Air Show This Weekend

A B-2 went over a few minutes ago while I was out back with the dogs. They were unimpressed. I thought about going; watching those things take off and land is a visceral experience, and hell, I’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars to build those things; I may as well get something out of it.

Of course, Santa Ana winds started this morning, so it will be hotter than hell out there on the tarmac at Miramar MCAS. I think that’s God saying “stay home and work on your resume instead.” After all, if I don’t get another job real soon, who’s going to pay for the next batch of planes?

Scratch one cat

It’s pretty common for me to hear the coyotes partying late at night, but last night was unusual because they invited a cat to the affair. The cat must have been cornered or surrounded, because it put up a fight for quite a while but did not escape.

Spike and Lefty were very interested in going out to join the fun, their tiny dog brains not capable of understanding that they would not last nearly as long as the cat. I closed the glass door before the end, for my own peace of mind and to keep the boys from tearing through the screen. For all I know the cat finally got away, but I doubt it.

Why Czech will never be the language of the world

One day I was out on my own and wrote down all the phrases that I had wished I could have been able to say that day. On that list I had asked why sometimes ‘water’ was ‘voda’, as in dobra voda meaning ‘good water’, and why sometimes it was vodu as in jednou vodu, meaning ‘one water’ when asking for another water.

Mariana went through my questions and answered all but that one. When I asked her the next day why it wasn’t jednou voda she looked at me and said, “Because voda is the infinitive.” I blinked a couple of times and said “Infinitive of a noun?”

Yes indeed. There are seven forms of each noun, although form 2 and form 4 are usually the same, and the difference between them is apparently meaningless in English. I’m used to the idea of masculine and feminine nouns, but conjugating nouns? In Czech, and presumably Slovak and maybe others, nouns are either masculine, feminine, or neutral. There are seven standard patterns for conjugating masculine nouns, four for feminine, and four for neutral. As far as I know there is no way to tell by looking at a noun what gender or pattern to use. You just have to know.

I’m guessing that when a Czech parodies a foreigner, they always use the infinitive form of the noun. I bet it’s friggin’ hilarious.