oops! – SneezingCow.com https://sneezingcow.com Home of Michael Perry - New York Times Bestselling Author, Humorist, Singer/Songwriter, Intermittent Pig Farmer Thu, 21 Jun 2018 05:02:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 https://sneezingcow.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-Site-Icon-200x200.png oops! – SneezingCow.com https://sneezingcow.com 32 32 53371033 I Hit That Bridge https://sneezingcow.com/2018/05/30/i-hit-that-bridge/ Wed, 30 May 2018 15:49:15 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=22725 Happy for Chippewa Falls and the restoration. Would like to add I once hit this bridge while leading a bike race. Crystal clear memory: I leaned hard into the curve at 27.5 mph (new digital speedometer), hit a piece of pea gravel, bike bounced offline one inch, but that was just enough. Smashed into the…View post

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Happy for Chippewa Falls and the restoration. Would like to add I once hit this bridge while leading a bike race. Crystal clear memory: I leaned hard into the curve at 27.5 mph (new digital speedometer), hit a piece of pea gravel, bike bounced offline one inch, but that was just enough. Smashed into the abutment right about where that table is set up. Felt like Barry Bonds hit me in the shoulder with a baseball bat. Rolled across the centerline and was subsequently run over by the chase pack. Had actual tire marks across my back and shins. It was on video, probably some long-ago crumbled VHS. Shoulder still isn’t right. Glory days.

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Oops! 1986 not 1984 https://sneezingcow.com/2018/05/03/oops-1986-not-1984/ Thu, 03 May 2018 13:01:32 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=22631 By chance Twitter exchange, I just discovered an error in Coop: The show in Milton Keynes Bowl was in 1986, not 1984. Here’s the proof. Simple Minds, The Waterboys, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Big Audio Dynamite, and Doctor & the Medics. I believe it was only the second rock concert I ever attended. The first…View post

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By chance Twitter exchange, I just discovered an error in Coop: The show in Milton Keynes Bowl was in 1986, not 1984. Here’s the proof. Simple Minds, The Waterboys, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Big Audio Dynamite, and Doctor & the Medics. I believe it was only the second rock concert I ever attended. The first (if memory serves, and we’ve just cast doubt on that theory) would have been Status Quo live in 1984 at the NEC in Birmingham. Both shows in England, both in the company of my dear departed friend Tim.

Simple Minds were big and powerful live. I knew nothing about the Waterboys but was swept up in their sound and the fact that I was in drizzly England listening to this rag-tag band singing about Medicine Bow, and me living in a ranch cabin along the Medicine Bow River in Wyoming most of that summer and the four summers preceding. Also spent much of the next year (senior year of nursing school) writing bad poems on a Smith-Corona while listening to A Pagan Place and This is the Sea on repeat (well, on “flip”–this was the cassette era). I was too musically naive to fully appreciate Lloyd Cole and the Commotions (Tim’s favorite that day). Big Audio Dynamite got booed off the stage, people throwing things. Doctor and the Medics left little impression. I know they had a one-hit wonder with a cover of “Spirit in the Sky.”

Another crystal-clear memory of the day: It was cold and drizzly. We stood in line for coffee. I turned and bumped into a massive Englishman, causing him to slop his paper cup of milky tea. He glowered and I thought he was going to squash me. Instead he bellowed, “You CLUMSY OAF!” It’s the most English thing anyone has ever said to me.

 

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Writing Tics Revisited https://sneezingcow.com/2018/04/26/writing-tics-revisited/ Thu, 26 Apr 2018 15:44:49 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=22589 Writing tic: Forever having things “begin” or “began.” Just have’em HAPPEN, Sparky! I’d have a whole ‘nother book wrote by now if I had back all the time spent deleting those. (Same for “just” and “little.”)

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Writing tic: Forever having things “begin” or “began.” Just have’em HAPPEN, Sparky! I’d have a whole ‘nother book wrote by now if I had back all the time spent deleting those. (Same for “just” and “little.”)

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Fabulous Footwork https://sneezingcow.com/2017/03/17/fabulous-footwork/ Fri, 17 Mar 2017 15:23:42 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=20681 On a little mini-tour. Combining exercise and work, I hike three miles from the hotel to a coffee shop. Work on revisions for two hours, then hike back. Sunny day, clear sidewalk. Striding purposefully along a busy boulevard, I catch my toe on a crack and take a spectacular digger. One of those drawn-out forward-tilt…View post

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On a little mini-tour. Combining exercise and work, I hike three miles from the hotel to a coffee shop. Work on revisions for two hours, then hike back. Sunny day, clear sidewalk. Striding purposefully along a busy boulevard, I catch my toe on a crack and take a spectacular digger. One of those drawn-out forward-tilt scramblers where your feet desperately try to catch up with your forehead in the manner of a drunken triple-jumper, finishing with an intentional ferocious headfirst full-body lunge into a snowbank so as to avoid the concrete. Adding to the degree of difficulty, I was wearing a backpack. I leapt to my feet and hustled off covered in snow head to toe, and didn’t stop to check for blood until I got back to the hotel. There are raw spots, and a hole in the elbow of my shirt and the knee of my pants. It is the most spectacular thing I have done all month. You are welcome, Grafton rush hour traffic.

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Easy There, Hoss https://sneezingcow.com/2016/12/07/easy-there-hoss/ Wed, 07 Dec 2016 18:40:14 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=20372 Full action video here.

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Full action video here.

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Please Note That This Cable Does Not Fit Your Waterproof Case https://sneezingcow.com/2016/12/04/please-note-cable-not-fit-waterproof-case/ Sun, 04 Dec 2016 17:37:31 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=20353 WELL IT DOES NOW.

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WELL IT DOES NOW.

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Swingin’ https://sneezingcow.com/2016/09/27/swingin/ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 13:07:23 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=20167 Pretty happy about this. A heartfelt thank you to neighbor and friend Mark for big help with final phase. In a “Roughneck Grace” column published earlier this spring I told the story of how this swing came into our possession: My gut seized up a little when the man looked at the 8-foot bed of…View post

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Pretty happy about this. A heartfelt thank you to neighbor and friend Mark for big help with final phase.

In a “Roughneck Grace” column published earlier this spring I told the story of how this swing came into our possession:

My gut seized up a little when the man looked at the 8-foot bed of my old pickup truck and said, “You do realize the top bar of this swing set is 20 feet long, right?”

I did not.

This day was traceable back to my father, a hardworking farmer with an affinity for swing sets. At family reunions in the park, he’d take his turn with the kids, the taller the swing the better. Eventually my brother John built a towering swing set in the yard at Dad’s farm, welding the whole works up by himself, fashioning the hangers, the seats, the trapeze. That set has led to thousands of happy hours for adults and children alike, especially when we all gather on Sunday afternoons. My daughters so loved the big swing that they’ve often asked for one of their own.

Time slips away, so when they asked again last month, I went online and did my research before the swing went the way of the tree house I still haven’t built. Got a little sticker shock at what an old-school, playground-style swing costs new. Considered ordering the parts and whatnot, get my own pipes, build it myself. Recalled the unbuilt tree house. Hit up Craigslist. Not only found an old-school playground-style swing — heavy-duty galvanized pipes, hefty chains, and belt seats — but one from an actual school playground, and at a slim quarter of the price. Disassembled and ready to go, said the guy on the phone. Only catch was, the set was in a large-ish Minnesota city nearly two hours away. Before I left, my wife asked if I’d verified that the parts would fit in the pickup. Won’t be a problem, I said, meaning I’d “eyeballed” the picture on the Internet. “OK,” she said, in the way she often does when she sees me hurtling toward walls of my own building.

So I thought of her then as I stood in the cold rain two hours from home and realized there’d be more pipe sticking out of the back of the truck than in the truck, and those were the short pieces. That 20-footer? It’d hang out there like the crane off a shrimp trawler.

By the time I left the premises, I’d deployed every available bungee, ratchet strap, and rope in an attempt to secure the pipes. The seller gave me four concrete blocks to weigh down the butt ends to keep the whole works from levering over the tailgate. Finally, digging around in my EMT kit, I found some bandaging tape and used half a roll to affix a blaze orange safety vest to the end of the 20-footer. When I stepped back for a look, the truck was squatting and looked like a homemade anti-aircraft rig flying the flag of some deer-hunting militia.

I didn’t even make it through the first traffic circle before the pipes shifted, nearly wiping out a street sign. I had to reposition and re-do all the strapping as the cold rain gullywashed my neck.

The trip home took nearly three hours. I drove every foot of it tensed in anticipation of the rotating red-and-blues in my mirror. I wasn’t even close to legal. One of the neighbors saw me in the final mile. “What the fuzz were you thinking!?!?” he said later, or something like that.

Well, I said. My dad liked swing sets. Bigger the better.

And now we’ve got one

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Writing Tics Solved by DELETE https://sneezingcow.com/2016/05/03/writing-tics-solved-delete/ Tue, 03 May 2016 14:44:42 +0000 https://sneezingcow.com/?p=19641 Just submitted a book manuscript, but not before searching and deleting 90% of: just, little, and began.

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Just submitted a book manuscript, but not before searching and deleting 90% of: justlittle, and began.

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So You Found A Typo (Plus Montaigne) https://sneezingcow.com/2016/01/06/so-you-found-a-typo-plus-montaigne/ Wed, 06 Jan 2016 16:50:37 +0000 http://sneezingcow.com/?p=19284 You found a typo? Yah, well, read this first. Plus new Montaigne quote.

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You found a typo? Yah, well, read this first. Plus new Montaigne quote.

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I’m Not Thirsty. You? https://sneezingcow.com/2015/10/20/im-not-thirsty-you/ Tue, 20 Oct 2015 14:25:20 +0000 http://sneezingcow.com/?p=19117 After an evening speaking engagement, I stopped at a gas station and bought the drink pictured above. During the short drive home, I drank about half of it. Parked the van in the garage and left the beverage in the cupholder. The next day I was up early to speak at a local school. When I finished doing…View post

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After an evening speaking engagement, I stopped at a gas station and bought the drink pictured above. During the short drive home, I drank about half of it. Parked the van in the garage and left the beverage in the cupholder. The next day I was up early to speak at a local school. When I finished doing two presentations I was a tad dry, so just as I was about to drive off I reached down for the drink and took an absentminded swig. The weight of the bottle shifted oddly as I lowered it. I looked, and was surprised to see a used tea bag suspended in the liquid. My wife and daughters sometimes take tea for the drive to school, but it still seemed an odd thing to do.

Then I looked closer. Yah. That’s a drowned mouse.

I bailed out of the van. Aware that I was in full view of a school full of impressionable children, I ducked down beside the back bumper and blew that mouthful of bad pop all over the blacktop. Even as I was spitting like a mad cat with a mouthful of stinkbugs, I was offering prayers of gratitude that I had discovered the mouse before I swallowed. As discreetly as I could, I got back in the van, found a mouseless bottle of water and commenced to swish and spit like I was in some sort of dental appointment Olympics.

I also looked more closely at the contaminated bottle. Yah. Not one, but two mice.

If you wanna, I got closeups after the break.

I spy a little mouse eye...
I spy a little mouse eye…
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The paws that refreshes…
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Antioxidants.

That is all, really. Not much more to do but remind you to: A) always cap those drinks, folks; B) enjoy your lunch (by the way: I neither puked nor retched; where do I pick up my medal?) and; C) I have books and whatnot for sale.

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