Showing posts from 2017

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 impu

'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


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 i

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 think

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.  Finall

Warped Speed

I wrote this column around ten years ago, and you know what?  Slow drivers are still pretty annoying. Warped Speed: October 30, 2007 I consider myself an average driver: I drive around ten miles over the speed limit and get annoyed by senior citizens who drive ten miles under.  Occasionally I will look at my speedometer just to confirm what I believe: "Yep, that person really is old," I sometimes tell myself. "Maybe I'll get lucky and she'll get pulled over by the 'slow police.'" Unfortunately, the "slow police" doesn't exist, at least not yet. However, the only thing stopping this unit from existing is the fact that police forces all across the country do not want to pull slow people over.  It's just not exciting. And it's particularly not brag-worthy to go home after a long day of traffic work to say, "You should have seen it, honey.  This old guy was driving 20 and I somehow caught up to him and told him how slow

Just Driving Thru

I originally wrote this column over a decade ago.  I'm pretty sure nothing has changed. Drive-Thru Madness: June 25, 2002 Over the past few years, I've made numerous comments about everything being "express."  That includes express lanes, express mail, express shins -- whatever.  The point of all of these forms is to make lives faster and, therefore, easier.  However, such was not the case while I was waiting in a drive-thru at McDonald's this evening.  In fact, the experience has encouraged me to review the procedure in order to determine who should -- and should not -- be allowed to use this privilege: First off, people need to know that the drive-thru is not the only option.  You know, there once was a time when customers actually had to park their cars and walk inside the restaurant in order to get food.  Ah, it was a novel concept (much like a book), ranking up there with trying on shoes before purchasing and using a microwave for something other than

Nothing to see here.

Well, technically, there is something. But not much.

All I Got Was This Snake

All I Got Was This Snake: Originally published on July 18, 2006 --- As I write this I have a little snake on my shoulder.  It is kind of like a chip, but it is stuffed with cotton and would not taste good when placed in dip.  The snake is worth about a dollar, but I was lucky enough to only pay about twenty for it... While at the boardwalk at Wildwood, NJ, this past weekend, I was labeled with my usual title as a sucker.  I am pretty sure that every boardwalk game has a picture of me on the wall that reads, "This guy will play your game, just acknowledge him."  On this particular evening, I was summoned from about 40 feet away... "Hey you," someone yelled.  And of course I started to walk over.  After all, it was evident he knew me -- he even called me over by name... But I didn't want to seem too eager to play his game, which consisted of throwing a softball into an angled plastic bucket, so I paused on my way over... "You in the hat," he