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Opinions

A spicy tale

Food For Thought

Winter seems to be conducive to browsing and learning.
I suppose that’s a throwback to my childhood days when I resisted joining my sisters in some of those damp and chilly outdoor activities in favor of curling up in Dad’s big chair with a good book.

Facebook friends and foes

Walkin'

“Are you a socialist?” a Facebook friend asked me recently.
He’s very much a right wing, Limbaugh to Hannity to Fox, kind of guy. Not only does he hate liberals but he’s sure liberals, even the president, hates America.
To me there is no logic to this belief, and it makes me angry. I served four years in the Army; you can eat poison and die if you think I hate this country. And it’s as likely that Obama hates America as it is Steve Jobs hated computers.
“It just doesn’t track,” I want to shake them and yell.

Just wondering….

Does anyone else marvel at the things many of us, as citizens of the United States and members of the work force, take for granted?
Nearly every day, I catch myself in a mindset of entitlement, expecting that my tap water should run clear, my toilets should flush away things to a place where I never have to see them again, my roads should be travelable and I should be able to publicly express personal beliefs without being caned.

About that box of chocolates

Food For Thought

A heart-shaped box of chocolate-covered candies is one of the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts, along with red roses, jewelry and anything heart-shaped.
I was lucky enough to be at a Valentine’s Day party where we were served some incredibly delicious desserts, one of which was a white chocolate mousse. It was so delicious that I consulted my favorite cookbook, hoping to find a recipe for something similar. In the process, I discovered that white chocolate isn’t chocolate at all—but a product of vegetable fats, coloring and flavors.

The Aussie snake diet

walkin'

Sit down because I have something shocking to tell you about our recent trip to Australia: I lost my appetite.
I can hear you pleading, “say it isn’t so, Brian,” but it’s true, I simply wasn’t hungry in the land down under.

Growing pains, growing gains

Dear City of Tiffin; you’ve come a long way, baby.

Getting over it

Food For Thought

“Does one ever get over loneliness?” asked my friend Richard whose wife of 62 years had died about a year ago. That long-lived marriage between high school sweethearts had survived all the usual hurdles of life including the tragic death of their only daughter. I could relate to that, I’ve learned that some things can’t be “gotten over” and that we simply must get accustomed to them and keep going.
Two of the kindest people I’ve known in my lifetime, they chose to stay right there in the hometown where we all went to kindergarten together and graduated together.

When will we learn?

Walkin'

Criminals in 18th century England were thought to be inherently defective. They needed to be separated from the law-abiding populace and there were two options: execution or exile. With the American victory in the Revolutionary War, convicts could no longer be sent across the Atlantic, so a new exile station was sought. The bush of Australia proved to be just the ticket. On our recent trip to Tasmania, we got to visit one of the first, largest and cruelest of these penal colonies opened on Botany Bay, on the island of Tasmania, in a place called Port Arthur.

NL sewer line mostly helps development

Dear Mayor Nielsen;
I had been following the limited coverage of the North Liberty sewer controversy in the Iowa City Press-Citizen and CR Gazette, but was really surprised to read the in-depth coverage in the North Liberty Leader on Feb. 12. I can’t say it made me happy.
I’ve know Gary Weinman and Barbara Beaumont for many years and am familiar with their concerns for protecting our natural surroundings. These are concerns that I share.

A jug of wine

Food for Thought

I was strolling down the wine aisle in the supermarket, looking for my old standby, Blue Nun Riesling, which I have always thought was just right to serve with that Thanksgiving turkey. (Or any other turkey, for that matter.)
It used to be an easy bottle to spot, for it was the only blue wine bottle in the whole store. (About the only other things I remember being consistently sold in blue glass were Vicks Vap-O-Rub and Phillips Milk of Magnesia.) But, things have changed.

How we roll

Walkin'

“Oh, you’re Sepos then,” the lady in the ice cream shop said.
It was on the fourth day of our ride, which was the shortest, and should have been our easiest.
We started in Swansea located on the Great Oyster Bay of eastern Tasmania after a huge breakfast at the Meredith House, a very swank bed and breakfast. We typically try to find modest lodging when we’re riding. A hot shower and clean sheets are our two main requests but Meredith was part of the package through Green Island Tours, so we enjoyed the luxury of a swank room and sumptuous breakfast.

It rolls downhill

Most recently, I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the way sanitary sewers are designed. But then again, everybody already knows the proverbial crap always flows downhill.
That’s what some saw happening with the lawsuit filed against the City of North Liberty and its plan to exercise eminent domain to access private property for a planned sewer project.
Of the basic tenets of Iowa’s eminent domain law, the most important and consistent across all states that allow it is this: it has to be for the public good.