One man's philosophy is another man's bellylaugh.

Jeff L. Howe

Jeff L. Howe
Strasburg, Pennsylvania,
April 19
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Jeff Howe is a bonsai enthusiast and harmonica player who has very good reason to believe that the Universe tastes like a cheap buck-fifty melon. He is a product of Walled Lake and a former Poetry Slam Champion of Milwaukee. He once shook hands with Rocky Colavito, opened for Leon Redbone and took a piss next to Mose Allison (no hands were shaken). All things considered, his best single day was July 4th, 1987 when he marched in the Marmarth, North Dakota parade in the morning, discovered a rare dinosaur skull in the afternoon, and then sat in playing harmonica with a drunken cowboy band until way past tomorrow. It's been downhill ever since. Jeff is a misemployed geologist who specializes in interpreting rock outcrops at 70 miles per hour. It's a gift. His daughter loves cows. ................................................................................................................... FOR MORE STORIES, PHOTOS AND HARMONICA RECORDINGS VISIT:


Jeff L. Howe's Links



“You’d better come out here quick,” my wife said in an urgent, matter-of-fact tone as she stepped inside the front door.  The look on her face was a combination of anguish, surprise and bewilderment. “Some kid is locked in your car.”  


NowRead full post »

JUNE 14, 2013 12:15PM

My New Book Arrived Today


The FedEx truck backed up to my door this morning and the driver knocked on my door.  Before I could throw on a shirt, the truck was already pulling away in a swirl of blue exhaust, leaving behind a package leaning upon my door.  It was your standard 9x12 padded/… Read full post »

JUNE 7, 2013 1:51PM

Uncle Jeff's Thought For The Day


Honestly, I’m not completely sure about the veracity of this one but my daughter told me the story and it was corroborated by a classmate, so it must be true. 

Ultimately this may fall into the category of rural / suburban legend and lore but apparently there isRead full post »

JUNE 6, 2013 9:29AM

The Dinosaur Sand Wedge

(NOTE: A sand wedge is a short, sturdy golf club with a steeply inclined face designed to hit balls out of loose sand and deep, grassy lies close to the green.)


A number of years ago, I participated in a series of dinosaur digs in the badlands of/… Read full post »


The Sun is constantly feeding upon itself.  Its massive, insatiable gravity continuously draws tiny atoms of hydrogen closer and closer until they are mashed together with such ferocity that the energy of a bazillion nuclear bombs is released into space in every direction, at every mom/Read full post »

Over the past few years I have totaled two cars, battled the IRS, lost my mother to Alzheimer’s, discovered that I have Parkinson’s Disease, gotten divorced and moved into a small (but pleasant) apartment.  A little over a month ago I lost my job and all of my health benefits. Read full post »

MAY 16, 2013 1:54PM

Uncle Jeff's Thought for the Day


 I always crush my cheeseburgers before I eat them.  I lean down hard on them with my palms like I’m doing chest compressions and squash them flat. Besides making the tall stack easier to eat, this squeezes the air out and brings the constituent cheeseburger elements within clo/Read full post »

APRIL 29, 2013 12:19PM

Beer Smoothies

There is no charge for what I am about to disclose.  This is completely free.  It is my gift to you for the summer, to do with as you please.  Admittedly, I’m sure that I’m not the first person to stumble upon this, there is, after all, nothing new in theRead full post »


My first real job after graduating from college was as a graveyard shift lab assistant at the huge Chevron Research Facility in Richmond, California.  My job entailed walking like a ghost through the empty facility from midnight until dawn, taking samples, moderating temperatures and gene… Read full post »

MARCH 25, 2013 11:21AM

Just A Damn Peanut...

It is a typical Tuesday morning.  A classroom of behaviorally challenged* kids are enjoying the relative calm of the mid-morning snack.  (*Behaviorally challenged is a polite way of saying that these kids are completely incapable of sharing, empathizing or caring about anything or anyone ot/… Read full post »

DECEMBER 16, 2012 6:30PM

You've Got A Problem With Me

I am outraged that some pathetic, worthless, infected hangnail of society with multiple assault weapons can enter an elementary school and shoot small, innocent children and their teachers so many times that they are unrecognizable.

I am outraged that the weapons and ammo were easily acquired from t… Read full post »

DECEMBER 3, 2012 12:30PM

To My Friends Here At OS

I'd at least appreciate a chance to say good-bye.  It took me three rounds of error messages and "you-can't-get-here-from-theres" just to reach this site this morning.  Once I got here it ate my message.  I'll give it one more try.

I've been just about as patient with OS as anyone but… Read full post »

NOVEMBER 5, 2012 3:20PM

OS Blogoversary 3.67

About 3.67* years ago, I sat down and wrote my first blog on OS.  At the time, I knew little about blogging and thought that bloggers had to choose a narrow vein of writing according to their specialty: politics, sports, tuning motorcycles, making bundt cakes… whatever.  So I decided/Read full post »

AUGUST 26, 2012 11:48AM

Have Daughter, Will Travel - Part I


A trip of any consequence begins and ends by being squeezed through a very tight sphincter.  All of the requisite possessions and provisions must first be stuffed and squeezed into too-small bags.  Those bags must then be hauled, dragged and schlepped through airports and terminals,/… Read full post »

AUGUST 20, 2012 1:14AM

The Cairn Fields Of Montana


(I am currently traveling in the west with my daughter.  This is the first in a series of installments of our adventures.  Sorry, no pictures till we return...)


“Whoaa!”  I utter as I press on the brakes and the little rental car slows on the narrow mountain/… Read full post »

AUGUST 14, 2012 1:16AM

An OS Meet Up With Chicago Guy

(Posted from somewhere in central Idaho...)

This is on me.  Welcome to Chicago.”

And with this the man known as Chicago Guy whips out his credit card and steps up to the cash register at the sandwich counter in the downtown farmer’s market.  I quickly stuff my wallet ba/… Read full post »

I’ve never been much of one to become overly concerned with what the names of things are.  As a science teacher, I am constantly presented with little glimpses and pieces of nature and asked: “what IS this?”   And by asking, they expect something ecosystematically gen… Read full post »

AUGUST 6, 2012 9:29AM

Thoughts On Old Hippos



Last week the internet reached out and told me that the world’s oldest zoo-born hippopotamus had passed away in Europe.  At the time of its death it was sixty-one years old. 

I sit here reflecting upon the fact that I am now older than every single zoo-born… Read full post »

JULY 18, 2012 7:33AM

Again To Black I Go


That was me.  I was the one sitting between Thelma and Louise in the front seat of the dusty blue Thunderbird convertible as we rocketed off the top of the red sandstone cliff and out into freedom.  It was at that precise moment that we gave ourselves up to gravity,/Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
JULY 16, 2012 3:15PM

Why I'm Single... Again (OC)


(I’ve noticed a number of responses recently to an Open Call on the general question of “Why Am I Single?”.  I think I’m late to the party, but this is my response.)


My first wife was my high school sweetheart, a girl who lived at the other end of my/… Read full post »

JULY 9, 2012 9:30AM

My Impending Tennis Comeback


There are few things as beautiful and as reassuring as the solid sound and feel of stepping into an incoming tennis ball, catching it on the rise and driving it back on a straight line about an inch above the net.  You don’t hit the ball with your racquet; youRead full post »

I am up before dawn.  The sun will soon rise behind me.  Dark and cold, the sky is murky blue-gray.  The tips of distant mountain peaks are all that seem warmed, reflecting the faint alpine-glow of first light.  Far below them the meadow in which I sit is damp, dark, still. Read full post »

JUNE 27, 2012 12:45PM

A Firefly Flash Mob


This story requires a photograph.  A photograph would make it easier to convince you that what I saw was real. But unfortunately it would be a photograph that is virtually impossible to take.  Not completely impossible – a tripod and a long exposure would probably capture sometRead full post »

JUNE 26, 2012 11:43PM

What Would Wyatt Earp Do????

I was listening to Fat Rush Limbaugh yesterday as I drove around town running errands.  I play a game with Limbaugh; I try to see how long I can listen before I turn him off in disgust.

Yesterday he was going on and on and on about Obama… this time about… Read full post »

JUNE 14, 2012 11:05AM

A Tune For Candy's Brother

  OS Readers' Picks

(She goes by many names but “Candace” is her real name and how she is best known.  She is a regular contributor here and elsewhere.  You probably know her but if you’re new here you may not.  But that’s not the point.  Her brother died recent/Read full post »