senryu - would you join me = m’accompagnez-vous would you join me, my fine feathered friends? ... lots to crow about! m’accompagnez-vous, mes amis aux plumes fines ? ... l’on va pavoiser ! Richard Vallance
senryu - a bald eagle = l’aigle d’Amérique that bald eagle wearing a russet wig - don’t dare laugh! l’aigle d’Amérique qui porte une perruque - tu n’oses pas rire ! Richard Vallance
haiku d’été – perched in a tree = perchés dans l’arbre perched high in the tree a murder of squawking crows – goofy guffaws perchés dans l’arbre plusieurs corbeaux stridents – comme ils gloussent ! Richard Vallance
funny summer haiku d’été rigolo – on our clothesline = sur la corde à linge on our clothesline, fluttering in the wind my torn undies sur la corde à linge, mes sous-vêtements déchirés flottent au gré du vent Richard Vallance
senryu – blueberries on Mars? = bleuets sur Mars ? blueberries on Mars? you gotta be pullin’ my leg ! ... or bird turds? bleuets sur Mars ? est-ce tu me taquines ! ... ou des crottes d’oiseaux ? Richard Vallance
senryu – I kitty shred = chaton, je déchire kitty, I shred the cushion on your sofa... just kidding chaton, je déchire le coussin sur ton sofa ... je te taquine Richard Vallance
senryu – if you think = si tu crois if you think I’m gonna fall for that, you ain’t no cat! si tu crois que j’en serais dupe, t’es pas un chat ! Richard Vallance
funny senryu rigolo – Peach is 2 = Peach a 2 ans LOL! Peach is 2 – how fetching, you old crow! Who the hell is Peach? Peach a 2 ans – Que c’est beau, vieux corbeau ! Qui diable est-elle ? Richard Vallance
summer haiku d’été – caterpillar = chenille wiggly squiggly caterpillar fuzzy wuzzy qu’elle se tortille, la chenille ondulée – qu’elle est crépue ! Richard Vallance ... And fuzzy wuzzy was a bear, and a caterpillar too! ... Malheureusement ça ne marche pas en français.
The funniest flash drive you have ever seen, Sylvester puddy-tat!
This one is a real hoot... very funny! first UTube video on Mycenaean Linear B, all about Michael Ventris’ remarkable success in deciphering the syllabary in June-July 1952. AND very poetic! Once I have mastered the technique of posting videos on UTube, I shall begin posting my own videos on key aspects of Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, including their decipherment.
And NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! Sheep humour LOL! Yes, that’s right, folks! Sheep humour and plenty of it. We need a break from all that academic hoopla on our blog. So have fun! LOL! Here goes nuttin’.
Maybe we should rename our blog, The Mycenaean Man Blog! Check this out... Mycenaean Man! Click to ENLARGE In the past couple of months, the number of visits to our well-established Linear B Blog, which is after all only 19 months old, has taken off. So I thought it would be (in-)appropriate to rename it, The Mycenaean Man Blog, only to be told flat-out by my colleague, Rita Roberts, that I must be nuts! Just kidding, she never said that, though I would not blame her if she did. At any rate, the number of visitors to our blog is reflected on a parallel plane by the significant rise in the number of followers Rita and I now have on Twitter, which has risen by 50% in just 3 months, from around 1,000 to almost 1,500 today! What’s more, take a look at the number of Tweets we have posted on Twitter... almost 19,000 between the two of us, meaning that we will soon crack the 20K mark. Our Twitter followers and our Tweets to date: Click to ENLARGE These are astonishing figures, considering that Mycenaean Linear B is, after all, hardly the sort of thing folks talk about around the kitchen table if at all, for that matter, since I am quite sure at least 98 % of the 7 + billion folks on this poor little planet of ours have ever even heard of Linear B, and probably could care less about it. But once we have hooked our followers, they hang in there with us. This is scarcely surprising to either Rita or myself, since we have always taken several new, refreshing and frankly unheard of approaches to date to research into Mycenaean Linear B, approaches which can be attested to by the often amazing posts we have on our Blog. But hey, why not? If no one else will go this route (probably being too chicken to) neither nor Rita nor I are chickens (in all senses of the word), No Chickens! Click to ENLARGE and so we forge merrily ahead in our pursuit of new avenues into international research into Mycenaean Linear B, Minoan Linear A, and even Arcado-Cypriot Linear C (that dialect being the closest cousin to Mycenaean Greek by a long shot). This is a particularly important new phase in the study of Linear B, one which every researcher in the field without exception has blithely ignored for the last 64 years since the great Michael Ventris deciphered this previously totally unknown syllabary. We certainly cannot blame him for that, as he had his hands full with Linear B, and anyway, he died very young (age 34) in a car crash, much as had his contemporary, the famous and beautiful American actor, James Dean. Now, let me assure you. Almost all our posts on our Blog are dedicated to the most serious research one could imagine into Linear A, B & C, Homeric Greek, ancient Greek, and so on. But one does need to take an occasional break from the dead serious to the all-out hilarious. And so we do. Be forewarned. This is the last post of the latter ilk for the rest of 2014. So don’t hold your breath! Richard
Without further ado (or maybe with it!) let’s all wish Rita Happy Birthday with her WIPO & EREPATO! Click to BLOW UP, eh... I simply have not the faintest idea (though if I did, I probably would faint!) who designed this cluttered Birthday Card, but they must have been high on mushrooms, marijane or some kind of hallucinogen, eh. OMG! And the notes! They fairly shout at us, Hey READ ME, why don’t you, anyway, eh! (eh being Canajun for A, ha ha!, and since I am a Canajun, I know what THAT means, eh!... so do all other Canajuns, a few Brits, a few Aussies & a few Kiwis, but no Yanks, who for some bizarre reason insist on saying, HUH?, which unlike EH! sounds kinda stupid, eh!). I don’t know about YOU, but I am going to fly to Herakleion (& if you don’t know where that is or you are American & don’t know anyway, FORGET IT, EH!) So have a wonderful, stupendous, hyper-terrific, copacetic, ecstatic, far out, flighty, spacey, what planet are YOU from?, Plan 9 1/2 from Outer Space etc. etc. etc. Birthday, eh, Rita.... because WIPO simply does not have the graphic skills, let alone writing skills, to cobble together another Birthday Card like this for at least another year, eh. Anyway, it IS one astonishing CARD, totally unique on this little planet of ours full of HUGE ELEPHANTS and little WIPOs, don’t you think, eh? Yours most sincerely trying with all my might to avoid any nearby EREPATOS! Oh and of course Rita will have to Translate this great card for us, because no Canajun in his or her right mind would even dream of translating it, except for a million Euros... hint, hint, Rita, eh. Ton ami canadien (Canajun eh!) Click to ENLARGE, even if no-one has ever seen an enlarged beaver! They sure would not like that, and might nibble your finger nails off if you tried! Richard EH!
The Newly Unearthed Minoan Winnie the Pooh Tablet (from Knossos? I wish it weren’t) Click to BLOW UP TO ELEPHANT SIZE if you dare!: I really don’t want to say anything more about this astonishing tablet, except to say that I can’t believe Rita and I found it last Hallowe’en while all the other archaeologists in Herakleion were either out trick or treating with their better halves, or sitting morosely in Greek bars sipping, of all the disgusting things, Retsina! Rita pleaded and begged and pleaded again for me to re-bury it, but I would have nothing of it, informing her in no uncertain terms that this was the Linear B find of the century, if not the entire millennium, given that it is so incredibly unlike any other Linear B tablet she and I have ever, ever, ever seen... let alone anyone else. How it came to be is anyone’s guess, though I do believe that the scribe’s signature, WIPO, is a dead giveaway. Plus, although he had no brains, Minoan Winnie the Pooh was a clever little bugger, riding into the city market, no less, on an ELEPHANT, no less, just to make sure everyone (especially the already burnt-out scribes!) got the hell out of their way... or else... or else what I cringe to imagine. And although our “scribe’s” scratches and scrawls are almost illegible, even for Linear B, which is almost illegible most of the time anyway, only this time round far worse, the text is utterly charming in the extreme, once you can figure out how to decipher it. I wonder how many elephants he has. I wonder whether or not he shares (at least one pot of) honey with his elephants. I suspect he has to, unless he also wants to get squashed underfoot. I wonder why the scribes just don’t give up, toss in the towel (though there probably no towels as such in ancient Knossos), and run off in all directions screaming like maniacs (which is what they would have been by this time!). I wonder why Rita and I ever decided to keep this silly tablet, except that maybe, just maybe, we want to set the entire Linear B research community, and especially Linear B translators, on their heads, aghast at this new, entirely unexpected and entirely earth-shattering tablet... earth-shattering, not because there was another one of those nasty earthquakes at Knossos when it was composed, but because elephants really do shatter the earth when they come stomping by or, worse yet, stomping into the scribes’ HQ. This is of course the primary reason why so many Linear B tablets were never unearthed by Sir Arthur Evans in the first place, since the poor bloke was entirely oblivious of the Elephantine Factor (see shattering above). It is almost certainly a historical given that Minoan Winnie the Pooh ordered his pet elephants to destroy as many tablets as they could on any subject but honey pots and honey amphorae, except that the stupid elephants got it all the wrong way around, and destroyed thousands upon thousands of honey-pot and honey amphorae tablets, upon which the entire Minoan economy depended for its survival. When I rummaged through 3,000 + tablets from Knossos, I could find only 7 or 8 honey-pot tablets (and fragments, of course, given those elephant feet!), a horrific loss to posterity, especially to all those honey-sweet Pooh Bears who have lived on this lovely earth of ours since then, Winnie Ille Pooh, the Roman Pooh, Winnie Lou Pou, the Provençal Pou, and so on and so forth, all the way up to Winnie the Pooh today. What a terrible loss indeed! Small wonder that the Minoan economy collapsed in a heap of rubble! Those meany ole’ scribes just didn’t get it! Their entire economy was stuck on honey. No honey, no economy. Poof, no Knossos! Richard
Minoan Winnie the Pooh with His Pots of Honey! Honestly, I Am-phor-a Him. Minoan Winnie the Pooh! Click to ENLARGE for a really good laugh! In case you were wondering whether or not Winnie the Pooh was Minoan or Mycenaean, I can tell you without equivocation that he was Minoan and that he lived in Knossos ca. 1450 BCE. After all, those bloody Mycenaeans were much too warlike for Pooh Bears. So, as the story always goes when it comes to Pooh Bears, while all the scribes were frantically scribbling away their tablets on amphorae of honey, our Minoan Winnie the Pooh would surreptitiously sneak in (at least as surreptitiously as a Pooh bear can, which isn’t very surreptitiously at all), grab as many amphorae and pots of honey as he could, and then dash off like mad, with a gang of thoroughly freaked out scribes chasing after him. And just as they were about to nab him, he scrambled up the nearest tree, hauling up his treasures behind him, and then began to voraciously gobble as much honey as he could (which was all of it!) before they (the scribes, of course) got a ladder and scrambled up to nab him again... by which time he was already running back to the vaults of amphorae and pots filled with delicious honey, bamboozling them all over. You just can’ t win, unless you are a Minoan Pooh Bear! Bully for Winnie the Pooh, Minoan or Roman, Winnie ille Pooh or our modern day descendant, Winnie the Pooh. May all the Winnie the Poohs from time immemorial triumph in the hunt for the most delicious honey they can find! MERI MERI MERI! In case you are wondering (which I am sure you are!), “What on earth is the whole point of this silly story?”, you need only ask Christopher Robin, or failing that opportunity, me, and I can easily explain why. And here is why. It just so happens that all those thoroughly frustrated Minoan scribes at Knossos, fed up as they were with their Minoan Winnie the Pooh snatching all their honey in amphorae (and pots, of course!) and running off with them, decided to label their tablets with the logogram for “honey” (MERI) and with the supersyllabogram for “amphorae” (Linear B A), in the vain hope that this would somehow prevent our Minoan Pooh from absconding with them. A through waste of time! He did steal off with them (the pots of honey, not the scribes!), but he was such a “sweet” little Pooh Bear that he always returned the pots and amphorae he had snatched (empty of course), in the full realization, in spite of the fact that he had no brain, that they (the scribes) would just have to insist that the honey merchants refilled the same old amphorae and pots all over, with the predictable results we have already witnessed. Live but don’t learn, eh. The human condition, eh. But, to get serious, if it is at all possible to do so at this point, let us examine how our busy-body scribes labeled tablets which dealt with amphorae. The simplest way was simply to use the plain ideogram for “amphorae”, as illustrated on this tablet – Click to ENLARGE: I suppose they must have done this in the (again, vain) hope that if they did not label the amphorae as being just what they were, amphorae, and left out the logogram for honey, Minoan Winnie the Pooh would be fooled. But because he had no brain, he could not be fooled, and stole the amphorae with the blank ideogram anyway, in the (sure and certain) hope that they would be filled with honey... as if! Since this hopeless ploy never worked anyway, the scribes, being realistic and practical as scribes always were (and are) just went ahead and labeled the amphorae as amphorae, with the supersyllabogram A, which happens to be the first vowel of that wonderful word, in case you haven’t yet noticed! And just to make certain that they (the scribes) realized what he, Minoan Winnie the Pooh, already knew, they also, rather stupidly, methinks, labeled the same amphorae with a great big logogram for honey... as if Minoan Winnie didn’t already know that too! So their honey pot tablets would end up looking exactly like this! Click to ENLARGE: If ever there was a wide open invitation to Minoan Winnie the Pooh to abscond with all their honey, this had to be it! Poor buggers. Lucky Winnie! As you can imagine, the honey pot sector of the Minoan economy suffered irreparable damage, while Minoan Winnie the Pooh criminally lived off the proceeds from their losses. Sigh! Oh and wait until you see the next Tablet in the next post! Rita Roberts and I recently unearthed this sweet find on dark, stormy, rainy night when all the archeologists were at home drinking Retsina. I think it was last...
And now for something completely different... “ancient” tablet humour! No disrespect whatsoever intended towards our otherwise serious research into tablets in ancient languages, Akkadian, Sumerian, Harappan, early Cretan, Linear A, B or C, the Wisconsin Tablet, or any other ancient language, you name it, we all occasionally need a bit of a respite from our mind-bending studies just to get the pressure off ourselves, in other words, for a good dose of comic relief. We have previously done this every nine months or so, and here we are again, on the same kick. So without further ado, allow me to present to the whole world the Ottawa Valley New LRT Tablet, which I gleefully unearthed from the LRT tunnel now being excavated beneath the city of Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, where I live. While the LRT will not be functional until the spring of 2018, we can be thankful to all those hunky tunnel excavators for unearthing this little gem. And when I say the excavators are hunky, I mean hunky. Here is a photo of the fellow who discovered it in the first place. Cute, ain’t he? Click to ENLARGE (which I just know you will want to do anyway!): And here is the astounding Ottawa Valley New LRT Tablet, which I have identified as “ancient” Tablet OV LRT 01, a tablet which either defies decipherment completely, if one is to assume it is in Odawa or some other aboriginal Algonquin language, or is almost a cinch to decode. Well, anyway, here it is. I hope you can make as much sense out of it as I can! Click to ENLARGE:
As per my usual practice, I have annotated particular symbols on it numerically, in order to assist you in making any sense of it whatsoever, which I have actually managed to do, in my capacity as a cryptologist reasonably adept at deciphering tablets, ancient, medieval, Renaissance, modern or ultra-modern, by which I mean of course, our amazing little twenty-first gadgetry tablets such as the Apple Ipad and Google Chrome tablets galore. I will let you, of course, decide for yourself, which era this tablet falls into, though it seems pretty obvious to me! Well, as you can easily see for yourself, I utterly succeeded in deciphering this tablet, even though it is composed of nothing but ideograms, or more likely, idiotgrams. If you have a different interpretation of its rather obtuse contents, please feel free to submit your translation to me, though I refuse to give you my e-mail address. Richard