Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Year, n, A period of three hundred and sixty-five disappointments.

2006 Update: A standard for the measurement of time often used for planning and composed of 365 days, which unit is most commonly the material for alibis and itself composed of 24 hours the unit lavishly granted for quitting one's nation of origin.

Announcing a new way to "enjoy" Waking Ambrose: At the long-ago suggestion of Liz Strauss, and to celebrate one year of this site, the original content from this site is now available at:

As of now, Prattle includes a wordbook of the definitions and podcasts of the stories from this site as well as a brief biography of Ambrose Bierce.

I'll let all of you know if I decide to do anything more with that site which would be an indication that my warmth and charisma produce consistent results over time.

Monday, February 27, 2006


Acorn, n. A small nut about which cluster the American patriot's hopes of a navy. It makes tyrrany tremble.

2006 Update: The symbol of hope for the hard and dense to one day be mighty. A squirrel's breakfast.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Fire and Ice, Part I

Story #33, in which we return to find Doug on his way up.

To hear the story, listen from the belfry.

To read the story, click the map.

This story is cross-posted on Doug Drones On and should be continued next week. There are also two new stories from the Weirsdo Family. Happy weekend, everyone.

Friday, February 24, 2006


Jury, n. A number of person appointed by a court to assist the attorneys in preventing law from degenerating into justice.

2006 Update: A panel of peers empowered to determine guilt and fate by the Nielsen Company.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Tedium, n. Ennui, the state or condition of one that is bored. Many fanciful derivations of the word have been affirmed, but so high an authority as Father Jape says that it comes from a very obvious source -- the first words of the ancient Latin hymn Te Deum Laudamus. In this apparently natural derivation there is something that saddens.

2006 Update: An excess of stimulation, intoxication, gratification, invigoration, appreciation, civilization, imitation, explanation, creation or love of nation. There is no standard for measuring the volume of tedium as the common unit, the instant (metric aeon,) expands with age, shrinks with time and multiplies in recitation.

Unrelated to today's word, please keep your eyes on this site to vote for Pia as the best writer of a lefty blog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Special Guest Senior

This week I'm proud to have Steve Pascover, my very own father, as a guest.

The old feller defined Natural Selection this way:
I was given "natural selection" to define The theory of evolution arose from observation, and is best defined by example. Observe the development:

My daddy used to say, on the subject of cussing: "Stevie, just remember that profanity is the last refuge of the inarticulate - whatever the F*** that means" [I grew up in Missouri, where even fully grown men refer to their fathers as "daddy" and pay attention to what their father said. - Doug didn't grow up in Missouri]

My working definition is "use the words that make you understood."

My son Doug defined cussing as "to express with irrelevancies the most urgent compulsions of the heart"

So, the official definition is that an inheritable characteristic which produces differential survival is required, and the result, "Natural Selection" is the differential reproduction of genotypes [whatever the F*** that means]

More straightforwardly - "the good stuff that matters just keeps getting better" see, for example, the dynasty of PEZ.
About my old man: Dad was born in Missouri and reared there until my grandparents moved to Akron, Ohio where he became by all accounts unrearable. At least that's what Uncle Jimmy says. All I can say is I learned to growl at his paw and higher language from my mom.

Dad didn't talk much until he entered his fifties and hasn't kept quiet much since then. Like his father did, my dad has a deep rough voice he loves to tell stories in. I'm pretty sure this trait ends with him although I'm a little worried about my brother. Dad contributed a lot to my upbringing and what discipline there was by a lot of methods, but it was the lectures that had the most impact. These were usually long enough to break a rebellious spirit in a way that spankings never quite could.

Dad's knowledge inspired his children's curiousity and I certainly thank him, alongside Mama, for the fact that I have something to blog about. The main thing to know about my old man is that every Saturday and Sunday, he drives 60 miles to go hiking with me and the dogs and on Sunday makes an additional trip of greater length in a different direction to play with his grandchildren who dote on him back. Oh, and in the 70s he wore a huge Afro, pick and all.

At right, the old timer at Christmas, Elf portrayed by my step-sister, Laura (Enrique's daughter)

How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006


Jurisprudence, n. The kind of prudence that keeps one inside the law.

2006 Update: The system through which wrongdoers become convicts or judges.

Two Announcements: Indeterminacy has contributed a very good story to Doug Drones On.

The Editorial Board of Waking Ambrose has voted 2-1 to endorse Pia from Courting Destiny for the Koufax Award for best writing in a lefty blog. The dissenting voter thought our endorsement should be reserved to a writer who has contributed significantly to the literature of bones.
Thanks to Miz Bohemia for the head's up.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Autumn Leaves

Story #32, in which a little girl sees family.

To hear the story follow the trail.

To read the story, come to the cottage.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Yesterday, n. The infancy of youth, the youth of manhood, the entire past of age.

2006 Update: The dormitory to which we confine our sins until needed.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


X, in our alphabet being a needless letter has an added invincibility to the attacks of the spelling reformers, and like them, will doubtless last as long as the language. X is the sacred symbol of ten dollars, and in such words as Xmas, Xn, etc., stands for Christ, not, as is popular supposed, because it represents a cross, but because the corresponding letter in the Greek alphabet is the initial of his name -- Xristos. If it represented a cross it would stand for St. Andrew, who "testified" upon one of that shape. In the algebra of psychology x stands for Woman's mind. Words beginning with X are Grecian and will not be defined in this standard English dictionary.

2006 Update: A generation rich in material wealth yet poor in letters.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Noble and Blessed Ogre Day and Special Guest Wednesday

To all my friends in the spiritually rich and enlightened Cumudgeon Community, I bid thee an Ogre Day filled with quiet serenity and scaring children. Here to celebrate with me is our brilliant guest, Solace Cai. Solace was asked to define the word Fantasy. Here is her response:

Fantasy: Webster's dictionary defines fantasy as: "a play or story that is full
of imagination and is not real." But, who defines what is real? To one
man what is real is fantasy, to another the opposite. The real
difference between what is real and what is fantasy, is Time. In one
Era, what was real becomes only something of myth - legend a few
centuries later. The Holy Grail for example, who's to say it didn't
exist long ago, only to be destroyed in fire or flood? It is also
possible for Time to turm fantasy into reality. Space Travel. In the
time of the Greeks, they dreamed of men with wings who could soar into
the sky. Millenniums later, Orville and Wilbur Wright made man's dream
to fly come true, and a century or two later? Men were flying to the
moon, a feat that was just Fantasy in the time of the Greeks.

However, I think the best definition of fantasy resides in this anonymous quote:
"To the sober fantasy resides in a world that cannot be reached, to
the insane it is a world that cannot be left."

About Solace Cai: Solace belongs to that new species, the brilliant teenager, that I once believed only a Dddragon could beget. Her blog designs have been breathtaking since I first encountered her as far back as I go as a blogger. She writes four blogs, each of which showcase an aspect of her talent. Lonely House showcases her fiction writing, poetry and a diary of her life in which we discover a thoughtful and creative young woman, a devotee of Christian rock who gets out at night and a dedicated daughter. Much of her writing is so elegant and disciplined, it can be hard to credit her with her share of youth. Click on this post for a good example. With her friend who uses the name Aliandra Darkeyes, Solace also writes Twilight Requiem. If you had wondered whether even creative young women can act their age, I recommend this post from that blog. Her third, and more recent blog, Boarded-up Library gives background on characters she creates for her fiction. Her fourth blog Abandoned Art Gallery, displays her impressive work with photoshop, adding text to images. This site is fairly new but I enjoy her wit and the look of the posters she creates. Solace will begin college this fall at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and we all should wish her (and the school) well with that.

By the way, this is the first Wednesday Guest post I didn't write in time to have it reviewed by the guest so if I got parts of her biography wrong this text may change soon.

About Ogre Day: Ogre Day is an ancient custom whose obscurest origins have been traced as far back as Friday-ish. Established by curmudgeonly proclamation as a rememberance that even in the midst of blooming romance, roses and chocolate some folks would just as soon cuss as coo, Ogre Day is a holiday for the ennobled surly. Bother.
Historians document that it was established on February 15th with the suggestion that this would allow the chic and romanticy to celebrate Valentine's Day in blissful obsession. Gullibility being a trait of the romantic even unto a good explanation for strange hair on the jacket and lipstick under the arm, the proposal was accepted without notice that Valentine's Day would henceforth be known as Ogre Day Eve. Hmph.

How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Miscreant, n. A person of the highest degree of unworth. Etymologically, the word means unbeliever, and its present signification may be regarded as theology's noblest contribution to the development of our language.

2006 Update: Someone who offers alcohol to children or love to the sound-minded.

(Above, Lucifer and Beelzebub in Gustave Doré's Brokeback Perdition)

Happy Valentine's Day to those who celebrate it and to my fellows in the true faith, a blessed and noble Ogre Day Eve.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Mythology, n. The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.

2006 Update: Pantheistic spin substituting satyrs and unicorns for moral courage and accomplishment.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Bridge

Story #31, in which a woman learns that Angels aren't just a literary device.

To hear tell, come to Bedford Falls

To read the story, cross the bridge.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Dishonesty, n. An important element of commercial success, to which the business colleges have not as yet accorded an honorable prominence in the curriculum, but have weakly substituted penmanship.
Dishonesty is the best policy. New Testament: St. Judas Iscariot, IXL, 29
2006 Update: 1. A gracious alternative to silence.
2. The poetry of a journalist, the prose of a politician, the profanity of a priest or the prayer of the Bishop.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Queen, n. A woman by whom the realm is ruled when there is a king, and through whom it is ruled when there is not.

2006 Update: The daughter of a mother's son.

Tremble before my niece, Queen Payton Emily I.

Happy Birthday, your Highness!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Special Guest Wednesday

My special guest this week is the beautiful and well-preserved Jamie Dawn.

She was asked to define the word Wholesome and graciously responded with the following:
"A few weeks ago, Doug was bemoaning the fact that his well of Wednesday Special Guests had run dry, thus prompting his bogus threat to delete his blog. The thought of himself having to come up with a definition on a Wednesday was more than he could bear. I succumbed to his groveling and offered to participate BEFORE reading the rules.

Doug does not allow profanity. WTF is THAT about?

When I inquired if my graphic could include full, frontal nudity, I was told THAT was not acceptable either.

After I shot off a fierce email telling Doug what he could do with his blog, his mother, and a horse, he sent me the word "wholesome" to define.

Wholesome, adj. All things Jamie Dawn."

About Jamie Dawn: Jamie Dawn is a clever, sassy and sarcastic Christian wife and mother. Like apple pie with a pinch of sugar left out. Her website is always fun and funny and a three-alarm riot with tales of her upbringing, tales of her family and commentary on the issues of the day like how much celebrities weigh or should weigh. Jamie Dawn also likes to write about her blogging friends so hang out there and she just might compare you to Mozart.

Jamie Dawn suffers from two rare disabilities that she's shared with us. She has an unidentified disease of the vocal chords for which she's endured a staggering number of throat surgeries. I've virtually known Jamie Dawn for less than a year and I've already prayed for the success of several. My hopes were very high for the birthday repiping done by a doctor who had undergone something similar. The second disability is a heretofore unknown genetic disorder which arrests the natural aging process.

Right, three generations of Jamie Dawn's family. J.D.'s the blond girl.

Most or all of the people who read this site read Jamie Dawn's so I won't blather on in the introduction except to tell this story: The first time my mother came down to visit after she started reading this site, she was very excited to discuss my new friends. She kept chattering on about one blogger but I couldn't figure out who it was until Mom said, "You know, the pineapple lady!" I asked "Jamie Dawn?" and Mom said "Yes! I love Jamie Dawn!"

Like TLP, Jamie Dawn is a blogmatriarch and I enjoy reading her son, guitar prodigy Taylor and Coolchick daughter Courtney (who oughta update,) and Jamie's wise husband, who changed his name from Hubby to Keith.

How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


Ability, n. That rare quality of mind to which monuments are erected by posterity above the bones of paupers.
2. The natural equipment to accomplish some small part of the meaner ambitions distinguishing able men from dead ones. In the last analysis ability is commonly found to consist mainly in a high degree of solemnity. Perhaps, however, this impressive quality is rightly appraised; it is no easy task to be solemn.

2006 Update: The virtue behind accomplishment such as charisma in a leader or blindness in a follower.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Revelation, n. Discovering late in life that you are a fool.
2. A famous book in which Saint John the Divine concealed all that he knew. The revealing is done by the commentators, who know nothing.

2006 Update: The step between action and perjury.

A note to all American subscribers to basic cable reading this, Schwartz' Candies marshmallows will be featured tonight on Unwrapped on The Food Network at 9PM, most places. This is your long awaited opportunity to see Semisweet1 unwrapped.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

From the Cavern


dragon_with_mage_hg_clrTo hear the story capture the Wizard.


To read the story, follow directions

This story is cross-posted on Doug Drones On where Weirsdo has posted a tragic tale of Pansi as well.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Distance, n. The only thing that the rich are willing for the poor to call theirs, and keep.

2006 Update: Substantial daylight accentuating beauty and obscuring the wallet.

Do over: The criterion for beauty, wisdom and sophistication.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Success, n. The one unpardonable sin against one's fellows. In literature, and particularly in poetry, the elements of success are exceedingly simple, and are admirably set forth in the following lines by the reverend Father Gassalasca Jape, entitled, for some mysterious reason, "John A. Joyce."
The bard who would prosper must carry a book,
Do his thinking in prose and wear
A crimson cravat, a far-away look
And a head of hexameter hair.
Be thin in your thought and your body'll be fat;
If you wear your hair long you needn't your hat.
2006 Update: An historian's account of a soldier's death, scientific observations selected, a poet's regard for a martyr or the prediction of someone elected.

Happy Groundhog Day, to those who have winter!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Special Guest Wednesday

This week I'm proud to introduce Sonia Singh. Her word was Chemistry:

Chemistry, n. The art and science of attraction, proficiency in the latter being the death of the former.

About Sonia: Sonia is a research chemist at Amgen where she works on projects which, if successful, will produce the next generation of medicine for rheumatoid arthritis and if unsuccessful, male enhancement.

Born in Amritsar, Punjab, India and raised in Augusta, Georgia, Sonia is a redneck on two continents. For three years my ex, and for eight the Desi to my Lucy, Ms. Singh is in the Guiness Book of World Records for swallowing churlishness. Sonia and I met in 1995 when she was an intern at The Carter Center. An impeachment hearing later, that story wasn't as cute as it once had been. She is mother to my dogs, Willie and Walela, who say "Good job, Mom! Bring bones! Dad doesn't feed us properly."

Sonia lives in Santa Monica, California, practices Ayengar yoga and vegetarianism and is a registered Democrat. Central casting assures us that she made each of these decisions independent from any stereotype. Sonia is widely admired for her cleverness and kindness although usually not at the same time.

How to be a future guest on this site: Just send an email to dpascover at mac dot com. On a future Wednesday, after posting that week's guest, I'll send you an email with a word to define. You'll be expected to return your definition along with a graphic representing either your definition or yourself by the following Saturday. The only rules are no profanity and no novels, please. And whatever I make up at the last minute. Oh, and rabbit! rabbit!