Finding one’s calling

April 24, 2009 This is an open letter to next month’s graduating seniors.Dear Seniors,If you want to succeed in life but aren’t quite certain how to, that’s because life offers you different options. In fact, life’s a lot like “Let’s Make a Deal.” You’re about to have to choose Door 1, Door 2, or Door 3.

Wait’ll next year, part 2

April 24, 2009  So here we go again. It’s 2009 and the Chicago Cubs look like they might very well be the best team in the National League.Good hitting has long been a Cubs’ hallmark. Alfonzo Soriano homered in the eighth inning last Friday to beat the traditional rival Cardinals. Aramis Ramirez one-upped him Saturday, hitting his two-run homer in the 11th for the walk-off win. The Cubs have plenty of hitting.

Politically correct terms

April 23, 2009 Political correctness is a term everybody loves to hate. Where in the world did it come from, and can we ever return to just plain old common speech?The answer to the first part of the question is inconclusive at best. One source traced the term back to Mao’s “Little Red Book.” Some trace it even further to roots of Marxism. Regardless of the etymology, politicians, pundits and posers of all stripes have used the term for decades.

Seeing the elephant

April 23, 2009 When I came out of the eye doctor’s office in McMinnville, Ore., with a black patch over my right eye, the first thing I saw was a baby elephant coming through an alley onto the street.Or maybe it was a pre-teen elephant. I turned to my wife. “Is that a real elephant, or am I just seeing things?”“It’s a real elephant,” she said.This was the summer of 1971, when we were migrant workers in California and Oregon.

Find time for friends

April 22, 2009 As my friend’s almost 2-year-old son repeatedly cried, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” at his father, who had gone outside to grill dinner for the group of us, I took some solace in the fact that it was not my child crying at that moment. Of course, 80 or so miles away, my 5-year-old son was likely laughing maniacally at my wife while using rude language and refusing to get ready for bed.

Facebook fatigue

April 22, 2009 I’m turning into my father.My father was born in 1933. He was a paperboy in the days when paperboys stood on city corners and shouted “Extra!”In my father’s home, the newspaper still is king. He has two delivered daily. He reads every inch of both. He does the crossword puzzles in both, too — with a pencil.(Note to people under 25: A pencil is a small, yellow stick that leaves a mark when its tip is pressed against paper.)

Assault weapons ban

April 21, 2009 Escalating violence in Mexico and border towns in the U.S. from the growing drug trade has increased a call to reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban against some semi-automatic and automatic weapons. The 1994 ban passed by Congress was allowed to expire under the last administration but after investigations proved that many of the guns being used in the recent drug wars originated from sales in the U.S. more groups began calling for Obama to make good on a campaign promise.

Going to Pirate School

April 21, 2009 It’s bad enough Obama has to juggle two wars while scrubbing the floor of the White House trying to clean up the domestic mess left by the previous tenant, but as soon as he looks out the door, what does he see. Pirates. That’s right. Pirates. And no, I’m not talking left-handed relievers from Pittsburgh or a limo full of Bernie Madoff wannabes or some Hong Kong cartel peddling bootleg copies of the “Watchmen” sequel. Actual bilge-sucking pirates. With guns and boats and rum and Davy Jones’ Locker and everything.

How many me’s?

April 21, 2009 There are 26 people in the United States named Andrea Bruner.That is according to, which states, “There are 306,212,373 people in the U.S. How many have your name?”So while there are 50,566 people named John Smith in the United States, 1,070 people named James Bond, 115 people named Harry Potter, 514 people named George Bush, and 39 named Johnny Cash — there are only about two dozen Andrea Bruners.