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Opinions

A day in the life

Walkin'

Mom and Dad said they “shopped at Jewel’ last week.
Some readers will recognize Jewel as Jewel-Osco, a supermarket chain originating in Chicago that spread to the upper half of Illinois and corners of Iowa and Indiana.

Ultimate selfie

Food For Thought

My friend commented on the latest fad of taking photos of oneself with celebrities, be they politicians, sports figures, movie stars or any one else who is famous, admired or envied. As I thought about it, I began to realize that the practice is hardly new. The medium (the ubiquitous cell phone) may be relatively new, but the idea of having physical evidence that we have, at some time, had personal contact with this or that famous person is not. I think it is quite similar to the practice of collecting autographs of famous or admired people.

Two truths, one lie

Walkin'

Sabra and I attended the annual party for West Branch Communications, the company that publishes this newspaper as well as eight other weekly rags.
I use the word “rag” affectionately. Publisher Jake Krob has done an excellent job of keeping the editorial quality up and the bottom line black on all of his endeavors. This is not an easy task. The editions and mastheads in the archives are proof. Many people have tried and failed at threading all the needles it takes to keep a small community newspaper afloat. Few make it but Krob is one that did.

The perfect vacation

Food For Thought

About this time every year, several of my friends start deserting me and take off for places with kindlier climates. Florida and Arizona seem to be the more popular destinations, with California the choice for some who’ve either lived there in the past or who have relatives there now. Apparently it takes stronger ties to lure people that far from home. Being the unenthusiastic traveler I am, I stay home and wait for them to come back.

A day in Trumpland

Walkin'

It’s Tuesday night and the national news is on television.
In the past 24 hours, President Donald Trump has:
• Pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). While not everyone agrees that the trade agreement helps the U.S. economically, almost everyone agrees the TPP includes the most robust enforceable environment commitments of any trade agreement in history. It also prohibits exploitative child labor and forced labor.

Pack-rat disease

Food For Thought

My house, built in 1971, was built for a family of six, including three lively boys who were fast accumulating piles of sports equipment, musical instruments and tools. Their little sister, having always been determined to keep up with her brothers, added a number of girl-things to her own collection of sports equipment, musical instruments and tools. They all rode horses, liked to hunt and fish, and acquired a variety of pets over the years, including, aside from horses; reptiles, rodents, felines, canines, fish, birds, crustaceans, and a few unidentified critters.

Bucket lists

Walkin'

Mark March 4 on your calendar and join me in celebrating the World Champion Chicago Cubs at the Frida Kahlo Mexican Restaurant, 101 Windflower Ln., Solon (off of Hwy. 1, south edge of town) from 7 to 9 p.m.
Kevin “BF” Burt is lined up to play. Goat tacos will be served for the first 100 attendees, as well as a beer selected by brew master and friend Jeff Allen to match. If the keg spits we’ll pass the hat and buy another. Put on your favorite Cub gear and be prepared to sing “Go Cubs Go.” Everyone is invited; especially Cardinal fans.

The winter hump

Food For Thought

Right around Christmas time, when days are beginning to get longer and the advent of spring is within sight, my spirits, while they don’t exactly soar, do show a few weak flutters of future flight and I begin to believe I may actually live to see the buds and birds of March and April. I don’t know why it is so, but as I get older, winters are longer and harsher than they once were.

Oh, Canada

Walkin'

From the icy climes of the oil pipeline protest camp of Standing Rock, North Dakota, this week’s column finds us in sunny and hot Playacar, Mexico, or as I refer to it, the land of the endless buffet.
An alert reader may ask, how can you, as an environmental activist, travel so far for pleasure? Aren’t you worried about the ozone? The polar bears? Florida? Life as we know it?

Say cheese, please

Food For Thought

I never knew my paternal grandfather. He died young, of tuberculosis, before my parents married. He was a photographer by profession, in the small town of Mellen, Wisconsin, and he and my grandmother operated a grocery store there. Above the store was office space they rented to a dentist and, I presume, my grandfather’s photography studio. He had immigrated from Norway as a young man and built violins as a sideline and hobby.

Meetings I’ve known

Walkin'

The worst meetings it was ever my misfortune to attend were run by a “light” colonel. As editor of the post’s newspaper I was expected to be in the room but was never sure why. I was in good company as there were another dozen in the same boat: we were ordered to attend. What I was sure of was that the colonel ran a meeting that was as long as it was worthless. Any topic could be picked apart including sports and soap operas. Nothing was ever decided even if it took all morning to get there.

Panthers and other cool cats

I received a number of Christmas cards from my high school classmates and was reminded the mascot for our athletic teams was a panther. For a long time, I was unaware a panther was really just a black leopard, not a separate species of cat. I’ve been told you can actually see the spots, black on black, on a leopard pelt, but as I’ve never had the opportunity to examine one in person, you may want to check that out for yourself. I assume the spots show up because of a variation in the texture of the hair, or perhaps the coloration of the skin beneath it.