April 2023 archive
Had a nice morning climbing today.
NPR's Sunday puzzle challenge from a week ago:
Think of a common 8‑letter word, in which the first three letters spell a word, and the fifth, sixth, and seventh letters also spell a word. These two little words mean the same thing. The fourth letter, when rotated 180°, becomes the eighth letter. What word is this?
I downloaded a Scrabble dictionary and wrote a program to find therein the eight‑letter words with three letter words in the desired positions and with the fourth and eighth letters being {b,q} or {d,p}. The list wasn't that long and in it I saw the word they were looking for: shepherd.

I broadened the criteria a bit and looked at words with fourth and eighth letters both being i, l, o, or s. In that list was hotshots, a solution (albeit a degenerate one) that I couldn't resist submitting.

NPR revealed their answer today and said there was another they hadn't anticipated: not hotshots but rather Peruvian. I hadn't seen that one because I failed to consider n being u rotated and because proper nouns/adjectives aren't in Scrabble dictionaries.

I don't see anything in the description of the challenge that disqualifies hotshots. Hot means the same as hot (more so, I would say, than she means the same as her) and s rotated is s.
I have three wall clocks, enough to cover the rooms in which I spend most of my waking hours. Two have synchronous AC motors and one has a mechanical pendulum movement. I enjoy the weekly ritual of winding the mechanical clock.

A medicine that I take in the morning requires not eating for an hour afterwards. A friend gave me an hourglass last year and it's just the ticket for letting me know when I can have breakfast.

I quit wearing a watch around when I started carrying a cell phone. Just recently I thought it might be fun to start wearing one again and got my watch out. I hated the way it felt on my wrist, in particular the coldness of metal against skin. That took me by surprise as I can't remember objecting to the feeling back when I used to wear a watch. I suppose I could get used to it again but I don't want to wear a watch that badly.
Yucca brevifoliaMy Joshua tree's first pup, which I introduced last year, is growing at a decent clip.

Pups can be transplanted once they're large enough. I'll be tempted to move this one, as I prefer the look of solitary J‑trees. On the other hand, there's something to be said for honoring the natural course of a plant's growth. A dilemma—but not one I have to resolve any time soon.

It's admittedly incongruous for me to talk about honoring the natural growth of this J‑tree, given how I dug it up 25 years ago and moved it here.

I like that my plants probably have no idea that I think about them.
Uta stansburiana
I like that it's warm and lizards are out.
Recent email from Amazon: "Here's a new product we think you'll like". The product was a cat litter box.

In 25 years of being an Amazon customer I have never bought pet supplies from them.
times are PDTYou-know-who en route to New York for a court date. I would've rather seen his first indictment be for one of the more serious crimes being investigated—but we can look forward to him being held accountable for those too.
Castilleja angustifolia
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