“Ivan’s Ovens” evens odds; “Steve’s Stoves staves off hostile takeover…for now

     Saddening to read today’s headlines; two battling appliance giants, each with a double-digit share in the ‘vowel-infatuated’ niche-market square off head-to-head with new product offerings. Interestingly (or not) I wish them both well. My kitchen includes an over-under rack-mount incorporating fine products from both firms.

   Meanwhile, below the radar, ‘Amazing Grace’ {3rd quarter profits: 30K$} is quietly raining down steady innovative blessings almost un-noticed. Her ‘Grace’s Grass-fed Grouse” now with ‘48% less Grease!’ promises to gross her concern a record bottom-line in a field where vigilance is the whole ball of wax.

As will attest construction-veteran Richard Holtz, who last week aggressively disputed a Duke University physician’s tendentious research paper which looked at the long-term effects of pressure-treated lumber on developmental problems among a cohort-group of North Carolina deck-owners. His rebuttal netted a sub-headline:  “‘Dick’s Decks‘ ducks Duke doc’s scathing shot-over the bow”. Holtz was quoted claiming: “Most of them ducks were retarded long before they started chewing the handrails.”

Meanwhile, Tate’s Taste-Tested Toasts kinda tossed its cookies, emerging on the burnt side from another failed co-operative venture, this time with Rizzo & Rouseau’s Russo-phile Recipes. Critics cited the latter firm’s ‘scatter-shot cultural product line’ as the camel-busting straw for this outing

Pat & Pete’s Pet-Pit putters along, for now. The pair offers sound-proof underground kennels for problem dogs, of which there seems to be no imminent shortage.And the expanding volume has enabled them to add two new crematoria on-site, raising eyebrows but also much-needed revenue.

Genady’s Rest Home for the Ge-needy Ge-nudie continues to serve indigent elderly sun-worshippers of all stripes. The stripe-less less-strapped clientele seems to prefer nearby Mitchell Isle, whose ambience matches Mitch’s, much as that is practical.

   In a shameful and unnecessary squabble, Midget Industries Ltd, the Toronto-based firm noted for its ‘All-Shorter Canadians’ work-force was the target of an aggressive neg-ad campaign by newly-opened US rival Dwarfs-R-Us. Claiming “Our dwarves R simply taller than the bargain brand!”, the American firm aroused the ire and disbelief of dumb-founded handicap-advocacy groups on both sides of the border. The FTC is currently investigating the boast’s veracity; meanwhile MIL’s CEO released a curt statement: “The goal is ‘to hire midgets’, not ‘higher midgets’, duh.”

‘Steady Mike’s Stablehands Inc. made a nicely-impressive plop in the horse-shit biz by taking first prizes in all categories at the annual Muck-out Games in Garrison, Kentucky. In second place by a nose was the ever-powerful PCM (Presbyranian College for the Meek team, followed by another evangelical group Emanuel Labor of Love, Inc. Standout performances all around, and no one should mock their very real excellence in this dirty business.

And dats ‘All the Vowels that Fit in the Vial‘, folks


15 thoughts on ““Ivan’s Ovens” evens odds; “Steve’s Stoves staves off hostile takeover…for now

  1. Roadkill_Spatula

    This reminds me of phonology exercises back when I studied linguistics, creating a chart of the vowels present in collected vocabulary, based on where the sounds are produced in the mouth. Unfortunately this computer doesn’t have a font with phonetic symbols, but you can see some samples here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vowel_chart.We were always looking for minimal pairs, much like the sets you have. For instance, Pete pit pate pet pat putt pot put poot gives you nearly all the English vowels in a matching CVC syllable. It’s more elegant if they’re all nouns, for instance, but that isn’t always possible.

  2. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Wow, and a priceless Bingo! to you. I now feel in good company {spending hours going through the vocab looking for ‘full houses’. And of course you get a free Ginsu knife set is you can put them in a decently coherent sentence or poem, but in order. I’ve only discovered a handful of those, but then I don’t have that many coke caps I need sawn up.I believe this fatal attraction of mine started when I moved to hebrew as the daily tongue. Such a paltry menu of options, and I felt myself starving, breathing oxygen-free air. S-T for example: Hebrew: one damn word, (and stolen too): ‘set’. English has sate sat seat set site sit sot sought suit suite, and a couple I overlooked.I do try to forgive them, they truly know not what they ain’t got. Mucha gracias for confirming the relevance of my life’s path, ha.

  3. Roadkill_Spatula

    One could make an argument for adding “cert” to your list, R functioning as a vowel in many cases, but this is problematic because “cert” and “sort” are a minimal pair. R and L are often syllabic, as in the last syllable of “syllable” and “brr” and “either”, and can be classed as vowels in those positions. The English syllabic R is often described as a retroflex schwa, but it’s actually higher in the mouth than that, more like a sound symbolized by a crossed ‘i’ in the SIL phonetic alphabet (sound is halfway between “ee” and “oo”, lips not rounded).

  4. jsolberg

    @Roadkill_Spatula – Oy, ya got me moving my face like Jim Carey, trying to verify first-hand your points. I’m lucky; my ex is a speech therapist, and a first-class one at that; house full of touching presents from grateful verbal Lazarii brought back to a meaningful life. Anyway, she’s shown me some of the guts of speech production, but the cutaway drawings of the mouth and throat look like autopsy-pix too much to dwell on. Cleaner is to take a square-wave audio freq generator and modify it in assorted ways, while listening to the miracle of vowels emerging from the math. Or singing pure vowel tones into an oscilloscope and watching the changing wave-forms.Feels like I’m writing a book here, sorry. I did notice two things; 1) that an ‘R’ in a word skews the thing up; you might as well throw away the chart for ’em. 2) And that hoping the Hebrew ‘lamed’ is an L) and ‘resh’ is an R is a trap. A non-native speaker spends the first 20 years realizing and articulating the differing sounds. Equate them, and they’ll always answer you in English at the Quickee-Mart.Thanks for the intriguing chat.

  5. Roadkill_Spatula

    I taught phonetics for a number of years and was a whiz at drawing the cross-section of the mouth. It works better for consonants than for vowels. R and L are the same phoneme in several Asian ranguages. Some languages have only one, some have only the other, some make one sound in some contexts and the other in others.  I think.

  6. dirtbubble

    The midget story hit me right in the soft spot of my skull. And wouldn’t you know it, I was thinking about midgets, and Canada, just this morning!Good thoughts, mostly.

  7. jsolberg

    @dirtbubble – We’re probably receiving the same stations via dental fillings. Reception is good in Colo due to high altitudes.// I can’t stop pondering the ‘boasting about taller midgets’ joke. Seems so descriptive of many small-minded arguments.

  8. jsolberg

    @an_OM_aly – Ah you remembered, possibly. Possibly I already ranted here about the mistaken Hebrew word ‘BOWELING’, pronounced just as it looks. I’ve been invited to go along a couple times, but my wet-suit’s at the cleaner’s.(I think if you roll a strike, the ball ends up somewhere in the esophagus, but I’ll get back to you about that.)

  9. gnostic1

    Thanks for providing more fun before I go out to defrost the miniature sled dogs (they prefer to be called “little poodles”).While reading this I was struck by the fact that misunderstood web addresses would be a funny thing (and perhaps it’s been done to death and I missed it). eg.www. midgetale.com – a beer company for little imbibers, or a story about a tiny insect who makes good, and is then swatted. My trapper could use it as a recurring befuddlement.

  10. jsolberg

    @gnostic1 –  Ha, yeah, if they’re done to death I at least want to be a prime suspect. (I entered ‘godot’ in the address field once just to read on my task-bar “waiting for http://www.godot.com.) I get so upset at discovering prior usage that I studiously avoid eye contact. At least back in the 50s one had a better chance; I remember an election eve I was dying to say to a girl: “You got such pretty eyes, ‘n how’re Eisenhower and Nixon doing so far?”


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