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The pros and cons of keeping a journal


I wish sometimes that I kept a journal.

I don’t mean a diary. I have no need for a cute little volume with flowers on the cover and whose pages I would, I fear, clog with cloying poetry inspired by a pretty vista I had seen in the mountains.

Nor am I conceiving of a Twitter-like (Twittery? Twitterish?) document which records every banal aspect of my daily routine. The Internet is quite full enough without adding to it my tally of jelly beans consumed or phone calls made and received.

What I’m thinking of, rather, is a simple chronicle that preserves for each day one or two events, the details of which I might want handy so as to revive my failing memory years later.


State workers need to pitch in

Please forgive our indulging in an overused nautical analogy, but as Oregon’s economy has been foundering these past several months, it seems to us that state workers have more than their share of reserved seats on the lifeboats.

For instance, according the Oregon Employment Department, private sector wages in the state rose an average of 2 percent in 2008.


New ways to get you the news, now

I’m in my office waiting for a text to my cell phone.

As I write this column, Baker High School’s baseball team is playing Henley near Klamath Falls for a berth in the state championship game. Kial Richardson, sister to Baker player Trace Richardson, is texting game updates to a whole bevy of Bulldog faithful, including me. I’m updating the score to the breaking news section of our Web site, www.bakercityherald.com, as soon as I get them.


Lay the blame for murders on the people who pulled the trigger

Two Americans were murdered this week because they chose careers that some people don’t approve of.

On the list of ridiculous reasons to kill somebody, this ranks right beside “hey, he looked at me funny.”


From a fast drive to the final class: 17 years goes by in a blur

On the day my older daughter was born I broke at least one Oregon law and possibly a few federal statutes.

The former could have cost me a couple hundred bucks, a bail I would have gladly paid. The federal rap, though, might have had serious repercussions — my own FBI file, for instance.


I like to run — but not by myself

This is how I rate myself, exercise-wise: first a walker, second a hiker, third a runner.

But now I have a dilemma: I ran a half-marathon on May 16, so does that elevate running to first?

I have a love/hate relationship with running. It’s usually somewhere in the middle of a run — especially if we’re doing hills or intervals — that I think, “Is this really my idea of fun?”

The answer, I must admit, is yes.


What to expect from our new format


I don’t have a favorite TV program but I try to catch at least a couple of the categories on “Jeopardy!” every weeknight.

I like to remind myself that what I know would comfortably fit in a leaflet, and what I don’t know would fill to bursting a great library.

So let’s say, by way of example, that ABC decided to stop showing “Jeopardy!” on Tuesdays and Thursday.

But on Wednesdays and Fridays you get two episodes per night instead of one.

That’s twice as many daily doubles on those two nights.

(It’s also, unfortunately, twice as many of Alex Trebek’s annoying French pronunciations.)

The preceding “Jeopardy!” hypothetical pretty well describes what’s actually going to happen with the Baker City Herald starting the week of June 1-5.


What to expect from our new format

I don’t have a favorite TV program but I try to catch at least a couple of the categories on “Jeopardy!” every weeknight.

I like to remind myself that what I know would comfortably fit in a leaflet, and what I don’t know would fill to bursting a great library.

So let’s say, by way of example, that ABC decided to stop showing “Jeopardy!” on Tuesdays and Thursday.


Help needed to keep the trail ride the cheapest fun around

I was a bit worried, all those years ago, about the horses.

I was 12, and my friend had convinced me to join her on the youth trail ride held every June by the Baker County Mounted Posse.

She’d been around horses, and I had not. Yes — even growing up in rural Eastern Oregon I hadn’t really sat astride a horse, except for a certain bareback experience I won’t relate here. Let’s just say my cousin still laughs about that wild ride through her field.


The connection between firewood length and the city’s character

Baker City officials are kicking around the idea of what constitutes the character of the city’s neighborhoods.

And by character they don’t mean whether the streets are smooth or the sewer pipes flow unimpeded or the fire trucks can get through the alleys, which are the sorts of things I expect cities to fret about.


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