Tuesday, October 9, 2012

on the wagon

I quit drinking alcohol this year so...I am on the wagon. Why do we say that?
on and off the wagon-- has been associated with battling booze (alcohol)  for around one hundred years. It goes like this:
1. Someone decides (or pledges) to abstain from (quit) drinking alcoholic beverages, usually after a period of excessive drinking but sometimes for religious or other reasons.
2. Having stopped, this person is on the wagon.
3. If the person then takes a drink or--especially--starts drinking again habitually, he or she has fallen off the wagon.
The origin of on the wagon becomes clearer in its early forms: on the water wagon and on the water cart. Horse-drawn water carts were used during the late 19th century to wet down dusty roads. This was a period of active crusading for Prohibition. They were trying desperately to close down breweries and saloons. They hoped to eliminate or reduce domestic abuse (DV) by encouraging sobriety in husbands and fathers. During this period, many men who promised to stop drinking said they would climb aboard a water cart to quench their thirst rather than break their promise. I'm on the water cart (or wagon) came to mean "No, thank you; I'm not drinking any more" or "I'm trying to stop."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Puzzler Answers

And here are your answers. Did you get them? Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Puzzler Hints

I have to go check out two new short courses we have at Plaza West today. Should be no problem. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


My RINRI Morning Seminar is now on Saturday AMs at 6:30. We shall see how it goes. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Friday Vocabulary

"q" words for you. There are plenty of "q" words in Spanish but not so many in English. Comprende?
1. quaint = attractive in an unusual or old-fashioned way. ex: Many quaint houses lined the street in that Italian seaside town.
2. quiver = to shake slightly. ex: Her lips quivered as she talked to the police officer.
3. queer = strange or unusual. ex: Our English teacher is rather queer sometimes.
4. quest = a long search for something especially or some quality such as happiness. ex: He never gave up his quest for a true soul mate.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


In 1776, whether you were living in the American colonies or in England your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet separated. That is, The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to American accent than to the Queen's English.
It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries (200 years), while the typical American accent has changed only slightly.
Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely "rhotic." Rhotic speakers pronounce the "R" sound in such words as "hard" and "winter," while non-rhotic speakers do not. Today, however, non-rhotic speech is common throughout most of Britain. For example, most modern Brits would tell you it's been a "hahd wintuh." (hard/difficult winter) Of course, we need only American English. Right, boys and girls?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Obama house

Super Scrabble answers: greed death groan/grown zoo. The US presidential election is November 6th in my country, the good old USA. Actually I can vote in this election. It is the only election I am allowed to vote in because I live abroad.  There is always plenty of news, every day in fact, about the two candidates: Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate (vice-president wannabe) Paul Ryan vs the Democrat incumbent (current president) Barack Obama and his vice-president Joe Biden. I saw this particular news on Monday. I thought it was interesting so I wanted to share it with you. It is Obama's house in Chicago. Of course he is usually at work in the White House. It cost $1,600,000. On the other hand, Romney has four houses. There is not enough room to show them all here. Good luck to both men!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Super Scrabble

Yes, Super Scrabble is my favorite game that we play here at my school. Dominoes is a close second. On the other hand, almost all kids over 10 love Dominoes while only a few really enjoy SS. Last Wednesday 5 junior high school girls and one 6th grader came for their weekly lesson. They have all passed Eiken 5. We now study Eiken 4 but not in earnest. That is, not too seriously yet. Because there are 6 students it is easy to play GO FISH. This game allows everyone to practice simple conversation. But, we have done that so many times that I decided to try SS last week. They paired up for three teams and I was the fourth "team". I had to be very patient. But, they tried their best and it worked out well. The next two kids at 8PM finished it up. Can you guess the blanks? Answers tomorrow. BTW: I am planning a Super Scrabble extravaganza October 28th. All are welcome. more details coming soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Do you know the meaning of "in-law"? First, "law" = the system of rules that everyone in a country or society must obey. The word "in-law" refers to the people who are not related to you by blood (blood relatives). They are related by marriage. There are father-in-law, mother-in-law (your spouse's mom and dad) son-in-law, daughter-in-law (your child's` spouse) and brother-in-law, sister-in-law (your spouse's siblings OR your siblings spouses). Perhaps that is a little confusing. HOWEVER, I wondered are there any other "in-laws". I checked the net and my USA sources. Most say NO. cousin-in-law, nephew-in-law, etc. In those cases you say "My wife's cousin" or "My husband's nephew". OK? Good luck.

Puzzler Answers

Monday. Ready to go go go! Here are the answers for the HW.
began  invited  happened  known  pay  say. 
C U again!The pic is the rice field. Notice the tall grass in front.