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Opinions

Walkin'

Catwheel continued

How Sabra and I have been using our free time demonstrates the difference between our approaches to doing things.

Food for Thought

Cleanliness and godliness

We’ve all been told that cleanliness is next to godliness, but I’ve never quite accepted the connection. I heard the phrase most often when my mother was trying to get me to perform some unpleasant chore like scrubbing off the ring around the bathtub, or cleaning up the mess the cat made under the sofa. She expected it to convince me to wash my hair when I’d rather be at the library searching for a Sherlock Holmes story I hadn’t already read, or to help her polish mirrors and windows when they looked clean enough to me.

walkin'

Karen and Cat Lady

I’ve been working in the garage a lot these past couple of months trying to build what is essentially a giant hamster wheel. “Who needs a giant hamster wheel?” you may ask. The answer, silly, is Karen and Cat Lady.
You may have seen Cat Lady about town, she’s the woman that has a special stroller designed to push her cats, currently Sissy Lu and Puffy. While she walks, she talks to her pets much as a mother might, cooing soft words of praise and comfort.

Food for Thought

Communication skills

When I first enrolled in college, there was a required course that all liberal arts students had to pass. It was known campus-wide as Comm Skills 101, and its purpose was to make sure that we were able to speak and write effectively. This seemed like a no-brainer. After all. everyone needs to be able to communicate with others, not just for the sake of learning from our college courses, but for whatever we would be doing with our education for the rest of our lives.

Walkin'

Henlick manuevers

As spring shies to show her pretty face yet another week, it’s been slow times in the Fleck household.

Food for Thought

That spring thing

There was at least one constant every spring while I was growing up– a new spring coat or jacket– count on it. While we very often wore the same warm winter coat for two or three years running, the spring coats were always new, light-weight, pastel in color, and inexpensive.

Walkin'

Anniversary epiphanies

Sabra and I married on Valentine’s Day in the year 2000. Suggesting the date was a brilliant move on my part, even if I do say so myself. Not only is it easy to remember, it also saves buying a gift. These are two practical, utilitarian benefits that are buffed up by yet a third: it’s romantic.

Food for Thought

Why kids ask so many questions

I remember, at sometime in my early childhood, how many big and mysterious words there were in the world. Not just words I heard adults use, and that I assumed I would someday learn the meanings of, but words that were just out there– posted on cars, buildings, billboards– waiting for me to unravel their mysteries. Reading was like a parlor trick. Comprehending was another matter.

Walkin'

Back pain is back

My back went out for the first time in the late 1970s.
I was a twenty-something publishing a newspaper for the military community of Bamberg, Germany.
Once a week I’d check a sedan out from the motor pool and drive 140 miles to the Stars and Stripes headquarters in Darmstadt to get my paper printed. Occasionally, a vehicle from the pool would not be available and I’d have to scramble to find transportation.

Food for Thought

collect the whole set

I got a chuckle out of seeing that bumper sticker ahead of me while I waited at the stoplight. It got me thinking about all the crusades to save various species of wildlife I’ve seen over the years. When I was fresh out of college, there weren’t so many crusades, not nearly the number of animals designated as endangered as there are now, bumper stickers and posters for the various causes were uncommon. By the mid-’50s, I was becoming aware of causes other than soil conservation and the wisdom of having your dog or cat neutered.

Walkin'

Toilet tribulations

During a recent stay at a motel I saw something odd: in the bathroom there were two toilet paper rolls offered, one over the other.
This brought to mind one of the age-old conundrums that has pestered human minds since the first rolls were mass produced in the 14th century: should toilet paper be hung so it reels off the top or bottom?

Food For Thought

Bored to death

One of my good neighbors and I were chatting on the phone. You know how that goes– one topic leads to another and, before you know it, you’ve covered everything from recipes to politics, gardening to retirement, the flu epidemic to wind farms. I wish I could record such conversations because they often leave many things unfinished and, if I could follow them through to their conclusions, I’d probably get a month’s worth of columns out of one conversation.