“When the English language gets in my way, I walk over it.”

This morning was hopeful. I saw my first crocus in the front garden. It is bright yellow and is the only color I can see. The sun was shining when I woke up. The birds were in and out of the feeders. The coffee was delicious. Now, a mere three hours later, it is cold and dreary. I don’t know where the sun went, but it disappeared quickly. The crocus is closed. The world is back to being grey and dreary.

I spend two hours with my neighbor. We chatted about foods, relatives, weather and the  verb doesn’t. She seems to prefer don’t as in he don’t. I told her I’d start charging her money for all the times she uses the wrong verb. My grandmother and my father used don’t all the time and they were born in this country. I might be fighting a losing battle.

Gracie and I are going out later. She is out of canned food, and I am out of bread, two essentials for our lives. Lately I have been into naan. Gracie has been into whatever I feed her.

When I was a kid, our boxer, Duke, ate two cans of food every day. Back then it was horse meat. It smelled gross. I hated when it was my turn to feed Duke. I’d turn my head away as I was spooning his dinner into his dog bowl. Duke loved his dinner.

My electric can opener is among the missing. I moved it from the counter and now I can’t find it. I am back to using the old silver can opener where you turn the wheel around the cover. It works great except on the larger cans. With some cans I use a churchkey mostly when something to be poured is in the can. I also keep a churchkey in my car. It is one of those things you need when you don’t have it.

Every time I travel I take my Swiss Army knife. It has every possible gadget I might need on my journey. It used to be with me but now it travels as cargo being a weapon and all. I’ve have it forty-seven years. The tweezers and the toothpick are missing, but other than those, the knife is in perfect condition. I have a really small one I keep on my keychain. It comes in handy.

On the Amazing Race last week one of the tasks was to put together a Swiss Army knife. It is done by hand piece by piece, blade by blade. Now I know why they are so expensive. When the teams were leaving for Switzerland, one team member wanted to know what language is spoken there. Swiss, of course, was the answer. The best question of the season so far was also last week. In what country is Switzerland?

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20 Comments on ““When the English language gets in my way, I walk over it.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    Snow, snow and more snow here, it has fallen for almost 30 hours now but it has thankfully been just above 32 so much has melted away too, still at least 6 inches on the ground.

    I had to check on google how that churchkey looks and to be honest I’ve never understood how to use it! I have one and all I manages to do is to make a hole with it 🙂 Thankfully I have other can openers because I would only beable to get soup out of cans if I had to use that one 🙂

    So how do Swiss sound 🙂 🙂 🙂 It isn’t easy to know things like that if one doesn’t live in Europe.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I am so sorry for your snow. I know how discouraging it can be.

      All it mostly does is make a hole. You need to make two holes, one on each side, then pour out the liquid. For other cans, we used that silver one I mentioned. It too is a hand operated opener.

      I could not believe that some people are so ignorant go Geography.

      Enjoy the evening!

  2. Hedley Says:

    I also noticed the question, very cool to ask “In what country is Switzerland”

    I have a very full TV card which is coming to an end, Downton Abbey, Black Sails, Billions, the Bach, plenty to record. The biggest news is that Happy Valley Series 2 drops on to Netflix next week and I can binge on Tommy and his generally naughty behavior.

    I am sensing that AR is no longer really holding my attention. I guess it is hard to introduce something new in to the show and that is reflected in the Friday night date. I thought the previews showed them hang gliding and that would mean Interlachen – that’s where I bought my genuine, have to have real Swiss Army Knife

    On Thursday Dortmund and Tottenham play the first match in their Europa League tie which will culminate in a Final in Basel in May. It would not be unreasonable to ask is Basel is in Germany, France or Switzerland

    • Birgit Says:

      Hedley, damned German TV, it looks like they don’t broadcast our match here! X!%${-#*:Ö& !!! BVB Dortmund net radio probably has to do, it’s completely biased and funny but I will miss teleVISION.

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit – it rolls at 1pm local time in Detroit but I think I have to watch the ESPN coverage in Spanish. You need to find someone with Sky Go Deutschland or one of the other sky networks

        I wish nothing but bad things to your team.

      • Birgit Says:

        Hedley, yes, maybe we’ll have to visit a pub downtown or I’ll ask my chorus friends in Dortmund whether they know a place to go. Let’s see.
        BVB – BVB – BVB !!!

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I snorted in disbelief when she said that.

      I have something two days this week, but they are minor and won’t take long.

      AR will be in Chamonix next week and will be hand gliding. It looked like something happened, but it was only a short clip. They have done some neat stuff this year.

      I think she’d have thought you were referring to an herb.

      • Hedley Says:

        Kat – They had just announced a new Dylan album ,”Fallen Angels” no date BUT the rumors are that it is another disc of “standards” (oh God) and there is, of course, a tour because there is always a Bob tour.

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        Dylan could die, and they’d put him in front of a mike!

  3. Birgit Says:

    Is life without a Swiss army knife even possible?
    Swiss German sounds funny. We get Swiss news on TV and I’m really glad they provide subtitles when needed.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      Without a Swiss army knife the world would be far more complicated.

      Sadly, I wouldn’t know the difference.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I wondered why the Swiss Army Knife song. Is it an anniversary for Swiss Army Knives?
    I have two Victorinox Swiss Army Knives neither of which I can find. One of them still has the toothpick and tweezers. I also have a Victorinox Mauser which is a Swiss Army knife without the Swiss part. It has most of the same tools but it also has a saw. A very tiny saw, to be sure, but one with wicked teeth that can saw like a boss. None of my knives has the legendary tool that’s used to take stones out of horses hooves (AKA hoof pick). Probably one needs to find an antique Swiss Army Knife to score that one.

    I have 5 croci. They are white with yellow centers. They showed up last week sometime beside the front steps in a sunny, sheltered spot. Something is showing a bit of yellow around the corner but it’s taking its time.

    Weather is odd today. It looks warm and sunny and then it looks grey and cold. Regardless, the wind is biting.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      No, It is because I mentioned never traveling without one and the one I have is 47 years old. It goes on every trip and saves me money as I can buy street food and use my knife to cut it or make sandwiches.

      I have a small one attached to my keychain and the old one in a drawer waiting until it comes to Ghana with me. My ing knife has a saw, a small saw.

      I didn’t even know about hoof pick.

      There are more croci in the yard but I haven’t seen them yet.

      It is cold!

      Have a great evening!!

  5. Richard Says:

    O frabjous day! Calloo! Callay! “Bewahre doch vor Jammerwoch!
    Die Zähne knirschen, Krallen kratzen!” See? Life is good, even if it is all bright ’n sunny here. Clouds are moving in even as I type, and we’re told to prepare for flooding rains by Wednesday. The rain will continue thru Sunday and maybe into Monday. Now I have to see if I can remember where I put that ‘Ark’ thingy … it’s the two-person model, with life raft and emergency food stocks, and maybe some British lifeboat matches. It’s that ‘cost’thing, y’ know.

    On my Grocery Outing, I came across some great items, such as Korean ‘Long Hot’red peppers, so I got those and some of the Korean green peppers, jalapeños, garlic, mandarines, bananas, shallots, onions, and some Instant Ramen noodle packs. They’re cheap ’n tasty, and they’re quick to make. Stopped at a Kroger on the way home and found 33.8 oz bottles of Antiqua Balsamic Vinegar for … 99¢ each. Bought two of ‘em and sent my daughter an email to let her know about it. Might take two years to use all of it, but I couldn’t pass up the price.

    I have an electric can opener I use often. If it stops working, I have two manual openers. If I can’t find either of those, I still have my P-38 from the Army. It’s called a ‘P-38’ ‘cos it takes 38 punches around the rim to open the can – assuming you’re opening a C-ration can. Your mileage may vary.

    Never had a Swiss Army knife. I have my Dad’s and my Grandfather’s multi-purpose pocket knives, and they did everything I ever needed a knife to do. The SAK is a marvel of engineering, to be sure, but I don’t need that level of complexity.

    As for which language(-s) are spoken ‘in die Schweiz,’ they’re French, Italian, and German. And everyone knows Switzerland is in Monaco.

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      Rain clouds have appeared here as well. The sky is really dark and a bit menacing. Tomorrow and the next day are supposed to be quite warm, and one of those days could set a new record in Boston.

      I did not buy such wonderful foods. I did buy some more naan, an English cucumber, peppers, chorizo, bananas, two biscuits for the dog and some not yet opened daffodils for my window.

      I know exactly how to open the can with al those punches around the rim. I had to do that when my first electric one died. Now the hand openers don’t ever seem to die. The electric ones go into hiding.

      I have used several of those blades. The screw driver comes in quite handy. My old one was a gift from a friend so I am quite kind to it.

      See, someone should have told her where Switzerland is!

    • olof1 Says:

      Hi Richard. You forgot the fourth official language they speak in Switzerland. I think it is called Romansh in English.

  6. Bob Says:

    I have owned a couple of the small Swiss Army knifes that I carried on my keychain. I never remembered to leave them at home and wound up having to throw them in the trash at the security checkpoint at the airport. Both of them had the tweezers and the toothpick in the knife case when I threw them away. One year I gave them as presents to my father and my father in law. I once had a Swiss Army watch. I wonder if there is a Swiss Navy knife. 🙂

    The average American’s knowledge of geography is appalling. I was not surprised when the Amazing race contestants had no idea that Switzerland is a country or that they speak three official languages. I would be surprised if they even knew Switzerland is in Europe.

    Several years ago I took my son to a Texas Ranger game against the Toronto Bluejays. The two middle aged ladies sitting behind us were surprised that they the played the Canadian national anthem after playing the Star Spangled Banner. I couldn’t sit and listen to their stupidity and turned around and said, “Because Toronto is in Canada”. The woman replied, “No, Toronto is in New York”.

    My kids have no idea how to use a manual can opener or a beer can opener. I wonder about the etymology of the term ‘church key’. I’m sure it has something to do with Baptists who only drink beer in the privacy of their own homes. 🙂

    Today was cloudy with high temperatures in the low 70s. The storms have already begun West of the DFW area spawning a small tornado and pea sized hail. We are expecting several days of storms and steady rains.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I doubt the Swiss have a huge navy. I found out it is connected to the Swiss merchant marine. ” In 2010, a fleet of 37 ships flew the Swiss flag, which was made up of bulk carriers, container ships, multi-purpose freighters and tankers, totaling one million tonnes and operated by six shipping companies.”

      Only one didn’t know. The others were excited to be going there especially a team which had never seen snow. It was a mistake to stop teaching geography as an individual subject.

      I can understand not knowing small Canadian towns of villages, ut I can’t understand her not known Toronto.

      I looked up churchkey this morning curious too about its origins. Come to find out it is because they actually resemble keys which open older churches.

      The wind made it really cold today. Tomorrow is supposed to be really warm though I’m not so sure what really means when it comes to temperature.

      • Bob Says:

        Thanks for the info on the Swiss Navy, I mentioned it as a joke because Switzerland is land locked. 😉

        I think geography fell out of favor during the Cold War. Every classroom had a Mercator projection world map with the Americas in the middle and Eurasia split in half. The right wing school boards were afraid that a geography teacher might show the class a North Polar projection and a kid might come to the conclusion that the Soviet Union is humongous compared to the the United States and their missiles are closer than they think.

        I guess a beer can opener does look like a key. What uses could you have for a church key in your car?

        I’m not surprised that the woman didn’t know that Toronto is in Canada because she probably voted for Trump. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        Many of the Swiss ships ply the lakes and Switzerland has many.

        I don’t remember maps being a problem or school boards interfering with the way geography was taught. The school committee which runs my district is generally into policy-enforcing it or making it. They only consider individual courses if a parent complains and geography was never a problem.

        I keep one n the car just in case. It might be handy sometime. I keep a first aid kit there for the dame reason. I even keep a space blanket in my glove compartment. All are for emergencies.

        I believe geography is even more important now given we have more countries than we have ever had. The news is immediate and knowing where it all takes place is of primary importance.


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