The CALL Facility … and other Mysteries of UVIC – Updated July 2022

DEJA CALL … all over again!

So, what exactly IS
The CALL Facility at UVic?
Well, here goes!
Including new ‘BETA‘ content
for September 2022 !

I have a NEW PDF (and PDF-video!) for a NEW version of The CALL Facility Orientation for September 2022!

  ⬇️ September 2022 ⬇️
The CALL Facility Orientation
  ⬇️ Click Below to download ⬇️

And just below is my “Director’s Cut” YouTube version, converted from PowerPoint – and less than 2 minutes in length (1:59! LOL!) I will definitely have some updates and upgrades between now and then as I ‘Field Test’ this new approach to showing everyone The CALL Facility and preparing for September 2022.

Previous versions (Page) of my CALL intro had MANY slides of all the available resources for each  language/course/Department that used CALL for homework, assignments, WICKET, etc. That has totally changed due to Covid and I wanted a very quick, very informative slide show that ANYONE could quickly see (and show!) and not be resource or ‘click heavy’. I hope I have accomplished that!

I will continue to tweak it and after a few live CALL orientations, I will update these resources! Of course, I retain the right to .. include my brand of humour throughout! Oh, by the way, without a doubt, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is THE BEST STAR TREK SERIES OF ALL TIME! And … Spoiler Alert – this could actually pop up as a Jeopardy Questions in the new September CHD Training Day! You .. never … know!

The CALL Facility is STILL one of the Hidden Gems of Clearihue! Enjoy!

I will  have future Bog Blog posts about “Heading Back to UVic“,  “Oldest Computers in the World“, “On Vacation“, “Welcome Back to UVic” in September, and even some updated Pages and more totally random stuff that I seem to … maybe … specialize in! LOL!

CHD Jeopardy Greg's Playlist II
   CHD Jeopardy Greg’s Playlist II

And … another SPOILER ALERT a brand new CHD Jeopardy Greg’s Playlist II for September CHD Training too! YAY JEOPARDY!

Thanks to EVERYONE at CHD for participating and your support too! I can’t make CALL Orientations or CHD Jeopardy without all of you and your assistance, support and … rolling eyes!! Thank you!





What an exhausting and long year since last August – my last full vacation!

And exhausting … for ALL OF  US! I am so fortunate to have been able to  work with such amazing and incredible colleagues at The Computer Help Desk over the past … 500+ DAYS! Yes, it has been that long since we started working remotely, late in March of 2020!

Without ALL of their support, humour, leadership, imagination, guidance  and every single possible ‘intangible‘ that each and every single one of them, ALL BRING to our Teams meetings, emails, texts, GIFs, Emojis, Jeopardy, Quote Contests, it would have been impossible to accomplish a fraction of what WE ALL DID AS A TEAM!


A few key UVic and BC websites for returning to campus in September for everyone!

  1. Return-to-Campus Guidelines now available
  2. Return to campus info for students
  3. Communicable Disease Plan now available
  4. UVic News
  5. Update on getting your COVID-19 vaccine
  6. Remote work arrangements announced for the fall
  7. Working remotely
  8. Post-secondary studies during COVID-19

Not to worry . . .

August 30th to prep for
. . . Septem . . . PURR !!!!



I will bring Empire Donuts when I return to UVic!



SSShhhh . . . Clearihue’s Hidden Secrets . . . & GEMS

 . . . . SSShhh . . .
. . . or . . .
Clearihue’s Hidden Secrets
. . . or . . .

Clearihue has … SECRETS? Well, maybe not … secrets …. exactly! More like HIDDEN GEMS that many students might not know about! So I will list a few of what I consider to be Clearihue’s Hidden Gems! And … Spoiler Alertthe VERY BEST ONE IS AT THE END! [Double Spoiler – shameless product placement on my part!]

The Computer Help Desk! What, how can CHD be a Hidden Gem? Well, why not ask someone … how to get there! We are located in the A-Wing of the BASEMENT of Clearihue! Simple enough, but only 2 stairwells with twists and turns, or ONLY ONE elevator with MORE twists and turns … will get you to the front counter of The Computer Help Desk

And did you also know there are TWO MORE satellite CHD locations in Clearihue? At the entrance to all the Computing Classrooms in A-wing, first floor and …. in The CALL Facility too! I’ll bet you didn’t know that!

Computing Classrooms! The actual computing classrooms, 1st Floor of A-Wing … AND in the Lower Floor of A-Wing too!. Many students do not know that there are 4 classrooms (3 WIN / 1 MAC) and a Multi-Media (WIN & MAC) alcove for drop-in use upstairs! AND that there are 3 MORE classrooms and Multimedia computers in the basement! Rooms ARE booked for scheduled classroom use, but are fully drop-in outside of those posted times. And when Covid is over, hopefully we can go back to just dropping into the computer labs!

And during Covid, you can BOOK A WORKSTATION in CLE A102 (WIN), A103 (MAC) and A108 (WIN)

During Covid, all other rooms in all other buildings are unavailable. We strictly adhere to UVIC Covid guidelines in ALL our Computing Facilities and The Computer Help Desk in Clearihue.

Clearihue A102
Clearihue A102
Clearihue A030
Clearihue A030 (Click photo  for more pictures)

And if you have not been to our newest upgrade classroom in Clearihue A030 in the basement of Clearihue, just down the hallway from The Computer Help Desk CLEA037. It is a really SPIFF CLASSROOM!

BEC Bookable Rooms
BEC Bookable Rooms

And it gets even BETTER! Ever want to book a room for a study session  or a group project and nothing is available at the Library? Well, check out BEC and their Rooms that you can book! AND THAT INCLUDES A ROOM DEDICATED TO VR TECHNOLOGY! Okay,  so technically, not in Clearihue, but let’s call it a HIDDEN HIDDEN GEM, eh! Bet you  didn’t know THAT!

And there are a few other locations in Clearihue that might warrant a bit of a scavenger hunt on your part ……

Clearihue Corner (CLE B001b)
And this is a highly guarded,  super secret, need to know basis location ….. NOT! But it is just as hard to get to as The Computer Help Desk! Either from the pictured elevator in B-Wing, or the stairwells at the groundlevel corners of B-Wing. Spacious,  quiet, comfy sofas and plugins too! There are even recycle bins to put your organics, plastics, refuse and paper! BE GREEN! There are classrooms, office space and meeting rooms, so just remember to be quiet and polite in this section of Clearihue please.

CLE B001b
CLE B001b
CLE B001b
CLE B001b

Clearihue Inner Courtyard

What a great hidden gem .. hidden in plain site! Quiet, accessible from literally every corner, with sun and shade for all! Even some steps to sit on for a group lunch! Hidden in plain site! the photo below is actually available as a Virtual Background for Zoom! Oh, and … remember …  no smoking anywhere inside Ring Road! 

Clearihue Courtyard
Clearihue Courtyard

 The CALL Facility

BogBlog Pages
BogBlog Pages

And, I saved the BEST for the last! And no apologies for .. WORKING IN THE CALL FACILITY! Shameless promotion! CALL has been around since the Fall of 1989 … and so have I! I have given countless demos, orientations, workshops, projects and assistance to countless students, staff, faculty and guests. And I am amazed each year how many people DO NOT KNOW WE EXIST! I have done many CALL OAC posts and I have a PAGE that is always available no matter what Post you are reading, listing all the Pages too. It is only current to January of 2020 … because … well … Covid. As soon as we are back, I will update absolutely EVERYTHING!

The CALL Facility CLE A025
The CALL Facility CLE A025

What is VERY exciting is that just after everyone started to work from home .. NEW FURNITURE ARRIVED IN THE CALL FACILITY! I wrote a post about it here and a few of the photos are below! Click here to see all the new furniture!

New CALL Furniture
New CALL Furniture
New CALL Furniture
New CALL Furniture

And could it get BETTER? YES, OF COURSE!

At the back of CALL are 2 new large screen monitors and desk space for 6 people at each one! Want to preview your group project in PowerPoint? Want to watch a movie for class? Want to see your Word document SUPER SIZED? Then use this area!

CALL Facility Large Screens
CALL Facility Large Screens
CALL Facility Large Screens
CALL Facility Large Screens

And CALL has USB headsets, optical media, Dual-Boot computers, study space and … The Computer Help Desk BUILT IN TOO! The CALL Facility is the LARGEST COMPUTING CLASSROOM ON CAMPUS!! And yeah, I have been working there since 1989 and it is SO MUCH FUN! Great learning environment and best of all … GREAT UVic STUDENTS AND FANTASTIC COLLEAGUES AT THE HELP DESK!

True story – a student wandered into CALL one day, asking if she could find a computer to charge her iPhone. I said sure, she could use one of the iMacs for either WIN or MAC or just to charge! She asked what ‘this place‘ was. I then asked her what her degree/major was. She replied ‘Linguistics and Italian’. I told her that CALL was HER lab to use, not only for her courses, but at any time she wanted!


That definitely qualifes The CALL Facility as a Hidden Gem!

I  hope you investigate and look for all these Hidden Gems in Clearihue!

  1. The Computer Help Desk – 3 locations in Clearihue
  2. Computing Classrooms – Upstairs and Down
  3. Clearihue Corner – So quiet
  4. Inner Courtyard – Hiding in Plain Sight
  5. The CALL Facility – You can check out, but you can never leave




Happy Holidays and . . . Goodbye 2020 … Hello 2021 !!!

Goodbye 2020 . . . . 
. . . and even BETTER . . .
HELLO 2021 !!!!!!!!!!!!!

After today (18th) I am on holidays until January 4th, 2021! YAY! And they can’t come soon enough! This  has been a very challenging year ….. to say the least. And I think we can all agree on one thing ………………


I am SO grateful to be working with such amazing, talented and imaginative colleagues at The Computer Help Desk! They are more than friends, and they all feel like family to me, especially during this year! They have made it fun to ‘come to work’ each and every day … at the West End of my Dining Room Table! I am pretty sure I would have been fired from any other job … for all my jokes and puns!

The Computer Help Desk  is my ‘Team OF Teams‘ for 2020!!!

I will be back in 2021 with more Posts and Pages! I am even thinking of creating one just for my photography! Just photos I have taken over the years and share them. I must admit that my preferred photograpic media has always been … SLIDE PHOTOGRAPHY! Good old Kodachrome! And to be even more specific, Ektachrome! Visions of Paul Simon and my summers of ’77-78 working at the Banff Camera Shop! Except, I had a Canon A-1 camera!

But digital photography is amazing – darn cheap too! I like to think of my iPhone, not as a phone that has a camera … but as a camera that has a phone!

And of course, all kinds of computer hints, tips, stories and just miscellaneous ramblings of someone who is still amazed that his vintage  Commodore SX-64 ……is still working! It was the first computer I bought!


And technology is still … MAGICAL … to me!

Everyone have a safe and healthy holiday season!

The best is yet to come in 2021!

See you all in 2021!!



OAC WordPress Tips . . . at least . . . for ME

OAC WordPress Tips . . . . 
. . . or . . .
How to Avoid <html>
. . . and . . .
TAG! You’re . . . IT !

I had been doing a daily OAC post here since everyone started working from home, late last March. I paused daily posts, after my August holidays as I knew the Fall session would be crazy busy … and it has been.  But I was surprised when I looked at my Posts ‘roster’ and …. 182 posts? And this one would make 183? They sure do add up! And that doesn’t include Pages, but only 4 there, so far.

So, along the way, I have figured out a few very basic shortcuts that help me actually concentrate on the content, not the tools, buttons or menus that are literally .. EVERYWHERE .. on our OAC Dashboard! So I thought I would list my Top 5(-ish) OAC WordPress tips and/or hints … as a start! I might even turn them into a Page as well! 

FIRST, create your blog!
OAC is free for the UVic community! Create a new site by going directly to The Online Academic Community (Instructions here too!)and clicking on “Create a Site”. You will be asked for your NetLink credentials and then you will be given a form to create your own blog! You can have MANY blogs – practice ones, photos, documents, diaries, public, private, shared, collaborative, etc. Just blog responsibly! 

Your first post could be just that … a message that it is your first post! For many details of creating your first post, I highly, HIGHLY recommend viewing all the training videos that are available within your Dashboard!

Now, you have your own blog, have watched the videos – they are short and easy to undertand …. now some hints!

Keep  it Simple … especially your First Post … and … SAVE OFTEN!
That is my first and probably most important hint – SAVE OFTEN!!!!!

Just make your first post … your first post! You can say who you are, what you hope to accomplish and keep it simple, straightforward and just text! Use the ‘Preview‘ button to see what it looks like, use the ‘Save Draft‘ button to save every so often (first and best hint EVER!) and then click ‘Publish‘ and .. you just made your first Post! You can email a colleague or UVic community member and they can now see your first Post!

Here are a few more basic and simple hints, with just a brief explanation why … and I can see you nodding your head too! 

Use ‘CTRL Z’ to undo anything you … just did! It works for quite a few potential ‘Undos’, so if you go TOO far, just use ‘SHIFT CTRL Z‘ to .. yes, Undo your Undos…. but the one  caveat is ….. if you SAVE, then you can’t go back and do any Undo’s. But if you Save enough times, there are earler versions called ‘Revisions‘ which appear at the VERY bottom of each Dashboard Post you are working on. And not good with the keyboard? It is part of the menu above each Post – hilited with a purple box below.
Create a new Post … but only as a notepad for ideas! Yes, your SECOND Post will never, ever be published! I use this as my Ideas Post and constantly add thoughts, ideas, websites, notes or anything that I might use LATER, and it just stays as an unpublshed Post! What could be better than all your ideas and potential future Posts, waiting there for you in your OAC blog! Do it! And I do the same in a draft Pages document too. Earlier I ‘posted’ about the differences between Pages and Posts … here! (Shameless self promotion!)

Spacing between paragraphs. That drove me nuts at the beginning! Then, much like Word, there is a secret ‘handshake’ … which really isn’t so secret. I stick with the default spacing for each paragraph. Then I hit ‘Enter’ and it will automatically insert a DOUBLE SPACE between paragraphs. Sometimes, you don’t want that. So … just use ‘SHIFT ENTER’ and you get spacing tight between paragraphs! You are thinking .. why would I want this? Well, you will know when … at least for me, once you start inserting images, or perhaps wanting to space short, one line paragraphs (say poetry) in close proximity to one another. Try it … you will like it! Very handy!

Preview before Posting …. but always a safe route out … or back! Always a good idea to Preview your post ahead of time. Just click ‘Preview’ and a new tab will open with a … preview of your Post! Nothing written in stone, and what I do is read down my own Post, and as I see a mistake or something that needs editing, I close THAT tab, I immediately return to my Post to fix it and then Preview again! Only takes a few seconds to Preview, find the mistake, close the Preview, and fix it. Then Preview again until done! It will be frustrating to notice quite a few mistakes, mostly cosmetic or typos most likely, but FORGET one of them if you just Preview your Post once. 

Best Closing Hint is THE most dangerous one …. GO AHEAD AND MAKE MISTAKES! You can edit, add, revise, remove, modify, enhance, return to Draft,  and even make Private, any of your Posts and Pages! If you aren’t making mistakes … you aren’t learning … or at least, you aren’t Blogging! This ain’t rocket science … unless of course, your Blog is about …. Rocket Science!

And, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks … I was always unhappy with my scribbly pen drawing feature. Today, figured out how to draw a nice regular shaped hilite box around a part of an image! And that might be a more detailed hint, as it involves screen grabs, editing the screen grab, exporting to .png format, then adding to my Media Library, but saving my blog before inserting the new media image …. yeah…sounds hard, but isn’t! A future hint!

Some FUTURE Favourite OAC WordPress tips and hints and tips

    • Copying a Post
    • Your Media library
    • Inserting media and resizing them – they never really fit perfectly!!
    • Best WP sites for hints and help (UVic is AWESOME!)
    • YouTube video(s) in your Blog (Releasse … The Kraken!)
    • Screen grabs and modifying them before adding to your Media Library

And the links below area ALL here at UVic! They will be your absolutely BEST resource of ALL for OAC! Have fun! And I would describe them all as …

  1. OAC – Get Started – What is the OAC? (and more!) 
  2. OAC – Get Started: -How to Create a Site (and more!)
  3. OAC Tutorials – The Dashboard (and more!)
  4. OAC Tutorials – Posts (and more!)
  5. OAC Tutorials – Pages (and more!)
  6. OAC Tutorials – Media Library (and more!) 
  7. OAC Community Members – FIND UVIC BLOGS!

And just to be different, a TED Talk about .. early Blogging! Mena Trott is hilarious and there are many entertaining and close to home (for me!) events that made her an early blogger! Enjoy, I certainly did!




Stress Relief or How I Learned to Love Writing Exams …. Mostly ….

Stress Relief . . . 
. . . or . . .
How I Learned How to Love Writing Exams
. . . mostly . . .

Been there. Done that. What could go wrong?

Well, sometimes nothing, sometimes everything and sometimes … a bit of both.

I have written my fair share of exams. I can barely remember a handful of ACTUALLY writing them, and few still of how I did. But, I could find my U of Calgary transcripts … or maybe my B.Ed. degree … to prove I survived.

There are no hard and fast strategies that always work to reduce exam stress. You really have to find what works for you. And no guarantee it works every single time.

For me, simple meditation works. At least, it works now …. but not always.  That is why they call it a ‘practice’ of meditation.

Unfortunately, I did not have that as a strategy when I was an undergrad. One of those…. “if I only knew then, what I know now“!

Back then, I relied on the oldest strategy known  to every student in the world – blind luck! I simply HAD to wear my lucky Edmonton Oilers jersey AND I had to bring the ball from my most recent raquetball game … that I won! Simple! 

Multiple-choice, short answer, math/stats type exams were fairly straight forward for me. The most imaginative study trick came from a Stats Instructor. We could bring in a 4×6 recipe card with ANYTHING WE WANTED ON IT! What a great idea! Forced us to study what we were uncertain of, by writing it down and bringing it with us to the test. And I barely referenced it …  because I had studied what I was unsure of! And I got an A in the course! WOOT!

I did hate open book exams. They were simply THE hardest to write because you would THINK they would be easy …  but you wasted time looking up answers that you SHOULD have known. Oh well, not too many like that.

But the worst exams for me were LONG ANSWER  or ESSAY EXAMS! Dates, people, documents, history, facts …. SO many blank pages, so little grey  matter!

I basically would get the answer booklet, then turn to the last page and purge every fact, date, document reference, etc. IMMEDIATELY. I did not even LOOK  at the questions. Then, I would look at the first question and .. I had just written my own cheat sheet! Other info would pop into my head and I was able to complete these horrific long answer/essay exams.

And I have been on the ‘Other Side’ of exams … crafting them so that the exam would truly reflect the knowledge base of each student. The last thing you want is to have an exam where either achievement is random or that it does not discriminate between students who DO KNOW the material and those who do not. 

And although it is not available right now, Walking the Labyrinth by Candlelight at the  UVic Multifaith Centre has been incredibly beneficial to me. Once, I was the ONLY PERSON IN THE ENTIRE CHAPEL WALKING THE LABYRINTH! Best meditation experience I have ever had! I came out to a pitch black night, stars twinkling brighter than ever and totally refreshed!

Bottom line is there will  be something that can help you study, minimize anxiety and improve your test scores. Maybe not all the time, but most of the time, hopefully. 

The links below are ALL UVic sites! Well, the very last one, #10, is the only non-UVic site I listed. To be fair, there are hundreds of sites out there, and IUVic thought I would concentrate on the UVic sites I could find and … just one more. And a nice little pause at #9 … to just take a moment and relax ‘MIDST my links!

Everyone stay safe and healthy, whether working at UVic or at home. 

  1. Meditation at UVicMultifaith Centre  (Works for me!)
  2. Walking the Labyrinth (Unfortunately, not available, but …. AMAZING!)
  3. Zoom On-line Morning Meditation with Henri
  4. How to Beat Exam Stress – OAC My UVic Life (Shameless OAC Placement!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  5. Tips for Exam Season (UVic … and advice still timely and relevant!)
  6. Coping with Exams and Exam Anxiety (UVic!)
  7. Anxiety and stress (UVic! Sensing a trend…..)
  8. UVic Student Mental Health Blog 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  9.                         (left blank on purpose …. a stress free resource!)
  10. How to Beat Exam Stress: 25 Tips Backed by Research (The ONLY  non-UVic site!)
  11. Workplace Wellness (An OAC UVic site!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥
  12. Resilience Resources (A subsite of Workplace Wellness!) 🔥HOT OFF THE PRESS WINNER🔥

University of  Victoria Labyrinth Multifaith Chapel

And, well, just don’t write an exam like Mr. Bean!




Working From Home . . . What Could Go Wrong?

Working From Home . . . 
What Could Go Wrong?!

DEFINITELY NOT my most productive morning since working from home!

Full Disclosure: Having a relatively frustrating morning, with, you guessed it … my computer! So, probably a short post today.

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: Taking a Tea Time Out, breathing and … over it now!

FIRST AND FOREMOST – amazing colleagues! I can’t say enough about everyone I work with at the Computer Help Desk! Thanks everyone! And they are doing the same for Students, Staff and Faculty with knowledge, humour and steadfast patience!

My laptop went wonky this morning! Still a bit wonky, but still doing what it does best – allow me to work from home during these interesting times! Everyone was quick to help, offer suggestions and give advice and I am back doing my morning OAC post! 

The only downside, would seem to be my bookmarks/Favourites in Edge have gone rogue! And if THAT is the worst thing that has happened on ‘Yet Another Manic Monday‘, then I am good to go with that! I spent the better part of the morning finding and re-setting my bookmarks and access to them. NAILED IT! Well, maybe … THUMBTACKED IT!

I had to take my own advice and just … let it go! I can easily, slowly, rebuild my Favorites and just keep on working at home! A few things that I always try to remember and put into perspective:

  1. PERSPECTIVE! Yup, just how important is it.
  2. Tea! Better than coffee for stress reduction
  3. Meditation – just letting things go. Thanks to Henri at UVic’s Multifaith!
    1. Breathing … kind of a sub-category, at least for me!

Not too much more. Those work for me and me alone. Yes, a big bag of oversimplification, but, it works for me. 

So, a perspective story! My lawnmower started on the second try this weekend! YAY! But the rip cord to start it .. RIPPED OUT! So, standing there, lawnmower RUNNING and no way to start it again Command Line Decision – just start cutting and don’t stop! Just like in Finding Nemo – “Just keep swimming!”, except … mowing the lawn!

I even emptied the catch bag – WHILE IT WAS RUNNING – and kept on mowing! Whew, finished frontyard, lane, alleyway and backyard in about 50 minutes while on FULL THROTTLE!

Makes a good story and then the best part – there are kits to replace the staring cable for under $10!

In hindsight,it was not as stressful as at the moment! But … I decided to …. just keep mowing, just keep mowing and it relieved my stress! Thanks Dori!

I also did a previous post on “Relieving Stress . . . International Words and Self-Care Trends

And I leave you with some great UVic and other sites on stress including BC and Canadian government sites.


  1. 10 Ways to Cope with Anxiety about Coronavirus (COVID-19) (UVIC)
  2. Ways to cope if you are in isolation due to COVID-19 (UVIC)
  3. Anxiety and Stress (UVIC)
  4. Managing COVID-19 Stress (BC Government)
  5. COVID-19 (BC Centre for Disease Control)
  6. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (Canada)
  7. World’s Most Advanced Lawnmower

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







Most Insane Lawnmowers







Kopi and Kaffee and Café and Kafés and … COFFEE in Different Languages

Kopi and Kaffee
Café and Kafés

Coffee in Different Languages!

I install JAVA every single morning! And I tend to update it again within hours! And you probably know where I am going with this – COFFEE!!!!

Full Disclosure: I am drinking coffee right now, as in … RIGHT NOW!!!! And the rumours are true … I have a coffee mug shaped like … The TARDIS!

Ah, that morning nectar, that brown liquid ambrosia, that chocolate wine, that beige magic … and … enough with!

And below are just a few of the many words for coffee in other languages!


Chinese: 咖啡 (Kāfēi)
Malay: Kopi
French: Café
German: Kaffee
Japanese: コーヒー (Kōhī)
Korean: 커피 (Keopi)
Portuguese: Café
Russian: Кофе (Kofe)
Spanish: Café
Afrikaans: Koffie
Dutch: Koffie
Finnish: Kahvi
Greek: Καφές (Kafés)
Hindi: कॉफ़ी (Kofee)
Icelandic: Kaffi
Romanian: Cafea
Swedish: Kaffe



Did you know that coffee dates back to 800 A.D.? And that in Arabic, it literally translates into ‘wine’! Cool! There are multiple links below, as always, and you can try a few out and find out even MORE interesting facts about the World’s Most Popular Beverage, by far – if you don’t count … TEA!

And what about coffee here in Victoria! You basically practice some Italian every time you go into a Starbucks – Grande, Venti, And Trenta. But what about some great coffee locations here in Victoria!

Full Disclosure – I like ALL the coffee shops in town! They are all amazing! But the best part of coffee is always … the conversation and companionship with coffee buddies! Check out for a list of all the great LOCAL coffee shops here in town, updated to April of this year! Nope, I don’t get anything from this at all. It is just a great site for finding local coffee! And you probably already know who runs the site!

And, the whole idea of the topic of this blog, originated in yesterdays’ blog about Made Up Languages in movies. Specifically, the Heptapod B language!

Why? Because it was described at one site as a ‘Coffee Stain‘ language! What a great segue, eh! Oh and one more cool site about Arrival and Linguistics!

And I leave you with some great coffee sites to peruse on your next Java Break!


  2. 21 Surprising Coffee Facts That Will Perk Up Your Afternoon
  3. 16 most interesting facts to know about coffee
  4. 30 Coffee Facts That Every Coffee Lover Should Know
  5. 17 Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee
  6. Coffee Facts
  7. 22 Facts About Coffee: The World’s Most Important Beverage
  8. How to Order Your Local Cup of Coffee in Different Languages
  9. Coffee in Different Languages and Cultures
  10. Words for “Coffee” Around the World
  13. How to Say Mocha in Different Languages
  14. Coffee Crew Blog (in Victoria!)
  15. Coffee Crew (in Victoria!)
  16. What’s Hot in the Victoria B.C. Canada’s cafe scene (during COVID19) – Updated April 2020
  17. 12+ Extremely Caffeinated Coffee Brands
  18. 10 Most Expensive Coffees in the World in 2020

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 







Coffee Facts

The Basics
About Coffee

About Coffee

7 Facts About Coffee
That You Probably Didn’t Know

How to Order a Coffee in Italy

How to Order a Coffee in Greece

How to Order a Coffee in Russia

How to Order a Coffee in Japan







pe’vIl mu’qaDmey . . . or Curse Well in Klingon . . . or Made Up Movie Languages

pe’vIl mu’qaDmey
or . . .
Curse Well in Klingon
or . . .
Made Up Movie Languages!

Now you know how to gracefully exit yet another Klingon late night gaming party! You never know when learning Klingon will save your life!

Full Disclosure: Contrary to many rumours, I do not speak Klingon. I just like to have the Netflix Closed Caption on for any Science Fiction movie that has … space languages!


DOUBLE Full Disclosure: Early disclosure but my favourite made up language is from the movie ‘Arrival‘. Not only is it a fabulous movie, but they managed to add something new to a language that is CRITICAL to the storyline! WARNING!:- spoilers below about what that is!

The most popular and well known ‘Alien’ language is without a doubt, Klingon! Star Trek has become part of our Pop Culture ever since Spock first said ‘Illogical’. For many years, I would imbed an ‘Easter Egg’ in my CALL Facility demos that had Klingon as one of the many courses taught at UVic. And then … IT REALLY HAPPENED!

And of course, one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and prequel The Hobbit, contain MANY made up languages by J.R.R. Tolkien! And another UVic course was offered as well, but treating Middle Earth more as a history course than a Linguistics course!

And even more blockbuster movies contained made up languages: Avatar (Na’vi), Arrival (Heptapod B), Despicable Me (Minion), Serenity (The Galactic Language), Harry Potter (Parseltongue), Cloud Atlas (Old Georgie) and one not for the faint of heart in A Clockwork Orange (Nadsat).

SPOILER ALERT!: And my favourite of them all, that would be top of my own list to learn would be ….. HEPTAPOD B! This is a language that is quite literally … FLUID or maybe SMOKE or maybe SENTIENT INK! And it allows for Time Travel! There simply is no other cooler language than Heptapod B! I will be the first to register when it is offered at UVic!

And if Heptapod B ever IS offered at UVic, since it is a Time Travel kind of language, you would never have to do any homework because … you would have already learned it! That is my kind of course!

Imagine ordering Take Out in …. Heptapod B! They would already know when and what you wanted and it would arrive … INSTANTLY! So many benefits! 

And I leave you with the best Elvish script from The Lord of the Ring:


  1. The top 10 made-up movie languages
  3. Arrival — Decoding the Universal Language of Time
  4. A 100-word dictionary was made to create the alien language in this year’s highly anticipated sci-fi thriller ‘Arrival’
  6. Learning From Time
  7. Fictional language
  8. 12 Fictional Film and TV Languages You Can Actually Learn
  9. 11 fictional languages created for movies and books
  10. Top 9 Best Made Up Languages Ever Created
  11. When Hollywood Needs A Made-Up Language, They Come To Us
  12. 6 Fictional Languages You Can Really Learn
  13. Klingon Phrases
  14. Klingon proverbs
  15. 18 Klingon Phrases That’ll Save Your Life One Day

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!






Arrival’s Linguistic Relativity
and Time Perception

Top 10
Fictional Languages

Embrace the Problem of Language

Arrival: Sabotaged
Diplomacy Scene

Accent Expert Breaks Down
6 Fictional Languages

4 Fictional Languages
You Can Learn

5 Fictional Languages
You Can Actually Learn

Artlang: A Compilation of
Movie and TV Clips


J.R.R. Tolkien Reads
A Poem in Elvish







Of Unconscious and Precocious Surveillance of Foudroyant Chrysanthemums . . or Hard to SPELL English Words

Of Unconscious and
Precocious Surveillance of
Foudroyant Chrysanthemums
or . . .
Hard to Spell
English Words!

Yet another sentence that you won’t find at Google. BUT, each word IS spelled correctly!  And the reason being … SPELLCHECKERS!

Full Disclosure: Eye I am knot bad at spelling, but I am not grate at grammar! Bear with mee

DOUBLE Full Disclosure: My Grade 1 teacher traumitized me when under constant threat of being whacked with her ruler, could not properly spell ‘cat’ in her presence! All that could come out of me when challenged by her was ….. ‘KAT’! 

WAY back when, I took a computer science course at the University of Calgary. One ‘advanced’ assignment was to read in a random paragraph, generated by the Prof, then scan the paragraph and change some words to … OTHER words! They weren’t misspelled, but it was the pre-cursor to spellcheckers, grammar checkers and word processing! Oh, did I mention … we had to program in FORTRAN and … ON PUNCHED CARDS!!!! Good times, good times … KNOT!

Everyone probably has a few words that they consistently misspell, including the word, misspell!

It just doesn’t ‘look right’ with a double-s in the middle! Other words that always seem to throw me are: pronounce, pronunciation, comfortable, principle & principal, compatible & compatible, weird, catchup & ketchup, and of course … CAT! Some are context based confusion for me, some are just … they don’t look right!

So why do some people misspell words? Turns out, it can be a major cognitive challenge!

It turns out that misspelling in the brain (if it’s not being influenced by some kind of learning disorder, like dyslexia, which is another matter entirely) is a multi-layered problem involving diverse areas of brain tissue and multiple processes. Spelling, neurologically, isn’t as simple as rummaging in a brain-bin, finding a word, and reproducing it perfectly on paper. There are many stages where things can go slightly awry, and new science means we can pinpoint exactly where in the brain various processes are going wrong. Not much of a comfort when you’ve misspelt the main word in the title of your Powerpoint presentation, but there it is.

And one of my favourite words and that I often spell wrong is QUIXOTIC! It has a neat pronunciation and an imaginative, literary and historic background! Beauty and Chaos all in one word, including how to pronounce it!

What a wonderful word quixotic is! While it is most often used to mean equally impractical and idealistic, it also has the sense of romantic nobility. Its source is from the great Spanish novel “Don Quixote,” whose title character is given to unrealistic schemes and great chivalry. In the middle of a recession and high unemployment, it would be quixotic to imagine that you could quit your job and find another easily.

Spellcheckers are amazing … and annoying at the same time! If I recall, our lab computers have spellchecking turned on automatically for documents in Word/Office. And that causes a clear 50/50 split amongst students using Office! Literally half the students want it turned OFF when it is ON. And you can guess the other half! You can’t hope to win …. best you can hope for is a tie!

Personally, I just crank out the text, I try and catch my spelling mistakes, but I know that upon another read through, I will let Bill Gates decide what word I want to use. OOPS, forgot about that US vs Canadian spelling! And that might also be a future post too – different spellings for common words in US, Canada, UK, Australia, etc. and more curiouser and curiouser … WHY?

And nice to know that Word has spellcheckers in foreign languages too! That is always a ‘weight off my shoulders’ for First Year German students! LOL!


  1. 10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling
  2. 25 Hard Spelling Bee Words & Meanings
  3. 15 of the Hardest Words to Spell in the English Language
  4. Top 10 hardest words to spell
  5. These are the hardest-to-spell words in the English language
  6. 10 Hard Words to Spell in English
  7. The 8 most Difficult words to spell
  8. Difficult Spelling Words Quiz
  10. 100 Most Often Misspelled Words in English
  11. 300 Most Difficult SAT Words
  12. Robert Heckendorn’s List of Hard to Spell Words
  13. Why Some People Are Bad Spellers, Unscrambled

As long as there are words out there, there will be interesting topics! 

ENJOY!                TTFN!






Top 20 Hardest
English Words to Spell

7 Year Old Child Spells out
the LONGEST English Word!

8 Extremely Long Words
Everyone Must Learn in English

Top 20 Hardest English Words
to Spell! Guess the Right Word!

Top 10 Hardest Words
to Spell

10 Difficult
English Words to Spell

Can You Spell
These 10 Difficult Words?

How to Pronounce the
Longest Name in Canada

Home Simpson
I Am So Smart