I used to enjoy flying. I really did.
Last week I became a statistic. I was one of the over 6,700 cases of whooping cough reported in California for 2010 - the most cases reported in 63 years.
I used to know Denair as a small town where I would go to visit an old friend who showed sheep. Just a small town, not too much going on, but a pleasant Central Valley community.
"No man is an island," begins the famous poem of the same name by John Donne.
On Election Day, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment Merchants Association. The irony of this case name was obvious: The celebrated violent-action-hero governor of California had signed a bill into law in 2005 forbidding the sale of ultraviolent video games to minors, a law that lower federal courts prevented from ever going into effect.
"The taxpayers gave and they also took away. On one hand, the people said by a majority, 'Give us a budget.' On the other hand, they said, 'Don't pick my pocket.'" This was Jerry Brown's verdict on California voters' picks on ballot measures delivered at his post-victory press conference Wednesday.
The day after an election can be difficult for many. Of course, there are those candidates whose hard work, sincerity and perseverance didn't pay off and they now have to deal with the reality of losing a race for office. Many candidates are social people and failing in such a public manner must be hard. Everyone knows you didn't get the job - tough break.
Air travel has always been a part of my life. The moment my Indiana-born dad met my California-born mother and fell in love, my flying destiny was sealed.
For half of the candidates on Tuesday's ballot, these are the days you remember.
Election season advertising campaigns are always insufferable, but this year is the worst in recent memory.
Last week a press release came across my desk that killed a dream of mine. The news was innocent enough; it congratulated an Elk Grove college student on his upcoming appearance on the TV show "Jeopardy!" For me, however, this press release ended four months of waiting and hoping on a phone call from the "Jeopardy!"casting staff. You see, I was also in the running to compete in "Jeopardy! College Championship" this year, and I didn't know the 15 competitor spots were filled until I saw this press release.
I'm not usually one to rail against new technology. I'm a geek, a nerd, a certifiable tech-addict with more gadgets, gizmos, whozits and whatzits than "The Little Mermaid" could ever dream of.
Education, like politics, is local. You want it close to home, the better to monitor it. That's how it should be.
Back when our country was young, political candidates relied on their friends to spread the word about their accomplishments and suitability to hold office. In fact, historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that candidates "were supposed to play coy, obeying a call to service from their country, saving their energies for the task of government. Electioneering was done by newspapers, pamphlets, and occasional public meetings."
You hear stories of courage every day. A man survives cancer and goes on to climb Mount Everest. A woman born without legs opens her own business and becomes an inspirational speaker. A child becomes badly burned in a house fire and, despite the pain, is cheerful and full of hope.