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I wrote this about curling (so that you can read this about curling)

I wrote this four years ago about curling.  Hey, if I don't copy and paste this now, I may as well wait four years.  Here goes:

2-8-14

I've tried a few different times to understand curling.  I bought a bag of cheese curls.  I found a bunch of those bugs that curl up into balls and tried to teach them right from wrong.  I even did what most people do when they need information: I used Wikipedia, which told me in its first line, "Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric rings."  Although I understand each of those words individually, I am having trouble figuring out the connection between those words and "sport."  I mean, by these standards, shouldn't ring toss be an Olympic sport?  Or how about horeshoes?  What makes these different from curling?

Of course there are people reading this column who will claim to understand curling, but there is a nickname for those…

Twitter Scratch Paper: What is it and how can I get it immediately?

I was recently driving, pondering the answers to life's important questions as I normally do when I drive, when I interrupted myself with a thought about Twitter: why don't many people proofread before they tweet?   And, for that matter, why don't they pause for a little bit -- just a few seconds even -- before making that tweet available to thousands or even millions of people?

Maybe some people need to go back to their writing roots, I thought.  Maybe they need scratch paper.  And who am I to deny something to people that they need?

I created Twitter Scratch Paper as a way for people to plan out their tweets before they send them.  People can keep the book wherever they do their best thinking.  Each page consists of two sets of 280 blanks just waiting to be filled in.

Maybe you're hesitant to get started on Twitter.  Then use this book and practice before you put yourself out there.

Maybe your best friend or your mom or a politician you know needs to stop impulsively…

'Tis the Season

People often say to me, "Greg, I need your help. Can you answer some questions about Christmas for me?"

Actually, no one has ever said that to me.

Ever.

Not even sort of.

But if someone ever does,  I am well-prepared, as I wrote this column in December of 2012:

'Tis the Season
December 18, 2012

It's the middle of December, every radio station is now playing Christmas music and there are sales at every store. It can only be one time of the year. That's right, the four-month countdown to Arbor Day. The problem is: it's hard to even think about Arbor Day right now -- or to even begin the countdown -- with Christmas a week away. There are so many things to worry about between now and then that you might be wishing a guide existed to help you get through this. And lucky for you there is: it's called Wikipedia. But let's face it: you just don't have that kind of time. So here you have it, a simplified Q&A guide to get you through the next wee…

Correction

I am not actually correcting anything.  Occasionally, though, I like to cross things out.


Don't Say This On Day One

I recognize that some U.S. states began school a couple of weeks ago, but for those of us in the Northeast -- the states that follow the motto, "Yo, no school till after Labor Day" -- school has not yet begun.  I will be starting my 18th year teaching, so I know firsthand how much anticipation is involved with the first day of school: What should I wear?  Will people like me?  What if someone steals my lunch and eats it? And those are just faculty concerns; for students, the list extends even further.

I would like to help students nationwide when it comes to first day etiquette, more specifically what they should not say to their teachers on the first day of school:

1. "Can I just take a picture of everything you have on the board?"
Translation: "Can I just take the easy way out right now, as well as for the rest of the year?"

Granted, the process of putting pen to paper is a difficult one, ranking right up there with opening a bag of chips or interpretin…

A Conversation With My Car

I moved on from this car a year later.  Looking back, maybe this is why...

A Conversation with My Car
April 9, 2013

I really need to move on from the car that I've had for quite some time, but like a loyal friend, I refuse to let go.  In the past three months, though, my car has caused me to get major repairs to parts of the car that I didn't know existed until I brought it to a repair shop.  It is quite possible, in fact, that these parts were made up by the repairmen -- a sort of practical joke that is funny only to people who understand cars.  For example, I needed to get a new belt that connects my accelerator to my engine.  A belt, really?  Totally sounds made up...

Just recently, I had to get a new fuel pump.  There is no way that is a real thing either...

I just wish I had a way of knowing what my car really needed.  Like a good psychologist talking to a person in need of help, I have to dig beneath the surface to see what is really wrong, not what someone thinks is wro…

You Only live Once

I wrote this over five years ago, when people were saying, "YOLO" a lot.  I know some people who still say that, but those people are known as "dorks."  I don't know why they weren't dorks five years ago, too.

You Only Live Once
July 3, 2012

It's common knowledge that cats have nine lives, something that I have not been able to verify one way or the other considering how many cats look alike.  However, over the past few months, I've heard a lot that would tell me otherwise, in the form of four letters: YOLO...

YOLO could stand for a number of things.  It could, for example, stand for "Yaks originally landed offshore," which is an important way of informing people about the origin of yaks, regardless of whether that is true or not.  Or, it could stand for "Yard ornaments look outstanding," as a way of reminding everyone that one or two lawn gnomes, if placed properly, will do wonders for scaring away the local youth.  Finally, YOL…