Friday, February 29, 2008

February 29, 2008
Really mild out in the mornings. Low 80s makes the days sweet. Wore my Hawaiian shirt to work today, the one I bought in Cody in January for the Dude Ranchers Association Hawaiian Luau. I forgot to bring one and The Sierra Trading Post in Cody dug into their back stock and pulled out an entire rack for me to choose a shirt from. That's what I love about small towns. Charlotte from Big Horn Art Galleries heard my dilemma (how am I going to get a Hawaiian shirt in Cody, Wyoming in the dead of winter?), called the Sierra Trading Company and they went into storage and pulled out a dozen shirts.

The Final Word on Chaps
"Since we Americans render Pueblo -- as in Pueblo, Colorado -- pee-eb-low, accent on the second syllable, I guess we can damn well pronounce chaps any way we want.

"Shaps does seem to be the American pronunciation, because it's now an American word, though I'm not exactly in living in chaps country so who I am to say?

"The earliest American reference in Frederic G. Cassidy's DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN REGIONAL ENGLISH (1985) is chaparerros (1861), and other 19th century spellings included chaperreras, chaparajos, and chaparas, but not chaparejos.

"His earliest reference for chaps, spelled (and pronounced) shaps, is 1884. Ramon F. Adams, WESTERN WORDS (1981), votes for spelling chaps with a c, but pronouncing it shaps.

"The Real Academia Espanola's DICCIONARIO DE LA LENGUA ESPANOLA -- I'm looking at the 6th edition, ca. 1939 -- calls them chaparerras, 'especie de zahones de piel adobada que se usan en Mejico.' What the heck are zahones, you might ask. Zahones are chaps.

"So, chaparreras are a type of chaps made of tanned leather, used in Mexico.

"Where does the word zahon come from? Zafon, which is Arabic, though Joan Corominas BREVE DICCIONARIO ETIMOLOGICO DE LA LENGUA CASTELLANA (1987), suggests that the word came from the Basque zagon and the Mozoarabe siqan. And so on and so forth. And is related to calzones, stockings.

"How did zahones become in Mexico chaparreras? Good question."
—Dan Buck

100 Years Ago Today.
should be a national holiday, but it isn't.
should be a national day of mourning, but it isn't.

resurrected in poems, paintings, and movies,
yet all but forgotten except by such as we.

so pull a bottle of whiskey out from under the counter,
(shake it up, it got a little oil on top)
and take a swig (best sipping whiskey YOU ever threw your lip over!)
and hoist one for Patrick Floyd Jarvis Garrett...........gone now a century.
—Thom Ross

To See A Man About A Horse
And on this date--Feb. 29--in 1908, 100 years ago, Pat Garrett made an unexpected and unexpectedly fatal pit stop on a lonely road in New Mexico.

Wayne Brazel allegedly put a couple of bullets into the ex-lawman. Brazel successfully claimed self-defense. Which seems to indicate that Garrett's weapon of choice in that instance--his manhood--was far more powerful and dangerous than those of normal men.

Adios, Big Casino.

—Mark Boardman

Yes, Mark is referring to Pat Garrett's last nature call. He stopped his wagon on the way to Las Cruces, one hundred years ago today, and got out to—in the parlance of the times—"see a man about a horse." Wayne Brazel, who was riding next to the wagon and had allegedly been taking verbal abuse from Garrett on the ride for running goats on Garrett's leased land, took the opportunity to shoot Garrett, in the back, as Pat watered a rear wheel of the wagon. Brazel, defended by Albert Fall, got off on self-defense, which prompted El Paso historian Leon Metz to quip, "It's the only time in history a man has been assasinated while urinating that the defendant claimed self-defense."

According to a recently released Digital Life America tracking study conducted by Solutions Research Group, nearly 80 million Americans (43% of the online population) have watched one of their favorite TV shows on the Internet, up significantly from 12 months ago when that figure was just 25%.

As long as I don't have to lean forward while watching.

One of our most controversial and outrageous governors, Evan Mecham, died last week. Talk about unintentional zane:

"I'm not a racist. I've got Black friends. I employ Black people. I don't employ them because they're Black. I employ them because they are the best people for the cotton-picking job."
—Ev Mecham

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