th2 150x150 My minor celebrity moment. Whats yours?

Photo courtesy of Free Images (pachd.com)

During its musical revues the old Fly By Night Club sometimes included a “Minor Celebrities” bit, inviting audience members to write down their furthest-removed brushes with fame. During intermission the cast would pick what they thought were the best – and again, the more tenuous, the better.

Thus we’d hear things like:

“I take dance class with Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon’s wife.

“My great-uncle invented Cheez Whiz.”

“I once heard Brian Keith belch when I walked past his house in Hawaii to go surfing.”

“I used to carpool a kid whose mother’s father embalmed Babe Ruth.”

All these snippets led, naturally, to a book. The title: “Elvis Presley’s Pharmacist Was My Sunday-School Teacher.” 


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th 1 150x150 Whats the weirdest thing you ever charged?The folks at CardRatings.com recently commissioned a survey about offbeat credit card purchases. Some 57 percent of those surveyed copped to a bit of buyer’s remorse, i.e., “What was I thinking?”

“Adult entertainment” was the top culprit, with 6.7 percent admitting to have purchased temporary jollies. Men are “about four times more likely than women to use a credit card for this purpose,” according to the CardRatings blog post.  

You don’t say.


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th2 In which I am flagged as a potential terrorist.I’m writing this from Sky Harbor in Phoenix, which touts itself as the “friendliest” airport. Certainly this is true of its TSA agents, one of whom got to second base with me without even buying me dinner.

Of course, she was just doing her job. An alarm sounded when I went through security. A quick glance at the monitor showed the word “explosives.”

A couple of agents moved in with a gait that was both casual and swift, if that makes any sense. It was a “hey, everything’s fine” crossed with “holy crap, that woman might be packing.”

Hint: I wasn’t.

But rules are rules, so I had to go through several levels of safety checks.


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th1 21 uses for a dead gift card.In the past week I’ve gone through several discounted gift cards, i.e., used them up and asked the cashier to “recycle” them. Wonder if they ended up in the circular file rather than the “clean this up and reload it” bin?

Probably the latter, since the ones in the typical “gift card mall” look utterly pristine. You can’t really say that about the cards I use and toss – not only were they secondhand when I bought them, they’ve suffered tremendous indignities in my wallet and purse. (Hint: In both those locations I also carry keys, paper-clipped items, a comb and the occasional gleaned My Coke Rewards.)

Maybe you, too, buy from the secondary market and thus aren’t interested in reloading them. Or maybe you get gift cards to places you don’t generally frequent and thus have no interest in adding more dollars to the scrip once it’s depleted.

What do we do with all these plastic rectangles, especially since the impending holidays probably mean even more gift cards coming our way?


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IMG 3567 150x150 Coming up: The Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition.I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Come up and join us at the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition and you’ll dine out on those stories for years.

True, it’ll be winter* — Dec. 7, to be exact — and that means it’ll probably be cold. But that’s the whole point! You’ll be in Alaska in the winter.

You’ll survive. I promise. There’s a bonfire at which to warm yourself during the competition, and the auction and after-party are actually pretty warm due to the hootin’, hollerin’ and dancin’.

Besides, Talkeetna has a doctor.

I wanted to link to my first-ever article about Talkeetna, published in 2010, but my site was migrated to a new server and that first piece doesn’t seem to have made the jump from hyperspace. So I’m excerpting from that piece to explain the absolute hilarity of the event:


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