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WINGSPREAD Ezine for November, 2022

“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

November 2022                                                           James P. Hurd

Please forward, and share this Ezine with anyone. Thank you.

Contents

  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information
  • New story” “Saving at the Pump”
  • This month’s puzzler and last month’s winner
  • Writer’s Corner
  • New novel (Blessed Unbeliever) is sent to publisher!
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying

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 Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

New story: Saving at the pump

It seemed so simple. I needed gas, so I stopped at Holiday to fill up, clutching my five-cent discount coupon and my Cub discount card. But the pump wouldn’t scan the five-cent discount card so I walked in.

Me: Can I use this five-cent discount coupon along with my Cub card discount for gas?

He: Yep. But you can’t scan the discount coupon at the pump.

Me: Okay. I’ll pump my gas, then come in and pay.

He: We don’t do that anymore. You have to either prepay or use your credit card at the pump.

Me: But I can’t use my discount card at the pump.

He: You can, but you have to prepay.

Me: Okay. I’ll prepay, but I want to fill up the tank.

He: How many gallons does it hold?

Me: Dunno. It’s almost empty. . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2022/11/01/saving-at-holiday-with-coupons/

(*Please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

This month’s puzzler: Ask No Questions

(Thanks to Tom and Ray, “Car Talk”)

On this particular day, Fred and Gertie are in the car and he is driving way too fast. He realizes he is about to run out of gas. So, he decides to pull over on the side of the highway. He pulls over into the far-right lane, and then realizes that he went past the exit for the gas station about half a mile back. He decides to run back to the exit to get gas. He tells his wife Gertie, “Hey, lock the doors and don’t let anyone in. I’ll be back in a flash. Lock the doors and don’t let anyone in, no matter what.”

He goes off down the road. Sometime later, he comes back with a few gallons of gasoline. And as he approaches the car, he sees a police car stopping with flashing lights. He and the police arrive at the car simultaneously. Both Fred and the police look into the car. It is still locked. Gertie is inside, unconscious. Possibly near death’s door. And there is a stranger in the car. The husband opens the door because he has the key, of course. And the policeman sees Gertie and the stranger. 

But he asks no questions as to what has happened to Gertie.

Here are the puzzler questions. How did the stranger get into the car? Gertie did not open the door, and it was locked on all sides, windows were rolled up, vents closed and the sunroof shut tight.

So, what happened to Gertie? Why was she unconscious?

Who was the stranger? How did the stranger get in?

Good luck with this one!

Answer to last month’s puzzler and announcing the winner! 

Recall that your captors drop you off by helicopter in the middle of a long, narrow island, leaving you with only a box of matches, a flashlight, a blanket, and a large jug of water. Lightning strikes and starts a fire at one end of the island. Worse, a strong wind is blowing the fire toward you. You cannot escape from the island. How do you save yourself from the flames?

What you do is use a firefighters’ trick. You start a fire and let the wind carry it. This will make a firebreak that will spread downwind. After it is burned you can take shelter in it and it will stop the fire. You’re safe.

 (‘Course you’ll soon starve, but that’s another issue.)

Puzzler winner: A random pick from all the correct answers revealed that the winner is (drumroll . . .): Steve Eckhardt, St. Paul! He’ll receive a free copy of my book: Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying. Thanks.

Writers’ Corner

Today, I delivered Blessed Unbeliever (provisional title) into the hands of Wipf and Stock (Eugene, Oregon)! I expect it to be published this summer. Launch party, advance discounts, excerpts, book signings, etc. to follow.

Sean McIntosh grows up and is baptized in a fundamentalist church that provides answers to all his questions. But now, he asks:

  • Why did my father die young?
  • Why did Reggie steal Kathleen away from me? (Reggie’s not even a real fundamentalist)
  • Why did I fail in getting into the aviation program when that is all I ever wanted to do?
  • Why do I have so many doubts about the Bible and about prayer?
  • And, how do I raise any of these doubts if I’m stuck in a Bible Institute that provides answers, but answers to very different questions? I think I’ll try out atheism
  • How does a person do atheism well? . . .

Tip of the month: Your first draft should contain no adjectives and especially no adverbs. You can always go back and stick one in if it’s indispensable. For instance, Elmore Leonard used to say, “Never use the word ‘suddenly’; never.” This beautifully leans down your writing: your goal is strong nouns and verbs.

Words of the Month: FRENEMY, PORTMANTEAU. The first, frenemy, illustrates why no one should have to learn all the new words people are coining. It means friendship with someone you dislike, or conflict with someone you like. Why do I need to learn this? You should decide either/or; don’t pee down both legs of your pants. Portmanteau is an old-timey word meaning a large suitcase. But here it is used to mean crunching two words together: frenemy (friend-enemy) or podcast (ipod broadcast). So, if you don’t know either word, or don’t want to learn either, no worries—you can do just fine without either of them.

Subscribe free to this Ezine  

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Wisdom:

The Amish answer to climate change

Things to ponder:

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

If the temperature is zero outside today and it’s going to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?

Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?

A priest, a pastor, and a rabbit walked into a clinic to donate blood. The doctor says to the rabbit: “What’s your blood type?” With great sadness, the rabbit replied, “I’m probably a Typo”

My husband and I went through the McDonald’s driveway window and I gave the cashier a $5 bill.
Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her 25c.
She said, ‘you gave me too much money.’
I said, ‘Yes I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar back.’
She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request.
I did so, and he handed me back the 25c, and said ‘We’re sorry but we don’t do that kind of thing.’
The cashier then proceeded to give me back 75 cents in change.
Do not confuse the people at MacD’s.

We had to have the garage door repaired.
The repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the opener.
I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.
He shook his head and said, ‘You need a 1/4 horsepower.’
I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4 and he said, ‘NOOO, it’s not. Four is larger than two.’
We haven’t used that repairman since…

I live in a semi-rural area.
We recently had a new neighbor call the local city council office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road.
The reason: ‘Too many deers are being hit by cars out here! I don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.’

 

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

 

Spread your wings this month!

Saving at the Pump

It seemed so simple. I needed gas, so I stopped at Holiday to fill up, clutching my five-cent discount coupon and my Cub discount card. But the pump wouldn’t scan the five-cent discount card so I walked in.

Me: Can I use this five-cent discount coupon along with my Cub card discount for gas?

He: Yep. But you can’t scan the discount coupon at the pump.

Me: Okay. I’ll pump my gas, then come in and pay.

He: We don’t do that anymore. You have to either prepay or use your credit card at the pump.

Me: But I can’t use my discount card at the pump.

He: You can, but you have to prepay.

Me: Okay. I’ll prepay, but I want to fill up the tank.

He: How many gallons does it hold?

Me: Dunno. It’s almost empty.

He: Well, how many gallons do you want to prepay?

Me: I guess I’ll prepay ten gallons.

I pay with my bank card, plus give him the five-cent discount coupon plus the Cub discount card.

He: Okay. Here’s your receipt.

Me: But this shows I paid the full amount, with no discounts.

He: They’ll take it off at the pump.

I go to the pump and the pump does not reflect any discounts. I try to insert my Cub card and it won’t take it. So I lift the 87 octane lever and start pumping. It takes 9.6 gallons to fill it. I go back into the store.

Me: It didn’t take ten gallons. And it didn’t show any discount. Can you refund me?

He: Oh; they’ll take it off your credit card bill.

So I go home and check the purchase online for my credit card. The purchase is posted at the full price and says “pending.” I wait two days. No longer pending, but they’ve charged the full ten gallons and given me no discounts. I go back to Holiday.

Me: I got gas here a couple days ago with my discount cards and they charged me full price, plus they charged me for ten gallons and I only pumped 9.6 gallons.

He: Give it about five days and see if they credit your discount.

A few days later I see a puzzling $2.99 credited to my credit card with no explanation. Does that cover my overcharge plus give me the discounts?

Next time I go in, I prepay seven gallons. They ring it up with the five-cent discount coupon and give me the receipt. But when I go out to pump the gas I mistakenly pick up the E-85 nozzle, then put it back. Now the 87-octane nozzle won’t pump. I walk back it and do the transaction over.

Me: Do any other people use this discount coupon? How do they do it?

He: Yep. They just pay ahead of time.

Overall, I think I saved forty-five cents with the discount. I have only one question: How do other people do this? Or is it just me?

It’s me, isn’t it?

WINGSPREAD Ezine for July, 2022


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

July 2022                                                            James P. Hurd

Please “like” this site, email it or reblog it, and share it with anyone. Thank you.

Contents

  • New story: Harold and Darla
  • This month’s puzzler
  • Writer’s Corner
  • WINGSPREAD E-zine subscription information

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 New story: Harold and Darla (Excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Blessed Unbeliever):

TBI’s Dean Harold Bledsoe grated on Darla Dickenson like fingernails on a blackboard. At the dean’s weekly consultation, French kissing came up. She cleared her throat and flashed a stiletto stare straight through Bledsoe. “I talk to the girls but you never talk to the boys. Why don’t you support me? And they don’t just walk around the block; they linger in the alcoves. That’s your responsibility.”

Ah yes—lingering. Couples should never linger anywhere—alcoves, the dark balcony of Moody-Sankey Auditorium, anywhere. Too much temptation . . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2022/07/16/harold-dates-darla/

(*Please leave a comment on the website and share the website with your friends. Thanks.)

This month’s puzzler

The Reds, the Grays, the Blues, and the Blacks have a round-robin tournament wherein each team plays each other team once, for a total of six games. The Blacks won more games than the Blues, and the Grays lost more games than the Blues. The Reds tied the Blacks, the only tie in the tournament. Who won the game of the Reds versus the Blues? (Answer next month.)

Answer to last month’s puzzler: 

Clue #1 – The person who makes it doesn’t need it.
Clue #2 – The person who buys it doesn’t use it.
Clue #3 – The person who uses it doesn’t know it.
What is it?

The answer: A coffin.

Writers’ Corner

Watch for my upcoming novel, Blessed Unbeliever(provisional title):

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and finally, his faith. How can he be a good atheist, especially when he’s stuck at Torrey Bible Institute? He can’t see it, but grace is coming . . .

Tip of the month: When writing a novel, number your chapters. Then make a separate list of titles for each numbered chapter. Write a sentence or two about what’s in each chapter: significant events, places, and people. This will be helpful in keeping things straight chronologically and logically. Also helpful in finding a specific spot in the novel when you are editing and revising.

Word of the Month:  Epigram:   a short saying or remark expressing an idea in a clever or surprising way. Frequently these can stand at the beginning of a chapter. It is one of many devices to add variety to your writing.

Your turn:

What is the best, greatest short story you’ve ever read? Why did you like it?
(I’ll publish all responses in next month’s ezine.)

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Wisdom:

• I know a guy who’s addicted to brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

• I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

• This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I’d never met herbivore.

• I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I can’t put it down.

• I did a theatrical performance about puns. It was a play on words.

• Did you hear about the cross-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

• Don’t worry about old age; it doesn’t last.

Subscribe free to this Ezine

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this WINGSPREAD Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

WINGSPREAD Ezine for August, 2021


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

August, 2021                                    James P. Hurd

Please forward, and share this E-zine with anyone. Thank you.

Contents

  • New story: The Christmas Arrest
  • Puzzler for August
  • Writer’s Corner
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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 New story: The Christmas Arrest

 One night in the spring of my senior year, Gary and Ron and I decided to drive past “No Trespassing” signs into a Nike anti-aircraft missile base, raising a cloud of dust on the unpaved road. Immediately, a passing squad lit up and chased us in.

What were we doing? Here in Orange County, California, we were inside the perimeter of a secure site where ground-to-air missiles were poised like deadly darts to thwart any air attack against the U.S.

Gary panicked.  “Tell him you didn’t see the second No Trespassing sign!”

“Wait a minute, Gary,” I said. “Think that through a bit . . .”    To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2021/08/09/the-christmas-arrest/

(*Please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

Puzzler for August: The Interchangeable Part

What part of a car is virtually interchangeable with virtually any other car, whether it’s foreign or domestic, let’s say within the last 30 years?

And don’t say something silly like motor oil! It’s not liquid…. It’s an actual piece that you can take out of any car, no matter where in the world it was made, and it would fit on any other car.

So, what is it?

 (Answer in next month’s Ezine)

Remember July’s puzzler: The trash truck that weighed 40 pounds less?

Why did the truck weigh 40 pounds less the second time it exited the trash dump than it did the first time it exited? Exact same truck.

Answer: 

The reason the truck weighed 40 pounds less is that it had burned 40 pounds of fuel or about six gallons.

Writers’ Corner

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief (provisional title)

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and finally, his faith. But how can he be a good atheist, especially when he’s stuck at Torrey Bible Institute? He can’t see it, but grace is coming . . .

Tip of the month: If your story is bogging down, introduce a plot twist: someone falls ill or dies; a person from long ago shows up again; something unexplainable happens; someone confides a dark secret; someone acts completely out of character; someone goes missing; etc. That’ll perk ‘er up.

Word of the Month:  Paraprosdokians

My word processor flags this as a misspelled word, but Winston Churchill would disagree. Paraprosdokians refer to sentences where the last part is surprising or unexpected. Churchill and Groucho Marx used these often. (See examples below.)

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

Subscribe free to this Ezine  

Click here https://jimhurd.com/home/  to subscribe to this WINGSPREAD ezine, sent direct to your email inbox, every month. You will receive a free article for subscribing. Please share this URL with interested friends, “like” it on Facebook, retweet on Twitter, etc.

If you wish to unsubscribe from this Wingspread Ezine, send an email to hurd@usfamily.net and put in the subject line: “unsubscribe.” (I won’t feel bad, promise!) Thanks.

Our lives in the 21st century

Winston Churchill loved paraprosdokians: figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected.

  1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.
  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it’s still on my list.
  3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
  4. If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
  5. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
  6. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  7. They begin the evening news with ‘Good Evening,’ then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
  8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
  9. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted pay checks.
  10. In filling out an application, where it says, “In case of emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR.”
  11. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
  12. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
  13. Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
  14. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.
  15. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
  16. Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
  17. There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
  18. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.
  19. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
  20. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
  21. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
  22. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  23. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find any.