June 16, 2017

New friend, Phantom

My new collar, Like it? It matches my fur and my eyes.

First day home. June 8, 2017

I claim this chair as mine!

Phantom is two years old, and was temporarily housed in the cat adoption area of Petsmart. He was offered for adoption by the Anti-Cruelty Society.

December 12, 2016

More Car News

I don't want to go to the auto show this year. I have my own auto show in my bedroom.

_________________________  Jeff

September 22, 2016

Don't Sound (or Write) Stupid, Part 4

A new feature wherein I, Lydia, instruct you, the reader, not to make common, idiotic mistakes of grammar, syntax, or pronunciation of the English language, particularly errors that annoy me. As a review, the word "recognize" is pronounced rek-kog-nize, not reckin-nize.

In this installment, I take a moment's break from my usual role as silent grammar scold to address another issue . . . the misuse and overuse of three words. Aside from being trite and banal, these phrases have the undesired effect of making the speaker sound stupid. Currently, I am being aggravated by a tribe of college students (not stupid!) indulging in their use and overuse.

Excise "basically," which is a synomyn for "fundamentally," not a preamble meaning, "I am about to tell you some extraneous facts, not really related to the subject at hand": "literally," which (surprise) means "literal, in the strictest sense." A little hyberbole never hurts, but it has to be used judiciously. Kill me now, (not literally). And then there is "like." Once upon a time during public speaking class, we were warned not to use "uh" or "uhm" to fill pauses. Now it seems, the word "like" is used instead. Stop it.

July 28, 2016

Don't Sound (or Write) Stupid, Part 3

A new feature wherein I, Lydia, instruct you, the reader, not to make common, idiotic mistakes of grammar, syntax, or pronunciation of the English language, particularly errors that annoy me. As a review, the word "recognize" is pronounced rek-kog-nize, not reckin-nize.

Special request: I have been asked to explain the difference between its and it's. This is a difficult one and the bane of even educated writers. Somehow the mists of time or convoluted explanations have blurred our understanding, leaving everyone guessing (and often guessing wrong.) 

Actually, this is very easy. 

It's is always a contraction for "it is" or "it has." If you cannot substitute either one, use "its."

July 19, 2016

Don't Sound Stupid (or write stupid)! part 2

A new feature wherein I, Lydia, instruct you, the reader, not to make common, idiotic mistakes of grammar, syntax, or pronunciation of the English language, particularly errors that annoy me. As a review, the word "recognize" is pronounced rek-kog-nize, not reckin-nize.


Capitalization: One would think this is easy, but apparently not, since I get tons of correspondence littered with capital letters all over. Why? Does it look fun? Aside from being distracting and oh-so-wrong, I like to try to figure out if there is any method. For example, if the writer is a native German speaker, I understand, since in German all nouns are capitalized. Perhaps the writer thinks it looks whimsical. Alas, I will never know because any email that blatantly WRONG goes directly in the trash, unread. If you aren't sure, best to keep your finger off the shift key altogether. The computer will do the work for you.


Capitalization is the writing of a word with its first letter in uppercase and the remaining letters in lowercase. Experienced writers are stingy with capitals. It is best not to use them if there is any doubt.

Rule 1. Capitalize the first word of a document and the first word after a period.

Rule 2. Capitalize proper nouns.