July 15, 2018

You Know Your House Is Haunted When…

Q: A friend of mine told me that if you hear heavy footsteps in the upstairs hallway when you know no one is up there, doors slam unaccountably, commonly used items disappear and reappear without cause, the kitchen light turns on by itself or there’s the unmistakable scent of a strange perfume in the air, your house is haunted. True hauntings are rare occurrences, and it may be difficult to determine whether or not any strange phenomena in your home might be a haunting since no one knows what a true haunting is. Do you know of anyone whose house might…

Horoscopes for March 9-15, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Mars quincunx Pluto and Saturn squares Pluto, bringing some tension to the areas of your chart of finances. Since Pluto is officially no longer a planet, no biggee. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) In March, it may seem the world is moving too quickly for you and you may secretly have to make concessions. You just might bring honor back to fast food. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) By nature, relationships cause new feelings and sometimes present challenges in understanding. This month you’ll try to understand why you have no relationship. CANCER (June…

The Indestructible Wine, part 2

In my last column, I took you through some of the history of Madeira wine, and discussed its role in trade and the formation of America. Here, I continue with the topic and examine the drink itself – what it’s made of, how it’s made, and understanding what the labels mean. Madeira Island has an oceanic/tropical climate, so fungal diseases and rot are persistent problems. To combat this, grapes are grown on terraced hillsides, often trained on trellises called latada. There are four traditional grapes: Malvasia (Malmsey), Bual (Boal), Verdelho, and Sercial. The grape Tinta Negra Mole became the most…

Unnecessary Manuals

My new cell phone arrived the other day and I couldn’t believe how big the shipping box was. The new phone is about the size of a credit card, but the box it came in would hold a Sears side-by-side refrigerator freezer with room left over for a homeless Sumo wrestler. I knew it was my phone, because it said so on the box, but I felt a twinge of panic. I wondered exactly how many phones I had ordered or perhaps I had misunderstood how big the thing was. After all, I had never actually seen the phone, except…

Horoscopes for March 2-8, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) This month you will embark on a journey to discover your inner self. A wrong turn down the trail and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a spiritual safari gone awry. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You’ll have flashbacks of someone in authority saying that you will rue the day. You didn’t know what they meant, but in March, you will rue at least one day. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will discover a hitherto unknown talent for finding odoriferous elements in everyday life. You’ll eventually quit your job at the…

Loch Ness Laps Stunt

NESSIE NEWS: One lap of Loch Ness was barely tolerable, but two more proved too much for a group of nude swimmers who surrendered to bad weather. The four men and two women, taking turns of an hour each, began their charity stunt at night and completed their first 23-mile lap the following morning. That was all, as temperatures sank and winds rose. According to monitors and observers the temperature and winds weren’t the only things sinking and rising. BOOK NEWS: Six Wisconsin library administrators have produced a sexy calendar they are selling to raise money for their libraries. Five…

Out of Body Leg Massage

Q: A friend of mine told me that once in a while she would wake up with an excruciating spasm in her leg in the middle of the night. Her husband would routinely wake up and would then rub out the pain for her until she fell back to sleep. On one particular night, a leg cramp woke her. She had just started to groan in pain when she saw her husband standing at the foot of his side of the bed. He offered to massage her, but when she moved to give him room, she felt her husband next…

Horoscopes for February 23-March 1, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) February is emotional and weird which, means your family is involved. Bring your friends into the mix and you can add strange and border line illegal. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You start the month off on the right foot, with a deep sense of what you want. But you’re not thinking – you’re left footed. No Dancing With The Stars for you. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) You’ll be dreaming big and setting the tone for the weeks to come. You’ll be radiant. You’ll be impressive. You’ll brighten the lives of…

Grilling, Broiling, Boiling and Spitting!

They’ll give you all kinds of reasons, guys who don’t like to cook. Some may even be true, but they ignore one simple truth: as long as you depend on someone else to do the cooking, you have no control over what you eat or how it’s prepared. For all you know, they may go off on a mad binge and start feeding you stuff that’s actually HEALTHY! Then where will you be? How will you react when you realize you’re condemned to a life of tofu, bean sprouts, yogurt, Belgian endive, and julienned rutabaga? Serves you right! On the…

Whatchamacallit?

They say that as you’re growing old, Your whatchamacallit goes– You can’t remember little things Like if you wore your clothes, Or if your sister (what’s her name?) Has been released from jail, Or if your sister’s brother is Still trying to make bail. But, when you really think it through (Which, clearly, you can’t do), The things you don’t remember are The very things that you Would rather not remember and, In fact, would best forget, To give your brain some breathing room, So, frankly, you could get The life that you had rather lived Set firmly in your…

The Making of a Woman’s Dream

Dear Frankly, I am a slightly built, light skinned, baby faced, balding teacher and not exactly a classic “woman’s dream.” I get along with women and have many women friends. They appreciate my humor, intelligence and understanding nature, yet it is rare when one of them shows an “attraction” towards me. For the past two years, I have been dateless and celibate. I’m beginning to experience desperation. Is it possible for a man my age (48) to find a relationship with a woman 20 years younger? Desperate Dave Dear Desperate, Learn to dance? Dress hip? A teacher’s salary? My fourth…

A Wine for Lovers

When the calendar roles around to February each year, one thing comes to most men’s minds: what in the world am I going to have to do this year to make her happy for Valentine’s? While you’re busy with flowers, dinner reservations, buying a gift that doesn’t get you exiled to the couch, and every other hoop you have to jump through, I’m here to help you make that beverage choice that scores you some points at the end of the evening. It’s called Brachetto d’Acqui, and it’s my topic for the month of February. Connoisseur Ramblings Brachetto d’Acqui, or…

The Ghost of Christmas Future

Q: I’ve been thinking lately about the Ghosts of Christmas and their effect on Ebenezer Scrooge from Dicken’s tale. If the Ghost of Christmas Future were to come today, would the story he would be telling be to corporate CEOs who raided their companies and left people homeless or unemployed? I wonder what kind of ghost would visit former President Bush, Jr. It appears as though these people aren’t concerned with their afterlife. What do you think? A: I hadn’t given it much thought. But, now that you have broached the subject, I can imagine the CEO’s being shown a…

Horoscopes for February 9-15, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) A cut lip will reveal a secret you have been able to keep for years. Someone will recognize the position of the cut on the lip smear on your Valentine’s Day card. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) The good news is you’ll finally get a job. The bad news is you’ll have to wear a dorky uniform and clap and sing goofy happy birthday songs at least twice a day. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will have a very difficult time resisting temptation in February. You’ll run and you’ll hide, but somehow…

The Water of Life

Typically, I prefer to be relevant to the season, its holidays and so on, when not writing about Arizona wines. That means Valentine’s Day in February. I debated on champagnes, maybe dessert wines for couples, or pairing fine wines with a romantic dinner. I’m single though, and Valentine’s is more like Singles Awareness Day for me. Plus, football season will have just ended and with it the addictive distraction of fantasy leagues and other such pastimes of the manly weekend warrior. Take all of this together, and I’ve decided to scrap all things feminine or couples related and focus on one…

Brand X Truck

I lost a good friend the other day. He went over to the dark side. Let me explain. I own a Brand A truck. Brand A trucks are the best. Guys who own Brand B, C, or even all the way down to X, know in their hearts that Brand A is the best. I can’t say which make Brand A is, because even though those other guys know it, they won’t admit it. This friend also owned a Brand A truck, and the universe was in balance. But then, in what I can only imagine was a wave of…

Horoscopes for February 2-8, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You’ll try, but fail, to impress snow bunnies this ski season in Flagstaff. Too late, you’ll find everyone signed your cast, “This Stupid Thing Is Fake!” TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) This month you will discover Castor Oil is like WD40 for the gastro-intestinal tract. You’ll mix it with orange juice and end up non-squeaky clean. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) The month of March finds you facing a conundrum?deciding whether or not to file a police report on the theft of your exotic plants for insurance purposes. CANCER (June 21 – July…

Assassination Confusion

TELEVANGELIST NEWS: Pat Robertson, CEO of the 700 Club television station in Virginia Beach, was quoted as saying he endorsed the assassination of Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, claiming the dictator supported both the spread of Communism and Muslim extremism. Later, he backslid and claimed to be misunderstood, saying he meant the tyrant should be “taken out,” which could have a variety of meanings, like kidnapping him, taking him out for dinner and a movie or taking him out for a walk. As usual, the media was behind the confusion. GOING POSTAL NEWS: Thomas Shaheen, 49, of suburban Springfield Township, who…

Ancient Alien Canals Used by Extraterrestrials

Q: I read where an archeologist has recently identified a boatload of sites that he calls ancient channels, canals, and harbors. The bulk of them seem to be located from Tampa down to Ft. Myers. The sites are now a few feet underwater and show banks and edges that indicate they were built before the sea level rise six to seven thousand years ago. Could these actually be ancient alien canals used by extraterrestrials to traverse the Atlantic seaboard, perhaps from Florida to the Bahamas? A: If they were found in Florida, I would look for a UFO with its…

Home Grown Hot Dogs!

Aren’t kids neat? Their minds are open and, like a sponge, ready to soak up new knowledge and experience. With the right combination of sincerity, craft and cunning, we older guys can turn this quality into a nifty game that’s fun for all and will provide fond memories in years to come. Please understand, I’m not advocating lying or trying to warp innocent young minds (believe me, I know the burden of a warped mind). Rather, I’m talking about having some fun with flights of fancy that can help kids exercise their minds. Allow me to illustrate. I know a…

Horoscopes for January 19-25, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) You’ve built up a lot of good karma over the past year, but you can’t stand around waiting for the big payback to come. What about all the years you screwed up? AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You’ll encounter two challenging aspects causing you to counter the urge to make a mad dash into the sunlight. Good thing, because there was a big tree in the way. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Competition can be extremely motivating for you this month. After conquering your visiting nieces and nephews on wii bowling, you’re…

Whatchacallit II

In reading last month’s ditty, I Have realized of late, That what I vainly preached about Has been my own true fate. My whatchacallit’s truly gone! I’m in a brand new zone! I don’t remember anything, And, boy, how I have grown! Or shrunk, I guess! At any rate, I’ve had to start anew and Invent a past and present that More fairly is my due. A myth, in fact, a naked lie, A fabricated rout! Complete with names and places that I’ve only dreamed about! But, wait, this seems familiar. Could I simply have forgot? I’ll never really know…

Baseball

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. “Hating the New York Yankees is as American as apple pie, unwed mothers and cheating on your income tax.” — Mike Royko “Baseball statistics are like a girl in a bikini. They show a lot, but not everything.” — Toby Harrah “Well, boys, it’s a round ball and a round bat and you got to hit the ball square.”…

Forest Gnome Sighting?

Q: I heard a story from a schoolmate who saw a figure bending down and picking up several sticks. He was a about 7-13 inches high, a gnome-like man with homemade looking clothes, a pointed hat and a long gray beard! He thought to himself that maybe he allowed him to see him because maybe he trusted him. Did he see a forest gnome? Was it real or his imagination? A: I don’t know what grade your schoolmate was in, so it’s hard to tell whether or not it is a child’s imagination or he spotted a forest gnome. Perhaps…

Horoscopes for January 12-18, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Mercury comes out of retrograde, you may become uninhibited, a bit extraverted and even a slight introspective, an antithesis to the regular abnormality of life. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) Think carefully before taking a walk on the wild side. You might encounter lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Or maybe coyotes and bobcats and rattlers, oh my. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) This January 1st, you have decided on the very best New Year’s Resolution ever! Remember, don’t tell anyone what it is or you may jinx it from happening. CANCER…

Dumped or Dumb?

Dear Frankly, I met my girlfriend six months ago when she was engaged to someone else. Recently, a group of friends got together. She and I ended up dancing, talking for hours, and then spending the night together–after which she decided she was not ready for marriage and broke off her engagement. A week later, we decided to be an exclusive couple. Now, after only one month together, she has decided that we rushed things and need to step back. She would like to “start over” and date other people, too. Did I just get dumped or what? Confused Guy…

Internet Dating Follow Up

Excentric World staff members look into the latest in Internet dating. A matchmaking company, Great Expectations, promises to help singles who are experiencing difficulty finding someone compatible. Our staff followed (let’s call him Bob) on a date after he selected a perfect match from an on-line questionnaire. He chose to have his special date meet him at his house before going out. The two listed a great sense of humor and slow dancing as their main attractions. Little did he know that his prospective date would far exceed his expectations.     Related posts: Financial Struggle Long Distance Longings The Current…

The Indestructible Wine, part 1

There’s a book I was introduced to recently entitled A History of the World in Six Glasses. The premise of the book is that there are six key beverages that played a major part in shaping world history, as they were the crux of human settlement, the basis in forming major trade operations and trade routes that developed over time to supply those that lacked the beverage with ample amounts from those that made the beverage (or at least grew the ingredients), and the development of modern globalism and consumer culture. Now, I’m a history buff. Colonial and Revolutionary America…

My Wife Bought It

A friend asked me, “Have you been to Australia?” “No,” I answered. “Why?” He pointed to my feet and said, “The Aussies wear boots like those.” “What can I say? My wife brought them home from the store one day, handed them to me and said, ‘Here, wear these. One on each foot, zippers to the inside.’ So I do.” Quite often, my wife feels that amount of detail is necessary. Tee shirts, socks, and hats don’t need much explanation, but almost everything else requires direction. Briefs: Optional, but if worn, one at a time, Y in front, change daily….

Lottery Offense

LAW ENFORCEMENT NEWS: A winner of the Arizona Lottery has been convicted of a federal offense, and was sentenced to prison for 10 years or 1 week each month for 42 years. MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH NEWS: Scientists in South Korea recently announced that, on the heels of cloning human tissue, they have been able to create artificial human sperm. This development will probably be of particular interest to married American males who are often either too tired or too lazy to create their own or are busy watching a sporting event. SPREADING GOSSIP NEWS: Some people don’t believe in repeating gossip,…