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Marriage Advice for the Newlyweds

Marriage Advice for the NewlywedsErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

My little brother is finally getting married at the ripe old age of 29. And as his older brother — someone who got married when he was a 12-year-old punk — I have several pearls of wisdom that I can offer after nearly 17 years of wedded bliss.

I also owe him some advice, since at my wedding, when the videographer asked if he had any advice for his older brother, stared at the camera for a few seconds, like a deer in the headlights, and then said, "don't fart."

So here is my advice for Andrew and his new bride, Michelle. They apply to equally to both (except #4. That's all for him.)

1. Never let the sun set on your anger. That is, don't go to bed mad at each other. Stay up late and play Ghost Recon on Xbox instead. This way, you can nurse a good long grudge, going over every nuance of the other person's argument, before finally coming up with that one stunner that will prove you…

New York City Principal Uses Bad English, Faulty Grammar to Show Why His School Shouldn't Use Textbooks

I thought you could only find this kind of story in Catch-22 or on 30 Rock.

According to a story in the New York Daily, News, Andrew Buck, principal of an East Flatbush middle school, sent out an error-laden email to teachers explaining why he thought they didn't need textbooks in the middle school.

Apparently, Buck thinks that because his students have lower reading skills, they shouldn't use textbooks to teach the students. He talked about how he didn't like textbooks in high school and college, and as a result, he doesn't think his already-poorly educated students should have to use textbooks.

Personal experience aside, which surfaces a concern about the potential adversarial affect of textbooks to students learning, let;s return to the essential question of learning and how it is best achieved.

Huh?

Other you ought-to-know-better errors included misspelled words, missing letters, repeating words, rambling and incoherent sentences, and of course, misspelling the word tex…

Food-Related Assault in Dover, Maine

The Florida-style food related assaults, once thought by experts (me) to have finally died down, have cropped up again, this time in Dover, Maine.

According to a story in the Foster's Daily Democrat (official motto: We got Fosters.com! Suck on THAT, Fosters Beer!!), Thomas Goulet, 40, had ordered a few sandwiches at the Duston's Bakery & Deli, and then got on his mobile phone. The woman preparing the sandwiches had questions about his order, but since he was on the phone, she went off to do other things.

The woman said that when Goulet finally got off the phone, and saw that his sandwich wasn't finished, he called her a "vulgar name," took a sandwich that had already been made for Goulet's son, and then threw it at the woman.

Best line in the whole story: "The clerk was struck in the face, but unhurt by the flying sandwich, which police have yet to identify."

I have an image of Horatio Caine looking at the remains of the sandwich, and he says, "…

Phone It In Sunday: The Social Network Spoof Trailer for Scotty's Brewhouse

Scotty's Brewhouse is a small restaurant chain with places in Indianapolis, Muncie, Bloomington, and West Lafayette. A lot of us in the social media industry have made it our restaurant of choice.

A few weeks ago, Scotty Wise had a special midnight showing of The Social Network, and shot a spoof of the popular movie trailer that had been making the rounds. (Tim "That foreign guy with the mole" Hashko shot it in just a couple hours.) I was lucky enough to have a very small part in the trailer, with the second biggest word in the whole thing — "Millions?" (Smiley stole the honor of biggest word with "billion," but I'm not complaining.)

You need to know that two of Scotty's signature items are fried dill pickle chips (which are awesome) and the Shewman Burger (even more awesome), which includes peanut butter and bacon. (And before you say, "ewww, peanut butter!" let me tell you that it's one of the best hamburgers out there.)



Every mas…

You Can't Spell Winter Without 'Winner' & 'Tea'

You Can't Spell Winter Without 'Winner' & 'Tea'Erik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

I used to enjoy the cold weather. I don't mean "Winter is so beautiful after a snowfall" or anything namby-pamby like that. I mean, I used to love the cold. The biting chill, the howling winds, the icy blasts that froze my cheeks and made my boogers freeze.

I don't know if it's because I'm getting older, or if I just don't have the youthful vigor I used to, but I don't enjoy Indiana's arctic blasts the way I did 20 years ago.

When I was in college, I was notorious for loving the cold weather. According to a classmate, during one class when the winter was hammering Ball State's campus pretty hard and many students were skipping their classes to hibernate in their rooms, the other students were discussing how much they all hated the weather, and the professor asked, "does anyone even like winter?"

Several classmates all…

Animal Liberation Front Frees Deer Into Forest During Hunting Season

The Animal Liberation Front is not too smart. According to a story in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the ALF is taking credit for removing a large section of fencing at a deer farm in Molalla, Oregon.

Their intention, said the cowardly vandals', was to allow the deer to escape into the forest surrounding the farm.

The problems are two fold:
Farm owner Richard Bentley said there were no deer on the part of the land where the fence was cut, hence no deer were actually freed.
Had they been successful, ALF would have released tame deer into the forest during deer hunting season.

If you want to release deer and try to save them, try not to save them during the time of year when other people want to shoot them. Also, make sure there are really deer to be saved.

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Phone It In Sunday: Will It Blend meets the Old Spice Guy

Blendtec created a huge hit with their viral "Will It Blend" videos. Of course, they're never one to shy away from current events either. They've blended iPhones, iPads, and vuvuzelas. Now they're going after a bottle of Old Spice!



The only thing they've never been able to blend? Chuck Norris. Because nothing can blend Chuck Norris.

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Squirrels Refuse Medical Care, Blame the Economy

Squirrels Refuse Medical Care, Blame the EconomyErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

"Squirrels Refuse Medical Care."

Yes, that's a real headline. No, it wasn't from The Onion. It was the Washington Post. The Washington "We Broke Watergate" Post.

In late September, in Alexandria, Virginia, someone called Animal Control about an injured squirrel on the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood. When an Animal Control officer showed up, the squirrel scrambled up a tree.

The Animal Control officer saw another squirrel nearby, also on the sidewalk, but it appeared dazed. He took it back to the Animal Welfare League to examine it further, but the squirrel woke up and "resisted attempts to be handled." So the officer returned the squirrel to the area where it had originally been found.

An extremely slow news day nowithstanding, I was intrigued at the idea of squirrels who would refuse medical care. The AWL is supported by taxes, so it's more o…

My Knees Are Killing Me

My Knees Are Killing MeErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

My knees are killing me.

I'm either suffering from Old Guy Knee or Big Guy Knee. I like to think I'm suffering from Former Athlete Knee, which is usually a combination of both. I was an athlete of one form or another for nearly 30 years, playing soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, football, bicycle racing, and running — sports that wreak havoc on an athlete's knees, and I was never very careful about where or how I hurled my body.

Unfortunately, I also have the same build of a former athlete, which is a big part of the problem. Imagine putting a truck on a car suspension. The car slows down, the shocks make an awful grinding noise if it tries to goes too fast, and the car grunts whenever it sits down on the couch.

I'm working to lighten the load, watching what I eat, and going for walks with my wife on a daily basis. Plus, the nearly one-mile walk from my car to my office has been helping. However, my exercise…

Karl the Curmudgeon Finds Facebook

Karl the Curmudgeon Finds FacebookErik Deckers
Laughing Stalk syndicate
Copyright 2010

"Kid, why do you insist on playing on that Facespace," said Karl, grabbing my mobile phone from me.

It's Facebook, I said, grabbing it back from him. You don't 'play' Facebook. Besides, I wasn't on Facebook, I had to check a text from my wife.

"But I don't even see the point of it," said Karl, plonking his beer on the table. It was Saturday afternoon, and we were sitting at Boudica's, a Scottish restaurant, eating lunch and having a beer. The waitress brought an order of Scotch eggs.

Ahh, look at that, I said, marveling at the egg-and-sausage dish, rubbing my hands together in gleeful anticipation. Scotch eggs are hard-boiled eggs with a sausage coating. The sausage ball is baked, and you cut it into pieces, eating both the egg and sausage together. These eggs were the size of my fist.

"Aye, those are mighty fine eggs," said Karl, slipping into his …