“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.”

The morning is damp and cloudy. Gracie has been outside most of the time since we woke up around nine. She hadn’t been feeling great the last couple of days but today she is her usual self. She played with half a dog biscuit for about 15 minutes, ran around the yard until her face was filled with disgusting spit and wiggled her whole butt when I was talking to her. That’s my Gracie.

The Patriots are underdogs for Sunday’s game. That got me to thinking about where the word came from in the first place. Why dogs? I know people sometimes refer to feet as in my dogs are really tired and I know a dirty dog when I see one, canine visibly but human usually hidden as in sneaky. I’ve been with guys who have gone to see a man about a dog. That one puzzles me even more. I like the tail wagging the dog as a neat metaphor, the same with a dog and pony show. Then there’s top dog, the opposite of what started this weird conversation with myself. It was then I decided to stop wondering as it was only getting worse so I started hunting but not with a dog. According to The Times of India, never a source for me before, “The word ‘underdog’ comes from the language of dogfights in the late 19th century. In those fights, two dogs attacked each other and the loser was termed the ‘underdog’. The winner was termed as ‘top dog’. However, though the expression is originally American, the first recorded use of underdog was seen in descriptions of people by British newspapers.” That’s one mystery solved.

Every Christmas when I was a kid one of my favorite gifts was that year’s Information Please Almanac. Think of it as a compendium of information, a mini-Google on paper. I’d spend hours combing through the different sections. The book satisfied my curiosity about so many things and introduced me to so many more. It was my go to it proof for some facts I could spout from memory. I learned state mottos, the GNP for a variety of years, World Series champs and the amount of wheat produced in the US year by year. I used to open a page at random and read whatever was there. Sometimes it was really boring but other times I learned neat things. One year my mother gave me the 1947 Information Please Almanac in my stocking. After thumbing through, it seemed as if I had been born in the olden days. There were pages of average prices for consumer goods. A gallon of gas was 15 cents, and you could park your car in front of the new house you bought for around $6000. You ate lunch using pieces of the loaf of bread you bought for 15 cents. Your salary?Around $2800.00.

I love Google for all the same reasons I loved that almanac, but now the whole world is my source, and I get pictures to boot. Wow, to boot, where does that come from?

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20 Comments on ““Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.””

  1. Vintage Spins Says:

    Kat,
    I don’t know if Confucius is really the source of this saying, but thought this song might be appropriate to your theme today.

    https://app.box.com/s/vw95iw1i18osx7n53sqi

    I hope our Gracie is feeling the tops today!

    Marie

    • katry Says:

      Marie,
      This is perfect for today and has another question attached. Why a dog getting its day? I agree with you about Confucius.

      Miss Gracie is now sleeping and snoring on the couch!

  2. Sheila Says:

    Kathleen,
    I’ve always said going to see a man about a horse. I loved your almanacs too. I remember reading facts to Mom while she was cooking or ironing. Now that I think about it, the poor woman was always doing something. The only time she sat was during her daily call to Aunt Bunny. She would sit in the chair at the desk in the living room and talk every day for about 30 minutes. Wonder what they found to talk about?

    I haven’t been feeling very well myself these past few days. Can you spare some spider plant for me? Maybe that will help me too. Give Gracie a hug from her aunt. ♥

    • katry Says:

      Sheila,
      You and Moe talk every day and I’m guessing you find something to talk about the same way Mom did with Bunny. I think when we were all in school life slowed down a bit for her. None of us were around needing her for something.

      I’ll be happy to feed you fronds. They seem to help Gracie.

      Hug given!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember that yearly almanac. The encyclopedia also had its yearly updates.
    $2800.00 was about what I made in 1968 as a part time employee for the IRS. Seemed like a lot of money to me then.
    My parents bought my house in 1947 for $8000.00. They were interested in another one in the next town but it was $500.00 more and they couldn’t afford it. 🙂

    The underdog is probably that because when it loses, it is generally on its back, belly up on the ground underneath the top dog.
    And Queen Elizabeth I is the first person known to have written a phrase similar to every dog having its day but it was apparently a saying already well known at that time.

    Rocky and I have been out into the rain already. It’s not his kind of day. It’s still warm but the wind and the rain are not making it comfortable to be out.

    Enjoy your Google journeys. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      When I was getting ready to retire and could buy back the two Peace Corps years, I had to find out what the salary would have been from 1969-1971 had I been teaching. It was $6300.00, a princely sum. I was making $75.00 a month from PC, a sum waiting for when I got home. It took me to Europe the summer of 1972.

      That’s exactly what the description was of the dog fighting underdog.

      We did not go out at all in the car. It was raining quite heavily for a while so only Gracie had to endure the rain and she did that seldom.

      I napped and folded clothes.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  4. olof1 Says:

    We really don’t have many sayings with dogs in them. The only one I can think of is dog weather, nasty with other words 🙂 Top hen or highest hen however is the leader of any bigger group. Not that it has anything to do with dogs but I just came to think of it 🙂

    Much less cold today but it has snowed the entire time. Can’t see that we’ve gotten especiaslly much on the ground though, that is the kind of snow I like 🙂

    I’ve ordered three books now, Doctor Sleep, Dune anbd a third one I can’t remember the name on. I think the author is spanish and this book is about vampires keeping humans as cattle for food 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      We have so many sayings with dogs you’d be amazed. I don’t think I ever thought about a hierarchy of hens, interesting.

      I saw you yesterday’s snow pictures. The snow made everything look pretty. All the warts of the land are covered.

      I taught a science fiction course I had developed when I was an English teacher. Dune was one of the books I had the kids read. They all really liked it despite the scariness of its length to kids who seldom read.

      Have a great evening!

  5. Hedley Says:

    DOG gone it. I headed WESTie on Silverbell POINTERed in the direction of work but HOUNDED again by inclement weather I was forced to POODLE to the office, BOXERED in by moving vans and car transporters. LAIKA of water had turned to IceLANDIC SHEEPDOG , HAVANESE of a coffee as I dealt with a JACKknifed RUSSELL 18 wheeler and a broken down GREYHOUND bus – quite a PINSCHER movement.

    After an hour on the road I opened my car window to get some airEDALE, Luckily I had a bag of BASSET licorice for a snack. Another BICHON FRISEing morning in Detroit. CAIRN hardly imagine why I do this every day after I CHOW CHOW my Cheerios.

    SETTER the Cadillac South and TERRIER a path down Telegraph, but I so HAVANESE of a holiday, I would be WHIPPETed back in to shape. MASTIFF bad leg cannot be helped and I become more depressed ROTWEILER drive

    SCHAUZER the winter for you Kat? , lucky that I come from Ashtead not BARKING. WHEATEN for your thoughts

    Oh and I was playing Dylan in the car it was a DANDIE DINMONT

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Thank you for putting a Boxer in your comment. I had a few chuckles over the way you cleverly manipulated the breed’s name to fit your story. My two favorites, and yes I think I believe I can have two, are the last two paragraphs but if called to task about there can only be one favorite, I would choose the Dylan comment. That made me chuckle out loud.

      • Hedley Says:

        Wasn’t going to skip your hound.

        In fact I was listening to Eddie and the Hot Rods “Life on the Line” which was a very Dandy Din. However as a nod to you and Marie I pretended it was Dylan

        The Dandy Dinmont is an awfully handsome hound – we thought about that breed. Maggie the Westie was presented with 5 napping deer this morning (are you listening Caryn ) but they were less than impressed and she could not be bothered to go in to full terrier mode.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        Gracie thanks you for thinking of her!

        Gracie would be crazed by the appearance of deer. It was only a dog in the next yard which was cause for her to scale the 6 foot fence.

        My friends are Westie fans and always have one. Darci, their current dog, is the nicest, sweetest Westie they have had.

  6. Birgit Says:

    Dog and pony show, to see a man about a dog,…- Long live online dictionaries, wikipedia and search engines (I don’t use Google), especially for posts like this 🙂
    We have similar dog sayings: dog-tired, suffer like a dog, living a dog life, be like cat and dog, he is a tough dog, the last one will be bitten by dogs, don’t wake sleeping dogs (means: don’t mention something),… Also dog weather (thanks, Christer).

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I understand exactly why these strange idioms would need explanations. We have the one about not waking a sleeping dog, dog-tired and living a dog’s life too. We also say the dog days of August which is strange even to me.

  7. Lori Kossowsky Says:

    Kat,
    It’s sunny today, fortunately not raining cats and dogs. I saw John McCutheon on Friday, and in his charming way told a story puppies and people and the state of the universe. He is such a terrific story teller, I could never repeat it, unless there was a Youtube version, but I couldn’t find it.

    I’m looking at my cat taking her mid-afternoon nap and it is making me sleepy.
    Waving my tail off,
    Lori and the Crew

    • katry Says:

      Lori,
      Ah, the cats and dogs are here. The rain was heavy enough to touch off the sensor lights for Gracie in the yard.

      Mid-afternoon is the worst time for me. It is my low point, and I have to fight through. Sometimes I don’t.

      Waving from rainy Cape Cod!

  8. Bob Says:

    Why is it the dog days of summer and not the dog days of winter? Maybe it should be the cat days of winter because cats have a colder personality than dogs.

    Looking back through an old almanac is a real eye opener. I would love to have seen the 1947 Almanac since that was my birth year. In 1965 I thought that if I could ever earn $30,000 dollars a year I would be wealthy. Today a new family car costs almost as much as what my parents paid for their first house in 1955. I could drive all week in my VW beetle in 1965 on $2 worth of gas. $30,000 a year is a lower middle class income for a family of four. Thank you inflation. The one thing I will never do is complain how much things cost today as compared to the past. My father drove me crazy by always complaining how everything always goes up in price but never down. I guess he never heard of the devastating effects of deflation. Ask the people of Spain about deflation.

    I have been lucky to have been a witness of so much fun in the last few months. I was in Toronto when the Rob Ford circus started in November and I am here in NJ as the George Washington bridge lane closure scandal may be squashing governor Christi’s Presidential aspirations. Way too much fun!

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Maybe dogs pant in the heat which makes it seem hotter. The personality of the cat depends on the individual cat. My two are very affectionate and one is jealous if I pat the dog and not her.

      That was also my birth year which is why I loved the gift.

      Cars now are far more money to buy than the cost of the house my parents bought in 1964. I bought my house in 1977, and it took half of my month’s earnings to pay the mortgage those first few years. As my salary rose, my mortgage becomes less and less a percentage of my salary until it was a top in the bucket.

      I don’t complain about the cost of stuff. If I want them, I buy them.

      You got the local flavor in those events. Nothing like a hometown newspaper to give you the best view of the action!


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