Columnist: Neil Offen

Jan. 05, 2014 @ 05:10 PM

There’s an app for that

Since we don’t like to do anything by ourselves anymore, there are now apps for almost everything.
(By the way, for those of you who are not technologically conversant, apps are short for my friend Marty Appel, who invented the Macintosh and also was an early adopter of the Granny Smith.)

Dec. 29, 2013 @ 02:49 PM

For 2014, it’s to do or not to do

Number 1 on my to-do list for the new year is to stop making to-do lists.

The problem with my to-do lists has been that I generally put things on them that I am very unlikely, in point of fact, to actually do. These items require effort and follow-through and occasionally looking at the list to remember what is on them.

Dec. 22, 2013 @ 11:02 AM

The night before the night before

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas,

when all through the house,
not a vector was stirring, not even the optical mouse.
The stockings were hung by the Kindle Fire with care
in case our new Nooks really needed repair.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of Xboxes danced in their heads.


Dec. 15, 2013 @ 08:17 PM

Arguably, my top 10 performances

It’s Top 10 season. Since I only saw three movies during the course of the year, and two of them were “Casablanca” and the third I can’t remember but I don’t think was “Casablanca,” here are my Top 10 performances of the year.

Dec. 08, 2013 @ 03:10 PM

Just your traditional holiday disaster

At the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal at my house, also known as the traditional Thanksgiving Day disaster, there is always something new you can learn.

One year, I learned that there are more plastic bags inside the turkey than you really think there are. Or should be.

Dec. 01, 2013 @ 01:52 PM

A visit to the ER

I went to the emergency room the other week. I also went to the emergency room the other week.

That’s right, I went to the emergency room twice in the past couple of weeks. It’s becoming a habit, although, to be honest, I’d prefer crocheting.

Nov. 24, 2013 @ 10:14 AM

For the perfect holiday meal

Here they are, the 11 easy steps to the No. 1 most popular recipe for the four days of Thanksgiving and the year’s worth of recriminations afterward.

Nov. 17, 2013 @ 05:43 PM

A flight to nowhere

I recently wrote a letter of complaint to an airline whose name I won’t mention although it rhymes with helta. Below is the transcript of my correspondence.

Dear Airline:
I am writing, of course, to complain about my recent flight.

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 08:52 PM

Neil Offen: Leaf it to me

This is what I don’t understand. How come a week ago I spent all day carefully blowing, raking, lugging and artistically arranging the leaves on my front lawn and now I have to do it all over again?

Nov. 03, 2013 @ 04:23 PM

There’s no way around this

There’s no round-about way of saying this: I hate roundabouts. I hate them even when they use aliases and are called traffic circles.
Yes, I know that the National Bureau of Annoying Street Plans has found that installing roundabouts at intersections results in 4.3 percent fewer accidents than caused by movie theater popcorn machines. And yes, I know that roundabouts are designed to speed up traffic, reduce gas consumption, alleviate congestion and solve the debt crisis.

Oct. 27, 2013 @ 04:10 PM

RX: Read the fine print

Medications like this may increase the risk of watching mindless reality television shows or excessive texting in children, teenagers, young adults, older adults, really old adults or insurance salesmen.

Oct. 20, 2013 @ 05:30 PM

Neil Offen: It’s back-to-work time

We fought the law and the law won. We fought the good fight, even if we didn’t know exactly what we were fighting for, how to fight, what round it was or whether we were actually playing bocce instead. 
So, yes, we have ended our column shutdown, and all the adverbs have slowly returned to their usual sentence positions.

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 11:22 AM

Running into trouble

The race is not always to the swiftest. Sometimes, I figured, it’s to the guy right behind the guy who’s wearing the armor and carrying the lance.

Oct. 06, 2013 @ 07:07 PM

We’ve come to an impasse

Let me be clear about this: We will not re-open this column until the newspaper agrees to our demands that it completely agrees to our demands.

Sep. 29, 2013 @ 12:50 PM

All systems are go(ing)

As you probably know by now, we have installed a new operating system for this column. This is our first new operating system in several years and we felt it was needed even though the old operating system worked perfectly well and people had actually learned how to operate it.    

Our new operating system — Operating For Friends Even Now, or OFFEN — offers an all-new design and all-new features, none of which you will be able to easily understand. Which is, after all, the whole point of a new operating system, isn’t it?