As the holiday season starts to wind down - except in Russia where they celebrate through Jan. 10 - I find myself feeling a little blue.
Congratulations on purchasing your Wonder Fun Doll Dream House with Stables, Orchard and Shooting Range! These are your assembly instructions, so if you're a man, you're not reading this.
The recent massive snowstorm that moved from California across to New England certainly got the nation's attention. While some Americans dealt with snowfall measured in feet rather than inches, my part of the Northwest simply endured temperatures near zero, night after night. (Where I live, we think of ourselves as human weather stripping, nobly protecting states to the south from Canada.) Either way, we all had a moment, I'm sure, to reflect on the fact ...
I have come to the conclusion that we, as a society, are pretty hypocritical. I know this is a somewhat harsh statement to make, but the evidence continues to mount for its authenticity.
Congress is at it again, battling unfairness wherever it pops up. This time, it's taking on college athletics, a world in which a conniving cartel spins backroom deals and then foists injustice on vulnerable football fans.
I wasn't quite sure I had heard correctly. My friend, a fellow geologist, and I were standing in the swimming lanes of a lap pool where we had stopped to give each other greetings of the season.
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with JoLynn DiGrazia of Westside Ministries, Major Debi Shrum of the Salvation Army and Pastors Samuel Galdamez, Steve Carlson and Tim Hawkinson of Turlock Covenant Church.
I like Hanukkah. It's a very nice holiday, as Jewish holidays go; one of the few where the Jews actually won, as opposed to having the Temple destroyed, or fleeing the divided sea, or being spared from the evil Haman. Usually, it's enough if we survive. Often, we don't even do that.
If anyone still believes that nothing big ever happens in Turlock, then they haven't been to a city council meeting in a long, long time. Although Turlock can only be considered a small city or big town in population terms, it often has big city political issues.
As a record-keeper, I'm pathetic. I often can't keep track of where my checkbook is, let alone the balance in the account. The chief problem determining the balance isn't my arithmetic skills, it's that I don't enter all the checks that I write for merchants in the ledger. No wonder the amount I show I have becomes a tad different from what the bank feels I have in my account.
After living in the Valley for the past 11 years, I have finally made the journey to Bethlehem.
Although the 1980s occurred three decades ago, it seems like just yesterday I was pondering the genius of the Rubik's Cube and wearing parachute pants. While the '80s were the dawn of the personal computing and cellular phone boom, they were also the years in which a new fear was introduced into Western civilization: HIV.
The other day the forecast near my home included winds up to 50 mph. That's a strong wind, to be sure, but not something I'd write home about. One forecaster I heard, however, presented the news in a shrill voice, as if we might have to stay in the basement all day. I considered calling his station and explaining that, when I was a small child, we walked to school in winds of 50 mph (and back) without a second thought.
The frantic rush to start shopping for Christmas always catches me a bit unaware. It might be that I'm still sleeping off my turkey and tryptophan hangover on Black Friday each year, but even on the best of days I am in no hurry to battle crowds of sleep-deprived deal hounds.
It is that time of year again; a time to count your blessings and give thanks. Many of you might read that and say "Give thanks? What for?" I understand why giving thanks may be a little bit harder this year.
As both high school and college graduates don their academic regalia and stand before family and friends in a public display of triumphant, it's easy to read the enthusiasm and optimistic outlook on their faces. These newly-minted grads are ready to take on the future – whatever it may hold. Ask any graduate what their future plans are and you will hear a mix of altruistic goals like curing cancer and finding a ...
Even if you don't have kids in your household, you could be exposed to serious diseases that often affect children. And at the moment there's a sharp spike upward in one contagious disease that you could help protect yourself and youngsters against by getting a simple shot at the doctor's office.
Americans get angry when they learn of government bureaucrats spending lavishly at a Las Vegas hotel or Secret Service agents consorting with prostitutes. As well they should. Such conduct wastes money and drains Americans' respect for their government.
While the official start of summer is still three weeks away - June 20, to be exact - the season began for many last weekend. Local lakes, rivers and parks were full of families looking to start summer with a bang - or a splash and the sizzle of a grill.
It doesn't have to be "us" against "them" in California water politics.
A sophomore at Sequoia High in Redwood City in an English honors class is caught cheating and is kicked out of the class. His parents sue as it may hurt his chances of getting into an Ivy League school.
It's time that common sense guided higher education spending in California.
I spent two hours the other day standing in front of the greeting card display at my local grocery store trying in vain to pick out the perfect Mother's Day card for my mom. Mother's Day is the one day in the year that I take the time to express just how much I love, appreciate and admire the woman who put up with me for over three decades. I finally realized that ...
Turlock itself has seemingly been at the center of my priorities these past few weeks. I recently participated in the 2012 Ode to Turlock Poetry Contest, in which I composed a seven stanza poem praising Turlock as a locus of culture, strength, and agriculture. I was both honored and humbled to be selected as one of the winners of the contest, and was invited to present my poem at a poetry reading night ...
I had an opportunity this week to acknowledge and help commemorate a genuinely transformative event in American history. The action itself was simple – the stroke of a pen. And, as it turned out, the man wielding the pen has been immortalized for very different achievements. But this one, in its own way, changed the world. It was 1862, and President Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War, signed a piece ...
Today the American economy is continuing to heal from the great recession. Unemployment rates are falling, and we've added private sector jobs for two straight years. That means more than 4 million Americans are back on the job. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we're focused on growing the economy in rural America and I am proud of what we've accomplished. One important part of our work has been supporting homeowners who ...
What is wrong with us?
Americans have a fixation on sex scandals. A short list includes: Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Charlie Sheen, Rob Lowe, Rev. Jimmy Swaggart and Ceres' own Gary Condit. So it comes as no surprise that James Hooker seized the nation's interest.
As we head full-steam into Relay for Life season, it's hard to miss the purple ribbons strung on lampposts down Main Street and the car wash, barbecue, and candy fundraisers Relay teams all across town are holding almost every other day. Every time I come across these Relay events I am reminded of the millions of people who battle cancer every day - and those who passed away due to the disease, leaving ...