Uncle Garabed’s Notebook (March 26, 2011)


His shortcoming is his long staying.
…Benjamin Disraeli

Fine Tuning

Traditionally, most orchestras tune to the oboe, although it is also common to tune to the clarinet, and often has to do with conductors’ preference. The reasons why the oboe is most often chosen is threefold. First, it is the instrument least susceptible to adjustment of pitch. Second, it is in the middle of the tonal range of the orchestral instruments. Third, the oboe has the ability to project over the orchestra and can be heard by all the other instrumentalists during tuning.

From the Trivia File

The ten-gallon hat can hold only a gallon at most of liquid. It got the name from the Spanish word galón, which means “braid.” Some Mexican vaqueros (cowboys), wore as many as ten braided bands on their sombreros.

Clever Rascal

Edo: I’m going to test your language skills. What’s the meaning of “Yuletide?”
Bedo: That’s easy. If you can lend me ten bucks till payday you’ll tide me over.

What’s in a Name?

Bablouzian: This is a surname that is difficult to assess. The bab portion could be derived from Armenian, Turkish, or Arabic, meaning respectively, grandfather, father, and gate or door. However, the remaining portion, louz, appears to have no meaning in those languages.

Barkev Bablouzian, a princely gentleman, and the creator of the famous Poconos Watch, doesn’t have a clue, either.

So, we must resort to conjecture.

How about a contraction for Babel Uz ?

Shortly after the time of Noah, mankind was dispersed around the world after they tried to build a Tower to heaven – the Tower of Babel. As Job is recorded as living in “Uz”, this is probably a land to which people were dispersed.

There is also Uz, son of Aram, grandson of Shem, great grandson of Biblical Noah.


CK Garabed

Weekly Columnist
C.K. Garabed (a.k.a. Charles Kasbarian) has been active in the Armenian Church and Armenian community organizations all his life. As a writer and editor, he has been a keen observer of, and outspoken commentator on, political and social matters affecting Armenian Americans. He has been a regular contributor to the Armenian Reporter and the AGBU Literary Quarterly, “ARARAT.” For the last 30 years, Garabed has been a regular contributor to the Armenian Weekly. He produces a weekly column called “Uncle Garabed's Notebook,” in which he presents an assortment of tales, anecdotes, poems, riddles, and trivia; for the past 10 years, each column has contained a deconstruction of an Armenian surname. He believes his greatest accomplishment in life, and his contribution to the Armenian nation, has been the espousing of Aghavni, and the begetting of Antranig and Lucine.

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