Mon, 24 Sep 2007

Assorted Autumn Notes

— SjG @ 9:45 am

1. I got in trouble trying to buy an assortment of walnuts, almonds, filberts, etc, with their shells intact. I asked for “unshelled nuts,” and was roundly mocked by the grocery store concierge (serves me right, going to a grocery store that has a concierge. What ever happened to the good old grocery store information counter? Or grocer, for that matter?).

Now, to be fair, the concierge may not have spoken English as her first language. But seeing as you shell a nut to remove its shell, it seems to me that unshelled means remaining in the shell. I take it as one of the many delightful perversions that make up the English language, that a shelled nut has no shell, but an unshelled nut does. Evidently, though, the only online dictionary to include “unshelled” as an adjective, Princeton’s WordNet, disagrees with me.

2. Late last night, after many of the revelers had left, Peter noticed two new visitors coming to celebrate the arrival of Autumn. Two fairly large raccoons were nosing about on the deck. One was coming up to the screen door, possibly hoping to come inside and partake of an autumn repast. The other was inspecting the cooler, perhaps hoping to sample some Cyser or pumpkin ale. I chased them off, but their departing attitude was one of “whatever dude. But you might as well get over it, ’cause we’ll be coming back.”

3. On my weary walk to work this morning, I was nearly bowled off the sidewalk by a crow/red-tail hawk dogfight. This time, it was a single crow on the tail of a single hawk, and they were swooping and rolling and skimming between the branches. Man, can those guys maneuver.

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