Need ideas for your own exciting fireworks show? This won’t help

image Except for those living in Missouri, where the only fireworks restriction is a requirement that all skyrockets exceeding the length of a standard boat trailer be flagged during transport, most Americans have watched their Independence Day fireworks excitement dwindle from first-strike capability through the 1990s, to today’s wimpy sparklers and fountains with spark-spitting action equal to…

well…

three sparklers tied together?

Americans age 30 and older remember having sparklers so bright they could see them through their eyelids. The bravest kids would spin them like propellers, showering crackling embers everywhere and knowing full well their eyebrows would grow back by September. Continue reading

Truthfully, I’m getting a little sick of myself

photo by Kim Ulmanis

photo by Kim Ulmanis

As I got ready to post this morning, I stopped for a moment and scrolled through my last several entries.

Me.
Me.
Me again.
Me again, in a thong (sorry).

I suddenly had the realization I could be in danger of wearing out my own welcome.

While it’s true this site is called Ned’s Blog, I’ve tried to avoid having it become a mere self-promotional or marketing tool. My goal for this blog has always been a simple one: Make it a place where people can count on getting a laugh or two.

Possibly three if I’m really on my game.

Over time, it has also been a place where I’ve opened up on occasion about the more sobering aspects of my life as a firefighter or growing up in a family of alcoholics.

Granted, those posts didn’t get many laughs. Continue reading

Big screen premiere of ‘The Nedinator’ blamed for drop in thong sales

Poster design by Adam Sendek. Because he rocks.

Poster design by Adam Sendek. Because he rocks.

The lights went down, the curtains parted and theater-goers at City Lights Cinemas who had come to witness the premiere of Terminator: Genisys were also the first to witness me in a red thong.

I should clarify that this was for the big-screen premiere of a 6-minute spoof, Terminator: Nedisys.

As you might expect, the consensus from audience members was very positive…

“I laughed. I cried. I called my lawyer.”

“TWO THUMBS UP! But I’d rather not say where.”

“Any chance a Terminator will travel through time to make sure this movie never happened?”

“I really wish I’d held off on getting those corrective lenses.”

In all seriousness, what you see of me in a thong is extremely small. I mean, when compared to the film’s overall length. *sigh* I’m just saying don’t let my being in a thong scare you off, because it’s very tiny.

The scene, not…

Nevermind. Continue reading

I’m expecting a call from James Cameron any minute…

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It all started a week ago with me in a red thong. No, not for the uh… re-tooling… of the Magic Mike franchise. I’m talking about the making of a video spoof called “Terminator: Nedisys,” which went live this morning. It started as just a crazy idea to have fun with the new Terminator movie, which comes out Tuesday. But then I had an idea about using it as a new kind of an advertising vehicle for our newspaper by promoting businesses through a funny video people would want to share.

Suddenly, our budget expanded exponentially. Special effects costs alone ballooned to a jaw-dropping $12.98.

Still, I’m happy to say our 6-minute film came in under budget in spite of our extensive shooting schedule of: 1 day.

Plus our generous post-production schedule of: 1 day. Continue reading

How I spent my summer vacation (which was Saturday)

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It’s a WRAP! Principal production for Terminator: Nedisys ended Saturday evening. Keep in mind that when I say “principal production,” we’re talking about an iPod, a selfie-stick and a special effects budget limited to recycling my Dos Equis bottles. Still, it’s not every day you get to ask a street and bar full of people to pretend you’re naked because you’re making a Terminator spoof.

Then again, after walking around in a red thong on the dunes to shoot the opening, this seemed almost blasé. Except without the sunburn. Continue reading

It’s official: The strangest 15 minutes of my life (which is saying something)

WAIT! I promise this will all make sense! At least when you consider the source...

WAIT! I promise this will all make sense! At least when you consider the source…

For anyone who reads this blog regularly, it’s no surprise I’ve had my share of strange days.

But when you go from being on the sand dunes wearing nothing but a red thong, to putting out a car fire after witnessing a head-on collision all in a span of 15 minutes?

Even for me, that’s a day you circle on the strangeness calendar.

For those of you who are just now catching up after “…on the sand dunes wearing nothing but a red thong..,” it’s understandable. To be completely honest, after nearly two days I’m still finding sand in places I’m not even sure my physician knows about.

Many of you probably have questions:

Why was he on the sand dunes in nothing but a red thong?
How is it he makes his living again?
Does his wife know?
Did someone please cut his scene from “Magic Mike XXL?”
Was the accident caused by the glare from his [censored]?

After going through the sequence of events in my mind, there’s really no way to explain it other than just tell you what happened. Continue reading

Hey, snoring is the sign of a seasoned journalist

What may appear as sleeping to the untrained eye is actually the complex routine of a seasoned journalist focused on a Pulitzer … or possibly a Putziler.

Some of you may recognize the photo, which is from my About page. The truth is, every journalist has a routine. For example, I always write my column early in the morning.

The earlier the better.

That’s because, generally speaking, I’m not awake yet. Sure, I may be drinking coffee and typing, but if you were to monitor my brain activity, it would register somewhere between an earthworm and the average American watching The Bachelorette (and sadly, I am an average American). Admittedly, my brain doesn’t open for business until about 10 a.m. By then, I’ve been at the keyboard for three or four hours with no real memory of what I’ve been writing.

I assure my editor this unique quirk is the sign of a seasoned professional. And she assures me the reason we need to keep replacing my keyboard is because, at least once a month, she finds me face down drooling on the return key. That may be true, but I tend to do my best work under pressure. And there’s nothing like the pressure of trying to finish a column before saliva short-circuits your keyboard. Continue reading

Don’t do as I drink (and other lessons my father unintentionally taught me)

My father at age 48, the same age as I am.

My father at age 48, the same age as I am now.

My father and I were never very close. I resented him and his influence in my life for many years; he was abusive and an alcoholic who died 20 years ago today. It wasn’t until I became a father that I began to see him differently and, over time, forgave him enough to recognize the things he’d taught me through his own bad example. Even if only unintentionally, he is partially the reason I’m who I am today — as person, a man and a father.

It’s also because of him that I understand and appreciate the difference between the three.

What follows is something I wrote a couple of years ago for the now defunct blog “Black Box Warnings.” Given that the 20th anniversary of my father’s death falls on Father’s Day this year, I felt the need to share it again — for him as much as for myself… Continue reading

I’ve been busy having my butt kicked this week

Are you sure these aren't for horses?

Are you sure these aren’t for horses, Doc?

Let me just say I feel more than a little guilty about posting next to nothing this week. I’ve let you down and I apologize for that. On the other hand, in another few minutes, I won’t care. That’s because I’ll have taken my next round of pain meds.

After that, the only thing I’ll care about is remembering to blink from time to time so my eye balls don’t dry out.

I suppose I can always moisten them with my drool.

It’s been a tough week here and I’m not shamed to admit I’ve had my butt handed to me. Actually, not really “handed to me” as much as thrown at me like a game of Olympic competition dodgeball. Some of you may remember I was the only kid required to wear a helmet when playing dodgeball in middle school. Continue reading

Want to be a better father? Get a bigger grill

image Sunday morning I will awaken to sizzle of bacon and eggs, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the shuffle of approaching feet as I lay in bed quietly thinking to myself: My God, my wife is leaving me.

Then I’ll remember: Wait — It’s Father’s Day! It’s a day when we fathers are revered for our wisdom, patience and, in a few rare instances, our neckwear. For one whole day I’ll be the perfect father since my wife will be handling everything for me. She does this to help me relax and enjoy my special day. The problem is, it’s hard to relax when, by handling everything herself, my wife makes it clear I could be replaced by a dishwasher and a few extra power cords. Continue reading