The Edmonton Eskimos is no more. It was a Canadian football team, until it announced last week it would drop the name it has used since 1949, responding to years of complaints from at least some people that the name was offensive to Inuits, who many of us erroneously refer to under the blanket name Eskimos.
Continue reading 2 names and a logo
School districts often gather into purchasing consortia to obtain materials for their respective districts at lower cost than purchasing individually. Within our county, townships and boroughs have formed a Council of Governments to work together in pursuit of legislative goals. In smaller groups, the townships work together to share equipment and sometimes people power so that each municipality need not incur the expense of, say, a road grader.
Continue reading Lesson from a racetrack
My camera and I had an interesting experience together this week. We tried to get a decent picture of the comet NeoWISE. Three nights, three efforts, and I finally got one shot I’d not feel badly about showing people.
Continue reading People (and comets) and street lights don’t mix
All my writing life, I have been hammered with rules such as “the subject and the predicate must match.” So imagine my confusion when Granddaughter commenced telling a story one night this week in which she reported, “Sally said they did not feel safe.”
Continue reading Evolution as it is spoke
My mother’s dad smoked at least two packs of Tarreyton cigarettes a day. Raised three kids and retired after spending much of his life as an electrician for the Massachusetts Transit Authority, helping keep the trolley cars running. He was 80-something when he left us.
Continue reading Rituals
About 1973, we were heavy into a fossil fuel shortage. Gas lines were nationwide. In some places, the day you could buy gasoline was decided by your license plate – odd numbers on odd days, etc.
Some people said we were on the verge of running out of oil to make gasoline. Continue reading We cannot afford it
Our president has said he ordered a slow-down on testing for Covid-19 so we would not notice the number of cases afflicting the various states. When it was suggested he might have been kidding, he assured us he was not.
Continue reading Opportunity avoided
I have a favorite spot by a stream, where catbirds flit through the leaves with a call like a kitten mewling up a tree.
The thing about patience is if one sits long enough waiting for the critters to accept ones presence, relaxing is the inevitable result. The critters, not always me.
Continue reading In this together
At the site of a battle that began the end of a war to decide whether any men should be allowed to own other men, we still concentrate on the battle rather than its meaning. The people over whom all that blood and treasure was shed remain largely ignored.
Continue reading The cost and the promise
Events of the past few months have been weighing heavily on many of us, I fear. The pandemic some of us knew was coming has kept us cooped up in our homes, if for no other reason than most places we would like to go – places we would meet for breakfast, parks where we would jog and picnic, or cubicles where we would work – have been closed.
Continue reading Stuff happens
I’m lucky. Or old. Or both. I don’t need a haircut.
A few weeks ago, a friend asked how things were going at my house, what with the stay-at-home lockdown we had been enduring. At the time, we had not been in it very long and, as regular readers will recall, I was, and am, a believer in the mental medication of getting outdoors to commune with nature.
So I told him after nearly 50 years as a journalist, I was used to working alone. I love wandering along or in a forest or a stream and making friends with the critters who live there. It makes one feel pretty special when those critters start to trust you. Continue reading It’s not the haircut
A friend recently related a conversation in which he mentioned to someone that a certain insecticide has been declared dangerous to humans when used as directed. Roundup has been in the news the past several months, the subject of some court cases involving the cancer- and sometimes death-causing nature of the compound. Continue reading Life on the third rock
The Canada goose couple came across the creek to check me out and show off their kids. I think they’ve become used to my frequent presence. Not long ago, they would have gone the other way. Continue reading Behind Mommy’s leg
Some recent gray rainy days of “look but not too closely” at my fellow walkers have been cutting into my enjoyment of outdoors. I don’t need sunshine every day, but I have a rule I’ve stuck to as long as I can remember being allowed to make rules. Continue reading Wet cold days in quarantine
Several years ago I was lucky enough to be visiting Las Vegas with in-laws who were able to score tickets to the Siegfried and Roy magic show. As though that were not enough, we had seats right up against the stage, as in my left arm could rest upon the stage. The show was as good as its reputation. Maybe even better. Continue reading Siegfried and Roy
I often talk of two-lane roads and roadside creeks. They often can be found together, a good reason for which there is. Streams have been sources of food, pathways for travelers, and the most direct route from the pasture to the barn for millions of cows. Continue reading Silver lining
In some ways, this “stay home” situation has not been terrible. It’s been a couple weeks since I had to buy gas (which is almost a shame with prices so low).
On the other hand, keeping track of time is a bit more difficult. It is weird, for instance, when Friday I think of something I must do Sunday, and when I wake up Saturday morning, I spend the first hour reminding myself it’s not time yet. Continue reading Be social, from a distance
I was standing by the stream when I noticed a wake tracking along the far bank. The head surfaced, and it crossed the creek to the salad bar.
Continue reading Muskrat in the afternoon
The dogwood outside my window is popping like floured corn. Every hour I look at them, the gray-green buds are bigger, pinker four-petaled blooms. I should set up a time-lapse camera. Continue reading Spring has sprang
I think I started noticing trees when I lived in Alaska. I wrote a weekly column which my faithful companion, a Bald Eagle named “J Edgar,” delivered from our home in a hollow log to the editor of the community newspaper. Readers were not surprised “The Ol’ Tundra Stomper” (“Tundra Stomping” being Alaskan for “back country hiking”) had an eagle partner.
Continue reading 50 years, yesterday to an Ent