June 27, 2017

Decorating Differences Between the Sexes

If ever there was an area in which guys and girls are different, it’s decorating! Women were born to decorate room after room after room in their houses and to talk about it incessantly with their girlfriends. Guys were born to pay for all the decorating the women want to do and to keep their mouths shut about it or at most murmur an occasional, “Yes, dear.” This tradition has been in place since the creation of men and women. Way back in the days of the cave men, the wife would go out and find just the right shade…

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Inside the Anthill

Sitting on the porch the other day watching the clouds roll by, I felt something tickling my leg. There was an ant making his way up my lego. Not wanting to appear rude by just brushing him off or smashing him to a pulp, I said, “Hi there, Mr. Ant. Where are you going in such a hurry?” Imagine my surprise when he answered me, “Oh, hello. I’m looking for ant food. You don’t happen to have any ant food, do you?” “Well,” I replied, “now that you mention it, I don’t even know what ants eat.” He stared straight…

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It’s for You…

by Joseph G. Evrard The other day I was contemplating the history of the telephone when it occurred to me that you might be interested in what people did before this modern age of instant communication–-cell phones, emails and social media mayhem. My daddy, who (as you will remember) was a mountain man, through and through, told me about life in the mountains before the telephone. The first way people had of communicating was to send smoke signals. It started like this. One day, old man Clem was sitting around his cabin thinking it would be good to have someone…

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The Cutting Edge

What does it mean to be on the “cutting edge?” We hear of XYZ Computer Company being on the “cutting edge” of technology. Any high tech company worth its salt claims to be on the “cutting edge” of communication or medical treatment or fashion or pasta production or whatever. BUT the cutting edge is a risky place to be. Think about the implications. You have to keep moving to be effective. You’re doing things nobody has done before so you have no idea what you’re going to run into. Chances are, when you do run into something, it will nick…

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Strange Combinations

Some things just go together naturally–like peanut butter and jelly, Abbot and Costello, wine and cheese, and movies and popcorn. Lately I’ve become aware of a number of things that you wouldn’t expect to find paired up. I thought you’d enjoy hearing about some of them. Several years ago at the “Skippy Research Institute,” scientists crossed an elephant with peanut butter. This union produced two types of offspring. One was peanut butter with a long memory. The other was an elephant that stuck to the roof of your mouth. Cotton is combined with many other fibers to produce fabrics that…

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Great Inventions!

by Joseph G. Evrard Staff Kentuckian Any discussion of great inventions will probably include things like the automobile, the airplane, the transistor and the bikini. All of these inventions were possible because of the work of previous inventors. Without the invention of rubber, it would have been impossible to make tires, so in order to invent the automobile, somebody had to first invent rubber. In like manner, the invention of the transistor depended on the earlier invention of the silicon chip upon which the transistor is manufactured. Similarly, the success of the bikini depended upon silicon (in the form of…

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Real Guy Quiz Time

Have you ever looked in a “girl” magazine? They’re full of these stupid quizzes like, “Does your man really love you?” Or, “How can I tell if I’m REALLY in love?” Here, at last, is a quiz that makes sense for GUYS! 1. What does your wife/girlfriend do when you remind her that it’s goose season? (A) Launder your camouflage (B) Run to her mother’s house (C) Clean your shotgun (D) A and C 2. When your truck breaks down in the woods, do you: (A) Scream to the heavens, “Lord, why me?” (B) Start walking (C) Look in the…

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Happy New Year!

Remember this time 13 years ago? Everybody was worried about being Y2K compliant and waiting with bated breath to see if airplanes would fall out of the sky at the stroke of midnight. Survivalists were holed up in their secret mountain fortresses guarding tons of freeze-dried food, alert and waiting to defend their strongholds against marauding hordes of city dwellers desperate for food and drink. Fly-by-night shysters were counting the mountains of money they made from the sale of emergency generators. Everyone was concerned. Everyone, that is, except our dogs and cats. They knew nothing about Y2K. When nothing happened,…

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Letter to Santa!

Dear Santa, Hi. How are you? I am fine. My name is Buck. How often do you visit Kentucky? At least once a year, I guess. That’s a good thing, because Kentucky has lots of kids like me who can’t wait for your visit at Christmas. I am writing to you to ask for Christmas presents for my family. They need a lot of things, so I hope you have a lot of room in your sleigh. Please bring my Daddy a new shotgun. He says that his old one just doesn’t shoot straight any more. He thinks that’s because…

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The Sunday Paper

Ahhhh, Sunday. The day of rest. The day of relaxation. The day of exhaustion. From the newspaper. Let’s hear it for the Sunday paper. An institution that’s as American as apple pie and baseball. Sunday just wouldn’t be Sunday without a hearty breakfast and the Sunday paper. It offers stimulation for the mind, delight for the eyes, tantalizing recipes for the home cook and aerobic exercise for the lucky family member whose job it is to go out to the street to retrieve it. In our house that’s me. All efforts to get my wife or my cat, Buckshot, to…

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Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s that time of year when we give thanks for all the blessings heaped upon us in the past and reflect upon that which we wish for the future. First, let us give thanks. We are thankful that we have been productive enough to be able to feed our dogs on time (or close to it) so they have not turned upon us and ripped our throats out in retaliation for an empty food dish. We are thankful that none of our friends have demanded photographic proof of the existence of “the big one that got away.” We are thankful…

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Happy Halloween!

Well, how was your last Halloween? Did you go trick-or-treating? What!? You say you’re too old for that sort of thing? NONSENSE! Remember the saying, “You’re as old as you feel”? For some reason, last Halloween I felt about 10 or 12, so I decided to dress up, go around the neighborhood and gather me a stash of sweets. The first challenge was to come up with a costume. This had to be something unique, not just some store-bought standard thing anyone would put on. I investigated many avenues and tried many things before deciding what to wear. My first…

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Good Things to Eat?

Oxford Companion to Cooking? My wife has expanded the cookbook collection…again! We have more cookbooks than a cooking school. The only time I get to eat is when I force myself to take a moment off from the never-ending job of building shelves for all the new cookbooks. Yesterday, in a fit of curiosity, I put down my saw and hammer and actually took a moment to look at one of the books I was building these shelves for. I was amazed. I was speechless (some will count this as a blessing). I was fascinated. I was mesmerized. All of…

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Family Reunions!

Guess what? It’s time to start planning for that event that strikes a chill in the heart of every true guy. The dreaded Arizona Family Reunion! WOW, what a thrill. Here we go again, or do we? Remember last year when the kids had the famous lemonade fight in the back seat of the car? How about the time you took the wrong turn because your wife was holding the map upside down and you ended up in the middle of the desert?All those memories pale in comparison to the time you waited three hour detour in 100-degree heat to…

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Holiday Treats

It’s “that time of the year” again. The time of the year when every writer who writes anything in any kind of newspaper or magazine has to remind you that it’s that time of the year again. So what is that time of the year? The Holiday Season, of course! On page 15 of the Official Rules of Writing, it states that, “No writer shall ignore ‘that time of the year’ under penalty of banishment from the Writer’s Community.” Therefore, I have no choice but to write a festive and fun-filled column about the holiday season.  This year I’ve chosen…

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Measuring Things

How do you measure things? By the inch? By the pound? By the second or minute? Obviously, we all use these measurements and many more to function in today’s complex world. Units of measurement abound. In the metric system, there’s the centimeter, gram, kilogram, hectare, etc. In our English system, we have inches, feet, pounds, miles, etc. Scientists use units with names like watt, slug, radian, ohm, mho, farad and many others. It may surprise you to learn that even with the broad array of units of measurement out there, more are needed. I, therefore, propose adoption of the following…

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Helpin’ Momma!

Some time ago, my Momma started complaining about her knees. They were beginning to hurt her, especially when she had to go upstairs. As time went on, the condition got worse and worse until we decided something had to be done about it. After looking at all the options, we decided that installing a stair lift in Momma’s house would be the best thing to do. Now, I am nothing if not a good and devoted son, so in order to show Momma how much I loved and cared for her, I volunteered to handle this project from start to…

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Frog Doc

Once upon a time in the swampy, soupy, humid, snake-infested, stinking, goopy, dismal swamps of the Old South, there lived a man called the Frog Doctor. Nobody knew what his real name was. They just called him “Doc.” Doc had been around for as long as anyone could remember. Nobody could think of a time when Doc hadn’t been around and nobody could imagine the swampy, soupy, humid, snake-infested, stinking, goopy, dismal swamps without him. Doc was a fixture in the swamps. Doc was a legend in the swamps. Doc was known throughout the swamps and was sought out by…

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A Romantic Dinner–and a Sprinkle of Cheese

Women are impressed by lots of stuff, but none more than the romantic dinner. Nobody knows what causes this reaction. Scientific studies suggest that women’s brains become disabled in the face of evidence suggesting that men can actually cook. It’s also well known that women will stare in slack-jawed disbelief when confronted with the notion that men are capable of being romantic. Thus it’s plain to see when these two factors are combined a woman will become completely helpless–a condition that usually occurs only when there’s a tire to be changed or a spider crawling up the living room wall….

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Porch Settin’!

Yep, the time has come. Summer weather is here and it’s finally time to get serious about America’s favorite rural tradition: porch settin’. For those few ignorant souls out there who don’t engage in this summertime inactivity, allow me to provide a brief refresher course on the accepted standards for this most popular pastime. Porch settin’ is a simple thing but, done right, it’s a perfect expression of grace, artistry and tranquil demeanor. As with any human undertaking, the experts make it look easy. But careful analysis reveals the wealth of training, discipline, careful study and attention to detail that combine…

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Duct Tape!

WOW! This has to be the ultimate GUY THING! On the scale of stuff you gotta have, duct tape has to rate about a three or four, just below the TV remote, the camo wallpaper and (maybe) the custom reloading press, with your own brass nameplate just below the Budweiser logo. Have you ever thought of what in the world we’d do without duct tape? (Here, I’m using the ancient literary ploy of “What if there were no…?”) Well, just think about it. How many of us guys would be stuck in the middle of nowhere, driving a car or…

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Hurry! It’s On Sale!

Advertisers must think we’re really stupid. Have you paid any attention to what the ads on TV and radio are saying? If you’re like me, the commercial breaks go in one ear and out the other. The only way something sticks in my brain is because it’s repeated ten million times (which is why you hear the same ad played until you puke) or if there’s something unique about the way it is presented. Victoria’s Secret TV ads come to mind. I remember them–frequently. Lately in a period of vast boredom, I decided to actually LISTEN to some of the…

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Explosions! Do Not Try This At Home!

Appreciate a good teeth rattling, chest walloping explosion? I know, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Wow, this boy has really lost it! Last week he writes about plinking and shooting teddy bears. Now he’s talking about blowing stuff up! Hide the kids!” Truth is, I come by this stuff honestly. It’s part of my heritage. My DNA is programmed to like things that go bang and boom. Let me explain. When I was a kid we visited my Grandfather’s house a lot. I’ve already told you that my Daddy was a mountain man, through and through. What you don’t know…

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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…

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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…

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Thoughtful Christmas Gifts!

Thoughtful Christmas gifts? Most guys haven’t spent more than two seconds thinking about preparing for Christmas. I know, in the past we talked about festive uses for SPAM, but that’s not preparing for the holidays so much as talking about food that is non-seasonal and always appropriate–especially if SPAM is involved. Now that Christmas is just a few days away, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for family and friends. Surely we want to make a lasting impression on those we care about. For me, Christmas memories always center on my Daddy who, as we all remember, was a mountain…

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Business Opportunities!

Listen to the radio and you have to be impressed with how many business opportunities are out there. There seems to be no end to the sure-fire schemes people are hawking on the air waves. Let’s face it. How good can it really be if the people promoting it have to beg you to get started? Do you really want to squander your life savings on a phone card business? How about stuffing envelopes? Wow! Medical billing. There’s an exciting and lucrative career. I, on the other hand, have come up with a system that CAN’T FAIL! What do successful…

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Heavy Petters!

Profound and unique insight: You’re never too old to learn! The other evening I was porch settin’ with my cat, Buckshot, when he turned to me and asked why I hadn’t used my petters on him lately. Intrigued, I asked what in the world did he mean by “petters?” His answer provided a fascinating glimpse into the workings of the feline mind. It seems that cats are very much aware of the differences between themselves and humans. That awareness includes realizing that we have things at the ends of our arms that are different from their paws. These things we call…

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French Lingeaux!

It has been said that the greatest accomplishment of the French people is their mastery of their own French language. This observation is attributed to a student studying for a final exam in – of all things – French class. There is no truth to the rumor that French is difficult to learn. The French language derives from Latin, which is the language spoken by Latinos. Therefore if you speak some English and want to learn French, you should hang around people from Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico. What could be simpler? For those of you who are unwilling or unable…

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Word Perfect!

Good reading is one of the pleasures we enjoy without giving it too much thought. What you guys out there don’t realize is that good reading can’t happen without somebody first doing some good writing. There can never be too much good writing in the world. So, in the hopes of inspiring some of you, I’m going to teach you a few fundamentals of good writing. First, you must learn that writing is made up of words. These words have names according to the jobs they do. Words can be nouns or verbs or adverbs, etc. These names are called…

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