Paradise Chocolate Fest Benefits the Kids

2016 Fest PC 2“All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”  Charles M. Shulz

“I owe it all to little chocolate donuts.” John Belushi

It’s time for hype, chocolate hype.  And it’s okay to indulge.

Experience a chocolate paradise on the Paradise/Magalia ridge nestled among tall green pines in the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills, where we strike the perfect balance between a historical Gold Country past and the comforts of modern living.   Join a community with a big heart and love of chocolate for the 11th annual Paradise Chocolate Fest benefiting non-profit youth organizations on the Paradise Ridge. Continue reading “Paradise Chocolate Fest Benefits the Kids” »

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Millennial Daughter to Vote Absentee

election ballot infoLike religion, politics, and family planning, cereal is not a topic to be brought up in public.  It’s too controversial.”

Erma Bombeck

My oldest daughter, a college freshman, will vote absentee this year–her first election. She leans left of my views where I straddle right on money issues and left of center on social issues. I seldom argue about politics, preferring to discuss cereal selection. For me, incumbents on both sides of the aisle are fair game to vote out (my version of term limits). Continue reading “Millennial Daughter to Vote Absentee” »

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Hockey Mom Earns Frequent Flyer Miles

Eric characture cropped color

Hockey Player Magazine, Feb 2016

(Note: Names below were changed.)

We boarded the jet two hours late, me and 350 others.  No explanation was given other than lousy weather in Europe.  My original seat selection was along the back row aisle near the lavatory.  I’m one who plans ahead— the ten hour flight from Oakland to Stockholm would test my prostate, larger than a hockey puck, to the max.  Two minutes in the penalty box is rough enough.  No pre-flight drinks for me. Continue reading “Hockey Mom Earns Frequent Flyer Miles” »

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Humorist P.J. O’Rourke Pokes at Politicos

etcguy PJ_O'Rourke“The Democrats are the party of government activism, the party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get chickweed out of your lawn…Republicans are the party that says government doesn’t work, and then get elected and prove it.”

(P.J. O’Rourke, American satirist)

I loathe politics but couldn’t ignore that quote from P.J. O’Rourke, especially with the current national election riff-raff.  Good grief.

Patrick Jake ”P. J.” O’Rourke (born 1947) is an American political satirist, journalist, and humorist.   A correspondent for The Atlantic MonthlyThe American Spectator, and The Weekly Standard, O’Rourke has also written columns for The Daily Beast and performed on National Public Radio.

Another guy I’d like to meet as part of my ongoing Humor Project…maybe…someday. What a crack-up.

Until then, feel free to visit the Etc.Guy Facebook page.  See you in print.

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Post-Christmas Do-It-Yourself Project Stymies Consumer Laggard

diffusion curve laggard(Central Valley Business Times, December 2015)

Laggards, in marketing lingo, are consumers that ride the tail end of the Diffusion Curve.  Whether it’s computers, TV sets or toasters, I am not an early adopter.  I lag.  Every Christmas season (which starts after Halloween), I wrestle with more consumer purchase decision making than the rest of the year.  The bustling crowds, blaring holiday music, and banners promoting BOGO’s, only adds to my befuddlement.

In comparison, my wife and daughters shop with the endurance of Olympic athletes.

Continue reading “Post-Christmas Do-It-Yourself Project Stymies Consumer Laggard” »

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December is the Season for Puck Drops

Eric characture cropped color(Hockey Player Magazine, December 2015)

December is the season for leaf fall, snow fall, and puck drops.

My hockey buddies grin when frosty windshields mask the morning commute, especially the guys from Minnesota or Canada where vegetables come in casseroles and nuts come from cans. Continue reading “December is the Season for Puck Drops” »

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Time Swooshes into Another Holiday Season

etcguy dr suess How did it get late so soon?  It’s night before its afternoon.  December is here before its June.  My goodness how the time has flewn.  How did it get late so soon?

Dr. Suess (1904 – 1991)

It seems just a week ago my kids filled plastic pumpkins full of Halloween candy.  And only eight minutes ago we gobbled the last of Thanksgiving turkey.  Now, we’re onto the Christmas holiday home-stretch.

nike swooshTime swooshes by but it’s not because of Nike. Between October 31 and December 25, time either speeds up or gets sucked away. Where it goes, nobody knows.

How did it get late so soon?

PS  For “late” or last minute Christmas shoppers I’m compiling a list of great books to consider.  Coming soon…certainly before June.  Be sure to join the Etc.Guy Facebook page too.

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Upcoming Butte County Trivia Bee to be a Jocular Event

MozartTo speak well and eloquently is a great art, but an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ready, fire, aim.

I’m one who, to my wife’s chagrin and mortification, sometimes speaks first then thinks later about what I just said.  The fuse between my mouth and vocal chords burns short and quick, while the fuse between my mouth and brain smolders like wet rope.  I wear a size eight shoe.  But it’s my size 13 mouth that gets me into trouble…like a goofball friend who makes a dare.

Mozart’s quote is prophetic and one I try to be mindful of every day—not to be too much of a wise-guy.  A closed mouth gathers no feet.  Continue reading “Upcoming Butte County Trivia Bee to be a Jocular Event” »

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Etc. Guy Interviewed by Michigan blogger…Dads of Divas

etcguy speech fistEven old guys can learn Twitter.

I made the baby-boomer cut by a year or two and don’t know what to think about social media.  Five years ago, when my kids began junior high school, I reluctantly set up a Facebook account to keep track of what they were doing.  I also wanted to know who they ran around with and what influenced them.  Before I started the Etc. Guy blog, I viewed social media as a waste of time.  At the time, a chimpanzee probably had a better understanding of social media than I did.  And I’m being generous.  Make that a sloth.

Now with blogging, social media is critical to develop my writing career.  Good articles are either circulated or shared.  Great stories go viral.  I now view social media, like Twitter or Linked In, as business tools.  They are platforms, or soapboxes, in an otherwise busy and noisy world.

Dad of Divas image_150929I’m just a gnat in the internet universe but last spring I was contacted by a Michigan blog editor, through Twitter, who writes about family stuff in his blog, Dads of Divas.  The editor, Christopher Lewis, is also the father of two daughters.  He started Dads of Divas as “One Dad’s Quest to Regain His Kingdom One Day at a Time!”  Lewis examines both the personal and thought provoking aspects of fatherhood and married life.  Lewis serves on the management team of Western Michigan University’s Cooley Law School, near Lansing.  I’ve never been to Michigan but Lansing is in the “mitten” part of Michigan, inside the palm of the hand.

Dads in the Limelight image_150929Anyway, I was sent a questionnaire, we exchanged emails, and I was subsequently interviewed for his series entitled, “Dads in the Limelight.”  The interview, though submitted in the queue last spring, was published last week.  If you read the interview note that Kate has seen moved away to college and that we’ve lost several more pets.  Oh yeah, and I had a birthday.  But pretty much everything else is accurate.  I’m not one to espouse virtues or proselytize moral values.  I have enough serious problems of my own.  Like folding towels or loading the dishwasher.  It’s strange getting interviewed…but cool for my work to be noticed.   I’ll still plug away at developing this writing gig.  Writing has become a passion.  It’s more fun than a zillion other things that compete for my brain’s space.  And I guess I’ll continue to figure out this social media stuff…because that’s the way it is.  Hope you enjoy the read.

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Too Bad Will Rogers Isn’t Around for the 2016 Election

etc guy Will RogersPolitics is applesauce.”

Will Rogers

William Penn Adair “Will” Rogers (1879 -1935) was a Cherokee cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator, and stage and motion picture actor. He earned fame as an American media star during the 1920s and 1930s.  Will Rogers tragically died in a plane crash in Point Barrow, Alaska in 1935.  A funny guy, Roger’s wit followed him to his gravestone.  He quipped during one interview, “When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I didn’t like. I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.”  And so it was.

will-rogers never met a man I didnt likeI wonder how Rogers would spin our present day political debacle.  Would Rogers like the Donald, Hilary, Jeb, or the rest of the cast?  I’m already tired of the 2016 Presidential race and we’ve hardly begun.  Already its Trump versus CNN, Trump versus Fox, Trump versus Bush, Republicans versus Trump, Trump versus Trump, Republicans versus Democrats, Reps versus Reps, Dems versus Dems, Liberals versus Conservatives…its maddening.  As for Trump’s circus act, at least he develops interest so I suppose that’s a plus.

I’m registered as “decline to state” but have voted across the aisle for both Democrats and Republicans.  I’ll give any man or woman a shot at office if I believe they’re genuine and can do the job.  And if I like them I’ll vote for them again…but not for  more than two terms (unless the competition is weak or wacko).  Two terms in politics are plenty.  I disavow long-term politicos who succumb to group think and/or dogma.  Hire new blood.  A guy racing yaks has more appeal to me than a career politician.  At least the yak racer is moving.

political books for saleOur local library sells used books as part of its fundraising campaign and I found these two titles interesting: “The Pictorial History of the Republican Party,” and “Dreams from My Father,” by Barack Obama.  The selling price was half a buck each.  They remained on the rack for several weeks before finally vanishing.  Or maybe the library just gave them away.

I don’t care who people vote for and I’m reluctant to endorse candidates.  Vote for who you want.  All I ask is that you just keep wanting to vote.

Regarding politics, I borrow a quote from one of America’s most sensible men, Forrest Gump: “That’s all I have to say about that.”

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