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Gecko Superstitions; Word of the Day; Tire Check; Word Up! “Hey, Suzanne, Where Are My Drums?”

While watching a gecko crawl up the screen on our lanai, I wondered about superstitions related to those little critters… (Please, no snide remarks about what kind of wing-nut ponders this subject…). In any case, did you know that:
a. In some parts of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, geckos are considered dangerous to touch, and that they will poison any food they come in contact with.
b. In southern India, geckos are considered sacred.
c. In Madagascar, a hut will be evacuated and sometimes set on fire if a gecko is sighted within.
d. In the Philippines when a familiar Gecko leaves a house it is believed a member of the household will die.
e. In Egypt, geckos were thought to cause leprosy if they crawled across a person’s skin.
f. In New Caledonia, the gecko is considered the Grand Totem of the indigenous people.
g. The Zuni of the American Southwest believe the gecko to be a sign of good luck.
Fortunately, we all know that geckos are harmless little creatures that reduce the home’s insect population. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured how to convince Rudy and Gretchen that geckos are their friends….  
(Really Trivial) Word of the Day: pluviometer, n. = rain gauge [Late 18th C. Coined from Latin pluvia “rain” + -meter.]
One of the many maintenance tasks of any car or truck owner is keeping an eye on his/her tires. This is a particularly important task for a motor coach owner because the vehicle can weigh more than 40,000 lbs, 20 tons or so. We have six Michelin 295/80 R 22.5 tires, all of which are about 5 years old. They should last about 7 years with lots of TLC and a shortage of abuse. One of them had a cut in the sidewall, so I took The Bus to a local tire company for an inspection. Good news: the cut was only cosmetic, and the tire should be fine for another year. We will keep watching it, because these tires are inflated to 110-120 psi, unlike your car tire which only asks for 30 psi or so. (We have an on-board air compressor that pumps air to that pressure).  Tires for The Bus also cost a bit more… $675-$750 per tire… YIKES! 
Back when we were first married, I took My Lovely Bride to New Orleans, my home town. New Orleans, for those of you who may not have reached the pinnacle of culinary appreciation that I have, has the Best Food in the World. There is no place that even comes close. One of my favorite mostly-locals-only hangouts for hamburgers, omelets, and chili fries is Camellia Grill, on Carrollton Ave., almost where it turns into St. Charles Ave, a stone’s throw from the mighty Mississippi River. If you’ve ridden the St. Charles Ave. streetcar from Canal St. (downtown) through the Garden District to the end of the line, then you passed Camellia Grill. It is an institution, a mecca, a have-to-go-there place, especially late night/early morning when the bars close. (Actually that’s more about 10:30 AM in The City That Care Forgot.) Anyway, I digress…  
On this particular evening/morning, we had just seated ourselves at the counter when our waiter (“server” just doesn’t work for these guys) handed us our menus and said, “Word.” He then walked off to help another customer. I had not been back to NOLA for several years, and was initially a bit baffled by his one-word greeting. We ordered, and he nodded and again said, “Word.” This went on all evening, with his only utterances being the solitary “Word”. We later learned that our waiter Marvin (seen at left; his working nickname really was “Word”) was a hip-hop/funk fan of a band called Cameo back in the 80’s that had a hit called Word Up!. The Urban Dictionary defines “Word Up!” as “I comprehend what you are saying and verify that your statement is true, good brother.” It can also mean “an acknowledgement, approval, indication of enthusiasm”.  
This story came up because as we were walking the puppies in Market Square Thursday night, the heavy metal band on stage was playing a version of Word Up! It was pretty good, but made me want to look for my drums, being an old rocker… I think Suzanne donated them to Salvation Army a few years back, thinking that flutes and drums don’t mix well… Sigh…  

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