.

mostly she just slept
as we sat by her bedside
a stroke of bad luck

and a flashback to childhood

a porcelain cup
filled with tea and memories
graham crackers with mom

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

L A Times Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, August 19, 2015, Mary Lou Guizzo

Theme - INTO THE WOODS.  The theme answers are the names of trees, but clued differently, of course [though cluing as the trees' woods or fruits is only slightly different] and they are located at the puzzle's periphery, thus surrounding all the other fill.

1 A. Hearth dust : ASH.   That is what is left of the wood when the fire is done burning.  Sadly, the ASH tree is under attack from a green boring beetle.  I thought this might be why fewer baseball bats were being made from ash and more from MAPLE, but that turns out not to be the case.  The word is derived from Latin, via Old English, meaning spear in both languages, which can provide another hint as to one of its uses

4 A. Snapple's __ Madness : MANGO.  A fruity beverage made of kiwi and vegetable juices, MANGO puree and other stuff.  The eponymous tree is tropical and cultivated for its fruit.

9 A. Jet black : EBONY.  A deep black color, named for the wood of the EBONY trees - several species of the genus Diospyros native to Africa and Asia. The wood is used for decorative and ornamental purposes.  

65 A. Syrup type : MAPLE.  Made by boiling down the sap of the tree of the same name.  There are other syrups made from corn and sugar cane, but only pure MAPLE syrup will adorn my pancakes!

66 A. __ Rapids, Iowa : CEDAR.   Iowa's second largest city straddles the CEDAR River, named for the red CEDAR trees that grow in its Minnesota and Iowa watershed.

67 A. C&W's __ Ridge Boys : OAK.  They started in the 40's as country group Wally Fowler and the Georgia Clodhoppers [I am not making this up] who evolved into the OAK Ridge Boys [because that was where they usually performed,] a gospel singing quartet that changed their focus in the 70's, thus generating several country and crossover hits. Of course many personnel changes occurred over the years.  The tree whose name is at the heart of all this is native to the northern hemisphere.

1 D. Jam fruit : APRICOT.  Well, this could have been just about anything - but as is it is one of my favorites.  Apricot trees are from the genus prunus - bearing fruits with a stone seed at the core.

13. Robin Hood's bow wood : YEW.  Again, the wood and its tree.  "The secret to the Yew bow’s strength and beauty is it’s natural laminate of heartwood and sapwood. The heartwood is where the power comes from, it’s ability to be compressed and return back to its original shape is almost unmatched in any other wood. The sapwood of the tree is superior under tension and protects the heartwood from being able to break, but also adds beauty. This is why some Native North American tribes believe this tree was put on earth for the making of bows and referred to it as the chief of the forest, being a small tree mostly almost vine-like under towering Old Growth forests."

27. Cookie fruit : FIG.   Fruit and tree - an Asian species in the mulberry family, cultivated since ancient times.

39. Trident, e.g. : GUM.  Well - this is different - and confusing.  Trident is a brand name for sugar-free chewing gum.  People have been chewing gum made from various tree bark extracts for millennia. In recent decades, though, natural gums have been replaced by polybutadiene, a synthetic polymer (yum!)  GUM tree can refer to various types of trees from the eucalyptus, angophora or corymbia genera, native to Australia and/or Tasmania.   The American Sweet GUM tree is completely different, native to the southeastern U. S., Mexico and Central America.

46. Poison drunk by Socrates : HEMLOCK.   Here, we have a case of mistaken identity.  Socrates' bane, corium maculatum, is a poisonous biennial herb of the carrot family, also known by several other names such as carrot fern, poison parsley and devil's bread.  These plants contain several chemically similar highly potent alkaloids that attack the nervous system leading to paralysis of resperitory muscles.   The completely unrelated and nontoxic HEMLOCK tree includes several species of the genus tsuga, tall conifers in the pine family, pinaceae.  The crushed foliage exude an aroma similar to that of the poisonous plant, hence the name.

58. Common street name : ELM.   Many American cities once had shady tree-lined streets - hence the name transfer from the tree.  In the mid 20th century, elm growth in North America and Europe was devastated by dutch ELM disease, an affliction caused by three related fungus species spread by the ELM bark beetle.   It's ben a mightmare.

And the unifier: 36 A. Like a shady boulevard ... and like this puzzle, in terms of its 12 border answers : TREELINED.  Which by this time should need no further explanation.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Carpe Diem Utabukuro #5 Origami frog

"The goal of CD's Utabukuro is not difficult, because I just ask you to share a haiku or tanka which you admire. That haiku or tanka can be one of a classical or non-classical haiku poet or one by yourself. You can choose what ever you like, but it has to be a haiku or tanka. Maybe the haiku brings you sweet (or sad) memories or you just like it. Explain why you have chosen that haiku or tanka to share here "in" CDHK's Utabukuro, poem bag, and ... that is the second task for this feature, write/compose an all new haiku inspired on the one you have chosen."

I chose one that I wrote earlier this spring.

in the green meadow
amid the buds and insects
lurking orb weaver

This one has phrase and fragment structure, first-third line interchangeability and a deeper, though rather dark, meaning.  Not sure of there is an official kigo here, but the image to me is very Spring-like.  I can't stand spiders in the real world, but have great affection for them in my haiku.

inspired haiku

in the green meadow
a fat toad sits pondering
the taste of spider

My affection for amphibians is boundless.   On its own, this one seems quite classical to me.  In the context of its inspiration, though, there is more than a hint of irony.  Maybe that makes it a senryu.   I can live with that.

What has any of this to do with an origami frog?  To answer that, see the link in the first line above.

green origami
only a paper frog
cob needn't worry

UPDATE:    Just found this wonderful example by Mystic

in a sea of weeds
a lone sunflower fishes
for its lost shadow

My response

for one dark moment
where have all the shadows gone
a cloud passes by

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #52 full circle challenge "heaven"

I will give you twelve (12) words (for every ''hour'') one word. The goal is to write haiku using the words as given in the clock wise way.

1. Heaven
2. Clouds
3. Palm tree
4. Fountain
5. Goddess
6. Desert
7. Jazz cafe
8. Duke Ellington
9. Summer night
10. Honeysuckle
11. Ancient road
12. Hill

If you follow the words clock wise than you can compose four new haiku. This new feature is just for fun and I hope you will as much enjoy it as I did have fun and joy to create it.

musical heaven
syncopated clouds dance with
the swaying palm tree

in the fountain mist
the image of a goddess
one desert mirage

heaven’s jazz cafe
count basie duke ellington
swing the summer night

honeysuckle rose
song played on the ancient road
just beyond the hill

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Carpe Diem #771 natsu no nami (summer waves)

Are the waves of summer different from other seasons? Maybe ... 

mysterious waves
rippling upon the surface
what lies underneath


hiding under waves
silver scales in the ripples
catching water bugs

Carpe Diem Special #155 Adjei's second haiku "summer sun"

"Our featured haiku poet lives in Ghana, his name is Adjei Agyei Baah. 

"The goal is to write/compose all new haiku in the same sense, tone and spirit as the ones I have given. You may use them all, but that isn't an obligation, you can also take one or two haiku for your inspiration."

and unfolding
the silent clap of a butterfly

(c) Adjei


in air-born eddies
clapping of butterfly wings
the winds of change

(c) JzB

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Carpe Diem Tokubetsudesu #51 classical way of writing haiku

Greetings friends and fellow haijin.

Once again, after a hiatus I return to Cape Diem.   July is a vey busy month for me, but today a have a few spare moments.

Most of June was lost.  on the 2nd, my mother suffered a stroke.  She went down hill rapidly, and her funeral was three weeks later.  She was 94, so I think her age stacked the deck against her.  The picture shows her [standing] and her twin sister on their 94th birthday in May

my mom and her twin
never quite identical
now there is but one


Now, back to the present.  The challenge of this episode is to write a classical haiku inspired by this photo.

within those pages
from masters to their minions
what am i to learn