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Opinions

Facial hair and other problems

Food for Thought

Again, it was time to get my driver’s license renewed. I couldn’t wait to see what novel requirements they had dreamed up since the last time I partook of this adventure. Even though (because of my age, I suppose) I am now required to renew my license every two years, there are always new innovations to the process.

Keota

Walkin'

“And then there was the time the gunpowder blew up,” Marjorie said matter-of-factly while listing the number of times she almost got killed. It was a long list that also included a felled tree that nearly crushed her and a fall from a ladder that almost broke her neck.

A wink from Amtrak

“I’m sorry, Ma’am,” the overly officious clerk told Sabra, “but I can’t let you on the train with that ID.” The train was the Southwest Chief, run by Amtrak between Chicago and Los Angeles.

On finding people

Food for Thought

I recently had cause to contact, by mail, several old friends whose addresses I no longer had handy in my head or my little address book. Accustomed to a lifetime of being able to simply look in the phone book for that information, I was dismayed when I found that a good many of them were no longer listed. Now, if they were no longer listed, that meant that they had either moved without my knowledge, changed their phone numbers to unpublished ones, or gone completely cellular. I found it difficult indeed to track down their mailing addresses. Some, I never did manage to find.

Ouch! My ears!

Food for Thought

For the past year or two, I’ve been receiving frequent offers of reduced cost or free hearing evaluations from a company in Cedar Rapids. They seem to be under the impression that I am losing my hearing and need a hearing aid. Now, I will confess to complaining that I sometimes miss a few of the words people say at meetings and social gatherings, but I don’t think it is my auditory faculties that are the reason.

Wings and more wings

Walkin'

No remembrance of hot wings can be complete without a nod to Buffalo Wild Wings (BWW). It started in 1981 when a James Disbrow moved from wing Mecca (Buffalo, New York) to an abyss (Kent, Ohio). Unable to find a decent wing in the Buckeye State, he decided to open his own restaurant. One thing led to another, and today there are more than a thousand locations with a half-billion dollars in assets.

Do you say what you mean ?

There’s a medicine being advertised frequently on television that instructs anyone considering its use to, “Ask your doctor if you live in or have traveled to an area where certain fungal infections are common.” Each time I hear this, I wonder how many people wonder why their doctor would know where they’ve traveled recently. While I’m wondering about that, I forget to listen to the commercial, so I can never remember what the name of the medicine is, but I don’t think it’s anything my doctor prescribes for me.

The wing revolution

Walkin'

It is the height of culinary art, pure dining perfection: the hot wing.
Wikipedia fills in the details on how these little limbs of bliss originated in Buffalo, New York, at a place called the Anchor Bar. Although accounts vary, the basic story is the same. Owner Teressa Bellisimo created the first hot wings in a commercial setting sometime in the late 1960s on a whim to use up a surplus of chicken wings. The wings were fried in oil and then coated with a mixture of butter and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Springtime treats and tricks

Food for Thought

However you pronounce it (mor-els or mor-els), they’re a flavorful treasure to be found only in spring and only under specific conditions. Whatever those conditions are (and the expert hunters don’t all agree) once you’re discovered them, the next step is to figure out just how to get the most from them. Having enjoyed them as a child and nearly every year since, I’ve learned a few things about finding them, cleaning them, storing them, and the best ways to cook them for the most flavor.

The patented horse shot

Walkin'

Softball was the sport of choice during the long summers of my youth.
We played it Chicago-style, in the street with a 16-inch (in circumference) ball, a size favored in the greater Windy City area. I don’t believe anyone in the entire neighborhood actually bought and owned a new ball or bat. Instead we used old balls, soft as pillows, and cracked wooden bats, pockmarked from hitting rocks and held together with duct tape.

Morels, morals, and asparagus

Food for Thought

At this time of year, we often see people patrolling the ditches along highways and county roads. They are not picking up trash or searching for returnable aluminum cans. They are hunting for mushrooms and asparagus, but they prefer that you think they’re just taking a pleasant stroll in the country. As your car approaches, they look up and surreptitiously drop that plastic bag into the grass at their feet– often pretending to watch a meadowlark on a nearby fence post, or count the new calves in a pasture.

Bullies I’ve known

Walkin'

Until third grade, I had the protection of my older brothers from bullies. In 1960, however, they were both off to junior high and I walked the 1.8 miles to Jonas Salk Elementary School alone.