Bald Eagle in the Rain, Cordova, Alaska

Happy Birthday, America,


With any luck at all, the country will survive Donald Trump and again be something to be proud of. We can hope, at least. But this July 4 is one to let pass quietly, ignoring the president’s crypto-fascist conduct and working for better, Trump-free times. Happy 243rd Birthday, America. And many more. Advertisements

Breakfast Smörgåsbord, Madison, Wisconsin

WC’s Smörgåsbord Edition


If you didn’t grow up in a household influenced by a Swedish grandmother, or haven’t been to Sweden, you may not know what a smörgåsbord is. Certainly none of the American efforts to establish smörgåsbord restaurants here appear to have survived contact with Americans. A smörgåsbord is “a celebratory meal and guests can help themselves…

WC Answers Your Questions


WC’s virtual mailbox is overflowing; there have been complaints from the email host. So WC will undertake to answer a few questions and delete lots and lots of emails. Questions are in italics; WC’s responses in plain text. Hey snowflake, how come you’re afraid of a real man as president? WC lived in Alaska for…

Yellow-billed Magpie, Pinnacles National Park, California

The Magpie Principle Explained


WC has apparently confused folks by describing his approach to this blog as the embodiment of the Magpie Principle. While we live in confusing times, WC doesn’t want to unnecessarily contribute to that confusion. So let’s see if WC can explain his reference. (WC has used the term – sometimes as “magpie sensibility” – to…

Potential yard birds, using another definition

Ambiguity and American English


WC doesn’t envy anyone who attempts English as a second language.  The language is riddled with euphemisms, words with multiple meanings and contextual defined term. As just one example, let’s use a term WC blogged about recently, “yard birds.” WC meant bird species seen in his yard. But “yard birds” has other meanings. There’s the…