How to answer a child’s questions about death

Right after sex and the alt-right movement, death is one of the most difficult matters to explain to a child. Here are some questions you may get and some sample answers in reference to a dead Uncle Bob. Remember, the answers you give may be different, so do not read these word for word to the child unless your dead person is also Uncle Bob.

1. Where’s Uncle Bob?
Uncle Bob is dead.

2. What is dead?
Dead is when you stop breathing.

3. I can hold my breath.
That is not a question, but I’ll answer it anyways. If you were to hold your breath for a long time you would die. Just like Uncle Bob.

4. Is Uncle Bob being punished by God?
No. Uncle Bob did not believe in God. Too bad for Bob, because God believed in him. So now Bob is in hell with the devil and eternal fires.

5. Why is Bob in that box?
Bob is in that plain box because he could not afford the metal one with the stainless steel. Bob was a bad planner and spent his money on booze and women. Daddy wishes he could have the plain box.

6. No, why is he in that box and not moving?

He’s dead. I thought we covered that in #1.

7. No, why is he out so we can see him?
Uncle Bob is being displayed so that people can say their last good-byes. In a little while, they will shut the box and bury the box in the ground.

8. Why do we put people in the ground?
Dead people can come back as zombies and it is best to lock them up and stick them as far as possible under the earth. Remember, only a head shot can take out a zombie.  Don’t try to light them on fire. You can also hit them with a guitar.

9. Mom said Uncle Bob was going to be cremated.
Oh shit. You are right. He’ll get stuffed in the flames, crackle, crackle, crackle, then they give us a handful of ashes, which we can pretend are his.

10. Was that last line a complete rip off from the Monty Python “Undertaker” sketch?
Yes. Your Uncle Bob loved Python. And scotch.

11. What are all these rocks with the writing on them?
Those are called tombstones. They are overpriced chunks of marble so that we can remember that we outlived Uncle Bob. You’ll note that Uncle Bob’s tombstone looks like everyone else’s and we are bound to spend countless hours searching around for it so that your mother can swap out the flowers.

12. Why is everyone crying?
Uncle Bob owed a lot of people a lot of money. This funeral ain’t cheap either.

13. You didn’t like Uncle Bob, did you?
It’s not polite to say bad things about the dead.

14. Will I die?
Someday, yes. But not for a long time. You’ll spend years of your life, trudging and plodding and scraping by. You’ll get married and have kids and retire. Then one day you'll ask yourself "why?" Then you'll impatiently wait for death to come to your doorstep.

15. Which is harder to explain: death, sex or neoconservatism?
Sex, then neoconservatism and then death. In that order.

16. Why do people have to die?
People have to die so that the cigarette companies can make more money. At least that's what I read somewhere.

17. Did Bonkers die?
No, Bonkers ran away. And let's stick with the Uncle Bob theme.

18. What if Uncle Bob wakes up and he is under ground?
Good question. Uncle Bob is really, really dead. But just in case, all bodies are buried with a cell phone and five free minutes. I hope this cemetery isn't outside of our calling area.

19. Are you going to try to stretch this out to an even twenty questions?

John Glenn’s Space Peaches

I met John Glenn.  It was during the 1992 election when Clinton was running against the senior George Bush. I was working for Lyon Video and they had a satellite uplink.  Glenn was a Senator in Ohio and was campaigning for Clinton.  He was going to be interviewed by some cable channel. I put his mic on.  It’s the closest to orbit I will ever get. 

A few years later, I was working for COSI, a science museum in Columbus.  We built a display case for John Glenn’s artifacts in an exhibit about space.  Due to poor planning, the artifacts were lit with incandescent MR16 bulbs.  The small spaces they were displayed in turned into Easy Bake Ovens and the artifacts were cooked.  One of those artifacts was an aluminum toothpaste tube of peaches.  I knew they were peaches because there was a typewriter written label on the tube that said, “PEACHES.”  There was also a plastic tube that would screw into the top of the aluminum tube that would break the seal and allow those sweet, sweet peaches to go into John’s gullet.  The heat from the light caused the peaches to expand and blow out the bottom of the toothpaste tube.  When we were alerted to the problem (challenge) we cut power, extracted the artifacts from the case and sent it out to get fiber optic lighting.  Because the peaches were homeless, I decided to give them a home in my work desk drawer.

Time passes.

At some point, that display case was upgraded to fiber optic lighting.  The artifacts were replaced and all was well. Except the peaches remained in my office drawer. Mostly to the back, but not so much so that I didn’t see them at least once a week.  The tiny squirt of space peaches sneaking out the bottom was frozen in physics, sneakily within the recesses of my drawer. I knew they were there, but no one asked about them and I wasn’t about to say anything.

About a year later, I got a call, “Do you have John Glenn’s peaches?”


“Do you?”

“Yes. They are right here.”
“Could we have them back?”
Of course you can. Of course. I returned them and they were placed back into the display.

And that was the end...

How dare you! How dare you ask if I tasted the peaches? The peaches that had broken the surly bonds of earth. The peaches that survived space but didn’t survive a week in a poorly designed, overheated cabinet. How dare you!

They were sweet, my friend. They were sweet.

Thank you, John Glenn. Thank you.

Before and After

What is your best before and after memory? A memory of a time where you did not have a thing or maybe you had an expectations of a thing and then the thing happened and then there was the after.  Right now, I assume there are many Trump fans who had a very deep desire to have him elected and then there was the election and then there is the after.  The Before and After.

I’m going to immediately negate marriage and having children because those memories are the greatest ever and they can never be outdone and blah blah blah happiness. Blah. Blah. Blah. Happiness.

What is a something that you had great expectations of, and then it happened, all your expectations were met and then now you live with the memory of how great they were?

Mine is U2’s The Joshua Tree.

In 1987, I was a seventeen years old boy. I knew very little about music.  I listened to the local pop station on the radio.  Our family did not have cable, so I didn’t have access to MTV, which by this time was starting to tap into the Alternative Music market.  I think I owned an El DeBarge 45 of ‘Rhythm of the Night’ and a cassette of Men at Work’s ‘Business as Usual.’ Again, I admit that I knew very little about music.

But not Dave and Doug.  The twins from my class seemed to have excellent taste in alternative music.  They’d talk about The Dead Milkmen and Morrissey and U2 and XTC and New Order.  They would debate song lyrics and I would pretend like I had heard them and make up my own analysis. I had no idea.

In 1987 Doug and Dave were absolutely fucking on edge (on Edge?) about this new U2 album, The Joshua Tree.  They had copies of Rolling Stone with articles about the release.   They drew images of the Joshua Tree on their book covers.  They counted down to its release. They waited.

I was excited for them.  I was familiar with U2 and I’m sure I had heard their music somewhere.  Right?

And then the album was released. Fucking Dave and Doug were absolutely blown away. So was I. I didn’t know anything about music and I think I only remember liking about half of the album when it came out. Thinking that some of it was really good. Thinking some of it was just OK.

Time passes.

You might be a naysayer, but I think The Joshua Tree is one of the Top 10 Albums of all time.  I’d stick it in the top 3 because not much changes, and, like I said, I still really don’t know much about music. It’s a great album.  I can stick it in the CD player or put it on repeat on iTunes and listen to it for 30 hours straight.  It’s very good. Just ask Doug or Dave.

And here I am. An observer of the time before The Joshua Tree and of the time after.  There was a time in my life where “Where the Streets Have No Name” did not exist. And then it did. It’s my before and after. What is your before and after?

Sick of Political Ads? New device can block commercials.

Columbus (FD) - By now you are probably fatigued from all the political commercial bombardment. A company out of Columbus, OH has a revolutionary idea for television viewers who are tired of the constant barrage of political commercials, especially after they have voted. Political Subtract is a scanner from that can read the barcode on an absentee ballot or early voting ballot and get rid of those crappy commercials in a snap.

YouSkanTech Company President, Eric Stands explains the product, “Many of us are patriotic voters and watch the initial political ads with a keen interest. But after you have voted, the commercials are just a waste of time and quite frankly a bit fucking annoying. Political Subtract allows you to scan the barcode from your absentee ballot and any future political commercial on your television will be replaced by the programming of your choice.”

The technology is very simple. Viewers purchase the Political Subtract scanner and connect it to their existing cable box. Once their ballot is scanned, they are given a choice of what programming they would like to be shown in place of the political ads. Viewers can choose from a varity of programming such as sports, comedy or bunny.

And there are other alternative programming choices as well.

Mr. Stands has big plans for the half hour Trump commercial which is scheduled to air later this month, “We are going to loop the Seinfeld/Green Day ‘Time of Your Life’ video montage and the ‘Mr. Hooper is dead’ ending from Sesame Street. Those both really choke me up.”

Cost for the unit is $250 and it is good through the 2020 elections when Rick Santorum will be running again. Mr. Stands added, “Or for $10,000 you can just buy the unit with a hack that allows you to skip the commercials outright without having to vote.”

So far they have sold 134 million units.

Airline Requires Passengers to Use the Restroom Before Boarding Plane to Reduce Weight

CHICAGO (FD) - American Airlines announced a cost savings measure today that has passengers up in arms and they are literally not taking it sitting down. Airlines have been cutting fuel costs by reducing weight on planes through baggage restrictions and cutting back on provided amenities such as food and blankets. Hawaiian Airlines is currently under investigation for forcing passengers to be weighed and made to change seats to distribute weight. Courts have struck down attempts to charge passengers by the pound so a different route was required.  

In a drastic effort to cut down on plane weight, American Airlines is requiring that all passengers use the bathroom before boarding the plane. Special porta-potties are being brought into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for a trial run of the elimination requirement.
Passengers are instructed on how to use the porta potty measuring device

Passengers were not at all pleased with the new requirement. “I’m not ten years old,” remarked an anonymous passenger. Steven Bosch, 32, of Evansville, IN stated, “I just used the facilities before I went through security. Now I have to try to go again?”

American Airlines spokeswoman, Jeannette Spencer, attempted to quell much of the concerned public. “This is in the best interest for all our customers. Not only does it reduce fuel usage and lower costs, but it also reduces the lines for the bathroom on the plane at the gate and once it is in the air. We estimate that each year, 10,374 hours are wasted at the gate while our customers use the on-plane lavatory causing takeoff delays. This will ensure that everyone has already gone before the flight departs.”

Passengers must use the facilities at least twenty minutes prior to leaving and will not be allowed to board unless they have “tried to go” at least twice. Receipts are provided at the facilities for proof of deposit.

As a bonus, passengers who eliminate more than two pounds of waste will receive a refund for every additional six ounces deposited. Mark Crawler of Byhalia, Mississippi has taken full advantage of the situation, “I ate like a champ last night and made sure I had bran flakes and a bunch of coffee this morning and wah-la, $25 in poop-ons”.

Ms. Spencer commented, “We don’t officially call them poop-ons, but rather certificates of deposit.”

The test program will continue though the end of this year.

How to get your reluctant boyfriend to propose

I’ve seen it before. You and your boyfriend have been dating for a year or so. You are looking for him to propose and he’s happy with how things are going. Little does he realize that things are about to be going really shitty if he doesn’t buy a ring and get on a knee. Here are some helpful hints to get your boyfriend to propose to you:

Burn down his house
You’ve probably been spending a lot of time together, but you both still keep your own residences. What Mr. Happy needs is a good house burning. When all his clothes and Sandman graphic novels are ashes, he’s going to be vulnerable and he’s going to need you more than ever. Over time, finding a new place would just be a hassle. He’ll see you with new eyes. In a few weeks, when the insurance check comes, I can assure you that he’s use some of the proceeds to buy a ring.

Talk about his brother or best friend
Guys are jealous fucks. They think about your ex-boyfriends and they think about the other two (yeah right) guys you’ve had sex with. Guys assume that you are having sex with your co-workers and than on girls' night you get drunk and blow guys at the club. All guys do it. If you start talking about his friends or his brothers, he’ll start to imagine that you are hot for them. Competition is tough between friends and family and to prove to them that he is top dog, he’ll pop the question to lay ownership over you.

Play online games with voice chat
Your boyfriend will think it is great that you play online games.  He'll probably spend a lot of time on your couch playing your system. You'll probably play a lot of games together which is wonderful for relationship building. But after two years of his ass on your couch, you'll want to step up your game. Literally.  Start playing games that require you to use voice chat. In game, most guys have stupid usernames like BigDick33 and HumpingYouLeg.  Once your boyfriend starts hearing you say, "Nice moves, BigDick" or "Good save, HumpMyLeg," he'll begin to think that maybe it's time to seal the deal and ensure you don't run off with some Orc Shaman from Toledo.

Buy a pet together and then “lose” it
Simple and diabolical. Find someone who sells pets, but has a 30 day return policy. Buy the pet and make sure you suggest that since he hasn’t proposed, this will help you to emotionally handle the situation. He’ll be relieved that the engagement pressure is off. One day while he’s off at Best Buy, return the pet to the vendor and suggest you have allergies. When he comes home, he’ll find the house frantically torn up and you crying that Mrs. Krinkle has disappeared. Between sobs, make sure you drop a few hints about how much the pet meant to you and that your feelings of emptiness will never be filled. Give it a week and he’ll pull the old “Propose by tying the ring on the new puppy’s collar” trick. Sucker.

Become a stripper

This one is two fold. First off, guys dig strippers. To think they could actually marry one would be huge. Secondly, if the rage of jealously doesn’t make a ring appear, you’ll make enough money to buy your own ring. Why was it you were dating this guy in the first place? What are you doing later? Is Trixie your real name?

reddit: Writing Prompt - 4th Grade Cult Status

(Author's Note: the website reddit has a subreddit called Writing Prompts. Users suggest a topic and writers write.  I decided to try it.  The prompt for this story was:  
 I realize now that I didn't fully read the prompt or fully remember it. Doesn't matter, I wrote this below.

4th Grade Cult Status

I wasn't trying to avoid the six work emails I had to write. But I was finding other things to keep my mind off not thinking about thinking about it. So the bills were paid. Desktop clean. Computer desktop clean. Fuzz from mouse removed. Into the bin. Trash bin emptied. Computer trash can emptied. Email maintenance! Delete and sort. Sort and delete. Hey... the junk email folder. I don't think I've ever cleaned that out. Open.

1,500 emails. Hours of work avoidance!

The junk emails seemed to be from many of the same websites, so sorting by FROM made it easy to get rid of 85% of them. For a moment, I almost clicked on DELETE ALL, but I didn't and kept sorting through. I found an email with a code for a game I hadn't played in months. No expiration date... move to INBOX. Already this was worth it.


That email looked important. I'm not sure why my junk folder swallowed it. It was dated from eight years ago! Scanning, my eye caught the word "tits" in the username "TitsMcG33." My computer sees tits and it goes right in the junk folder.

The email said that my account on some website had not been used in four years and my account would be frozen. I did not recognize the website, though I do remember that TitsMcG33 or some variation of it was my go to username when I was younger. I did the math in my head. And then I did it again. Twelve years ago? I would have been in 4th grade? That seems awfully young to be using the word tits. Now I was curious.

I clicked the link and it failed to open. I went directly to the website and it was like seeing a 90s movie version of a website. Three colors. Lots of text. No images...

And then it hit me... fourth grade. That would have been when moved to the new house. Mom and dad were gone for work a lot then and grandma watched us, or didn't watch us, as we had free rein all over the internet. My brother got busted downloading music and the computers were locked down with parental software after that. That might be why I didn't log back into this site.

On a whim, I searched for "titsmcg33" in the area that had the only photo on the site, a magnifying glass.

Three million results. Three million plus results for the word titsmcg33.

I clicked the first one: "I'm not sure what I would have done without him."
Further down the page: "Hero doesn't even begin to describe him. 
What guidance will he provide next week?"
Later: "The answers were hidden right in front of me, but he made me see them."

Result after result. Hero. Genius. Savior? Some dated from ten years ago. Some from last week. Each one praising me. Idolizing me. After reading through some of the comments, I noticed they were referring to me as TMG33, probably to hide the tits part. When I searched for TMG33 on the site, there were eight million more results.

This was insane.

It finally hit me to sort by date, and in the oldest results I found my posts. There were five of them. A list of words in each one. They all went something like this:

Reading them now, the words seemed like some cryptic poetry. Each set of words, some kind of secret roadmap to happiness. I re-read the words and did start to feel their hidden meaning. That maybe things weren't so bad. That I could be a better person if only I tried harder. There was some kind of greater good in the world!

Panthers. Panthers? What deep meaning did this word have with all the others?

And then I remembered. Panthers was our grade school mascot. And in grade school, in fourth grade, when I didn't know any better and didn't have really anything to say on the internet, I posted my spelling words on a website. And without an explanation, people created their own meaning.

And I became a god.

My Glasses

Nine years ago I went to an eye appointment. I am nearsighted (slightly blind) and wear contacts. I also wear glasses when I’m not wearing the contacts. Because I do not wear my glasses out in public, I really do not care what the frames look like. So when the sales lady at the glasses store pointed me towards the $150 frames which were next to the $250 frames, I pointed at the small rack of forgotten, dusty frames in the corner.

“How much are those frames?”

“Those? Um, they vary. The prices are marked on a sticker on the arm.”

I found a pair for $40. “I’ll take them.” She was not impressed.

My wife was not impressed either when I brought them home a few weeks later. But I didn’t care. I only would wear them in the mornings for a few minutes.

So for nine years my glasses have gathered dust, worn only five or six times a year. I was actually hoping that if I waited long enough, they might come back in fashion.

But then we put a television in our bedroom and everything has changed. I’ll put the sleep timer on the television and fall asleep to thirty minutes of Comedy Central. To do so, I must wear my glasses. Most the time, I remove them at the last minute before falling asleep. Other times I wake up in the middle of the night with them still on and I remove them. And sometimes I find them in the bed or on the floor the next morning.

Six months ago I found them in the bed and on the floor. Like a mother panda, I rolled over on my glasses in the middle of the night and they broke at the bridge. I tried to glue them, but there wasn’t enough material and there was too much torque for them to hold. I tried watching TV at night with one side held down to the side of my head by gravity and the other held up, wedged between my head and the pillow. That worked as long as I didn’t move which didn’t work at all.

Miss Sally suggested on several occasions that I should get new frames and that she would go with me this time to help me decide (i.e. pick them out for me.) I said I would, but never have… because I fixed my glasses!

Using a brightly colored pencil with smiley faces on it and tape, I MacGyver-ize them back into perfect working order.

Here is a photo of them:

Just like new!!

I have only made it downstairs with these on a few times when I didn't want to put my contacts in. And they have only been outside once when I went to get the mail. My neighbor was mowing his lawn and did not look up to see me.

I am surprised that Miss Sally has not thrown them in the trash. She broke our honored oath of marriage when she mentioned the glasses to a co-worker which is why I am posting this now. I think Miss Sally realizes that the only way go get me to buy new frames is to watch me embarrass myself to the general public.

So here you go:

New glasses? Who needs new glasses! These work just fine.

I'm thinking about sharpening the pencil so that I can write down and remember my very special dreams.

HOLEYBOARD RULES (Columbus Version 1.5)

HoleyBoard is a extremely competitive and fun game of skill and luck. These rules have been updated as of 8/2016 and are the Columbus 1.5 version of the rules. 

Object of the Game
Two competitors or two, two person teams can play Holeyboard at one time. The object of Holeyboard is to score exactly 21 points before your opponent does and hope they don’t cancel your win and score 21 points for their win.

HoleyBoard Mantra
You can only win on your own third throw.

Unofficial HoleyBoard Manta
Cocky wins.


The Holeyboards should be measured 8' 4" apart or two end-over-end board lengths.  Competitors throw from the same side and alternate sides between rounds.  During a doubles match, teammates spilt up to either side and do not switch sides between rounds.  Challengers always go first. Standing anywhere on top of the board, each competitor has three washers that he/she pitches towards the holes of the other Holeyboard.  The first Player up throws all three of their washers, one at a time, before the second Player throws their washers. The Player that scores last, cancels a score or knocks in an opponent’s washer goes first the next round. 

Example: Player A throws all three of their washers.  Then Player B throws. During their turn, Player B knocks Player A’s washer in a hole. Player A receives the points, but Player B has to throw first the next round.

It is best if one set of 3 washers look different from the other 3.  Sometimes there is a lot of bouncing and easily determining whose washers are whose will reduce argument time.

Scoring Points

Points are scored when a washer goes in, stays in a hole and is not canceled.  Each hole has a point value: the first hole closest to the person pitching the washers is worth 1 point, the second/middle hole is worth 3, and the third hole farthest away is worth 5 points.  You score points if you throw your washer in, knock your own washer resting on the top of the board in, or have your opponent knock one of your washers in.

Competitors can cancel each other out, but only during the same turn. 

Example: If Player A pitches a 5, then Player B can cancel those points by also pitching a 5, not a 3 and two 1’s. If Player B would hit a 3 and two 1’s, then the score would be 5 – 5.

Winning the Game

You must score 21 points to win and you must win on your third throw by either getting exactly 21 with the third throw or by Sticking the Victory with the third washer.  You can only win with your own third throw.

If a Player has successfully scores exactly 21 points and still has two washer left, they must throw must “throw off” the second washer and the last washer he/she pitches has to stick and stay on top of the board without falling off or landing in a hole (otherwise known as STICKING THE VIC). If a Player has successfully scored exactly 21 points and only has one washer left, that washer must stick the vic. If he/she is unsuccessful in their attempt, then they go back to the score they had at the beginning of the round or if they have gone over 21 points, they go back from their starting score the number of points scored that round.  (See “Going Over 21” below)

A competitor can win without sticking the last washer is if he/she reaches 21 on the third throw or causes another washer to fall in giving the thrower exactly 21.  Players may use their 3rd washer to knock in another washer for the win.  In this case, the thrown washer does not need to stick.

Example: Player B goes second and has 18 points On the second throw he/she lands the washer very close to the 3 point hole.  With the third throw, the third washer knocks the second washer in the 3 point hole and then the third washer goes flying off the board.  Player B has 21 and wins the game because the third washer caused the win.

A canceling throw does not count as a Stick the Vic. 

A competitor cannot win if an opponent knocks in their washer giving them exactly 21 points.  A player who is given 21 points (either by knocking points in or by being cancelled backwards to 21 points) will have their score returned to what it was at the beginning of the round.

Example:  Player A goes first with 18 points.  Player A lands his first washer near the 3 point hole and misses his/her last two throws.   Player B knocks Player A’s washer in the 3 point hole.  Player A would go back to 18 points.  It is possible to knock your opponent’s washers in and have them go over 21.

Canceling a Win

A player can void an opponent’s win in one of thee ways: canceling points, knocking in opponent’s washers causing them to go over or by knocking their Stick the Vic off the board.

Skunking your Opponent for the Win
11- 0 is a skunk.  The Player must stick the last washer to win or score exactly 11 on the third throw.

Example: Player A has 11 and sticks last washer.  Player B misses all three throws and Player A wins the game.

Example: Player A has 11 but does not stick the last washer; he/she still has 11 and must play to 21.

Example: If Player A does not stick last washer but Player B cancels the 1, then Player A has 10 and still has a chance to skunk.

A skunk is over as soon as the opponent scores any points by the end of the round.
Example: Player A throws a five and two threes during the first round for a possible skunk.  Player B throws a one and avoids the skunk.  The score is now 11-1.

Going Over Twenty-One

If you go over 21, your score is determined by taking the total number of points scored that round and subtracting that from your score at the beginning of the round.
Example: Player A has 15 points.  Player A throws two 3’s and accidentally throws a 1 while trying for the Stick the Vic.  Player A’s score starting score (15) would be reduced by 7 (3+3+1=7) giving them a score of 8 (15-7=8.) 

If Player B were to then cancel out any of Player A’s points and reduce the score of Player A below 21 then Player A receives the new, under 21 score.  If Player B cancels out points and leaves Player A with exactly 21, then Player A’s score will return to the points they had at the beginning of the round.

Example: Player A has 15 points.  Player A throws two 3’s and accidentally throws a 1 while trying for the Stick the Vic.  Player B throws a 3 and cancels Player A’s 3.  Player A’s score would be 19 (22-3=19.)

Example: Player A has 15 points.  Player A throws two 3’s and accidentally throws a 1 while trying for the Stick the Vic.  Player B throws a 1 and cancels Player A’s 1 giving them a score of 21.  Player A would go back to his original score from that round (15), as if he had attempted to win and missed.

If you go over with the first washer, each throw after that continues to push your score backwards.

Example: Player A has 20 and hits a 5, he/she will drop to 15. He/she continues to throw on that same turn and hits another 5, knocking them back five more points to 10.  In other words, once a Player goes over 21 they cannot score positive points on that same turn.

Can There Be a Tie?

Are you kidding?  There are no ties.  You must cancel the opponent’s win first before attempting your own win.  If Player A scores 21 on third throw or Sticks the Vic, Player B must terminate the win by canceling Players A’s points or by knocking off the Stick the Vic washer before claiming their own win.

Example 1: Player A has 18 points; he throws in three 1s for the possible win.  Player B has 15 points and throws a 1; canceling A’s victory and follows it up with two 3’s for the win.

Example 2: Player A has 18 points; he throws a 3 and then Sticks the Vic for the possible win.  Player B has 15 points and throws a brilliant shot knocking off player 1’s VIC, canceling A’s victory and follows it up with two 3’s for the win.

NOTE: You cannot win on a cancelled throw.
Example: Player A has 18 points: he throws three 1s for the possible win.  Player B has 15 points; he throws two 3s for 21 and then throws a 1, canceling player A’s win.  Player B’s score goes back to 15.  Player A’s score goes to 20.

There is no score until all washers are thrown.

Rules of Note: (Some of these occur rarely but need to be addressed.)

No overhand throws.

Players can stand anywhere on the board in any stance, but can not leave board surface (i.e. stepping off board during throw or  jumping towards other board.)

Any throw that hits the floor first and bounces on the board does not count and should be removed from the hole or playing surface.  Any action caused by a bounced washer should be reset to its original position.

The throwing of two or three washers at the same time is not allowed.  Throwing two or three washers at once is only allowed when throwing off and the washers must not be thrown at the board, but instead off to the side.

It is a very good idea to mark both sets of washers with identifying marks before playing.   Both sets should be marked with the same medium to ensure an even match.  (i.e. both marked with Sharpie or both painted with same type, but different color of spray paint.)

This is a gentleperson’s game and any washer accidentally dropped is allowed to be picked up and thrown.  Any miss-throw (i.e. any washer toss while arm is in motion) does count.  Tough luck.

Vocabulary Time! 
THROWING OFF is defined as when a Player intentionally throws one, two, or all three washers to the ground as to not score any points or to set themselves up for a final throw win.  If you have 20 points and only need a one to win, you can THROW OFF the first two washers and aim the third for the one hole, avoiding the need for Sticking the Vic.  You can also THROW OFF in strategic situations to avoid canceling an opponent’s points if they have gone over 21 or to avoid knocking in an opponent’s washer that is about fall in a hole that might give them points.

A FIRST ROUND SKUNK happens when a Player gets an 11-0 score in the first round without it being cancelled by the other Player.  This is a very desirable win cause for great celebration.

iPhone 6s Stuck on Connect to iTunes Screen

Here is my solution if your iPhone 6s is stuck on the “connect to iTunes” screen.

Here’s what happened to me on or around July 30th, 2016:

Need to dump vacation photos from wife’s iPhone

Updated iTunes

Connect phone

iTunes says phone has update, would I like to download. (yes)

The update downloads (took a long time)

iTunes says “extracting update”

iTunes says “installing update”

After a while, iTunes says “install unsuccessful”

Phone screen shows “connect to iTunes”


iTunes says, “Something is wrong. You need to update or do a factory reset.” (shivers)

Phone will not update.

Eject phone.

Hold Home button and Wake button for 10 seconds until Apple logo appears.  After 2 seconds, the logo is replaced by the “connect to iTunes” screen.

Got on Apple chat support. We were disconnected after 20 minutes. New person didn’t have past 20 minutes of conversations. Hung up.

Search internet for “iPhone 6s photo recovery” and get “Wondershare – Dr.Fone for iPhone 6”
Wondershare – Dr.Fone for iPhone 6 is software that is free to download.  It will connect to your phone and let you know if the data is recoverable. If you want to recover it, you have to pay something like $50 for the partial version of the program and more for additional recovery options.
I just wanted to see if the data was recoverable so I download the software.

When I run the software and plug in the phone, the software says something along the lines of, “Your phone is not in a readable mode. Would you like to restart.” I click yes.


I upload all the photos to the cloud. Save all contacts and backup passwords.

From the phone, I use the update function.

The phone updates.

I plug it into iTunes and it works fine.


I hope this helps you.

6th Annual St. James Tavern Shorts Festival

The 6th Annual St. James Tavern Shorts Festival

O.G. Productions, The St. James Tavern, 1057 N. 4th St., Columbus, OH 43201

Contact:  614-595-7743,  

Details: The show that started OGP’s off-site endeavors returns for its 6th year with six short plays based around the theme of A ____ Walks Into a Bar.

Showtime: 7pm, Friday July 1, one night only

Tickets: Free, but the beer isn’t

Come for the fireworks and then go see the fireworks!

5 new shows this year and one OGP classic, including entries from OGP stalwarts like Mark Harvey Levine, Doug Powhida and Deborah Chava Singer, newcomer David Lewison, a classic from Josh Kessler, and a surprise play that we don't know anything about.  

For more info on The St. James Tavern, go to:

Featured Shows: 

A Woman Walks into a Bar by David Lewison 

A couple of regulars on an irregular night. 

Director: Tay Lane

Harvey: Jonathan Calig
Gina: Shana Kramer
Sid: Mike Litzinger

A Title of a Play Walks into a Bar (it's a working title) by Doug Powhida 

Director: Stephen Woosley

Careful what you wish for.

Man: Don Delco
Woman:  Tay Lane
Man 2: TBD

Super Surprise Show by ??? (Even we don't know what this one is)
Director: ??
Cast: ??

Ex Officio (An Ex Walks Into a Bar...) by Deborah Chava Singer

Some custody battles are tougher than others.

Director: Lauren Rodgers

Derrick: Greg McGill
Marie: Kyle Jepson
Pete: Stephen Woosley
Lindsay: Colleen Dunne

Your Move by Mark Harvey Levine

Your bar?

Director: Tay Lane

Belinda: Colleen Dunne
Euripides: Greg McGill
Yorick: Stephen Woosley

Quid Pro Quo by Josh Kessler

A bear walks into a bar.

Director: Jason Sudy

Bear: John Kuhn

Here… Catch

Humans like to throw things at each other. Sometimes it’s because they want that thrown thing to hurt the other person, but I like to think that usually it’s for fun or to make the bland and tedious task of handing something to someone else more fun.  Football was a completely boring form of opposite soccer before passing was added.  Throwing is fun.

It turns out that the only way to get things from one car to another on the road is to throw them, like with a tape or a taco.  Yes, tapes and tacos.

In 1996 I was in Ft. Lauderdale with the rats that played basketball.  Miss Sally and I had just moved in together and we were very careful not to throw things at each other.  At that time, I had my 1988 Honda Civic which had taken me back and forth across the country with the aforementioned rats.  Helping us to pass the time in that Honda was a tape deck.  I had an awesome collection of cassette tapes (Cassette tapes are like a CD with a broken skip track button) from George Carlin and Monty Python to Frank’s Fresh Favorites 6 to Depeche Mode.  I also had Enya’s “Watermark” tape.  It had been on heavy replay in my tape deck. 

In Florida, the turn lanes are usually doubled up and 50 cars long so that when you are in one, you are usually next to someone who is intently trying to ignore you as much as you are trying to ignore them.   This works out because everyone has heavy tint, their windows rolled up and air conditioning on.  But my windows were down because I am from Ohio and I like to let the natural environment envelope me  (My air conditioner was broken.)  For some reason, the car next to me also had their window down and could not help but hear that my pathetic factory speakers spit out and treble knob turned all the way up Enya tape.  The woman in the car next to me leaned out her window and yelled, “Excuse me!  What is that song you are listening to?”

I said, “It’s Enya! I’m not sure which song.”

She replied, “I really like it! It sounds awesome!”

And without thinking, I hit the eject button, pulled out the tape and threw it at her window and yelled, “Here… catch!” 

She really didn’t have time to catch it, but I did make it through her window and landed in her car.
“You don’t have to do that!”

I lied, “Don’t worry, I have another one!”


And then we both drove on as the light changed.

I’m not sure why I did that.  I’d love to track down that woman and see if her life was changed by that Enya tape as much as I like to think it could have been. That she was moved to quit her job and continue with her Celtic music career.  Or maybe she played it for her child at home to help them fall asleep at night.

A few years later, I made another toss.

I was passing through Bowling Green, Ohio.  Bowling Green is home to BGSU and LifeFormations.  They also have a Taco Bell.  I think I was hungover.  At that time in my life, I had a 50/50 chance of being hungover or still drunk if I had Taco Bell.  It was daytime, so the odds I was hungover.  Per usual, I had about 75 items purchased from the drive thru.  Usually a combination of Chilitos (Chili Cheese Burritos as you know them), hard shell tacos and bean burritos (no onions, add sour cream.)

 At this time, I was choking down a taco while stopped at a light.  A truck pulled up next to me in the left hand turn lane.  A very cute girl in the passenger seat looked over and down at me and was really excited about the taco I was eating.  She said, “Hey! That taco looks really good!”

I swallowed and said, “You want one?”


I reached in the bag and grabbed a taco.  “Here… catch!”

The taco arced through the air between my car and the truck.  At the zenith of the throw, the wrapper stopped being a wrapper, caught air and became a really shitty cape.  The contents of the taco, now free to move about, began to move about.  The shell of the taco decided to hang back a bit and let the meat, lettuce, tomato and cheese go first.  The girl tried to grab on to this once singular taco, but found herself trying to grasp a mist of vegetable and beef.  She only succeeded enhancing the ex-taco trajectories and spreading them out through the front seat of the truck.  There was a thin layer of taco all over her and the seat. She was completely aghast. I was completely hit the gas and got out of there.  I’d like to think I said sorry as I sped off, but I’m sure I didn’t.

The moral of this story(s) is this: spontaneity is great. Go with it. But only throw music; tediously hand over food.  

Museum Artifact

I was recently doing some work at the Science Museum of Virginia.  Tucked away in a corner, near some side doors that we were bringing exhibits in, was a little sign with an attached shelf.  On the shelf was a zinc coated nut.  The sign said, "This artifact is from the collection of The Science Museum of Virginia. Please Be Kind & Do Not Touch."

I thought this was a very funny joke. The museum not taking itself very seriously. Very nice.

Then a few days later, I realized that this sign was next to a very obvious display of a model train and that the Do Not Touch was for the train and that the nut was just something that someone picked up off of the floor and put on the shelf that was attached to the sign.

I am not a smart man.

Dear HolyJuan: Can I remain friends with a Trump voter?

Dear HolyJuan,
I just found out that my friend is going to vote for Donald Trump. I really like this person and I would like to remain friends with them, but, I mean… they are going to vote for Donald Trump.  Any advice?

Concerned Friend

Dear Concerned,
If there’s one thing I have, it’s advice. Except now.
There is no real good answer to this question because it really wasn’t a question.  Your only question was, “Any advice?” and I didn’t really even answer that question.
Let me turn your email into a question for you:

Dear HolyJuan,
Should I remain friends with my friend who is going to vote for Donald Trump?
Signed, Better Question Asking Concerned Friend

Dear Better Question Asking Concerned Friend,
The short answer is no. No, you cannot remain friends. Unfriend them from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Delete their email address. Rip up any photos. Avoid the same strip clubs you used to frequent together. Burn the digeridoo they gave you for your birthday. Format the area of your brain in which their memories are saved. Finally, delete the nudes from your phone that they accidentally sent you one drunken night and you never told them. One last look, then delete.

The longer answer is yes, of course you can still be friends. You can’t let silly things like political leanings ruin a friendship. Friends get through tough times. Friends have each other’s back, even when you start to doubt their sanity. You will still be friends… but you will be turd eating friends. What I mean by that is imagine that you caught your friend eating a turd… you accidently walk on them in the bathroom and they are knees down in front of the toilet with a turd half in their hand and half in their mouth, munching away. They turn and look at you, brown faced. You say you are sorry and back out. You never mention the turd eating again. You both pretend like it never happened… but it did. You saw it. And every time you look at that friend, you will think about the turd eating. About what kind of frame of mind they had to be in to eat a turd. About how many turds they’ve eaten since. And if they eat turds, what else will they eat? You will still be friends… but you are friends with a Trump voter. I mean, a turd eater.

Yes, you can remain friends with someone when they say they are going to vote for Trump. I just wouldn’t kiss them.