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Super Bowl fever

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Super Bowl fever

A Super Bowl super poll reveals that a super majority of U.S. super fans are super stoked for today’s supercharged juggernaut of supermodels, superstar athletes and super-sized commercials. Also known as the Super Bowl. Aka the Bud Miller Ford Chevy Coke Pepsi Cheetos Doritos Viagra Cialis Super Bowl. “Super Sunday” comes but once a year – a super showdown between elite, body-armored millionaires, a Roman-numeraled orgy of all-American overkill. Consumerism, commercialism, cannibalism (wait, no cannibalism; that was fake news). Recreational violence with a VIP sideshow. Super Suspense! Will halftime headliner Lady Gaga sneak a salute to Lord MAGA ?!? TV officials say elevendy billion people worldwide will jam the virtual coliseum. And FOX promises several full minutes of action packed into the evening-long Super Telecast, which will carry optional subtitles for viewers in Moscow, Beijing and parts of Mississippi. It will be close-captioned for the pigskin-impaired. The annual avalanche of advertising excess provides a compelling side drama in which corporate executives shell out $5 million or more for 30-second spots urging you to buy trucks, chips and beer, and truckloads of chips and beer. Lots of other interesting stuff too. (SAMPLE AD: Do you suffer from post-orgasmic stress disorder? Restless hand syndrome? Adult onset celibacy? Ask your doctor about Fornica!) But before you tune in, the NFL – in partnership with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Chicken Wings and the Committee to Prevent Cheese Breath – offers these important safety tips. To avoid sustaining an “NFL-style” concussion during the game, do not “head butt” fellow fans, even after witnessing a particularly exciting “flea flicker” or “Hail Mary.” Less knowledgeable fans may avoid mockery and possible stiff arms by refraining from asking such questions as, “What’s a punt?” “Why is that man touching that other man’s butt?” or “Which one’s New England?” If you should suffer a dislocated jaw while wolfing down fistfuls of orange “snack” substances, simply motion for a teammate to snap the mandible back into place – and resume eating. (For best results, do not consume more than three 128-ounce bags of Zesty Chipotle Jalapeno Doritos before halftime.) Prediction: Brady kicks ass! — John Breneman Super Bowl 51: The Patriots and the Trump...

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Jan. 17: Muhammad Ali

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Birthday Hall of Fame | 0 comments

Jan. 17: Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali (1942-2016): heavyweight boxing champ, inventor of the Ali Shuffle, possessed the ability to float like a butterfly and sting like a B-52. Below is video of Muhammad Ali with Michael Jackson. (Click here to see him with the Beatles back when he was called Cassius Clay.) Other Jan. 17 birthdays: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790): inventor of the frankfurter; also started an exercise craze when he published “Poor Richard Simmons’ Almanack.” (Video from Old Farmers Almanac) Al Capone (1899-1947): infamous Chicago gangster known as “Cigarface.” Jim Carrey, 55: actor-comedian, starred in the Lewis Carroll classic “Tweedledum &...

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New Year’s resolution solutions

Posted by on Jan 1, 2017 in Sunday columns | 0 comments

New Year’s resolution solutions

Wish you had a swell New Year’s resolution but can’t figure out what it should be? You are not alone. In fact, fictional surveys show 64 percent of Americans are pledging to quit doing something, start doing something or some unrealistic combination of both. But you better get cracking because the informal deadline for filing New Year’s resolutions is coming fast. Clinical data reveals that less than 9 percent of people actually achieve their so-called resolutions. So, to help you beat the odds, my crack team of New Year’s resolution-ologists has compiled some handy guidelines. But before we begin, a word of caution: The surgeon general warns that New Year’s resolutions are the leading cause of failed New Year’s resolutions. Because of the staggering failure rate of January vows, many find it helpful to set the bar low (for example, pledging not harm a tadpole or purchase government cheese on eBay). Vague yet uplifting oaths are also said to be popular this year. Here are some sample life-affirming resolutions (along with realistic fall-back measures for when they invariably fall through): * Listen to my heart (disregard brain, kidneys, liver and lungs). * Stop and smell the roses (spray something on that stench coming from the basement). * Live life to the fullest (pack your stomach to its fullest). * Appreciate the simple things (don’t try any remotely complicated things). * Trust my instincts (avoid thoughtful analysis of my options). * Take up a musical instrument (put down that musical instrument). Experts also advise us to beware simplistic-sounding commitments like “Quit smoking” or “Exercise more.” Instead they suggest being more specific by saying something like “Quit smoking those noxious, cancer-causing, arsenic-infested death sticks that are slowly killing you and that everybody hates” or “Get off your lazy rump and exercise more so your bloated carcass doesn’t totally seize up and die.” Also, just to be on the safe side before making any major commitments, three out of seven experts urge you to familiarize yourself with the five stages of giving up a New Year’s resolution: 1. Denial — “Dang! Please tell me I did NOT promise to quit doing that thing I like.” 2. Anger — “Not doing that thing I want to do is really ticking me off!” 3. Bargaining — “I’ll give up beef jerky and toothpicks instead of that other thing.” 4. Depression — “What’s the point? I’m probably going to die soon anyway, so I might as well do that thing I like.” 5. Acceptance — “Aww yeeahh! It sure is great to be doing that thing again.” Now that you are sufficiently aware of the likelihood of failure, here are some things you might want to consider cutting down on this year (pick up to five): binge-eating, belly-aching, procrastinating, filibustering, loitering, nail-gnawing, daytime snoring, whining, dining on junk food, cursing out toddlers, picking at things, reveling in the misfortune of others and compulsive list-making. And if you haven’t done so already, quitting the following things is said to be “in” this year: road rage, bubblegum cigars, hat speech (please, don’t judge people by their headgear), weekly MRIs, obsessive “jonesing,” extreme slouching, weekend cannibalism, getting suckered by Congress and finishing sentences with the word “boom!” Recognizing that the start of a new year makes many people more...

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Bicycle time travel

Posted by on Jul 7, 2016 in Greetings from Portsmouth, N.H., Sunday columns | 0 comments

Bicycle time travel

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Dateline 1889. One thing I adore about this little burg we call Portsmouth is that we love to blur the lines between present and past. And what better way to time travel on a warm November day than perched atop a contraption whose front wheel stands no less than 4 feet tall and whose back wheel is a sporty 17 inches? Oh, did I mention my old-fashioned high-wheeler no brakes? The social cycling event of the season, this was the inaugural Portsmouth Tweed Ride. Hosted by the Swell Society and Old as Adam — the folks who brought you the Gatsby on the Isles gathering this summer — the ride attracted several dozen distinguished gentlemen clad in tweed jackets, caps and knickers and stylish ladies dazzling onlookers in their Gatsby-era garb. The two-state spree started at Papa Wheelies bike shop on Islington Street and featured hospitality stops along the way at White Heron Tea & Coffee and the Book & Bar in Market Square before a scheduled wrap-up at the Press Room, with proceeds benefiting the Portsmouth Historical Society and the John Paul Jones House. We pushed off from Papa Wheelies, stopping traffic with the utmost courtesy and ringing of handlebar bells. Ah, nothing like rolling through time on an old-fashioned high-wheel bike — gasoline-powered horseless carriages whizzing by as we traversed the cracked, gray macadam of Islington Street. Camaraderie was the order of the day, as our procession caused much turning of heads and encouraging exhortations from the periphery. Down to Strawbery Banke and the South End, across the new Memorial Bridge into Kittery, Maine, and back to gather for a team daguerreotype at the North Church. Unfortunately, I had to return to the present in order to write this column and help get this news sheet to the presses. My new ultimate role model is Bob Sawyer of Bedford, a member in good standing of The Wheelmen bicycle club since 1971. Bob is an international cyclist who spoke of riding from Holland to Switzerland on a 1901 Cleveland and from Berlin to Prague on an 1899 Orient. Decked out in his old-timey garb and a sweet newfangled hearing aid, he said he has logged an estimated 125,000 bicycle miles over the years. Bob turns 92 this month. Of course, local bicycle legend Elwood “Zip” Zamarchi was there. He rolled in from Eliot, Maine, with a dozen or so of his spectacularly interesting vintage velocipedes. Zip’ll be 75 this month. Leading our quaint cavalcade of cycle enthusiasts was Adam Irish, a dashing young local haberdasher and ranking member of the Swell Society who is the proprietor of Old As Adam on Ceres Street. “I love living in the past,” said he. Me too, say I. — John Breneman Spokesperson for two-wheeled time travel (Portsmouth Herald: Nov. 3,...

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