August 19, 2018

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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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

I read once that you shouldn’t make your work environment too much like home, or you may not want to leave and therefore become dull by falling prey to the ‘all work and no play’ syndrome. Many occupations (like coal miner, hog farmer, or honey wagon operator) rarely worry about this situation, but office workers must ever be on their guard. I’m an early riser and usually was the first to arrive at work. While wandering the halls one morning it occurred to me that cubicle content says a lot about the occupant. I use to work for a major…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

Whenever two or more runners get together to chat, invariably the subject of chip timing comes up. It’s the rare runner who is ambivalent about the subject. You’re either for it or you’re against it, and usually with great passion. For those folks who don’t know what chip timing is, I’ll explain. For those folks who don’t care, bear with me and you may change your mind. You buy or borrow a chip that’s about the size of a quarter that is associated with a unique serial number, fasten it to your shoe, stuff in your sock, or duct tape…

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That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks

A friend rides a bicycle for exercise. Without making any remarks about his level of wimpiness or about his sitting on a pipe and pedaling like heck just to give his butt a ride, I’ll relate the reason for bringing this up. He was telling me about a runner in his neighborhood who was out every day, knees bandaged, and in obvious pain, sometimes only shuffling along to complete his regimen. He was so impressed by the determination of this runner that he admitted that it was the only time that he doesn’t berate the runner for using the street…

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That Really Bunches My Panties by Brendon Marks

For the last few years, I’ve always been involved in one building project or another. A friend remarked, “You’re going to die with a tool belt on.” I was a little concerned about that because he’s a Baptist minister and I was afraid that he might have some inside information. Like maybe he’s seen a list or something, but whatever will be, will be. It occurred to me that virtually every project that I start has one common factor. It always begins with my hands wrapped around the handle of a shovel. Even the very first job I had as…

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That Really Bunches My Panties by Brendon Marks

It’s common knowledge that running takes off body fat like a knife. But running is not for everyone. Some people fall into one of the “terrible too’s”: “Too old,” “too wimpy,” “too decrepit,” and have to find an alternative.  Biking appears to have gained some followers in recent years. For those contemplating a venture into that exercise arena; I have taken the liberty of doing some research. Making the observation that most bike riders are skinny would lead one to believe that bike riding makes one skinny.  Maybe it does, but there are other factors to consider. The design of…

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That Really Bunches My Panties by Brendon Marks

As I waited my turn at the counter in the bowling alley, I casually watched a young guy behind the counter spray something into each one of the collection of rental shoes that had been returned by previous bowlers. I thought, ‘It’s good they do that. No tellin’ what sort of feet have been in those shoes.’ Then it occurred to me that I really didn’t know what the spray was. It could be a disinfectant or it could be only a deodorant or even just compressed air like you use to blast the toast crumbs out of your computer…

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The Barely Mobile Homes

The next time you come up behind one of those lumbering giants called an RV on the road between Wickenburg and Wikieup here are some things to think about as you crawl along, waiting for the next passing zone. Did you ever notice that you never catch up to one when the road is straight and flat? It’s always when the road is so steep and crooked that you can almost read your own back license plate, and the passing zones contain only two dashes. You creep up, trying not to think about dodging the avalanche of aluminum folding chairs…

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Lawn Maintenance

This chapter in my “How-to” book discusses the establishment and maintenance of a traditional lawn. Assuming that you’re starting from nothing, establishing a new lawn is a monumental task. Just mentioning the fact in casual conversation with your friends will cause them to scatter like a covey of quail, especially those that own a pick-up truck or trailer. The fact that you are considering a lawn is proof that you’ve never done it before, and therefore, have no idea what you’re doing. This is a deadly combination, and no amount of free beer will overcome the handicap. For the purpose…

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A Holiday Survivor by Brendon Marks

Well, I survived another holiday shopping season. Each year I am more convinced than ever that it will be my last. Somehow, some way, I am sure that I will die of an overdose of holiday-ness. As each year passes, the odds increase dramatically, and yet I take no special joy in the fact I may be proven correct. When a man wakes up on December 15th it is comparable to waking up in the center of a minefield with a 300-foot radius. He has two chances of escaping without suffering death or bodily injury. slim and none. In the…

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What’s In A Name? – Evidently Everything! by Brendon Marks

West Side Story

I saw a recent newspaper headline that blared, “Cardinals Come From Behind to Beat Eagles.” I just had to investigate, because with my admittedly limited knowledge of birds, even if the cardinals did attack from behind, I would have put my money on the eagles. Then I realized the headline was referring to a football game. Why do we have to name our sports teams? I realize that being called the Phoenix or Philadelphia Footballers might not have much popular appeal, but why the Cardinals? Or for that matter, why the Eagles–or anything? Even though there are cardinals and diamondbacks…

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So You Think You’re Handy . . . by Brendon Marks

Sooner or later every homeowner is faced with the choice of attempting their own repairs, hiring a professional, replacing whatever is broken, or moving. Let me help you decide. A large part of the decision has to do with money. It is usually based on how willing the homeowner is to part with it, not so much on whether it is available. The next most important factor is tools. Skill level increases dramatically when you use the correct tool and success rate drops rapidly when you improvise (not everyone can solder a copper pipe using a Bic lighter and a…

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That Really Bunches My Panties by Brendon Marks

  I recently received an email from my niece relating how the spiders took over her condo while she was away. The final straw was when she discovered (with her face) a spider web across the door between her condo and garage. Regardless of how you feel about spiders and their chance for survival, in this instance, you have to admire their resourcefulness. Even though my niece is petite, had they been successful, they would have had enough for three square meals a day for a year. This made me think about bugs in general. Despite all of our insecticides,…

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