words

I have to admit that I am one of those purists who wishes that everyone would use our language according to the rules I learned when I was in grade school.   Unfortunately, the only real rule for language is that it continuously changes.   If enough people say the same thing wrong enough times, it becomes "right."   It is so distressing when that happens.   Anyway, the following are some words and phrases that I wish we could banish from the English language.

My sons are well aware of how I feel about the first three of those phrases, and nowhere more than when we go out to dinner.   Though I actually tip generously in restaurants, I love to tease my sons about docking our server for uttering any of the offending phrases.   Nick and Nate will roll their eyes when they hear any of those words and then take on the duty of defending the waiter or waitress.

It was with great pleasure that I read an article in The Detroit Free Press of May 12, 2010.   The newspaper had polled its readers with an open survey asking what were their biggest complaints with the servers at restaurants.   (It came after a similar poll of restaurant servers about their complaints with the diners.)   Those who conducted the poll were quite surprised with the results, but I wasn't.   The number one complaint, by far, was with servers saying "You guys."   It's nice to know that I am not alone.

On the other hand, here are some words and phrases that I am fond of using:

Air quotes were exactly what the chief priests were asking for in John 19:21 which evoked Pilate's famous "What I have written, I have written."

On the Me page of this website I wrote about taking pictures from the roof of the 73-story Renaissance Center.   I had written that I laid down on the roof, but somehow it didn't look right.   After some research, I was surprised to find that the past tense of lie down is not laid down, layed down, or even lied down.   The correct past tense is I lay down on the roof.   Why couldn't the verb at least sound a little more like the past tense?

"There exists no word in the English language that contains all of the vowels in alphabetic order!" said I, facetiously.   Many years ago, for a word-play feature in The New Yorker, the challenge was to come up with at word that contained all of the vowels in reverse order, and to create a definition for it.   My entry received an honorable mention - the word was:   unoriental.   My definition was:   A rug that does not appear on the back cover of the New Yorker.   (In those days the magazine had the same advertisement for oriental rugs on the back cover every single week.)

Perhaps, by now, you're thinking that my website's not too good.   If so, I'm glad.   After all, I wouldn't want it to be too good!   (That's an inside play on words.)

Throughout my school years, including college, I hated English classes and I especially hated writing.   But now I love to write and I love to edit - go figure!   At work I have become the go-to person whenever there is a letter to be written, or a document to be created.   Even though it is annoying to be given those assignments, it always makes me feel proud.   My favorite compliments that I have received on my writing came when the staff of my school decided that it was time for a new mission statement, and a vision statement too.   The existing mission statement was pretty cruddy.   At a staff meeting, we started talking about how to change the old mission statement, and my vision was us sitting there hours later with nothing decided.   Before long I said, "How about we end this meeting right now, I draft the new mission and vision statements, circulate them to everyone's mailbox, and at the next meeting we can go from there?"   Everyone agreed, and I did.   At the next staff meeting, everyone approved both of the statements I had written with no changes. I'm sorry, but I just have to brag about that.

And as long as I'm in brag mode, I have to mention that I got identical compliments from two girlfriends.   Both Lisa, and Camille sent me the exact same words in e-mails:   "You are a master of language."   Thanks, girls.

If only I didn't have to sleep at night.   The problem is that I love to read, but by the time I get to it, I am too tired to last for more than a few minutes.   And on top of that, my poor books have to wait in line behind the New Yorkers.   I try valliantly to limit myself to one article per New Yorker, but that magazine has this annoying habit of arriving every week.   When I see a stack of five New Yorkers on the night stand, then I know I'm in trouble.   It took about one year to read the last book that I finished.   My favorite authors are mostly from classic literature:   Dickens, Poe, Hardy, Chesterton, Wilde, Sondheim, Stoppard, Sayers, A. C. Doyle.   I want to write a book someday, but I have no idea what the topic would be.

Graffiti as a Second Language     It always amazes me whenever I see huge messages painted high up on the sides of abandoned buildings or sprawled across freeway overpasses.   How the Hell did they do that, I wonder.   But more to the point is - Why?   Why did somebody go through death-defying acrobatics to write something that means absolutely nothing to the thousands of people who see it every day?   It is positively annoying that these graffiti artists squander their opportunities to say something to the world, and instead paint weird collections of letters that don't even make words, let alone sentences.   Did they all flunk English?


this is not the real title

The real title for this section should read Self-Reference.   I decided, instead, to make the title be self-referential.   In the early eighties, when I subscribed to that great magazine, Scientific American, I read a couple of fascinating articles on self-reference.   The topic was entertaining to me, and some of the examples were quite clever.   For example, there were sentences that started out like:   This sentence contains twenty-seven A's, three B's ... one hundred and thirteen t's ... twenty-six hyphens, thirty-one commas, and one period.   The amazing thing was that all of the numbers were correct (I took their word for it, of course.)   There were some funny self-referential limericks, too.

Snooping around on the Internet for some self-referential stuff, I came across the site artmusicdance.com.   The host, Vasilios Gardiakos, included on his site some self-referential sentences that he created.   Reading his sentences inspired me to write a bunch of my own nonsense which appears below.   Most of the material is self-referential, and the rest is just a variety of weirdness.

If any other website has a link to my website, and if somebody actually uses that link, then the Visitor Statistics for my website will list the URL of that other website.   One such URL is:   iainpetrie.typepad.com/the_four_ages_of_sand/.   When I checked it out, I found a March 1st "post" with this funny reference to my site:   " . . . So I did [Google 'Self-Referential Statements'], and it took me down all kinds of interesting avenues, including to this site about . . . well I'm not quite sure, to be honest."

Thanks, I think.


poetry coroner

I love poetry, and I have lots of favorite poems.   If I had to pick the favorite of my favorites, I'd probably choose The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost.   Several of William Blake's poems are favorites, too, but mostly I identify with individual poems rather than poets.

Now when it comes to my own "poetry", I am happy enough if I can just make it rhyme.   As Mose Allison sang:

If you must keep talking please can you make it rhyme?
'Cause your mind is on vacation and your mouth is working overtime.

My former girlfriend, Lisa, inspired me to write a whole bunch of poems to her.   Some of those poems were pretty good, in my humble opinion, and I wish I could share them here.   Then there was the love poem I wrote and sent to my son's eleventh grade English teacher while he was still in her class!   Silly me.   Oh, and then there were a number of triple-X hot and sexy poems that I sent to a certain young lady who wrote me some of her own.   You'll be happy to know - perhaps - that I am skipping the romantic stuff on this page.

It seems a bit like sacrilege to refer to limericks as poetry, but anyway . . .

I cannot conceive of a dimmer trick
Than trying to rhyme the word limerick
Throw it all in a poem?
Please don't try this at home!
When somebody reads, it makes him/her sick.

If Limerick were my home town,
I'd sure try to play the fact down,
What a place to be from,
Linked with poems that sound dumb,
Enough to make Irish eyes frown.

When somebody asked me I reckoned,
I could whip off a poem in a second,
Oh, if limericks paid,
Then my life would be made,
Because writing bad poetry beckoned.

When I saw the following cartoon in my morning newspaper on April 21st, 2011, drawn by one of my favorite cartoonists, Hilary Price, I just had to write a limerick.   It's people like me that necessitate arcane ordinances, right?   The cartoon strip is called Rhymes With Orange, and there is a link to it on my Links page.   Thanks, Hilary, for letting me use your cartoon here, and please pardon my French.

I simply must visit Nantucket,
Just once, before I kick the bucket,
I would burst on that scene,
With my poems squeaky clean,
But nothing else rhymes except "fuck it".

When writing things self-referential,
The topics are inconsequential.
Simply use the word "this,"
And you won't go amiss.
It's the only advice that's essential.

There was a young guy, wrote a verse,
That started out bad and got worse,
Sent it off in an e-mail,
To a sensitive female,
And took his next ride in a hearse.


Fair warning!   I've been reading Haikus for Dummies.   (It wouldn't surprise me in the least if such a book existed.)

Here's a poem I wrote
Not your everyday Haiku
Did I waste my time?

Numbered syllables
They don't even have to rhyme
Ersatz poetry.

First, five syllables
Seven syllables come next
Then another five.


Thanks to these Haikus
Even I'm a poet now
That's a scary thought.

Not made in Japan
Are these English knock-offs good?
They're not even close.

Missing the whole point
Busy counting syllables
Sorry-ass Haikus.


On my Paramount
So connected to the road
Cycling is my life.

Yes, I love my bike
Girls know they're in second place
That's the way it is.

Biking every day
Way beyond fanatical
I'm a flat-out nut!


Bike-Ravin' Mad

(Sorry, E. A. Poe)

Once upon a midnight, dreary,
Riding in the Cut - so near me,
I had finished one lap, nearly,
Needing to add four,

Suddenly I saw lights flashin',
Rent-a-cop, my party crashin',
"Park is closed", he said, with passion,
"Can't ride here no more!"
Oh, really? What a bore.

Where to ride the miles remaining?
It was wet, but not quite raining,
East on Vernor, front wheel training,
Toward Belle Isle I tore,

Island blocked by police cruiser,
But inside is just a snoozer,
Though I see the red and blue, Sir,
Your flashers I ignore,
Then darkness lay in store.

Dark in front and dark behind me,
Call the P.L.C., remind me,
Fix the lights, I'm asking kindly,
What are those light poles for?

No cars present - parked nor driving,
Every lane was mine for riding,
No one on the Island hiding,
It wasn't long before,
Across the bridge to shore.

Home, down Jefferson, now flying,
Fourteen miles tonight, no lying,
Are my clothes actually drying?
So glad it didn't pour,

I'm unlikily to forget this,
Ride amongst the dark and wetness,
Thank God for a safe ride - yet this,
Taught me nothing, for . . .
Another ride, I score!


Winter biking

This is my mind on bicycles:

One December day, the last thing I heard before I went out the door to attempt a bike ride, was an instrumental “Let it Snow” from my “Merry Jazzmas” CD.
Thirteen miles later I had written words for it.

Oh, the blizzard outside is dismal,
For biking, plain abysmal,
But since I’m going out anyhow,
Let ‘em plow, let ‘em plow, let ‘em plow.

Well the Riverwalk was too slippery,
Those ridges trying to flip me,
So, I’m riding on Atwater, now,
Let ‘em plow, let ‘em plow, let ‘em plow.

Have I found a new winter route,
Where I can unleash some power?
Well, it sure worked today, no doubt,
Rockin’ that twelve miles per hour!

Though the snow will not be subsiding,
Don’t even care – I’m riding,
Oh, thank God, that I found a way how,
Let ‘em plow, let ‘em plow, let ‘em plow.


Country Biking

I’m always biking country roads,
So, I appreciate it loads,
When drivers, as they past me zoom,
Pull to the left to give me room,

But what is truly out of sight,
Are head-on drivers who pull right,
Making space for those who pass me,
Oh, how thoughtful; oh, how classy,

Can’t move over? Slow to twenty,
Once you’re by me, speed up plenty,
For how much effort does it take,
To push the brake, for Heaven’s sake?

But there are some with burning need,
To blow by closely at high speed,
Seemingly these drivers reckon,
That my life ain’t worth a second,

To these few who drive so shitty,
I’ll just say, you have my pity,
And thank you, God, for all the rest,
They are the ones I hope You’ve blessed.


Homonymcide Division

I think that I shall never write,
A homonym that sounds just right,
But on the odd chance that I do,
There's going to be some money due.

So many rhymes lurk in my cache,
If someone would just offer cash,
I'm sure that for a tidy sum,
I'd be inclined to write them some.

I'll put more verses in your paws,
This poem's not done - it's just on pause.

Guilt by Implication

This little man promised me that I could write clever homonyms - the imp lied.

I bought some rope of my own accord.

Here's a homonym!

I will lead the parade on March 4th.

Silent reading is not allowed.

I drive the only car I can:   a Ford.

Me playing at a New Year's party
The Pleasant Ridge home of Davis and Donna Gloff.


crosswords

As far back as I can remember, I have loved solving crossword puzzles.   In college at U of M, I would solve the Detroit Free Press crosswords without ever seeing them.   In college, my girlfriend, Becky Underwood, would read me the clues, I would say the answers, and she'd write them down.   She wouldn't even tell me how many letters or what any of the letters were unless I got stuck.   That's effervescent Becky and my '88 Mustang by the Dexter Cider Mill.

Sometime after those college days I began constructing a variety of word puzzles, including crosswords.   The first puzzles I remember making were little little four-by-four grids containing sixteen letters that formed four everyday words going across, and four going down, as well.   There was something pleasant about finding a combination of letters that worked in both directions.

H O B O
A V I D
T E N D
E N D S
C A L M
L I E U
O R A L
T Y P E
S H A M
L I K E
I R I S
P E N S
S T E M
P U M A
U N I T
R A T E
H E W
T O X I C
U L T R A
B E R E T
S A D
P L O T
R I P E
O M E N
W E N T
S L A M
L A K E
U N I T
G E N E
W R E N
R O V E
A P E X
P E N T
S T E P
L O V E
A R E A
P E R K

Try your hand at these little puzzles that I created.   Each has six interlocking 5-letter words.   The missing letters are listed below each puzzle.   Print

  U      
O   I   A
  O   I  
U   E    
      U  
    E A  
        A
A     E  
         
E   A   E
      O  
O       O
      E  
A       E
  I E    
V     V  
        V
    V    
V        
         
C H L M P R S T T T X Y
F G L P R R R S S T T T X
B D D H H L M R R R T Y Y
A A E E E E E E L L O R R R U Y

When I began making crosswords, they were anything but conventional.   I didn't worry about any of the unwritten rules for crossword structure.   (I wasn't even aware of some of those rules until my sister gave me that excellent movie, WordPlay as a gift.)   If I ever attend that crossword tournament in Connecticut, I'll get a T-shirt made that says:   "I construct my crosswords in ink!"   Eventually I started making "normal" crosswords, two of which are listed below, along with one far-from-normal specimen.   If you would like to try one of my puzzles, click on its name.   It will open up in Microsoft EXCEL and then you can print it.


wordsearches

Not only are they easier to solve than crosswords, but wordsearch puzzles are easier to construct, as well.   I have put together quite a few wordsearch puzzles - always with some sort of theme relating the words to be found.   I try to make the words interlock as much as possible, and I use lots of diagonal, upside-down and backwards words.   My favorite wordsearches (and the hardest to construct) are those where the unused letters spell out some word or phrase.   I have constructed three such puzzles, that you can download in PDF format, and print.   In all three of these puzzles, the unused letters spell out both a riddle, and its answer.   I created the riddle and answer for the Birds and Trees puzzles.


other puzzles

I love doing all sorts of puzzles, so the puzzle page of The Detroit Free Press is perfect for me.   It features two large crosswords and an assortment of little word and number puzzles that offer a lot of variety all on a compact page.   Whenever I have to wait in line or wait at the doctor or dentist, or wait to pick up one of my sons, I keep one of those puzzle sections with me.   It makes waiting so much more fun.   I have puzzle pages in my car, at work, in my backpack, in the folders I take to meetings, and so on.

The puzzles I like, in particular, are Word Warp, Jumble Crossword, Jumble, Sudoku, and my new favorite, KenKen.   I used to ignore KenKen because it looked like something that was too difficult to be fun, but now I know that the difficultness is exactly what makes it fun.   Since I got so good at doing the 6x6 puzzles in the newspaper, I bought a couple of KenKen books online.   Right now I am on puzzle number 30 of 100 in the Big, Bad Book of KenKen.   It starts out with 6x6 puzzles that are harder than those in the paper, and then the size and complexity keeps increasing.   There are some examples in the list below, or click here to play online:   KenKen.


miscellaneous


creativity

Here's a little riddle that I invented.   I'm kinda proud of it.
Question:   What do you call a tree that has leaves shaped like badges?
Answer:   I'd tell you, but it's a bad joke.

Another riddle:   What is the one day each year whose date is a complete sentence?
Answer:   March forth.   (A commanding sentence, eh?)

This other riddle I created only works out loud.   In written form, the homonym effect is compromised.
Every Christmas I ask my mom the same question, she says, "Yes", and yet I receive no anser.   What is the question?
No, that's not a typo (though I am sure that this website has plenty of them.)   Any puzzle aficionado would immediately recognize anser as the genus of goose, since that clue/answer combo appears regularly in crosswords.   So anyway, the question would be something like:   Could we please have goose for dinner this Christmas?

Back about five years ago, I attempted to get a trademark on a saying that I created.   After I used search engines to make sure nobody was already using my saying in any way, I applied for the trademark.   I made up buttons with my saying (they were popular) and had T-shirts printed, but after a lot of time, effort and money, the USPTO denied my application because they said that I couldn't show how I was using the words for business purposes.   My saying was a variation on the timeless There, but for the grace of God, go I.   As I thought about that saying, I decided that it was pretty negative.   Thanking God that you are not like another person seems like a condescending attitude; that you are somehow better off than he or she is.   Yet, that person may be blessed in ways that you could not even comprehend.   Rather than thank God for what you are not, I thought, why not thank God for what you are?

So my variation was:   Here, thanks to the grace of God, go I.   I started wearing around buttons that I had made up with that slogan, and I had a whole lot of people ask me where they could get one.   I ended up keeping a bag of the buttons in my car and giving one to anyone who asked about mine.   My buttons included the tiny ™ symbol used while a trademark application is pending.   Sadly, I never got to use the registered symbol, ®.   If you ever see me, ask me for a button - I still have plenty.


born under a bad sign

It almost seems like people have made a sport out of misusing the English language.   There have been so many times that I've wished I had a camera with me in my car.   I am constantly amazed at the misuse of our language on signs - paticularly on those signs that have been professionally produced.   Here are a few examples that I can remember - from signs and various other sources.

A little diner that used to be on Fort Street advertised its menu in large letters on the awning around the top of the building.   I always wanted to go in and order their "Chile."   Can I get a side of Argentina with that?

A Little Caesar's pizzeria about to open sported a nicely-printed sign announcing that applications were now being excepted.   I can put up with any misuse of our language accept that.

In a Rite Aid drugstore, I overheard a saleswoman selling diet products.   She repeatedly referred to the trouble that many dieters have in following their regiment.   Maybe if they call in the troops?

An article in The Detroit News quoted a religious leader:   "A person doesn't have to believe in the tenants of the religion ...".   As long as you believe in the landlords, I guess.

In a synopsis of the film Carmen Jones, the reviewer noted, "The negro patios maybe awkward to today's sophisticated listener ...".   May be I'll have dinner on the patio tonight.

Have you seen any good signs?   Please share them with me.


punk tuation

Everyone can misuse a word now and then, but there are a whole lot of people that should not even be permitted to use apostrophes.   Just when you think you have seen apostrophes used in every wrong way possible, someone will come up with something even more outrageous.   In the Detroit Free Press last football season, was a picture of a guy named Manning who owned a painting business standing in front of his van.   On the side of his vehicle was a large logo that was a play on words referring to the NFL player, Peyton Manning.   Did he call his business "Paintin' Manning?"   Penalty:   half the distance to the goal line!   Alas, his sign read "Paint'in Manning."

Quotations marks, too, can be dangerous in the hands of some people.   Once in awhile I'll come across some text that looks as though someone just shook quotation marks out of a shaker onto the page.   There doesn't seem to be any sort of logic to their placement.   The misplaced quotation marks that I find most ironic are those used by companies that advertise their "quality" service on the side of their delivery trucks.   It's too bad they don't realize that those quotations marks only serve to demote their claims of quality from factual to alleged.   A good way to think of this type of quotation mark use is this: for the quotation marks, sustitute the phrase, "so called."   The quotation marks indicate that they offer so-called quality service.   In other words, they are not claiming that they give good service, but rather that somebody said that they give good service.   I guess you have to hope that that somebody was telling the truth!

Look under humor on my Links page for a website with lots of "funny" quotation mark examples and a few apostrophe examples, too.


loopy latin

Wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen the abbreviation i.e. used when what the writer really wanted was e.g.   Another thing people are forever doing is citing Murphy's Law for ironic situations, i.e., when you actually want to find an example of the misuse of a Latin abbreviation, there are none to be found, but any other time they are coming out of the woodwork.   Should I have said e.g.???   Q.E.D.


a capital idea

In taking advanced math classes at Wayne State University, I encountered David Jonah, my favorite professor of all time.   I had the pleasure of having him as my instructor for Non-Euclidean Geometry, Number Theory, and Modern Algebra.   It was in the geometry class that we had to buy a small companion text on the proper way to write mathematics.   One of the first admonitions Professor Jonah gave our class was never to use all capital letters.   These days when you see any collection of etiquette rules for the Internet or for e-mail, they will usually include the same advice.   In those etiquette rules, all-caps is usually equated with shouting.   Professor Jonah pointed out that studies have shown that it is much easier on our eyes to read lower case letters, and furthermore, using all-caps is a cheap way out of having to decide which words should and shouldn't be capitalized.

Just as former smokers often become overly sensitive to being around cigarette smoke, now that I have been case-educated, I have become case-sensitive.   (That little play on words was not planned, it just came along, I swear.)   SO PLEASE DON'T USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS IF YOU CAN HELP IT.   See how cruddy that looks?

Also in the geometry class, we pushed "necessary and sufficient" to the limits.   It was sorta fun to try and state proofs using the minimum number of words necessary - nothing redundant or superfluous.   One time, a proof that Professor Jonah had worked out for us in class didn't seem quite right to him (or me.)   That night at home, I went through it and found a mistake he had made.   I wrote up a corrected version and slid it under his office door.   He returned it with a nice note pointing out that it takes a lot of guts to tell your professor that he (or she) made a mistake.   I was embarrassed (but so proud) when he told the class about my correcting him.


edit this

As much as I love to edit others, I am well aware that self-editing does not work.   Please let me know of any errors that you notice in my website - errors in language or in judgment.   Thanks!

—Christopher Beck


Rules to Mail By

In a world where it seems as though rudeness is destined to become the norm, good manners are so refreshing whenever and wherever they are found.   Electronic mail is no exception.   By now, the users of e-mail have had plenty of time to develop generally accepted rules of etiquette, and there's even a special name for these so called rules:   Netiquette.   Here's my version of the rules which I have compiled and adapted from several Internet sources - a collection of tips on how to be efficient, effective, and, of course, polite when sending mail electronically.

Beware of hidden readers.   Once you click that SEND button, you essentially give up any control over who might receive your e-mail.   All it takes is one inaccurate keystroke in the destination address to put your message in the hands of a total stranger.   Even when you send your message to what you think is a safe address list, all it takes is one person to think your message is "funny" and it can end up on Internet bulletin boards across the country.   Write as if you mother or your minister, or your boss was going to be reading your message - it could actually happen.

Use a meaningful title on the subject line.   In these days when some people have nothing better to do than invent programs that will wreak havoc on other people's computers, many of us are leery about opening mail that we are not sure about.   Therefore, put a meaningful title on the subject line of your e-mail.   Keep it short and informative.   Do not use anything that might be confused for Spam.

Keep your message to the point.   Many people read their e-mail at work, where time is a valuable commodity.   Respect the value that your readers place upon their time by keeping your messages no longer than necessary.

Remove unnecessary material from your e-mail.   Some people, when faced with e-mails containing long address lists, back and forth replies, advertisements, and the like, will just click on DELETE rather than wade through multiple pages trying to find the important part.   When you reply to a message or forward one, take the time to delete all the unnecessary material.   It is polite, however, to leave just enough of perhaps the original message or perhaps the most recent reply to bring the next readers up to speed.

Use blind carbon copy   A lengthy list of e-mail addresses is a tempting target.   It is all too convenient for anyone to annex that long list to his or her own list of list of contacts, and then mail to an even larger group.   Thus, the address list can quickly grow in size, and end up all over the Internet.   With your e-mail address in the hands of countless strangers it is only a matter of time before you begin to receive loads of unwanted e-mail, including advertisements, and those annoying "funny", "cute" and "imspirational" forwards.

The blind carbon copy address field (bcc) hides the addresses of the recipients from each other and respects everyone's right to privacy.   Each person only sees his or her own address and the address of the sender.   To use bcc, just send the e-mail to yourself, and paste the group's address list onto the bcc line.   That way, no one has to worry about who ends up with his or her e-mail address.   Using bcc also eliminates those annoying "reply-to-all" responses that have nothing at all to do with most of the people who receive them.

DO NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.   See how cruddy that title looks?   Not only do all-caps look bad, studies have shown that it is less fatiguing to the human eye to read lowercase text.   Avoid those over-used exclamation points, too.   All the capital letters and punctuation in the world are not going to fool anybody into thinking something is important.   You can better convey the urgency of an issue by choosing the appropriate words.

Do not use e-mail to deliver bad news.   Without the benefit of body language, facial expressions, or the intonation of your voice, e-mail is no way to deliver bad news.   Instant feedback is often needed, which cannot be accomplished through e-mail.   Any news of a death, serious illness, firing, layoff, or other such news that might have a negative effect upon the recipient should be conveyed at least by phone, but, better, face to face.

Do not flame.   Flaming is the distateful act of insulting or cussing at someone via e-mail, where there is no fear of interruption (neither verbal or physical) from the party being abused.   With the speed of e-mail, flaming can go back and forth and escalate quickly.   Do not initiate flaming, and do not repsond to it.   You may be typing on a computer, but you are communicating with a human being.   Treat all human beings with respect.

Ask permission to forward messages.   The forwarding of confidential material not only might land you in legal trouble, it can cause you to lose the respect of the person who sent it to you.   Show others that their trust in you is justified.   If you are considerate enough to ask "Can I forward this to so-and-so", the sender will feel comfortable about trusting you in the future.   Likewise, ask before giving out anyone's e-mail address.   Once you give away an address, it cannot be undone.

Send attachments in a format that is accessible to the recipient.   Many people use computers for which they do not have administrative privileges, and therefore cannot download the latest version of Flash, Adobe, etc.   The Vista version of Windows is notorious for being unreadable by anyone without the same version.   Use accessible formats or send attachments in multiple formats when necessary.


Website Colors

This background:   826BA9
000000 EEEEEE 999999 0000CC FFCC00 FF0066 00AA55 004400 339900 660000 00FFFF 303050 330044
 
FF66CC 153070 AA00BB BB1600 5E3000 F25000 000060 009999 D1D1D1 EEAA21 8888FF FFFF44 55FF55
 
004030 FFD080 FFAA55 00AA00 B28300 FF6B4B 99FF77 006666 FF99FF FFDDDD A00000 402500 88CCFF
 
505050 700070 806030 3090FF 995555 42C000 5500DD D00060 000035 CC0000 500050 CCAAFF
 


Website Fonts

Throughout the pages of this website, I have employed some of my favorite fonts (letter styles) for the titles.   Recently, I embedded those fonts into the website, so that you should be able to view the website as intended.   Unfortunately, the font embedding only works on the Internet Explorer browser and a few other browsers.   If you have a different browser, it will probably substitute some boring fonts that will not look as nice.

BTW, the font that I used at the top of this page (called Scramble) looks like scrabble tiles.   Within that font, I could not use capital letters or it would put different symbols that I didn't want.   Thus, if you do not see the titles as scrabble tiles, it will seem as though I forgot to capitalize everything, however I did that because I had to.

The chart below lists the names of the fonts I have used on the various pages, and I will try to remember to keep it up-to-date.   Contact me if you wish to find out about obtaining any of the fonts that appear on my site.

 

Website Page

Title Fonts used on that page

Bikes

Neuropol

 

Buttons

Kredit

 

Cars

Goudy Stout

Broadband

Detroit

Matisse

Kristen

Hildale

Comic Sans MS

Arnprior

Home

Artistik

Gaze

Links

Earthquake

Segoe Print

Me

Copperplate Gothic Bold

 

Music

Hogarth Antique

 

Nature

Segoe Print

 

Sports

Magneto

 

Travel

Apple Chancery

 

Words

Scramble

Art Sans

 


Website Keywords

Christopher, Beck, Christopher Beck, Christopher E. Beck, cebec, Chris, Christopher Emerson Beck, CEB, b2e2c2k, b2e2c2k2, b2webmail, b5e5c5k

Detroit, Michigan, Hildale, West Hildale, W. Hildale, Hildale Avenue, John R, Charleston, Detroit Links, Real Detroit Links, Real Detroit, Grixdale, Grix Subdivision, Lafayette Park, Belle Isle, Ambassador Bridge, downtown

Greenfield Union, Nolan Junior High, Pershing High School, Pershing, Class of 1969, class of '69, University of Michigan, U of M, Wayne State, Marygrove College, mathematics

Paramount, Schwinn Paramount, bicycle, bicycling, Detroit bicycling, cycling, bicycle safety, bike nut, bike to work life, urban cycling, Detroit cycling, winter cycling

piano music, sheet music, transcriptions, Thelonius Monk, jazz, buttons, slogans, customized calendars

words, word use, punctuation, apostrophes, quotation marks, capitalization, crosswords, puzzles, crossword puzzles, cryptograms, anagrams, word search, self reference, self-referential statements

wildflowers, Detroit wildflowers, wildflower photography, macro lens, Skegemog Swamp, Grass River Natural Area, Seven Ponds

Google, Yahoo, MSN


Wacky Searches

I-Power, the company that hosts my website, provides me with "visitor statistics" for b2e2c2k.   These stats include an amazing amount of detail - how many times each website page is visited, which browsers my visitors use, and so on.   My favorite stat, however, is the list of terms that people enter into their search engines to navigate to my site.   Some of them are pretty funny, especially the bizarre collections of seemingly unrelated words that have absolutely nothing to do with me or my site.   It is also interesting to see what other people's names lead to my site.   I can only imagine how disappointed some visitors are to find out that my site has nothing to do with whatever they are seeking.   The following list includes some of my favorite searches.   The spellings and orders of words are verbatim, minus capitalization and punctuation which the visitor statistics do not provide.

  • average of the averages how to average legs ride

  • barbara rogers appalachian trail 1985

  • bush & lane piano bench

  • can you make a hole in an a4 sheet of paper which is large enough step through

  • canadian couple driving minvan in france scenic

  • cinelli bright pink

  • curling little finger from bicycling

  • detroit mcnichols doll houses detroit gyton

  • does anyone have free sheet music for torroba guitar

  • ferlito construction/my doctor's inn

  • first double clamp gooseneck on a schwinn stingray

  • french chateau surface track driveway picture

  • gibbons say after slamming that lunch tray

  • handlebars sheet music violin high octave

  • kevin jagielski jumping out of a 2 story window

  • christophe beck sheet music

  • is eagle dairy on davison in detroit still there

  • rhyming slogans class of 69

  • cryptoquotes answer of beck

  • what grasses grow along lake huron

  • what is my car worth with front end damage chrysler town & country

  • skegemog swamp 100 years ago

  • amc hornet 304 engine graveyard

  • answer to crytoquip odessa newspaper

  • muchas gracias restaraunt serves opposum

  • eunymous sarcoxie poisonous

  • ocqueoc falls how was the swimming holes made

  • indisciminate felling of trees

  • giant mosquito got blood t-shirt

  • why do the motorcycles go so fast down I-696 freeway

  • perrys meat market tulsa

  • detroit mack ave cow head

  • little rootie tootie transcriptions

  • solve this riddle phrase - win eeeeee

  • how do i take acetone i drop my leather lounge set

  • are quotation marks upside down in hungary

  • animals that eat rough-fruited cinquefoil

  • why were there 15 - 20 police cars on the corner of e grand blvd and gratiot on monday november 8

  • spark plug wire came loose while driving short bang

  • rhyming slogans for keeping yourself safe

  • phosphorus and olive oil nancy drew

  • hairy vetch seeds thrown into my field

  • my bike handlebars hit me in the stomach i might be bleeding on the insides what do i do

  • of the people i fondly remember

  • poison symbol in microsoft word

  • shirtless riding lawnmower

  • how many diagonals does a decagon have

  • opossum bakery

  • warrior cat origami

  • child on train track

  •  

  • keyboard chords to I can ride my bike with no handlebars

  • motorized bikes in gross ile

  • pictures of hildale woman

  • please don't misuse of capital letters

  • quad bike near miss incident

  • street hockey & levagood

  • the composer's name of listen to monk

  • total loss 1988 mustang

  • vintage schwinn paramount neon orchid

  • what is this kinda of puzzle called the word upside spelled diagonally - upside down

  • where to buy lace curtains paris

  • who died on oct 6?

  • yellow jacket neighbors yard law

  • imagedetails

  • picture of the past of cunningham's drugstore detroit

  • albert moritz kuhn east west railroad

  • acetone chills chords

  • gooseneck coaster wagons

  • chopin's piano less octaves

  • painting the edison seven sisters

  • meadowbrook hall and frank zappa

  • johnr sex track plan

  • swampy area connected to stream

  • anagrams of wildflowers

  • tiffany stvdios v instead of u

  • numberless scrabble tiles

  • can I plant my burning bush next to deck stairway

  • what are the jelly beads washing up on lake huron

  • strange coccoons on variegated juniper

  • shirtless walking forest

  • mickey potato in burning leaves

  • rhyming words for lake michigan

  • closest truck stop to cape cod

  • get fingernail polish off piano keys

  • brown boggs soldering furnace

  • I'm looking for a rug but something a little more unoriental

  • pancakes to get from farm/labratory to the travel through stores

  • does the mousetrap sell crab cakes

  • will my bleeding slow down when i play volleyball

  • descriptive adjectives for flag pole

  • rhyming slogans for the ukraine

  • detroit edison wedding cake pans

  • why are the pine trees in my yard looking scraggly

  • dooga-dad ps3 name

  • i saw a snake swimming in lake huron

  • livonia public schools emerson middle school orchestra staff

  • prettiest looking marijuana

  • panoramic view of montana

  • fishfly diagram with labeled parts

  • igloos with fires inside them

  •  


Visitors from Afar

"Another country heard from" is one of the many phrases I fondly associate with my dad.   My website has "heard" from quite a few countries, it turns out.   Occasionally, I look up some of the IP addresses from my visitor statistics, using whois@domaintools.com.   The look-up specifies the city and country of the IP address, and I recently started writing some of them down.   I can't help but wonder what on earth attracts visitors from distant countries to my website.   For most of them, I'm sure it marks both the first and last visit to my site.   Anyway, I am listing some of these countries below.   From some of these countries. b2e2c2k has received quite a few visits.

  • Turkey:   Ankara, Istanbul

  • Japan:   Tokyo, Tokorozawa, Chiba, Osaka

  • New Zealand:   Aukland

  • Australia:   Canberra, Chatswood, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Wagga Wagga, Adelaide, Wodonga, Geelong, Woolloongabba

  • South Korea:   Seoul

  • Malaysia:   Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Shah Alam, Ipoh, Tanjung Tokong, Subang

  • Canada:   Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Chelmsford, Abbotsford, Whitby, Waterloo, Montreal, Edmunton, Burnaby, Kitchener, Thornhill, Hamilton, Winkler, Brampton, Regina, Nanaimo, Kanata, Surrey, Mississauga

  • The Netherlands:   Dordrecht, Amsterdam, Bunnik, Rotterdam, Aalsmeer, Schiedam, Zutphen, Spijkenisse, Utrecht, Amersfoort, Groningen, Dronten

  • Saudi Arabia:   Dhahran, Riyadh

  • Great Britain:   London, Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester, Warrington, Southhampton, Dartford, Leeds, Worcester, Basingstoke, Exeter, Maidenhead, Stockport, Yeovil, Canterbury, Sheffield

  • Puerto Rico:   San German, San Juan

  • Slovakia:   Bratislava

  • Brazil:   Rio De Janeiro, Florianopolis, Sao Paulo, Campo Grande, Curitiba, Maringá, Muzambinho, Fortaleza, Recife

  • Cyprus:   Nicosia

  • Sweden:   Stockholm, Vasteras, Harnosand, Lund, Gothenburg

  • Spain:   Oviedo, Marbella, Madrid, Sevilla, Zaragoza, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Pontevedra, Almansa, Vigo

  • Israel:   Tel Aviv, Haifa, Herzliya, Petah Tikva

  • Iran:   Tehran, Karaj, Kerman, Tabriz

  • Switzerland:   Lausanne, Geneva, Zurich, Ruemlang, Rorschach

  • Indonesia:   Surabaya, Jakarta, Semarang, Bandung

  • Italy:   Cagliari, Torino, Roma, Bologna, Messina, Enna, Milano, Bari, Vicenza, Ravenna, Arezzo, Verona, Avellino

  • Kazakhstan:   Ekibastuz, Almaty

  • Greece:   Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina

  • Hong Kong:   Hong Kong

  • Ireland:   Dublin

  • Costa Rica:   San José

  • Bangladesh:   Dhaka

  • Hungary:   Budapest, Tatabanya, Kecskemet, Nagykoros, Szekesfehervar, Budaörs

  • Malta:   Mriehel, Mosta

  • Singapore:   Singapore

  • Georgia:   Tbilisi

  • South Africa:   Cape Town, Pretoria, Johannesburg

  • Antigua and Barbuda:   St. John's

  • Montenegro:   Podgorica

  • Dominican Republic:   Santo Domingo

  • Serbia:   Belgrade

  • Romania:   Brasov, Bucharest, Constanta, Iasi

  • Morocco:   Casablanca

  • Jamaica:   Spanish Town

  • Sri Lanka:   Colombo

  • Lebanon:   Beirut

  • United Arab Emirates:   Dubai

  • Lithuania:   Vilnius

  • Rwanda:   Kigali

  • Seychelles:   Victoria

  • Syria:   Damascus, Aleppo

  • Ecuador:   Quito, Guayaquil

  • Mongolia:   Ulaanbaatar

  • Peru:   Lima

  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines:   Kingstown

  • Paraguay:   Encarnación

  • Nicaragua:   Managua

  •  

  • Number of countries:   104

  • Germany:   Solinen, Braunschweig, Bad Homburg, Berlin, Hagen, Erfurt, Munich, Frankfort, Cologne, Aachen, Offenbach, Krefeld, Dusseldorf, Memmingen, Hamm, Lemgo, Kassel, Stuttgart, Dresden, Chemnitz, Gunzenhausen, Darmstadt, Nuremberg, Barsinghausen

  • Norway:   Buskerud, Selbu

  • Taiwan:   Taipei

  • Bulgaria:   Sliven, Sofia, Sevlievo

  • Russian Federation:   Moscow, Vladivostok, Ivanovo, St. Petersburg, Ufa, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Saratov, Tamblov, Novosibirsk, Chelyabinsk, Kazan

  • Austria:   Vienna, Steyr, Linz

  • Mexico:   Tijuana, Villahermosa, Puebla, Monterrey, Aguascalientes, Veracruz, Mexico City, Azcapotzalco

  • Belgium:   Ostend, Tongeren, Antwerp, Mortsel, Leuven, Brussels, Verviers, Charleroi, Knokke-Heist

  • Latvia:   Riga, Cesis, Daugavpils

  • India:   Bangalore, Rourkela, New Delhi, Mumbai, Panipat, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ludhiana, Salem, Bellary, Kannur, Navi Mumbai, Mangalore, Faridabad, Vadodara, Pune, Meerut

  • Nigeria:   Lagos

  • Philippines:   Makati City, Manila, Cebu, Las Piñas City, Quezon City, Corcuera

  • Viet Nam:   Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City

  • Pakistan:   Islamabad, Lahore, Leiah

  • Poland:   Warsaw, Gdansk, Koszalin, Poznan, Tarnow, Gdynia

  • Qatar:   Doha

  • Denmark:   Copenhagen, Norresundby, Greve

  • Croatia:   Zagreb, Rijeka, Dubrovnik

  • Egypt:   Cairo, Alexandria

  • Venezuela:   Caracas

  • Ukraine:   Odessa, Rivne, Lviv, Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Frunze

  • Kuwait:   Kuwait

  • France:   Dijon, Paris. Rennes, Roubaix, Aubervilliers

  • Ghana:   Accra

  • Thailand:   Bangkok, Khon Kaen

  • Argentina:   Buenos Aires, Rosario

  • New Zealand:   Tauranga, Auckland, Wellington

  • Guatemala:   Guatemala

  • Iraq:   Baghdad

  • Finland:   Espoo, Vaasa, Tampere

  • El Salvador:   San Salvador

  • China:   Jinan, Anyang, Beijing, Guangzhou, Hefei, Fuzhou, Heilongjiang, Shanghai, Wenzhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen

  • Chile:   Santiago

  • Kenya:   Nairobi

  • Portugal:   Lisboa

  • Luxembourg:   Windhof, Luxembourg

  • Slovenia:   Ljubljana

  • Czech Republic:   Praha

  • Moldova:   Chisinau

  • Nepal:   Kathmandu

  • Macedonia:   Skopje

  • Trinidad and Tobago:   Arima

  • Albania:   Tirana

  • Jordan:   Amman

  • Netherlands Antilles:   Philipsburg

  • Columbia:   Bogota, Medellin

  • Belarus:   Brest, Gomel

  • Algeria:   Algiers

  • Scotland:   Glasgow

  • Myanmar:   Yangon

  • Azerbaijan:   Baku

  • Honduras:   Peña Blanca

  •  

  •  

Other interesting visitors include:   The U.S. Capitol Police, Microsoft, The IRS, The U.S. Army, Hewlett-Packard, Massachussets General Hospital, Comptroller of the Currency, General Motors, Department of Homeland Security, Morgan Stanley Group, Deutsche Bank, Electronic Arts, Ford Motor, U.S. Government Accountability Office, University of Cambridge, Amazon, Delaware River Port Authority, Facebook, J. C. Penney, Compuware, Wayne County Resa, New York State Office of Mental Health, Cabela's, Navy Network Information Center, University of Michigan Academic Affairs, Johnson and Wales University, United States Army Information Systems Command, City of Tulsa, Social Security Administration, Bank of America, City of Toledo, Quicken Loans, Catholic University of America.