Paying Homage to a Great One: Humor Writer Patrick McManus

The writer with Patrick McManus

“You’ll never meet him,” a know-it-all consultant told me.  “Patrick McManus is big time.  He’s hard to reach.  He won’t have time for you.”

It pays to ignore naysayers especially when one is young, dumb, ambitious, and on a mission.  In this case I was on a mission to interview Patrick McManus, a New York Times best-selling author and humor writer.  A long-time columnist for Field and Stream and Outdoor Life Magazines, McManus wrote about guys who got lost in the woods and the trials and travesties of wiring trailer lights.  Continue reading “Paying Homage to a Great One: Humor Writer Patrick McManus” »

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Buying Your Teen a Car? Hmm…

I’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. Continue reading “Buying Your Teen a Car? Hmm…” »

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Book Review: Dave Barry in Cyberspace

With 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.  Continue reading “Book Review: Dave Barry in Cyberspace” »

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Even Hockey Coaches Have Hearts

Published in the Chico Enterprise-Record, Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph & Hockey Player Magazine (2012)

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 snappy shot but also a quick wit.  He even gave me one of his old sticks—the one that never scored.  Eric passed away unexpectedly last month at age 43.  Eric, you were too young to say goodbye to.      


“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.  Continue reading “Even Hockey Coaches Have Hearts” »

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Guys, Need Valentine’s Advice? Hear from a Pro

I’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.  Continue reading “Guys, Need Valentine’s Advice? Hear from a Pro” »

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A New Project for 2018

Howdy there readers…I’m 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… Continue reading “A New Project for 2018” »

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Kicking Off 2018 With a Few Quotes

Writer’s block sucks.  I hopped on a government web-site to research a project and stimulate my brain… only to discover that our 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. Continue reading “Kicking Off 2018 With a Few Quotes” »

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My Top Three Reads for 2017

The 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…   Continue reading “My Top Three Reads for 2017” »

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Thanksgiving Nut Cracking

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.” Continue reading “Thanksgiving Nut Cracking” »

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Trivia Bee Raises Awareness for Literacy Services

Life 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.  Continue reading “Trivia Bee Raises Awareness for Literacy Services” »

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