BY JAYSON JACOBY
I’d like to know what the first generation of cattle ranchers around here would make of the current debate over wolves.
I’m inclined to think our 19th century forebears might not be altogether sympathetic to their modern counterparts.
In that bygone era, after all, the government, having only recently managed to hold itself together, had neither the inclination nor, likely, the money to reimburse livestock owners whose animals became wolf entrees.
So Rush Limbaugh went on the radio and insulted someone.
That this qualifies as a major national story has got me to wondering how soon until I hear this teaser for the nightly news:
“Sun rose as predicted this morning! What was Stephen Hawking’s reaction? More at 11!”
Went for a hike on the Oregon Trail the other Sunday accompanied by a 4-year-old who delighted in the glutinous mud which coated the historic ruts.
“Gooey,” she called it.
Also “mucky” and “messy.”
All three words were accurate enough under the circumstances.
I was distracted, though, from Olivia’s adjectival acumen by worrying about what sort of mess her slime-encrusted shoes were apt to make back at the car.
The government's weather forecasters have added the well-being of newborn calves and lambs to their list of worries, which seems to me an intolerable burden.
The prognosticators have quite enough pressure just with figuring out whether it's going to rain tomorrow.
I came across this latest curiosity in the fashion typical of our times — I was prowling about online, hoping to kick up something interesting.
(It's usually a short prowl, requiring the gentlest of kicks.)
Wasn't so long ago that "hybrid" was used most often to describe either certain canines of a wolf-like nature, or fast-growing poplar trees.
Today, of course, when we see that word we think first of cars.
Many of these, including the ubiquitous Toyota Prius, are thrifty runabouts. They sport cute little carbon footprints and are festooned with badges and decals invariably rendered in green and incorporating, in some fashion, the prefix "eco."
Conspicuously absent, or understated, in the advertisements for these models is a measurement that used to be foremost in many customers' minds.
Automakers, ever conscious of their image, are increasingly reluctant even to acknowledge that their products produce, and therefore consume, power.
Particularly since the vast majority of automobiles built since Karl Benz was in the business rely on non-renewable sources of energy to get around.
Oregon's budget continues to suffer, but the boozers, bless their hearts (and livers), are doing their part to keep the state afloat.
I'm no teetotaler, mind you.
Although beer is my favorite tipple I don't begrudge people who prefer the harder stuff.
It is, as they say, a free country.
Yet I never fail to be amused by the semantic machinations which manifest when the government is, in effect, both bartender and surrogate AA counselor.
You’d think, on a TV show called “Finding Bigfoot,” that maybe just once in a while, if only to mollify the habitual channel-changers, the cast would actually find, well, a Bigfoot.
And I mean a real Bigfoot.
Not that CGI beast that roars before and after each commercial break.
The cast members from The Animal Planet program, which recently started its second season, frequently imply that they’re practically surrounded by unidentified, but apparently quite elusive, primates.
Michael Hendriks doesn’t mind admitting that he was about as scared as he’s ever been while driving.
Scared enough, at any rate, to stop by the Herald office and tell me his tale.
I’m glad he did.
Hendriks’ story belongs to that category of precautions which, as the cliche goes, can’t be repeated too often.
Notice anything about the appearance of today's issue of the Herald that seemed, well, unusual?
I suspect, if you've given the paper more than a cursory glance, that your answer is "yes."
Some of these differences probably were intentional.
Others, perhaps not.
The explanation, in a word: computers.
I had of late been lamenting the “islands” of public land east of Baker City — those chunks of ground, some measuring in the hundreds of acres, that are surrounded by private property.
“Public,” as applied to these places, is a misleading adjective.
Because there is no general easement across the intervening private parcels, the public can’t get to these islands without trespassing.
This seems to me an awful waste.
(Except, perhaps, for the owners of the adjacent private property.)