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Technological Evolution

in Articles, News Column

Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – FEB 2015 Technology and evolution can be cruel relatives.  These are the kind of relatives that you like to have a round for a while, sometimes are glad when they are gone, but yet miss them in a nostalgic way and think of them fondly. For example:  The question of paper bags vs. plastic is not even a question any more.  Simply put, we are to feel bad if we choose either.  We are killing owls, choking sea turtles, using up finite resources and making things bad for the children of our children’s children.  I know that.  The right choice?  Neither.  Use a reusable bag you brought with you!  Yeah me!  I have the right answer.  That is as long as my reusable shopping bag is not made out of as much plastic as 100 of those other ones and made by child labor in a far off country. Foam coffee cups or paper?  Neither!  Bring your own cup to work! Yeah...

Buying a House

in Articles, News Column

Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – JAN 2015 It is as if someone sucks our brains out and makes soup out of them.  What is wrong with us when it comes to buying a new house?! I have been in several conversations with people in the last month that were all centered on them getting a new house.  Let it also be known that each of these persons I have known and respected for many years.  These are smart people.  Or they were anyway.  What happened to them!  I swear their IQ’s have dropped 50 points. The emotion of hunting down the next house can create tunnel vision and erasure of logical thinking that normally would be part of a decision making process. This is why in my opinion that you need to form a group of people around you as you look at homes to travel with you, make notes, and poke you with a sharp stick when you get out of line.  These are the friends you have that will...

Talents

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Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – DEC 2014 You and I have spent a long time within the pages of this newspaper.  And if we go way back, in the pages of other papers long before this one came to be.  Perhaps this is the first time you have read my column, a scary thought on my part as what is contained here is the basis for you coming back next month.  I have to earn my readers’ return one column at a time.  Quite the challenge. I began writing in 1994 with a weekly home repair and improvement column.  As I look back on a lot of those efforts, they were pretty bad if I do say so myself.  Some however, stick to the wall and still have significance.  If only in my own mind. Once in a while, someone I cross paths with will mention that they read this column.  How they enjoyed the one on this, or that. How I may have helped or touched them.  How talented I am.  I get...

Smell the Roses

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Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – NOV 2014 “Take some time to smell the roses”. Smell? Sure, that I can do. But to find the time to prune them and fertilize them, it is easier not to plant them at all. It is easier to go next door. They have nice roses. I can smell theirs. I have actually had those kind of thoughts recently. Am I giving up? Am I getting lazy? Some of my brain worms have been totally serious and justified. Others are just a sarcastic knee jerk reactions deserving to go un-shared. It came up in a conversation with a social acquaintance who was telling me that he and his wife just bought a lot in the mountains and were going to build a cabin. They were so looking forward to the build and the end result. He asked why, with all my experience in building, creative use of materials, and tools and abilities, why I have never build a mountain retreat for myself and...

Memories

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Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – SEP 2014 I think I could walk into my first house and still know where everything is. The house was on the of Sunset Lake in upper Michigan. Come in the front door and the kitchen was on the left with the stove center, sink left under the front window. Dining room right, living room straight ahead, side porch on the right, bedroom, bath, bedroom on the back left. I was last in that house when I was 7 years old. As I think about all the homes I have lived in, I think I could easily still find the bathrooms in the dark. I remember how the light came in the windows, or how the carpet felt. I remember the sounds of the neighbors, or the kids playing outside. One home I recall in particular was where my Grandma Sadie lived. She really wasn’t my biological Grandma, but she might as well have been. She raised my Dad from a young boy, and me from when...

Squirrel Moments

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Star-Eagle Independent Newspaper – AUG 2014 Oh My God! Turn the car around! We left the stove on! Has this ever been you? I blame my episodes of this on thinking about too many things. Paying attention to the next thing and not the task at hand. I have had to go back and get my other keys, sunglasses, my hot chocolate, my lunch, or my wife standing in the driveway with a besmirched look on her face. I try to keep the family on time on Sunday mornings so we don’t have to sit in the front pew. I tell them what time we are leaving. I am in the car at that time. It is running. Check, horn works. They arrive 10 minutes later, I put the care in Reverse… then Park. I have to get out and run and get my (fill in the blank) that I forgot inside. You should see the look on their faces as I get back in and say, “Now are we all ready?” A precious moment. Some call these “Squirrel” moments....