Fire and rain

I’ve been wondering why Billy Joel hasn’t updated “We Didn’t Start The Fire.” It’s been, what, 30 years?

I was going to write an epic Election ’16 update to the song but all I could come up with quickly was the ending.

Donald Trump, Twitter rants
Tony Weiner, without pants
Billy Bush
Gone away
He’s no longer on Today!!!!

Eh, that’s all I got.

Cold, raw and rainy today. This is not a complaint. Since I’m not a construction worker, a mailman, or homeless, why should I get irritated or depressed that it’s cold, raw, and rainy? This morning I put the winter pane in the front door, I have a cup of tea in front of me, and I’m listening to the rain hit the windows. No roaring fire but I do have electric heat.

The Letter is coming. I had hoped to have it out before Halloween but it will have to be a Thanksgiving Letter instead, out the middle of November. Happy Halloween anyway.

I haven’t gotten a trick-or-treater in years so I guess I’ll have to eat all this candy myself.

As if this election wasn’t odd enough…

…Tic Tac, mentioned in that Trump tape, feels it’s necessary to release a statement:

And let’s not forget that Skittles released a statement last month after Trump Jr. mentioned them in a tweet.

Still waiting to hear from Bit-O-Honey and Werther’s Original.

It’s not delivery, it’s destruction

I’ve wanted a desk for a long time. I’ve been using my coffee table as a desk for…10 years? 20? It’s been a while. I wanted a normal place to write again so I ordered a nice big folding table to use as a desk.

I had it delivered overnight. It was supposed to be here on Monday but for some reason it got “delayed” while it was on its way and didn’t come until Tuesday. Now I know why: they needed time to throw it off a speeding truck.

That’s really the only explanation. This wasn’t just “slightly damaged during shipping,” this was total destruction. The side of the tabletop was crushed in like someone had taken a baseball bat to it. The bottom of the table top was full of scratches and had a giant section where the laminate was completely torn off. The metal hinges and legs? I tried to fold down one of the legs and everything fell off and hit the floor.

I’m pretty sure they took it out of the box and then threw it out of the truck as it was speeding down the highway. It bounced around for a few seconds and was then run over by a 2005 Toyota Tercel (red). They then stopped the truck, put the table back in the box, taped it up, and then delivered it to my front door.

I got a refund.

20 Years!

This month marks the 20th anniversary of this site.

20 years! That means it’s older than Google, older than the iPod, older than the word “blog” itself. We called them online journals or homepages back then. This was way before social networking, clickbait, and autoplay videos screwed everything up. I went online via TIAC (The Internet Access Company) and my phone line was constantly tied up. AOL ruled the web in 1996 (thanks to those “10 Free Hours!” discs we all got in the mail), Friends was still on, and Everybody Loves Raymond hadn’t even started yet. “Macarena” was the number one song, most people didn’t have cell phones, and I had a lot more hair.

How long is 20 years? When I started this site, “content” was still called “writing.”

Every year or two I post something to tell newcomers who I am and what I’m working on. I write a weekly column for The Saturday Evening Post (every Friday morning) and I contribute to Esquire and other publications and sites. I created the pop culture mag/blog Professor Barnhardt’s Journal in 2002 and in 2003 I published Book, with Words and Pages, a collection of essays and short humor pieces. You can read it here for free. I’m currently working on another book and other projects. You can find out more about me here.

I’m not on Facebook or Twitter. I consider this my HQ on the web and I update it all the time. If you’d like to contact me you can send me an e-mail or leave a comment on a post. You can sign up to get notified when I update the site (enter your e-mail in the box down there on the right). I also send out a handwritten or typed letter via snail mail (the old-fashioned way) every month, in an envelope with a stamp and everything! If you’d like to subscribe the details are here.

And now, a flashback:

Even in the 90s that was embarrassing.

Surf’s up! See you on the net!

Bubble Up

goodypopfourGod help me, I think I have another hobby.

I was walking around the supermarket, minding my own business in the soda aisle, when I came across an entire section of classic and vintage sodas. This was new. I’m used to seeing Pepsi and Coke and Dr. Pepper, and while these too are classic, they’re not the same as these sodas my supermarket has suddenly started selling. I’m talking about Dad’s Root Beer and Goody Pop and Nesbitt’s and Bubble Up and many others. A lot of these I’ve never tried because they haven’t been sold around here and I’m not a huge soda person anymore (Diet Pepsi is usually all I do). They’ve always been in the back of my mind in a “yeah, I’ve heard of those…” sort of way but I never really gave them much thought. So these are new to me and the bottles are really eye-catching and fun and make you think, hey, that would be a fun thing to collect!


To make a long story short, I’m now a collector of soda bottles. Sigh. Anyone have any ideas on how to display glass bottles in an apartment where I can barely move around without knocking something over?

This will teach me to go grocery shopping.