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Diatribe: The Importance of Obituary Proofreading.

leroy-black-obituary.w529.h793A long time ago I worked as a “paste-up specialist” on my high school newspaper.  This was in a time when articles were typed out and then, literally, cut and pasted so that copies could be printed.  We didn’t have computer programs that allowed us to adjust margins or font size or to help us work around photos or advertisements.  We put every publication together by hand.

We also didn’t have “spell check” software so every article of every edition was reviewed by numerous proof readers before we went to press.

The Press of Atlantic City should be as careful.

After Leroy Bill Black, of Egg Harbor Township, died last Tuesday of lung cancer caused by fiberglass exposure, the newspaper published two obituaries … one saying he’s survived by his wife, and the other saying he’s survived by his girlfriend.

Both obituaries agree on the majority of facts surrounding Mr. Black’s passing but the obituary with top billing says he’s survived by his “loving wife” and a son.  The second announcement, however, says he’s survived by his son, several siblings and his long-time girlfriend!  The obituaries were published adjacent to each other and used the same photograph of Mr. Black!

“If you are going to have affairs you have GOT to be more careful!  Of course, this is all useless information for you now.” – Sissy Hickey (Sordid Lives, 2000)

A representative of the Greenidge Funeral Home, referenced in both obituaries, wouldn’t comment on the confusion but confirmed that the funeral home was working at the discretion of the wife.

Fire that proofreader!

This glaring oversight would not have happened back in the mimeograph days when we were absolutely certain that everything was correct before ink ever touched paper.

On the other hand, Mr. Black did get quite a send-off.

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Ovation: Olympian Humor

Even when you’re about to experience what could be the biggest moment of your life as an athlete, there are some things just to silly to ignore.

U.S. Basketball star Elena Delle Donne posted this photograph of the restroom regulation in Rio to her Instagram account on Saturday.

Capture

“Guess I won’t be toilet fishing today”, she added.

Guess not, Elena, but thanks for the chortle.

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Diatribe: Gags The Green Bay Clown.

Gags the Green Bay ClownWe’ve done a lot of gardening and planting around our house this spring and have spent quite a bit of time trying to determine how we’ll install landscape lighting.  After purchasing some inexpensive solar lights that we’ve moved around several times, the right locations for their placement appear to have been determined. This weekend, weather permitting, we’ll work to install the light system and move on to the next project on our list.

Outdoor lighting serves several purposes and, because our home is in a somewhat remote neighborhood, we find a sense of security in knowing that our home is well-lit both when we’re away and while we’re inside.

We’re not afraid of the dark, but we also don’t live in Green Bay, Wisconsin where a mysterious and creepy-looking CLOWN has been roaming the streets in the dead of night.

According to a Facebook page called “Gags – The Green Bay Clown”, the first sighting of the scary clown occurred on Monday around 2:00 a.m.  Since then several other photos of the clown have been taken, mostly in the same area.

Local police are getting calls about the scary visitor but there’s not much than can be done.

“A person can walk down the sidewalk dressed however they want as long as they’re in a place they legally can be and they’re not in a place that has a closing time, like a park.” – Green Bay Police Capt. Kevin Warych

There is speculation that the clown is part of a viral marketing stunt, one reason being the mysterious Facebook page’s appearance just shortly after the clown’s first sighting.

I know a few people who are immensely frightened by the most harmless of clowns. I imagine seeing Gags walking down their street would send them screaming in terror!

One thing’s for sure, if I ever encounter a creepy clown carrying black balloons in our neighborhood I’ll be glad we’ve got plenty of lights around our house.  We might even add some more!

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Ovation: SaltWater Brewery’s Edible Six-Pack Rings.

Saltwater BreweryI enjoy spending time on, or near, the water.  I’ve always found lakes and beaches to be some of the most fascinating places to visit.  The fact that a seashore constantly changes with the tides is simply marvelous in my mind.  I can walk along a beach for hours, picking up driftwood and sea shells, examining flora, marveling at the antics of birds and, of course, people watching.

Too often on excursions of this nature I’ve come across creatures in distress.  The sight of a pelican or sea gull strangled by fishing line or a plastic 6-pack holder, in particular, has left a lasting, vivid memory.  So much so that at our house we avoid buying products that incorporate this technology. When we can’t avoid them, we make a point to cut them into tiny pieces before discarding them.  I hate to think that some bird might die because I didn’t cut up a 6-pack holder.

Edible-Six-Pack-Ring-screenshot-We-BelieversSaltWater Brewery of DelRay Beach, Florida, has developed a technology that will eliminate the needless suffering of marine creatures caused by plastic 6-pack holders.  The craft beer maker has created a six-pack carrier made out of the wheat and barley waste leftover after making their beer.  Their invention is as strong as the usual plastic six-pack carrier but are biodegradable and even safe for animals to eat.

This particular brewery was founded by fishermen and surfers who have close connections to the ocean.  Apparently, they’ve learned that even if you cut plastic rings to keep animals from getting entangled in them, birds and turtles will still eat the plastic!  Who knew?!

“We want to influence the big guys,” says Chris Gove, the brewery’s president, in the video below, “and inspire them to also get on board.”

The new technology remains somewhat costly but, hopefully, the demand for new, eco-friendly packaging will rise, creating a competitive market of other brewers, soft-drink makers etc. that will drive the cost down to be competitive with plastic.

I’m not usually a beer drinker but I’ll try some of theirs … but I won’t eat the six-pack carrier.

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Diatribe: Nadkins.

NadkinsWe come across them all the time … things we didn’t know we don’t need. There is a peculiar marketplace available where entrepreneurs who think they’ve discovered the solution to enormous problem facing the world can peddle their wares. This is where consumers go to find things like potato peeling gloves that will save hours of time in the kitchen. Or Rake Hands that make outdoor clean up super quick and easy. Booty Belts and Miracle Socks are available to eliminate unsightly bulges and soothe tired, achy legs and feet. Most of the things we don’t know we don’t need we don’t know about unless they’re As Seen On TV.

But did you know there’s a new addition to the little-talked about world of men’s grooming products that most men don’t know they don’t know about?

Nadkins.

Nadkins “Male Jewels Refresher Towelettes” are cleansing wipes designated as wet naps for the male nether regions for when things get all sweaty, smelly and uncomfortable. According to the Nadkins website, each individually wrapped towelette is 100% natural and 100% non-toxic. Key ingredients like Aloe Vera, Allantoin and Vitamin E gently cleanse and hydrate sensitive skin, while pleasantly soothing and comforting, leaving you with a refreshing tingly feeling that’s something to behold.  Here’s the company’s Mission Statement:

Nadkins Mission Statement

Apparently, after wiping down the area, users will get a cooling and refreshing reeling without any irritation while removing dead skin and helping to protect against added aggravation. The product’s name, allegedly, was born out of a conversation between the company’s founder and a friend who suggested that “guys don’t always smell so great … down there” leading to his response of “Yeah … it’s like they need a napkin for their nads … a Nadkin!”

A ten-pack of individually wrapped Nadkins sells for $12.50 on the company’s website. A discount is offered to customers who sign up for subscription deliveries. A deeper discount is available for volume purchases.

Now that you know about this didn’t know you didn’t know about it marketplace, be sure to check out Nadkins’ competition!

biz wipesMangroomer Biz Wipes provide a “masculine executive scent”. Close your eyes and try to imagine THAT. These are advertised as “flushable”!

NicheNiche for Men by Birchbox can also be used on the face. If it’s safe for down there … (You can “Join the Revolution” and save 20%!)

Junk stuffOr maybe you’d like to keep some Junk Stuff in your desk at the office. It’s a cream that uses essential oils and vitamins to clear up rashes and rawness.

Nadkins. Let me know if you enjoy their “subtle, pleasing citrus-mint fragrance”.

Or you could use soap and water.

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Ovation: America’s Oldest Teacher, Agnes Zhelesnik, Is An Inspiration!

Americas-Oldest-Teacher-screenshot-The-74When I was in high school, at least one of my teachers had also had my parents in her classroom. I remember her as being very strict and her class quite boring. But mostly I just remember her as being the “old teacher”. My folks thought she was old when they were in her class. I’m sure every school has senior instructors and, naturally, anyone over the age of forty appears to be a fossil to a high school freshmen so it’s not surprising that teachers often appear to be out-of-touch with young people.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Who knows more about young people than their teachers? These are the people who spend time with rooms filled with them every day!

Can you imagine becoming a teacher late in life? After all of your peers have long ago retired?

Agnes Zhelesnik, or “Granny” as she is called by students and teachers alike at the Sundance School in North Plainfield, New Jersey where she began working in 1994 … at the age of 80! … celebrated her 102nd birthday this week! And she’s still teaching classes!

After life as a homemaker, Agnes jumped at the chance to take a job as a sewing and cooking instructor to five- and six-year-olds. Her daughter, an art teacher at the school, first asked her if she’d like to help out in the cafeteria and later, when the cooking class actually needed a teacher, Agnes thought that was the perfect place for her. Over the years she’s sewn colorful aprons for students to keep their clothes clean in the kitchen and has made costumes for their school plays.

“Just be happy with what you’re doing,” Agnes told the education group, The Seventy Four, in the video below. “You have to like what you’re doing.”

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was quite fortunate to have that old, boring teacher in high school. Looking back, I can imagine that she reinforced ideas my parents had taught me at home in addition to new materials in the classroom. She was probably more lovely than I remember.

At 102, Agnes Zhelesnik is an inspiration to anyone who fears aging. Don’t you just love her?!

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