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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday - Slug Fest


This slug was inexplicably hanging by a thread from a tree branch along a walking trail at Michigan's Black Mountain Recreation Area.

I expect slugs to be down on the ground.  What's up with this one?


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Crossword Puzzle Blogging

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 Scott Atkinson

Theme: DUCK-LING fling. Five common English words that can serve double duty as either nouns or verbs are adorned with a diminutive LING suffix, yielding another common English language noun, now in an off-beat, humorous diminutive form. Some of them are still verbs, as well.

17A. Very narrow fissure? : CRACKLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A bit of fried pork or goose fat; V: producing a series of snapping noises.

26A. Landfill in a toy city? : DUMPLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A lump of dough cooked in liquid.

38. Minuscule tattoo? : INKLING. N: 1) As per the clue, 2) A hint, 3) A vague notion, 4) (plural) An Oxford University literary discussion group whose members included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; V: Communicating in an undertone or whisper (obsolete.)

40A. Dollhouse dress adornment? : BOWLING. N: 1) Tiny BOW, as per the clue, 2) A game in which one knocks down wooden objects with a rolled ball. V: Playing that game.

49A. Where to wear a training bra? : BUSTLING. N: Per the clue, A, AA, or AAA miniscule bosom. (Dare I?) V: Moving energetically.

62A. Very young hobo? : TRAMPLING. N: Son of ON THE ROAD, perhaps. V: Treading in a heavy-footed, damaging manner

And the unifier, 67A. Waterfowl whose young inspired this puzzle's theme : DUCKS. Baby DUCKS are DUCKLINGS.

Wow!  Six theme entries, plus a unifier, and very complex wordplay, with layered double, and sometimes triple meanings, a rich musical sub-theme, and a bit of DF.  I am AGAPE, but will not DUCK out on you.    Lets DUCK INTO the puzzle and see what we can find.


1. Birthday secret : WISH.  We make our wishes known.  Otherwise, you get what you get.

5. "Back in Black" band : ACDC.  Of all the bands that (tried to ) sound like Led Zeppelin, I preferred Led Zeppelin.

9. Visibly amazed : AGAPE.  Jaw-droppingly so.

14. __ Domini : ANNO.  Latin: In the year of Our Lord.

15. Bodybuilder's supplement : WHEY.  Dairy-based protein source.

16. Hand-dyeing craft : BATIK. 

19. Vintage violin : AMATI

20. Michael Moore health-care film : SICKO.  Unavoidably political, ergo: no comment.

21. Melody : TUNE.  We opened the Jazz Fest with this TUNE.  Hardest Big Band Chart I've ever played.   I have a video posted on Facebook.  If you're on and interested, send me an email, and I'll send you a link.

23. Rock 'n' roll middle name : ARON.  Alvis ARON Presley

24. Didn't sell : KEPT. 
28. CIA part: Abbr. : AGCY.  Central intelligence AGENCY.

30. Arthur Fiedler et al. : MAESTRI.   Pl. of MEASTRO - orchestra conductors.

32. Hamm of soccer : MIA.   From the U.S Gold Cup Championship Team of a few years back.

33. Ryder rentals : VANS.  TRUCKS doesn't fit.
34. Where eaglets hatch : AERIE.   Alternate spellings of this word always leave me feeling eerily up in the air.

42. Opposite of perfect pitch : NO EAR.   OK.  But TIN EAR is more idiomatic.

43. Composer __ Carlo Menotti : GIAN.  20th Century Italian-American composer.

44. Transp. group in the Loop : CTA.  CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY

45. Pago Pago people : SAMOANS

48. Did a farrier's job : SHOD.   Installed horseshoes.   A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves.  Now you know.

52. Lacking spice : TAME

54. Chain selling stacks : IHOP. International House of Pancakes

55. Clue in a case : LEAD

57. Dip for a chip : SALSA

60. Mila of "Black Swan" : KUNIS

64. "Fear of Flying" author Jong : ERICA

65.  Sneaky trick :  WILE.  In theory, perhaps

66. Luke's sci-fi sister : LEIA

68. Black stone : ONYX

69. Enjoys a smorgasbord : SUPS


1. WWII auxiliaries : WACS.  Pl of WOMEN'S ARMY CORPS.

2. Calvary inscription : INRI.  L. abbrv. "Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews."  Calvary was the site of the crucifixion.

3. Twinkie or Ding Dong : SNACK CAKE.  Empty calories.

4. Game with sticks : HOCKEY. 

5. Pointy tool : AWL

6. Slip in a pot : CHIT.  Slang for an IOU

7. Strips of leaves : DENUDES.  Remember Agent Orange?

8. Swan constellation : CYGNUS.  Use your imagination.

9. The N.Y. Nets were its last champion : ABA.  American Basketball Association

10. Warren Harding's middle name : GAMALIEL.  You all knew that - right?

11. Asteroids maker : ATARI.  Ditto.

12. Spike for a mountaineer : PITON.  Drive it into a CRACKLING.

13. Squeezing (out) : EKING

18. Keystone character : KOP.  BUSTLING Bumbling gendarmes from the silent movie days.

22. Ambulance VIP : EMT.  EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN.  Note abbrv in cl & ans.

25. Bur. of Prohibition employee : T-MAN.  Treasury Department officers out to collect alcohol taxes.

27. Shrimp relative : PRAWN.  What's the difference?

28. Key with no sharps or flats: Abbr. : A MIN.  Now this is tricky. A MIN is the relative minor of C MAJ - both with four letters, but no sharps or flats. 

29. NFL Hall of Famer Marchetti : GINO.  Old time Baltimore Colt.

31. Zambia neighbor: Abbr. : ANG.  ANGOLA - also a city in Indiana.

33. Like megapopular web videos : VIRAL.  Slang term, meaning passed from person to person, like a virus

35. Cardinal who was a foe of the Musketeers : RICHELIEU

36. Wild about : INTO.  How long has it been since anyone asked you: "Are you INTO C B?"

37. "Zounds!" : EGAD.  Slang from across the pond.

39. Unwanted playground game teammate : LAST PICK.  Yes. That would be me.

40. Recycling vessel : BIN

41. Brewer's kiln : OAST.  Crossword stalwart.

43. Yuri who was the first to orbit Earth : GAGARIN.  Russian Cosmonaut.

46. Wire measure : MIL.  Thousandth of an inch.

47. Punch sequence : ONE-TWO.  Take that, and that . . .

48. Some tees : SMALLS.  T-Shirt sizes.

49. Pedaled : BIKED.  This guy gave his girlfriend a bicycle.  Then she peddled it all over town.

50. Freedom, in Swahili : UHURU.  Didn't we just see her last week?

51. Part of SST : SONIC.  Super SONIC Transport

53. "Antony and Cleopatra" killer : ASP.  Slithery crossword stalwart.

56. Tyne with a Tony and Emmys : DALY.    The name is familiar, but not the face.

58. Salon sound : SNIP.  Cutting hair

59. "What __!": "How fun!" : A GAS.  Groovy slang, man.  Far out!

61. Palindromic airline : SAS.  Scandinavian Airlines System International, if you have an INKLING to travel.

63. Tex-__ cuisine : MEX.  Burritos, fajitas, chile con carne, etc.  OK.  Now I'm hungry.

Fine, intricate puzzle.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mellow Yellow Monday

We had a crowd at the Mud Hens game on Friday, including grandchildren and even some of their cousins.

Here, Amanda frolics with her cousin Tyler, who traveled all the way from Maryland.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Friday evening was cloudless and beautiful - perfect for a Toledo Mud Hens game.

They kept it close for 7 innings, but in the 8th, a grand slam put the Scranton, Wilkes-Barre Yankees ahead and sealed the final score at 7-3.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sensational Haiku Wednesday - Wishes


An old saying tells
Us: "If wishes were fishes,
We'd all cast a net."

What if I wish for
A Castanet?  Could I then
Dance with such sweet rhythm?

What if I wish for
Mickey Mouse days?  My fav'rite
In the cast: ANNETTE!

Cast your wishes to
The sea, to see what fine fish
find tempting: a net!


Join the fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011