You do know that September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day, aye? Silly moiself to even ask – you probably plan your year around this event.
For those of you unfamiliar with the holiday, I suggest visiting the TLAP site, for a thrilling historical overview of how two Oregonian buccaneer-wannabees came up with the idea, and how humorist Dave Barry had a hook hand in creating what, I see, now that I have checked the site, is now referred to as International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
It used to be just TLAP day. I’m not sure what makes it International, but that is neither here nor there tharrrrrrr. I have enjoyed the spirit behind this whimsical, happenstance-of-a-celebration for many years. I even have a pirate costume that has made more than one embarrass-your-offspring ® appearance over the years. (Hint: show up for the orthodontist appointment festively attired in your pirate gear – your child’s mouthful of pointy objects will quell their objections).
Even a brief search online will get you all kinds of TLAP silliness. There are talk like a pirate apps, pirate name generators, suggestions for costumes, parties and other events, and talk-like-a-pirate translators. You can even change your Facebook language to Pirate.  You can find bad pirate jokes  and worse pirate jokes  and even existential pirate jokes,  and possibly the best pirate joke ever, if only because it doesn’t end with an Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr:
A pirate walks into bar and sits down. The bartender notices that he has a peg leg, a hook for a hand, and a patch over one eye. The pirate orders a beer, and while he’s pouring it the bartender asks “So what’s the story with the leg?”
“It were many a year ago,” says the pirate, “when I were on the deck a me ship and a rogue wave swept me overboard, and a shark swum up and bit me leg clean off! I swum ashore and were fitted fer a peg leg that very night.”
“That’s terrible,” says the bartender. “What about the hand?”
“Well it were the very next day,” says the pirate. “I were walkin on the deck a me ship and a rogue wave swept me overboard again, and a whale came up and bit me hand clean off! I swum ashore and were fitted fer a hook that very night.”
“Wow,” says the bartender. “So what about the eye?”
“Well it were the very next day,” says the pirate. “I were walkin on the deck a me ship, and I were lookin out fer rogue waves, and a seagull flew over and shit right in me eye!”
“Oh man,” says the bartender. “And that blinded you?”
“Well no,” says the pirate. “But it were me first day with the hook.”
Or celebrate your ultimate geekiness with a shirt that acknowledges both and Pi day and Talk Like a Pirate Day.
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Department of Apropos of Nothing
If you ever happen to catch a glimpse of me when I’m doing my Nordic walking,  and you notice  that my stride suddenly changes – gets a bit more resolute and strutty, even badass, dare I say –you’ve caught me at that wonderful moment when whatever podcast I was listening to ended and I clicked to my music and The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army began to play.
Of course, sometimes the next song in the queue is The Archies‘ one and only hit. Livin’ on the edge, what can I say.
* * *
Belle telephoned on the 8th, to share some good news. She was quite proud that her Oregon Zoo connections still allowed her to get breaking animal news before the general public, and she knew a “secret” that wasn’t to be announced until the following day: one of the female lions, Kya, had given birth to four cubs.
Her call was also to share the news that next weekend she is coming home for a visit…long with seven college/dorm friends that apparently and collectively refer to themselves as The Family. Once I got over my kneejerk, Mafia-Charles Manson associations,  I was delighted to hear about the plans.
Belle and her college family are taking the train from Tacoma to Portland, then the light rail to our neck of the woods. They plan on staying at our house (“if it’s okay with you”) and returning to Tacoma Sunday morning. Her “family” consists of roommate JS and six (yikes) other shiny happy young women and men, who, as I informed her, must
(1) not be allergic to cats, or afraid of snakes, and
(2) be comfortable sleeping on the floor
(3) there is no #3
(4) and cool about sharing 3 toilets and one functioning shower with 10 people
As per conditions (2) & (4), Belle snorted with duh-ness and said, “Mom, I live in a dorm.”
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Department of TMI
This week’s Golden Turd award goes to…well…me.
Thursday morning, while scooping the downstairs litter box, I noticed a deficiency of, shall I say, the usual volume of deposit. This made me fear that one of our cats, a certain one which is prone to do such things, had produced what MH and I – okay; mostly I – call “a runner; ” i.e., she had finished her job somewhere outside the box. I made haste to the family room and began scanning the carpet (the usual runner place of asylum), with a look of determination that made MH to ask me what was up.
“Keep your eyes peeled for escapees,” I advised him. “I just scooped the litter, and there was a disturbing lack of turd volume…. Oh, no. No no no no. Did you hear what I just said? Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d grow up to use terms like turd volume.”
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Public Service Announcement, also Apropos of Nothing
I am not a National Anthem kind of person, and can’t remember the last time I sang along to the USA’s whoop of praise. There is no maniacal loathing involved; I’m just not keen on it. I do loathe its mystifying and annoying (to me) use as an opener to sporting events, where it is mangled warbled by celebrities great and small. 
Unsolicited anthem singing advice: Yo, all of you Star Spangled vocalists who apparently feel the need to show off your chops by essentially ululating every other syllable – knock it off. Or, to take a more charitable tack, I’ll grant that perhaps you’re fiddling with the arrangement as a way to compensate (I’ve heard many a Music Person say that it’s a difficult song to sing) for your inability to stay in tune and on key.
Whatever the reason, y’all know what I’m talking about:
Oh-wo-wo-wo say can you-U-uUUou SeEeEeE
Byyyyyyy the dawn’s early li-I-I-iii-i-iIte
What so prowwwwwwww-dly we hay-HAY-hay-Hay-elllll-d…
Please, I beg of you, just find the right note – one per syllable, it’s there in the sheet music – and hit it, okay?
Kids, don’t try this at home:
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Happy Talk Like A You-Know-What Day! Have fun no matter if/how you celebrate, and if you’ve received any pirate party invitations, be sure to ARRRRRR. S. V. P.
…and the hijinks will ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 And who isn’t?
 Some dude in Canada says “Arrr” instead of “Eh?”
 In the account settings, go to language and select English (Pirate).
 What be a pirate’s favorite vegetable? Arrrrtichokes.
 What is a pirate’s favorite fast food franchise? Arrrrrrrrrrrby’s.
 How do pirates know they exist? They think, therefore, they Arrrrrre.
 And if so, what are you, some kind of Nordic walking stalker?
 What else did you notice – that I tried to adjust my underwear without breaking step? Keep it to yourself, ok?
 I’m from a different era; Belle had no idea what I was talking about, when I teased her about the references.
 Yes, there is also an upstairs litter box. Two, in fact. Upstairs, Downstairs – we’re not talkin’ a Masterpiece Theatre arrangement: we have three indoor cats.
 I will stand when the announcement Please rise for the singing of our national anthem is made, as the request for standing means everyone is seated, and I take every opportunity to stand up when I’ve been sitting for more than five minutes.