Category Archives: words

Word Power; Grangerize



Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary One word at a Time

grangerize wordgrangerize



grangerize (grain jer eyes) v to illustrate by inserting engravings or photographs from other books. Also to mutilate books to obtain material for such illustrations. Derived from the English author James Granger, who used this method to illustrate his book: Biographical History of England.


James Granger

James Granger


How about that! There’s a word to describe the method I use to illustrate this blog.


I guess that makes me a grangerizer. …or maybe I could call myself a Granger Ranger.

granger ranger


Word Power; Misology


wordpowerWord Power


Building Your Vocabulary One Word at a Time




misology album


misology (miz olleh gee) n hatred of argument, reason or enlightenment


misology sarah palin


Usually the suffix “ology” at the end of a word means “science of” whatever the first part of the word refers to. In this case, however, “misology” does not refer to the science of hatred, but rather the hatred of science.


i hate science


Personally, I enjoy a good argument. I don’t go out of my way to start them, and I do my best to avoid them at parties or other social events, but I find debate invigorating and I’m open to having my mind changed by a thoughtful and well reasoned position.

fuck you science

I don’t think that argument is necessarily a great way to uncover the truth of a matter, but I still find them a worthwhile intellectual exercise.

girls hate science


Many people however, find any dispute distasteful. They want harmony and positivity at all times. Strong opinions, controversial ideas and differing perspectives make them uncomfortable, and will likely provoke a hostile response. For them, small talk is big enough, I guess.

keep calm hate science


Word Power; Insessorial


Word Power;

Building your Vocabulary One Word at a Time



insessorial (in seh ‘sore ee ehl) adj perching, or adapted for perching


OK, we have a word, a nice adjective that they probably use often in the field of ornithology. I think you might find it useful in other circumstances as well. I don’t think I’ve ever come across it in context before, but when I stumbled across it in my dictionary I thought it noteworthy.


When I looked “insessorial” up online, however, I found this definition which gives us a little more information about the ornithological origins of this word, and provides us with a curious example of the word’s use in literature.

insessorial-definition short

What the fuck was Guy Davenport trying to say in 1974? I mean, I understand that Bruno is not lactating in order to provide nourishment for his coffee. I get the first half of this sentence. Bruno is standing by the fire slowly sipping his coffee, but what the fuck is going on in the last half of that sentence. Unless Bruno has a bantam rooster stuffed in his trousers, the last half of that sentence makes no sense.

man with two cocks

I assume that by “cock” Guy Davenport means “penis”. Then you get to “snub and insessorial” which according to my dictionary must mean “short and perched like a bird”.

bird perched on fist

A penis does not perch like a bird. A penis can dangle, waggle, protrude, penetrate or flop, but it does not perch like a bird.


And where is Bruno’s penis allegedly perched? “…in the codpiece of his curt briefs” Briefs don’t have a “codpiece”. Suits of armor have codpieces. Trousers from the 15th and 16th century had codpieces, but not briefs in 1974. Briefs have a “hammock” or “pouch”, but not a “codpiece”, and they’re “briefs” for god’s sake, no need to tell us they are “curt”, or “short”. Have you ever seen long briefs?


So Bruno is standing around the fire, sipping coffee in his underwear. Guy Davenport, on the other hand has surrounded Bruno’s dick with flowery, nonsensical language, even though it, and in this case “it” can refer to either the penis or the language, is doing nothing.


All of this points to one thing. Someone, perhaps you, needs to find a better use for the word insessorial in writing. dictionary of hard words

Word Power; Toxophilite


Word Power; Toxophilite

Toxophilite (tock ‘soph eh light) n One fond of or expert at archery


Which reminds me of a particularly paradoxical toxophilite I once knew. A nationally ranked archer, expert and avid bow hunter, vegetarian and radical PETA activist, he also collected guns and military ephemera. I got to know him when we worked together at Greepeace. Interesting guy, played guitar pretty well too. It takes all kinds, I guess.

archery harder than it looks

Bring Me the Head of “Heraldo”

Bring Me the Head of “Heraldo”


Well the North Coast Journal finally published its annual “Best of Humboldt” issue, and once again, this blog, “Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do” made the cut. This year, my blog tied for fourth place with the Humboldt Herald.


Frankly, I don’t have time for, or much interest in, reading a lot of other blogs, and I’ve never heard anything good about the Humboldt Herald. So, before today, I’d never even glanced at it. I’d heard that the Humboldt Herald was a cesspool of moronic political bickering, so I assumed that it was Eureka’s answer to Eric Kirk’s blog, SoHum Parlance.


Sure enough, who’s name do I see at the top of the page at Humboldt Herald? Eric Kirk’s, but apparently some anonymous joker, who calls himself “Heraldo”, runs the Humboldt Herald. I wouldn’t put my real name on that disease either, were I responsible for it.


I didn’t spend a lot of time there, but it looks like the same kind of bland, self-important, rhetorical regurgitation you’d expect from Eric Kirk. I didn’t see one post that I really wanted to read, and what I did read, seemed to me the product of small, narrow minds, without much imagination, so I’m more than a little disappointed to have tied with them.


You’ll recall that last year we fought this campaign down to a tie, as well. In 2011, Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do tied with Chocolate Covered Xanax for 5th place. Chocolate Covered Xanax rocks, at least it did then. Well written, with beautiful photographs, Chocolate Covered Xanax has style, humor and elegance. It’s a real class act. I was proud to tie with Chocolate Covered Xanax. Apparently Kristabel has better things to do these days. It’s been a while since she’s updated CCX, which, no doubt, hurt her in this year’s competition. We miss you Kristabel, but that was last year.


This year, NCJ readers cast more votes for Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do, and we took a bigger slice of the overall pie, up from 2.5% of the vote to 3.2%, which moved us up in the standings enough to tie for fourth. It’s just a shame that I had to tie with the artless, pointless, senseless idiocy of Eric Kirk, Heraldo and their ilk at the Humboldt Herald.


I’m better than that. I mean, I write drivel, but I don’t write that kind of drivel. I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that vacuous political agita has a following around here, but the fact that the Humboldt Herald even placed in this contest speaks poorly of North Coast Journal readers.


Above us in the poll, no surprises. In first place: Lost Coast Outpost, the online hub of the Ferndale media empire, Lost Coast Communications. With four commercial radio stations feeding it traffic, former NCJ “Town Dandy”, and computer whiz Hank Sims aggressively building it into a local media powerhouse, and now with Redheaded Blackbelt Kym Kemp on the team, Lost Coast Outpost has become Humboldt County’s first source for news and information.


In the poll, Lost Coast Outpost took 34.4 percent of the vote, with Kym Kemp’s Redheaded Blackbelt taking another 6.8%, and coming in third on her own. That’s over 41% of the vote for Lost Coast Outpost. Yes, the Lost Coast Outpost, and Lost Coast Communications casts a growing shadow over the media landscape here in Humboldt County.


LCC’s KHUM, “Radio Without the Rules” took first place in the “Best Radio Station” category, and another LCC station, KSLG finished second. Both of these commercial stations beat out both of our beloved community radio stations, KHSU and KMUD, which polled third and fourth respectively. As a blogger, I don’t generally consider myself in competition with local news media outlets like Lost Coast Outpost, and LCC, but KMUD is, and I hope that KMUD is up to it, because LCC is clearly growing, and hungry.


I couldn’t believe Lost Coast Outpost’s new feature, as hyped by the NCJ. They now have an automatic feed from law enforcement agencies that posts an entry every time a cop arrests someone in Humboldt County. Each post states who got arrested, and what they are charged with. Now, if you get arrested in Humboldt County, Lost Coast Outpost readers will know about it, hours before you even get to make a phone call. Is that creepy or what?


I promise you this: if you get arrested in Humboldt County, or anywhere, for that matter, your mother is not going to find out about it by reading my blog. Who wants to monitor a feed of arrests in Humboldt County? What does voting for a site like that, say about NCJ readers? Speaking of which…


Second place in the North Coast Journal readers poll, “best blog” category, went to the North Coast Journal’s own “blog thing” which took only 9.1% of the vote. If the North Coast Journal can’t get at least 10% of their own readers to vote for their blog, even though they put full page ads for it in their paper every week, how lame is that?


So that’s it, Lost Coast Communications, The North Coast Journal, Heraldo, and me, the best of the blogosphere in Humboldt County, at least according to readers of The North Coast Journal. Besides trending towards the petulant, petty and prying, North-Coast Journal readership tends to skew towards the northern part of the county. They don’t cover us much down here, so we tend to ignore The NCJ in SoHum.


Nothing from SoHum won “best of” anything in the NCJ readers poll, and only four SoHum based things even placed in the top five, in any category. I already mentioned Kym Kemp’s Redheaded Blackbelt (third best blog), and KMUD (fourth best radio station). The Mateel Community Center placed fifth in the “best music venue” category, and this blog: Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do, placed fourth in the category of “best blog”, all proudly representing SoHum.


Thank you, dear readers, for voting for this blog, and supporting my work here. Enough of you believed in this blog enough, and stood up for what you believe in enough, to give Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do more votes than 99% of all of the blogs in Humboldt County, more votes than any other humor blog, more votes than any other personal blog, more votes than all but two local media outlets, and exactly as many votes as the single most popular political blog in the county.


That’s power, people. We went head-to-head against big-money media in cyberspace, and we made the cut. Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do is a player. So what if we tied with a sack of rancid troll bait.

I Run a Clean Positive Campaign

I Run a Clean, Positive Campaign


As you may know, this political season finds me in the midst of a hotly contested campaign. We’ve faced some difficult challenges so far, but thanks to a tremendous effort by the amazing readers who support this blog, we’ve put an end to electoral shenanigans at the NCJ. Now we have to win the election.

We only have until Sept 5, that’s next Weds., to get AS MANY VOTES AS POSSIBLE in to the NCJ “Best of Humboldt” reader survey. This critical deadline means that you need to cast your ballot Today!  I cannot stress enough, how important it is to vote for “Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do” in the North Coast Journal’s “Best of Humboldt” reader survey. Please do it RIGHT NOW!!!


The future hangs in the balance. Raising the profile of this blog, to the status of “Best of Humboldt” could have a dramatic effect on the scope of public debate, politics and policy, here in Humboldt County. I know that seems extraordinarily unlikely, but you have the power to make it happen. Please, take that critical step. Vote for “Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do” as “best blog” in the NCJ “Best of Humboldt” reader survey.

Regardless, of the high-stakes, I want to keep this a clean, positive campaign. This campaign has always been about the strength of the material here at “Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do”, not about badmouthing other, less deserving blogs. However, as you undoubtedly know, the gloves are off when it comes to campaign spending. In this environment, I cannot afford to tell my larger donors not to form a SuperPAC.

Law prohibits SuperPACs from coordinating with the campaign of the candidate they support. So, I have no control whatsoever over anything this new SuperPAC, “Swiftblog Inveterates With Nothing Better To Do” does or says. The “Swiftblog Inveterates With Nothing Better To Do”, in turn, cannot say anything to endorse me or my campaign, but will work to raise important facts about the Humboldt county blogosphere that they feel every NCJ reader should know.

Please remember, that unless you see my name, John Hardin, specifically endorsing an ad, I have nothing whatsoever to do with it. I know the onslaught of negative political ads becomes tiresome. I’m sure you are sick of the twisted misrepresentations, the extreme lowbrow appeal, and the just plain ugly tone of politics these days. I am sick of it too, that’s why I run this campaign on the strength of what you read here at “Like you’ve Got Something Better To Do”.

I work hard to make “Like You’ve got Something better To Do” entertaining, to present thought provoking essays, and to show up every fucking week. Whether its a poem, a “Word Power” vocabulary word, an “On The Money” economic advice column, or a “You Call That Cooking” food story, “Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do” delivers steaming hot blog posts to your device of choice, every fucking week.

That’s dedication. That’s service. That’s the kind of blog I run here at “Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do”. You can count on me, because I’ve proven that I can deliver the goods.

Today, I need you to deliver the goods. Please, click this link. It takes you to the NCJ website, click on the long skinny button that takes you to the ballot. Click through to the very last category, the type in (or copy and paste) “Like You’ve Got Something Better To Do” next to the category labeled “Best Blog” then click through till you see the kitten with wings. That’s all it takes. Please do it now!!! Thank you. I am John Hardin, and I endorse this message.

Word Power, Heliculture

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary, One Word at a Time


heliculture (hell ih cult yer) n the art, science, practice and folklore of raising snails

Simon and Garfunkle as adolescents

Simon and Garfunkle as Adolescents (Helix Aspersa)

About a year and a half ago, we adopted a snail we found on a plant at Sylvandale’s Garden Supply here in Redway. They were going to kill it, so we decided to give it another lease on life, and took it home as a pet. For a while, we kept it in a big jar with cheesecloth over the lid, and fed it lettuce leaves.

Garfunkle as a young snail

Garfunkle, aka Snail Friend, shortly after he joined our family

Amy misted it with a squirt bottle every day, which usually motivated it to come out of its shell and climb around for a while. After a while, it seemed lonely. I don’t exactly know why it seemed that way to us, but we went back to Sylvandale’s to see if we could find another one. We did, and they hit it off immediately. We often found them resting right next to each other, shell to shell.

Simon whispering to Garfunkle

Simon whispering to Garfunkle

When we just had one snail, we called it “Snail Friend”, but when we added the new one, we named them Simon and Garfunkle. We chose those names because of how quiet our new pets are, which reminded us of Simon and Garfunkle’s hit song “The Sounds of Silence”. At first Garfunkle, aka “Snail Friend”, the one we had the longest, was much larger than Simon, but they both grew rapidly.

Simon and Garfunkle

Simon and Garfunkle (Simon is the little one on top in this photo)

Eventually we found a nice little aquarium with a fitted lid and transferred the snails into it. They really seemed to like the new digs, which had a nice layer of soil on the bottom, a couple rocks, and a piece of bark to create a diagonal ramp from the bottom corner to the top corner of their enclosure. They continued to grow, and Simon eventually grew to be the larger of the two.

Simon and Garfunkle in their mason jar home

Simon and Garfunkle in their Mason Jar Home

One evening, about two months ago, we noticed them necking rather enthusiastically. We knew they liked each other, but this got to be embarrassing to watch, so we put their aquarium away and gave them some privacy. About a week or so ago, we discovered dozens of tiny gray ovoid shaped masses about an eighth of an inch long, all over the inside of the aquarium. Baby snails! We have dozens of baby snails. Now what?

Baby Snails!

Baby Snails!

We checked out a book from the library about raising snails for food, titled, cryptically enough, Raising Snails for Food by Jacques Baratou, subtitled, “How to Make Friends With Garden Pests and Develop Them Into The Darlings of the Gourmet’s Table. We’ve done pretty well at the “making friends with garden pests” part, but I’m not sure we’re ready to “develop the darlings”, so to speak. However, I did discover this great word, heliculture.

Tiny snails in Amy's palm

Tiny snails in Amy’s palm

So, as we weigh our options at this critical juncture, and decide whether or not to join the distinguished ranks of the world’s heliculturalists, let me share a few photos of the proud new parents, and their babies, as well as a few facts I’ve learned about snail ranching:

Garfunkle with offspring

Garfunkle with offspring

Snails have the most complicated sexual apparatus in the animal kingdom, and they are all hermaphroditic

Simon with baby

Simon with baby

Snail ranchers ride specially bred horses that don’t run very fast, but are very careful about where they put their hooves down.

baby snails

Baby Snails!

In France, snails have the right-of-way. Occasionally, french snail herders will have to cross a major road with their herd. This can tie up traffic for hours.

Proud Parents Simon and Garfunkle

Proud Parents Simon and Garfunkle

Snail rodeos, where snail ranchers show off their snail-handling skills, and compete for prizes, have become high-stakes sporting events that draw competitors from all over the world. However, few spectators have the patience to sit through a snail rodeo, and as a result, the sport remains extremely obscure, outside of helicultural circles.

Simon w/ two babies

Simon with two babies

Word Power, Anthropophagous

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary One Word At A Time



anthropophagous (ant threh ‘poff eh gus) adj. Feeding on human flesh

…not to be confused with another word that’s pronounced the same way, but has a slightly different spelling…

anthropophagus (ant threh ‘poff eh gus) n. Man-eater


So, an anthropophagus is by definition anthropophagous, and anything that is anthropophagous must be an anthropophagus. If that’s not confusing enough, an anthropophogologist studying this phenomena, and those that practice it, might title his book on the subject, Anthropophagy of the World’s Anthropophagi.


While anthropophogology may seem like a very narrow field of study, limited to only a very few indigenous tribes, some extreme survival situations, and the occasional unfortunate encounter with one of the remaining non-human large predators, consider the future.

As time goes on, and the human population continues its explosive growth, displacing most other life forms on planet Earth, I suspect more of us will adopt an anthropophagous diet. Someday we may have a rich tradition of culinary anthropophagy to satisfy the drooling anthropophagi of the future.


Yes the future looks bright for anthropophagy, and for aspiring young anthropophagi, and thanks to this column, you will be prepared to discuss it, without using the “c” word, they get so sensitive about.

Word Power, Circuit-Bend

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary One Word at a Time


cir cuit – bend (‘sir cut bend) v, to rewire electronic devices to exploit their untapped, unintended, or unpredictable potential.


Q Reed Ghazala, now considered the godfather of circuit-bending, coined the term circuit-bending to describe the process he used to rewire electronic toys into bizarre, less than predictable musical instruments. Circuit-bending has since grown into a world-wide movement with Ghazala’s book, Circuit Bending as its bible.

You’ll likely see the term used frequently in this blog in coming weeks, in anticipation of, and preparation for the very first circuit-bending event ever held in Garberville, so far as I know. On Monday, May 21, at the Veterans Hall in Garberville, The Southern Humboldt Amateur Radio Club will host a pot-luck, and circuit-bending workshop led by the Dekalb Ill based circuit-bending band, CMKT4.


CMKT4 employs numerous instruments with bent circuits in their music, ranging from the sound modules from talking stuffed animals to educational electronic toys, to synthesizers and fuzz boxes. The three piece band also play more conventional instruments like drums, bass and guitar producing a sound that can take you to outer space in a swirl of sci-fi sound and then take you to breakfast at the Waffle House to show you the gritty dark side of America.


In the workshop, CMKT4 will teach you how to solder, show you the basics of circuit-bending and help you build your own contact microphone from a kit they provide. You can use your contact microphone as pickup for an acoustic guitar, or or almost any other acoustic instrument. It makes a great electronic drum trigger, and can turn almost any object into an electric musical instrument.


The cost of the workshop and kit is $15 per participant, and includes microphone kit, comic book instruction manual, use of tools and building supplies, and expert instruction. You will leave with a high quality contact microphone. Similar, often inferior, products sell in music stores for over $50, so attending the workshop pays off immediately. Besides that, the workshop will build your base of skills and knowledge and inspire your imagination.


CMKT4 will close the evening with a set of circuit-bent original music. I hope I see you there.

Word Power, Xanthochroi

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary One Word at a Time


xan thoch roi (zan ‘thock reh why …or… zan ‘thock roy)n, white person having fair skin and light hair.


This word comes to us from the Greeks, who, I guess, found such people so rarely that they didn’t mind wasting the syllables on them. They combined their word for yellow, “xanthos”, with their word for pale, “ochros” to give us a three or four syllable word for blonde.


If you think this piece is now going to turn into a dumb blonde joke, you couldn’t be more wrong. If you think blondes are dumb, ask yourself why the Scandinavian countries routinely whip our kids asses in educational achievement, have health-care systems that work, and in general report a better quality of life than people here in the US, even though they live in a dark frozen wasteland?


The real reason we call blondes, “dumb” is the simple rhythm of it. It’s like bass and snare… boom-chick. Dumb brunette, dumb redhead, these variations on the triplet beat are just don’t have the same hook. So, this monosyllabic moniker, “Blonde” has victimized xanthochroid people everywhere for decades. They’ve suffered enough.


Maybe we need this big word for blonde, to help make up for all of the unfair “dumb blonde” jokes they’ve had to endure. Personally, I like the four syllable pronunciation best. It exercises parts of your mouth that don’t used much, so it feels a little weird, but its fun to say. I can think of another good four-syllable word to pair with it, “intelligent”.


Intelligent xanthochroi” sounds smart, doesn’t it? Though not exactly an economical expression, linguistically speaking, it has a certain music about it. Try it out. Say it a few times out loud. “Intelligent xanthochroi”, “intelligent xanthochroi”, “intelligent xanthochroi”. Wasn’t that fun? Did it elicit any stares? …smiles? Say it again, louder this time. Intelligent xanthochroi! That’s enough.


Don’t get too carried away. White people in general can be kind of full of themselves in this way. I’m not saying that pale skinned, light haired people are smarter than anyone else. I’m just saying that xanthochroid people are no stupider than other people.


So, to you, the intelligent xanthochroid people of the world, by virtue of the fact that you are no dumber than the rest of us, I dedicate unto you, this ridiculous piece.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 106 other followers