Hello all! I’m writing you from balmy Santa Barbara, where my brother is kindly letting me use his computer. I was supposed to be in frigid Massachusetts by now, but my flight yesterday was canceled thanks to a winter storm, and I’m now scheduled to return Tuesday night (please join me in hoping conditions have improved by then!). Continue talking amongst yourselves, and if you’re looking for a good novel, I highly recommend Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America (which I finished as the plane’s wheels touched down in Santa Barbara).
Update. I’m back; regular posting will resume as soon as I work through the comments and terminate all the spammers. Thanks for your patience!


  1. Lucky!! Trust me, you don’t want to be in MA right now! It’s supposed to be sunny again starting tomorrow, though.

  2. The wicked wind is whistling this weekend. Stay in CA. MA can wait.

  3. Let me get this straight: you want to leave balmy California to go back to snowy Mass? Enjoy the warmth while you can.

  4. Guess it depends what you like. I’m finding it a pleasure to be in Newton right now – fresh white powder, quiet. Great x-country skiing along the Charles. Boston after a big snowfall is magic.

  5. aldiboronti says

    Sunny California, snow-covered New England – they both sound idyllic in comparison to the grey skies and drizzle of Portsmouth on the south coast of England.
    Safe homecoming, LH.

  6. Psst.

  7. I just discovered you blog and I find it very interesting. I am a translator and some of the Language Resources you mention might be useful for me. May I suggest one more that I use every day in my work? Le Grand dictionnaire terminologique, which gives translations between French and English – http://w3.granddictionnaire.com The site is in French, so you must know at least some French to use it. It is not a general dictionary, so it is better for technical words, but “technical” in a very broad sense. And don’t get all excited if you notice “latin” in the language choice. You will find only latin names of plants and such things. Your “egreto” is not there, alas!

  8. The universe seems to be calling to me to read Philip Roth. You’re the fourth or fifth person to mention him or that novel in the last several days. I give in! 🙂

  9. Steve, here in our beautiful Berkshires it was just a dusting, relatively. You’ll be able to get into your driveway.

  10. Richard Hershberger says

    Ah, Santa Barbara! I went to college at UC Santa Barbara, the campus on the beach. I would have recommended places to eat, had I known you were going there, and were it 1985.

  11. John Emerson says

    I say we round up a posse and go get him.

  12. All is melted, come home.

  13. John Emerson says

    People go to California and never come back. Years later you find them on the beaches, tanning furiously and reading self-help books.

  14. I’m back, and I thank you all for your patience and encouragements. My driveway was indeed merely dusted, and the residue of white is quite attractive. (It was quite an experience flying east and seeing the green of California become brown and then grey/white as I approached the Northeast.) I dearly love Santa Barbara, but I’d miss real weather (not to mention my wife, who I’m pretty sure would refuse to relocate).
    Richard, I’m pleased to hear you went to UCSB (though I’ve always wondered how anybody manages to study when the surroundings are so gorgeous and the beach is right at hand), but my brother (who lives there) keeps me au courant with the eateries; our current fave is La Super-Rica on Milpas, where we ate three times during my stay. Cheap, delicious Mexican food — what could be better?

  15. Richard Hershberger says

    “(though I’ve always wondered how anybody manages to study when the surroundings are so gorgeous and the beach is right at hand)”
    Did you go down to the beach? Did you notice the globs of tar? At least this time of year they are firm. In the summer they are soft goo. There is, or at least was, an ongoing debate about how much of the tar is natural seepage and how much comes from those offshore oil wells.
    Many people brave the tar: The dorm bathrooms came equipped with handy cans of turpentine for just that reason. (I recommend vegetable oil if it gets in your hair.) For my money, though, the tar rather lessened the attraction of the beach.
    (A fond memory: a guy comes in late to a chemistry final, carrying a surfboard and wearing a wetsuit. He is the first person to leave. I have always wondered whether he got an A or an F. I can’t imagine such a person getting anything in between.)

  16. Welcome back. In honor of the storm that extended your hiatus, could you discourse on the extremely odd word “nor’easter”. This word has always bugged me because it seems like a fake New England coinage. I mean the region where these northeast storms are frequently a big deal is a region where people do not pronounce their r’s. If it’s supposed to be old Yankee fisherman speak why isn’t it “notheastah”?

  17. I don’t have to, because Mark Liberman has discoursed admirably on the subject. As you can read there, it is indeed “a phony regionalism.”

Speak Your Mind