Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Thomas's Nickname Explained

trencherman \TREN-chuhr-muhn\, noun:
A hearty eater.

A living rebuke to the surgeon general and the diet doctors, Eddie "Bozo" Miller was once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "world's greatest trencherman." Mr. Miller, who died Jan. 7 at age 89, managed to outfox the actuaries even while consuming quantities of food and drink that might have put Diamond Jim Brady to shame. He once won a contest in Idaho Falls, Idaho, by eating 30 pounds of elk and moose meatloaf. He boasted of downing 25 bowls of minestrone and 30 pounds of shrimp, and drinking a whole bottle of gin in a single chug on a bet, then offering to buy the loser a drink.
-- Stephen Miller, "'World's Greatest Trencherman' Ate His Way Into the Guinness Book of World Records", Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2008

Trencherman is from trencher, "a wooden board or platter on which food is served or carved" (from Medieval French trencheoir, from Old French trenchier, "to cut," from Latin truncare, "to lop off, to shorten by cutting") + man. It is related to trench, "a hole cut into the ground."

Monday, March 03, 2008

Where There's a Will . . .

Thomas has defeated my McGyver-style gate for the hallway. I had calculated the maximum distance that he couldn't get through by including his giant head. Now that he's standing up, his head is above the end table and there's plenty of room. By pushing on the door and squirming his body sideways, he can get into the hall. Clever little bugger. So, we're getting a second baby gate. Hopefully El Gato will figure out this one a little faster than last time.

Though it was one heck of a shock to step out of the shower and find Thomas sitting on the floor, grinning at me.

Old Friends

It was a good weekend, spent catching up with old friends. We had a 3-hour phone-athon with a friend we hadn't heard from in many months. Thursday we went out for dinner with a friend from the Bay Area who was going to a conference at Tech. And on Saturday, we spent the day hanging out with our friends the postdocs, who emerged from writing theses and have rejoined the land of the living. Between Thomas and moving two years in a row, we often feel pretty isolated, so it was really good to spend so much time with friends.