Monthly Archives: November 2011

Carat or karat What’s the diff

Definition of carat and karat

Most of us guys done have a clue when it comes to buying jewelry as a gift for someone. Sooner or later, someone in your life will put a “BSO” (bright shiny object) on his or her wish list.

Here is some information to help when you make that visit foreign territory known as the jewelry store. It has to do with the difference between the terms carat and karat. Both are relevant, and they are different.

Let’s start with carat with a “c.” A carat (abbreviation ct.) is a weight measurement for precious gemstones, especially diamonds. Many people think the carat refers to the size of the gemstones. That is not complete the case. The carat is a measurement of weight or mass. So, it makes sense that a larger stone would weigh more, thus having more carats. While the weight does affect the size of the gemstones, the carat, along with the purity of the gemstone is what determines the price of the precious stones.

The carat became legal standard for gold on April 1, 1914.

For those who like numbers, a carat is a unit of weight for precious stones, equaling 200 milligrams. To put this in perspective, to have one pound you would need 453 grams, or 453,000 milligrams. Another example is that a person weighing 170 pounds would weigh 385,050-carats.

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Nefarious Can you pass the test?

Do you know what nefarious meansDefinition of nefarious

Nefarious is a word that I had not heard for a while. It came up a couple of weeks ago as I was going through the TSA security check at Denver International Airport.

As I was standing in the x-ray scanner, the gentlemen from TSA asked me if I had my wallet in my pocket.  Busted!  After removing my shoes and belt, taking my keys, change and phone out of my pockets, I forgot. Oh, I also had removed my jacket and put the small (legal-sized) bottle of contact cleaner on top of my briefcase in its plastic bag.

The guy from TSA was very nice and cordial. Maybe it was because we were leaving from Concourse A that is less busy.

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What’s the ruckus?

At one of my writers’ critique group meetings, the word ruckus came up. One member submitted an article where she used the word ruckus. It was in the context of someone who was in prison and up for patron. She said the family made a ruckus with the parole board to have him kept locked up.

Another member questions the use of ruckus in that context. She said it was a “playful” word.

When I got home, I decided to do some research on ruckus.

Basically, it means a noisy commotion or noisy disturbance. It can also be used to describe a heated controversy.  Like words are commotion and tumult.

It appears it may be a combination of ruction and rumpus.  Ok, back to the dictionary.  A ruction (which I never heard of) means a disturbance, quarrel or row.  Rumpus is defined as a noisy or violent disturbance or uproar.

Didn’t people used to have rumpus rooms? Hmmmm.


Veteran definition

Today is Veterans Day. (11/11/11) What is a veteran?  The dictionary has one definition that states it a person who has served in a military forces.

Today on Facebook, this definition was posted:

A veteran – whether active duty, discharged, retired or reserve –is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount “up to and including his life.”

I like the FB one except it should honor both the men AND women who are serving or have served.

Additionally, here is what I posted on Facebook today:

Just had breakfast with a room full of heroes. We attended the Veterans Day breakfast at the Associated Vet’s Club in Loveland.

Lots of ball caps from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam logos  on them. Some lucky ones still fit in their uniforms too.
Saw men in their 80s in uniform, and one gentleman who with a purple heart jacket stating he was combat wounded. WOW.

I thank them all.

I proudly wore my black ball cap that says Vietnam Era Vet on it. On the back I had embroidered the locations I served in Thailand – Bangkok  —  Takhli – Phitsanaluk.  (June 1966 to May 1967)

Enjoy your freedom today, and every day and shake a veterans hand when you
see one. Tell them “thanks” or “welcome home.”

Bob McDonnell   U.S.A.F  1963 to 1967