Let the games begin!

Today was a reunion of sorts.  My wife’s family got together because a nephew was baptized.  And though it was a sacred occasion that brought us together, it was a lot more that kept the party going.

When the Rasmussen’s get together, it is an all day event… sometimes a weekend-long event.  In this case, it is both.  Some of us could only hang around for the day, others will stick it out for four days.  The rest are somewhere in between.

While we are all gathered there is definitely a lot of food being eaten.  There are stories being told.  Music and dancing.  Lots of activity.  But the fun really starts when the games come out.

Some members of the family are more competitive than the others.  This can be dangerous, but can also be the highlight of all reasons to laugh.  When the games get started, the noise increases.  But that isn’t a problem, except when we are playing boggle and need to concentrate on forming words.

Today’s game was called Wits and Wagers.  I didn’t play but enjoyed watching and listening as poker-style wagering was taking place over simple trivia facts.  By the way, did you know that the original PacMan game had 244 dots on the screen that the Pacster would eat (including the power-up dots).  Do you know how many voted were cast for the finale of American Idol the year that Jordyn Sparks won? These are the types of trivia questions that they were betting on.

The best part of the day though is seeing the family gathered together, some people having to travel almost 8 hours by car, and everyone enjoying their time together.  Why is it so enjoyable?

I believe that family is the central unit to society.  The more emphasis a society places on family, the better off that society is.  You have friends, but they move on.  Family is there for you all the time.  And when they can have fun playing games, it is even better.

So my post today is not one of humor, or religious views, or political views, or parenting views, etc.  Actually, it is all of that.  As a society, we need to focus on the family.  We need to have more fun times, more serious times, more loving times.  We need to enjoy ourselves with those we belong to.

So let the games begin.  And while you’re at it, fire up the grill.

Just another view from a palmtree.


Somebody has to say it…

Gloaming (1915-1932) was an outstanding Thorou...

Image via Wikipedia

The title is actually one of the topic ideas from Chris Brogans 100 Blog/Podcast Topics to write about. It just happens to be a perfect fit for what I want to write about today…so I will use it AND can cross it off the idea list at the same time.

After all, if I don’t say it, I really doubt anyone will. It isn’t a popular thing to talk about…and by popular I don’t mean politically correct. In this case, I am saying that it isn’t popular as in nobody knows about it. And no I am not talking about a hidden birthmark (mine is on my leg and I would be glad to show you if you want) or some random factual occurrence that only my family would know about. Have I lost you yet? Okay, good. Keep reading.

Gloaming is not an action verb. There, it is done. Like I said, somebody had to say it. You may think it is an action verb because of the “ing” ending, but no-siree-bob. Gloaming isn’t even a verb. It is a noun. What? Who creates a word, says it is a noun, and ends it with “ing”. Oh yeah, the guy that created the word “bling”, as in what many of us wear to accent our apparel.

We could have all continued on in our ignorance and misunderstanding, but it just had to be the word of the day on my Merriam-Webster desktop word app. The word has been there all day, staring me down like I was some idiot that didn’t know what it was. Then I had to admit my lack of knowledge and click on the word to see the definition. Oh the humiliation.

Have you looked it up in the dictionary yet? Don’t bother. Gloaming is another word for twilight. No, not THE Twilight with werewolves and vampires, twilight…the period of the day also known as dusk when the sun has set on the horizon but is still lighting the sky.

The sample sentence that the dictionary gives is “The crickets were chirping in the gloaming as the newlyweds walked hand in hand.” ROTFLMBO! Sounds like a cheesy opening to a sappy romance novel. Oh wait, it might have been. And some of my friends and family like reading those things so I guess I shouldn’t be so harsh. In fact, maybe I should try to pen something clever with the word “gloaming” in it.

“It was gloaming when the ship docked, and because of the lack of light it almost ran aground.”

It makes the word sound more like a condition of choppy waves or some other physical occurrence that would cause problems for a docking ship. Oh well, I really doubt I will use it in the book I am writing. I much rather would describe “dusk” than gloaming. After all, my readers know what dusk is. If I didn’t want them to know what words meant, I would go ahead and throw in a Portuguese word every other sentence. Something like, “Fred was a kind-hearted fubeca that didn’t know a thing about art.” You would look at that and think how verbose I must be that I can use such uncommon words and sound so intellectual. Well you would be correct, but the word isn’t even a real word. It is slang.

But enough of that, you get my point. Some words just don’t make sense and probably shouldn’t even exist. Gloaming is one of them. But then again, now that the books and movies are out and I have gotten sick of hearing about some guy named Edward, maybe twilight is the word we should get rid of and gloaming is the one we should use more. Like I said, somebody had to say it.

Just another view from a Palmtree.