March 24, 2019

  • The Price of RFD

    Most city folks don’t know what RFD stands for, and sometimes I think the US Postal Service hopes the rest of us forget about it, too. Rural Free Delivery was introduced a long time ago because Congress thought rural citizens had as much right to have mail delivered to their homes as city dwellers. Most of Congress still feels that way (especially since its members get free postage), but there seems to be some question about the definition of “rural.” I live on the edge of a dirt road, over a mile beyond the nearest asphalt. There are four houses…

  • 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…

  • Advice for Tools

    When I “deboxed” a new tool the other day, the operating instructions fell to the floor. Ordinarily I pay little attention to operating instructions, until the tool fails to perform as expected. After all, I’m a guy, and guys know all about tools. I don’t need no stinkin’ instructions. But these were underfoot; I couldn’t just let them lie there. I closed my eyes, and felt around for them, but finally had to peek. That’s when it happened. Right there on the front page in big, bold letters were those words no guy likes to see. “READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE…

  • O’zapft is!

    Even as a wine guy, I’ve always kept a fondness for beer (it does take a lot of beer to make great wine after all). Arguably the greatest beer event in the world, the annual Oktoberfest in Munich, will be ending as this issue goes to press. It’s an event that embodies what most people know of as stereotypical Germany. It’s one of my favorite holidays, not simply because beer is involved, but it’s a signal for the change in season that brings with it the robust flavors of autumn and winter: dark holiday brews, hearty cold-weather meals, holiday festivities…

  • 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…

FEATURED WORLD EDITION

Money, Money, Money

May 12, 2016

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. “Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?” — John Barrymore “In its famous paradox, the equation of money and excrement, psychoanalysis becomes the first science to state what common sense and the poets have long known — that the essence of money is in its absolute worthlessness.” — Norman O. Brown “The entire…

Loch Ness Laps Stunt

May 12, 2016

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…

Whatchamacallit?

May 12, 2016

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…

Assassination Confusion

May 12, 2016

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…

Whatchacallit II

May 12, 2016

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

May 12, 2016

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.”…

Internet Dating Follow Up

May 12, 2016

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…

Lottery Offense

May 12, 2016

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,…

An Excentric Look Into The Future

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members take a look at all the happy gift recipients following the holidays. This couple is an example of two people so much in love that they gave each other a cell phone. Now, even before their ritual Sunday breakfast out is over, they busily show that love again by using their gifts to text and chat with friends. Perhaps they’ll take a Facebook picture of their meal, a popular, while goofy thing to do.     Related posts: Do-It-Yourself Projects An Editorial from Excentric World Are Men Really Listening? Probably Not! Recalculate

Sacrifices Made and Loves Lost

May 12, 2016

Holiday gatherings often stir emotions and memories of loved ones not in attendance. Our staff decided this month would be a good time to reflect and to remember the fallen. This photograph was taken during the winter of 2001 to commemorate September 11 and the gallant efforts of the firefighters to rescue as many people as they possibly could without reservations. Too often, time passes and without storytellers to preserve the images, times of bravery and sacrifice are too easily forgotten. So, just this once we would like to repeat a picture to remind those who might have forgotten–and involve…

A Christmas Poem

May 12, 2016

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light, I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight. My wife was asleep, her head on my chest, My daughter beside me, angelic in rest. Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white, Transforming the yard to a winter delight. The sparkling lights in the tree I believe, Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve. My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep, Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep. In perfect contentment, or so it would seem, So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream. The sound wasn’t…

Heart Rider

May 12, 2016

I peddled out of Phoenix Just about three weeks ago, And panted up the Mogollon, And through New Mexico, Then Texas, Oklahoma, and Across the Kansas miles, To end it in Missouri to St. Louis–welcome smiles. I peddled fifteen hundred miles With bare necessities: The clothing on my back, that’s all, And no real niceties. A sleeping bag and sunscreen, and Some shampoo and a comb, A couple of necessary tools, And my desire to roam. An Ogalala Sioux I met Who’s words cut clean and smart, Told me I didn’t ride a bike. Instead, I rode my heart. Related…

Americans Out of Work

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members look at Americans out of work and looking toward self-employment. This laid-off gallery manager decided to use his experience in dealing with paintings and painters and start up an interior improvement business. First, he needs to master the art of mixing paint.     Related posts: Economical Ways of Going Green Effects of Alcohol Binging Out-of-work US Citizens Bogus Automobile Insurance Claims

Failure

May 12, 2016

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. “If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.” — Dan Quayle “It is possible to fail in many ways…while to succeed is possible only in one way.” — Aristotle “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” — Bill Cosby “If at first you don’t succeed, find out…

Congressional Wins

May 12, 2016

NATIONAL LEGISLATION NEWS: Congress has been unable to agree on a budget, direct Social Security reform, solve the Medicaid dilemma or protect our borders. However, in emergency sessions, they have succeeded in exposing the steroid use in sports and making sure credit card companies collected from people out of work and forced to file bankruptcy, proving, once again, we have the very best government that money can buy. AUTOMOBILE SAFETY NEWS: A recent study conducted by the National Academy of Sciences should be of interest to those drivers who claim to buy SUVs purely for safety reasons. The results of…

Lesser Known December Holidays

May 12, 2016

December 1 is . . . National Pie Day and Eat A Red Apple Day December 2 is . . . National Fritters Day December 3 is . . . National Roof-Over-Your-Head Day December 4 is . . . Wear Brown Shoes Day December 5 is . . . National Sacher Torte Day December 6 is . . . National Gazpacho Day and Mitten Tree Day December 7 is . . . National Cotton Candy Day December 8 is . . . Take It In The Ear Day December 9 is . . . National Pastry Day December 10 is…

Top 10 Signs You Were Too Old to Trick or Treat

May 12, 2016

10. You got winded from knocking on the door. 9. You had to have another kid chew the candy for you. 8. You asked for high fiber candy only. 7. When someone dropped a candy bar in your bag, you lost your balance and fell over. 6. People said, “Great Boris Karloff Mask,” and you weren’t even wearing a mask. 5. When the door opened you yelled, “Trick or…..” and couldn’t remember the rest. 4. By the end of the night, you had a bag full of restraining orders. 3. You had to carefully choose a costume that wouldn’t dislodge…

No Girls Allowed

May 12, 2016

I’ve always been a skeptic when They cried, “Conspiracy!” But, lately, it’s apparent that They’re ganging up on me! Not lobbyists, or lawyers, or Republicans, or gripes. I’m talking about plumbers and The placement of their pipes. Or, maybe, it’s the architects Who all are growing taller, And simply draw the men’s room plans That plumbers all must foller. At any rate, I’m 5 foot 5″ A Lilliputian prince And when I use a public john It makes my ego wince. The plumbing has ascended far Above my dignity: The fellow with the kiddy stool Is more than likely me!…

Out-of-work US Citizens

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members take a look at empty offices, vulture capitalists’ answer to inflation. The job of the person who used to sit at this cubicle has been shipped to India. For just a few rupees, corporations can hire apologetic technical help to assist Americans with questions about their computer products. Out-of-work U.S. citizens are considering training in speaking with an accent and apologizing for your difficulty.   Related posts: Yard Work! Financial Struggle The Italian Pasta Diet Americans with No Abilities Act Passes

On Marriage

May 12, 2016

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. “A married man should forget his mistakes; no use two people remembering the same thing.” — Duane Dewel “In olden times, sacrifices were made at the altar, a practice that still continues.” — Helen Rowland “Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe.” — Jackie Mason “Marriage is like putting your hand into a…

Every Vote Was Counted

May 12, 2016

While looking at a house, my brother asked the real state agent which direction was North because, he explained, he didn’t want the sun waking him. She asked, “Does the sun rise in the North?” When another person explained that the sun rises in the East (and has for some time), she shook her head and said, “Oh, I don’t keep up with that stuff.” And then she voted! I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I…

Biggest Task in America

May 12, 2016

ECONOMIC RECOVERY NEWS: Economists say that when the dollar is weak, meaning it’s losing value compared to other currencies, one benefit is that more American products can be sold overseas. Now, the biggest task for American manufacturers is to find a way to sell more products in America. EDUCATION NEWS: The latest trend in modern education is tutoring 2 and 3-year-olds for preschool. Next will come surrogate potty training followed by substitute breast feeding. END OF THE WORLD NEWS: According to Harvard University scientists, a dying star lurking dangerously close to Earth is on the brink of exploding into a…

Lesser Known November Holidays

May 12, 2016

November 1. . .Plan Your Epitaph Day November 2. . .National Deviled Egg Day November 3. . .Sandwich Day and Housewife’s Day November 4. . .Waiting For The Barbarians Day November 5. . .Gunpowder Day November 6. . . Saxophone Day and Marooned Without A Compass Day November 7. . . National Bittersweet Chocolate With Almonds Day November 8. . . Dunce Day November 9. . . Chaos Never Dies Day November 10 . . Forget-Me-Not Day November 11 . . Air Day November 12 . . National Pizza With The Works Except Anchovies Day November 13 . . National…

New Toys

May 12, 2016

While the toy recalls mount through the ceiling, Sending outsourcing importers reeling, And Barbie’s lead paint Causes Elmo to faint, While the Easy Bake Oven is peeling, There’s an old fashioned movement re-starting, Causing Wal-Mart and Cosco some smarting, ‘Cuz without Einstein Blocks To stuff in kids’ socks, Toys R Us, from their profits, is parting. They are words often spoken by mothers, And repeated by grandmas and others, Fisher Price is appalled ‘Cuz they can’t be recalled: “Just go play with your sisters and brothers!” Related posts: Ask Kids about Mom and Dad On Board Computers The Sun Mystery

The Sport of Torero Goring

May 12, 2016

Excentric World staff members take a look at the sport of Torero Goring. The rules of this new sport include a brightly dressed human armed with a cape and a sword. Thrust into an arena, the human’s goal will be to tease a large, agitated bull with the cape and, after a number of passes and close calls to the cheering and jeering of the stadium audience, the matador stabs the bull for no apparent reason other than to kill him. If he misses the spot aimed to disable the bull, the bull is finally able to use tools given…

Astrology for the Weak

Horoscopes for November 16-22, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Once again, things will take a turn for the worse in November. And, once again, you will blame everything on a co-worker, a neighbor, a relative or a pet. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) Your Halloween costume was such a big hit at the office party, you will think it fun to wear it once a month. Others will think cross-dressing is more disturbing. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will find that the older you get, the more you want to take a nap in the late afternoon. For most government workers,…

Horoscopes for November 9-15, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You’ll learn of Festivus, dash out to find an undecorated aluminum pole and spaghetti, practice wrestling and airing your grievances. You’ve never been so happy. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) December is traditionally a month for celebrating friends and family members home. Your family, resembling the Grizwalds, will hit the casinos for days. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You’ll start wearing a large silver cross around your neck after Christmas. Everyone will think you found religion. Little will they know, you just found the cross. CANCER (June 21 – July 22) Chanukah, Christmas,…

Horoscopes for November 2-8, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) Your Halloween costume was such a big hit at the office party, you will think it fun to wear it once a month. Others will think cross-dressing is more disturbing. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You will find that the older you get, the more you want to take a nap in the late afternoon. For most government workers, this is fine, but not for taxi drivers. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will recall your parents saying “Your day will come.” Well, it’s coming this month. If not this month, soon. But mark my words,…

Horoscopes for October 26-November 1, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) In October, you may be of two minds about something. This will come as a great relief. Until this October, you were of three or more minds about most things. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You going to fall in love with yourself all over again this October. Like before, you will get along well for a while, then fight, leading to a painful breakup. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Some forecasts show that your fashion choices, your musical taste and your overall style have everyone buzzing with admiration. Other forecasts say…

Horoscopes for October 12-18, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You will find happiness in October. Unfortunately, this will happen right before you lose your keys, your mate, your job and finally your sense of self respect. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) People say they can tell a lot about a person from their handshake. While you may want to strengthen yours, you will definitely want to get rid of the curtsy. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will describe yourself as a take charge kind of person. You will be more successful when you are also a take cash and checks kind…

Horoscopes for October 5-11, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) You going to fall in love with yourself all over again this October. Like before, you will get along well for a while, then fight, leading to a painful breakup. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) Some forecasts show that your fashion choices, your musical taste and your overall style have everyone buzzing with admiration. Other forecasts say “nah.” PISCES (March 20 – April 18) This month, you could have a flash of inspiration that illuminates the potential future in a profound way. Not to worry – like a kidney stone, this too shall…

Horoscopes for September 7-13, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) You will find it effortless to turn away from the dramatically unsocial people in your life and not ever look back again. Probably because they can run so fast. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) Some forecasts have pies and rubber chickens flying in your path. That is ridiculous. The stars show you dodging gluten free carrot cakes and rubber duckies. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Just like a long race in the Olympics, you may want to pace yourself. Winning the first lap isn’t important, it’s finishing first. It’s a metaphor for…

Horoscopes for August 31-September 6, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) People will talk out of the sides of their mouths this month and your communication skills will be tested. Fortunately, for you, you speak fluent jibberish. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) This month, try to avoid signing or agreeing to anything, and things will turn out all right, like those traffic tickets or divorce papers or prenuptial agreement. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Love and kisses and romance and more love and more kisses and more romance and more and more and more love and kisses and romance. Too bad you’re alone….