Kicking Horse Pass, BC

Kicking Horse Pass, BC

Kicking Horse Pass, BC

Kicking Horse Pass (el. 5339 ft) is a high mountain pass across the Continental Divide in the Canadian Rockies lying within Banff National Park. The pass is of historical significance because the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway was constructed through this pass in 1880s. The pass was first explored in 1858 by Captain John Palliser. The pass and the adjacent Kicking Horse River were given their names after James Hector, a naturalist, geologist, and surgeon was kicked by his horse while exploring this region.

The photo is from August 23, 1982. That is my still lovely bride, horsing around for the camera and pretending to kick our two ‘horses’ back. At this point we were over 4,300 miles into a 5,000 mile, six month bicycle trip, which ended in Seattle, our great adventure. We actually got to coast across the Continental Divide, because we were coming downhill from Lake Louise. On the long decent from the divide to Yoho National Park, we had to stop to cool our brakes.

Bear With Me

Curry Village Lodge Bear

Curry Village Lodge Bear

Is it “Bear with me” or “Bare with me”? These homophones are always difficult for me to parse. They sound the same, but mean different things and are spelled differently too. I’ve always had to be careful when using there, their or they’re. One of Anne’s favorite games is to point out to me select lawn art, as in “Look [dear | deer].” Anne pointed out that the bare phase means to get naked with me, which only raises more questions for me. 😉

Another example of ambiguity in English is the following sentence:

Tom while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher.

Without punctuation this so-called sentence is both lexically incorrect and frankly unintelligible. The example refers to two students, Tom and John, who are required by an English test to describe a man who, in the past, had suffered from a cold. John writes “The man had a cold” which the teacher marks as being incorrect; while Tom writes the correct “The man had had a cold.” Since Tom’s answer was right, it had had a better effect on the teacher. The sentence can be understood more clearly by adding punctuation and emphasis:

Tom, while John had had “had“, had had “had had”; “had had” had had a better effect on the teacher.

I would hate to have to diagram this sentence. There is a simple sentence that is easy to say, but hard to write. It is, “There are three ____ in English”, where the blank symbolizes the homophone [to | too | two], which phonetically is easily said, but it is much harder to write out.

Bad Dreams, Me Bad

Palmer House Candelabra

Palmer House Candelabra

Last night was a rough one, I had two bad dreams and Anne had one too. In my first bad dream, I was arrested for murder. I didn’t do it, honest. I didn’t even know the victim. This dream had a rural setting. It occurred at night. I was in a one room, clapboard shack. I was sorting through a suitcase, full of old memorabilia. Through the large windows, the shack’s single bare light bulb illuminated the immediate exterior surroundings. I saw a man in a cowboy hat escort two young women outside the shack. The women held scarves up to hide their faces, but also peered in at me. The sheriff led the women away, but eventually came back for me. This lawman wore a white cowboy hat, like Marshal Raylan Givens of the TV series Justified. I have just watched three seasons of this show. I woke up before he could put the cuffs on, or pull.

My second bad dream took me back to Chicago. For some reason there were toll booths on the city streets of downtown Chicago. We were crossing against the light and got about halfway across the street, to the second toll booth, before traffic held us up. We were waiting on the island when a transit cop arrested me, not for jaywalking, but for standing too close to a toll booth. Instead of cuffs, she used a medical arm brace, like people with bad sprains use.

Anne’s bad dream also involved me behaving badly. We were on some sort of new age tour. When our bus arrived at our destination, some commune, we were asked to remove our shoes and only walk barefoot on their ‘sacred soil’. I was invited to join some adherents who were smoking pot and drinking alcohol. Remember this is Anne’s dream. Anne went on until another commune member came to her and asked, “You’re Tourist #18 and you are with Tourist #19, right? We’re going to have to ask him to leave.” At least I wasn’t arrested this time.

Two 24 carat gold angels greet guests as they walk into the grand lobby of the Palmer House. These angelic candelabras were designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. One of these candelabras is pictured with this post. Three Palmer House Hotels have been situated on the corner of State and Monroe in Chicago. The first opened in 1871 and burned down just 13 days later in the Great Chicago Fire. After the fire, Palmer immediately set to work building the first fire-proof hotel. The guest list of his second Palmer House is a virtual who’s who of 19th-century luminaries. In the 1920s, the current, much larger hotel was built, then after WW II Hilton Hotels acquired the Palmer.