Another Mother Tongue

The results of last weekend’s word collecting project are in! We are not interested in enforcing “official” language rules here or criticizing people just because we can’t understand them, but there is a certain tone to the comments on Trial Baboon that sometimes begs for an explanation.

So it is in an effort to be gracious and accommodating to everyone that certain members of our online community decided to assemble a Glossary Of Accepted Terms (GOAT), both as a guide for the uninitiated and a reminder for regulars whose brain function sometimes promotes the practice of “self hiding” critical information (see the glossary). Some of these terms were imported from other places because they felt appropriate. Others were created on the spot.

After today, this collection will reside permanently attached to a link off to the right side of the main entry for easy access, should one need clarification or wish to add a new term.

Since all this work was done by readers, it qualifies as a guest blog.

A group guest blog, organized and led by Jacque and Barbara in Robbinsdale.

Babawesome – Awesome in a Baboonish way.

Baboondipity – An interesting coincidence occurring in Baboonville.

Babooner – One who participates by writing and/or lurking on Dale Connelly’s Trail Baboon Blog, formerly known as Radio Heartland’s Trial Balloon Blog.

Babooninomics – This can be summarized as, “Don’t spend what you don’t have.”

Babooniquette – A fairly gracious set of manners adopted by Babooners that is related to, but different from, traditional “netiquette” (e.g., a tendency to avoid all caps when writing…or in tim’s case, any caps at all; an understanding of how to agree to disagree by simply being nonconflictious; etc.). Babooniquette does not require that you know which spoon to use at the dinner table (or that you use any spoon at all), but it may require that you at least hum along to “You Are My Sunshine” when it is played.

Bipartispasm–Against their willful desire, politicians suddenly find themselves experiencing muscle-like brain contractions that influence cooperating and compromising for the common good.

Blogosphere – The world of bloggery, perhaps including other blogs besides TBB.

Brace (of pets) – Two animals. “We have three cats… A brace… refers to a pair of objects, so I have one and half brace of cats.” Larger numbers may be spoken of as the number of “head”, as in “I asked an old Indian in cowboy land one time how many cats he had. He squinted a bit and said, ‘Oh, maybe 30 head!’ ”

Brain Fade – The moment characterized by the question “Why did I come in here?”

Cheapatude – Extreme thrift, as in “We have resorted, in our retired cheapatude, to making our own cards with Steve’s photos and just writing inside.”

Cleaver – Especially creative in a Baboonish way (not to be confused with the ordinary “clever”).

Cliffy – The TB way of saying someone has overdone it on the explanation of the facts. Other examples welcome.

Conflictious – 1. A cross between “litigious” and “conflictual”, possibly making you a candidate for a session with BMB (See acronyms). 2. A delicious conflict.

Credit Card Camping – Camping by staying in motels or B & B’s along the route, as in “I’m no camper! We did credit card camping.”

Delurk — To fully participate by writing on the blog after a period of lurkitude, as in “Nice of you to delurk, Connie.”

E-mail Pack Rattery – Hoarding of emails, as in: “I tend toward e-mail pack rattery … I have countless personal notes from friends that I can’t throw away.”

Fei da, Ish da – The Norwegian equivalent of Oy Vey, as in “I remember my grandfather talking about the progression from uff da to fei da to ish da based on milking cows – ish da being what [barb] experienced … * (though it hovers near a fei da, definitely an ish da if you got splashed).”
* “ …[when Sugar, the visiting goat,] was standing nicely. then i got complacent and BANG! goathoof in bucket. 2 quarts of milk ruined and bucket contaminated.”

Goatswaggled – Physically outwitted by a goat. See also Fei da and Ish da.

Huh? – “I am completely at sea. Please repeat or clarify the last several posts.”

Idiotology — Aberrant political thought, as in, “I am afraid that much of current political discourse has sunken to the point where a lot of it can be described as “idiotology.”

Idiotocracy – The type of politics practiced by MB (See Acronyms).

Interwinkled – associated or connected, as in “Dale [DC] said a while back, humor is what we humans do to get a grip, and we get the grippe to naturally cleanse our innards. It’s all relative. And interwinkled.”

Jimming – a dinosaur baboon word having to do with the practice of double posting (now defunct, as the new blog disallows it).

Joke-A-Sphere — Where all the good jokes that you can’t remember have gone.

Junk Thought – Thought at the most outrageous point, at the greatest amounts of decibels. (See MB in acronyms.)

Lurkitude — Reading the blog from one step back, but not writing and participating; giggling, chortling, guffawing, and belly laughs optional.

Non-Fiction Situation – An event in which it is not prudent to alter facts, i.e. a trip to the tax accountant, where you say, “I swear this information is true.”

O-T – Off Topic.

Pizzle Rot – An exclamation of a Babooner’s frustration, as in “Oh, pizzle rot, my italics didn’t shut off.”

Prumpers, or Pah-Rumpers — Singers of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

Rannygazoo – 1. The run-around, or nonsense, as in, “I had to pass as Canadian so I could avoid all ‘rannygazoo’ with my visa status.” 2. A prank or joke; semi-archaic, from the 1940’s and PG Wodehouse novels.

Scroogitude – Behaving like Ebenezer before he experienced the Three Spirits.

Self-Hiding – The ability to hide something from yourself, as in “I’m getting to the point where I can hide my own Easter Eggs.” See also Brain fade.

Semi-Colonoscopy — The study of the correct placement of semi-colons.

Suspension of Belief and/or Suspension of Disbelief – A fudging of facts used in many situations, particularly by theater people; or re: TV, movies, etc.

Thurgery – Any surgery taking place on a Thursday.

timism – An ambiguity in which you are not sure whether there was a typo, or an intentional misspelling, as in “My favorite timism of the week is ‘Talk snout dysfunctional’…” (See Dec. 23, 2010 TBB for rich, complete discussion.)

Uff da – Norwegian for “Oy”. See also Fei da and Ish da.

Vishnuverheer – A neo-religion practiced by vacationers and post card senders.

“Whobody” Mail – that mail from people you know and like, as contrasted with “anybody” mail, the junk and bulk mail which gets largely ignored.

Whumping – Sound of a Baboon in the process of losing a conflict over finite resources.

Willywacky – as in: “Then you can position your reply, hit paste and Post Comment. If something goes willywacky you still have your comment intact.”


BMB – Billy Marty Barry
BSOR – Bathtub Safety Officer Rafferty
DC – Dale Connelly
MB – Michele Bachmann
RH – Radio Heartland
TB – Trail Baboon
TBB – Trail Baboon Blog
TLGMS – The Late Great Morning Show

A Phone Alone

Pseudo-journalist Bud Buck has been following the controversial smartphone data collection story, and has apparently decided there’s a larger audience hungry for fresh details that will push them to becoming even more alarmed. He is more than willing to provide them.

Some Cellphones Stalk Users
by Bud Buck

Hot on the heels of revelations that cell phone tracking data is being collected and stored by Apple and Google and that these phones log your whereabouts even when the location feature is turned OFF, I have uncovered an instance of a smartphone that knows where its user goes and how much time he spends there, EVEN WHEN HE IS NOT CARRYING THE DEVICE!

A Bud Buck Reports Investigation has discovered that at least one careless user, Thomas Carping of Belle Plaine, routinely leaves his phone at home, but the phone still somehow knows where he is.

“Usually I take it with me,” he explains, “and I’m always going to pretty much all the same places anyway. I know it remembers. So I guess when I accidentally leave it in the pocket of yesterday’s pants it still has enough information inside to predict where I’ll be. That’s really smart … and really creepy.”

Carping claims that when he inadvertently leaves home without his phone, other telephones around him tend to ring, and that those phones ring in sequence along a route he typically follows. People he has called in the past receive phantom calls.

Carping’s friend, Luanne Locavore, confirmed his assertion.

“Tommy walks into my place and he’s not here more than five minutes before MY phone starts to ring,” she says. “I pick it up and it’s just line noise, and then a hang up. I check the log and discover the call came from HIS cell, but he says he left it at home.”

Carping believes that smart phone designers have built the devices with “the soul-sucking, meddlesome personality of an obsessed harpy.” He claims he has made no commitment to the phone and yet it seems bent on “tracking my movements and going out of its way to ruin my fun.”

I found it surprising that he could have a mobile phone plan that required no extended contract or commitment, but Carping insisted it is true. He and the phone “are good friends. We’ve done some work together, but that’s as far as it goes. I am allowed to leave the house without it, no matter what the phone thinks.”

Locavore agrees, saying the phone “obviously has other ideas. It’s almost like it’s trying to find him.”

And those ideas may include more than a simple phone call. Locavore revealed this shocking tidbit – she insisted that Carping download the tracking data from his phone and they discovered that on some days when he left the phone in his pants pocket on the closet floor, the device actually went out in search of him.

“All the tracking information is in there,” she says. “One night when he said he didn’t have it, the records show it came and sat out in the street in front of my house! Creepy! What will I do if it rings the doorbell?”

Locavore finds it troubling that the device can form such a strong attachment, and she thinks Carping should do something “before it gets out of hand.”

Her suggestion?

“Drown it in a five gallon pail.”

Both Carping and Locavore took offense at this reporter’s offhand suggestion that perhaps Carping had more to hide than he was letting on, and that his phone was being operated by another person during the times when it appears to be trying to track him down.

“He’s single and lives alone,” said Locavore. “That’s what he’s always told me.”

Carping readily agreed.

“Yup,” he said. “That’s my story.”

But can anyone ever be truly alone once they become involved with a smartphone?
Time will tell! This is Bud Buck!

Which of your appliances loves you the most?

The Tale of Zorro

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the compiling of the Baboonish Glossary over the weekend. Our diligent wordsmiths Jacque and Barbara in Robbinsdale will sift through your contributions and we will announce an official posting of the work soon.

I have been enjoying the holiday weekend and working on another writing project. I’ll get back to business tomorrow. Fortunately, there is something nice I’ve been holding in reserve for just this moment.

Today’s guest blog is by Sherrilee.

I’ve always been the penultimate dog person. Since I was born, there has hardly been a day that I haven’t had a dog in my life, beginning with Snowball, a little white fluffy thing to Princess the Wonderdog. My mother never cared much for cats, so we never had one and I never missed not having one.

So it came as a surprise that from the minute my daughter could speak, she wanted a cat. (I don’t think “cat” was her very first word, but it certainly was one of the first ten!) I spent years putting off any discussion of getting a cat, although I did try to make conciliatory remarks occasionally like “Well, perhaps next year….” and “We need to do some research first about what kind of cat would be good for us…”. After many years of this, I started to think that maybe a cat wouldn’t be too bad, but certainly never considered it seriously.

When my daughter was six, we stopped at Petsmart on a Saturday to stock up on dog food. She, as always, headed straight over to the adoption area. After loading the dog food into the cart, I went to get her and casually ran my fingers across the cat cages. A black and white “tuxedo” cat immediately jumped up and rushed over to rub against my fingers and when I stopped to look at him, he looked right into my eyes. He had deep bluish-green eyes and he stared at me intently, unlike any other cat I knew. He seemed like a nice cat, but I was in a rush, so I collected my daughter, paid for the dog food and went home.

That afternoon as I worked in my studio, every commercial that has ever featured a cat ran on TV and that night I even dreamed about the cat. When I related this phenomenon to my best friend the next day, she said “It means you’re supposed to have this cat.”


I said “I was hoping to have a less chaotic time of life before thinking about getting a cat” to which she succinctly replied “When you run out of chaos, you go looking for more… go get the damn cat.” After I got done laughing, we went and got the cat.

He came with the name Zorro, which we have never changed. He is completely in charge of the dogs, has a wonderful growly purr, doesn’t do hairballs and is very affectionate. I’ve never been sorry that we have him and I’m sure when he is gone, I’ll get another cat, although I can’t imagine any other cat as fabulous as he is.

What have you done, out of character, which has turned out well?

Rise and Define!

As we head into what is, for many, a busy holiday weekend, Jacque takes the controls for a guest blog that is both a challenge and the beginning of an ongoing project.

To allow time for careful thought and reflection, this post will remain front and center until early Monday morning. The comments you recall and the new contributions you make will eventually become a permanent feature of our baboonish space.

For sometime now I have been threatening our blog-iverse with a Trail Baboon Glossary.

Barbara in Robbinsdale and I have been putting our e-heads together to gather a joint list of terms that seem quite unique to our on-line world.

Most of you know I am trained as a social worker. One of the topics that social workers study in both undergraduate and graduate training is the behavior and development of groups and social systems. It is my expert opinion that TB qualifies as both!

There is a process that groups follow which is fairly predictable.
Stages 1 and 2 are listed below:

1) Gathering as a Group, then defining the group as an Entity – the Trail Baboon on-line community

2) Forming Emotional Connections and Bonding as an Entity — this is typically the equivalent of a couple’s honeymoon. A particular culture is formed, including a language that distinguishes the group.

Well, we certainly have formed a Trail Baboon language that distinguishes the group. And it is long past the time that we define the terms so that we can move along into our next (uncomfortable) stage of development. Should we stall out on this developmental task, all kinds of disappointments may follow. Prepare yourselves, dear Baboons, because the next stage is:

3) Emergence of Conflict within the Entity.

Oh, my. What will we, as timid, conflict-avoidant Midwestern Bloggers do with this? If we were calloused New Yorkers we would just verbally blast each other and say “Gedoverit.” But we are not. So let us get on with naming the terms and defining them so that we can move on up our developmental group ladder. Defining terms might provide a containable venue for conflict over definitions. And it certainly is better than those traditional conflictual topics: sex, politics, religion.

I don’t want to talk about any of them.

So here is the list, but I know there are many, many more. The task this weekend is to pull up the unique terms that have appeared here, then define them for an ongoing feature – A Baboonish Glossary.

Lurkitude, or “In Lurkitude”
Or is it Babooninomics?
Credit card Camping
E-mail Pack Rattery
Non-Fiction Situation
Suspension of Belief and/or
Suspension of Disbelief

Take a moment to define any or all of these terms, nominate something already said but not listed, or coin something brand new!

Postscript from Dale:

You might have a dim recollection of something said once in the comments and nothing more to go on than that. Fair enough. Unfortunately, the “search” box in the upper right corner of our front page looks at main posts only, not the voluminous and always enlightening comments.

If you would like to search for a term in the comments, this is the easiest way to do it that I know of:

Go to Google and enter “” in the search box, followed by the term you seek. Here’s a screen shot of what you get for “lurkitude”.

Like hunting for Easter Eggs in our soggy back yard, you will find some treasures and some other stuff. Share the things that delight you, and have a wonderful weekend!

Ask Dr. Babooner

Dear Dr. Babooner,

I was going through the check-out line in the grocery store when the clerk scanned my bag of clementines and said “These babies are going to cost a ton once the Federal Reserve Bank goes in for another round of quantitative easing.”

I’m not the sort of person who expects a lot from my contact with people running cash registers. I figure they have enough to keep them occupied without the added burden of sustaining a conversation with me, but I have to say this came as a surprise.

“The government is printing money like mad,” she said, “and there’s no way they can stop doing it now, not with the economic pain people are feeling and the fact that the 2012 presidential election campaign has already begun.”

She scanned my coupon for fifty cents off a can of mixed fruit.

“The pressure is intense to keep up the pretense. It’s all based on your mindless faith that everything has to work out fine, but I’m tellin’ you that the whole economy is built on a friggin’ house of cards.”

As she weighed my bananas I remembered hearing that the familiar Cavendish variety of my favorite yellow fruit would soon be extinct.

“The first thing you’ll see is unchecked inflation, wild like you wouldn’t believe. That’s what I mean about the clementines. And after that, there’ll be something like total collapse of the entire system because it’s not based on anything real. Once people figure that out, it’ll be a torching-cars-at-the-curb kind of crazy”, she said, sticking a red dot to my gallon of “No Bovine Growth Hormone” milk.

“Good thing you got the no BHG version of skim. Hope there’s not too much Japanese nuclear radiation in there.”

“I think the milk is safe,” I said, beginning to wonder if the milk was safe.

“I’m just sayin’,” she said, “that it’ll be a tough decision once you realize the only way you can re-stock on Ho-Ho’s is to throw a shopping cart through the front window and start looting, or pay for them on the black market with pure gold.”

She held up the Ho-Ho’s and shook them at me as she lectured.

“Because these babies will never go bad, and that makes them a great catastrophe food. No-spoil items will become really valuable because you might have to stay in your basement for months. Especially word gets out to the roving mobs of jobless middle managers that you might have valuables and guns in the house.”

“Or Ho-Ho’s,” I said, trying to lighten the mood.

“There are surveillance cameras at all the exits,” she observed. “Try to bury your non-perishables lower in the bag. Stockpilers will be identified and their caches re-distributed by the government. To reduce panic.”

I thought for a moment about running back to grab a few armloads of beef jerky and gallons of water.

“Winter’s hanging on,” I said, trying to return the conversation to a normal topic. “Wonder if we’ve seen our last snow.”

“Ash and airborne particulates from the fires out west will fall like snow over the entire Midwest once the Yellowstone super volcano starts erupting,” she chirped. “We won’t see the sun until 2050.”

I collected my groceries and went home, but didn’t feel like eating.

Dr. Babooner, do you think clipping grocery store coupons is worth all the time and trouble I put into it, or am I simply an unwitting dupe in a food industry marketing campaign?

Unsettled By My Disaster Cashier

I told Unsettled that the key to coupon clipping is to only cut out the ones issued for things you already intended to buy. Going into the supermarket and coming out with a lot of stuff that wasn’t on your list is a quick route to the poorhouse. I’ve always thought that instead of what they usually say, cashiers should ask “Did you find anything you WEREN’T looking for?” And then, as a public service, they should set it aside and have the stock clerks return it to the shelves.

But that’s just one opinion. What do YOU think, Dr. Babooner?

That Special Something

What is it in a great musical performance that touches our emotions?

Dunno. Something special. Costumes? Smoke bombs?

That’s the full extent of my personal scholarship on this matter, and one of the reasons I find it very difficult to write about music. Fortunately there are scientists who can’t shrug at a mystery. Some of them have taken a closer look, trying to understand what makes music expressive.

It’s an important question, especially in the age of auto-tune, when so much attention is paid to whatever Lady Gaga is wearing on the latest awards show.

I know people who cringe at the thought of scientific investigations into the fundamentals of art, worried that the process of picking apart a beautiful thing essentially kills it, and that we’ve got more than enough technology being applied to music as it is.

Maybe so, but it’s a great relief to hear, after laboratory-based manipulation of recordings, detailed surveys, exhaustive experiments and thorough brain scans, that the machines have indeed detected something significant.

It’s the human element that makes all the difference.

Variations, limitations and “imperfections” matter greatly, and a machine can’t improve the power of a skilled pianist’s performance. Some of the most interesting research is described in Pam Belluck’s article in the New York Times. The piece is lengthy but well worth the time.

The story includes some great quotes from Paul Simon about the mechanics of a song, which led me to this video made in Zimbabwe more than 20 years ago, when Simon (who will play in Minneapolis on May 2nd) performed “Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. There’s great spirit and choreography from the South African vocal ensemble, and watching it cleansed all that scientific thinking from my mind.

What’s the best performance you’ve seen?

Open House

Now that it’s finally beginning to warm up, it’s wonderful to get out and examine the post-winter landscape. Congratulations! You made it through the dreary season, so now it’s time to daydream – consider changing everything by upgrading your abode! The economy is beginning to gain some momentum and attractive homes are flooding the market. On a walk yesterday, I saw several on display right here in my neighborhood!

Home #333

Wait til you see the back yard!

This warm and cozy split level built into a south facing hillside is surrounded by lush cooling grasses during the hottest part of summer, but in springtime its graceful rounded profile reaches out to capture the sun’s warming rays, providing a beautiful elevated view of the nearby shrubs as they come into bloom. Every family member will want to poke his or her head out the front door to welcome visitors and/or sound a warning about intruders. This earthy charmer is move-in ready!

Home #838

Just a hop from all the action!

Fantastic curb appeal is just one of the attractions of this roomy single level home, and wait until you see the rooftop deck! Note the detailed craftsmanship of the tooth-carved entryway, which opens into an expansive wind-protected too-tight-for-the-dog-to-get-in living area. Generous upstairs neighbors occasionally have lavish food-dropping parties, providing a delicious rain delivered right to your main living area! This family home has sheltered 5 generations of hearty rabbits, and that’s just in the past year.

Home #83

Best of both worlds!

This stunning penthouse apartment has been extensively remodeled to work more comfortably as a single level walk out. No more climbing with your arms (and cheeks) loaded full of groceries! Live close to the earth with an easily accessed garden and quick emergency egress. It’s the best possible combination of the breezy treetop lifestyle everyone wants with the solid grounded foundation that everyone needs!

Wow! All these places look better (and cheaper) than the place I’m in! Still, moving is a huge project, and I’m afraid I might suffer from buyer’s remorse (especially with home #83)! Maybe I wouldn’t be so interested in a change if I just vacuumed the space I’ve got and re-arranged the furniture I already have.

When has the grass only seemed greener on the other side?

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