January 17, 2019

  • Antidotes to Despair in the New Year…by James Bishop, Jr.

    A surfeit of helicopters, out-of-town consultants, midnight gridlock, men with no names planning bridge at Red Rock Crossing more real estate agents than places to live, Javelinas threatening to dance in uptown. What to do? Don’t rent rooms to robots, they don’t pay well. Instead, fill your house with Vivaldi and bake fresh bread. Or go outside and listen to a Raven’s chatter. Do they have happy lives? Are they happier than we are? Look up at night, find the three sisters of Orion’s belt, and memorize them in Arabic! On a sunny day, learn to skateboard at Posse Grounds….

  • Trump’s Global Warning…by Will Durst

    Donald Trump and global warming. Not what you would call your match made in heaven. Rather, the pairing harkens closer to the other location. That hotter destination often described as being in a more Southernly direction. The one with the pitchfork racks on the scorched walls of the foyer. Not only does the president not believe in global warming, he thinks the exact opposite is going on. Whatever that is. He’s not really sure. But it’s definitely neither warming nor global. Could be localized. Could be cooling. Still snows in New Hampshire in the winter don’t it? His series of…

  • 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…

  • Ravens and Helicopters: Competition in Sedona’s Skies…by James Bishop Jr.

    From time to time, the skies above Sedona can be busy with ravens and helicopters. As the New Year looms, the truth must be faced: citizens likely know more about helicopters than they do about ravens even though ravens have been around as long as time itself and are much more interesting. Since prehistoric times even, back when there were Greek and Roman gods it was believed that ravens had divining powers. Nordic mythology, for example, places two ravens, one is thought and one is memory, on the shoulder of the god, Odin. At dawn, the birds flew off to…

  • 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…

FEATURED SEDONA EDITION

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…

The One That Got Away

Apr 23, 2017

The Excentric World investigative team takes a look at a recent discovery off the coast of Maryland that could rock the halls of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Mermaid folklore began with the appearance of the Assyrian goddess Atargatis, who transforms herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Reported sightings of mermaids have been an integral part of tall tales of the deep waters since mankind began to sail the seven seas. Even Christopher Columbus, the wayward explorer who, for some unknown reason, is celebrated in the United States, claimed to have spotted mermaids…

The Legendary El Chupacabra

Apr 23, 2017

Q: I read where a Texas family believes the legendary El Chupacabra may be to blame for the death of dozens of chickens on their farm. The Garcia family of Horizon City says they were shocked to see 30 of their animals turn up dead overnight. Sherif’s deputies investigated the incident, but had no explanation on how the animals may have died. Do you think a Chupacabra could have killed their chickens? A: It’s possible. Although, I have recently seen evidence of conditions being so poor at chicken farms that mass suicides may have taken place. Q: A friend told…

COVEY OF CAUCUSES…by Will Durst

Apr 23, 2017

During the Trump Care Meltdown, when the same Republicans that chanted “Repeal & Replace” for 7 years, folded like a broken down lawn chair in a category 5 hurricane, we learned about a couple mysterious Republican Congressional Caucuses instrumental in torpedoing the AHCA. These two groups come from such opposite sides of the political spectrum they undoubtedly have dartboards with each other’s pictures tacked to the middle. The Freedom Caucus is made up of members that formerly self- identified as Tea Partiers but changed their name to interact with civilized people. Of course we’re referring to those unsung heroes of…

BROKEN NEWS…by Will Durst

Apr 23, 2017

Supposedly, the Chinese or the Arabs or the Scientologists or one of those ancient inscrutable cultures, has a saying that goes “May you live in interesting times.” It is generally considered to be a curse. And America right now is living in the most interesting of times. It’s breathtaking how thrilling and frenetic the news has gotten. Every single day. Almost too exciting. Starting to look like one of those pre-opening credits sequences of a science- fiction movie that takes place in the ruins of a dystopian civilization. “And Then All Hell Broke Loose.” It’s not just we news junkies;…

That Really Bunches My Panties

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…