Saturday, January 17, 2009


A pirate - a person who robs or commits illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.

In my mind, this indicates pirates are thieves. However, in recent media reports not only are pirates interviewed, but reporters seek quotes from their “spokesman” and refer to gang members as “colleagues.” Reading these reports enraged me. How could upstanding media outlets legitimize illegal actions with such word choice?

But before I jumped to any conclusions (I’m not as hip as I once was), maybe I needed to review my definitions of some of the words in question.

Colleague – an associate one works with

Well, I suppose that’s true. If you’re thieving as a group, then the people you consort with would indeed be your colleagues.

Work – an exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil

Yes, I would think that hijacking oil tankers would require effort. I’d even go so far as to say it would require labor. It’s no small feat to round up a crew and imprison them on their own ship.

There was more under work.

Work – employment, as in some form of industry, esp. as a means of earning one’s livelihood

Again, I guess these pirates are supporting their families with the ransoms and profits from their plunder.

I must now admit my error. My anger was misplaced. The media had not made a gargantuan error, altering the entire spin of the story by using the words “colleagues” and “spokesman,” but rather the small mistake of using the archaic word “pirate.”

Better to have begun with “industrialist.”

Industrialist – a person who owns or is involved in the management of an industrial enterprise.

Hmmm. Not quite right. Aha! I’ve got it.

Entrepreneur – a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

We don’t even have to send in the Navy to stop them. I’m sure a competing business will show up soon and keep them in their place, after all, pirating seems to be a profitable business these days.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Books Galore

What a great month! I've started 5 great books with 5 different reading groups. The group reading, Despereaux, is the most excited. Nothing like a movie to stir up a little interest in picking up the book.

Speaking of tie-ins, I'm intrigued with, The 39 Clues, the new concept from Scholastic. It has an on-line videogame and so far, looks interesting. My boys have the first 2 books from the 10 book series and have started in on the videogame portion. Not sure if this will be the answer for the publishing world, but it's the right direction. My own boys are voracious readers and so need no convincing. I'm gonna mention it to some of my less confident ones at school and see how they like the idea.

If nothing else, love the way ancient institutions are thinking out of the box. Or should I say, out of the book.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Upon Reflection

This past Christmas has been picture-perfect! From finding the seasonal tree ...

...being able to get it to the car... it into the livingroom...

and get it all festive...

to copious amounts of snowfall (for Berlin, of course!).

The thrill of the down!

The work of the up!

The very hard work of the up!

Couldn't have planned a better holiday!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009


A new year normally brings fresh expectations. This year I've decided I'm going to take it as it comes - no resolutions, no formal plans, no goals to achieve.
Can't chalk up any failures with that.

Despite best laid plans, 2008 brought unexpected employment, and while one can't really complain about that, it did alter the routine of our household. It meant that some of my plans went unfinished and much of my energy was channeled away from my boys and my writing.

This year I resolve to do my best. No more and no less.

It should be a good year.

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