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Men prosper in the fourth age of Middle-earth,
Colonizing central Mirkwood (that the elves confered)
And the Nurnen Sea's coast in depopulated Mordor.
(The orcs and trolls decline into the farther north).
While elves make the long voyage and dwarves go underground for riches,
The Hobbits (especially the Gamgees, Tooks and Brandybucks) flourish.
King Ellessar declares the Shire off-limits to non-Hobbit prowlers,
And adds the Westmarch where Hobbits build Undertowers.
Hobbits are long lived (retiring at one-hundred-eleventy)
And prolific (Samwise and Rosie have fourteen babies).
Hobbits are beloved in Gondor and Haldor.
As for the half-elf Peredhil, they are adorers
(Arwen's hand maiden is the Gamgee-Gardner's Elanor).
Hobbits were never feeble
But Tolkien wrote that Hobbits grew wary of Big People,
And diminished until they were rarely met.
Where to then did all the Hobbits get?
Perhaps there wasn't enough food in the Shire nests
For so many little Hobbitses and second breakfasts.
Holding the Red Book, the Hobbits would have been worldly
And the adventures of Bilbo and Frodo were surely spun widely.
Perhaps population pressure and wonder of the world
Drove Hobbit youth out of their burrows
To mix with men and bear half-halflings and half again
Until later generations mostly had the feet of men.
Now Homo Hobbitus might just be a bit smaller
With feet and appetites just a bit larger
Than that of the average man
(Except for the few Gardners still smialing in the Bag End).

Heavens to Betsy

The National Geographic ran an article on Betsy, a long haired border collie with a 350 word vocabulary.  Later, New Scientist reported that another border collie, named Chaser, knew the names of 1022 items.  Chaser could also group many items by function and shape.

An African gray parrot named Alex learned the names of 50 different things and could tell the difference between 7 colors and 5 shapes.  He had a vocabulary of about 150 words and could count.  Alex's last words, spoken to his owner and teacher, were "You be good. See you tomorrow. I love you."  Another African Grey Parrot named N'kisi has a growing vocabulary of 950 words and the ability to use them in context, frequently in complete sentences.  In a story told by Jane Goodall, after seeing a photo of the acclaimed primatologist, N'kisi had the opportunity to meet her in person, whereupon he looked at her and asked, "Got a chimp?"

Lucy Temerlin had a preference for gin, and would happily put on tea when her tutor came to visit.  This would be perfectly normal except for the fact that Lucy was a chimp.  Brought up like a human, Temerlin and his wife taught Lucy to eat with silverware, sit at the dinner table, and even dress herself.  Lucy learned more than 140 words in sign language, which she used regularly, and in a way that showed that she understood what she was signing.  Koko, a female western lowland gorilla, is able to understand more than 1,000 signs in "Gorilla Sign Language" (GSL).  Koko also understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English.  Koko is one of the few non-humans known to keep a pet (she's a cat ape).

Parrots might talk and apes might gesture, while a dog can only bark, yip, woof, warble, whine, howl, growl, snarl, sniff, pant, sneeze, wiggle, wag, droop, perk, circle, point, bend, jump, hop, crawl, bow, pull, nip, hit, bump, scratch, kick, dig, hike and dance in just so many ways; apes and parrots are smart but it is evident that an animal order of intelligence is subjective: so let's be polite to our close canine friends and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Zentangle® is not Doodling

According to Rick and Maria
Who invented the thing
A Zentangle is not a doodle
Even if both start from a string
[Of consciousness] and continue
On, unconsciously, in a state of zen
On Porpoise

When you moor aside a dolphin,
You do it with a lading purpose.
When divers porpoise,
They're aerobic on the surface.
A bottlenose snubs sharks not because he is snooty,
He's just doing his legal pod duty.
But if you're a Yangtze River Dolphin at Three Gorges
You're dammed and and no longer swimming with purpose.
Montserrat, That's Where It's At

Christopher Columbus discovered Santa María de Montserrat in 1493
The Emerald Island of the Caribbean is in the Lesser Antilles, BWI, BOT
With Irish-African people that have enured for a spell.
Montserratians include Alphonsus "Arrow" Cassell,
Who sold 4 million copies of Hot, Hot, Hot,
"Rhum-boom-boom-boom, Ole-Ole-Ole-Ole, Feelin' Hot Hot Hot!"
The island is home to the Mountain Chicken and the Montserrat galliwasp
(The chicken is really an atypical burrow laying frog
And the galliwasp is one of the the rarest of the lizard catalog).
A snow of ash and a rain of fire changed life drastically enough
When the Soufrière Hills volcanic eruption pushed Plymouth
And the southern half of the island into an exclusion zone,
Prompting Parrotheads' Jimmy Buffet to write his Volcano tone,
"Lava come down soft and hot
You better lava me now or lava me not".
Seventy percent of the Montserratians fled to the UK.
...But return of island charm inspired a tribute song by Aussie Ivor S.K.
"At a quarter to ten you sit by the pool; feed the iguanas again.
[And at] one: [its] ginger beer, over the best view you've ever seen".

Cat Tale

drummed the claws of the cat
with back up and bent on attack
his eyes on a no good dirty rat
that was a pitter-pat
across a grassy mat
while eying a river raft
that old yellow rubber raft
trailed an ice cold six-pack
abandoned by a touring frat
and left to drift on past
fences and a bridge that cast
a dark shadow across the path
of that gift of a Golden vat
they leapt and gained the aluminum mat
at the end of the tie-line abaft
then made the raft
pulled in the six pack
and sat
sharing the bounty
half and half
Cat Litter (a tribute to David Rosenfelt's Andy Carpenter)


I'm Sandy Sawyer, cat lover and defense lawyer of renown.
Brave is my middle name -
If by brave you mean I have no fear of the unknown;
Its the known that seems to be my bane.

Once my tween e-force finishes with piano, karate and cheer practice
They meet in a game chat locus to do a little electronic data mining for us.
Lothlorien III finds a chink in the perps armor and collects e-gold,
Including a force roster and ISP legion sorty map, I'm told.

I've got muscle but it mostly belongs to somebody else.
I seem to be drawn to the baddest hombres on the good guy side
And we watch each others' backs...but especially my ass(ets),
Since everybody agrees that hiring me has a big down side.

I study like mad but don't over prepare so that I can ad lib
My way through the trial proceedings without fibs,
And make life as miserable as possible for the judge and the prosecution
And every poor soul that has to feel the heat of my cross examination.

The prosecution is done with detective Ditz and its time for my cross.
"Ditzy...may I call you Ditzy?"
"No.  Its Lieutenant Ditz.""
"Okay Looey.  You testified that you were the first on the scene.  Is that correct?"
"Then who left all the little tiny footprints in the entryway blood splatter?"
"Those were paw prints."
"Could they have been left by a murderous cheesehead?"
"I object your honor.  Badgering the witness."
"Your honor, are you saying there weren't no stinkin' badgers? Or do you think it was tabbies?"

There are several news vans parked in front of the house.
I don't know what they are doing here unless it has something to do with my many calls
To media contacts about a big break in the case being revealed at dawn on my porch.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the press, welcome.  Here's the jimmied Ming vase cabinet I promised.
This is proof positive that this was the work of prier conspirators."

The newsies include my pal Vance who allows me to buy him beer and sandwiches
At Cat-o-nine-tails sports bar whenever the Jets are playing.
I get to bet on the games because my bookie is also a regular there;
I always bet with my Giant heart and the Jets always do their part by not making the spread.

I usually find that its mass conspiracy that led to my client's incarceration.
Sometimes I get a little help from my Hawaiian mobster connection, Don Ho.
Despite the prosecution's evidence manipulation and testimony adulteration
We develop enough intrigue to sow the seeds of doubt so the jury finds in our favor,
And we get the head of of calico, the CFO (chief feline officer), off of death row.
Piping Engineers Work Best with Low Stress

He's a piper, she's a piper, I'm a piper
Wouldn't you like to be a piper too?
Who knows, maybe it'll befit you.

Pipers plot the machinations
That let flow the cracking, reactions,
Distillation and tanking of volatile fractions.

A red hot piper asks engineering fellows
To resolve stress and strain wows
With guidance and a few bent elbows.

Increased pressure requires butt welding
And flanging with a lot more class rating
Despite the CADD stand-up stationing.

When things get shaky a piper might clamp,
Strut or snub in an effort to damp
A reciprocating compressor line revamp.

Pipers reinforce headers at the branch holes,
They draft checks and drop gates for isolation goals,
And around the globe they bypass controls.

The bigger the pipe the thicker the wall
With boring from a standard schedule scrawl
Or from a custom specification call.

If your lines get too long you'll have to loop 'em,
If they wander you might need to anchor and guide 'em,
And if they're offset you might just have to hang 'em.

When running a line on uneven terrain
You miter, or you might not, if you gain
Elevation with shoes or hang it from chain.

After a temporary connection one lets a swing elbow dangle,
Or drops a spool if you can't get the right angle,
Or you could just vent and blind with a spectacle wrangle.

Piping field material control bags and tags
Studs, nuts, couplings, forged unions, rods, angle, wire rope,
Swaged nipples, screwed fittings, plugs, tape and dope -
While dreaming that becoming a piper might be more than just hope.

Tongue Ties (AKA Linguistic Serendipity)


Hellos (not goodbyes) are mushi, mushi in Tokyo.
In response to harigoto you can say "don't touch my moustache"
Instead of doishtae mashtae (especially if you've just applied wax).

If in Paris you forget to say j'est-ador,
Your spouse might shut it and lock it
And not ever espouse merci again.

While in Bonn you are just bitte
After someone says danka
And you don't have a doughnut to dunk.

In Esperanto, how are you comes out kiel vi fartas.
In Gothenburg a farthinder might be the cause of a sad Saab story.
And in Yiddish, I understand, its ikh farshtey.

If you're going Dutch right after the graag gedaan,
You might get some java and a doughnut to dank u wel.
But if that doesn't sit well in your tummy you beterschap ['til you drop!]

A Mandarin understands when he says wǒ dǒng (its not because you're wrong).
Oh he might say bié guǎn wǒ when he wants you to go.
And sometimes his howdy is just a friendly knee slappin' nǐ hǎo.

Do what you want to do, just do what's in ya,
But...if you "do widzenia" in Poland...it just might be ta ta.

In Hungarian lesz, ami lesz is not Shakespear's daughter's girlfriend
But what Doris Day meant when she sang "que sera sera" at film's end

Revised 7/13/2018 (last 2 lines added)
I'm Not Aegean Because of VOO

It'd be a falafel pita
If ouzo dolmas to believe
That I prefer Brahms or Beethoven.
After all, I'm a baklava like you.

Are you a ziti person
Or from out in the country?

Are you a balalaika like me
With a weekend warrior b-ball fantasy?
Or are you a bouzouki lover
Who enjoys a shut-out pitchers duel?

Kalamatas a matas if you're olive or half-dead
Its good to sleep on a great big soft bed

Doe's or Amy's fasolada dough is worth singing about
Unless you're not retsina the mind.

Halawi today? If we're good let's date.
But not if you medjool all over me.

Don't filo.  You're souvlaki I like you, you big gyros.
But now you're gonna do me a fava couscous you owe me.

Tabbouleh the argument until after the hummus dies down.
Or I'll hoist the kebab on you and you'll be mizithra
Elon Musk in May 2017 tweeted out for the public to supply a new tunneling machine name.


My very first Tweet was to Elon Musk: "Ideas for tunneling machine name: Subterrene-ious-rex, Excavilar, Robo-megatherium, Pathala-loka-cator, Abner Perry, Groundhog Envy"

A subterrene is an independent and mobile digging machine.  There have been rumors of US and Soviet nuclear subterrenes.  Tunnel boring machine themselves are not usually considered to be subterrenes, possibly because they lack the mobility and independence of an underground vehicle.

A cross of excavator and the sword Excalibur.  Oops, in my Tweet I typed ecavilar by mistake but perhaps it doesn't matter as it sounds similar.

In south america there are 10 feet diameter “paleoburrows” probably dug by an extinct species of giant ground sloth like Megatherium which could grow to be bigger than a rhino and were built for burrowing.  Maybe mecha-megatherium might have been more technically correct but I like robots.

Pathala Loka is a mysterious underground path in Hindu mythology with depth equal to the Earth's diameter.

Abner Perry:
Name of Edgar Rice Burroughs' inventor of the iron mole.

Groundhog Envy needs no explanation.

I threw out:
can-you-dig-it (Shaq inspired)
we-r-boring (too similar to the Boring Company name)
super-subterrainic (and the super-subterrain tracks never cross)
the return of the mole man, lobstractor and godzillacator
When It Was Black and White (and Rarely Off-color)


Ed Sullivan's really big shoe was strong out of the gate
With 23 years of star-lit vignettes that first burst out in 1948.
Desilu had a Ball from 1951 to 1957
But rerunning I Love Lucy has never ended.
You might have got caught up in a Drag Net
When Joe Friday worked '51 to '59 to meet the threat.
Ralph threatened Alice with a trip to the moon in 1952
But The Honeymooners stayed together until the end of the '55 duo.
Superman passed as Clark Kent, in disguise at The Daily Planet,
When all the while he was an illegal alien on the '52 to '58 set.
Marshall Dillon filled the air with Gun Smoke
for 20 years from his first arrest of a 1955 cow poke.
Ward and Julienne Cleaver would Leave It to Beaver
Or Wally (not Eddie Haskell) in 1957 and for 6 more years.
Have Gun - Will Travel featured Richard Boone as Paladin,
Who roamed the '57 to '63 span as a knight without armor in a savage land.
Gardner's Perry Mason broke stonewalling under oath from 1957 to 1966
While Drake and Della Street's investigations helped build cases brick by brick.
Brett, Bart and Beau gave the family of Maverick a bad name
Playing river boat poker from '57 to '62 and winning almost every game.
From '59 to '63 you might have said "hey Maynard" to beatniks
(And Gilligan) because of The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis epics.
In '65 KAOS was out to Get Smart and to take CONTROL without "do-do-doings",
But "missed by that much", so that by '70 agents 86 and 99 were married with twins.
I Dream of Jeannie was a Major Nelson show with a 1965 uncorking event,
And with the help of Major Healy and Dr. Bellows it lasted until a 1970 engagement.

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"I wish I had been the first to misspell googel (instead of being the 1EE100th)."
- Solomon Tall (12/28/2016)

more Tall-isms here

Copyright © 2017 by Joe Pivetti