San Francisco Nights in the United Kingdom

union jack

San Francisco Nights in the United Kingdom


The San Francisco Nights are:

Sam Rembrandt smile

Sam Andrew

Bruce Barthol

Bruce Barthol

Roy Blumenfeld

Roy Blumenfeld

David Bennett Cohen

David Bennett Cohen

Greg Douglass

Greg Douglass

Bex Marshall

Bex Marshall

a zig zag

We’re going to the United Kingdom this summer 2014 to play seventeen engagements.

Nantmel 8 map

First, a few days of rehearsal in Nantmel in the middle of Wales. In Nantmel, across the river Wye from the village of Llandwrthwl, is the Living Willow Theatre, an open air theatre constructed of living willow trees.


Nantmel is in Radnor or Radnorshire (Welsh: Sir Faesyfed) one of thirteen historic and former administrative counties of Wales.

Nantmel 9 St. Cynllo's

People call the Welsh language the British tongue, Cambrian, Cambric or Cymric.

Nantmel 1 church

In the thirteenth century, this place was called Nantmayl, Mael’s valley, the place where the river Dulas flows.

Nantmel 7 old map

Mael was a person and her/his name is also used in the name for Maelienydd in Radnorshire.

Nantmel 10 grave st. cynllo

The local church is called St Cynllo who is supposed to have founded it in the fifth century CE. Much of the church was rebuilt in 1792.

Nantmel 2 Radnor in Wales

Poor Radnorsheer, poor Radnorsheer,
Never a park, and never a deer,
Never a squire of five hundred a year,
Save Richard Fowler of Abbey-Cwm-hir

Nantmel 3 rhayader house

About 15% of the total population in Wales speak, read and write Welsh. At NASA’s Voyager program launched in 1977, the Welsh greeting Iechyd da i chwi yn awr ac yn oesoedd (Good health to you now and forever) was sent into space.


The Welsh Language Measure Act (1993) gave the Welsh language official status in Wales, making it the only language, besides English, that is de jure (by law) official in any part of the United Kingdom.

Nantmel 4 neolithic

Neolithic colonists integrated with native people in Wales, gradually changing their lifestyles from a nomadic life of hunting and gathering, to become settled farmers about 6,000 years ago. Welsh emerged in the 6th century from Common Brittonic, the ancestor of Welsh, Breton, Cornish and the extinct language known as Cumbric.

Nantmel 5 Radnorshire coat of arms

By the time that Julius Caesar landed in Britain (55 BCE), the area of modern Wales had long been divided among the tribes of the Deceangli, Ordovices, Cornovii, Demetae and Silures.


Note that many of these names survived in the nomenclature for geologic periods, because the first minerals and stones representing these eras were found where these ancient tribes lived.

Nantmel 6 map welsh

The Romans used their engineering technology in Wales to extract large amounts of gold, copper and lead, as well as modest amounts of some other metals such as zinc and silver.

Rhayader 1 map

Our first gig will be in Rhayader (Welsh: Rhaeadr Gwy), the first town on the banks of the River Wye 20 miles (32 km) from its source on the Plynlimon range of the Cambrian Mountains.

Carad Arts Centre

We will be playing in the Carad Arts Centre. Rhayader is oldest town in Mid Wales. People have lived here a long time as you can tell by the abundance of cairns and standing stones which were erected here thousands of years ago.

Rhayader 3 wales-map

Rhayader is one of the principal centers of population in predominantly rural Radnorshire, and has always been a stopping point for travellers. The Romans had a stop-over camp in the Elan Valley. Monks travelled between the Abbeys of Strata Florida and Abbeycwmhir, and people drove cattle to lucrative markets in the area.

Rhayader 4 Radnorshire, Marteg Bridge 1920's

The name Rhayader is a twisting of the Welsh Rhaeadr Gwy, which means Waterfall on the Wye.

Rhayader 5 Wye

In the 1890s the rapidly expanding city of Birmingham, 70 miles east, viewed the nearby Elan Valley as the ideal source of clean, safe water. This was to change the face of Rhayader forever. Thousands of workers became involved in building a massive complex of dams and reservoirs in the area. This complex was officially opened in 1904 by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

Rhayader 6 merchants

Founder members of The San Francisco Nights may be interested to note that Rhayader is famous for being the town with the highest concentration of pubs and drinking establishments, per capita, in the UK with one to each 173 people.

rhayader 7 dam

There is that dam that gave the town its name.

Rhayader 8

Rhayader is situated roughly midway between north and south Wales on the A470, 13 miles north of Builth Wells and 30 miles east of Aberystwyth on the A44. These are two of Wales’ most important trunk roads.

rhayader 9

The B4574 mountain road to Aberystwyth is described by the AA as one of the ten most scenic drives in the world.

Rhayader 10 cottage

Goodbye to Rhayader. Hwyl fawr. Da bo ti.

Builth 1 Sonic poster

So we travel the thirteen miles south to Builth Wells where The San Francisco Nights are to play at the 2014 Sonic Rock Solstice. Schwmae?

Builth 2 wells glyndwr

Where the rivers Wye and Irfon run together, there is Builth Wells (Welsh: Llanfair ym Muallt) in the county of Powys with a population of 2,352. The site of the town oversees an important ford across the Wye and the crossing point of the main north-south route in Wales and an important south-west-east route.


The Welsh name Llanfair-ym-Muallt means St Mary’s Church in Buallt. The name of the Cantref, and later the town, came from the Welsh words Bu and Allt, and could be translated as The Wild Ox of the Wooded Slope.

Builth 3 penguins

Builth Wells was laid out as two streets connecting a castle and a church and was protected by a hedge rather than a wall. This type of town is sometimes called a Bastide, a kind of medieval market settlement. In San Francisco where the Nights come from, the Spanish laid out the Presidio and the Mission, which was their version of a castle and church, so this town plan is familiar to us.

builth 4 milestone

Builth Castle was built under King Edward I. It replaced an earlier castle built by the Marcher Baron Philip De Braose who claimed the area as a Marcher lordship. Marcher lords were substantially independent of the King of England and the Prince of Gwynedd. Such titles as marquess, marquis, marchese, marqués were given to these men who guarded the marches, that is, the lands at the edge of a country.

Builth 8 Wells

On a building in Builth Wells there is a 1000 feet square mural (approx 35 feet high by 30 feet wide) depicting the final days of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last native Prince of Wales. The mural shows Llywelyn and his men, a scene depicting battles and a representation of Builth Castle, where Llywelyn was turned away when trying to flee from the English.

Builth 5 1905

The Hereford cattle breed, named after Hereford market where it was most prominently sold was the main breed of the Welsh borders.

Builth 6 wells wales_map

Some people say that when the Bubonic plague ravaged Builth, the people living in the countryside surrounding the town left food and provisions for the townspeople on the banks of a brook about a mile west of the town.

Builth 7 Wells, Park Wells in 1910 - Park Wells waters were meant to have healthy qualities

The Builth Wells town people then threw money to pay for the goods into the brook so that the metal coins would be washed free of contamination from the plague.

Builth 9 wells map

Thus, this brook became known as Nant Yr Arian or Money Brook, a name which remains today.

Bulith 10 Kington_tmb

Ffarwell Builth Wells, we are now going to drive across England to Hull.

Hull 1 whole

Hull is in the East Riding of Yorkshire, and is on the River Hull at its junction with the Humber estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea.

Hull 6 yorks

The town of Hull was founded late in the 12th century. The monks of Meaux Abbey needed a port where the wool from their estates could be exported. They chose a place at the junction of the rivers Hull and Humber to build a quay.

Hull 4 new adelphi

We are going to play at The New Adelphi, which Paul Jackson, the Adelphi’s owner, says is the most famous (sometimes infamous) place in Hull, and it is an international music venue of substantial repute.

Hull 2 new adelphi

The New Adelphi, notes Mr Jackson, is also a safe, and pretty much trouble free environment. You ever notice that when you hear a sentence like this, you tend to think the opposite is the case? But Paul Jackson seems sincere, so I am going to take him at his word.

Hull 3 bookshop

The Adelphi was an English literary journal published between 1923 and 1955. Between August 1927 and September 1930 it was renamed the New Adelphi and issued quarterly. The magazine included one or two stories per issue with contributions by Katherine Mansfield, D.H. Lawrence, H.E. Bates, Rhys Davies and Dylan Thomas. The Adelphi published George Orwell’s The Spike in 1931 and Orwell contributed regularly thereafter, particularly as a reviewer.

Hull 5 map

Hull was originally called Wyke on Hull. Renamed Kings town upon Hull by King Edward I in 1299, the town and city of Hull has served as market town, military supply port, trading hub, fishing and whaling center, and industrial metropolis.

Hull 7 kingston upon hull

After suffering heavy damage during the Second World War Hull Blitz, the town weathered a period of social deprivation, education and policing, but has made a strong rebound in recent years.

Hull 8 King Edward Street 1930's

A true hero of humanity was born in Hull, William Wilberforce, who became one of the leading English abolitionists.


Rev. Wilberforce headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for twenty-six years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.

Hull 9 university-of-hull

From its medieval beginnings, Hull’s main trading links were with Scotland and northern Europe. Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Low Countries were all key trading areas for Hull’s merchants.

Hull 10 q victoria square

In addition, there was trade with France, Spain and Portugal. Hull’s trading links ultimately extended throughout the world. Docks were opened to serve trade with Australia, New Zealand and South America. Hull was also the center of a thriving inland and coastal trading network, serving the whole of the United Kingdom.


Goodbye, Hull, we’re off to Scotland.

Kinross 1 Location Map

We head north to Edinburgh, cross over the Firth of Forth, and drive up M90 to Kinross, which reminds me of motoring to Glenfarg a few years ago where we played at the Bein Inn, a lovely place. This part of Scotland reminds me of northern California.

Kinross 2 dull & boring

Kinross (Gaelic: Ceann Rois) is a burgh in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. It was originally the county town of Kinross-shire.


Kinross is on the shores of Loch Leven, and there are boat trips around the loch and to Loch Leven Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was famously held prisoner in 1567.


To help Queen Mary escape, Willie Douglas stole the keys and let Mary, dressed as a servant, out of the castle. She was rowed across the lake to where George Douglas and others awaited her, and they fled to Niddry Castle in Lothian.

Kinross 3 back room

We’re playing at The Back Room in the Green Hotel. There are roughly 4000-5000 people living in Kinross, and I expect to see every one of them at the gig.

Kinross 4 green hotel back stage

Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling, Perth and St Andrews are all within an hour’s drive of Kinross.

Kinross 5 green hotel

The Green Hotel

Kinross 7 High Street

Kinross is about 370 feet above sea level and the town lies at the western end of Loch Leven, the largest loch in the Scottish Lowlands.

Kinross 8 shire annals

Alexander III (medieval Gaelic: Alaxandair mac Alaxandair; modern Gaelic: Alasdair mac Alasdair) had much of his administration at Kinross.

Kinross 9 Camserney

North to Aberdeen!

Aberdeen 4 map

This is as far north as I have been in the United Kingdom. Discovery of oil in the North Sea has brought a lot of money into Aberdeen, just as it has made nearby Norway a new European power.

A surfer braves the waters of the North Sea off The Esplanade, Aberdeen

How an Aberdeen surfer might react to this last statement: It’s a’ a loada shite. It’ll a’ be tae dae wi’ the oil money an’ a’ they big-piyin’ joabs. But this city is a lot mair than a’ that pish.”

Aberdeen 2

Aberdeen (Scots: Aiberdeen Scottish Gaelic: Obar Dheathain) is Scotland’s third most populous city. King David (1124-1153 bestowed Royal Burgh status on Aberdeen which transformed the city.

aberdeen 3

The area around Aberdeen has been settled since at least 8,000 years ago, when prehistoric villages lay around the mouths of the rivers Dee and Don.

aberdeen 5

The city began as two separate burghs: old Aberdeen at the mouth of the river Don, and New Aberdeen, a fishing and trading settlement, where the Denburn waterway entered the river Dee estuary.

Aberdeen 6 cafe drummonds

Here is where we will play: Café Drummond, the bastion of the Aberdeen alternative music scene.

Aberdeen 7 drummonds

In the daytime, this is a quiet, mellow public house, but it becomes a rock and roll venue at night.

Aberdeen 8  kildrummy-castle-west-of-aberdeen-scotland

In the previous two centuries, builders in Aberdeen used locally quarried gray granite which has a lot of mica in it, so that it sparkles. Thus, Aberdeen has been styled the Silver City with the Golden Sands.

Aberdeen 9 slains castle

George Gordon, Lord Byron, lived in Aberdeen when he was a boy.

Aberdeen 10 library

I am excited to see the Sir Duncan Rice library which reminds me of the Guggenheim. Sir Duncan Rice himself has published widely as a professional historian, and has received honorary degrees from New York University and the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen as well as fellowships at Harvard and Yale and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Aberdeen gets fewer than seven hours of daylight in winter, but nearly 18 hours at its peak in the summer.


Aye, mebbee, but ya wouldnae wan ti live there!


I don’t understand why the English call the Scots tightwads? From personal experience the south-east English are the tightest feckers about.


I would sell now and move dooon sooth to Edinburgh or somewhere where your property will hold its value.


Awe happiness, dinnae go! As we say in Rubislaw Den, may your lum aye reek, wi some ither c_nts coal.


I’m a local Aberdeen lass, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the place, but I think a lot of people have that with their home city.

Hebden Bridge 11

South to Hebden Bridge: The original settlement was the hilltop village of Heptonstall.

Hebden Bridge 12

Hebden Bridge (originally Heptenbryge) started as a settlement where the Halifax to Burnley packhorse route dropped into the valley and crossed the River Hebden at the spot where the old bridge (from which Hebden Bridge gets its name) stands.

Hebden Bridge 1 Dsc_0107xxx.jpg-for-web-xlarge

Hebden comes from the Anglo-Saxon Heopa Denu, ‘Bramble (or possibly Wild Rose) Valley’.

Hebden Bridge 2 Trades Club

We are playing at the Trades Club, an old fashioned working mens club with an intimate spit and sawdust style room for bands which holds about 200 people so its a very atmospheric venue.

Hebden Bridge 5  Trades_022

They have great music, great beer, and lovely staff. And its cheap. You cannot beat the locals dancing en masse to music they like.

Hebden Bridge 3  haworth west yorks

Hebden was known as “Trouser Town” because of the large amount of clothing manufacturing.

Hebden Bridge 6 station_Down_platform

The steep hills and access to major wool markets meant that Hebden Bridge was ideal for water-powered weaving mills and so the town developed during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Hebden Bridge 7  canal

Drainage of the marshland, which covered much of the Upper Calder Valley before the Industrial Revolution, enabled construction of the road which runs through the valley. Prior to this, travel was only possible via the ancient packhorse route which ran along the hilltop, dropping into the valleys wherever necessary.

Hebden Bridge 9 bookstall

During the Second World War, Hebden Bridge was designated a “reception area” and took in evacuees from industrial cities. Two bombs fell on Calderdale during the war, but they were not targeted, they were merely the emptying of a bomb load, so let’s be thankful for that.

Hebden Bridge 4  sign

Good’un. In a bit. Tarra.

leicester 1

Leicester was once an army camp.

Leicester 12 east midlands

Any town name in England that ends in -caster, -cester is derived from castrum, Latin for castle, camp, fortress. Lancaster, Rochester, , Winchester, Worcester, Chester, Chesterfield, Cheshire, Doncaster, Newcastle (castle from castellum, little camp), all were once armed camps.

leicester 2

Ligore castrum = camp on the Legro river = Leicester

leicester 3

Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, it was the center of a bishopric from around 670, endowing it with city status.


By the middle ages, Leicester had become a town of considerable importance and mentioned in the Domesday Book as a civitas, city.

Leicester 5

On 4 November 1530, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was arrested for treason on orders of Henry VIII. On his way south to face dubious justice at the Tower of London, Wolsey fell ill. The group escorting him was concerned enough to stop at Leicester.

Leicester 11

There, Wolsey’s condition quickly worsened and he died on 29 November 1530 and was buried at Leicester Abbey, now Abbey Park.

leicester 7

We are playing in Leicester at The Musician, which is near the city center. There are many pubs in the area we thought we might want to check out later. Some of these leicester square bars like the Lost Alhambra came highly recommended by locals there.

Leicester 8 The-Musician-620x400

The Musician is on a quiet back street in the middle of Leicester in the middle of England.


The University of Leicester has established itself as a leading research-led university and has consistently ranked among the top fifteen universities in the United Kingdom.

CP Snow

A man I greatly admire, C.P. Snow, was educated at the University of Leicester, where he read chemistry for two years and proceeded to a master’s degree in physics. From Leicester, Snow went on a scholarship to Cambridge and gained his PhD in physics (Spectroscopy). In 1930 he became a Fellow of Christ’s College. C.P. Snow writes literature and science with equal ease. His books are highly recommended.

Leicester U 6 Logo_Shield

That they may have life: motto of the University of Leicester.


Now we’ll take the fork in the road with John Spoons and drive to Sheffield.


The last time I was here I made some cutting remarks about how we were going to make a stab at playing Mack The Knife. I thought that the Sheffielders would throw daggers at me for such sharp repartee, but they actually laughed, probably out of kindness to their dull yankee guest. Of course they were probably laughing at me, rather than with me, but that’s all right.

Sheffield 1

Sheffield is in south Yorkshire and is part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city.

sheffield 2

Sheffield’s population is 551,800 and it is one of the eight largest regional English cities that make up the Core Cities Group. Sheffield is the third largest English district by population.

Sheffield 3

Sheffield is located within the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin and the Sheaf.

sheffield 4

Sheffield has the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe. At first blush, you may not find this a significant fact, but I remember when I first flew over Paris, the dominant impression I had was how many trees there were along the boulevards, and it gave me a good feeling about the city before we even landed. Trees and books are civilizing influences.

Sheffield 5 Greystones

We are to perform here at The Greystones, which is the principal pub for the Thornbridge Brewery.

Sheffield 6 the greystones

There’s a lot going on at The Greystones, jewellery workshops, morris dancing, dog shows, psychic nights, and life drawing classes. I would love to sit in on a life drawing class or two.

Sheffield 7

Sheffield has been inhabited since at least the late upper Paleolithic period, about 12,800 years ago. The earliest evidence of human occupation in the Sheffield area was found at Creswell Crags to the east of the city. The Brigantes, whom I remember from Roman readings, are thought to have constructed several hill forts in and around Sheffield

Sheffield 8 saccPrice1900

After the Romans left, the Sheffield area may have become the southern part of the celtic kingdom of Elmet, with the rivers Sheaf and Don forming part of the boundary between this kingdom and the kingdom of Mercia.

Sheffield 9 univ logo

This is the coat of arms for the University of Sheffield: To know the causes of things.

Sheffield 9 UniversityOfSheffield

The University of Sheffield is a research institution. It received its Royal Charter in 1905 as successor to Sheffield Medical School (1828) and University College of Sheffield (1897). As one of the original red brick universities, it is also a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research intensive centers of learning.

Sheffield 10 Firth_Court,_University_of_Sheffield

This is Firth Court at the school. Hilary Mantel attended the University of Sheffield as did Eddie Izzard, and we all know what a genius he is.

Sheffield Howard_Walter_Florey_1945

Five Nobel Laureates have been associated with the University of Sheffield, among them Howard Florey who won the Nobel in 1945 for his work on penicillin.

Sheffield Krebs

The 1953 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Hans Adolf Krebs for the discovery of the citric acid cycle in cellular respiration.

Sheffield Porter

From the Chemistry department at the University of Sheffield, George Porter was awarded the Nobel in 1967 for work on extremely fast chemical reactions (Flash photolysis).

Sheffield students union

The University of Sheffield Students’ Union has been rated as the best in the UK for the last five years (2009-2013). It consists of two bars (Bar One – which has a book-able function room with its own bar, The Raynor Lounge – and The Interval); three club venues (Fusion, Foundry and Studio); and coffee shops, restaurants, shops, and the student run cinema Film Unit. There is also a student radio station called Forge Radio and a newspaper called Forge Press, which are run under the umbrella of Forge Media.

Sheffield town hall

Goodbye to Sheffield. We are returning to beautiful Wales.

Cardigan Bay 0

Cardigan Bay (Welsh: Bae Ceredigion) is an inlet of the Irish Sea, indenting the west coast of Wales between Bardsey Island, Gwynedd in the north, and Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire at its southern end. It is the largest bay in Wales.

Cardigan 1 Ceredigion_Map_A

From the Ceredigion Coast path it is often possible to observe Bottlenose Dolphins, porpoises and Atlantic Grey Seals. The Bay has the largest population of bottlenose dolphins in the UK

cardigan 2 bay

Up until the early 20th century, Cardigan Bay supported a strong maritime industry.

Cardigan 3 west-wales

Cardigan is located at the mouth of the River Teifi, hence the Welsh name, Aberteifi (Mouth of the Teifi), and at the turn of the 19th century, the heyday of the port, it was a more important port than Cardiff.

Cardigan 4 bay

Around 1900, more than 300 ships were registered at Cardigan, seven times as many as Cardiff, and three times as many as Swansea.

Cardigan 5

The central and northern areas of the Bay are the location of the legendary Cantre’r Gwaelod, the drowned Lowland Hundred or Hundred under the Sea.

Cardigan 6 bay-in-wales-map

A military testing range was first established in Cardigan Bay during World War II.

Cardigan 7

The Range is controlled from a main operating base located near Aberporth. The Range has played a significant part in the development and testing of a variety of military weapons.

Cardigan 8 cellar bar

We are playing at The Cellar Bar on Quay Street.

Cardigan 9

Poets hold forth at The Cellar Bar. The bards are always welcome to perform their work during an evening called Word Up. Maybe some Welsh people (rhestr Cymry) like Terry Jones or John Cale or Martin Amis or Ken Follett or Peter Swales, the historian who is billed as a Freud commentator and former employee of Rolling Stone, maybe these Welsh people could show up at our gig at The Cellar Bar? One never knows. Everyone is welcome. Croeso. Croeso cynnes iawn.

Cardigan 10

So sorry to leave Cardiganshire, but happy to travel to Glastonbury.

Glastonbury 1

Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, England, south of Bristol. We are playing at the Glastonbury Fringe.

Glastonbury 2

The Fringe is a series of events being organized in the town by the people in Glastonbury who already promote, perform and produce events thoughout the year. It’s the fringe of the larger event, the Glastonbury Festival.

Glastonbury 3

The Music and Arts Fringe, the brainchild of Sara Clay, is aimed at putting Glastonbury, the real Glastonbury, back on the map by showcasing its vibrant music and arts scene in a series of independent local events.

Glastonbury 5

Glastonbury has been inhabited since neolithic times. Glastonbury Lake Village was an Iron Age community, close to the old course of the River Brue and Sharpham Park, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Glastonbury, parts of which date back to the Bronze Age.

Glastonbury 6 Summit_of_Glastonbury_Tor_

Glastonbury has been described as a New Age community which is notable for myths and legends often related to Glastonbury Tor concerning Joseph of Arimethea, the holy grail and King Arthur.

Glastonbury 7

About nine thousand years ago, the sea level rose and flooded the valleys and low lying ground surrounding Glastonbury so the mesolithic people occupied seasonal camps on the higher ground, indicated by the flint projectile points they left.

Glastonbury 8

The neolithic people continued to exploit the reedswamps for their natural resources and they began to construct wooden trackways including the Sweet Track west of Glastonbury, which was considered the oldest timber trackway in Northern Europe until the recent discovery of a 6,000 year-old trackway in Belmarsh Prison.

Glastonbury 9

The Sweet Track extended across the marsh between what was then an island at Westhay, and a ridge of high ground at Shapwick, a distance close to 2,000 metres (1.2 mi). The track consisted of crossed poles of ash, oak and lime (Tilia) which were driven into the waterlogged soil to support a walkway that mainly consisted of oak planks laid end-to-end.


Glastonbury Lake Village was an iron age settlement now designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument covering an area of 400 feet (122 m) north to south by 300 feet (91 m) east to west. The village was built in about 300 BCE and occupied into the early Roman period when it was abandoned, possibly due to a rise in the water level, or possibly due to a rise in the number of Romans.

glastonbury settlement

The village housed around 100 people in five to seven groups of houses, each for an extended family, with wooden sheds and barns, made of hazel and willow covered with reeds, and surrounded either permanently or at certain times by a wooden palisade.

glastonbury iron age

At its maximum it may have had 15 houses with a population of up to 200 people.

Glastonbury 10 abbey wide view 2

As I was going to St Ives, I met a man with seven wives, Each wife had seven sacks, Each sack had seven cats, Each cat had seven kits: Kits, cats, sacks, and wives, How many were there going to St Ives?

St Ives 7 map

St Ives (Cornish: Porth Ia, meaning St Ia’s cove) is a seaside town in Cornwall. St Ives is north of Penzance and west of Camborne on the coast of the Celtic Sea.

St Ives 1

Once upon a time, a fishwife from Cornwall could talk to a basket maker from Brittany and together they could talk with a hostler from Wales. Those three could then speak to a Manx glove maker, an Irish drayman and a Scottish farmer all in the same language. They’re not speaking in English, they’re speaking in Celtic, or Gaelic, if you will. A couple of them think the others talk funny but they understand each other. They are speaking Cornish, Welsh, Irish, Breton, Scottish Gaelic and Manx (from the Isle of Man). Cornish disappeared from general use in the 18th century and these other languages have long since been pushed to the periphery of Europe, but they were once spoken everywhere on the continent, and they were all the same language.

st ives maya

When the French say quatre vingts rather than octante for eighty, they are remembering their Celtic ancestors who had a vigesimal (20 based) system of counting. Hey, ten toes and ten fingers. Makes sense, right? This is the way the Mayans notated their vigesimal number system.

St ives 2 guildhall

The San Francisco Nights are to perform in The Guildhall in St Ives, which is an artists’ town. “For a few dazzling years this place was as famous as Paris, as exciting as New York and infinitely more progressive than London.”

St Ives 6

Virginia Woolf writes, “…I could fill pages remembering one thing after another. All together made the summer at St. Ives the best beginning to life imaginable,” she who began and ended her life by the sea.

St Ives 3

On 28 July 2007 there was a suspected sighting of a Great White Shark. The chairman of the Shark Trust said that “it was impossible to make a conclusive identification and that it could have also been either a Mako or a Porbeagle shark”. Coastguards dismissed the claims as “scaremongering.” On 14 June 2011 there was a suspected sighting of an Oceanic white tip shark after a boat was reportedly attacked. The Shark Trust said that the chances of the species being in British waters were “very small.” Does this sound the slightest bit Monty Pythonish to you?

St Ives 4

The parish church is dedicated to Saint Ia of Cornwall, an Irish holy woman of the 5th or 6th century, and St Andrew, the patron saint of fishermen.

St Ives 5 the Tate

This is the St Ives version of the Tate Museum, which will be open in May 2014.

St Ives 8

Californians may think of Sausalito.

St Ives 9

Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada set up the Leach Pottery in 1920. Leach was a studio potter and art teacher, and he is known as the Father of British studio pottery. He learned pottery under the direction of Shigekichi Urano (Kenzan VI) in Japan where he also met Shoji Hamada.

St Ives 10

We’re off to Cheltenham.

Cheltenham 1

Cheltenham is a large spa town and borough in Gloucestershire, located on the edge of the Cotswolds.

Cheltenham 2

Cheltenham (Chelten home) takes its name from the small river Chelt, which rises nearby at Dowdeswell and runs through the town on its way to the Severn.


Health and Learning

Cheltenham 3 AllSaints

Cheltenham has been a health and holiday spa town resort since the discovery of mineral springs there in 1716. The visit of George III with the queen and royal princesses in 1788 set a stamp of fashion on the spa.

Cheltenham 4 Frog and Fiddle April 2010

We will play at the Frog & Fiddle, whose main feature is its live music.

Cheltenham 5 frog_fiddle_logo

The Barn, with its original brick walls and beams has a capacity for over 200 people, and has seen everything from local acts to signed touring bands, but so far it hasn’t seen The San Francisco Nights.

Cheltenham 6

The town is famous for its Regency architecture and is said to be “the most complete regency town in England.”

Cheltenham Synagogue

Many of the buildings are listed, including the Cheltenham Synagogue, judged by Nikolaus Pevsner to be one of the architecturally “best” non-Anglican ecclesiastical buildings in Britain.

Cheltenham 7 bookshop

The Cheltenham Synagogue congregation first met in about 1820 in a hired space at the St George’s Place entrance to Manchester Walk.

Cheltenham 8 Tennyson

The cornerstone for the synagogue was laid on 25 July 1837. Founded when Cheltenham was a popular spa town, the synagogue declined with the town itself and closed in 1903.

Cheltenham 9 Pringle Booksellers

The Cheltenham Synagogue reopened in 1939 to serve evacuees being housed in London, refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe and soldiers stationed in nearby bases, including a number of Americans.

cheltenham 10 high street 1905

Goodbye, Cheltenham. Now down to the coast, to see Pompey.

Portsmouth 4 map

Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire, and is notable for being the United Kingdom’s only island city, situated mainly on Portsea Island. Pompey, as many natives call the place, is situated 64 miles (103 km) south west of London and 19 miles (31 km) south east of Southampton.

Portsmouth 1 the cellars

The Cellars, where we will play, is at Eastney, which means east island.

Portsmouth 2 The-Cellars

There is a 140 person capacity here at this venue in Southsea, so we’re going to meet everyone in the place. One attendee notes that, “This place has been described as small, and as a public space, the only things smaller would be the changing rooms at Marks and Spencer.” This will be a chance for us to turn the volume down and get cosy.

Portsmouth 3 Southsea

“When I got there late once, they couldn’t let me in ‘cos it was full. I did offer to strip naked and grease myself with cookin’ oil, but they said that they couldn’t let me do that as it was a cold night.” I can’t wait to play this place. The Cellars can’t be smaller than Peri’s Silver Dollar in my home town, where I have performed many times.

Portsmouth 5 hms-victory

As a significant naval port for centuries, Portsmouth is home to the world’s oldest dry dock still in use, and also berths some famous ships, including HMS Warrior, the Tudor carrack Mary Rose and Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory.

Portsmouth 6 Southsea_Front_and_Common

The City of Portsmouth has a population of 209,166 and is the only city in England with a greater population density than London.

Portsmouth 7 Southsea_Beach

Her cwom Port on Bretene ? his .ii. suna Bieda ? Mægla mid .ii. scipum on þære stowe þe is gecueden Portesmuþa ? ofslogon anne giongne brettiscmonnan, swiþe æþelne monnan. (Here Port and his 2 sons Bieda and Mægla came to Britain with 2 ships to the place which is called Portsmouth and slew a young British man, a very noble man.) Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

NPG D33052; George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham after Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt

In 1628, the unpopular favorite of Charles I, George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, was stabbed to death by John Felton, a veteran of Villiers’ most recent military folly. The murder took place in the Greyhound public house, popularly known as The Spotted Dog, High Street, which is now a private building called Buckingham House. There is a commemorative plaque to mark the event.

Portsmouth 8 Peter_Sellers birthplace

Peter Sellers was born here.

Portsmouth 9 john westwood

In 1194 King Richard the Lionheart returned from being held captive in Austria, he began summoning a fleet and an army to Portsmouth, which Richard had taken over from John of Gisors.

Portsmouth Achille_mp3h9307

The city’s nickname Pompey is thought to have derived from shipping entering Portsmouth harbour making an entry in their logs as Pom. P. in reference to Portsmouth Point. Navigational charts use this abbreviation. Another theory is that Pompey is named for La Pompée, a 74 gun French battleship captured in 1793.

Portsmouth CharlesDickens_house_Portsmouth

Portsmouth 10 Dickens

And now a pleasant drive to Chislehurst.

Mottingham Chislehurst

Chislehurst is 10.5 miles (16.9 km) south east of Charing Cross.


The name Chislehurst is derived from the Saxon words cisel ‘gravel’, and hyrst ‘wooded hill’.

chislehurst caves blue

The Chislehurst caves are considered to be of very ancient origin. They were originally used to mine flint and chalk.


During World War II, thousands of people used the caves nightly as an air raid shelter. There is even a chapel. One child was born in the caves during the War, and was given a middle name of Cavina.

jimihendrix acc

The caves have also been used as a venue for live music. Jimi Hendrix, the Who and the Rolling Stones have all played there. Wow, talk about a live room.


Camden Place in Chislehurst takes its name from the antiquary William Camden, who lived in the former house on the site from 1609 until his death in 1623.


William Camden wrote A Survey of the Country of the Iceni, which was published in 1586, and was quickly followed by his great work Britannia, a topographical and historical survey of all of Great Britain and Ireland.


Camden wanted to ‘restore antiquity to Britaine, and Britaine to its antiquity‘. In Britannia, Camden describes the country as it was at that time, but through landscape and geography and in other ways, he traces the links to the past, especially to Roman Britain.

Sierra Exif JPEG

It is remarkable that this was the first book to include a full set of English county maps. Camden continued to update and revise Britannia, and travelled widely across the country to view places, documents and materials.


A later occupant of Camden Place, from 1871 until his death there in 1873, was the exiled French Emperor, Napoleon III.


The Emperor’s widow, the Empress Eugénie, remained at Camden Place until 1885.

chislehurst logo

The Walsingham family, including Christopher Marlowe’s patron, Sir Thomas Walsingham and Queen Elizabeth I’s spymaster, Francis Walsingham, had a home in Scadbury Park, now a nature reserve in which the ruins of the house can still be seen.

Scadbury Park

Sir Francis Walsingham had a new understanding of the role of England as a maritime power in an increasingly global economy. He oversaw operations that penetrated Spanish military preparation, gathered intelligence from across Europe, disrupted a range of plots against Elizabeth and secured the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, so we will curse him for beheading that lovely woman, but bless him for sustaining her cousin Elizabeth.

chislehurst badge

Study goes into the building of character.

beaverwood club

We are going to play at The Beaverwood Club in Chislehurst.


I’m looking forward to doing all these shows with Bex Marshall who has a great voice, a positive attitude and a scary good guitar style.

hawkhurst sign

Setting a heading for another -hurst, Hawkhurst

Hawkhurst, Kent 5 map

Hawkhurst is a village in the borough of Tunbridge Wells, Kent and is, in reality, two villages. One, the older of the two, consists mainly of cottages clustered around a large triangular green known as The Moor, and the other, farther north on the main road, called Highgate is at a crossroads and is where the shops and hotels are.

Hawkhurst Kent 11

The name Hawkhurst is derived from old English heafoc hyrst, meaning a wooded hill frequented by hawks (Hawk Wood).

Hawkhurst Kent 12

Hurst (Hyrst) in a place name refers to a wood or wooded area. There are several -hursts in West Kent and East Sussex.

Hawkhurst Kent 13

The 11th Century Domesday Monacorum (Domesday of the Monks) refers to the village as Hawkashyrst, belonging to Battle Abbey.

Hawkhurst Kent 14

In 1254, the name was recorded as Hauekehurst. In 1278, it is often shown as Haukhurst; by 1610, it had changed to Hawkherst, which then evolved into the current spelling.

Hawkhurst, Kent 1 SolPartyCrop

We’re going to play the Summer of Love in Hawkhurst, which is about six thousand miles and forty-seven years from the last place and time we played the Summer of Love.

Hawkhurst, Kent 2

The village of Hawkhurst lies on the route of a Roman road which crossed the Weald here.

Hawkhurst, Kent 3 Sissinghurst

The oldest known settlement in Hawkhurst was the Saxon manor of Congehurst, which was burnt by the Danes in 893 CE. There is still a lane of this name to the east of the village.

Hawkhurst, Kent 4 St Lawrence the moor

The village was located at the centre of the Wealden iron industry from Roman times. The Weald produced over a third of all iron in Britain, and over 180 iron sites have been found in the area.

Hawkhurst, Kent 6 ham sandwich

Ironstone was taken from clay beds, then heated with charcoal from the abundant woods in the area. The iron was used to make everything from Roman ships to medieval cannon, and many of the Roman roads in the area were built in order to transport the iron.

Hawkhurst, Kent 7 chemist

William Penn, founder of the state of Pennsylvania, owned ironworks at Hawkhurst. The industry eventually declined during the industrial revolution of the 18th Century, when coal became the preferred method of heating, and could not be found nearby.

Hawkhurst, Kent 8  banknote

By 1745 it is estimated that 20,000 people were smuggling along the Kent and Sussex coast line. An infamous group, the Holkhourst Genge, terrorized the surrounding area between 1735 and 1749.

Hawkhurst, Kent 9 halfpenny 1794

They were the most notorious of the Kent gangs, and were feared all along the south coast of England.

Hawkhurst, Kent 10

If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet, Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street, Them that ask no questions isn’t told a lie. Watch the wall my darling while the Gentlemen go by.

Putney 5 location map

I once lived with a woman in Putney, Vermont, where she went to Wyndham College, eponym of Wyndham Hill Records.


In this London Putney, we will perform at The Half Moon.

Putney 2 half moon day

Putney appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Putelei.

Putney 3 map

The Lord General hath caused a bridge to be built upon barges and lighters over the Thames between Fulham and Putney, to convey his army and artillery over into Surrey, to follow the king’s forces; and he hath ordered that forts shall be erected at each end thereof to guard it; but for the present the seamen, with long boats and shallops full of ordnance and musketeers, lie there upon the river to secure it. 1642

Putney 4 map

In 1720 Sir Robert Walpole was returning from seeing George I at Kingston and being in a hurry to get to the House of Commons rode together with his servant to Putney to take the ferry across to Fulham. The ferry boat was on the opposite side, however and the waterman, who was drinking in the Swan, ignored the calls of Sir Robert and his servant and they were obliged to take another route. Walpole vowed that a bridge would replace the ferry.

Putney 6 hurlingham books bookshop

The first permanent bridge between Fulham and Putney was completed in 1729, and was the second bridge to be built across the Thames in London (after London Bridge).

Putney 7 bridge

That bridge was a wooden structure and lasted for 150 years, when in 1886 it was replaced by the stone bridge that stands today.

Putney 8 map

According to Samuel Pepys, Charles II and his brother, the Duke of York, used to run horses here. Charles II reviewed his forces on Putney Heath in 1684. In May 1767, George III reviewed the Guards, and the Surrey Volunteers at the same spot in 1799.

Putney 9 Thames

Putney Heath was for many years a noted rendezvous for highwaymen. In 1795, the notorious highwayman Jeremiah Abershaw was caught in the Green Man pub on the northside of the heath where Putney Hill meets Tibbet’s Ride. After execution his body was hung in chains on the heath as a warning to others.

Putney 10 Vale_Crematorium

And thus we take leave of Putney, one of the pleasantest of the London suburbs, as well as the most accessible. The immense increase in the number of houses in late years testifies to its popularity; but there is still an almost unlimited extent of open ground which cannot be covered; and with wood and water, common and hill, there will always be an element of freshness and openness in Putney seldom to be obtained so near London. The Fascinations of London, 1903 J. C. Geikie

a zig zag

We look forward to this trip. Thank you for reading.

Sam Andrew kisses Lisa Rubigen

Sam Andrew


A Chthonic Tonic

First Bank of San Anselmo, c. 1920.

A Chthonic Tonic

1914 CMPC

Chthonic, from Greek  χθόνιος – chthonios, “in, under, or beneath the earth”, from χθών – chthōn ”earth,” pertaining to the Earth.

ali akbar khan

Earthy. Subterranean.

a may pole kentfield

Apart from its literal translation meaning ‘subterranean,’ the historical definition of χθών designates, or pertains to, deities or spirits of the underworld.


The Greek word χθών khthon is one of several for “earth.”

aa marin

χθών typically refers to the interior of the soil, rather than the living surface of the land (as Gaia or Ge does) or the land as territory (as khora (χώρα) does). χθών evokes at once abundance and the grave.

Aimi Dutra

There are connotations in the word χθών of mystery and secrecy.


The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that the first two letters in the word χθών should be pronounced (as /k/), but the American Heritage Dictionary considers these letters as silent, /ˈθɒnɪk/.   I would defer to the OED here, although I pronounce the ‘ch’ as a heavy breath sound. HTHonic. The way Scottish people pronounce loch, or how Germans say Ach!


The modern pronunciation of the Greek word “χθόνιος” is [ˈxθonios], although the Classical Greek pronunciation would have been [kʰtʰónios].


The words khthonie and khthonios, related to χθών, have a precise and technical meaning and they refer primarily to the manner, the way of offering sacrifices to the chthonic deity.


Some chthonic cults practiced ritual sacrifice at night time.


When a living creature was to be sacrificed, the animal was placed in a bothros (“pit”) or megaron (“sunken chamber”).


In other chthonic cults, the animal was sacrificed on a raised bomos (altar).

ansel adams 1962

Offerings usually were burned whole or buried rather than being cooked and shared among the worshippers.


The chthonic deities were gods of fertility.

b maypole

Demeter and Persephone both watched over aspects of the fertility of land, yet Demeter had a typically Olympian cult while Persephone had a chthonic one.



The ideas of  Olympian and chthonic were not completely separate.


Some Olympian deities, such as Hermes and Zeus, also received chthonic sacrifices.


Heracles and Asclepius, for example, might be worshipped as gods or chthonic heroes, depending on the site and the time of origin of the myth.

boyd penultimate

And Hecate was usually offered young dogs at crossroads, a practice neither typical of an Olympian sacrifice nor of a chthonic sacrifice to Persephone or the heroes.

Bradford House, 333 G St., San Rafael, CA

The idea of the ‘crossroads’ has played a part in mythology for a long, long time.


A crossroads can be ”between the worlds,” a site where supernatural beings can be contacted and paranormal events can happen.


The crossroads can mean a locality where two realms touch and represent a threshold, a liminality, a place “neither here nor there”, “betwixt and between”.


In the Vodou tradition, Papa Legba is the Iwa of the crossroads.


In rootwork and hoodoo, forms of African American magic spirituality, one may wait at a crossroads to acquire an artistic skill, or a “luck” in gambling. This can happen at a certain number of times, either at midnight or just before dawn, and one will meet a “black man,” who could be the Devil, who will give one the desired skills.

d maypole

In the United Kingdom, there was a tradition of burying criminals and suicides at the crossroads which often marked the boundaries of the settlement.


There was a desire to bury those outside of the law outside of the settlement. People thought that many roads would confuse the dead spirits.


Mandalas and medicine wheels, such as the Christian cross, for example, are metonyms of the crossroads.


So, a long time ago, Hecate of the crossroads was generally thought of as χθών chthonic, because of her underworld activities.

c maypole

The term chthonic was often used in analytical psychology to describe the unconscious earthly impulses of the Self.


Carl Jung talks about the meaning of χθών in Man and his Symbols.


“Envy, lust, sensuality, deceit, and all known vices are the negative, ‘dark’ aspect of the unconscious, which can manifest itself in two ways. In the positive sense, it appears as a ‘spirit of nature’, creatively animating Man, things, and the world. It is the ‘chthonic spirit’ that has been mentioned so often in this chapter. In the negative sense, the unconscious (that same spirit) manifests itself as a spirit of evil, as a drive to destroy.”

chelsea dawn

Chthonic (χθών) also retains some of its very physical, concrete connotations today.


In geology, for example, the word allochthon is used describe a large block of rock which has been moved from its original site of formation, usually by low angle thrust faulting.


Allochthon from allo, other, and  χθών, refers to the process of the land mass being moved under the earth and connecting two horizontally stacked décollements, thus “under the earth.”


The word humus is Latin for earth and it comes from this Greek χθών.  Humus = χθών.  


Humilis meant low, earthy in Latin, so the word humble is also related to χθών.

dolls special

These dolls were made from the earth in Germany. They came from the χθών.


This word chthon χθών was reconstructed as *dhghem in the original Indo European.


Every heard about the mole men, who live underneath the ground in tunnels?

e maypole

Or the mutant alligators and cockroaches who live in the sewers?  Urban χθών legends?


These are examples of chthonic creatures: beings who live under the surface of the earth, the χθών.


Chthonic beasts are more likely to be demons than angels.

elise bubble

Many mythologies feature chthonic creatures.  Elise Wainani Piliwale comes from the χθών of Hawaii.

f maypole

This sweet looking maypole has an origin far back in the mists of time when it was a link to the χθών, to the underworld.


Oh, those creatures who go bump in the night.  They scare you so much and give you a fright.

final Sam Brian Peter Cutting Room 2013

Words branch out very quickly, just the way family trees do, and one word can become related to many words in many different languages with many different meanings.  So it is with χθών.  This word for earth has come to be the mother of many other meanings.


χθών is related to Latin homo, human.  Remember that Adam was made from the dust, from the earth.  Adam meant man in Hebrew as homo means human in Latin.


χθών is related to gamos in Greek which is marriage (bigamy, polygamy).

Elise corner

And so to groom (bridegroom) which in German is Breutigam.

g maypole

Old English <brydguma> is related to the earth, to χθών.


The first letter χ of χθών became a G in later languages.  The χ  and the G are articulated in the same part of the mouth, the palate. They are virtually the same sound but one, the χ  is not voiced and the other, the G  is.  So, the two sounds are very closely related.


It’s much like two people in the same family who resemble each other.


Words can begin with the same sounds and then diverge over a couple of generations. Bear (to carry a load in English) and fero (same meaning in Latin) were once exactly the same.


Allochtoon (plural: allochtonen) is a Dutch word (from Greek ἀλλόχθων, from ἄλλος (allos), other, and χθών (chthōn) earth/land), literally meaning “originating from another country,” from another earth.  This is the word the Dutch use for “immigrant.”


It is the opposite of the word autochtoon (in English, “autochthonous” or “autochthone”) This Dutch word is derived from Greek αὐτόχθων, from αὐτός (autos), self and again χθών), literally meaning “originating from this country”.

Elise dine

In the Netherlands (and Flanders), the term allochtoon is widely used to refer to immigrants and their descendants.

Hamilton gate

Officially the term allochtoon is much more specific and refers to anyone who had at least one parent born outside the Netherlands.

Hannah Gerstle

Hence, third-generation immigrants are no longer considered allochtoon.


The antonym autochtoon (autochthonous) is less widely used, but it roughly corresponds to ethnic Dutch, you know, white people.

Among a number of immigrant groups living in the Netherlands, a “Dutch” person (though the immigrants themselves be Dutch citizens) usually refers to the ethnic Dutch.

Elise Piliwale laundry July 2010

In the 1950s, Dutch descent, Dutch nationality, and Dutch citizenship were in practice identical.


Dutch society almost exclusively consisted of ethnic Dutch and ethnic Frisans, with some colonial influences, and most Dutch were either Catholic, Protestant or atheists.

henry orton howitt 1893 1st doc

Decolonization and immigration from the 1960s to the present has altered the ethnic and religious composition of the country. This development has made the ‘ethnicity’ and national identity of the Dutch a political issue.


Dutch nationality law is based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis (“right of blood”). In other words, citizenship is conferred primarily by birth to a Dutch parent, irrespective of place of birth.


A first-generation allochtoon is a person living in the Netherlands but born in a foreign country and who has at least one parent also born abroad. The ‘country of origin’ is the country in which that person is born.

inside you

A second-generation allochtoon is a person born in the Netherlands with at least one parent born in a foreign country. When both parents are born abroad, the ‘country of origin’ is taken to be that of the mother. If one parent was born in the Netherlands, the ‘country of origin’ the other parent’s country of birth.

Elise Piliwale, aircraft

Note that someone who is born abroad, but with both parents born in the Netherlands, is an autochtoon. Again, this chtoon is from  χθόνιος, the Greek for ‘under the earth, of the earth.’    So, we are talking here about someone who is autochthonous according to Dutch law.


A further distinction is made between “Western” and “non-Western” allochtoon people, the black, the brown and the white.


A non-Western allochtoon is someone whose ‘country of origin’ is or lies in Turkey, Africa, Latin America and Asia, with the exception of Indonesia (or the former Dutch East Indies) and Japan.


This last distinction was made because the official definition of allochtoon deviates from the common use in popular speech, where people refer to someone as allochtoon only when that person is an immigrant or an asylum seeker who is clearly distinct in ethnicity, clothing or behavior from the traditional Dutch society.


In the official and strictest sense, the largest group of allochtoon people are of German ancestry.


The groups that people usually think of when they hear the word allochtoon are those of Turkish, Moroccan or Surinamese ancestry.


As of 2006, these groups comprise roughly 350,000 people each, together constituting just over 6% of the population.

Elise Piliwale, Sam Andrew, Xmas

So a new term was introduced that lies closer to that meaning, “niet-westers allochtoon“, which excludes allochtoon people from Europe, Japan (a developed high income country) and Indonesia (a former colony), but not those from the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname, even though the Netherlands Antilles are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and those from Suriname immigrated when that country was still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


This definition coincides better with the popular conception of the word allochtoon as signifying people of low socio-economic status who are “different from us”.


Although some Dutch people view the usage of allochtoon as a stigma, several members of the Dutch Royal Family are officially allochtoon people, as one of the parents was foreign-born.


There is a regular stream of newspaper articles reporting statistics that unfavorably distinguish allochtoon people from the rest of the Dutch.


In 2013, the city council of Amsterdam decided to stop using the term allochtoon because of its divisive effect


Chthonic – kθɒnɪk – comes from the Greek word χθόνιος – chthonios which means “in, under, or beneath the earth”, from χθών – chthōn “earth,” pertaining to the Earth.

Elise Piliwale, Thai mannikin

754 BCE – The very early Greek settlement of Cuma is about 4 kilometers from Baia, Italy. Cuma was traditionally founded at this date (Pithecusa – modern Ischia – had been occupied by Greeks some time earlier).

liz meg

700-600 BCE – The Greeks began to localize places where an actual descent to the underworld might be made through navels (omphalos) in the ground. In the seventh century BCE these were sought around the Ionian Sea, and in the sixth century BCE the omphalos navels were looked for in  Southern Italy.

Louise Boyd on Veslekari 1935

Circa 600 BCE:   According to Strabo, citing Ephorus, Lake Avernus was the site of the descent to the underworld, where the oracle of the dead existed. This was destroyed by a King of Cumae and afterwards this omphalos χθόνιος was restored elsewhere.


Circa 550 BCE:   Orphic mystery cults appear. In the second half of the sixth century BCE, Greece underwent a religious rift. A new concept of humans having souls became widespread and there was a reaction against the Olympian and heroic mythology and values which had rewritten the ancient stories


χθόνιος Chthonic cults, preserved among the people in the countryside, were revived and given fresh meaning.


In March 2013 a team led by Francesco D’Andria, Professor of Classic Archaeology at the University of Salento, announced the discovery of a Plutonium or Gate to Hell in the Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now known as the city of Pamukkale, in southwestern Turkey.

Elise Piliwale, Waschcenter

The root word of khanti is ksha which it shares in common with  kshama, and means soil,  earth,  dirt,  ground, χθόνιος.  It is a cognate of the Greek word chthon, as well as the Latin humus;which mean earth, soil. Related words include the Greek chamai, meaning on the ground; and the Latin homin or homo, meaning human.

m 1880

Several English words have a common origin with χθών, χθόνιος including humus, humble / humiliate / humiliation / humility,  exhume,  homicide, hominid, homage, and human / humanism / humanity / humanitarian / humane.


Home might also be a cognate of χθόνιος, but by a different, more  indirect root. It traces back through a German word to the Sanskrit word kshema, which means an inhabitable location,  a place of peace and safety.  The Sanskrit word shanti meaning peace, might also be related.


From Proto Indo European *dʰéǵʰōm. Cognates include Sanskrit क्ष (kṣa) and Ancient Greek χθών (khthōn). This word *dʰéǵʰōm is related to homo (“human being, man”).  *dʰéǵʰōm became χθόνιος.


Russian: гумус (gumus) is also related to χθόνιος and, hence, *dʰéǵʰōm.

Erskine B. McNear House, 121 Knight Dr., San Rafael, CA

Humus has a Cyrillic spelling ху́мус, which is also related to χθόνιος.


*dʰéǵʰōm = Dhghemon = person, all from the same Indo European root as that for chthon, χθόνιος.


Old English guma person comes from this same Indo European root.


Old Lithuanian zmuo person  zmunents  human, also from the same root as χθόνιος.

 David Studarus Photography

Celtic (Old Irish)  duine person from dyn, also from dhghom-yo.


These words are all from the same mother, *dʰéǵʰōm the mother of χθόνιος.


Dheghom = *dʰéǵʰōm = humus = χθόνιος = earth


χθών,  related to chamaí = on the earth.

Olema lime kiln, c. 1911.

Sanskrit  ksah  ksam máh = earth = χθόνιος.


Iranian (which is an Indo European language) has za zam zemo = earth = χθόνιος.


All these words in all these languages are from the same mother.


Another related word is Old Church Slavonic,  zemi  zemlja = earth = χθόνιος.

Princess Margaret of Prussia Friedrich_Karl_of_Hesse

As is Old Prussian zeme = earth = χθόνιος.

princess margaret

Old Irish du = place   Welsh dyn = man


Albanian   dhe = earth

ran Anselmo 1909

Tocharian   tkam  tkanis  kem   =  earth


Hittite   tekan   tagnas  =  earth

roberts montecito

I must again emphasize that these words are spread over great distances and great, long periods of time.


If you saw your own family over all that distance and time, you would be amazed at their differences too.

Roy Haynes Brian Barry Craig Haynes 2013

The reason many people have trouble accepting the idea of evolution is that they have very little understanding of the immense amount of time that we are talking about.  All of these words, nearly all of them, have happened within historical time, and look how much they have differed that relatively short time.

Sam Cathy Reb Beach

Evolution has happened over four and a half BILLION years.

san domenico

Four and a half thousand million years.

san rafael high 1930

That is a long time.  Longer than the mere writing of the number would suggest. An unimaginably long time.


Many fundamentalists of all stripes consider that THE CREATION happened six thousand years ago, that is, around four thousand years before the common era.


Six thousand years is the mere blink of an eye compared to four and a half thousand million years.

SG Standard Mouse

No wonder fundamentalists have difficulty comprehending the idea of evolution.

Sam Sharrie

I hear generational differences in the pronunciation of English over my lifetime which is an infinitesimal seventy years (seventy-two, if you want to get technical).


People in their twenties pronounce the language differently from the way we do.  Have you noticed?

Sheik Araby

It’s not the vocabulary that I’m talking about, although there is that too.


I can tell how old someone is just from their accent in English, and I am not talking about the age in their voice, but about their intonation, stress on the words, and especially the pronunciation of the vowels.

smith ranch road 1880

Just to take the most trivial and obvious difference, many young people accent their declarative sentences with a ? at the end.


As I say, this is an obvious example.  There are many others, more subtle and more pervasive, but difficult to adduce, especially in writing.

SR 1900

So, that is one or two generations, where one can note changes in the language.

San Ans & Tunstead 1920

Over ten generations the differences will be quite glaring.


Over twenty generations, the language may well be a different language.

One-arm Dumbbell Raise

Let’s see, we are separated from Chaucer and his middle English by, oh, thirty generations (allowing twenty years per generation).

The Ark in 1967

Most people today cannot understand Chaucer’s English without special training.

Tiburon ark 1902

That’s thirty generations, which are nothing compared to the distance separating many of these cognates for ‘earth,’ χθόνιος.


ChthoniC is a band in Taiwan.

Tony & Giovannina Rostoni 1923

Metal musicians like the name because of its infernal underworld connotations.  Fair enough.


Chthonic law is defined as a system of law centered on the sacred character of the cosmos.


According to Professor H. Patrick Glenn, the Chthonic legal tradition emerged through experience, orality and memory.

ue rock 1910?

According to him it is the oldest of all traditions and can be understood as the law of a culture or tribe.


Dr. Glenn refers to the laws of indigenous people as he believes these people are in close harmony to earth, to the χθόνιος

varin county courthouse 1873

At a broader level chthonic law is used with reference to any law which is a part of the custom or tradition of the people and in this regard is distinguishable from the traditional definition of law.


Some authors believe that modern law has evolved from a scientific comparison of different Chthonic legal traditions.

Virada Cultural

It is studied as a part of pluralism of law.


Although Chthonic law appears susceptible to confusion, any potential confusion is removed by preserving what’s important to the law over thousands of years.

wan rafael

Transmission of the χθόνιος law takes place with oral tradition and memory over the ages.

west end san rafael

Chthonic law has a communal basis and aims to promote consensus.


When dissent arises about chthonic law, new rules and traditions are generated.


Although law of the χθόνιος does not lend itself to complexity, complex institutions such as councils of elders are present, and hence the highest authority is the council of elders.

xark annual picnic

Dispute resolution  is believed to be neither confusing nor alienating.

yawyers opening bridge

The importance of an individual in this χθόνιος law depends on his or her knowledge of traditions and culture and hence elders are valued.

Zhina Camp 1888

See you next week?

Narada Sam MHOF

Narada Michael Walden                 Sam Andrew


A phone call from me personally, it could happen!

Hello Everyone!

We’re down to the last 6 days of our Kickstarter campaign becoming a reality but we still need your help. It can be hard to find the money, especially if you’re planning on giving to a charity (though means like, as an example), but if you can we would be very thankful if you would! As a thank you for all of the help and support you’ve given us on this project, we’d like to let you know that if we reach our goal through your pledges that we will put your names into a drawing and one lucky winner will receive a personal 15 minute phone call directly from Sam Andrew (myself) of Big Brother and The Holding Company. This will be a one on one call where you can talk to me personally. This could be your chance to ask me that question you’ve always wondered about, memories of a show, or even find out what I’ve been up to. The winner can also have the option of choosing someone else to receive the phone call so if you are the lucky winner, this could end up being a great gift to that fan in your life.

So if you’ve been on the fence about pledging, this may be that one thing that sways you to pledge today and help us get our music out to the world!

Once again thank you for your support!


Sam, Jim, Ben, and Mary

*Rules/Disclaimer: This contest is open to those that have successfully pledged to the Kickstarter campaign ( and the Kickstarter campaign has successfully reached its goal of $8500 or more for this prize to be awarded. The drawing will take place within 14 days of the end of the Kickstarter campaign and the winner will be announced and messaged so that the call with Sam Andrew (me) can be coordinated.

The Spanish Language


El español is the first language spoken in twenty countries around the world.


Mandarin Chinese has the most native speakers. Does it surprise you that Spanish has the second most native speakers on the planet? Between 470 and 500 million speak Spanish as a first language.

Alan y Bachelet besito

On the Internet el español is the third most commonly used language after English and Mandarin.


Spanish is the official language of Spain, the country after which it is named and where it originated, and is widely spoken in Gibraltar, although English is the official language there. It is also commonly spoken in Andorra, although Catalan is the Andorran official language. If you ever go to an event such as Competa feria, you’ll find that Spanish is the only language spoken by the natives.


Spanish is spoken in small communities in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany. While there are many people in countries like the UK that know basic spanish describing words, the number of natives that are fluent speakers is much lower. It is an official language of the European Union. Spanish is the native languageof 1.7% of the Swiss population, representing the largest minority after the 4 official languages of Switzerland.

Alude a las personas que suelen inventar cosas o triunfos de los que carecen

Latin America has the most Spanish speakers. Of all the countries with a majority of Spanish speakers, only Spain and Equatorial Guinea are outside the Americas.

Ana Barbara y Jaime Polo

Mexico has the most native Spanish speakers of any country. Spanish is the official language—either in fact or by law—of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Antonio Maceo de Cuba

English is the official language of Belize, but Spainish is spoken by 43% of the population there.


Trinidad, Tobago and Brazil have implemented Spanish language teaching into their education systems. In Brazil many border towns and villages (especially in the Uruguayan-Brazilian and Paraguayan-Brazilian border areas), have a mixed language known as Portuñol.

Armas de destrucción masiva

Spanish, also called castellano, is a Romance language that originated in Castilla (Castile), a region of Spain.


The Ibero-Romance group of languages evolved from several dialects of Latin in the land the Romans called Hispania after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century. It had definitely become a separate language by the ninth century CE and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castilla into central and southern Iberia.


The Spanish vocabulary was influenced by its contact with Basque and by other related Ibero-Romance languages and later absorbed many Arabic words during the seven hundred years that los Moros, the Moors, were in the Iberian Peninsula. Español also adopted many words from non-Iberian languages, particularly Occitan, French, Italian and Sardinian. In modern times, Spanish has adopted and adapted many English words.


Spanish is the most popular second language learned in the US. From the last decades of the 20th century, the study of Spanish as a foreign language has grown significantly, in part because of the growing populations and economies of many Spanish-speaking countries, and the growing international tourism in these countries.

El-Güero-Canelo SPANISH

Güero means ‘pale’ in Spanish, so it is a slang word (honky) for a gringo. Canelo means ‘cinnamon,’ and so el güero canelo means ‘cinnamon paleface,’ or, as we would say, ‘strawberry blonde,’ that is, a person with blonde hair tending to red. Sometimes if I see that a server in a coffeeshop is Hispanic, I order a güero doble (a double honky) instead of a double Americano. Sometimes they get it, and sometimes they don’t, but it’s really fun when they do.


Spanish is the most widely understood language in the Western Hemisphere, with significant populations of native Spanish speakers ranging from the tip of Patagonia to as far north as New York, Chicago and Toronto. Since the early 21st century, it has taken the place of French as the second-most-studied language and the second language in international communication, after English.

beatle paul mccartney en zocalo mexico caricatura soto

Spanish, or castellano, the language of the region of Castilla differs from Galician, Basque and Catalan. The Spanish Constitution of 1978 uses the term castellano for the official language of the whole Spanish State, in contrast to las demás lenguas españolas. Article III states:

El castellano es la lengua española oficial del Estado. (…) Las demás lenguas españolas serán también oficiales en las respectivas Comunidades Autónomas…


The Spanish Royal Academy on the other hand, currently uses the term español in its publications but from 1713 to 1923 called the language castellano.


The Diccionario panhispánico de dudas (a language guide published by the Spanish Royal Academy) states that, although the Spanish Royal Academy prefers to use the term español in its publications when referring to the Spanish language, both terms, español and castellano, are regarded as synonymous and equally valid.

buen entendedor

The Spanish Royal Academy Dictionary posits two etymologies for the word español: it derives the term from the Provençal word espaignol, and that in turn from the Medieval Latin word Hispaniolus, ‘from—or pertaining to—Hispania’. Other authorities attribute it to a supposed medieval Latin term *hispani?ne, with the same meaning.


The Romans came to Hispania during the Second Punic war (wars with Carthage) beginning in 210 BCE. Previously, Paleohispanic languages not related to Latin were spoken in the Iberian Peninsula. These languages included Basque (still spoken today), Iberian and Celtiberian. Traces of these languages, especially Basque, can be found in the Spanish vocabulary today, mainly in place names.


The first documents (Glosas Elianenses) to record the language that became castellano or español are from the 9th century. The most important influence on the Spanish (Castilian) lexicon came from neighboring Navarro-Aragonese, Leonese, Aragonese, Catalan, Portuguese, Galician, Mirandese, Occitan, Gason and later French and Italian—but also from Basque, Arabic and to a lesser extent the Germanic languages. Many words were borrowed from Latin through the influence of written Latin and the liturgical language of the Church.


Vulgar Latin evolved into español in the north of Iberia, in an area defined by Álava, Cantabria, Burgos, Soria and La Rioja. The dialect was later brought to the city of Toledo, where the written standard of Spanish was first developed, in the 13th century.

camila vallejo en mexico invitada por #Yosoy132 caricatura politica soto

Español (castellano) then developed a strongly differing variant from its close cousin, Leonese, and, according to some authors, was distinguished by a heavy Basque influence. This distinctive dialect progressively spread south with the advance of the Reconquista, and so gathered a sizable lexical influence from the Arabic of Andalusia, much of it indirectly, through the Romance Mozarabic dialects.


The written standard for this new language began to be developed in Toledo, in the 13th to 16th centuries, and Madrid, from the 1570s.


Luís Vaz de Camões is the poet of Portugal, so he comes from a place that is vacant on the Spanish map. I just like this drawing, and, not incidentally, his epic poem Os Lusíadas. I will write about Camões later in a web log about the Portuguese language.


The evolution of the sound system in español from Vulgar Latin is echoed by similar changes in other Western Romance languages, including lenition (softening) of intervocalic consonants (thus Latin v?ta ? Spanish vida).


The diphthongization of Latin stressed short e and o—which occurred in open syllables in French and Italian, but not at all in Catalan or Portuguese—is found in both open and closed syllables in Spanish, as shown in the following table:

Latin Spanish Ladino Aragonese Asturian Galician Portuguese Catalan Occitan French Italian Romanian English
petra piedra piedra (or pyedra) piedra piedra pedra pedra pedra pedra/pèira pierre pietra piatr? ‘stone’
terra tierra tierra (or tyerra) tierra tierra terra terra terra tèrra terre terra ?ar? ‘land’
moritur muere muere muere muerre morre morre mor morís meurt muore moare ‘dies (v.)’
mortem muerte muerte muerte muerte morte morte mort mòrt mort morte moarte ‘death’

Ladino is the Sephardic equivalent of Yiddish, and I will talk about this language/dialect later.


El español is marked by the palatalization of the Latin double consonants nn and ll (thus Latin annum ? Spanish año, and Latin anellum ? Spanish anillo).


The consonant written ?u? or ?v? in Latin and pronounced [w] in Classical Latin had probably become a bilabial fricative /?/ by the time of Vulgar Latin.


In early español (but not in Catalan or Portuguese) /?/ merged with the consonant written ?b? (a bilabial with plosive and fricative allophones). In modern español, there is no difference between the pronunciation of orthographic ?b? and ?v?.


I once photographed a door in Mexico that had many graffiti with misspelled words that were fascinating. The most common misspellings were those which confused b and v and between z and s. ’La bida es sueño.’ ‘Ben conmigo.’ Or, consider this inscription in New Mexico from almost three hundred years ago:


It says, “Por aqui pazó el Alfexes Joseph de Payba Basconzelos el añ0 que tuyo el Cauildo del Reyno a su costa a 18 de feb, de 1726 =


In today’s Spanish, this would be: Por aqui pasó el Alférez José de Payba Basconzelos (Vasconcelos) el año que tuvo el Cauildo del Reino a su costa a 18 de febrero, 1726.


And the English would be something like: By here passed Second Lieutenant Joseph de Payba Vasoncelos, the year that he had the Council of the Kingdom at his cost on 18 February 1726.


An alférez is a second lieutenant, a subaltern, an ensign (in the navy). It’s the first rank that an officer achieves. The Spanish word was derived from the Arabic ?????? (al-f?ris), meaning “horseman” or “knight” or “cavalier”. I remember how proud I was when my father became a second lieutenant.


The initial Latin f- into h- came whenever it was followed by a vowel that did not diphthongize.


The h-, still preserved in spelling, is now silent in most varieties of the language, although in some Andalusian and Caribbean dialects it is still aspirated in some words.


This is the reason why there are modern spelling variants Fernando and Hernando (both Spanish for “Ferdinand”), ferrero and herrero (both Spanish for “smith”), fierro and hierro (both Spanish for “iron”), and fondo and hondo (both Spanish for “deep”, but fondo means “bottom” while hondo means “deep”).


Hacer (Spanish of “to make”) is the root word of satisfacer (Spanish of “to satisfy”), and hecho (“made”) is the root word of satisfecho (Spanish of “satisfied”). In Latin hacer was facere, to do, to make.


In the 15th and 16th centuries, español underwent a dramatic change in the pronunciation of its sibilant consonants known in Spanish as the reajuste de las sibilantes, which resulted in the distinctive velar [x] pronunciation of the letter ?j? and—in a large part of Spain—the characteristic interdental [?] (“th-sound”) for the letter ?z? (and for ?c? before ?e? or ?i?). Thinko thentavos. What cinco centavos sounds like in castellano.


The Gramática de la lengua castellano written in Salamanca in 1492 by Elio Antonio de Nebrija was the first grammar written for a modern European language.


Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, author of Don Quixote, is so well known that castellano is often called la lengua de Cervantes.


In the twentieth century, Spanish was introduced to Equatorial Guinea, the Western Sahara and to areas of the United States that had not been part of the Spanish empire, such as Spanish Harlem.

Colonizacion caricatura

Spanish is an inflected language, with two genders and about fifty conjugated forms per verb. People often choose español in school because they consider it an ‘easy’ language, and only find out later that the verb system is more involved than, say, French or German or Italian. There is actually a preterite subjunctive form that is routinely used in Spanish (Yo quisiera, hubiera) that has long disappeared from French.


The syntax in castellano is often termed right-branching, meaning that subordinate or modifying constituents (such as adjectives) tend to be placed after their head words.


The language uses prepositions (rather than postpositions or inflection of nouns) for case, and usually—though not always—places adjectives after nouns, as do most other Romance languages.


Español is generally a subject verb object language although variations are common, and it allows the deletion of subject pronouns when they are unnecessary because of the verb ending, which is most of the time.

pr23.jpg Producción ABC.

Spanish is a “verb-framed” language, meaning that the direction of motion is expressed in the verb while the mode of locomotion is expressed adverbially (subir corriendo or salir volando). English is ”satellite-framed,” that is, the English equivalents of these examples—’to run up’ and ‘to fly out’ have the mode of locomotion expressed in the verb and the direction in an adverbial modifier).

de la historieta chilena

Subject/verb inversion is not required in questions, and thus the recognition of a declarative or an interrogative phrase may depend entirely on intonation.

dejá tus dólares

The sounds of castellano consist of five vowel phonemes (/a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/) and 17 to 19 consonant phonemes (the exact number depending on the dialect).


The main allophonic variation among vowels is the reduction of the high vowels /i/ and /u/ to glides—[j] and [w] respectively—when unstressed and adjacent to another vowel.


Mid vowels /e/ and /o/, determined lexically, alternate with the diphthongs [je]and [we] respectively when stressed, in a process that is better described as morphophonemic rather than phonological.


The consonant phonemes, /?/ and /?/ are often marked with an asterisk (*) to indicate that they are preserved only in some dialects. In most dialects they have been merged, respectively, with /s/ and /?/, in the mergers called, respectively, seseo and yeísmo.

Ego sum qui sum

The phoneme /?/ is in often put in parentheses () to indicate that it appears only in words borrowed from another language.

el papa

The letters ?v? and ?b? normally represent the same phoneme, /b/, which is realized as [b] after a nasal consonant or a pause, and as [?] elsewhere, as in ambos [?ambos] (‘both’) envío [em?bi.o] (‘I send’), acabar [aka??a?] (‘to finish’) and mover [mo??e?] (‘to move’).

el profesor

The Royal Spanish Academy considers the /v/ pronunciation for the letter ?v? to be incorrect and even affected.


Some Spanish speakers maintain the pronunciation of the /v/ sound as it is in other western European languages. The sound /v/ is used for the letter ?v? in Spanish by a few second-language speakers in Spain whose native language is Catalan, in the Balneares, around Valencia, and in southern Catalunya.


In the US the pronunciation of the /v/ sound is also common because of the influence of English phonology, and the /v/ is also occasionally used in Mexico. Some parts of Central America also use /v/, which the Royal Academy attributes to the proximity of local indigenous languages.

Está loco por ti?

The /v/ pronunciation was uncommon, but considered correct well into the twentieth century in Spain.


The Spanish rhythm is a syllable-timed language meaning that each syllable has approximately the same duration regardless of stress.

evitar y non evitar

The tuning or intonation of español varies significantly according to dialect, but generally conforms to a pattern of falling tone for declarative sentences and wh-questions (who, what, why, etc.), and rising tone for yes/no questions.

fallece jenny rivera cantante, soto caricatura homenaje de soto el metiche

There are no syntactic markers to distinguish between questions and statements, and thus the recognition of declarative or interrogative depends entirely on intonation.


Stress most often occurs on any of the last three syllables of a word, with some rare exceptions at the fourth-last or earlier syllables.

  • In words that end with a vowel, stress most often falls on the penultimate syllable.
  • Felipe Calderon anhelo
  • In words that end with a consonant, stress most often falls on the last syllable, with the following exceptions: The grammatical endings -n (for third-person-plural of verbs) and -s (whether for plural of nouns and adjectives or for second-person-singular of verbs) do not change the location of stress. Thus regular verbs ending with -n and the great majority of words ending with -s are stressed on the penult. Although a significant number of nouns and adjectives ending with -n are also stressed on the penult (e.g. joven, virgen, mitin), the great majority of nouns and adjectives ending with -n are stressed on their last syllable (e.g. capitán, almacén, jardín, corazón).
  • femmes d'espagne
  • Preantepenultimate stress (stress on the fourth-to-last syllable) occurs rarely, and only on verbs with clitic pronouns attached (guardándoselos ’saving them for him/her/them’).


There are numerous minimal pairs which contrast solely on stress such as sábana (‘sheet’) and sabana (‘savannah’), as well as límite (‘boundary’), limite (‘[that] he/she limits’) and limité (‘I limited’), or also líquido (‘liquid’), liquido (‘I sell off’) and liquidó (‘he/she sold off’).



As of 2006, 44.3 million people of the U.S. population were Hispanic by origin, and 38.3 million people, 13 percent, of the population more than five years old speak Spanish at home.


The Spanish language has a long history in the United States due to Spanish and later, Mexican administration over territories in the southwest of the US as well as Florida which was Spanish until 1821.


Spanish is by far the most widely taught second language in the US, and with over 50 million total speakers, the United States is now the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world after Mexico.


English is, of course the official language of the US, but Spanish is often used in public services and notices at the federal and state levels.


Spanish is used in administration in the state of New Mexico, and has a strong influence in major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio, New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Phoenix, and, really, everywhere. Chicago, Las Vegas, Boston, Houston, Baltimore-Washingont, D.C., all due to 20th and 21st century immigration patterns.


Spanish is the official in in Equatorial Guinea, and is the predominant language when native and non-native speakers (around 500,000 people) are counted, while Fang is the most spoken language by number of native speakers there.


In Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, an unknown number of Sahrawis are able to read and write in Spanish.


The Sawrawi Press Service, official news service of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic of Western Sahara, has been available in Spanish since 2001, and RASD TV, the official television channel of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, has a website available in Spanish.


Western Sahara’s only film festival, The Sahara International Film Festival, is largely funded by Spanish donors and Spanish films are popular.


There is a Spanish literature community among the Sahrawi people, but the Cervantes Institute has denied support and Spanish-language education to Sahrawis in Western Sahara and the Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria.


A group of Sahrawi poets known as Generación de la Amistad saharaui produces Sahrawi literature in Spanish.

Jota Leal artista

The integral territories of Spain in North Africa, which include Ceuta and Melilla, the Plazas de soberanía and the Canary Islands archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa have many Spanish speakers.


Morocco is quite close to Spain, of course, and approximately 20,000 people there speak Spanish as a second language, while Arabic is the legal official language and French is widely spoken.


A small number of Moroccan Jews also speak the Sephardic Spanish dialect Haketia (related to the Ladino dialect spoken in Israel).


Spanish is spoken by some communities in Angola because of the Cuban influence from the Cold War and in the south of Sudan among South Sudanese natives that relocated to Cuba during the Sudanese wars and returned in time for their country’s independence.


There are important variations— phonological, grammatical and lexical—in the spoken Spanish of the various regions of Spain and throughout the Spanish-speaking areas of the Americas.


The variety of español with the most speakers is Mexican Spanish which is spoken by more than twenty percent of the world’s Spanish speakers. One of its main features is the reduction or loss of unstressed vowels, mainly when they are in contact with the sound /s/.


In Spain, northern dialects are popularly thought of as closer to the standard, although positive attitudes toward southern dialects have increased significantly in the last 50 years.


The speech of Madrid, which has typically southern features such as yeísmo and s-aspiration, is the standard variety for use on radio and television, and is the variety that has most influenced the written standard for Spanish.


The phoneme /?/ (spelled ?z?, or ?c? before ?e? or ?i?)—a voiceless dental fricative as in English thing—is maintained in northern and central Spain, but is merged with the sibilant /s/ in southern Spain, the Canary Islands, and all of Latin-American Spanish. A person from the north of Spain says thielos (cielos ‘heavens’) but in the south of Spain and in South America, they say sielos.

los ninis caricatura politica eduardo soto

This merger (/?/ to s) is called seseo in Spanish. The phoneme /?/ (spelled ?ll?)—a palatal lateral consonant sometimes compared in sound to the lli of English million—tends to be maintained in less-urbanized areas of northern Spain and in highland areas of South America, but in the speech of most other Spanish-speakers it is merged with /?/ (“curly-tail j“)—a non-lateral, usually voiced, usually fricative, palatal consonant—sometimes compared to English /j/ (yod) as in yacht, and spelled y in Spanish. This merger is called yeísmo in Spanish. And the debuccalization (pronunciation as [h], or loss) of syllable-final /s/ is associated with southern Spain, the Caribbean, and coastal areas of South America.

Luis Carreño

Almost all speakers of Spanish make the difference between a formal and a familiar second person singular, and so have two different pronouns meaning “you”: usted in the formal, and either or vos in the familiar (and each of these three pronouns has its associated verb forms), with the choice of or vos varying from one dialect to another.


The use of vos (and/or its verb forms) is called voseo. In a few dialects, all three pronouns are used—usted, , and vos—denoting respectively formality, familiarity, and intimacy.


In voseo, vos is the subject form (vos decís, “you say”) and the form for the object of a preposition (voy con vos, “I’m going with you”), while the direct and indirect object forms, and the possessive, are the same as those associated with : Vos sabés que tus amigos te respetan. ”Vos te acostaste con el tuerto.” ”Lugar que odio […] como te odio a vos.” ”No cerrés tus ojos.


The verb forms of general voseo are the same as those used with except in the present tense (indicative and imperative) verbs.


The forms for vos generally can be derived from those of vosotros (the traditional second-person familiar plural) by deleting the glide /i?/, or /d/, where it appears in the ending: vosotros pensáis ? vos pensás; vosotros volvéis ? vos volvés, pensad! (vosotros) ? pensá! (vos), volved! (vosotros) ? volvé!

Mariela Castro

The use of the pronoun vos with the verb forms of (e.g. vos piensas) is called “pronominal voseo“. And conversely, the use of the verb forms of vos with the pronoun (e.g. tú pensásor tú pensái) is called “verbal voseo“.

In Chile, for example, verbal voseo is much more common than the actual use of the pronoun vos which is often reserved for deeply informal situations.

me lo ha pedido

Although vos is not used in Spain, it occurs in many Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas as the principal spoken form of the second-person singular familiar pronoun, although with wide differences in social consideration.


It can be said that there are zones of exclusive use of tuteo in the following areas: almost all of Mexico, the West Indies, Panama, most of Peru and Venezuela, coastal Ecuador and the Caribbean coast of Colombia.


Tuteo (the use of ) as a cultured form alternates with voseo as a popular or rural form in Bolivia, in the north and south of Peru, in Andean Ecuador, in small zones of the Venezuelan Andes (and most notably in the Venezuelan state of Zulia), and in a large part of Colombia. Some researchers claim that voseo can be heard in some parts of eastern Cuba, while others assert that it is absent from the island.


In Chile, tuteo is used as the second-person pronoun with an intermediate degree of formality alongside the more familiar voseo. This is also the case in the Venezuelan state of Zulia, on the Caribbean coast of Colombia(Monteria, Sincelejo, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Riohacha and Valledupar), in the Azuero Peninsula in Panama, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, and in parts of Guatemala.


Areas of generalized voseo include Argentina, Costa Rica, eastern Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and the Colombian departments of Antioquia (the second largest in population), Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, and parts of The Valle del Cauca department.


Ustedes serves as the formal and informal second person plural in over 90% of the Spanish-speaking world, including all of Latin America, the Canary Islands, and some regions of Andalusia.


In Sevilla, Cádiz and other parts of western Andalusia, the familiar form is constructed as ustedes vais, using the traditional second-person plural form of the verb. Most of Spain maintains the formal/familiar division with ustedes and vosotros respectively.


Usted is the usual second-person singular pronoun in a formal context, used to convey respect toward someone who is a generation older or is of higher authority (“you, sir”/”you, ma’am”). It is also used in a familiar context by many speakers in Colombia and Costa Rica, and in parts of Ecuador and Panama, to the exclusion of or vos. This usage is sometimes called ustedeo in Spanish.

no sabía

Once upon a time, when people wanted to be polite, they addressed each other as Vuestra Merced (Your Mercy or Your Grace). In time, Vuestra Merced became usted, and that is why usted takes the singular third person form of the verb. Usted trabaja.

Nos marginan in justamente

In Central America, especially in Honduras, usted is often used as a formal pronoun to convey respect between the members of a romantic couple. Usted is also used in this way, as well as between parents and children, in the Andean regions of Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela.


The Real Academia Española prefers the pronouns lo and la for direct objects (masculine and feminine respectively, regardless of animacy, meaning “him”, “her”, or “it”), and le for indirect objects (regardless of gender or animacy, meaning “to him”, “to her”, or “to it”). This usage is sometimes called “etymological”, as these direct and indirect object pronouns are a continuation, respectively, of the accusative and dative pronouns of Latin, the mother language of Spanish.

2009 Person Of The Year Honoring Juan Gabriel - Arrivals

Most speakers adhere to the tradition, and deviations from this norm (more common in Spain than in the Americas) are called leísmo, loísmo or laísmo, according to which respective pronoun—le, lo, or la—has expanded beyond the etymological usage (that is, the use of le as a direct object, or lo or la as an indirect object).


Vocabulary can differ, sometimes radically, in different Spanish speaking countries. Most Spanish speakers can recognize other Spanish forms, even in places where they are not commonly used, but Spaniards generally do not recognize specifically American usages. For example, Spanish mantequilla, aguacate and albaricoque (respectively, ‘butter’, ‘avocado’, ‘apricot’) correspond to manteca, palta, and damasco, respectively, in Argentina, Chile (except manteca), Paraguay, Peru (except manteca and damasco), and Uruguay.


The words coger (‘to take’), pisar (‘to step on’) and concha (‘seashell’) are considered extremely rude in parts of Latin America, where the meaning of coger and pisar is also “to have sex” and concha means “vulva”.


The Puerto Rican word for “bobby pin” (pinche) is an obscenity in Mexico, but in Nicaragua it simply means “stingy”, and in Spain refers to a chef’s helper.


The last big earthquake in Mexico was on a Thursday, and there was a joke about Plácido Domingo who happened to be in the country at that time. Plácido Domingo means ‘calm Sunday’ and the joke was that after the quake he had changed his name to Pinche Jueves (‘Fuck Thursday’).


Taco means “swearword” (among other things) in Spain, “traffic jam” in Chile and “heels” (shoe) in Argentina and Peru, but is known to the rest of the world as a Mexican dish.


Pija in many countries of Latin America and Spain itself is a slang word for “penis”, while in Spain the word also signifies “posh girl” or “snobby”.


Coche, which means “car” in Spain, central Mexico and Argentina, for the vast majority of Spanish-speakers actually means “baby-stroller” or “pushchair”, while carro means “car” in some Latin American countries and “cart” in others, as well as in Spain.

pienso en ti

Papaya is the slang term for “vagina” in parts of Cuba and Venezuela, where the fruit is instead called fruta bomba and lechosa, respectively.


In Argentina, one says “piña” when talking about ‘punching’ someone, whereas in other countries, “piña” refers to a pineapple.


Although Portuguese and Spanish are very closely related, particularly in vocabulary (89% lexically similar according to the Ethnologue of Languages), syntax and grammar, there are some differences that don’t exist between Catalan and Portuguese.


Spanish and Portuguese are widely considered to be mutually intelligible. However most Portuguese speakers can understand spoken Spanish with little difficulty, but Spanish speakers face more difficulty in understanding spoken Portuguese. The written forms are considered to be mutually intelligible.


Ladino, also known as Judaeo-Spanish, is essentially medieval Spanish and closer to modern Spanish than any other language, is spoken by many descendants of the Sephardim who were driven out of Spain in the fifteenth century.

Quién me ayuda?

Ladino is to Spanish as Yiddish is to German.


Ladino speakers are currently almost exclusively Sephardic Jews, with family roots in Turkey, Greece or the Balkans. Most Ladino speakers now live in Israel and Turkey, and the United States, with a few pockets in Latin America.

Rabo de Paja

Ladino lacks many of the words that came into Spanish from the Americas during the colonial period, and it retains many archaic features which have since been lost in standard Spanish. It contains, however, other vocabulary which is not found in standard Spanish, including vocabulary from Hebrew, French, Greek and Turkish, and other languages spoken where the Sephardim settled.


Judaeo-Spanish is in danger of extinction because many native speakers today are elderly olim (immigrants to Israel) who have not transmitted the language to their children or grandchildren. However, Ladino is experiencing a minor revival among Sephardic communities, especially in music. In the case of the Latin American communities, the danger of extinction is also due to the risk of assimilation by modern Castilian.


Haketia, the Judaeo-Spanish of northern Morocco is related to Ladino. This language also tended to assimilate with modern Spanish, during the Spanish occupation of the region.

relief south america

Ladino is also known as Judezmo, Dzhudezmo, or Spaniolit. In Amsterdam, England and Italy, those Jews who continued to speak ‘Ladino’ were in constant contact with Spain and therefore they basically continued to speak the Castilian Spanish of the time.


In the Sephardic communities of the Ottoman Empire, however, Ladino not only retained the older forms of Spanish, but borrowed so many words from Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Turkish, and even French, that it became more and more distant from standard Spanish. Ladino was nowhere near as diverse as the various forms of Yiddish, but there were still two different dialects, which corresponded to the different origins of the speakers.


‘Oriental’ Ladino was spoken in Turkey and Rhodes and reflected Castilian Spanish, whereas ‘Western’ Ladino was spoken in Greece, Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia and Romania, and preserved the characteristics of northern Spanish and Portuguese.


The vocabulary of Ladino includes hundreds of archaic Spanish words which have disappeared from modern day Spanish, and also includes many words from different languages that have been substituted for the original Spanish word, from the various places Ladino speaking Jews settled.

señales de seguridad

These foreign words derive mainly from Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish, Greek, French, and to a lesser extent from Portuguese and Italian.

ser dominicana

Ladino was written in the Hebrew alphabet, in Rashi script, or in Solitro, a cursive method of writting letters.

servido señores

It was only in the 20th century that Ladino was written using the Latin alphabet.

Simón Bolívar

What is known as ‘rashi script’ was originally a Ladino script which became used centuries after Rashi’s death in printed books to differentiate Rashi’s commentary from the text of the Torah.


Ladino has been spoken in North Africa, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, France, Israel, and, to a lesser extent, in the United States (the highest populations being in Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and south Florida) and Latin America.


By the beginning of this century, with the spread of compulsory education in the language of the land, Ladino began to disintegrate. Emigration to Israel from the Balkans hastened the decline of Ladino in Eastern Europe and Turkey.


Israel is now the country with the greatest number of Ladino speakers, with about 200,000 people who still speak or understand the language, but even they only know a very limited and basic Ladino.


Here is an example of Ladino. Can you read it? Rika nasio en Estanbol, serka de la Kula de Galata, una parte de la sivdad ande biviyan los desandantes de akeyos espanyoles djudios a ken un sultan jeneroso aviya dado refujio debasho del kresiente turko, avriendoles las puertas i los brasos, kon las palavras historikas: “Los ke los mandan piedren, i yo gano”

Spanish Color Spots Jpeg

This is what it would be in Spanish: Rika nació en Istanbul, cerca de la Kula de Galata, una parte de la ciudad donde vivían los descendientes de aquellos españoles judíos a quien un sultan generoso había dado refúgio debajo del crescente turco, abriéndoles las puertas y los brazos, con las palabras históricas: “Los que los preguntan ayuda, y yo gano.”


Rika was born in Istanbul, near the Kula of Galata, a part of the city where the descendants of those Spanish Jews lived, to whom a generous sultan had given refuge under the Turkish crescent, opening to them their doors and arms, with the historic words: ”Those that ask help, help them and we win.”


Su nombre era Ester, komo la reyna, i su tipo korrespondiya al ke descrive la Biblia: Brunika kon ojos pretos i kaveyos frizados. En el serklo familiar, la yamavan Esterika, i finalmente Rika.


Su nombre era Ester, como la reina, y su tipo correspondía al que describe la Biblía: Morena con ojos prietos y cabellos frisados. En el cerclo familiar, la llamában Esterika, y finalmente Rika.


Many of these spellings in Ladino look like the misspellings I saw so long ago on that bathroom door in Mexico. And they look like spellings that people use on iPhones and Facebook today, especially the k for que.

te lo juro

At least to judge by those examples above, Ladino is really Spanish and very little Hebrew, just as Yiddish is really German and very little Hebrew. I know almost no Hebrew and yet can read Yiddish and Ladino if they are written in a Roman alphabet.


Upon leaving Spain, whole communities of Jews headed east through Italy to the lands of the Ottoman Empire at the invitation of Sultan Bayazid.


Important centers for Ladino speakers, which survived until the Second World War, grew in present-day Turkey, Greece, Israel, and Egypt, with smaller ones in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania, and the island of Rhodes. Their speech is described by linguists as eastern Judaeo Spanish.

La suegra

For a century or so prior to the Expulsion, persecuted Spanish Jews also found shelter in North Africa, and speech communities grew along the northern coast of Morocco.


The speech of this region, which bears a marked resemblance to its eastern counterpart both phonetically and in the retention of Old Spanish lexemes, is denominated western.


Spanyol is perhaps the most commonly used name for their language among speakers of Ladino, with its unmistakable reference to their linguistic and cultural origins.


The widespread use of the term Spanyol is confirmed by the Modern Hebrew coinage Spanyolit (Spanyol + Heb. suffix for forming language names), the name by which the language was referred to until quite recently in Israel.

último dia de César

Ladino, probably the earliest attested name, has the widest currency today, and certainly so in Israel where the largest speech-communities in the modern world are to be found.


The names Judezmo and Judió/Jidió, which are registered in some 19th- and early 20th-century communal publications, clearly have the function of underlining a Jewish identification among speakers.


Judezmo is the Spanish word for “Judaism”, and, for this reason, is used by certain scholars today who wish, on ideological grounds, to draw a semantic equation between Judezmo and Yiddish.


It seems rather late in the day to rename the language. Faced by this terminological plurality, scholarship has generally opted for the more descriptive and neutral “Judeo-Spanish.”


In the western Mediterranean, the language is frequently referred to as hakitia or Haketia (formed on Moroccan Arabic haka “to converse” + diminutive suffix), although it is interesting to note that with the renewed impact of Modern Spanish in this area in the 19th century, the term is reserved by speakers to describe an artificial language of humor which abounds in archaic forms of Spanish and Hispanicized Arabisms, or else to the language as spoken in some distant past.

Wil Salgado

Athough it is more similar to Modern Spanish than its eastern counterpart, Haketia continues to preserve many characteristic features of Judeo Spanish.


Up to the beginning of the 20th century the language was almost always written in Hebrew characters using the standard Hebrew alphabet with some modifications, mostly in the form of diacritical marks, to accommodate Hispanic phonemes.


The earliest texts appeared in “square” characters either with or without vowels, but the bulk of printed material is in a cursive (rabbinic) script. Some early manuscripts preserve a cursive script known as solitreo, which is still in use among native speakers in personal correspondence.


The best-known and most widely translated Judeo Spanish work of the post exilic period is the Me’am Lo’ez (1730), which was begun by Yaacov Khuli and continued over a long period, in series form, by a number of different authors writing under the same name.

Y ahora qué ?

A midrashic work, the Me’am Lo’ez is structured mainly on the Pentateuch and spans the sources of Jewish thought.

ya se fue Obama

The beginning of the 19th century saw the growth of a secular literature, which was popular, for the most part, and included a sizable corpus of original compositions such as novels, short stories, plays, and popular histories as well as adaptations of major European novels of the period, where the impact of French on Judeo Spanish is significantly felt.


This growth of secular literature is also observed in the Judeo Spanish press which began to flourish in the eastern Mediterranean at the same time.

Only a small number of Judeo Spanish newspapers continues to appear today.


Spanyol, Ladino, Judeo Spanish, whatever y0u want to call the language, it is quickly disappearing, despite much interest in it.


This is the sort of paradox we see in the Celtic languages of Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland and Wales. Now that they are almost gone, people begin to realize what is being lost and there is a fierce, patriotic interest in them.


See you next week?

sam & Jack Casady

Sam Andrew Jack Casady



almacén de ramos generales

Amphibology (from the Greek ἀμφιβολία, amphibolia) is a phrase or sentence that is grammatically ambiguous, such as she sees more of her children than her husband.

anetta morozova

A sentence or phrase (as “nothing is good enough for you”) that can be interpreted in more than one way.
Amphibology is syntactic ambiguity.
Syntactic ambiguity arises not from the range of meanings of single words, but from the relationship between the words and clauses of a sentence, and the sentence structure implied thereby.   Thus, puns, being plays on single words, don’t really belong to the category amphibol0gy, but I will make free use of them below.
Ant Tara Mayotte
When a reader can reasonably interpret the same sentence as having more than one possible structure, the text meets the definition of amphibology.
Aston Martin
In legal disputes, courts may be asked to interpret the meaning of syntactic ambiguities in statutes or contracts. In some instances, arguments asserting highly unlikely interpretations have been deemed frivolous.
B4 cell phones
A globally ambiguous sentence is one that has at least two distinct interpretations. After one has read the entire sentence, the ambiguity is still present.
Barbara and Diana
Rereading the sentence does not resolve the ambiguity. Global ambiguities are often unnoticed because the reader tends to choose the meaning he or she understands to be more probable.
Bill and Vivianna
“The woman played with the baby in the gray shirt.” In this example, the baby could be wearing the gray shirt or the woman could be wearing the gray shirt.
Bill Elise
The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose. — Henry VI (1.4.30), Shakespeare
This sentence could be taken to mean that Henry will depose the duke, or that the duke will depose Henry.
Eduardum occidere nolite timere bonum est. — Edward II, Marlowe.
Biloxi Elise
Isabella of France and Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, famously plotted to murder Edward II in such a way as not to draw blame on themselves, sending a famous order in Latin which, depending on where the comma was inserted, could mean either “Do not be afraid to kill Edward; it is good” or “Do not kill Edward; it is good to fear.”
Blake and Kate
I’m glad I’m a man, and so is Lola. — Lola, Ray Davies
a ballet
buscadores de oro
John saw the man on the mountain with a telescope.
Eat every carrot and pea on your plate.         (Actually this is amphibology and punning, which is a slightly different matter.)
Flying saucers can be dangerous.
carreta de carga
Whiskey running is risky.
a bather
Moses tied his ass to a tree and walked forty miles.
Fifty Yards to the Outhouse by Willy Makeit and Betty Wont.
Tiger’s Revenge by Claude Balls
Hole In The Mattress by Mr. Completely
The Yellow River by I.P. Freely
Column Elise
Are these amphibologies?   No. They are jokes I remember from the third grade.
Amphibologies are often difficult, if not impossible, to translate.  Here is one that works in Spanish and English.  I bought a book called ‘Learn to speak English in 15 steps.’ I have walked 3 blocks and nothing!  Swindlers!
That one works in both languages.   Estafador!
If one combines the words ‘to write-while-not-writing’: for then it means, that he has the power to write and not to write at once; whereas if one does not combine them, it means that when he is not writing he has the power to write.       — Aristotle, Sophistical refutations, Book I, Part 4
Farmer Bill Dies in House
Violinist linked to JAL crash blossoms
Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim
Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge
Infant Pulled from Wrecked Car Involved in Short Police Pursuit
Eartha Arthur Marilyn
French push bottles up German rear
Edd, Carla, Elise
Or, this one:     Eighth Army Push Bottles Up Germans
British left waffles on Falklands
Stolen painting found by tree
Ella and Roy
Little Hope Given Brain-Damaged Man
Somali Tied to Militants Held on U.S. Ship for Months
I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.      Julius Marx
The peasants are revolting.
A nurse complains:  He had two bowel movements on  me last night.
Don’t Get Mad. Get Glad.
The woman with the dog that had the parasol was brown.
The stress accent is on the third syllable  am phi BO lo gy.      [ˌæmfɪˈbɒlədʒɪ]
Save rags and waste paper
a musica


Heather Greenlee
They are flying planes.
a hopper
Hospitals are sued by 7 foot doctors.
Teenagers shouldn’t be allowed to drive. It’s getting too dangerous on the streets.
Giving it to the public in the same location for over forty years.
a nudo disteso
2 Sisters Reunited After 18 Years At Checkout Counter
Used cars for sale: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!
Down through the flaming annals of history.
Eat our curry, you won’t get better!
Jena and Anne
Throw mama from the train a kiss.
From the psychiatrist’s record at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital :  Patient was found lying naked in bed with a sitter.
jim siegel
“For goddes speken in amphibologies, And for o soth, they tellen twenty lyes.”     (Chaucer Troylus iv. 1406)
Such ambiguous termes they call Amphibologia, we call it the ambiguous, or figure of sence incertaine.     (Puttenham Eng. Poesie)
Joan Karen Elise
Late Middle English: from Old French amphibologie, from late Latin amphibologia, from Latin amphibolia, from Greek amphibolos ’ambiguous.’
Joanne and Claudia
Amphi’bolic or amphiboly
Reading a book while growing mushrooms would be two ways of promoting life.  So, what would be the word for this, Amphibia?  Amphipharmikon?
a donna
Lawmen From Mexico Barbecue Guests
two girls
In Athens men learn’d […] to resolve a sophisticall argument, and to confound the imposture and amphibologie of words, captiously enterlaced together […].  1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Folio Society 2006, vol. 1 p. 133
Dog for sale. Will eat anything. Especially fond of children.
 Amphibology:  14th Century: from Late Latin amphibologia, ultimately from Greek amphibolos ambiguous
At our drugstore, we dispense with accuracy!
Professor to student, on receiving a fifty-page term paper:     “I shall waste no time reading it.” (Often attributed to Disraeli.)
a smile
Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted
No food is better than our food.
a femme
Dealers Will Hear Car Talk At Noon
Does anyone else think that this guy looks like a Zombie?  He looks patched together from human parts.  They left out the heart.
Lakota Sioux 1891
Child’s Stool Great for Use in Garden.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves.      Thomas Jefferson
Lauren Wood
Faith, here’s an equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale; who committed treason enough for God’s sake, yet could not equivocate to heaven. Macbeth, Act 2, Scene 3
Some synomyms:  prevarication, ambiguity, casuistry, dissimulation, duplicity, misrepresentation, sophistry, speciousness, tergiversation, song and dance.
The anthropologists went to a remote area and took photographs of some native women, but they weren’t developed.
Leopard Elise
Man drills eighteen holes in his head and lives.   (About a man who died after drilling nineteen holes in his head)
Lilli and Stephanie
Chick accuses male colleagues of sexism.
Rangers get whiff of Colon
Ford, Reagan neck in presidential primary
Linda and Kurt
Student excited Dad got head job.
a gioconda
Enraged Cow Injures Farmer With Ax
Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25.
Liz Elise NYC
Lady Jacks off to hot start in conference
Homicide victims rarely talk to police
A-Rod goes deep,  Wang hurt
Lynn and Narada
Porn star sues over rear-end collision
Crack found in man’s buttocks
Girls’ schools still offering ‘something special’… head
a maillol
12 On Their Way To Cruise Among Dead In Plane Crash
Study Shows Frequent Sex Enhances Pregnancy Chances
Utah Poison Control Center reminds everyone not to take poison.
Marti and Glaucia
Condom truck tips, spills load
Deer with big rack female it turns out
City unsure why the sewer smells
Weiner Exposed
Michael Miller & Elise
17 remain dead in morgue  Shooting Spree
Puerto Rican teen named mistress of the Universe
Michelle and Jack
Local child wins gun from fundraiser
Tiger Woods plays with own balls, Nike says
Keegan fills Schmeichel’s gap with Seaman
Woman in sumo wrestler suit assaulted her ex-girlfriend in gay pub after she waved at man dressed as Snickers bar.
Monika Jay
China Ferrari sex orgy death crash
German throws puppy at Hells Angels bikers then flees on bulldozer
Jellyfish apocalypse not coming
Man Accused of Killing Lawyer Receives a New Attorney
Mayor Parris to homeless:  Go home
Missippi’s literacy program shows improvement
Perry Jack
Most earthquake damage is caused by shaking
Federal Agents Raid Gun Shop, Find Weapons
Phil and Glaucia
Alton attorney accidentally sues himself
Man eats underwear to beat Breathalyzer
State prisons to replace Easy-Open locks
Best Man left bleeding after being hit in head by flying dildo
profile GGate
Pigs die as houses are blown down
Rain Elise
Being Bullied?  Just act less gay, advise teachers
Ray and Ravi
reunión de esclavos 1917
Shakira Attacked By Sea Lion:   Blackberry Mistaken For Fish
reunión de jefes
I bottle-fed my children, but I breastfeed my pug dog
Clothed man drowns at lifeguard party celebrating drowning-free summer
Brazilian man dies after cow falls through his roof on top of him
Mississippi executes deformed mentally ill man after a last meal of steak, shrimp, Texas Toast, iced tea and a pack of Twizzlers.
Rodney and Emmy Lou
Gay man who tried to poison lesbian neighbors with slug pellets over three-legged cat feud walks free
Penguins Not Protests on Turkish TV Fuel Anger
Giraffe Mulling Suicide as ‘Terrorists’ Chant in Cairo
DSM’s Flirt With Red Hot Mamas Cuts Investor Love for Plastics
Brokers Go Gray as Youth Proves Unsustainable With No Cold Calls
Sarah Duke Billy
Cold War With Soup Tempts East Europeans to Menus of HBO, Sony
Sepia Elise
DoCoMo Cash, Girl Band Help Beat Softbank on Costs: Japan Credit
Kill Your Wife While Sleepwalking or Get Goldman Touch
Forex During Birth Shows Asian Women Top Men Private Bankers
Shark Oil for HIV Shot Takes Cue From Hemingway’s Old Man
Sophia Ramos Elise Piliwale
The turkey is ready to eat.
Visiting relatives can be boring.
A lady with a clipboard stopped me in the street the other day. She said, ‘Can you spare a few minutes for cancer research?’ I said, ‘All right, but we’re not going to get much done.’
Stephen and Leah
Planes can go around the world, iPhones can do a zillion things, but humans have not invented a machine that can debone a cow or a chicken as efficiently as a human being.
They are cooking apples.
stingray Elise
The old men and women sat on the bench.
John told the woman that Bill was dating a projectile point.
taxi NYC
They fed her rat poison.
Tina Elise
Kids make nutritious snacks.
Grandmother of eight makes hole in one.
tirando wiskey 1909-1932
Drunk gets nine months in violin case.
tom shyman
Milk drinkers are turning to powder.
I know the words to that song about the queen don’t rhyme.
Eye drops off shelf.
Up close Elise
Prostitutes appeal to pope.
Queen Mary having bottom scraped.
Venere Elise
Miners refuse to work after death.
Panda mating fails. Veterinarian takes over.
Victoria Rayles
Complaints about NBA referees growing ugly.


vuelo de los hermanos Wright


a cabeza

a duck

Do it in a microwave oven.  Save time.

a woman

Include Your Children When Baking Cookies

a dream

a child

Diaper market bottoms out.


art lover

Is there a ring of débris around Uranus?

Wendy & Elise SFLR



Tiger Goes Limp!   Pulls Out After Nine Holes


Library Vote Upholds Decision To OK Guns But Bans Wooden Shoes

a correct


Poll:  Santorum Comes From Behind In Alabama Three-Way


Homeless Man Under House Arrest

Sam Andrew Ike Turner, Thailand


Jolie Is Pregnant By Pitt


Students Cook & Serve Grandparents


How To Buy A $450,000 Home for Only $750,000


Man Arrested After Cops Spot Suspiciously Small Package In His Undies

A_skyline 1908

Midget Sues Grocer, Cites Belittling Remarks


Acceptance of Gay Marriage Must Be Won From Bottom Up

yisrael campbell


Man On Way To Perform Circumcision Charged With Driving Drunk

a dea
See you next week?
Linda LaFlamme Sam Andrew
Linda LaFlamme             Sam Andrew

Andrew, Davies, Nieves & Wall – Coast To Coast on a piece of toast….. by Andrew, Davies, Nieves, & Wall

I got together with some really talented people a while back and we recorded fifteen songs. The whole project is ready to go, and we need your help in getting it out there. Thank you so much.

Sam Andrew     Big Brother and the Holding Company

Andrew, Davies, Nieves & Wall – Coast To Coast on a piece of toast….. by Andrew, Davies, Nieves, & Wall

An album of 15 tracks of original music by Sam Andrew (Big Brother & The Holding Co.), Mary Bridget Davies, Ben Nieves, & Jim Wall

Sam Andrew

Sam Andrew

The stars have aligned!

Somehow, despite a wide geographic gap and an assortment of demanding schedules, a new musical release is in sight for former Janis Joplin band-mate, Sam Andrew, Broadway’s “A night with Janis Joplin” star, Mary Bridget Davies and Big Brother & the Holding Co. alumnus Ben Nieves and Jim Wall. With a collection of original material to record, 60′s rock pioneer Sam Andrew assembled his friends and frequent band mates at Blue Buddha Music Studio in Cleveland, Ohio. The result is Coast To Coast (on a piece of toast) by Andrew, Davies, Nieves & Wall, an album which cohesively and adventurously visits a vast array of styles including rock, jazz, blues, gospel, funk, r&b, soul and country. The track list features many numbers composed by Sam and additional collaborators over a span of decades as well as works written with Davies, Nieves and Wall.

Ben Nieves, Mary Bridget Davies, Jim Wall

Ben Nieves, Mary Bridget Davies, Jim Wall

The songs have been recorded!

The music is, as they say, “in the can”. In addition to outrageous performances by vocalist, Mary Bridget Davies and soul stirring guitar solos throughout, the record features inspired performances by guest keyboardist Chris Hanna, Rob Williams & Jake Wynne on horns and Becky Boyd & Claudia Schieve on Backing Vocals.

With your help, we can finish and release this collection of music!

Be among the first to own our new record while helping us bring our mission to fruition. Your involvement allows you to pre-order our cd and/or digital downloads. In addition, you will help to assure that the music we’ve worked so hard to create will reach the public. You will have access to the rewards we offer that are only available through our kickstarter campaign. You will also be supporting the creation of independently made and marketed music by facilitating mixing, mastering, pressing, artwork & layout, marketing and a wide variety of other costs involved.

Sharing is caring!

We’d love for you to  “SHARE” & “LIKE” and help us spread the word any way you can.YOU can take us beyond the set goal amount required to receive our kickstarter funding so we can light up your speakers ASAP!  Keep in mind that, if we do not reach our kickstarter goal by our preset end date, the project goes unfunded and all contributions are refunded. THANK YOU to those who get on board early and help us build up steam!

An Awesome Gift Idea!

You can pass your rewards on to friends and family as a holiday gift, as a thank you or just to be cool. Print the gift certificate below to let them know that they are a part of this musical creation because you’ve contributed on their behalf!

PC: right click on certificate below>view image>ctrl P

MAC: right click on certificate below>open image in new window/tab>command P

Hope to see you soon!

Whether we’re performing together or with Big Brother, A Night With Janis Joplin, The Sam Andrew Band, Color Wheel or any of our other projects, we hope to run into you at the shows. Thanks for taking the time to visit our kickstarter page and an extra special thanks to those of you who contribute. Peace & Love

For more information about Sam, Mary, Ben and Jim, open the full bio (using the icon near the top right side of this page) and explore the links below. Also, visit and check out Sam’s artistic and informative blog… Sundays With Sam!

Risks and challenges – Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Unforseeable delays are a part of life. If, for any reason such a delay occurs, we would send an update with an explanation and updated delivery information. The fact that the music is recorded greatly minimizes the risk of not completing the project in a timely manner.
  • Pledge $1 or more

    0 backers

    Our sincere appreciation for the part you’ve played in the success of this project and a humble yet heartfelt THANK YOU email.

    Estimated delivery: 
  • Pledge $10 or more

    0 backers

    Digital download of the entire Andrew, Davies, Nieves & Wall record.

    Estimated delivery: 
  • Pledge $20 or more

    7 backers

    Our full length CD shipped to your door.

    Estimated delivery: 
    Add $3 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $35 or more

    7 backers

    Our CD signed by Sam Andrew, Mary Bridget Davies, Ben Nieves & Jim Wall and shipped to your door.

    Estimated delivery: 
    Add $3 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $60 or more

    2 backers

    A signed CD, a digital download of the album and poster of the albums cover art.

    Estimated delivery: 
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $80 or more

    2 backers

    A signed CD, signed album poster, signed copy of handwritten lyrics to one song by Sam Andrew and a digital download of the full album.

    Estimated delivery: 
    Add $8 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $150 or more

    2 backers

    Your Name in the CD credits, a signed CD, a digital download of the album and a poster of the album art.

    Estimated delivery: 
    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $200 or more

    1 backer

    A signed CD, a digital download of our album, a poster of the CD artwork, your name in the CD credits, a signed copy of handwritten lyrics to a song by Sam Andrew and admission for 2 to a private listening event at The Brothers’ Lounge Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio. Date of event to be announced.

    Estimated delivery: 
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
  • Pledge $300 or more

    0 backers

    2 signed CD’s, 2 digital downloads, 2 signed posters and admission for 2 to a private CD listening event including dinner for two at The Brothers’ Lounge Music Hall in Cleveland, Ohio. Cocktails not included. Date of event to be announced.

    Estimated delivery: 
    Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Funding period

 –  (30 days)