Clearly, our old furtniture was a crime in progress

image It wasn’t until dragging our furniture into the yard during our move that I realized our couches looked like they were purchased from a crackhouse garage sale. After years of having the dogs rub themselves along the front, and motionless teenagers planted on the cushions for hours at a time, they were dirty, lumpy and misshapen.

And so were our couches.

After a long discussion about the merits of keeping our old set and the cost of replacing them with a new one, my wife and I decided to go ahead and get rid of our old sofa and love seat. Total elapsed time for this conversation:

11 seconds. Continue reading Clearly, our old furtniture was a crime in progress

Giant snakes and screaming children — welcome to Uncle Ned’s daycare

Unce Ned's day care I have a good friend who is a child care provider. So when she found herself in a bind, I told her I’d be happy to watch the kids for a couple of hours; eight children, all under the age of four.

I did this yesterday.

Today, I’m writing to you from a locked treatment facility for the emotionally disturbed. Being a parent, it’s not like I didn’t know what to expect.

I was prepared.

I came with a plan.

I had ideas for things to do.

And, if all else failed, I came with a bungee cord large enough to wrap all eight of them together in the middle of the lawn. Continue reading Giant snakes and screaming children — welcome to Uncle Ned’s daycare

If Chuck Norris is on WordPress, I may get kicked in the throat

Just got a sneak peak at Alan W. King’s handiwork with this short teaser about an upcoming video experiment featuring yours truly. I’m still laughing — and I’m really hope Chuck Norris is…

Alan W. King

Syndicated humor columnist and author, Ned Hickson was so gracious to indulge me in this experiment – a video version of the profile I did on him a while back.

He was part three in my Freshly Pressed series, which included Robert Hookey and Zoe Valentine. The series focused on successful bloggers and their writing routines.

Here’s an ad for the upcoming video blog post.

View original post

Some weeks, my life is a blooper reel

image Several weeks ago, my blogging friend Alan W. King asked me if I’d be interested in participating in a short film project by answering a few questions about writing. I immediately told him “Of course! Anything I can do to help!”

“Great. You’ll need to record it on-camera,” he said.

“Oops! I almost forgot. I’m pretty sure I’m coming down with something. Possibly fatal. My ear hurts.”

But Alan is good and talented man, dedicated to his craft and working hard to make both a career and a family. In fact, he’s most likely working hard at one of them this very moment. Needless to say, I agreed — and naturally procrastinated until the last minute. So in addition to moving into our new house this week, I also started recording my answers for Alan’s project yesterday.

Maybe it’s the stress of moving.
Maybe it’s because I’m recording my answers at 5 a.m.
Maybe it’s the first signs of aging.

Whatever the reason, here is proof of why I became a writer instead of an actor… Continue reading Some weeks, my life is a blooper reel

Only REAL men iron clothes at 3,000 feet

image I have reached the conclusion that most of the world’s ironing is now being done by men. I say this because it’s the only explanation I have for a sport called “extreme” ironing, which is actually being lobbied as an Olympic event by “ironing enthusiasts” — a phrase referred to in the Bible as a sign of the coming apocalypse.

“And four horsemen will come from the sky. And they will lay waste to the land, but not before having their robes pressed by ironing enthusiasts.”

It’s easy to understand how extreme ironing evolved if you keep in mind this simple truth about the male species:

Given enough time, any man performing a mundane task will find a way to hurt himself.

And if you can hurt yourself doing it, then it’s practically a sport already. Sure, bowling and golf may appear to be exceptions to this rule. But ask anyone who has ever jammed their finger in the ball return, or inadvertently left a tee in their back pocket, and they’ll tell you there is plenty of danger involved. Continue reading Only REAL men iron clothes at 3,000 feet

Everyone’s going through ‘The Change’ at our house

image Some of you might’ve noticed it’s been a little quiet here at Ned’s Blog this week, and it will likely continue through next weekend. For anyone visiting for the first time, you obviously won’t have noticed the difference, in which case you’ll just have to take my word for it that this blog is normally Freshly Pressed at least twice a day, sometimes more, depending on your time zone and whether The Sisterwives or Ross Murray have posted anything that day.

It’s embarrassing, really.

For those of you who who are regular followers, please keep the truth to yourselves and don’t spoil it for the newcomers.

The reason things are quiet here, and why I’ve been off the grid for the most part, has nothing to do with forgetting my password or an uncontrollable binge of Cheetos and Rootbeer. And no, it has nothing to do with me having a stroke now that my son has his driver’s permit. At least, not yet. The actual reason is because everyone in our home is going through The Change. And by that I mean changing where we live. Continue reading Everyone’s going through ‘The Change’ at our house

Being the parent of a new teen driver has its advantages. Anyone? Anyone?

image For teens, getting a driver’s permit symbolizes a rite of passage toward independence. For parents, however, it is simply a right to pass out — Preferably before they can make it into the passenger seat. Not that my teen wouldn’t drag my unconscious body into the car anyway, thereby meeting the “accompanied by a licensed adult” clause in his permit.

After reading The Oregon Parent Guide to Teen Driving, I can tell you nowhere in that pamphlet does it specify that “said adult” is to be “conscious” or “buckled and/or otherwise strapped in of his own accord” while the vehicle is in motion. Ideally using all four wheels.

This is what is known as a “technicality.” And trust me, if there’s a way to use it to their advantage, teenagers will find it. That’s why I spent extra time going through this pamphlet, knowing it could be used against me in a court of law. Or over breakfast. What I discovered is that the person who wrote this guide either a) never had teenagers of their own, b) grew up in the 1950s, or c) probably grows his own marijuana. Continue reading Being the parent of a new teen driver has its advantages. Anyone? Anyone?

HURRY! Time is running out if you want to claim your dog as a dependent

IRS and ostrich It used to be that when the IRS discovered you’ve been claiming a child who is actually a 50-pound Labrador retriever named “Billy,” everyone would have a good laugh. Not any more. The Treasury Department says it will be cracking down on “aggressive tax deductions” filed by U.S. taxpayers in order to keep the federal government from being bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars — money that could otherwise be spent on important federal programs, such as the Congressional Caribbean Getaway Fund.

As a service to readers, several of whom are actual U.S. taxpayers, I thought I’d contact some of the brightest minds in tax law in order to clarify what we can still get away with. Unfortunately, everyone was too busy working on the Clinton family’s tax returns to help. So, as aresponsible member of the news media, I was left with only one option:

Forget taxes! Let’s talk about who’s next on Dancing With The Stars!

Just kidding. I rolled up my sleeves. Got on the Internet. Made phone calls. And eventually came up with some real-life tax claims you should NOT make unless you want to end up in jail — or worse, on the computer screen of a humor columnist trying to meet a deadline. Continue reading HURRY! Time is running out if you want to claim your dog as a dependent

That sound you hear? My teen getting his driver’s permit

What was that sound, you ask? You can’t tell if it was grinding gears, grinding teeth, tires squealing or grown man screaming like a little girl? How about all of the above. That’s right; my 15 year old son just got his driver’s permit. After looking through The Oregon Parent Guide to Teen Driving I realized something very important: Whoever wrote it probably never actually had children. Tomorrow, I’ll be offering a more realistic series of tips for parents with teen drivers.

Here’s a SoundCloud sneak peak…

I hope you’ll stop by again tomorrow for the full post. Unless you’re driving, in which case I’ll understand if you’d rather stay away from Oregon.

I’m spending time in Arkansas today and it’s all Jolene’s fault


Regular visitors to this blog know two things about me. 1) as a rule I generally stay off the Interwebs on weekends, and 2) I avoid pink almost as much as I avoid anything to do with Justin Bieber. And for the record, Justin Bieber wearing pink is the first sign of my own personal apocolypse.

But today is special. Today I am Jolene’s guest at Valley Girl Gone Country, where I’m joining Ben’s Bitter Blog, Fat Bottom Girl, The Bestie, Cover Reveals and Wyndy Dee this week while Jolene is away. I’m not entirely sure Jolene knows about this. But we all have keys to her blog, so that’s good enough for me. It’s going to be a fun week, so I hope you’ll stop in today and each day! Plus, we could use your help cleaning up… Here’s the link! Valley Girl Gone Country