Wednesday 27 October 2021

The Whole Shooting Match

 I was today years old when I found out that the phrase "lock, stock and barrel" makes perfect sense. I already knew that the stock is the wooden part of a gun. What I didn't know is that in the days of matchlock and flintlock guns, the "lock" is the part of the gun with the hammer, ignition system and priming charge. If you took apart your flintlock (or matchlock) musket (or pistol) there would be three parts: The lock, the stock and the barrel.

In my head it now joins the list of phrases that come from ancient firearms technology like "keep your powder dry", "go off half cocked" and "flash in the pan".

I'm ashamed to admit that I had made up a kind of rationalisation in my mind for the phrase. I thought it was probably something to do with everything you owned in a warehouse: The (pad) lock off the front door, the stock you kept in the warehouse, and the empty barrel(s) you used to store liquids. Wrong!

The phrase wouldn't have the same poetry if it was coined in the day of self-loading rifles: "I emptied my garage fire control group, magazine, bolt carrier assembly, receiver, stock and barrel.

Richard "eggcorn" B

Monday 25 October 2021

On Hold

 I now lead a team of people and it's a busy job. One of the things we try to do is that if we're asked to help with some problem and it starts looking like a fault in the software, then it gets raised as a new ticket. That way we have visibility of the status of the fault/repair and who has done what to fix it.

My mum has a sore foot and I've been playing telephone message ping pong with the doctor's surgery since a consultant (for an unrelated condition) said that it needed to be X-Rayed. I was unable to make a timely appointment with the GP, but told to start again as though it were a new complaint and ring up the moment the surgery opened and ask for a same day telephone consultation.

There was a certain amount of mental dissonance and lack of self-awareness on my part that morning. I was on hold for about 20 minutes, cursing that I needed to tell the doctor about it again and cursing that the doctor wasn't available to talk to me instantly. At the same time I was going through my emails and messages wondering why there was a queue of new things for me to do first thing in the morning, and wishing that all these problems were accurately reported and recorded.

Richard "We're not so different you and I" B

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Care Label

 One day last week I was walking dogs with my friend and chatting. We were discussing how both of us will often start a little project without first putting on dirty enough clothes. You start doing something in the garden or the garage and it gets more involved than you thought, before you know it you're clarted up with mud or brake dust or caulk or whatever.

As soon as we were home we pulled his chainsaw out from the shed-of-difficult-to-store-objects. One of the things that was in the way was a couple of tins of creosote. One of them was leaking and creosote got smeared up the front of the cashmere pullover I was wearing. Damn.

Richard "foreshadowing" B