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This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this:

Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my blog. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)

…or something like this:

The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickeys to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.

As a new WordPress user, you should go to your dashboard to delete this page and create new pages for your content. Have fun!

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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Polar vortex questions? Ask Professor Doppler

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Advice columns, Sunday columns | 0 comments

Polar vortex questions? Ask Professor Doppler

Due to some recent confusion caused by extremely cold weather, today we check in with noted meteorological advice columnist Professor Doppler. The professor — whose academic credentials include a Ph.D. in Cloud Technology from Cumulonimbus University and a master’s in Thunder from Kelvin State — has generously agreed to answer a few questions from readers. The author of “Patchy Fog,” “Life in the Frost Lane” and “Nor’Easter Bunny: Friend or Foe,” he was recently honored by the Fahrenheit Foundation for his ground-breaking environmental manifesto “Global Warming Caused by Increased Activity in Hades.” * * * Dear Professor Doppler — I heard on TV that they’re blaming this recent cold snap on something called a “polar vortex.” But Rush Limbaugh says that’s just a term the liberals made up as part of their stupid global warming scam. Please tell me the truth, professor, is there really a polar vortex? — Virginia Yes, Virginia. There is a polar vortex. In fact, weather legend Al Roker took Mr. Limbaugh to task for his gust of misinformation (video). The lovable buffoon schooled the hateful hot-air balloon on the “Today” show, blowing up an excerpt from his 1956 Weatherman 101 textbook and drawing a big circle around the term “Polar Vortex.” * * * Dear Professor Doppler — Me and the missus live about 15 feet from the ocean in a house that used to be about 75 feet from the ocean. Any major upcoming weather events we should be concerned about? — Jasper O’Dingus, Hampton Dear Jasper — Now that you mention it, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is said to be tracking a category 12 megastorm building strength down in Antarctica. If, as predicted, it slams into a back-door cold front off the coast of Chile, much of the planet would be deluged by a rare 40-day, 40-night triple monsoon with flash-flood advisories and a 40 percent chance of tsunamis. The threat is so severe, the agency is said to be constructing a giant boat to carry two of every animal (one male and one female) safely through the storm — a top-secret project called NOAA’s Ark. * * * Hey Professor D — How bout this weather, huh? Cold enough for you? — Ice Cube Good one, Cube. You sound like a really clever fellow. However, I’ll bet you didn’t know that the Eskimos have like elevendy-dozen words to describe the cold. Nowadays, their vocabulary can come in handy around these parts. Lately it seems that, on any given day, the weather may be described as bitter, bone-chilling or bum-numbing; cryogenic, bipolar or fridge-tastic; not to mention sub-glacial, grrrrrrrr and (censored). * * * Dear Professor Doppler — What about Ground Hog Day? Is there any scientific validity to the notion that a bunch of dorks in top hats yanking an extra-large rat out of a dirt cave can produce accurate data about how long winter will last? — Ronny from Punxsutawney Dear Ronny — As everyone knows, I have long been an outspoken critic of the elite mainstream pro-groundhog media. In fact, just last year I proclaimed that Punxsutawney Phil was over the hill. But new information has been supplied to me by noted groundhog (and gopher) expert Bill Murray, who maintains that — when it comes to forecasting...

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One L of a Super Bowl

Posted by on Feb 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

One L of a Super Bowl

Share By John Breneman Ladies and gentlemen! Strap on your helmets, gobble down a bunch of steroids and gear up for America’s annual celebration of beer, trucks, sex and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. It is time to get pumped up for the 50th Super Bowl – aka the Bud Miller Ford Chevy Coke Pepsi Cheetos Doritos Viagra Cialis Super Bowl. “Super Sunday” comes but once a year – that special day when the world’s only true superpower deploys its most elite, body-armored millionaires in a Roman-numeraled orgy of all-American overkill. Consumerism, commercialism and recreational violence with a VIP sideshow. As the Cavalcade of Concussions unfolds on the playing field, the annual avalanche of advertising excess provides a compelling side drama in which corporate executives shell out $5 million or more for 30-second time slots urging you to buy trucks, chips and beer, and truckloads of chips and beer. And, of course, sex pills. (SAMPLE AD: Do you suffer from post-orgasmic stress disorder? Restless hand syndrome? Adult onset celibacy? Ask your doctor about Fornica!) TV officials say elevendy billion people worldwide will jam the virtual coliseum and CBS promises several full minutes of action packed into the 18-hour super telecast. Betting on the game is, of course, illegal – to the tune of an estimated $4.2 billion, enough cash to provide health care for … ha-ha, just kidding. During the game itself, popular conversation topics will include speculation about whether Denver quarterback Peyton Manning’s freakishly gigantic forehead has grown even larger now that he has become the national spokesman for Human Growth Hormone. But before you tune in, the NFL – in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Chicken Wings – offers these important safety tips. If you should suffer a dislocated jaw while wolfing down fistfuls of orange-powdered snacks and super-sized bowls of five-alarm chili 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.) 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 “pump fake.” Less knowledgeable fans may avoid mockery and possible stiff arms by refraining from asking such questions as, “What’s a punt?” or “Which one’s New England?” Finally, a recent Super Bowl super poll revealed that a super majority of U.S. super fans are super stoked for the supercharged juggernaut of supermodels, superstar athletes and super-sized commercials. All things considered, this evening’s Panther-Bronco showdown promises to be one L of a Super...

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Man of letters, words

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Featured | 0 comments

Man of letters, words

John Breneman is a writer who draws on decades of experience as a newspaper reporter, editor, page designer and columnist. A wordsmith with an eye for visual design, his approach emphasizes the vital role that “listening” plays in the art of effectively and elegantly communicating the message. Click here to see a bio page and a small selection of writing...

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My favorite spaceman

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Greetings from Portsmouth, N.H., Sunday columns | 1 comment

My favorite spaceman

Long, long ago, in a galaxy that now seems very far away, I got a chance to interview a future astronaut. The year was 1987 — long before my career as an internationally obscure writer had achieved liftoff — and the future spaceman was a fellow York (Maine) High School kid named Chris Cassidy. Now, the chance to interview an astronaut doesn’t come along every day. And looking back, I gotta say, I kinda blew it. Sure, I was only at York High School that day to cover a home football game against whoever (probably Marshwood) and Chris was there in his capacity as the Wildcats’ senior quarterback. So afterward, I approached him for the usual sports-type interview with a couple of softball questions about football. You might say, “Hey, there’s no way I could have known this kid would go on to a decorated military career as a Navy SEAL (heading to Afghanistan two weeks after 9/11, according to his NASA bio) and then literally launch himself into the stratosphere as a genuine astronaut.” But there were tell-tale signs — the ramrod straight posture, the clear-eyed, straight-arrow demeanor, his singular focus on the mission of the team. Plus, he loved wearing a helmet. And the kid sure loved his Tang, couldn’t get enough of it. OK, I’m only kidding about the Tang, but the rest is all true. Also true is that not only has he been living up in the International Space Station since March, he also just helped rescue an Italian colleague when water began leaking into the man’s helmet during a spacewalk. (I hate it when that happens.) Yes, the two were just an hour into a planned six-hour spacewalk to perform what has been described as “routine maintenance” (get your head around that if you can, “routine maintenance” while floating in a weightless environment 11 trillion miles from Earth). Amazingly, such work could very possibly be considered routine by a man of Cmdr. Cassidy’s caliber. I mean, this is a guy with two Bronze Stars, whose job takes him up into the heavens. A guy who logged more than 200 hours underwater piloting “a two-man submersible SEAL Delivery Vehicle, which is launched and recovered from a host-ship submarine.” A guy whose first mission into outer space four years ago this month involved delivering 12 tons of hardware and 1,225 pounds of water to the Space Station and working outside the “safety” of his spaceship for a total of 18 hours — a quick, 15-day jaunt that included 248 orbits around the Earth and some 6.5 million frequent-flyer miles. I stand in awe of this gentleman’s accomplishments. And if I could slap on a spacesuit and jump in a time machine back to that Southern Maine football field in 1987, I would have handled things a little differently. I wouldn’t want to freak him out by asking about his first Bronze Star (for leading a nine-day operation at the Zhawar Kili cave complex on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border) or his second one (for combat leadership in Afghanistan in 2004). But I think I would ask the self-effacing senior QB what plans he had for the future. Whether his obvious team-first attitude made him consider one day trading his Wildcats uniform for that of the United States...

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My dad’s advice was ‘write stuff’

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Sunday columns | 0 comments

My dad’s advice was ‘write stuff’

My dad died a few days before Christmas in 2005. And, boy, did he love to laugh. He also, as parents do, possessed profound insight into the lives of his children. When I graduated from college, I knew that I loved to write but had little idea about what type of career to pursue. But my dad did. He told me to go see the woman ran who our hometown York Weekly — guiding me directly into what has become a deeply fulfilling 30-year career in journalism. Yet another “light-bulb moment” from a man who used to bring home the bacon creating advertising campaigns in a Pittsburgh skyscraper with the firm Ketchum, MacLeod & Grove. Yes, my dad was an ad man like those guys on “Mad Men.” Over the years, I have thanked him in print for nudging me into the newspaper world — a field with limitless possibilities for creativity and personal discovery. June 1999, in this newspaper, I roasted him with a rollicking Father’s Day salute under the headline (borrowed again today): Father’s advice to son was “write stuff.” It began: “I’m in the newspaper business today thanks to the nurturing influence of a very wise gentleman. Nelson Mandela.” No secret that my ever-present impulse to blend humor and humanity comes from my dad — self-described “Depression baby” turned dashing young Air Force pilot, advertising exec, mid-life adventurer, small business co-creator — and from my mom. I am also joking when I say that his words of wisdom included: “Keep your eye on the ball to prevent ghastly facial injuries” and “Wait at least 30 minutes after eating lemon meringue pie before scuba diving for pirate treasure in the York River.” June 1991, in this newspaper, I interviewed him on the subject of fatherhood. He was never big on those “when I was your age” speeches. You know the ones: The old-timer tells how in order to get to school each day he had to crawl 12 miles on his belly through the jungles of Vietnam, swim through a boiling tar pit teeming with leeches and piranhas, and then pole vault over a barbed-wire electric fence to beat the first-period bell at 4:45 a.m. Asked about being a father by his first-born child, he dialed the Humor Meter down to 3 and dropped a few pearls. “The joys of fatherhood are so bountiful and overwhelming. … It’s like the emergence of spring a thousand-fold,” said Ernie Breneman, describing “a cycle of fulfillment that comes first with your own growth and then with the growth of others you brought into the world.” Upon his death, at a small service in his honor, I knew he’d want to hear some wordplay. Here is a small snippet of what he moved me to say: He loved laughing with everyone, he was gentle and kind. And there was something truly special about his beautiful mind. Contemplation. Rumination. Meditation. A million-and-50-watt imagination. Still (and forever) feeding me inspiration. — John Breneman I created this portfolio page as a sort of narrative resume of my writing...

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Ozzie Sweet: photographer

Posted by on Jul 5, 2015 in Sunday columns | 0 comments

Ozzie Sweet: photographer

One of the profound honors of working as a journalist is the privilege of peeking into the lives of fascinating human beings. Showing up with a pen and some paper. Sharing a conversation. Then telling their story. I spent about three hours with Ozzie Sweet at his home in York Harbor back in 2001. I had never heard of him, but I understood I would be meeting a man who, in addition to his legacy as a pioneering sports photographer, also created images from private moments shared with such 20th century icons as Grace Kelly, Jimmy Durante, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Albert Einstein. Ozzie was famous for putting his famous subjects at ease — getting them to relax so, in an age peopled with stiffly posed portraits, a true-life image would emerge. Now my job was to create a picture of him. A black and white. Made up of words. I was a little nervous. But, just as he did with his sports heroes and movie stars, Ozzie instantly put me at ease. He was old as hell even back then (almost 83), exuding the white-haired wisdom of an ancient master, but his spirit … seemed to me almost preternaturally youthful. His smile, ever-present, suggested a love of life and people. His eyes exuded warmth and invited intimacy. And though I was “working,” when Oscar Cowan Corbo started telling his story, I was enchanted — feeling a bit like an awestruck audience member at a real-life matinee. A certified dreamer born in 1918 and raised on a farm in New Russia, N.Y., he ran off to Hollywood as a young man. Charmed his way into a role in a movie starring John Wayne! Drafted into the military during World War II, he loved taking photos of his fellow soldiers. One, a “simulated action” shot of an infantryman clenching a knife in his teeth, made the cover of Newsweek. This led to a job as a Newsweek cover specialist. Ultimately, his work would appear on thousands of magazine covers — Sport, Boy’s Life, Ebony, Cosmopolitan, TV Guide, The Saturday Evening Post and countless others. And though here the roles were reversed — he was sitting for a cover piece in the Sunday Portsmouth Herald — he could not have been more gracious. Answering a thousand questions as someone else’s camera fired away. Bantering back and forth with me and with my friend Deb Cram, the photographer tasked with shooting the legendary shooter. When it was time to go — time for me to head back to the newsroom and “develop” my notes — I felt energized but also a little on edge, bearing the responsibility for telling the story of such an amazing man. This better be one of the best stories I would ever write, or else I would feel that I had failed. Of all the anecdotes he told that day, the one I found most compelling, and endearing, was his interlude with Albert Einstein. Time magazine was honoring him as “Person of the Century” and Ozzie was sent off to Princeton University where Einstein was teaching. Ever the people person, Sweet bonded with him — coaxing a chuckle and a smile now frozen in time — by needling the Nobel Prize winner about his shoes. Rather than...

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