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Opinions

More about cats and dogs

Food for Thought

Curiosity and research uncovered a number of interesting things about pet behavior. Some behavior is almost impossible to train out of your pet, even though it is ancestral and not necessarily relative to the lives of our family pets.

And don’t forget the pets

Food for Thought

We all know that it is not safe to leave a child in a car in hot weather, but many don’t realize that it is far more dangerous for a dog or a cat than for a human. A human can sweat, which helps cool the body. A dog has only a few sweat glands in the pads of his feet. He keeps cool in hot weather by panting. When your dog pants, he inhales fresh air through his nose. The nose contains a maze of moist surfaces that are cooled by evaporation. If the dog is in a hot car, the air he breathes in is not cool enough to do him much good.

On the road again

Walkin'

By the time you read this, Sabra and I should be mid-way through our annual bicycle ride.
We’ve been taking the two-week excursion each year for the past decade. Several trips have seen us through Wisconsin, and at least once we’ve rolled over Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Germany and Italy.
No matter where we go, we always manage to do two things really well: get lost and take lots of photos.

Boulder nuts

Walkin'

Sabra and I recently returned from a trip to Colorado where we ran into a shocking development.
No, I’m not talking about legalized recreational marijuana… yet. I’m talking about brunch. It seems people in the Centennial State rarely eat breakfast or lunch these days but have instead opted to go with brunch.

Nothing’s perfect

Food for Thought

Browsing through old cookbooks– really old cookbooks– I came across a recipe for chicken which began with these words, “Draw and singe the bird...” Today, I’d put that cookbook right back on the shelf and head for the supermarket.

The Abilene Principle

Food for Thought

The various proposals we’ve seen over the years for a new jail and an addition to the Johnson County Courthouse have been less than officials want and claim they need, yet more than voters and taxpayers want to support. That’s a good example of the Abilene Principle. We’ve all experienced the sort of compromise that ends in nobody getting what they wanted, but settling for what everybody could tolerate. Such compromise seems to be the essence of politics and the reason such undertakings, even when finally approved, are not sufficient to fill the need.

Beef Days beeristory

Walkin'

The first Solon Beef Days I attended was in the early 1980s.
Back then, the entire city was an open container zone during the celebration. People came and went from the beer tent and the half dozen taverns in town with cup in hand. Individuals also hauled in their own coolers bringing in more beer and liquor. People around town, myself included, scheduled family reunions and parties to coincide with the festival and often tapped a keg or two.

Misconstrued

Food for Thought

Many years ago, when my husband first opened an office in Iowa City, he furnished it as economically as possible with furnishings from a secondhand store. He found a nice wooden desk for his inner office, and some shelving. A set of heavy oak dining room chairs furnished the waiting room, and the walls had ample space for a number of my oil paintings– most of which were unframed but still looked better than bare walls.

Alas, poor Bobby

Walkin'

So if brother Bob floated up dead in the lake at the bucolic Bender’s Fishing Camp, who would be the prime murder suspect? I can imagine creating a case for any one of several dozen defendants as the actual killer.

Body parts

Food for Thought

For years, I’ve enjoyed reading and rereading my collection of Agatha Christie mystery stories. I’ve never bothered to count them, but they completely fill three 30-inch shelves in my bookcase, and it takes months to work my way through the entire collection. At the time they were written, mostly during the first half of the last century, they represented upper-class life in England fairly accurately. This was the world that Agatha Christie lived in and knew best. There were country manor houses with butlers, housemaids, valets and chauffeurs.

To prank or not to prank

Walkin'

A reoccurring theme at Bender’s Fishing Camp is the prank.
Someone, for example, put four big catfish in our live well. The hoax is extra-impressive when one considers that while almost every game or pan fish available in area waters– northern, muskie, bass, walleye, perch, blue gill, crappie– the lowly catfish is not on the list. Did someone actually import the fish just to play a prank?

Gearing up for summer

Food for Thought

It was usually well past Memorial Day (and often after Independence Day) before I settled into the mind-set that nearly everybody else had enjoyed since the last day of school. By that, I mean that, as a child, it took me a while to change gears, to get out of my school-mode and into vacation-mode. I don’t know why I needed that transitional interval, but I still tend to pause, look around at my new circumstances and mentally switch gears before embarking on a new phase of my life.