Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Of Stopcocks and Such

The "bonnet" of an 8-day walnut case clock
by Benjamin Chandlee of Nottingham, PA,
circa 1770.

Last summer, in need of a new one for my rain barrel and confused by the rows and rows of bins of plumbing stuff at my local hardware store, I inquired, in all innocence, about a "stopcock."
The clerk smirked at me.
It seems this standard item is now more modestly named a "gate valve."

Perhaps this post should have been titled On Being An Anachronism.
Because it doesn't stop with occasional maladroit language.
I have a tea wagon. Worse, I've used it - though rarely. And charger plates and linen napkins, and a hand-crank meat grinder that I still clamp to the kitchen table to mince stuff.
Perhaps I shouldn't reveal these mild facts. They may create the impression that as a writer I am irrelevant to our quick-time culture with its swift cascade of technological advances, of texting and iPads and twitter - which next year may be dismissed as "so last year."
Yet I sell to e-publishers.

I have been asked for a brief bio. It appears that - barring any technological melt-down/act of God - my paranormal romance/urban fantasy is scheduled to be released in digital format by Carina Press in the third or fourth week of June.


raine said...

'Stopcock' is much more colorful. ;)

I think tea wagons and linen napkins are elegant, & wouldn't worry about the impression you make. I don't text, don't have a cell phone or iPad, my old computer barely cranks up, but I hope people are more interested in the writing anyway.

Looking forward to Lillie!!

laughingwolf said...

grats on the pub, bernita! :)

as for the rest, 'let em eat cake', as some french wag [aka bobblehead] once said ;)

word verif: catic

Bernita said...

Thank you, Raine.

I suppose I'd get the same smart-ass smirk if I'd asked for a |"brass nipple."

Bernita said...

It's really going to happnen, LW!

StarvingWriteNow said...

I prefer stopcock as well.

Good for you on the release date! Can't wait to read it!

My word verif today is "datio". Hmm...

Perhaps like a "date ratio" or some kind of slang for data (like daddy-o for the tech generation, lol)

fairyhedgehog said...

Stop cock is a much better word. I wonder why they've got so prissy about it?

I've never used a charger plate, or not knowingly, and together with linen napkins it brings up images of lost elegance.

To manage that and to be getting your book epublished just shows the range of your talents.

Bernita said...

Thank you, SWN.
Word varifs are more interesting now than when they were a collection of rabdom letters.

Have been trying to figure that out. Maybe an increase in female employees who resented sniggers from male employees?

I didn't mean to imply such earlier-era items are used on a regular basis, Fairy.
Too labour-intensive and it has to be at least two years since I held anything approaching a "formal" dinner!
I manage that stuff most of the time by stuffing them in the side board and china cabinent where linen gently yellows and plates acquire a patina of dust.
Just having them, however, tends to mark one as passe.

sylvia said...

Oh how exciting - the final countdown!

jason evans said...

Oh, gate valve is just far less fun. (Er, although stop cock doesn't great in the end either.)

Looking forward to the release!!

hampshireflyer said...

Well I do remember being quite embarrassed when I was ten or eleven and had to go and buy something called a 'female adaptor' to help my dad connect his VCR to the TV (he'd given up by that stage, hence sending me)... for the uninitiated, the protruding or receding connectors on the ends of audio visual cables are or were called, yep, you guessed it! :)

Bernita said...

It is that, Sylvia!
Right, Jason, one's somewhat salacious, the other dull.

At that age, Alex, I imagine most of us would have been embarrassed.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

Wow, that's fast! I can't wait!

BernardL said...

Wow, that's a pretty fast release date. I'm looking forward to it.

Kaz Augustin said...

Hey, don't feel bad, Bernita. I have one of those meat grinders and the kids and I made pasta only last week with our hand-cranked pasta machine. Also, VCR! :)

Angie said...

I don't have a cell phone, and have never wanted one. I don't want to be that constantly contactable, and none of the other bells and whistles which come with cell phones these days tempt me. I'm sure that makes me some kind of anachronism myself. :)


Bernita said...

Betsy, Bernard, thank you!
June was the proposed launch month and so far everything seems to be on track.

~squealing like a pack of pigs~
Just got a preview this afternoon of two possible covers!

Another thing we have in common, Kas!
I cling to mine with country-bred caution, because unless you took a sledge to it, it won't break, needs no electricity to function and is simple to clean.

Always pleased to be in your company, Angie!

Scott from Oregon said...

I always thought a stopcock was a chastity belt...

Congrats on all the success bernita!

Whirlochre said...

Good news all round.

Personally, I wouldn't mind a return of the trouser press.

Lana Gramlich said...

I hear you. I once pulled into a full-serve gas station & asked for "high test." <:\

Bernita said...

Thank you, Scott.
I wonder if the hardware clerk did too...

My grandmother used a sad iron instead, Whirl.

Lana, some days we just can't win.

Gabriele C. said...

I still have a mechanic typewriter and yes, a meat grinder, too. And I still don't have a cell phone. But when it comes to computers, laptops, DVD players* and cameras, I want cutting edge technology. Except for the photos I take with the old mnirror reflex camera because no cutting edge technology can deal with certain lights.

* Which is use for watching opera DVDs only.

Bernita said...

"a meat grinder, too. And I still don't have a cell phone."

~hugs Gabriele~

Has there been, by any chance, dire predictions about cell phones replacing regular land line, the way e-publishing is sometimes ( and somewhat hysterically) predicted to be the death of print publishing?
If so I haven't heard it.

Gabriele C. said...

Hehe, the German Telecom isn't giving up those landlines any time soon. They are money. ;)

writtenwyrdd said...

Release date close on! Yay!

You know, I pay a lot of money to buy non-electric, hand-crank kitchen devices. I want a cider press and a meat grinder next. They are expensive! And I've acquired hand cherry pitters, hand coffee grinders, a mortar and pestle for small grinding jobs...

Maybe I can find one of the old time apple peelers that clamp to the table top. That would be pretty neat, too.

So you aren't an anachronism. Besides, what's wrong with charger plates or tea trolleys? They are elegant.

Bernita said...

I heh too, Gabriele.

Written, lowly yard sales and flea markets can be an excellent source for such items.

Barbara Martin said...

Tea wagons and linen napkins are still in my dining room, so don't be getting rid of yours, Bernita. It's an elegance not found in too many places these days. As for the meat grinder: I still have the one inherited from my mother. It works, thus no reason to get rid of it.

Congrats on your upcoming publication!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Barbara!

I have a fin de siecle record player and a pile of vinyl records and the cd player ignore each other.

Michael A. Banks said...

Another term for a particular sort of valve is "petcock." This was used quite a bit with reference to automotive radiators, pre-1960s.

Bernita said...

Michael, that sounds a

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