While zoning out in front of the boob tube the other day, I heard a phrase uttered in a commercial that immediately woke me out of my vegetative state and started me thinking. I can't remember the exact wording, but it was something along the lines of "How will we remember the Great Recession?" I'm sure I have heard the economic troubles our country is facing today called the Great Recession in the past, but it never really registered until now.
Midwesterners don't all know they live in a region where earthquakes can strike, but they got a small reminder of that simple fact earlier this month when a 3.8 Richter scale trembler struck in northern Illinois. Let's hope we can learn more from the event than just what the passing headlines might lead us to think about - because the center of our country is woefully under-prepared for what will come in terms of later, much larger quakes.
As a red-blooded American, I have to say that I absolutely love the Olympics. There are few things in life better than watching America's finest crush our national enemies, to see them driven before us, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Thomas Wolfe had it right; you can't go home again.
"Wow, what a game on Sunday, am I right? That Drew Brees, he, uh, he looked good out there! And Peyton's interception, when he threw that ball to that guy in white and gold! He'll never get into the Hall of Fame now!"
I don't get it.
This winter opened with bitter cold for much of the nation - including parts of the country not used to snow and ice. Here in the northern tier states we are, at least, equipped to respond to winter storms, but they always pose a challenge.
Ask anyone on the street what they believe is California's top problem and most will tell you it is unemployment. The state's economy is so bad that most people worry about their job, are out of work themselves or know someone who is.
Another sign of the Apocalypse was recorded last week when the one and only book store in Laredo, Texas - which has a population of 250,000 people - closed its doors. People in Laredo now have to drive 150 miles away to San Antonio, Texas to buy a "Twilight" book. When news of this literary nightmare reached me, I imagined a "Book of Eli" -esque scene where culture-starved Laredoians set up ambush sites for travelers in an effort to steal reading material.
I was lucky enough to spend Saturday, the only sunny day this week, wandering up and down the coast of Monterey Bay. I took in the sights and sounds of Cannery Row in Monterey, I watched seals play at the Santa Cruz Municipal Warf, and I ate far too much seafood in Capitola.
Forget the law. Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker has allowed the trial over a challenge to overturn Proposition 8 - the 2008 California ballot initiative that limited marriage to "a man and a woman" approved by 52 percent of California voters - to turn into what the measure's opponents like to call a "teachable moment." That's another way of saying that the law isn't as important as feelings in this trial.
Cheerleaders and coaches have very different roles on a sports team.
Many of us - perhaps most - living in the far Western states know what it is to feel the power of seismic waves passing through the Earth. The sharp jolts are unmistakable, and the sense of chaos is terrifying even to those of us who like a thrill.
Attention all local elected officials and members of public boards: You are responsible for knowing and adhering to the provisions in the Ralph M. Brown Act.
I hate to admit it, but the City of Turlock has a well-deserved reputation as being, well, a bit boring.
"People have a right to privacy."
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