April 17, 2024

  • Understanding the Old World

    One thing I’ve noticed that causes confusion among wine consumers is how to decipher European wine labels. Consumers from the US and other developing wine markets tend to understand wine based on the predominant grape, meaning you buy a Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, etc. The vast majority of Europe, however, traditionally names wines after the region the wine is produced: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Chianti, etc. The main problem this presents for consumers is that they’re often not familiar with what the wine regions of Europe have to offer in the bottle. Just what is Chianti? What are you drinking when you…

  • Deja Vu

    There’s really no point in my going on vacation. I should just save my money, because no matter where I go, I’m reminded of home. For example, I went to Alaska and saw nothing new. The dog sled team, barking and eagerly straining at the harness, reminded me of the department where I work–well, except for the straining and eager part. I even went to see some glaciers, because I was sure there were none in Arizona. Calving is the term used to describe huge amounts of ice falling off the face of a glacier into the water. This glacier…

  • 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…

  • The Little Pearl

    Ever wonder what’s in a name? I worked in Portugal a few years back and recall a conversation with the English winemaker about the meaning of names. He told me about his Portuguese friend with a very proper and formal surname that basically happened to translate into English as “all day long, I ride motorcycles.” Most people think English names have little meaning, but if you research the origins of any name you’ll usually find some meaning behind it. Take Margaret Thatcher for an example. A thatcher is someone who traditionally built and repaired old straw roofs. Margaret actually comes…

  • Pelican Trust

    PETA has declared Arizona BPUF or “Brown Pelican UnFriendly.” PETA in this case, stands for Pelican Enlightenment Trust Alliance, and the whole story started this way. For some unknown reason, brown pelicans have started showing up in Arizona. Either they were blown off course by the monsoons, they were brought over as pets by migrating Californians and have since outsmarted their captives, or their California captors released them once the unpolluted air allowed a couple of brain cells to kick in and they realized that a brown pelican makes a pretty lousy pet. My personal theory is that they, as…

FEATURED WORLD EDITION

Little Sentence for Little Man

Oct 28, 2019

LITTLE LEGAL NEWS: A Nebraska judge said a 5-foot-1 man convicted of sexually assaulting a child was too small to survive in prison, and gave him 10 years of probation instead. A drastic rise in serious crimes committed by “little people” in the state of Nebraska is expected. HIGH FASHION NEWS: An Indiana high school student, a male student who has worn women’s clothes to school all year, was turned away from his high school prom because he was wearing a dress. Kevin Logan, 18, went to the West Side High School prom on Friday in a slinky fuchsia gown…

Please Forward

Oct 28, 2019

                                                  I know that your intentions are No less than heaven sent; I know your altruistic goal Is pure enlightenment. I know you think my slate is clean, My mind an empty jug, And that the stuff you forward is All welcomed with a hug. This email is to let you know The opposite is true: You’ve got it wrong, you’ve missed the bus; You haven’t got a clue! In fact, when I see “FORWARD TO:” I feel the…

Computers

Oct 28, 2019

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. “Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” — Rich Cook “Computer dating is fine, if you’re a computer.” — Rita Mae Brown “All sorts of computer errors are now turning up. You’d be…

Illegal Immigration Protests

Oct 28, 2019

ILLEGAL ALIEN NEWS: Widespread demonstrations broke out across America recently protesting the huge number of illegal immigrants from Canada entering this country illegally and taking high-paying jobs like radio announcers, actors and television anchors away from nearly qualified Americans. MORE PROTEST NEWS: Homeless people from major cities in the United States have moved from the sidewalks and allies to the streets to complain about the poor treatment being given to packages by uncaring delivery personnel. More and more cardboard collected has been found damaged and unusable as a decent shelter. ABSTINENCE NEWS: According to a Harvard University study, 52 percent…

The Garden of Edam

Oct 28, 2019

                                      I’ve always been a person who Could conjure up the bucks; At eight years-old I biked the park And raffled off the ducks! My latest scam requires a move To Nazareth, P.A. To launch my Christian cheese shop and To profit from the fray. “The Garden of Edam” is its name, With sculpted cheese on-line: There’s “Adam and Eve in Provolone” And “Noah’s Curds in Brine.” There’s “Matthew in Sharp Cheddar” and There’s “Mark in Tasty Brie,” There’s “Luke in Mozzarella”…

Love and Marriage

Oct 28, 2019

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. “True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked.” — Erich Segal “Love is a grave mental disease.” — Plato “Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife.” — Grouch Marx “If we take matrimony at it’s lowest, we regard it as a sort of friendship recognised…

Key Lime Pie Battle

Oct 28, 2019

LEGAL NEWS: A Florida state legislator who was locked in a fierce battle over making key lime pie Florida’s official pie has given up. Rep. Dwight Stansel, a pecan farmer, lobbied for pecan pie to be chosen. He later gave in to public sentiment and key lime pie is now the official pie of Florida. Arizona legislators are rumored to be considering lemons as the state fruit, but are still arguing over who should pick them. MODERN MORALITY NEWS: At two Rolling Hills Consolidated Library branches in Savannah and St. Joseph, Missouri, a children’s book about two male penguins that…

Brimstone Bound

Oct 28, 2019

                                       Pope Benedict is telling me That my beliefs are swell, And, though he hates to break the news, I’m going straight to Hell. The Protestants proclaim with smiles, My heart is pure and true, But, if I think I’m heaven-bound, I’ve lost a major screw. The Christian Rapture Right declares They’d help me if they could, But, since I voted Democrat, Damnation is too good. I’ve not heard from the Atheists, Or, those who worship Beer, But, exit polls predict as one, My…

Modern Politics

Oct 28, 2019

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. “I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney are the only ones supporting me.” — President George W. Bush “Good thing we’ve still got politics — finest form of free entertainment ever invented.” — Molly Irvins “My FOX guys, I love every single one of them.” — Condoleezza Rice “What we really expect out of the Democrats is…

Sheepish Sex Offender

Oct 28, 2019

SEX CRIME NEWS: In Battle Creek MI, a man who pleaded no contest to a sodomy charge involving a sheep says he should not have to register as a sex offender. Police said Jeffrey S. Haynes had sex with a sheep at a Bedford Township farm. The animal’s owner caught him on the property and the sheep was found injured. Haynes claims he is harmless, but the prosecutor says he was just trying to pull the wool over their eyes. SOBER SINGER NEWS: Hanoi, Vietnam – Karaoke bars in Vietnam will no longer be allowed to sell or have alcohol…

More on Money

Oct 28, 2019

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. “Gentlemen prefer bonds.” — Andrew Mellon “If you owe the bank $100 that’s your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that’s the bank’s problem.” — J. Paul Getty “I’ve got all the money I’ll ever need if I die by four o’clock this afternoon.” — Henny Youngman “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack…

Confirmed

Oct 28, 2019

I’ve heard you say your fellow man, And fellow woman, too, Is “crazy as a crocodile Who’s feet are stuck in glue.” “As batty as a bedbug” or “As loony as a lark” “As zany as a zebra” or “As quirky as a quark”; “As silly as a sailor” or “As pouty as a punk” “As goofy as a gopher” or “As squirrely as a skunk.” A brand new study indicates You didn’t speak too soon: One-quarter of Americans Are loopy as a loon! Quote: “One in four exhibit signs Of clear insanity.” (Which makes me stop and wonder where They…

Aggravated Robbery

Oct 28, 2019

CREATIVE CRIME NEWS: A man who robbed a New Zealand bank recently was so disappointed with his haul he tried again–this time by phone, Wellington police said. Authorities traced the calls and arrested a man, charging him with aggravated robbery and demanding money with menace. He got the idea from the Psychic Predictions Hot Line. PRENUPTIAL BLUES NEWS: A 38-year-old man stood in flames on a 10-foot platform in Grants Pass, Ore., July 4th before plunging into a pool. After emerging from the water unscathed, he dropped down on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend. Obviously also lacking the…

Giraffic Park

Oct 28, 2019

                                          The latest thing in eco-chic Is spotted milk and cheese, Obtained from freckled animals With high and lumpy knees. Their eyes are big and lashy and Their heads have door-knob things; Their tails sport lovely flourishes Akin to feathered wings. Their tongues are eighteen-inches long; Their manes are rusty red; They have to kneel to get a drink; They never go to bed. They’re ruminants like Holstein cows; They eat trees from the top; Their babies weigh a hundred…

American Politics

Oct 28, 2019

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. “Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.” — Gore Vidal “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.” — Will Rogers “Americans have different ways of saying things. They say ‘elevator’, we say ‘lift’ … they say ‘President’, we say ‘stupid psychopathic…

Energy Crisis

Oct 28, 2019

MORE OUTSOURCING NEWS: According to a high source in the U.S. Department of Justice, nearly undetectable counterfeit $100 bills are being made in North Korea, and counterfeit cigarettes and U.S. postage stamps are being made in China for import into the United States. Counterfeiters with American citizenship have filed a formal complaint. FAST FOOD BUNGLED BURGLARY NEWS: According to a report in the Ann Arbor News, a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilante, Michigan around 5 am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk explained that he couldn’t open the register without a food order. When the…

New Man

Oct 28, 2019

                                        I just came from the doctor’s with The little list she made: “The food I must not ever eat,” The things I must evade. Right at the top is COFFEE, Which I’m drinking as I write; And next, I see, is BROWNIES, As I take another bite. POTATO CHIPS and KRISPY KREMES Are numbered three and four; Darn lucky since I packed them both For lunch the night before. And for this evening’s barbecue, With perfect timing clear, Are number…

Money, Money, Money

Oct 28, 2019

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…

Well-intended Warning

Oct 28, 2019

Excentric World staff members take a look at the laws on some state’s books that make it illegal for drivers to flash their lights to warn oncoming traffic of a police car down the street. Evidently in this town, it is allowable to post the information on a temporary promotional sign. Our staff members felt that while the sign was well intended, it may be more effective a little further up the road.     Related posts: The Current State of America’s Economy Unnecessary Manuals Internet Dating Follow Up Refuting Climate Change

Loch Ness Laps Stunt

Oct 28, 2019

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?

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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…

Astrology for the Weak

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….

Horoscopes for August 17-23, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You will begin channeling in ancient Sumerian. At first people will be impressed. But soon a translator reveals you’ve been channeling a really bad stoned comedian. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You will try to avoid contact with people this month. After exhausting every hiding place, you’ll choose a closet in the Capital, but will find it full of politicians. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will be dogged by a couple on a scooter all month. Finally, you’ll stop and ask them to stop. Instead, they will become the first in your flock of faithful…

Horoscopes for April 6-12, 2014

ARIES (Aprch 21 – April 19) Closed-door meetings may seem intimidating, but they aren’t always about you. Also, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean you’re not being followed. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) In April, the rising of the new moon could very well bring you a new partner, possibly making your old partner flash you with a new moon. Yikes! GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) This month, the bright light of the Sun shines on your house of dreams, revealing what were once private thoughts. Everyone will then know you’re a kinky weirdo. CANCER (June 21 – July…

Horoscopes for August 3-9, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) 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. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) 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. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Some call you childlike, and on a month like this it’s hard to deny. It’s so hot you’ll dig a big hole in your yard, strap…

Horoscopes for July 27-August 2, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) This month, your imagination, dreams and fantasies will provide other people with entertainment. Little did anyone know what a comedian you can be. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You are in super great shape on the extremely the whole month of July. Look for really good news and lots of wet, sloppy kisses. Somebody’s getting a puppy! PISCES (March 20 – April 18) You’re better off kicking back and observing than trying to make things happen in July. If you can eavesdrop a bit, you’ll learn what they really think about you. ARIES…

Horoscopes for July 13-19, 2014

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) It’s August in Arizona. Chances are great it’s going to be hot – very hot. You’ll complain as you have every year about the heat. You won’t do well in your afterlife. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) August is the perfect month for Taurus to get back together with a long lost lover. If it goes as planned, you will be together days longer than the first time. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) Things are heating up and summer nights are boring. For relief, you’ll take up skinny-dipping at the city pool. You’ll…

Horoscopes for June 29-July 5, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) Work, love, life, whatever, you’re a big winner. The kind of winner everybody wants to take out to dinner and smother with kisses. No, wait, that’s last year’s. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You are itching for a little highbrow culture. But you live in Cornville, AZ and have nothing to scratch it with since the breakup of the Cornville Symphony. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) The microcosm of civilization that surrounds you is starting to wear on your patience, and the idea of faces you don’t recognize sounds thrilling. Go bowling….