Saturday, July 22, 2017

Under My Hat

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The calendar says spring is here. It's time to leave behind the winter of my discontent.

And what a long one it's been.

This is the first time I've seen winter span five months. It began in November with bitter cold air and lasted until now.

Homes sustained roof damage from ice buildup. Some homeowners complained of interior water damage. On top of that, home heating costs have skyrocketed.

Plus, there were more icy roads and chain-reaction traffic accidents this winter than any time in recent memory.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Lately I've been involved in discussions about the truth.

And that's a good thing, because it's one of my favorite topics.

The truth isn't always clear. And truth can be different things to different people. What is deemed an absolute to one might be false to another.

Issues and facts can be open to interpretation. Even the skinniest pancake has two sides.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My best friend since grade school passed away.

Tom Shea and I hadn't seen much of each other in a long time. But we'd been friends for 53 years.

We met at North Ward Elementary. We were part of the boomer generation. Class sizes were so large that our small town school district had no place to put some of us.

Because of that fact, Tom and I, and others, experienced a patchwork of educational obstacles. Within five years, we were bounced around to five different buildings and environments, some with no space for us.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Murder is obvious proof of moral deficiency, a basic evil of human nature.

Senseless murder is most savage of all.

In truth, all cold-blooded murder is senseless. There's never a good reason to take another life. When it happens, we scurry to find answers. We look for something called motive.

But the theories never quite add up. And they never suffice.

That's because no rational explanation can account for behavior completely irrational.

Part of the reason, I suppose is that killers aren't quite human.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Last year, the Patriot-News, a daily newspaper in Harrisburg, switched to a limited print schedule.

The paper is now printed only three days a week. Other days, readers access the paper digitally.

As a result, the city of Harrisburg is believed to be the only state capital in the U.S. without a daily printed newspaper.

There are several reasons for the change, among them the fact that many readers nowadays turn to the Internet for news.

And the decision wasn't made hastily. The scale-back in the print edition started last year after much planning.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The government is forcing us to live with a dim bulb.

We're being asked to turn our backs on Thomas Edison and turn our homes into toxic waste dumps.

That's right. Due to legislation passed here and in other countries, incandescent light bulbs, the kind used for 125 years, are giving way to highfalutin' CFLs, or compact fluorescent lights, which are notorious for being dim, especially when first lit.

They're mass produced in China, yet expensive to purchase.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

If topics of race, religion and crime provide news media with top stories in a typical year, then 2013 was a typical year.

Racial issues continued to dominate national headlines.

TV cooking celebrity Paula Deen appeared to lose some of her Southern charm when the public became aware she condoned racially charged language in the workplace.

The Food Network dropped her like a hot potato.

Race also reared its head in the murder of young Trayvon Martin and the subsequent trial of vigilante George Zimmerman.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Yolanda Burroughs-Vestal wrote a sincere letter addressed to President Obama.

She begins by sending a compliment. But her message is the opposite.

She posted it on her Facebook page and it went viral.

As a result, she received messages of support from all over the country. The volume of incoming email overwhelmed the network. Facebook temporarily blocked her from sending messages to those writing to her.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sometimes a thought really hits home.

Last week, my friend Pat Eisenberg sent me a social media message via Facebook.

It dealt with Thanksgiving, the holiday season, and the pain it can bring. Pat wanted me to share it.

It said, in part: "It's important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large, wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes we're overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sometimes we see things we wish we could un-see.

Several days ago, somebody broke into a Tamaqua church and ransacked it.

A church volunteer showed me the damage and it was substantial. Copper pipes ripped from walls and ceilings. Cabinets and closets torn open. Food pantry freezers emptied of meats and perishables. Walls, doors and appliances muddied by dirty, soulless hands.

The first thought that occurred to me is that people fall into one of two categories: those who build things up, and those who tear things down.