January 19, 2018

It’s Only Water . . . by Brendon Marks

Water is amazing. Take two chunks of hydrogen, one chunk of oxygen, slam them together, and the result is a substance unlimited in its usefulness and versatility. Occasionally it has a down side, usually when a lot of the combined chunks get together and move from one place to another, but generally it’s pretty handy. Its popularity is widespread, and humans flock to it, more so on warm weekends. Any realtor will attest to the fact that humans are attracted to water. Oceanfront, lakefront, and riverfront properties always have the highest price tags. One whole state seems obsessed with the…

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Veggiepets . . . by Brendon Marks

As I pointed out in my last column, some of my closest friends are vegetarians; however I’d like to delve into the subject from a different angle. Personally, I never felt that red meat was bad for you. Gray or green might be a little suspect, but red is okay. I don’t try to convert my vegetarian friends, and they don’t try to convert me. I may make fun of them now and then, but that’s pretty much the norm for my dwindling circle of friends, vegetarian or not. Furthermore, with a couple of my veggie pals, I get as…

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Is That Soy Or Sow? by Brendon Marks

The other day I had an opportunity to try a sausage and mushroom vegetarian pizza. I’ve had true vegetarian pizza before, but none of them has ever had sausage on it. For non-vegetarians, I may need to tell you that sausage does not qualify as a vegetable, so the sausage has to be something else, spiced up to taste like sausage. I don’t know what, and chose not to investigate and spoil the enjoyment of the moment. It’s probably some soybean product. Vegetarians tend to use a lot of soybean stuff. Apparently it has no flavor of its own, and…

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Unjust Accusations…by Brendon Marks

I have received some feedback on a previous column, unjustly accusing me of advocating the use of tools while under the influence of judgment-altering substances, specifically beer. Regular readers know this is not true. That would be criminal lack of judgment. If I were going to advocate something, it would be vendors on every street corner dispensing free hot dogs, the total abolition of car insurance, or changing all street names to the Dewey decimal system. Anything else, I just report what I see and I don’t have to make things up. However, I’m not the first to observe the…

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TV or not TV, That is the Question…by Brendon Marks

Recently as I marveled at the miracle of satellite TV I recalled the days gone by of when many rural households had no choice except over the air broadcast TV with the required antenna bristling from the peak of the roof, and an event which cemented these bygone days in my memory. When I first noticed that all channels above thirteen on my TV were showing the same silent movie about a severe snowstorm in the Arctic I said, “Aw gee whiz. What now? First I can’t read the TV listings in my newspaper, now this.” The first thing I…

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Which Life To Fix . . . by Brendon marks

While talking with an acquaintance few years ago, I mentioned that all of my lives were in turmoil, and he asked, “How many wives do you have?” Assuming that he had misunderstood, and ignoring all thoughts of how delighted Freud would have been to interview this person; I pressed on. (Before I continue, I would like to state unequivocally that my one and only wife is not directly responsible for the turmoil in any of my lives.) I watched for a flicker of interest as I enumerated each of my lives: Work life, home life, and so forth. At “Car…

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The Three F’s . . . by Brendon Marks

So you’re suffering from the three F’s: fat, forty, and frustrated–well, help is available. I can’t do much about “forty”, except suggest you slap on a coat of Oil of Old Lady, to cover your basketball complexion so you don’t look forty. And you’ll have to get “frustrated” advice from another source, but “fat” is right down my alley. Before everybody starts writing letters, let me say that I am not saying that you’re fat. I’m also not saying there is anything wrong with being fat. I’m just saying you may think you’re fat and you may have decided to…

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The Three Fs by Brendon Marks

So you’re suffering from the three F’s: fat, forty, and frustrated–well, help is available. I can’t do much about “forty”, except suggest you slap on a coat of Oil of Old Lady, to cover your basketball complexion so you don’t look forty. And you’ll have to get “frustrated” advice from another source, but “fat” is right down my alley. Before everybody starts writing letters, let me say that I am not saying that you’re fat. I’m also not saying there is anything wrong with being fat. I’m just saying you may think you’re fat and you may have decided to…

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I May Get Around To It . . . by Brendon Marks

I’m a world class procrastinator. I should join Procrastinator’s Anonymous, and I will, someday. How do they get any members anyway? If someone were really a procrastinator, they’d never join, and if they join, they’re not really a procrastinator. Maybe they should call it Very Nearly Procrastinator’s Anonymous. I suppose some are not really procrastinators; they just suffer from BFS (But First Syndrome). But First Syndrome is not the habit of always entering a room backwards or letting your husband take the lead; it’s the problem of allowing a new task to interfere with finishing an earlier one. For example,…

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Plasti-Pack, by Brendon Marks

I predict that you will never see a utility knife for sale in one of those clear plastic, form fitting, clamshell packages, because if you don’t own a utility knife you can’t get the package open. And if you own a utility knife, you don’t need another one. Other tools can be used to open these packages, but if you don’t own a utility knife, the chances are you won’t own a chain saw or axe either. This ingenious package design encloses a purchase item between two pieces of plastic like a sandwich. This clear, hard plastic shell is either…

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Man The Lifeboats, by Brendon marks

A few years ago my wife and I went on a cruise to Alaska, and I highly recommend it. If you think you can’t afford one, don’t worry. It’s no more expensive than riding a Greyhound bus three times around the world, while staying in fine hotels and eating in fancy restaurants. But the cruise is worth every penny. Although the room you share is the same size as a bus seat, it does have a TV, and if you’re lucky, a window, except on a ship they’re called portholes. At least that’s true on the left side of the…

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LIFE’S TROPHIES, by Brendon Marks

A trophy is an everlasting symbol of one’s conquest over an opponent. The practice started centuries ago when some inedible part of the vanquished foe was lopped off and nailed to the wall over the fireplace. During times when you had no house guests these trophies prove very utilitarian for such activities as drying your socks on damp winter evenings. Trophy collecting has endured in spite of the efforts of several camera manufacturers to replace the activity with “moments frozen in time”. The concept has been modified slightly to allow for those instances where the loser may be reluctant to…

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Just Pop Out That Cup Holder by Brendon Marks

How did we ever manage BCH (Before Cup Holders)? I’m sure that the inspiration for the first automotive cup holder was a direct result of a prolonged bout with ADD (Another Drink Dumped). The truck I drove for years was PCH (Pre-Cup Holder), so I know of what I speak. I had one of those neat little console things that sat on the transmission hump and collected screws, nuts, bolts, gum wrappers, and used tissues, mocking me with those indentations that were supposed to pass for drink holders. They could handle a soft drink can all right, but forget about…

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Coffee Cups, Etc. by Brendon Marks

Since the birth of Mr. Coffee every office with one or more people in it has a coffeepot. Where there are pots, there are cups. Many people use a foam cup so they don’t have to bother with details like washing or keeping track of where they left it. These cups are handy when you must attend a boring meeting. You can do many things with them to stay awake. 1.) Break little pieces off and drop them inside to see how far down you can go before what is left is full. 2.) Use a ballpoint pen to doodle…

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Check With Your Doctor, by Brendon Marks

The TV was on, but I wasn’t paying much attention. I was vaguely aware that an advertisement for some prescription medicine was encouraging me to ask my doctor if it was right for me. My first question was: “Shouldn’t he already know?” Then the side effects were mentioned, and that got my attention right away. They were headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, blurred vision, and diarrhea. I?m not a real big fan of any of those maladies, separately or in any combination, and I have a short list of diseases that I would trade for them, so I don?t see…

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Truck Wreck, by Brendon M. Marks

My wife asked, “Are you not a farmer anymore?” “What are you talking about?” “They say that you’re a farmer if you look out whenever a car drives by the house, even at night. You used to look out all the time, but you don’t anymore.” “That’s because I can tell who it is just by listening.” “Are you serious? Do you expect me to believe that?” “Well, sometimes I have trouble telling the difference between Mary Lou’s Durango and Amy’s Dakota, but it’s all in the same family, both the vehicles and the drivers.” “Who’s going by right now?”…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

Waldo had a toboggan. I always remember Waldo’s toboggan when the weather turns cold and snow is reported in far-away places. I have many memories of upper New York State winters that serve mainly as reminders of why I left. Many people look forward to skiing, sledding, and generally flopping around in the snow, but I’m not one of them. If I never see another snowflake, I would have no regrets. That doesn’t mean that I never had fun in the snow. When I was considerably shorter than I am now, my parents decided that I would live with them…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

“What the heck happened to my sofa?” was all Rick could ask. The fabric and stuffing were completely removed from one arm and all that remained was the wooden frame. Now it was war! Rick and his family were attempting to make a weekend getaway place in the high desert between Flagstaff and Williams, Arizona. They bought a piece of land well off the beaten path and spent their weekends escaping the Phoenix heat while making a place to relax and enjoy themselves. The trouble is, Rick spent two or three days a week trying to establish a toehold in…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

A friend showed me a message printed near the bottom edge on the back of a record album jacket: “This Columbia GUARANTEED HIGH FIDELITY recording is scientifically designed to play with the highest quality of reproduction on the phonograph of your choice, new or old. If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future.” I’d like to speak to someone about that. I will admit that at one time you might have…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

Have you ever noticed there are certain types of people you just naturally don’t trust? Very near the top of my list is the group who doesn’t drink coffee. To begin with, what do you call these people? You can’t call them “non-coffee drinkers,” because that only suggests that they drink something that’s not coffee, not that they don’t drink coffee. You can’t call them “coffee non-drinkers,” because that implies that they are non-drinkers, and they are coffees, like “teen-age non-drinkers,” which only exist in your imagination, or if you have grandchildren. This is typical of the English language. We…

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