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A day off

Much as I regret failing to do my bit to boost page views at, yesterday, my day off, I made no paragraphs, neither here on the blog or down at the plant.

There was the weekly marketing to do, and there was some yard work. Having secured a couple of steaks from the dwindling carcass of an about-to-close Superfresh grocery, I treated them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and grilled them over coals. Along with some asparagus and some sliced potatoes I had marinated in olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Then I opened a bottle of plonk and sat down to dinner opposite my wife at a table. We had our after-dinner coffee on the front porch as the light faded.*

Today it’s back to blogging and a sandwich at my desk, and I think that a day away from you good people has been salutary for me, and probably for you. It is the right thing, when you have nothing to say, to say nothing.

The joke of the week wasn’t posted yesterday because of an editor’s illness, but it’s up now.

And your word of the week is tendentious.


*Elizabeth Large complained on Facebook last week that the summer solstice meant that every succeeding day would be shorted until we were once again plunged into the gray of winter. I noticed as Kathleen and I drank our coffee that the first half-dozen leaves have turned red on the sweet gum tree across the street.


Posted by John McIntyre at 10:17 AM | | Comments (6)


Enjoy your blog! But may I suggest that you use some REALLY GOOD salt when you grill your steaks? I love, love, love Sustainable Sourcing's HimalaSalt (pink salt). Here's their website if you wanna check it out: I hope you don't find my post to be tendentious! :-)

Lady Elizabeth is on Facebook? One of these days I might just break down and join ...

Thank you so much for mentioning the shortening days. It's just what we all need in early summer.

Oh, Dahlink! She posted a video of Zenmaster playing guitar and singing a great oldie! (Name of which I cannot remember because I've been up to my eyes interpreting numbers so that the musical part of my brain has gone into hybernation!)

Dahlink: You should. Look for me when you're there.

Prof. McI.,

Ah.......... the noble, and resplendent, yet messy sweet gum, or liquidambar tree.

What a perennial autumn beauty. One of my favorites, along w/ our Left Coast late-spring/ early summer bloomer, the equally messy, exotic, lavender-hued jacaranda.

Thankfully, we folks out here in Southern California are blessed w/ many of these multi-hued-leafed deciduous sweet gum trees. From flaming reds, to brilliant oranges, to deep purples, and rich browns the liquidambar is a predictable bell-weather of the end of summer, and the fast approaching fall season.

Sadly, our ubiquitous, broad-leafed California sycamore, although a handsome, imposing tree, displays a rather drab, dusky brown fall foliage shift, hardly in a league w/ the sweet gum's showy color transformation.

Probably the changing green-to-lemon-yellow fan-like gingko, and heart-shaped cottonwood leaves are the next most welcome charismatic deciduous fall foliage shift for us West Coasters, giving a sense of the approaching winter season for many of us transplants from back East, who fondly remember the turning aspens, maples, cottonwoods, poplars, ash, and sweet gum trees native to the Eastern and mid-Western sectors of the U.S. (and Canada).

Admittedly, the annual riot of fall colors back East far surpasses our West Coast mini-pageant of autumn hues. But we do have our amazing native coastal oaks, and eucalyptus.

Those familiar w/ the sweet gum tree know that its spiky spherical fruit pods can often be a pain in the butt......... and the foot. (High maintenance as a back, or front yard tree.) Walking one's pooch under a row of fecund sweet gum trees, seed pods scattered in abundance below, can be both problematic, and sometimes painful. I speak from past experience.

Yet, IMO, their visual appeal, in all their fall splendor, far outweighs their inherent messiness, and potential hazard to pedestrian, and canine locomotion.


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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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