- Neck of the woods. Since when do woods have necks and how in tarnation did that come to mean neighborhood? For a while I thought it might be Nick (perhaps the same chronically semi-punctual gentleman we discussed earlier). Apparently, Al Roker’s folksy expression dates back to colonial days when many villages were near a narrowing (a neck) of the wooded areas surrounding them.
- Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I had always assumed it was a silly expression used solely because the words rhyme. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised to learn there’s more. Apparently, the minimum blackjack bet used to be $2, about the price of a chicken dinner at a Las Vegas casino and it was customary to associate the winnings with something you could buy for that price.
- Fifth third bank. Admittedly, not an idiomatic expression. Still, why christen a bank with a name that implies (to me at least) they are an also-ran. The fifth bank in the third rung of banks? I can understand bragging about being number one, but this feels like an 8th place ribbon. It’s not even a proper fraction, despite their logo suggesting otherwise. To the picky mathematician, 5/3 should be 1 2/3. Cute, maybe, but who wants a banker who is bad at fractions? With so much potential, I was disappointed to learn that the fifth national bank and third national bank had chosen this name when they merged.
I’m trying to maximize the time I spend with friends and family while in Ecuador. My dad had nine siblings, my wife’s dad 15. As you might imagine, my cousins and their families are fairly numerous (despite the fact five of my dad’s brothers didn’t marry or have children). Then there’s my wife’s family and my childhood friends. Needless to say, there is never enough time to see everyone, despite a valiant effort. Of course, I’m also working from “home”. Corny as it may sound, working half a world away, I realize I miss my Windstream “family” and I look forward to seeing you soon. In the meantime, there are donuts, here today courtesy of John Huddleston. So, enjoy some comfort food with regards from my Cuenca family (pictured) to you!