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A lady in black and some pigeons

So there I was, sitting at my desk Thursday afternoon going through my normal routine when the phone rang. “There’s this lady walking down Route 50 dressed all in black. I’m curious and I think it would make an interesting story,” the lady on the other end of the line said.I’ve received several similar calls over the years. Sometimes the walker, or runner, or biker, turns our to be doing something for a worthy cause. Just as often though, they’re...

1 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

For the people who love licorice

On July 21, 2007, people across the world dressed in wizard’s robes and waited for the final installment of the Harry Potter series.The tale of the boy wizard came to an end seven years ago this past Monday, and I can’t help but see that as significant because in the books, seven is the most powerful magical number.And yes, I know that because I was a part of the Harry Potter generation. I was a “Potterhead” and quite proud of it.Seven ...

3 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Endless criticism has little impact

When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical. – Attributed to Winston Churchill.Spiritual philosopher Emmet Fox once said, “Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting.” Which is another way of saying that the only way some people lift themselves up is by tearing someone else down.

6 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Country roads seem to take me home

Not long ago one of my colleagues here at The Times-Gazette, Angela Shepherd, wrote a column about how much she likes her hometown of Greenfield. I like Greenfield, too. In fact, I like just about every little community in Highland County and each one holds memories that make it special.I’ve often thought I could write a column about each of them. Take Greenfield, for a quick example. I worked there for a number of years – actually two separate stints – and grew f...

8 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

A 20-hour lesson well-learned

In his children’s classic “Winnie-the-Pooh,” A.A. Milne once wrote, “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”Of course, such an idea is easier said than done. It is very difficult to wait patiently when phone calls need to be made, deadlines are approaching, and dinner should have been done 20 minutes ago.But patience, as the old adage goes, is a virtue, mainly because it is something we must, reluctantly, use every...

10 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Our View: HPD officer’s actions reflect on others

Hillsboro police officer Brian Butler was honored at Monday night’s city council meeting for his courageous action in rescuing a woman from a house fire.Chief Todd Whited described how Butler risked his life on June 18 to run into a smoke-filled home, locate the reportedly suicidal woman in a back bedroom and carry her to safety, despite her efforts to resist.We join city officials and the public at large in thanking and commending Officer Butler for his heroic act...

10 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Yeah, I get a kick out of soccer

It is with heaviness in my heart that I deleted the shortcut to Watch ESPN off of my browser today. I am sure many of you, judging by the comments I am more than used to but especially prevalent this last month, don't give a hoot that the World Cup is over as the final was played Sunday. As I wrote in a column at the beginning of this mas...

11 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Another thing I hadn’t planned on

Hello, Highland County and beyond, I’m back. Yes, I’ve been absent from this page for three weeks, but I ran into a busy stretch and then had to help a son move to Rhode Island.Somehow I drew the assignment of driving a Uhaul all the way there, a 20-hour trip straight through, minus about a 90-minute nap at a roadside rest somewhere in New York.Before I left one of my co-workers said he figured my first column when I got back would be about the Uhaul drive. H...

15 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Lions, and greasers, and witches – oh my!

Jack Kerouac once said, “The only truth is music.”But, to expand on that, I can’t help but think another truth is this: It’s nearly impossible to find someone who doesn’t like music.There are different kinds of music-listeners. There are those who use it as a companion on the drive home from work; those who take it seriously with classical pieces and operas; and those who use it as an emotional outlet, whether through listening to a favorite...

17 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

‘Bombs bursting in air’ made me feel like a kid

Every year, no matter where I am, I watch a fireworks show on the Fourth of July. This year, as I made the trip to my mom’s in Indianapolis, I thought about how this would be the first year without going to see an organized fireworks show.You see, my sister said we would just hang around mom’s and watch the fireworks set off around her neighborhood.After the week I’d had, and bone-tired as I was, I didn’t argue.And you know what? I ende...

18 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Should Facebook toy with moods?

The news last week that Facebook recently conducted an experiment designed to test whether the emotions of its users could be manipulated brought about a firestorm that is bewildering.A Wall Street Journal article on the topic explained, “To determine whether it could alter the emotional state of its users and prompt them to post either more positive or negative content, the site’s data scientists enabled an algorithm, for one week, to automatically omit content that co...

19 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

Life from the tips of one’s toes

In my 22 years on this Earth, there are a few things I have gotten to know quite well: chairs, stepladders and the tips of my toes.Long story short (pun intended), I am what you might call “vertically challenged.” At my fullest height, I am 4 feet, 11 inches.So, I’ve had to stand on my tiptoes to dance at every prom and homecoming. I’ve had to push the seat up whenever I get behind the wheel of a car. And I’ve had to maneuver chairs around t...

24 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

‘I think I can, I think I can’

A couple weeks ago, my family and I, along with some friends, set out for an extended kayak trip down Paint Creek.I knew the trip would be long (from Greenfield’s Felson Park to the Paint Creek State Park Campgrounds off Rapid Forge Road), but I don’t know that I have ever felt such a bone-deep exhaustion coupled with a simultaneous exhilaration before.Our prior trips have been small, maybe no more than an hour or two, and have been a nice meander down the cr...

25 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

The airport offers lots of entertainment

I used to do a lot of commercial flying, and while I didn’t mind the flying itself, I hated the airports.After the events of 911, flying commercially became almost not worth the effort. There are tons of security personnel now, not just at the security gates, but throughout the whole airport, and it can make anyone feel a little paranoid. Are they watching me? Do I look suspicious? Are they wondering what’s in this package I’m carrying?Shoot, if I was a...

26 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

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A lady in black and some pigeons

So there I was, sitting at my desk Thursday afternoon...

1 days 13 hours ago | | | Email

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