• I was going over my to-do-list and much to my chagrin, found more unchecked items then checked. I must confess to a temporary inner urge to check off some items and pretend I did them. After all, who would know and it would make my to-do-list look pretty good. Nothing is more satisfying than completing all the items on my to-do-list.

  •  As president of a Jewish congregation, many times people will come up to me and ask why Jews pray in Hebrew and why the services are so long. The first question I would like to address in this column while the other I would like to answer with: “We have a lot to say”! How did the idea of praying in Hebrew come about and why is it an important component of a Jewish service?

  • The past several weeks I have been trying to keep my curmudgeon levels to a minimum. It has been a struggle but I am happy to report I have been making fantastic progress. That is until the other day.

    The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and our daughters had planned to spend the day on the town and then have lunch together. That left Yours Truly to fend for myself for the entire day, including lunch. I don’t mind this because it is good for the girls to have a day out by themselves. Not only that, but it gives me a break, if you know what I mean.

  • Monday is Valentine’s Day. The greeting card industry estimates that more than one billion cards will be exchanged along with an innumerable amount of roses, chocolates, and other assorted gifts used to express feelings of affection for each other.

    There’s still time for you to go out and get your sweetheart an expression of your love. Cupid’s visit to Pun Alley left some lovely stories as well some others when Cupid was slinging pointy barbs instead of arrows.

    Pick One

  • The NFC and AFC champions were crowned nearly two weeks ago. Their preparation is almost complete for Sunday’s Super Bowl to be held in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Comments about both the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as other teams, both professional and college, have made their way to the mini football game held down the middle of Pun Alley.

    A Voice in the Darkness

  • Have you ever had a week where everything went exactly as planned? Neither have I. Every week I start out believing this week is going to be different from all the other weeks of my life. This week everything is going to turn out the way I planned. If this has ever occurred, I cannot recall it.

  • OcalaWest United Methodist Churchtakes pleasure in welcoming the Rev. Dr. David L. Brazelton and his wife, Jeanie. He was appointed by Florida Conference Bishop Timthy W. Whitaker to serve as our senior pastor effective Jan. 1.

    Pastor Dave was born on a farm in Wyoming. Jeanie is from Sullivan, Indiana. She was born into an active Methodist family. She has a B.A. Degree in Education and has taught in elementary schools, led spiritual life retreats, and women's retreats.

  • Ocala Civic Theatre will hold open auditions for the hilarious comedy “When Bullfrogs Sing Opera” on Sunday, Jan. 30 and Monday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. There are parts for seven actors – three men and four women. Two characters should be 18 or older and the others ages 35-45 and older.

  • The Oak Run Little Theatre group was so impressed with the recent performance of Hairspray at the Marion County Center for the Arts they broke out the checkbook.

    The students in “Hairspray” are part of West Port High School’s magnet arts programs. They will use the $500 donation for their trip to Scotland to perform in the prestigious 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

  • Today is National Fun at Work Day. Before I retired, my work area was a bullpen where all my coworkers could talk to each other. Much of the conversations were perfect straight lines for my puns. I had fun every day; but I’m not so sure about them.  Today’s Pun Alley is all about workday experiences.

    Blond caller?

  • Nobody needs to tell me I cannot sing, although I have many fine friends who forward this information to me on a regular basis. It is as though there was a friend-wide conspiracy trying to convince me not to sing in public. Even the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage gets in on this act.

    We will be driving down the road and suddenly she will say, “What’s that awful noise?” Then she will look at me and say, “You weren’t singing, were you? I thought we were having engine trouble.”

  • Some things in life are so enjoyable you hope they linger forever. Other things, you hope disappear faster than they came, like relatives during the holidays. Why is it they come in faster than they go out?

    Don't get me wrong. I love my relatives. But I love them more from a distance, which is why we have Facebook. On Facebook, you can get off whenever you want to. However, when the relative is sitting in your living room on your favorite easy chair there is no place for you to go.

  • Recently we saw record cold temperatures here in Ocala, record snowstorms in the northeast, and huge mudslides in California; all followed by flooding as far away as Australia. It was enough to drive many to excessive drinking. Now that they have sobered up, their tales have made it to Pun Alley.


  • A friend of mine has a saying, “I’m going to get as old as I possibly can get.” From what I can tell, he has. I must agree with his sentiment. Of course, the alternative is … well you know. Another friend of mine likes to tell me, “Brother, you’re only as old as you feel.” I am not sure how old feels or if wrinkles are involved. But, I am feeling quite fine, thank you.

    Just the other day the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in from her workshop, sat down on the couch and said, “Whew, I feel like a hundred.”

  • This last Tuesday the Master The Possibilities Education Center at OTOW offered an “Alpine Skiing for Floridians” course for those who head north to ski. Pun Alley continues with some punny help for the ski students. Also, we can’t ignore stories coming from the blizzard that crippled the eastern U.S. last month. The icy tales all go downhill from here.

    Not uplifting

    The concierge at a posh ski resort was often asked about the ski facilities. One day, a couple that had just checked in after a long flight came by and asked where the lift was.

  • (Written in honor of Martin Luther King Day, 2011)

  • On Sunday, Jan. 9, the Ocala Symphony Orchestra and the Appleton Museum of Art will launch their new SoundArt series of music and art at the Museum.

  • If anybody believes in “do-over,” it is Yours Truly. This stems back to my pre-adult days littered with carefreeness and fun of all sizes and shapes. At that time, my whole life revolved around games. I was part of that unfortunate generation that had to make up their own games, as we were not privileged to have video games, iPods and Blueberries. Although I did enjoy a freshly baked blueberry pie with two scoops of ice cream whenever the opportunity presented itself.