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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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The remnants of a heavy wind; and I’m overtaken by starlings

It must have been quite the gale that blustered through the forests near Elk Creek.

I wish I had seen it happen, as I am fascinated by all manner of meteorological spectacles.

Although probably it’s better for me, and in particular for my skull, that both of us missed this particular show. A windstorm in the woods is an event best viewed from the summit of a rocky peak or the middle of a meadow, but these sorts of treeless safe zones aren’t abundant around Elk Creek.

I first saw evidence of the prodigious gusts a few weeks ago. I was hiking the road that climbs from the Elk Creek ford to Old Auburn Reservoir (which these days rarely qualifies as much more than a snowmelt puddle).

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In a land of sunshine, there’s no reason to fret about rain

How peculiar this past week has been, bringing such a prolonged patter of rain to the roofs of Baker City.

This is at least a pleasant sound. The soothing rhythm reminds me, when I listen during that peacefully hazy period which precedes sleep, of the trilling of a small stream heard through an open window.

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Changes coming to the Herald

Effective June 1, the Baker City Herald will change our publication dates from five days to three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Our doors will continue to be open for business five days a week, and we will continue to be a daily news organization, publishing news to the Web every day at www.bakercityherald.com. But we won’t be printing a newspaper on Tuesday or Thursday.

Reducing our publication frequency will not reduce our local news content.

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Protecting America's values — and Americans


It bothers me that Americans, acting on behalf of my country and therefore on behalf of me, poured water in some people’s faces to try to convince those people that they were drowning.

It bothers me, but I’m not sure it was a mistake.

My ambivalence stems largely from my inability to indulge in the fantasy that waterboarding, or any of the other unpleasant “interrogation techniques” my country has subjected certain people to over the past several years, happened simply because George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are dullards and bullies.

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