Feb 21
Me and my finger are on the lookout for this one

Strictly Drivel

I’m beginning to think it’s just me.

You know, they say that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

The other day I ran into (almost literally) a lady I don’t think I’ve ever met before, not one, but three times in the space of 30 minutes.

I had to go to the grocery store to grab a few things. I hate trips to the grocery store to start with, particularly in the afternoon, because that brings out all the clowns.

I pulled into the parking lot, and I generally don’t even look for that close space that time of day. I just head for the first open spot I can find. I don’t like cruising the parking lot looking for a parking space that will save a few steps. I’m not that old yet.

And in the afternoon, even if you do find a space closer to the door you usually put your life on the line trying to get to it without a vehicle dance that turns the rest of your hair gray.

Continue reading ‘Me and my finger are on the lookout for this one’

Feb 14
History set us up for this holiday; remember it well

Strictly Drivel

It seems as though I do this every year, but gentlemen, listen closely.

Today is the last day to get your significant other something redeeming for Valentine’s Day or you will have missed it for another year.

It seems as though the holiday that we must never forget rushes up on us faster and faster every year, but really it falls on the same date year after year, we just have to find a way to remember what that date is.

I’ve never really quite figured out why Valentine’s Day is so important, and the history of the holiday is sketchy at best.

Continue reading ‘History set us up for this holiday; remember it well’

Feb 07
Another year behind us, and thank you for staying

Strictly Drivel

Today marks the end of our 13th year in publication with the News-Barometer. It’s been a great run thus far, and we have all of you to thank for that.

Without you, our loyal readers, there would be no reason to publish this product every week. Without you, our loyal advertisers, there would be no way to publish this product every week.

And now that unlucky 13 is behind us, we look forward to great things in year 14 and beyond.

Little did we know when we opened shop in a tiny space in Big Pine Village 13 years ago that we would still be around now. And again, we have you to thank for that.

Like so many small businesses in the Florida Keys, we started on a shoestring budget, racing the checks back to the bank every day to continue to publish.

Of course, there are times we still do that.

Continue reading ‘Another year behind us, and thank you for staying’

Jan 31
I have returned from my time-warped journey to?

Strictly Drivel

I have just returned from a two-week whirlwind tour of the future.

If you read these pages two weeks ago, I decided to do a piece on the history of Leap Year. It didn’t take long for many folks to remind me that 2014 isn’t Leap Year.

Yep. Know that.

But my Twilight Zone tour had temporarily pushed me through a temporal vortex that crashed through the lineal space-time continuum and landed me in the first weeks of 2016. The reason I didn’t catch on right away is because things seemed to be so familiar.

The same guy was in the White House. The same folks were on the local commission. I was driving the same car, which for some reason I can’t drive 55…sorry, just a snippet of song lyrics that jumped unbidden into my brain. I was little fatter.

I lived and worked in the same place. The same folks were around me. It was still 74 degrees here and less than 47 degrees everywhere else.

So how was I to know?

Continue reading ‘I have returned from my time-warped journey to?’

Jan 24
There is definitely something weird going on here

Strictly Drivel

There is something really funky going on in this town.

I can’t put my finger on it. I’m not exactly sure what it is. But something is afoul.

The world seems a little hazy today, and it appears as though I have lost some time somewhere.

As we stretch into February and another Super Bowl fast approaches, as well as another Valentine’s Day, I feel I must go on a quest to discover just what it is that seems so incredibly strange.

Continue reading ‘There is definitely something weird going on here’

Jan 17
Hey guys, get ready to run somewhere this Leap Year

Strictly Drivel

For those who may be unaware, 2014 is a leap year. A leap year is one that has an extra day. And just because February has always felt slighted by its diminutive stature among months, the powers that be have decided that February will get the extra day and for leap year there will be 29 days in February.

Most of us believe that there are 365 days in a year, and that the number of 24-hour days is determined by the length of time it takes for our planet to circumnavigate its orbit around the sun.

But the Earth actually is just a little bit slower than that in making the trip, whether because it’s getting older or just because Mother Earth has raised so many species that she’s getting calmer in her older age.

Continue reading ‘Hey guys, get ready to run somewhere this Leap Year’

Jan 10
I dumped the burgers, why didn’t the weight follow?

Strictly Drivel

The secret came out a long time ago. I am a hamburger addict. It’s no secret that I am a hamburger addict. I freely admit I am a hamburger addict.

I have spent most of my adult life searching for great hamburgers. And if I didn’t find it, any old hamburger would do.

I am most fond of hamburgers that are char-broiled in some fashion. I like blackened outsides and really juicy insides.

Actually, I am such a hamburger addict that even a bad hamburger is better than any other meal.

Continue reading ‘I dumped the burgers, why didn’t the weight follow?’

Jan 03
Why gas-sniffing lizards?

Strictly Drivel

I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t anywhere a gecko can;t get to if they want to bad enough.

My lovely wife bought me a classic sports car last year after she made me give up my Jeep for a Jeep SUV of the four-door variety. So for the first time in three decades, other than my brief four years living overseas, I am not tooling around every day in a Jeep of some kind.

Of course, there’s still one in the driveway, but that’s her car. I get to drive it once in a while just to whet my appetite.

But my new/old car has a rear deck gas intake. I lift the lid on the rear deck and there is the gas cap to put fuel (lots of it unfortunately) in the tank. Yes, that means I don’t have a trunk. All I have is a rear deck inside the passenger compartment that passes for a trunk, and storage cubbies in that rear deck inside to store small items.

The lid is well sealed, and the gas tank, since it rides just behind the passenger compartment, is also in a well sealed compartment. There are no rain issues, and I figured that if water couldn’t get in, neither could lizards.

Boy was I wrong.

Continue reading ‘Why gas-sniffing lizards?’

Dec 27
And so be it resolved by me for the new year, maybe

Strictly Drivel

It seems nearly impossible that another 12 months has slid by. Never has the term “where did the time go?” meant so much as it did last year.

As the New Year prepares to meet us in five days, it is time to go over our list of resolutions from last year, or perhaps just throw those out and make new ones for this year.

I personally would like to do the latter since I can’t remember what resolutions I made last year anyway, so with your permission (and even without it) I will regale you with my own personal list of resolutions for 2014.

Continue reading ‘And so be it resolved by me for the new year, maybe’

Dec 20
Give the gift of a little knowledge this holiday season

Strictly Drivel

Sometimes we get so busy that we don’t see the silliness that surrounds us every day. Or perhaps we’ve just become so accustomed to the silliness that we overlook and accept it as part of every day life.

That’s so sad.

I guess silly is a way of life these days. More and more we have someone or something to do anything for us, and we tend to forget how to do the simple things.

When I was a teenager, the be-all and end-all of daily existence was to own your own car and be able to get from place to place without having to wait hours for someone to come available to take you there, and then make arrangements hours in advance to get back where you needed to be.

These days, two in four teenagers don’t even have a driver’s license, let alone their own mode of transportation. Now some would feel this is a good thing, keeping the inexperienced drivers off the road and making room for those who know better how to crack up and kill….ooops…did I really say that?

Anyway, part of owning your vehicle was knowing how to keep it on the road. You didn’t need to be a mechanic, but you needed to know basic safety things, like how to turn on the hazard lights if you got stuck somewhere, or how to rock your vehicle out of a ditch or snow patch to continue on your way. But most of all, you needed to know how to do some really simple and basic stuff like CHANGE A TIRE.

Continue reading ‘Give the gift of a little knowledge this holiday season’

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