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Sports
Hockey Tape and Old Trophies Bring Out Sentiments
May 5, 2015
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(Hockey Player Magazine, May 2015)

The line between frugality and nostalgia is not much wider than a skate blade.

Consider hockey tape, the adhesive that binds equipment, body parts, and adult recreation teams.  Players hoarding rolls of UHaul® tape to strap on shin guards are frugal.  They’re too cheap to buy real sports tape.  Thriftiness is admirable unless it interferes with selecting post-game beers. (more…)

Home
Spider Man Gets No Credit for Chivalry in the Kitchen
April 10, 2015
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I don’t like spiders and snakes, and that ain’t what it takes to love me, you fool, you fool.

Jim Stafford, Comedian, musician and singer-songwriter

Maggie, my 9th grader, screamed louder than a jet engine.  Hun, my wife, shrieked “Get it out of there!”

(more…)

Sport
Track Meet Timer Duty was a Challenging Time
March 31, 2015
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etc guy timersWe stood on the bleachers, eight of us squinting.  I was one of the eight, a volunteer  “timer” for Maggie’s track meet.  I was more stressed out than the athletes. The officials assigned us stopwatches.  I got timer #7 thinking that I’d time Lane #7. Nope. I was to track runners and time the runner who finished in 7th place.  All by eyeball and a quick twitching thumb muscle. Several volunteers fretted.  One asked if I wanted to trade for timer #3 , #4, or #5.

“No thanks, I’m a rookie,” I said.  “Plus, the LASIK eye-surgery I had seven years ago wore out.  I have mono-vision.  I’m both near and far-sighted, but mostly near.” (more…)

Parents and Kids
You’re Never Too Old to Not Tell Mom
February 24, 2015
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East Winnemucca signWhether you’re seven or seventy, there are secrets you simply don’t tell. My brother and I, free range boys who bored easily, exercised the “Don’t Tell Mom” rule well into high school.  Our pact survived a multitude of sins, including underage joy-riding.  Unless our parents checked the car odometer or fuel gauge, they never knew.  Dad was more forgiving.  We’d sometimes confess to him, but never to Mom.  I carried this trait into parenthood.

I had been on the road nearly two weeks, camping across Utah en route to Colorado with Maggie, then 7, and Kate, 10.  We bonded over miles of open desert and lonely highways.  Without Hun, my wife, I had carte blanche to break unwritten rules concerning diet, curfew and spending.  What Hun doesn’t find out, won’t hurt her. (more…)

Sports
Hockey Dad’s Love-Handle Saves the Game
January 30, 2015
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(Hockey Player Magazine, January 2015)

We lumbered inside the locker-room and grimaced as hockey bags slid down our shoulders. I hadn’t seen my Blazer teammates for over a month. Inside the guys slouched like dough-boys, suffering from extended tryptophan hangovers. None admitted to exercising over the holiday break. Crazy Eddie maintained his same pear shape. He’s tough in goal but outside the rink the man’s hide is thinner than tomato skin (it’s rumored that Pampers commercials make him cry). Blaze shrank since I last saw him, from hunching over golf clubs instead of hockey sticks. Curly braided his beard into dreadlocks. Mick grew his side-burns from ear to ear, which wrapped around his jaw. The holiday break suited my teammates. The guys appeared relaxed except for Stretch, a 6’ 3” beanpole who weighs 135 pounds. With a Body Mass Index of 15, the same as a starving coyote, Stretch is a bag of bones held together by a string of tattoos. I noticed new artwork. (more…)

Life Lifestyle Travel Videos
Video – Grand Canyon Rafting – Bucket List Trip
January 13, 2015
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn June 2011, after a patient 17 year wait on the National Park Service’s permit “waiting list,” I was awarded a permit to lead my own Grand Canyon rafting trip.  I kayaked the run in 1993 but was injured halfway.  I dislocated my shoulder at Mile 104, Ruby Rapid, and finished the trip on a friend’s raft.  In 1994 I submitted my initial permit application to the National Park Service.

I’ve shared photos and stories from my 2011 trip in various articles which appeared in newspapers and in American Whitewater Magazine.  Check out the link below to a 13 minute video which was produced by one of my fellow boatmen, JoHn R. Gibson, a skilled rafter and talented videographer. (more…)

Store
Let Me Tell You A Story
January 13, 2015
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The first full length book by Eric Miller includes selected stories from his blog and new tales about a married father, trapped by a house full of women. Now available on Amazon.com in paperback and e-book.

Buy on Amazon.com

What are readers saying about Etc Guy?

“Eric Miller’s stories have more than once made me spit coffee from my nose from laughing. His humor ranges from subtle and self-effacing, to ribald. He writes what many of us think but don’t dare say.” -Jeffrey Bergeron/Biff America, author of Steep, Deep and Dyslexic and columnist for Backcountry Magazine and the Summit Daily News
(more…)

Holidays
Christmas Tree Hunt is Annual Tradition
December 23, 2014
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Etc guy looking up at treeDon’t call the Sierra Club.  The wood we chop isn’t for building or heating.  We are Christmas tree hunters—amateur lumberjacks that thin the forest one tree at a time.  The permit costs $10 but getting lost is free. (more…)

The Humor Project
Humor Writers Gift Christmas Smiles
December 18, 2014
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Christmas is a week out and I’m in the same state of mind as I was 365 days ago. Hurried, disheveled and trying to jam fifteen minute errands into eight. We need a mega-blizzard in my fair town to slow things down, or at least slow down everyone else. (more…)

Holidays
Phooey, Let’s Gain Weight Over Thanksgiving
November 26, 2014
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“If you think about a Thanksgiving Dinner, it’s really like making a large chicken.” Ina Garten, Host of Barefoot Contessa, Food Network

Jeans wider than longerIt’s not the minutes that put on weight, it’s the seconds.

I’m unsure who said that but whoever said it was right. Hardly three weeks have passed since my final raid on the kids’ Halloween candy. My body weight has inched up and out, with muffin tops laying over my jean tops—a new seasonal baseline for my waistline. One of my life’s goals is to have a smaller waistline number than inseam number. I should forget about it during Thanksgiving because I’m definitely not getting taller. (more…)