May 22, 2019

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Anyone who has ever attempted to wrest a cucumber from the clutches of Mother Nature knows the magnitude of the task. Of course the location of the garden in question makes a significant difference. In Arizona, the job is truly monumental. In the first place, the soil is so alkaline that you can use it to make soap, so adding lime is virtually unheard of. Instead you have to add sulfur to push the pH level down to neutral, and you can forget about growing anything that needs acid soil. If you do get anything to grow, there are more…

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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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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

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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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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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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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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Transplants . . . by Brendon Marks

In the days before GPS systems in cars and smartphones with Google maps, I was putting gas in my car in McGuireville and another car pulled up on the opposite side of the pump. The driver didn’t need gas, just directions. He said, “We just came from Sedona, can you tell me how to get to Cottonwood?” I really didn’t want to stop pumping gas because I was afraid the price would go up before I finished, but I took a chance. I said, “Sure, are you coming back this way?” He said, “Why?” I said, “Well, I was going…

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Growing A Winter Coat, by Brendon Marks

Most women will only admit men are superior in three areas: opening jars, killing bugs, and producing methane. But there is one area where men truly have no equal. That is pogonotrophy. This is not a horrible misspelling of pornography; pogonotrophy means ‘the growing of a beard.’ I know that there are many women who can mount a serious challenge in the mustache department or a hairy old mole, but I’m talking about a real beard. The average man will grow twenty-seven feet of hair out of his face during his lifetime. I’m not sure how they determined that. Can…

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That Was My Idea!…by Brendon Marks

Jeff Hostetler was in town the other day. I saw him at a fast food restaurant. Jeff is a professional football quarterback. I don’t know which team he plays for now, I lost interest in his career when he abandoned the New York Giants. The shirt he was wearing was black and silver and had some sort of pirate theme. He looked very different without his uniform. Those guys are so covered up even their own mothers wouldn’t recognize them. Not like basketball players who run around virtually naked. I pointed him out to my dining companion who snorted, “That’s…

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