Stuck in the Middle with Bruce

The Super Bowl, in earlier days, was as much about consumerism as it was about football. With the largest TV audience of the year watching, the network airing the game could charge millions of dollars for a 30-second spot. And the companies who were paying these top-dollar rates spared no expense to put the WOWContinue reading “Stuck in the Middle with Bruce”

This should be an interesting matchup (but actually, it really wasn’t)

I haven’t cared about the Super Bowl in a long time, but I’ll probably never get away from watching it. And this year, there’s the truth of an old saying that will be tested out: “Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.” On the Age side is Tom Brady, who could become just theContinue reading “This should be an interesting matchup (but actually, it really wasn’t)”

What Trump’s really offering is thirty pieces of silver

As I’ve stated here on many occasions, I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school through the end of high school. The teachings of the Church didn’t match my worldview, and it’s been decades since I attended a church service that wasn’t a wedding, a baptism, or a funeral. But some of the stories fromContinue reading “What Trump’s really offering is thirty pieces of silver”

“By necessity, we all quote”

Yesterday I wrote a post in this space about the passing of my dog, and I opened with a picture of my dog and a quote about how regrettably short a dog’s life can be. I’ve always been one who enjoys a good quote, something so profound that I wish I had said it myself.Continue reading ““By necessity, we all quote””

We must do better than this

When I see the story of two African American men arrested inside a Philadelphia Starbucks, waiting for a friend to arrive, it’s a troubling moment. They know, and I know, and everybody who lives in America in 2018 knows that this only happened to them because of their skin color. Fifty years after Martin LutherContinue reading “We must do better than this”

About that wall…

The first week of the new presidency has shocked and alarmed everyone that I know. It’s an onslaught on the nation that still is, and will always be, my home. Since I love America, I’m willing to fight for it. I won’t sit and watch as our water is imperiled, our openness to immigration isContinue reading “About that wall…”

Inside the Ricketts Square

My daughter, who’s in 8th grade in a Chicago public school, took biology a year ago. She was exposed to genetics and the Punnett Square, which brought back lots of old memories, and not necessarily fond ones, as I tried once again to understand alleles and dominant and recessive traits. However, I apparently remember enough of geneticsContinue reading “Inside the Ricketts Square”

No time for Trump

I am confident that Donald Trump understands the concept of property very well. When you own something, you can use it as you want, and the law prevents anyone else from doing the same. Songs, books, drawings, or any other forms of creative work are also property, and they belong to the person or peopleContinue reading “No time for Trump”

Shut down Volkswagen

My parents had a light blue Volkswagen Beetle like the one pictured above when I was a kid, and I called it a “Vopiad” because I couldn’t say “Volkswagen.” It’s a happy memory for me. But those warm fuzzys have been abolished forever by the way Volkswagen has behaved since 2009. They installed software thatContinue reading “Shut down Volkswagen”

Five Years and Counting

I wanted to start a blog for a long time–probably for at least a year–before I actually did it. But I put off doing it, because I thought there was some special quality I was lacking. Others who “blogged” (the word was still new and unusual back then) had it, whatever it was, and IContinue reading “Five Years and Counting”

Enough is enough

Opioids are taking a terrible toll on this country, and yet they’re perfectly legal. The Pharma companies that manufacture them are profiting from addiction and death. I’m grateful I don’t know anyone who has had an addiction to these things, but not everyone has been so fortunate. Can we now have an honest discussion ofContinue reading “Enough is enough”

A Freudian Slip

It’s fitting, in some way, that the trial I served as a juror for ended on Tax Day. I realize that taxes aren’t due until the 18th of April this year, but everyone knows April 15 is the day that we’re supposed to settle up with the IRS by filing our tax returns. Money changesContinue reading “A Freudian Slip”

Everybody wants to rule the World

A song by Tears for Fears encapsulates the 80s for me like few others do. And the irony now, all these years laters, is that it was probably in the air when a high school teacher and coach named Hastert was doing some terrible things to trusting young kids. He went from Yorkville High toContinue reading “Everybody wants to rule the World”

Powerball and the flip of a coin

One time, just for fun, I found out what the actual odds of winning the Powerball are. Then I compared it to the real-world action of flipping a coin. If you took a quarter and flipped heads (or tails, but I’m saying heads because it’s my example), you’d have to then flip heads another 25Continue reading “Powerball and the flip of a coin”

Sending my best to Dominica

The first time I ever left the boundaries of the United States was for my honeymoon in August of 1992. My new wife and I took a Caribbean cruise, leaving from San Juan and going through the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Maarten, Barbados, Dominica, and Martinique. The sunshine and natural beauty ofContinue reading “Sending my best to Dominica”

My Grateful Beard has disappeared

I spent much of February 2015 growing a beard. It originally grew out of the hockey-related idea of a playoff beard. If you keep a routine that does not allow for shaving to intrude, the thinking goes, it will somehow create a benefit for one’s team. Or at least it allows you to share theContinue reading “My Grateful Beard has disappeared”

Paying the price

The decision by the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri to not indict officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown last summer ripped the scab off a wound that hadn’t healed up yet. It’s a wound that can never heal, not so long as young men can be murdered in a public place, in broad daylight,Continue reading “Paying the price”

Like a trip through the past

If I could go back and see myself as an adolescent, I would probably find him in an arcade. Aladdin’s Castle at White Oaks Mall is where I first caught video gaming fever, and if I had to put a date on it it would be around 1980. I eventually moved my video gaming toContinue reading “Like a trip through the past”

Thoughts from southern Indiana

There are some people–probably more than I would know how to count–who think that “government” is a bad thing. It exists solely to take their hard-earned money away and give it to those who don’t deserve it. Abolish the IRS, these people say, and the country will be much better off. For the sake ofContinue reading “Thoughts from southern Indiana”

The year I started working

For some people, the penny is a waste of effort. It costs more to make them than they’re actually worth, so why bother with them in the first place? I can understand this line of thinking, but I respectfully disagree with it. For me, a penny is a relic from the past, and a chanceContinue reading “The year I started working”

The King no more

  It was thirty years ago that I had my first beer. And now, all these years later, I wish that it hadn’t happened. While I never really needed it, there was a time in my life that I wanted it, and spent whatever I had to in order to acquire it. It’s now beenContinue reading “The King no more”

Month without McDonald’s, part 5

Once again, on the last day of a month where I did not go to a McDonald’s, I’m presenting another one of their signs as a trophy of sorts. Five months without patronizing this business feels positively great. By paying their workers minimum wages, and thus ensuring that many of them will go on publicContinue reading “Month without McDonald’s, part 5”