Top Six Ideas For New Versions Of Fireplace Videos


1. Replace fireplace with a barrel of burning trash in an alley, surrounded by 1930s-era hobos, filmed in sparkling HD video.

2. Mount camera on a device that moves it closer and closer to the fireplace flames until it the lens itself melts.

3. Add carefully-timed rock-n-roll pyrotechnic effects.

4. Superimpose a fiddling Nero.

5. Add 20 minutes of footage at the start featuring a frustrated, inexperienced, and wildly-intoxicated person + damp firewood and other fire starting materials.

6. Replace logs with log-shaped bricks, and replace fireplace bricks with lighter-fluid-soaked charcoal briquettes. Light fireplace, then BLOW MINDS.

Top Six Success Measures For The Word “Success”


1. Contains 2 different vowels

2. Begins and ends with the letter “S”

3. Consonants should repeat at least once

4. Consonants should not repeat more than three times

5. Uses the hard C and soft C sounds in close proximity

6. Paradoxically, first syllable should be a colloquialism for performing poorly

Top Six Comments From Strangers About My Sartorial Choices

1. “Nice suit!” – shouted by a second-grader from a school bus window

2. “Are you an artist? You look like an artist.” – from another second-grader, on a bike, asked as I took a picture of a church organ by a dumpster

3. “You’ve got swag. I like your swag.” – youthful, approving Trader Joe’s employee

4. “Bowties are awesome!” – from the Renaissance Faire-employed gent with a leather-holstered hip flask at my child’s parent-teacher conference

5. “If you had a cane, you’d look just like The Joker.” – somewhat insensitive former colleague

6. *points finger, switches to the heavy metal devil horns, then waves* – guy in a passing pickup

Top Six Nicknames I Have Received Thus Far

1. Clinto. (First name minus last letter)
This one took hold in college, and my good friend still uses it. Simple, memorable, and unique–all the requirements of a good nickname. My lovely wife even uses it on occasion.

2. Flinto. (First letter of last name + first name minus last letter)
My dad is the creator and sole user of this one. I like that exclusivity. It’s one of the many coded things we do as father and son. We even have a secret handshake that we still use.

3. Clintonioni. (First name + the masculine plural of ‘one’)
My pal Al bestowed this one upon me. It has an Italian flair, yet I do not. Always wondered if it had roots in the name Michelangelo Antonioni, director of the film ‘Zabriske Point.’

4. Lord Clinton. (British title of a sovereign + first name)
Someone unearthed and presented me with a cigar box from the Lord Clinton Cigar Co. Lucky for me, this happened in high school when many nicknames start to stick for eternity. I could’ve fared much worse. I still have the cigar box, and was presented with another just last year.

5. Egon. (I’m tall, I wear glasses, and I am fairly nerdish)
I include this one because not all nicknames are awesome. This is another college-era nickname, used by some jerks in my dorm. When my pal and I returned to our dorm, we heard the jerks use this nickname (and another, meaner nickname for him.) I turned around, went into their room, shook their hands, told them my real name, and let them know that they were trash for behind-the-back nicknaming. It was an awkward passing them in the dorm halls after that. Granted, Egon isn’t terrible, as far as nicknames go, but it’s all about the context.

6. C-4. (‘C’ from my first name + ‘4’ or ‘For’ from the beginning of my last name)
Multiple people have come up with this, each certain that they were the first. It’s often accompanied by a hand sign in the shape of a ‘C’ followed by holding up four fingers, as if counting. I’m at least a little conflicted about this one, since C-4 is actually an explosive. I’m more of a smolder, if we’re looking for a combustion simile.

Top Six Favorite Miles

1. Miles Davis (jazz musician)

2. The nautical mile (unit of measure)

3. Miles, Joel Goodson’s pal (character in the 1983 film “Risky Business”)

4. Miles City (town in Montana, population 8,410)

5. Buddy Miles (jazz/R&B drummer, played with Jimi Hendrix)

6. Miles Standish (military officer at Plymouth colony, sailed on the Mayflower with my 14-generations-removed relative Edward Doty)

Top Six Rejected Titles for the Johnny Hodges 1958 Jazz Album “Not So Dukish”


1. Why In The Hell Would You Say It Is Dukish

2. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Dukish

3. Guys, Check Out This Cigarette

4. Does This Tune Make My Ass Look Dukish

5. Totes Not Dukish

6. Dukish

The inimitable alto saxophone player Johnny Hodges played in Duke Ellington’s band from 1928-1970 (except for a hiatus from 1951-1955). His solo recordings were his chance to set himself apart from that tenure. Hence the title of this one, “Not So Dukish.”