Mauvais quart d’heure (moʊˈveɪ ˈkɑr ˈdər/) is not french but an english term borrowed from the french.
According to the Online Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, it means, a short period of time which is embarrassing and unnerving; a brief but unpleasant experience.
A bad quarter of an hour.
I had never heard the term before.
Not surprising that the frequency of its use (as measured by the OED) is band 1. Band 1 words is made up of extremely rare words unlikely ever to appear in modern text. These may be obscure technical terms or terms restricted to occasional historical use, e.g. abaptiston, abaxile, grithbreach, gurhofite, zarnich, zeagonite.
Mauvais quart d’heure.
An obscure, technical, unused term.
Yet I feel a mauvais quart d’heure, experience a mauvais quart d’heure, go through a mauvais quart d’heure, twice a day.
morning traffic woes plenty of warnings, had to see it for myself
The TV station where I work puts a lot of effort into their traffic reports.
All the local media invest heavily in traffic reporting.
Traffic problems consistently rank as the one universal issue that interest all voters in the Atlanta area.
I myself get traffic alert emails every day, through out the day.
I have two traffic apps on my handheld device.
This morning, like most mornings, I ignored all it.
Backed out of the garage and made sure my iPhone was on and connected to the car’s audio system so I could listen to an audio book.
I made my way over rainy streets to get to my entrance to i85 and the drive downtown.
At one point, I drive on a back road that parallels the freeway.
Through the leafless trees I noticed something odd.
The freeway was empty.
At 6AM this wasn’t, well, impossible but highly unlikely that no one else was out driving.
Further along the road I could make out the bridge and intersection where my entrance ramp was located.
Rarely had I seen so many flashing blue lights.
“This is not good,” I said to myself.
But maybe this is all just to the north of my entrance, I thought.
Maybe I can still get on the freeway.
I turned on to Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.
Just ahead, cop cars lined the overpass and the entrance to I85 was blocked off.
I continued down Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and switched the radio on in time to hear, “RED ALERT in GWINNETT COUNTY. I85 at Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road completely closed for an investigation of an accident …”
I switched off the radio and made a quick assessment of my situation.
Made a u turn and back tracked across the overpass.
I headed for the next freeway interchange at Old Peachtree and was on my way downtown without much more than a brief hiccup to my commute.
In fact, once on the freeway, with all the traffic north of me cut off, I had a very easy, if rainy drive.
I was shocked to see evidence that most of the morning traffic that I have to contend with on I85 seems to come from places further away from Atlanta than I am.
What could have been a commuting nightmare did not happen.
I am convinced that no app would have recommended I make the turn that I made.
Traffic for me, in that wonderful phrase that is the motto of traffic down here, was able to “KEEP MOVING.”
I had all the traffic tools available to me.
I had all the traffic warnings available to me.
I didn’t make use of any of them.
Here is the point.
Had I watched TV.
Had I listened to the Radio.
Had I read my emails.
Had I checked my apps.
I would still have made the same drive to my usual freeway entrance.
I would still have had to see the problem for myself.
It isn’t that I don’t believe the reporting.
But maybe, I just don’t trust it.
The reporting is, “passionate, but does not persuade,” to quote the Emperor in Amadeus.
I have had as many success stories using traffic tools as stories where I end up saying, WHY DID THEY DIRECT ME THERE?
As most of my issues with traffic are anxiety related, just knowing there are problems and why there are problems is the information I need.
Once I get going, I will let traffic do its worst.
swinging on a star take moon beams home in a jar moonlit morning hopes
The Google says that the Moon today is in a Waxing Gibbous phase. This phase is when the moon is more than 50% illuminated but not yet a Full Moon. The phase lasts round 7 days with the moon becoming more illuminated each day until the Full Moon.
It was cold and clear last night when my wife and I went for walk.
Cold for Georgia anyway.
Clear and lit by the Waxing Gibbous Moon.
Moonlight was strong enough that we cast shadows and the old song about catching moonbeams in a jar stuck in my brain.
Innocent and sweet thoughts to end the day.
When I left for work this morning that Waxing Gibbous Moon was still shining.
(When the Moon shows up the next night, the King worries that his daughter will notice. The Court Jester suggests asking the Princess how that happened when she has the Moon on a chain around her neck. The Princess replies “That is easy, silly,” she said. “When I lose a tooth, a new one grows in its place, doesn’t it?”)
Mr. Debussy’s prélude, La fille aux cheveux de lin (otherwise known as The Girl With The Flaxen Hair) was playing on the radio.
Where does this music come from?
A bad mood and crummy attitude that has been percolating inside me this week didn’t have a chance.
Like the Court Jester, I winked at the moon, “for it seemed to the Court Jester that the moon had winked at him.”
His notes are loaded onto a flat bed truck and you get the feeling that some of the notes are just hanging on.
Just when you think you know where the music is going, the flat bed truck hits a bump and all the notes fly in the air and come down again and go off in a different direction.
He makes all it work.
Somehow as only Beethoven can, it all works.
In the Ken Burn’s film on Frank Lloyd Wright, whose name could have been in this haiku but it didn’t fit, architect Robert A.M. Stern says about the house, Falling Waters, “I don’t know how he (Wright) does that. If I did, I would do it too!”
Listening to these trios on my commute I can lose myself in the music and its 20 minutes closer to home.
My thoughts aren’t on driving which is both good and bad thing.
What are my thoughts on?
Since you ask, I find myself thinking about Simone Biles.
I am not making this up.
As I listen to the music bounce, jump, leap and rebound beyond human possibility, Simone Biles is bouncing around in my brain.
Maybe it’s just a natural reaction of my brain to use creative visualization to get my arms around the music.
The computer in my mind sorts through the uncounted gigabytes of memory to come up with images to match the music and the computer spits out Simone Biles.
I am not a big fan of Gymnastics.
Like most American’s, I watch every 4 years for about 1o minutes.
A little bit more attention than I give, say, curling.
Nevertheless (dear, sweet word), how can you not be aware of Simone Biles.
In the same way the music of these Beethoven Trios are unexpected explosively wonderful, so are these performances of Biles.