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The Humor Project
North State Writers and Blue Room Theatre Combine for LiveWord II
January 22, 2020
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etcguy LiveWord II flyer 2020The real joy is in constructing a sentence. But I see myself as an actor first because writing is what you do when you are ready and acting is what you do when someone else is ready.”  Steve Martin

I write when pen hits the pad.  Sometimes that pad and my imaginary friends are hard to find—writer’s block is bad news.  I write when I’m ready but coming up in a few weeks others will act when the audience is ready.  So audience, get ready for a fun evening at the Blue Room Theatre in Chico where actors will read the works of selected North State Writers. (more…)

Sports
New Wheels Help Baby Boomer’s Game
December 17, 2019
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Eric characture cropped color(Published in Hockey Player Magazine, December 2019)

I always liked speed.”  Guy Lafleur, Montreal Canadiens

They are not Ferrari fast.  But they’re quicker than my old Lego® block wheels.

“Get decent wheels dude,” Tex advised.  A regular season Blazer teammate, Tex joined fellow teammate Roxanne and me to play summer hockey.  Northern California’s heat is unfriendly hockey weather where temperatures regularly pass the century mark.  Our in-line hockey arena, a former warehouse, can reach 105 F.  With wind chill conditions. (more…)

Parents and Kids
Veteran Pen Pal Comes Knocking at Door
November 11, 2019
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Sgt. Alvarez with Maggie

Sgt. Alvarez with Maggie

(Readers: I wrote this story based on an event nine years ago, glad to update it a bit).

Eighty words bridged seven thousand miles.

“Write to a soldier and cheer them up,” said Mrs. Larsen, while coordinating a holiday writing campaign for her fourth grade class.  My daughter, Maggie, carefully focused on the task.  Her vocabulary simple, the paragraphs consisted of short-syllable action words.  She wrote about her hobbies, family, school, and pets.  Her letter was boxed with sixty others and mailed, destination unknown.    “You may not hear back,” I told her, “but we’re proud you tried.”

In 1971 my dad, an Air Force doctor, received orders to Vietnam.  My family wept. Writing him letters made me feel better. (more…)

community
Sierra Nevada Brewery Hosts 13th Annual Trivia Bee for Literacy
September 29, 2019
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etcguy Trivia Bee yellow adI am part of everything that I have read.”  Theodore Roosevelt

Hold the date trivia nerds.  Box up the Scrabble game and come out for a good time.  It’s a big night for big brains and bigger laughs.

What is the name of the dog on RCA’s old logo?

Name the mutt on October 25.

Which state is the first state and the diamond state?

State your answer October 25, in a Big room.

What type of animal is the sire, or father, of a mule?

It’s asinine to say.  The answer is Top Secret. (more…)

Health Life Outdoors Travel
Faith, Friends and Fortitude
August 27, 2019
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Lin with bucket 2011A wife of noble character, who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies.”  Proverbs 31:10

I hadn’t hugged her for years.   Not because of a jealous mate, but because one of us had cooties.  Lin had bad blood in her bones.

“Good thing I can’t kiss you,” I said.  “You’d fall in love with me.”  She laughed. (more…)

Health Parents and Kids
Hanging Out With Old Attitudes
July 28, 2019
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shuttle vanThey are kids with wrinkled skin who wear plenty of attitude.

Shuttle vans park outside the main entrance to cart them to and fro, whether to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping or to the movies.  Panel doors slide open and wheel chair ramps pop out.  After the cargos load, the vans are off and about.

Inside I walk by a greeter who sits across a gym.  The gym is supervised by physical and occupational therapists, young 30-somethings coaching and pushing their clientele.  Racks of two pound dumbbells line the walls.  I observe old guys and gals stretching elastic bands, and the therapists stretching them. (more…)

The Humor Project
It’s Summer. Time to Pitch.
June 27, 2019
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etcguy Millers collosal beef frankfurtersSo God has a lava lamp.   I’m cool with that.” Tom Bodett, pitchman for Motel 6

 

He made a career pitching hotel rooms.

In the mid 1980’s Tom Bodett lived in Homer, Alaska, the southernmost town in the state’s highway system.  An outpost 200 miles south of Anchorage at the end of the road, Bodett was a writer, building contractor, and commentator on local National Public Radio (NPR).   Bodett was discovered by a Dallas based advertising agency promoting a hotel chain in the midst of rebranding, Motel 6.  Agency representatives heard one of Bodett’s stories and hired him to promote the chain, exclaiming “he sounded like the kind of person that stay’s there.”  Bodett’s initial Motel 6 ads were test marketed in Texas and California.  Needless to say, the Motel 6 brand was built around a guy who promised to “leave the light on for you.” (more…)

Holidays
Happy Memorial Day – Thank you Vets
May 27, 2019
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Memorial DayTo all Vets and all who are still active military, thank you.

Sports
Beer League Hockey Has No Free Agency
April 25, 2019
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Eric characture cropped color(Published in Hockey Player Magazine, April 2019)

Zero, ten, two isn’t a bike lock combination.  It was last season’s hockey record.  My Blazers suffered more takedowns last Fall than MMA wrestlers.  The losses really sucked when we went 1-12 a few years back.  But 0-10-2 really, really, sucks. (more…)

Humor Writer Interviews The Humor Project
Leigh Anne Jasheway Accidently Keeps Them Laughing
March 10, 2019
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etcguy Leigh Anne Jasheway w licking dachshundWe either laugh or we lie face down in the carpet weeping.”  Leigh Anne Jasheway

I first reached out to her after Labor Day.  My in-box chimed when I received her message, Leigh Anne Jasheway was game to be interviewed as part of my Humor Project.    “It’s almost Thanksgiving,” she wrote, “You’re already behind…. in something.”

Three years ago I stumbled upon Jasheway while road-tripping to Eugene, Oregon.  I helped my kid, an Oregon Duck, move into her coop.  Between grocery runs I read an article in the Eugene-Register Guard about mutts.  The writer, owner of a dachshund pack, lamented how her four-inched legged beasts were reputed neighborhood park beggars.    (more…)