December 4, 2022

Maybe I Was Wrong!

The average male is five feet eight inches tall. I reached that height more than forty years ago and haven’t grown an inch since, so I think I have to resign myself to the fact that I never will get any taller. But I pretty much thought that I would never get any shorter either. Maybe I was wrong. The first ten of those forty-odd years, my waist size fluctuated between 28 and 30 inches. I could measure my own waist, but not my inseam and have never been real comfortable having someone else do it either. Therefore, by trial…

Is Time Travel Really Possible?

Q: I read where a survey of 3,000 people has revealed 30 per cent of adults across the UK believe time travel is possible and not confined to the realms of fictional films or television. And nearly half of adults (44 per cent) wrongly believe memory-erasing technology similar to that used in the film, Men in Black, and hover boards, such as those showcased in Back to the Future, exist in reality. Are people that gullible on your side of the pond? A: Heck, we’ve got people here who believe our President is an alien. Brits have some catching up…

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…

Horoscopes for September 30-October 6, 2012

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You will explain that the reason you are addicted to alcohol and sex is that you sought to cure your Restless Leg Syndrome. Oh yeah, it’s also why you wet the bed. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) This month finds you feeling confident and secure. The armored Hummer, mace, nunchaku, switchblade and AK-47 can’t protect you from those nasty nightmares. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) You will find yourself thinking about climate change. What concerns you most is what possible effect it will have on your wardrobe. Shop ’til you drop, Gemini. CANCER…

Rising Gas Prices

Excentric World staff members take a look at rising gas prices. Congress recently denied a bill to take some of the tax breaks away from the rich oil companies. It makes one wish that any federal legislator, including those from the Executive Branch, be exempt from voting on any bill that would benefit Americans at the detriment of any company or product in which they have invested. In fact, in order to be elected for more than one term, every politician would have to release their holdings in all private companies, making them an ordinary citizen not influenced by corporate…

Horoscopes for September 23-29, 2012

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) The good life and all that is fine and luxurious may be what you value just now. Unfortunately, the low life and all that is cheap and tawdry is all you can afford. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You will have opportunities to add your own personal touch to the work you do. Not everyone will be impressed by your chewed gum glue jobs. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) There could be some tension or sense of opposition requiring compromise or negotiation on your part. Wearing you underwear inside your pants is a…

Constellations

I love to lie upon the ground And watch the night-time sky, And pick out constellations that I make up, on the sly. The big one there with all the stars? The one that’s flaming hot? That’s Hillary’s Ambition, and The easiest to spot! There’s Michael Moore’s Agenda, and The Pope with Foot in Mouth; There’s Edwards’ Hair, Pelosi’s Glare, And, John McCain Gone South. There’s Cheney’s Ego, rising, and Obama, Raising Dough, Mitt Romney’s Chances, setting, and There’s Rumsfeld, Eating Crow. And, look! The one that grew so bright? So certain? Without doubt? George Bush’s So Called Legacy! (It…

Horoscopes for September 16-22, 2012

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) You will be invited to a Paint Ball tournament among a group of your coworkers. You will sadly miss the event, spending too much time rolling the paint balls. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) High spirits will be in motion as the Moon in Gemini conjuncts Mars in your sector of self-expression. Expression has more to do with high spirits than the Moon. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) This month, the Moon in mellow Taurus sextiles your ruling planet Venus in domestic Cancer. I have no idea what this means, but some Geminis…

The Latest in Senior Transportation

Excentric World staff members look at the latest in senior transportation. Embarrassed by having to wear adult diapers when traveling, the new Commodule allows seniors on the go to go whenever they have the urge. A club of former bikers and Commodule owners, Potty Pagans, has formed in Camp Verde. Related posts: Yes, I’m a Senior Citizen Senior Household Hints

Party Pooping Remedy

Dear Frankly, I’m the kind of person who likes big gatherings of friends and family over the holidays. My husband of four years, who is Jewish, is an only child and never celebrated Thanksgiving and certainly had no Christmas Eve feast. He begrudgingly participates when everyone crowds the house, but disappears to the basement and the television while lively conversation takes place elsewhere. Should I just let him be or push him to join in? People Person Pam Dear People, Let him be. The holiday cheer will be over soon enough, but your husband will hopefully still be around. I…

Dreams

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’ll do my dreaming with my eyes wide open, and I’ll do my looking back with my eyes closed.” — Tony Arata “Initially I wanted to be Muhammad Ali. But then I got into a fight and I got my butt kicked, so I figured I could choose something else.” — Babyface “Dream as if you’ll live forever….

Horoscopes for September 9-15, 2012

ARIES (March 21 – April 19) If you have a partner, listen closely and respect his or her wishes. If you don’t have a partner, forget about it. Just go about your daily routine of ignoring people. TAURUS (April 20 – May 20) You may end up working too hard and compromising your health this month. Then again, you may be Elvis’ love child or heir to an ant farm empire. GEMINI (May 21 -June 20) The energy of the planetary aspect is ripe for giving you a feeling of deep security concerning a meaningful relationship. Remember, after ripeness comes…

Financial Struggle

Excentric World staff members take a look at the continuing financial struggle Americans are facing. One clever out-of-work, member of the 99% of Americans was unable to join in any Occupy movements, but chose another way to make a statement. The owner of this mailbox set found that the only way to survive in today’s economy was to stop receiving bills, not stop trying to pay them, just stop receiving them. Perhaps it was also a totem symbol revealing the fact that mortgage bills skyrocketed and paying them was out of reach. These home owners have chosen to “Occupy” their…

Colder is Better and Other Wise Words

I once again want to tackle the myths that seem to stubbornly hang on regarding beverages. Call them what you will, but most are nothing more than rumor, second-hand innuendo, and wives’ tales that somehow get accepted as fact by the uneducated masses. Just because some bartender at your favorite club swears it’s true because it happened to his friend, doesn’t make it so. So strap in and learn a little something about what actually goes on in your glass so you don’t make the beverage mistakes that do result in a lousy tasting product. The issue at hand that…

New Disease Causes Pigs to Run Rampant in UK

Q: I was reading predictions by alleged psychics when I came across this one: A new disease causes pigs to run rampant in the UK, not unlike mad cow, but more violent. At first I laughed, but then realized that if angry cattle could upset the United States, what would rampant pigs do to the United Kingdom? It isn’t enough we must worry about terrorists, now we have to be on the lookout for deranged swine. Some attribute this to our eating habits, but it has nothing to do with haggis, neeps and tatties. A: I think mad cows were…

Brown Bread Conundrum

I was having breakfast with friends, and one of them asked the waiter for wheat toast. His response was, “The only choice we have is white or brown, and I don’t know what the brown is.” There was an awkward silence as everybody waited for my friend’s answer. She was clearly confused. Her cheeks flushed as she imagined every eye in the restaurant was on her, every patron wondering what was taking her so long. She searched the faces of her friends at the table for any simple sign of support, but found none. She sat naked and alone. “White,”…

Flustered

BONE HEADED CRIME NEWS: A suspect entered a Chase Bank branch in New Hudson, MI wearing a hooded sweat shirt, sunglasses and winter gloves. He handed the teller a small piece of cardboard that read, “Give me your money.” When the teller asked him where his bag was, he got flustered and left without the cash. TYPICAL GOVERNMENT NEWS: Surf City, N.J. – The Army Corps of Engineers, which accidentally dumped sand filled with old military ordnance on Surf City’s beach, now wants the town to help pay to remove it. Some suggested detonating the munitions, believing it may improve…

Horoscopes for September 2-8, 2012

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) This month, try not to worry too much if people around you are confused or even unwilling to help. Remember, after all, they are just family and close friends. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) Whether you’re looking for a partner of some sort or just somebody who ‘gets it,’ this month is a good time to scout. Of course, you probably still won’t “get it.” PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Sometimes you feel like you’re freer than the wind, riding high on great ideas and executing plans like there’s nothing to it….

Spend It While You’re Young

Dear Frankly, My wealthy in-laws keep giving us money to add on to our house. I appreciate their offers, but feel as an adult, both my husband and I should be able to support ourselves and our two children. My husband expects them to pay for a variety of things he wants and depends on them to bail him out. I would rather not accept their money (knowing that if we truly had a crisis, they could be a possible resource). My husband and I usually butt heads over this. Should I graciously accept their offer and let it go?…

Sink or Swim

Dear Frankly, My sister says I need to put a time limit on waiting for my boyfriend to propose to me. She says I should not let him know about the time limit. We have been together for more than 5 years. I think our relationship is very strong. We live apart, but I spend a lot of time at his apartment and he at mine. I would like to marry him, though. We have talked a little about marriage, and he says he plans for us to marry. I am not sure how I would approach this time limit….

Online Role-Playing

Dear Frankly, My dad has found an online role-playing game with live people and everything, but now he is talking to them more than his own family. He doesn’t even eat dinner with us so he can play this stupid game. He doesn’t understand that as much fun as he is having with his game, he is hurting us. It is also getting in the way of my parents’ marriage. They have been married for 20 years; I don’t want it to end because of my dad’s childishness. How do I tell him to stop? Should I just delete the…

Sisterly Encouragement

Dear Frankly, My younger sister needs to lose weight and quit smoking. She is in her forties with one son nearly college age. Far be it from me to interfere, but I have genuine concerns for her health and well-being. What should I do to encourage her without upsetting her and causing her to add depression to her list? Stubborn Sister Dear Stubborn, Well, a first read of your letter gives a tone of concern. But then I started to see that your sister may have issues because she has always had to deal with her perfect little Miss Priss…

Speaking in Code

Dear Frankly, My name is Larry and my girlfriend has just decided to “take a break” with me. I said, “OK,” but now she’s trying to stay away from me. She has asked me to stop calling her and she has also told me that we can’t see each other as much anymore because she needs some “personal space.” She won’t even give me a chance to try to work things out. What am I supposed to do? Please help me. How can I win her back? Lovelorn Larry Dear Lovelorn, I can’t see why you would want to get…

The Wino’s Geek Speak Part Deux

I began explaining some style definitions and descriptive terms commonly used by winemakers as they discuss and evaluate the labors of their fruit. Here I continue on with the topics of taste and smell that were cut from my last column to be pasted here for your enjoyment. Bitterness, Astringency, and Tannins What many people run in fear of when mistakenly saying a wine (particularly reds) is too dry are overly tannic wines that leave a bitter flavor and extreme puckering astringency. Many people confuse bitterness and astringency. Bitterness is a flavor. It’s somewhat difficult to describe without making you…

Note from Santa

I’m sitting, watching shoppers with Their yuletide kids in tow, And thinking of a Christmas Eve Some 30 years ago. A simple one-room cabin on A deep Montana lake, A wild goose in the oven, and Snow drifting, flake by flake. Before the evening ended, we Left cookies for Saint Nick, And snuggled down together with A stove-warmed bedtime brick. We crawled out Christmas morning to The wood fire’s flickering light, And stared, astonished, at the gift That Santa left last night. For scrawled in charcoal on the wall, These blackened words, forsooth: “Believe in The Impossible, For there, you’ll…

A Winery’s Best Friend

I’ve easily been to over 100 tasting rooms at various wineries around the world. I’ve probably easily been to over 200. I can’t really say as I lost count a long time ago. How many wineries I’ve been to isn’t important though, as this article isn’t about how much wine I’ve had to drink. I wanted to talk about something I think is a must have, necessary, arguably mandatory requirement for having a great winery: cool pets that give a friendly greeting and enjoyable experience to everyone that visits the winery. Most tasting rooms, especially the ones in the well…

Christmas Ghosts

Q: The first Christmas I spent with my husband’s family was at his oldest brother’s house. When we got there, they (my husband’s family) told me that the house was haunted. I didn’t mind because I’ve been in haunted houses before. They told me to be careful walking down the stairs because the ghosts pushed people down the stairs. I was coming down stairs to to peek at my gifts when, all of a sudden, I felt someone push my feet out from under me. I ended up falling down the first four stairs. I was slightly bruised, but okay….

Eau, That’s Schnapps

I recall having a conversation with a woman while out wine tasting one day several years ago. She was very excited because she was taking a trip to Germany, and one of her scheduled events was touring about a few schnapps distilleries. I struck up a conversation with her on the topic since I’m a fan of all tasty beverages, had just been to Germany, and enjoyed a few schnapps while there. It seems she was a big fan of the sweet, syrupy, flavored liqueurs that most Americans associate with schnapps (we spell it with two P’s, the Germans only…

Communication Gap

Dear Frankly, There is a communication gap between my husband and me. We have been married for 22 years. During the last 5 years, things seem to have been breaking down more and more between us. We don’t have a decent conversation for more than 2 minutes. My eldest daughter asked us some time back why we don’t just get divorced as there is no communication between us anymore. How do I rectify this? Wordless Wendy Dear Wordless, I fail to see the problem, dear. My fifth husband and I barely said “boo” after we said “I do.” Of course,…

Hard to Starboard

The holiday season is a great time for food lovers. All sorts of delectable goodies find their way to the table. Beverages are no exception, and this time of year tends to see the dusting off of various specialty wines, that although great year round, usually are associated with the festivities of the holidays. One particular style has always been a favorite of mine. I’ve touched on it superficially before, but I want to delve into the world of Port Wine and bring you some knowledge behind one of the world’s great beverages. Port is what’s known as fortified wine. That…