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The Ecphorizer
The Observatory Issue 8 Tod Wicks

The other day I happened to drive past a building under construction in the middle of Silicon Valley and noticed that the contractor had erected a sign which proclaimed the building to be a new restaurant named "The Lion and Compass." Now, I have seen some interesting names of eateries in my time, like The Red Lion, The Cork and Cleaver and The Bloated Boar. There seems to be a whole genre of restaurant managers who feel that stringing together unrelated words will create a name which will be at the tip of everyone's tongue. These combinations usually include the names of animals, tools of the culinary art, the shipbuilding trade or winemaking, and occasionally a color.

This got the old gears turning as I sat at the next signal. Why not devise a table of words and offer it to prospective restaurateurs through which they can create clever and catchy names. Here follows a list of my suggestions. If anyone uses any of these words and turns them into a moneymaking operation, please contact my Financial Advisor to arrange royalty payments. To make any sense of the table below, one need only take a word from any column and combine it with a word from any other column by separating the two with the symbol " 'n," as in "Rack 'n Pinion." To be really clever, add your favorite color.
Brass Rail

Of course, for the computer nuts who expand their horizons beyond hacking to open digital delis, the list might be like this:

 Disk Drive

Naturally, this could be done for other specialties and ethnic persuasions. Interesting lists from readers will result in glory through publication. The cleverest will have a month added to his/her subscription to THE ECPHORIZER. . 

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Tod Wicks
A home computer aficionado [a relative rarity in 1982] with a license plate that says APPL II, our own Tod Wicks is also the originator of the Ian Faber Memorial Rallye. [for information about rallyes, check out our Special Rallye Issue.]


City Names Update 2006

Ah, how times do change, as does the familiar ring of old names of cities returning after the massive changes in Eastern Europe in the late 80s and early 90s.  Chemnitz is once again Chemnitz.  St. Petersburg is proudly back again.

And as noted to the left, some cities simply disappear off the map when other, larger, cities devour them.  This is true here in the SF Bay Area where behemouth San Jose is concerned.  Always in the shadow of San Francisco, San Jose keeps trying to gain stature among the top metropolitan areas of the world, but no matter hard this former canning center tries, it will never ever match San Francisco for style, fashion, culture, business, architecture, and pure elan.  That's not for trying, though, as San Jose has for years been gobbling up small nearby communities and adding them to "greater" San Jose:  Such places as Willow Glen, Robertsville, Almaden, Alviso, Coyote, Milpitas, oops, sorry, no one wants Milpitas.  San Jose has its eyes on San Martin and Cupertino these days.  Too bad, San Jose, you'll always by that little burg at the sourthern end of San Francisco Bay.  As a sign over a toilet in a business on Powell Street once urged:  Flush twice as San Jose needs the water.
Other articles by Tod Wicks
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