May 23, 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…

  • 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…

  • Catching Red Rock Fever…by James Bishop, Jr.

    Where schedules are forgotten and one becomes immersed in ancient rhythms, one begins to live.— Sigurd Olson When the moment arrives for a visitor to say farewell to Red Rock Country and its startling sunsets, timeless red rocks, and wild, undisturbed landscapes, the symptoms rarely vary – a moist eye, lump in the throat, perhaps a last look over the shoulder at shadows stealing over Bell Rock, and often a vow to return someday. To locals, this distressing condition is simply a case of Red Rock Fever with symptoms familiar to them since, for them, the fever comes and goes…

  • Passwords: Safeguards or Satanism . . . by James Bishop, Jr.

    I should hate to spend the only life I was going to have hereIn being annoyed with the time I happened to live in.–Robert Frost, Notebook Entry, 1935 Lucky chap that poet, because if passwords were inundating the citizenry in his day, he did not know it, at least his stanzas never showed it.  Indeed and to be sure, passwords, until recently, were the stuff of pulp spy novels, TV miniseries and children’s games.  In short, whatever vexation might have annoyed the sage of New England – and many there were – passwords were not it. For years, TV talking…

  • 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…

FEATURED SEDONA EDITION

PRESIDENT RASKOLNIKOV

May 20, 2017

The firing of FBI Director James Comey by the President of the United States slammed Washington with the suddenness of a two- story bowling ball hitting the South Portico after being dropped from a blimp. And the repercussions have shot across the Capitol like a flurry of Kansas tornadoes, causing the entire Beltway to chant, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” A variety of reasons were given for the hasty dismissal. The FBI is in turmoil. Comey lost the confidence of the FBI rank and file. He did a lousy job. Way too tall. Has weird…

Father Knows Best?

May 20, 2017

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. This month’s subject: FATHERING “There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it, fathers are depressing.” –Gertrude Stein “The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.” –Bertrand Russell “Rich men’s sons are seldom rich men’s fathers.” –Herbert…

Meteor Strike in Russia

May 20, 2017

Q:  I, like many others, watched the video recordings of the recent meteor strike in Russia in amazement. It brought back memories of the story of the 1908 fire caused by an explosion in the Siberian forest. There was no crater ever found and the cause of the explosion, 1,000 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb, was never discovered. It is possible solar flares are reaching the earth and being covered up by government officials? A: There is a nut in Russia claiming the recent meteorite hit was the result of a conspiracy. He’s as crazy as politicians who…

Strange Rusty Powder Found on Cars

May 20, 2017

Q: I heard about a strange rusty powder that appeared on cars in the Chicago area recently. Angelo Mavaraganes, who runs a car repair shop, said he has seen it on at least 30 cars. Cars at the police parking lot at Belmont and Western have the rusty powder all over them, too. NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern said a lot of people in Chicago want to know what the stuff is that has fallen all over their cars. What do you think caused these occurrences? A: I believe someone from the Windy City bought some of our vortex energy…

Restaurant Ghost

May 20, 2017

Q:  I recently read an article about a restaurant that was haunted. There were reports of odd voices, doors opening and closing on their own, and a bathroom faucet that turns itself on. While in her office one day, the manager heard a loud thump from the kitchen. She investigated and found a large box of plastic wrap on the floor far from where it was placed. Could a former employee be causing these anomalies? A: Could be. It could also be the ghost of a person who ate there and got food poisoning and is looking for a little…

A Paranormals Is Here

May 20, 2017

Q:  I recently read an article about a woman who is demanding a new home for her and her family because she is convinced their house is haunted by the ghost of a man named Nigel. The housing association tenant claims a spiritual presence flicks lights on and off, tampers with appliances, moves posters around the walls and causes the floorboards to creak at the property. Any clue as to how she knows the name of the ghost? A: My guess is the woman lives in England. In America, ghosts are usually named Jim or Steve. Q: A friend told…

Tag, You’re It

May 20, 2017

Excentric World staff members take a look at the increasing lack of connection today’s children are having with playing outdoor games.  Years past, when a child was learning to play hide and go seek, they understood they should be somewhere they might not be easily discovered. Nowadays that concept is futile, as the child can be reached by cell phone and can be easily tagged and made “it.” Longing for the good old days. Related posts: No related posts.

Senior Fashion Faux Pas

May 20, 2017

It’s bad enough that young people today have their thighs mixed up with their waists. But c’mon, you older folks, there are things you should’ve learned by now. Contrary to what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided: A nose ring and bifocals Spiked hair and bald spots A pierced tongue and dentures Miniskirts and support hose Ankle bracelets and corn pads Speedos and cellulite A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge Bikinis…

Guns, Guns and More Guns?

May 20, 2017

The Sedona Excentric investigative team takes a look at the rising crime rate in metropolitan America. While the suburbs seem to be getting safer, violent crimes are still a concern. This group of individuals were suspected of trying to buy guns at a gun show without identification. It turned out that the men were actually working undercover for a television station to expose the ease at which non-traceable guns are being acquired by the general public. Fortunately for the young men, their accompanying mascot, Rudy, was wearing a collar with a tag that could be tracked to the local Human…

Dwindling Number of Weddings

May 20, 2017

Sedona Excentric World looks at the dwindling number of scheduled June weddings. With the current state of the economy, couples are choosing to postpone their nuptials until their financial futures are looking brighter. As if the economy were not reason enough to defer matrimonial bliss, mothers are continuing to interfere in their sons’ futures. Reverend Joel Boyd, who is poised to perform his 1,000th wedding ceremony for Affordable Sedona Weddings, ran across this invitation for this coming fall. While Reverend Boyd states that most of his weddings come off without a hitch and few mothers are anything but enthusiastically supportive…

Typical Momma’s Boy?

May 20, 2017

A mother passing by her son’s bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made, and everything was picked up.  Then, she saw an envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow. It was addressed, “Mom.” With the worst premonition, she opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands. Dear Mom, It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you. I’ve been finding real passion with Stacy, and she is so nice, but I knew you would…

CIA Recruiting Remote Viewers

May 20, 2017

Q: Methods of gathering intelligence include using satellites, intercepting communications and recruiting agents. Now, secret documents have emerged revealing that the British Ministry of Defense ran a covert project to recruit psychics. The term remote viewing was coined in the 1970s by researchers at Stanford University. Their work attracted the attention of US intelligence officials. Any evidence of CIA recruiting remote viewers? A: It’s possible. Everyone knows about the CIA secret camp in Cornville, AZ. Perhaps that’s where Sedona psychics go to retire. Q: Many mystics believe that the entry to the legendary Hyperborea, Shambala and Plutonia is carefully concealed…

Papers, Please

May 20, 2017

In June, Excentric World staff members take a look at the future and the way some politicians plan on boosting the economy. The animal kingdom has long been freeloading off of the leftovers of the many hard working Americans. In the wings is a program that will require the government capture these offenders, enlistment of them into the workforce and then taxing the crap out of them. Animals will be banded for identification, proving they are from the US and not migratory. Related posts: Rising Cost of Fuel Spurs Alternative Modes of Transportation A Fearless Breed of Trained Animals More…

Mammary Madness

May 20, 2017

Sigh! People . . . I am so disappointed in you. After thoroughly discussing the topic of appropriate attire in a previous article, I optimistically hoped that the denizens of Sedona would end up sporting a more tasteful approach to summer fashion. However, after a recent stint gad-abouting around town, I now find that I must summon my inner lecturing nun and rehash this topic with more verbal force and, unfortunately, to make my point, more graphic descriptions than may besuitable for a family column. What, you might ask, has me clutching at my chest barely able to contain my…

Reigning Cats and Dogs

May 20, 2017

Where would we be without our pets? Not only do we consider them members of the family, but in some cases, we actually dress them as if they were human. You know who you are. It starts simple enough at Christmas parties when you put those silly fake antlers on top of the dog’s head–no matter the size of dog– and pretend the poor pooch is one of Santa’s reindeer. Over the years, the dog becomes Mr. or Mrs. Claus for the family photo. Then, before anyone has noticed, the dog appears in public in outfits ranging from cowboys to…

Democracy

May 20, 2017

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. This month’s subject: DEMOCRACY “Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” –Winston Churchill “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” –Benjamin Franklin “Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after…

Is That a Melomel?

Apr 23, 2017

Springtime brings the return of one of the great nerd pastimes here in Arizona, The Renaissance Faire. It may be a joke to many, but when the weather is great, it beats sitting in front of the television for entertainment. I’ve actually only been there once, but it was an enjoyable afternoon. Why am I talking about this in a booze column? Well, I know a few people involved in the faire and it happens to have a large concentration of do-it-yourself types that enjoy old traditional crafts as a hobby. It’s also tends to be a who’s who for the…

Typical Excentric Readers

Apr 23, 2017

Typical Excentric Readers from New Jersey are Megan Keenan and her friend Zoe shown here with the banana-seat bikes they unearthed behind an old barn while reading a copy of their favorite paper, The Sedona Excentric. They chose the location based on the fact that other kids and some adults were calling them “braniac” and “wonder girl” each time they read a new edition. The Excentric World Staff collectively salutes the girls and advises them to shine up those old bikes, then sell them on eBay.   Related posts: Typical Excentric Reader Typical Excentric Reader Typical Excentric Reader Typical Excentric…

It All Starts Over a Glass of Wine

Apr 23, 2017

A common thread among many professionals in the wine industry is that their passion began over a particular glass of wine. I still remember the first wine that truly captured my attention. It was the 1997 Elderton Shiraz that I tasted at the Barossa winery during the local culinary festival (a bi-annual event that is now sadly defunct). The wine distinctively smelled like someone had cracked fresh black pepper into my glass. I’ve been a fan of that particular winery ever since. My little story segues into the topic for this month. I return to the Arizona wine roads and…

Changing the Name of Cornville?

Apr 23, 2017

Dear Ed., I’ve heard a nasty rumor that a certain element would like to change the name of Cornville to Santa Fe. Are they confused about where they live? If they want to live in Santa Fe , I suggest they move there. Or we could have a public vote taken, the Cornville way, right out in the open (and not in some sleazy dungeon where people whisper). That should fairly decide where we live. Below is a list of names I’ve imagined. Just circle the one you prefer and mail it to the Excentric. I’m sure they won’t cheat. 1. Santacorn 8. Fesantacorna…

That Really Bunches My Panties

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…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…