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The Humor Project
No Tax Advice from this Guy
April 14, 2018
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etcguy tax form irsMy wife’s instructions were to review in-boxes, files and folders.  Every year I pledge to do a better job sorting paper receipts, e-receipts, updating the check book register and learning Quicken.  Still, I’m smothered by bits and bytes and multi-dimensional layers of information.  In hoping to save time and a few bucks, I’m twice as disorganized. (more…)

The Humor Project
Book Review: Dave Barry in Cyberspace
March 21, 2018
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Dave Barry in CyberspaceWith word processing, there is no end to the amount of words you can crank out without having to become personally involved with what they say.”  Dave Barry in Cyberspace

Like everyone else on the planet I’ve been busy, but I make time to pitch another Dave Barry classic.  Barry’s humor fits like a well-worn glove that slides over chapped skin.  He’s comfortably funny.  From the opening paragraph Dave Barry in Cyberspace is a riot.   No need for warm-up exercises; Barry hooks you before reaching the period in the first sentence.  (more…)

Sports
Even Hockey Coaches Have Hearts
March 2, 2018
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eric-characture-cropped-colorPublished in the Chico Enterprise-Record, Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph & Hockey Player Magazine 

Readers, a prologue: This article previously appeared in several newspapers and on my blog.  I share it again in memory of Eric Trivedi, a fellow hockey buddy.  Originally from Dearborn, Michigan, Eric started playing hockey at age 5 and was a founding member of the California State University-Chico inline hockey team.  Eric not only had a rapid shot but also a quick wit.  He even gave me one of his old sticks—the one that never scored.  Eric passed away unexpectedly two months ago at age 43.  Eric, you were too young to say goodbye to.      

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“I thought this may interest you,” the email said.  In the subject heading was a name, Wayne Marshall, my high school hockey coach.  I expected the worst, to see an obituary.  (more…)

Holidays
Guys, Need Valentine’s Advice? Hear from a Pro
February 7, 2018
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etcguy Perfect ManI’m neither sweet nor perfect that’s certain.  At least I admit it.

But it took a stumble upon hidden booty to remember that FEBRUARY 14th soon approaches.  (more…)

Garbage Talk
A New Project for 2018
January 31, 2018
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garbage talk compactorHowdy there readers…starting a new writing project for 2018…a column I first began in 1990 in a town far, far away.  I’ll park a few initial pieces here on my Etc.Guy blog and on Facebook to test the audience.  My first several posts are churning, I think you’ll find this subject matter VERY interesting.  I’m a trash talkin’ garbage manager by day and writer by night.  Here ya go… (more…)

The Humor Project
Kicking Off 2018 With a Few Quotes
January 23, 2018
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etcguy government shutdownWriter’s block sucks.  I hopped on a government web-site to research a project and stimulate my brain… only to discover that the government is closed.  The web-site is kaput.  Glad it’s not April 14th.

So instead I’ll welcome you to 2018 with a few quotes from two insightful humor writers, guys I’d really like to interview someday as part of my Humor Project. (more…)

Holidays Outdoors The Humor Project
My Top Three Reads for 2017
December 17, 2017
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etcguy mark-twainThe man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”  Mark Twain

A good read before bed time is my normal routine.  Here are my three favorite books from 2017.  If you love a good yarn, here you go…   (more…)

Holidays The Humor Project
Thanksgiving Nut Cracking
November 25, 2017
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etcguy nutcracker“I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”  Erma Bombeck

A short break from togetherness may be a good thing.  My wife assigned me a Thanksgiving Day project.

“I need a cup of walnuts.”

“Where’s the nut cracker?”

“Use a hammer. Just don’t hurt yourself.  Put on your helmet and goggles.” (more…)

community Quotes From Famous People
Trivia Bee Raises Awareness for Literacy Services
November 5, 2017
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etcguy stingray bikeLife is like a ten speed bicycle.  Most of us have gears we never use.”

Charles M. Schulz

My commute to Valley Hi Elementary School was less than a mile.  For a first grader it was an effortless downhill glide.  I’d hop on my orange Stingray, lash on my lunch box, steer, brake, and dodge mailboxes and parked cars.  My folks never worried.  They knew I’d caravan with Bobby and John who lived on the bottom of Peach Valley Drive, a stone’s throw from Lackland AFB in hilly San Antonio.  We were a trio of Air Force kids; our dad’s serving intermittent tours to Vietnam.  We never wore helmets or carried cell phones.  Bobby, John and I roamed as free range boys jumping ditches, riding trails and racing each other.  The pedal home though was a killer.  Bobby and John rode three-speeds.  They’d switch gears while I cranked my single-speed tank.  My uphill commute home took nearly twenty minutes and I seldom kept up.  We’d separate at John’s house where they’d both peel off and wave as I hiked alongside the Stingray.

I wish I had another gear.  I yearned to keep up but couldn’t. (more…)

Sports
Old Hockey Player Forgets About Scoring Stats
October 15, 2017
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Eric characture cropped color(Hockey Player Magazine, October 2017)

A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”  Wayne Gretzky

Some scoring statistics are best forgotten.

You’re not a hockey player until you’ve scored on yourself a saying goes, quoted by an anonymous player too embarrassed to admit doing it.  In hockey we score on opponents—not on one’s own team.  Gretzky prophesied that great hockey players don’t play where the puck is but where it will be.  That being said, I’m a great player behind my own goalie’s rear end. (more…)