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280 Dog Years


The Holy Grail Press is dedicated to promoting work that standard publishers... you know, those with standards, might be reluctant to publish, which pretty much leaves poetry.  And let's face it:  No one publishes poetry.  So in the end, we’re left with a lot of free time.



Word of the Every So Often  

May 27, 2022

wonk:  (noun)  often used derogatorily, a person who takes a particularly specialized interest in the minute details of a field of study, especially with politics.  You want to know about the influence of Russian immigrants on the passage of the infrastructure bill?  Then just ask Bill, he's our resident wonk.


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Friday, January 19, 2018

Groundhog’s Day

Everybody here at HGP is excited about the upcoming holiday, which, by far, is the favourite holiday of the entire staff, namely because it requires nothing from any of us.  There are no cards to send, no presents to wrap, and no songs to sing.  It's not even a reason to drink... not that any of us here need a reason.

Groundhog’s Day appears to have roots in old European traditions, though they used badgers and bears.  Those traditions, in turn, probably go all the way back to the Neolithic period in Ireland, when the date, Imbloc, had special significance because it fell between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  As a consequence, pretty much everybody to ever come out of Ireland has found some reason to celebrate something on this day.  The Gaelic dudes, the Celts, the Pagans, and the Christians all whooped it up or continue to whoop it up on or about the second.  Not even the Wiccans are left out.  The second of February represents one of their eight holidays.

The first specific mention of celebrating Groundhog’s Day in America – with a groundhog on February 2 – was from a diary entry in 1841 Pennsylvania.  The reference, though, was to an older German custom, which is pretty much the entire custom as we know it – a medium-sized, furry animal emerges from its burrow on Candlemas Day (which is the second), and if it doesn’t see its shadow, then there are six more weeks of winter.  Candlemas, by the way, is the day that commemorates when Mary was certified clean after giving birth to Jesus, as was required by Jewish law.

Though many communities (including those in Portugal, Germany, Serbia, and the UK) celebrate Groundhog’s Day in their own, unique ways, Punxsutawney Phil, from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is undoubtedly the most famous Groundhog of them all.  2018 will be his 128 appearance, which is a pretty nifty trick for a rodent whose lifespan, at best, is only about 14 years.  Supposedly, Phil’s longevity is attributed to sipping “Groundhog Elixir” every summer, which magically extends his life for another seven years.  The heck with his predictions; I want some of that elixir.

At best, the prognosticating rodent seems to be correct about 40% of the time…if that.  On a “will-or-won’t” proposition, you could get better odds flipping a coin.  Groundhogs, by the way, are the largest member of the squirrel family... if anybody asks.

9:13 am pst 

Friday, January 5, 2018


Pretty amazing, huh?  I took out these walls here so the whole house would have that gallery feel.  It'll look a lot better once I get the walls patched.  I got all the shelves from IKEA.  The foam on all the shelves – you can get that in bulk online. 

It's the world's largest collection of burnt out lightbulbs.  Technically, a lightbulb is called a "lamp," but most people don't know that, so if you call a lightbulb a lamp, it's just confusing. 

Over here... these are some of my favourites.  This one.  This one was my first.  It was from my nightlight when I was a kid.  This is the left turn signal bulb in the first car I ever owned.  A 1964 Chevy Impala.  This one was from the streetlight in front of my childhood home.  I'm not saying how I got it.

This is the automotive wing.  These are all car headlights.  Ford here.  That's Chevy.  Chrysler.  Dodge.  Foreign.  Exotics.  Check this one out.  It's from a 1992 Ferrari F40.  I paid $38 for that, including shipping.  It would've cost considerably more had it not been burnt out.

These are all my florescent bulbs, by width and length.  A lot of folks would argue that fluorescent lights really don't use bulbs.  And they have a point.  I mean, I don't include neon, and I know it's pretty much the same.  I dunno.  I just had a lot of them, so I thought, "Why not?"  The way I figure it, it's my museum.  I can curate it like I want.

These are all novelty lightbulbs.  See?  When you turn this one on, it's a smiley face.  And the light's yellow.  Pretty cool.  This one, it's a black light bulb.  Most black lights that aren't fluorescent, really aren't black lights.  They've just been filtered to look that way.  But this really is a black light.  It's a lightbulb-shaped fluorescent light with a little charger right in the base.  That is cool.  It still works, too.

A lot of folks think I'm... you know... a bit off for collecting burnt out lightbulbs.  But check this out.  I bet you've never seen a bulb like this.  1924.  It's an antique.  See how much more fragile that is?  They made lightbulbs before 1924... but who kept them when they burnt out?  I'll tell you:  Nobody.  Old ones turn up now and again, in old buildings and what not.  But for the most part, they're all gone.

Technology is moving away from lightbulbs.  Soon, it'll be all LED, and who knows what after that.  The classic lightbulb.  The lightbulb you remember from when you were a kid.  Soon they'll be gone forever.  And that's because nobody saves burnt out lightbulbs.  Except for me.

8:27 am pst 

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