Extreme Father’s Day makeovers...

This is a piece I wrote back in 2008 for the Boston Herald, featuring amazing artwork by Jeff Walsh.    ...

Roast Ox Smoothie recipe...

Though some folks favor homemade lemonade, root beer floats or vodka tonics, old-timers know there’s nothing quite like a refreshing Roast Ox Smoothie to take the edge off on a sweltering summer day. INGREDIENTS 1 600-lb. ox, freshly killed 2 dozen cloves of garlic 3 large sacks of onions, cubed 9 gal. Worcestershire sauce 1½ fistfuls of paprika 8 oz. plain yogurt Sprig of anchovy Hurl the onions and garlic into a mixing bowl and thrash them viciously with a studded leather belt until they begin to resemble a pile of severely abused chunks of onions and garlic. Rub some of the garlic and onion mix onto your teeth and gums to ward off evil, then place the rest in an all-weather trash bin. Fling the paprika on top and seal with duct tape. Next: Decapitate, skin and gut the ox using an ordinary household oxen shiv, medium-sized chainsaw or a crew of illegal Mexican laborers. Lightly brush the grotesque uncooked flesh with Worcestershire marinade and cover with a tarp to protect from flies and maggots and neighborhood dogs. Dig a hole in your back yard and fill with wood, coal and construction debris. (Environmental enthusiasts may prefer to substitute alternative fuels such as switch grass, Duraflame logs or oxen dung). Construct a makeshift oxen spit, then muscle the bloody carcass onto the contraption. Douse the bonfire pit with lighter fluid or gasoline (at least 89 octane for best results) and ignite, making sure flames do not exceed 15 feet in height. Cook for approximately half a day, continually rotating the gigantic slab so it chars evenly while the center remains pink and tender. Remove from heat and trim into blender-sized slabs. Shovel ingredients into industrial-sized food processor and...

John Breneman resume

JOHN H. BRENEMAN 11 Market St. #3 Portsmouth, NH 03801 john.breneman.inc@gmail.com INTRODUCTION I am a writer, editor, graphic designer and webmaster whose deep experience in journalism (distinguished by industry honors for editorials, features and news) equips me with the versatility to produce sharp visuals and compelling copy on virtually any topic. EXPERIENCE Writer/editor/page designer, Seacoast Media Group, Portsmouth, N.H. (2012-2014) Created a high volume of compelling front and inside newspaper pages on deadline using Adobe InDesign and Photoshop, while editing stories, writing headlines and coaching younger editors. Responsibilities also include packaging stories for the website and writing a Sunday column. Head of Copy Desk, The Boston Herald – Boston, Mass. (2005-2012) Supervised the copy desk for Sunday edition of feisty Boston daily, performing copy-editing, headline-writing and pagination roles while providing comprehensive support to Sunday editor and penning op-ed items for the paper. Sunday Editor, The Portsmouth Herald – Portsmouth, N.H. (1998-2004) Executed hundreds of page ones and section fronts on deadline. Coordinated editorial activities of redesigned Sunday paper that achieved dramatic circulation gains and earned multiple General Excellence and writing citations. Duties included writing, copy editing, layout/pagination, editorial planning, etc. Editor, The Cambridge Chronicle – Cambridge, Mass. (1992-97) Transformed solid community weekly into award-winning must-read as editor, writer, community liaison and mentor to young writers. Earned multiple awards for General Excellence and writing, including NEPA 1st place for editorial writing. Reporter-Editor, The Portsmouth Herald – Portsmouth, N.H. (1988-92) Covered crime, politics, education and local people with relentless accuracy and sharp eye for detail. Guided Sunday edition to state and regional General Excellence awards. EDUCATION Colby College (Bachelor’s in Philosophy) – Waterville, Maine American Press Institute (Editors seminar) University of New Hampshire (Journalism coursework) University of California-Irvine (Dean’s Honor List)...

Last-minute Father’s Day gifts...

What’s that, chum? Father’s Day kind of snuck up on you again. Well, no need to panic. Heartfelt gifts for Dad can be found just about anywhere — from Walmart to the corner Pump ‘n’ Pay. These last-second surprises are sure to let Dad know exactly how much you care: Tube socks: Dad’ll feel like a million bucks in these buck-ninety-nine ($1.99) beauties — each emblazoned with the three horizontal “racing stripes” that say “he’s the man.” Tie: Wait’ll the boys at the office get a load of Dad in this swell corporate-looking necktie — fashioned from durable, non-flame-retardant polyester. Coffee mug: His eyes’ll twinkle like they did on the day you were born when he sees this one-of-a-kind “World’s Greatest Dad” mug. Pack of smokes: This one’s a no-brainer if Pop’s a smoker. Sure they’re unhealthy; but hey, who cares what that bossy Surgeon General says. Dad’ll love how the intoxicating blend of tar and nicotine makes him feel manly and super cool. Slippers: Comfort is important to hard-working dads in their leisure time and these lightweight Taiwanese “mock-asins” are perfect for kicking back in the La-Z-Boy. (Newspaper not included.) Can of mixed nuts: These generic morsels pack a party in every can. Coupled with a Post-It note reading “I’m nuts about Dad,” this item helps you express the true meaning of Father’s Day. Roll of duct tape: Perfect for household projects or Homeland Security preparedness, this space-age super-product will help Dad feel like the ultimate handy man. Greeting card: Though it actually requires some thought, devoted offspring often like to compose a personalized message for Dad on his special day (example: “You’re a champ, Pops!”), while creative types may add a “heart” symbol to underscore their affection....

I love graphic design

                  Click here to see more of my graphic design work. — John Breneman

.44 Magnum Cum Laude

(Excerpts from Clint Eastwood’s commencement address) Thank you. You have honored me by inviting me to be your commencement speaker today. So I promise to shoot straight with you as I share a few hard-earned lessons about the good, the bad and the ugly. Tomorrow is promised to no one. And nothing can truly prepare you for the sudden impact of life after college. Out there – in the line of fire – you’ll face a gauntlet of challenges, yellow-bellied sidewinders and grimy armed gunmen. Not to mention extreme prejudice. … It’s the Wild West out there. And before you can say “Make my day,” I’m gonna be wrapping up this speech and yelling at you smartasses to get off my lawn. Pampered million-dollar babies with your pretty little caps and gowns, and your fancy college diplomas. You probably figure you’ve earned the right to belly up to the bar and tell the man, “Whiskey.” Well that’s just fine, but you better sober up quick because it’s time to get out there and make something out of yourselves. Just try not to sell your soul for a fistful of dollars, or mortgage your dreams for a few dollars more. And remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean. I mean plumb, mad-dog mean. Because if you lose your head and you give up then you neither live nor win. That’s just the way it is. … In a perfect world, you’d all get good jobs and five or six shots at the American dream. But those days are gone. Nowadays, everybody’s gotta scrape together a living any which way you can. Yes, the world is a violent place...

Godzilla among us

Awakened by the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Godzilla has returned — in a world fraught with homeland insecurity and geopolitical peril, indiscriminate barbarity and relentless scoffing — to give humanity a fresh taste of his ancient wisdom.                                    ...

Why is this cat flying?

In his younger days, my cat Elwood was known to soar through the air with the greatest of ease. Share Click here to see his New Year’s...