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Jim's Jottings

Of Noah, healthcare, beans and the gridiron

November 27, 2013 - "Why couldn't they play cards on the ark?"

"Because Noah stood on the deck."

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I hear there's a clause in Obamacare that makes doctors sterilize needles before giving a lethal injection. Cost: $15 million.

Economists have forecast nine out of the last five recessions. It ain't my fault America. I was on the golf course at the time.

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My therapist suggested when my mind wasn't exploding with an idea that I leaf through a family photo album. I have them all categorized by year. Recently, I chose 1996-1999. If you feel like taking a backward look, beware, it's not all rewarding.

The pictures of Grandma Hazel holding and cuddling her new grandchildren warmed my heart. But seeing the pictures of so many friends I have lost in what I see as a short period of time, was a downside of photo-album viewing.

A picture reminded me of a memorable gift when I paid for hot air balloon rides around Oxford. I wanted to be with them, but that basket was quickly filled. They loved the ride. I watched.

More pictures from those "after child bearing years," photos showing us mature with like-friends, when we were comfortable enough to take time from work and before we entered the "got to plan for the future years" were great.

My family album viewing was dominated more by feeling down than up. Probably something about aging.

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So, back to the Reader's Digest which has three ways to stop beans from causing gas:

* When slowcooking pinto beans, add a carrot. When the beans are half-cooked, rinse and discard the carrot. Add more water and a new carrot. Finish cooking pinto beans.

* Add a pinch of ginger while cooking pinto beans.

* Add a pinch of baking soda while cooking beans.

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With football season in full swing, it would be very negligent of me to not tell you of my high school football experience.

It's so exciting!

First of all, high schools in my area of Michigan (Shiawasse County) didn't have 11 boys. So, towns like Byron, New Lothrup, Vernon, Laingsburg, Gaines and my team of Morrice took up 6-man football.

Our 3-man line had a center and two ends. The back has two halfbacks and a quarterback. For any play but a pass play the ball had to be handled twice in the backfield . . .

Being six foot-four and afraid of getting hurt, I was named quarterback. Of course, I could see over everyone else. Like today, our games started after school on Fridays. Unlike today's standing-room only filled high school stadiums, cheering us on were a couple dogs and some parents. Very few. Parents had more important obligations.

The only way a quarterback got to carry the ball was when the center flipped it to a halfback who threw it to him. Our halfbacks were so ball hungry and short they'd throw the ball to a fellow halfback.

Also on our schedule was the school for the blind in Lansing. There was an unwritten rule when playing this school there would be no passing plays called. It would be unfair. During our one game against the school for the blind that I remember, our coach called for a pass play.

It is also the only game I remember Morrice High School winning. After reading this, a cynical friend said the Detroit Lions have been recruiting from the Lansing school for years.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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