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The Raggedy Man[edit]

O the Raggedy Man! He works fer Pa;

An' he's the goodest man ever you saw!

He comes to our house every day,

An' waters the horses, an' feeds 'em hay;

An' he opens the shed—an' we all ist laugh

When he drives out our little old wobble-ly calf; An' nen—ef our hired girl says he can— He milks the cow fer 'Lizabuth Ann.— Ain't he a' awful good Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

W'y, The Raggedy Man—he's ist so good, He splits the kindlin' an' chops the wood; An' nen he spades in our garden, too, An' does most things 'at boys can't do.— He clumbed clean up in our big tree An' shooked a' apple down fer me— An' 'nother 'n', too, fer 'Lizabuth Ann— An' 'nother 'n', too, fer The Raggedy Man.— Ain't he a' awful kind Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' The Raggedy Man one time say he Pick' roast' rambos from a' orchurd-tree, An' et 'em—all ist roast' an' hot!— An' it's so, too!—'cause a corn-crib got Afire one time an' all burn' down On "The Smoot Farm," 'bout four mile from town— On "The Smoot Farm"! Yes—an' the hired han' 'At worked there nen 'uz The Raggedy Man!— Ain't he the beatin'est Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

The Raggedy Man's so good an' kind He'll be our "horsey," an' "haw" an' mind Ever'thing 'at you make him do— An' won't run off—'less you want him to! I drived him wunst way down our lane An' he got skeered, when it 'menced to rain, An' ist rared up an' squealed and run Purt' nigh away!—an' it's all in fun! Nen he skeered ag'in at a' old tin can ... Whoa! y' old runaway Raggedy Man! Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' The Raggedy Man, he knows most rhymes, An' tells 'em, ef I be good, sometimes: Knows 'bout Giunts, an' Griffuns, an' Elves, An' the Squidgicum-Squees 'at swallers the'rselves: An', wite by the pump in our pasture-lot, He showed me the hole 'at the Wunks is got, 'At lives 'way deep in the ground, an' can Turn into me, er 'Lizabuth Ann! Er Ma, er Pa, er The Raggedy Man! Ain't he a funny old Raggedy Man? Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' wunst, when The Raggedy Man come late, An' pigs ist root' thue the garden-gate, He 'tend like the pigs 'uz bears an' said, "Old Bear-shooter'll shoot 'em dead!" An' race' an' chase' 'em, an' they'd ist run When he pint his hoe at 'em like it's a gun An' go "Bang!—Bang!" nen 'tend he stan' An' load up his gun ag'in! Raggedy Man! He's an old Bear-shooter Raggedy Man! Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

An' sometimes The Raggedy Man lets on We're little prince-children, an' old King's gone To git more money, an' lef' us there— And Robbers is ist thick ever'where; An' nen—ef we all won't cry, fer shore— The Raggedy Man he'll come and "splore The Castul-halls," an' steal the "gold"— An' steal us, too, an' grab an' hold An' pack us off to his old "Cave"!—An' Haymow's the "cave" o' The Raggedy Man!— Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man!

The Raggedy Man—one time, when he Wuz makin' a little bow-'n'-orry fer me, Says "When you're big like your Pa is, Air you go' to keep a fine store like his— An' be a rich merchunt—an' wear fine clothes?— Er what air you go' to be, goodness knows?" An' nen he laughed at 'Lizabuth Ann, An' I says "'M go' to be a Raggedy Man!— I'm ist go' to be a nice Raggedy Man!" Raggedy! Raggedy! Raggedy Man! "

—James Whitcomb Riley

Essay of disgust[edit]

Alas! Personal information, as revealed by searches and other uses of the internet, once considered sacrosanct, has been sold down the river by the U.S. Congress. ISP's have prevailed in passing legislation through both houses allowing them to freely "data-mine" or "harvest," aggregate and sell personal information regarding the private usage of the net by their subscribed and paid users. Our President signed the bill on Monday, April 3, 2017, despite his former "Libertarian" lipservice to individual freedom and personal right to privacy. I feel the rug has been pulled from under my feet. What use to clear history and cookies, to use private browsers, TOR network, etc, if your own provider is recording and profiting from every keystroke. Out goes the baby with the washwater. Rue the day. The right to make a buck trumps the right to privacy, once again. rags (talk) 07:34, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Useful templates[edit]

  • {{Clarify}} to mark individual phrases or sentences

  • {{Confusing}} to mark sections (or entire articles, though this is undesirable because it makes it unclear what exactly needs to be improved)

  • {{Definition needed}} to mark a term as ambiguous or unclear and in need of a definition

  • {{q}} to mark individual phrases or sentences which require examples for clarification

  • {{Explain}} to mark individual phrases or sections which require further explanation for general (i.e. non-expert) readers

  • {{Non sequitur}} to mark individual mentions of someone or something in an out-of-context way, the relevance of which is unclear

Morr gud pomes[edit]


The Bumblebee

You better not fool with a Bumblebee!—

Ef you don't think they can sting—you'll see!

They're lazy to look at, an' kind o' go

Buzzin' an' bummin' aroun' so slow,

An' ac' so slouchy an' all fagged out,

Danglin' their legs as they drone about

The hollyhawks 'at they can't climb in

'ithout ist a-tumble-un out ag'in!

Wunst I watched one climb clean 'way

In a jimson-blossom, I did, one day,—

An' I ist grabbed it — an' nen let go—

An' "Ooh-ooh! Honey! I told ye so!"

Says The Raggedy Man; an' he ist run

An' pullt out the stinger, an' don't laugh none,

An' says: "They has be'n folks, I guess,

'At thought I wuz predjudust, more er less,—

Yit I still muntain 'at a Bumblebee

Wears out his welcome too quick fer me!"

James Whitcomb Riley


[untitled poem written by Garrison Keillor and displayed in the bookstore he opened in St. Paul, MN]

A bookstore is for people who love books and need

To touch them, open them, browse for a while,

And find some commont good – that's why we read.

Readers and writers are two sides of the same gold coin.

You write and I read and in that moment I find

A union more perfect than any club I could join:

The simple intimacy of being one mind.

Here in a book-filled room on a busy street,

Strangers — living and dead — are hoping to meet.


Before my face the picture hangs,

That daily should put me in mind

Of those cold qualms and bitter pangs

That shortly I am like to find:

But yet, alas, full little I

Do think hereon that I must die.

I often look upon a face

Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin;

I often view the hollow place

Where eyes and nose had sometimes bin;

I see the bones across that lie,

Yet little think that I must die.

I read the label underneath,

That telleth me whereto I must;

I see the sentence eke that saith

‘Remember, man, that thou art dust!’

But yet, alas, but seldom I

Do think indeed that I must die.

Continually at my bed's head

A hearse doth hang, which doth me tell

That I ere morning may be dead,

Though now I feel myself full well:

But yet, alas, for all this, I

Have little mind that I must die.

The gown which I do use to wear,

The knife wherewith I cut my meat,

And eke that old and ancient chair

Which is my only usual seat,—

All these do tell me I must die,

And yet my life amend not I.

My ancestors are turned to clay,

And many of my mates are gone;

My youngers daily drop away,

And can I think to 'scape alone?

No, no, I know that I must die,

And yet my life amend not I.

Not Solomon, for all his wit,

Nor Samson, though he were so strong,

No king nor person ever yet

Could 'scape, but death laid him along:

Wherefore I know that I must die,

And yet my life amend not I.

Though all the East did quake to hear

Of Alexander's dreadful name,

And all the West did likewise fear

To hear of Julius Caesar's fame,

Yet both by death in dust now lie:

Who then can 'scape, but he must die?

If none can 'scape death's dreadful dart,

If rich and poor his beck obey,

If strong, if wise, if all do smart,

Then I to 'scape shall have no way.

Oh! grant me grace, O God, that I

My life may mend, sith I must die.

[attributed to "Saint" Robt. Southwell, though there seems to be some controversy whether it was actually the work of a compatriot. I know nothing of Southwell. I like the poem, and since it has for centuries been in public domain, I share it here with you.]

Word to the wise (not from me!)[edit]

A little about the user-as-editor[edit]

This user tries to eliminate as many also's as humanly possible, particularly when used repeatedly in the same sentence. Ditto later. If it happened MUCH later, specify when. Almost all stories proceed from earlier to later. The reader doesn't need this explained.

This user finds the overuse of the adverb where irritating, when place is not being specified, and will substitute for it whenever possible. By the same principle, if the intended meaning is "resulting in..", or "as a result of", then after is not usually the best choice. Many times the overuse of these words is involved in the construction of run-on sentences, another indicator of a substandard, non-encyclopedic writing pattern.

This user abhors the phrase continue on, and would prefer not to read it ever again. The phrase has no non-redundant function. I am aware that its usage is becoming more common in popular writing. I would argue that correctness is seldom defined by usage, and that this phrase remains redundant. The "'on'" serves no conceivable purpose. The use of the phrase (he/she) went on to in the meaning of "proceeded to" is at least better than continued on to ..., but not by much. Many times such phrases can be deleted with no loss of meaning or content at all. It's simple wordiness.

This user also tries to eliminate as many appeareances of the word also as humanly possible. Occasionally the word has usefulness. When used repeatedly to add laundrylist content, it were better deleted, methinks.

There are many ways to say things in English, the most versatile of the human languages, with far and away the largest vocabulary. I would argue that these overused words and phrases I have mentioned are not only incorrect, they are boring. Stretch yourself a little. Use more of the language.

This user realizes he has a Talk Page, which needs attention.

This user aspires to the avocation of edtitor, and tries to harness gnome-like compulsions to correct errors in spelling, grammer, syntax, predication, parallelism, et al, wherever they are observed, while introducing as few new errors as possible.

This user does most of his editing with one finger, on a device which may need a new battery. Please be patient.

1+This user has made more than 1 contributions to Wikipedia and, as a result, may be slightly insane.

Wikipedia-logo-v2.svgThis user is a Wikipedian.

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Public watchlists[edit]

[Thanks to user:GangofOne for the following excellent watchlists!]

Access Panel
Shared watchlist at Wikipedia:WikiProject Pseudoscience/Articles attracting pseudoscientific edits/publicwatchlist (Edit | History)
Check shared watchlist
To create an access panel to the same watchlist page elsewhere, copy and paste the following code:
{{public watchlist|Wikipedia:WikiProject Pseudoscience/Articles attracting pseudoscientific edits/publicwatchlist}}

Access Panel
Shared watchlist at Wikipedia:WikiProject Pseudoscience/Paranormal articles/publicwatchlist (Edit | History)
Check shared watchlist
To create an access panel to the same watchlist page elsewhere, copy and paste the following code:
{{public watchlist|Wikipedia:WikiProject Pseudoscience/Paranormal articles/publicwatchlist}}

Information for new editors[edit]

The best advice I have at this time for a new editor I found on the profile page of User:Wasted_Rime_R.

[This page is currently unavailable. If I find that I still have a copy somewhere, I will post or link.

Many of the more active editors have useful info on their profile or talk pages. Some are totally useless to a new editor in my experience, but many will answer a direct question with useful info. Personally I don't mind answering questions, but I'm not here very often, and my level of expertise is not very high. Check "contributions" and "user rights" to find editors with a lot of experience and expertise.]






There are many ways to skin a cat[edit]

( from user:MyRedDice/cat_skinning [Martin Harper])

Saved, in the vein of "bad jokes and other deleted nonsense," and similar things.

The Kinetic Method[edit]

  1. Enter a large room with your cat.
  2. Grab the cat by the tail.
  3. Swing the cat around your head (hence the need for a room large enough to swing a cat).
  4. Keep swinging the cat until the centrifugal force causes the cat to be ejected, leaving the skin behind.
  5. Clean up the mess on the wall.
  6. Hope your wife doesn't find out.

The Surprise Method[edit]

  1. Sneak up behind your cat.
  2. Shout Boo!
  3. Watch as your cat leaps out of its skin.

(Note: This method only works if you happen to be a cartoon character.)

The politically correct method[edit]

  1. Invite a throng of PETA activists into your home.
  2. Ensure you are absent at the time of their arrival, leaving only your cat to receive the visitors.
  3. Allow ample time for the PETA activists to convince your cat that it is wrong to wear fur. They will depart happily once your cat concedes the argument and removes its pelt.

To skin a cat topologically[edit]

  1. Take any open subset A of the cat, such that the set theoretic complement C of A (with respect to the cat) is non-empty, and where for each element c of C there exists a subset T of A for which the union of T and the set { c } is open. The Union of all such sets C (which may be an empty set) presents the skin of the cat.
  2. Obtain the skinned cat as the difference of the cat and its skin.

(Note: If this skinned cat is nevertheless a cat as well (albeit generally a different cat than the initial one) then it may be skinned further, by the same procedure.)

The Enron Method[edit]

  1. Buy and sell futures contracts on cat skinning services.
  2. "Doctor" your accounting records when you realize that it is impossible to predict how many people want to skin their cats at any given time in the future.
  3. Get all your friends, relatives, and employees to invest their life savings in the scheme.
  4. Before all the investors' money is used up, pay the U. S. President, Vice President, and Republican party outrageous amounts of money to ensure that you will be protected when the truth comes out.
  5. Laugh at all the poor suckers when they find out who really got skinned.

Dozer Operator[edit]

Cat skinner is a slang term for the operator of a bulldozer, particularly one manufactured by the Caterpillar Equipment Company. It is usually considered a complimentary term, imitative of the term mule skinner, a 19th century apellation for a teamster driving a mule or team of mules, and therefore responsible for the care and feeding of same. Presumably, in some speculated future, other utility being exhausted, the same person might be called upon to harvest the hide of his beast.


The aphorism about there being more than one way to skin a cat applies equally to other animals that one might skin. The chief choice to be made is the order in which the various steps are undertaken, as it is possible to start from the head, tail, abdomen, or elsewhere. There are also precautions that can be taken and procedures to be followed to prevent contamination of the meat and damage to the hide. Whether or not these are worth the effort depends on the ultimate use planned for these portions of the animal.


Many people accept that the cat in "more than one way to skin a cat" refers to a catfish. Catfish are somewhat difficult to skin, and there are several ways. Many old-timers pull the skin off with pliers, while the most common way today is to use a fillet knife, cut in at the head, slice down the backbone to the tail without cutting the fillet loose, then flip the fish over and run the knife between the meat and skin. Cutting out the bones at the top is optional, and technically is not included in the process of 'skinning.'

Whether the cliché originated with a cat or a catfish has not been ascertained, but many people, especially animal lovers and cat owners, are more comfortable with the catfish explanation. However, given that the phrase appears in European texts dating back to the 17th century, this explanation appears to be of purely modern origin.

Unix/Linux guru jargon[edit]

To 'cat' is to use the old unix utility/filter in various ingenious ways to pipe files into a stream for processing by other standard unix utilities ( sort, cut, grep, join) or custom designed filters (using sed, awk, PHP, Perl, Bash, etc.). There are, indeed, many ways to skin (take to hand) a 'cat'.


The Signpost
24 December 2018