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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…)

Quotes From Famous People The Humor Project
Words of Wisdom – Mark Twain
September 25, 2017
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etcguy mark-twainSometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” –Mark Twain

Readers, given the shenanigans in Washington these days I don’t know what to say….  Take a break from the political nonsense and join the Etc.Guy Facebook page.

Sports The Humor Project
Eclipses, Baseball and the Dog Days of Summer
August 20, 2017
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etcguy eclipse imageThere sure is a lot of hype for a little bit of extra shade.

I received an email at work last week about Monday’s eclipse, alerting me to conserve energy.  The message was relayed from the California Independent Systems Operator, an organization that oversees the operations of our state’s bulk electric power system. Business Insider Magazine reports that the solar eclipse is expected to wipe out six gigawatts of solar electricity, 80% of California’s power.  Six gigawatts can power several million homes. Solar facilities, ranging from utility power plants to individual home solar panels, provide electricity for 4.8 million homes. (more…)

The Humor Project
Political Comic, Will Durst, Returns to Chico
July 29, 2017
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will durst boxing glovesWe stay in touch because we want to.

A few years ago I interviewed Will Durst, an award winning funny guy, as part of my Humor Project (see “Baby Boomer Will Durst is a Comedy Innovator”).  The dude cracked me up for over an hour.  I could barely gulp my coffee.  A performer, political comic and humor writer, Durst fires shots across political aisles.  (more…)

Parents and Kids
Alexa, a Parent’s Assistant
July 23, 2017
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My parents bought into the virtual assistant world.  Their assistant, Alexa, connects toAlexa Amazon etcguy music, games, or anything cerebral.  Alexa answers nearly any question, whether it’s the weather in Missouri or the capitol of Romania.

I challenged Alexa to see how smart she is.

“Alexa, what is the Etc.Guy blog?” (more…)

Dating Outdoors
When a New Girlfriend Comes to Town
June 26, 2017
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Howdy Readers,

I seldom share bytes on Etc. Guy but was intrigued when I heard from a New Jersey writer who stumbled upon my 2013 story “Daughter’s Dating is Dad’s Dilemma.” I wrote “Daughter’s Dating” when Kate, 16 at the time, entered the dating game.  Now 20 and in college Kate’s still sorting out the dating game.  Thanks to Sally Perkins, a writer for BackPacker Verse, who suggests that memorable dates can be on a hike?  – Eric

Chelsea Handler comedienne“Obviously, if I was serious about having a relationship with someone long-term, the last people I would introduce him to would be my family” – Chelsea Handler, American Comedienne (more…)

Holidays Parents and Kids
Kid’s Quitting is Father’s Dilemma
June 18, 2017
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Etc Guy Maggie soccer fridge(Central Valley Business Times, June 14, 2017)

She lasted 90 hours over three seasons.  Maggie was not an outlier.  Not in soccer.

In Outliers author Malcolm Gladwell explains the “10,000 Hour Rule” which claims that the key to success is a matter of practicing a specific task for around 10,000 hours.  Consider Bill Gates, Wayne Gretzky or Mozart…former prodigies that hit 10,000 hours by their late teens.  Maggie will never become an outlier soccer player.  She quit 9,910 hours short. (more…)

Holidays
Happy Memorial Day 2017
May 29, 2017
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With my Air Force mom and dad

With my Air Force mom and dad

Just a quick note of appreciation to the men and women I know who’ve served in the military.  My dad (a physician) served twice in Vietnam, first in 1970 and again in 1972-73(?).  Dr.  J.B. Miller (retired colonel, USAF) was stationed in Cameron Bay.  In third grade I recall my classmates recording messages on a reel to reel tape recorder to our dads who were sent overseas.  Our teacher, Miss De la Cruz, set that up. (more…)