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Opinions

Dumpster diving

I’ve long thought of my memory as being more like a dumpster than that tidily-packed trunk in the attic Edna Ferber cited as her storehouse of memories. Her metaphor is a great deal more elegant, but then, her mind was considerably more refined than mine. Mine has always been a hodgepodge of stuff that accumulates haphazardly, like that junk drawer in the kitchen—but contains considerably more junk, which is why I think of it as being more the size of a dumpster.

I want a pickle and bicycle

While my earliest commute by bicycle was an occasional ride to Grandma’s apartment the summer of my ninth year, it wasn’t until the sixth grade that I became a regular pedaller.
It came about because I hated school cafeteria food and much preferred going home for lunch. That was easy enough when I attended Sandburg Elementary just three blocks away, but it became impossible when redistricting sent me to Salk, almost a full mile from our house.

I checked my dictionary, and...

Food For Thought

Over the years, I’ve seen word fads come and go. You know the sort of thing I mean, remember when nearly everybody referred to supplies and equipment as “materiel” rather than “material?” The first version refers to military supplies and equipment, specifically those necessary to conduct a war, but that didn’t stop people from using it to refer to everything from the school supplies needed by a kindergarten student to stocking the larders and pantries of a cruise ship.

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.