Conservation: (n) the action of conserving something

There are many noble causes, but each is ill-served by advocates who are bratty and self-righteous.

I am more than willing to listen to anyone explain the importance of a rain forest or even why it is good to keep the glaciers frozen. What I will funny wisdom on words that begin with a C
not tolerate is an individual who thinks I am ignorant because I don’t already know it, or judges my reaction as being insufficient to the need.

It is actually quite possible to plant more trees without hugging the existing ones.

It is certainly powerful to enjoy Christmas without insisting that everyone react to it and celebrate it exactly the same way you do.

Conservation always puts our eyes too much on the affairs and lifestyle of others. We begin to believe that our cause is so significant that anyone who might suggest we are a trifle overwrought is an enemy of life or God.


Here is the perspective, and order of importance, for Planet Earth:

  • People
  • Animals
  • Trees
  • And video games (I’m just trying to gear this to the Millennials.)

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Blaze: (n) a fiercely burning fire.

Dictionary B

There is a consensus in the human species.

All of us desire to be considered forerunners, creative and pioneers. We express this by proclaiming, “Show me the trail and I will blaze away!”

Thus the general misconception.

There is no trail in place. That’s why it has to be blazed.

Yes, things have to be set on fire–and then all of the burned-off foliage must be cleared away to provide a path.

  • We keep waiting for guidance.
  • We keep stalling, hoping obvious conclusions smack us in the face.

And what we see is a forest, which we declare to be trees, not resembling a road.

We play it safe.

In the pursuit of “obvious” we are always robbed of opportunity. For open doors are not really open at all, but merely doors that no one has actually tried.

At present, there are no trails in politics, none in religion, nor in gender relationships.

What we see before us are walls, mountains and intimidating jungles. To turn them into trails will require some blazing.

It will demand individuals dressed in buckskin instead of three-piece suits.

It will take those who use the fire, endure the fire and then remain to progress the cause … after the blaze.


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by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Ablation: n. 1. the surgical removal of body tissue 2. the removal of snow and ice by melting or evaporation, typically from a glacier or iceberg.

I guess I’m familiar with both types of ablations.

When I was a kid, our house sat on a small hill, completely covered by trees. So in the winter, when snow fell in our back yard, there were patches of turf which were untouched by sunlight due to the covering of the branches and therefore, the accumulated ice would not melt, even when May Day came around.

My mother would ask me to go into the back yard and dislodge the frozen precipitation from our yard so little kids wouldn’t slip on it on their way to play ballgames on our property. I seriously doubt if any kid would ever have slipped on the ice. The patch was only about five feet long and a foot and a half wide. But you don’t argue with your mother. She always has a second and third more boring reason for doing things which she will be more than happy to reiterate to you, and also controls the purse strings and access to kitchen treats.

I will tell you–this ice was determined. It had survived some very warm April days and had seen all of its friends dissipate into a watery grave as they drizzled down the hillside.

So I chipped at it with a shovel, dislodging some pieces, and actually had to dig up some of the ice, which had developed a deep and lasting relationship with the underlying grass and dirt. Not certain of where to take these leftover pieces of winter, I walked them over to our trash barrel, placed them in there and set some pieces of paper on fire in an attempt to melt them.

It was amazing how long it took for the ablation to have its complete effect.

Ice and fire.

You would think that fire would have the advantage, but ice really does hang in there, melding itself into a harder and harder nugget of determined cold.

I also had a tumor removed from my body at one time, which was a rather strange sensation. It hurt very badly, but no one believed I actually had an internal problem, so the doctors attempted to treat it externally. One day it just popped. Turns out there were two in there–one which exploded and drained (have I lost you yet?) and another which had to be surgically removed.

That second was quite similar to my back yard ice.

I was always curious about how long that ice would have lasted in my backyard had my mother not insisted on relegating it to the trash can. I guess I am also curious about whether my second tumor would have taken care of itself like the first one did.

But I also see a time and place for ablation. And now I have a much better word for it, which I can show off in those embarrassing times when ice and soft tissue need to be dramatically removed.



by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Abele: n. the white poplar.

That just chums my shark waters!

White popular?? Isn’t that the problem in this country?? For hundreds of years, everything has been about what the white people want, what the white people like, what the white people desire!

Sooner of later, we have to stop trying to appeal to the white popular and allow for a little color in our cheeks. It seems that every generation tolerates some sort of bigotry as part of the national thinking, hoping that their particular vice will be overlooked by the police of intolerance and will be allowed to continue.

We no longer need to be concerned about the white popular. We are a nation of diverse thinking and colorations. We must …

Excuse me a second. My typist has stopped me and wants to say something. (Pause . . .)

I’m back. She just explained to me that the abele is a white POPLAR,  not popular. Sounds pretty.



by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbbas: Ferhat (1899-1989) Algerian nationalist leader. He was president of the Algerian provisional government in 1958 and then president of the constituent assembly of independent Algeria from 1962-63.

Who cares? I mean, I’m just human. I read about this guy with the funny name and I thought to myself, “What difference does it make?”

Then, to promote a bit of humility, I looked ahead in the dictionary–checking for MY name–and upon discovering that it was absent, I realized that this fellow did something really remarkable. Even though he’s not internationally famous and his name is not spoken frequently in the household, he found a place for himself, made a difference, and to those around him, became important.

Who can ask for more than that?

I walked out of my house today, looked up into the trees and saw a bird. There was NOTHING distinguishable about this creature whatsoever. It was grayish-black, as bland as possible, just sitting up on a branch. But I realized that somewhere that bird is …well, Top Bird. Somewhere that bird has built a nest, goes out looking for worms for his or her little offspring, and in that particular venue, is King of the World.

We spend so much time criticizing ourselves for failing to achieve the top echelon of our goals instead of celebrating how far we have come in comparison to how crappy we COULD have been.

So this Abbas guy did a bunch of stuff in Algeria that made a difference. And he made the dictionary!  Hat’s off. Or if that’s inappropriate in his culture, hat’s on.

I was ashamed of myself for being indifferent to someone who made a difference and I decided to follow the philosophy of my little pal in the tree. First of all, the bird can fly. One up on me. The bird has a nest. The bird is out trying to find worms. The bird is … important in that environment.

So join me today in building your nest. Then go out and find your worm. And then, strut your bird. That’s right–be aware that even if you don’t make the dictionary, you still have done your part to define excellence.