August 19, 2018

Go Green . . . Bring Back the Clothesline

You may have to be a “certain age” to appreciate this article. But you younger ones can read about “The good ol’ days”! (If you don’t even know what clotheslines are, then better skip this.) Many Boomers can hear their mothers still as she explained how to hang the wash. You had to hang the socks by the toes…not the top. You hung pants by the bottoms/cuffs…not the waistbands. And all clothes had to be turned inside out just because a bird might fly overhead and you didn’t want that showing. I didn’t want that next to my skin, but…

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Phil’s Reasoning

Life-long Doodlebug Island resident Phil Malvern owns and manages a Jeep outfit that offers scenic tours of the Sedona area to visitors. He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, a straight arrow that sticks to historical fact and accurate topographical information. In this, he is the opposite of his chief driver, Curley Gwelthausen, who holds the patent on storytelling and imaginative labeling. Curley explains that since he generally hauls people who are innocent of any type of Arizona history, and who wouldn’t know a metamorphic rock from a rock by any other name, he feels free to embroider, embellish, and “label…

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Doing Something About the Weather

by Gideon Noire Perhaps you’ve noticed, but doesn’t it seem that the weather is a bit out of control. Remember Sandy? I’ll bet there are some pizza workers on the Jersey shore who won’t soon forget it. After years of scoffing at Katrina, Sandy woke up the East coasters in ways not seen since the Red Sox took four straight from the Yankees. And what about those melting ice caps? It seems there are entire civilizations and perhaps a species or two living above the Arctic Circle that depend on them. As if there isn’t enough cultural extinction in the…

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Flat Earth Society Gains Members

“The missing link between animal and civilized man is us.” –Konrad Lorenz Welcome mats are not out for FES members, but membership is increasing. The paradoxical dilemma: Where to hold the next annual meeting? It won’t be Boston, waters are rising. It clearly won’t be Quebec, either; weather has been so warm that all hotel ice rinks won’t freeze and skiing is out because snow is melting in wintertime; thus, corporate facilities have been cancelled. What about the new Hilton in the Marshall Islands in the far Pacific? Oops! Those low-lying islands are already being inundated by sea water. Wells are filling…

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Big Isis Incarnate Contest

Pictured right is a sarcophagus from ancient Egypt. Many such artifacts have been touring the world in an exhibit of pharaohs from the pyramids. Archeologists continue to uncover treasures from the buried past of the Old Kingdom in Upper Egypt and along the Nile Delta, where Isis was known to have hung out. Isis, a goddess held in the highest esteem, has a history shrouded in mystery about marriage, death and the birth of a son that may she may or may not have bore, but raised to avoid a scandal. Hers is the life upon which shows like Desperate…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

How the use of a single word no longer in the written or spoken English lexicon could have launched a tidal wave of interest was nothing short of miraculous, and, though I was initially responsible for it, the gathering effect took on a life of its own, outstripping any idea of ownership. In the manner of a break from editing chores in connection with the paper I own and publish, I began perusing a first-edition pronouncing dictionary given to me by my adorable Granddaughter Joan when I came upon the word ‘fribble,’ and immediately decided to use it on the…

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Amidst The Delightfully Green Foliage

Despite many years of feuding and fussing, their notorious resort to physical mayhem and their penchant for murderous onslaught, the National Association of Grammarians once again held their annual convention amidst the delightfully green foliage of Doodlebug Island. That they were able to do so is a testament to the forgiving nature of local residents who, not too secretly, wish these grammatical storm troopers would conduct their military campaigns elsewhere. The last combatant left yesterday. This year’s outcomes were no different from previous years, though the rancorous disagreements were noticeably louder and more pointed. Delegates appeared to agree upon only…

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That’s Not My Dog

by Gideon Noire I went boating a few weeks ago with my friend, Skeeter. And when I got home there was a pooch on my porch. I don’t suppose that’s all that newsworthy, but the dog, in the words of the famous criminologist Inspector Clousaeu, was not my dog. At least, that was my impression. His name, I was told later that evening as Esmeralda and I sat staring into his obviously loving but clearly confused canine eyes, was Luther. And yes, she said, he was…our…dog. As Skeeter and I had bumped blissfully over the Ditty River’s shallow rapids that…

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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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Just Do It…by Will Durst

The English language has a healthy share of euphemisms for lying. Fabrication. Falsification. Making stuff up. Inoperative statements. Alternative facts. Big fat fibs. Untruths. Spinning. Puffery. Flummery. Fast food advertising. NFL owner profit/ loss statements. But they all mean the same thing: saying out loud things you know are not true. No matter which polite term you prefer, America in the middle of a Lying Renaissance. And we have President Donald J. Trump to thank for perfecting the practice of public prevarication to an art form. He is the Picasso of hogwash. Throughout his career, Trump has deflected trouble by…

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Russia Nesting Squalls…by Will Durst

Whoever said that a week in politics can be a lifetime, was living so far in the past, they probably have a drawer full of sock garters. Today, in the Land of Trump that time frame has been compressed to an hour. And considering the stormy week we just survived, every one of us ought to have grey hair, be eligible to collect three or four social security checks and have all our earthly possessions catalogued in a living will. Instead of luxuriating in the rave reviews following his speech to Congress that the 45th President recited in his newly…

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Two Heads are Better with Wine

The current growth in the Arizona wine scene can be traced back to a handful of pioneers. The original pioneer arguably being Gordon Dutt who recognized the potential that Sonoita and Elgin held for vineyards in the late 1970s. A small group sprang up during the early- to-mid 1990s to join him, and this core group was the true forefront of the Arizona wine industry as it stands today. I return to the Arizona wine roads to introduce you to one of those pioneering labels and tell the story of its current owner and winemaker. The label is Dos Cabezas…

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Believe This or Not!

“Beware the Jabberwock…the frumious Bandersnatch!” –Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass For many Sedonans down through the diaphanous years, blaming the planet Mercury in times of stress became a major way to pass the day–and better than actual work, for sure. Forget the mortgage payment, the rent, food for the javelinas, the hair appointment, whatever–Mercury is in retrograde. And when Mercury is in retrograde, Sedonans are flat-out not responsible for memory lapses or bizarre behavior. It has always been easy to mock certain things–tawdry films, fatuous local elected officials–but always with a pen dipped in vinegar, nothing more potent. For two…

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Life of Dan

A black sheep, aside from its more utilitarian virtues, serves to reveal just how white white sheep really are. Of course, the thing works in reverse and in other fields, so when we find someone on Doodlebug Island of a virtuous eccentricity, we take note of him. He’s likely to show the rest of us as real oddities. Dan Piedmont, owner of the Doodlebug Hardware Store, is a man whose actions are noteworthy. His life seems to have been cobbled together out of the parts of other lives, yet he is one of the happiest and most exuberant men on the Island….

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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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Blind and in the Dark

I’ve seen a few stories recently about trendy gimmicks in the dining world. My favorites are the restaurants that serve dinner in the dark or make patrons wear blindfolds as part of the meal. While I don’t advocate eating with the lights off, as it’s a recipe for spilling and slopping all over yourself, it does emphasize a key concept in the world of sensory perception. People in general are extremely visually dominant when it comes to the five senses. After sight comes hearing. That leaves the senses of  smell, taste and touch lagging behind. The average person is quite…

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Picking a Fight

Thom Swingel’s repeated request for more favorable advertising rates in my newspaper, the Doodlebug Island Run-on, irked my past remembrance of those few religiously induced tolerances suggested to me at my mother’s knee and my father’s woodshed, and I finally told him to take his business elsewhere. Well, he did, but was soon back. “Rates at other Sedona newspapers are no better, Bill. Do you guys get together?” “The truth is we don’t, and actually, there’s no need. Publishing costs are the same for all of us, and that, after all, is what drives prices.” After he left, I got…

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An Editorial from Excentric World

For more than 24 years, this paper has never used its position in the community to pontificate on any serious topic except to satirize it or hide it within the satire. Today, I make an exception due to the anger pervading in our country over the slaughter of innocents versus the individual rights defined in the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The initiative to draft papers representing a Union began when the Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation. By…

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Robots–Don’t Look Now . . .

By Bishop, Special Excentric Winter Scribe A room without books is like a body without soul. Cicero To Sedona’s most articulate author and war-time hero, Alan Graham Collier, “the purpose of education is to make people think for themselves.” Over coffee at a coffee house in Flagstaff, he was shaken to discover that this maxim isn’t always appreciated, celebrated or understood. It had been some time since he’d been to this celebrated place for coffee and gossip but his memory was clear enough to remember that most everybody was reading a book. Not this time, no sir. This time everyone had laptops, no one had a book, at all…

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It’s All a Matter of Waste

Pictured above is a landfill–the place where unwanted waste is disposed of. Huge mounds of waste are dumped into behemoth holes in the earth dug specifically to hold everything  discarded by humans. While much of what people toss into heaps is recyclable, people choose to bag it  and  drop it in their garbage cans along with a large amount of compostable waste, purely for convenience. Only around 25% of recyclable materials currently make it to recycle centers due to human laziness. Now, some haulers are trying to capitalize of people’s lack of knowledge and dump their recyclables in one container while…

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