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Parents and Kids
Buying Your Teen a Car? Hmm…
June 28, 2018
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alessio-lin-496093-unsplashI’m a hand-me-down guy with a mindset inherited from my grandparents, Great Depression veterans.  Whether it was hockey equipment or clothes the only “new” stuff Mom bought was either underwear or socks.  She’d hand down Dad’s shirts telling me I’d grow into them.  When it came to sneakers she’d splurge with a trip to Penny’s if we were lucky.  But un-luck mostly prevailed and I got blue-light specials.  “Your dad’s left foot is size 8 but he wears a size 9 right foot.  Here, enjoy your Keds knock-offs.”  Good thing my feet were size 8.  My brother got my hand-me-downs, unfortunate for him—he’s worn size 7 shoes since kindergarten. (more…)

Sports
Doin’ Time in the Penalty Box
May 8, 2018
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Eric characture cropped color

(Hockey Player Magazine, May 2018)

It’s improper to criticize someone 30 years later.”  Bobby Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers

If I found Darius Fooberman on Facebook I’d hesitate friending him.

A garish bully during my bantam years, Darius stood nearly six feet without skates.  With gear bag in tow his knuckles dragged as he walked into the arena.  The oaf knocked over chairs and small kids sitting on them.   Mrs. Fooberman, a square jawed bow-legged woman was shaped like a bowling pin and sported a bee-hive hairdo.  She screeched to her boy, “Darius!  You knocked over a kid.  Pick up that brat!”  (more…)

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…)