If You’re Alarmed By The Millions Of Tons Of Carbon Released Every Day In India and China By All Those Smoke Spewing Jalopies, Relax, I Just Bought An E-Bike

If you’re someone concerned about global warming, I’ve got good news.  You know all those millions of three-wheeled jalopies spewing plumes of black smoke into the air each day?  Zillions of them?  Throughout Asia? Pouring millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.  You can stop worrying!

I bought an e-bike!

What I’m trying to say is this:  I’ve saved the earth.

With the rise in the earth’s temperature, and concern about the future of our planet, you might have already guessed the main reason I bought an e-bike.  And that reason is, of course-

I’m lazy.

After researching e-bikes for months, I learned a lot.  First off, there are three basic categories of electric bikes:

“Category 1” e-bikes.  These bikes require that you pedal, but they help you pedal with a feature creatively called, “pedal assist.” 

“Category 2” e-bikes.  These bikes, like Category 1 e-bikes, can help you with “pedal assist.”  However, they also have a throttle! These bikes can zip you along at up to 20 miles per hour without your feet ever touching the pedals!  So, if you’re a wise e-bike consumer, and by wise, I mean lazy, you can just twist the throttle and off you go! 

Finally, the “Category 3” e-bike.  These bikes also have a throttle, and they can speed you along up to 28 miles per hour.  But sadly, most jurisdictions require that you have a license and insurance to ride them.  AND, you can’t ride them on the bike paths. 

So, if you’re too lazy to pedal, and you also happen to be cheap, the Category 2 e-bike is the one for you.  That’s my Category 2 e-bike in the picture.  It’s a Lectric bike.  No, that’s not a typo.  The company just left the “e” off the word electric and named their company “Lectric.”  Their creative team must have spent the better part of three seconds coming up with that marketing gem.

So, if you see me zipping along the bike paths of the greater Eugene, Oregon area, feel free to give me a wave and thank me. Remember, I saved the planet.

I’ve Decided To Start Using The Word “Adroit” To Make People Think I’m Smarter Than I Am

I just watched Shark Tank, and someone used the word “adroit.”  The word caught my attention.  I immediately stopped trying to confabulate some contraption to appear on Shark Tank and make my fortune.  I thought to myself, ‘I need to start using that word.  It’ll make me sound smart.’

So, that’s my new plan. 

First, I had to do some research, and by “research,” I mean, I had to find out what the word meant.  I was surprised to discover that that word has nothing to do with droits.  (Which is, believe it or not, a REAL word!  I immediately ruled out ever using the word, “droit,” because I didn’t think using it would make me sound smart.  A “droit” sounds like a creature that lives under a bridge.

But I digress.  Back to adroit.

It turns out that the word “adroit” has French origins.  It’s actually the French word for bunion, as in, “I need to see the podiatrist about removing this enormous adroit.”  Just kidding!

I asked Google to tell me what it meant, and it said: skillful, nimble, clever. 

Not to shock anyone, but Alsea Elementary School never got around to adroit.  Our teachers were all too busy threatening us with extreme bodily harm.  That or I missed that day. 

I’m now in the planning stage of using my fancy new word. Here’s what I have chambered so far:

On my next visit to the podiatrist, I’m going to casually say, “Doctor,” (Yeah, I know he’s not a real doctor, but he likes it when I call him that), “Doctor,” I’ll say, “I’m hoping you can use your adroit skills to remove this bunion.”

If things go smoothly, I’ll move on from there, maybe to my optometrist, and then on to real doctors.  If things DON’T go well, I know one thing –

I’ll feel like a complete droid.

I Was Going To Buy A Pizza Oven, But I Didn’t Want to Pay One Million Dollars A Slice

I love pizza as much as the next pre-diabetic guy, but this whole “pizza oven craze” is bonkers.  A big, stand-alone oven exclusively to make pizza? 

Let’s think this through:

#1. How many times are you really ever going to use it?  I mean, as an actual pizza oven, not a boat anchor.

#2. How many days will it take before you start using it to store yard equipment, like your garden hose?  Prepare yourself. The temptation will be tremendous. Have you seen these things?  They are the perfect shape to hold a garden hose. (I say this as someone who shamefully has a pool table, I mean a storage table, taking up 25% of my garage.)

#3. News Alert:  Recently (and by “recently,” I mean since 1925), you can now order a pizza delivered DIRECTLY to your home.  AND, it will arrive with the precise toppings you PERSONALLY requested.

I have done the math, and these new-fangled contraptions just don’t pencil out.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the formula:

Cost of the pizza oven (more than you can afford) ÷ the number of pizzas you’ll actually make with it (“one” – and, frankly, not a very good one) = You’re an idiot if you buy a pizza oven.

And keep this very poignant question in mind (be honest with yourself when you answer it):  What are the chances that you might never climb off your big fat patootie and bake a pizza?

The answer is 39%.  (And I’m being generous.) 

Now that I think about it, the next time someone really irks me off, I’m going to go on Amazon and order a pizza oven sent to their home.  At first, sure, they’ll be thrilled.  But revenge is best served cold…  Give it a week.

My point is this: Don’t do it! Spend your money more wisely.  Here are a few examples of how you can better spend your money:

Option 1. Donate it to charity. 

Option 2. Deposit it in your kid’s college fund. 

Option 3. Flush it down the toilet. 

On the other hand, there is something to be said for having a convenient place to store your garden hose.    

How to Confront a Psychopathic Drone Owner

I visited the beach yesterday.  A sign posted at the entrance point had four pictures on it – A crab, a cigarette butt, a sand dollar and a starfish.  It read: “Which of these things doesn’t belong here?”  My heart sank.  Have we really reached the point as a society where we’re banning crabs from the beach?  I was so disgusted that I threw my cigarette down and stomped it with my sole.  Just kidding!  I didn’t want the ember to burn my rubber Nike sole, so I bent down and crushed it into the sand.  Just kidding again!  (Author’s note:  I don’t smoke, except fictionally, as needed humor purposes.)

Say what you will about chain-smoking beachcombers, but if we don’t want people tossing their cigarette butts on the beach, why do we put sand in ashtrays?  Uh-huh?!

Enough about chain-smoking beachcombers. Let’s talk about drones. 

You can now buy a drone for less than the price of Taco Bell Chalupa.  As a result, every psychopath is now free to terrorize the neighborhood, or in my case, the beach.

It was cold and windy, so my wife thought this was the perfect time to torture me with a walk on the beach.  For obvious reasons, few people were on the beach.  Suddenly, I hear a whirling.  I look up, and a drone is hovering 20 feet away.  I don’t know much about drones, but it looked like it was spying one me.  There were two zillion square feet of vacant beach in all four directions, but this thing was hovering over me like a bee circling a flower.  (No, I do not think of myself as a flower, but the only other simile that came to mind was, “like a fly circling a pile of horse manure.”)  So, yes, a BEE circling a FLOWER.

I did what any other red-blooded American would.  I picked up a rock and threw it at the drone.  I thought, what are the odds I’d hit it?  Turned out, 100%!  Nailed it smack in the center.  It hung in the air for a moment, and then it spun out of control and crashed into the waves.  Except…

I didn’t throw the rock.

That’s because in real life, I’m a lawyer.  So, I just THOUGHT about throwing the rock, and then I thought:

1. What if the owner chases me down and pummels the daylights out of me?  (I was wearing Crocks for crying out loud!)

2. What if the owner calls the police?

3. What if the police officer is psychopathic drone owner?  (I put those odds at 93%.)

So, I did the next best thing.  I gave it the finger.  Just kidding again!  My minister, who for the purposes of this column, I will refer to as, “Steve,” because his name is Steve Hill, would tell me that would be the “wrong thing to do” (most of the time, anyway). 

So, like a said, I didn’t throw the rock.  The only thing I threw was my cigarette butt down at a nearby crab.  Wasn’t he banned from the beach anyway?

How to Get Your Husband to Buy You a New Wedding Ring Without Really Trying

I lost my wedding ring.  When I confessed this to my wife, I was surprised to learn that she wasn’t upset.  She took it calmly. She simply set down her phone, looked at me with her gentle, loving eyes, and yelled, “What?” at the top of her lungs.

I had developed the habit of slipping my ring off my finger and fiddling with it.  Whenever my wife saw me do this, she would scold me.  “You’re going to lose it,” she warned.  “No, I’m not,” I replied each time.

Thankfully, my beautiful, loving, wonderful wife, isn’t an “I told you so” person.  She’s an “I told you so,” (pause) “I told you so” person.  This posed a small problem for me in that she had indeed “told me so,” many, MANY times.

“I’ll find it,” I replied with as much confidence as I could muster given the fact that I had already search everywhere.  TWICE. 

My wife and I then searched frantically.

Thereafter, every so often, my wife would ask me if I had given up looking for my ring.  “I’m still looking,” I would reply without taking my eyes off the latest episode of Gold Rush. 

I was having just as much luck finding my ring from the living room couch as OJ was having finding the “real killer” from the golf course.

Then came the BIG DAY. 

My wife announced that she had found me a new wedding ring, and she wanted me to go see it.  She drove.  When we pulled up to the most expensive jewelry store in Eugene, it took every ounce of my strength to keep from peeing myself. 

We entered, and the salesman greeted my wife like an old friend.  (This should have been my first clue.)

“You brought your husband to see the ring!” he said.

He directed us to a display case and pulled a ring from the case below.  It was a gold band with etchings of waves circling it.  I had always told my wife that real men wore plain gold bands (as was the one I lost).  Unfortunately, my delicate predicament didn’t leave me much room to begin making demands. 

“I like it,” I announced firmly, much to my wife’s smiling satisfaction.  Meanwhile, the salesman stood wearing a smile brighter than the grill of a ’57 Buick.

The salesman’s next statement struck me with the subtly of a 2”x4” whack to the cranium.

“Would you like to see your matching ring?” he asked my wife.

He reached down and pulled out a second ring.

The second ring was identical to my ring with one minor exception:

It was encrusted with DIAMONDS!  Beautiful, sparking, EXPENSIVE diamonds!

My first inclination was to cry out, “Hey, that’s not a matching ring!”  But miraculously, I was able to catch myself and withhold my (very correct) objection.

“It’s beautiful,” I choked out.

Naturally, I found my original ring within the month.  It had fallen into a small pocket on one of my coats.  My first thought was, ‘Hey, maybe we can take the rings back.’

I decided to keep that little suggestion to myself.

The REAL problem with ordering People magazine is that they start SENDING you People magazine

Every once in a while, I make the tragic mistake of subscribing to People magazine.  It isn’t that I WANT People magazine, it is that People magazine skillfully uses a sophisticated entrapment technique to coerce me into subscribing.  It happens at my work. 

It goes like this.  They send you a color flyer depicting a cover of People magazine with the sales pitch, “54 Weeks of People, Just $47!”  That catches your eye, and when you look closer, it says a two-year subscription is just $95.  And, get this, a three-year subscription is only $134!  And if you subscribe for five years, they actually pay YOU money to take it!  Okay, I’m just kidding. They don’t pay you money. They just give it to you for free. Just kidding, again!  The deal ends at three years.  But still, that’s about 85 cents an issue.  In a world where a cup of coffee is four bucks, that’s an amazing deal.  And I’m from Alsea, so you can imagine my internal struggle.  My cheapskate id starts wrasslin’ with my just-spotted-a-bargain id. 

The REAL problem with ordering People magazine is that they start sending you People magazine.  EVERY week.  Week after week, month after month.  It NEVER ends.  It’s relentless.  Issues start piling up.  Stacks of People magazines begin growing throughout the lobby.  The stacks sprout everywhere.  Pretty soon your office lobby is like a corn maze.  You find yourself trying to navigate through the unsteady stacks looking for the front door while desperately trying to avoid becoming the embarrassing victim of a People magazine avalanche.  (A tragedy People magazine would gleefully publish on it’s cover!)

What I’m trying to say is that when you are walking through the airport, and you see a copy of People magazine for sale at its standard cover price of $200 (or whatever its insane “cover price”), BUY IT.  Buy that ONE copy.  Covet it.  Alone.  It doesn’t need any brother or sister issues.  It’s fine being an only child. 

I implore you.  If you’re itching to do something crazy, go bungee jumping, or maybe skydiving.  Heck, sign up for a naked bull riding contest.  Just don’t ever, and I mean EVER, lose your mind and subscribe to People magazine.

Help! A Guy Named Bob Hacked Our Netflix Account!

Being the victim of a violent crime is life altering.  This is especially true if the offense is not only violent but invades your privacy.  I should know.  I am now tragically among the ranks of our nation’s faceless victims.  How?  A guy named “Bob” recently hacked my family’s Netflix account.  That’s him in the picture.  I had innocently enough opened our Netflix account to watch the next episode The Great British Baking Show, and BAM, there was Bob.  I immediately shot out a message to my family’s text thread asking who let Bob into our account.  Everybody denied it. 

The whole experience was harrowing.  From now on, whenever I point my tv remote to click on Netflix, my hand shakes with trepidation.  Who, I wonder, will I find lurking in there?  (It’s exactly like being the victim of an armed home invasion, except with no guns, and, of course, no ACTUAL invasion.)

I will now bravely tell the rest of my story of survival.

Throwing caution to the wind, I clicked on Bob’s account to see what he had been watching.  Low and behold, the last program he watched was the Gilmore Girls.  I have never seen the Gilmore Girls, but using my above-average deductive skills, I thought to myself, ‘Is Bob a girl?’

This prompted me to shift my effort back to lambasting my daughters on whether they let Bob into our account.  More blanket denials. 

After hitting the dead end with my daughters, I clicked back onto Netflix, only to find that Bob had now LOCKED US OUT OF HIS PROFILE!  (See the little lock symbol below his face in the picture?!)

This was the final straw. 

The saga ended somewhat unceremoniously.  Because I have all of the technological skills of a orangutan,  I told my tech-savvy daughter Zoe to eliminate Bob using any and all means necessary.  Nothing was off the table! 

Five seconds later, she did.

Bob is now gone. 

But a word to the wise:  Keep a sharp eye out.  Bob might be eyeballing YOUR Netflix account right now!  If you see him, tell him I said, “Hi.”

Today’s Taliban: Leading the Global Fight Against Climate Change One Flogging at a Time

Say what you will about the Taliban, those guys keep a low carbon footprint.  The West might even be able to learn a thing or two that could help us fight climate change.  That is, if we could only set aside our judgmental attitude toward their savagery for a moment and keep an open mind.

Personal Care

Have you ever seen a Taliban member use any personal skincare or haircare products?  Do you have any idea how many petroleum products that are required to produce, transport and market these “essentials?”  Not only that, but most combs and brushes are made almost entirely from petroleum products.  When is the last time you have EVER even seen a Taliban fighter use a comb?

Law Enforcement

The Taliban draws a wickedly sharp line on following Sharia Law.  Step out of line for a moment and Whack!  They’ll knock you into tomorrow.  And what do Taliban enforcers use? Canes, whips and rocks, that’s what.  Talk about an uncompromising commitment to sustainability. 


Do Taliban fighters drive around in gas-guzzling Humvees?  Of course, not!  Taliban fighters drive fuel-efficient Tacoma pickups.  And, they ride eight or nine to a truck!  Now, that’s an HOV lane culture!

Perhaps if we weren’t so ethnocentric, we could open our minds and learn a little something from these backwards, heartless barbarians.  Maybe, we need to “slow our roll” and stop being so quick to superimpose OUR cultural values on them.  What makes OUR culture so much better?  Treating women as human beings?  Requiring due process?  Not referring to our leaders as “Warlords?” 

The next time you run into a member of the Taliban, perhaps you should take a moment to thank him and apologize for your cultural prejudice.  But do it quick, before he pulls out his cane.

Milo the Dog Graciously Donates His Poop to the Cause of Archaeological Research

Millions of years from now, archaeologists, perhaps from another planet, will be carefully digging through previously inhabited areas of Earth.  They will be looking for artifacts to help them understand the nature of the human experience.  During this process, they will discover thousands of little plastic bags containing organic matter.  They will wonder to themselves, “What was it about these little bags that was so important to humankind?”

I was thinking about all this last weekend when I was out walking Milo the Dog.  As I pulled out a bag to collect his most recent achievement, I wondered what an alien archaeologist might make out of all of this millions of years from now.

Three possibilities came to mind:

1. Perhaps these were snack bags.  We might have enjoyed snacking on whatever these little bags contained.  In fact, we might have found this snack so tasty that we were addicted to it, and we carried it wherever we went.

2. Perhaps these little bags had a deep religious meaning.  We were emotionally attached to them.  They helped us form a closer connection to our creator. 

3. Perhaps the contents of these bags had an intrinsic value, like gold or silver. 

Of course, with each of these possibilities, the alien archaeologists would be confused over why we kept tossing them in the dump.

By the time these archaeologically significant little bags are discovered, there is a good chance that they will be fossilized. 

I have several fossils displayed in my office.  My wife brought them back from South Dakota.  My clients often admire them and make positive comments. 

So, as I watched Milo drop another gem onto a neighbor’s manicured yard, I had to wonder.  Will this one-day be displayed in some alien archaeologist’s office?  If so, I hope that visitors will admire it and make positive comments.

Oliver in Repose

I Am Working Remotely This Afternoon, And By “Remotely,” I Mean Sleeping On My Couch

I am working remotely this afternoon, and by “remotely,” I mean sleeping on my couch.  Oliver the Cat is working remotely, too.  That’s him, above.  Oliver has been working remotely since 1997.  Just kidding!  He’s only three years old.  So, he’s been working remotely since 1897.  (I’m including his first eight lives.)  Oliver INVENTED working remotely. 

The greatest challenge I have faced working remotely is that my refrigerator is inconveniently located in the kitchen.  The problem is that my couch is in the family room.  Tragically, my arms are only 30 inches long.  This set of unfortunate circumstances requires me to actually stand up and embark on a harrowing 20-foot journey to the refrigerator.  But let it be known that I take my remote work seriously, so I embrace this challenge.  Doggonit, that’s just how I was raised. 

On a serious note, the pandemic has impacted all of our lives.  So, I think I can speak for my fellow remote workers when I say, “Please, God, let this pandemic continue.” 

No one is more grateful to Dr. Fauci for his helping to fund the creation of this virus.  I’m sure he wasn’t thinking it would kill millions, or that I would get to enjoy a midweek afternoon nap, but I’m grateful to the man, nevertheless.  And to do so at such great risk to himself.  The guy’s 80 years old!  It’s a miracle he didn’t drop dead in the first wave. 

While it’s not something we want to think about, sadly, one day the pandemic will come to and end.  We’ll all have to go back to our offices.  We’ll sit behind our computer screens and get to work.  What work?  Why, worrying about what crippling side effects these vaccines will hit us with down the road.  The suspense will kill us. 

Well, that or the vaccine.