Welcome to this week’s edition of Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing, when I draw upon my 15 years as a columnist to offer pearls of wisdom which, much like pearls from an actual oyster, started off as a small irritation before natural mucus secretions created something rare and highly coveted. But don’t just take my word for it! Many of today’s most prolific authors have referred to my weekly NWOW as:
“Something … actual”
“Highly … written,” and
“A rare … secretion.”
Awww shucks! Enough with the accolades!
This week’s NWOW is going to be a bit of a departure because, as you can see, the shameless self promotion of my book has begun and, to be quite honest, I am discovering I have a natural God-given gift for discouraging people from buying it.
Maybe I’m too honest.
Maybe I’m not polished enough at schmoozing.
Maybe I have a subconscious desire to leap naked into a pool of lukewarm Carmel Nog coffee.
(Yes, I realize that has nothing to do with promoting my book, but I think it clearly illustrates just how truly BAD I am at this.) Continue reading
Journalism can be a dangerous profession, even for those of us who never actually leave our desk unless a “situation” develops, such as the sudden and unprovoked arrival of free donuts. On several occasions, I have found myself in harm’s way as a dozen employees stampeded into the break room (which, according to the Fire Marshal, has a “maximum occupancy level of two, as long as no one is using the commode.”) It is at those times, while being crushed between fellow employees grappling for the last maple bar, that I am reminded of just how dangerous my job can be.
But it doesn’t end there.
Not for those of us with the courage to SPEAK OUT against what is wrong with the world. Or, in my case, what is wrong with fruitcake.
As you may remember (and judging by the number of fruitcakes that have been appearing on my desk, at my home or through the window of my car, many of you do), it was last year around this time that I drew the wrath of fruitcake lovers everywhere after suggesting that untold numbers of people (source: Fox News) suffer from Fruitcake Disposal Anxiety Disorder. Continue reading
[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom...]
There’s a reason the term “deadline” starts with “dead,” and not something like “fun,” “happy” or “coke.” Deadline days are stressful. Which is why some conversations with my editor end up like this… Continue reading
“Are you on your way to a fire or something?!” Well — YES, actually…!
Normally, this space would be reserved for The Box
. Then again, I don’t normally get tapped out for a fire first thing in the morning; usually those calls come in the middle of the night when I have to pee, forcing me to hold my full bladder while spraying 125 lbs. of water pressure through a nozzle. And although I don’t have an excuse from my mother, I do have this video
captured by our station captain who, although out with a knee injury, hobbled to the scene from his house down the street.
That, my friends, is dedication. And a lot of Demerol. He’s the one doing the narration while talking to a bystander. I love the pride in his voice. Or, perhaps once again, that’s the Demerol talking… Continue reading
[Breaking News: from another strangely irrelevant moment in our newsroom...]
Because we here at Siuslaw News understand the importance and value of investing in journalism’s future, we feel the need — no, the obligation — to invest in that future by vigorously supporting free labor from high school interns. We like to think of it as a crash course that puts students on the road to a career in journalism. But after this morning, I think “collision course” is a better way to put it… Continue reading
The kindness of fellow bloggers never ceases to amaze me, especially when it comes to anything viral. In this case, I’m talking about something I got from Tom Nardone, who, in addition to being a hilarious and insightful writer, is a giving person. In fact, he gave me this highly infectious book promo video. Being a decent person, he called me all the way from South Carolina to let me know the infection is spreading. After finding this out, and because I’m not sure if this will be covered under America’s new health care, I felt an obligation to let all of you know.
That said, you can have yourself checked out by clicking here.
For those wanting to receive immediate treatment, you can purchase Humor at the Speed of Life here, without a prescription, and get things cleared up by Christmas…
(You made it! Welcome to Flashback Sunday! It’s that special day when we break the space-time continuum together, with the understanding, of course, that we’ll fix it again once we’re done. As long as we’re careful and put everything back like we found it, then — just like these early posts — no one will even notice…)
The world of fruitcake lovers is a dangerous one for those without a spare.
Every once in a while a column strikes a nerve with readers. These readers then write me to express their displeasure; they are angry, hurt, offended, or breaking in new stationery. Whatever the reason, I appreciate this feedback regardless of the fact that, in many cases, the column they’re talking about wasn’t mine. So you can imagine my shock at getting unhappy letters from people who (a) read my column and (b) actually like fruitcake.
The letters came in response to the column I wrote about Fruitcake Disposal Anxiety Disorder, which was named in a New York Post special investigation as “The fastest-growing mental disorder in the entire world.”
“And we’re pretty sure about that,” the report concluded. “If not, then it’s right up there with ‘Fear of Clowns’ or something.” Continue reading
“Skippy” the rabid, blindfolded squirrel is more than a mascot; he’s a weapon.
Welcome to a special Thursday edition of The Box!
As I explained in a
yesterday morning, a flu outbreak reared it’s ugly head in my nostrils Tuesday. There’s more to this
highly justified reason
for not having posted The Box
on it’s regular day, but the fact that my situation was referred to by someone as “The Perfect Storm” is probably reason enough, even if that “someone” was me.
Suffice it to say, there were throngs of people who were all heart.
Wait, sorry. I’m still a little feverish.
I meant to say there were people wearing thongs at Walmart, where I posted an update yesterday morning while waiting for my medication. I blame those people for setting back my recovery process by at least a day.
Give or take a year. Continue reading
After my deadline, fighting the flu, preparing for my firefighter skills test and the likelihood of vomiting.
Much like when I was in middle school, and told Mrs. Taskmaster I didn’t have my homework assignment or a written excuse because “my dog ate my mom,” I have an equally ridiculous excuse as to why this week’s edition of The Box
wasn’t posted yesterday.
For those who follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, who can blame you), they know I was dealt a “Perfect Storm” of events yesterday, much like the movie with George Clooney, except as a really bad sequel that Clooney turned down in favor of the lead in Gigli 2.
My “Perfect Storm” scenario included the following plot twists:
1) A feverish, sneeze-inducing form of Influenza
2) An early newspaper deadline because of,
3) A mandatory hands-on firefighter skills test to take
My objectives were to arrive at work by 5 a.m. and meet a 1 p.m. deadline, then hurry to the fire station, where I would take a five-evolution skills test in full gear and breathing apparatus, all while trying not to sneeze uncontrollably into my face mask, thus obscuring my view while simultaneously resembling something from the movie Alien, thereby setting off a chain reaction of vomiting by my fellow firefighters inside their face masks. Continue reading
(Nope, it’s not deja vu or a break in the space-time continuum. It’s not even the beginning signs of a stroke. It’s Flashback Sunday! That special day each week when I reach so far back into the archives that occasionally, when I forget to stretch first, I’ve been known to pull a groin muscle. But it’s worth it! Not just because it means bringing you a post from a time when all my followers were on the same cell phone plan, but also because it’s as close as I’ll ever get to performing yoga…)
New clothing-generated electricity could help Steven Seagal provide his own power for gigs, with surplus for parts of Chicago.
Hello, and welcome to another edition of High-Tech Watch
, a consumer information guide to the latest technology, and the exciting items you can expect to see following the eventual collapse of the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
We begin in Scotland, where textile researchers are currently working to perfect material that can generate and store static electricity through the natural rubbing of material. This would allow wearers of clothing made with “Smart Yarn” to generate their own power for things like cell phones, iPods, laptops or, in the case of a full-length kimono worn by Steven Seagal, a small Chicago suburb. The technology is relatively simple, and dates back to the early 1970s, when a combination of corduroy pants, wool socks and shag carpeting was blamed on the electrocution deaths of several people in the U.S. and Canada. Continue reading