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1 + 1 = Syracuse

There are times when one plus one equals two. But now and then, you look at one, you look at the other one and when you add those together you get five.

When one and one equal five, there are usually logical reasons to think that’s the answer. Once, when I was very young, I added one plus one.

And the answer was Syracuse. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t Touch The Element Of The Toaster Oven

Don’t try this at home – I burned my finger in the toaster oven.

Not the toaster oven in question. Just the same, don’t screw with it. (public domain via wikimedia)

I knew this before I burned myself, but the elements on a toaster oven get extremely hot. I’m now able to say that they are hot to the touch. Let me stress that you should not try that out for yourself at home, nor should you go to another person’s home to try it.

I’m a little nervous telling you this, because I don’t want a rash of people going out and trying to see if this works for them Read the rest of this entry »

Get An Expert Opinion on Malaysia Airlines 370

As an expert, I approve of this pilot’s take off technique. (image by air icarus CC by SA 2.0)

The other day, a friend pointed out how foolish the 24 hour news networks look trotting out “experts” to give their opinions on the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. I agree. As far as I can tell, the only thing sketchier than the theories that are being tossed around are the qualifications of those deemed experts.

I know you’re all hungry for information about where flight 370 is, but you don’t have access to an expert. I’m here for you.

Yes, it’s true. Starting now, I will be giving my expert answers all your questions concerning the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Any questions about Malaysia 370, aviation, air traffic control or my qualifications and experience in the field are fair game.

Ask your questions in the comment section below.

Don’t forget to check back for your answer.

Feel free to ask a follow-up question if you see the need.

If You Were Born In The ’60′s, ’70′s Or ’80′s, You Have To Read This. Wow.

I’ve noticed that the web is littered with wistful paeans to the virtues of growing up in the mid to late twentieth century (here’s an example of the sort of thing I’m talking about). Sprinkled in with the praise of the way things were are thinly veiled digs at the way things are and implications that younger generations are soft because they did not have the same upbringing.

As a nostalgic product of the mid-twentieth century, I’d like to bring a different perspective. Yes, things were different for those of us in our forties and older. Is different better or is it worse?

To me, the answer is yes.

Playing Outside

One of the arguments that I see for the idea that things were better “back when” is that kids had to try out for youth sports and that not everyone made the team. I can testify that all those who made the team did not get to play every game. This is said to be good because it taught the older generations to handle disappointment. Read the rest of this entry »

St. Patrick’s Day In Malaysia


Today my writing is over on the Long Awkward Pause site. Come on over for a story ripped from today’s headlines…last week’s headlines too.

Originally posted on Long Awkward Pause:

Today is March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. St. Pat’s is a holiday celebrated all over the world, even Malaysia.

(image by bkkbrad CCby 2.5)

St. Patrick is famed for, among other things, driving all the snakes out of Ireland.  The snake removal work of the patron saint of Ireland is partly responsible for the fact that over two hundred thousand people are employed by the Irish tourism industry. Scenery, a friendly populace and historic sites are probably also a little responsible for the popularity of Ireland with vacationers. But St. Patrick had the vision to see that snake covered scenery is popular with a very limited segment of vacationers.

Folks of Irish extraction celebrate St. Pat’s big day, but they aren’t the only ones. So do people who wish they were Irish, and snake haters around the world. While the annual Malaysian celebrations are set up by Irish…

View original 359 more words

The Devil’s Left Hand

I went to Catholic school for the first few years. One of the most vivid memories I have of that experience is from my first grade class room.

My left hand is too evil to allow itself to be photographed. (image by Krzysztof P. Jasiutowicz, CC by SA 3.0)

We were practicing writing. The boy in front of me was left-handed. The nun who was our teacher came by and cracked the back of his hand with a ruler and told him to use his other hand. He swapped hands. Unfortunately, each time she stopped our practice to teach another letter we had to put our pencils down. And when the nun instructed us to pick them back up, my classmate’s natural tendency took over. He’d take up his pencil in his left hand.

Over and over this poor kid would pick up his pencil in his left hand after a pause and the nun would hit him. I don’t remember much of what she taught that day. I just remember learning gratitude; I thanked God I wasn’t born left-handed. Read the rest of this entry »

My Mother The Killer Clown

If you call someone a clown you usually don’t mean it in the literal sense. When I call someone a clown, sometimes I mean it literally. My parents were clowns.

Growing up as the son of clowns had its share of challenges. I did quite a bit of writing about what it was like to go through the high school years with parents who wore red noses. But I’m not here to tell you about those old days. This is about something more sinister.

And by sinister, I suppose that I mean odd.

I Haven’t Told This Story In Years

And this is odd because had I dinner and drinks with friends two nights ago. Ok, that’s not odd, I do that sort of thing frequently. But odd because after dinner I told the story of how The Unification Church tried to recruit me while I was in college. Yes, the Moonies took a swing at bringing me in to their flock. Read the rest of this entry »


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