April 25, 2019

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

I was reminded the other day of an incident that happened years ago when I was a young lad, not even out of high school, working on a dairy farm. As we finished the milking one warm spring evening we realized that one of the cows was probably going to drop her calf during the night. Usually these events require no assistance on our part, but we decided that maybe we could make things a little more comfortable for her by taking her out of the stanchion and putting her outside in the barnyard where she could move around. The…

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Catching Red Rock Fever…by James Bishop, Jr.

Where schedules are forgotten and one becomes immersed in ancient rhythms, one begins to live.— Sigurd Olson When the moment arrives for a visitor to say farewell to Red Rock Country and its startling sunsets, timeless red rocks, and wild, undisturbed landscapes, the symptoms rarely vary – a moist eye, lump in the throat, perhaps a last look over the shoulder at shadows stealing over Bell Rock, and often a vow to return someday. To locals, this distressing condition is simply a case of Red Rock Fever with symptoms familiar to them since, for them, the fever comes and goes…

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Passwords: Safeguards or Satanism . . . by James Bishop, Jr.

I should hate to spend the only life I was going to have hereIn being annoyed with the time I happened to live in.–Robert Frost, Notebook Entry, 1935 Lucky chap that poet, because if passwords were inundating the citizenry in his day, he did not know it, at least his stanzas never showed it.  Indeed and to be sure, passwords, until recently, were the stuff of pulp spy novels, TV miniseries and children’s games.  In short, whatever vexation might have annoyed the sage of New England – and many there were – passwords were not it. For years, TV talking…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

Now don’t shoot the messenger, but I read somewhere that the average woman speaks 30,000 words a day. It was not clear how that compares to the average man, or even whether this is excessive. Considering the fact that there are 86,400 seconds in a day, and most women sleep at least four hours; calculations show approximately one word every two seconds. I believe those are old figures, I don’t know when they were gathered, but they must pre-date the cell phone by at least ten years. If this is true, I think something should be done about it. Maybe…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

Now don’t shoot the messenger, but I read somewhere that the average woman speaks 30,000 words a day. It was not clear how that compares to the average man, or even whether this is excessive. Considering the fact that there are 86,400 seconds in a day, and most women sleep at least four hours; calculations show approximately one word every two seconds. I believe those are old figures, I don’t know when they were gathered, but they must pre-date the cell phone by at least ten years. If this is true, I think something should be done about it. Maybe…

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Ravens . . . by James Bishop Jr.

If only we did not have to die, instead become ravens – Louise Erdrich Weary of Arabs killing our men and women; tired of Chinese cutting down Christian crosses; fed up with blowhard politicians and amoral philanderers? Hear rumblings about a bridge at Red Rock Crossing? Forget Canada, the lines are already too long. Instead, find the Valley of the Ravens if survival is one’s goal. Of late, there seem to be more of the noisy, ancient birds around. What are they up to? Long before Indians, cowboys, developers, and tourists took over our lands, ravens swooped, soared, and glided…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Anybody with an active imagination can think of at least a dozen inventions they’d like to own. Once you get past the number one item on any guy’s list (x-ray glasses), some have real merit. For example, who wouldn’t want a cell phone jammer? It could be a small battery-operated device that jams any cell phone within visual range. I know the technology exists for larger devices that are illegal in most states, but I’m talking about a portable unit. You carry it in your pocket, and when that guy at the next table in the restaurant starts yammering away,…

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Antidotes to Despair in the New Year…by James Bishop, Jr.

A surfeit of helicopters, out-of-town consultants, midnight gridlock, men with no names planning bridge at Red Rock Crossing more real estate agents than places to live, Javelinas threatening to dance in uptown. What to do? Don’t rent rooms to robots, they don’t pay well. Instead, fill your house with Vivaldi and bake fresh bread. Or go outside and listen to a Raven’s chatter. Do they have happy lives? Are they happier than we are? Look up at night, find the three sisters of Orion’s belt, and memorize them in Arabic! On a sunny day, learn to skateboard at Posse Grounds….

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Trump’s Global Warning…by Will Durst

Donald Trump and global warming. Not what you would call your match made in heaven. Rather, the pairing harkens closer to the other location. That hotter destination often described as being in a more Southernly direction. The one with the pitchfork racks on the scorched walls of the foyer. Not only does the president not believe in global warming, he thinks the exact opposite is going on. Whatever that is. He’s not really sure. But it’s definitely neither warming nor global. Could be localized. Could be cooling. Still snows in New Hampshire in the winter don’t it? His series of…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

As a writer I have had it up to here with political correctness, but one problem in particular is trying to decide what to use in place of ‘he’ when there is an equal possibility of meaning ‘he’ or ‘she’. I acknowledge use of ‘he’ where a reference could just as easily be referring to a ‘she’ does seem unfair. Ignoring the fact that whoever said life was fair, was wrong, let’s explore alternatives. In most cases, using ‘he or she’ is acceptable, but is clumsy and using three words where one should suffice is wasteful. It might be better…

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Ravens and Helicopters: Competition in Sedona’s Skies…by James Bishop Jr.

From time to time, the skies above Sedona can be busy with ravens and helicopters. As the New Year looms, the truth must be faced: citizens likely know more about helicopters than they do about ravens even though ravens have been around as long as time itself and are much more interesting. Since prehistoric times even, back when there were Greek and Roman gods it was believed that ravens had divining powers. Nordic mythology, for example, places two ravens, one is thought and one is memory, on the shoulder of the god, Odin. At dawn, the birds flew off to…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Recently one of my siblings (we call him 3-of-6, except our sister, 1-of-6, who calls him 2-of-5) took to social media with a rant regarding package delivery services. Apparently after delivering a package to 3-of-6’s front stoop the miscreant sneaked off without ringing the doorbell or knocking, leaving the package unattended to the delight of stoop thieves who have been ramping up activities as the holidays approach. Even though 3-of-6 was able to retrieve the package before any absconding took place, he wondered when the policy had changed. Many of 3-of-6’s followers reinforced his frustration and one in particular wondered…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

Of all the eloquent speakers who live among the leafy wonders of Doodlebug Island, none is more eloquent than a man who doesn’t speak at all! Struck dumb and with total hearing loss through what his doctors called “brain fever” when he was but a year old—a disease now more familiarly known as scarlet fever—Al Kinesian retained his sight and an inventive mind with which he has developed a language of his own, one that depends on gesture and intuition rather than sound. Furthermore, it is a language filled with more nuances than the average person would deem possible. To…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

I’d like to introduce you to a new term. The term is “scope creep.” This is not an obnoxious guy hooked on mouthwash; it has to do with the way projects are handled. Husbands should be very aware of this concept, because wives have a natural instinct for it. Wives ask husbands to do a project, husbands agree and start on the project, but long before it is completed, the project starts to grow arms and legs. This is “scope creep,” the “scope” of the project is “creeping” outward in every direction. An example will illustrate this concept. The week…

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Scientific Team Creates Synthetic Sperm…by Blodwyn Smythe

For years, a small team of women scientists have been secretly working on the invention of synthetic sperm that could be inseminated into a woman’s fallopian tubes. As the ovulation process occurs, the spermites (as they are currently tagged by its creators) would then swim upstream on a quest to fertilize an egg. Women have argued for decades that the primary reasons for the existence of men was to mow the lawn, open jars with stubborn lids and provide sperm for procreation. Now that riding mowers are more affordable and an electric jar lid remover has hit the market, the…

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F’ing Chutes and Ladders…by Will Durst

Here’s the deal: You don’t start out by calling someone an “f’ing moron.” That’s a final exclamatory heave after exhausting all other slanders. Fool. Jerk. Pinhead. Nitwit. Idiot. Nincompoop. Moron. Until finally… f’ing moron. It doesn’t quite scale the heights of “total f’ing moron” or “banana faced monkey dribbler,” but it’s close. So Rex Tillerson must have been at the end of his rope when he flung that particular phrase of scorn and contempt at Donald Trump. Sounds like a spontaneous human explosion stemming from a well of frustration so deep it echoes. The sort of expletive one blurts out…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

A peppery centenarian, James Watchkiss, celebrated another birthday this week, and was given a ticker-tape parade through downtown Doodlebug, riding in a rickshaw pulled by barmaids from Barney’s grog shop. “Take me where you will, but I’m like an old library book and must be checked back in for my afternoon nap. Orpheus won’t wait!” Well, the parade ended at the plaza where we gave him a noisy welcome and where someone had arranged a microphone. There were a couple speeches short in length but long in praise, then James was asked to speak. “This has been very nice,” he…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Downsizing, rightsizing, reduction in force, no matter what they call it, the end result is fewer employees doing the same or more work. A side benefit of this effort is less floor space required. Another approach is to maximize employee density. Managers, working with the facilities department, have become very creative when it comes to packing more employees into the same or less floor space. Constructing cubicles with movable partitions has been an effective tool in this effort for the last few years. The initial idea was very simple–just make each cubicle smaller. But there is a finite limit to…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

Opening my mail one morning last week, I found what I considered a pointed but rather humorous ‘Letter to the editor’ written by a fellow Islander Monte Mastel, and, after much soul-searching, I created space for it in the next edition of the Doodlebug Run-on, which I edit and publish. The latter comes out weekly although the exact day of the week is something of a crap shoot. Tuesday is the target day, but if nothing newsworthy has announced itself, or if a story is taking its own sweet time coming together, Wednesday or Thursday will do just fine. And,…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

The seven-year-old daughter of a friend has reached a milestone in her educational program. She must learn to write cursive, or longhand, as some refer to it. We wonder why. As an adult I know that this is just one of many instances where it becomes necessary to learn something for no apparent reason. Take algebra for example. If it were not for my formal training I would not have been able to determine that the eighteen-ounce box of macaroni was actually a better deal than the two-pound box. But I wonder about cursive. When do you use it, and…

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