Word of the Day


Pronunciation /ɪnˈfleɪt/
1 usually with object Fill (a balloon, tyre, or other expandable structure) with air or gas so that it becomes distended.
1.1 no object Become distended with air or gas.
2 usually with object Increase (something) by a large or excessive amount.
2.1 Exaggerate.
3 usually with object Bring about inflation of (a currency) or in (an economy)

Late Middle English from Latin inflat- ‘blown into’, from the verb inflare, from in- ‘into’ + flare ‘to blow’.


If I intend to inflate my ego, I’m going to need both a powerful pump and an appropriate inflation needle.

Yesterday, the new clipart elements were two different pumps. At some point later in the day, while waiting for game four of the Red Sox/Rays series, I worked on making an image of an inflation needle. Initially, I attempted a photo-like version, but was not too happy with the threads.

After a restful sleep, enabled by the walk-off win by the Sox in the bottom of the ninth inning, I went to work on a less “realistic” version. The image is a bit more design-like, but I think the threads wind up making me happier. Then, of course, I was able to check the availability of today’s word. We had not used inflate before, so it all fell together. And I even get to stroke my ego. It is actually inflated enough already [wink].

Do Art

Some stuff we share
Just putting it out there
With little fanfare
Does anyone care?

Perhaps not now or even later,
And that could be a big deflater,
So let me clearly state here,
The urge to make it remains greater

Than the downer of self-doubt.
So while we feel we want to pout
And we might have the urge to shout
We’ll go on working to put stuff out.

Quick Buck

An “entry” for the weekly idiom prompt called Thimbleful Thursday by Lyn Thorne-Alder.

Sam did his best to keep his breathing soft and deep, trying to ensure his excitement would not destroy the moment. Seated on the almost comfortable canvas stool in the blind, his buns had become a little numb, too. It had been seven hours since dawn with only a noon break for a sandwich Emma made, followed by a needed break to pee. Right there, less than 50 yards away was a magnificent twelve point buck deer. Sam cradled his rifle, clicked off the safety and…gone. Yet another long-term plan foiled by a quick buck.

Nuts and Bolts

Every week Lyn Thorne Alder posts a writing prompt challenge called “Thimbleful Thursday” at her blog of the same name. This week the idiom for the prompt is “Nuts and Bolts” with a 400 word goal. What follows is my attempt.


Lane was tired at the end of the work day, nothing unusual about that, but he was also a little hungry, so before crossing the park to his apartment, Lane bought a small bag of peanuts. A little protein wouldn’t spoil dinner. Jeanne would be waiting. She taught school only a block west from their apartment so she was easily home before he arrived, usually before six. The winter walk diagonally across the park was sometimes difficult, but otherwise like this spring, it was a very relaxing trip. He was on the clock from nine to five, typical of a city job. Not exciting, but not difficult, either.

There were still some nannies and their young charges at the playground. At least Lane thought they were nannies. He didn’t know any of them. There was no time to stop and he had no interest in fooling around on Jeanne. They didn’t have kids of their own…yet. Maybe in a couple of years. They were both still young, late twenties, still eager to make the most of Jeanne’s vacations with which Lane was able to make his match, well except her long summer break.

Youth soccer players filled the four fields in the center of the park, two on each side of his hypotenuse trip which split the park’s large rectangle. The crossing of other similarly angled path was just ahead. It wasn’t a simple crossing, though. There was a circle like an automotive roundabout. In its center the statue of Theodore Roosevelt stood silent and proud, ignoring the typical visits of the local pigeons. The ring of benches around the statue’s grassy lawn were full, many of the parents of the soccer players watched, hoping to see a goal by their children or a save by their children. More parents were seated on the benches and lawn beside the fields too.

Skirting the statue, the parents, their dogs (always interested in those who passed by) and a wild-kicked ball from the field before him on the right, Lane hurried his steps and was about to toss the few remaining peanuts in the bag into the basket at the opposite end from where he started.

Just as he reached his hand out, the bag was knocked loose by yet another soccer ball.

A blur of gray flashes across the lawn and snags the nuts, and bolts across to the nearest tree.

Looking Up

Today the sky may clear
At least, that’s what I hear.
And it will, too, be right
As that happens with my sight.

Insert the meds, drop by drop
Hoping not, on my cheek, to plop
So my eyes will soon focus together
To enjoy the week’s coming weather.


Word of the Day


Pronunciation /ɪnspɪˈreɪʃ(ə)n/

(excerpted from a much more detailed definition – )
mass noun The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Middle English (in the sense ‘divine guidance’): via Old French from late Latin inspiratio(n-), from the verb inspirare (see inspire).

Inspiration: Once the stage has been set, the work must begin.

…after the inspiration, the work must begin…

In this case, Eric Buijs posted his plan to make a “Winter Tux” using Dust3d software. I took it as a challenge to try the same task using OpenSCAD as my tool. The cross-connections possible through federated (Mastodon, etc.) social media have real positive power. Thanks to Eric for his permission to try my hand at his design.


We are anticipating Halloween at the end of the month. The reality is that we’re not really excited about it. Our town health officials have not made any recommendations, yet. But we have decided to “go dark”. It is not a happy decision. We love to see all the kids coming to the door with their costumes. This year, we’ll not do much decoration, and the front porch light will not be on. Still, this 3D print hangs in the doorway. Our spirit is dimmed, but not entirely missing.


Art Appreciation

On your time I must encroach,
But I’m not sure of the approach
Which I should choose to take
Because of what’s at stake.

In the muck I’ll wallow
Though it’s tough to swallow.
I am just out for attention,
Though it is with apprehension.

You may choose to ignore.
It’s your right for sure.
But I hope you may appreciate.
What the artists here create!

Duck Out

The waves crashed over the remnants of the sea wall. Bob stood well back from the ragged shoreline but still was glad he had worn his high rubber boots. An occasional sluice of foamy salt water raced past the remains of his beachfront house onto the eroding street where he stood. His insurance adjuster had sent a nice email note but said she would not be visiting him any time soon. In fact, she implied that she was really just contacting him because, what the heck, she was between jobs, anyway. Who insures the insurance companies?

It was three days after the latest midsummer nor’easter, and the devastation in Oxbury was almost complete. The golf course was mostly just a water hazard, now. The sailboats which had not been trailered away were bashed and broken on shore. There wasn’t a single intact craft left afloat in the harbor.

A total loss, not one which even the governor’s state of emergency declaration would begin to cover. All up and down New England’s shore, the destruction was similar, if not worse. Bob had heard that Cape Cod was just a sliver of its former self. Provincetown no longer existed at all. Parts of New York City were being pumped out for the fourth time this summer.

The Congregational church steeple lay halfway across the main road, not that there was really that much traffic beyond dazed locals driving their Lexus SUVs to find groceries further inland. Only 25 percent of the houses in town had escaped damage from the month’s three major storms. Even then, trees which had been there for over a hundred years were uprooted or split down the middle and would take weeks or longer to be cleared.

The forecast was bleak for August, too.

Bob got back into his own ride, a more modest Jeep Cherokee SUV which he liked better than the upscale versions most of his neighbors had. “Neighbors”, hah! There were probably not going to be many of those in Oxbury over the next few years.

Bob turned the key, rotated his head and avoided the rubble of downed trees, roof shingles, and even a partial fish carcass as he backed away from his former summer home. Time to duck out of this lost cause. The claim he had filed was possibly stacked (at least electronically) somewhere in the insurance system files along with the thousands of others filed by homeowners up and down the eastern seaboard.

Bob waved to Earnest, the mailman as they passed each other. How did the US Postal Service always seem to keep on with their rounds? Were some postal workers being furloughed? How much work was there when the town was mostly not there at all? Driving slowly away, Bob left the shore behind. His mail would be forwarded.

The mountain chalet beckoned.