The Lone Quark

30 August 2008

The hurricane hunker down cliché

Filed under: Kvetching — The Lone Quark @ 10:21 am
Projected path of Hurricane Gustav

Projected path of Hurricane Gustav

Can there ever be a news article on a coming or present hurricane without the “hunker down” cliché?

Try a Google search for the phrase “hunker down” with the word hurricane and see the myriad instances of the cliché. There is even a board game called – you guessed it Hunker Down.

Examples just for Hurricane Gustav:

Hunkered down for Gustav published: Friday | August 29, 2008 On Wednesday, Jamaicans were skeptical that Gustav would have trampled the island.”

After pummeling parts of Jamaica, where it killed four people, Gustav became a hurricane again Friday afternoon, churning its way toward the Cayman Islands as residents of Cuba hunkered down and U.S. Gulf Coast areas prepared to evacuate.

More than 1,100 people spent the night in government shelters in the three islands as high waves and heavy winds battered the chain, the National Emergency Operations Center said in a statement. Most people hunkered down in private homes or hotels.

Never one to pass up a good cliché, even the military will take a squat. ”The camps themselves [Guantanamo], they can handle up to a Category 2. So we’ll hunker down and ride out the storm and share the same risk as the detainees, side by side with them,” said Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Zanetti, deputy commander of prison camp operations.

The eternally curious might enjoy this definition of “hunker down” from The Phrase Finder. Should we blame it all on President Lyndon Johnson?

As he told Democratic congressional candidates, “I’m doing the best I can. It’s like the old man in my country that said he felt like a jackass in a hailstorm: he just had to hunker down and take it.”

– Lyndon B. Johnson in Great presidential wit: I wish I was in this book at page 93.

3 August 2008

Lily of the Nile

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Lone Quark @ 9:40 pm

This is what is blooming in our backyard now.  It seems strange to me that an Agapanthus plant, which is native to South Africa, should be known as the Lily of the Nile.

Solzhenitsyn – Dead

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Lone Quark @ 6:24 pm

Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn has passed away.

The First Circle and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich were treasured reading while I went to school in Monterey, California.  I studied Russian in high school and read, in translation, the major Russian classics.  Solzhenitsyn therefore became an immediate favorite.

Good-bye, old friend.

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