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Earl Merkel's Blog

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Mar.31.2014
from the desk of stationary tilted.jpeg
I'm inordinately pleased with my new stationery, designed in the unlikely event I will correspond by snail-mail ever again... (Arguably humorous photo, at right) And yes: my stated endorsement & support is unwavering... except maybe for the desk lamp, which seems to think she is brighter than...
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Mar.30.2014
Burns FDR series.jpeg
(Photo & headline, at right)   I love Ken Burns' work, and in the past he's been kind enough --or unwise enough-- to submit to my arguable "skills" in interviewing him. Nonetheless, I'm willing to wager that Mr. Burns' upcoming seven-part PBS series on "The Roosevelts" will indeed...
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Mar.30.2014
mood ring, mood swing.jpeg
Admittedly, it's always difficult to know what kind of jewelry will appeal to any given lass... (Photo, at right) Some experts sagely opine "Always go with a diamond." But in my experience, a soft, fuzzy Teddy Bear leaves fewer bruises. — Earl Merkel * * * Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com Watch the "...
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Mar.28.2014
coerce boys into sex.jpeg
What a great premise for a freelance article, no? (Photo, at right) Sadly, if you're being paid-by-the-word, you've got to do better than "Sure. Anytime. Please."  To my undying admiration, author Lizzie Crocker was able to stretch it out to a financially-feasible length. BTW, boys can...
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Mar.28.2014
zac homeless men beating.jpeg
From our "Everybody's A Critic Now'a'Days" -files, Pop-Music subcategory... (Photo & headline, at right) Fortunately, Zac subsequently stumbled into a Quaker-run storefront street-mission chapel. Unfortunately, the Quaker missionaries used the opportunity to pummel him with candlesticks and...
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Mar.28.2014
suspended animation.jpeg
Been there, done this. Before the "docs," in fact. (Headline, at right) You want to see some major "suspended animation," do as an unwary event-planner did a few weeks ago, and invite me to do a "humorous" speech about the writing-life to a mixed group of teachers, part-time scribes, and a...
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Mar.27.2014
miley make a wish.jpeg
(Photo & headline, at right)  Huh? I mean, wasn't this a generous thing for her to— Oh, wait. Missed a word there. For a moment, I thought she had made the poor kid's wish come true... — Earl Merkel * * * Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com Watch the "video book trailer" for my thriller,...
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Mar.27.2014
My calendar --sneering "You liar!" at my thermometer-- swears that it is now spring. In celebration --since my corkscrew ran off with that Faithless Spoon-- instead of opening a bottle o' bubbly, I'll reprise another of my Annual Rituals: spring cleaning, from the male perspective...
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Mar.27.2014
northwestern players union.jpeg
The College Athletes/Players Association moves one step closer to reality. I saw this coming years ago... ... when the Little League baseball team I was coaching started walking a picket line around the dug-out, demanding their Dairy Queen cones BEFORE even playing the freakin' game. After...
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Mar.27.2014
(sigh) I suppose it's a sign of the polarized times in which we live... ...that there's already a firestorm of commentary that notes the Washington Post took 16 paragraphs to identify the political affiliation of the California state senator arrested, along with a "reformed" Tong-gang leader...
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Mar.26.2014
NEWS FLASH: "IRS Says Bitcoins Not 'Currency', But Kinda Like A (Virtual) S&H Green Stamp." (chuckle) 'Course, if you know what an "S&H Green Stamp" was... ...you probably don't know what a "Bitcoin" is. And vice-versa.  Alas! http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/i-r-s-says-...
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Mar.25.2014
When a President --visibly peeved at a press-conference question, apparently holding firm to his debate-season statement about "the '80s called, and they want their policy back"-- terms Russia a mere "regional power"... ...one can almost see Mr. Putin's buttons flying around the room as he rips...
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Mar.25.2014
econ in a no-privacy age.jpeg
Fittingly, we light-fingered "lifted" this image from the Facebook page of Tony Bulmer, author of the excellent "The Fine Art Of Murder"... ... and who is now apparently writing a sequel titled "The Fine Art of Economics in Today's Privacy-Free World". — Earl Merkel * * * Visit us at www....
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Mar.25.2014
As our morning wake-me-up call, today we offer Dave Barry's fine, analytical, literary-minded and frighteningly incisive critiqué accurately parses what is unquestionably The Great American Novel... "Fifty Shades of Grey." WARNING: I'm still snortin' my first cup-of-the-day from my nose, as I...
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Mar.23.2014
ukranians defiantly sing.jpeg
It's only a modest suggestion... but perhaps NATO should dispatch a contingent of Irish pub-band musicians.  (Headline, at right) If THAT doesn't make the Russians flee in screaming retreat, nothing will. — Earl Merkel * * * Visit us at www.earlmerkel.com Watch the "video book trailer" for my...
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