Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS - Them Buck-toothed Beavers

Pine Nuts - Them Buck-Toothed Beavers

By McAvoy Layne

Dateline Canada, where today’s most industrious landscape architects are the world’s
busiest beavers. Having been an Oregon Duck fan all my life, I really don’t buy much stock in
them buck-toothed beavers, though I do have a soft spot in my heart for the beavers of Canada.
By building cozy watery homes for themselves and their families, Canadian beavers are also
unintentionally washing out roads and flooding farmer’s fields, those little bucked-toothed
beavers.
Beavers were never a problem in Canada, at least not during that long, fashionable

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS - Today’s News with a Twain Twist

Pine Nuts - Today's News With a Twain Twist

By McAvoy Layne

I’m not a numbers person, but sometimes numbers add up in such a way as to make an impression, and now that I’m slightly older than Smokey Bear, I figure I’d better start doing something socially redeemable before it’s too late.  With 33 years now of presenting Mark Twain, and 15 years of radio before that, and 21 years now as a columnist, I would have 69 years of interrelated experience to draw upon were I to produce a podcast before I pop-off. So with those numbers looming in my head, here we go with episode one…

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS - A Transmigration of Souls

Pine Nuts - A Transmigration of Souls

By McAvoy Layne

A friend of mine, and popular columnist, whose name shall be kept a secret to protect the innocent, but rhymes with Pat Hickey, asked me yesterday if I believed in a life beyond.  I felt like Jack Benny when confronted by a robber who demanded, “Your money or your life!”  When Jack didn’t answer he repeated, “I said your money or your life!” After a pregnant pause Jack responded, “I’m thinking, I’m thinking!”

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS - What Exactly Is a Bitcoin?

Pine Nuts - What Exactly Is a Bitcoin?

By McAvoy Layne

So, please help me if you can. What in tarnation is a Bitcoin, anyways?  To my mind, a day’s work has always earned an American dollar, a Russian ruble or a French franc.  I understand coins are disappearing as they aren’t worth much anymore, but what is a Bitcoin, and what’s it worth?  I posed this question to a savvy friend of mine and he shrugged his shoulders and said, “sixty-six thousand?”

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS - Billionaire Denier Says It’s Time To Go Green

Pine Nuts - Billionaire Denier Says It's Time to Go Green

By McAvoy Layne

So, are we going to save ourselves or press the snooze button?  I read an article in the New York Times by Damien Cave that gave me a shiver of renewable hope that there might be a mere mortal out there who could actually, should prayer fail, save us.  Andrew Forest is his name, an Australian mining magnate who is coming in out of the cold to perhaps take the lead in the climate change revolution.  Go Andrew!  I only weigh 150 pounds, and you can see my haymaker coming from last week, but I’m at your back.

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS: Terms & Coinages

Pine Nuts: Terms & Coinages

By McAvoy Layne

Like most people I keep a list of expressions and phrases that I can lay my hands on and bootleg at first opportunity.  But then like most people, I never quite get around to employing such an invaluable resource.  This moribund inventory has grown to 103 pages, and that’s not counting Mark Twain expressions that I do use.  So today I am determined to examine this rich mine of literary ore and share a few nuggets with you…

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS: Geo-Woman Has Arrived

Pine Nuts: Geo-Woman Has Arrived

By McAvoy Layne

There will come a time when intermarriage of diverse races will produce a child that nobody can look at and dislike.  That time is now, and that child has arrived. On the thirteenth of November of 2002 a baby girl was born in Toronto, Canada to a father from Bucharest, Romania, and a mother from Shenyang, China.  Her parents moved her to London when she was two and placed a tennis racket in her hands when she turned five.  However, already excelling in karting and motocross, her tennis would be on hold for another year.  By seven she was good at tennis but

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS:  Seventh Grade

Pine Nuts: Seventh Grade

By McAvoy Layne

I used to sometimes remind my son, “The best two things money can buy are the morning paper and flowers for your mother.”  When Mac was in seventh grade I would ask him to read an article out of the morning paper before heading off to school, which he did without complaint, sometimes.  One morning around 2001 he read an article about skiing in Iran, where if you were caught skiing with the opposite sex you could get thirty lashes and a fine of $100.  Mac pondered that social constraint a moment, then expounded with the easy insouciance that only a seventh grader can com

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS:  Erma Bombeck, Julia Childs, Will Rogers & Mark Twain Together

Pine Nuts: Erma Bombeck, Julia Childs, Will Rogers & Mark Twain Together

By McAvoy Layne

Later this month I have the honor of participating in a Chautauqua down in Boulder City, Nevada as Mark Twain alongside Erma Bombeck, Julia Childs and Will Rogers.  What a treat, for they are a few of my heroes…

            I like to quote Erma when delivering a commencement address, “Never confuse fame with greatness, fame is Madonna, greatness Helen Keller.”  Erma’s lighthearted column ran in 900 newspapers, and in 1996 she published the best selling book, The Grass is Always Greener Over the Septic Tank.

Ghost of Twain, PINE NUTS : What Is Money?

Pine Nuts : What Is Money?

By McAvoy Layne

What is money?  Money is energy, low wattage energy most of the time, an alternating current that flows back and forth, the emphasis being on the forwarding of good energy.  Though to a few, less charitable, money is direct current, money being their god, how to get it their religion.