Word of the Dave

Word of the Dave.  April 28, 2018

Second Language

Teaching English to birds is hard without a whiteboard.

Word of the Dave.  June 15, 2018


Words are self-explanatory.

Word of the Dave.  January 28, 2018

Best Times

The best times of your life are those you don't know you're having.

Word of the Dave.  June 2, 2017

Chapter One

A story is told in a linear fashion.

Yet life is many events running parallel to each other.

Life runs like this --

A happened while B happened while C happened.

Such are the constraints of this means we have to convey events.

Sentences run linear while life happens.

Word of the Dave.  April 23, 2017

How I Will Make a Lot of Money and Retire to the Caribbean

I am going to start a series of simple how-not-to videos to make a lot of money on YouTube and then retire to the Caribbean.

Ones one can watch while contemplating life on the toilet.

My first will be how not to store an extension cord.

If you own one, the trick is not to coil it.

Put it in a figure eight instead.

A coiled cord is impossible to throw and uncoil without getting snarled.

A figure eight cord throws out nice and clean.  You should try it.

I am going to title the series "How Not To Of The Dave".

Stay tuned.

Oh, and please send me topics you want covered.

If they are how-not-to worthy, I will send you something from the Caribbean you'll like.

Word of the Dave.  March 9, 2017

Daylight Saving Time

Just found out the word is "Saving" not "Savings".

You could have pushed me over with a lead feather when I read that.

More...the applicable tenet here is Spring ahead, Fall back.

As such, this weekend we give back that lovely hour we banked last Fall.

Debit the old Daylight Saving(s) account.

Hey...isn't this time travel?

Next Fall, forget the hour, let's do a decade.  Real time.

Word of the Dave.  February 18, 2017


Teeth bite. What was God thinking?

Word of the Dave.  February 3, 2017

Great. Again.

I am so looking forward to our fearless white leader resetting our lives back to the 1960's, when America was really really great. Bigly great. So so really great you won't believe it.

Those years of flammable waterways. No seat belts. Whites-only water fountains. Cars averaging nine miles a gallon on leaded gas. One language under God. Duck-and-cover so the nuke won't harm you. Haz-mat rafts floating on a dead Mississippi. DDT. Upper case KKK. Nixon integrity. An economy fueled by a war machine. Love it or leave it. Yes fearless white leader, please make America great again.


Word of the Dave.  January 29, 2017

Heavy letters.

As we know, profound sentences weigh more than shallow sentences.

The letters that make up the words in profound sentences are physically heavier than the letters in shallow sentences.

That is the source of profundity.  Heavy letters.

Word of the Dave.  January 28, 2017

Ready. Go. Set.

I am currently sitting in a chair that is twisted at an odd angle from the desk, causing me to sit uncomfortably as I type profound words.

Funny how you find yourself in such a position, caught up in the moment until your realize your back is aching and your toes are pointed in unnatural directions.

Then you right your surroundings and proceed on.

Ready. Go. Set.

Word of the Dave.  January 16, 2017

No bid deal.

No bid deal, Ferris wheel,

The same ol' stuff you know...

Lyrics from David Bromberg's song Sharon.

Bromberg released the song in 1972.

I've had the phrase "no big deal, Ferris wheel" stuck in my head ever since.

I use it and it drives people close to me crazy because, out of context, it makes no sense.

And when you hear something repeatedly that makes no sense, crazy comes to mind.

Regardless, it felt right to me and I stuck with it.

I couldn't have told you how it got hardwired in my brain.

Until today.

My friend Russ mentioned recently seeing David Bromberg in concert, so I fired up YouTube this morning to revisit Bromberg's music.

Sharon, and the phrase within, came along shortly in the process.

Put a smile in me when I heard the lyrics riding Bromberg's bluesy angst.

Out of the blues, two dots in life reconnected.  A Dave-ism and its song.

Recollection.  Tiny joy.  A small thing. 

No big deal.

Ferris wheel.

Word of the Dave.  January 4, 2017

Green beans for Maija.

Tonight Maija had green beans

For the first time

A small thing in one's life

To have green beans
For the first time

A tiny milestone

But one worth noting

For someday

Maija will ask
When she had green beans
For the first time

And these words will tell her

That it was tonight

And that her Aunt Sara

And Uncle Drake
Drove dark icy roads
To Family Fresh
For her green beans

For the first time

Word of the Dave.  January 2, 2017

The Fourth Wall.

In a movie being made, the fourth wall is the plane that separates the actors and their scene  from the movie crew and their gear.

In the case of a play being performed, the fourth wall is the plane between the actors and the audience.

Entertainment infrastructure.  An imaginary wall.  The window into the story being told.  And three walls encompassing the story.

No different than the infrastructure of reality.  The fourth wall is the plane separating our eyes and mind from the three walls encompassing the experience in front of us.

Word of the Dave.  December 20, 2016

The space between.

What resides between my ears?  I can't sense anything sloshing around in the space between.  I doubt there is anything really there.  But let's say for a moment there is something there.  Like my brain, as commonly thought.  If so, I find it ironic that said brain can sense so many many things except itself.  I still doubt there is anything between my ears.

Word of the Dave.  December 10, 2016

Exotic things.

Smoked almonds.  As a Christmas bonus from his boss one year, my dad brought home a case of Blue Diamond smoked almonds.  The case housed a dozen round canisters, each with a foil seal securing a half pound of almonds in their native Sacramento air.  Such sophistication.  And the experience of the salty almond aroma and taste from such a far off land.  Exotic indeed.

Word of the Dave.  August 17, 2016

Time travel.

I actually wrote this two days from now.

Word of the Dave.  August 9, 2016

Innuendo.  An oblique remark, typically a disparaging one.

Oh future great white leader, spare me the innuendo.  Say exactly what you mean so I do not have to think so much.

Word of the Dave.  August 2, 2016

You are only in the moment for an instant.

Word of the Dave.  July 29, 2016

My left hand.

My left hand.  Always in the shadow of my right hand. My right hand is my go to hand. Gets all the glory.  But I think my left hand really does all the hard stuff. Like Ed McMahon. It holds what is being dealt with.  It is the asdf of things.  It shows my marriage to Theresa to the world.  It stands by while my right hand presses the flesh.  Every ready to assist in what my right hand gets me into.  It longs to hit enter.

Word of the Dave.  July 24, 2016

Root cause.  The primary reason that leads to an outcome.

Oh future great white leader, before you build the wall, please explain the problem that the wall addresses and the root cause of the problem.  And explain how the wall eliminates the root cause.  If the wall does not eliminate the root cause, you still have the problem.

Word of the Dave.  May 21, 2016

Sometimes the magic happens.

Tonight I was on my way home from grocery shopping.  The sky was a blanket of stubborn  gray.  Sunset approached.  What would it prove to be?

I can read the sky for promising sunsets.  This one promised to be a keeper as there was a slight opening on the horizon and if the sun downed there it would cast its magic just right on the surrounding clouds.

I found high ground as the sun hit that opening perfectly.  Voilà...

Word problem of the Dave.  May 14, 2016

Nearest star other than our own sun -- Proxima Centauri. Four point two four (4.24) light years away.

So...how really far is 4.24 light years?

The answer is 42,840 round trips to nearest Starbucks at the speed of light in a Prius.

As follows...

Let travel-by-Prius-to-nearest-Starbucks be our unit of measure.  Google Maps has this at twenty-six (26) minutes.

Given a light year is 525,600 minutes in length, that times 4.24 light years puts Proxima Centauri at 2,227,696 light minutes away.

Upgrade the Prius for light speed and divide prior paragraph result by travel-by-Prius-to-nearest-Starbucks UOM and we arrive at 42,840 round trips to Starbucks to make it to Proxima Centauri.

I like how math makes the impossible so easy to grasp.

Word of the Dave.  May 5, 2016

Paul McCartney.  The "cute" Beatle.

February 9, 1964.  At ten years old. I saw and heard the Beatles play their first songs in black and white on American soil via the Ed Sullivan Show.  I pretty much wrote off Paul McCartney as a serious musician given his guitar had only four strings.

Word of the Dave.  April 28, 2016

Echo.  A series of sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener.

It is well known that duck quacks do not echo, thus the lack of duck Elvis impersonators.

Word of the Dave.  April 22, 2016

The mind is the place where the soul goes to hide from the heart.

~ Michael Singer

This sounds really profound, but nah.  One's soul is all encompassing, making it physically  impossible to camp out in one spot or the other.

Word of the Dave.  February 15, 2016

I tweet therefore I am.

Word of the Dave.  January 11, 2016

It is important to start what you finish.

Word of the Dave.  January 5, 2016

Unit of Measure.  A definite magnitude of a quantity.

The unit of measure known as a shitload equals eight (8) boatloads.

Word of the Dave.  January 1, 2016

Lollygag.  To spend time doing things that are not useful or serious.

Early this morning I was lollygagging.  Waiting for the Folgers to kick me into the new year.

In those random moments, it occurred to me that art is something conveyed that cannot be conveyed.

...hello new year.

Word of the Dave.  January 1, 2016

2016.  The new year.

This is the first time this new year that I had to type the date with the new year.

So far so good.

Word of the Dave.  December 30, 2015

Cut grass.

My friend Brad Nelson had it right.  Die in late winter at thirteen years old.  Almost spring.  Give those that morn you springtime to recover.  And summer to get on their way thinking of those good times with you.  Life is.  Death is.  Cut grass smells good.  We can be with you without you.  Barely.

Word of the Dave.  December 28, 2015

Brake Time

When a ray of light

Bounces off a mirror
It comes to a complete stop
Before it reverses direction

As it takes pause
From its speed of light
Does it wonder

                     ~ Nösnhoj Divad    c. 1963

Word of the Dave.  December 4, 2015

Retie.  Tie something again.

I must have the laces on both boots equally taut.  If one boot is laced tighter than the other, well there goes the truck ride.  

To correct the situation, do not retie your boots while driving your truck.

You will hit a deer.

Word of the Dave.  November 8, 2015

Classic conditioning.  Pavlov 101.

When I send myself an email to remind me of something, I get excited when I see the popup message saying I have an email.

Word of the Dave.  September 19, 2015

I love this guy's poetry.



                     ~ Nösnhoj Divad    c. 1963

Word of the Dave.  August 3, 2015

Spoonerism.  Swapping the initial sounds or letters of two words.

The hole in the bowling alley roof left light rain in the right lane.

Word of the Dave.  July 17, 2015

Dash.  A punctuation mark similar to a hyphen, but differs primarily in length and function.

Well raise my rent.  There are two dashes.  An en dash and an em dash.  An en dash is the length of the width of the letter N.  It is used to represent a span or range of numbers, dates, or time.  An em dash is the length of the width of the letter M.  It can take the place of commas, parentheses, or colons.  The em dash is very complicated to explain.

More on this later as I am about to take my sweetie out for a Mocha Moo Latte.  Ciao for now...

Word of the Dave.  June 28, 2015.

Adventure.  An undertaking or enterprise of a hazardous nature.

Ah ha...two ketchup bottles found in hidden lands within the fridge.  Age unknown.  Each holds its own salvageable treasure.  A late night adventure in the making.

Food poisoning, or worse yet a ketchup spill, are likely outcomes.  Even so, I am overcome by the need to consolidate ketchup.

I venture forth, marrying the bottle necks together.

Gravity takes over.

The upper ketchup looses perch and begins its descent.

The bottles balance center ring by a lithe Japanese plate spinner whose assistant is about to spring a triple flip and land on top.

I can't watch.  I leave the kitchen.

Five minutes later I return.  The Japanese act has left the building.  The red glacier has melted away.

No spills.

I have successfully reduced the ketchup bottle footprint in the fridge by 50 percent.

I take a taste from the surviving bottle.  I don't die this time.  Good adventure.  Good night.

Word of the Dave.  June12, 2015

Discursive.  Talking or writing about many different things in a way that is not highly organized.

The discursive chatter became a pleasant din as the once vacant bedroom door closed.

Word of the Dave.  June 6, 2015

Italics.  A way to emphasize key points in printed text.

How come italics are forward leaning?  And why does forward leaning mean lean to the right necessarily?  It is 4:33 in the morning according to the kitchen clock above my head and my blood sugar is 67 and I cannot answer these questions at the moment.  Hurry up orange juice.  These are a lot of key points.

Word of the Dave.  May 17, 2015

Itself.  Refers to a thing previously mentioned as the subject of the clause.

It is well known that if you head straight into space, you eventually end up right back where you started.  The universe somehow circles back on itself.  So when staring into space, know that you are looking at the back of your head.

Word of the Dave.  April 19, 2015

Popsicle Toes.  Song and lyrics from 1975 by singer song writer Michael Franks.

Popsicle toes came to mind while sitting here with the window open and my new sandals on. Fifty degrees of Wisconsin Fahrenheit make for popsicle toes.

Word of the Dave.  April 5, 2015

You cannot see your eyes closed.

Word of the Dave.  April 5, 2015

And a camera cannot take a picture of itself.

Word of the Dave.  March 19, 2015

Bootstraps.  Get oneself out of a situation using existing resources.  

My dad Ralph knew how to pull himself up by his bootstraps.  Self-sufficient he was.

Word of the Dave.  March 13, 2015.

Sleeping in.

Open window.  Day off.  Sleeping in.  Well I was sleeping in until I got up and took this picture of Theresa's hand.  It is 47 degrees Fahrenheit outside at the moment according to the kitchen thermometer.  Very comfortable for this time of year.  I can express the temperature with such a number thanks to German physicist Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit who invented the mercury thermometer and devised the Fahrenheit temperature scale.  But wait there's more to this story.  Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius developed the Celsius temperature scale.  And Irish engineer and physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, gets credit for the Kelvin temperature measure.  These boys gave us the means to know temperature in three degrees -- 47 ºF which equals 8.3 ºC which equals 281.4 ºK.  I have never used ºK before.  I have the urge to do so right now.  Here goes...

"Hey Theresa.  Wake up immediately.  It's 281.4 degrees Kelvin outside."

Word of the Dave.  February 13, 2015

The letter "e".

Yesterday we ran out of the letter "e" at the State of Minnesota where I work.  The supply of the letter "e" in the State's computer systems had run dry.  All day we had to write emails and documentation without any "e"s.

As a workaround, we were told by Administration to substitute the letter "o" for "e" in our writings and then just do a global change of "o" back to "e" once the new supply of "e"s came in.  That advice was rescinded an hour later after some thought.

All is well this morning as the State's letter man, Burt in the basement, happened in early and procured a new supply of "e"s.

Word of the Dave.  January 31, 2015

Thoughts.  What you think.

Where do thoughts go? For example, this paragraph. As it is written here, it resides here. And shortly it will reside in your mind for you to ponder. I wonder how many thoughts I will have in my entire lifetime. And how many of those I will convey to others. Which makes me realize that the collection of my thoughts are two things -- the set that I originated, plus the set that others have conveyed to me. I wonder what my collection of thoughts weighs. Some thoughts defy gravity.  Some sink me.  A pound of feathers versus a pound of lead. I guess when I die the thoughts in my mind are gone forever.  However those I've conveyed to you will carry on. That is where thoughts go.

Word of the Dave.  December 26, 2014

Posthaste.  Will all possible speed.

Backyard squirrel chatter launches Jake the dog off the bed posthaste.

Word of the Dave.  November 26, 2014

Sesquipedalianism.  Using large words when smaller ones will do.

I love irony.

Word of the Dave.  November 25, 2014

Biweekly. Appearing or taking place every two weeks or twice a week.

So...how often does one attend a biweekly meeting?

Word of the Dave.  November 12, 2014.

Stouthearted.  Brave and determined.

Jake the dog ripped a toenail nearly off recently and had to see the vet for rear paw repair.  Within twenty-four hours he mastered squirrel chasing on three legs.  Our grounds stay secure thanks to his stouthearted devotion to homeland security. 

Thank you Jake the dog.

Word of the Dave.  November 9, 2014

Aftermath. The consequences or aftereffects of a significant unpleasant event.

Vice-principal Mr. Smith told the students that he would deal with the food fight aftermath after math.

Word of the Dave.  August 26, 2014

Alongside.  Beside one another.

Alongside they went down a long slide

Word of the Dave.  July 27, 2014.

Parallel.  Extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging.

They know parallel in Iowa.

Word of the Dave.  June 21, 2014

Segue.  Proceed to what follows without pause.

A second lives to segue.

Word of the Dave.  Jun17, 2014

Arrogate.  To take or claim for oneself without right.

Jenny the cat posed on the end of the bed in a haughty act of arrogation.

Word of the Dave.  May 5, 2014

Ewok.  A fictional race of small, mammaloid bipeds found in the Star Wars universe.

Jake the dog likes to reminisce about his days as an Ewok stand-in.

Word of the Dave.  April 2, 2014

I love this guy's poetry.

Die Briefly

He steps out of his body

On occasion
And wanders 

                     ~ Nösnhoj Divad    c. 1963


Copyright © 2020 David Ralph Johnson

All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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~ David Ralph Johnson



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