April 25, 2024

  • 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…

  • 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…

FEATURED WORLD EDITION

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…

An Excentric Look Into The Future

Oct 28, 2019

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: Deck the Decking with Beer Can Bottoms From the Back Pew . . . Horoscopes for November 9-15,…

Lottery Offense

Oct 28, 2019

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,…

Sacrifices Made and Loves Lost

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

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. “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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

Oct 28, 2019

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

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. “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

Oct 28, 2019

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…

Lesser Known November Holidays

Oct 28, 2019

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…

Biggest Task in America

Oct 28, 2019

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…

New Toys

Oct 28, 2019

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 Universe

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. “Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man does not have to experience it.” — Max Frisch “The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.” — Kilgore Trout “I’m astounded by people who want to know the universe when it’s hard enough to find your way around Chinatown.” — Woody Allen “In the beginning,…

The Sport of Torero Goring

Oct 28, 2019

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…

Sex Equals Happiness

Oct 28, 2019

JOB SATISFACTION NEWS: According to scientists in England, leaders in the field of “happiness economics,” increasing sex frequency in marriage from once a month to weekly provides as much happiness as a $50,000 a year raise. Also, a lasting marriage is the equivalent of $100,000 annually. So, if you spend too much time at the office trying to get a raise, you’re better off leaving early and doing business with your spouse. STATISTICAL NEWS: A new study shows that about 42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot, with a margin of error of around + or –…

Lesser Known October Holidays

Oct 28, 2019

October 1 is World Vegetarian Day and Magic Circles Day October 2 is Name Your Car Day October 3 is Virus Appreciation Day, Techies Day October 4 is National Golf Day October 5 is National Storytelling Festival, Do Something Nice Day October 6 is German-American Day, Come and Take It Day October 7 is National Frappe Day, National Frugal Fun Day October 8 is American Tag Day October 9 is Moldy Cheese Day, Curious Events Day October 10 is National Angel Food Cake Day October 11 is It’s My Party Day October 12 is International Moment Of Frustration Scream Day…

Homeward Drowned

Oct 28, 2019

They say that you cannot go home— You never can go back! I’m here to take exception, and Encourage you to pack Your grip, and quit your worthless job, And terminate your lease, And drag your furniture outdoors, And burn it, piece by piece, And call the Postal Service, and Exterminate your mail, And cancel all your credit cards, And don’t forget to fail To call the county coroner, And tell him that you’re dead, But not to pick your carcass up— You’re going home, instead! And, when your bus pulls into town, Prepare to be bereft: Because, in twenty…

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 July 6-12, 2014

CAPRICORN (January 19 – February 16) Do not walk boldly to your future this month. It would be best if you pretend you’re a houseplant that needs shade. Prune the dead leaves and stand in a corner. AQUARIUS (February 16 – March 11) You need to plug in for things to pan out. Or is it you need to tune in to drop out? Or maybe it’s you need to hang in to hang out. Well, you gotta get up to get down. PISCES (March 20 – April 18) Others will take their cues from you especially when Uranus follows…