Random Thursday: The Plain Language Edition (lolol)

Photo: Clifford the Corgi barking at a drone

Well, hello again…as always, I appreciate your taking some of your valuable time to stop by, if only to realize that there are far better ways to spend your valuable time.

Logo: PLAIN (Plain Language Association International)I’m sure you know that today is International Plain Language Day, and I truly and honestly don’t know what to do with that. I mean, I guess there are advantages to putting one-syllable words in a particular order such that people can understand what they mean, but I personally find clarity in communications to be overrated. But there’s a whole bureaucracy — with a board of directors and self-referential logo and everything — built around the endeavor so it must be important. Still, we at the Gazette are committed to providing only lip service to this philosophy of communication, and you have our assurance that any clarity you find on these pages is entirely unintentional. I trust that’s clear enough.

Disclaimer: Just kidding about all of that. I’m all about plain communications. You can always rely on my asseveration to not exercise orotundity in a vain attempt at belletristic declarations. Why, the very thought of subjecting you to periphrastic syntax makes me queasy.

Fortunately, today is also National No Bra Day. I was all set to channel my inner junior high boy [Ed. You’re not fooling anyone; we all know that’s your dominant personality.] and make fun of that until I realized that the emphasis is on breast cancer awareness, and I have an enhanced understanding and appreciation of such emphases thanks to my own (much less serious) situation. And today is also National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, focusing on the challenges of Stage IV breast cancer.

Alert Gazette readers will recall that last week I was whining about the drop in water pressure at our house due to Photo: Our new PRVthe resignation of our 20+ year old pressure reducing valve. We can breathe a collective sigh of relief because, as of yesterday, said valve has been consigned to that Big Smelter In The Sky, replaced by a shiny new valve constructed to modern technological specifications that will ensure a life span of up to three years, possibly. But for now, we can flush our toilets more than twice a day, so that’s progress.

Oh, and thanks for not much, American Home Shield. You’ll happily (I guess) cover the $50 cost of the valve itself, in exchange for my monthly $100 payment plus a $75 service call, but not the $300 cost of actually installing the valve.

As you may recall, we lost our resident, garage-dwelling Texas spiny lizard to an undiagnosed malady — the coroner’s report was inconclusive — and that has left something of a void in our nature buddy lineup. Fortunately, not everyone has vacated the premises.

Photo: Tree frog on chaise lounger
No, we haven’t named it…that would be silly. Uh…what would you suggest?

This tree frog spends the day safely hidden under the cushion of one of our chaise lounges on the back patio. Well, I suppose “safe” is a relative term given that he’s counting on someone checking under the cushion prior to reclining. But we’ve been well-trained to do just that.

In other local nature news, Debbie and I watched these two armadillos frolicking in the vacant lot across the creek yesterday morning.

Animated gif of armadillos chasing each other

While we don’t exactly welcome armadillos with open arms, as long as they stay on the other side of the creek, we’ll honor an uneasy truce.

In closing…


  1. Spiny lizards, tree frogs and frolicking armadillos are very cool. Would you consider adopting squirrels that wear work boots? I always thought squirrels floated over the ground like feathers but we have a breed here that wears work boots. They run along the top of our fence line on their way to work or whatever a squirrel does. It sounds like buffalo migrating. If you would like one of these rare specimens I will gladly send it (or all of them) your way.

    1. Norman, as much as I appreciate your kind offer to diversify our wildlife sanctuary, I’ve been “advised” (i.e. threatened) by the local squirrel mafia that any attempts to bus immigrants into our neighborhood will be met with severe pushback.

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