Some people like having lots of company. They like having plenty to do. They like big breakfasts and hearty lunches and specially prepared dinners. They are called houseguests, and as they also like to travel, they will be coming to your house soon -
Some people like having lots of company. They like having plenty to do. They like big breakfasts and hearty lunches and specially prepared dinners. They are called houseguests, and as they also like to travel, they will be coming to your house soon -- if they haven't been there already or are with you right now...
Lawn and Order
Today was a perfect day to mow the lawn. Bright and sunny, the birds were singing, the bees were busy. Yes, today was the perfect day to mow the lawn. As was every day for the last three weeks. If only my lawnmower weren't down at Snuffy's Small Engine Repair and Produce...
What's wrong with soccer?
Have you been watching the World Cup? I have, even though I don't know the rules, or if there are any -- beside the obvious one that you can't use your hands, except when you can use your hands. But mostly it seems you can't. That seems to be a pretty good rule that would improve almost any sport. ...
Age comes in on little crow's feet
Sue came in complaining about her aching back and about being tired after spending a hot day weeding the garden. I said, "Well, stop acting like you're 50." I'm pretty sure we had something I don't like for dinner that night, or at least I did. I didn't mean it as an insult; it's just that getting older sneaks up on you. ...
The practical college entrance exam
It's been pretty well established that doing well on traditional tests used for college admissions has no relationship to how well a student will do in college. Students with the same test scores often have different outcomes, some drop out, some excel and some struggle through. If only there were a test that would indicate how well high school students will do once they are in college. Something like:...
Driving Miss Crazy
I just saw a report that said eight out of 10 car crashes or near-crashes are caused by distracted drivers. Thank goodness I was watching TV while I was driving, or I might have missed that. It's one of those stories that can change your life. So I called Sue to tell her, but the cellphone reception was bad out on the interstate, so I told her I'd get back to her when I was on one of the service roads...
To B&B or not to B&B? That is the question
In most small towns, the biggest and most elegant building on Main Street is the funeral home. Or an old-age home. These buildings always look as if they might be the starring attraction in Stephen King's next novel. The biggest house in one nearby town is a huge, white Victorian that looks like a wedding cake. ...
I signed what?
When Dr. Sam said, "You've got the prostate of a 16-year-old," it was hard to keep from beaming. This must be how a woman feels when a complete stranger tells her she has a beautiful baby. Well, maybe not quite. Still, it was hard not to feel proud of my big, fat, beautiful prostate. It was like winning the Oscar. "I'd like to thank everyone who made this possible -- Mom and Dad for their genes, Sue for making me take all those antioxidants, and especially all the little supplements ..."...
A Man's Car is His Castle
My car is my office, my filing cabinet, my spare bedroom, my art collection, my summer home, my beach cabana, my sauna, my think tank, my den, my gym locker, my golf locker, my tool chest, my media center, my breakfast nook, my easy chair, my laundry basket, my command center. ...
'All grind-metal steampunk powerslop, all the time'
In the mid-'60s you could hear the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Peter Paul & Mary, the Temptations and Roger Miller all on the same radio station, sometimes all in the same hour. On top of that, you'd get your hourly three-minute dose of news, weather and sports. ...
Keeping Up with the Mullens
This season's final episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" is nearing. If you have no idea who the Kardashians are and have missed each and every episode of their 3-year-old reality show, welcome to my world. I asked a local teenager to tell me why they were famous but tuned out the answer. ...
I need a vacation from all this relaxing
Recently a chateau in the south of France was robbed of millions of dollars worth of fine art while the owners were on vacation. I'm sorry they got robbed. But what were these people on vacation from? If you live in a castle stuffed with Picassos and Van Goghs and there are palm trees and a Rolls Royces in your front yard, let me explain something to you: you are already on vacation! What is the thinking here? "Gee, the stress of being too rich is killing us. ...
Don't bring food to the dinner table
I don't know if it's an ironclad rule, but I've always heard it is considered impolite to talk about religion, politics or money at the dinner table. It makes sense, because we should enjoy eating together, not dread it. And it still leaves plenty of things to talk about -- work, family, sports, pets, hobbies, and if all else fails, at least you can talk about the food...
Warning: Column contains 2010 spoilers
I just got my crystal ball back from the cleaners and have looked deep into the coming year. While not every prediction I made last year came true -- Tiger Woods did not win the Husband of the Year Award, and Elvis was not discovered working at a Dairy Queen outside Biloxi -- I feel much more confident this year. I'm hoping to break 95-percent accuracy for the first time:...
Think locally, shop online-ally
Just because I do my shopping online doesn't mean I'm not supporting my local businesses. Most of them have Web pages. They'll gift wrap any present and mail it for me. I don't have to drive around looking for a non-existent parking spot, I don't have to elbow my way through crowds, I don't have to wait in line at the cashier, I don't have to wait at the wrapping desk. It also cuts down on my impulse buying. Not that I've made an impulse buy since the beginning of the Great Recession...
Enjoy the gift of corpses this holiday season
About two weeks ago, I started noticing ads for a movie that opens Thanksgiving Day. It is the soft-focus, romantic holiday comedy, "Ninja Assassin." Too bad the ad is filled with deadly throwing stars and knife-wielding, wall-walking martial artists who kick people in the face and gut enemies in super slow-mo. What could say "Thanksgiving" more than "Ninja Assassin"?...
The good, the ad and the ugly
"Do you have NOPQ? If so, ask your doctor about Nopquease." I can't tell you how many times I've watched commercials for medicine on TV without ever figuring out what malady the medicine is supposed to cure. "Do you have shortness of breath? Loss of ear hair? Painful fingernails? Does your coffee smell like tea? You may be suffering from NOPQ. Ask your doctor about Nopquease, the only FDA-approved antidote for EFGHI, the medicine we were pushing last year...
I was insulting people way before the Internet
Wouldn't this be a great world if we named our children the way we name ourselves in Internet chat rooms? First grade would be full of kids named Mountainclimber, EggyParms, JerBear, Misscreant, radiogirl, D.AngeloSnutz, Bigguy, Cowboybill, Ladysman, ToastraDamus, SchwarmaDuke, NicCageFan4life and SmoochEPants, instead of Madisons, Ashleys, Jacobs and Ethans. ...
The Village Idiot