September 19, 2018

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Team Building… Whenever two or more people get together for a meeting, it is rare that some social conversation doesn’t take place, even in the strictest of business environments. Many companies encourage social interaction and refer to it as “team building.” I recall one point in my employment history when I worked for a few months on a particular project team where women outnumbered men about three to one. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I observed a strange phenomenon: a penchant for discussing bodily functions. I cannot attribute this behavior to women in general; I am only reporting what…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

In general, human beings like having an order or natural progression to things. Three teaspoons make one tablespoon, 16 tablespoons make a cup, two cups to a pint, two pints to a quart, and four quarts to gallon. However, it breaks down when you get to barrels. A typical barrel is different from either a beer, oil, or whiskey barrel, and forget about a hogshead. All of this varies depending upon where you are in the world as well, which is why when I moved to Arizona and found out the people here have several different names for what are…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

It won’t be long before a real human speaking on a telephone will be outlawed. If you want to call your mother, you will push a few buttons on your phone, press the ‘send’ button, lay your phone on the table, and go take a shower. The phone will do everything. Of course, you have to remember, your phone will be talking to your mother’s voice mail, so they’ll get along just fine. Lately, I’ve been getting the usual number of telemarketing calls, but they’ve been different. They’re not human beings anymore; they’re recordings or “robocalls”. One report I read…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Kopi Luwak coffee that is made from beans recovered from Civet Cat dung. I have always been curious about the guy who first picked through a dung heap in the jungle, recognized the coffee beans and thought it would be a good idea to make a pot. Firstly I assume it was a guy, because even though I have known some women who buy into weird ideas, like wearing a shirt that buttons up the back, I can’t blame this idea on a woman. Secondly, he must have had a powerful craving for coffee…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

That’s A Nice Looking Lawn. When I lived in town my neighbors had lawns in front of their homes. I make this distinction because I didn’t have a lawn; I had desert landscaping. Gravel, cacti, sagebrush, and a few other drought-resistant, and more importantly, low-maintenance plants. Each neighbor had a different approach to taking care of his lawn. One neighbor did the job himself. I remember when he moved in. It was a new home, he moved in on a weekend. The next Friday he had sod delivered, Saturday he put it down, and a week later he mowed it….

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

KEEP IN TOUCH… At company going-away parties, retirement parties or even when the employee who’s leaving isn’t well-liked enough to qualify for a party, and spends the last week on the job going from office to office saying good-bye to everyone who doesn’t see him coming, the last thing said is, “Let’s keep in touch.” Since I hate to make promises I don’t intend to keep, I need some ground rules. An instruction manual would be even better. What exactly does “keeping in touch,” mean? What is the minimum level of contact that fulfills the obligation of that phrase? A…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

I used to own one vehicle from each of the four major manufacturers, (Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Japan), so I expected to buy four different oil filters. I was not prepared for what I encountered. The auto parts store where I shop has a bazillion different oil filters. So many that they have a big book, hanging on a chain from a shelf, that you use to find the oil filter for your vehicle. You scan the charts to find the make and year of your vehicle, then narrow it down using other factors such as engine size, number…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Almost every article I write generates some sort of feedback, and I am amazed at the diverse range of the reactions. No article is universally liked or disliked, and almost every article elicits a response from one person saying it is the best I’ve ever done while another person says it’s the worst. Those two people are different from one article to the next. I’ve also gotten pretty good at predicting who will like or dislike an article. I have long since stopped trying to make every article appeal to every reader, because I realize it is an impossible task….

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

One of my former co-workers, Exudahagen (not his real name), X for short, can jump into any conversation and keep talking until every possible discussion point for that particular subject has been eliminated. He moves from one subject to another without leaving a gap, without even taking a breath. It’s impossible to hold a conversation with him–you can only listen. If you do decide to say something, you must watch closely for the signs that he is nearing a transition point. Usually he starts to talk a little slower. His brain is now furiously multi-tasking. Part is controlling his tongue,…

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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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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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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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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

A few years back I was sitting in my office and heard a sound coming from the parking lot that I had not heard since I left the snowdrifts of upstate New York in April of ’82. It was the sound of a vehicle being shifted alternately between forward and reverse accompanied by the sound of spinning tires. I immediately looked out my Phoenix, Arizona window to see if it had snowed while I was in that last meeting. I was relieved to see that it had not. After all, how far do I have to go to get away…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon marks

One Plus Five: By some standards, I grew up in a large family. I have five siblings. A generation before me, eight to ten was typical, and my parents came from typical families. My mother had seven siblings and my father had nine. I have some cousins that were older than my mom was. I was nearly eight when my third brother was about to be born. Counting my older sister and me that would make five. I was worried. My sister had told me that every fifth baby born in the world was Chinese. Of course, back then we…

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Be Cool

Starting around May of every year, whenever I have a conversation with one of my relatives from some other part of the country, invariably I hear, “Well, I know it’s nothing like where you are, but it’s sure been hot here the last few days.” Arizona equates to hot. It’s just accepted. There are other places that are hotter, but no one knows anyone who lives there. To be accurate, not all of Arizona is hot. But most of the country thinks Arizona beef is medium-rare while it’s still walking around, chickens lay soft-boiled eggs, and you can just pull…

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Campsite Cuisine…by Brendon Marks

I think the smell of charcoal lighter fluid must produce some sort of chemical reaction in men’s brains that causes them to think it is necessary, or even that they are capable of cooking. Or it could be their fascination with open flame. This may explain the need to constantly poke and stir a fireplace, even if it has gas logs. For those men who don’t have a fireplace, this need may be satisfied by constant use of the TV remote control. I have it on good authority that the TV remote control was invented by a man who couldn’t…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

After my “sleeping on the ground” experience my spouse and I decided to invest in one of those aluminum and plastic caps (or shells) that fits on the back of a pick-up. We thought we’d just throw a piece of foam rubber in the back, drive wherever we want, and crawl into the back to sleep. It’s a good theory. The problem is, wherever you can drive, somebody else can drive too, and if they can’t get there in a vehicle, they can on a dirt bike or ATV. We finally found an area unattractive enough so that nobody else…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

As winter slides into the background and the weather improves, many people plan camping trips, to which I say, “To each his own,” but it’s not likely that you’ll run into me in the woods. In the first place, I find it puzzling that the same person who complains about getting down on his hands and knees to retrieve the newspaper out from under a bush will leave the warmth and comfort of a nice bed to go lay in the dirt (regardless of how good the air smells). I suspect that the author of that “Princess and the Pea”…

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The C C & R’s

Many of us live in complexes or communities that are governed by a thin layer of bureaucracy referred to as a homeowners association.  Most associations use a set of rules and regulations as a guideline for making decisions about our everyday lives. These rules are called “The C C & R’s.” According to the board of directors this stands for Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, but I found out it really means Convoluted, Confusing & Really stupid. I will go over a few of the rules we live by and the real reasons for having them. Some of these rules may…

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From The Bottom…by Brendon Marks

Someone said to me the other day, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” I said, “You’re welcome, but what does that mean?” “What does what mean? The bottom of your heart.” “You know, it’s like thanks a lot, I really mean it.” “Well, what if someone says ‘Thank you from the top of my heart.’ Is that better or worse?” “But people don’t say that.” “I know, but what if they did? Now to me, bottom has a negative connotation. People don’t say ‘Bottom of the morning to you.’ Showing your bottom to moon someone is an insult,…

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