How the sausage is made

Robert Roe

I love writing. It’s like having several hundred words in a bag. Imagine Scrabble. Random words collected for one purpose: to create a column.

Essentially, you have a literary jigsaw puzzle. How do you start? Conventional wisdom says start with the corners, then work out the border and proceed to the innards. But how do you do that when compiling words into coherent thoughts?

Personally, I start each week with an issue. Or, like this week, several issues. Usually something that stands out in print, on the air or online that compels me to opine. Like the kids who wrote the revenge obituary for their Mother (“She passed away on May 31, 2018 in Springfield and will now face judgement. She will not be missed by Gina and Jay [her children], and they understand this world is a better place without her.”).

Then there’s the Cambridge University study on the brain’s ability to comprehend. “Aocdrnicg to rscreach at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr what oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tnihg is taht the frsit and lsat lteetr be in the rghit pclae. Tihs is bcuseae the hmuan mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. If you can raed tihs, you are anomg the 55% of plepoe who can.”

Forty-five years after changing their name from International House of Pancakes to IHOP, company executives of the franchise are hinting at changing the name to IHOb next week. While not sure if this is a hoax or not, I am curious what the “b” will stand for. Breakfast? Bacon? Brylcreem?

Did I mention my movie is out? I helped crowd fund a film called “Director’s Cut.” It stars Penn Jillette, Missy Pyle and Harry Hamlin. The movie is very meta and, in my opinion, a lot of fun. If you’re interested, it’s available for download now on iTunes.

I know the Royal Wedding of Harry and Meghan is over, but I’m still gushing over Meghan’s rescue beagle named Guy. Photographers got a great picture of him riding beside the Queen of England, looking out the car window heading to Windsor Castle. The pup was adopted from Mount Sterling – he’s a local!

“Dr. Strange” and “Sherlock” star Benedict Cumberbatch is a real-life hero, jumping out of his Uber to fend off four muggers who were attacking a delivery man on a bicycle in London. Ironically, the scene of the action was just around the corner from Baker Street – home of the legendary Detective Sherlock Holmes, whom Cumberbatch portrays.

The U.S. Geological Survey is advising against extreme snackers trying to roast marshmallows atop Hawaii’s Kilauea volcanic eruption. As well the obvious danger of lava bombs and the like, the vents are emitting hydrogen sulfide and/or sulfur dioxide. As a side note, the agency added that if you add sugar to sulfuric acid, “you get a pretty spectacular reaction.”

Is there anything our men and women in uniform can’t do? The Army has created an algorithm (not to be confused with an Al Gore-ism, like “I invented the Internet,” or “Tipper and I were the inspiration for ‘Love Story’”) for the best time of day to drink coffee. The military is using this wisdom to improve a person’s alertness by up to 64 percent — without consuming any more caffeine than normal.

Whew! My bag of words is empty. Off to the store for some more. Don’t forget the Green Dot 0.5k next Saturday during Pickers and Grinners. Sign up now at!

Robert Roe