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Opinions

Pack-rat disease

Food For Thought

My house, built in 1971, was built for a family of six, including three lively boys who were fast accumulating piles of sports equipment, musical instruments and tools. Their little sister, having always been determined to keep up with her brothers, added a number of girl-things to her own collection of sports equipment, musical instruments and tools. They all rode horses, liked to hunt and fish, and acquired a variety of pets over the years, including, aside from horses; reptiles, rodents, felines, canines, fish, birds, crustaceans, and a few unidentified critters.

Bucket lists

Walkin'

Mark March 4 on your calendar and join me in celebrating the World Champion Chicago Cubs at the Frida Kahlo Mexican Restaurant, 101 Windflower Ln., Solon (off of Hwy. 1, south edge of town) from 7 to 9 p.m.
Kevin “BF” Burt is lined up to play. Goat tacos will be served for the first 100 attendees, as well as a beer selected by brew master and friend Jeff Allen to match. If the keg spits we’ll pass the hat and buy another. Put on your favorite Cub gear and be prepared to sing “Go Cubs Go.” Everyone is invited; especially Cardinal fans.

The winter hump

Food For Thought

Right around Christmas time, when days are beginning to get longer and the advent of spring is within sight, my spirits, while they don’t exactly soar, do show a few weak flutters of future flight and I begin to believe I may actually live to see the buds and birds of March and April. I don’t know why it is so, but as I get older, winters are longer and harsher than they once were.

Oh, Canada

Walkin'

From the icy climes of the oil pipeline protest camp of Standing Rock, North Dakota, this week’s column finds us in sunny and hot Playacar, Mexico, or as I refer to it, the land of the endless buffet.
An alert reader may ask, how can you, as an environmental activist, travel so far for pleasure? Aren’t you worried about the ozone? The polar bears? Florida? Life as we know it?

Say cheese, please

Food For Thought

I never knew my paternal grandfather. He died young, of tuberculosis, before my parents married. He was a photographer by profession, in the small town of Mellen, Wisconsin, and he and my grandmother operated a grocery store there. Above the store was office space they rented to a dentist and, I presume, my grandfather’s photography studio. He had immigrated from Norway as a young man and built violins as a sideline and hobby.

Meetings I’ve known

Walkin'

The worst meetings it was ever my misfortune to attend were run by a “light” colonel. As editor of the post’s newspaper I was expected to be in the room but was never sure why. I was in good company as there were another dozen in the same boat: we were ordered to attend. What I was sure of was that the colonel ran a meeting that was as long as it was worthless. Any topic could be picked apart including sports and soap operas. Nothing was ever decided even if it took all morning to get there.

Panthers and other cool cats

I received a number of Christmas cards from my high school classmates and was reminded the mascot for our athletic teams was a panther. For a long time, I was unaware a panther was really just a black leopard, not a separate species of cat. I’ve been told you can actually see the spots, black on black, on a leopard pelt, but as I’ve never had the opportunity to examine one in person, you may want to check that out for yourself. I assume the spots show up because of a variation in the texture of the hair, or perhaps the coloration of the skin beneath it.

Entering camp

The final 60 miles into the Standing Rock Reservation and the protester’s camp were nothing to fool around with.

The package looks the same, but...

Way in the back of the bathroom cupboard, I found a roll of toilet paper that had been there for probably as long as 12 or 15 years. I set it on the counter next to one, of the same brand, I had just brought home from the store. What a contrast! Both claimed to be double rolls. One was, not only fatter than the other, but wider, and the newer one had a larger cardboard tube in the center.

God help us all...under the heading “reality is stranger than fiction”

In early November, as Wikileaks steadily released piles of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, one contact caught the attention of prankster sites and/or political operatives.
James Alefantis is the owner of Comet Ping Pong Pizza, a restaurant in Washington, D.C. He’s also a big Democratic Party supporter and raised money for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Alefantis, who’s never met Clinton, appeared in the Podesta emails in connection with the fundraisers.
And from these thin threads, an enormous trove of conspiracy fiction was spun.

A special Christmas gift

Food For Thought

For years, I tried to convince my family and friends I was done with the commercial rat-race that had taken over the Christmas season. Everything from Christmas cards and tree decorations, through the piles of purchased and gaily wrapped gifts, right down to the peanuts and oranges that went into the toes of the stockings was due for a drastic makeover. For too many years, I tried really hard to make sure those presents met my expectations and made at least some of the wishes come true.

Potpourri

Walkin'

Pearl, our 9-year-old Labradoodle, got stair privileges recently and is very much the happy camper as she can once again sleep at the foot of our bed. She’s recovering from knee surgery, and the last liberty– running off leash– is still a month away.
The chickens survived another week of the great scaly leg mite infestation. Officials from S.E.T.I. (Search for Extra Terrestrial Life) read about Sabra’s extraordinary measures to contain and eradicate the microscopic critters. If aliens ever land here, she’s now on the short list of cleaners to call.