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Opinions

Cycling, Grandma, Pepsi

My earliest bicycle commute was to Grandma’s.

A connection?

Food For Thought

At the risk of sounding like a crackpot, I find myself wondering if there is a link between the flurry of so many people to suddenly decide they needed to buy handguns and obtain permits to carry them a couple years ago, and the current rash of mass shootings in crowded public places.

Trademarks

Walkin'

The old gray tractor caught my eye because it was just what I needed for mowing the thistles on our land a couple miles north of town. It was in the parking lot of Solon Truck and Tractor and had a for sale sign, so I went into the shop.
Owner Mike Aicher and I go back to 1981 when we both showed up on the Solon business scene.
I’d just scraped together every penny I owned and borrowed the rest to buy the Solon Economist. Mike had traded in his experience as a farm boy, sailor and mechanic to open his shop on the south edge of town.

I’m still wondering

Food For Thought

When I was in grade school, a friend of mine had a modest coin collection. It consisted mostly of pennies, which she polished by scouring them to a shine with a pencil eraser and placed in slots in a blue cardboard book. Sometimes I stopped at her house on the way home after school and helped her with the penny-polishing. I never quite understood or appreciated why she wanted to spend her time and effort doing this.

The medical adventure continues

Walkin'

The good news in my ongoing battle to lose weight (and alleviate gout) came courtesy of a website telling you how many calories various activities burn.
Walking, for a guy my weight and age, uses about 200 calories per hour (CPH), the digital assistant assures me. Running comes in at about 500 followed by vigorous cycling at 600. I thought swimming, at 700, was the top fat burner until I plugged in playing golf with a motorized cart. According to the program hitting the links eats up a full 750 CPH!

Remembering birthdays

Sept. 10 was my mother’s birthday. Because of her small stature, I was surprised to learn that my 4-foot-11 mother had played on the girls’ basketball team when she was in high school in a small town in northern Wisconsin where she and Dad first met as classmates. Unfortunately, Mother never finished high school. Her father, who was working as a carpenter at the time, fell and injured his back which kept him unemployed for some months. Mother and her sister Opal dropped out of school and found jobs to help support the family.

Some numbers

Zero: Sam Clovis’s salary after Rick Perry cut it. Clovis is a former conservative talk radio host at the popular Iowa station WHO, and more recently Perry’s State Chairman.
Four: Number of candidates (Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz) Clovis considered going to work for before hiring on to the Trump Campaign as his National Co-Chairman.
Unknown: Amount of Clovis’s salary now.
Four hundred million: Trump’s yearly salary, as he claimed at a news conference held at the Iowa State Fair.

Lack of imagination

Food For Thought

Doggerel: Poetry with irregular rhythm that does not scan well and is often not intended to be taken seriously. Poor-quality composition: something that is badly written or makes no sense at all.

The Foxosphere John

Walkin'

As I write this I’m watching a YouTube video of a “breaking news” report by Fox Business that propelled a Clive businessman into the national news.
It was Sept. 29, 2010, Obama was stumping for the mid-term elections, just five weeks away.
Long time Democratic Senator Tom Harkin retired, and there was a close race to determine whether his replacement should be Bruce Braley or Joni Ernst.
Obama was drumming up support for a tax increase on the wealthy. The audience was supposed to be friendly and the scene couldn’t have been any more bucolic.

The need for butt glue

Food For Thought

“I think it’s writer’s block,” my friend said. “I can’t seem to think of anything interesting to write about.”
This, from a talented woman who writes delightful poetry and entertaining essays, and has something new to share with the writers’ group at nearly every twice-a-month meeting.
“Take an imaginary tour of your grandmother’s house,” someone suggested.
Others said, “Write about one of those old family anecdotes that get told at family reunions or around the dinner table on Thanksgiving.”
And, “Do you have any relatives who might be called ‘characters’?”

No more beer

Walkin'

As you read this it has been one full month since I’ve consumed a cocktail or beer. It hasn’t been easy, but the choice was a no-brainer: gout has been ravaging one foot or another these past four months and it was time to decide whether to give up being able to walk or quaff.
It’s been a good run, however.

How many trees do you need?

Food For Thought

Because I live in the woods with more than my share of trees, I forget that one of our environmental concerns is we don’t have enough trees to absorb the amount of carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere. Whether happy coincidence or divine plan, it doesn’t matter, the fact that plants use carbon dioxide and manufacture oxygen holds the possible solution to the unbalance that is causing our environment to become less suitable for the sustenance of animal life—and that includes us humans.