Tag Archives: Action

THE CLUCK YOU SAY…

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Oh dear…we find the strangest things in the news!

A proposed ordinance allowing backyard chickens in the city of Racine, Wisconsin is being acted on by the City’s Council. Backed unanimously by the City Board of Health last week, the proposal would allow single-family… (Single-family? They’re discriminating against multi-family homes right off the bat?)…owner-occupied households… (Owner occupied? now they’re discriminating from renters? Renters’ money isn’t good enough???) …in the city to keep up to four hens, but no roosters. (What the cluck???)

(Why up to 4? Why not 6 or 10, or 20? Are they concerned about square footage per chicken? Or perhaps the decibel level of 5 chickens is the maximum that can be tolerated by the neighbors. Clucking volume must be it… so are we now looking at a clucking chicken noise ordinance? Have you ever heard the ear-splitting sound a single chicken makes while laying an egg? Is this in consideration? And no roosters? Why no roosters? Is council denying chickens their rights to have male companionship now? Isn’t that now a sexist factor? The girl chickens have needs after all. No, I get it. They’re worried about the production of baby chickens, and more baby chickens, and soon the entire city of Racine will be overrun with little chickens. What a bunch of clucking sexists.)

The news comes about eight months after a local resident approached the board to see if its members might craft a measure allowing residents to keep the birds. Since then, the Public Health Administrator has been working with the board and others, including the Wisconsin Humane Society and City Attorney’s Office, to draft and fine-tune the would-be ordinance. Under the guidelines set forth in the proposed law, residents could only keep chickens for domestic use. (“Domestic use“? What use? How does one “use” a domestic chicken? Oh, it’s a pet! We can put a harness leash on it and take a walk around the block…the same as we do with Fido!) Chicken owners could not slaughter the chickens, sell their eggs, or breed the animals for sale. They would also have to keep the chickens in the backyard in a coop and/or pen approved by the department’s Environmental Health Division. In addition to those requirements, owners would have to follow strict rules for the disposal of chicken droppings and the size of the enclosures and pens.

(Wait, what about our constitutional rights here? We can breed & sell all other kinds of animals, like dogs and cats. Why discriminate against the chicken? Could this be a hidden attack against right-Wing — get it? “Wing”??? What a tough crowd! Chicken owners and restaurants like Chic-Fil-A? Where’s Al Sharpton? There might be police officers shooting innocent chickens! The chickens will riot, and burn down innocent Chic-Fil-A restaurants! Call in Jesse Jackson, too! We need Colonel Sanders to come back on a Wing and a prayer! Okay, we’re winging it on our commentary here, give us a break. Preferably a chicken sandwich break, made from all breast meat… oh, damn, now WE’re being sexist!!!)

(WOW! These guidelines are stricter than our human guidelines. I haven’t seen government workers work this much in insuring the health and welfare of our citizens. The poor, needy, poverty, government housing polilticians, just have to keep adding rules and laws upon us poor owners, ignoring the renters, clucking us every chance they get…)

There also are recommendations for the bedding, feeding and watering of the animals. (What? now we have to buy chickens new beds? Hey, Petsmart, what aisle are the chicken beds on???) Those who want to keep the birds would be required to get a $50 license from City Hall. (More discrimination against the chicken! Dogs and cats don’t require $50 licenses! Only rabies tags!) Part of the cost of the annual license would fund inspections aimed at ensuring that coops are the right distance from adjacent properties and maintained in the backyard area of homes. Anyone violating the rules set forth in the ordinance could lose their license or face a possible $500 fine. If a license is revoked it couldn’t be renewed for three years. The last time city officials discussed the possibility of allowing chickens in the city was 2010. City officials ended up receiving about 250 signatures from residents opposed to the idea, and the Committee ultimately voted to set it aside. The City Council is slated to consider the proposal. Although aldermen could decide to approve the ordinance or vote it down, they could also decide to send it back to the Board of Health or City Attorney’s Office for adjustments or to another committee for more in-depth discussion.

(You mean the chickens have been put on the back burner again?!? Oh my! I want mine with mushroom sauce, please!!!)

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BASEBALL – WHAT’S WITH THE LICK AND WIPE RULE?

We must confess that the Major League Baseball’s “Lick and Wipe” rule has baffled us since it was imposed a few years ago (better known as Rule No. 8.02 to be specific).  Being confounded about what we thought was just a “bad habit” and concerned that no one was carrying around bottles of Germ-X….we ventured on a quest for an answer.

Mike Pelfrey has a propensity for licking his hand more than any pitcher in baseball. During one game, it was noted he licked his hand a total of 89 times! Wonder what his mom thought about that.

Let us preface all this by saying that we’ve been avid baseball fans since the early 80’s, going back to the good old days of the Atlanta Braves when Bobby Cox was still around and Skip Caray actually narrated the games….nothing wrong with Fredi Gonzalez and Chip Caray mind you…fondly remembering how it used to be. Though a Braves fan through and through, we can’t help remembering Darryl Strawberry (played for both the New York Mets and New York Yankees), with his 6-foot-6 frame, his controversial behavior and one of the most awesome sluggers there ever was. Our curiosity about the rules and regulations abound.

Cyndi noted that in all the years that she sat on the bench watching her kids play T-Ball and Little League Ball, never once was there a discussion about a Lick and Wipe issue; nor a Spit Ball Issue. Perhaps the coaches talked about it with the little guys and discouraged it, but bleacher moms never heard tell of such a thing.

So, with all that in mind Cyndi decided to ask a few men friends their opinion on the rule.

Man #1:  Stated “I dunno, guess it helps ’em throw the ball better”

Man #2:  Stated “Oh, it’s a new thing, you gotta lick your fingers, to get a better grip on the ball, but you gotta wipe the spit on your shirt or the ump will call a balk on you”

Man #3:  Stated “Yeah, they do it just to tick off the umpires”

With all that manly knowledge floating around, something still didn’t sit well within. Jack reached out to the Internet for some realistic information.  Laughable now, but when he did a search on the “Lick and Wipe Rule” he instantly realized his mistake as he was bombarded with Internet porno sites advising who, what, when, where and how to lick and wipe…in great detail. Fearing the worst, thinking the Internet Police or FBI would surely show up at the door, he I closed down the browser and turned the computer over to Cyndi!

Thinking “smart” is always better than just “thinking.”  We next did a search on Major League Baseball rules…there we go.  Rule No 8.02.  For any of you who always wanted to know but were afraid to ask, we share with you (in layman’s terms) the rules for Like and Wipe, or spit ball, or whatever substance must not be used on the baseball!…

It seems the pitcher may not, for any reason “expectorate” (spit, slobber or otherwise drool) on the baseball. Nor may he apply any foreign substance to the ball, rub the ball on his clothing or within the pitchers glove, nor deface or alter the ball by any means. We also learned that the pitcher may not bring his pitching hand up to his mouth or lips while within an 18 foot circle surrounding the pitching rubber (pitching rubber?…oh, what we call the base on the mound).  BUT…if it’s exceptionally cold out during the game, and if it’s agreed by both managers, the umpire may allow the pitcher to “blow” on his pitching hand throughout the game. If the umpire catches the pitcher doing any of the above, he may penalize the pitcher by calling a ball (not a balk fellas); he may give the pitcher a warning; or he may actually eject him from the game and suspend him from up to 10 full games! Wow! The rules do have more “whys,” “wherefores,” and “thou shalt not’s,” but this is the down and dirty of it. Just think if we had this many rules at work…or at home?  You get caught drooling at home…and YOU’RE OUTTA HERE! 

Apparently Cyndi’s three purveyors of wisdom DID have a good point about the whole thing. Having sticky fingers does indeed provide a better grip on the ball, providing the pitcher with a greater ability to throw harder, stronger and more accurately. Therefore, the rules were altered a few years ago allowing pitchers to actually lick their fingers, though they must be off the plate, and they must wipe their fingers on their uniform, hat, etc.  We still think Germ-X should be involved.

It’s interesting to note that these particular rules came about in 1920 when Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians took a spitball to the temple from the Yankee’s Carl Mays. Sadly he died from his injuries. In those days, no one wore batting helmets, and whatever substance Mays was using on the ball discolored it and made it more difficult for Chapman to see. That’s why MLB instituted the rules banning foreign substances on baseballs and a requirement that umpires must change out the ball whenever it gets dirty. Which also explains why a team can go through 80 baseballs in a game!

So, there ya go!  Baseball’s Lick and Wipe rules to live by.  By the way, we’re debating if we should go back to some of those “other” websites for a quick sneak-peak.  Don’t tell anyone!

Why Won’t Walter Edgar Call Us Back?

We’ve tried; we really have… so why won’t Walter call us back? As Maude always said, “God will get you for this, Walter,” if you don’t call us…

We listen to you all the time (well, at least for the two years we’ve been published authors), and when we heard you interview new authors we submitted ourselves to be interviewed. Jack had brown hair, and Cyndi had a short bob-cut… now his hair is almost snow white and Cyndi’s pulling hers out. We’re being very patient, Walter, but come on already!

The more we listened, the more we learned it’s not just the newbies who get on his show. Anyone heard of Pat Conroy? He’s not a newbie… nor is Steven Naifeh, or Benjamin Dunlap or Jonathan Green. Now if we told you who they all were you wouldn’t go to Google to look them up, and Google would go out of business, so go Google them and keep a Google tech employed, okay?

Well, we know that Walter is a big history buff, and even though our first works are not about history (nor do we write in the buff, just to make that clear!) and we’re not yet renowned (or even reverbed for that matter!) we do want the chance to talk with you and tell you and your listeners all about us! Not that we really like to talk about ourselves, but we need to promote ourselves on a $0 budget (right now we are corporals in our own army, and we hope to promote ourselves to sergeants sometime soon, with your help). We do live in historic Beaufort By The Sea Twenty-Three Miles From Yemassee, but we don’t write about history. Should that make any difference? If you talk with us we will make history! And hopefully some more book sales!

After all, we have stories about good versus evil. What’s a better topic than that? Our villains kill people, our heroes catch the villains. The story is how the heroes catch the villains! And we have developed a villain who will constantly befuddle our heroes book after book. Where would Batman be without The Joker? Or Bugs Bunny without Elmer Fudd? Or even George Burns without Gracie Allen? We don’t spend our entire stories about the heroes being heroes, or the villains being villainous the entire time… we explore their lives before they become the heroes and villains in combat! Sounds much like a marriage, doesn’t it?

We could do you proud, Walter. Hey Aaron Patterson, while we haven’t written anything about President Obama specifically (although we allude to a president who uses a teleprompter to talk) to get us on YouTube, we are having a meeting with Bigfoot in the fourth book in our series… or are we? We’re not really telling, so maybe we shouldn’t have said anything about that. But then, we are trying to tease our upcoming stories…

Well, if you don’t want us, perhaps Michael Dresser will have us. His website does after all say “Click here to be a guest on our show”. We’ve been clicking, we’re ready to be guesting!!!

We seem to be making a name for ourselves without Walter and Michael tho (or would that be “names for ourselves”, hard to keep our tenses correct as we are two authors but one author team… wow) but it would be nice to be picked up by one of the big name hosts to give us a few minutes of fame (doesn’t even have to be 15 minutes, just enough time to plug our book titles, please!). It’s been very challenging as self-published authors to get word out about us…

Oh, wait, that’s right… we have a publisher now! Hey, Walter, Michael, Aaron! We got a publisher without you! Wanna have us on now so we can share our secret with all your listeners and viewers?

What’s that? Okay fine, we’ll leave a message. Meantime, we gotta go set up for our weekly book signings at Frampton Plantation, South Carolina I-95 Exit 33. We did it without ya, guys! But we’ll still talk with you any time! Please call us… and leave a message…

Jack and Cyndi
(Or if there will be a harassment lawsuit our names are Barack and Michelle)

http://www.jandcwordsmiths.com
http://www.facebook.com/2sAnd3s
http://www.facebook.com/annualnovelwinetastingandliteraryfestival

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“TRAIL OF THE TALON”- The Novella

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WE HOPE people have been following us on our Facebook page—but if not, here’s the direct link to bookmark everyone’s browsers: www.facebook.com/2sAnd3s . And, hopefully, there’re a few people out there following us and know that we wrote and published, direct to Kindle, a short story series titled “TRAIL OF THE TALON”.

“TALON” IS a three-part short story series which takes place approximately 18 months after the events in our debut novel “MURDER IN TWOS AND THREES” (yes, another shameless plug for the novel!) The story follows a few of our characters from that novel in their own quick adventure in pursuit of an international extortionist/kidnapper.

NOW WE’RE in the process of bringing “TALON” into the print world as a “TASK FORCE NOVELLA”, and here’s the debut of the cover template! (We’re calling it a “novella” because the word count is @25,000, whereas a “novel” is at least 75,000—one of those decrees mandated by the WORD COUNT DEITIES). We hope to include it in our book signings by this summer.

“TALON—THE NOVELLA” will include a bonus chapter from our next novel, “THE LATRODECTUS MURDERS”.  Not only will people get to read, in print, the second story in our TASK FORCE series but also get a tease for the next novel! “TALON” is a roller coaster of a story as it leads seamlessly into “LATRODECTUS”. For those who loved the psychological twists and turns in “TWOS AND THREES”, no one will believe nor expect what we’re dishing up in “THE LATRODECTUS MURDERS”, it’s even better!

IF THAT wasn’t enough, we’re in the early planning stages of ANOTHER story that follows “LATRODECTUS”.  Yep, it will be another TASK FORCE NOVELETTE highlighting a few more TASK FORCE characters on some of their own missions.

JUST GOES to show, one never knows how many stories J&C Wordsmiths have up their sleeves! We’re always working! Sleep? What’s that? Decaf coffee is evil! The office personnel (our cats) are so demanding!!!